With the truth behind Ajumma’s time-travelling motivations finally revealed to the two people Mi Rae loves most, our characters have reached their all-important crossroads – everyone has to decide how they should proceed, for better or for worse. For some, it means learning to leave behind the scars of a long-fought battle so that they can move forward, while for others it means waving the white flag before they’ve really begun.
The only thing that’s certain is that our characters might dream of renewed “hope” during the holiday season, but reality has a way of giving you the opposite of what you wish for.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Shin is both surprised and slightly annoyed to find himself ambushed by Oppa with Ajumma in tow. What is this, a joke? Oppa pays him no heed; he merely instructs Ajumma to tell Shin “everything.” Crushing the DNA results in one hand and reining in his temper with a violent effort, Oppa hurls the papers at Shin and slams his way out without another word.
Shin is naturally irritated, but anger is quickly replaced by mute astonishment when he reads the DNA results. Ajumma quietly confirms her identity: “I… am Na Mi Rae from the future. In 2014… so, 24 years ago… I married you, Kim Shin.”
Se Joo interrupts the companionable silence with the admission that he’d overheard Mi Rae’s confession at the park regarding her feelings for Shin. Despite knowing what her answer will be and how silly the question sounds when he’d suggested acting like friends, he can’t help asking again: “Mi Rae… don’t you see me? When I’m standing here next to you… Why can’t it be me?” And Mi Rae can offer him nothing apologies.
There’s an air of finality about this exchange as he repeats the words spoken during their previous encounter at the park – once again, he asks her for her reasons for liking Kim Shin. The difference this time is that Mi Rae has found her answer: “I’m doing what my heart tells me to do.”
But when she tries to add that it had been so from the beginning, Se Joo emphasizes that he was the first to lay eyes on her and had fallen for her before Shin did. “If there really is such a thing as fate in this world, then the fact that I got to know you and like you… would be fate.” Gahhh, Se Joo. I am screaming for you to realize that this isn’t what fate had intended.
Now that the floodgates have been opened, Ajumma unleashes the full force of her memories to a wide-eyed Shin. In a tired and weary voice, she recalls how Shin had been scouted by different broadcast stations (particularly NTN, who wanted him as main anchor) after they had married. Far from being “ruined” because he had been fired by Se Joo, it was Shin’s own pride that had led to his downfall – he had transferred to NTN in a blaze of glory, only to quit immediately due to a disagreement with the management and the result was endless debts from penalty fees.
Ajumma: “But even so… we were happy.” Their lives were brightened by their baby boy, Geon, but even that joy was short-lived as Oppa’s disapproval of Shin’s unemployed state led to frequent fights and eventual estrangement between Oppa and Mi Rae. Over time, Mi Rae’s hardships bred resentment towards Shin; arguments intensified and that was exactly what occurred the night of “that incident” when Geon was 21 months old.
Ahhh, so it wasn’t Oppa in that traffic accident, but their son.
Tears are streaming down Ajumma’s face now, her voice tortured and trembling as she reveals that Shin had seen their son wander off and had done nothing. Dumfounded, Shin recalls Ajumma’s words when they had first met at the YBS lobby, where she’d accused him of doing nothing and letting “him” die. But, as Ajumma now admits in a moment of clarity, she was also to blame – she had seen Geon wander off, but had dismissed the matter so that she could focus on the argument with him.
A fit of sobbing wracks Ajumma’s body and she finally breaks down. Shin’s hand reaches out involuntarily with the desire to comfort her, but in the end he can only withdraw helplessly, his fist clenching as he struggles to absorb the enormity of the truth.
At the park, Mi Rae hesitates before stammering out her request for Se Joo to stop liking her. But Se Joo is firm despite his evident hurt – even though he can’t help the fact that she does not return his affections, his feelings cannot be switched off so simply when it pains him to see her unhappy. Only when he sees Shin treasuring Mi Rae as she does him will he be able to gain closure and let go of his feelings. Even as he says this, it is obvious that he knows when he’s defeated; he just wants to let her go on his own terms.
He congratulates her on her debut as a writer and, when she cannot bring herself to accept his proffered gift of wine, places it on a nearby bench before turning away, leaving her staring silently after his retreating form.
