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Fated To Love You: Episode 12

If you thought that yesterday’s episode was brutal, then gird your loins for what comes next, which can best be described as a lot. A lot of pain, a lot of blame, and a lot of noble idiocy—and if you’re thinking to yourself that maybe this specific brand of noble idiocy will be different, you’d be right: It’s so much worse. Noble idiocy has been responsible for some of dramaland’s lowest lows, but never has it wreaked quite so much havoc and tragedy. But hey, that’s what communal commiseration is for, right? *hands out tissue boxes*

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EPISODE 12 RECAP

Gun, having regained his memories, stops in front of Mom’s restaurant to see Mi-young with a young infant in her arms. Rest assured, we haven’t undergone amnesia and a time skip—it’s her unni’s newborn baby.

Instead of getting out, he drives straight to Doctor Moon to ask if his fainting and memory loss means he’s contracted his family’s long-running genetic disease. Doctor Moon sighs that it’s possible, since the symptoms Gun is experiencing now are similar to what his father suffered around his age.

With tears in his eyes, Gun realizes that he’ll be no different than his father, his grandfather, his great-grandfather, and so on in dying in his thirties. He rails on Doctor Moon when he urges him not to worry: “How can I not worry? My grandmother, our Mi-young and Keddongie… My family, the people I have to protect. How can I not be worried?!”

While meeting with Mi-young to finally give her the cup she made for Gun, Daniel asks what she’ll do if Gun’s memory doesn’t come back. Mi-young, optimistic as always, says she doesn’t want to think of the worst: “I’ll trust him and wait.”

But when realtors come knocking, Mi-young asks Daniel if he’s selling the cafe. He says he is, and that he’s leaving for France next month. Even Mi-young acknowledges how sudden it is, which I guess means that Daniel took that friend-zoning business pretty hard. (Still, you don’t make a declaration like that and not try. Come on, Daniel!)

Mi-young attends the next and final prenatal class alone, which entails writing a letter for the baby to read when he’s old enough. It’s both sad and cute how Mi-young spares one glance to the doorway, as if hoping that Gun would magically appear like he always used to do.

So Mi-young decides to write Keddongie a letter from Gun, and has a little bit of fun trying to mimic Gun’s low tone of voice…

…But then the sound of mad cackling comes from the doorway. It’s Gun!! I never thought I’d be so happy to hear that insane laugh, and neither does Mi-young. He laughs all the way to his spot next to his wife, where he says that—despite his brain issues—he wouldn’t start his letter the way she was writing it. Hah.

I’m not quite sure if he’s completely back, or if they’re both just glossing over the amnesia episode, but he tells her to write his letter to Keddongie while he dictates.

At first, he starts talking about how beautiful and wonderful life is, but then derails to a more realistic approach. What was supposed to be a light letter turns into a survival guide, which Gun defends as being necessary when Mi-young mentions that he might be taking this a little too seriously.

When they stop to eat Mi-young’s favorite pungent fish snack, it seems like Gun doesn’t remember everything(?), since Mi-young reminds him that he had to stuff his nose with tissues to avoid the smell the first time he came with her.

He doesn’t believe her, but Mi-young insists that he did all sorts of things he wouldn’t have imagined himself doing, whether it was running from a dog like a crazy man or rapping for her mother. “You were such a fun person… and a very good husband,” she adds. “You always made me laugh.”

“I never caused you any heartache or made you cry… not even once?” he asks disbelievingly. Mi-young: “No, you didn’t. Not even once.” Gun shakes his head when he says that she’s too nice sometimes, only for Mi-young to admit with a small smile that he wasn’t always a saint.

But thanks to him, she says, she went from being a post-it girl to superglue, like a princess in a fairytale. “But, Kim Mi-young-sshi, I can’t always be by your side. In the end, we’ll have to part ways,” he says.

He’s referencing his death, which I don’t think Mi-young catches on to, even as she says that she’s working hard to become a source of strength for him. “I want you to be able to rely on me the way I was able to rely on you in case you get your memory back, so that we can be together.”

She finally gets to hand him the birthday present he wanted: his Gunnie Cup. Gun has to fight the tears that immediately spring to his eyes, because he doesn’t want Mi-young to know why he’s struggling.

Manager Tak goes to Gun with a plan to help lift Mi-young’s spirits while Gun is still an amnesiac… only for him to realize that Gun’s memories are back, all of them.

But Gun stops him before he can call Mi-young with the good news, because he doesn’t want her to know. He’s trying to spare her from the pain she’ll suffer because of his genetic disease. Ugh. I get it, but still. Noble Idiocy is to Amnesia what Denny’s is to La Quinta.

Gun meets with Se-ra for one reason only: “Let’s break up.” She immediately pins the blame on Mi-young, only for Gun to say that he’ll end things with her, too. As he apologizes numbly to Se-ra for wasting the precious six years they had together, she breaks down into tears.

“It’ all because of Kim Mi-young. If it wasn’t for her, none of this would have happened. I hate it. I never thought… that I’d have to live without seeing you,” Se-ra cries. Gun’s face remains motionless.

While quitting his DJ job for his impending trip to France, Daniel recognizes Se-ra drinking at the bar. He advises her not to do things that’ll hurt other people just because she’s been hurt, and while she thanks him for the advice, she won’t take it: She’s lost everything, which means there’s only one thing left for her.

We finally find out what was in the second divorce agreement Gun made when he visits Lawyer Hong, which is actually more like a love pact: In it, Gun gave all the power to Mi-young to decide when and if they’d ever divorce, that he’d have to provide for her if they did, and that they’d raise the baby together.

Gun decides to void both the original divorce agreement and the newer one—now his conditions are that Mi-young will have parental rights when it comes to the baby, and that she’ll be compensated after the divorce.

But here’s the kicker, and the whole reason why Gun is doing all of this: In the event he were to die, everything he owns would go to Mi-young and the baby. Lawyer Hong notes that this sounds more like a last will and testament than a divorce agreement, and Gun doesn’t disagree.

Se-ra calls Mi-young for a meeting, which we know isn’t going to end well. Se-ra acts like she’s in the know when Mi-young isn’t, and asks whether she knew that Gun plans to end things with her. Mi-young says she didn’t, but can’t see how he’d say something like that…

“Why do you think he can’t remember his own marriage?” Se-ra fires back. “It’s because he wants to forget it. He wants to erase it from his memory.” She also claims he changed the divorce agreement, and slides the new document over to her. Se-ra, what dafaq is wrong with you?

Of course, the divorce agreement Se-ra hands to her is completely fabricated, and states that Mi-young will be given compensation after the divorce, say nothing to the media, and give the baby to Gun. “He wants you to hand over the baby and end it,” Se-ra adds coldly.

Mi-young leaves the cafe in utter disbelief, and only worries more when Gun calls her to meet with him because he has something to say. Ohhh no. This is bad. This is baaad.

Gun notes Mi-young’s troubled expression, but doesn’t pay it much attention as he hands over a box. She opens it to find Keddongie’s Cup inside, which, ouch. Gun says he’s giving it to her because it doesn’t suit the home’s decor. What is going on, seriously?

“Your role as the daughter-in-law of my household and my wife is over starting from today,” Gun says. “Leave. If you’re unsure because of the baby, I’ll give up my parental rights.” He finishes by placing his wedding band on the table.

Now, the words Se-ra said that Mi-young didn’t want to believe come back to haunt her. She tells him that she didn’t think it was possible when she heard that he lost his memory because he wanted to forget about their marriage.

Mi-young: “I must have made a grave misunderstanding. When I heard that the reason you lost your memory was because you wanted to erase me from your subconscious, I thought that would never be the case. Even if you forget your memories of me, I believed that you wouldn’t forget how precious a person you are to the baby. I thought that you would never do that. It’s always like this. Imagining things on my own like a fool, trusting people like a fool, depending on people… like a fool. It was going to be like this in the end.”

As she flashes back to the moments where Gun literally swept her off her feet, she says how foolish she was to ever have expected anything. But Gun interrupts her to coldly ask if she assumed she’d be understood just because she acts so innocent.

“Did I not say before that no matter who it is, there isn’t anyone who will stay with you forever?” he asks. “This is a world where you live and fight alone.” He then asks how she’ll manage to fight all on her own if she stays hung up on the three meager months they’ve been together—and with a child, no less.

At least Mi-young stands up for herself, however meekly, when she tells him that he doesn’t have to be so harsh. (For REAL. He is being the worst.) “I’ve already decided,” she says with unshed tears in her eyes, “Let’s break up.”

I can’t even be happy that Gun at least has the good grace to walk her out, because his words seem empty when he tells her that he hopes she’ll be happy wherever she goes. Though she smiles, her words are heartbreaking as she wonders whether there’s any happiness left for her when she’s already experienced all the happiness she could possibly have dreamt of.

“The things that I could never imagine in this world came true after I met you. Bad things became good things, and I became a family with someone I love.” Gun is still resolute and unmoved, as he tells her not to look back at what’s passed, only forward.

She puts on a smile as she says she’ll take his advice—it’s not like they’ll see each other again anyway, right? After she turns to leave, Gun calls after her with one last piece of advice—it’s the same advice he gave her in Macau when they parted, about not being too nice and to be more confident.

As Mi-young crosses the street, her steps slow as everything hits her all at once. But then she remembers Gun at the prenatal class, saying he wants to do his job as a father, as well as when he said those exact same words to her in Macau… and realizes that he has his memory back.

She turns back around and calls his name repeatedly, and while Gun hears her, he convinces himself not to look back. “Gun!” she cries behind him. “Gun!”

Then, behind him, a car slams on its brakes…

…Right before it collides into Mi-young. The Keddongie Cup shatters on the ground as she falls, and Gun turns around slowly, disbelievingly… Oh god. Oh god oh god oh god. Oh god, no no no.

Gun is a mess as Mi-young is rushed to the hospital, as he begs the doctors to save her with tears in his eyes. “Is this your wife?” one of the doctors asks. “Yes, she’s my wife!” Gun cries. “She’s my wife!”

Mi-young comes to, but her first thought is for her baby as her hand clutches her stomach: “What about… what about my baby? My baby… is it okay? Our Keddongie,” she sobs. “Save my baby! Please save my baby… please… please…”

Gun tries to comfort her, but she’s gone into hysterics, and can barely murmur his name and Keddongie’s before she suddenly falls unconscious. The doctors swarm around her and pull a frantically crying Gun away. (I’ve had to take way too many tissue breaks already. No more, please.)

Doctor Moon tells Gun that Mi-young will need surgery in order to live—but the surgery will endanger the baby. In this case, he can only choose one or the other: Will it be Mi-young or Keddongie?

After Gun sinks down in despair, we find Mi-young in surgery, which means Gun has made his choice. He keeps vigil outside the operating room as he thinks back to her saying she was unsure if there was any happiness left for her. Because the biggest source of happiness in her life turned his back on her—that’s you, Gun. I hope you realize that.

Mi-young wakes in a hospital room with Gun sitting by her bedside. “What about our baby?” is the first question she whispers. Gun doesn’t answer as he helps her to sit up. “Our baby… is doing well, right?” Silence. “Why don’t you answer? Our baby is okay, right?”

