Usually I don’t lead off with a spoiler picture, but you would have to be living under a rock not to know that Mu Gyul kissed Mae Ri at the end of Episode 5 of Mary Stayed Out All Night (Marry Me, Mary!). This episode plunks us squarely into the alignment-phase of the drama development – taking the initial set-up one step further, and places everyone into their respective positions in the chess match of love, marriage, and career.
It sounds much more heavy-handed than it really is – M3 is at its heart a charming little romance without much substance, and it’s not hard to guess that everyone will be fine and happy at the end. It’s watching it unfold that we derive much of our pleasure. Like I said, I know everyone has heard or seen about the big-moment in this episode, and honestly the anticipation of it happening was much more satisfying that the actual event. I do feel like Mae Ri and Mu Gyul needed that push, otherwise their relationship is like taking baby steps forward without any tension.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that their relationship is held together by friendship and understanding more than anything, but we needed to see the added introduction of opposite-sex awareness into the mix. Until Jung In shows hand and allows me to see the first stirrings of “real” emotion from him, he’s never going to be a credible threat to Mu Gyul. I have no problems accepting Jung In as a better choice for Mae Ri on a practical level, but I have huge reservations to accepting him as a contender for her love when he’s about as cuddly as a robot with ulterior motives.
If he wants a real marriage with Mae Ri, he needs to drop the wooing-as-a-game tactic and open himself up to wooing-as-falling-in-love option. Until then, I reserve the right to think of him as a douchebag tool of his creep daddy, swoon-worthy cheekbones nothwithstanding. Conversely, with Mu Gyul, my spidey sense tells me that he’s someone who may have a hard time being serious in love, but once he crosses that bridge, there is no turning back for him.
M3 Episode 5 Recap:
Mae Ri wakes up the next morning in the guest room. Her face shows an expression of uncertainty as she touches her forehead scar. Jung In comes by to deliver a note. He’s already perfectly attired in a suit, and I’m kinda dying for him and Mu Gyul to change clothes just once in this drama so I can see him decked out all boho rocker style.
He first tries to slide the note under her door, then changes his mind and experiments with various methods of placing it in a place Mae Ri is sure to see. The cutest moment comes when he stands with his back to the door, then walks forward just the right amount of steps and places the card on the floor. Mae Ri opens her door at that very moment and asks him what he is doing.
Jung In explains that he has to leave this morning for a meeting back in Seoul, and was just leaving her a note. Mae Ri offers to go back with him rather than spend the rest of the day at the villa. Jung In gives her a look that I can’t quite figure out – annoyance, impatience, confusion? They drive back to Seoul in uncomfortable silence until Jung In breaks the ice by asking Mae Ri what type of music she likes.
Mae Ri candidly responds that she likes all music except loud rock music, which surprises Jung In, who turns on a classic score for the car ride. Once she realizes her faux pas, Mae Ri quickly amends her response by saying that she dislikes all loud rock music except for Mu Gyul’s music. Way to cover your tracks, babycakes. What’s even more perfect is that she launches into a rendition of “Take Care, My Bus” that is adorably raspy and off-key.
Mae Ri announces that she suddenly misses Mu Gyul even more after humming his song. She wants to call him, but Jung In offers to drive her to his place on their way to work. He diplomatically states that since Mu Gyul’s night was taken away yesterday, it’s only fair. Plus, he reminds Mae Ri that they can schedule the four days, three nights (squeeeee, oh god, this trip better happen in some episode down the line or else imma going to go berserk with anger if it doesn’t) anytime they want. Jung In hasn’t forgotten the ridiculous demands Mae Ri made in the car when they were driving to the country.
Mu Gyul is writing a song and keeps ripping up each page, dissatisfied with his progress. He thinks back to his Merry Christmas, and we hear Mae Ri’s sign off to him in the previous episode “Honey, I love You!” run through his mind. He draws a cute cat on the page and writes down “Merry Christmas” in a thought bubble above the cat face. He smiles a little, and then looks over at his hand to see that he’s wearing the half-finished blue mitten on his hand. He sighs into the mitten and smiles again.
