I felt like episode 19 of Nice Guy was intended as a prelude to the ending so I didn’t want to judge it on it on its standalone merits. Its slow burn felt like Lee Kyung Hee was getting ready to do something incredible to behold for her final salvo. Death, more amnesia, swirling camera slo-mo shots of reunion and forgiveness – whatever she had in store, I thought she would go out with a bang. Contrary to my instincts, for once I’m surprised by how Nice Guy chose to wrap out its ambitious story. As viewers we followed the life of Kang Maru for many years as he went from idealistic young med student to angry bitter ex-convict to guilt-ridden man ready to let go. During the journey we got to see bits and pieces of his life through the lens of Jae Hee, his first love, and Eun Gi, his last love. His love with Jae Hee could not survive the temptations of money and his love with Eun Gi was almost torpedoed by mistrust and hidden agendas. Everyone shouldered some of the blame for the bad things that happened, so the drama was about whether these characters could break free from the vicious cycle and find a new start in life.
Could Maru hit restart on his life once all is said and done. Could Eun Gi return to Tae San like she was groomed to do? Could Jae Hee step up to pay her dues for her own sins? I felt that the final episode of NG answered all of these questions but didn’t manage to do so in a way that was as extraordinarily satisfying as the drama has been all along. The ending did its job but didn’t do more when it could have. I now feel like the drama could have actually benefited from a two-episode extension, but at the same time I loved the pacing even until the end. The ending was merely good enough, which is a shame since it was preceded by a drama that I felt was great. On the upside, it didn’t leave me ready to heave heavy objects or left me a sodden mess on the floor. One thing that cannot be denied is that this drama was simply beautiful to watch – a world of fine acting, directing, and writing that is ever so rare these days. Kudos to Nice Guy, thank you for exceeding my expectations in almost every single way, and I only wished Kang Maru could have had the money or sartorial style to wear socks more often.
Episode 20 recap:
Maru asks Eun Gi to run away with him and she stares back at him like he sprouted horns. I feel for poor Eun Gi, who represents the villagers in the storybook she was reading in episode 11 – The Boy Who Cried Wolf – and just doesn’t know if she can trust this boy even just one more time. She tells him not to make false offers anymore, she’s not falling for it again. Right now all she cares about is finding out the truth about what happened to her father and avenging him.
Before she leaves, Maru pulls her in for a hug. Eun Gi gets a call and leaves to go confront lawyer Ahn and Jae Hee’s minion secretary. She accuses him of causing Joon Ha’s accident since it was his car that was caught on roadside camera driving behind Joon Ha shortly before the accident. Eun Gi asks if Jae Hee was behind it but the guy continues to play stupid and claims he did nothing of the sort. Eun Gi goes badass on him and grabs his shirt collar and tells him to continue playing dumb but she’s taking them all down.
Maru goes to Jae Hee’s house to talk with her about turning herself in. Jae Hee refuses and says all she wants to do now is die and she wants Maru to die with her. Maru says he doesn’t want to die, why should he die? Even if he doesn’t have love he will bravely live the rest of his life as given. He wanted to take Eun Gi away and protect her but she won’t go. He tells Jae Hee to turn herself in again and says he’ll wait for her. If she goes to police station he will go with her. On his way out, he clutches his head in pain.
Jae Gil comes home and finds Maru collapsed on the floor.
Choco rushes to the hospital and finds out from Jae Gil the extent of Maru’s medical condition with an untreated subdural hematoma. Choco is upset she was not told since she’s his only sister but Jae Gil says Maru didn’t want her to worry. She doesn’t go into his hospital room to see him.
Maru wakes up and his former med school professor is sitting next to him. Aww, they finally meet! Sunbae doctor tells Maru the surgery is scheduled for tomorrow and asks if there is anyone Maru wants to see or anything he wants to do before then. Maru laughs and asks if he’s trying to jinx it (implying Maru won’t survive the surgery). The doctor knows Maru delayed his surgery to help bring Eun Gi’s memory back and now its time that he take care of himself because there is a lot he needs to atone for still.
Jae Shik goes to see Jae Hee, finding her sitting in the dark. He brings her a corn dog and reminds her that when he was released from juvenile detention and found her outside her school eating a corn dog and he was starving and asked for a bite, she threw it on the ground instead. She’s always treated him like a dog instead of an oppa. Jae Shik wanted to kill Maru for Jae Hee but he can’t kill Maru since Choco treats him like an older brother and cooks for him all the time. If Jae Hee was nicer to him then he wouldn’t waver because Choco was nice to him. Jae Shik says it doesn’t matter anyway since Maru is very sick and will die soon. Jae Hee is shocked to find out that Maru is very sick from the hematoma as Jae Shik continues being Nice Guy’s resident hilarious exposition fairy.
At the hospital, Eun Gi sits by Joon Ha’s bedside and thinks about Maru’s offer to run away with her. She massages his arm and suddenly his finger move. She calls out oppa and sees Joon Ha’s eyes open.
Eun Gi goes home and Jae Hee tells her about Maru’s illness, explaining that its a residual injury from the car accident. Eun Gi goes back to the hospital and she flashbacks to the moment in the tunnel when she sees his car coming towards her and swerves to cause their head on collision. She remembers Maru’s face as slowly breaking into a calm smile.
Eun Gi also flashes back to her conversation with Maru in the car after their aborted wedding, where she informed him that she will take him and Jae Hee down at all costs. She walks to his hospital room but doesn’t go in. Maru hears someone outside the door but when he opens the door there is no one standing there.
Lawyer Ahn calls Jae Hee to tell her that he’s going to take out Eun Gi personally. Jae Hee screams at him not to do it but he hangs up. Jae Hee calls Eun Gi to warn her but Eun Gi doesn’t want to answer Jae Hee’s call. Jae Gil visits Maru in his hospital room and wonders why Eun Gi isn’t here? Maru wonders why Eun Gi would be here and Jae Gil explains that Eun Gi called him earlier. Maru rushes out of the hospital to find Eun Gi.
Eun Gi wanders around the hospital while Maru runs around searching for her. Running is not good for your current condition, Maru. Whatever, you’re not going to listen to me anyway. Maru and Eun Gi finally meet while standing at a wide intersection at opposite ends. They see each other and Maru smiles a wide relieved smile. The light turns green and they walk towards each other. As they get close Maru sees lawyer Ahn rushing up behind Eun Gi.
He grabs Eun Gi and turns her around and gets stabbed by lawyer Ahn in her stead. Lawyer Ahn walks away while Maru and Eun Gi remain in an embrace in the intersection. This is all romantic and whatnot but can someone call an ambulance for this guy and call the cops to catch the other guy!
Maru and Eun Gi sit at the park and talk. Is Eun Gi blind? Can’t she see how pale he is and that he’s clutching his side, which is BLEEDING?!?! Maru tells Eun Gi that he’s tired and needs to get back to the hospital so anything she wants to talk about, can they talk tomorrow? Eun Gi looks worried and says yes.
Maru puts Eun Gi in a taxi to send her off. She asks him one question – why didn’t he swerve in the tunnel, why did he allow the accident to happen without trying to avoid it? Maru says he’ll answer that question tomorrow as well, and he’ll think long and hard about the answer. Eun Gi is reluctant to go and steps back to kiss him. Maru closes his eyes as they kiss.
Jae Hee goes to the cops and gives her confession about everything – she claims to have ordered lawyer Ahn to do everything he did, taking responsibility for the accident, the Chairman’s death, and even the reporter’s death from 7 years ago. The cop asks if she doesn’t want to wait for a lawyer but she says no.
After the kiss ends, Maru puts Eun Gi in the taxi and he stumbles back towards the hospital. He finally collapses in a darkened park path with his eyes wide open. Good lord that was bleak to watch. And unnecessarily dramatic considering how undramatic this drama has been this entire time. Maru’s voiceover about why he didn’t swerve was because he didn’t have the courage to continue his bleak life so he thought it would be fine to end. In his next life, he wants to meet Eun Gi again, because there is no one in the world that could compare to her.
A little girl is talking to the camera and she says her dad’s name is Park Jae Gil and her mom is Kang Choco. The title card tells us its 7 years later and Choco and Jae Gil are married with this adorable little girl. Choco runs downstairs to wake up Jae Gil and turns out they are still living in the same house that they lived with Maru and Eun Gi. Choco kisses a sleeping Jae Gil and he smiles. This is cute and makes me happy, but honestly there has been zero indication that Jae Gil returned Choco’s crush during the drama so I guess while I can accept this outcome it remains a stretch.
Jae Gil goes to the fried chicken shop run by Jae Shik to pick up some munchies. I love how Jae Shik has genuinely turned a new leaf as well. Secretary Hyun arrives and puts a letter on the table and tells Jae Shik to stop writing her love letters. Ha, that was cute.
Lawyer Ahn leaves prison and he sees Jae Hee in a car waiting for her. He walks towards the car and she’s sleeping inside. He pauses for a moment before turning and walking away. Jae Hee wakes up and gets out of the car to run after him but Joon Ha arrives and stops her.
