Mi Rae’s Choice: Episodes 13-14

All the secrets are finally revealed and Mi Rae actually gets to be in on it for a change. It’s about time. Surprisingly little progress is made, however, as our main characters remain largely frozen in stasis in the painful aftermath of their crumbling romantic relationships and career setbacks. La Petite and I have made much of spring bringing new beginnings after the snow, but Episodes 13 and 14 introduce more stumbling blocks (with some strange plot detours that makes me wonder whether the writer is as confused as we are) than positive change. Let’s just say that much will have to occur in the finale week if we’re to be left with something beyond unfulfilled hopes.

We have combined our separate recaps into one post this week because these two episodes should probably be watched together – it’s difficult enough to understand individually!

EPISODE 13 RECAP
by La Petite

Se Joo walks into the meeting room, introduces himself as Miranda’s grandson who inherits her blood and money but there is one thing that cannot be inherited and that is a challenging mind. He delivers an ambitious speech of his plans for making YBS into a media station that keeps challenging itself and into a media conglomerate that is recognized worldwide.

Mi Rae tries to get a grip of herself in the ladies after getting officially rejected by Shin, Writer Bae walks in and queries her regarding her Christmas date. Meanwhile, PD Lee wakes up from his little drooling nap (yes, there is drool on the desk) and sees Se Joo looking down on him, frowning. LOL. PD Lee obviously has no idea and continues to mock Se Joo but changes tone straight away and shuns Se Joo aside when the vice director enters the office. Oppa enters seconds later and pays his respect at Se Joo awkwardly and using Jondaemal. PD Lee thinks it was some kind of joke and takes him awhile to grasp the truth. Mi Rae is the last to enter the office and sees Se Joo.

With the Pandora team members standing in a line, Se Joo greets and thanks them for teaching him various things when he was undercover. He tells them he has learnt what kind of people YBS needs. Looking at Writer Bae and the two colleagues, he says it makes him see those who works hard in the shadow and appreciates their precious sweat. He then moves in front of Mi Rae and says he now understands the significant influences it has on the future when a person possess dream. Lastly he turns to Oppa and acknowledges the importance of leadership in a team. PD Lee anticipates hearing what Se Joo has learnt from him but gets ignored. Ha.

Se Joo requests Mi Rae to meet him at the record room and explains his reasons for his undercover while Mi Rae acts as if she has a brain fart and never knew he is a chaebol. Se Joo teases that he has to work hard to make YBS amazing so that she will fall for him. JUST GIVE UP, please! He asks her sincerely not to see him as a VJ or chaebol and treats him normally as a person. Mi Rae readily agrees. /Flip table.

The first thing that Se Joo does after taking over the CEO role is sending an email to all staff announcing his vision and what he is about to do. He proposes to (1) form a personnel committee (2) improve the treatment to writer, VJ, reporter, FD, contract workers and so on with proper compensation. The ones who have the ability will be rewarded and given the opportunity to shine. He also issues a program restructuring notice that causes a bit of commotion and negativities among the employees.

Se Joo pays Yoo Kyung a visit after several tries on the phone without any success. He finds himself at a poor neighborhood and standing before a shabby little house with thin walls, doors and roof – the house doesn’t look warm at all. A boy and his mother greet him and he asks for Yoo Kyung. The boy calls out to Yoo Kyung as she answers while coming out from the rest room. Yoo Kyung is surprised to see Se Joo and is a bit embarrassed that he sees her living condition and her disabled mother.

Se Joo tells Yoo Kyung he came to see her because she hasn’t come in to work for days and apologizes for his grandmother’s harshness. Yoo Kyung confides that she was hung up on the content of Ajumma’s journal and did ‘hope’ to get herself out of her poor condition. She teases that she would have misunderstood his intention for visiting her, but she won’t because she is awake now. Se Joo tells her he shall be careful from now on and ushers her to come back to work soon because he is holding a key performance assessment. He tells her it’s time for her to get her ability recognized. Aw. I love you for being thoughtful of Yoo Kyung. Yoo Kyung sends Se Joo off and heaves a huge sigh: “There is no reason to see each other now”. (╥﹏╥)

Shin gets called out by NTN Vice Chairman for coffee. She complains that Shin is taking too long to give her an answer. Shin apologizes for the wait and tries to buy himself more time. Their photos are taken by the gossipy women sitting across them and a mysterious man approaches them asking to send the photos to an address. Hm.

Shin arrives at his office the next morning to people gathering around the stutter announcer with whispers and throwing judgmental stares at him. He finds out that the photo from the night before has been published with the title “YBS Announcer Kim Shin and heiress on a date”.

Se Joo offers Shin the anchor position of 9 o’ clock news. Shin questions Se Joo for the reason and Se Joo tells him again he thinks Shin is YBS best product so he wants to put Shin at a position where he can be seen. Se Joo doesn’t push Shin in accepting the position right away when Shin asks for some time to consider.

Mi Rae eventually finds out about the rumor and hides in a room trying to convince herself to stay strong. Then Se Joo to the rescue! He tells her he will treat her to a cup of vanilla latte because sweet things are what ones need when they are upset. To that, Mi Rae breaks down in tears holding onto a tiny area of Se Joo’s coat; she asks him why he’s so nice to her and it will only make her feel sorry (for rejecting him). Yeah, tell me about it woman. Se Joo puts a hand on her back showering her with comforting words. Gahhh~ stop being so nice to her.

Ajumma continues to sabotage Yoo Kyung’s fated relationship with Se Joo by lying to Miranda that Se Joo will be bewitched by Yoo Kyung. Ajumma lies that after Miranda die, Se Joo will be under Yoo Kyung’s full control and that she will take over the company and hotel. Miranda doesn’t believe her but she plants enough seeds of doubt into Miranda’s head before she leaves. Oh my god Ajumma. WHY? What has Yoo Kyung done to you to deserve this?

