Grahhhhh, Marry Him if You Dare (Mirae’s Choice) continues to be so infuriating. There remains a sliver of hope this thing will all come together soon, which keeps me from breaking up with it, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to hurl plates at the screen when I watched episode 11. This drama proves that a story cannot be told from the vantage point of keeping the audience in the dark to the degree where we can’t form a connection with the characters and their fight for happiness. Without knowing the entire truth about what happened in the future to Mi Rae and Kim Shin and also without building up their current romantic development, I’m left wondering who the hell cares? Why should I care anymore which guy Mi Rae picks, even if I think she should pick neither guy and pick herself first. Maybe her life sucked in the future because she was such an overeager beaver who relied on a guy and then when their married life got upended she had no clue how to respond. At least episode 11 ended with a major reveal about the future, but it feels too little too late. I still glean some enjoyment from this story, but it’s buried under mounds of “Can we get a move on!” screaming and a desperate muttering under my breath hoping for the leads to just start making out randomly.
I would have loved this drama to start with a cold opening – show us a montage of future Mi Rae’s horrible life with Shin and then her stepping in that time-travel elevator, which would have made her attempt to change the past all that more compelling because all her machinations could be forgiven if we knew what she endured. Instead this writer wants to turn this drama into a mystery rather than a character study in hope and choice. It would have been amazing if Mi Rae and Shin both knew what they feel for each other and what a life together could turn into, yet they still choose each other and vowed to make their own better marriage than the one future Mi Rae endured. Even better would be Se Joo telling Yoo Kyung that even if they were meant to be, he’s fallen for Mi Rae first this time around and he’ll need to work through his unrequited feelings for her first. But doing so in a way that respects what they were meant to be with each other, while making the choice about who he loves now. Instead this drama putters around in zero romance or tension because I know the two couples will end up together but nothing they say or do in the present moves me. Instead we’re treated to side stories about going undercover for a program and neither male lead doing anything substantive about their feelings. Se Joo can’t move on, Shin doesn’t move forward, and the world of MHIYD sinks into the quagmire of its own ineptitude. The acting saves this from being a total snore, but almost makes it worse to think we’re so close to the end and still this drama cannot find its emotional or narrative center.
Episode 11 recap:
Shin announces in front of the entire Morning Team that he likes Mi Rae. He asks her what she thinks? Oppa purposely defuses the moment by saying he also likes Mi Rae. That gets all the guys on the team to join in the chorus that they all like Mi Rae too! The entire thing turns into a farce and Writer Bae says how come no one likes her? Shin keeps trying to say that he’s not joking but he’s drowned out by the teasing. Mi Rae takes off and Shin runs after her, leaving Se Joo and Yoo Kyung sit there looking very concerned.
Shin wonders how come the mood was turned into a joke? Mi Rae says he started it, how could he have said those words back there? Was that the place to say something like that? Didn’t he think what would happen if he said that in front of so many people? Does he think she’s a joke? Shin says he didn’t do it, it was Oppa who turned it into a joke. Shin says that was his real heart confession back there but Mi Rae is crying and says she’s sorry but she didn’t feel his real heart back there. Mi Rae walks off blinking back tears.
Yoo Kyung goes to sit with Se Joo and tells him not to worry about what she said to him earlier. He apologizes and says it must have been hard all this time. They sit in awkward silence for a moment and then he asks when she started to like him? Yoo Kyung asks if he thinks she likes him for his money and Se Joo tries to say that is not it. Yoo Kyung says it was the napkin, when he was the first person who saw past her exterior and wiped her tears. She walks away leaving Se Joo there.
Mi Rae is drinking and Writer Bae comes to sit with her and tells her not to feel bad. Kim Shin just doesn’t know how to express himself and he doesn’t mean it. Mi Rae knows that and is just upset that he’s so inconsiderate. Writer Bae confirms that Mi Rae likes Shin otherwise why would she be so upset. If she doesn’t like someone, she can just reject him no matter where the confession takes place. Writer Bae encourages Mi Rae to just focus on her hard won scriptwriting career. Writer Bae asks Mi Rae what their program theme is? Mi Rae says its to look for hope in this tough world. Writer Bae takes Mi Rae’s hand and says she trusts Mi Rae will find her hope.