Gun lets out a long sound, halfway between a sigh and a cry: “Keddongie… Keddongie isn’t here.”

Mi-young can’t believe it, won’t believe it. “Keddongie’s gone,” Gun reiterates, “I told him to go.” (Meaning that he chose Mi-young over him.) Mi-young grows more frantic as she asks him why, WHY when she told him to save Keddongie—why, when she told him she didn’t care what happened to her.

“How can I live now that Keddongie is dead?” she wails. “Please bring him back… Please bring Keddongie back! Bring him back!” She devolves into incoherent sobs as Gun tries to hold her and comfort her, but it’s no use.

Mom and Grandma Wang come in just then, only for Mi-young to eke between her sobs that Keddongie is gone. He’s gone. God, this scene is horrible to watch. It’s just horrible.

After admitting to Grandma Wang that it was all his fault outside, Gun returns to Mi-young’s room to find her asleep. He can only hold her hand as he apologizes with shaking shoulders, before he breaks down completely.

Gun pays a visit to the remains of his parents, addressing his mother first as he tells her about the strange woman he came to like—as strange as his mother was. “I don’t know how she can endure this with such a frail and petite body. I want to hold her tight, but I don’t think I should. You know, right, Mom?”

He’s much more formal when addressing his father, as he asks whether he also became afraid that he’d lose his memory. He tells his father that he found a girl he really likes and wants to be with, but he’s afraid he’ll lose her, and can’t bring himself to ask her to stay. Okay, but, why?

Daniel visits Mi-young at the hospital, even if he’s not sure how to console her. She ends up consoling him instead by saying there’s no need to comfort her—this was all her fault.

When he says it was just an accident, Mi-young explains why that’s just an excuse, and why she won’t use any now. “It’s my fault that I lost the baby.” At least Daniel lifts her spirits when he gives her a box full of art supplies, since he knows painting and drawing makes her happy.

While Mi-young sleeps inside next to a drawing of Keddongie with angel wings, Gun hangs her heart-shaped lollipop on the doorknob. “You said that people who like sweet things want to be happy. If there’s a little happiness left in my life, I’ll give all of that to you. You have to be happy, Mi-young.” And then he leaves.

After getting discharged and moving in with ex-roomie Ji-yeon, Mi-young pays a visit to Gun in his office. She cuts the small talk and gets right to the point: “Why did you lie? You could have told me you got your memories back. Was I too much of a burden for you to do even that?”

Even though Gun’s reaction is still cold and not really much of an explanation, Mi-young says this’ll be the last time she asks him a foolish question:“Is it possible to forget everything and start over? The time was short, but like before… can’t you stay by my side?”

Gun actually looks her in the eyes as he rejects her with an “I’m sorry.” Seriously, Gun? Seriously.

She passes over the divorce papers Se-ra gave her, along with her ring. He tries blaming himself, only for Mi-young to reply that it was no one’s fault—they were wrong from the beginning.

Mi-young packs her things from Lee Manor, but breaks down into pitiful sobs when she finds Keddongie’s diary. “I’m sorry,” she cries.

After a silent farewell hug with Grandma, Mi-young stops by Daniel’s cafe on her way out, looking especially glum when he says he’ll be leaving for France the day after tomorrow. He tries to lighten the mood by asking if she’s sad to break up with the best neighborhood oppa ever. (Kiind of feel like you haven’t been the best neighborhood oppa lately though.)

However, he hands her a brochure for an art school in Paris, and tells her to consider it seriously. He’ll do whatever he can to help, but urges her to take this chance to make a change in her life.

After taking a long look at his now-sparse bedroom, Gun unlocks the door to his man cave, where he’s kept Keddongie’s crib and toys, and sits beside them for a while.

Mom gives Gun the money he gave them for the restaurant now that she’s sold it, which effectively ends the ties between them. But Mom still comforts him when she calls him “Gun-ah” and says that he and Mi-young did all they could—it just wasn’t meant to be.

Even though Gun uses the more formal “Mother” instead of “Mom” when he asks if he can see Mi-young for the last time, his face falls when Mom tells him that Mi-young left overseas to start anew. She tells Gun to do the same.

As Mi-young walks through the airport with Daniel, she flashes back to all her fond memories with Gun as she thinks to herself, “There was a time I was greedy over something that could never happen: I wanted to be a kind wife who would take your jacket off and hang it, make you a delicious dinner while you rested, and talk about our days at the dinner table with you. I wanted to lay my head on your arm and wish you good night. It would have been nice if you and I were fated… but you said this once: That if we met in better circumstances, we would have been destined to be together.”

She’s unaware that Gun is running through the airport looking desperately for her and calling her name. Her inner monologue continues, “If it hurts this much, then it means we weren’t fated to be. If by chance we were to meet each other again, let’s pretend not to know each other.”

Gun is just a few steps too late, and misses Mi-young as she disappears through customs. Mi-young: “Gunnie-sshi, take care.” Gun just cries, “Dalpeng-ah!!”

Three years later.

A much different, fashionably-styled Mi-young walks through the Seoul airport. She passes Gun (also sporting a new ‘do) without recognizing him, but he turns around. Something about her struck him as familiar…

But he’s called away by Manager Tak just as Mi-young greets Daniel with a wide smile.

 
COMMENTS

I never thought I’d say this, but I liked it better when Gun had amnesia. Even if that didn’t really excuse his harshness to Mi-young, it at least lifted some of the burden of responsibility from him because he wasn’t fully himself. It was easier to forgive him and wait, just the way Mi-young did, for him to come back around—because she/we trusted him.

But when he did regain his memories, he so brutally betrayed Mi-young’s trust that I’m still left reeling, even with all the other events from this (admittedly very dense) episode. It all started from that betrayal, and while accidents are accidents and there’s nothing Gun could have physically done to prevent what happened to Mi-young, out of everyone playing the blame game, Gun actually won. Because I lost my ability to understand him this episode.

If I got the basic gist right, which is maybe the only thing I feel remotely confident about, Gun’s thought process went as such: 1) He knew there was a high chance he’d lose his memories again, 2) He knew that there was a high likelihood he’d die young like every son in his family, therefore 3) The only way to save Mi-young from the irrevocable pain of losing him later was to heap all that irrevocable pain on her now.

I don’t get it. I really, really don’t. I tried. Even if I vaguely understood the basic idea driving Gun’s noble idiocy (saving Mi-young), I don’t at all see how it worked in practice. More than that, I don’t see how Gun thought his tactic was working when he had an ample opportunities to see how much he was hurting Mi-young. Even when he was being his coldest toward her, did it not once cross his mind that inflicting pain upon her intentionally to spare her the pain he’d later inflict unintentionally was not only counterintuitive, but incredibly cruel?

But fine, let’s say he did enough mental gymnastics to convince himself that what he was doing was right, and that it’d take real emotional jolt to bring him back to his senses. Was losing Keddongie not enough? That didn’t earn Mi-young even an ounce of pity from him when it came to peeling her away from his life like a barnacle? Granted, we can argue how much we know Gun was hurting inside, and that he only became more determined to try to save her after losing Keddongie. But it’s not like Mi-young misunderstood him, or even blamed him for choosing her over the baby—she went to him, point-blank, and asked if they could start fresh. And he said no.

So when faced with his wife who’d just lost their baby, who clearly loved him and wanted to be with him, he still thought it’d be somehow better for her to live thinking that he never loved her? I just don’t understand. My heart broke for Mi-young a million times over, because she was surrounded by people yet alone in her suffering. But to be abandoned by Gun when she needed him most was just so beyond my level of comprehension that as of now, she’s achieved sainthood and deserves only the best in life. Gun, on the other hand, is going to need a miracle and a week in time out.

 
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Wow!!!! That was super fast. Thanks for the recap :))))

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This épisode was really heartbreaking and I am still crying... I love how Mi Young didn't blame things on Gun and how sweet and true she stayed to herself thus making Gun meaness to her even more painful. Lets hope she is still her awesome self after her transformation!

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"It was the worst of times"
Gun absolutely broke my heart. Noble idiocy is a bloody cancer in kdramas.
I am STILL shaking with anger. Like, I don't even know.
Gun, this isn't you. AHHHHH. you have always been considerate, psychotic but considerate. You should have treated MY better.
He needs more than a week in timeout. New hot hairstyle or not

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The decision may be mostly influenced by watching his mother suffer by being with his father and his disease. He's emphasized it in a previous episode.

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theres reason why he acted that way. watch scene >>> Lee Gun talked to his parents. He's being considerate by not trying to be selfish.

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Agreed, @ StyleInfluence and Zoom.

And I think it is a grave mistake to dismiss as mere "noble idiocy" Geon's decision to isolate himself from at least two people he loves dearly (meaning BOTH Mi Young AND Se Ra) because a wasting disease has manifested itself. As a catch-all phrase for seemingly unself-interested choices commonly made by players in KDrama, "noble idiocy" is a woefully deprecating label for the kind pragmatic altruism commonly seen in KDrama and readily ascribable to Confucian ethics, a pragmatic altruism that is all-but alien to Western sensibilities, especially in fiction. It is not altogether absent however, being the central to understanding the choices of a character like Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë's eponymous masterpiece. I therefore propose the term "pragmatic altruism" as more closely descriptive of Geon's behavior than "noble idiocy," for we know from his harsh demeanor that there is nothing sentimental or "noble" about Geon's choice, and he knows it too.

True, once the facts are checked we may discover that he was mistaken and panicking for no good reason, but even without the problem necessarily being Huntington's, let is remember that the man just witnessed first hand how devastating his memory loss episode was to at least these two women he loves and by extension, his anticipated child. And if, as Dr. Moon said, his father experienced the same kind of memory loss episodes (which might actually account for Mamma Yong and Little Yong's presence in the Lee Family), Geon knows only too well the misery his mother (and his little self) went through because of them (see exchange midway through Ep.7 with Yong's mother about only every seeing his mother's back because she was always hiding her tears from him).

There is nothing idiotically self-sacrificing about him wanting to spare his own "beloved wife" that kind of misery and wanting to allocate responsibility properly, especially with respect to the care of his child in the event he ends up unable to provide that care himself (see the last amended divorce agreement).

And for a man whose dominant personality trait is clearly that of care-taker and protector --(notice the dynamics of his 6-year relationships with Se Ra and his consistent tendency to protect and encourage Mi Young, especially in moments of crisis)-- it is very easy to understand how he could not abide the thought of becoming a physical, psychological and emotional burden to some to whom he has always been the protector.

The drama makes a point of showing Geon watching video testimonials of family members of victims of the disease. In the scene just after the "fermented stingray-Geonnie cup birthday present lunch" and before Secretary Tak notices that his boss's memory has returned, Geon is watching a woman describe her husband's ordeal with Huntington's disease (in English, no less):

"At first when he found out, he was ...humiliated... like he didn't even...

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[... continued from above...]

"At first when he found out, he was ...humiliated... like he didn't even really want to see his family. I don't want to give up hope, but seeing him... changing and looking at my son and knowing that... it just kind of... hurts."

Based on what he says to Secretary Tak during their exchange (in addition to what he thought he heard Dr. Moon confirm), we know that Geon BELIEVES his debilitating genetic disease has been triggered and he cannot even imagine how much pain having to bear with his condition will cause Mi Young.

