“I Need Romance 3” episode 10 recap

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There’s such a thing as being too nice, Wan.

Side dish: Wan makes Joo Yeon a breakfast of healthy soup with broccoli, squash and beans which she gives away to Tae Yoon. Instead of thinking about that, let’s fantasize about eating Korean pub food at Pan in New York.

Episode Recap

Hot young music producer/DJ Joo Wan (Sung Joon) plays piano, and thinks about his longtime love and former babysitter, Shin Joo Yeon (Kim So Yeon) turning out to be even worse than he believed. He flashes back to his childhood, when he asked her what love was, and she paints a rosy picture with smiles and hearts and flowers. But, by prioritizing revenge on her rival/frenemy Oh Se Ryeong (Wang Ji Won) over her love for her robotic boss, Kang Tae Yoon (Namgung Min), she finally managed to make him regret returning.

Joo Yeon comes to his room and tries to get back into Wan’s good graces, but since she can’t figure out what she did wrong, he gets more annoyed. She gets defensive and he leaves the house to go think, convinced he’s more hurt than she is.

Meanwhile, Se Ryeong drinks by herself and flashes back to Joo Yeon asking Tae Yoon out at the end of the last episode. She admires Joo Yeon’s sneakiness.

Back at home, Joo Yeon can’t handle Wan being angry at her, and texts him to come back. He forgives her as soon as she says that she’ll wait up for him. She continues to act cute when he gets home and he crumbles further. He lies down with his head in her lap and apologizes for being harsh earlier. Wan, you sap.

The next morning, Joo Yeon’s colleague, Lee Min Jung (Park Hyo Joo) comes in to work to find the youngest member of the team, Jung Hee Jae (Yoon Sung Ah) already at it. Hee Jae drops the bomb that she broke up with her boyfriend, just as Joo Yeon and sole male colleague, Lee Woo Young (Park Yoo Hwan) come in. Robot Joo Yeon doesn’t care about her co-workers’ personal lives, and gets straight to work. Min Jung asks if she’s not curious as to why Hee Jae and her boyfriend broke up, but Joo Yeon shuts her down. Woo Young, who has a thing for Hee Jae, follows her to ask if she’s okay, and Hee Jae responds that she doesn’t know, because she’s so busy at work.

Joo Yeon apparently cares about the personal life of one co-worker (or, at least, his digestion), and she leaves a sticky note for Tae Yoon on his desk listing foods for his chronic gastritis, while smiling creepily to herself.

In the meantime, Min Jung’s Friday Hookup (Yoo Ha Joon) has tracked her down to the company, but still thinks her name is Lee Woo Young. He calls Woo Young down to the front desk, believing that he’s Min Jung. Meters away in a coffee shop, Joo Yeon is meeting with new suppliers while Min Jung gets them coffee. Friday Hookup and Joo Yeon spot each other and recognition hits. Joo Yeon tries to warn the oblivious Min Jung as Woo Young arrives. Too late! Min Jung and Friday Hookup’s eyes meet. Min Jung takes the sensible course and runs for it.

Predictably, she doesn’t get far. Friday Hookup demands an explanation for her sudden disappearance, then grabs her security pass to find out her real name. He finally clues in that she’s his mysterious spinster neighbour.

Back in the office, Hee Jae and Woo Young are trying to get Min Jung’s whole story out of Joo Yeon. But, Joo Yeon isn’t interested to gossip, since it’s the personal life of a co-worker, and she’s a robot.

Instead, Joo Yeon gets a phone call from Se Ryeong, who tells her to turn on a competing home shopping network. She does, and sees that they’re hawking a jacket that looks suspiciously like one of theirs. Gasp! Joo Yeon decides to head for Se Ryeong’s office for an emergency meeting.

Friday Hookup finally gets the full story from Min Jung, minus, of course, the pregnancy. She wonders why he’s not accepting their breakup since they were a fling anyway. He tells her he started having feelings for her. In the midst of their argument, she calls him “Oppa” (learn more about the term here), and he gets mad since he just found out she’s three years older. She turns it around, and tells him to watch his speech then. She sends him away without accepting his feelings or telling him that she’s pregnant.

