There has never been an episode of Bride of the Century where I felt like nothing much happened. It’s always the other way around, where too much happens and I’m trying to sift through it all while containing all the emotions threatening to burst out of me. Kang Joo and Doo Rim’s private wedding was lovely but the drama keeps me on my toes with the evil moms lurking around fairly waiting to jump out and shout “boo!” at anytime. I’m glad the Choi family curse was fully revealed in this episode, the danger facing the first brides is not anything supernatural but instead the heightened stakes of marrying into the top chaebol family in the country. The rivals coveting the role of the Taeyang Group daughter-in-law are the true villains of this tale, and it’s not any one person as it is greed as the scariest force of all. But even with this one mystery cleared up, the drama has thrown so many nuggets out there I’m still loopy trying to figure out how Kang Joo’s dad first wife really did die, and now we also have Doo Rim’s halmoni tossed into the mix as connected with the Choi family. This is one crazy clown car where too many people want to get in but all Doo Rim and Kang Joo want is to kick everyone off and create their own safe haven.
I’m thrilled pretty much everyone is in the know now, except of course leading man Kang Joo. He thinks he thwarted some family curse after marrying Doo Rim and her surviving until the next day, unaware that the real danger is just around the corner. It’s not even just President Ma wanting to substitute Yi Kyung as his bride, it’s also Kang Joo’s mom own wanting to substitute Yi Kyung with Roo Mi, and all he wants is just Doo Rim. I am so happy Yi Hyun is around to do something other than pine for Doo Rim, stepping up both to chew his horrible family out for playing with Doo Rim’s life as well as becoming her white knight when Kang Joo can’t since he remains in the dark. All the plotting and villainy in this drama continues to work because the schemes sometimes cross each other out, and it’s amusing to anticipate the baddies getting hoisted on their own petard. That hasn’t arrived yet but when Roo Mi found out about the substitute princess gig and decided to keep silent and watch, I was rather impressed with her patience in seeing if she’ll end up the biggest winner of all if she stays quiet. Episode 10 really was so much great dramatic storytelling packed into a dense meaty hour filled with satisfaction in the OTP getting together and heightened worry that they have so many more challenges to face bother internal (Doo Rim’s identity lie) and external (the moms continued plotting to separate them).
Episode 10 recap:
The Choi family ghost comes to see Doo Rim, initially as the woman in red Doo Rim saved by the beach then morphing into the black robed scary ghost. The ghost shatters all the street lamps and asks Doo Rim if she’s willing to be Kang Joo’s bride even knowing that she will be giving up her life in exchange?
We don’t hear what they say, only that when Roo Mi walks up the hill she only sees Doo Rim standing there in a daze. Doo Rim takes off the necklace Kang Joo put on her and then wipes her tears before going into the restaurant.
Doo Rim finds Jin Joo and Yi Hyun waiting for her there. Yi Hyun asks to talk and the two of them walk outside where Roo Mi promptly sees them and confirms that the entire Jang family is in on the ruse. Roo Mi considers calling Kang Joo but then remembers that the first bride is dead meat anyways so why bother blowing the lid off the deception. She thinks to herself that Yi Kyung sure made it interesting before leaving with her usual dead fish smirk.
Yi Hyun asks Doo Rim who she went to see after she met with him? Was it Choi Kang Joo? He reveals that she can’t be with Kang Joo because this was all an intentional set up. Yi Kyung disappeared intentionally with their mother’s full participation and it was all a set up to bring Doo Rim in as Yi Kyung’s replacement so that she could be the dead first bride according to the Choi family curse. Doo Rim can’t believe this could be happening and Yi Hyun feels the same way but it’s the truth even if he wants to deny it.
Yi Hyun doesn’t believe in the Choi family curse and what he’s worried about is the curse not happening and the danger that Doo Rim is faced with afterwards if she doesn’t give Kang Joo up. Only one woman is meant to be Choi Kang Joo’s bride so who does Doo Rim think will be the last bride standing. This can all be avoided if she gives up on Choi Kang Joo now.
