Sunday, November 4, 2012

K-Drama Review: Nice Guy, Episodes 15-16

 



















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 15-16

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



Under pressure from Maru, Jaehee holds a board meeting to propose that Eunki become the co-director of the Taesan Corporation as well as its spokesperson and public "face".

It Was A Huge, Crippling Concession.

After the meeting, Jaehee asks Maru if he's feeling good, now that he's got everything he wanted. Maru replies that he's certainly feeling very happy, but he is far from done. Jaehee is floored that he would use her brother Jaeshik against her, but Maru interrupts to remind her that there is absolutely nothing he won't do to get Eunki back to her rightful place.

Jaehee says this manipulation isn't like Maru; only she herself is capable of such atrocious behavior. Maru says he's not so different from Jaehee--did she think that only she could stoop so low in order to get what she wants? Anyone can be a villain, Maru says. The reason most people aren't villains is that they have dignity and self-restraint. Good point. Being a bad guy doesn't take a certain strength of character--what it takes is a complete lack of decency or love for oneself or for others.

But I Don't Want YOU To Be A Villain, Maru.

It brings up another key question--can Maru beat Jaehee without being Jaehee? Can you defeat badness without internalizing the same?

Jahee has one last question for him--if she gives up everything to Eunki, will Maru come back to her? She outright asks him to wager his own affections. Hoo boy. I am so worried about this question because Maru has zero self-worth. He's not going to refuse on the grounds of being too good for Jaehee, and he's not even out for revenge anymore, so he's not going to refuse because he's mad. In fact, being with Jaehee might be the ultimate way to punish himself and get Eunki restored to her position in the process.

But he says no. Whew. Cue the massive sighs of relief.

You Had Me Going For A Minute, There.

 Eunki knows something is up, but Maru won't tell her that he threatened Jaehee in order to get the directorship for Eunki. Maru tells Eunki she must get her memories back soon, and that it's only a matter of willpower for her. O rly?

In other news, Jaehee has bought Maru's ratty old house and often visits it, alone. That's less creepy than I thought it would be, and more sad. Instead of spending time with her son or spending time becoming a stronger businesswoman (or a decent human being!), Jaehee basks in the guilt and sentimentality of the past.

Maru shepherds Eunki around to the places where she might have memories of him, to nudge her into recalling everything. Eunki remembers nothing, no matter how strong the memories associated with a certain place should have been.

Those Memories Are Buried Deep and Far Away.

Then Eunki sees another happy couple walking and asks Maru why he doesn't kiss her--why he always seems distant, like he's about to leave. She asks if they've kissed before, and Maru smoothly lies and says they haven't.

Jaehee's scheming proceeds apace--somehow, Jaeehee has looked up Eunki's ex-boyfriend Junghoon, and he goes to see Eunki. This is a great move by the show's writers, because they're using an already established character to gum up the works instead of pulling somebody new out of nowhere.

What Fresh Havoc Shall You Wreak?

There's a tense pause as he walks into Eunki's office and she's speechless at the sight of him. We know she doesn't remember him, but how well can she fake the interaction? A flashback shows that Jaehee has already told him about Eunki's lost memories and offered him a really good business deal if he can separate Eunki and Maru.

Maru gets in trouble when he goes to confront a businessman for helping Jaehee frame Eunki for embezzling funds from the Taesan Corporation. The guy gets beaten up, on orders from Attorney Ahn, and Maru is framed for the assault.

Whole Lotta Framing Goin' On.

Maru goes to talk to Jaehee and demand that she clear Eunki of all embezzlement charges. Jaehee doesn't want to, and she hedges. Jaehee also lies to Attorney Ahn to protect Maru. Well, we always knew she'd throw Maru under a bus to save herself, but Attorney Ahn's place in Jaehee heart is even less--that of a well-trained minion, only that minion is thinking for himself now.

Maru is arrested and Eunki marches into Jaehee's office to make a deal. If Jaehee wants Taesan, she can have the whole business, just stop trying to frame Maru.

You Tell Her, Honey.