Mi Rae goes to work in the kitchen of the bar suspected of making counterfeit alcohol. She works hard and is bossed around by the ladies in the kitchen. One the ladies speaks in thick saturi and Mi Rae doesn’t really understand her despite pretending to be a country girl.
Se Joo comes by pretending to be a customer and goes out to talk with Mi Rae. She doesn’t know when she’ll get a chance go to the inner room where they make the alcohol, two of the other women help so if one goes down then that will be her chance. She asks how the team is doing and Se Joo knows what she’s trying to find out and says Kim Shin is doing fine. Mi Rae says there is no reason for her to ask about Kim Shin and goes inside.
The Morning Team is in a meeting and Shin keeps trying to find out from Oppa or other members what Mi Rae is doing working undercover at the bar but no one will tell him. After the others walk out, Writer Bae tells Km Shin that Mi Rae is working at Grace Bar. She says Kim Shin reminds her of her own husband, he’s bad at expressing himself and causes people to misunderstand. But she married her husband because she knows he’s a good person inside. Shin gets the location of the bar and heads there.
Shin walks up to the bar and a waiter recognizes him because his mom was on the same subway and he’s a fan. His mom considers Shin a lifesaver and he wants to treat her to a drink. Shin lies that his younger sister Kim Hee Jung works at this bar, and its Mi Rae’s fake name. He asks the waiter to take care of Hee Jung. He finds out from the waiter that a young rich man came by earlier to look for Hee Jung.
Shin sits at the cafe across from the bar looking at the bar. Shin walks in and sits down, asking why Shin doesn’t just go find Mi Rae. Shin asks when Se Joo plans to resume his real identity and when he’s planning to fire Shin? Se Joo says he’s not that dirty but Shin says Se Joo is very scary. Se Joo says he’s just a businessman and right now Kim Shin is YBS’s best product and he won’t throw him away that easily.
Mi Rae sits outside with the little waiter who reveals that he met her older brother Kim Shin the announcer earlier and he asked the waiter to look out for her. The older kitchen lady comes out and asks if Mi Rae isn’t sad that her relative is so successful and she ended up working here. Mi Rae says no because she’s working hard.
Oppa gets a call from his friend who ran the DNA test and he confirms that the two Na Mi Raes are the same person. The friend asks if a twin appeared and faxes the results to Oppa. He reads it in shock. Future Mi Rae is sleeping in her bed in MIranda’s house and a nurse tries to wake her but she’s pretending to be asleep. She flushes the pills down the toilet afterwards and looks around to make sure this place is not bugged. She wonders how she can escape? She gets a call from Oppa who asks why she’s not back yet? She lies that she’s out traveling. Oppa reveals that the DNA results are out and he’s really sorry for ignoring her all this time. He wants her to come back so they can talk. Future Mi Rae says she’s coming right now.
Future Mi Rae calls Miranda and says she had another dream. She lies that Se Joo’s business suffer after he doesn’t end up with Mi Rae. She also reveals that the man Mi Rae likes is PD Lee Jae Soo. She says Mi Rae doesn’t have good taste in men. Miranda says this dream is not real and tells future Mi Rae to go dream again. Future Mi Rae says no, she’s older than Miranda so she is her unni and Miranda needs to respect her. She can’t treat future Mi Rae this way otherwise she could make up dreams and lie to her. Future Mi Rae says Miranda needs to release her and if she dreams of something then she will tell Miranda. Future Mi Rae says she has somewhere to go now because her Oppa wants her to come home.
Oppa sits with future Mi Rae and confirms he’s the older brother and she’s the younger sister. He scoops more of her favorite soup into her bowl for her. Future Mi Rae cries that Oppa has become nicer because he wasn’t like this before. Future Mi Rae really misses him, and their parents. Oppa asks if cancer can be cured 25 years from now? Mi Rae says early stages yes but late stages still no. Oppa asks how he is 25 years from now? Mi Rae says Oppa hasn’t talked to her in 20 years because he opposed her marriage and was very disappointed in her. Oppa asks who is the person who died?
The older kitchen lady cuts her finger in the kitchen and Mi Rae helps her out. Another woman has fainted from the fumes making the counterfeit alcohol and they need another helper. Mi Rae drops a plate to get the attention of the manager who calls for her. The ahjumma wants to protect her and says she doesn’t know how to do anything. But the manager yells at both of them to go over.