Kang Joo is listening to music on his dad’s old record player when his dad walks in. Kang Joo notes that this music is actually quite noisy and he always felt his dad turned into another person when he was listening to the music. But he knows that his dad must be in a world of pain having lost his first love and always living in regret. Kang Joo used to hate the life his dad led but now he’s going to make the same choice as his dad. If he lets this chance with Yi Kyung slip by, he’ll always regret it. His dad smiles.
Doo Rim is sitting in her room and thinking back to the ghost asking her if she’s willing to be Kang Joo’s bride even if she loses her life? Doo Rim answers that she’s willing to be his bride even if she loses her life.
Doo Rim takes halmoni for a shopping and makeover trip, clearly intending to spend as much time with her as possible before she marries Kang Joo and stakes her life on the line. They go enjoy a fancy steak dinner and Doo Rim apologizes for not taking better care of halmoni until now. Halmoni instead feels bad for not doing anything for Doo Rim but Doo Rim says halmoni raised her well. Halmoni is happy now that the restaurant is stable and all she wants is for Doo Rim to marry well. Doo Rim wants to live with halmoni after marriage and halmoni says their Doo Rim is a gift from the Heavens and will definitely marry well. Doo Rim tells halmoni that she’s headed to Namhae tomorrow and uses the excuse that the money stealing ahjumma was spotted there. Halmoni wants that woman caught and dealt with for what she did.
Roo Mi goes to see Kang Joo before she leaves work and she knows that he bought a couples ring today at the jewelry department. She knows where Kang Joo is going and what he’s going to do. Does he have the confidence not to regret it? Kang Joo confidently says he won’t regret it. Roo Mi then says this is her goodbye to her first love, but warns Kang Joo that this might not be the end for him. Things could happen later that he can’t begin to imagine. Kang Joo stares at her and Roo Mi asks if Kang Joo won’t regret it then? She knows now why Kang Joo doesn’t trust people and open his heart up to people, because no one is trustworthy other than himself. She asks Kang Joo to pass her well wishes on to his first bride.
Doo Rim calls Yi Kyung out to meet and wants to make clear that Doo Rim is taking full responsibility for the consequences of her actions going forward. She reveals her meeting with the ghost who warned her that she would be risking her life if she continued. But Doo Rim intends to go forward because that is the only way she can be with Kang Joo forever. Yi Kyung wonders what Choi Kang Joo means to Doo Rim? More than her life means to her? Doo Rim smiles and says Kang Joo is the first person she values more than herself. So how she can let him go? Yi Kyung processes this information and looks rather affected.
Jin Joo confronts Doo Rim about her so-called trip to Namhae and she knows it’s an excuse. Doo Rim asks Jin Joo to keep the secret for her and apologizes for choosing the harder road. Jin Joo asks if Doo Rim is going to be with Kang Joo and Doo Rim nods.
Kang Joo goes to see his dad the next morning and has something to say. I thought he went to borrow his dad’s suit. Whatever he says, he ends with this being the only way they can be together. Kang Joo’s dad tells him to go ahead, and shares a saying by a famous poet that a flower that has withstood the wind is more beautiful. Kang Joo’s mom is eavesdropping outside and hears this conversation. Kang Joo leaves the family residence and his mom watches him go. She thinks to herself that after tonight, everything will go back to its rightful place.
Halmoni sends Doo Rim off thinking she’s going to Namhae. Doo Rim asks Jin Joo to take care of things here and then hugs halmoni goodbye. After Doo Rim walks way, the fortune teller walks up having been watching from the sidelines. Halmoni spots him and brings him into the restaurant to chat.
Halmoni says the fortune teller is so accurate since he said Doo Rim was going far away and she really is going to Namhae. The fortune teller says that is not the case, Doo Rim us going far away to another world. Doo Rim is walking the road the the after life. Halmoni is so pissed off she chases the fortune teller out with a broom.
Doo Rim goes to see Yi Hyun at his office and calls him out to meet with her in the park. He can tell she’s headed somewhere and she lies that she’s going to Namhae. She hands him a lunchbox she made for him. He asks how she’s doing and how things are with Kang Joo? She assures him there is nothing to worry about. He is relieved and thinks it a good idea for her to go to Namhae to clear her mind and heart.
