DRAMA CLUB: Maids Episodes 19-20 Recap
Well, Maids fans, we have reached the end, but not all of the characters have reached it with us. And you thought last week was rough. Did your favorites survive the inevitable end-of-sageuk purge? Did you feel there was there enough romantic resolution, or were you, perhaps, screaming "at least hug her!" at your television? Come on in and talk it out with us for the last time.
Mariam: I am possibly disproportionately happy that Eun Ki was skewered like a kebab.
Tiara: I totally cheered for his fated death. I just wished he died a lot quicker.
Amy: Eh, I wasn’t hoping for his death but I did want him to go far away.
Mariam: 20 minutes! It took him 20 minutes to die! Moo Myung was practically rolling his eyes, like, “get on with it already, you drama queen.”
Tiara: He wasn’t the only one rolling his eyes. Eun Ki’s death reminded me of the vampire Amilyn from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie. Of course, Eun Ki needed to add some ‘oooh!' 'aaauugh' to his death scene. At least it would’ve been funnier.
Amy: Ha ha! I’m surprised Moo Myung didn’t just take care of Eun Ki himself. He did show a lot of restraint.
Mariam: Even Ga Hee A had enough of it. Poor woman has had injured and exiled in her place of business all series, she finally turned him over and got rid of him. But I was glad his mother lived. Of all the spoiled nobles, she was the least offensive.
Tiara: The smartest character in the whole drama. She waited for the right moment and got everything she’s ever wanted, a bit of freedom. I was happy Eun Ki’s mom got to live. She wasn’t horrible and mean spirited.
Amy: Yeah. She just wanted some power but she didn’t go about it the wrong way like Eun Ki’s mom. At least that I remember.
Mariam: She never ordered anyone to be killed, or killed anyone herself, that I remember. Which is a really small list of people in this show.
Tiara: Not a lot of the characters were the very bright. I mean the Defense Minister switched sides thinking he was saving himself and ending being exiled. He apparently didn’t have trust for his King and was able to listen to evil doers. At least the King has gotten rid of the bad seeds.
Mariam: Yeah- it almost didn’t seem like he ought to have been exiled for that, then I remembered he put the hit out on In Yub, so I’m content that he’s been sent to Jeju.
Amy: That guy just has no loyalty. He pretends that he does but he does what will benefit him and doesn’t think about anyone else.
Tiara: Karma was delivered to our characters. Yoon Ok becoming a maid was by far a highlight. Not just a maid but a maid for the dude who wanted a baby maker in the earlier part of the drama.
Mariam: And she’s with Poong Yi! I was marginally disappointed he continued to live, un-castrated, but I thought that last image of the two of them stuck in the horrid Governor’s house was perfect.
Amy: Those two deserve each other.
Tiara: I died laughing at what Poong Yi said to Yoon Ok. He totally took Moo Myung’s words to comfort In Yub. The best part was his stolen pick up lines didn’t work. Ha!
Mariam: My favorite part of the ending was that Dan Ji, her mother, Gae Dong, and Dduk Swe all ended up living at In Yub’s. And that Yoon Seo ended up making a living drawing porn. It was perfect.
Amy: It was awesome. I also thought that Yoon Seo looked better with the goatee. Ha ha! I’m just a little sad that we didn’t get to see Dan Ji’s reaction when she found out that he got all that money by drawing porn.
Tiara: The one thing In Yub learned from her time as a maid was family comes not from blood. All of them became part of her family. They’ve seen each other at their worst and were there to offer them support. I’m glad Gae Dong and Dduk Swe finally got together. As for Yoon Seo, I’m glad he found something he’s good at and enjoys. Maybe he is better as an ex-noble than as one.
Mariam: They were soo cute! Gae Dong was one of my favorite people to watch- she didn’t have a lot of lines, but that actress was always making funny faces or doing something hysterical in the background. I just wish the final episodes had more of that- I feel like the show was at its most interesting when the ladies and the kitchen were the main parts of the action. The last few weeks it has shifted focus to the King/Moo Myung vs the Finance Minister/Eun Ki and it sort of dragged. So I was glad there was a longish denouement to bring the attention back to the servants.
Amy: I loved that they’re all family now too. It’s just sad to me that In Yub still thinks she is alone in the world. Um, what about all of the people you brought into your house and the guy standing next to you? I’m not sure if she fully realizes how much they love her.
Tiara: I concur about the last few weeks. King Taejong shouldn’t have forgiven the Finance Minister and Eun Ki. It should have been the Man Wol in hiding if they wanted to keep the politics going. The continuous back and forth between King Taejo and King Taejong with the Man Wol trying to control the Kings was just annoying. We’ve already seen them try to manage the Kings by planting seeds of doubt.
Mariam: And unoriginal. That back and forth is in every single sageuk. I wasn’t watching this show for the politics, I was watching for the sex grotto. Which, I was really sad to find out, was only utilized for funsies in the opening episode. I feel like it should have been given one last hurrah.
Amy: I was disappointed by that too. Like, they could finally be together and we get nothing? Not right.
Tiara: The characters were the most interesting part of the drama. The choices they made with the situations they were given was what was fascinating. Sadly, the drama either forgot or got side tracked on what kept the drama captivating and charming. Oh the sex grotto, how I missed it. One last hurrah with In Yub and Moo Myung would have been nice. Heck, I would have settle for Gae Dong and Dduk Swe.
