Episode 12 of Nice Guy remained as fabulous as always, like a fashionista with innate good taste and can rock the scene whether dressing up, down or a bit out there. We get tons of forward movement on all fronts, all the while allowing the characters to breathe a bit and reveal some great delicious nuggets of motivation and suspicion. Despite loathing lawyer Ahn, he is a deliberate and crafty foe, and one who is needed to keep Team Jae Hee in the game otherwise I doubt Han Jae Hee has the brains to pull off the Tae San takeover all by herself. I’m not certain he’s as on her side as it looks, or whether he has his own personal agenda that happens to be aligned with Jae Hee’s. Its odd that they don’t appear to have a horizontal type relationship happening under the table, which would gross me out but I thought was one motivation for him to get rid of the Chairman and have her all to himself. For now, each step by Team Eun Gi is parried immediately by Team Jae Hee, and this dueling of brains and guts is thrilling to watch because it’s so calm and calculated on all sides. No slapping anywhere in sight, that’s for sure.
This is also the first episode where Maru completely shows us and the other characters how he really feels. He loves Eun Gi, and only Eun Gi, but he’s not preparing for a lifetime with her. He is doing everything he can to get her back to her rightful place and then he will bow out, and he’s not doing this to atone for his misdeeds towards her, but because he loves her. He loves her even though he knows he doesn’t deserve to, but for once he allows himself to experience the happiness of being with her even if it’s under the guise of assisting her. I almost feel like Maru is like a terminal cancer patient – he finally allows himself a measure of happiness while making sure everyone around him that he loves will be taken care of when he’s gone. He’ll get Eun Gi back to her place, he’ll get half of Tae San for Choco (though that is just an excuse so that Joon Ha will allow him to stay), and he’ll make sure she knows that he loves her back by all the little things he does for her. I’m sure Eun Gi is getting her memory back soon, and I can’t wait to see her reconcile everything in her heart and come to the conclusion we all know – despite how it started between her and Maru, they have now walked to the point of only love and nothing else between them.
Episode 12 recap:
Maru is getting dressed in the morning, and the camera flashes to Eun Gi also getting dressed in the morning. Maru says something and we see Eun Gi repeating it as well. Maru is wearing a Bluetooth ear piece and so is Eun Gi, and we see Maru running through the lines of Eun Gi’s speech to Tae San and her repeating it to memorize it.
Maru is dressed and waiting for Eun Gi in the foyer. She walks down dressed like old Eun Gi, a cream-colored pantsuit and her hair tied back. He has placed her pumps on the entry for her and when he sees her walk down, he pauses for a moment to take it all in. She smiles at him and he smiles back, then he says “Miss, let’s go.”
Maru stands in the lobby of Tae San and looks at the prepared booklet introducing Jae Hee as the new Chairman. He enters the ball room and sits at a table watching Jae Hee’s speech. The door opens and Eun Gi walks in with Secretary Hyun behind her. Jae Hee sees Eun Gi and she falters in her speech, finally trailing off once everyone else sees Eun Gi and she walks up to Jae Hee.
Jae Hee hugs Eun Gi and expresses her worry over her during this time. Maru looks at Jae Hee’s fake concern and scoffs. Eun Gi gets up on stage and addresses the crowd, reciting the speech that Maru practiced with her this morning. The speech ends with her introduction of her fiancée Kang Maru, who will be assisting her in her return to Tae San. Maru stands up and bows to the crowd as Jae Hee stares all bug-eyed.
Jae Hee retreats to her office to vent, unable to believe what she just saw. She bitches out Jae Shik for lying that he got rid of Eun Gi, and wonders if she is having a nightmare right now since Kang Maru also showed up. Lawyer Ahn confirms that Seo Eun Gi is back, along with her fiancée Kang Maru, who will be working at Tae San to assist her. Since she’s recovering from her accident, she’s given power of attorney to Maru and he will be making decisions on her behalf.