Joon Ha wonders when she got out of prison and Jae Hee says a few months ago. He tells her to give lawyer Ahn some time. She wonders if Eun Gi is doing well and asks Joon Ha to convey her well wishes to Eun Gi. Jae Hee admits that her biggest hurdle is wondering how to cross the mountain that is before her.
We’re in a seaside town and Eun Gi piggybacks a little sick girl to see the local doctor. Eun Gi drops the little girl of and goes back to lock the doors of her bakery which is next door, before running back to the clinic.
The little girl is treated by Dr. Maru and she asks if its true that he studied abroad. Dr. Maru confirms he studied in the US sponsored by his former medical school professor. When asked why he’s come here to the boondocks to be a doctor, Dr. Maru replies that the view is nice and there are pretty girls. Eun Gi stands in the back and adorably points at herself. The little girl asks if those pretty girls include Eun Gi unni. Maru turns to look at her and says he doesn’t know. She asks if its true that he had major brain surgery and lost his memories? Dr. Maru says he remembers facts but cannot remember people from his past, people he knew and people he loved. The little girl asks if its true the Eun Gi unni’s sandwiches and cookies are terrible tasting? Poor Eun Gi looks so worried that Maru will say yes. The little girl asks why Maru goes there morning and night to buy food from her if it tastes bad? Maru just smiles and doesn’t say anything. Hee, cute.
Maru sits in the courtyard between his clinic and Eun Gi’s bakery reading and drinking coffee. He looks up and Eun Gi is hiding in the bakery taking pictures of him. When she sees him she stops taking pictures and tries to hide the camera. He beckons her out but she initially refuses but eventually goes out to talk with him.
He looks through her camera and sees every picture Eun Gi took was of him. He asks if she’s the papparazzi? Eun Gi says more or less. He asks if she likes him? Eun Gi is embarrassed but says she likes good looking guys. He asks when she started liking him and she hems and haws before saying its too embarrassing for her to talk about.
Eun Gi rides her bicycle through town and goes back to the bakery to see a note outside. She heads to the bench next to the waterfront and Maru is sitting there. She sits down and he takes out a red box from his sweater pocket and slides it over to her. She opens it to see that inside are the wedding rings Maru bought for them when they were preparing to get married. Maru smiles at Eun Gi and its clear he remembers her now. The camera pulls away as they sit there smiling contently at each other.
Maru voiceovers (which is continuation of his voiceover when he collapsed at the park of the stab wound): When I meet Eun Gi in the next life, I want us to fall in love in the most ordinary way possible. That is my prayer. I will find out what that woman is like. I will learn to be the kind of son-in-law her dad would want. I will learn the eat the kind of food she likes. I will say I miss her when I miss her. I will go to all the places she’s been to. That is my prayer……and so it renewed my courage. Thank you, and I am happy.
Thoughts of Mine:
Am I happy with the ending? How can I not be pleased with an ending that had everyone paying for their mistakes and finding a measure of happiness down the line in ways that wrapped up all the loose ends. I’m not a masochist, I don’t need bodies littering the floor for the sake of piling on the melodrama factor. The final scene with Maru and Eun Gi on the bench, that was as happy an ending as this drama could get, right? So how come I’m feeling slightly cheated? It’s probably because I felt like Lee Kyung Hee shoehorned in her happy ending. Up until the moment Maru’s hematoma flared up coupled with his getting stabbed as well as finally reaching mutual trust and understanding with Eun Gi, I felt like Lee Kyung Hee was ready to send Maru off to the great pasture in the sky. The amount of coincidences that night, complete with him staggering off in the dark empty park, fairly screamed out “poor sap, he really has the worst luck in all of Seoul.” And then we get a final ten minutes where rainbows and unicorns descended from the sky and we learn that Jae Shik sells fried chicken and has a crush on Secretary Hyun, Choco and Jae Gil got married and had a precocious daughter, Jae Hee and lawyer Ahn are still in their dysfunctional whatever-the-heck weird relationship, Joon Ha makes an obligatory entrance to remind us that he’s fine, and ends with Dr. Maru and his stalker crush Eun Gi.
I don’t have a problem with NG guy ending happily, and I really don’t have a problem with this particular ending, I just had a huge problem with how the first fifty minutes of episode 20 was spent getting to the final 10 minute ending that didn’t flow with what the writer was intending. In every way the ending of NG is the exact opposite of the ending of Sang Doo, Let’s Go to School. While watching NG I kept thinking whether it would dethrone Sang Doo as my favorite Lee Kyung Hee penned drama, and with this ending it’s close but no cigar. Sang Doo still gets the edge for me, because when it pulled switcheroo it felt less on-the-fly the way NG does. In Sang Doo, the legendary OTP of Eun Hwan and Sang Doo, neither of whom ever do anything wrong but keep getting the short end of life’s stick, finally earn their happily ever after. Sang Doo gets out of jail and everyone is waiting for him outside, his Eun Hwan, his daughter, his family. They reunite….and then get run over by a truck. I swear even typing this still brings back the sheer horror on my face watching it. It would be laughable if not for the ending that follows, when his daughter writes that letter and we see Eun Hwan and Sang Doo walking in the countryside and imagine they are really happy wherever they are. That was beautiful, and I realized that Lee Kyung Hee meant to end her story this way.
Here I kept getting the niggling sensation that she wanted Maru to die but didn’t have the conviction to follow through on it for whatever reason. Call it fan service or cold feet, Lee Kyung Hee gave her leading man two ways to die in episode 20 only to give him a miraculous reprieve AND the perfect life he deserved. I suppose a nighttime jogger found his prone body and called the ambulance. Luckily the stab wound didn’t puncture any vital organs or blood vessels. He managed to get both surgeries at once, and the hematoma surgery went well because he was in that lucky percentage not to die during the operation. But he lost his memory, though it wasn’t as bad as Eun Gi’s memory loss. He still had his mental acuity, so his medical school professor sponsored him to study abroad, though I’m not sure which medical school in the US would take a Korean med school drop out unless Maru aced his MCATs. While he was gone everyone else made all the right decisions and their lives moved forward in positive ways. When he returned, Eun Gi left Tae San and chose to follow her heart. If there was one aspect of the epilogue that was the most consistent and didn’t feel forced, it was learning that Eun Gi gave everything up for Maru. Good for her! But overall I am feeling whiplash with the ending that felt like Lee Kyung Hee took a sharp left turn in the middle.
My quibble with the ending is really so minor when placed against the overall brilliance of NG. The ending wasn’t even that bad or out-of-the-blue to ruin the drama. It merely felt awkward but that doesn’t ruin the journey of my enjoyment of this stellar dramatic work. NG can stand proudly as a shining example of what a K-melodrama can and should be. It was emotionally powerful without resorting to cheap tricks of dumping heaving buckets of woe on the characters. The viewer shouldn’t be manipulated to feel sad because writers are trying to out-do themselves in creating the backstories and events to render their characters tragic beyond compare. Maru grew up in relative poverty but he is well-adjusted and smart enough to get into med school. Jae Hee was poor and physically abused but she went to college and became a reporter. Eun Gi had an emotionally terrorist father and was abandoned by her mother, but she went to business school and can run a corporation. What happened in NG is that these three characters carry their emotional baggage and then make bad choices. Jae Hee chooses to get close to the Chairman and ends up in that hotel room defending herself against rape. Maru chooses to take the fall for Jae Hee rather than make her accept responsibility. Eun Gi chooses to blindly trust her runaway heart rather than take it slow with Maru. In the end, bad choices beget more bad choices until each character can break the vicious cycle. In the end that happened and it was truly satisfying to see.
NG was bolstered by having some of the best directing I’ve seen in years. It isn’t as flashy as Kwok Jung Hwan in Chuno, for example, but the expertise and finesse is all there in how seamlessly we are carried from scene to scene without realizing the transitions of camera angles and cut aways are happening. If you turn off the sound, watching NG in silence will truly highlight what a visual feast it is. Quiet but so impactful. I wasn’t that taken with the OST, which was always just one step away from pouring on the cheese. Thankfully it never strayed over the line, but I often wonder what this drama could be if even the music was less in-your-face and more quietly powerful the way the directing was. I’ve already thrown accolade after accolade to all the actors on the across-the-board stellar acting by the cast so there is no need to repeat myself. I wouldn’t say that the three leads deserve awards for blowing me away, but all three definitely took their previous personal best acting performance and one-upped themselves. I find awards all a popularity contest anyway, and the true value of delivering a great performance is for the actor to feel personal validation and to take away a genuine improvement in their skills. Nice Guy won’t make my all time top-10 list but it’s definitely a keeper that I’ll heartily recommend to anyone looking for a great melodrama fix.
Click here to watch all of Nice Guy.
I’ve watched the live streaming but I don’t understand a single word that they said.
but I was so relieved that it happened to be come and HAPPY ENDING..
