Sunday, October 28, 2012

K-Drama Review: Nice Guy, Episodes 13-14


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 13-14

Click "play" below to listen to me read the review! :-)

As our show opens, Eunki smiles while cooking.


The scene cuts to Maru, fresh out of the shower. He smiles and writes "haengbok" 행복, or happiness in the fog on the mirror. Ah sugar, I get the feeling you won't be riding that happiness high for too long. Sure enough, Eunki has a flashback to a time when her doctor told her to seek out her bad memories and confront them, so she can finally recover from that brain trauma.

Eunki remembers herself swerving in that tunnel a year ago...which mean she's getting her memories back. Eunki even flinches away from Maru when he comes into the kitchen of the house they share with Choco and Jaegil. So the question isn't "will we be getting angst this episode?" but "how much angst will there be?"

Angst Had Better Not Interfere With the KitchenCuddling.

Eunki admits that she's worried Maru will one day get tired of her, but he works hard to convince her otherwise: "No, I know how I feel. I won't get tired of you. I won't run away." These sweet words are cut off by a ring at the doorbell--it's some more lawyers, saying that Maru is being sued by the Taesan Corporation for false business practices.

Is it bad that my first reaction is "yay!"? Because while I love Maru, I think he is owed some karmic payback for all those people he scammed and cheated during his year apart from Eunki. It was his choice to become a thief and a crook, so it's only right that now he's being called out for the crookedness. Maru doesn't just need to play white knight for Eunki--he needs to actually become a hero, which is hard to do until you reform your morals.

The Pitiable Puppydog Face Will Only Get You So Far, Maru.

Maru agrees to go with the prosecutors, but not before he eats breakfast. He explains to them that Eunki worked hard since dawn to prepare the first meal she ever made for him, and he's not about to miss it. OMG, why so cute? Then he grins at the prosecutors outside because he knows they don't have a warrant for his arrest, and can't make him go anywhere. He goes to visit Jaehee, who says she'll bury him with framed evidence of his corporate betrayal unless he leaves now.

She closes her offer by saying, "If you were sent to prison again, what would happen to Eunki and Choco?"

She Did NOT Just Go There.

Threatening his kid sister and his precious Eunki? You have to be lower than a snake's belly to even come up with that.

Elsewhere, Attorney Park calls Attorney Ahn out for fabricating evidence against Maru. Attorney Ahn says Attorney Park should welcome the chance to get Maru out of the picture, so he can have Eunki all to himself. Attorney Park finally admits that he does love Eunki, and in that way, he and Attorney Ahn are rather similar--they're only fighting on different sides because they fell in love with different women in the same sorta-family.

It's a nice moment of recognition between the two men, and I also think it's pleasant how Park calls Ahn seonbae-nim (선배님), a polite, deferential form of address to someone who is your senior in school or at work.

Polite to A Fault, Is Attorney Park.

Maru goes down to the prosecutor's office on his own and demands that they investigate him! He explains that he was an industrial spy and a scam artist in the past, so he does have a criminal record, but now he wants to go straight. He says he lived so horribly because he hoped his bad actions would help him die faster. Maru concludes, "But I want to live now, because I have a reason to live." And the camera cuts to Eunki.

Eunki travels to her old house, to try to pick up some more memories. And then she runs across little Eunsuk and his nanny! Eunsuk is her half-brother, the 6-year-old son of Jaehee. Eunki used to be a beast to the poor child, but he always adored her. When this tiny tot says "Bogoshipeosoyo, noona!" (보고 싶어소요, 누나!, "I missed you, big sister"), it could melt hearts from 50 yards away.

If Cuteness Could Kill, We'd All Be Goners.

Eunki stays around the house to hang out with Eunsuk. Jaehee comes home to find them happily playing a video game together. Then Eunki stays for dinner.

At home, Maru is losing it because he couldn't find Eunki anywhere. Finally Jaegil says he knows where she's gone--to her old house.

Eunki really shouldn't have stayed for dinner, because Jaehee notices that Eunki eats shellfish, which she's allergic to. Maru shows up to retrieve Eunki, and while Jaehee's out of the room Eunki explains her wanderings to Maru by saying that she's got to go looking for her lost memories instead of sitting around passively, letting Maru do all the work. He's touched by her go-get-'em attitude...

