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You know how last week I kept saying there is no way I could ever care for Maru or ship Eun Gi/Maru? Well, apparently I lied.

(Thoughts and caps on the episode)

I just like the elegance of this shot.

Eun Gi discovers that Maru and Jae Hee had a connection. I love this scene for its interplay of all sorts of things on the surface and under it - her utter shock and her barely managing to hold her facade in front of Maru yet having enough sense to do so, while this is some of the most intimate we've seen Maru act with her - touching her face to make sure she is OK, no idea that she knows. That interplay, with EG for once having more knowledge and Maru clueless, is a great reversal (And it's clear that whatever his feelings/intentions towards her may or may not be, he is genuinely concerned about her not feeling well. He really can't dampen his caretaker mentality no matter how he tries).

And now Eun Gi finds out all the rest, every last thing - Maru's connection to Jae Hee, his murder conviction, that he treated her on the plane, etc. And thus my big issue with any Maru/EG relationship is resolved. If she knows all of this and still decides to go forward with loving him, that's fine. There is no imbalance there. Now, I might think she's crazy to take such a risk, but she is an adult and she is going into it with her eyes wide open. That way, anything bad that happens to her as a result of pursuing a relationship with Maru (or, more specifically, anything bad that happens because Maru is unemployable or still hung up on Jae Hee (though I don't think he is after the end of this ep) or whatever) is something she brought on herself and can only blame herself.

Maru with Jae Hee's brother. He leaps to Jae Hee's defense, I think because that must have been the long-standing, ingrained dynamic, but the brother, scum though he is, is utterly correct there - Jae Hee is not worth it and is, actually, much worse a person than her brother. I kinda love how he knows his sister well enough to guess that the murder rap Maru took was in reality Jae Hee's kill.

Once again, the cinematography in this drama is out of this world.

Yeah, you know criminal bro is about to be proven right, because Jae Hee sics thugs on Maru, ostensibly to separate him from Eun Gi, but in reality because she believes he is working with her brother. (Significantly, the Chairman doesn't want thugs involved, it's Jae Hee's little bit of payback. God, that woman should be behind bars).

This scene! Once again, he is concerned for her health. You know, I don't think Maru is in love with her yet, certainly not the way she is with him. But he cares for her, and he will fall for her if he only allows himself (though after her rain confession at the end of the ep he might not have a choice - only a heart of stone would fail to melt). And you know the greatest proof that there is yet hope for Maru's soul, that he can be saved? When Eun Gi dumps him, lashing out, using the most hurtful explanation possible - she just wanted to slum it for a bit with no long term prospects (and if you think about it, though she might not realize it, it hits Maru right where it hurts, with his issues about his dead-end life and his being a plaything for women). When EG dumps him, he doesn't try to keep her, he doesn't lash out back at her, he doesn't do anything but quietly lets her go and takes her disdain (paradoxically, I think this helps him win her, later, it shows he is not just in it for selfish reasons). Because he thinks it's right she should leave. (And also, I think in his heart of hearts, he believes everything EG is implying - that nobody could want him for anything but a bit of slumming fun and that is about all he can get).

Does anyone else want to yank EG out of there - it makes me think of a spider and a fly, and EG caught by the monstrous Jae Hee.

It's clearly not necessary to send thugs, even the Chairman did not want it, but Jae Hee wants her pound of flesh for a perceived betrayal. No wonder she calls to gloat. Yeah, she's pretty much a psychopath. I love that even though he could escape this and get rich, he doesn't take the offer, even though, as far as he knows, he and EG are over anyway. But I do think this is the death knell for any hidden, dysfunctional fondness he may have had for Jae Hee. That door is now shut for good.

I love these shots of Eun Gi, trapped like a fairytale princess in a castle but it's a dark dark fairytale this drama is telling. One thing this ep makes clear is that the Chairman does love her, however dysfunctional that love may be. No wonder EG is OK being with Maru - she doesn't know healthy relationships. Entering into a romantic relationship that has a big possibility of dysfunction probably doesn't freak her out the way it would you or me.

She remembers Maru stopping her as she was about to leave after dumping him in the worst way. And giving her medicine for her cold/hangover/whatever. Even after she just said. Oh, Maru. How can I hate you when you do things like that? You are a lost soul, but not a hopeless one.

Jae Hee finds out she was wrong and Maru did not betray her to her brother. Of course she misunderstood - she judges everyone by herself and what she would do. And then, I was almost forced to laugh - she makes him some bento boxes and puts on lipstick to go see him. She is in total disconnect from reality - how does she think it's going to go? "Sorry I had people almost beat you to death while I mocked you. Have some yummy bibimbap and doesn't my make-up look nice?"

Eun Gi, running away from home, running to Maru. She knows she has one chance to get away from the relationship (she specifically flashbacks to that comment) and comes anyway. And what gets me is the symbolism of her coming barefoot - contrast it to her usual combat boots or Jae Hee's very expensive shoes (which, once again, symbolically broke in that neighborhood - they are as little suited to be there as she is).

And she is knocking on his door, yelling his name in the pouring rain, and just standing there, frozen, mute, waiting. That is the girl who's just recently been sick! And then she turns away to go back and the door finally opens and Maru stumbles out. And he looks like ten kinds of hell, beaten-up, hunched, face swollen - he is not glamorous or glib or a prince charming boytoy or anything - he looks as down and out and desperate and hurt outside as he is inside. And that is when she confesses her love, fearlessly and openly - she confesses it to him when he looks like that. And that is so so so huge, I am not even sure how to convey it. But it kills me in every way that the moment she starts confessing, he stops hunching into himself, he straightens out, as if her words give him back his pride and a bit of his soul. He is as fragile as she is in this scene, and they seem two broken halves of the same broken whole here. And when he touches her this time, it means something. And you know? She is confessing all this knowing everything about him. She knows everything and she still loves him and wants him for keeps. (And even though he doesn't know she knows everything, he knows she wants him even like this - unemployable, beaten up, from the gutter). No wonder his heart responds (you can't tell me it doesn't) - it is everything he must unconsciously crave to start the process of being made whole. And when he hugs her, perhaps the most significant thing to me is how tentative it is - it is not slick or planned or anything. He hugs her because he can't not to.

And then he sees Jae Hee there (I cannot overstate the importance of the fact that the bulk of the scene, including his holding her, happened before Jae Hee showed up). And he looks at Jae Hee and I love that while part of it is a giant 'fuck you' to her, it is not really about Jae Hee for him in that moment, not any more. It is about Eun Gi.


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November 2012

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