At first glance I thought that his break-up dinner with her was unreasonably harsh and quite out of character. But then I thought back to the day of his wedding, when he willingly accepted the pain of losing Se Ra -(who he clearly worshipped at that point)- in order to respond to his duty as an expectant father. The point here is that Geon accepts that pain and loss are part of taking responsibility and considers it necessary and reasonable that both he and Mi Young bear the pain of parting now. Since he is unaware of Se Ra's own machinations in messing with Mi Young's mind, he can't know that he is twisting the knife that Sa Ra already plunged into Mi Young's heart.

But he knows Mi Young well enough to know that she would not leave him - disease or no; he knows that she loves him (she has made that abundantly clear); he knows that she is herself a caretaker and protector (even at her own expense); he also knows that Mi Young's dream is to become a strong mother for their Gaetteongie - Bond Girl, Super Glue strong - and I believe that he is aware that she has been growing in that direction. Based on what he has learned about the disease he believes he has, he cannot abide the thought of siphoning all that life energy from her and from their child while he wastes away.

So even after the break-up dinner, painful as it was (Jang Na Ra just slays me), even after the miscarriage and after refusing Mi Young's final attempt to reconcile her fractured family, all I can see of Geon's decision following his memory loss episode is well reasoned pragmatic altruism.

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I'd like to complete this though here by reposting a response to someone later in the thread who describes the pain of being a caretaker:

Part of the reason I think that the term “noble idiocy” is just wrong is because it just makes us lazy about seriously considering and empathizing with the reasons that drive people to do what they think will cause their loved ones the least pain even though it shatters their own hearts.

The way this story sets up Geon's situation, “pragmatic altruism” is the more responsive term both in logical and cultural terms. Here's how:

If we really look at ourselves in a dispassionate light, we human beings rarely, of ever, make self-depriving choice in order to be noble. I’d go as far as even say we NEVER intentionally act in ways that seem contrary to our self-interest and will only do so when an alternate, more compelling self-interest will be served.

Consider Geon’s case: the thing he wants most at this moment in his life is Mi Young and Geatteongie: all those contortions in bed when he can’t touch her, the teddy bear-envy, her bath towel-envy, NeighborhoodOppa-jealousy; his uneasiness when he can’t be near her… clearly all he wants is Mi Young. And yet, what he wants even more is for Mi Young to thrive and be happy. Recall that even before he knew she would be a meaningful part of his life, when he saw her in distress in Macau, he pulled out all the stops to showcase her at her most brilliantly desirable – as a strong and thriving Bond Girl - all the while encouraging her to shed the 'Post-It' demeanor and own the 'Super Glue' attitude as he walked her into the casino. Later, once she becomes part of his life, he puts aside his own [admittedly misplaced] sense of having been trapped, and proceeds to facilitate the improvement of her home island. When he takes his timid wife to see his office, he gently invites her to stand beside him as his equal...

So when he thinks – nay firmly believes – that he will become a lifelong obstacle to her becoming the Bond Girl she's slowly inching toward becoming, he chooses to give up what he wants most, Mi Young, for what he wants more, her health and happiness without his wasting disease to hold her down. Hence “pragmatic altruism.”

In Confucian terms, Geon has, since episode 1, exemplified the principles of “仁” (ren). Consider this passage from the Analects, especially the section between the *asterisks* I added for emphasis:

雍也:
子貢曰:「如有博施於民而能濟眾,何如?可謂仁乎?」
子曰:「何事於仁,必也聖乎!堯舜其猶病諸!夫仁者,己欲立而立人,己欲達而達人。能近取譬,可謂仁之方也已。」

TRANSLATION:
Yong Ye:
Zi Gong said: “Suppose the case of a man extensively conferring benefits on the people, and able to assist all, what would you say of him? Might he be called perfectly virtuous?”

The Master said: “Why speak only of virtue in connection with him? Must he not have the qualities of a sage? Even Yao and Shun were still solicitous about this. *Now the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks...

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[... continued from above...]

The Master said: “Why speak only of virtue in connection with him? Must he not have the qualities of a sage? Even Yao and Shun were still solicitous about this. *Now the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.* To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in ourselves – this may be called the art of virtue.”

SOURCE: http://ctext.org/analects/yong-ye

Geon may not be a man of perfect virtue, but he is certainly a GOOD man in so many many many ways. The crisis that leads him to this point has been in the making for 2-3 unrelenting months (can you just imagine how stressful this man's life has been since the love of his life so casually bailed on his big proposal?) Taking every new setback in stride only to have it culminate in losing the new love that he now can't live without in such a glaringly public scandal - no wonder he finally passed out in broad day light! If Geon did not have that unpredictable and debilitating genetic disease to worry about, I think we could reasonably surmise that he suffered a mild stroke from the crippling vicissitudes of his life's crazy demands.

Deprecating him with the label "noble idiocy" for making what he believes to be the kindest, most reasonable choice for the sake of the woman he loves in the wake of such a traumatizing crisis that is further compounded by the agonizing loss of his child shows, I believe, a cruel lack of empathy.

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Hi! I was feeling disturbed by the whole noble idiocy thing but at the same time I couldn't judge or hate Geon. I think my reaction was not rational by visceral. In a romantic story, the character that provokes the separation is immediately hated. But Jang Hyuk totally made me feel what Geon was going through so there was no way I couldn't see it. I love what you wrote here. Would you mind if I post it in my blog? I will give you credit of course.

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tl;dr

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Hi @DramaFan,

Thank you for your kind note. I'm glad you enjoyed what I wrote.

Last night I decided to bring it all together as a single post on SPQetR where the length would not be an issue and I could publish it all together fro more comfortable reading.

If you would still like to repost it on your blog, here's the independent link to the properly proofread and completed version with some cool pictures of Lee Geon's fated ancestors: :-)

http://spqetr.net/archives/1997

:-) Cheers!

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I wish everyone could read your posts. They are so insightful and brilliant. Thank you for writing them down for us, and for taking the time to tie Gun's decision to Confucianism and pragmatic altruism. I love Drama Bean's recap, but I think you saw something they missed. This episode was heavy on the emotions- but your perspective has made it more bearable. I knew he was trying to be selfless but I didn't see the depth of the motivation behind his decision. You rock!

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Thank you, Ilunga for responding with such generosity!

And thank you for taking the time to read the whole train of thought. I felt quite self conscious at first when so much of it just spilled on this thread so I appreciate you visiting SPQetR to see its full expression.

I hope you enjoyed the showcase of Lee Geon's ancestors --spicy signature smirk and all ;-) - as much as I did integrating them into the post!

http://spqetr.net/archives/1997

Cheers!

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The decision to "stay and sacrifice" or "go and grow" is not Geon's to make, but Mi Young's, and it was incredibly selfish of him to make that choice for her. What, only his train of thought is right? What the other person wants matters not? And you call that love? Or what's the term, "pragmatic altruism"? How can something be pragmatic if it's not based on reality; for that matter, how is failing to consider what the other person wants any kind of altruistic?

The best course of action would have been for Geon to tell Mi Young the truth and let her make the choice. Because it's simply not "love" to be mean, dishonest, and so damned inconsiderate of what the other person wants to do.

That's just selfish, and no amount of Confucian ethics will explain it, much less excuse it.

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HeadsNo2 is absolutely right that this particular noble idiocy is the worst, even by the K-drama standards. It is even more interesting how some commenters are already explaining & rationalizing it on Gun's behalf.

Sensing gut-wrenching and brain-fatal melo coming on, I stopped watching this drama several episodes ago. But I do read her masterpiece recaps, and one nagging observation keeps running through my mind.

In our culture which derives from that of Mother England, we are responsible for assumptions we personally make and act on. If we end up making patently wrong ones or did not exercise sufficient care in arriving at them, we (and only we) are held accountable in full. Good intention does not excuse faulty assumptions or lessen any of its fallouts - it only makes them unintentional, which is slightly better than intentional.

That's not all. In our culture, the nature of each relationship between people determines the scope of duty to inform each other, which most certainly exists in its fullest degree between Gun and his wife. If anything goes wrong because one party failed to fulfill the obligation to inform material things, then it usually ends up being actionable as negligence or worse, as it should.

What I get from watching Korean dramas is that, in their culture, it comes very natural to them to make careless assumptions and to hide material facts from those to whom they owe a duty to inform. It is all done in the name of good intention, but that's hokum. It is in this prism I have been following the Sewol tragedy and all subsequent disasters unfolding in Korea.

Of course, the drama makes everything alright in the final episode. But that would be the wrong life lesson. There is no reversing the Sewol outcome, is there?

I absolutely prefer our culture and social rules, which bind us to be diligent, truthful and transparent in what we say or do and forces us to pay a meaningful price when we fail. Life is already hard. It needn't be made any harder by having to distrust and verify everyone else's (especially your loved ones' or authority figures') words and actions.

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what.the.frog

LoL!!!!

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What you get from K-dramas is a skewed view of Korean society and culture, the same way people overseas who draw assumptions about American society and culture based only on our TV shows have a wrong idea of what American society and culture, and the people, are actually like.

The final paragraph is nauseating in its Eurocentric arrogance and ignorance of Korean culture and society. Like Jon Snow, you know nothing. Even if you had done your PhD thesis on Korean society, you would still be totally out of line with the glaring implications that Korean society does not emphasize diligence, honesty, and transparency, hold people accountable, and assign consequences to actions, and you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about if you think it's a part of Korean culture to be dishonest with one another, especially loved ones.

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hwata:

ouch.

we are entitled to have our preferences and opinions. however, to degrade an entire culture so that you can declare a preference for your culture over another is...simply...not cool.

in fact, your attitude is what starts wars.

but your post did make me laugh. whilst pointing fingers at kdrama culture, you fail to realize that one of the most popular case studies of a drama "withholding info" was written by your very own countryman. Romeo & Juliet depicts all the ugliness of your culture and social rules gone awry. heck, it's the drama of humankind's ugliness, clumsiness and hidden intentions-truths.

so hurray you're british. big whoop-d-doo. if you're not enjoying kdramas-don't watch them.

i hope you find happiness.
peace out.

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"Dr. Hwata": I remember that name cos I came across many comments under that name that seemed so antagonistic and condescending it made me wonder what was going on. Now I know.

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It's a cultural difference. You should just accept the difference instead of saying which one is better or which you prefer. People are both logical and emotional. In eastern cultures we consider the emotional side whereas in the west it is often neglected. Sometimes the hard truth is necessary but other times, to protect those you love you would be willing to bear the burden of a lie.

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... "I absolutely prefer our culture and social rules, which bind us to be diligent, truthful and transparent in what we say or do and forces us to pay a meaningful price when we fail."

Hmmm... Dr. Hwata, do you read the news in your "Mother England"-derived culture - which I assume is in a country somewhere in the Americas? PLease feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Ever heard of Bernie Madoff, Mark Zuckerburg, Washington Mutual, Wall Street, Bush 43 Administration (Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction, Iraq, Afganistan)...? Ever heard of George Zimmerman and OJ Simpson? Ever heard of child-molesting priests, spree-killing gunmen (in workplaces, at shopping malls, in universities, in high schools, in elementary schools...)...?

