Sunday, October 14, 2012

K-Drama Review: Nice Guy, Episodes 5-6


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 5-6

New Feature: Click "play" below to listen to me read my review at you! :-) I swear I'm trying to figure out what that thumping noise is.

Maru is driving along, thinking of all that Jaehee said to him when she begged him to accept money from her and to skip the revenge.

Ha-Ha! Not Likely.

He also flashes back to a cautionary tale Attorney Ahn shared with him, encouraging Maru to leave Jaehee alone, or else it would destroy both of them. Maru has to decide whether he's willing to wreck his own life in order to pay back Jaehee, and at the moment, he's totally down with that.

This car ride is showing him on his way to, presumably, a flight to Japan, because we saw him meet Eunki at the resort in Japan at the end of the last episode. He gets there, goes to Eunki's guest house, and just sits outside because Eunki has a note on the door saying no one is to disturb her while she crunches numbers.

Respecting Her Wishes, Like a Gentleman.

The weird thing is, with him sitting on her porch, Eunki doesn't see Maru when she leaves her guest house to fall into an exhausted sleep on the perfectly manicured lawn. Maru watches her for a minute, then steps inside to see what kind of calculations have her so frazzled. He looks over her notes, then calls his friend Jaegil to help him understand the financial statements he's looking at.

And now Maru crunches numbers until dawn comes, which is a nice parallel to Eunki doing the same the night before, and he has some good ideas, thanks to some insider stock market information he has. He walks into the bright morning light, and when he finds Eunki still sleeping on the lawn, he picks her up and tosses her into a shallow lake.

Was There No Other Way to Wake Her Up, Maru?

Eunki sputters, but Maru smiles and tells her that they're going to tackle her crisis and save the resort together. Even though Maru is faking this to get back at Jaehee, I still love seeing him work together with Eunki. Can we can some more brainy scenes of them looking at financial statements and talking business?

I Could Watch This All Day Long.

And as she marches off to her legal fight, he gives her a good-luck forehead kiss.

Yay! And LOL.

He tells her to return victorious, or else don't even think of coming back to him. How. Awesome. Maru's basically pulling that line the Spartan women used to tell their warriors, to return with your shield or on it (triumphant or dead). It warms Eunki's heart, as it ought to, but we know it's just part of Maru's act. Sigh.

When Jaehee won't listen to Eunki, Eunki tears up the contract for selling the resort. It's so bratty and juvenile, but Jaehee is being juvenile, too, just not in a way that others can note. Now Jaehee starts screaming in front of a whole room of people, then slaps Eunki's face.

The Pre-Slap Calm Before the Storm.

When Jaehee tells Eunki that it's her own father who wanted to get rid of the resort--one last reminder of the dead wife who he betrayed--Eunki is on the verge of emotional collapse. But then Maru calls her and asks to be put on the line with the CEO of the foreign company that wants to buy the resort. Maru has found dirt on the other company--they were responsible for a lot of chemical dumping in the past, and Maru threatens to tell Japanese citizens about how the company intends to pollute and ruin the resort. Game over! Transaction stopped.

At the home front, Dad is mad that the resort deal was thwarted by Eunki, but he's glad that Attorney Park is still on her side. Dad makes an unusual request that Attorney Park should stay on Eunki's side even if Dad himself should turn his back on her.

Eunki prepares for a date with Maru, and is so softened and sweet she seems like a different girl.

Looking So Pretty in Her Pink Cardigan!

Maru, unfortunately, is nowhere to be found because Jaehee begged to meet with him. At the meeting, Jaehee tries to get Maru under her spell again by saying that they should go on a boat ride together, because they always said they would. Yeah, honey, he made that promise before you willfully left him to rot in jail for half a decade. When none of her pleas work, Jaehee jumps in the ocean so Maru will have to rescue her.

We even get CPR after he fishes her out. Ugh. Was Jaehee betting her life on the possibility that Maru would weaken and protect her once again? Her wounded gazelle gambits are getting extreme. Maru sits by Jaehee in a hospital, and she wakes up to say that she now knows he still has feelings for her.

Should've Let Her Sink.

Then she puts on a trembly-chin face and says, "I'll come back and be with you again." He smirks and asks if there's no behavior that's beneath her. He says he'll never be swayed by her, now. Maru storms out, and eventually remembers the date with Eunki that he's, like, 12 hours late for. It breaks my heart to see her in her pretty dress, fallen asleep, still waiting for him at the bridge where they said they'd meet. Eunki, you've got to like him a little less, or you will be hurt baaaadly.

Maru wakes Eunki up, and she admits to waiting so long just for him, and when he notes that she's wearing makeup, Eunki also adds that she wore an uncomfortable dress for him, too.

He Seems Appreciative.

Maru surprises Eunki with a real kiss (and it's only episode 5! They move so fast...), but while it's a beautiful romantic moment on the outside, as a viewer you know that Maru is probably either kissing Eunki to wipe Jaehee from his mind, or to make Eunki love him more, in turn enabling him to get a better revenge on Jaehee. I want Eunki to get a romantic scene that's all about her. Since she doesn't even get scraps of Dad's affection, I don't want her love life to be secondhand as well.

