Sunday, October 21, 2012

K-Drama Review: Nice Guy, Episodes 11-12


Read episode reviews for:

Nice Guy--Episodes 1-2
Nice Guy--Episodes 3-4
Nice Guy--Episodes 5-6
Nice Guy--Episodes 7-8
Nice Guy--Episodes 9-10
Nice Guy--Episodes 11-12
Nice Guy--Episodes 13-14
Nice Guy--Episodes 15-16
Nice Guy--Episodes 17-18
Nice Guy--Episodes 19-20

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 11-12

New Feature: Click "play" below to listen to me read the review! :-) Warning, review contains some high-pitched fangirl squealing.

We open with a few minutes of recap, watching Maru drive after Eunki, who has been kidnapped by bad guy Jaeshik, but Maru manages to cut their car off. The bad guy gets away because Eunki pulls Maru off of him, still not knowing he was a bad guy. Maru is shaking with fury, barely able to ask Eunki if she's some type of brain-dead idiot, running off with anyone who tells her to get in a car with them.

Congrats, Dear, That's The Exact Wrong Thing to Say.

I wish someone would tell him, when you rescue the girl, you hug her. You comfort her. You do not tell her that she's an idiot unless you follow that up with the aforementioned hugging and comforting. It takes the sting out.

Eunki starts blaming herself again, thinking that Maru's upset at her because he hates to see her face, not because he's worried. Aww. Maru grabs her arms and pulls her toward his car, but Eunki resists, saying that she finally gets it that he doesn't like her, and she won't bother him again. She says she acted like a fool by clinging to him, and she won't stoop so low again. Atta girl! She's so brave, and even with her lost memories and brain injury, she manages to salvage some pride.

What Can Maru Say That Won't Make This Situation Worse?
He says nothing and tries to stuff her into the car again. Eunki resists, then our sweet, sweet, awesome girl says, "I don't need your sympathy. Although I've lost my memory, I know when I'm being humiliated." She walks away and gets into a taxi. Maru sits in his car and has his first internal  monologue ever that's all about Eunki: "After all that I had to do to send you away, how can you still come back to me?" This is the first solid evidence that he's been protecting her by staying away.

At her secret house, Eunki listens to music. When she hears the late-60's English song, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" by Scott McKenzie, she flashes back to hearing the song while riding in the car with Maru.

Wheeee! Memories Returning!

Maru sleeps in his car all night, probably because he can't bear to go into the house when his sister Choco's no longer around, and when he is about to go inside, Jaeshik stops him. Maru is ready to flay him alive, but Jaeshik tells Maru that Jaehee is the one who ordered Eunki's kidnapping. Maru spares Jaeshik in exchange for the location of Eunki's secret house.

At the Taesan Corporation, Attorney Ahn is trying to send people to assassinate Eunki, since that kidnapping didn't pan out. Attorney Park comes in to call him out for it, but officially, Attorney Park still can't admit that he knows where Eunki is. Doesn't stop him from telling the opposition to back off, though.

Law-yer Fight! Law-yer Fight!

Maru picks up Eunki's Secretary on the way to the secret house. Maru asks her how he can help, and asks what Secretary's ultimate plans for Eunki are--to take over Taesan Corporation and defeat Jaehee? Essentially, yes. Maru charges into the garden of Eunki's secret house (Eunki's Secret Garden?) and tells her to come with him. Eunki will have none of his bossiness--who is he to order her around when he showed her nothing but contempt and pity before? Bravo, girl!

Eunki pushes Maru away a few times hard, and he follows her into her house, where she locks him out of her room.

This Shouldn't Be Funny, But It Is.

Eunki says she won't leave her house with some stranger, which is exactly what Maru berated her for doing earlier. Heh. Maru looks down at a children's book Eunki had been reading--"The Boy Who Cried Wolf"--and realizes he has to come clean, at least a little, in order to save her.