Mi Rae sends a text and the manager grabs her phone and tosses it aside before letting her inside the lab. Mi Rae uses her glasses to record the lab but the ahjumma is sent to feel Mi Rae up to make sure she’s not bringing with her anything. The ahjumma touches something but also sees the bandaid on her finger that Mi Rae put on and lies that she’s all clean.
Mi Rae sits down to make the counterfeit alcohol with the ahjumma. The little waiter comes in the kitchen and wonders where Mi Rae went. She’s inside slowly making the fake alcohol and trying not to move her head so she can record the footage cleaning. One of the guys notices she’s asking weird and takes her glasses, smashing it on the ground to find that it’s got a recording device on it. The guy sends the ahjumma outside with a warning to keep quiet.
The waiter asks the ahjumma where Mi Rae is since he brought her a drink but the ahjumma lies that she doesn’t know. He notices the guys acting weird when the come out of the room. Mi Rae is tied up and being interrogated if she’s being sent by the police. The waiter uses an excuse to deliver food to the room and tries to act calm when he sees Mi Rae tied up. The waiter comes out and remembers Shin asking him to take care of Mi Rae and also giving him his business card. Shin gets a call and says he’ll be right there. Shin calls Oppa that something happened at the bar and he’s on his way. Oppa says to call the cops and runs out. The ahjumma grabs Mi Rae’s phone and calls a random number on it, reaching Se Joo.
Se Joo goes to stall for time and finds his grandmother’s minion parked nearby since Miranda was worried about him. The bad guys have packed up their entire operation. Mi Rae asks how they can make money this way? She plans to expose them and the guy says to go ahead since there is no proof anymore. The guy turns around and Mi Rae kicks him while trying to escape. Miranda’s minions are all sent to the front of the bar and demands to enter to look for something their chairman left inside. The bad guys refuse to let them in. Se Joo is worried and wants to go in himself but the driver won’t let him since its too dangerous right now.
Mi Rae is struggling to get out of her bindings and run out while still tied to the car. The bad guy pushes her down, but then the ahjumma comes and smashes him on the head with a bottle. She knows she should keep quiet but she can’t let this happen. She unties Mi Rae and says if she allows this to happen she will have no face to go see her son.
They run outside as the sound of police sirens gets closer. When the police arrive, they take everyone at the bar away including the ahjumma. Se Joo runs over and asks if she’s alright and she says she’s fine. Oppa comes running up and also confirms she’s fine. He calls Writer Bae to let her know and not worry. Mi Rae looks over to see Shin talking with a policeman. He waves towards her but makes no move to go talk with her.
The head bad guy is being taken away and he says there is no proof he did anything bad. He raises his hand to hit Mi Rae and Shin walks over and grabs his hand. Mi Rae says there is evidence because she kept a backup camera which is the necklace she is wearing. She tells the bad guy that she captured all the footage. Shin asks what she’s doing since she’s just a girl. Se Joo takes Mi Rae away.
Miranda gets an update that Se Joo is fine after tonight’s raid. She’s at a woman’s conference and Yoo Kyung goes to talk with her, introducing herself as a reporter at YBS studios. Yoo Kyung asks if Miranda knows Na Mi Rae? Miranda thinks she’s talking about present Mi Rae but Yoo Kyung says she is asking about older Na Mi Rae. Miranda is shocked the two women have the same name.
Oppa is with Writer Bae working on the program and everyone agrees that Mi Rae needs to be given the writing credit for this program and make her official debut. Oppa tells her in the video room and she’s so excited she high gives him and Se Joo. Oppa looks happy that she’s so comfortable around Se Joo. Oppa asks Mi Rae if she has a concept around this program that is related to hope. They are not an expose show so how is she trying to bring this big story in line with their program concept? He’ll run it if she has a good concept to showcase the footage. Oppa leaves and Se Joo tries to comfort her that Oppa is just trying to push her. Se Joo offers to help her while Oppa stands outside.
Oppa gets a call from Shin and tells him to stay away from Mi Rae from now on. It was Se Joo who saved Mi Rae this time. Turns out Shin is calling because he has a concept for the program. The news of the bar raid by the police is hot on the search portals, so why don’t they give the YBS headline news program a free snippet of their footage. The news program will be happy to get breaking news and the rest of the footage will be aired on their program Pandora’s Box. Shin says he broached the topic with the news program and everyone wants to do it except for Miranda.