At the park with Mi Rae, Se Joo tells her that she is the first person who has read and understood him through his ‘crying back’ film. He holds onto her hand gently and says: “You are someone I really need”. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

The problem is Mr. Park, you have not shown this film to anyone else especially Yoo Kyung so how do you know Mi Rae is the first person or the only person that can see through you and see the real you? ◡ ヽ(`Д´)ノ ┻━┻

Yoo Kyung gets Shin to buy her a drink with the excuse of her being heartbroken, LOL. She tries to dig more out of Shin’s rumoured date and smartly figures out that Shin has been scouted by NTN’s vice chairman Joo Hyo Gyung. She points out that if he goes to NTN then what Ajumma has said would happen, however, Shin tells her it won’t because Mi Rae isn’t by his side. Shin’s answer dissatisfied Yoo Kyung as she frowns and heaves an annoyed sigh.

Yoo Kyung ambushes Ajumma at YBS and confronts her for all her evil wrong doing. Ajumma still thinks it was for the best of everyone until Yoo Kyung points out the fact neither Mi Rae nor Shin are happy. She tells Ajumma that her happiness with Se Joo has been stripped away because of Ajumma’s selfishness and that she would not sacrifice others for her own happiness. Did I see guilt on your face, Ajumma?

After bumping to Shin in the elevator, Mi Rae decides to go for the interview with the production company. The other end is happy to have her on board.

The doctor informs Oppa that he has a relapse and very luckily the cancer is at an early stage so a simple surgery and intravenous medicine will cure it. Both Oppa and Ajumma are relief to hear the good news.

Writer Bae receives a phone call that her son has fell and is in need of surgery. She rushes to her son in tears while the whole team panic a little with the absence of a writer. Oppa makes a cutthroat decision to put Mi Rae as the main writer and Mi Rae takes up the challenge.

Shin goes to see Se Joo demanding to know if the reason behind returning him to the anchor position is so that he can stay away from Mi Rae. This is such a random and unnecessary scene when Shin could have asked this when Se Joo offered him the first time but I’ll turn a blind eye since Se Joo looks hot in this scene.  ( ̄^ ̄)ゞ

Mi Rae returns home and overhears Oppa and Ajumma’s conversation regarding Shin’s death. She tells Mi Rae they have grown apart in their marriage; 20 years has passed since their son’s death, they hardly spoke and the once sharp tongue Shin go into his room whenever they argued. So one day Ajumma had enough she yelled at Shin that if he was going to be like this all the time he might as well go out and die. She couldn’t forget the last look Shin has worn upon hearing those harsh words. She thinks it looks either like he was laughing or crying she isn’t sure and Shin went out that night and got hit by a car. Mi Rae couldn’t listen anymore and starts sobbing, feeling horrible for what she will do to Shin in the future. *Eyes-rolling*

Shin meets with NTN’s Joo Hye Gyung again as she presses him to quickly give her an answer. He knows that the news was spread by her and questions her motif. She tells him she is only trying to increase his product value. Shin doesn’t feel too pleased to hear another person refers to him as a product. Sigh, just deal with it at least these people acknowledge your worth.

Ajumma puts an upset Mi Rae to bed and notices the new burnt scar on her ankle. She checks her ankle and she has none. She rushes back to the attic and checks the entries of the journal and notices that nothing has changed. Uh oh! She goes to see the future man/cop but we don’t get to know anything else.

Pandora team is broadcasting live however they face a huge problem when Yoo Kyung’s earpiece has lost communication with the studio. Se Joo walks in and stands on the sideline watching over the whole drama. Mi Rae makes a quick decision that she will be the messenger in communicating between Shin and Yoo Kyung. With the help of dolls, sign board and gesture they are able to pull through the broadcast without any major problems. The whole team breathes a sigh of relief when it is over and Mi Rae receives praises for her decisive actions.

Se Joo approaches Mi Rae with something in his pocket and tells her he has something to say but gets interrupted by Shin’s sudden announcement that he is resigning. Eek!

EPISODE 14 RECAP
by Hanjae

Shin drops the bombshell on the relieved and happy Pandora’s Box crew just like that: “Today’s my last show. After today, I will resign from Pandora’s Box… and from YBS.” And then he strides out, leaving Mi Rae and Se Joo staring stunned after him.

Mi Rae runs after Shin, who denies that his decision was made because of her. She apologizes regardless, revealing that she’d heard everything from Ajumma. Shin is surprised and obviously upset that she’d found out the horrible truth, but what can either of them say to change what they already knew?

https://i2.wp.com/i.minus.com/itLuM2VOORPwi.jpg

He assures her that he’s leaving to increase his career opportunities, something he believes he couldn’t do under Se Joo. (Huh? But Se Joo offered him the same 9 o’clock news main anchor position.) Mi Rae guesses that his destination is NTN and asks hesitantly whether he was seeing “that woman” because of it, and his silence is enough for her to reach her own conclusion. They both part ways after masking their true feelings behind empty words of congratulations and well-wishes – Mi Rae congratulates him on making the right decision and Shin wishes her well with Park Se Joo.

Shin’s show of nonchalance collapses outside the YBS building and he slumps to the sidewalk, which is how the NTN vice-president finds him.

Se Joo interrupts Mi Rae’s regretful musings back at the studio – she’s busy staring at Shin’s now-empty chair and had completely forgotten that Se Joo was waiting for her the whole time. Oops. In fact, she’s also forgotten that the show today was her triumphant success after her first time in the main writer’s chair. Se Joo offers a single rose as his congratulatory gift and jokes about the great lengths he went to buy it (flower shop was closed, so he went to a bakery instead LOL), brightening her mood.