Mi Rae’s still silent and contemplative when Oppa’s car pulls up to where she’s crouching at the front gate of the house, looking for all the world like an abandoned puppy. Oppa’s exaggerated solicitude towards Ajumma is weird enough, but the sight of the weakened older woman stumbling into house while leaning on Oppa’s arm is enough to alarm even the largely oblivious Mi Rae. Neither Oppa nor Ajumma answer her increasingly worried queries, and Oppa only adds to her confusion when he pulls her into a hug with the instruction, “You really have to be happy.” Uh, sure?
Work at YBS doesn’t wait for broken hearts to mend, though; the Pandora team has to plan for the upcoming Christmas special. Heh, as if to mock our characters’ inner turmoil, Writer Bae suggests that they look at suggestions for people who have to spend Christmas solo. The idea receives approval from Mi Rae, who tries to get a response from Shin and only gets a half-assed reply. Oppa looks to Se Joo instead and asks him what he thinks of the idea, and I can’t be the only one who snorted at the potential hidden meaning behind Se Joo’s bland reply: “It’s good, and the timing seems right.” Ha, poor guy.
Idiot PD Lee, of course, suffers from foot-in-mouth disease and jokes that it’s a fitting theme – all of their team members are sad solos, after all! An atmosphere of intense awkwardness descends when his prodding at Shin provokes the latter’s denial of having a romantic interest (disappointing Mi Rae and making Se Joo look up sharply). Someone shut this guy up. Thankfully, Writer Bae quickly turns the topic back towards work-related matters.
Shin is still brooding when he returns to his desk and a text from Mi Rae suggesting a lunch date only makes him sigh. Even more sighing ensues when he arrives at the nearby café and glimpses her primping in anticipation of his arrival; this is exactly what he’d wanted before, but Ajumma’s story now weighs heavily on his mind.
On the flipside, Mi Rae is teasing and almost flirtatious in her attempts to draw Shin into conversation now that she’s realized her own feelings. When he continues to sit there like a particularly featureless rock, however, she half-sulks that he hadn’t even congratulated her over her debut and his unenthusiastic response prompts her to note with perplexed disappointment: “You only congratulate me through words…” She pauses, and then resumes with an anxious, searching glance, “You only say that you like me through words…”
Well, his hot-cold treatment is enough to confuse anybody. Her rambling criticisms regarding his lack of sense over what would make the other party happy finally draws a reluctant smile out of him and he promises to think sincerely about what she’d like as a congratulatory gift, which finally lifts the mood.
That smiling scene is exactly what Se Joo sees as he walks past the café window – the girl he loves sharing a blissful meal with another man, while he’s… well, off to lunch with her brother. Ha. He sends a despondent glance their way before he’s called off by Oppa, but it might be just the sort of tough love he needs to move past Mi Rae.
Shin’s mood turns serious again when Mi Rae apologizes for losing her temper at him after his confession at the MT and informs him that she intends to follow her heart from now on rather than being swayed by naysayers (including Oppa). It’s tantamount to a confession, and his discomfort only mounts when she fondly recalls their ridiculous first meeting and then thanks him for all the help he’s given her: “You don’t express your feelings much, Announcer Kim, but the fact that you cared for and thought of me… I know.”
Aww. It’s heartfelt and genuine in Mi Rae’s sweet way and Shin seems like he might just waver in his slow turn towards noble idiocy when he agrees to her suggestion that they watch the Pandora’s Box broadcast together on Christmas Day… but then a little boy stumbling to the floor near their table interrupts their conversation.
Mi Rae’s outpouring of tenderness towards the child makes him flash back to Ajumma’s broken-hearted sobs over their dead son and an untimely call from NTN requesting a meeting with him basically sounds the death knell for his happy hopes with Mi Rae.
Writer Bae grumbles about how much she hates Christmas – even the government offices are closed, but those at the broadcast station have to soldier on! Mi Rae is more optimistic and assures her that her special broadcast is going well, but Writer Bae mutters that she has a bad feeling something big might occur this season. I think she just jinxed it.
Mi Rae has other reasons to look forward to Christmas this year, though – she gets a referral from Writer Bae to Provence, a popular restaurant opened by the winner of a cooking reality show (so, like Masterchef?), and makes an appointment for two.
Yoo Kyung, on the other hand, hilariously curls her lip in irritation when a lovey-dovey couple walks past her on the street. Ha. The way she checks her hair in her mirror and then smiles abashedly to herself before walking into her usual bar is adorable – turns out Se Joo had called to meet her.