Se Joo and Shin go to see Miranda together. She tries to tell Se Joo that if this is about Mi Rae then they talk at home, but when she sees Shin walk in behind Se Joo she pretends that he’s just a VJ. Shin says he knows Se Joo is her very capable grandson. They sit with Miranda who tries to lie that it is the news program director who objected. Se Joo says no, everyone wants to do it, it’s Miranda who is objecting.
Se Joo asks if she’s objecting because of Mi Rae? Miranda is all like “Mi Rae who?” Shin smiles and says Na Mi Rae, the maknae writer on their team, and the girl he really likes. Miranda is in shock and wonders if the guy Mi Rae likes is Shin. He doesn’t think Miranda is that petty to fire a writer or refuse to do a program because of one girl. She’s someone with great vision and understanding. The two of them have the perfect banter going and even Miranda is impressed with their level of cooperation.
She claps her hands and says the two guys are putting on a great show for a girl. They ought to be rivals but they have banded together to help the girl they both like. They must both like her a lot. So what will be the ending of this show? Who will win the girl’s heart? Shin and Se Joo look at each other.
The counterfeit alcohol story makes the news program and Mi Rae watches it while working on the script for the same story to air on Pandora’s Box. Writer Bae comes in to deliver a package to Mi Rae and its from the kitchen ahjumma at the bar. She thanks Mi Rae for making her a mother her son can be proud of in doing the right thing. She sent a pen to Mi Rae so that she can write good programs in the future.
The program airs and Shin says the team thought this story might not be interesting to people who can’t afford expensive alcohol. But this program is about showing that people cannot get away with taking hope away from others. Mi Rae reads the dialogue out loud as Shin reads it. Shin ends the program by saying hope is not something others give to you, it’s something that one must go search for. Shin raises a glass to toast to hope and he locks eyes with Mi Rae standing by the cameras.
Oppa ends the program and everyone compliments the script. He asks writer Bae if she revised the script for Mi Rae and she smiles and says no. Mi Rae looks at hr name rolling across the credits and smiles. Se Joo comes by and congratulates her. Shin turns around and sees Mi Rae talking with Se Joo and leaves with a resigned look. Mi Rae looks at Shin walking away and Se Joo notices who her eyes are always following.
Yoo Kyung talks with Se Joo and asks if Shin knows Se Joo’s real identity? It felt like Shin’s confession at the camping trip was a challenge to Se Joo. He says yes, Shin knows he’s the heir to YBS. Yoo Kyung tells Se Joo to confess right now to Mi Rae because if she likes him, she’ll like him even if she knows he’s rich. Se Joo says he’s planning to tell her everything today, his real identity and how much he likes her. Yoo Kyung looks like she’s about to cry and says Se Joo is so very cruel to her. She turns and walks away.
Mi Rae is at the park with Oppa and they are teasing each other like siblings. He tells her that she needs to keep improving and getting better. He pushes her on the swing and says that her success requires a push from others as well and she can’t expect to do everything by herself. Se Joo comes by Mi Rae’s house but no one is home. He calls her cell and future Mi Rae answers. She sends him to the playground where Mi Rae is hanging out with Oppa.
Mi Rae says she wants to become a writer of current events. Oppa says Mi Rae has grown up. Mi Rae says she likes the person who has made her change. Mi Rae says she likes Kim Shin. Oppa goes crazy and Mi Rae says even if Oppa thinks Shin has many faults, so has she. Oppa tells Mi Rae not to go home right now. And he warns her to pack her bags and move out if she dares to date Shin. Se Joo overhears all of this.
Oppa calls Shin and tells him to meet right now. He starts cursing as he heads home. Oppa asks future Mi Rae if she will tell Shin what she told him. Future Mi Rae wanted to tell him many times but she doesn’t know how. Oppa says now is the time.
Mi Rae is at the playground talking to the face on the side of a slide pretending its Kim Shin. She asks if he’s worried about being poor? Why is everyone always talking about money. If they have enough to get by, isn’t that fine? Se Joo hides there and listen to all of this.