He begins to tell her how they met. It was on a plane, when she fainted and he had to give her emergency medical treatment. The second time they met was after her dirt bike accident, when he got injured saving the special doll she received from her mother. "I had never met such a rude, crazy person in my life. She was arrogant, difficult and mean," he says. Eunki's curiosity gets the better of her and she agrees to go with Maru.

He Still Looks Very Worried About Her.

Maru tells her more about their past, all of it true. He tells her that she used to pick fights with him and insult him to show that she liked him. Eunki is miffed to hear this and she thinks he is lying, but this is all exactly as it happened. To shut him up, Eunki turns on the car radio, which is playing "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," of all things.

Maru takes Eunki home, and as she waits outside, his best friend Jaegil comes home and practically starts dancing a mambo of joy when he sees Eunki sitting outside. He says it's delightful to have her around again and that he, Jaegil, didn't realize how important Eunki was until she was gone. Maru may not talk about his feelings, but Jaegil sure will.

I Love Best Friends Who Spill the Beans!
It's pretty funny when Jaegil talks on and on to Eunki, and then she has to ask him who he is. Jaegil goes inside to where Maru is packing up his things, and says that Eunki doesn't remember him. Maru admits that she doesn't remember him, either. Jaegil is stunned that Maru is preparing to move now, when he had refused to leave the house for so many years. Maru replies that this place is no longer safe because Jaeshik and Jaehee both know of it.

Jaegil asks Maru if the reason he stayed in this house was so that Eunki could find him again. He asks, "Do you like Eunki? You weren't just using her to get to Jaehee after all, were you?" Jaegil says, "Well at least she came back to you. No matter how long you waited for Jaehee, she never came back to you like Eunki did."

It's True! Don't Deny It's True.

 Attorney Park learns that Eunki is with Maru, and he calls Maru up for a meeting. Attorney Park says he knows all about Maru--his shady past, and how he used Eunki to get revenge on Jaehee. The question is, why is Maru back in Eunki's life now? Maru turns it right back around on Attorney Park--"Do you like Eunki?" Good question, because that's the heart of the matter. Attorney Park isn't simply objecting to Maru's presence as Eunki's close friend and associate; he's objecting as a man who's interested in Eunki.

At Maru's place, Choco is back home and is distressed when she learns of  Eunki's amnesia. Choco reintroduces herself, hugs Eunki, and says she'll do her best to help unnie regain her memories. Jaegil and Choco are both shipping Eunki/Maru pretty hard. Wouldn't be surprising to see some overt matchmaking moves in the future.

It's Something to Look Forward To.
Attorney Park asks Maru to support Eunki and help her take back the Taesan Corporation. Maru agrees.

Jaehee visits Maru's place, only to find everyone gone and most of their stuff moved out.

We see Maru driving down the freeway with a car full of sleeping loved ones--Jaegil and Choco in the back, and Eunki in the passenger seat, and it may possibly be the sweetest understated moment in the show to date.

Next morning, Jaehee is being set up as the official Chairman of Taesan. But as she's giving her thank you speech, someone surprising shows up in the audience...


Eunki says, "I'm sorry. Have I arrived too late, eomoni(mother)?" Jaehee comes down from the stage and hugs Eunki while crying. Jaehee's freaking out that Eunki's being so gentle and polite, which is awesome. Eunki explains to the large audience that she was in a car wreck and had to receive medical treatment in a remote, quiet place, but now she's ready to come back to her company.

She adds that as a result of her accident, she has been diagnosed with face blindness and cannot always recognize people she once new, so she will need everyone's understanding and help for awhile. Ah, I wondered how they were going to play off her amnesia so no one noticed--nicely handled. Then Eunki calls out for Kang Maru, who has been sitting in the audience this whole time without anyone noticing.

Silent, Like a Panther.

 Eunki introduces him as her fiance, and the man who is going to help her run the company.