It’s quite a change from the norm to see him waiting there for her rather than the other way around and Yoo Kyung cheerfully points out the same thing. His reason for buying her a drink wipes the smile from her face, however: “This may be my last day seeing you as a VJ.” He won’t be resuming his position immediately but will be finishing off his work first before taking a break to “cool off.”
Se Joo mentions that his destination will be the Jeju Island Villa, where he’d stayed for a few days prior to his VJ stint at YBS, but it isn’t until Yoo Kyung recalls how she was supposed to go there before the accident with Kim Shin thwarted her plans that something clicks in her mind. “Around Independence Day?” He nods. His smile when she asks whether he’d met someone at Jeju confirms her suspicions, and she flashes back to the August 14th entries in the two Mi Raes’ diaries.
Se Joo’s voice cuts through her ruminations: “Yoo Kyung-ah… no matter what position I’m in… you’ll always be my good friend. I really wanted to tell you that. Confident and awesome – my friend Seo Yoo Kyung.” Poor Yoo Kyung, friendzoned for… what is this, the 5th time?
She smiles with sad understanding at the dual meaning behind those words – he truly valued their friendship and wanted to maintain it, but felt nothing more for her beyond that. She doesn’t have the intention of pretending that all is okay by continuing to be friends, however, and her light tone belies the seriousness of her words when she states clearly: “However, I definitely said that I don’t want to be friends with you.”
He smiles as he watches her leave, but his expression is pensive when he turns back to his drink. C’mon, Se Joo – realize how important she is to you!
Se Joo isn’t the only one with a lot on his mind that night – Shin stares out the window moodily before a missed call from NTN interrupts his thoughts.
Mi Rae returns home to find Ajumma asleep in her bed and she starts to object that it’s her room… but then takes in the sight of Ajumma’s wan face. “You’re not really sick, are you, Ajumma?” She lies down next to Ajumma and strokes her hair (once again streaked with grey), promising that she’ll try hard not to live the unfortunate life that Ajumma wishes to prevent, “so that you don’t need to come back here.”
Oppa arrives at the office the next morning with Mi Rae following on his heels; when Idiot PD Lee jokes that they no longer need to hide the sibling relationship, they retort that they arrived separately because they’re not that close. HA.
Despite the bickering, Mi Rae clocks Oppa clutching his left side with a grimace of pain and mutters that he should stop drinking so much coffee. (Hmm, I don’t like this.) Two phone calls one after another bring bad news for the overworked team – first Se Joo calls in sick and then Shin announces that he’s taking a vacation.
It’s not what I’d call a vacation, though; Shin is meeting an NTN representative, who offers him the position of main anchor. Shin closes his eyes as the man’s words essentially put the final nail in the coffin by confirming his worst fears.
At YBS, Yoo Kyung is taken to its upper echelons via The Lift – she’s made an appointment to discuss Ajumma Mi Rae with Miranda after their last convenient encounter. I don’t think she expected to be greeted with such barely masked contempt from Miranda, though; it quickly becomes apparent that this move is a severe miscalculation on her part.
Her warnings about Ajumma’s underhanded tactics to force a match between Se Joo and Mi Rae fall on deaf ears (not that you can blame Miranda for scoffing at the idea of a time machine) and only serve to make her look worse in Miranda’s eyes; the older woman is sharp enough to see right through her protests that she’s motivated by friendly concern for Se Joo. “Even if Na Mi Rae disappears from Se Joo’s side, that spot will not go to you.” Ouuuch.
As he had promised, Se Joo has headed to Jeju for some time to put his feelings to rest and he now cuts a lonely figure as he strides down the deserted beach, the crashing waves bringing back the memories of his first sight of Mi Rae in the water and later when he had placed her gently on the bed. No tears obscure his eyes as he gazes out into the sea, his hair buffeted by the wind, but unknowingly he echoes the very image of the “crying back” portrayed in his short film.
The subject of his roiling emotions, however, is more troubled by the fact that Shin has not returned any of her calls or messages.
We see that Shin is doing it deliberately – he ignores another message from Mi Rae and resumes his conversation with Ajumma over coffee. He believes her now, but there’s has one more question: “Why did you not return to the time when the accident happened? You could’ve saved him then, right? There’s something else, isn’t there?” She nods uneasily.
Oh dear. What else is there?