Ever heard of a Legislative Branch more obstructionist and contrarian than the one(s) that have held power in the US since 2008...?

If the news (and not mere TV dramatic fiction) is anything to go by, the "culture and social rules" you profess prefer appear to go largely unheeded by prominent and highly visible members of said culture.

Sure, in some of the cases exemplified above the perpetrators have faced justice of some kind, but not before they wreaked havoc on the world around them without regard for diligence, truthfulness or transparency.

Glass houses and stones ... not a happy combo...

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R.O.L.L.E.R.C.O.A.S.T.E.R. o.f. L.O.V.E.

show is just killing me here. up-down-inside out-throw-up.

i seriously tossed several shots of tequila after this episode and sat on the back porch while the sun went down.

sigh.

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(Sorry to hijack your post but got to say this)

Why geon had to be a noble idiot? Because MY will do the same if things were reversed. Why? Because they are both the noblest of all idiots (or idiotest of all nobles, which ever works)

I rest my case. Peace.

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...and thanks for the song of the day.

bigbang = swoon

blue song is so appropriate for this recap.

headsno2: i appreciate you.

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Whether it is noble idiocy or pragmatic altruism, bottomline Gun is also in deep suffering for losing his unborn child and for not being with Ming Young because of his disease. As well as Ming Young. They are both devastated.

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excited! Thanks for the recap!

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yes...this recap was super fast! i wonder how u do it, this is like a full time job! All the same thank you so much.

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HeadsNo2:

super fast & heart felt recap. just like the episode, the recap was so fast, i'm seeing blurred lines.

i appreciate you.

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Yay, thanks for the recap!

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just when i thought this drama had beat the odds...

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From the preview I was pissed. I haven't even watch this episode. I dropped the original the minute it happened and never once looked back. Heck, I thought they brought in the whole amnesia thing to overcome the odds, but nope. I do wonder if the Korean one executed it better than TW one. I could never forget the lead in the TW one, Till today I still blame him and could not see him with her again. Bottom line was, he didn't deserve her.

*Ranting mode ON*
You don't let viewers watch and fall in love with the unborn child only to do this. Are you kidding me. Heck, now all those cute moments just....... arghhhh!!!!!!!!!! They spend over half the series having us going crazy over Dog Poopie and now this???? I HATED the original and might just drop this one. Was it necessary for this to happen just for her to her stronger? wasn't there a better way? Like really? I want to say ssooooo much, but will hold it in. I'm not even in the mood to watch it anymore. I could have even understand if Dog Poopie had the family disease which caused the incident, you naturally. Who am I kidding?
*rant: to be continue*

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Uhh... it's meant to be painful for both the viewers and the parents. This is actually story-telling technique. The contrast is needed. It's a lot better to emphasize on Gaeddongie's existence and then letting him go, then just make it a normal miscarriage. Plus, a remake isn't a remake if it throws away all the major events in the original. It would be a new drama by itself if it did that.

You know, this is dramaland. And you can't expect them to withhold that part of the plot just because you don't want to watch the heavy moments. Personally, think this was a great episode.

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Now, now, I wasn't really get all that serious. Of course I know it's a drama and I can't expect them to cater to my every needs. All I was doing was ranting, I'm sure everyone here do it at least once when they are watching a drama they like, for my case love. Actually, I've seen remakes that don't follow the original plot tooth and nail, and those were fine. Not every remake will follow the same plot till the end, they can take it and make it their own, it's really not that impossible.

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They do have to follow the major plot points.

1. They have to sleep together and have a child.
2. They must be forced into marriage.
3. They must lose the child.
4. MY must transform.

and etc. I'm trying to avoid spoilers here. I mean, it's a remake and the identity of the drama must be there. No offence to you in any way. But personally, I wanted the miscarriage to happen, or the drama will be too flat.

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Oh, no. None taken. I do agree that they have to follow major plot point (but question for you, How did you feel when it happened in the original? were you all gamed? you weren't mad at all when it first happened? see I stopped right then and there and never looked back. you know what's coming because you have finish the original, you know why is was necessary, but for those who didn't watch the original we have no clue, other than it is to make her stronger or give them a fresh start.) as for me, I don't know and that's how my rant came about.

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Actually, I didn't like the way MY's character in the original transformed. I think she lost too much of her own personality towards the end of the drama. I really liked the first half of it because I enjoyed the comedy they had (and hated Anna/Sera). And contrary to what most people here feel, I didn't detest Ji Cunxi (Geon) as much. I think his behavior is largely logical if not a little immoral. I didn't drop it because the baby died, but because the plot dragged out for the second half due to the fact that they extended it by too many episodes. I mean, building on their popularity is good and all, but they compromised on the show's quality towards the end.

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I am not happy that the miscariage happened but as Toonnoot pointed out, it had to happen to follow the main storylines of the taiwanese drama.

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I agree with you, the plot of the original version has to be in it or else it will not be FTLY and the main twist will be lost. I did not hate the storyline even of the original, I am just waiting on how they are going to execute it. And they did it much better.

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if you didn't watch the episode, maybe u want to refrain from judging. becuz a lot of people had similar responses, watched the episode, and were crying and apologizing to the production team for doubting. I can't say everybody would love it, but the majority of audience loved it and for a reason. It was a very well done episode. If you watch it and get disappointed, maybe it was not your thing, but maybe at least give it a chance before getting disappointed?

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LOL, that was me ranting a bit!!! Knowing myself by tomorrow I'll be back to watching it. hahaha Sometimes I have to rant a bit and then it's all good again. I knew it was coming since I watched to original. but it's exactly why I guess I ranted a bit since I didn't get a chance to back then :P I did read comments that they executed it better here,which I'm honestly glad about. (since the writers/producer/directer have been nailing it from the second the cast the Jangs and the hyuks as the leads).

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Its all in the plot. All that amnesia, gut-wrenching moments, transformation, is part of what we should expect. this plot (minus the amnesia) happens in other movies/dramas of other cultures. What we need to enjoy and appreciate is how the cast performs the whole episode(s). If it was heart-wrenching for you and you finished your boxes of tissues, then they had done a good job. Jang Hyuk-Jang Nara...my fav couple since "Successful Story...." (12 yr-wait ) and not forgetting Choi Jin-Nyuk....sigh.

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I thought the hospital scenes were more powerful in the TWDrama version, given Xin Yi's erroneous belief that Cun Xi didn't want the baby. But it was still heartbreaking to see her (both of them, really), go through that loss.

Kudos to Jang Nara and Jang Hyuk who are hitting it out of the ballpark!

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I have to disagree with you here..I actually went back and watched the Taiwanese version's hospital scene to see who did it better...and I think the Taiwanese version was way more heart wrenching...however I like the Korean remake more than the original in general.
Also I like the fact how the Korean version didn't make Sera the one responsible for the miscarriage...because after what happened in the T version, Anna was beyond redemption for me..
Also I am still raging mad about the K version putting in the genetic disease in the equation...ughh why?!!

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Sera wasn't directly responsible, but she did plant seeds of doubt in Mi Young about Gun's intentions with her fake divorce papers. I'm glad they went a different route from the TW version, instead of having Mi Young run away in fear of Gun stealing her baby.

Btw did anyone bother to read the papers Mi Young signed? If they did wouldn't they notice the strange terms that were added to the divorce agreement. Is this document even legal?! Since neither the lawyer of Gun or Mi Young drew up this contract wouldn't it be null/void and so allowing our OTP to still be married.

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I actually didnt hate Anna at all. I think if the actress was jut a bit better, I could have sympathize more. I remember her spat with cunxi in the end and she said she was innocent too. And you know what? She was! She and cunxi were together for a while, and one night he technically cheated on her! He got married and is having a baby with another woman. I mean... From her perspective, she was betrayed, basically dumped and everything that she had for X years were gone in a few days. Cunxi didn't even man up to tell her what he did until the grandma came in. Anna was probably just thinking the best way to solve it.. Which is wrong! But it wasn't her that caused the miscarriage. If anything.. It was the driver and her not making sure of incoming traffic.

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oh apologises! I misread your comment! yes the T version scene was more powerful^^

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I agree with you. When Cun Xi tried to enter Xin Yi's hospital room and she went into hysterics because she didn't want him Anywhere near her, I was so rocked by that moment, I still haven't forgotten it.

It was just horrifying and heartbreaking and amazing watching this sweet, timid, meek woman suddenly fall apart so spectacularly like that.

I'm very impressed with how they handled the moment here, but the original was way more powerful for me.

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Cannot agree more. That scene where she refuses to see him will forever be the most traumatizing, realistic drama scene ever.

Pity the script writer here disrespected and made the story which was about the baby and it's parents and made it about amnesia, noble idiocy, and fatal disease. This ep was sypposed to be about the utter devastation of the female lead over her miscarriage - not some wishy-washy male lead

Fated to Love You was about the baby! Did the script writer not know that when s/he took on the script? And how exactly was the doctor supposed to choose between a 3 month foetus and it's mother?! Ridiculous.

The taiwanese version was popular not only because it was fresh (shotgun weddings, pregnancy, abortion, growth, etc) but because it told it realistically. So disappointed with the generic kdrama trope being used instead.

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These characters are already so different and in my opinion better than in the original, that what you describe wouldn't have made any sense

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So depressing. Just too much. So sad.

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lilly:

it's just too much in a short time. i have emotional whip-lash. can't stop thinking about this episode. sigh.

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To be fair, there can't be 20 eps of cuteness as much as I would love that. That would serve no point to the story.
I just HOPED that the highlight of the angst would be the amnesia and not the actual miscarriage.
So sad

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I haven't watched the original and have less than zero interest in it.

But fr a story POV, I think that they lose the baby so that it cuts all obligations Gun has to MY; and their marriage which has been called "wrong from the beginning" several times, gets dissolved. Yet when they meet again later, Gun still falls in love w her all over again. Only this time, they can be sure that it is : L-U-R-VE pure and untainted. Another wedding, a real one this time, she gets pregnant, happy ever after, the end.

For sb who has a genetic disease who is supposed to die young, Gun sure has wasted a lot of time: 6 years waiting for Sera, 3 years after parting w MY. If he really dies in his mid-30s like his dad and grand-dad, 9 yrs out of 36 is 1/4 of that life span!!! Since the clan wants heirs real bad, if I were him, I'd marry young, like early 20s, and start a family. Live fast, get ready to die young, instead of doing what he does.

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kaddict:

i agree w/you however, i thought that the reason he ditched BOTH relationships was b/c he didn't want to pass on the genetic curse, huntington's.

he admits to SeRa that he wasted time...i think that his time with MY showed him that. LeeGun kept giving SeRa space to ballerina IT. but after MY, i think he realizes that the LeeGun + SeRa relationship could have been more. more something, marriage, kids, whatever.

after the tragic miscarriage/divorce/disease onset...i truly believe LeeGun is sacrificing his 'wants' so that there is zero possibility of bringing a child into the world who could have the genetic curse, huntington's disease.

actually. i dunno. i just don't know what to think anymore.

i am amazed at how much time i have spent thinking about this drama...and this particular episode. sigh.

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When he prepared that big proposal in Macau, he was ecstatic about the prospect of marrying Sera. No qualms about his disease then, even tho we saw him visiting prof doc re his genetic disease early on.