Jaehee nearly has a come-apart at this news. Why is Eunki giving up the corporation for some worthless guy, she demands? Jaehee herself always chose money/power over love, so she can't conceive of why Eunki would act otherwise. Eunki says that she and Jaehee just see the world differently, because Eunki would gladly trade something she barely cares about (business) for someone she loves (Maru).

Eunki meets with ex-boyfriend Junghoon and he lies about their past, saying he used to tell her he loved her all the time. This info prompts a memory flashback for Eunki of herself, telling Maru that he was the first man to ever say "I love you" to her. Excellent move from the writers, again, because it makes narrative sense and because it reminds the audience of a great scene in the show's past.



Junghoon clasps Eunki's hands and she regains her old fire to say, "Get your hands off me, you lying scumbag." Yay!

And some weird conversation is going down with Attorney Park and Maru. Maru says he doesn't want to leave Eunki's side after she regains her memories. Attorney Park reminds him that he signed a contract to this effect.

What Are You Up To Now, Maru?

 Jaehee arranges for Maru's name being cleared. Attorney Ahn blows a gasket and starts throwing things when he hears of it. Eunki meets Maru the second he is freed, and says "You are such a liar and con artist." Maru's face falls, thinking she's remembered everything about him. But no, she only remembers that they've kissed before, which he had lied about. She then gets embarrassed and walks off.

Luckily, Maru Knows When Walking Away Means "Please Follow Me."

Maru stops Eunki and tells her, "Eunki, remember this. This is important. Remember this as your first kiss." There's something desperate about the way he says it, but it's clear why--she's getting back memories of her first kiss with him, and he's upset that his feelings for her weren't real then. He wants her to remember the real thing.

Pictured Above: The Real Thing.

They walk home, hand in hand, and Eunki says, "You asked me to try to remember what kind of man you were--I remember now. You were the kind of man that I loved." Quite true. In the past, she learned the truth and didn't care that he was a bad dude, she just plain loved him. Maru swallows and blinks back tears. Eunki poses an important question to Maru once more, "Us having a future and a family together, will that be possible?"

In answer, Maru kisses her again. Eunki smiles and says they should get married.

You Never Cease To Amaze.

Though really, I'm not at all surprised that Eunki proposed. This is who she truly is--heart on her sleeve, nothing hidden, charging forward. "If we get married, then I'll become a part of your real family." Maru is about to shed tears once again when she says she wants to help him build a warm and reliable family. Gosh, it is hard watching a grown man struggle not to cry.

He replies, "Then. Let's get married."

YAAYYYY!

But oh man, this is too much straight up happiness for our show. Somebody we like is going to die soon to make up for the joyful moments, right? I just hope it's not Choco.

Eunki shows Maru a dress shop where she has clearly been admiring white dresses for awhile. Ah, and then they walk along the street, talking about wedding plans. Eunki wants to book a wedding hall, Maru says they need to plan a honeymoon, then they cutely discuss future kids. Maru wants a boy and a girl, while Eunki is holding out for 9 kids, a whole baseball team's worth.

In Jaehee-land, Jaehee has wandered to a seedy old bar that she and Maru used to frequent. She drinks alone, and when a pushy ahjusshi asks her to come to his table, she yells at him, then Attorney Ahn appears out of nowhere and punches the guy.

Getting Stalkier and More Controlling.

Maru tells Eunki that they'll have to get married after she gets her memories back--a good move on his part. Eunki says she won't have a change of heart after getting her memories back, and I think she's right. Maru replies that in the future, there may be a better man waiting for her. Aw, does he mean Attorney Park? But if Eunki does still want to marry him after her memories return, Maru swears he'll never let her go.

Jaegil finds out about Maru's cerebral hematoma and wonders why Maru has refused an operation. Maru says it's because the surgery is risky--he could end up dead or paralyzed. Also, Maru is enjoying life with Eunki so much, he doesn't want to take the chance of losing this incredible happiness just yet.

Happy, Even In His Sleep.

The next morning, Eunki, Choco and Jaegil prepare some kind of eel stew (starting with live, squiggly eels!) and as they joke around, Maru hears them from bed and smiles, thinking to himself, "I hear my friend my sister, and my love all laughing. I'm afraid this dream will disappear when I open my eyes."