Doo Rim thanks him and apologizes again, before hugging him for being such a warm and caring person. She’ll never forget what he’s done for her. She says goodbye and heads off, thinking to herself that she’s really sorry and grateful to Yi Hyun oppa.
Yi Hyun is walking back to the office and sees President Ma getting into the car driven by the company lackey.
Doo Rim and Kang Joo pull up outside a lovely church for their private nuptials. The happy couple walk down the aisle side-by-side to the strains of Ave Maria. Doo Rim takes Kang Joo’s arm and they continuing walking up to the altar. Without any guests present or a priest officiating, they proceed to marry each other.
Kang Joo puts a wedding ring on Doo Rim’s hand and recites his vows: I, Choi Kang Joo, take you as my wife. I swear that I will be with you even until the moment my life ends. No matter what happens, I won’t waver, I will love only you like the solid rock formed from tens of thousands of years. Doo Rim says her vows, thinking as Na Doo Rim, but says out loud as Jang Yi Kyung: I, Jang Yi Kyung, take you as my husband. I swear that I will be with you even until the moment my life ends. No matter what happens, I won’t waver, I will forever stay by your side to love you like the wind that blows for tens of thousands of years.
Kang Joo and Doo Rim lean in to kiss each other and we see magical fairy lights envelope them and then burst into the air.
Just married Doo Rim runs out of the church marveling at the beautiful new world ahead of them. She feels like the entire world is congratulating them, but the most precious thing to her is Kang Joo standing in front of her. He smiles and pulls her in for a hug. We see someone is secretly taking pictures of them outside the church.
Doo Rim hands Kang Joo a series of wish cards that contain what she wants from him – wear couple outfits, sing for her, kiss her, cook for her, hold her hand while on a date on the street. Kang Joo gives this adorable “whut?” chuckle to hear her wishes.
Kang Joo and Doo Rim are wearing a couple’s outfit while having street snacks. Kang Joo is annoyed to wear such a hideous outfit but Doo Rim finds it cute. She feeds Kang Joo a dokbokggi and he points out that even her tastes are like that of an elementary school student. Suddenly the little girl sitting next to Kang Joo ask oppa if that girl is his girlfriend. Doo Rim compliments the kid on having good tastes and then stakes her claim on Kang Joo.
The little girl says “oppa, what a waste” which makes Kang Joo laugh and Doo Rim chafing at the insult. Kang Joo treats the little girl to a plate of dokbokggi and the next thing we see is Doo Rim having switched places with Kang Joo while Kang Joo urges the little girl to eat up.
Yi Hyun is at work and takes out the lunchbox left by Doo Rim. He is smiling until he notices a note left with it. He reads the note and his face totally falls and he blinks back tears. The note reads “To Yi Hyun Oppa…..from Doo Rim” which is pretty much a farewell forever kind of note.
Doo Rim is cooking dinner while she sets her hubby off to peel onions. He complains and she points out that other men can peel a truck full so he goes right back to peeling lest she insult his manhood some more.
They sit down to dine and Doo Rim is upset that she burned the grilled fish on such an important occasion though seafood is her specialty. Kang Joo takes a bite of the fish and says that he dined a Michelin three star restaurants when studying in England and the seafood she cooked here is just as good. Doo Rim basks in the unexpected compliment while Kang Joo goes back to eating happily.
Doo Rim suddenly asks what Kang Joo would do if he discovered someone lied to him? That is Kang Joo’s most hated thing, to be lied to and people telling a lie. He’ll probably ignore that person forever. He asks if Doo Rim has lied to him, maybe about her dating history, and tells her to come clean. Doo Rim quickly says there is no such thing and feeds him more food.
Kang Joo and Doo Rim are drinking wine by the fire and Doo Rim reveals that the first time her heart beat faster for Kang Joo was here at the villa after she hurt herself and he took her to the hospital. It was when he picked her up and put her on the wheelchair. Her heart was beating so fast she thought it would burst. She wants to know when Kang Joo started liking her? She tries to guess but there is nothing she can be certain of. Kang Joo points out that she’s always misbehaving around him. Doo Rim thinks it was her hospital back hug but Kang Joo shakes his head at that guess.