As for being afraid to pass on his genetic defect to MY's next pregnancy, it's always possible to decide not to have children in a marriage, tho in his case, it'd guarantee his being ousted as CEO of company.

I think that at this pt in the story, he is no longer in love w Sera, after he has a taste of what mutually-giving love can feel like thru his experience w MY. And he really ditched MY bcos he wants to spare her the pain of being his young widow. He thinks he'd suffer the pain of not having her w him, rather than let her suffer the pain of his death, not realising that she goes thru just as much pain of losing him this way, probably more. That's noble idiocy at its worst.

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I think he felt the gravity of his disease after he lost his memory. It became real for him

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kaddict:

i agree w/you however, i thought that the reason he ditched BOTH relationships was b/c he didn't want to pass on the genetic curse, huntington's.

he admits to SeRa that he wasted time...i think that his time with MY showed him that. LeeGun kept giving SeRa space to ballerina IT. but after MY, i think he realizes that the LeeGun + SeRa relationship could have been more. more something, marriage, kids, whatever.

after the tragic miscarriage/divorce/disease onset...i truly believe LeeGun is sacrificing his 'wants' so that there is zero possibility of bringing a child into the world who could have the genetic curse, huntington's disease.

actually. i dunno. i just don't know what to think anymore.

i am amazed at how much time i have spent thinking about this drama...and this particular episode. sigh.

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I think the Taiwanese drama excuted it better. In the Taiwanese he's still fighting with himself over his love for his ex-girlfriend and it's a whole misunderstanding that could actually be more understandable than what this remake did with the whole amnesia.

When he broke up with Sera I thought, maybe they'll change everything because that's NOT what happened in the original. I wanted to see how they were going to come to this point, because really... this is the turning point in the TW-drama for her character.

I am disapointed in the whole amnesia plot.

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yeah, but u don't want mi young to die either. shes pitiful. cant both just live for goodness sake? anyway, i totally hate gun in this ep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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why does gunnie hav ta be so cold and bitter to MY!!!!!!!??????????? hate him in this ep but thanx 4 the recap lol

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So apparently you didn't watch the original 'Fated to Love You'.... =X

But in some cases, I agree with you. That's the magic of cinema/kdrama. Sometimes it just takes you to a place you wished it didn't go. Ah well. Keep watching! ;)

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who is paying for MY's transformation? flight, lodging, food, tuition all adds to up to many many many wons..... MY certainly cannot afford it on her own. :)

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the amnesia trope, okay whatever i can deal with it, especially since it was resolved in one episode. but noble idiocy with NO CONCEIVABLE PURPOSE???? nope nope nope.

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I disagree. This is one example of noble idiocy that I understand and respect. Huntington's is a horrible disease. It's a death sentence but only after a long, slow mental and physical decline. Now that he feels sure he has it, he thinks he's saving her from 10-20 years of incredibly tough care taking, at the end of which he'll definitely die anyway. I very much understand wanting to spare a loved one from having to go through it, especially as she is young enough to go out and lead a normal, happy life. He doesn't have to be such a dick about it, but this one I get.

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The thing is, you can just be honest about that instead of cruelly pushing the person away. Why is saying "I never loved you, leave" better than saying "I love you to much to put you through this?" That's what I hate about this brand of Noble Idiocy. It doesn't actually help anyone except the perpetrator, who gets to ease their conscience a little bit and go on thinking they've made this grand gesture when all they've done is leave a trail of heartache.

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That's what bugs me about this sort of noble idiocy – he's pretending (to himself) to do it out of love because it's better for her, but because he never tells her the truth, he never gives her the option to say if she thinks it's actually better for her. He never gives her a choice, but forces his choice on her and hurts her immensely while he's doing it. There's nothing noble about this, it's selfish and self-centred.

It makes me lose all faith that they can make it as a couple, because if they can't talk about the most important things and be honest, they are not much of a couple. Throw in a three year separation and they are magically drawn to each other again... when I think, if someone hurt/lied to me like that I would find it very difficult to trust them again. But hey, that's the "fate" that this kind of drama loves so much. You get to hurt each other like crazy and still end up together, just because you are supposed to.

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Exactly! It's nothing but selfishness with a huge helping of patronisation thrown in. Even if the person wants to stay with you and you decide you still don't feel right putting them through it, you can still make the decision to break up. I can't fault you there and at least the other person will know the truth and know that they did all the could instead of being blindsided and wondering what they did wrong.

I really don't see how he can redeem himself to Mi-young. She knows that he lied to him and his lies are indirectly responsible for them losing the baby. And even when she confronted him about the lies he didn't just come clean about the real reason. The fact that she's now sassy and fabulous and he's probably not sick doesn't change any of that. How do you get past that kind of betrayal?

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I'll play the devil's advocate here for Gun (because I agree that noble idiocy wasn't needed, but I like to analyse things from different perspectives nonetheless) - he and MY have known each other for barely 3 months, during which they started to develop feelings towards each other. For MY it was 'easy' - she wasn't in a relationship and was free to fall in love with a father of her child who for the most part behaved very nice towards her and even made romantic advances on her.

But Gun - he was in a 6-year-long relationship with a girl he professed to be mad about. It's hard to just switch off all those feelings and start loving someone else just like that (I have to admit the fast rate of Gun's falling in love with MY was too unrealistic for me, but I'm willing to forgive that). Besides he had an unexpected fatherhood dumped suddenly on his head as well as guilt towards both MY & Se Ra. It's not unreasonable to think that he was confused as hell all the time about his feelings, even though he obviously cared about his wife & child and towards the end of their married life felt physical attraction towards MY. But it was only MY that confessed her feelings openly, he didn't. So she doesn't have much to go on when it comes to being sure of his feelings.

And as has been stated above - Huntington's is a horrible disease. If I were him - and as a woman started dating a guy 3 months ago and suddenly confirmed my worst fears that I have the disease - I would probably let that guy go too, even if I already loved him. I don't know if telling him the truth and giving him the choice of staying with me would be such a good idea, as such a brief relationship doesn't IMO warrant dumping such a significant and life-changing decision on the other person. In Gun's case you could argue that he was already married & had a child on the way etc., etc., but it doesn't change the fact that it was a very brief relationship. I'd understand if he wanted to tell Se Ra and give her that choice (he still didn't, because he doesn't love her anymore). But MY? Not really.

It's hard enough for the blood relatives of the person with the disease to take care of them and see them wither away. It's hard for long-time spouses of such people to pull through this. Try asking your new wife who you married in a shotgun wedding to take care of you until your death - I don't think so. New marriages break up because of less weighty reasons. Love conquers all? That's a romantic notion ready-made for movies/dramas, which has nothing to do with real life where people mostly mind their own best interest and comfort (I'm a hopeless misanthrope, so maybe that's why I see it this way). That's why I love k-dramas - I need to inject some fantasy into my life from time to time.

Yes, Gun shouldn't have that been cruel, but knowing how kind, selfless and persevering MY is he probably felt the need to cut her off brutally. Otherwise she would...

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... stick to him like a super glue he told her to be.

And I believe that the writers know what they're doing. The MY/Gun relationship was a mess. A cute mess for the most part, but still a mess. The divorce agreements, the scheming relatives, disgruntled exes, amnesias, genetic diseases and conflicted feelings. Maybe losing their child and the parting of the ways was sort of the katharsis for our leads which will help them to grow into a mature relationship.

/Devil's advocate out/

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@Z
Exactly, he can tell her the truth and even if she wants to be with him, he doesn't have to agree with. Relationships take two willing people after all.

@Rinturiel
I understand it's complicated for Gun, that he's confused, that he's dealing with an extreme situation (he has to face his own death after all), but he's still being dishonest.

Which is fine (though not necessarily right) if they never ever meet again and go on to lead their own lives.

But if he does like her, he needs to give her a choice. She's an adult and capable of making choices. If she chooses suffering, that's her choice to make, even if everyone else thinks another choice would have been "better". We could bring in the marriage argument too (because, if you do marry, you should act like that – which in my book means being truthful to your spouse. After all, getting married was a choice they made too and I think you should take responsibility for your choices).

But my biggest problem with this scenario is if they do meet again (and we all know it's not an "if"): I don't think the 3 months relationship matters at all in that case, if you lie to someone 3 months in in this manner, it's a red flag. If you don't trust someone enough after three months, if you won't give them the agency to make their own choices... then I just don't have any trust in that relationship down the line. I'm sure things will be magically resolved here by the end and they'll love each other dearly, but in real life... there'd be other lies, other moments of patronising behaviour.

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I wonder if there's a cultural factor though... with lying about illnesses.

I mean, there are so many dramas (Japanese ones certainly) where the family is told their loved one is terminally ill, but the patient isn't told the truth (and loved ones can request that the truth be kept from him). To me, that makes no sense (the doctor has no responsibility but towards the patient, and everything that concerns the patient fall under confidentiality, meaning it's not even the family's business unless the patient wants it to be) ––– but from what I've read that is how the Japanese system does function, even with legal adults. Maybe it's similar in Korea? Maybe that means that lying about illness is more acceptable? (I still don't like it, because people making choices for you rather than allowing you to make choices is just wrong to me.)

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@alua

I get where you're coming from, but I think your assumptions re: relationships are too idealistic, if you don't mind me saying so. Every real life relationship has its dose of dishonesty. People always lie, even to their loved ones, be it for noble reasons (white lies) or ignoble (out of shame, malice etc.). I can't count the times I lied to my parents and friends to spare them from worrying about me (I have depressive attacks which my parents and friends know nothing about, because I don't want to worry them and be a burden; yeah, I'm a noble idiot, but I just don't want them mired in my own mess. I feel strong enough to carry this burden myself as an adult woman). How many times we say we're all right to people asking 'How are you?', when our hearts are shattered to pieces?

A completely honest relationship is a platonic notion which has nothing in common with the world we live in. Dishonesty will always crop up. If people only chose their spouses/friends using that criterium we would have no institution of marriage/friendship.

Gun was dishonest. But it won't prevent him from explaining everything to MY when push comes to shove. And she will probably (well, certainly) forgive him. The notion of choice is important to me also, but again - it's an idealistic notion. We live in a world where we often don't have any choice in certain matters and what you're going to do about it? We must live on. Take for example Gun deciding to save MY over their baby - a reasonable choice (as the baby would die anyway out of her womb), but MY was robbed of it anyway. Sometimes the choices we make for other people are in our own opinion the best for them, even though that's not always the case and we're robbing them of their own agency. But that's life for you. Gun honestly thought that he made the best possible decision in this dire situation. We'll see how the story goes from there.

I love that even though this show feels cartoonish sometimes, the characters feel human, because they do stupid things worthy of the homo sapiens. I applaud writers for that, even though it's frustrating.

And it's possible it's a cultural thing, good thinking.

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I'm reminded BTW of the TV series we had in my country (a remake of a Columbian telenovela 'Ugly Betty'), where the titular ugly heroine after her transformation and a severe break-up with her boss-turned-lover finds a new flame while on vacation. They've known each other maybe for a month/two months - the guy's really eager to pursue the relationship, she still has lingering feelings towards her boss etc. - when he asks her to relocate to the US with him for good, professing to stay behind if she doesn't want to go (thus passing out on a very valuable scholarship). I know that relocating to a foreign country has nothing on staying and caring for a severely sick person, but the time spans of the relationships are similar and the choice being dumped on a heroine is similarly heavy. The fans of the show hated this guy for 'putting her in such difficult situation' when they've been going out for barely 2 months.