But Still Worried About Her Safety.

As they leave, Eunki talks to Maru about how ridiculous she used to be--throwing fits and shouting when she was served food she didn't like, as the housemaid said. Maru's like, "Yeah, I told you that you were mean as heck before the accident." Eunki just hadn't believed it until now. I like this revelation; I want Eunki to keep her strength and tenacity while also moving on from the downright bratty behaviors of the past.

Eunki confesses that she's afraid of getting her memories back and being disappointed in the person she discovers herself to be. Maru says, "If that's the case, just stay as you are now."

Maru, That Benefits YOU a Lot More Than Her.

Eunki just laughs it off. She's going to get her memories back, regardless of what he says. She especially wants to remember all her good times with Maru, which has Maru looking stricken, since all their good times pre-accident were mostly lies, in contrast to their present.

While Maru's off being a boss at Taesan, both literally and figuratively, Eunki gets into more trouble by letting Jaehee into their house. When Jaehee says she knows Choco and Jaegil, Eunki's curiosity goes into cat-killing mode and she asks, slightly hurt, "You know Choco and Jaegil?"

Oh, Child. She's Got You, Now.

But Jaehee is less focused on finding the holes in Eunki's memory and more focused on getting Eunki away from Maru. Really? Jaehee's still feeling possessive of him? She asks Eunki, "Were there no other men in the world? Why did you have to choose Maru?" Eunki wonders why Jaehee is so against her being with Maru, and suddenly Eunki's getting a dozen flashbacks in a row, all memories of hearing that Maru had once loved Jaehee and was only using Eunki to get back at her.

Eunki collapses to the floor while holding her head, probably in considerable physical pain in additional to the emotional pain. Jaehee kneels over her, honestly worried about her safety, which is just when Maru walks in. Maru shoves Jaehee away from Eunki (woot!) and tells her to get lost (double-woot!). And then Maru bridal-carries the unconscious Eunki out of the room, and takes her to the hospital.


And as Maru dotes on Eunki in the hospital, Jaehee sits alone at the Taesan corporation, drinking glass after glass of wine. Attorney Ahn arrives to tell her that Eunki is suffering from brain damage and lost memories.

At the hospital, Maru wakes up to find Eunki gone. When he discovers her outside, sleeping on a park bench, she rebuffs him, pushing him away when he tries to bring her back inside. She asks, "Who ARE you?" Huh. Either she's gotten her memories back and she's asking about his intentions, or her memories were so painful, she double-suppressed them and now doesn't remember him at all.

Episode 14 shows us that it's the lattermost option--Eunki wanders around outside in a haze, while Maru follows a few paces behind, since she keeps shoving him away.

At Least She Allows Him to Pull Her Away From Oncoming Traffic.

Maru leads her home to the room she shares with Choco, but Eunki goes berserk when she sees a photo of herself with Maru. She throws the picture frame to the floor and yells that the picture is a lie, and everything in the room is a lie. Eunki may be losing more memories, but she senses that something's not kosher. She screams until she faints.

Not That I Mind The Snuggling, But Do We Have to Faint So Much?

Jaehee shows up at their house the next morning, and Choco stands watch outside like a cutesy bulldog, taking Jaehee to task for every bad thing she ever did to Maru. Right on. Jaehee says yes, she got everything she ever wanted...then as Maru steps outside, she adds, "But I'm not as happy as I thought I would be." Omo. No she didn't. Choco goes inside, telling Maru, "This is not the same Jaehee we knew, this is just a strange ahjumma. Don't talk to her for too long." ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Maru is so angry, he pushes Jaehee against a wall and tells her to get away. Jaehee answers that she is Eunki's mother and therefore has a right to see her. In what universe does kicking out Eunki's mom, marrying her Dad, then contributing to Dad's death make you her mother?

Not Pure Evil, But Inching Closer Every Day.

Jaehee beings to sweet-talk him, saying that he once loved her, and she had to lose that love to realize how precious it was. Baloney. She says she's determined to get that love back, but instead of further torturing Maru, she leaves.