As always.. Thank you so much for your recap.. love your recap, koala-chan~ ^^
I’ll be cheering on you for another K / C / J -drama recap.. toodles~ <3
Let me say a great big THANK YOU for undertaking the recapping of NG. It was an awesome journey.
When MR was stabbed and stumbled into the dark street, I truly felt OK with the fact that he was probably dead. We just needed to see how all the ends would be tied up. Then he was miraculously resurrected and I was like WTH!
All in all it’s a done deal, a wrap up and adios.
Thanks again Ms. Koala for your brilliant writing. I enjoyed it tremendously.
koala, how can you even mention Sang doo?? TT I LOVE LOVE that drama. I love MISA, but I LOVE Sang doo even more. The ending is tragic but perfect. Every relationship in Sang doo makes sense while in NG, sometimes I feel that the emotional connections are contrived and I still don’t like some of the secondary characters. They are too over-the-top and redundant.
On the contrary, remember the bromance in Sang doo? OMG. That’s the friendship I LOVE.
Also, the bleeding while kissing scene ruins the entire drama for me. It’s too ridiculous. I feel like it’s purely for fan service…
It’s official! TK2H and NICE GUY is the best dramas of the year of 2012!!!
Thank You for recapping this drama.
I am so happy with the ending. Aleast my prayer for Maru to become a couple with EG happens. But there are still some doubts like why did choco marry Jae Gil and what happened to EG younger brother? But those are not really a big pro so it alright.
Mostly I would have loved for them to give us more couple shots for Maru and EG. After 10 weeks of roller-coster ride of emotions I need more happy moments to remember them by.
Still Maru looks so good in the doctor outfit 🙂
Koala – you have not made one fangirl comment about SJK’s looks the entire run.
All I could think with the ending scenes, after kinda wondering how he managed not to die (reminded me of Spy Myung Wol – they died, right?)
was, “Man he looks hot in his new haircut / as a doctor / reading a paper / standing reading a sign / walking / sitting / smiling / pushing an old box of couple rings…”
For some reason, I kind of want Maru to die because I felt like it was set up that way…not that the somewhat happy ending isn’t great, but Lee Kyung Hee could have done something else lol
I like the happily ever after ending but I think it would have made more sense why he didn’t die if Lee Kyung Hee showed how Maru lived after the stabbed and lying in a darkened park. It would have been nice if Eun Gi didn’t go home that night and instead followed him and was able to get him to ER when she found him laying on the ground. But I have no complains about the ending…I just wished there could have been more shown to get to that ending.
Wished we saw EG find him.
TOTALLY 120% agree with you on this.
Maybe that is what happened, just not on camera.
Thank you so much for your recaps, appreciate your hard work. Loved the drama my favourite for the year, I was thankful it was a happy ending I just loved Maru and EG so much I wanted them to end up together.
Thank you again, you are the Best!!!
They probably ran focus groups on the different endings and decided the one where Maru dies would not be favoured by fans but in my mind, probably retains the writer’s artistic integrity. Nevermind, I am happy to sell out and have the happy ending for Maru and Eun Gi. Thank goodness my precious Joon Ha lives. They must now give him a starring role if simply because he cries so well and his hair falls so nicely and his eyes are doe like. he he
i have similar sentiments… the bigger the built-up is from previous episodes… the more disappointing a… mediocre, happy ending feels. not that i don’t want a happy ending, but not having extra episodes to spell the story out made this episode… such a WEIRD conglomerate of happy endings… i can only be saddened by what it could have been… with it’s truly riveting characters and sensitive writing
what an exhausting and exciting ride with the Nice Guy. Kudos to the writer & actors. one of the best drama this year. thanks ms. koala for sharing everything about this drama and for the recaps 🙂
I thought the writer was going to pull Bad Guy end 2.
I was disappointed. The last episode reminded me of the time I watched the last episode of 49 days. A great story, with great acting and directing but with a poor ending. The last 10 minutes should have been an entire episode.
The stabbing incident was unnecessary and in fact ruined the scene that followed. All I could think of was why can’t EG see that he was stabbed, why can’t she see the blood, why doesn’t she take him back to the hospital.
I have wished many times that Korea would get rid of the “live shoot.” It has ruined too many dramas.
Just for curiosity…
What’s your top 10 dramas ockoala?
The stabbing seemed unnecessary if they were going to do a happy new life for Maru end. It made EG look dumb not to notice he was in pain and bleeding. Plus, you love the guy and he’s deathly ill but you get in a taxi so he can walk back to the hospital? Come on EG. It also seems slightly important for her to know someone wanted to kill her. That whole scene didn’t make much sense to me, as much as I loved how they went to find each other.
The happy end almost seemed like a dream he had while dying, but there isn’t really anything pointing to that theory so I’ll have to take the timeskip at face value. The ending was decent, but unsatisfying in a lot of ways.
I totally agree. i wouldve been okay if he died right there and then because they finally confessed their feelings at the traffic lights, like clearly. but the last 10 minutes. does he remember or does he not remember, when did he remember her? Was he starting his second life remembering her already or didnt remember. I am totally unsatisfied with the ending even though they ended up together. its like what happened in those 7 years????
I feel this ending is anticlimax.and when maru get stabbed and eun gi even not knowing it.that ridiculous.i agree maybe 2episode ext is better.but however i’m happy maru get his happiness
I like how Eun Gi gave up her position at the company in the end…it’s only right to end it that way because she was willing to throw it all away in the first place for Maru…
One thing I have to point out is the fact that Eun Gi did not know Maru got stabbed! I mean WTF, that is freaken crazy, is that something that can easily be missed lol…I really don’t think so hahah…
I’m really glad the creepy Lawyer Awn ended up doing the dirty work himself because Jae Shik was not able to bring himself to take Maru’s life away or anyone else’s..so I applaud Jae Shik for finding his conscience…Now that Nice Guy is over, should I give Missing You a chance? hahah
thankss koala eonnie,,, i watching this without subtitle,,,, your recaps its important,make me understand the ending,,, the first i think its just a dream,,but,, yess!! maru not die,,I’m happy with that,,,,i want maru and eun gi happy,but the ending is flat for me,, (need more grand ) *heeeee peace
i love happy ending,, but since the first i watching nice guy i never think the ending will be happy,, I’m okay with that because for me, i like the story and proces it this drama,, (Sometime my favorite drama have a sad ending) and drama with sad ending is more i remember than happy ending,, heeee
oh sorry in forgot one thing, i love nice guy its one best drama in 2012,, love song jong ki more and more,,, and moon chae won is awesome like in princess man,,they look good together please dating!! heeeee.
– maybe i wanna tray sangdo after this,, it sound good and recommended,,
Can I say that I’m totally in love with Moon Chae Won. Thanks for the wonderful and insightful recaps. NG you gave me a happily ever after when I lost hope after episode 17. I will miss you.
Just how many languages do you speak, read, write, Ms K? I am in awe!
Love love love NG!!!! I’m satisfied with the ending. Maru and Eun Gi how they both fall in love in an ordinary place them being ordinary people, Maru doing extra ordinary things(doctor) Eun Gi hanging around serving Maru her bake goodies and coffee making him like or love her. Maru’s answered prayer. Which he truelly deserve. Eun Gi and Maru happiness for the damned! I can only wish to see montage of pictures them getting married with a baby and walking on the beach. Lol by far the best melo drama I love in ages. My 2012 favorite NICE GUY AND KING 2HEARTS. Well written dramas with good or satisfying end. Thank you Ms. K! What’s next on your list? I’d be happy to sail with again.
Kang Maru and Eun-Ki later interactions reminds me of a quote I came across. “when two people go out for a romantic walk and only one knows it–that’s stalking.”
ha ha! I love that! I must remember it!
missing NG already.. huauhuaaaaa.
“I’m not a masochist, I don’t need bodies littering the floor for the sake of piling on the melodrama factor.”
Agreed. I have no disappointments. And like Maru said in the end, I am happy. =) THANK YOU for recapping this drama.
for sure i will miss EunMa =)job well done!!!
Thank you Koala, thank you so much for the wonderful recaps. Looking forward to read some more.
woah~ what a ride :p THANK YOU KOALA!!! <3
i don't know about the ending for me it was a big relief cause all the way from the first episode till episode 17 or 18 everything was dark full of revenge, anger, ah! you name it… then finally it was sort of letting you breath "positive" air.
HAHA! love Jae Shik!!! hehe
Didn’t he look cute without the facial hair, and the relaxed hair instead of the Daddy-do?
I guess you can take the gangster out of the suit.
He was fabulous in the corn dog scene.
Especially the part where suddenly it dawned on him – maybe he could take credit for Maru’s hematoma death and get that officetel after all! Too too much, dude.
needed an extension, the end seemed a bit forced, for this great drama
i think Lee Kyung Hee should be back in NICE GIRL..
hahahha…I love her writing skill!! Such a great Writer!