A cough comes from the vicinity of the sofa, and Mu Gyul walks over to cover up Seo Jun, who he has brought back to his place last night since he doesn’t know her new apartment address. She drinks some water and gets up to check out his digs. She notices the balls of yarn and asks Mu Gyul if he’s learning to knit. His evasiveness at her questions leads her to ask if he has a woman now? Mu Gyul’s reply that it’s not the case placates her inquiry.
Back in the car-of-not-so-scintillating-conversation, Mae Ri asks whether the drama has gotten the green light to go. Jung In confirms that, just like Mae Ri’s assessment, the studios think it’s too trendy and skewers young, with a limited audience. Mae Ri suggests adding some family scenes to the drama, making it so she and her dad can watch together. Jung In appears to be considering her suggestion. Mae Ri sees something out the window and makes Jung In stop the car.
In front of Mu Gyul’s place, Mae Ri goes to grab the TV she picked up from the curb. Jung In asks why she wants to take trash, and she disagrees that this TV is trash. Jung In offers to carry it for her, and leans into the car to grab the set. Mae Ri suddenly sees Mu Gyul walk Seo Jun out and deposit her into a waiting taxi. Mae Ri grabs Jung In and proceeds to fix his tie and brush link off his suit jacket, so that Jung In does not turn around and see Mu Gyul with another woman.
Before getting into the taxi, Seo Jun asks whether she and Mu Gyul are good friends now, and whether she can call him in the future. He does not openly consent with either of her statements, but nor does he directly tell her no. He turns to walk back into the apartment when an air-piercing scream of “chagi-yahhhh” greets him and his wife comes barreling towards him. He calls her Mae Ri for the first time, and even she notes that he always addresses her as Merry Christmas. He demurs by saying that he was just saying her name is all, no need to make such a big deal. Oh Mu Gyul, you doth protest too much.
Mae Ri asks whether the girl he was just with was Seo Jun? He’s about to dismiss her question and go back inside because it’s freezing out there when Jung In walks up bearing the TV, having already returned the wife. Mu Gyul gives Jung In a very piercing look, and the same look is returned in kind. Mu Gyul turns to look at Mae Ri – I think he’s annoyed she came with Jung In.
They all end up inside the apartment, and Jung In is admiring Mu Gyul’s home recording studio. Mae Ri is hurriedly picking up all the crumbled paper on the ground, very wifely in doing her duties. Jung In tells Mae Ri that he hadn’t considered that the main character in the rocker drama would live in a place like this. Jung In asks again whether Mu Gyul will consider working for him to produce the drama OST.
Mu Gyul says that he already answered Jung In, they have no reason to see each other again. Mae Ri comes up and grabs Mu Gyul’s arm, and Mu Gyul’s bad mood is taken out on Mae Ri as well. He asks her why she’s not at work already. When she says that Jung In told her to come to work later, Mu Gyul questions whether Jung In is having Mae Ri around to work for him, or intending to fall in love with her? OMG, I totally forgot that Mu Gyul hasn’t been told about Jung In’s change of heart!
Jung In apologizes for switching the times with Mu Gyul, and uses this opportunity to inform Mu Gyul that he intends to pursue Mae Ri for real from now on. Oh booyah! Game on, baby! Mu Gyul wonders what’s going on – didn’t Jung In already state that he wasn’t interested in the marriage? Jung In responds by revealing that he now has a reason to want the marriage, to which Mu Gyul rightfully calls him out as a guy with no principle.
Jung In informs Mu Gyul that even though he’s heard that Mu Gyul and Mae Ri married for love, because their wedding was done in such haste, they haven’t had a chance to register it yet. He tells Mu Gyul to be nervous from now on. Oh dude, you did NOT just wave your legally-married-to-Mae Ri-status in front of Mu Gyul and then walk away. That’s cold, Jung In, but so your style. I approve, because Mu Gyul needs some pressure.
Once Jung In leaves, Mu Gyul huffs at Mae Ri, asking her what the hell is going on between her and Jung In. She replies that nothing is going on, and then asks him why he’s so angry all of a sudden? An angry Mu Gyul retorts that he’s not being angry. Heh. He kicks the TV and wonders what it’s doing here. Mae Ri changes the subject and asks about him and Seo Jun. What’s going on between them?