Meanwhile, Shin and Vice-President bond at the rooftop and she gives him a holiday so that he can enjoy his freedom from his “all work and no play” lifestyle.

The atmosphere at the Pandora Team office is a bit awkward the next morning after Shin’s sudden departure, not helped by PD Lee’s incessant, insensitive comments. This guy, seriously. Oppa finally cuts through his speculations: “No, I think he left because of you!” Ha.

Oppa pulls Shin aside for some man-to-man talk over coffee later and tries to apologize for the way he’d behaved towards Shin after hearing Ajumma’s story, but his overtures are systematically interrupted by the other’s cutting comments. Shin: “You hated me before that, too.” LOL.

An annoyed Oppa notes that Shin would never change – is he going to act this way at NTN, too? There’s some regret in the sarcastic farewell that Shin offers and he adds that he’d recommended a replacement as Pandora’s Box host.

There’s little fanfare as Shin leaves – he takes one last look around YBS, recalling his confrontation with Miranda over the restructuring, his clashes with Se Joo and (with more fondness) his memories of working with Mi Rae.

He doesn’t see Mi Rae watching from a distance as he walks away. She whispers quietly, “Goodbye, Announcer Kim.”

Se Joo finds Mi Rae alone in the office folding up the Shin-related sticky notes in her diary and invites her out for a drink, insisting that she’d feel better with company when she admits that she isn’t in the mood.

Later, Mi Rae breaks down in tears as she confesses to feeling guilty towards Shin despite the situation being out of her control, and Se Joo can only offer a handkerchief and watch sadly.

Mi Rae’s treated with peculiar deference as she passes through the security gates at YBS the next morning. It doesn’t go unnoticed by staff standing nearby, who gossip that Mi Rae’s apparently the Managing Director (Se Joo)’s girlfriend. Eh?

Se Joo is having troubles of his own in a meeting with the YBS board directors – the program restructuring and better opportunities for contract workers have resulted in reduced profit and loss of ad revenue as clients cancel agreements. His argument for the long-term benefits of better working conditions does not solve the immediate monetary problem and he’s clearly at a loss. It seems that learning from the idealistic Mi Rae might do Se Joo more harm than good, at least regarding his ability to make sound business decisions.

HAHAHA. The replacement host that Shin had recommended to Pandora’s Box is the clueless, tongue-tied announcer. So petty. Oppa quietly curses Shin (pfft) and even PD Lee professes, “I never imagined that I would miss Kim Sunbae!” when Clueless Announcer starts suggesting show ideas that they’d already covered. LOL.

Clueless Announcer might be clueless, but he also has an overblown sense of self-importance and puffs himself up as he loudly criticizes Mi Rae’s work. He quickly changes his tune when PD Lee stage-whispers that Mi Rae is dating Se Joo, though, leaving everyone silent and uncomfortable.

Mi Rae pulls Writer Bae aside later, who explains why she (and everyone else) had changed in their manner towards her – people around Mi Rae, including Se Joo and her brother, are constantly protecting her. Even though Writer Bae might be aware that Mi Rae has talent, others assume that she is coasting through on connections.

Ajumma demands answers from Dumb Time Cop – why is she no different despite all the changes she’s made here? Time Cop hurriedly tells her that the changes won’t be effective until she goes back to the future, but it’s clear that he’s hiding something. Ajumma asks for a little more time to take care of one remaining matter…

That turns out to be matchmaking for Oppa at the same agency she’d previously visited, HA. That consultant does not look happy to see her.

Ajumma rushes to settle matters at home before she leaves, fussing over Oppa when she realizes that she won’t be around to nurse him after his surgery. Remembering Yoo Kyung’s words, she approaches Mi Rae as well and asks hesitantly: “You are happy, right?”

Mi Rae agrees flatly, her expression clearly at odds with her words, but Ajumma takes it at face value. It’s only when Mi Rae questions the fact that Ajumma knows nothing about other successful time travellers that she frowns.

After auditioning for the show host position of a culture show, “Night of Literature,” Yoo Kyung overhears catty remarks about her lack of qualifications for the post as she sits in the bathroom. Her expression grows perturbed when the women gripe that there was little point in auditioning when they already had a candidate in mind.

Se Joo gets home to find himself at the receiving end of a tongue-lashing from Grandma, who reminds him caustically that his far-seeing vision for YBS is useless if he can’t gain enough profit to please investors. Worse, what does the staff care about the growth of the company? They just want to be paid, and he’ll be forced to step down if he doesn’t prove his ability soon.

He finds Yoo Kyung waiting for him at his office when he returns, but his smile turns into a frown when she asks him bluntly to hire her for the Night of Literature show – he’s her best connection, after all. But she clarifies her real meaning; he had encouraged her to audition and assured her that the program restructuring has ensured that staff will be hired based on talent rather than other factors such as connections or education. The reality was quite the opposite, and the advice she offers him is harsh in its bluntness: “A reform cannot come about through words alone. If you didn’t know that, then you’re still just a sheltered young master.” Se Joo’s day just doesn’t get any better, does it?

His response is to call Mi Rae and ask to meet, but she’s uncomfortable with further meetings at work. She’s open to meeting outside, though, which makes Se Joo’s face brighten. “There’s a place that I’d wanted to visit…”

…Which is why she ends up bringing him home, HA. Geez, Mi Rae. What happened to setting clear boundaries?

Ajumma’s rendered speechless at the sight of Se Joo arriving for dinner and later apologizes for not having had the time to prepare more food… while hovering over a miniature household feast with wine to boot. Pfft. Aside from a near slip-up in which Ajumma starts to address Oppa as such (earning her a startled glance from Se Joo), dinner is a warm and cheerful affair.