We interrupt this review to spazz happily. {*EEEEEEEEEE* Maru and Eunki as fake fiancees? This is the best K-drama trope ever. Love, love, love this idea. Joy!*****}

This was a sensible move on the part of the writers because we don't see or know all of Maru and Eunki (and Secretary and Attorney Park)'s plan, so the audience is just as in suspense as Jaehee is, wondering what's about to go down. Also, fake relationships are always pure gold in televised shows--we are going to have so much fun with this, yes we are, precious.

Episode 12 flashes back in time to open with Maru on a bluetooth headset, coaching Eunki before they announce her return. They are both getting ready in front of mirrors, and Maru feeds Eunki the lines he has prepared.

Is Anyone Else Surprised That Maru Needs to Shave?

It's a great scene, clicking back and forth between the characters. Maru fastens his tie and says a line of the speech. Eunki has her Secretary touch up her makeup as she repeats the line, and we get the impression of a tightly-knitted plot coming together. High fives for whoever is directing this show.

We rewatch the confronting-Jaehee scene, mostly from Maru's point of view. It's notable that he looks proud of Eunki, and that his eyes are steadily fixed on Eunki's entrance, not on Jaehee's reaction. He may still want revenge, but he sure ain't focused on it. Eunki's speech goes over well and she is reinstated as director of the corporation, and when they're alone, Maru hugs her and tells her she did a good job.

Interestingly, Eunki asks Maru if she really has to fight Jaehee. Eunki has forgotten all Jaehee has done to her. Maru has to explain to Eunki that Jaehee started this fight by taking a corporation that wasn't rightfully hers.

You Must Become More Vicious, Eunki.

Eunki asks Maru if she, as unwell as she still is, can handle this fight? He replies that he will do the fighting for her; she can stand behind him and let him do the work. Maru has a flashback to the recent past, where Attorney Park told him to vanish from Eunki's life as soon as her recovery was complete, partly because once she remembered everything her did to her, Eunki wouldn't want him around anyway. Maru asks for half of the Taesan corporation in return for winning it back for Eunki. Attorney Park agrees.

When they all meet in an elevator, Jaehee invites Eunki and Maru to a family dinner. Despite what she's been told about Jaehee, Eunki looks touched, while Maru stifles some quiet rage. This sounds like a bad idea to me--how can Jaehee possibly not discover that Eunki is not her old self?

Methinks This Dinner Is a Bad Idea.

Jaehee strikes the first blow at home, telling Eunki that because she was off running around with some guy (Maru), she wasn't around to see her father when he died. That's rich, coming from the woman who watched him die while withholding his medication and refusing to call 911.

When they have a moment alone, Maru tells Jaehee that Eunki is all he thinks of now, that she's the woman he's obsessing over. It's not quite true, but I hope he's saying this more to throw Jaehee off her game than to make her jealous. He says "I came back because of Eunki, to protect her from a person who wants her to disappear. I'm even going to try all this lovely food before she does--because who knows what might be in it?" Jaehee ends up screaming at Maru that she won't give up her house or her position to Eunki. She won't! It all belongs to her!

All this happens while Eunki is sitting in an empty office, mourning the father she doesn't remember.

Maru tries his best to comfort Eunki, and suggests they go home to eat, so she can relax after this nasty day. They go, and leave Jaehee alone, staring down a beautiful expensive dinner that no one wants to share with her. At home, where Jaegil and Choco also live, Eunki apologizes to her father in her diary for not being there when he died, while Maru spends an exhausting night poring over financial statements. He has a splitting headache and has to take medication, lest we forget about his cerebral hematoma.

The next day, Attorney Ahn has figured out that Eunki's been brain damaged, so he asks to meet with her, so he can suss out the weak spots. Vulture. Kretin. Opportunist. He preys on her fears by saying that the board of directors is concerned about her capabilities, so she'll have to prove to him that she can read and write flawlessly. It looks like her trembling hand will surely fail to write any words that make sense...then she writes "You are a bad person" to Atttorney Ahn, gives him a mild smirk, then makes an excuse to leave.

