Side dish: Mi Young uses a bread machine in this episode. I actually mistook the machine for a rice cooker, and it turns out that Rice Cooker Bread is a real thing. You will find the recipe at wikiHow.
We appear to have skipped ahead to the wedding reception of Lee Gun (Jang Hyuk) and Kim Mi Young (Jang Nara). Gun’s grandmother is looking anxious when Secretary Tak rushes up and reluctantly informs her that the newlyweds have disappeared. Grandma has a fit. Meanwhile, in their getaway car, Gun and Mi Young exchange meaningful looks at each other.
Having piqued our curiosity, the story rewinds to Gun waking up from a nightmare in which he could not recognize Mi Young, mistaking her for Jang Nara (how meta!). Mi Young comforts Gun with a bread machine before getting ready for work.
Vacationing Gun goes to visit Mi Young’s mother, bearing bribes to obtain her blessing for their marriage. After Mom refuses the gifts, Gun compels her to feed him, thus providing another opportunity for Gun to ask for Mom’s permission to marry Mi Young. Mom offers herself as his nurse, should he succumb to his illness in the future, as long as he gives up Mi Young. Gun chooses, instead, to remain persistent in asking for Mom’s permission to marry Mi Young.
Daniel (Choi Jin Hyuk) runs into his neighbour, Nam Se Ra (Wang Ji Won), but she turns a cold shoulder to him. Daniel departs, perplexed at the change in his drinking buddy, while Se Ra remembers the photograph of her and Daniel as children on his bedside table.
Gun continues his charm offensive by showing up unannounced at the hair salon where Mom is getting gussied up. He talks up the ahjummas, hands out drinks, and identifies himself as Mom’s son-in-law. However, Mom stays firm in her decision, and Gun promises to come back tomorrow. All the ahjummas gush as Mom sighs.
Back at home, Mi Young prepares the ramen with pollack eyes dish for Gun that had won Gun’s adopted brother, Lee Yong over. Gun and Mi Young turn ramen eating into a romantic moment à la Lady and the Tramp. They are interrupted by an enforced house warming party of Mi Young’s sister, brother-in-law, and President Park.
The house warming party becomes a session of Godori. Mi Young’s brother-in-law is wiping the floor with Gun, when Mi Young gently suggests taking over for him. She puts on her old snail glasses, ties her hair up, and ends up taking her brother-in-law and President Park for all they’re worth.
Meanwhile, in a more elegant and strained setting, Se Ra is having tea with her mother. Se Ra is about to ask about the reason why her mother treats her so badly, but leaves before her mother can respond.
Gun and Mi Young decide to drop in on Mom’s workout in order to demonstrate Gun’s physical fitness. Mom looks aghast as Gun frantically does gymnastic routines and sit ups while Mi Young cheers. Gun and Mi Young run themselves ragged, and Mom ends up walking away unimpressed. Unbeknownst to the persistent couple, Mom watches them depart with a smile.
Jeon Ji Yeon (Park Hee Von) cooks a huge spread for an impressed Lee Yong (Choi Woo Sik), but Yong’s mom interrupts and drives them both away with insults. A pensive Gun appears, wanting some answers about his father’s last moments, and Yong’s mom tells him that his father had resolved to return to his family, but was prevented by the car accident that killed him. But, the true tragedy of this scene is that no one eats Ji Yeon’s food.
Gun goes looking for an investigator to find the tree pictured in his father’s diary. Secretary Tak takes him to an agency populated by shady gangster types, which is run by CEO Cha, the shady businessman who owned the company that tried to turn Mi Young’s home island into a garbage dump. After Gun shows them his mad fighting skills, they take the job.
Meanwhile, Se Ra shows up at Daniel’s apartment with her first effort at cooking. Daniel gamely tries to eat it as Se Ra asks about the picture in his bedroom. When she discovers that it’s a picture of his sister, she runs away, leaving him with disgusting food and the dishes. Typical younger sister. But! She comes back and confesses that she’s the one in the photos, and has no idea how she came to be in them.
