If the last episode went too far with its romantic plotting, this time around "Marry Him If You Dare" makes a concerted effort to avoid showing off any kind of convincing chemistry between the leads at all. It's nice seeing that Mi-Rae's actions have consequences in terms of the way other characters feel about her. Kim Sin and Se-Joo both clearly pull away from her, suddenly a lot more uncertain about how much they really like the woman when she seems to be playing them off each other.
Mi-Rae isn't actually scheming- she's just not thinking through her actions very well. The older women on this drama, however, very much begin plotting in earnest here. Mi-Ran has some successes and some failures in trying to discern more about the relationship between the two Mi-Rae's. The results are rather telling- present Mi-Rae actually does a better job rebuffing the scheming executive, even though future Mi-Rae is the only one aware of the actual stakes involved.
Part of what makes the conflict between Mi-Ran and future Mi-Rae interesting is that future Mi-Rae is, age-wise, probably about as old as her rival and has access to lots of personal information even Mi-Ran herself doesn't know. But she still basically remembers, just through sense memory, that Mi-Ran is an old, mean, smart woman who is extremely capable. Future Mi-Rae seems to dedicate most of her energy to just not being intimated by Mi-Ran's personality- and while this is important, anticipating Mi-Ran's next move and motivation really should have the higher priority.
There's a similar dynamic at play with Joo-Hyeon (played by Oh Jung-se) who future Mi-Rae constantly calls oppa even though this makes no contextual sense from his perspective. This episode she lets him in on some extremely important information- but whether he's actually going to be able to that much with it is unclear. Future Mi-Rae still doesn't seem to appreciate that all of this is riding on her own actions- her younger self can't be trusted.
Indeed, while I mention this episode is notable for its lack of romantic chemistry, some of it still comes trickling through just out of sheer habit. There's a great imagination spot in this episode, where future Mi-Rae envisions a situation that is completely at odds and opposite with the reality that we've seen so far- yet is still perfectly in keeping with what we've seen of Kim Sin and present Mi-Rae's characters. And if the cliffhanger is any indication, well, the scheming will just have to get kicked up another notch.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Marry Him If You Dare" Episode 8"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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