[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 16 Final

It turns out future Mi-Rae was wrong this whole time- just not for the reasons we would have guessed. The time traveler is a non-entity throughout most of this episode, too broken down and irrelevant at this point to have much influence on the storyline directly. But everything about her, from the warnings she gave about the future, to the romantic meddling, to the very fact that time travelers exist at all who will try to warn their past selves against misdeeds, all of this is essential to the drama's final resolution.

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We had been taking it for granted this whole time that the reason why Mi-Rae and Kim Sin's lives fell apart in the original timeline was due to a lack of financial security owing to a poor employment situation. This episode reveals, indirectly, that the more likely cause for their unhappiness was the resentment and unhappiness relating to that employment situation. This is why the drama's felt so uncomfortable the last few episodes- Kim Sin has finally come to realize that it's not his career that matters to him, but rather his professional reputation.

Mi-Rae likewise realizes that while working in television is the most obvious way to follow her dreams, in reality it's just one of many possible paths. Like Kim Sin, she ends up deciding that ethics are more important to her than sticking to the most obvious plan she has at the moment. It's a self confidence that can ironically be traced back to the future Mi-Rae. Now that present version knows what she's capable of, she doesn't have to be like her future self- terrified at the prospect of an uncertain future. Even if the content of future Mi-Rae's plan has failed, the spirit of it has clearly been carried out.

For anyone expecting a resolution to the lovelines, well, that part of the drama simply isn't resolved. As the malaise of the last few episodes indicates, Mi-Rae's clear rejection of Kim Sin has put the kabosh on any romantic liasons between them for the foreseeable future. However, keeping in mind what ruined her future self's relationship with Kim Sin, Mi-Rae's romance with Se-Joo also goes by the wayside. And the reason isn't even about money, primarily- it's rather inescapable that sooner or later, Se-Joo would resent her for this sacrifice just like Kim Sin did.

"Marry Him If You Dare", in the end, does not deliver on the romantic aspects- a bit of a shame considering this was the flair that made it so memorable in the beginning. Instead we get a sparkling message of maturity and understanding that the things that really matter in life require more substance and thought than can be obtained in a sixteen-episode drama. It's an ultimate narrative direction I can really appreciate- and the romance, while open-ended, may yet remain a clear possibility.

Review by William Schwartz

"Marry Him If You Dare" is directed by Kwon Kye-hong with Yoo Jong-seon and written by Hong Jin-ah and features Lee Dong-gun, Yoon Eun-hye, Jung Yong-hwa and Choi Myung-gil.

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