“I Need Romance 3” episode 14 recap

Wan gets soggy
It’s cold and soggy in Robot World.

Side dish: Min Jung makes soybean soup for her hung over baby daddy, and you’ll probably need a similar cure, because this show will drive you to drink. Here’s a recipe for ddeokguk (rice cake soup) from Shinshine that I tried once, and enjoyed. I have a feeling that I would like it if I was hung over, because it’s warm and soft and delicious.

Episode Recap

Shin Joo Yeon (Kim So Yeon) walks into her bedroom, looking tired and confused. She flashes back to dinner, where she bonded over horrible breakups with her frenemy and rival, stylist Oh Se Ryeong (Wang Ji Won), and her single, pregnant co-worker, Lee Min Jung (Park Hyo Joo). Joo Yeon enjoyed this truce, thinking it was nice to be herself for a change. She had been intending to tell her roommate and former ward, Joo Wan (Sung Joon) about it when she got home, but instead he met her outside.

We’re back at the ending of the last episode, where she warns Wan to stay away from her or she’ll kick him out. Instead, he moves in, and kisses her. She struggles for a token moment then starts kissing him back. He lets her go, tells her to take care, and drives off. She tries chasing him to get him to explain himself, but Wan leaves without a backward glance.

Back in her bedroom, she finally clues in that he really meant he was leaving, and goes running to his room to find it empty. Wan’s gone and Joo Yeon looks like she might actually be upset about it.

Turns out I was wrong. The next morning, she’s back in full robot mode at a photo shoot for the home shopping network with her team. Youngest team member, Jung Hee Jae (Yoon Seung Ah) and sole male member, Lee Woo Young (Park Yoo Hwan) admire a blue trench coat as Se Ryeong walks in. Min Jung, Se Ryeong and Joo Yeon bond over Se Ryeong’s amazing styling ideas, while Joo Yeon inwardly thinks how unfazed she is by Wan’s departure. She flashes back to the dinner with Min Jung and Se Ryeong, where they started talking about losing their minds after being dumped. Min Jung tells them about stalking her ex (which is why she forgave her stalker baby daddy so easily, I guess), while Joo Yeon hasn’t even cried for a guy since her second breakup. Se Ryeong mentions that she only went crazy over one guy, the guy she believed was the one. Joo Yeon looks uncomfortable, because Se Ryeong’s obviously talking about Joo Yeon’s boyfriend, Kang Tae Yoon (Namgung Min). Being a robot, Joo Yeon has no similar story to share.

Back in the present, Joo Yeon walks back into her house, thinking how unfazed she is. Since she and Wan never dated, they didn’t actually break up. Except, she suddenly hears Wan call her, and sees him coming up to her doorway. This is a hallucination, according to Joo Yeon, but she goes on to tell him about making up with Se Ryeong anyway. She tells him tearfully that he was right about everything, and he smiles at her. This would be kind of a touching scene, except she’s actually standing there by herself.

In her voiceover, she says that she looks for him everyday when she comes home. She imagines herself leaving a teary message on his voicemail pleading for his return, but brushes her teeth instead. Then she proceeds to do everything that Wan hates so she can make her hallucination of him come back (is this Twilight? WTF). As she throws tangerine peels on the table while watching the home shopping network, she hallucinates him bursting into the room to berate her for being a slob.

Joo Yeon finds the CD Wan left for her on the dining table, but just chucks it into the laundry bin instead of listening to it. She goes into the kitchen to hallucinate some more, and tells him she’s going to let herself starve to death so he feels guilty forever. Joo Yeon looks pitiful when Wan disappears again.

The next day at work, Joo Yeon questions Se Ryeong about Wan, who tells her that they had lunch together, and that he ate well. She asks what he’s up to, and Se Ryeong tells her that he’s become a radio DJ.