Mu Gyul tells her its none of her business. She informs him that Seo Jun has signed a contract with JI Entertainment, so he better be careful and not reveal the truth of their relationship to Seo Jun. Mu Gyul bends down to look at the broken TV (three cents he fixes it for his Merry Christmas), while Mae Ri sees her half-knitted mitten has been taken off the hook and yells at Mu Gyul. Didn’t she warn him that he would be dead if he messed with the mitten? Oh sweetie, he only fiddled with it because he missed you and needed your replacement to keep his heart warm.
Mae Ri goes to work and sees a pile of scripts for Wonderful Day (the name of the drama in production) on her desk. Jung In comes in and informs her that he wants her to review it carefully and share her assessment with him. He think asks her to have lunch with him since he skipped breakfast. During lunch, Mae Ri informs him that no matter what he does, she will not be swayed. Jung In grins and says that he wants to have lunch with her from now on.
Mae Ri wonders why the restaurant is empty except for them? Did Jung In perchance book the entire restaurant? When Jung In looks confused, Mae Ri says that in dramas, when a man is pursuing a woman, he’ll book an entire restaurant as a grand gesture. Jung In only smiles, and Mae Ri’s drama fantasy is burst when other guest arrive to dine.
It turns out that Jung In has invited the scriptwriter to join them for lunch, and introduces Mae Ri as being part of the production team at JI Entertainment. During lunch, Mae Ri’s admiration of the scriptwriter’s previous works exposes her as a drama fan, which pleases the scriptwriter. But when Jung In suggests that Mae Ri share her thoughts about adding some family scenes to the drama, the scriptwriter like all writers isn’t happy to have her work meddled with. Jung In remains supportive of Mae Ri’s suggestion and gently asks the scriptwriter to keep up the good work on the drama.
Mae Ri is hanging out with Mu Gyul, and reads Jung In’s note to her out loud. Mu Gyul strums his guitar and sings the following refrain “he’s materialistic, not to mention has a split personality – he’s just pretending to be polite …..” Mae Ri listens to his lyrics and stands up for Jung In, saying that her first impression that he was a rich dismissive jerk was actually not correct. Jung In has actually given her work to do and introduced her to the scriptwriter! Omo, I knew the way to Mae Ri’s heart was not money, flowers, or swoony music – she just wants to work and be useful. Good girl!
Mu Gyul tells her to just marry Jung In, and cancel the 100 days double marriage arrangement. Mae Ri protests – that wasn’t what she meant at all! The secretly jealous one tells her that if things keep going this way, she’ll pick Jung In for sure. Mae Ri suddenly asks if maybe Mu Gyul is jealous? He rejects that supposition, telling her that he is simply looking out for her like a hyung would to a dongsaeng.
When Mae Ri asks what he’s warning her about, Mu Gyul says that men are always accurate when it comes to other men, and in his view, Jung In has too many suspicious issues surrounding his sudden change of heart when it comes to making the marriage real. Mu Gyul then asks whether she has to talk about another guy when she is with him? Mae Ri stops and then leans back into him, worried that maybe her dad has been spying on them again. Mu Gyul stands up and starts packing up, it’s too cold for an outdoor audience today.
Back at their love nest, Mae Ri cooks some warm jige (stew) for her always-cold husband. Mu Gyul is amazed at how good it tastes, and is told that the jige and an egg roll are the two things Mae Ri can cook well. Mu Gyul is wolfing down the food, and Mae Ri has to get him to slow down. She notes sadly that Mu Gyul is too skinny, and puts a piece of egg roll in his bowl. Mu Gyul says that she’s acting like a mom – no, she’s acting like such a wife. Mae Ri corrects him and says that she is his noona (older sister), so he needs to eat up!
Mu Gyul’s mom suddenly arrives, and notices the domestic scene, wondering if they are living together. Once again they have to refute that assumption, but Mu Gyul’s mom is so unconventional that it doesn’t faze her if they are living together. She recognizes Mae Ri, calling her the girl who doesn’t believe that love can be trusted. She cuts to the chase and asks Mu Gyul for money, and he pulls her outside to talk.