Doo Rim keeps pushing him to tell her because she can’t stand not knowing something. If he won’t tell her then she’ll torment him all night long. Ahahaha, I’m not sure she means what I think she ought to mean since it’s their wedding night and all. Kang Joo smiles and promises to tell her tomorrow.
Jin Joo finally can’t take keeping this big secret and worry so calls Yi Hyun to tell him that Doo Rim left with Kang Joo. Yi Hyun has Jin Joo not alarm halmoni and he’ll go bring her back. Yi Hyun’s call to Doo Rim’s cell goes straight to voicemail. He then remembers seeing President Ma driving off this afternoon.
Yi Hyun storms into Yi Kyung’s room and demands to know where Doo Rim is right now? He then tosses all the evidence of Yi Kyung colluding with President Ma on the bed and reveals he knew Doo Rim was set up from the very beginning to die in Yi Kyung’s place. Yi Kyung doesn’t feel bad for what she did since Doo Rim willingly chose Kang Joo. Even if they didn’t force her, Doo Rim would still chose to be with Kang Joo. Yi Hyun points out that Doo Rim already knows their plan and if Doo Rim told Kang Joo the truth, then Yi Kyung and President Ma’s plans are over. This insanity needs to stop now. How can they steal someone else’s life? Yi Hyun says that both President Ma and Yi Kyung are abhorrent and crazy for cooking up this plan. WORD.
Yi Kyung says she’s human and that’s why she can do this. Yi Hyun says fine, then he’s human and he can run off to Kang Joo’s family right now and tell them all about this scheme. Does she want him to do that? Yi Kyung looks torn but tells Yi Hyun where Doo Rim and Kang Joo are headed, Yi Hyun drives off to stop them while Yi Kyung calls her witch mom about Yi Hyun going to stop their plan and about Doo Rim already aware she was the intended sacrificial bride all along. President Ma says “then there is even more reason for her not to live, and to shut her mouth forever, everything will end tomorrow.” We see that President Ma and her lackey henchman are parked right outside the newlyweds villa.
Kang Joo’s mom reads the diary about how Kang Joo’s dad’s first wife was excited and scared about her wedding night. She wasn’t scared of dying afterwards, she was scared of leaving Kang Joo’s dad behind to grieve. Kang Joo’s mom then notices that a page has been ripped out after that entry and is missing. We see that Kang Joo’s grandmother has that page in her hand and she suddenly suffers an attack and collapses.
Doo Rim’s wine glass suddenly drops from her hand and shatters on the ground. She and Kang Joo stare at each other and Doo Rim says “Kang Joo-shhi, I’m tired.” Oooooh, the bed is right behind you, kids. There is a magical mist that blows through the villa and it puts President Ma and the lackey to sleep. Thank you ghost lady!
Kang Joo and Doo Rim sit in bed and stare at each other. Doo Rim thinks to herself that she wants to imprint his face and voice and everything about him in her heart forever, and if she leaves him then she hopes that he will remember her and know that her love for him is real. Kang Joo thinks to himself that he doesn’t know what the future after tomorrow holds but he’s not going to miss this opportunity with her. If she’s not there then a future without her has no purpose. He won’t let her go alone, wherever she goes he’ll follow and keep her company.
Kang Joo and Doo Rim kiss each other and the camera chastely pulls away so everyone you all imagine your bed scene.
Suddenly we see the ghost wearing black standing outside the window staring. She turns and floats away. Back to the runaway first bride in the beginning of the drama, and right as she’s standing at the edge of the cliff, Doo Rim’s halmoni wakes up from this nightmare. She opens a box and takes out one red wedding shoe, the matching pair to the one left on the edge of the cliff after the runaway bride supposedly fell off.
It’s morning time and Kang Joo is dreaming of the ghost and then about Doo Rim walking to the edge of a high cliff. He startles awake and finds himself alone in bed and Doo Rim’s special bracelet left on her pillow.