Thanks alot for the recap.
and the ending simply makes me satisfied,..
I feel the same way, cheated. I felt the ending just tied loose ends and doesn’t make sense to me. It should and COULD been better.
Thank you for the wonderful recap! Still don’t know how I feel about the ending. I mean, I SO wanted these two characters to find peace and happiness together, but the way things happenned seemed so odd. What was the point in the whole stabbing thing? Really, it felt so forced to fill a melodrama-esque ending. And they want us to believe EG didn`t realize it? And that she didn`t see he was bleeding the entire time? And that, knowing MR was very, very ill, she just left in a taxi and let him walk to the hospital? Seriously?
But, finale aside, I love, love, love this drama. Wonderful direction, OUSTANDING acting, beautiful cinematography. Love it, love it! It will remain as one of my favorite k-dramas of all time. Oh how much I felt for these characters! I really don`t know what to do with myself next wednesday. Major withdrawal already!
I loved this drama. I can understand why you feel the way you do about the ending, Ms.K. I had similar thoughts, but in the end, I’m so glad Maru survived and was able to, at last, find the happiness he prayed for with his EunGi.
Thank you so much for this blog. I love it. I am amazed by all the work you do. You are a terrific lady!
And how cool was the change they did in the intro, this time showing the clock moving forward and Maru smiling? Such a nice touch! =)
You know, I saw that, and that gave me hope, but I still positive Maru died on that path outside.
Totally expected to find EG solo with ES at the end.
Yup I agree!! I actually went to check out previous eps again and notice that previous eps clock moved backwards from about 7 o’clock onwards; whereas in ep 20 clock moves forward from around 7 o’clock as well (then Maru breaks into a smile, with that tear on his face), implying that 7 years ago Maru lived a sad life in the past, and 7 years later he finally has found his happiness. SO MEANING TO SAY, all along the writer has planned a happy ending! It’s not fan service!!
Yes!Yes!The change in the intro was just perfect.I loved it:)
it was a perfect ending.
start again with new memories. though maru has regained his memory back, but he want to restart with eungi with their pure love.
I feel satisfied.
Thanks for LKH-nim for the ending.
I love u full 🙂
I feel like my heart’s gonna burst with HAPPY!
Thank you Koala unni for the recap of the final episode of NG. I have watched it raw and think that was beautiful ending when he died at the end. Then, afterward, it was the WTH moment for me. However, it was perfect. I think it was a beautiful ending. I love when he gave her the wedding ring and they both smile at each other. This shows that she accept and he is happy that she is accept to become his wife. =) Now, I hope it will be sub soon so I can enjoy it again. I think this is best kdrama of 2012 so far for me.
Thank you so much Ms. Koala.. really really appreciate it..
Thanks Ms Koala,
The best Kdrama I’ve watched this year.
I was prepared for a dramatic ending from Episode 15. I had imagined the ending would have Lawyer Ahn succeeded in stabbing Eun Gi and she would die from the fatal wound. Of course, Maru would then have to die in the Operation Theater (of course both tragic death must occur on the same day better yet, same time). The only retribution for Lawyer Ahn and Jae Hee would be to have them rot in jail leaving little master Seo in the care of Jae Shik and Secretary Hyun (this I didn’t see coming but a good pair). As promised Jae Gil would step in Maru’s shoes and take care of Choco;the best way to carry out this responsibility is to marry her. A great closing would be everybody coming together for Eun Gi’s and Maru’s funeral where they would be buried side by side. This scene is accompanied by a voice over from Maru finally finding peace with Eun Gi wherever they may be. One may wonder about Joon Ha, well poor chap should have died in the crash. Now that’s melodrama teeheehee.
I’m happy that everybody has a happy ending but I can’t help feeling a wee bit disappointed. It was to me “a… mediocre, happy ending” quoting hartofseeker.
Anyway, it has been fun reading your recaps, summaries and comments from your readers.
OMG… I love love your ending better…. I think you are kdrama writer on your past life… =D
Am I the only one who thinks he may have actually died and then the whole happy ending with him and Eun-gi was what he had pictured in his mind before dying? Since the ending was a continuation of the voiceover he had when he was lying there, I felt the ending was a bit vague. Was it really them? Future them? Or a current alternate reality version of them that Maru had wanted. And it sounded like Eun-gi was raising Eun-seok alone when Joon-ha was speaking with Jae-hee…
(I cannot compute with a Maru who said he wants to live with a Maru who hides his stab wound, thereby putting himself in even more danger of dying, and then collapsing in an alleyway, where few people could find him and get him help. However, after going through a special program these past few months, I’ve learned that stab wounds are more survivable than I thought they would be. Hopefully the stab got his appendix or something.)
“I’ve learned that stab wounds are more survivable than I thought”
I learned that from Warrier Baek Dong Su…at least MOST of the stab wounds, anyway.
I think the same way too! I think MR was dreaming a happy ending with EG. Or MR is dead because he got stabbed and EG became depressed and committed suicide and that “happy ending” was them in the later life. I personally don’t like the happy ending so i’m gonna pretend that the writer meant the ending to be sad and tragic 🙂
I want a happy ending and did love the ending scenes, but I really don’t feel like the ending we were presented was a truly happy ending. Such a big deal was made of Choco not wanting to see Maru until after the surgery that I felt a bit empty that we didn’t see a Maru and Choco reunion. There was something off and fantastical at the end and I can’t imagine Lee Kyung Hee going with it for reals unless she means it to be a fantasy. Even some rom-coms don’t get happy endings this happy and sweet.
I agree with you! Because Maru’s voiceovers continue through to the unbelievably sunny ending, I feel that it was all in his mind – the mind of a dying man who wanted a second chance for everyone. In which case, I think the writer did an awesome job on the series.
I agree with you, Maru died imagining a second life with EunGi.
about stab scene, it’s been better if they delete it, and MR fall to the ground becauae his hematoma. but, overall, i’m simply love the ending…
i know this might upset some people, but i’ll have to be honest… everything else about the entirety of NG was AWESOME… but the writing…. I love NG… but i can’t say i loved the last 2 episodes. 19 was eh… 20… i really really disliked and was angry (in painful disappointment).
I like happy endings, i liked that EG and MR had a chance to move on and be happy… i like MR’s prayer, LOVED EG kicking secretary cho’s butt, LOVED the insight to how dysfunctional JS and JH’s relationship was… the hate, and yes the love… but the whole thing was so disconnected, with glaring inconsistencies/lack of rationale…
i’m heart-broken over what NG could have been… it needed more room to flesh things out… i’m going to spare everyone from me pointing out and analyzing all the warts in ep 20 (i wouldn’t know about 19 since i waited for the finale in hopes it’d explain 19… which it kinda didn’t)
True love finds its way just like Eun Gi and Maru!
Re OST, the most remarkable song for me is the Eun Gi theme song. I really don’t know its title but it was often used in Eun Gi scenes during the earlier episodes and it came back in episode 20 during Jae Hee and Ahn scene – Jae Hee waiting for Ahn from prison. It wasn’t as intense and dramatic during the earlier scenes but is as heartbreaking…at least for me. It is the most apt of all the OSTs because it captures the subtlety of the acting and directing, it captures the pain that all the characters are experiencing but couldn’t share and express to others but for with themselves alone.
I have nothing against Junsu, but I’m quite annoyed with the song and the overly dramatic vibrato.
While watching the finale without sub and all the lagging, I was a bit disappointed that things doesn’t feel organic. Some scenes felt forced – especially that ridiculous stabbing scene. My oh my! I was screaming WTH all the time Eun Gi and Maru were talking because Eun Gi couldn’t see he’s bleeding (ok let us say it is too dark) but Maru never said a thing and decided to just die in the park. Unnecessary drama. As much as I love the pedestrian scene (one of my fave) the rest of Maru is bleeding scene is just ridiculous.
I kind of like the ending. Though I still hate the fact that Maru did not escape the amnesia route I am happy that it ended fairly well. I believe Maru already regained his memory when he went to the town based on his convo with the kid: HE KEEPS ON EATING AT EUN GI’S RESTAURANT THOUGH THE REST OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD DESPISES HER FOOD.
I didn’t like the Junsu song at all, either.
yesssssss!! me too!!! I LOVE EG’s theme “Magnolia” ahhhh how perfect that it’s named after my fave flower hahaha
I have to agree with you.. the show could have benefited from a two episode extension. I thought that episode 19 was too dragging and episode 20 felt a little rushed. They could have opted to shorten the “Maru trying to convince JH noona to turn herself in” if JH would try to make a deal with MR and he would be choosing between EG and JH anyway. In addition I think the stabbing incident somehow ruined the episode, it was totally unnecessary and uncalled for. Furthermore, how the hell did EG not notice that MR was stabbed???!!! (I was like, wth girl?! can’t you see how pale MR oppa is?) Also, I didn’t like EG leaving MR behind though she knew how tired and how much pain he is in. Nonetheless, I am satisfied with the ending. I thought the writer still made us contemplate on what really happened during that 7 years while giving us a happy ending we all have been wanting. 1. Why was EG not by MR’s side when he got his surgery? (If she was, then MR would have recognized EG when they moved to the country sife) 2. Did Maru really get an amnesia or he was just pretending so he can start things normally with EG? 3. If he did get an amnesia, did his memories come back at the last scene? (Maru gave the ring to EG he bought before)?