Turns out that his mom had borrowed money from her boyfriend, and now he wants her to pay him back because she wants to break up with him. Mu Gyul refuses to help, telling her honestly that he has no way to get any money. Mom wants him to ask Mae Ri, since she’s a girl who values loyalty. Mom proceeds to whine and fuss until Mu Gyul agrees to find a way to help her. God, I hate ALL the parents in the drama, with a passion bordering on white-hot rage.
While Mae Ri is waiting for Mu Gyul to come back and finish dinner, the landlady comes up and threatens to evict Mu Gyul if he doesn’t pay the deposit this week. Mae Ri pays her with the money Jung In gave her. Back to the other two of the aforementioned shitty parents, Mae Ri and Jung In’s dad are discussing how their matchmaking is developing nicely. Mae Ri’s dad worries that his daughter is not sophisticated enough to become a chaebol’s wife once she officially marries Jung In, and sicko daddy assures him that he’s already got plans to take care of that.
While Mae Ri is working at Jung In’s house the next day, an older lady comes by and takes Mae Ri to a room full of designer clothes, accessories, and shoes. She confirms that Jung In’s dad prepared it all for his daughter-in-law. When Mae Ri is asked to change right away, she wonders why she needs to do so? The lady informs Mae Ri that even as Jung In’s secretary, there is a need to be professional and well-styled. When Mae Ri wonders what’s wrong with her current outfit, which is clean and tidy, the lady smiles benignly but insists that Mae Ri change. God, I want to stabbity-stab her so bad, and then impale Jung In’s daddy on my poisonous spear.
Mu Gyul is attempting to sell his guitar to get the money his mom needs, and is upset to find out its limit resale value since he’s dropped it before during heated performances. Jung In and Seo Jun are listening to Mu Gyul’s music in his office, and he asks whether she’s a fan of the band. Seo Jun laughs, telling him that she in fact named his band, she was his ex-girlfriend. Jung In processes this information.
Seo Jun suggests they all have lunch and she can convince Mu Gyul to join the production. Jung In has to decline because he already has lunch plans. This leads Seo Jun to be curious about Jung In’s future wife, and Mae Ri walks into the office at this very moment dressed like a rich and proper little wife/secretary. Jung In asks Seo Jun to set up a meeting next week, and she leaves wishing him a lovely lunch with his fiancée. Mae Ri looks and Jung In with an alarmed expression, while he’s as cool as a cucumber.
They go to a fancy new restaurant and run into Mae Ri’s friends outside, who have been waiting in line like the rest of the plebians. The foursome have lunch together, and Mae Ri’s friends proceed to keep sticking their feet in their mouths. One friend notes that Jung In is so handsome, and the other says that since Mae Ri has never been in love before, she’s so lucky (that her arranged fiancée is such a catch).
This leads the perceptive Jung In to repeat – Mae Ri has never been in love before? All three ladies look alarmed, until Mae Ri adds that since Mu Gyul was her first love, she’s never been in love prior to that. Jung In excuses himself to take a call, and the friends launch right into Mae Ri – she’s a princess now, she should just end the 100 day arrangement and marry Jung In for real, if she doesn’t want Jung In, one friend wants to take him!
The two friends proceed to split into Team Jung In and Team Mu Gyul camp. Team Jung In is fixated on how handsome AND rich he is. Team Mu Gyul loves his artistic and sexy vibe. Team Jung In says that artistic and sexy is fine if you want to date, but to get married requires other standards. Team Mu Gyul argues that one cannot marry standards without any love, Mae Ri needs to marry the guy she loves.
They argue back and forth until Mae Ri tells them both that she doesn’t love either guy, and wants nothing to do with them afterwards. Mae Ri’s dad is getting outfitted for suits courtesy of Jung In dad – who is such a control freak that he wants the suits made a size smaller and tells Mae Ri’s dad to lose weight so that the father of the bride can look his best at the wedding ceremony. Haha, serves reprobate dad right.
On their way out of the store, Jung In’s dad asks if the other guy has been taken care of, and wonders how many days are left on the contract. He’s told that there are 86 days left, and when Jung In’s dad wants to forego the remaining days and just have the wedding now, Mae Ri’s dad has to stall by saying his Mae Ri doesn’t like being rushed.