Mi Rae’s new job as a broadcast writer has won her newfound popularity amongst her acquaintances and former colleagues at the call center – her friend gushes that they’re her fans and have caught all her works! (Which… really? She’s been involved in three episodes in total…)
Her friend changes the topic to Kim Shin, which gives Mi Rae pause. What about him? She’s discomfited to hear rumours that he’s dating various celebrities and is on the verge of revealing that they’re attached, but her friend’s distracted when she spots the man in question and drags Mi Rae along unceremoniously, asking her to introduce them. Whatever it was that Shin had heard from Ajumma has left him numb in shock, though, and he dismisses the two women’s overtures after a long look in Mi Rae’s direction and a half-hearted reply to her greeting.
The cold shoulder hurts Mi Rae and she steps outside later to give Shin another call, just missing Se Joo as he turns into the office.
Se Joo looks around the empty room fondly as he says his goodbyes to his brief life as a VJ. His roving gaze pauses at Mi Rae’s desk and he sits down, lightly brushing the knitted toys that he had given her when they had bonded at the office after she’d drenched them both. He messages her a reminder not to be late for their Christmas shoot together tomorrow – presumably his last job as a VJ – and regretfully places his resignation letter on Oppa’s desk.
When they meet each other on the road the next day, both walked with their heads down, their minds awash with tumultuous thoughts. As Mi Rae watches him expectantly, Se Joo visibly gathers himself for an extended moment before looking up, a smile in place.
The mood is more light-hearted during the filming as Mi Rae introduces her ways to enjoy Christmas as a single – go for a movie marathon at the cinema, have fun at an amusement park with an all-you-can-play ticket, shopping for a gift for yourself and exercising in the moonlight. Se Joo smiles at the sight of her having fun, but I’m thinking… exercising by yourself at night, at the river, during the dead of winter? I’ll pass, thanks.
Se Joo corrects Mi Rae when she exclaims that they’ve filmed it all – there’s one more event. Her unease is replaced by confusion when he says, “Merry Christmas” (there’s still a week), but he adds that he won’t be able to tell her then and is thus greeting her ahead of time.
Se Joo pulls her into a hug then, and in perfect sync, fireworks colour the sky over the bridge behind them. He blinks fiercely and his face contorts with the effort of maintaining his composure while he continues lightly: “I went through a lot to match the timing. It was just right.” Leaning back, he concludes, “Goodbye, Mi Rae.”
His smile only falls afterwards as he stands by his car. (Gah, Se Joo, you bleeding heart.) An assistant’s call of “Young master” puts an end to his reverie and he’s ushered into the vehicle, the door slamming shut on his life as a VJ and his love for Mi Rae.
The team is dismayed by Se Joo’s abrupt resignation when they’re at their busiest – Oppa asks Mi Rae whether she is aware of the reason and Writer Bae directs the same query towards Yoo Kyung, but both deny knowing anything even as they glare at each other. Pfft.
The restaurant calls Mi Rae then to confirm her booking and she texts Shin again with a reminder: “Provence, at 7pm.”
Time passes and Mi Rae’s narration can be heard as the lights and festivities around Seoul signal the advent of Christmas: “When it’s Christmas, people dream of miracles. They wish for a friend’s return, and they wish to receive a long-awaited call from a girlfriend or boyfriend…”
At YBS, Se Joo’s absence is felt even by Idiot PD, who starts ordering him around only to remember that he’d resigned. Mi Rae pauses at that before calling Shin again, only to reach his voicemail. “Christmas doesn’t always bring miracles, but this year, we continue to dream.”
Writer Bae approves of the hopeful tone of the narration and comforts Mi Rae regarding Shin; just make up with him next time they meet. A message from Shin arrives right on cue, raising Mi Rae’s spirits tremendously: “On the 24th (of December) at 7 o’clock, I’ll see you at Provence.”
Mi Rae fusses with her hair and perfume with all the excitement of a girl on her first date (and she really resembles Ajumma from head to toe now), but her elation quickly becomes confusion and then distress when she spots Shin at the restaurant – not at their reserved table, but dining at a neighbouring table with another woman.