Mi Young gets a call from Daniel and goes to meet him at a nightclub. He sings her a song, as she flashes back to all their memories together.
Meanwhile, Gun drinks soju with Mi Young’s mom. She gives them permission to marry, and the scene devolves into a drinking session as they sing and dance. Mi Young arrives in time to put the two drunks to bed.
Mi Young’s mom refuses to show up to the wedding, but who cares? Mi Young looks pretty in what looks like a dress for junior prom, circa 1962. Mi Young doesn’t make it to the wedding, though, because Gun bursts in and drags her away. We’re back to the beginning of the episode as Secretary Tak bursts into the wedding hall to inform Grandma of their disappearance.
Gun and Mi Young end up at Gun’s tree, where CEO Cha and his gangsters are holding up a work crew, which was about to uproot it. Turns out that Gun and his father had buried a time capsule in their last moment together. He opens it to find a letter from his dad, telling him to enjoy every moment to the fullest. Hearts explode all over the screen as Gun and Mi Young run back to their wedding.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: This is the second last episode of “Fated to Love You”, and yet, you wouldn’t know from the scattered approach to the plot and characters.
Only 만: This episode was all over the place, for sure. We went from random cute moments to drunk mom to sad dad flashbacks to Se Ra cooking to Daniel singing. And, let’s not forget the pause for Go Stop. It’s like they’re trying to duplicate the frenetic feel of the beginning, without anything much going on.
Junggugeo Kaenada: To play devil’s advocate, I will point out that in the span of one episode, they convinced Mi Young’s mom to giving her blessing for their re-marriage, Se Ra finally reveals to Daniel that they might be siblings, and Gun reconnected with his dead father.
Only: To play devil’s advocate right back, Daniel’s reaction to Se Ra’s revelation was to sing Mi Young a song, and Gun’s father is a story line that was pretty much covered in the previous episode. And, Mi Young’s mom’s approval was only a matter of time anyway.
But, before we get any further into plot stagnation, let’s talk about what we liked about this episode.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I liked that Mi Young and Gun continue to bring the heat with each other, when they’re not busy being cute. And, she’s not reluctant to engage. Also, it’s amazing how many ways Jang Hyuk can use his maniacal laughter to convey a gamut of emotions.
Only: It’s true. That laugh can say so many things. I also enjoyed the meta-references in this episode, as per usual, like when Gun had a nightmare where he mistook Mi Young for Jang Na Ra, or when they referred to his character, Go-Ni, from “Tazza”. Oh, and I laughed out loud at the ramen noodle kiss. Cute! My only wish is that we’d gotten the kiss instead of the in-laws coming to visit.
Junggugeo Kaenada: As much as I enjoyed the Gun and Mi Young moments, I think they could have taken some time away from those scenes to flesh out Se Ra and Daniel’s story more. Or, maybe, just take time away from Daniel singing, and show him actually talking to the woman who revealed herself to being a strong contender as his long lost sister.
Only: Yes, that would have been preferable to the singing scene, which felt tacked on and forced. As were the exercise scenes, and the scenes with the gangsters and CEO Cha. I’ll be kinder about the tree picture and Gun’s dad, because I guess that’s a step on Gun’s journey, but I could have done without a lot of the rest.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Thanks to the rather unfocused approach towards the finale, I am losing a lot of the love the series provoked at the beginning when it stayed on track and kept the story moving. I fear that Episode 20 will be just as dragged out and pointless.
Only: That said, I’m still enjoying our two main characters, so that’s something. The only thing I could have wished is that if they were going to spend so much time on Gun and Mi Young, why couldn’t they have spoken about their relationship or something? It seems like they went from miserable apart to happy together almost instantaneously.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Or, they could speak about their future. It is as if they avoid talking about the future, because the only thing they have to look forward to is the deterioration of Gun’s health.
Only: Well, we have no idea how their future is going to go because I suspect they’re going to deal with that in the next episode. This episode felt very much like filler, so I’m expecting the next episode to bring us an ending with some substance.
Fated to Love You (운명처럼 널 사랑해)