“I Need Romance 3” episode 8 recap

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Not as good as a shower, but close enough.

Side dish: Just as Wan is constantly trying to convince Joo Yeon that her chest pains are related to heartache, perhaps we can convince ourselves that heartburn is actually love. Jerk chicken can be as spicy as you want it to be.  The longer the marination period, the greater the possibility of love. See Top Five Jerk Recipes or visit Tropical Joe’s, which is fantastic in spite of its location in a mall food court.

Episode Recap

Shin Joo Yeon (Kim So Yeon) is having a meeting with her team when her boss, Kang Tae Yoon (Namgung Min) walks by. Joo Yeon feels a stab in her chest at the sight of him, and remembers Joo Wan (Sung Joon) telling her that the source of her pain is love. However, Wan stops short of revealing to Joo Yeon who she is in love with.

It is worth noting that Wan also calls her a machine, which I am inclined to agree with watching Joo Yeon robotically try to figure out who she loves. She considers Wan’s candidacy: warm, comforting, and fun. She even buys his creepy logic that discomfort is actually excitement in disguise. Joo Yeon texts her guess to Wan, who denies that he is the source of her heartache.

Tae Yoon interrupts Joo Yeon’s giggling and texting to propose discussing work matters over dinner. Joo Yeon tentatively asks if Tae Yoon doesn’t already have plans, clearly thinking of of frenemy, Oh Se Ryeong, but Tae Yoon does not. As they depart, Joo Yeon sees Se Ryeong coming towards them, and tries unsuccessfully to rush Tae Yoon away before they are spotted. Se Ryeong ends up joining them for what promises to be a stone cold meal.

At the restaurant, Tae Yoon gives Se Ryeong preferential treatment, taking her coat, and pulling out her chair for her. Joo Yeon plops down in her seat wearing her coat, seemingly miffed at being ignored, but it turns out that she is just trying to hide the fact that she and Se Ryeong are wearing the same dress.

Tae Yoon steps away, presumably to get a mop for the blood that will be spilled during his absence. Se Ryeong uses their identical dresses as a jumping point on which to accuse Joo Yeon of  imitating her. When Se Ryeong asks Joo Yeon why she pretended not to see her, Joo Yeon seems genuinely perplexed. Of course, the answer is to be found in Tae Yoon, but Joo Yeon chooses instead to blame Se Ryeong again. She reasons that her hatred of Se Ryeong was so strong that she acted on instinct. Se Ryeong marvels that Joo Yeon could hold a grudge for 12 years, to which Joo Yeon reveals that it was not the boy Se Ryeong stole, but the friendship she destroyed that upset her most. Se Ryeong seems taken aback. Tae Yoon chooses that moment to return. Se Ryeong attempts to rid herself of the third wheel by telling Tae Yoon that Joo Yeon was just about to leave. However, Joo Yeon is perfectly happy to make the situation uncomfortable by calling her a liar, and staying put.

Meanwhile, Joo Yeon’s junior team members, Jung Hee Jae and Lee Woo Young are awkwardly working side by side, each testing possible ways of inviting the other to go out by typing out lines to say on their computer. Woo Young abruptly bows out of the office first, only to wait outside for Hee Jae to exit the building. He offers her a ride home, which she rejects. He persists and clinches the deal by claiming that only by accepting a ride from him will she prove that she doesn’t have feelings for him. She climbs into the car, and Woo Young is too happy to take away any discouraging message from her actions.

Joo Yeon returns home from dinner rubbing her chest, and pissy at her boss’s lack of consideration for her. She instantly seeks out Wan to help lighten her mood, but he is nowhere to be found despite all the house lights being on and his car parked outside. She texts him a command to come home. Sitting in the bath tub, Wan promises to appear in five minutes if Joo Yeon can admit that she misses him. Joo Yeon relents, and the next scene should be Wan striding through the house wearing nothing but a towel. Instead, Wan chooses to reveal his location via text, comes out wearing a bathrobe, and sends Joo Yeon to bring water to his room. As Joo Yeon enters Wan’s bedroom with his glass of water, he is in the process of putting on a shirt. He smirks and slows down just enough to give Joo Yeon a good look at his abs. Ha! That tease.

Joo Yeon reveals who she dined with, then asks Wan a series of questions about Se Ryeong: where he met her, why guys seem to love her, and how could someone like Tae Yoon like her. Joo Yeon suddenly falls silent, and Wan tenses up as Joo Yeon finally realizes that she is love with Tae Yoon, and that Wan knew the entire time. Poor Wan then encourages Joo Yeon to follow her heart as far as she can go, presumably away from him. To top it off, Wan tells Joo Yeon that he loves her, but only as an example of how to act without overthinking one’s feelings. After Joo Yeon leaves, Wan covers his face with his hand, possibly in a state of disbelief at what a ridiculous dreamboat he is.

Hee Jae finally arrives home in Woo Young’s car after an hour long ride that took longer than public transit and seemed to go around in circles. As she is explaining how this was exactly the type of courtship scenario that she was hoping to avoid, Hee Jae spots her boyfriend arriving at her place. Turns out that it is Hee Jae’s mother’s monthly meeting, which usually meant alone time for the couple at Hee Jae’s home. However, Hee Jae is completely focused on her boyfriend passing the civil service exam, saying he should be studying and shouldn’t have bothered coming. Boyfriend asks what would happen if he failed the exam again, and Hee Jae threatens to break up with him. The boyfriend states what they both know, that they have different dreams for the future, then leaves. Outside, he and Woo Young make eye contact briefly before both look away.