Jae Hee scoffs at the fiancée part, asking if Eun Gi has lost her mind since she knows Maru used her initially to get to Jae Hee. Lawyer Ahn cuts through Jae Hee’s bullshit and asks what is bothering her more – that the presumed dead Seo Eun Gi has returned, or the Kang Maru that Jae Hee has been looking for has returned as Seo Eun Gi’s fiancée?
Eun Gi stands in her old office and touches her name plate. It doesn’t trigger her memories and she almost buckles in exhaustion. Maru grabs her before she falls and pulls her into his embrace. He knows she must be tired and she admits it. He compliments her on doing well. Eun Gi asks if that woman earlier was her stepmother, and the person Eun Gi has to battle with? She asks why?
Maru explains that Jae Hee started the battle. Eun Gi, like a child, asks why Jae Hee wants to take this from Eun Gi. Maru says Jae Hee wants something that doesn’t belong to her. Eun Gi frets that she returned too soon and the ramifications of her condition being discovered. Maru tells her that letting the public know she is alive is what can keep her safe. Eun Gi wonders if she can win, to which Maru states that he will do the battle and all she needs to do is stand behind him.
Flashback to the conversation between Joon Ha and Maru in that coffee shop that night. Joon Ha wants Maru to completely vanish once Eun Gi’s memories come back. He’ll properly compensation Maru for everything he did before then as a deal. Maru scoffs at the offer of money again. Joon Ha points out that Maru never loved Eun Gi to begin with, to which Maru asks what Joon Ha will do if he loves Eun Gi now?
Joon Ha hears this and tells Maru that if he loves Eun Gi now, then he will do everything to prevent it. Joon Ha will reveal the truth about what Maru did to Eun Gi before and end whatever chances Maru has with Eun Gi now. He will tell Eun Gi how Maru used her to get to Jae Hee. Maru says “oh right” when he hears reminders of what he did to Eun Gi. So if Maru claims to love Eun Gi now, then Joon Ha will not let him near Eun Gi. Maru says he wants half of Tae San, that is his price for assisting Eun Gi. This is clearly the only way Maru can stay with Eun Gi, by acting as if he’s motivated by money, because otherwise Joon Ha would not risk leaving Eun Gi with him.
Back to the present, Joon Ha and Secretary Hyun sit in the company lobby and chat. She wonders why he’s so deep in thought? Joon Ha is just amazed at the power of love. They planned for Eun Gi to return for an entire year, but it took Maru to make it happen. If it wasn’t for Maru, Eun Gi never would have accomplished this much. Secretary Hyun concurs that love can make miracles happen.
Joon Ha flashes back to that conversation with Maru again, and his response to Maru’s request for half of Tae San is agreed to. Once everything is over, Joon Ha will tell Eun Gi that Maru asked for half of Tae San to help her. Maru says “Ok” and the deal is struck.
Jae Hee gets into the elevator and sees Maru and Eun Gi already inside standing side-by-side. Jae Hee acts nice and asks Eun Gi to move back home. Maru grabs Eun Gi’s hand and announces that Eun Gi will continue to live with him. Jae Hee seethes a little and then switches tactics and invites Eun Gi to dine with her at home.
Eun Gi asks if Maru can come and Jae Hee agrees, exiting the elevator to go home and prepare. Maru watches Jae Hee exit with this steely look on his face and he grabs Eun Gi’s hand even tighter.
Jae Hee sits at home putting on make up. She puts on lipstick only to stare at herself and use her hand to smear the lipstick off her lips angrily.
Maru and Eun Gi arrive outside the house and she asks if this is her house? Maru says yes. Eun Gi has heard that her dad died and she wishes she would meet him and see what he’s like.
Eun Gi and Maru walk into the house and Jae Hee walks over to welcome them. Eun Gi suddenly asks where her father’s room is, which surprises Jae Hee and Maru covers for Eun Gi by saying that Jae Hee might’ve cleared it out. Jae Hee has no reason to do, all she did was clean the room. Eun Gi’s room is still the same as well because Eun Seok missed her and was waiting for her to return.
Eun Gi heads to her dad’s room and Jae Hee tells her to take her time and beg forgiveness from her dad since Eun Gi was obsessed with a man and that caused her not to see her dad one final time before he died. On shut your trap, bitch. She didn’t see her dad because you withheld his medicine and he died. Eun Gi walks into her dad’s study and looks at a picture of him on the desk.
Jae Hee and Maru walk to the dining room and he picks up the bottle of wine on the table and starts to prepare it. Jae Hee cuts to the chase and asks why he returned? Didn’t he say it was over between them? Didn’t he say that he didn’t care where she ended up?
Maru pours the wine out with a smile and answers Jae Hee’s question. He doesn’t even remember anything involving Han Jae Hee – what he did for her, if he had a woman like that in his life before. The only person he cares about now, what drives him crazy, what causes him sleepless night, what messes with his appetite, that person is not Han Jae Hee. That person is Seo Eun Gi. He can come back because of Eun Gi. He wants to protect his woman (yeeee!!!) from the monster who wants to eliminate her from this world.
Maru takes a bite of the food and says he’ll try it all before Eun Gi takes a bit, just to make sure it’s edible. Jae Hee is furious that he thinks she wants to try and kill Eun Gi. Maru smiles and says that he’s made Eun Gi the way she is now and because of her he’s changed in the way he sees people. He tells Jae Hee that he is capable of doing anything to get Eun Gi back to her rightful place. So Jae Hee should just concede defeat and walk away. The position of Chairman, or even lady of this house, neither ever belonged rightfully to Jae Hee.
Jae Hee doesn’t take well to being threatened and screams at Maru that she is HAN JAE HEE. Everything here in this house belongs to her, down to the very last dust mite. Since she obtained it, it all belongs to her! She calls him a bastard.
Maru walks into the study and finds Eun Gi slumped over the desk. She asks if what her stepmother said was true – she was so crazy about a man that she wasn’t beside her father when he died? She asks if that man is Maru? He admits it and says he’s sorry. Eun Gi tells him there is nothing for him to be sorry about. She was the one who choose to like him. Maru tells her that they should go home to eat. It’s been an exhausting day and she shouldn’t need to act anymore and tax her brain.
Jae Hee sits at the dining table alone and frets. Lawyer Ahn is in his office, which has all the lights turned off, clearly a reason why he wears glasses since he has no clue how to properly take care of his vision. He thinks back to visiting Secretary Hyun’s house, which she had cleaned up to remove all traces of Eun Gi. But lawyer Ahn’s eagle eyes spot a notebook wedged behind a bookshelf which contains Eun Gi’s hangul practice homework. Lawyer Ahn places a call to find out more about Eun Gi’s situation.
Joon Ha is currently parked outside Casa de Maru, Eun Gi, Jae Gil, and Choco (henceforth known as Happy Home). He broods a bit and then drives off right as Eun Gi walks into the courtyard. She looks up at the stars and Choco calls out for her to come inside to dinner as her oppa is calling. Choco asks Eun Gi what is in the sky and she says her dad.
Choco reveals that her dad is also in the sky and then Choco calls up to the sky for her dad to return normal Eun Gi unni to them and he can put her wish aside for now. Eun Gi asks Choco what her greatest wish is? Choco says its for her oppa to be healthy and not be sick. But right now unni needs that more than her oppa. Eun Gi cradles Choco’s face gently and smiles. The two girls walk inside with their arms around each other.
Lawyer Ahn meets with his lackey who sees the homework notebook and asks what it is? It looks like something written by a child. Lawyer Ahn confirms this is not written by a child, and is the reason why Eun Gi didn’t return this entire time. Eun Gi sits at her desk while Choco sleeps in bed and write in her journal. She writes a note to her dad about how she was arrogant, rude, cheap and bossy (it’s cute how she’s doodled a cranky girl with horns on her head to depict herself). Plus she was crazy about a guy which is why she wasn’t there when her dad died. She apologizes to her dad and says she was wrong.
Maru sits at his desk going over Tae San work load diligently when he suddenly gets a headache. He takes pills out of his drawer and takes one. But it doesn’t work and his headache gets worse, causing him to hunch over and clutch his head in pain. THIS IS NOT GOOD. KOALA NO APPROVE.
Maru is at work preparing for the upcoming management meeting when Joon Ha comes in and hands Maru a stack of documents listing out all the mistakes Jae Hee made while preparing for the acquisition of a company called Yesung Medical Group. All Maru needs to do is reveal it and he’ll get the directors on his side.
Maru walks to the meeting and passes Jae Hee in the hallway. They greet each other cordially and she confirms he’s attending today’s meeting on behalf of Eun Gi. Jae Hee asks if he thinks its all a joke, the running of a company. Maru replies that she must think it’s a joke, that’s why she snatched up the company to run. Jae Hee tells Maru to do his best then, offering her hand for a shake which he just ignores and walks away.
Lawyer Ahn corners Eun Gi and Secretary Hyun as they head to the hospital, having found out that she lives in the same house with Maru and his family. He asks to grab a coffee because he has something to return to her. He asks Secretary Hyun to let them speak privately. Once alone, lawyer Ahn hands Eun Gi her hangul notebook and asks if it’s hers. Eun Gi admits it is, she wrote in it after the accident.
Lawyer Ahn points out that the writing inside is chock full of mistakes. Eun Gi claims to have fully recovered now and lawyer Ahn asks her to prove it. Lawyer Ahn says he wants to help Eun Gi so he needs to know the extent of her current situation. He claims the same thing happened to a friend of his after getting into an accident. He asks if Eun Gi doesn’t remember who he is?
Eun Gi takes the notebook and correctly writes down – I know you are a bad guy. She pushes it towards lawyer Ahn and excuses herself because Secretary Hyun is waiting for her. Eun Gi suddenly flashes back to Aomori when she realized lawyer Ahn was working for Jae Hee and she chewed him out for being Jae Hee’s disgusting lap dog. Eun Gi hunches over outside the coffee shop with this memory flash and Secretary Hyun hurries over to help her. Lawyer Ahn looks out the window and sees this.
At the Tae San management meeting, Jae Hee runs the meeting as it winds to a close. A director asks about how Tae San stole the acquisition of Yesung from another company that had already signed an MOU with it. Jae Hee claims Tae San offered a better deal. Joon Ha texts Maru that the items they were going to discuss about Jae Hee has already been brought up so nothing else needs to be done. The director asks Jae Hee if her plan proceeds and the company is negatively impacted since they stole Yesung from another company they are on good terms with, how will she take responsibility?
Jae Hee claims that she is doing this is grow the company. Maru speaks up and backs Jae Hee, pointing out that this is good for the company and Tae San did it before. Joon Ha looks shocked that Maru stood up for Jae Hee. Maru then launches into his attack, asking if Yesung really laundered money and Tae San found out and used it to pressure Yesung to accept their offer. If so, it needs to be investigated lest this news leaks out. He tells her to do her diligence better before this deal closes. Jae Hee tells everyone not to worry, nothing will happen to harm Tae San’s interests. Maru says that chaebols cannot get away with everything these days and if there is an investigation, it will be bad.
Joon Ha meets up with Maru in the men’s room and asks how he knew about some of dirty deeds at Yesung? Maru says he made an educated guess. Joon Ha asks why Jae Hee gave up on Maru, since being with him could achieve a lot and be even happier. Maru asks if that is a compliment and Joon Ha says yes. Maru says he knows lots of underhanded methods and if Joon Ha sees it all, he might want to strangle Maru then.
Eun Gi meets with her neurologist, who is Maru’s old med school professor. He points out that Eun Gi is looking healthier and wonders if that is due to the power of love. He looks at the latest brain scan and notes that Eun Gi is improving, laughing that her fiancée must be a good man and is working hard to help her relearn everything. Eun Gi reveals that she’s getting flashes of memory, triggered by hearing music or seeing someone’s face.
The doctor says that Eun Gi is improving by leaps and bounds and suggests that perhaps Eun Gi is subconsciously rejecting her memories to keep herself safe from pain. He tells Eun Gi to look for the most painful memories in her life, to not be afraid and go find those memories now.
Maru comes home and sits in the car for a few moments about Joon Ha’s reminder that once Eun Gi regains her memories, then there will be no place for Maru in her life. He walks into the house and hears voices upstairs and walks up, stopping at the top of the stairs. Eun Gi and Choco are having girl talk in their room. Maru raises an eyebrow when he hears Choco confess that she’s already secretly kissed Jae Gil three times without him even knowing it. LOL, go Choco!
Choco uses a stuffed animal to show Eun Gi how to display more skinship with her oppa, such has arm holding and neck grabbing. Eun Gi just smiles as she listens to Choco the love expert. Choco suggests taking a trip to bring a couple closer together and asks if Eun Gi has traveled with her oppa before? Eun Gi smiles ruefully and confesses that she doesn’t remember if she ever did. Maru looks sad to hear this.
Choco is very sad to hear this, pointing out that a person lives because of their memories. She suggests Eun Gi make new memories now, just ask her oppa to take a trip with her. Eun Gi shakes her head while Choco asks why since all she needs to do is ask her oppa to take a trip together or go on a date. Eun Gi smiles and says she’s too shy and it’s embarrassing. Maru hears this and smiles since we all know how old Eun Gi is anything but shy, and she did in fact ask Maru to take a trip with her.
Jae Hee sits in her dark office and lawyer Ahn comes to talk. She tells him not to turn on the lights, because her ugly soul will definitely scare people. Lawyer Ahn heard about how Maru is starting to undermine Jae Hee and the Yesung deal has been scuttled. He knows Maru will do anything to bring her down. Jae Hee and lawyer Ahn assure each other that they will watch out and stay put in their current positions.
Lawyer Ahn places a call to his lackey and asks about the matter they have been prepping for this entire time. He orders his lackey to set the plan into motion against Kang Maru. Oh dude, I hope you burn in the fires of hell.
Maru lays in bed and recalls Choco’s conversation with Eun Gi about inviting him on a trip and Eun Gi saying she’s too embarrassed to do it. It brings a warm smile to his face. He hears a whistling sound coming from Jae Gil who sleeps in the adjoining room.
Maru, supposedly the former gigolo lady killer, asks Jae Gil for suggestions on where to take a girl on a trip and what is there to do to make her happy. He asks what he should do to make a girl happy, like what Jae Gil just did when he whistled on the phone to his new girlfriend. Jae Gil is all like, why are you asking me, aren’t you the lady expert? He realizes Maru is sincerely asking for help and asks if Maru wants to go with Eun Gi?
Jae Gil points out that Maru wants to create the beauty of the first love experience for Eun Gi and himself, and suggests that Maru just think back to his own love experience with Jae Hee noona as reference. Maru smiles ruefully and says honestly that he cannot remember what it was like when he was in love with Jae Hee. Yes yes yes!
Eun Gi is wrapped in a comforter and sleeping on the passenger seat of Maru’s car. She wakes up confused as to where she is. She gets out of the car, still wrapped in the comforter, and sees Maru sitting on the breakwater. She walks up to him and he turns around and greets her the same way he greeted her when he tossed her in the water in Aomori – Good morning, the lady who loves to sleep.
Eun Gi asks how she got here and Maru just smiles and explains that he wrapped her up as a present and brought her here. OMG swooning forever here! What follows is the two of them going on the most romantic and simple date – they walk along the water holding hands, they nibble food at a roadside stall (with Maru gently watching as Eun Gi happily eats), they sit on the breakwater with Maru playing the harmonica for Eun Gi and she listening quietly, they walk through the tall grassy field hand-in-hand.
Maru voiceovers during this entire date – Dad, this woman one day came into my life and I hurt her with the cruelest words possible and pushed her away from me with all my strength. She has come to me yet again, this woman who is so alike me. When I look at her, I see myself. My scars, she also has. The tears in my head, she is also crying in her heart from the pain I have caused her. I didn’t intend to be with this woman, and I didn’t want her to barge into my life.