Anyway, I am really happy on how things turned out. They deserved to be together after all the things they have been through.
Kudos! I will surely miss SJK’s face!! 🙁
“1. Why was EG not by MR’s side when he got his surgery? (If she was, then MR would have recognized EG when they moved to the country sife) 2. Did Maru really get an amnesia or he was just pretending so he can start things normally with EG? 3. If he did get an amnesia, did his memories come back at the last scene? (Maru gave the ring to EG he bought before)?”
I have the same questions. She did say that she was going to return early the next day, did she ever????? and number 2 and 3, YESS I NEED ANSWERS!!!
Thanks for the love of the show and all your thoughts and energy. Where do you get it? I get exhausted thinking about my piddly 280 words I write for each recap.
I am sooo happy it ended happy, no matter what I say about it feeling tacked on, I still have positive feelings towards the overall end.
But, the way it flowed, I would have liked ONE MORE flashback to settle things between EG and Maru. Just like they have played with them at the ends of some of the episodes.
Rather than end with MR’s continuation of a voice over, after the shot pulling away from the pair on the bench, show us EG’s participation in MR’s rescue and surgery.
Specifically, show that EG stopped the taxi, ran back to Maru and found him crumpled on the path.
Show her running along the gurney in the hospital, and sitting by him as he recovered from BOTH possible fatal head and side wounds. We could listen to her voice over, maybe even echoing what Maru said about starting over, about accepting him and being with him no matter what the future brings. About her being right for falling in love with him at first sight. About how it was all worth it.
I would have liked that.
it could have been written in ways so much better if only there were more room for her to fill up the spaces… i don’t mind slower episodes if they’re filled with good illustrations of the character’s emotional state/progress
is maru alive? or he just pray for second life?
how is he fallen on the street? and seems so dark on the street? park lawyer carrys taisan groups?how they went to the country side ?eun ki runs a cake shop? l am confused.
thanks so much koala sis for the recaps! will be back later to comment more, still help up at the office 🙁
hi again… NG had been a great journey with you. so thankful for recaps up as fast before any subs. you made everyone’s drama watching experience so much more beautiful.
well, i cannot complain with the happy ending but… getting there was a little bit forced and did not seamlessly connect as compared to the 19 episodes before it. still, getting a happy ending and wrapping it up sensibly is more important because you rarely get that with dramas this days. either you are left to scratch you heads or banging your desks in frustration and outright lame.
it’s just that there were some “roll your eyes” moments that LKH should not have injected there or have done it with the same style as the before. when maru was stabbed and he and eun gi continued talking and later before she rides the taxi, i was screaming and pulling my hair out of frustration. really?! EG can’t see he was bleeding… tsk tsk tsk. Maru walking at the park and when he collapsed, i was thinking this has gone stupid. but then over-all you can’t complain with the 1% of everything when you have gotten an excellent 99%. jae shik is the bonus too. 🙂
again, thanks koala sis for loving this drama and sharing your love with us.
One giveaway hint that Maru is alive is the play around on his supposed amnesia. If he really is dead then we could have seen an entirely new Maru and Eun Gi. But no. They are pretty much the same people. They wouldn’t even have to pull the amnesia card anymore if death was the end game of Maru.
yeah me too thinking the same as you. and it was 7 years later. so he must be really alive. and i really love it the the writer wrap this drama, but i’m a bit disappointed that she didn’t show Maru’s family reunite again. but i’m satisfied overall. Amnesia might be the symbolic of letting go the painful past. but in the end, Maru seems to remember Eun Gi, his happiness from the past and in the future.
thank you so much KOALA.. you are indeed have an awesome opinion.. just missing KANG MARU character already..
I like the ending.. It still felt rushed though, like suddenly everything went right and was happy. What was the point of the stabbing? The dramatic tension could be fine with his hematoma. Anyhow, if the drama didn’t have this ending, I would’ve been sad, so I’m happy.
Sang Do had that ending?! I’m so glad I never got around to watching it..
Yes, what was the point of the stabbing?..see that’s what felt like didn’t fit to me than the epilogue…..also Sang Doo’s ending isn’t even half a bad as A Love to kill’s or I’m Sorry, I Love you…wanted to kill myself at the end of both those dramas
During the first few episodes i thought it would end like A Love to kill and I’m sorry i love you. but it’s a relief that it didn’t end that way. this is a perfect ending that LKH could think of. there’s no need to main characters to complete a melodrama.
*i mean, there’s no need to kill the main character to complete a melodrama.
Thanks for the fast recap.
I agree with you on the directing and acting. I watched half of the episodes via my mobile without audio and I enjoyed just watching it in silence… The other I repeatedly watch soundless is FOL… Just drinking in the scenes..
Makes no sense. It’s fake, false, and artificial. The worst ending since The Bad Guy. So EG did not help MR with recovery, never said who she was when he lost his memories (recycled and abused amnesia trick, again?!), and 7 years went on? She did not show up at the hospital next morning?
EG is now 37 years old (behaves like a 25-year old) and JH is in her 40s. Lawyer Park never married but remained kind, all-understanding, and pretty.
Just does not compute. In ep. 19 MR cries his heart out to JH and she cries too, then he changes his mind immediately to run away with EG, then again he changes his freaking mind. It’s a roller coaster that makes no sense whatsoever.
Thanks for your recaps, Koala! I thought this was a great drama, considering all the fluff and bits out there in dramaland. There were a few contrivances, like the stabbing so we could hear his prayer for the next life….and then see his next life 5 minutes later. I think it was a fitting end, and I think it was always LKH’s intention for Maru to live and get his chance at life. Just imagine if he died instead…what would have been the point of his wanting to live and be happy again? I don’t think the message was make bad choices.. well, tough luck, maybe next time.. What would have happened to Eun Gi? Would she have been able to move on and live happily. I thought that the ending was more wrapped up then the other two LKH dramas I’ve seen, so I was surprised and gratified that we got that much happiness at the end!
OK, let’s pretend this was a medical drama.
Choco – unknown illness, cannot be left alone and in the rain, grandiose delusions about singing, obsessive about JG
EG – unknown chronic condition, sometimes acute, paranoia, brain injury, retrograde amnesia, hysterical amnesia, obsessive stalking of MR
MR – martyr, hematoma (from benign to deadly), stabbing, retrograde amnesia, tolerance to bad food
JH – narcissistic, antisocial, promiscuis, needs jewelry
Jae Shik – juvenile delinquent, gambler, abuser, needs homemade food
Ahn – obsessive, murderous, needs new haircut
Lawyer Park – faking gayness, brain injury, needs to get laid
JH was promiscuous since when? She only had Maru and the Chairman. She only kissed lawyer Ahn once
I’m not greedy, I’m happy. I’m happy for Maru, Eun Gi, JH, JG, Choko,& evry single involved in this show. Honestly, I though NG needs special addition like J-dorama to explain unreveal story behind or happy ending pictures of EunMa look like, that what I wish yet I’m not greedy. For why EG cant see MR bleeding, I just think that she’s too focus on MR’s head/face since she knows its hematoma, she has no idea tht MR got stabbed. And why MR doesnt take a taxi coz the park is in hospital area, it makes a sanse, right? And frankly, the miracle does on him (and me, as viewer who cant help him directly..lol). I havent yet watched ep. 20 with sub but i guess that he already remember & pretending, to heal his sad memories wound when he firstly approached her in the past and tries to start the new one. Ah~ I will miss NG. Now, hoping to see more BTS and wishing SJK and MCW will have another project together (cf, mv, movie or drama again in the future) cos i began to shipper them.
Right now i still have the hang over of last night’s episode. I don’t know what to feel when it ended happily; should i be happy too, angry or unsatisfied? All in all i was just confused. They should have maximized the time for eungi and maru alone because it was the last episode. But all in all, i really loveee this drama and i think its the best melo of 2012. It was also trending last night on twitter! Even BoA was watching this drama. Lol. So i reaallllyyyy hope it has a sequel since the last chapter was “episode 20” and not “last episode” and the fact SJK said that he didn’t want to say goodbye to the crews and some staffs, directors and the cast. If there is, i will wait and watch it IF they have the same cast. But if not, no thanks. Btw thankyou for recaps ms. Koala! I was waiting for your thoughts finally youve posted it. 🙂
The reaaaaaallly really love the ending.
It felt a little bit disconnected with the aura of NG if you watched the episodes, but still, it’s good. I don’t like to end NG with a sad or tragic ending, because heck all of the character’s lives are a mess already, writer-nim needed to give the ingredient called ‘happiness’ and ‘love’ for this drama to be human. No one wants to live a life full of hatred and revenge and suffering.