Chaebol Park! Se Joo is truly back in his rightful place at the head of YBS (just in case we didn’t notice his slick suit and combed-back hair, there’s also the giant logo of YBS emblazoned across the wall behind his head, LOL). A friend calls to tell him to join them at a karaoke bar – he can’t seriously be thinking of working throughout Christmas Eve, right? Se Joo grumbles that he doesn’t like those places, but…
Yoo Kyung is gorgeously dressed but sadly strolling down the lighted streets by herself in what is turning out to be a very lonely Christmas so far. She pauses when she sees a loving couple, but a call from the director interrupts her melancholy thoughts – he instructs her to make an appearance at his work dinner and cuts off her objections by hanging up. Ugh, the sleazy bastard.
She turns around to leave in disgust after she spots the director with a group of men at the bar… only to come face to face with an angry Se Joo, who demands, “Do you still go around meeting with rich people?” Oh, geez, dude.
Yoo Kyung is hurt, but his disapproval irks her so much that she challenges him: “Why? I can’t come to these types of places?” Se Joo continues to watch, face livid, as she joins the seedy old men who shower her with compliments and ply her with drinks, their hands over hers.
Se Joo joins his friends in their private room in disappointment, but the matter occupies his thoughts throughout the night and he finally leaves to seek her out. She’s just finished singing her last song and stalks past him after a brief pause.
When he chases her down, he finds her sobbing in humiliation outside a nearby café. Through her tears, she manages: “You… find my state laughable, don’t you?” He offers quietly to take her home, apologizing for misunderstanding the situation earlier and adding that he never thought disparagingly of her.
But Yoo Kyung stands up and faces him: “No… misunderstanding is fine. Whether you misunderstand or not, I’m not going to care from now on.” He watches her silently as she walks away, but makes no move to follow. (ARGH, no! Follow her!)
Another heart is breaking elsewhere in Seoul – a waiter sets down what looks like a pretty dull salad in front of Mi Rae, who sits alone while watching Shin and the other woman chatting happily over their meal. She tries to call him once more, but he ignores the call and in the end she hurries out of the restaurant, her eyes bright with unshed tears.
Shin just watches her go wordlessly. It is only when his companion speaks up that we find out that she’s the NTN vice-chairman – he’s here with her on business. Gah, this noble idiocy, it kills me.
Mi Rae wanders home alone and finds the house empty – neither Ajumma nor Oppa are around and her call to Ajumma goes unanswered because Ajumma’s left her phone at home.
Omg, WTF is this. We find out where they are then – Ajumma is sitting beside Oppa, who lies ashen-faced on a hospital bed. Ajumma: “Why did you hide that you were sick? You suddenly become sick like this… what if the cancer relapsed?” Oppa is only concerned that she doesn’t tell Mi Rae; Mi Rae must not know.
What kind of Christmas is this?!
A roulette of heartbreak, apparently. Mi Rae watches her Christmas broadcast of “How to spend Christmas solo” on the couch at home, while Shin sees off the pretty NTN vice-chairman with a somber expression.
But Christmas is not without its wonders – Shin looks up as his hand catches the whispering flakes of first snow. In his car, Se Joo rolls down the window and stretches out a hand to do the same, as does Yoo Kyung on her lonely walk home. In the hospital, Oppa and Ajumma watch the sight through the window.
Mi Rae runs into Shin at work the next morning and they relocate to the rooftop for a private chat. (Is it just me, or did they forget slick back Shin’s hair? Can they continue to forget?)
Tamping down her pain, Mi Rae asks for an explanation for what happened at the restaurant. It was bad enough that he stood her up for another woman; what’s worse is that he’d meant for her to see it. At that, Shin cuts in with a harsh reply: “Na Mi Rae, you’re really dense, aren’t you? If I gave you that big a signal, aren’t you supposed to take notice and go away?”
Mi Rae is confused – didn’t he confess that he liked her at the MT? But Shin dismisses that as a lie, adding that the feelings were all a misunderstanding on her part. She turns away, crying, and he lets her leave. Dude, whatever reason you have, I hope you feel like a complete ass.
Shin heads to level 15 of YBS instead (Yay!), where he’s handed the script for the executive meeting. Miranda enters, and Shin begins even as a mysterious figure approaches. “To the board members in attendance today, I would like to introduce the new Senior Manager of YBS, one of Young Geon Group’s affiliated companies. I introduce you to YBS’s new leader, Park Se Joo.”
Se Joo enters and bows to Miranda before he turns to look directly at Shin. The chaebol heir has returned!