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alua and z:

great posts. thanks for succinctly spelling out selfishness hiding behind altruism.

but i will say this for LeeGun, if he is still single after 3 yrs, then it seems he has kept his promise to himself not to drag relationships through his impending (?) illness. i believe he made that promise because he saw what it did to his father and parents relationship.

had he told SeRa and MY about is illness and decision to go it alone, they would have argued logic and love with him.

the decision to keep loved ones from shouldering the burdens of a genetic illness can be noble.

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@Rinturiel

Yes, of course there'll be dishonesty in any relationship. There'll be white lies, or lying by omission, and sometimes graver lies too because people are like that.

But lies are not equal – a line has to be drawn somewhere and we individually have to decide if we can live with such a lie or not. Putting on a happy face when you are having a bad day is different than pretending to no longer like someone because you have been diagnosed of a terminal illness. The relationship between the two people also matter (I agree that particularly with health-related issues, keeping things from your family is fine – it' privacy –, but I don't think those things should be kept from your spouse).

I personally draw the line at lying about life-changing things or things that will majorly affect others, e.g. lying about things like illness (especially fatal ones), money, cheating, any crimes committed (etc.). For me, Gun's lying is too much a betrayal to be able to trust him in the future.

Re MY being robbed of choice with the baby: I'm not sure that's a valid comparison. There was no choice with regards to the baby (Gun had no choice there either, it was a stupid way of phrasing it from the doctor's IMO) – expect perhaps for her to choose to die by refusing the operation (which would not have saved the baby either; plus it's not like doctors could go along with such a thing). With Gun, there were different options actually possible. 1) Lie and separate with MY knowing the truth 2) Tell the truth and break up (break-up mutually agreed, or initiated by either side) 3) Tell the truth and stay together. I still think the first option is the worst, because although number 2 doesn't necessarily give MY much choice either and would still give her the pain of the breakup, she'd at least know why AND she wouldn't have to deal with lie/betrayal issue once she finds out about it later.

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I disagree in this case. He knows how selfless Mi Yeong is. He actually thinks through selfless things she's done and since she doesn't have a strong sense of self and it's only been three months in his mind, she can get out.

It's noble idiocy I can stand because it makes internal logic to Geon, who in a way wants to care take Mi Yeong because of the selflessness.

And they kinda needed to reset the board because that type of relationship where he care takes her inadequacies needs to change at its core. So the whole miscarriage is setting a different purpose here than it did in the original drama.

The Amnesia and added Huntington's is because the original drama did crap towards explaining his motivations. It's technically sound, story-wise, but emotionally messy.

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@ alua

Let's agree to disagree. I don't think you can really compare hiding an illness from your loved ones with lies connected to cheating, money issues/problems or criminal deeds. Apples and oranges. The last 3 are connected IMO to shame and fear of losing the support and love of your family or just fear of detection, the first one comes rather from a desire to not burden and worry your family. I know that if I had to lie about, I don't know, having cancer to my family, I'd do it because of the above stated reasons. Gun only lied to MY and Se Ra, because he knows that the truth won't stay hidden from his grandmother/Secretary Tak/Yong & his mother and it will fall to them to deal with him and care for him, because he can't dispose of them just as easily as he did with his ex-girlfriend and his newlywed wife.

And as I've already said re: your 2) option - if he told MY the truth, she would cling to him no matter what, because he knows how selfless she is. On top of having to overcome the death of their child (which many marriages can't really cope with in real life) she would have a sick husband on her hands - with his frequent memory loss, tantrums and eventually total paralysis. And a high probability that their children would inherit the same disease. So I completely understand where Gun is coming from, even the harshness of his words, though his sacrifice irritated me a little.

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@alua, I want to high five you so hard for all of your comments about noble idiocy being COMPLETELY NOT NOBLE AT ALL. There is absolutely nothing noble about infantilizing a person to the point that you take away their right to choose how to react to a situation. That is extremely unhealthy in relationships and can severely stunt a person's emotional development. It is manipulative and unfair, and is hands-down my biggest drama pet peeve. Mi-young has every right to react to Gun's illness as she sees fit, just as he has every right to continue the relationship or not as he sees fit. He can choose just as much as her whether he wants to continue their relationship. Him telling her about his illness does not automatically mean that they stay together. He is more than welcome to say, “I have a terminal illness. I love you but I do not wish to remain in this relationship with you.” And then she will have to deal with that, and she will grow from dealing with that.

She is a strong woman who can take care of herself and make her own decisions, not some fragile pushover who needs to be protected from the truth. Even if she WERE a fragile pushover, the only way for her to grow as a person would be to make her own decisions and learn from her mistakes.

To purposely obscure the facts is controlling her right to choose, and I agree that it does not bode well for their relationship if he feels the need to manage her choices because he does not believe she is able to take care of herself if she knew all the facts. If she isn’t able to take care of herself, then that’s a much larger problem that probably means she should not be in a relationship at all right now.

Do I understand why characters feel the impulse to practice noble idiocy? Sure. But it makes it absolutely impossible for me to root for the couple. If they can’t be honest with each other & treat each other with respect at their worst, then what is the point?

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@alua

I'll keep it short.

In Asian culture, especially, from what I've noticed, it's not necessarily actually considered 'lying' in the sense of the word. If a parent/guardian/relative decides to withhold information from a patient...it's not a rare occurrence.

So, in short, yes there's definitely a cultural factor - partially stemmed from the 'I have to take responsibility for my partner/family etc. and therefore have some right to make decisions for them'

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@ Rinturiel, if you think their relationship is a mess- watch Sword and Flower. Now that's a hot mess multiplied at least, by 2. But it's a hot mess you'll find yourself rooting for.

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I don't think that honesty is the best policy here. If gun was honest, chances are miyoung won't leave. So he needed to be as cruella deville as possible so miyoung and spare her with all the huntington shenanigans.

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Relationships involve two people.

If he wants to spare her, he can also just break up with her. It's not like she can force him to be a relationship with her, however much she wants to carry his burden.

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Mi Young is a grown WOMAN with common sense and intelligence. Gun should have been frank to her, and give her a chance to decide for herself. If she really loves him she'd want to take care of him, because taking care of a sick loved one is not necessary a burden when you CHOOSE to do so. I hate that Gun had several opportunities to redeem himself and open to MY, and he failed every time.

And MY doesn't strike me as a clingy person, if he REALLY doesn't want to impose his illness on her she'd ultimately understand- if that would make him happy.

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also, i think gun saw how his mother suffered and got hurt during the time the disease hit his father full time so he was trying (as early as now) to spare miyoung of this before it's too late.

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He had to do it like that because, knowing Mi-young she'll try to stick with him and try to battle the illness. I had to deal with taking care of a sick parent for a long time before he died. There were days when I thought he could survive because it looked like he was getting better and there were days when he was in so much pain and he was so delusional that he didn't know anything or anybody. Those days were the worst. It was so bad that I kept hoping he'd go and stop being in so much pain and finally be able to be happy. I wonder sometimes if being with them for a little while is worth it just to have the memories to sustain you after they're gone. Sometimes, the memories make living hell that you just wish you could have them back or never have those memories so you wouldn't hurt. I have always been tolerant of noble idiocy because I know how it feels to try to do what is right even though it rips your heart to shreds.

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My heart goes out to you…and I'm honestly with you…noble idiocy, most of the times, are something I can understand whole heartedly.

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@Rushie,

My heart goes out to you too. It sounds do painful, hearing about this from the point of view of the caretaker.

And I think that the term "noble idiocy" is just wrong because it just makes us lazy about seriously considering and empathizing with the reasons that drive people to, as you say, "try to do what is right even though it rips your heart to shreds."

In Geon's case, given the way the story sets up his situation, I propose the more responsive term "pragmatic altruism" (see comment 1.2.2.1 above for details).

And if we really look at it in a dispassionate light, we human beings rarely, of ever, make self-depriving choice to be noble. I'd go as far as even say we NEVER intentionally act in what seems contrary to our self-interest and will only do so when there an alternate, more compelling self-interest will be served.

Consider Geon's case: the thing he wants most at this moment in his life is Mi Young and Geatteongie: all those contortions in bed when he can't touch her, teddy bear-envy, her bath towel-envy, Daniel-jealousy; his uneasiness when he can'y be near her... clearly all he wants is Mi Young. And yet, he wants Mi Young to thrive and be happy even more. Even before he knew she would be a meaningful part of his life, when he saw her in distress in Macau, he pulled out all the stops to showcase her at her most brilliant desirable - as a strong and thriving Bond Girl.

So when he thinks - nay firmly believes - that he will become a lifelong obstacle to her becoming that, he chooses to give up what he wants most, Mi young, for what he wants more, her health and happiness without his wasting disease to hold her down.Hence "pragmatic altruism."

In Confucian terms, Geon has, since episode 1, exemplified the principles of "仁" (ren). Consider this passage from the Analects, especially the section between the added *asterisks*:

雍也:
子貢曰:「如有博施於民而能濟眾,何如?可謂仁乎?」
子曰:「何事於仁,必也聖乎!堯舜其猶病諸!夫仁者,己欲立而立人,己欲達而達人。能近取譬,可謂仁之方也已。」

TRANSLATION:
Yong Ye:
Zi Gong said: "Suppose the case of a man extensively conferring benefits on the people, and able to assist all, what would you say of him? Might he be called perfectly virtuous?"

The Master said: "Why speak only of virtue in connection with him? Must he not have the qualities of a sage? Even Yao and Shun were still solicitous about this. *Now the man of perfect virtue, wishing to be established himself, seeks also to establish others; wishing to be enlarged himself, he seeks also to enlarge others.* To be able to judge of others by what is nigh in ourselves - this may be called the art of virtue."

SOURCE: http://ctext.org/analects/yong-ye

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Thanks for your honest telling of your personal experience as a caretaker.

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to add on to above (which i agree)

plus, without the baby, she's all the more free to pursue what she wants (no burden). that's what he wants for her, to be happy..

pls everyone, pls rewatch the parting scene before the incident.. he only wishes for her happiness.. we all want a little selfishness in our leads, but it's unrealistic.. search yourself, are you putting your own version of ideal situation on them? how you know that's not the best possible conclusion for our OTP (at this moment in time anyway)..

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i was referring to TG's post re: the agreeing part.

this comments page is moving so fast that there's a reply before mine.. :O

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So let me guess, they are getting back together after all? Fate.

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So well said. This trajectory makes sense to me too.

I think he figured that after only 3 months of knowing each other, she'd grieve but would be able to move on (which it appears she did...so he wasn't wrong about that!). However, if he told her his fears she'd stay with him now out of kindness and loyalty; but she might quickly feel trapped her life of ever increasing difficulties.

If his disease was starting he soon wouldn't be able to give much back in terms of support and companionship. And he'd have to live with the pain of knowing what difficulty he was causing her.

Then, when his battle with the disease was over, she'd have to start her life over; potentially as a middle aged woman who had led an incredibly stress-filled life. In his mind, breaking things off was his best way of caring for her.