Mariam: True, and I was impressed with how much agency they gave In Yub. She really did make her own choices pretty much all the way through to the end- and Moo Myung usually respected them (Eun Ki, not so much, but that’s why he got skewered). Although the vague scene on the hill made it a little unclear what her final choice was. It was like the ending to Faith, only with less emotion, and I didn’t think that was possible, given Faith ends with the leads standing several meters apart, frozen.
Amy: I have not seen Faith but I was very disappointed with Moo Myung and In Yub’s end. Nothing? Just standing there? Boring.
Tiara: bwahaha! I knew the ending reminded me of something. The end was very ambiguous however I wasn’t over upset. Life is ambiguous. This is the end of this part of the story. What she does next is whatever she wants. I believe she accepts Moo Myung. If she didn’t she would’ve have left not just the note. She would have left the hair pin. I think she needed time to mourn the loss of her father, her friend, and all she thought was lost.
Mariam: I wasn’t expecting much, they’ve always been a surprisingly undramatic couple, given what goes on in the rest of their lives. But seriously- did anything resolve? Is the King no longer going to kill her? Will they wander from temple to temple like vagrants with nice hair? The Sopranos gave me more closure than this.
Amy: This is a drama so I want more resolution in my ending! If I wanted real life I wouldn’t immerse myself in a drama! Ha ha! I’m pretty sure the king gave up. He probably realized that Moo Myung isn’t going to give in. He’s just like his dad in that sense. He knows what he wants and will do what he can do get it.
Tiara: I think it’s fair to say the King probably gave up his hope for his son to become a prince. If the King commanded it, Moo Myung would be in the palace with guards keeping him in. Instead, he spent the year searching for In Yub temple by temple. However, you’re right about our OTP being the most undramatic. I guess it is why I wasn’t overly surprised with the lack of emotions at the end. I’m still of the mind Moo Myung and In Yub got married. It’s all because she didn’t return his father’s hair pin.
Mariam: He did already introduce himself to her father.
Tiara: He sure did say his hellos to her father. See, they totally married.
Amy: Excellent. They should be. Heck, I’d be happy with them living together happily.
Mariam: And they were sort of living together- I like that Dan Ji had to point it out. I think my favorite little domestic scene was when he tried to buy her a necklace at the market. For some reason that enormous actor holding up the little beads like “Pretty, right?” was adorable.
Tiara: Oh, I forgot about that scene in the market.
Amy: Moo Myung is adorable. He is like a big teddy bear but, you know, violent when he needs to be.
Mariam: It kind of reminded me of Beauty and the Beast when he tries to hold a bird in his claws and he’s like super proud and excited.
Tiara: *giggles* You’re completely right. I loved seeing them all living together. Not just our couple, but the rest of the maids and servants. It was sweet to see everyone get a happy ending.
Mariam: They are kind of not the norm in a sageuk.
Tiara: Nope. Death is pretty much the norm.
Mariam: Dan Ji lived! I was so sure that Death totally had her number.
Tiara: I really thought Lady Kang was going to have her killed.
Amy: I honestly didn’t care for Dan Ji at first but I grew to like her. I’m glad Lady Kang wasn’t murderous.
Mariam: And Lady Kang’s lack of murderousness was rewarded- she ended up in the best situation of all the nobles.
Tiara: OMG, the look on her in-laws faces when she got an out of jail free card was priceless.
Amy: Good for her. Why would she be loyal to in laws like that?
Mariam: And she learned the life-saving rule from them. Everyone thought she was stupid in that house, but she could be clever when she needed to be.
Tiara: Agree. She had some smarts. She did learn from the best. Of course, she hasn’t got over her gambling yet.
Amy: She just needs to get really good at gambling and make tons of money. Maybe she’ll find a man that way. She obviously enjoys a man’s company!
Mariam: No, but she has become more successful. Baby steps?
Tiara: She’s becoming a pro gambler. I think it’s good baby steps. Pros get paid nicely. Did you see the amount she won?
Mariam: Some other woman’s hair pins.
Tiara: Those things are not cheap hairpins. I bet those are made of gold and real gems.
Mariam: And now their loss is some other woman’s family problem.
Tiara: Gambling is a dangerous business if one isn’t good at it. She’s learn to become the best. When you enter the game, you either win or lose.
Mariam: The fact that the drama rounded out characters like Lady Kang, who could have been purely comic relief, and gave her her own little storyline, is why I enjoyed it so much. A lot of well drawn female characters, who were allowed to behave badly and have flaws, and who mostly managed their own affairs without the men getting too much in the way. Except maybe for Yoon Ok and her mom ending up in prison because of her father- but that was karma. I hope to see more dramas like it in the future. Any other final thoughts?
Tiara: Maids had it’s bumps along the road, but I enjoyed the journey. The story wasn’t overly unique, but the characters were appealing and entertaining. The one thing the drama should be proud of was how pretty it turned out. The drama showed the beauty of Korea in a small way. I too hope to see more drama with strong female characters in the near future.
Amy: I really did enjoy Maids but I’m not sure if it will be on my rewatch list. I loved the strong female characters and how we got to get a good look into each character’s life. I also enjoyed how beautiful it was. I want to see all of those things for myself! I would recommend it to a friend. Not as an introductory drama though. Ha ha!
Well friends, this definitely wasn’t your mama’s sageuk. What did you think? Did you find the focus on the lives of the servants a refreshing change? Were you as disappointed as me that Poong Yi is still alive? What is your headcanon for In Yub and Moo Myung’s future? Give us your parting thoughts in the comments. It’s been fun, and we’ll see you in the next drama!
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