Se Ryeong and Joo Yeon’s emergency meeting looks very serious. Joo Yeon asks Se Ryeong if she has anything else that they can sell to replace the jacket. Se Ryeong asks if Joo Yeon trusts her, and Joo Yeon replies that she does, professionally. Se Ryeong asks if she trusts her as a friend, and after hesitating, Joo Yeon says yes. Se Ryeong asks her over for some cup ramen.

Back with Tae Yoon. His robot gears start crunching when he sees Joo Yeon’s note on his desk about gastritis friendly foods. He texts her to say thank you, and to ask her to cook them for him herself. Joo Yeon grins manically as she picks up the text. Se Ryeong comes over with booze instead of instant noodles, saying she only eats those with men.

Joo Yeon asks about rumours from their past about Se Ryeong seducing men with instant noodles (well, it would probably work on my significant other). Se Ryeong, rather than answer, brings up how Joo Yeon didn’t stand up for her about those rumours. Joo Yeon says that she didn’t care about those rumours, whether they were true or not; she just liked being together with her. Until the incident where Se Ryeong stole her boyfriend, that is.

Se Ryeong admits that her saying that they were friends in the last episode was a lie, and says she knew that Joo Yeon had agreed with bad intentions. Apparently, Se Ryeong likes this about her, that she realizes that they’re frenemies. I scratch my head in confusion, but Se Ryeong plows on, and asks her to not meet Tae Yoon. She wants more time to win him back since she can’t forget about him.

Appealing to robot Joo Yeon’s better instincts seems like it’s destined to fail. Luckily, Joo Yeon calls her Jiminy Cricket, Wan and tells him to come to her, because she needs him. He plays coy and makes her come to him in the studio, where he’s working. When she arrives, he introduces her to everyone as the girl he likes. One of his idol band members says he deserves better, and it’s hard to argue at this point.

They go for a walk outside where she pours out all her troubles, and her inability to identify emotions, including hers or Se Ryeong’s. She asks him what love is and he parrots what she told him when they were young, that love is always smiling and being bright with the people you love. He says that he’s like this, because he was fooled by what she said as a kid (he really, really was). He tells her he loves her, and she mocks him. They go home with his arm around her shoulders. She shrugs him off, but he persists, and she lets him.

Back at the office, Se Ryeong is trying to talk the team into going with an ugly sweatshirt with a dog print on it. The team is against it, but Joo Yeon agrees with Se Ryeong, saying she has faith in her, and puts everyone to work.

Se Ryeong walks in to Tae Yoon’s empty office, followed shortly by Joo Yeon. Se Ryeong takes the list of foods Joo Yeon suggested for gastritis with her and leaves.

Woo Young asks Hee Jae to come bowling with the office team the next day, a Sunday at 8am. She shows up to the bowling alley where Woo Young has been waiting. Turns out he bought her bowling shoes (WTF), and knew her shoe size, because he knows everyone’s shoe size (WTF again). She finds this funny and they bowl, holding hands. They’re having such a great time that I predict that disaster is coming their way soon.

It’s Sunday morning, the day of her date with Tae Yoon (see episode 9 recap), and Joo Yeon is in a lather because she doesn’t know whether to go or not. Wan, miffed, tells her to eat breakfast and make up her mind. Before she can, Tae Yoon calls saying he has to cancel, because his gastritis is acting up. But! The breakfast that Wan made is coincidentally everything that’s good for Tae Yoon’s stomach. Joo Yeon uses her sad puppy eyes on him, and then, takes Wan’s breakfast over to Tae Yoon. Really, I get that Wan’s a nice guy, but taking his breakfast to another guy is going a little too far.

