Unf, when drama love arrives, it hurts so so good. Marry Him If You Dare started off solidly enough but episode 2 vaulted this one from like to love for me. All the leads are getting fleshed out as the narrative barrels full speed ahead, leaving me fairly scrambling to absorb too much information and trying to arrange it in a way that makes sense. I love that future Mi Rae is her own unique character, in temperament very different than her younger self, and in motivation saying one thing but I don’t believe what she says is really what she feels. There is a possibility she is doing this simply because she’s mad at her future husband Kim Shin, and there is likely way more than meets the eye with her assertion that Mi Rae’s life will be ruined if she marries him. It’s a mystery for us to patiently suss out, but episode 2 drops a ton of clues and lets future Mi Rae meet present Kim Shin and boy did the sparks fly. The sparks are actually leaping off the screen anytime anyone has a scene with Kim Shin, and I don’t know what acting practice Lee Dong Gun did in his five year break but he’s returned even better than before. Yoo Eun Hye is also in a perfect rhythm and together they have already created a very compelling time-crossed potential couple.
I find myself rooting for the OTP because the thought that his life is getting re-arranged without his choice aggravates me, and the fact that Shin and Mi Rae have so much chemistry together in both the attraction and motivation elements. They push each others buttons in all the right ways to shake up their world to benefit to their professional futures. This drama doesn’t feel as chock full of coincidences driving the story forward because I see future Mi Rae actively trying to make things happen. She sometimes succeeds, such as making it so Se Joo and Yoo Kyung miss their intended first meeting in Jeju, and sometimes fails, such as Mi Rae and Shin still having their car accident regardless of the first miss. That aspect of fate is very well done so far. All the supporting characters are interesting in their own regard and I’m hoping for Yoo Kyung to get integrated into the central story soon so that I can see how her story with Se Joo plays out in this alternative timeline. I find Se Joo a very easy to watch second male lead, less a romantic option and more of a character with his own plan and purposes that so happens to be falling for the leading lady. MHIYD is satisfying to watch on so many levels but as a romance drama it’s doing a bang up job of introducing all the romantic possibilities and making me eager to see how it all plays out.
Episode 2 recap:
Mi Rae and Kim Shin get into a fender bender near the YBS studio, avoiding their fated accident meeting on Sung San Bridge but meeting via a car accident nevertheless. Future Mi Rae tries to keep Mi Rae away from YBS and Kim Shin but fails, their fate is strong and scary indeed.
Mi Rae is facing an angry Kim Shin and she recalls a recent news expose that even minor car accidents are causing a lot of money to fix up. Mi Rae feigns a back injury from the accident to try and get out of the bind. Shin correctly points out that she looked fine a second ago. Mi Rae claims the accident exacerbated it and now she needs to go to the hospital.
Shin props her up and turns her around to face him, telling her that he just fixed her waist based on a news report he did. Plus someone who really injured the waist would never bend over forward. Mi Rae continues to claim that her waist is injured and she’ll have to live the rest of her life bent over backwards like a bow.
Shin sighs and starts to curse mightily that he’s been conned. Mi Rae looks up in shock that a news announcer has got such a foul mouth and grabs her cell phone to record him yelling at a citizen. Ha, these two are just meant to push each other’s buttons. Shin decides to just head to the police station and sort it out there.
Mi Rae claims that she’ll let Shin off the hook if he gives her $200 bucks to fix up her car. Shin refuses since justice demands that she be punished and even tossed in jail. He drags her back towards her car and shoves her inside so they can drive to the police station together. Mi Rae complains about his roughness as she slides into her car. Shin yells at her to get into the driver’s seat and grab the steering wheel.
Mi Rae complies and Shin demands that they switch their driver’s licenses so she won’t try to slip away. Shin tosses his driver’s license into her front seat and takes hers. He notices that she’s got books on how to be a screenwriter and he insults her by saying that if she worked for their network it would go bankrupt. Mi Rae notices something odd with Shin’s license.
Shin and Mi Rae enter the police station elevator and he realizes she’s a newbie driver from her license. Mi Rae smirks and says at least she has a valid license, whereas he’s an unlicensed driver since his license has been expired for the last year. Ha! I love it. Shin checks his license and indeed it expired in 2012. The elevator door opens and Mi Rae is ready to go to the police station now. But first she does some waist bends to make sure she’s all fine now. Shin grabs her and heads back outside to decide what to do.
Mi Rae watches Shin pace back and forth and asks if he’s a bear in a zoo cage, what with all the pacing for the last 10 minutes. She still wants only $200 bucks in car repair money from him to let it go. Shin remembers what the Chairman said to him – Shin doesn’t have an ability to read the situation. Mi Rae keeps lowering the repair fee, despite him also cursing at him and then using her waist injury as an excuse to grab her.
Shin looks up at the police station, remembering news articles about idol boys driving without a license and getting into a scandal because of a car accident. Shin tells Mi Rae that he’s going to turn himself in for driving without a license. Mi Rae stops him, asking if he’s crazy? Shin asks if she wants to learn to become a screenwriter? If so, she needs to learn from him. In a situation like this, there are two paths forward – to reveal the truth or conceal the truth. The decision must always be to reveal the truth.
Mi Rae applauds his ethics and wants to forget this ever happened then. Shin says no, she was also involved. Mi Rae says she’s fine but Shin says the accident happened so they can’t pretend it didn’t. He tries to forcibly drag her into the police station. Shin is willing to take the responsibility for driving without a valid license, but she needs to pay for his repair fees.
Mi Rae keeps struggling and dragging her feet. She stops Shin when she confesses to be his fan – when she watched him make his final speech on his last day at the 5 pm newscast, she was really touched by his vow to return. She really admires him and wants to see him return to news broadcasting soon. So she doesn’t want him driving without a license to stop this dream from coming true.
Shin says he can’t conceal the truth when he airms to be someone who exposes the truth. Mi Rae says he can wait a year, wait until he returns to the news to reveal this. The audience will forgive him then if he’s sincere. Shin agrees and they make a promise that one year later he’ll reveal this incident. He asks for her number so he can get the $4000 repair fee from her.
Mi Rae says she doesn’t know it and needs to go grab her phone so she can call Shin and leave her number with him that way. Mi Rae gets into the car and starts the engines, lying to Shin that it’s too dark and she can’t see. She then drives off and Shin tries to chase after her but his car won’t start. Mi Rae – you bad bad girl, but that was quite an impression you left on the poor guy.
Shin takes a cab home and can’t believe she took off. Mi Rae sends him a text apologizing for running away, but she really doesn’t have any money right now and one day she will pay him. Shin doesn’t believe her and warns that she better not let him find her.
Both Mi Raes meet up at home which is when their oppa comes home and asks who future Mi Rae is? Future Mi Rae’s eyes widen and she drops her purse to see her oppa. Okay, I’m fairly certain whatever happened in the future, poor oppa is involved as well. Mi Rae lies that it’s her friend’s mom but oppa pulls her aside to chew her out for bringing people to his house without his permission. Future Mi Rae stares at oppa and starts to tear up. She calls him “oppa” and Mi Rae explains that oppa looks like someone she knows. She drags oppa away to his room while future Mi Rae keeps calling out sadly “oppa, oppa….”
Mi Rae asks oppa if he can teach her how to write shows so that she can work in the same industry. Oppa derides her for not getting good grades and this isn’t something she can do well. He tells her to find a guy to be married. Oppa asks for his car keys back and Mi Rae asks him to please be patient and puts the car keys on his finger.
Mi Rae brings future Mi Rae bedding and asks if the person who is going to die Mi Rae’s oppa? Future Mi Rae glares at her so Mi Rae quickly says she was just kidding. Even though oppa is mean to her, he’s still her only family and can’t die. Mi Rae asks why future Mi Rae cried downstairs but future Mi Rae just waves her away. Mi Rae wants to open the window but future Mi Rae stops her.
Future Mi Rae asks Mi Rae to promise not to ever go to YBS otherwise she’ll go back to the future now. She makes Mi Rae promise to pick a future profession within three days because she doesn’t have time. She risked her own life to travel back, and each day that passes is like a month in her aging. Mi Rae doesn’t get it and claims she’s also aging fast too now that she’s past 30 years old. Huh, she’s so dense.
Mi Rae leaves and future Mi Rae opens the curtains to reveal that she’s created a chart on the window pane. It includes splitting up Mi Rae and Shin and avoiding their fate by preventing the Sung San Bridge accident. She’s also drawn arrows from Shin to Yoo Kyung, and from Se Joo to Mi Rae. Future Mi Rae makes an X over Se Joo’s picture and says it’s a missed opportunity. Looks like future Mi Rae does not know that Se Joo saw Mi Rae in Jeju.
Next to her oppa’s picture, Mi Rae wrote “oppa…..I’m sorry…..I love you.”
Shin goes to the police station to turn himself in and live like a principled man that he is. He tells himself not to be affected by what the strange woman said. He approaches a cop and is about to confess when he sees a newspaper article about an idol team leader’s scandal for driving without a license. He then gets a call from the police station telling him to confess.
Turns out that it’s his production manager who is calling from the police station as a joke because he’s there to conduct an interview with the cops for their segment on people driving without a license. But the cops won’t cooperate until they get autographs from Kim Shin for their wives who are fans. Turns out that this latest idol boy driving incident is now trending as the top news story so the Morning Show team is changing their program to cover it.
Shin heads back to the studio and finds the entire team working on the unlicensed driving story. PD Na asks Shin if he has his license because showing it on air helps his credibility with the audience. Shin says he left it at home. The show starts and the idol team leader gets out and apologizes in front of the police station. Shin says driving is important because it involves other people’s lives at stake. As a public figure and as a citizen, a car is a weapon of destruction and must be used with respect.
Shin sits in the stairwell and imagines his scandal if he confesses, but then in his fantasy his role is usurped by that hoobae. Shin wants to confess but then thinks this is an easy way for the network to replace him. He vows to find Na Mi Rae first.
Mi Rae walks into a screenwriting class and wants to audit. She asks to stay despite the other students all paying for the class. They allow her to stay and she diligently listens and takes notes.
Shin tries calling every Na Mi Rae in town to try and find her. His screenwriter is getting annoyed because she needs Shin to approve a line. Shin finally reaches Ni Rae while she is in class. He identifies himself as $4000 bucks and Mi Rae hangs up the phone. The line is about keeping one’s enemies close to keep an eye on them. Shin approves the line and decides what to do with Mi Rae.
He calls Mi Rae to YBS with a lure of a screenwriting trainee job. Mi Rae is waffling between going or not and even asks the bus driver. In the end she goes, walking into YBS studios and gaping at the billboard of Shin hanging in the lobby and all the stars walking through.
Shin meets with Mi Rae in the lobby and she hands him her check book and promises to pay him the rest back. Shin doesn’t want it, he wants her resume so that she can work here and earn it back. Mi Rae hears that Shin is the MC of the Morning Show and looks alarmed since her oppa works there and he warned her not to do this. But in the end she decides to do it.
Mi Rae hands Shin her resume and he asks her to give him a year to turn himself in. She realizes he’s asking her not to say anything before then, and she had no intention to do so since she’s not interested in other people’s business. Mi Rae promises to work hard on the screenwriting, whatever he needs she will do it and then some more. Shin stares at her.
Mi Rae sits with the Morning Show screenwriter who is laughing about how inexperienced and unsuitable she is. She’s pissed that Shin would send someone so useless and asks Mi Rae if she’s dating Kim Shin. Mi Rae says no way. The writer hands Mi Rae an USB with the current script and tells her to start working on it and her job to write out how the show will be filmed. The writer wants Mi Rae to head to the production floor but she hesitates because her oppa works there.
Future Mi Rae takes Mi Rae’s resume to a matchmaking company. The rep wants to start with the middle of the pile but future Mi Rae wants to start with group A, the most eligible rich bachelors. Future Mi Rae flips through the folder and identifies all those guys as losers, crooks, and cheaters (from what they do in the future).
Future Mi Rae wants group E then, those who are not very successful. She flips through it and all the guys inside turn out to become leaders and successful artists. Future Mi Rae wants a list of all those guys in group E, but asks the rep to eliminate anyone who works for a broadcasting network.
Mi Rae is in the studio working, but first she saves Kim Shin’s number in her cell phone. Shin heads to the hospital to visit Yoo Kyung with a bouquet of flowers. He sees his successor on the news reporting about Wall Street. He flashes back to the Chairman telling him that he’s got everything except he’s too old. Kim Shin says nothing about that kid is better than him. The Chairman agrees but says he has energy and even his mistakes are cute.
Shin says the news anchors are there to deliver the truth. The Chairman acknowledges anchors overseas can be older, but there are also ladies in bikinis delivering the news. She makes a deal with Shin – if he gets 15% ratings for his Morning Show, she’ll not only let him return to being a news anchor, she’ll give him the 9 pm prime time news slot. Shin walks up to visit Yoo Kyung who is out walking in the hallway. He smiles and shows her the flowers and she smiles back.
Mi Rae is working in the production room watching the footage and mapping it out. Suddenly Se Joo pops up on the screen to wipe the lens.
Mi Rae takes a break from working and heads out to wander the halls. She sees people working in various rooms and keeps wandering until she is spotted by her oppa. Mi Rae runs into Se Joo’s video room and hides under his desk.
PD Na runs in asking if Se Joo has seen a girl with super frizzy hair. Se Joo makes the connection with the girl swimming with the fishes in Jeju. Se Joo says if PD Na finds such a girl, to introduce to him. PD Na mutters that he’ll kick her out of the house if he finds her, and also remove her from the family registry.
After PD Na leaves, Se Joo asks if her name is Na Mi Rae. She recognizes him as the guy wiping the lens from the earlier recording. She’s amused that she could see someone in person after just seeing them onscreen. Se Joo is also amused, he never thought he would see her again, especially not like this. Mi Rae looks confused since she clearly doesn’t remember meeting him before.
Future Mi Rae heads home and puts up the other husband candidates pictures on the window. She looks at Yoo Kyung’s picture and wonders if she can stop as long as Yoo Kyung doesn’t show up. She starts to plan marrying her present self off to the other candidates, such as the guy who will one day be the UN Secretary General isn’t bad.
Oppa calls home and asks future Mi Rae if Mi Rae went to the network. He saw someone just like her today. Future Mi Rae says that Mi Rae is studying to be a 7th level civil servant. Oppa says with her level she can’t even be a 9th level. Future Mi Rae hangs up the phone and rushes out, muttering about wringing Mi Rae’s neck.
Mi Rae and Se Joo walk down to the YBS lobby and run into future Mi Rae there. She tries to smack Mi Rae and when asked who she is, she claims to be Mi Rae’s mom. She suddenly notices Se Joo and sees him in a shining halo of light. She claims to recognize him from living by his house when he was a kid.
Future Mi Rae asks if he has a girlfriend and Se Joo says no. She asks if Se Joo has someone that he fell in love with at first sight? Se Joo looks at Mi Rae and grins. Future Mi Rae asks if she is a reporter and Se Joo scoffs.
Future Mi Rae drags Mi Rae outside and demands to know when she met Se Joo! Future Mi Rae wonders why Se Joo doesn’t know Yoo Kyung? She wonders if he’s lying. But Se Joo is single and now works in the same production team at Mi Rae. Though the problem is “that guy” is there as well. Future Mi Rae tells Mi Rae that Park Se Joo is not just a VJ, he’s a rich and powerful chaebol who will change their society. Mi Rae asks if the other guy is the one who should have hit car on the bridge but didn’t? Future Mi Rae says chaebol Se Joo is good, that guy is bad and will ruin Mi Rae’s life. The problem is that “that guy” also works at Morning Show. Mi Rae asks who he is and future Mi Rae lies that she meant he was in a morning drama. Mi Rae doesn’t believe her and tries to figure out who he is.
Future Mi Rae tells Mi Rae to do everything in her power to seduce Park Se Joo. He’s a chaebol who was suppose to marry an ordinary reporter he fell in love with at first sight at Jeju. But now he’s still single, so that means their future is already being changed. This means Mi Rae has a chance now. Future Mi Rae says that Park Se Joo is the only person who can turn Mi Rae into a Cinderella. Future Mi Rae will go take care of “that guy” who ruins their lives while Mi Rae goes to seduce Se Joo. After Mi Rae leaves, future Mi Rae’s smile disappears. She looks at a picture of Shin and apologizes to her hubby. She doesn’t want to live like this anymore.
Mi Rae walks through the video repository and finds Se Joo sitting there. She goes over and Se Joo asks if her mom left? Mi Rae says that she wasn’t her mom, just a relative. Mi Rae worries that her oppa will come here but Se Joo assures her that the PD doesn’t come here. Se Joo read Mi Rae’s script and she explains that she didn’t quite know the right words so just wrote what she saw.
Se Joo asks what the highlighted sections are? Mi Rae says those sections are more important and should be more interesting. Se Joo says she did a good job, the most important thing is making it interesting. Mi Rae is so happy with his compliment. She asks what music he’s planning to use. He shows her the CD and they realized they want to use the same song from it. Se Joo shares his earphones with her and Mi Rae remembers what future Mi Rae said about Se Joo being a power chaebol. She thinks he’s not bad looking and seems like a nice guy.
Shin gets a call from the writer that Mi Rae seems to have disappeared. Shin asks why the line about keeping one’s enemy close has been cut and the writer says there are too many bad guys in the world these days so why mention it. Shin goes back to the network. Future Mi Rae calls Morning Team to leave a message for Na Mi Rae and Shin overhears that Mi Rae has solved her problems and there is a battle plan now. Shin grabs the phone and asks to meet future Mi Rae. Oooooof, I’m so nervous.
Shin heads down and meets future Mi Rae in the lobby. She’s stunned to see him, her own hubby in his younger incarnation. He sits down and she just stares at him. He explains that an incident happened between him and Mi Rae, and since she’s younger he’s taking care of her by introducing her to work at the network. But on her first day of work, she’s unreachable and that’s a problem.
Future Mi Rae spits out that HE is the problem! Even if he’s so confident right now, soon the truth will all come out. She yells at him for being someone who has no empathy, who only takes care of his own pride. All he cares about is doing well and becoming the anchor for the 9 pm news. He needs to stop kidding himself. Anchor? All that’s ahead of him is a steep road to climb.
Shin just stares as future Mi Rae chews him out, completely perplexed at where this is all coming from. You and me, guy. He then think she’s talking about the expired license incident and asks when she and her daughter plans to reveal it to the world. Future Mi Rae demands to know why he “killed” the person, and whether he’ll just say that he didn’t mean to. But that is not the truth, because he saw the message but he still “killed” the person. Shin asks if Mi Rae told her that she almost died in the car. Future Mi Rae starts to cry and says yes, he almost “killed” that person. It’s clear these two are not talking about the same thing at all, but it’s pretty intense the way future Mi Rae can’t control her emotions around Shin.
Mi Rae walks with Se Joo and asks if she has to go to the production meeting because she might see her brother. Mi Rae realizes she has tons of unanswered calls because there is no cell reception down in the video repository. She quickly runs off to return calls as Se Joo returns Writer Kim’s calls.
Shin calls for someone to quickly find Na Mi Rae. Future Mi Rae asks when Shin met Mi Rae and how did he entice her? Shin asks what enticing, wasn’t it all pre-planned, thinking that Mi Rae and her mom set him up with the accident. Wasn’t it all part of their plan? They knew he didn’t have a valid license so caused the accident and pretended to ask for repair money.
Future Mi Rae is shocked to hear that Shin and Mi Rae did have a car accident. He asks wasn’t this part of their plan? Future Mi Rae is so shocked that the accident happened anyways. Future Mi Rae tells Shin to sue her for blackmail but to not have any more interaction with Mi Rae. Shin says he’s going to go fire Mi Rae right now so she needn’t worry. Shin storms off and future Mi Rae sits there and stares at his departing back with worry.
Mi Rae and Se Joo run into her oppa in the elevator. She tries to apologize for the car and says this is just a part time job. Se Joo says her script is quite good but oppa drags her off to talk.
Na PD hears that Mi Rae was referred by Kim Shin and he hears they just met somehow. Oppa wants her to leave and also move out of the house. Writer Kim says her work is good and if he wants to get rid of her then bring another trainee writer in immediately. Oppa lets her to stay but tells her to move out of the house after she’s done.