Cut to Wan in a radio booth reading a sad story about a certain person (i.e. Joo Yeon) who said she liked being alone. Joo Yeon listens in her bedroom as he tells the whole of Seoul about how this person used to follow him around, and cling to him, because no one likes being lonely. He goes on to say how he’ll stay with his listeners, and keep them company. Joo Yeon calls him a fraud and whacks the stuffed giraffe in his stead. She decides that she’s angry at Wan for being okay, but she can’t figure out why she’s upset or what other emotion she’s feeling.

Back at the office, Hee Jae and Woo Young are flirting with each other. Hee Jae announces she wants to learn to play piano. He tells her that she has no time for piano, and tells her to try the guitar first, then switch to piano later. Min Jung bursts into the room and tells them to switch the TV on to their channel. Joo Yeon walks in, as Tae Yoon’s team shows a similar trench coat to the one they were intending to sell. Gasp! It’s an emergency.

Min Jung, Woo Young and Hee Jae go to confront the other team for stealing their idea, and they trade accusations. Meanwhile, Joo Yeon confronts Tae Yoon over his team copying her team, and he gives her the robot explanation that a trench coat’s a trench coat, and why would he stop his team from doing something that’s going to succeed? When you’re a director, he says coldly, your performance speaks of your character. Back at the office, she recounts their conversation to Min Jung, who tells her to watch out if she’s going to date a guy like Tae Yoon who puts business before love.

Back at home, Min Jung pastes an ultrasound into a journal while eating strawberries, and talking to her fetus. Turns out it’s fetuses, because she’s having twins(!). Her doorbell rings, and Baby Daddy (Yoo Ha Joon) yells at her to open the door. She lets him in, and he turns out to be drunk, because he’s so tormented by the whole situation. He collapses on her couch, while clutching a large box, and then passes out. The next morning, she makes him hangover soup, then wakes him up. He’s startled to find that he’s in her apartment, and she feeds him breakfast. She preens as he compliments her cooking.

Joo Yeon is asleep on Wan’s bed, surrounded by tissues. Wan wakes her up by stroking her hair, and then feels her overly warm forehead. He gets her up to go to the hospital, berates her for her pathetic state, and says how could he not come back when she’s this much of a wreck? She asks him to explain to her why she’s feeling like this, and he disappears. Joo Yeon admits that she’s falling apart without him.

Back at Min Jung’s apartment, Baby Daddy explains that the box he brought contains an infant simulator (i.e. a fake baby). Since he thinks they’re both unfit parents, he figures that they should try to raise it to see if they can succeed. If they fail, he’s going to run for it, because he’s a selfish bastard, and she shouldn’t depend on him. But, he wants to try because he’s going nuts, and he can’t ignore his own child. He tells her that he’ll take the baby during the day, and she can take it at night. He also installs a CCTV in his apartment linked to her phone, so she can check on the baby during the day. He mentions that he also ordered clothes for the infant simulator, which she’ll have to wash. Min Jung looks shell shocked, then smiles to herself.

At home, Hee Jae looks happily at the new handbag that Woo Young talked her into buying last episode. He texts to ask her if she’d like to go for a beer, and she gets excited about trying a new kind of alcohol. They meet at a bar where he gives her a ukelele. She asks if it’s okay that he’s buying her so many gifts, and he says he wanted to buy her the bag, too, but he thought it was important that she buy it herself. I assume this whole scene is some kind of paid advertisement, because she then goes on to evangelize about how much joy the bag brings her during her morning commute; “I Need Shopping”, indeed.

The miserable Joo Yeon is at the pharmacy buying cold meds, because she can’t even get to a doctor without Wan. Tae Yoon calls as she’s sitting in the park ready to take her drugs, and she tells him she’s sick. He says he’ll come over and they can go have a nice, warm lunch. She tells him not to bother if he’s busy.