As Tae Yoon eats, she berates him for making himself sick by drinking with the director. She gets up to leave when Se Ryeong lets herself into Tae Yoon’s home. Joo Yeon tries to leave, but Tae Yoon stops her, clearly using her to hurt Se Ryeong. Se Ryeong cries and begs him to give her another chance, but, since he’s a robot, he’s unmoved. He throws her out, using Joo Yeon as a shield. Joo Yeon finally gets mad at him for using her like this, and again, tries to leave. He stops her, and she tells him in a roundabout way that she has feelings for him. She finally gets away while his robot brain tries to process.

Crying in her car, Se Ryeong, tries to leave, but she backs into a post in the parking lot. Joo Yeon pops up out of nowhere and asks if she wants to go for a drink. Se Ryeong tells her that she’s not so bad off that she needs Joo Yeon’s sympathy, and drives off. I guess the ceasefire is over, then?

Back at the apartment, a light bulb goes on in Tae Yoon’s robot brain as he thinks about what just happened: Joo Yeon likes him! Well done, robot brain!

Joo Yeon goes home to Wan and throws herself on his bed, demanding he play music to comfort her. She changes her mind and asks him to kill her, then demands to know why relationships and life are so hard. Then, she demands food. He carries her downstairs on his back, and makes her spaghetti while she clings.

Se Ryeong, meanwhile, has gone back to her office. She sends her contract with the home shopping network to her attorney, ostensibly hoping to get out of it.

Friday Hookup rings Min Jung’s doorbell and then leaves. He left her a present on the doorknob, and she takes it inside to discover that it’s a bracelet with a letter confessing his love. She sticks her ear to their connecting wall and he’s already on the other side, knocking. They knock at each other and smile, but that’s all. How innocent.

Next day, at the home shopping network, all of Se Ryeong’s ugly sweatshirts sell out completely. It’s a home shopping victory as the team celebrates. Tae Yoon is watching the broadcast in a conference room with the director of the network (I think? If we’ve met her before, I can’t remember), who talks about how great Joo Yeon is, and how she’s going to catch up to him. He smiles.

Joo Yeon goes over to Tae Yoon’s office for her customary post-show affirmation. He congratulates her and invites her to dinner. At the restaurant, Tae Yoon tells her that he’s going to say something important so she takes out a notebook. He explains that it’s not work related; instead, he says he’d like to date her. She looks like a deer caught in headlights as he robotically tells her his reasons. He says he doesn’t love her and he can’t promise anything other than that he will be good to her.

She imagines what Wan would say to this confession, which is that it’s total crap and unromantic to boot. Meanwhile, an oblivious Wan is picking out flowers for her, but she prefers Tae Yoon’s trying over Wan’s flowers, so she agrees to date Tae Yoon. The episode ends.


I really don’t know who to root for in this drama.

I agree with JK: Tae Yoon and Joo Yeon clearly deserve each other. While yelling at Tae Yoon about him using her and ignoring her feelings, she never clues in that she’s basically using Wan as a convenient teddy bear and ignoring his feelings. If she had any intention of being kind, she would send him back to his luxurious hotel to be comforted by his no-doubt many groupies. Instead, she mocks him when he says he’s in love with her, and uses him to work out her feelings for Tae Yoon, while being fed on demand. But, since she’s a robot without a moral compass, she can’t see the problem with the situation.

Robot Tae Yoon, meanwhile, solves his Se Ryeong problem (aka feelings) by making it official with Joo Yeon, even though he has no feelings for her. As for Se Ryeong, imposing on a friendship she hasn’t cared about in 15 years is pretty weak. Min Jung, for her part, is apparently going to keep her child a secret from its father, for no apparent reason (commitment issues?), while Friday Hookup is acting like a stalker.

Wan, on the other hand, is looking more and more like a sap. I get that he loves her and saving her from her robot self is a noble intention, but frankly, for his sake, I hope he just finds someone who won’t give away his weird breakfast soup to another guy.

I Need Romance 3 (로맨스가 필요해 3)

 1 – 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 || series review

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