Inside, Eunki is in super-amnesia mode, remembering nothing and throwing down every glass of milk that Maru brings to her. Maru quietly says, "Okay, let's see how far this can go. The cabinet is full of cups, there's plenty of milk in the fridge, and I have a day off of work." In other words, he's going to try to get her to take nourishment all day long, and break every piece of china in the house if that's what it takes.

He Is Nothing If Not Dedicated.

She cuts her hand on the broken glass of the fourth shattered cup, and as he disinfects her cuts, Maru says that he's glad she's showing anger because her situation is rough enough for her to pitch a hundred fits. He says that if she's repressing memories of him because they're so painful, she should stop hurting herself, and instead take her anger out on him. Then he says that he can't leave her until he sees her standing on her own feet--she has to make a complete recovery before he'll be able to disappear from her life.

 Ah, so he is planning to disappear. He leaves and comes back with the fifth milk, to find Eunki sobbing her heart out. Maru lets her cry it out, and he goes and vomits because his cerebral hematoma is acting up again.

Our Main Couple Is So Wounded, It's Not Even Funny.

Next morning, Eunki walks down to breakfast, smiling, and I'm left wondering which Eunki it is. Medium-amnesia Eunki or Mega-amnesia Eunki? They are two very distinct women. Eunki tells Maru that she dreamed about him--but in the dream he was a dishonest bad guy, and he hurt her. Maru instantly stops spreading jam on Eunki's breakfast toast.

Maru asks, "What will you do if you get all your memories back, and I turn out to be that bad person?"  Eunki says she'll never forgive him, to which Maru laughs and says he's relieved that she wouldn't forgive him.

You Are One Weird Dude, Maru.
Eunki meets with Attorney Park and asks him if he once told her that Maru had only approached her to get revenge on someone else. Attorney Park, resident good guy, lies to Eunki's face and says he never told her that. Huh. Why is Attorney Park so staunchly Team Maru right now? Because he thinks Maru's the only guy who can win the company back for them?

Eunki returns to work at the Taesan corporation and Jaehee "assigns" her a meeting with an important business contact she used to know very well, but whom she doesn't remember now. Maru wants to help her, but she's determined to handle the meeting herself. But Jaehee told Eunki she was meeting the wrong person! Just to confuse her. Oh, girl.

I Am Physically Cringing While Watching This Scene.

Eunki ruins the meeting, which thrills Jaehee because she'll have a better excuse to kick Eunki out. I hate this because I want so desperately for Eunki to be independent, but every time she tries, she fails spectacularly. Maru tells her she can't give up Taesan, though--he won't let her.

Maru drops Eunki off in front of the chairman's house, then drives away. Is he tossing her into a lake to see if she can swim? Eunki waits outside the chairman's house all day until nightfall. She comes right out and tells him she's suffering from amnesia and she lied to him by pretending to know him. Her honesty works because the Chairman wants to work with only Eunki on future business deals.

That One Backfired!

The episode ends with Jaehee appointing Eunki as co-director of the entire company, I guess in the hopes that greater responsibility will lead to greater future failures.

Things I Loved:

1. Eunki Being Domestic. It's just for a moment, but it's nice to see Eunki happily preparing a meal for her and Maru. Makes you wonder what could have been if Eunki had gotten cutthroat business training as well as a decent home life.

Corporate Shark+Heart Apron? Possibly.

2. Couple Moments. In episode 13, Maru can barely be around Eunki without touching her shoulder or reaching for her hand, or a dozen other small, non-intrusive gestures of affection.
Best. Thing. Ever.

None. I'm cool with everything.

Watch Nice Guy on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations:

It's great to see Eunki working so hard to be independent. Even in her hurt state, she's cooking meals, going out on outings, and taking responsibility for her own medical condition. In short, even though she's been reduced to a child on some levels, our Eunki is still, miraculously, a grown woman who will not stand by and be babied.

Unfortunately, her stabs at independence have disastrous consequences in the form of Jaehee figuring out her amnesia secret.

The double-amnesia was kind of fascinating, like a way to force the moment to its crisis, to make a bad situation infinitely worse so it could get better. We're all still hanging on, and the show is going strong. Bring on the next eps!

1 comment: