“Marriage Without Love” Week Four: Nobody Is Okay

After seeing the viewer reaction to this week’s episodes, I thought I was in for some dragginess with little development but I actually found them quite excellent – particularly Episode 8. I often see people ranting about Yeo Reum but in my opinion, he’s merely a distraction. To be honest, he’s not even an obstacle. It’s not like her attraction to him blinds her from her true feelings for Gi Tae. It’s Gi Tae himself that makes it clear that they are in a fake relationship because he wants to live alone, so as far as she knows, he’s not even an option.

Anyway, before I get into all that, what happened this week?

***

Episode 7 starts at the kiss. Gi Tae’s mom sees a photo of it and almost has a heart attack but as for our fake couple… well, let’s just say that it gives them a hot, sleepless night.

A flashback shows us that Jang Mi explained that she’d kissed Gi Tae and kept their cover against her own wishes because she could see that he wasn’t okay. Aww.

So the night after swapping spit, both practically drain their fridges of every cold liquid to cool off. And Se Ah and Yeo Reum also stay up thinking about how real that kiss looked.

Despite appearing to approve of Jang Mi, Gi Tae’s dad hints that his wife should still pursue Se Ah for connections to her father. It appears that she’s been assigned the bad cop role in their marriage.

The morning after, Jang Mi holds on to Gi Tae to keep their ruse in front of his aunt but he’s more uncomfortable than usual. Why? Because he can’t stop thinking about her sexy lips. They need to talk about their kiss and he stammers when he reminds her that the goal of their act is for him to stay solo and he chose her because he knew that he wouldn’t fall for her so she needs to limit the skinship. She’s offended because it makes her sound like a pervert and to think that she sacrificed her lips for him in front of Yeo Reum. Right on cue, he shows up and agrees, then says that he likes her even if she does weird things like falling for everyone and kissing boring guys.

“He likes me!” “He likes me!” She’s elated while her fake fiance is a little deflated.

That evening, she meets Yeo Reum for a meal of steamed eggs. This guy can easily make a girl gain weight. He tops it with truffles that I’m sure he’s not allowed to use for his little experiments. Long story short, Jang Mi holds a batch that costs $5000, the thieving chef unexpectedly shows up, and in an attempt to hide, its slips from her hand and she steps on it.

Hyun Hee continues to go through her crisis because her unni’s ex-boyfriend refuses to fall into her trap. Hoon Dong reviews his security footage to get the truth about the truffles and other fishy things going on in his kitchen and sees Yeo Reum and Jang Mi on a date. Now he thinks that she’s a two-timer. So when she later meets him to encourage him to see Hyun Hee, he’s so not in the mood for her. I love that despite his “feelings”, he’s still a loyal friend. He walks over to Hyun Hee and apologizes for messing with her when he liked someone else but that unlike others, he’s not a two-timer. Desperate Hyun Hee cries and tells Jang Mi that she hates her. Girly, have you forgotten that you chased after that guy all on your own?

Hoon Dong is sincerely disgusted by what he thinks Jang Mi is doing and talks to his friend about it. Gi Tae puts up airs, claiming that it’s fine because dating and marriage are different like that even makes a lick of sense. Sadly, women often rationalize cheating that way but men rarely do. He sees through it because he can tell that Gi Tae really likes her and is not as cool about Yeo Reum as he pretends. It’s funny how he can see the truth even when Gi Tae is in denial.

Yeo Reum loses his place because he had to pay for the truffles so he asks to stay with Jang Mi. Gi Tae is home alone but instead of having a blissful evening playing games, he can’t stop thinking about a certain someone. Then she shows up. With Yeo Reum.

After watching a drama where a girl slept on the roof of a police station because she was homeless, I wonder if this was really their last resort. Couldn’t she have snuck him into her family’s chicken restaurant? But I guess since they aren’t the OTP, he really couldn’t stay with her because no one is watching this drama for their cohabitation hijinks.

Gi Tae’s response is an unequivocal NO but shortly after kicking them out, Se Ah calls to inform him that she and his mom are on their way to his place. So he rushes out to ensure that his fake fiance and her boyfriend aren’t seen together.

Gi Tae and Jang Mi cuddle up while Yeo Reum hides. The mom is displeased by their PDA and after taking the kimchi that Gi Tae refused, Jang Mi starts to say unnecessary things that seem borne out of Se Ah’s presence like how his mom doesn’t like her and that they should hang out together.

Once his mom leaves, Jang Mi feels that they’d just had a successful run-in and promises to keep helping him live alone so he should just let Yeo Reum stay for a few days. A few days, though? Where is he going to get the money for another place?

Gi Tae agrees and Yeo Reum oversteps his boundaries by touching everything which just pisses his host off. But to be fair, while Yeo Reum wasn’t a good guest, Gi Tae didn’t make it easy as he forbade him from touching or doing anything.

On the ride back, Se Ah gets Gi Tae’s mom to do her dirty work. She tells her that her father wants to see her son but it’s hard to get him out of Jang Mi’s clutches. It’s a shame that Gi Tae doesn’t love her because his mother deserves a manipulative daughter-in-law like her.

Gi Tae wakes up the next morning in Yeo Reum’s arms. The latter had climbed into his bed because the couch was too cold. Really, Dude?  Unfortunately, he hogged the covers and Gi Tae caught a cold. Why is Yeo Reum so good at getting others sick?

Jang Mi’s mom learns he’s sick, makes chicken soup and sends her daughter to him with it. Jang Mi’s trip is diverted when Gi Tae’s mom calls her for a makeover. Aunty is recruited to spend her afternoon tiring her out and keeping her away so she takes her shopping and after making her try numerous outfits, completes the look with hair and makeup. It’s all well and good but did she really need to carry that pot of soup around? And why did she pick out the ugliest dress?

Once she’s done, she takes her to Gi Tae’s office to wait for him. Jang Mi is exhausted and falls asleep which gives Auntie the opportunity to steal her phone.

What was all this about? This was Gi Tae’s mom’s way of handling Jang Mi so that Se Ah could get him alone which is what he discovers when he arrives at the French restaurant for the meal he was told was in Jang Mi’s honor and sees Se Ah there.

She tells him that her dad will be there soon so why don’t they go to the room she reserved for some alone time? She’s even got a gift for him. She’s brought her favorite blackmail video and if he refuses, they can watch it when the parents arrive. Is this supposed to make him fall for her?

Gi Tae’s mom joins them and when he asks where Jang Mi is, she tells him that she’s having fun. Then he calls her. Unfortunately for Mommy Dearest, Auntie gave her Jang Mi’s phone and it rings.

Meanwhile, the owner of the phone wakes up alone in Gi Tae’s clinic and right at 8 p.m., the light goes off for scheduled repairs. She freaks out.

Back at the restaurant, Gi Tae’s mom tells him where she is and he too freaks out knowing what she must be going through. He can’t let her be alone!

Then he gets into his car and breaks at least 100 traffic laws rushing over to her. Le sigh. Why is this making me melt? Is it the music? The voice-overs? The emotions?

Gi Tae sees Yeo Reum when he gets there and tells him about Jang Mi. Both men work together to pry open the door and once they succeed, rush in and search for her.

Gi Tae frantically looks for her and finally finds her sitting under his desk. He was so worried that he yells at her for putting herself in such a position. Why does she always let his family do this to her? Why does she care so much that she ends up getting hurt?

She starts to cry because she did it all for him and he’s yelling at her then our Knight in Shining Armor, Yeo Reum, rushes over and swoops her into a hug. After the awful night she had, what she needed was comfort. This is one of those cases where we can understand that Gi Tae reacted violently because of his feelings for her – and it might make us swoon – but if we flip it and look at it from her perspective, that wasn’t what she needed at that moment.

All three go to Gi Tae’s place and after telling Yeo Reum he couldn’t touch anything, he lets him salvage what’s left of the chicken soup that had spilled when Jang Mi was scared in the dark and prepare a delicious dinner. Gi Tae feels bad for having Jang Mi’s mother go through so much trouble for a fake son-in-law but Jang Mi tells him it’s fine because in exchange, she gets to enjoy the dream of having such a distinguied son-in-law.

The man who loves his solitude enjoys an evening of good food, wine and music while stealing glances at Jang Mi. Who would have thunk it? He’s actually having fun with people. Has he laughed so much in seven episodes?

Meanwhile, Se Ah drinks alone. She can’t stop thinking of Gi Tae’s resolve to never allow Jang Mi to be alone. When he’d cancelled the wedding, instead of expressing her true feelings, she’d saved face by pretending she felt the same way and didn’t want to get married. Now she doesn’t know what to do. If she loved him so much, she should have tried to be more vulnerable with him and maybe they could have worked things out. But it’s too late now.

Gi Tae wakes up in the middle of the night for some water.  He looks over at the couch and sees Jang Mi sleeping on Yeo Reum’s shoulder. He thinks back to all the times people had asked him if he was okay that day and finally answers: he is not okay. Boom!