Mu Gyul comes home to find Seo Jun waiting for him. She confesses it was easy to find where he stashed the house keys. She’s there to convince him to work on the drama OST, and Mu Gyul’s refuses saying he doesn’t want to work with that guy. Seo Jun wonders if they fought, since Mu Gyul’s attitude towards Jung In is surprising since Jung In is a reasonable, professional, and principled guy.
Mu Gyul looks at the clock, sees that is about time his Merry Christmas comes over, and asks Seo Jun when she’s planning to leave. The landlady comes by and asks to speak with Mu Gyul about the rent. Mu Gyul walks Seo Jun out, and Mae Ri sees them and wraps her fur-lined hoodie around her head like an Eskimo to avoid being detected by Seo Jun.
The landlady informs Mu Gyul that his girlfriend has already paid his rent, but if there is damage to the place, she’ll deduct from the deposit. Mu Gyul gets mad at Mae Ri, who walks in right at that time. She yells right back at him – so he has pride, but she has pride as well! She’s his roommate for the time being, and she doesn’t like him shooing her all the time.
Mu Gyul writes her a loan note, but she refuses to take it. She tells him to pay her back slowly, then she gets up and excitedly runs around, noting that she has free rein to come and go. She promises not to bother him, and she’ll cook and clean for him, too! Mu Gyul confirms that it’s just from 4-10 p.m., right? Hee, the boy WAS listening on that phone call when Mae Ri changed the time to make it more equitable.
Mae Ri is spending Saturday alone at Jung In’s house since he’s working. His dad calls her to take her shopping. Seriously, he’s giving me a raging case of the heebie-jeebies. On the other side, Mae Ri’s dad goes to see Mu Gyul and gives him money and a plane ticket. They end up drinking at a restaurant, where Mae Ri’s dad asks Mu Gyul point blank whether he loves Mae Ri.
Mu Gyul doesn’t answer, which leaves her dad even more depressed that his poor Mae Ri loves a guy like Mu Gyul who doesn’t love her back. Mae Ri’s dad uses polite speech with Mu Gyul, and confesses that he can’t use banmal with someone he’s not comfortable with. This leads Mu Gyul to flash back to the same thing Mae Ri told him when they first met, and he bows his head to laugh at this like father-like daughter similarity. Mae Ri’s dad proceeds to keep drinking away his sorrows.
Mae Ri tells Jung In’s dad that she can’t accept any of the presents he buys her. What she does want is for him to tell her more about her mother, who passed away when she was only four. Jung In’s dad describes her as the sun – radiating warmth and kindness. Jung In walks in and see, for the second time, his father acting friendly and happy when he’s around Mae Ri.
Poor Mu Gyul has to drag Mae Ri’s drunk dad home – including taking pit stops so he can relieve himself against a lamppost. Seriously, what this poor guy has to endure for his Merry Christmas. Jung In drops Mae Ri off, and they see the duo struggling back home. Right before they get to the house, Mae Ri’s dad collapses on Mu Gyul, and we see Mu Gyul crushed by this drunk lout.
Jung In gamely greets Mae Ri’s dad with a “father” honorific, and Mu Gyul notes what liberties Jung In is taking to assert his position as the son-in-law. Jung In offers to piggyback Mae Ri’s dad, and Mu Gyul mutters under his breath that it can’t be done. The next thing, Jung In and Mae Ri’s dad has gone down and Mu Gyul’s is dying with laughter just pointing at them.
This scene was PRICELESS, I tell you! Because the next thing you know, Mae Ri’s dad is getting supported home by both his son-in-laws. Oh K-dramas, I love you and your farcical ways. The icing on the cake comes in the form of Mae Ri’s dad hurling on Mu Gyul and the expression of sheer horror on Mu Gyu’s face.
As Jung In is tucking in Mae Ri’s dad, Mae Ri is cleaning Mu Gyul’s soiled jacket and apologizing to him for all the trouble. Mu Gyul gets up to leave, and when Mae Ri keeps apologizing, he loses his temper and yells at her, asking her how long this is going to continue! Jung In walks out to hear this, and Mu Gyul leaves without finishing the discussion with Mae Ri.