Jaeshik goes to tell his sister Jaehee that Attorney Ahn wants Maru dead. Jaehee's not happy about this. She's even less happy about the news spreading that Eunki is soon to marry her fiance, Maru--so that even if Jaehee can declare Eunki mentally incompetent, Maru will still take over her role in the company.

Jaehee's Just Giving Everybody The Stinkeye, This Episode.

Jaehee meets with Maru and begs him to call off the wedding. Maru shakes her off and says, "I'm the one who needs Eunki. Without Eunki, I couldn't bear to go on one more day."

Eunki finally puts together the memories of her accident and recalls that it was Maru she crashed into a year ago. She also remembers the words he said about loving Jaehee, not her.

It's More Than a Little Shocking.

In a board meeting, Eunki announces that she has amnesia and is suffering from brain damage, destroying all the work that Maru and Attorney Park have done on her behalf for months. But Eunki isn't Eunki without impulsivity and brutal honesty. She says she'll step down from her position if the directors want her to.

Maru goes to see her in her office afterward and tells her she did a good job. He tells her that he just got his paycheck, so he'll get her anything she wants. Eunki requests flowers, a purse, samgyeopsal (삼겹살, pork belly-bacon), and a kiss. Maru dutifully collects all the things Eunki wants while Eunki goes to visit her father's urn, to apologize for getting involved with Maru.

When Eunki finally does show up to meet him, Maru happily shows her the little presents he got for her, then offers her the last present--her requested kiss. It seems like all is well, but Eunki opens her eyes during the kiss, looking cold and manipulative, just like Maru used to.

End episode. Nooooooooo!

Things I Loved:

1. The Eunki/Maru Kiss in episode 15. To finally get Maru's real feelings and see him expressing actual true love for Eunki? It's priceless.

 
 
Complaints:

None.

Watch Nice Guy on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations:

Does this show have to end? Because it's seriously glorious in a way that few shows have ever matched for me. We've got layered villains, layered good guys, vulnerability everywhere and lots and lots of character growth. Plus, in these episodes we get kisses and marriage proposals! Win.

Nice Guy is just designed to rip viewers' hearts to shreds, but it feels like it's actually doing some good, too--we get to see people making a variety of choices, and we see how ugly it is when Jaehee consistently chooses selfish ambition, and how beautiful it is when Eunki and Maru choose sweetness and self-sacrifice.

Oh, but how that last episode hurt. Eeep, I'm worried about where Eunki is going, now. Will we have yet another character going on a revenge spree? Keep your fingers crossed.


4 comments:

  1. Eep!! This show has so many tired cliches but then somehow makes them fresh and interesting.

    i mean amnesia??!!! And amnesia on top of amnesia??!! I hate that - but here I'm torn from wanting her to remember to not because it might make the happiness go away.

    I hate Jaehee but then she shows these little moments of vulnerability....

    How many episodes are left? And then is it over for good or is there another season?

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    1. I know. I was facepalming when they introduced the amnesia, but then they did it so /well/, I couldn't complain!

      Jaehee is positively disgusting, but then you can never completely hate her because she's such a sad creature.

      4 episodes left. It's a projected 20-episode show, but they sometimes give 4-episode extensions to shows that are performing well, and this one is killing the ratings in Korea right now. 2nd seasons are virtually nonexistent in K-dramas---I've heard of this happening maybe 3 times ever. :-( Sad panda.

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  2. I had the misfortune to be watching the end of ep 15 in a roomful of guys (including my husband) watching over my shoulder as I tried my hardest not to squeal and fangirl over the real deal kiss! (I later took myself to my room, and watched it over again a couple of times)

    I may be sick, but I almost can't wait to see how this show will finally rip our hearts apart. Though I don't really want it to end. I have read that there will Not be an extension, which, I am actually glad to hear. Dramas tend to flounder around too much when writers start thinking of all the ways to make the drama longer.

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    1. Ha! I rewatched that scene a few times myself. It was just so perfect. Eunki didn't know how much it meant, but Maru did.

      Whew, I'm kind of relieved at the no-extension. I don't want Nice Guy to end, but at the same time, it's true that most writers cannot cobble together a good closing with the extra episodes. I'd rather end strong!

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