Kang Joo runs out of the villa and calls out Jang Yi Kyung as he frantically looks for Doo Rim. We see Doo Rim walking to the edge of the high cliff seemingly in a daze. Doo Rim stands at the edge of the cliff and just stares out into the distance. Kang Joo is still trying to find her and is freaking out.
Doo Rim starts crying and flashes back to her meeting with the ghost that night when the scary ghost asked if she was still willing to marry Kang Joo if she died? Doo Rim says yes and the scary ghost morphs into the nice ghost and walks over to tell Doo Rim that she won’t die. The curse is merely a test of true love to see which woman would pass. Doo Rim has passed this test because she truly loves Kang Joo, but her future tests are going to be scarier than death. It’s not the ghost who wants Doo Rim’s life, it’s the people around them.
If Doo Rim wants to stay by Kang Joo forever, she needs to take off her mask and face the truth. It might be more painful than facing death, everyone around her will rip her to shreds, she will be battered and broken, and even the man before her might not accept her afterwards and will discard her. Does she still want to walk this road even knowing this? Doo Rim nods and accepts this lonely battle ahead. The ghost says that no one knows what is at the end of the road and the future is in her own hands to make. Doo Rim asks why it was her? The ghost says this answer is also up to Doo Rim to discover. The ghost reaches out her hand and she’s also wearing the same bracelet. She vanishes into the night and Doo Rim wipes away her tears.
Doo Rim turns around from the edge of the cliff and sees Kang Joo running up worriedly looking for her. Kang Joo runs up and she walks over to him. He immediately bear hugs her and she hugs him back. Doo Rim tells Kang Joo that she won’t die because there is no set future. She notices Kang Joo holding the bracelet and tells him that the person who gave her the bracelet said that their future is theirs to make. They smile at each other and hug.
President Ma and her lackey both wake up and immediately rush to check on the situation. Yi Hyun pulls up and walks right into the villa but finds it empty. Dude, that’s not a polite thing to do considering there were newlyweds in there earlier. Yi Hyun walks out and sees Kang Joo and Doo Rim walking down the mountain arm-in-arm. Suddenly Yi Hyun is knocked unconscious by the lackey and dragged off to the side.
Kang Joo and Doo Rim see President Ma waiting by the villa so Kang Joo takes the lead and goes to speak with the woman he thinks is his mother-in-law. Kang Joo apologizes for worrying her but President Ma wants to discuss it back in Seoul since everything worked out. She tells Doo Rim to go inside and get her things.
Kang Joo and Doo Rim are inside the villa and he kisses her on the forehead and assures her that he’ll block all the bullets for her going forward. Doo Rim wants to tell him something, reminding him that he promise to trust her and asking him not hate her or refuse to forgive her. Kang Joo thinks she’s being weird but there is nothing that can freak him out so she should just say it. That is true since he’s been friends with a ghost since childhood. Doo Rim asks what he would do if the her that he knows is not really her. He asks what she means? Before Doo Rim can admit the truth about her and Jang Yi Kyung, Kang Joo’s phone rings with a call from his folks saying that his grandmother has fallen ill.
Kang Joo is headed to the hospital to see his grandmother and President Ma wants to take Yi Kyung home to change first and then take Yi Kyung to meet him at the hospital. Nooooo, don’t let her out of your sight, Kang Joo! Especially not with the cackling witch woman! Kang Joo agrees and drives off first.
Yi Hyun wakes up and rushes off. President Ma congratulates Doo Rim on surviving and then tells her to get into the car since they have things to discuss between them. Doo Rim gets into the car but doesn’t look happy about it. Yi Hyun runs towards the car as it pulls away. Jin Joo calls Yi Hyun and says she’ll find out where Kang Joo is right now for him.
The car pulls up to the hospital and President Ma thanks Doo Rim for her part in this show but it’s over now. Suddenly the lackey gets out of the car and two more lackeys get in. Doo Rim asks President Ma what she is doing? This is not their deal! President Ma laughs at Doo Rim for having believed her, she’s not going to have Yi Kyung living in Doo Rim’s shadow for the rest of her life. She tells Doo Rim to go quietly otherwise her friend Jin Joo and her halmoni will both be in danger. We see Yi Hyun has followed them and is watching this kidnapping from his car. President Ma gets out of the car and Doo Rim is driven off but luckily Yi Hyun follows that car.