Mi Rae brings Se Joo to her room later and confesses that she plans to move to a different company, where she can spread her wings without accusations that she’d succeeded through connections. Se Joo is visibly disappointed, but accepts her decision – he just wishes her happiness.

Se Joo reveals that he’d had a hard day in which others’ words had cut him to the quick, but going to her house and spending time with her made him feel better. Lying down on her bed, he comments that there’s a warmth and comforting coziness about her room, before closing his eyes for some rest. Mi Rae’s gaze is understanding as she quietly covers him with her coat.

Outside, Oppa approves so much of this new development that he even suggests that the two should be left alone. HAHA. Ajumma asks him to go somewhere with her the next day, but refuses to specify any details.

Unlike the happy family scene, Shin is sitting alone in his car outside YBS. In sad realization, he notes that his life had been so restricted to work and home that he didn’t even know where else to go.

The Pandora Team receives good news: Their success with the wishing lanterns episode meant a commendation from the evaluation team and a reward of each member’s own choosing.

When asked whether he wanted to take the opportunity to switch to documentaries as he’d always wished, Oppa is content to remain with Pandora’s Box – instead, he wants someone to fill in for him while he takes a few days off for surgery.

Cut to Oppa and Shin-in-a-turtleneck eating dinner together, ha. I love their quick exchanges of barbed banter. Oppa remarks sarcastically that Shin is lucky to have such a nice break from work and Shin retorts, “If you are jealous, you should quit, too. Oh, right… you don’t have anyone scouting you.” LOL.

When Oppa continues in that light tone but adds that he’ll need that sick leave for cancer surgery anyway, Shin’s disbelief turns into concern and he cuts short the witty repartee. Does Mi Rae know? Of course she doesn’t, and Oppa tells him that his worry his goosebump inducing. Instead, he has Shin to thank for early discovery of the cancer – if Shin hadn’t stressed him enough for him to get stomach cramps… Ha.

A call interrupts Oppa and Shin’s cozy dinner; it turns out to be the NTN Vice-President, who takes him shopping for clothing (theoretically for work purposes). She’s not being subtle about her interest in Shin, is she?

The world is apparently a very, very small place if Korean dramas are to be believed, so Se Joo and Mi Rae are naturally also shopping at the same mall. Across the way, in fact. Mi Rae surprises Se Joo by reacting with enthusiasm instead of her usual, “I feel burdened” response when he offers to buy her a coat (yeah, I’m shocked myself) and delights in her Pretty Woman fantasy. Ha.

Se Joo spots Shin and the NTN V-P at that point and quickly drags Mi Rae away with the excuse that the sale is over, so they should go back another time. Taken aback, Mi Rae remarks that chaebol are stingier than she’d thought. HAHA.

Mi Rae takes him to her shopping haunts instead and we get cute (albeit typical) scenes of them trying on hats at street stores. That Wicked Witch of the West hat might be more suitable for Ajumma than you, Se Joo.

They end up shopping for winter coats and jackets at Bang Bang – Mi Rae is after a gift for Oppa and even offers to buy one for Se Joo in her generous mood, though she’s alarmed when he jokes that he’d better find the most expensive one in the store. Ha. (I’m amused that this is the most obvious product placement ever.)

Ajumma takes the unsuspecting Oppa to a restaurant, all decked out in a slick suit, and manages to manhandle him into attending the blind date. Hee. She watches him with satisfaction and then calls Shin, who must be heartily sick of her calls by now.

She informs Shin that she’s leaving soon and advises him one last time not to sign with the male NTN vice-president, since he’ll treat him poorly… and Shin perks up. The male V-P? He shrugs off her concerns anyway and declares resignedly that he’s resolved to be more flexible – bowing to authority, closing his eyes and ears to truth and doing his best to please others.

Ouch. Becoming more flexible is one thing, but losing his principles… the changes Ajumma had wrought have brought as much harm as they have good. Knowing this now, she admits that perhaps she had wanted to stop Shin from marrying her rather than the other way around. He was a good man, while she was lacking.

Mi Rae surprises Ajumma and Oppa later that night with the expensive gifts that she’d bought them – a winter coat for Oppa and a bag for Ajumma. Ajumma is touched and, in a burst of sentimentality as she contemplates leaving, she asks to take a family photo. So they do, and bicker in the way families do the entire time. Awww.

The NTN V-P might not be the one to treat Shin badly in this timeline, but her father the NTN president certainly does. He dismisses Shin rudely to his face, while the latter minces his words and bears the verbal abuse in a way he would never have done before.

The V-P offers him the contract anyway when her father leaves the room. The “Breach of Contract Fee” clause catches Shin’s eye and he sharply recalls Ajumma’s words – much of their grief had started because of the debts he’d incurred by breaching his contract with NTN.

Mi Rae pulls Writer Bae aside and the older woman reveals that she’s moving to a new program team; Mi Rae’s passion for work had inspired her to rediscover her own. She’s dismayed to hear that Mi Rae will be quitting YBS, but Mi Rae assures her that she wants to find independence in her work.

Se Joo is clearly on good terms with the NTN V-P; he bumps into her at a function and address her as “Noona.” Jokingly accusing her of stealing Shin, he adds that she has a glow about her… is she in dating? She smiles mysteriously and promises to introduce him to Se Joo. I think I know where this is going.

Ha, Clueless Announcer is begging for someone to save him from the clutches of the drunken PD Lee while the rest of the Pandora Team enjoys drinks together. He jumps at the chance to switch seats at Se Joo’s timely appearance and it is a testament to Se Joo’s social skills that rank differentiation is quickly forgotten and the team resumes their easy, laughing camaraderie. Only Mi Rae misses Shin’s presence.

Ajumma takes the opportunity to leave home quietly and without fanfare. Time Cop leads her away and she follows after a pause to look back at the house one last time.