Not saying I don't think he should have let her make that decision. But I can see why he did what he did.

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Even pissed i think i could understand what Gun tried to do.. He is in constant worry over Mi Young who is so selfless, he thought the best way to survive by being motivated with rage. By making Mi Young hates him, Mi Young will have more drive to live, to be less selfless, that way she will still be okay without Gun. We don't know what his disease is, but being in his position when you just find someone you love and having the possibility of forgetting her anytime will surely freaks him out.

note: gelled hair and 2 days long stubble Jang Hyuk is damn hot, don't forget his sexy lips *squeaaaalllll*

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Omg, i totally agree with you. My jaw dropped the last few minutes and I understood why this man has fans.

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totally agree with you.

and from what i understand after watching this episode, his dad had the same symptom. i heard Huntington's Chorea Disease (HC) patient tend to have recurrent dementia and amnesia.

what if that is what had happened to his dad. hence having a mistress and still married to Lee Gun's mom. maybe his dad keeps on forgetting his mom.

plus lee gun said his mom always had her back facing him while crying. she's obviously suffering.

these two factors alone made me believe Lee Gun is trying to save Mi Young from the heartbreak his mom has to endure. It's not like people suffering from HC will die immediately. It is like long death sentence where the patient will slowly lose himself, degrading in the worse manner.

yes, he should have told her and she will decide if she wants to stay which i bet she would in a heart beat without thinking much. hence why Lee Gun made the decision on his own. He thought he's saving her by hurting her now.

for the 1st time ever, i'm not hating amnesia and noble idiocy tropes. it was played well, brilliantly even. and heck, our cute snail couple now has turn into sexy snail couple woot!

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I completely agree with this comment... this is definitely Noble Idiocy that I can understand and empathise with.

Huntingon's disease is terrible - to keep her with him, would be to ask her to relive more episodes of memory loss, and to be his caregiver while he deteorirates.

I actually went to read online about Huntingon's -

- There is no cure
- Patients exhibit aggression and depression
- Jerky, uncontrollable limb movements, muscle weakness
- Difficulty swallowing, speaking or moving
- Finally, death 10 or 20 years after diagnosis, usually by pneumonia or choking
- A patient in late stage could aggressively tell her caregivers violently that they hate them

Knowing this, how could Gun bring himself to let MY suffer through this, whether she would be willing or not?

MY's selfless character will never move on if she even had a glimmer of hope - after losing her child and having Gun dump her coldly, she still tried to ask for a chance to start afresh.

IMO, Gun had no choice but to be cruel if he really wanted MY to leave.

If MY left now, she could start over in life (which she did). If Gun let her stay, and MY goes through 10 years of suffering after which Gun dies, logically, she wouldn't be able to start over, and would spend the remainder of her life in grief, especially given her character.

*gives Gunnie a hug*

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And you see in the episode Gun was looking at videos of the wives of those who have Huntington's disease explaining how difficult it is seeing their loved ones wither away and how difficult giving the care is, which seems to have strengthen his resolve. Not to mention MY at the time was still pregnant and would have had to raise their child basically by herself while also taking care of him.

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But but but (she sputters ... almost incoherent after watching the medical and moral malpractice that was episode 12) -- the whole storyline bringing this disease in throws Gun's character (and his grandmother's) under the bus.

Unless Gun is dim, he knew he was potentially heir to a devastating disease. Even if he didn't, Grandma did. So what are they doing encouraging marriage and parenting with a complete stranger and no genetic testing? This isn't the 50s. It may have been noble idiocy to leave her, but it was sheer idiocy -- and almost criminal -- to have married her without informing her of the genetic risks to the fetus she was carrying. [Yes, yes ... I know dramas usually require a good amount of suspension of belief to be enjoyable and I'm generally fine with that .... but this was a bridge too far for me.]

Not to mention the whole false choice between Mi Young and the baby -- if she dies, that baby dies because there is NO fetal viability outside the womb at three months.

I'm so frustrated with this writer just throwing great performances away in the service of an illogical, inane and offensive plot twist to a script that started out so well. What did she do? -- watch The Hours of My Life between writing episodes and think ... yeah, that'll work here.

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As someone with a debilitating degenerative disease, I found this brand of noble idiocy or pragmatic altruism easier to swallow than other "reasons" or "excuses" we see in drama land.

I've been dating my partner for 6 years. Early in our relationship I tried to end things when talk of marriage and kids surfaced. I refused to marry and put someone through my rough future and I can't have kids. In being honest about my disease and my wishes and after multiple unsuccessful attempts to leave or convince them to leave, I finally gave my partner the choice of when to leave and agreed I wouldn't leave on my own for reasons of my disease.

Thankfully and terribly, we're still together. I know I promised not to leave and to let them go when they are ready, but honestly, it kills me everyday. I made my partner bear the burden of that decision alone. I feel like I'm robbing a perfectly wonderful person of a fulfilling existence with someone else, and instead selfishly enjoying his time with me in the limited ways we can.

My choice colors every day. It hurts to see kids, old couples, to attend weddings. It strains even normal interactions or jokes. It's become routine for family and friends to tease us for never getting married and remind me that I should marry him so someone will "take care of me later". We've all seen Hollywood interpretations of staying together until the bitter end and making the "remaining time beautiful" but it's not like that. It's hard, and ugly, and cruel. I know what's coming. I also know what I already put them through.

If you love someone, can you do that to them on purpose? Knowing in advance exactly what they'll go through? Sometimes I wish I'd chosen the path of the noble idiot and sometimes I'm so glad (and guilty) that I didn't. But I can tell you that the decision is not easy.

In my case, I personally think I chickened out. I'm sitting on the fence having given up the noble route yet too scared to take the truly scary route and really just counting the days (with a mix of dread and relief) until he makes that painful decision and I'm in this ship alone for the rest of this ugly journey.

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I'm just purely curious, what makes you think there's no conceivable purpose? I feel like he had a very clear purpose and showed it throughout the episode.

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This episode.. What can I say? *bawls*

I don't know what to feel about Gun's noble idiocy because while I hate him doing it, I also could see where he was coming from. He saw enough from his parent's relationship especially with his father's lapses in memory and didn't want to hurt MY like that time and time again. But then.. What about uri Snail?? She asked him for a chance to start over again but he just pushed her away (for her own good in his eyes) and she was clearly hurt by that. Also their break up was so mature like they didn't blame each other, there was no resentment, and they just wished each other like a good life in the future.

But you both won't have good lives without each other! You're fated I tell you!! Omg. Also was this the first time that Gun locked his man-cave? Like why couldn't you do that before the evil mistress got in there? (But then if she didn't, we'd have no drama so uhh..)

Also when MY cried in that hospital room, that was just so raw. I cried along with her. Bye-bye Gae-ddong-ah... *sniffs back tears*

But goodness those makeovers. Gun looks... manly & handsome as ever; MY looks like a vixen reincarnate and definitely a Bond girl. Strutting down the airport in a killer skirt and pink heels?! She's definitely projecting single status. Did she get fashion tips during her stay in Paris?

If Gun couldn't handle his urges before for his snail, how is he going to survive against this vixen version of her? *cackles* I can just see it. More cold showers and more instances of blue balls?? Huehahahaha. . . Okay, this show is really ruining my life. I'm so ready for the Act 2 of this show.

Lastly, I really have to praise the cast, the PDs & writers. I hope to see FTLY take first spot at least once in their runtime. FTLY fighting!

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it did with TnMS rating last night. for AGB it rose to no. 2 spot.

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I don't know about y'all but I found this episode a lil speedy like woah bam so many things happened in a single episode. Gun's recovery of memories and then he finds out about the disease and the whole noble idiot thing. Then they break up and then immediately the accident and immediately Miyoung is leaving and woah bam 3 years later. It was a little too fast for my liking and I wonder what about you guys? But idk we'll see how it goes next week :) Both miyoung and gun looking hawt tho

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This was one of the most soul crushing moments of my drama viewing life.

I lay the blame on the "we will self destruct if contract is found" trope, the evil stepmom trope, and finally the amnesia plus maybe-I-have-a-fatal-illness-???noble-IDIOT!!! trope.

Still, it's a testament to the charisma of this show that I am still very much in love with it. Hopefully, the lower the sink, the higher they will soar again in the future.

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Speaking of tropes, it might be fun to have a best (ie that actually worked well) and worst (OMG I'm losing my hair) use of amnesia in a drama poll. My favourite use of amnesia tropes would include:

Nine times time travel - I just changed history, so the love of my life has suddenly become my niece and can't remember being my wife

Queen inhyun - the world has become amnestic, not me

New leaf - I'm actually a better person after losing my memory and I don't need it back

Arrang - I just died and got reincarnated, so excuse me if I lost my memory

King of dramas - Anthony who? HAHA, just trolling you!

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Haven't watched any of those shows yet but I wasn't bothered by the use of amnesia in I Hear Your Voice in which Soo Ha still loved Hye Sung no matter what and Master's Sun where Joo Jung was hilarious and kept thinking he seems to have forgotten something terribly important. On the other hand don't get me started on Boys over Flowers where Gu Jun Pyo almost get hitched to another girl!

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What the...? I can't even... *collapses into incoherent splutter*

Just yesterday I praised FTLY to the high heavens, and today the show decides to repay me by murdering my poor heart in the most painful way possible, and then dancing over its grave. Serves me right for being so Mi-youngish over a drama. Sigh.

And if they think I'm shallow enough to come back and watch this because of Jang Hyuk's utter hotness in that last scene........well, they're damn right. Also because I'm now totally rooting for MY to kick Gun in his balls. Hard. The moron has earned it. Gah!

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P.S- I still love you, Heart-breaker Show. :(

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I still love the show too, as hard as I find it right now to reconcile Gun's self-sacrifice with my expectation that he will pursue Mi-Young again.

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Or give him a more serious case of blue balls with those legs this time around - that slit in the skirt, oh my!

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awww. the dissatisfaction is coming in strong pangs, isn't it?

i feel you boxed-in. i wanted so bad for gun to have that opportunity for noble idiocy, but walk right past it to do something utterly unconventional and moving and sweep us all off our feet. so sad it couldn't happen the way we wanted it to. gosh, what a painful episode. and so far i've watched it only in raw. when gun was holding and consoling MY at the hospital post miscarriage, anybody who has doted over gun would have known for certain that his heart would have melted completely and he would have found it his primary and irrevocable responsibility to take care of that woman in front of him at that very moment. what happened, Show?

this isn't a problem with gun as much as with the show. because you build up this sensitive, considerate, caring man for us. and then you snatch him and put a wussy in his place. the way he'd been protecting MY so far, it felt so instinctive, as if it was coming from a point beyond logic or rationality, visceral almost. in that way it felt primitive, animal-like, and therefore something pure. and now this completely overthought, logical, farsighted decision to protect a future MY. it's sooo unlike the gunnie we've seen in this show, he might as well be a different person. the guy seemed so authentic, and now he's just another caricature of noble idiocy. i'm mourning the loss of innocence in this show as much as kkedongie. *weeps*

why do people in k-dramas forget that suffering together is one of the most important foundations for a solid relationship. it's not about protecting your beloved from your pain, but that in sharing, there is something invaluable that gets added to your relationship with the person. it sheds all your facades, insecurities. it's when you are most vulnerable, most able to love, and most loveable. or at least that's how it unfolds in real life. and like Heads, i don't get sacrificing the now for a future that is as uncertain as ever. although i think what makes it worse is that this is a drama, and we know that these two people have to end up together by the 20th episode.

we need some group therapy, huh? huggg. let's hope we will be able to get through this together.

also, since we've been on the topic of hairdos for a while now, i realise how much i loved gun's original do. it had this flair about it. gave him this grandiosity, made the show seem larger than life. and provided a sharp contrast against MY's simplicity. i've been binging on Jang Hyuk dramas and movies to bide my time between the episodes, and i must say, nothing compares to the complete persona he's built around gun in FTLY. and they go off and cut his hair and suddenly i find him a wee bit emasculated. i know, not the biggest issue with gun at the moment, but wanted to whine about it anyway.