The next morning, Gi Tae’s mom is spitting mad thinking about how upset her son was over her stunt. She tells her mother-in-law that she’s waving the white flag. She will let her son marry Jang Mi… if he can.

She calls her son when she’s in front of his building and Jang Mi answers. Realizing that the woman is only seconds away, she freaks out and runs to the living room to find Gi Tae and Yeo Reum spooning.

But hold up, how did she end up in Gi Tae’s bedroom and he on the couch? After witnessing the unwelcome sight, he’d switched places with her. He claims he was being a gentleman by letting her have the bed but we all know better.

Jang Mi finally tells them who’s outside when his mom punches in the door code. Why hasn’t he changed it yet? Yeo Reom quickly hides while the OTP couples up. She enters, turns her nose up at the mess and walks around the room, looking for things they might need. She returns Jang Mi’s cellphone and tells them that she’s finally accepted that they are a couple and to commemorate this, will be less formal with her. Then, she shocks them by giving her approval.

What’s with the mom? Did she hit her head? Nope. She’s just changed tactics. Now she will make them choose not to marry. The first step is for the parents to officially meet and she’s already scheduled a date.

Our couple thinks that everything has gone too far and Gi Tae is not okay with dragging her parents into it so he decides to end it and takes responsibility for telling her mother. However, when he calls her, he learns that his mother has gotten to her first and invited her for dinner.

Yeo Reum overhears the conversation and thinking it’s all been settled, tells Gi Tae that he’s happy because he can now freely date Jang Mi. Gi Tae shoots up at the word “date.” Suddenly, ending the fake relationship is at odds with his heart because he sure as hell doesn’t want Jang Mi dating Yeo Reum!

Since Gi Tae couldn’t confess the truth to Jang Mi’s mom, he comes up with another way to delay the family meeting – plastic surgery. He performs minor surgery on her mom’s eyes because it’ll take at least a week for the swelling and bruising to disappear thus delaying the meeting.

Jang Mi tells Gi Tae’s mom that the meeting has to be postponed because her mom had hemorrhoid surgery but the woman uses her manipulative skills to get her to attend anyway.

Jang Mi’s mom appears at the meeting wearing sunglasses and comedy ensues. The misunderstanding is cleared up when Grandma asks Jang Mi’s mom to take off her glasses so that they can see her eyes. Later on, Gi Tae’s father keeps up appearances by “affectionately” serving his wife food while Jang Mi’s father eats without a thought to his wife who has trouble seeing the dishes and makes a mess.

Mani Mom announces that the wedding will take place in two months and when Jang Mi’s mom tells them that they would need more time to prepare, she bribes her into agreeing by saying that they will take care of everything financially.

Gi Tae’s family has a good laugh about Jang Mi’s on the way home… well, all but Mani Mom who perpetually has a stick up her butt. She also rejects her husband’s affection when he holds her hand. This woman somehow managed to make me sympathize with a cheating bastard till I thought about it from her perspective: isn’t that the same hand he holds his mistress with?

Jang Mi’s father finds it fishy that Gi Tae’s mom is in such a rush and is being generous but his wife is lost in the fantasy of her daughter marrying into a rich family. The parents end up fighting as always.

Gi Tae calls Jang Mi out to give her a gift for her parents. She tells him about their fight and Gi Tae apologizes with a cute promise to take care of her mother’s beauty needs for life.

Then Mani Mom calls – it’s time for Operation: Make Her Quit.  She starts off by taking her to buy new bedding for her marital home. Then she makes her buy expensive gifts for her future in-laws. She doesn’t respect her time and keeps calling her during work hours and when Jang Mi protests, she tells her that she would need to quit her job to take care of the house. Then she calls her in for a gyno exam saying that she’s expected to start popping kids once she’s married. And as she occupies her time, she keeps her from going on dates with Yeo Reum. I think Gi Tae would consider that a silver lining.

Jang Mi has some days off and plans to spend them with Yeo Reum. They meet early in the morning for their planned bike ride and picnic. Gi Tae shows up and is jealous so when Yeo Reum steps away to get his bike, he pretends to see his mom and drags her away, cycling till his runs out of steam. Jang Mi tiredly walks with him in the sun then gets mad when he helps himself to their food. This wasn’t what she planned for! She was supposed to be on a date with Yeo Reum! So in addition to his mother messing with her work life, he’s messing with her real love life?