Shin is with Se Joo and wonders why Mi Rae isn’t here yet. He calls her a fraud but Se Joo says she’s a member of the team now and meeting with Na PD. Shin wonders why Se Joo is starting out as a VJ at the ripe old age of 28 and talking about shows as a business. He asks if he’s Miranda’s relative or a spy? Se Joo apologizes for speaking out of hand despite knowing nothing. He runs out to get a latte for Shin and avoid his questions.
Writer Kim approves Mi Rae’s script despite not being happy that she’s starting off so late and is also the sister of the PD. They will use this script but she tells Mi Rae to end it right here since she’s not going to work out.
Mi Rae walks through the network and thinks about her oppa kicking her out and the writer telling her this is the end. She tells herself that she got some positive feedback and this is not the only network out there. She perks herself up to go find another job.
Mi Rae arrives in the recording booth and enters to get a glass of water splashed in her face. A very angry Shin asks if she’s awake now and ready to talk. How’s her battle plan going? Did she manage to convince the PD to let her stay? What does she want – money, to become a staff screenwriter? He plans to turn himself in and then also sue her for blackmail.
Mi Rae asks him if he got into a car accident a few days ago on Sung San Bridge lane number 3? Shin asks how she knows about that? Mi Rae says he’s the guy, he’s the one who will kill the person she loves. Is the person he killed her? Because the person she loves the most in this world is herself.
But she refuses now to pretend that everything is okay. She plans to overcome all obstacles to get everything she wants. If Shin will kill her, then she will live until the end and endure. All the people who have looked down on her from her oppa to her friends, she will prove that she can do it to everyone. Including to a toad like Shin!
Se Joo returns just in time to hear all of this. Mi Rae storms out and walks into the dressing room. Se Joo follows her and goes in to ask if she met MC Kim? Mi Rae wants to leave but Se Joo asks if she’s okay. Mi Rae says she’s okay instinctively but then stops and starts sobbing that she’s not okay.
Thoughts of Mine:
Most romance-themed dramas are all about the characters interaction and chemistry, the underlying story is less dispositive since the most tightly spun yarn can fail to deliver the catharsis if the romance is not believable. MHIYD has so far managed to make me care about the central romance and the underlying what-happened mystery behind the time-travel. Future Mi Rae is so well crafted as a character who serves a pivotal function but also engages the viewer to care about her. I’m less concerned about present Mi Rae fulfilling her dream as a screenwriter because I can see the drama actually fleshing that out (and using it to bring her closer to both Shin and Se Joo), and more worried about why future Mi Rae risked so much to make sure she doesn’t marry Shin. I can see now that she chose Se Joo not personally but that he was a viable alternative candidate because he was rich and a mover and shaker in the future. When future Mi Rae thought the Se Joo option was dead, she went to find other candidates for Mi Rae, so it goes to show that she wants Mi Rae not to marry Shin and to marry a future successful guy. Why? The whole killing the person she loves is such a loaded statement and I wouldn’t take it at face value. I think future Mi Rae is not telling the whole truth but she seems to be hurting so much I’ll give her time to reveal her true reason. It was also telling that she didn’t intend for Shin and Yoo Kyung to also become a couple, and that will also come as a surprise to her that Shin ended up hitting Yoo Kyung’s car that day.
I said before that I’m squarely on the side of present Mi Rae and Shin getting a chance to make their own choices irrespective of what future Mi Rae wants or how she’s meddling. I like that Mi Rae and Shin’s meeting in this timeline is so contentious, and immediately they have seen the worst sides of each other. This is not a car accident leading to romance blossoming, this was a car accident leading to a contentious work relationship forming. I’m inclined to believe that this time around, their romance will not be rainbows and unicorns and maybe that will cause their future marriage to also change its trajectory. I quite like everyone at the network, it’s populated by hard working people who are not one-dimensional plus everyone speaks their mind. It’s refreshing and will make watching the work place scenes interesting and meaningful. Se Joo is a satisfying character to watch because he tempers all the agitation around him. He’s calm and collected, calculating and decent. Even if future Mi Rae keeps pushing him because he’s a chaebol heir, I wish she would tell Mi Rae to pick him because he’s a nice guy. As sweet and friendly as he is, my heart is already firmly on the bickering OTP ship – the chemistry is incredible and the relationship is the kind where the leads have to work through a layer of obstacles to be together. I am a sucker for this particular brand of rocky romance.