After drinks, Se Joo takes Mi Rae’s hand as they walk through the park and asks whether they could sit for a quick chat. We see Mi Rae pause… and then slowly curl her fingers around his hand, returning the grip.

Time Cop takes Ajumma to a lift, which is apparently an upgraded model that would cause less motion sickness. LOL.  She makes one last phone call to Mi Rae: “I don’t regret coming here and having you meet Park Se Joo.” She hangs up without another word, leaving Mi Rae baffled.

Mi Rae shrugs it off and tells Se Joo about her first meeting with Ajumma – she’d thought the woman was crazy, but she followed her directions and ended up winning a vacation to Jeju. Embarrassed, she admits that she’d taken a night-time swim that had nearly resulted in disaster. The hotel employee had told her that a man had saved her from drowning, but she’d been unable to locate him.

Se Joo: “That man is here, in front of you.” FINALLY.

Meanwhile, Shin examines the dark news studio and the NTN V-P quietly joins him – he had called her here to inform her that he will indeed accept the position of 9 o’clock anchor at NTN. Oh dear.

More concerning is the fact that Time Cop’s incompetence is even vaster than I’d imagined. He holds a not-so-whispered call with his superior while Ajumma listens surreptitiously behind him:  “She doesn’t know yet that the future of the Na Mi Rae here has nothing to do with her.” OMG, why would you reveal those details when you’re only standing a foot away from the woman?!

Pfft, Ajumma takes his vital notebook hostage (without which he cannot work the time machine), easily threatening the full answer out of him: “Even if a person from the future… that is, even if you come here and change the past, nothing will change. That’s because the moment you came here, a different future was created. You did all this for nothing.” Well, I’ll say.

Ajumma makes a quick getaway and tries to call Mi Rae, but she’s otherwise occupied.

Se Joo pulls a ring from his pinky finger and reveals that he’d been carrying the ring around, waiting for the right opportunity to give it to Mi Rae – and that is today. “Mi Rae, will you accept my heart?” I’m getting a strong sense of déjà vu here.

At NTN, the V-P offers Shin a pen. “Sign with this.” He accepts it, but pauses over the contract. To sign or not to sign, that is the question.

LA PETITE’S THOUGHTS

Episode 13 had to be the hardest episode I have had to recap because things did happen but nothing really happen for the main characters. I wanted very much to make logical sense out of this episode but I can’t after watching the next episode. So what is that ‘hope’ and ‘new beginning’ all about in Episode 12? The progress of this episode and the next defy any logical sense.

3 episodes left we get no development on the relationship front but new development on the time traveling mystery. I can’t predict accurately what type of time traveling it is since this is a broad subject and consist of many theories. However, the clues presented to us do suggest that Ajumma might have travelled to another timeline that is parallel to hers. Gahhh and guess what? It’d totally be comedic if the ending is Ajumma sits all 4 of them down and tell them, “Um… I came to the wrong universe and forget what I have said before about ya’ll future. Now hurry along and go back to your original pairs.” Yeah, I’m trying to be funny now.

It makes me anxious to see Shin being indifferent, mysterious and distant in this episode, though I wouldn’t say it is a bad thing and it does keep my curiosity at bay wondering what is up in his mind. Is he going to challenge his fate with NTN without Mi Rae by his side? Shin is arguably less feisty than compared to before but has he changed? The text preview told us his pride was hurt when Se Joo refers him as a product and so did the woman who scouted him. However, there is no real indication that his pride is hurt.

Se Joo will have obstacles to conquer as the executive director of YBS after introducing a new system. I understand his urge to change and make YBS a better work place but he may have gone about it too quickly. Change isn’t something easily accepted by employees, thus, it would be interesting to see him overcome these challenges and earn the trusts and prove his ability to the board directors i.e. if we still have time.

Now that Yoo Kyung’s family background has been revealed, this should clear up all those bad impressions certain viewers had on her. I feel really sorry for her this episode because of what Ajumma told Miranda. In this current timeline, she hasn’t done anything to Mi Rae to deserve the things Ajumma did to her.

So what good came out of this episode is Mi Rae proves herself (again) and is ready to be independent and did she also prove that she can communicate without actually speaking (to Shin)? Am I and can I take that as a sign of them being soul mates and are meant to be together? I really don’t know what message you are conveying, writer Hong.

Another matter that continues to annoy and boggle my mind is how Mi Rae can feign innocence on the matter that she already knows Se Joo is a chaebol? Granted, she may not believe Ajumma before but now that Se Joo has come clean with it, should she not admit to him that she knows?

Is the writer smoking crack with the love line? At least when J.R.R Tolkien smoked crack, he gave us a an epic best-selling fantasy but I don’t think this writer is going to achieve ‘epic’ when she decides against all logic. Se Joo is still holding onto Mi Rae & thinks of proving himself worthy of Mi Rae as the director of YBS (What? VJ Se Joo is not good enough so she decides to let him change identity and see if it’ll work?). Um so what was that entire heart-breaking farewell scene for? Did we just get pun’k? What is the point of Se Joo’s crying back at Jeju?

That said, I love how the scene with him visiting Yoo Kyung. It was heart-warming that he personally seeks her out. I would like to believe that having to let him see for himself Yoo Kyung’s poor condition would let him open up his heart to her more. But whether or not there is a chance for Yoo Kyung, I am afraid this episode gives me nothing in regards to a possibility for SeKyung because Se Joo is hanging around Mi Rae too much.

The one thing that frustrates the viewers is that we can’t see how the writer is going to end the drama, tie up the loose ends and let the original couples find their way back to themselves (or she is not doing that?). Viewers are already angry about the no-relationship, no-comedy of the story and now it seems; the writer is making the characters repetitively doing the same thing and holding onto the same thing/person. My problem with the storyline is it all makes sense up till episode 12 & everything went cuckoo in this episode especially for Se Joo’s character.