President Ma walks into the hospital and Yi Kyung is there waiting for her. Yi Kyung’s scary smirk is amazingly awesome, she gives me the chills. Yi Kyung takes the elevator up and when the door opens, Kang Joo is standing there waiting for her. Kang Joo turns around and smiles at Yi Kyung as she walks out of the elevator to join him. ARGH!
Thoughts of Mine:
Am I the only one who finds this drama utterly dizzying in how much is going on? Yet episode 10 still found ways to take long breaks so that Doo Rim and Kang Joo can go on a couple date, eat dinner together, snuggle and then bed time, all of that tossed on top of a kidnapping and halmomi’s big secret connection with the Choi family. I don’t blame anyone for needing to sit down to watch this sucker before kicks the legs out from under us all. When Yi Kyung came back I should have realized this drama isn’t afraid of upending its own narrative crutches, what I didn’t expect was how it dares to keep upping the stakes. I’m genuinely a happy viewer to be shown romance that breaks through emotional fears but then is confronted with genuine outside dangers. Too many dramas let the OTP worry themselves into a hole and refuse to act, but here Kang Joo and Doo Rim quickly admitted they loved each other and then decided to jump into the fire together. We got to see a wedding and a wedding night, albeit both might end up needing a do-over later when Kang Joo finds out that the woman he loves has a different name and identity.
I don’t know if I should chastise Doo Rim for not telling him who she really is, or be disappointed that Kang Joo can tell the difference. In the beginning we know he and Yi Kyung were engaged in name only so he doesn’t know her at all when they reconnected after he came back to Korea. But after Doo Rim played Yi Kyung for many weeks and then the real Yi Kyung came back, Kang Joo rather cluelessly interacted with the two girls and never sensed anything was off. I know this is drama land which is why Doo Rim’s continued deception and Kang Joo’s unawareness are both easy to swallow, especially since it’s clearly to up the emotional stakes for them. Even if the dead bride curse isn’t real, the danger to Doo Rim’s life is real from all the outside pressures. If Kang Joo wants to be the man of the house and a husband who can protect his wife, I think he does need to confront how much Doo Rim means to him. It’s easy if she told him and asked for forgiveness, but it’s much harder for a man who hates betrayal to actually find out the truth later on and then have to work through the woman he loves lying to him so massively. If he can reconcile all his vows and promises to love her forever and no matter what happens he’ll never change, then I think Kang Joo will have passed his own test.
I was totally wanting to high five and ghost lady and Doo Rim during their conversation about what being the bride of the family means. Doo Rim actually went into the marriage not fearing death, but knowing that she may lose Kang Joo afterwards for her deception, and yet she was willing to take the chance because there is no other way for them to be together. If she told him the truth now, he would never marry her and would never believe that she genuinely loved him. I was shocked to suddenly get the late potential game changing discovery that Doo Rim’s halmoni was Kang Joo’s grandfather’s first bride who fell off the cliff. Clearly Doo Rim was meant to marry into the family and her fate may have really been tied with Kang Joo since before they were born. I think there is also still the chance that Yi Kyung and Doo Rim are twins, which is always the best explanation for dopplegangers though this drama is so crazy it can get away with just claiming there are two identical girls are there that aren’t related to each other.
I hope Yi Kyung stops being her mom’s stooge and shows me that she’s not completely hopeless. She can be a bitch and selfish quite like Roo Mi is, but knowing when the stop before things get out of hand makes them redeemable in my eyes. I don’t think Roo Mi keeping silent is anything other than self-serving and wanting to be around to pick up the pieces afterwards, but of all the horrid women in this drama she has currently done the least objectionable things. Yi Hyun is really trying way to hard to protect everyone around him, from trying to get his mom and sister to not be homicidal kidnapping conspirators to rescuing Doo Rim repeatedly. I feel so bad for the guy, all she did was keep him from one falling brick and his life has never been the same since. I’m okay with all the scheming because ultimately the ghost lady and Doo Rim have the power of love on their side. Kang Joo really should thank his lucky stars he’s so well loved.
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