The next day, Mae Ri finds the plane ticket and money her dad tried to give Mu Gyul. She’s angry at her dad, and goes to apologize again to Mu Gyul. Mu Gyul is strangely quiet and detached with her – he just tells her it should end now. He offers to pay her back, and then he leaves without finishing the discussion. A cute moment happens when he gets up to change, and Mae Ri has to cover her eyes from his naked torso, except she has an urge to peek but doesn’t dare.
After he leaves, his mom comes by looking for him. Mae Ri welcomes her to wait, and Mu Gyul’s mom asks Mae Ri to buy her some chocolate ice cream. She also asks Mae Ri if she knows how to pickle radishes. Later, Mae Ri is hard at work pickling radishes, and explaining to the chocolate ice-cream eating Mom that she met Mu Gyul because of a traffic accident.
Mu Gyul’s mom is also a drama fan, and remarks that finding love because of a traffic accident is so romantic. She asks Mae Ri to feed her a pickled radish, proclaims it delicious but needs more hot spice. She’s such a taker even with respect to Mae Ri. Mu Gyul is out drinking with his band mates, who all encourage him to sign with the production company. Seo Jun comes and tries to convince Mu Gyul as well.
Mae Ri is leaving when she sees Seo Jun dropping Mu Gyul off. She hides behind a wall, but her disappointed expression arises upon seeing that Mu Gyul left her all day and is returning home in Seo Jun’s car. I don’t think for a second Mae Ri has romantic feeling for Mu Gyul (yet), but she is understandably a bit sad to lose his company for a day. She grumbles that she was working hard at home all day while he was out playing. She leaves.
Mu Gyul comes home to find his mom eating noodles. He asks her where Mae Ri went, and is told she left after finishing pickling the radishes. Mu Gyul looks down to see 4 giant containers of radishes, and is astounded that his mom asked her to pickle the radishes and Mae Ri made all that for her. He calls Mae Ri, but she doesn’t answer the phone. His mom asks about the money, and Mu Gyul confirms that he’s still looking to get it for her.
Mae Ri is home watching TV and massaging her sore arms. She’s still grumbling about Mu Gyul having fun while she was working hard on his behalf. The next day, Mu Gyul goes to see Jung In. Mu Gyul’s not interested in the compensation, his sole contractual term is that all his songs must be sung by the band. Jung In doesn’t look happy to hear that – wasn’t the band dissolved already?
Mu Gyul schools Jung In about loyalty, which is something a businessman like Jung In likely doesn’t understand. The band is like family to Mu Gyul. Jung In agrees to let the band sing one song, but if they don’t perform up to his standards, he reserves the right to bring in a professional group. This pisses off Mu Gyul, who hates being told what to do. Jung In wonders why Mu Gyul can’t be even a little more flexible.
Mu Gyul stands up to leave, and he and Jung In are giving each other stares that go way beyond this contract. Seo Jun notices the undercurrent of rivalry, but can’t understand what’s going on. Mae Ri picks this second to walk into the office, and Mu Gyul sees his always mis-matched Merry Christmas dressed like a Chanel model wife. His mood is taking a further tumble.
Seo Jun and Jung In leave to discuss some drama matters, and Mae Ri calls Mu Gyul out to talk. She asks him why he didn’t discuss this proposal with her first, and he rightfully notes that she wasn’t answering his calls last night. He apologizes for his mom, conceding that Mae Ri was probably mad at him for taking care of his demanding mother all day. Mae Ri accepts the apology, and notes that Mu Gyul was mad at her earlier for taking care of her dad. So they are now even.
Mae Ri asks Mu Gyul not to sign the contract, and he tells her that it’s his own life and he can make his own decisions. He then makes a pointed dig at her name brand attire, telling her it doesn’t suit her. When Mae Ri gets insulted, telling him that everything thinks she looks pretty, Mu Gyul furthers the insult by saying that she’s just like all the other girls, loves the name brands. Mae Ri just ends that discussion by saying Mu Gyul knows she’s not like that, if she was, she wouldn’t have gotten fake married to him. She would have just happily married the rich Jung In.