Oppa storms into dinner with Shin who wonders what has gotten into him? Oppa says he came with older Na Mi Rae and opens the door to let her in. Mi Rae tries to go home but Oppa has changed the padlock keys. She knocks on the door but neither Oppa nor future Mi Rae is in. Se Joo calls out to her. Future Mi Rae sits down and Shin asks what is going on? Mi Rae calls her Oppa to ask what the new lock is but he hangs up on her. Se Joo asks Mi Rae to talk with him.
Oppa tells future Mi Rae to talk with Shin candidly and tosses the DNA report on the table before leaving. Shin asks if future Mi Rae wants to tell him future again? Future Mi Rae tells Shin to listen carefully to what she has to say. Future Mi Rae tells him that he will marry Mi Rae in the future. They will have a child together. Future Mi Rae starts to cry and says the child is name Gun and is the person she loves the most in this entire world. He is their son. She tells him to believe her, she married him because she is Na Mi Rae.
Thoughts of Mine:
There are so many problems with how the narrative unfolded in MHIYD I don’t even know where to start. Forget trying to have a semblance of possibility to the time-travel conceit, let’s just accept that it’s correctly structured and discuss motivations and consequences. So know we know Shin and Mi Rae had a son together, a boy named Kim Gun. Is the son still alive in the future, or was the victim in that horrible sounding accident on the street we saw in the earlier episode? What I don’t get is how a woman can go back in time to negate the future so she doesn’t marry Kim Shin and ergo will not have bore him Kim Gun. If she’s trying to save Gun, wouldn’t she go back to stop whatever harmed him? How can she toss the baby out with the bathwater! This makes zero sense. It’s even more nonsensical since Mi Rae was still young when the accident happened, so she then spent 20 odd years being angry and bitter before doing the time-travel? If she hates Shin so much, divorce the guy and move on with her life! At least we know now that Oppa isn’t dead in the future but just estranged from Mi Rae. What bothers me is that all the people are changing in the present due to future Mi Rae’s arrival – Mi Rae, Shin, and now even Oppa as future Mi Rae pointed out that he’s gotten nicer. If she has altered people who’s to say her mission isn’t already accomplished but just in a different way? There is still too much she’s not telling the audience so I don’t know if this is her only choice, but I can say that 11-episodes in I’m still not buying her story and her actions. Sadly her intrusion into the past has mucked up the romances for both ships to the point that this could be an after-school special marketed at teens with how much skinship (zero) and honest discussion of feelings and attraction we’ve been given. I feel bait-and-switched by the premise the writer billed this at and what we’ve been given.
If I were to watch this drama like its a character study growth journey, it might have some merit since there has been considerable growth of all four leads. Se Joo a little less than the other three, but he’s still complex and interesting in his own right. Funnily enough, everything about Se Joo is more interesting when he’s NOT with Mi Rae. Mi Rae and Shin almost don’t need to be madly in love and already mere attraction to each other has propelled them to keep on growing as people. I am appreciative of how this drama has shown Mi Rae’s gradual but believable growth in confidence and ability, mirrored with Shin’s growth in humility and consideration for others. They do bring out the best in each other, and that is as meaningful as reason for them to be OTP as any. Se Joo can like Mi Rae all he wants, but he’s really got to respect her feelings for Shin, especially when he hears her say that she likes Shin because he makes her want to better herself. That’s not a passing fancy, especially since she and Shin are not exactly having an easy go at a relationship right now with everything stuck in static mode. Poor Yoo Kyung is off wallowing in her own sadness this episode, with not enough scenes with her but the few with Se Joo were spot on. She’s open and raw with him, and I adore her willingness to put herself out there to get hurt. She could have waited until Se Joo was totally friend-zoned by Mi Rae before swooping in to soothe his wounded heart, but instead she is brave about her own feelings even when she knows Se Joo hasn’t let go of his. I have no clue what will happen in the remaining 5-episodes of this drama which is both good and bad. I wonder if everyone in future Mi Rae’s life is dead in the future (Shin and Gun) which is why she has no fear and is willing to shortened her lifespan to come back to the past. It’s her final chance and she’ll put it all on the line. Let’s hope we find out all about her reasons why in the next episode so that maybe the villainness of this tale can transform into the savior of the story.
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