This episode brings us yet another theme – fate is all well and good, but what about hope, particularly when everything is falling down around your ears? As Mi Rae says in her voiceover, Christmas does not always bring miracles to fruition, but they continue to dream nonetheless. There is very little to cheer about for our characters in Episode 12, but perhaps things will look up now that they’ve hit rock-bottom.
If I had to make a complaint about Episode 12, it is the fact that it is the first episode of Mi Rae’s Choice so far that hasn’t given me particular enjoyment. It is, to summarize, the “culmination” episode that the previous 11 episodes had led up to – in one sweep, we’ve been hit with the full truth that Ajumma had been hiding, Oppa’s secret and even watched as the love triangle (or love square) crumbled on every side. Progress, to be sure, but progress that was packed in one episode where it might perhaps been better spread out from about Episode 9 onwards – the love triangle, as I’ve said, should never have been drawn out for this long. This is another case where I see two sides of the coin; I understand what the writer intended, but it is a different story to watch such an idea unfold in reality.
Much has been said about the inevitable doom of the love triangle, i.e. the original couples being stronger in connection. It was always obvious that Mi Rae was going to go towards Shin; Se Joo never really had much of a chance. Even I complained of this fact, actually – there’s something incredibly frustrating about watching the writer seemingly drag out the love triangle when it was clearly not going anywhere and unbalanced to boot.
However, the writer also had a reason for this – the real message the writer had wanted to convey is that it is the journey (and the effects of that journey) that matters most, rather than the result. Recall Mi Rae’s conversation with Shin, when the latter had advised cynically that she should give up on the dangerous undercover shoot because she would not have the opportunity to go back to square one should she fail, just as she did when Idiot PD Lee thwarted her debut for the haunted house pilot. Mi Rae had argued that she had not gone back to square one – she had learnt a lot in the process, despite it not panning out as she had wished in the end. Even if it appeared to be a wasted effort on the surface, the fact is that she had already grown and changed through the experience.
As questionable as the execution has been in conveying this message, I believe that this is the true purpose of the (as it appears at this point) doomed love triangle. What was the point of watching Se Joo/Mi Rae if they were doomed to fail? It is the character development that was key – despite the seemingly grim outlook for their romantic entanglements, our characters have each learnt and evolved through the process. We finally see the results in this episode – Mi Rae had learnt to be more decisive and take the initiative to act on her feelings; she’s also learnt to follow her heart and be less easily swayed by other people. Shin had learnt a lot about communicating with people, particularly in conveying sincerity – you can’t half-ass it, and someone may take away what’s important to you if you let yourself be caught up by your own pride. Se Joo has learnt that hard work and determination doesn’t always win you a positive outcome; one must know when to gracefully admit defeat. He’s also learnt, like Shin, to be better at vocalizing his feelings and to give his all during a relationship, whereas he had never been required to put forward that sort of effort in previous relationships. Even Yoo Kyung has learnt, like Se Joo, that there is no one who “deserves” someone’s love in return simply because fate and circumstances had ordained it; you cannot force feelings to turn your way, no matter what you do.
So this journey is actually all-important for these characters moving forward – as much as we complain about the seemingly pointless exercise of bringing our characters through these painful and doomed relationships when they really should revert to the original “fated” pairings anyway, the fact is that the growth they’ve experienced as a result has matured them and left them better-prepared for their future relationships, whether it is with their original “fated” partner or someone else. If they had smoothly returned to their original partners without the intervention of Ajumma, perhaps we would’ve seen exactly what had happened to Mi Rae and Shin in the original timeline where they had not had the chance to grow through the experience of these hardships – their married life was hardly rosy and in fact ended in tragedy.
As I had mentioned, though, there is the flip side of the coin – as viewers, it is quite a different story to travel such an arduous journey with the characters with little reward to be seen until the 12th episode. As important as the journey is, the result is just as important for viewers; we want satisfaction for the time that we have invested into the drama, and frustration is completely understandable with 4 episodes left to (hopefully satisfactorily) straighten out these tangled relationships. Ideally, I would have liked more time to watch the newly matured characters find their way back towards each other – if Se Joo’s interest in Mi Rae had ended around Episode 9-10, for example, we would have had far more time for him to ease over his heartbreak and turn his attention to Yoo Kyung. Still, there are 4 episodes left, and until we reach the ending I will continue to adopt Mi Rae’s message of “hope.” It isn’t over until the fat lady sings, after all.