Well, it’s common for kdramas to have tragic or forceful or fanservice or hanging endings. I’ve seen a lot of kdramas that started really good but ended up disappointing me because of the ending. Like, “That’s it?”
I’m quite pleased that the previous kdramas I watched and NG have very good endings, sad or happy. I can say that the qualities of the dramas have improved better <3
I really enjoyed this drama a lot. 🙂
Lee Kyung Hee , I never thought i’d say this to you , you of the frightening Order of Ringers of the Death Knell. So here’s a huge gust of relief & whispers of Thanks , up your way.
I know , we romantic netizens kinda strong-armed you for the unicorns & rainbows & the story you wanted to tell was tweaked for our sake but hey, I’d rather have it this way than dead.Thanks for utilising the power of the unicorn’s horn to heal Maru!
Haven’t seen the show yet and but just re-reading Ms K’s translation leads me to believe that Maru in fact did die of the stab wound. Before he dies, he envisions the life that he would have loved to have lived with Eun Gi. Falling in love with her again in the most ordinary way and for JH and Lawyer A to have confessed their crimes and served time and Joon Ha to have recovered.
The sunny ending just doesn’t gel with the rest of the series. If we interpret the ending as Maru’s dying wish, then it is all pretty consistent with the tone of the series established from the outset. Someone has to pay the price for the bad decisions and Maru has done so at the end. Sob!
I think this drama is just being realistic. Even though it did not meet our expected ending, but, it just show us that love is so powerful.
The ending might be not so detailed but, it really gives you a feeling that love really conquers.
KSJ & MCW really deserves to have an award for this k-drama.They really done their best to reach our heart while watching them.
I would really miss them both! Really hoping for them to become real couple in the future. Thank you Captain! Never stop on sharing your thoughts to other always. We may all come from different countries, but we have one thing in common, WE LOVE K-DRAMA!
Hi Koala unnie!
Thanks for the fast recap:)
I will be watching the last two episodes after i get out of the office so it makes me really happy to read through your post.
Though i am a fan of a happy ending and i really want a happy ending for Maru and EunGi, but in my own opinion, i think that the ending is a bit twisted and confusing. I agree with the other commentors that “maybe” the ending is only in the mind of Maru and is just a fantasy. Nevertheless, two thumbs up for LKH and i will be looking forward for the next series and the upcoming projects of Song Joong-ki and Moon Chae-won. 🙂
Great job Ms. Koala. Haven’t seen the whole episode 20 just reading your recap and indeed it is an awesome drama. I just want them to be happy and be with each other. Thank you Ms. Koala!!!
Thank you so much for your recaps and thoughts ms. koala, it has been a pleasure. I can’t help but agree with you on the ending of the show. Its ironic because i was one of those who wanted a happy ending. But in the end I’m going to choose to believe that he died, and the last 13 minutes was a what-if, kinda like Sangdoo’s ending. It hit me half way through this episode that despite this being one of the best dramas of the year and tightly written work by Lee Kyung Hee( far better than some of my most beloved ones in fact), for me this drama lacked truly memorable moments that kick you in the gut when you least expect it. Like when i think of Sangdoo, its not the ending i remember most (though i still bawl buckets at the mere thought of it)but the scene when they go back to their hometown on the school trip and Eun Hwa goes to the caves and watches young Sangdoo in their happy days, just as present Sangdoo dives into the water in an attempt to save her. Or take MISA when Moo Hyuk and Eun Chae collapse in each other’s arms at the bar in the tent and her dad has to separate them, or even the epic subway staircase scene when Eun Chae cries Ajusshi, Saranghaeyo, over and over. These moments are engraved into my mind and at the mere suggestion of the drama they pop back into my head. As much as i enjoyed this drama, i personally can’t think of a moment that will have the same effect as Lee Kyung Hee’s previous dramas have.
I agree with you, too. I remembered many memorable scenes from some of her previous works. Nice Guy will forever hold a special place in my heart, but LKH has produced more beautiful and thought-provoking dramas than this one. It is still a really great piece of work, and overall I’m so crazily in love with this drama, but if you ask me what was the most memorable scene in MISA, or WISFC (which, okay, may not be the best of her works), I won’t even hesitate to reply. When it comes to NG, it will take me half a second longer…
ending was too abrupt. too much time spent on yoon ha and other characters plus repetitious scenes. would have wanted longer reconciliation time at the end
Thank you for the recaps! A few questions … What happen to JH son? Who took care of him while she was in jail? And the most important one(maybe I miss it) but did EG ever confronted JH about her father? She confronted that dude about running over that GORGEOUS lawyer?
Yeah I have to strongly agree, the ending left me unsatisfied (but NOT upset). It definitly feels like I got cheatted and that the writer succumb to fan service! I didn’t like the fact that (our)questions were answer via a kid asking questions and voiceovers. Oh well
EunGi is taking care of him.
It’s not a fan service. I think they have planned it since the beginning. I notice the opening scene change which Maru smile and the clock moving forward indicating the happy ending. They shoot the change scene opening from the beginning too cause Maru’s hair is the same style as the previous opening scene.
I actually liked the ending…though i admit it wasn’t the most logical conclusion in that the way they brought about the ending didn’t make as much sense with the stabbing and that final monologue before he falls to the ground etc….if he had just gotten the surgery without all that stuff happening and then decided to meet Eun Gi after all those years it would’ve made more sense to me..I liked the epilogue because they both finally got to do what they really wanted all along….to get away from the rest of the world and live in a place with only the two of them…something that’s been brought up over and over throughout the drama…because of that the ending didn’t feel forced to me and I think these characters finally found some peace
Also this totally makes this drama and King 2Hearts in tie for favorite dramas of the year for me…my perfect little SUFBB coming in a close second
Nice Guy have to add 1 special episode.
it will be explain what happened in last 7 years.
Did maru really die? or live? how about eun gi? she has an illness in beginning episode but it lost anyway.
did eun gi tried to help maru realize who she is?
ouucch…they should give us clearly answer.
but maybe it’s their way to let us choose the ending that we want.
many people want happy ending but for some people, maybe maru should die for paying his crime
I think he died and EunGi is still running the company and taking care of small bro.
happy ending ….
i love every single second of it.
Probably the writer wants to leave everything up to our imagination. She actually gave us everything. We can analyze it like how we want it you 1. Maru really died alone and that all the things that happened afterwards were just his thoughts and wishes 2. Maru really had an amnesia 3. Maru did not have an amnesia and was just pretending that he did. The last scene might be interpreted as he is finally disclosing to EG that he remembers her. which one? hehehehe
Thanks koala for your recaps.
I think Maru is dead so the last ending scene with him and Eun Gi is a dream sequence. The reason I say this is because of the conversation between Joon-ha and Jae Hee. He said that Eun Gi was taking care of Eun-sook but on the last scene between Maru and Eun Gi it doesn’t seem like he is around even though they are said to spend a lot of time together. The second reason is that he collapsed in an empty park and we didn’t see anyone in the vicinity. Granted he could have been rescued and had 2 successful surgeries but its highly unlikely. The third reason is his voice over which implied to me that that scene was what he wanted to happen in the future and the next life.
I don’t think Jae Hee and the lawyer are together, I think the main reason she was there was to apologize for fucking up his life. She implied she is running solo as she want to climb a mountain by herself which implied she want to live her life by herself and depend on herself.
I honestly didn’t find the show melodramatic as it didn’t pile on the tragedy and have switched at birth kids. I loved how understated it was, I loved the script, the actors (I don’t think I hated anyone even lawyer Ahn) and the directing. The only thing I didn’t like was the soundtrack, it just kept killing the mood, so cheesy. I prefered the scenes with no music apart from the san Francisco song.
My fave character on the show was Jae Hee. I know she is wildly hated but she fascinated me. I like how she tried to survive even though she made bad decisions. I love her journey and the fact that she accepted the responsibility for her actions. She clearly loves her son and wanted the best for him and I hope her relationship with him will be repaired.
I wanted Eun Gi to find out the truth about her dad and mum but I can see why she wasn’t told.
Thanks for the recaps Ockoala. NG was a semi-enjoyable ride.
It looks like the SW killed off her hero with the knife wound. Man. KMR bled out in a cold, dark alleyway. Pity he did not have the fortitude to be the captain of his own happiness in the end but continued to make a way for others to move ahead with their lives. KMR was a Nice Guy with a terrible sense of time….
She just leave all her rights like that? Damn! all of the high tension it used to give feels like nothing
First of all Maru was never supposed to die… would be a bit too dramatic after a long journey of pain to let him die without being able to be happy. Plus the change of the opening credit indicated it (it was most likely shot on the same day as the first version) – so I think LKH knew all along how this drama would end. And she said it herself this drama would be different from her previous ones.
