dangermousie: (ALTK by alexandral)
[personal profile] dangermousie

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.

Date: 2012-10-05 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clairiere.livejournal.com

I can finally talk about this episode to my heart's content on tumblr. :) (I know you spoil yourself at times but didn't want to spoil the entire thing by accident.)

But yeah, your feelings = my feelings.

And like someone else has said, if that last scene is the happiest they'll ever be in this drama, I'm willing to take that. I love that they gave us a little peek of the future they could have together, even if it's "if only...". I love that that's what she wants with him, I love that he now knows what it's like to have someone dream that about him, and I love that for one single night they dreamed about it together, of something that eluded them so much all their lives.

And I think that's why everyone couldn't stop talking about that final freeze frame--that fiercely protective, possessive way he hugged Eun-Gi as he stared down Jae-Hee, wanting to shield her from all the malicious aura emanating from JH in that moment.

Date: 2012-10-05 03:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Wow, thank you!

I loved the last scene - when she actually talked about children - the ultimate proof of long term commitment, of permanent connection - that was such a big deal.

She is giving him everything he mistakenly thought Jae Hee was offering years ago. And she isn't giving it to brilliant medical student with promising career Kang Maru but a dead-end job, murder conviction, messed up Kang Maru.

He was, by his nature, before everything happened, a caregiver. And he still is (witness him with Choco). So it's so good for him to have a relationship where someone else wants to be a giver, as well.

Btw, your comments about Choco and JG scenes being unnecessary. You are totally wrong :) I love them as they save me time - I just skip over their scenes and the episode is shorter. Or sometimes I leave them running while checking tumblr. How nice of them to give us a built-in break :) (Seriously though - why on earth are those scenes even there? Regardless of my like/dislike of them, they feel like they are in a separate drama entirely. LKH hasn't had it in any of her other dramas so I have no idea why she did it here. Is Choco actress' boyfriend the supreme druglord of Korea who needs his sweetie on screen or something? I joke, but I honestly do not get.

Date: 2012-10-05 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanaenam.livejournal.com
It gets even better in Episode 8. For a moment in Episode 8, I wanted to kill Maru but then hallelujah.

I actually like Choco and JG. I figure JG's background could come in handy for Maru down the line.

Date: 2012-10-05 03:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Subs are out but I must go to bed. GRRRR.

I wish Choco and JG disappeared never to be seen again :)

Date: 2012-10-07 05:08 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, indeed - JG's runaway chaebol background must come into play somehow

Date: 2012-10-05 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ockoala.livejournal.com
Best part is episode 8 has Lee Kyung Hee making an inside joke at how extraneous Choco is. Jae Gil mistakenly thinks Choco died while ingesting rate poison though said assumption is sadly quickly corrected as the hotel dog named Choco died ingesting dog poison. But the thought that she could be written off so glibly is so wink wink. I'm sure dog Choco is likely more interesting than human Choco. So RIP doggy Choco.

Date: 2012-10-05 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
ROFL, really? Why on earth is that whole Choco and JG subplot there? I assume it's studio meddling, but why would they want that storyline?

Date: 2012-10-05 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamieguo48.livejournal.com
I'm holding firm to my belief that there's some ulterior purpose to the Choco and JG subplot outside of a writer running out of ideas. The contrast between their scenes and Eun Gi/Maru/Jae Hee are so great, surely there's something more there?.

But you might know better then I, since I think you've watched some of the writer's other works. Does the writer often have that type of couple and humor in their other dramas?

And I love that Song Joongki was willing to look that bad and throw off his vanity to do so.
Edited Date: 2012-10-05 05:02 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-06 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
That's the thing - I've seen Misa, A Love to Kill, Sang Do, Will It Snow at Christmas and Thank You by this writer and I have not seen anything like the Choco thing.

Date: 2012-10-10 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winegums.livejournal.com
I find her barely tolerable (getting better a bit, now, but still not enough) but them both together is just annoying.