HANJAE’S THOUGHTS

Technically, the question on everyone’s lips should probably be, “Will Mi Rae accept the ring from Se Joo?” Maybe he’ll strike the jackpot on the 3rd (or 5th, 6th… 100th) time and Mi Rae will finally return his feelings?

Frankly, though, the real burning question for me is: What on earth was up with this week’s episodes? What happened? I was immediately struck by the feeling that the story hadn’t just derailed in Episodes 13-14 – it had driven over a cliff, crashed into a ravine and exploded on impact. It’s just so many levels of WTF and for the first time I find myself unable to understand what the writer had intended. All the sense and logic that had driven previous developments are suddenly absent – we were left with a message of “hope” and the arrival of spring and new beginnings after snow at the end of Episode 12, but Episode 13-14 is essentially a rehash of the exact relationship problems and work issues that the characters had experienced before. In fact, nothing too significant even occurred in Episodes 13 and 14; Shin dilly-dallies over the NTN deal, Se Joo confesses to Mi Rae again (and again and again), everyone leaves the Pandora team and we finally find out the sum result of Ajumma’s machinations – absolutely nothing, at least for her. When characters whose actions had been so logically grounded previously suddenly act in ways I cannot comprehend… well. My disappointment is palpable.

That, of course, leads me to Se Joo – ARGH, why? He’s about to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the number of rejections scored in 16 hours. STOP CONFESSING, MAN. What happened to the guy who didn’t do confessions? It’s like Yoo Kyung opened the floodgates and WOOSH, all the confessions that he didn’t do in the last 10 years came out at once. Perhaps what we need is Ajusshi Se Joo to travel “back” in time and give himself some relationship advice.

This is part and parcel with my confusion regarding the writer’s complete departure from sense and logic this week – it’s as if she’s on a mission to turn one of her best-written characters into a shadow of his former self. Instead of seeing a balance between the cold chaebol and the kind VJ as he returns to the YBS 15th floor (as would have been logical), we’re merely getting a kind VJ in chaebol clothing. Where is the pragmatic businessman who would be a media mogul? The argument that this “timeline” had changed so much that Se Joo no longer resembles the Se Joo in Ajumma’s timeline due to his exposure to Mi Rae’s idealism… doesn’t sit well with me. This is really a question of logical development; if we had seen this change occur in degrees, it would have been more sensible. For Se Joo to suddenly allow his feelings to override his ability to make sound business decisions in the space of 2 episodes is ridiculous. The same applies to his suddenly illogical behaviour – openly favouring Mi Rae and the Pandora team, inappropriately approaching her at work and even inviting himself to the Pandora team dinner are the types of social gaffes that run counter to the socially savvy and corporate-minded Se Joo that we’d known in the past 12 episodes. It really frustrates me that the writer is wasting a character that had so much potential.

That said, much of the hate that Se Joo is receiving simply because he is the perceived wedge driving Mi Rae and Shin further apart is unwarranted. He isn’t the wedge driving the two apart; that wedge is Ajumma, the “truth” of the past and Shin’s own noble idiocy. Furthermore, Se Joo’s pursuit of Mi Rae is largely encouraged by Mi Rae’s own acceptance of his overtures. I fully understand the frustration as Se Joo continues to pursue her anyway (like I said, WTF Writer Hong), but it seems silly to blame one side and not the other in this case.

The biggest problem I had with this week’s episodes, however, is the insistent focus on the Se Joo/Mi Rae love line without any noticeable progress. Se Joo still loves Mi Rae one-sidedly and she continues to let her enjoyment of his company supersede her better judgment. (Bringing home a guy who hasn’t gotten over his one-sided love for you, inviting him to your room and allowing him to sleep on your bed doesn’t exactly scream “boundaries.” Just sayin’.) I cannot understand why the writer continues to rehash exactly what we’ve seen from these two since the Episode 7 confession scene, to be honest. What was the point of the Episode 12 fireworks “goodbye” scene if Se Joo was going to experience temporary amnesia immediately afterwards and resume his courtship of Mi Rae? Am I really to believe that Chaebol Park is a different character from VJ Park? It’s clear that Mi Rae feels no stirrings of romantic interest, either, and it’s frustrating to think that we are wasting valuable time pretending that their relationship is a real possibility when it’s more likely to be as futile as Ajumma’s own attempt to change her future. The funny thing is that aside from the table-flipping and disappointment that the Se Joo/Yoo Kyung ship was torpedoed before it ever began, I would have been quite happy with a potential Se Joo/Mi Rae pairing had there been better groundwork so that I could make sense of their continued romantic association.

On the upside, we finally get some confirmation regarding the time travel aspect. The Time Cop’s admission seems to suggest that Ajumma’s actions had created a parallel timeline – her arrival in the “past” prompted changes that turned what was originally the “past” into an alternative, parallel reality that diverged from the original timeline. It’d be interesting if the alternative realities that Mi Rae had referred to metaphorically may actually exist and were each the result of another time travelling version of herself.

However, what has really changed, then? Ajumma’s mission appears to have been pointless, at least for herself, but she’s obviously affected each of the four main characters for better or for worse. Up to Episode 13 I would have argued that it was clearly for the better – that each of them have learnt important lessons that would aid them in love and career. You could even argue that Ajumma herself had become a better person who now realizes the selfishness of her actions and the pain she’d caused everyone because of her silly desire for self-fulfilment. But with Episodes 13 and 14, I really begin to wonder whether that is the case. They may be better people, but are they HAPPIER people? Mi Rae is miserable, Yoo Kyung is miserable, Shin is miserable, and Se Joo is blinded by his interest in Mi Rae and experiencing trials at work and in love as a result. Are these changes really for the better?