PLUS Maru didn’t suffer from amnesia… after re-watching ep. 20 I’m almost sure he does remember everything. But that’s open for interpretation. 🙂
exactly what i thought. i’ve been a fan of LKH-nim but Nice Guy really surprised me. because it is so unlike her style. but i realize that she means to end it that way right from the start.
i’ve prepared myself in case she choose to end it like ISILU. it could be more heartbreaking, i told myself. but watching how it turns out, it really didnt meet my expectation. her works always end with a strong impression, A TRULY GRAND FINALE. but in this drama, its like getting the bomb in the middle and get a shortcake placed before your eyes. it is sweet indeed, but i cant really believe it. LKH’s works usually serves us the final bomb for the final explosion, and i even prepared a box of tissue, believing LKH-nim wont change her way of creating a closure.
anyway, the whole drama itself makes it worth to watch. the whole part of it is already a masterpiece. even without the ending. so i can say that THIS IS THE BEST DRAMA FOR 2012.
so in the end who runs taesan?
eun suk? :p
I think it’s Jun Ha who run Taesan before Eus suk become adult
i loved this drama except for the last 30 minutes…for me it was an ending that was not in keeping with the rest of the drama and made me wonder if they brought in another script writer at the end to finish it off…i just don’t get how he looks exactly the same but is a doctor now and he can’t remember…what?!?! if the production team has to explain the ending, they didn’t do their job to convey what they were trying to convey
It’s the opposite I feel. From the start, LKH want give MR happy ending, a sign proof with his character development that road into want a second chance, and be happy. but it seems LKH want to offer the dramatic scene in the final and the klimaks before reach his happy ending. But it seems she struggle to find how.
I’m fine as long as MR happy. You have no idea I cried so much watching this episode. I heart his character alot. The saddest thing is, when he is sick, how can almost no one who has the initiative to visit him???? even avoiding facing him? huhu.. I just can’t stand it..
I’m happy for MR. The guy has suffer so much For God Sake. Ma Ru is my most favourite leading man in LKH’s drama, i can get over Cha Moo Hyuk now, hahahha
Just a thought, if the last 5 minute final episode is not suppose to be MR’s dream, or whatever it might call,, I think he didn’t get amnesia. My assumption, he just pretending! Want to test EK’slove for him. that ring couple is the same ring when he want to purpose her. His voice over is a sign he didn’t get amnesia post accident. His smile to EK means, he actually remember her.
i haven’t gotten over Cha Moo Hyuk’s presence in terms of acting, but in terms of the best looking main cast of LKH’s dramas is JoongKi indeed 😛
Yeah, I agree with the comment above. Maru definitely didn’t get amnesia. Considering that it looks like the same ring, it means he’s been keeping it for a long time. But kudos to Maru for doing that. It’s like he finally gave himself some ‘me’ time.
Lucky that we got a happy ending. This is such a great drama.
I think the stabbing scene was really meant for jae hee to wake up and think about her actions impacting others. Previously in ep 19 and before, she did not want to turn herself in. But after lawyer ahn called her to say he is stabbing eungi and taking the rap for it, she really woke up and went to turn herself in.
And choco and jae Gil did have some inclination that they Will be together. They were always gg on dates when things gt to tense in the house, be it eungi and maru having a tough time or jae hee and jae shik dropping by. So I guess they would be together over time.
The last part about Maru and eungi getting tgt is kinda dubious and like inception. Was it just all a dream or reality. I hoping eungi didn’t just leave her company all because of maru but instead took a temporary hiatus from her work to find Maru and help him regain his memory.
Overall the drama was quite good. But I really wanted a kissing scene at the end. With eunma babies in tow or perhaps eun suok as their little kid. One big family. Haha :p and 7 yrs for all that murder and plotting was kinda short for jae hee considering she took the rap for everything. She shld be in life in prison. Lolol.
I don’t get it, why should Jae Hee have life in prison. The reporter guy was killed when she was defending herself from getting raped. She didn’t cause the Chairman to get a heart disease. He was dying already. She just didn’t call for help in time.
Second thing how can the stabbing be for JH when she wasn’t there and she had already called the cops.
i think u missing sumthing.she want to turn herself in for the reason 1.charmain’s death 2. her crime 7 years ago 3. lawyer park’s accident. not related at all to the stabbing scene. she doenst mention and didnt knew at all abt the stab(Lawyer Ahn stab to Maru)
Lawyer Ahn was also in jail so he must have come forward and admitted it so she didn’t get a large sentence. Plus the victim (lawyer Park) can choose whether or not to press charges. It still wouldn’t have made her be locked up in jail for the rest of her life.
I also wasn’t conviced with the fact that she didn’t turn herself in for the first crime, it was self-defence and, in the worst cenario, she would have had a mitigation of punishment. The same thing goes for Maru in this situation, the best strategy for this particular case was for him to let her (JH) take the responsability for her own actions, again it was self-defence. But I try to forget that illogical attitude by saying to myself that their minds were blurred from the shock and nervousness of a crime.
wow are u insane? it’s called self-defense. for the the Chairman’s death, she didn’t planned the murder. She indeed tried to call for help but stop it in the midway. He will die either way. Ignoreing someone’s death isn’t the same with planning to kill one
I have to question about your humanity when you want that poor woman’s life stay in jail forever. She isn’t evil. It’s true that she has made some bad choices but look at where she came from, put yourself in her shoes and think for god sake
I’m gonna sound like a smartass here but I couldn’t help myself. I don’t know about korean law but generally, she can still be guilty for his death by omission (which is also a guilty act). For example, if a mom fails to feed her baby because she forgot (so she had no intention or planned for him to die) and the baby dies, the mom is guilty for the baby’s death through omission i.e. not doing something. Also, as the mom she has a duty of care imposed on her by the law (like Jae hee does towards her husband because they are married), and by not feeding the baby, she had breached that duty. And, in Jae hee’s case, even if the husband would die anyway, we don’t know what would have happened had Jae Hee called help and even if she wasn’t the main cause of his death, she had contributed to the certainty of his death.
So in my mind Jae Hee IS guilty and she deserves to burn. Sorry it’s because I have never disliked a korean drama villain so bad 🙁
Thank you so much Ms.Koala
I have to say I absolutely loved the ending.I always thought that Maru didn’t deserve all this pain.Deep down he was a really good man who had made some really bad decisions.
And the best part of the ending for me was when he took that red box out.It showed that he had never forgotten Eun Gi.What a relief that was…
who was the little girl that eun gi was carrying to the hospital? her last name was kang so i thought it was their child, but then she had a heavy accent and it’d be kinda weird to have a child without maru having any memories. is she just a neighbourhood kid?
I’m pretty sure she CAN’T be Maru and Eun-ki’s kid, why would she be calling Eun-ki ‘unni’ if she was her mother?
Whoa… finally happy ending. So that where is Eunseok? Actually I hope I can see Eun GI and Ma Ru get merried and then live as a happy family with their children
Hey! First time poster here. I’ve been watching this drama and reading your reviews as I went along, and I really enjoyed them.
I’m surprised you didn’t like the ending. I’m a big fan of Lee Kyung Hee’s dramas and I have to say this is possibly one of my two favorite endings she’s ever written (I haven’t seen Sang Doo yet… not a fan of Rain). I have to say that the reason that I liked it so much is perhaps because it’s really wasn’t what I was expecting, and it really managed to surprise me. I mean, all the signs pointed to an extremely depressing ending foreshadowing Maru’s death. Knowing Lee Kyung Hee I was ready to cry buckets of tears and be depressed for weeks because of it (like “I’m Sorry I Love You” did to me >.<), but in the end having a happy ending really surprised me and in a really good way.
This drama seems to fix both issues I had with "I'm Sorry I Love You" and "A Love to Kill". While "I'm Sorry I Love You" made me go "damn, why wasn't there cure for his disease T_T", "A Love to Kill" made me angry because after all the pain and suffering the two main characters went through, one of them still had to die. I mean, I love tragic endings, but these two dramas had a very pessimistic view on life. This is why I love Nice Guy's ending: its ending shows that no matter what life throws at you you have to be strong and trust that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, Maru gets very close to death, but that doesn't mean he has to die. Instead of giving up, regardless of all the sh*t around him and all the people who have hurt him, in his time of death Maru clings to hope and his love for Eun Gi, wanting nothing than another chance to be with her. This is ultimately what brings him his ultimate salvation. I think this is an extremely optimistic idea, that no matter what, if you stay strong and cling on to life and love, a miracle can happen. It's also very moving to think that a man who spent his life living for other people's happiness and all the while wishing nothing but to die himself, made, in his hour of death the ultimate selfish choice: to live on, but not for Choco, not for Jae Gil, etc… not for anyone but himself – to be with Eun Gi and claim her for himself as a worthwhile husband. To me this is the ultimate character development for Maru, and it shows a very optimistic view on life. I really appreciated the change from your usual melodrama in which everyone has to die for no other particular reason than to create drama. Instead, Nice Guy manages to maintain an impending sense of doom for 19 episodes, but doesn't give into fatalism, and instead pushes its characters to decide their own fate, to earn their own happiness. I really appreciated this message. 🙂
(Btw am I the only one who thought of the drama "Thank You" at the end? It had that kind of same relaxed vibe about it).
sara23-totally agree with your sentiments here! It was hard to watch at times, but the message is hopeful. And “Thank You” is one of my favorite dramas. I haven’t watched the early LKH, but I did like that both “Thank You” and “Will It Snow at Christmas” had themes about being able to move beyond tragic events. What I like about LKH dramas is the pacing and the character development.