That's. My. Girl.

Eunki gets another memory flash, this time to a moment where she was mad at Attorney Ahn--so hopefully, this means that strong emotions will bring back the memories?

In his first board meeting, Maru eats Jaehee alive by exposing information about her underhanded business dealings. Squee.

Eunki goes to see her doctor who is, in a nice twist, Maru's old med school teacher. Doctor says that her brain issues regarding speaking, reading, and writing have improved tremendously, though she's not back to normal yet.

Maru comes home from a long day at the office, and he sits in his car, replaying Attorney Park's words about how Eunki would never want to see him again if she learned the truth.

It's a Good Sign That This Bothers Him.

He comes inside and overhears his little sister Choco giving Eunki romantic advice--that she and Maru should go on a romantic trip together! Maru smiles sweetly to himself when Eunki admits she's too embarrassed to ask him out. Maru lies awake at night, smiling and thinking of Eunki's words. He finally has to go wake up Jaegil to get him to recommend a good romantic getaway for the two of them.

What's even more cuter is when Maru asks Jaegil a long list of questions about what women like and how to woo one. It seems ridiculous because Maru's been presented as this ladies' man, but the reality is he's never tried to win over a girl; they always just showed up through no effort on his part. Jaegil says Maru should try to remember the techniques he used while dating Jaehee. Maru smiles and says he doesn't remember those days.

For Reals? Or Is He Just Joshing Us?

The next shot we see is of Eunki asleep in the passenger seat of Maru's car. When she wakes up, she doesn't know where she is for a second, but Maru is sitting outside, waiting for her so they can each take a beach trip together. How he moved her into the car while not waking her up, we'll never know.

As Eunki and Maru walk along the beach together, Maru has a mental monologue to his father. "Dad, a woman walked into my life. I said the most hurtful things I could think of and pushed her away, but she came back to me again. She and I are very similar. We both have scars and our lives have been filled with tears, but I'm the one responsible for her scars and tears. I should never have met her."

They drive home after a full, happy day. They hold hands in the car and Maru looks proud to be with Eunki. They they enter a tunnel. Oh. No. Eunki's memory of the night of the wreck begins to flicker in her head.

End of episode.

Things I Loved:

1. Wall of Separation. It's another case of the metaphorical becoming literal when Maru can't get through to Eunki or get her to come through the wall between them. They are always shifting positions in the world, but there's always a barrier between.

"So Far Away...Doesn't Anybody Stay In One Place Anymore?"

2. The Move. Maru leaving that old house full of bad memories feels like some sort of spiritual catharsis. Also, it's great that he moves with Jaegil, Choco, and Eunki, making it seem like Maru has a real, complete family.

Full Vehicle=Full Heart?

3. Hugs. Uncalculated, agenda-free hugs are the order of the day.

Once More, With Feeling!


Watch Nice Guy on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations:

Totally rad episodes, dudes! We've got fake fiancees, memories coming back, Jaehee feeling the heat, and all is right with the world. And even though Eunki has lost all her memories, she's getting some of her spine back. More power to you, babe! You stand up to those bullies.

I'm very invested in Eunki getting the Taesan Corporation back permanently, not because I care about the business or even because I think Eunki cares about it, but because Eunki needs to win something, and this is as good a goal as any. The girl was born to run a corporation, and she has more of a heart than dear old Dad, so she will be a CEO with principles.

And it's so. Good. To finally have Maru truly falling for Eunki. He's slightly nuts for this girl, and it's going to be the beast and worst thing that ever happened to him.


  1. *spins* *twirls* *jumpy claps*

    i like ALL of this.


    They're going to rip us apart soon aren't they?

    1. Oh yeah. Squee-worthy moments always come at a price--our hearts will be hanging in tatters by episodes 13, I am certain.

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