So……I regret it, Dad. In my entire life, this is the first time I am feeling regret.
As Maru voiceovers, he drives Eun Gi back to Seoul and their car enters a tunnel not unlike the one where they had their accident. Their hands are tightly clasping each other and Maru turns to give Eun Gi a reassuring warm smile. Eun Gi smiles back at him and then the headlights from an oncoming car hit her eyes. She closes her eyes and flashes back to her behind the wheel and veering into another lane plus stepping down on the accelerator.
Eun Gi opens her eyes and turns to stare at Maru, who continues to have a smile on his face.
Thoughts of Mine:
Sigh. Let me have a minute here to compose myself. How does this drama keep digging ever deeper inside me to pull out all my feelings of happiness and anxiety? For eleven episodes Kang Maru has been a man who wears a mask, keeping his true feelings close to the vest and using non-verbal ways to convey both his playacting and true emotions. We need Jae Gil to verbalize that Maru liked Eun Gi in episode 11, we need Jae Hee to point out in episode 6 that Maru wasn’t able to let her go that easily. To finally hear Maru’s own thoughts felt so rewarding because we know how Maru has been suppressing it himself. To know how much he loves Eun Gi, and how what he did to her is the only thing he regrets in his life, that just made me cry. He doesn’t regret a single did he did for or to Jae Hee, because that is all over and done with. He has made peace with it and moved on. It is Eun Gi that haunts his every waking and sleeping moment, regret that his presence in her life caused her so much heartache, but daring to love her back now even if they are living on borrowed time. Whether Maru dies of an brain aneurysm or he has to leave Eun Gi once she gets Tae San back, he is loving her openly even knowing it’s not going to be forever.
This is the first episode where I absolutely adored both Jae Gil and Choco. Now I know what purpose they serve – to be love advisors to those two clueless adorable love sick puppy and kitten that is Maru and Eun Gi. To hear Choco urging her Eun Gi unni to be more proactive with her Maru oppa, and for him to overhear all of that, I think my heart expanded by multiple sizes. The way she blushed at the thought of inviting him on a trip, the way his eyes shuttered when she said she didn’t remember if they took a trip before, and then his eyes warmed over and his smile when he heard her shyly confess she couldn’t be that forward with him. Much as I am also enjoying the Tae San corporate battle, I wouldn’t mind if all of that happened off-screen and the remainder of the drama is devoted to Maru and Eun Gi traveling around Korea while occasionally going back to Seoul for a few days to hang with Choco and Jae Gil. Who’s with me here? I said a few episodes back that I’m gearing up for a sad ending, and all signs point to Maru paying the ultimate price brought on by all his bad choices in life. He took the fall for Jae Hee, his future is ruined. He becomes a gigolo to make money for Choco, his heart is deadened. He discovers Jae Hee’s true nature and vows to bring her down (ostensibly to bring her back to his world), and he embroils Eun Gi into his mess when she had nothing to do with it. All in all, Maru is selfish just like Jae Hee is, but I root for him become he stopped himself and is now walking towards the light. I just feel like he’s not going to get live out Eun Gi’s dream of having a family and living a simple life with him.
I appreciate how all the characters confront each other so openly, always asking direct and material questions, aiming to get to the heart of the matter. No one beats around the bush, and when a problem arises its addressed immediately. I sorta missed Jae Shik in this episode, mostly because he’s good for a laugh with his incompetence and uttering his wild threats, and also because he always seems to facilitate Eun Gi and Maru taking steps towards each other. But even without him, my OTP has finally found their way together for the time being, creating a warm and safe haven with Choco and Jae Gil where they can rest from the weary load on their shoulders. I know its temporary, but I take solace in knowing it existed even for a brief period of time. They have now become each other’s reason to keep on trudging along in their hard lonely lives. Maru isn’t just like the Walking Dead anymore, and Eun Gi has the emotional support to help her overcome what is clearly a subconscious effort not to remember her painful past. They are so beautiful together, and this drama so beautiful to watch, that I already foresee a long withdrawal period coming once its all over.