More importantly, there is something quite inherently unsatisfying about the time travel aspect turning out to be a bust. As I have discussed previously, it is one thing to claim that the journey matters more than the actual result – it is a pretty message, to be sure – but that doesn’t do anything to reduce one’s irritation when they’ve survived the journey only to find out that it was ALL FOR NAUGHT. It is the equivalent of scaling a mountain only to find that someone had beaten you to the top; the fact that you’ve learnt much from the experience is small comfort indeed. A drama’s main goal is to satisfy a viewing audience and there is nothing at all satisfactory about watching the lives of likeable characters being turned upside down, apparently for a purpose (no matter how selfish), and finding out that the effort was utterly fruitless. Let’s hope the final two episodes will restore order to this madness and give us an ending that not only ties up the loose ends and answers our questions, but feels truly satisfying.

27 thoughts on “Mi Rae’s Choice: Episodes 13-14

  1. Sigh.. If only this drama is as good as its BTSs.
    If you read Yonghwa’s interview in Arena Homme, he himself is frustrated with Seju. Lol.
    I’m just boggled that a character as promising as Seju will have a disappointing ending, but then again, this is the writer who killed Lee Jongsuk’s character in K2H, so yeah I won’t be surprised.

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    • I’m not even sure I can see any of the main characters reaching a satisfactory ending at this point – it seems to be heading towards an ending with four sad singles, unless something pretty significant occurs in the final episodes. Or maybe a time jump, which would be almost funny in this drama where the time travel aspect was just shoved aside for most of its run.

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      • I would actually like an ending with the four leads being single. Sure, drama viewers will probably be up in arms with a no-romance, no-happily-ever-after ending. But that’s how life can pan out in reality. And in fact, doesn’t that scenario leave room for hope? 🙂

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        • Well, it’s the best we can hope for at this stage, but I can’t say that it would be an ending that I’d have been happy with if I had known that at the beginning of the drama. 😛 After all, I watch dramas with escapism in mind…

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  2. LOL for the guiness book of record comment. im so frustrated over this drama but you manage to make me laugh. thank you LOL

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  3. LOL..I love how the viewers can made a lot of humor from this frustrated drama…we need a lot of laugh.

    ‘Become a better person’..I think almost everyone become a better person, don’t mean happier persons…at least FMR knows how her choice make others life upside down and ask for forgiveness (she still owes apologies to MR and SJ), KS,MR and YK changed as a better person in their career. SJ is the only one stuck at ‘love at first sight’ and fighting for it until the end.
    And from the preview for the next eps, we know MR can’t let KS go either, since this is ‘Mirae’s choice’ then the story will end at her choice, that’s why she keep considering who is her choice until the last second of this drama 🙂

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  4. Imagine the difference it would have made if the writer actually made Mirae at least “a bit interested” in Seju in the earlier episodes, like if she made the triangle really “existent” and didn’t make Mirae too attached to Kim Shin (w/c by the way is still something I cannot put my fingers on). Granted, Kim Shin is not a horrible person, but he also is not the kind of man I’d root for. In fact, I’d rather have Mirae move on with her life without him.

    If the writer thinks rehashing these Seju-Mirae scenes can please her viewers (majority of whom root for Seju-Mirae), she totally thought wrong.. Majority of viewers wants “Seju-Mirae” to be actually in love with each other, not just to be on the same screen over and over again where one continues to harbor a “one-sided love”.

    I’ve read a recent Korean article about why viewers are captivated by Park Seju even if he failed at captivating Mirae’s heart. Isn’t it obvious, netizens have also given up on the possibility of Seju-Mirae? Writer needs to move on, it’s too late now.

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    • I think every woman dream to have a gentleman chaebol with good looking like PSJ as a lover/ husband, that’s why viewers want Sejoo as the man MR choose, but even with a lot of MR-SJ screen time, the rating keeps sliding down, I think the viewers including us want a ‘love each other’ not ‘one sided love’…tbh, in eps.14, PSJ became a kid with the car key chain.

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      • Yea, the few viewers left might want Seju/Mirae, but like you said the ratings drop every episode, even those with endless Seju/Mirae scenes. So it’s difficult to say this is what they actually want. A well written romance no matter which guy it was is what people wanted. It’s like the writer wanted to please both sides and ended up pleasing nobody. Shin will win in the end, so don’t bother to actually develop their romance ( if Shin/Mirae had a chance, they could actually captivate more people tbh, their chemistry is great. and LDG and YEH are wonderful actors ) and since Seju won’t win, give him a lot of friendly scenes with Mirae that lead nowhere.

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        • Well, judging from comments in articles and in drama boards/forums in Korea, a great majority of the viewers, really want Seju and Mirae to be the endgame but of course that means together and in-love with each other not just Seju harboring a one-sided love. Some are also of the opinion that Seju should just move on because he deserves neither of the girls (amusing!). Unfortunately, our male lead (Kim Shin) wasn’t really able to capture viewers with his character, hence the great imbalance in viewers perception and preference. Even in DC MHIYD, most of the fanarts and fan-made videos posted are of Seju-Mirae. They are not exactly, celebratory fan made-videos but more melancholic, shows regret of a beautiful love that could have been between Seju and Mirae. The fanmade videos are really awesome though 🙂

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          • lol the problem is nobody is actually watching the drama anymore so the whole majority of viewers want this is kind of silly. the majority of viewers want nothing to do with this drama in the first place. even when seju had a slight chance the ratings were dropping (like episode 2!) blaming people not liking shin/mirae and being mad Seju’s love is one sided is kind of unfair tbh.