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Jhu, *hugs back*

Right now I'm just thankful that the worst is over. and yes, it would have been totally awesome if things had happened the way you suggested, but then they would have had to end the show right there, because it's the only major conflict left now (Se-ra's villainy was actually quite ineffective, I'd say, since Gun's decision to break up had been made anyway). The problem (and fear) i have right now is how they handle the Act-2 versions of the leads, since for me the Act-1 versions are perfect anyway. They had set the bar so high in the first 10 episodes that I'm just scared that the rebooted Gun and Mi-young will fall short in comparison.

In the defence of Gun's noble idiocy though, I actually found it more acceptable here because he has seen for himself the kind of havoc this disease can cause on the spouse. And we do need to keep in mind that theirs is, after all, only a 3 month-old relationship. Gun, to his own surprise, has found himself moving on rather smoothly from his girlfriend of 6 years who he thought was his true love, so, by that logic, his expectation that Mi-young will be able to move on in life is not really unwarranted, and it does come from the same deep protective instinct you talked about. I still wish he had told her about it, of course, because that has been their strength throughout- they are truthful about their feelings. But fine, I'm now ready to accept this and move on. And you really should watch it with subs, because (if like me you don't understand half a word of Korean), you're missing out on the painful but really beautiful conversations they have, despite all the lies flying around.

About Gun's new hairdo, oh yes, I totally agree. He looks drool-worthy, but not....GUN. I'm hoping he still has some of that characteristic swagger, or at least that meeting MY will re-kindle that part of him, because otherwise, what was the whole point of all this, hmm?

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hey what a quick and warm reply!

i'm still feel a little 'meh' about gun's noble idiocy. i mean, considering it's a romantic comedy, in all likelihood, the man is not going to degenerate and die like his disease prophecises. we are going to get a happy ever after for the couple by the end, right? and if that's the case, then, at the moment, there isn't enough evidence to even say that he has the illness for sure. of course, he has his fears, and what with his whole family having had to suffer through its aftermath, generation after generation, i understand his reluctance to take on a relationship that might result in pain for the one he loves. but giving your love away like that, that's too big and wrong a decision based purely on speculations and fear.

gun's decision shows care and deliberation, but MY really needed him to be there for her at that moment. rather than planning out your lover's life and happiness for the long haul, it seems like being there for them when they need you the most, that feels like the right thing to do. or...dunno, am i way too off in matters of love? i'm taking this show wayyy too seriously, ain't i?

now i guess you are right that they might have had to end the show if the miscarriage had helped them grow closer instead of separating them. unless...unless you go down the a-moment-to-remember-route and have your spouse be by your side while your health/sanity progressively degenerates. wading in and out of amnesia, ouch, that might have been really painful for MY. but think about it, at least it would have been a meaningful pain, one that she committed to, one that was part and parcel of her relationship, one that was based on something real. now this - the pain she feels now, is not a pain she chose, and it's a pain that she cannot comprehend, mostly because it isn't really based on a truth. i can't gripe about it enough, but the source of the pain is so inauthentic. she is hurt because gun doesn't want to be with her, has betrayed her, when he hasn't really. doesn't that feel deceitful, even disrespectful to her love? aagh. the cruelty. am so hurt on her behalf.

yes yes yes to your saying he should have talked to her about it. because, yes, being honest to each other about their fears and insecurities was what made this couple stand an ocean and a mile apart from other k-drama lovers. i'm at a loss of words at the moment. i feel like the reinvented personas are not going to sit well with me. i absolutely adored both characters in the first leg. let's hope the show doesn't meddle with their essence in what's left of the show.

off to watch with subtitles. i know what you mean about the conversations. pure pleasure to the ears and heart. or that's how it's been so far...

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It is a strange co-incidence that I am, at the moment, watching another show which deals with Huntington's, which is why it shocked me even more when it cropped up in FTLY, because both are COMPLETELY different genres. There too the protagonist (who is in a more advanced stage and shows symptoms like chorea and hallucinations but no amnesia yet) tries to hide it from his family as long as he can. And it is understandable why a man who is used to protecting others, taking care of his family, would NOT want to become so weak in front of his loved ones. In a way, we can say it has a lot to do with protecting their own male ego, because telling others is always the right thing to do, both for the patient and the family.

Anyway, in FTLY, I mostly thought Gun was being cruel to be kind. Sure, he could have let her stay with him, or at least have let her make her own choice, but come on, we all know what she would have chosen. I too hoped we would get some bonding after the miscarriage, but, again, it would have brought them even closer rather than driving them apart, which was what 'Task of the Week' was.

It is here that the major dilemma of a remake arises. The original majorly depends on the typical love/hate-forced marriage-miscarriage-separation-redemption twists. So while FTLY has been a refreshing makeover which has greatly improved on the original characters, at some point it would HAVE to incorporate these key elements of the original. And think about it, the Gun and the Mi-young we've known, would they ever , left to their own devices, have left each other? Nope. So one of them has to push the other away for the separation to happen, and I guess noble idiocy is the only route left. Plus there is this whole thread of fatalism running through the story. We don't have to like any of this, of course, but I really don't see how they could have done it otherwise. At the end of it all, I think the writers have done pretty well, actually, to have gotten through all of it in 2 episodes.

*fingers crossed* for the re-invented leads. It is my biggest fear for this show.

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Oh dear... the only tropes that (to me) are worse than amnesia is a car/truck of doom and noble idiocy and what do you know we get both -.- Sometimes noble idiocy is more understandable though^^ Gun just... he royally screwed up this hour!

But damn that scene after Mi Young wakes up T_T

I'm not sure where the drama is going but I swear if they pull some more shit I'm willing to drop it and just read recaps :P

Also... Se Ra WTF?!

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I cried...blew my nose...cried some more....

Mi-young deserves several awards...vulnerable (break-up) - hospital(broken despair) - Gun's office (seeds of inner strength ...calling Gun on the carpet and stating that she wants a second chance)...baby's book (mother's heart)

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I knew this episode was coming, it wasn't as soul crushing as the original. I think they actually handled the baby thing better here.

My only disappointment so far was how they did the time jump. Here it was bam...3 years later. The original did it so beautifully, it showed all 4 characters living their lives with and without each other and how they grew as the seasons changed. It let you see how they learned to live a full or half life because they had to.

Here it was just bam...moved on.

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I completely agree with you, as I always watched the original. But perhaps they would do that next episode. After all, they prolly put it this way as a sort of "cliff-hanger" so viewers would be eager to find out what happened after 3 years

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They might just do it differently. I feel like they'll tell the stories next week but not like the Taiwanese version. Like by having casual conversation or maybe encountering each other again. Well I've never watched the Taiwanese version, but I think that the way the original told it might be better, but we'll see since we have nothing to compare it with yet.

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This one also have 16 hours shorter than the original one...so I guess they can't include all scenes. I think they will show us how they've been doing for past 3 years somehow in the next episode though.

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I also agree that they handled the miscarriage better. Yes, it was heart wrenching and I bawled, even knowing it was coming. But for me, the situation that led to the accident was less traumatic than the original and in that sense, it was easier and less heartbreaking.

That being said, because of the situation leading up to and following the accident was changed, how and why they might find their way back is also different. I like the narrative of the original and the opportunities and conflict it created for the characters. It'll be interesting to see how the writers handle the story from here on because the premise for separation is different.

Sorry if I'm being vague, but I'm trying hard not to give any spoilers for what might be coming or anything that happened in the TW version in case someone decides to watch it.

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I haven't watched the original but they might have done it this way here for the end of the episode and may yet show us those scenes next week yet.

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I've watched the original too.. it will be safe to believe that the show will show us what happened between the "after three years" part.

I liked that they've toned down Anna's (Sera) part with the miscarriage. And the fact that Geon ended the relationship with Sera formally unlike Ji Cun Xi.

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damn the noble idiocy was just so unneccessary
i can forgive the amnesia trope, but noble idiocy just ruin it
so wil the last episode show gunnie dying rom hungtington disease,since this disease has no cure !

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Man, between Kedonggie and Gramps, this has been such a horrible week. I watched this episode raw and I could barely get myself to watch it again with subs. For a rom-com, this episode has been more tragic than most melodramas I have seen. Jang Na Ra really sold it. Tissue companies are making a killing.

Thanks for the recap Heads!

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I'm not crying, it's just been raining on my face.. I really tried to understand Gun this episode but i couldn't at alllll, he was just plain cruel to MY, Boy am i pissed!!. Speaking of Mi-young, my heart broke for her, her deciding to go back to Gun and wanting to start afresh shoulda told Gun something but he just turns her down and for unreasonable reasons. I DON'T UNDERSTAND!! When she opened that prenatal diary and broke down, lets just say it was a good idea to sit with a box of tissue beside me. As much as i love this OTP, somehow i don't want them together again. Gun had better do something that would make me accept the relationship again..*goes back to chopping onions*

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he dumped both girl because he though he was going to keep losing his memory and I guess come to a point where he dosnt even know who they are any more, and that is something very very very hard to endure and watch happening, that was what he was trying to spare her...remember he was watching that video on his laptap of a family member of someone who had the same illness.....

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This episode was...too good. But not an episode I can revisit any time soon as it was also too painful.

I rarely cry watching dramas but yesterday's episode hit me like a train wreck. Watched without subs and cried bucket loads. Hubby walked in on me in the midst of recovering from one of the scenes - he didn't know whether to laugh at me or cry with me. :p

This show is such a gem. Other than the OTP, I really love the way the secondary characters (exclude Sera) support the couple. MY's mum is so unlike the typical Ahjumma who - under similar circumstances - would hit Jang Hyuk's character into pulp bits. Instead, she truly loved him like a son and believe that the couple tried their utmost to make the marriage work even though things didn't go as planned. What a wonderful mum to both of them!

Can't imagine anyone acting else as Gun and Mi Young. The emotions displayed were so real ad palpable. Felt like my whole heart was sucked in and thrown out into a million pieces. Like what Gun said - Mi Young laughs, I laugh with her. - Mi Young cries, I cry with her. Can tear up just by thinking of her reaction in the hospital room when she woke up.

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i love the new Gun hair do, but not Mi-young's. Anyway, what a wasted 3 years =(. they could have been together

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no it's not a wasted.. if you see the original version..they are indeed supposed to separate several years and meet again in Korea to start all over in the right way

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