Real love life? Does that mean they are really dating? Jang Mi thinks they are, even if he hasn’t asked her to “go steady.”  Gi Tae scoffs. It’s not like they’ve kissed so why is she allowing herself to get confused by someone like Yeo Reum? Jang Mi breaks the news to him. They’ve kissed? Gi Tae gets mad. So quickly? Why is she so easy? LOL

Now, Jang Mi is mad too and she grabs her bike and heads back to Yeo Reum. She figured out that his mom wasn’t even there but when she gets back, runs into her. What does she want now? It’s time to try on wedding dresses!

They go to the bridal shop. Jang Mi puts on the pretty dress Mani Mom chose but since she’s decided to stop being so easily manipulated, rejects it and picks a short dress that she knows she will hate. Both women face off and despite Mani Mom’s best efforts, Jang Mi doesn’t budge. Just when she thinks she’s won, her mom arrives.

Meanwhile, Se Ah shows up at the gym as Gi Tae tries to sweat out his frustration. She apologizes for the stunt she pulled and confesses that she still loves him and wants them to get back together. She asks him to go to the beach with her but he refuses because he hates crowds. He walks off and leaves his phone behind.

Two moms are hard for Jang Mi to handle so she calls Gi Tae. She’s taken aback when Se Ah answers. When she hears that he can’t come to the phone because he’s washing up, her face changes. He’s washing up? While Se Ah didn’t lie, it sounds like he’s at her place.

Jang Mi is still in a daze when she gets a message from Yeo Reum asking where she is.

Yeo Reum is frustrated, looking for Jang Mi. After all, he took time off to spend with her. He tracks her phone.

Since her mother has an inferiority complex, Jang Mi is back to square one because she agrees with everything the witch says. And even when the woman criticizes Jang Mi’s appearance and posture, she doesn’t defend her. The experience becomes horrible and all Jang Mi can think is that this is not what she wants. All she wanted was to hear someone tell her that she’s pretty. All she wants for her wedding is to wear a simple dress and stand in front of the man she loves. Mani Mom doesn’t let up on the criticism and every time she says her name, it’s like hearing nails on a chalkboard.

She begins to wonder what she’s doing there. Why is she taking such abuse? Then it’s suddenly too much. It’s enough! She can’t stand it anymore. She apologizes then runs away.

She runs out and stops right in front of Gi Tae who’s just arrived. After he got dressed, Se Ah took him to her, claiming that she’s now on his side.

So there she is in a white dress standing in front of a man. But is he the one she loves? I think that is the moment she realized that she might have feelings for him. But there Se Ah is.

Yeo Reum drives over and calls out to her. Then her mother calls her. She looks at everyone and without exchanging words, Gi Tae can sense how she’s feeling and desperately tells her to stay put – he will come to her. She thinks about it for a moment then runs to Yeo Reum.

Mani Mom watches in satisfaction.

As they drive off, Yeo Reum tells her that she looks pretty and she breaks down in tears.

Gi Tae’s heart is beating at a million miles a minute as he watches her leave. His heart hurts because she hurts. All he wants to do is comfort her.

***

What a fantastic episode. For starters, Gi Tae’s mother is a first class bitch. Yes, she wants to achieve a goal but does she consider for one second that Jang Mi is a human being? She’s really okay breaking down someone else’s precious child? Why is she so freaking uptight? She’s miserable and probably blames it all on her husband but unless something else is revealed, she brings a lot of it upon herself. I gave her a pass because I felt that it was a coping mechanism but what she did in this episode was too much. She’s such a control freak that someone needs to really break her. Something has got to give. Someone in Gi Tae’s family needs to make her stop.

I think Yeo Reum is getting more serious about Jang Mi and feel bad for him. Yes, he’s far from perfect but I still find him more tolerable than Hyun Hee who just spends her days whining. It’s simply “boy meets girl” for him so what’s wrong with him pursuing someone who’s expressed an interest in him? And to be quite honest, I think he’s very patient and it’s good that he’s not yet the annoying, possessive second lead.

Our dearest Jang Mi. Instead of her parents’ marriage completely turning her off the idea, it just convinced her that she’d have to do hers differently. When she realizes that she’s fallen for Gi Tae wouldn’t she try her best to shake it off since she knows he just wants to be alone? She told herself that she doesn’t want Se Ah for him for his reasons but I think she’s slowly realizing that she doesn’t want her with him for hers. She was not happy when she thought they were together. And as for the last scene, while it might look like she ran to Yeo Reum, I think she simply just ran away. She ran from the awfulness that was Mani Mom and she ran from the possible feelings that she might have for Gi Tae.  At that moment, Yeo Reum was just her getaway car.