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            • I think you’re placing too much stock on the physical ratings in Korea; they are extremely inaccurate representations of a skewed percentage of TV viewers. There have been frequent examples of dramas that have succeeded with the audience (most of whom watched it either via live streaming or on their phones) despite low physical ratings. If viewers wanted nothing to do with this drama, it wouldn’t have scored 20%+ on the online ratings (far outdistancing its competitors). You’re Beautiful is another obvious example.

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            • You are aware that the TV ratings doesn’t actually represent the whole of the viewing public in Korea, right? The researching company only use a sample of households (a hundred to a thousand?) nationwide and in the metro and from there generates the TV ratings. How about online ratings? They are an indication of over-all interest in the drama too including comments in news articles and search rankings every after broadcast. If people are not the least bit interested, no reason for people to search for the actor/actress names and comment on their articles.

              I’m not saying everything is attributed to the lack of interest towards the main pairing in this drama but it is a fact, we have to accept whether we like it or not, that it didn’t generate any buzz at least domestically. I’ve been following articles, forums and blogs in Korea about the drama, even the drama’s own DC, and this is a fact. Even the drama’s product placements (clothing, jewellery, vehicle) are done through Seju and Mirae scenes and not of the OTP and it’s understandable because they have actually become the drama’s main selling point.

              Please don’t put words into my mouth. I’m not blaming Kim Shin/Mirae or Seju’s one-sided love. But you gotta remember, a part makes a whole. It is a part of the whole.

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    • Lordy, I know! If there was even the slightest hint that Mi Rae was interested or just marginally torn about her “decision” between Shin and Se Joo, this whole mad chase might have been less tiresome. Instead, we just watch it with exasperation because we know that Se Joo’s never going to get anywhere with Mi Rae anyway and we just want to move onnnn. Even SeMi fans must be tired of the cycle of “friendly moments -> meaningful looks from Se Joo -> confession -> rejection -> try, try, try again.”

      As for Mi Rae’s attachment to Shin, I find that strange, too. Actually, Se Joo’s reasons for liking Mi Rae are similarly flimsy – she’s the only one who understands him? Sir, come back to me when you’ve shown your short film to more people than the sum total of Mi Rae and your film school teacher.

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  5. TBH when I didn’t see your recaps of episodes 13 and 14, I thought you had ditched this drama out of frustration already. Never have I watched a drama that is so frustrating because it just feels like the writer is trying to screw up not just the lives of the 4 leads but the viewers as well. At this point, I wish for maybe another 5 episodes so that Mirae can let go of Se Joo and vice versa in episode 15, they become great friends and then Se Joo struggle to restructure YBS and then finally realise Yoo Kyung is the right one and pursue her. I think another 5 episodes will be just right. This is the only way for the writer to redeem herself for spoiling a great character like Park Se Joo.

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    • Haha! Tempting thought, but neither La Petite nor I like the idea of quitting recaps, so… onwards and sadly not upwards (as far as this drama goes).

      I’m not sure the writer even knows what she wants to do anymore, whether it is screwing up the lives of the 4 leads or giving them a reward at the end of the journey. At this point I even wonder if it’d be better for Time Cop to hit a “reset” button, because leaving our leads with their lives screwed up and getting a vague, “well, maybe they’d get it together…” at the end isn’t going to do the trick.

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      • I’m too invested in the characters that I’m holding on ’til the last episode to see what’s in store for them.

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  6. I already gave up following this drama, coz the story was getting more more & more weird for me.
    I watched it because of Yong Hwa, but as i became more frustated by the plot i just gave up. Thanks for ur recap, i’ll continue enjoying it.

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    • I think you have to put what he said into context/premise because your comment will possibly spawn misunderstanding. He didn’t make any reference to the drama in particular but referred to filming a drama in general, which gives any actor a lot of pressure and stress, especially if one plays a major role like he does in MHIYD. Gladly, him and the rest of MHIYD cast seems to be getting along well and having a lot of fun on set as evidenced by BTS videos.

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      • oh im sorry, english is not my first language and i have a bad habit of shortening my sentence. sorry not my intention.

        just to elaborate he is stress because he multitasking – doing concert, album/comeback preparation plus he is one of the leads in this drama. thats why i said he is burden, in addition i think he knows the drama has low ratings thus he knows he hard to work much harder.

        sorry again for misinterpretaion

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  7. does anyone have an opinion on what’s going to be the “future” in this timeline? It’s what frustrates me more. Because it seems that in this timeline, whoever gets Mi Rae will be the one to fail. So if Mi Rae ends up with Se Joo, his media empire collapses and I think that’s what these episodes were saying. Also that Shin will not quit NTN because he already knows what causes his demise so he will learn to control his emotions. Ultimately the presence of ahjumma changed their personalities a whole lot but not really the future…

    so just like what happened with the subway fire and the car accident, some of the events will still happen, just the outcome will change… hmmm.. given the writers past history I think Shin still dies… I hope I’m wrong though.

    Time travel sucks.

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    • Unfortunately we have no way to tell what’s going to be the future in this timeline – I think part of the suggestion that’s been made is that the characters and their ‘choices’ influence fate/their future as well, so the possibilities that had looked likely based on what we knew of their “original” selves have also changed.

      In fact, I think more and more events will change as it splits further and further away from the original timeline. The NTN vice-president, for example, was male in Ajumma’s timeline but is female in this timeline. As changes are increasingly introduced through the characters (who have changed and would make different decisions), perhaps initial outcomes such as Shin dying would also be eliminated?

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      • shocking twist is that for some reason maybe ahjumma can revert everything back to how it was supposed to be, only better this time because they’re different people blah blah… So Mi Rae is only dreaming, and she wakes up in Jeju Island after her skinny dipping accident… tada! and then we all proceed and break our tv/computer monitors. hahaha!

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