Jung In comes in, and Mu Gyul flatly tells him he won’t sign the contract. He leaves, but not before being seen by the bitch manager, who Mu Gyul had paid off with penalty money in episode 1. She badmouths Mu Gyul as a money-grubbing performer to Jung In. She then goes to threaten Mu Gyul, claiming that he has no proof that he paid her the penalty money, so their contract is still valid. Seriously, bitch needs to get run over by a two-by-four, which needs to back up and run her over a few more times to make sure she’s good and dead.
Mae Ri and Jung In are driving to Mu Gyul’s place – Jung In wants Mae Ri to convince Mu Gyul to sign the contract. He promises it won’t affect their precarious situation, Mu Gyul is the music producer and won’t have any contact with Mae Ri. He then logically wonders why Mae Ri is so surprised about Mu Gyul considering signing the contract. Don’t they discuss everything first?
Mae Ri tries to explain that they did discuss it, which is why Mu Gyul refused to sign at the end. But Jung In is not as dumb as a doorpost, and calmly notes that something odd is going on between Mu Gyul and Mae Ri. Mu Gyul is sitting on the swing, with his head down contemplating the crappy situation he’s got going on all around him. Poor baby, you need your Merry Christmas right about now.
Right on cue, Mae Ri comes running in calling to her chagi. He asks her what she’s doing here. He needs some peace and quiet to think through some things. She tells him that Jung In is suspecting their claim of being in love, since they don’t act lovey-dovey around each other. She asks Mu Gyul to please do something to convince Jung In, who is about to walk in.
Jung In walks in and Mae Ri immediately grabs her Mu Gyul’s arm like a cat and plasters on a cute loving smile. Mu Gyul, who’s still in a beyond pissy mood, asks Jung In: “So you want to do your best to pursue her? You want me to be nervous?” Mu Gyul then turns his Merry Christmas around and leans in to kiss her! Jung In, your serve has officially been returned!
Thoughts of Mine:
I have mixed feelings about M3 now that the first four fun, fast, cracktastically addictive episodes are over. We’re headed into the emotional territory, and it’s always a challenge balancing the breezy vibe of a rom-com with the teetering close the melodrama arrival of emotional angst. Only time will tell if the writer can maintain the delicate balance. I, for one, think that Goong (one of her previous works) took a nosedive into the crapper once the extension plus the emotional angst hit – suddenly all the characters went emo (and considering how emo Prince Yul already was prior to that, it was like he went from a tool to a mega-tool overnight) and nothing happened for episodes on end. I’m keeping my fingers crossed with M3.
A lot happened in episode 5, which makes me happy that the story and the characters continue to move forward at the parallel tracks of developing the story proper and increasing their interactions with each other. When this drama ends, someone needs to do a screen cap collage of each and every Jung In-Mu Gyul stare down. I know there are many more to come, but this episode saw the beginning of a very credible professional and personal rivalry developing between them.
The more I watch of M3, the more I continue to adore Mu Gyul and Mae Ri’s characters. Resilient, admirable, and honest – the two of them deal with so much crap yet continue to love their sad excuse of a parent while forging ahead with their scrappy lives. I want them to get a happy ending even more than I want them to get a happy ending with each other. Does that make sense?
Today’s episode hit a drama low of 7.8%, which is disappointing but not hard to understand. Story-wise, M3 continues to be a serious of interactions toggling between Mae Ri and Mu Gyul, Mae Ri and Jung In, and Mu Gyul and Jung In. You can’t base an entire drama around a magnificently constructed love triangle, even if as a fangirl I can accept these limitations. Someone less invested in the characters will likely check out.
Much as I adore M3 like my own personal pet, I have to concede that drama-wise, Secret Garden is hitting it out of the park. The fangirl in me is more addicted to M3, but the drama-lover in me loves Secret Garden like it’s the second coming of my fave drama of all time, City Hall. I wish that M3 had a more sophisticated scriptwriter, but so far she’s hitting enough of my squee buttons that I’m plenty satisfied.
I don’t think the kiss will have any lasting repercussions except for Mae Ri. Neither Jung In nor Mu Gyul is openly invested or commited emotionally in their relationship with Mae Ri (at this point in the drama) for that kiss to be anything more than the posturing it was meant to convey. There are many more layers to both marriages, and I am excited to see how it will all get tied into more knots and then be unraveled.
[Credit: all screencaps from Baidu Mary Stayed Out All Night bar]