In a montage of bummers, Lee Min Jung stands up her regular Friday hook up / neighbour who is waiting to gift her with a sparkly bracelet, Wan stares at Joo Yeon’s childhood photograph, and Joo Yeon, horrified at what her heart wants, concludes that love is childish and stupid.

Tae Yoon is dropping Se Ryeong off at her office when he finds out that the work she is doing, possibly all night, is playing poker with important networking contacts. Tae Yoon flies into a rage, accusing her of lying, and remaining the same undependable person who left him feeling insecure during their previous relationship. Se Ryeong counters that she cannot change who she is no matter how much she cares for Tae Yoon. They break up on the spot. Tae Yoon returns home to drink, stare at the Betta fish Se Ryeong gave him, then breaks his glass beside the fish tank, thus giving me a sense of relief about the welfare of the fish.

What follows is another scene of butting heads between Se Ryeong’s design team and Joo Yeon’s merchandising team. Joo Yeon’s team steal away on the pretense of going for a run, but are actually plotting out their strategy. Tae Yoon comes across them and warns them that it has rained heavily outside. The entire team jumps into a swimming pool in order to appear sufficiently soaked before Se Ryeong. End hilarious team building exercise.

Back at the office, Se Ryeong attempts to patch up her relationship with Tae Yoon by leaving a ticket to a musical for him, saying that she will wait for him at the theatre.

Se Ryeong then drops by Wan’s studio unannounced, and he guesses that her reappearance must mean that she has broken up with her boyfriend. He is surprised to learn that he is right, and shows a bit of concern at what this development might mean.

Meanwhile, Tae Yoon has an extra pair of tickets to the musical that Se Ryeong was hoping to attend with him, and invites Joo Yeon to accompany him. Joo Yeon accepts the invitation while massaging her chest.

Wan is suspicious at Tae Yoon’s sudden invite, but Joo Yeon waves away his concerns, claiming that such outings used to be normal at their workplace. She reassures Wan by asking for his advice on an outfit that will not reveal her feelings for Tae Yoon, and accepting his offer to drop her off at the theatre.

Wan is surprisingly calm watching Joo Yeon runs excitedly towards Tae Yoon at the theatre. As he is exiting the garage, Wan spots Se Ryeong and calls her up. After hearing about Se Ryeong’s plans, Wan correctly surmises that Tae Yoon is using Joo Yeon to hurt Se Ryeong. He rushes back into the garage.

In the theatre, Se Ryeong sits alone. When it becomes clear that Tae Yoon is unlikely to arrive, Se Ryeong gets up to go, and spots Tae Yoon sitting with Joo Yeon. Tae Yoon gives Se Ryeong the same cold stare that sent Joo Yeon crying in Wan’s arms. Wan arrives just as Se Ryeong staggers out of the theatre. It is then that Wan reveals to Se Ryeong his deep personal connection with Joo Yeon.

Out for drinks after the show, Joo Yeon asks why Tae Yoon seemed agitated all night. Tae Yoon takes this as his cue to reveal what a sick bastard he is. He readily admits to taking another woman to the show in order to compel Se Ryeong to go through with their break up. Tae Yoon returns to his refrain that what he and Se Ryeong had wasn’t love. He interprets Joo Yeon’s expression as one of concern, as opposed to horror, and reassures her that life will go on; it was no big deal. But, Joo Yeon knows better and clutches her chest.

Wan is waiting impatiently at home by his phone when Joo Yeon marches in and goes straight into her bedroom. Wan hesitates before going in. Joo Yeon reports the situation, and her intuition that Tae Yoon still loves Se Ryeong. Sadly, she admits, she is not offended by his actions, but they caused her heart a great deal of pain.

Joo Yeon attempts to keep Wan at a distance, claiming that since his return, she has been shedding tears at an unprecedented rate. Wan encloses Joo Yeon in a hug, saying with a smile that he is just happy that she has learned to cry again. It’s the kind of smile that could be interpreted as creepy or touching, but let’s go with touching.

Comments

Joo Yeon’s inability to figure out that she was in love with Tae Yoon was stretched to its limits.  If the writers had prolonged that plot device any further, it could easily have morphed into an amnesia story line given how unusually obtuse Joo Yeon was being. Joo Yeon improved in this episode if only because she was not given the opportunity to disappoint her friends. However, it was good to see that she didn’t jump with glee when Tae Yoon revealed the he had broken up with her rival, Se Ryeong. Her new emotionally connected brain was able to acknowledge that Se Ryeong appeared to love Tae Yoon, and Tae Yoon felt the same way towards Se Ryeong, whatever crap might be coming out of his mouth.

Speaking of Tae Yoon, he has taken the title of show’s worst character from Joo Yeon for his cowardly and nasty behaviour towards Se Ryeong. I am loving Se Ryeong more and more as she demonstrates the amount of patience and persistence she is capable of where Tae Yoon is concerned.

This episode built up Wan’s dreamboat status. Wan’s selfless support of Joo Yeon’s emotional health is dreamy, but it is so sugary sweet that I kind of miss his creepy come ons. There has to be a middle ground where Wan shows Joo Yeon love without becoming a saint or making her uncomfortable, but who knows if we will ever get there considering the character’s mantra of ‘discomfort = excitement’.

Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다


I Need Romance 3 (로맨스가 필요해 3)

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