Date: 2012-10-05 05:04 pm (UTC)
ext_21773: (Veronica Mars)
From: [identity profile] village.livejournal.com
Is Choco actress' boyfriend the supreme druglord of Korea who needs his sweetie on screen or something? I joke, but I honestly do not get.

No joke but I was thinking something along those lines as well. Especially when that scene of her singing in the bathroom happened. I was thinking that she must be related to a studio exec or something because what the fuck? lol.

Date: 2012-10-06 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Seriously, her whole character is pointless...

Date: 2012-10-07 05:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Thanks for recaps - your analysis is fantastic. Re clairiere's comment "that fiercely protective, possessive way he hugged Eun-Gi a" - this is so well done - do you see how he slightly turns his bodu so that she is folded into him and he turns her away from Jae Hee? Slight and subtle but speaks volumes

Date: 2012-10-08 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
That is true - I love that the roles these women play in his life have switched. The one to be protected is no longer JH.

Date: 2012-10-05 07:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yunhalove.livejournal.com
ahgh dsjfahe yes yes yes. I couldn't stand Maru for the last couple of episodes but eungi has redeemed him for me (especially in episode 8, can't wait until you can watch that one).

also how much do i love that he hugged her instead of kissing her at the end- at this point romantic gestures like that would've seemed cold and calculating (especially after her confession about him being her first) while the hug seems more instinctual, like he needs the physical proximity to confirm she's really there. and his stance when he sees jaehee! it's probably part fuck you, like you said, but the hand at her neck just seems so protective to me.

Date: 2012-10-06 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I am watching ep 8 now and I do love him by now. JH, otoh, is more and more psychotic.

Date: 2012-10-05 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexandral.livejournal.com
I am catching up on this one too - I really like how it is written, and it moves so fast (for this writer!).

But this is going to end in terrible terrible doom: Eun Gi is going to die for sure . Why am I watching this? because it is good. I am going to stop when things will become hard to watch though. And I like Jae Hee ** hides ** , she is not a good person, but something in her catches my attention. I like Eun Gi too, but here I think I am having a self-preservation mechanism: she is so destined to die, so I automatically (unconsciously) try not to get too attached.

One of the things I find confusing is the main actor - he is so cute and lovely and I adore him, but he looks so young (and too fresh) for his role. I know he is 27 or something, but he looks much younger. These age-related things always throw me out of the story.

Date: 2012-10-06 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I don't think Eun Gi is going to die, necessarily, but yeah, the odds are it isn't going to end well.

I think Jae Hee is a total monster. The actress is excellent though.

I am very bad with ages unless it really is too insane so I have no idea how old SJK looks as.

Date: 2012-10-05 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottishlass.livejournal.com
Hmm .. now I'm not so sure I should can that dorama. After the frist two eps I was all for putting it on the backburner and eventually forgetting all about it LOL

Date: 2012-10-06 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
It's gotten really good!

Date: 2012-10-05 11:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] algelic.livejournal.com
Episodes 7 and 8 were SO GREAT! Such a big step in the right direction!

Rain scene = perfection.

Can't wait for next week!!

Date: 2012-10-06 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I am so excited. I wish I had the whole thing to binge on.

Date: 2012-10-05 05:02 pm (UTC)
ext_21773: (Love Shuffle)
From: [identity profile] village.livejournal.com
I have to question as well what Choco is doing in this drama? Her scenes with JG make absolutely no sense to me but I watch them because there has to be some point, right? Right? Idek.

I never got to the point of hating Maru, what can I say, I feel sorry for broken people, but I was incredibly frustrated with him in episode 6. So I was grateful for this episode. It was everything it needed to be to get things back on track. These two are so damned, so damned, but I will root for their journey every step of the way.

Date: 2012-10-06 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
There is no point to Choco.

I got very fed up by him in ep 6 but by now it's back on the love train.


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