Maru and Eunki go out and watch this cool Japanese parade, but Maru suddenly vanishes. Eunki runs around helplessly, lost without him, and he watches from the other side of  the crowded street. When she sees him, Eunki runs to hug Maru, but the smile on his face is a little frightening, like he has finally calculated exactly how much she likes him and is going to use this knowledge to his advantage.

No, Sweetie, This Is Not a Good Time For You to Go All Evil!

On the drive home, Eunki chatters happily to her gobsmacked assistant about how in love she is. It's so hard to see her blossom into a happier, less neurotic person only to know that her trust will be betrayed and all this will collapse.

At home, Dad says he's kicking Eunki out of the mansion and cutting her off financially. Eunki refuses to say she's sorry and she leaves the house without any of her bags, since they all belong to Dad anyway. Her stubborn attitude is driving Attorney Park, who secretly adores her, batty. He follows her outside and tries to give her a credit card, as a friend, not as an employee, but she turns it down.

Too Proud For Friendship.

Eunki takes the bus straight to Maru's house. Choco tells Eunki that Maru is at work in his bar. At the bar, Jaehee has rented out the whole establishment so she can talk to Maru in private. Does her husband not check her credit card statements? Maybe he'd find this sort of purchase a tad fishy.

Totally Fishy.

She's trying to warn him off of Eunki, but Maru calls Eunki on speakerphone so can say sweet words to her while Jaehee listens. And oh, Eunki breaks my heart when she tells him 사랑해요 (saranghaeyo) "I love you". It's too soon, kiddo, too soon! And then Maru smirks in Jaehee's face as he says "I love you, too, Eunki." Grr. That's it, Maru--you're on the naughty list. I don't know how you're going to redeem yourself from this.

Jaehee wonders how far Maru's going to go with this--faking affection for an innocent girl. Jaehee kisses Maru, then says they should kiss again when Eunki walks in, so she'll understand the situation. What?


Maru calls her bluff, kisses her again ,and takes a picture of it on his cellphone, for blackmail purposes. This feels so dirty and wrong. At the same time, Eunki gets another photo of Jaehee kissing Atorney Ahn, this time sent by Attorney Park. Man. Jaehee really gets around.

Maru tells Jaehee that she can't win because she has everything to lose and he has nothing to lose. She counters that he'll have to become unimaginably corrupt to bring her down, but she finally does leave.

Eunki meets with Attorney Park, not pleased that he might be joking with her over a fabricated photo of Jaehee.

Eunki, Battle-Face Mode.

Attorney Park only sent that photo to get Eunki's attention, so she would meet him. He wants her back at the Taesan Corporation, and her Dad said he would reinstate her if she stopped the union workers' strike within two days. Pssh. Piece of cake!

Eunki meets with the heads of the union workers and challenges them to a drinking contest: if she wins, they have to listen to her, and vice versa.

These Guys Don't Know What They're In For.

After about four bottles, Eunki looks a little green. She stumbles out of the drinking tent, then she takes a cab to Maru's house and forlornly waits for him to come home. Maru actually seems touched by her plight, and looks guilty when she talks to him about how much she misses him.

As he looks at the wasted Eunki, Maru tells himself out loud that when he breaks her heart, it's just going to be one bad episode in her very long life. She'll get over it. Like how you got over Jaehee, huh? Eunki passes out, and Maru looks at her wonderingly as he mops a cloth over her sleeping forehead. Is he thinking how much she's like his sister, Choco?

Do You Really Want to Break This Sleeping Angel's Heart?

The next morning, Eunki wakes up all cheerful and asks Maru if he admitted that he liked her last night? She asks him to repeat it if he said that. It looks like Maru is going to say a phony "I love you," again, but instead he's dead serious when he tells her, " Seo Eunki, you've got bad luck. You've fallen into my trap. Don't you want to run away from me? Go now." She doesn't want to leave him, though, and thinks he's joking.

Eunki handles the union workers negotiations on her own, by agreeing to everything they want, but then her day is due for a downturn because someone gives her a graduation photo of Jaehee and Maru. Now her face falls, as she learns her brief romance was all a lie. Hey, at least a sliver of truth has made it's way over to Eunki.

The Truth Shall Set You Free?

Things I Loved:

1. Brainy scenes. When was the last time I saw a K-drama where a smart guy was paired with a smart girl? Usually one of them is the designated ditz, but these two are brainiacs. Not that we're likely to get a happy ending from this show, but I like the idea that if Eunki inherited the Taesan Corporation, she and Maru could run it, no problem.


It's a saddish show, but I have no complaints about the writing, directing, or acting.

Watch Nice Guy on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations:

So good, yet so painful. The ugliness of what Jaehee did, using others regardless of how it could hurt them, is amplified when you see Maru sinking to almost the same level. We see a clear portrayal of what we don't want to see others do. We know justice will come to the bad characters eventually, so it's going to be unspeakably awful if Maru fully becomes one of those evildoers who also needs to get their comeuppance.

Poor Eunki.


  1. You don't think he's really going to fall in love with Eunki?

    It's hard for me to tell since I'm not watching it but from your review it feels like he's starting to get conflicted.

    1. I do think he's conflicted, and I want him to love Eunki for real.

      But this show is tonally different from anything I've seen before. I'm afraid they'll give us a sad ending just because they can, because it's a melodrama not a romcom.