I feel the same as you! Thank you!
Glad I’m not the only one who find the ending fit the narrative purpose. I still don’t understand with some assumption tragic ending would be more fit. Because I felt from the start, this drama for once want to deliver a more positive messages. The Guy start from being a lifeless zombie who didn’t have purpose and desire to life, and develop has desire for wanting to life and has a purpose. FOR ME, This has been the main theme about this drama.
For Me, MA Ru’s character is the male version of Eun Chae’s Character in MISA, but choose a different approach, that this time the character is willing to live, instead willing to die. His reason to not avoiding the car crash is due to he wanted to start over with Eun Ki is when he is in state no desire to live, he still believe he is unlucky bastard. But after that, he has given a second choice WITHOUT the need an after life event with EUn Ki.
Everyone, Maru didn’t die! It was very clear, from the intro when maru finally smiled and the clock was clockwise and not counter clockwise. Another is that his voice over about having a second life was his REASON if why he didn’t avoid eungi’s car back then. The writer or the director just continued the voice over after when maru caught eungi being a paparazzi maybe because they wanted us to have second thoughts about it. And also, maybe Maru is not residing there for soo long already because studying medicine in america might take 4-6 years. Maybe more or less he’s staying there for 1 year. And he didn’t suffered from amnesia, but he suffered from prosopagnosia. He remembers, but can’t recognize faces. But knowing Maru, he will do anything just to recognize the one he loves. Maybe after some time, he mastered eungi’s face and recalled all his memories with her back then. And maybe he just testing eungi if she still loves him the way she did before,thats why he pretended for a while. For me that’s the real ending, and i will believe in that alone. Anyone who says that Maru died on the street will marry Han Jae Shik in the next life. ^_^v
Yes!! Thanks for pointing out the clockwise movement of the timepiece! Did you also notice that he is now tearfully smiling in the intro?!
Yupyup i noticed that and was very shocked and happy. 🙂
You are too funny!
omggggggggggggggggg ive been watching this series from the very beginning and iam soooooooooooooooo happy right now to what it had turned out to end !! i love every single second of it !!
thankyouverymuch for recapping !! i cant stop reading recaps of urs
I agree with all that you’ve said about NG… it wasn’t really an amazing, spectacular drama but as a whole, it was a delight to watch it. It is truly something one can proudly recommend to others. thanks for all the NG related posts ^_^ I’m very happy for SJK, MCW and the director.
I think this drama needed more episodes to end it in a more convincing way, some characters would have more time to develop the attitudes they had in this episode. I got this feeling that things were rushed.
Yeah and I wanted to spend a little more time on that happy island tbh.
The ending made me think of that scene in Reply, where Shi Won’s mom phones up the writer of the drama that was currently airing at that time, and begged her to give the characters a happy ending. We all need a dose of happy sometimes.
Yeah and with that painful drama that is “I Miss You” airing now a days we REALLY needed a happy ending coz you know that one won’t turn out happy.
i’m glad i’m not the only one who feel the ending is a bit mellow and anti-climatic. i was expecting to come here to get koalafied and to be told what wonderful underlying meaning i have missed. but instead u have reaffirmed my thought and more.
For such a roller coaster ride like Nice Guy, the ending is shockingly not. When they fast-forward the 7 years gap, i felt like i missed some important scene and rewind back a couple time. There’s definitely a mis-connection there. Now i really regret NG didnt have the extension. Everyone’s storyline is tied up in a neat little bow. For the entire series, i wished that Maru and Eungi would be together, but i genuinely thought Maru dying would have been more fitting. But then again i’m a masochist who sacrificed happy-endings for unforgettable, 3-month depression ones 🙂
on a side note, it’s interesting how you note in the time gap that maru was not there, everyone suddenly start making all the right decisions and move on with their life. It reminded me of how you said, maru’s decision is affected by the ladies in his life but his decisions is what steer the wheel in the lives of his ladies. Maru is the catalyst for everything. He’s a nice guy that although with ‘nice’ intention, create horrific consequences. Maybe if he wasnt in the equation at all, all these people lives would have been different. But he existed and change them, and he set them all right before leaving, so it’s only right that without him, everything fall into its place.
If Ma Ru’s died in the end, your point of view fit the entire messages of a drama. For a scond I’m so afraid the entire messages would pretty much like this, everyone move on and continue lifing, even when you are no longer there. This sceneario reminds me of MISA that i don’t want to think it that way
i was just curious if 7 years later, after living & studying in the us, Maru has learned to wear socks and pants that aren’t short at all…lol..
Maru didn’t get amnesia, he just couldn’t recognize faces. The ending wasn’t much of a BANG but it was fitting. I think the entire point of Nice Guy was really redemption and not revenge. I think it’s pretty clear now, that not Maruo nor Eun Gi ever gotten their revenge. This drama was about 3 broken people (and some) fixing their lives for the better. The common complain that I have been hearing is that people were really expecting Maru to die but then BAM he lived despite getting stabbed and hematoma. But that’s where the magic of Nice Guy kicks in… I don’t know if we’re all at the same boat here but for me, Nice Guy’s strongest point was it’s pacing and sudden twists and turns. We’re never 100% sure of what’s gonna happen next, and even if we have clues, we have to always second guess ourselves. Not everything is what it seems. So here comes Maru, a nice guy with very bad luck, when everything else is pointing towards his demise, we get our rugs pulled off, and he suddenly gets a dream-like ending… and the Twist? NO ONE DIED (well except for the chairman, but that was kinda coming already anyways).
Think back to Eun Gi’s words: Eun-ki: “Memory plays a game that no one can avoid. Memories will be rewritten, will decay. Are my memories whole? Can my memories be trusted? What was it that I saw that day?” And this synopsis of the drama: “No one escapes the “tricks of memory”: Memory is discolored, forgotten, and embroidered over time. So all of us become amnesiacs, forgetting loved ones and valuable emotions and insisting upon how we originally were.”
The point is again, nothing is what it seems: All the while all of us are painted with a story where everything seems to be pointing towards Maru’s death. But just as the running theme of the drama suggests, what we know now, might actually be different in the future.
Think back at all the cliffhangers of the drama, we’re always given a preview but ALWAYS in the next episode, we are given additional info of what actually happened prior the cliffhanger.
Again, nothing is what it seems, and I believe the writer stayed true to her craft. Could the ending have been better? Absolutely, but I think it is truly fitting as it is. I don’t feel cheated at all.
I actually loved the ending– I thought it was a little cliche that he lost his memories (I mean honestly, how many times can amnesia come about in one drama), but fitting in the sense that he gets to start over. Redemption, as you mentioned in your earlier articles 🙂
Did anyone notice that in the intro clip, Maru usually looks somberly into the camera with tears in his eyes, but for the last episode he’s SMILING. Wow. Talk about attention to detail!!! I loved it. It also kind of tripped me out because I wasn’t expecting that at all. But yes, very neat!
I’m so late to this party but all in all I loved the acting in this drama, and am so glad I watched it all! Thanks for all your episode updates koala <3
Omg you read my mind about this last episode!!! lol I thought they couldve expanded 3-5 more episodes just to make it more clear. The ending was somewhat fitting but slightly again, too short and awk. It was ridiculous how Eun Gi couldnt see his wound from the stab…come on. Haha And also another thing, I didn’t really like how the love story of Maru and Eun Gi just started too fast and the accident was also too fast. But this was definitely a very worthy drama and I will def watch it again maybe in 2 years to have an older perspective. Omg and they were GENIUS in how they made the intro.
This is how I think , Ma Ru died in the end , at the last part he walked lonely on the street he said something like ” I prayed….( doesn’t remember sorry) ” based on what he said he wanted happiness and peace and before he passes out he started to imagine that he lives in a peaceful world that he already had the surgery , saying that he doesn’t remember about the past , and Eun Gi is not a part of Tae San. Jae Sik (doesn’t remember the name correctly sorry) came out from the jail , same as Ahn(bla bla) and the reflected what they did , the Mr. Park(forgotten the name P.S: his the one who been involved in the accident after calling Ahn to surrender) recovers from his injury. Everything works fine in the end it was like a good ending but actually that was only Ma Ru’s imagination . That’s why he said :” And once I prayed , thanks to you , my god” he felt grateful for being blessed a sweet dream and died in peace
what do ‘the next life’ means ?