I’m sure that she will continue to date him but things will probably be a little different from now on.

As for Gi Tae, he needs to do a better job protecting Jang Mi. Telling her to not work so hard or be more dismissive of his mom obviously isn’t working. The poor girl is suffering because of him and he needs to either stand up to his mom or find some way of getting Jang Mi out of these situations. I’m not calling Jang Mi a damsel-in-distress but it’s his devilish mother so he needs to handle it. Enough is enough!

Regarding his feelings, I think it’s fair to say that he knows he has them. So what will he do to change the nature of their relationship? He’s quite rough around the edges and doesn’t seem to be able to convey his feelings tenderly which is what someone like Jang Mi needs to see. I can’t wait till he tells her that he no longer wants to be alone.

Things have gotten more interesting! I previously said that the couple hadn’t yet stolen my heart but the scene where he called her out after the families met and that final one where they just stared at each other…. oh my! They are slowly reeling me in.

Till next week!

9 Comments

  • PiscesDragon says:

    I like your insights on the last 2 episodes. Love the acting of the two leads! This drama really got me hooked and cant wait for the next episodes.

  • Milli says:

    Awesome recap. And as annoying as this woman is- she is not the worst kdrama mother in law. Think about that in that supernatural drama with Hongki … And I kind of still feel bad for her bc her whole family treats her badly- so this is probably her way of handling it. Still so sad for Jang Mi and her family. And this secondary lead. Not typical. Who knows what will happen?

  • tessieroo says:

    I don’t understand all the hate for YR either, he seems pretty harmless to me. It’s GT’s mom and SR that are getting all my hate. (LOL) It seems odd to me that GT would put JM in this position knowing what a naive softy she is when HE can’t even handle those 2 women himself! And I still don’t understand why the big damned rush to get him married.

  • AdAl says:

    All the more reason for Jang Mi to go as far away from Gi Tae as she possibly can. With a Mother In Law like that, who needs enemies? A more polite term would be to call her a Witch. From Passive Aggressive to Totally Aggressive, even her son can’t handle her or stand up to her and is hiding behind Jang Mi. So what’s to stop her from raising hell on Jang Mi if and when they do get married for real?

    Jang mi needs to sit down all by herself and ask herself some hard questions, why she’s putting up with this, when it isn’t even a real relationship and she has nothing to gain from it. As much as we all love Gi Tae, it has to be said that he is using Jang Mi, and it’s not fair to her,especially as he has begun to develop feelings for her, so this is no longer just a transaction or an “arrangement”. If he cares about her, he really needs to start putting her needs before his own, and conveying that sentiments so she KNOWS he cares for her.

    • AdAl says:

      BTW – Did Ki Tae’s mom become a witch because her husband was having a long term affair or did he start having an affair when he realized he was married to a witch and couldn’t get along with her?

      I wish the show would delve a little into this “chicken or the egg – which comes first scenario”, it would help us better understand Ki Tae’s mom’s motivations.

  • sobohomom says:

    Maybe GT wants to be alone be knows what a witch his mother is and doesn’t want to subject a woman he loves to MIL’s terrible cruelty.

    • tessieroo says:

      LOL, that will probably be the exact reason GT breaks up with JM, when they’re really together down the road.

  • Caitlyn says:

    Yeah, i agree that she was just running away from the situation, at the end there. You know who I hated during the scene with the wedding dresses though? Jang Mi’s mum. Oh my God i wanted to tell her to shut up! She just kept agreeing with Gi Tae’s mum, which is NOT AT ALL what she should have been doing. If you are with your daughter trying on wedding dresses, you should agree with whatever your daughter wants, and not keep putting her down. I was so frustrated in that scene. That mini dress was actually really cute too, lol

    She stole a wedding dress though. I wonder if Gi Tae will have to pay for it.

  • jomo says:

    I feel like once JM figures out KT’s mom, she will be able to fight back. I love how she claimed KT’s Mom had some super power to get her to do things – so what is her kryptonite?

    Not sure ifJM realized that she loves KT, but that her motivation to help out with his need to be alone stems from a real caring for him – which does he deserve?

    I love KT and want him to be able to communicate with NICE words that he likes JM, but I don’t know how his personality is going to let him. I guess he could go the way of My Name is Kim Sam Soon’s Sam Shik and knock over her bike, but I don’t think JM needs that from him, she needs affection. STAT.

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