Wan (real Wan) stands in front of her house, having an internal monologue about his decision to leave. He says that maybe he was hoping that she would chase him or fall apart, but instead he ended up ashamed of himself. As if on cue, it starts to rain. Joo Yeon starts running for cover in the park, and ends up under a gazebo. She looks up to see Wan standing there and thinks she’s hallucinating again, so she tells him to get lost, because she doesn’t want to talk to herself anymore. When he doesn’t disappear, she clues in that he’s real.

Wan seems happy to find Joo Yeon in the same state as him, since she’s also always in his thoughts. He tells her it’s normal for them to be hurting since they’re apart from each other, but she denies that’s it’s normal for her. Wan tells Joo Yeon that he missed her, and instead of returning the sentiment, she tells him to come over to the house and pick up his dirty clothes. He tells her to keep them like she keeps her old boyfriend rings, but she denies that they had a relationship. He tells her that if she were a normal woman, she would have realized that they were in a relationship, since they were so close. She tells him she’s with someone already, and wonders how he didn’t change even after moving out. He tells her she’s the one who didn’t change, and that he’s going nuts by himself, because even in this circumstance where they’re fighting, he’s still happy to see her.

Wan tries to leave, but doesn’t get very far before he turns around and comes back. He berates himself for being an idiot, but he wants to know why Joo Yeon has a pharmacy bag in her hand. She tells him she’s sick. He announces he’s not worried at all. He tells her not to talk to him, because he’s just staying until it stops raining. In voiceover, Joo Yeon says she wishes it would rain forever, but she has no idea what that desire means. In voiceover, Wan says even though he had an umbrella in his car, he didn’t want to get it for her.

They stand together silently until Tae Yoon calls her. Wan tells her not to answer, and she must be feeling weak, because she doesn’t, and pulls the battery out of her phone.

Wan explains to Joo Yeon that he’s never coming back to find her, and she will have to come to him once she figures out what she wants. As he leaves, Tae Yoon appears with an umbrella. He takes her for lunch in his car while Wan walks away alone in the rain.

At lunch, Joo Yeon and Tae Yoon have a fight about their relationship, because she wants a more passionate love, and he doesn’t, since he already had that with Se Ryeong, and he didn’t like it. He finally ends the argument by bringing up her inappropriate relationship with Wan. He takes her home, and promises to do better in their relationship from now on.

Wan takes a bike ride along the Han River because, as “Dawson’s Creek” has taught us, you can’t brood without being near a body of water. In voiceover, he says how believing in a true love can make it a reality. He looks at picture of the younger Shin Joo Yeon on his phone and tells her not to make him wait too long. He kisses the phone (ewww).

Joo Yeon comes home and takes out the CD that Wan left her. She texts Se Ryeong to find out where Wan’s staying, as she plays the CD. She flashes back to all of her happy times with Wan, and finally breaks down crying.

She runs out the door and into her car, flashing back to all the moments where he promised to stay with her. She drives, I assumed to Wan, but I assumed wrongly because she ends up at Tae Yoon’s house. She tells him she’d rather believe in love and breaks up with him. Woah!


I could easily have cut this recap short if I just replaced the entire first half with Shin Joo Yeon moping. She alternates between moping, imagining she’s moping, and pretending she’s not moping, but in effect, that’s what she does for most of this episode.

I’m glad things are moving along, and that she’s becoming more like a normal person, but thanks to this episode, I’m now convinced that she’s an idiot. First, she tries to convince herself that she’s not unhappy that Wan left, despite having hallucinations and getting all teary-eyed every few minutes. Fair enough, maybe that’s just her survival instinct kicking in. But, when she literally cannot figure out what emotion she’s feeling when she wants to be close to Wan and she’s sad when he’s not around, I can’t go along with it. At least Robot Tae Yoon knows his emotions; he just prefers not to feel them, because it’s too stressful. Joo Yeon, on the other hand, is unable to recognize that she misses Wan. So, yay for her returning to a state of humanity. Boo for her being stupid.

Wan, on the other hand, looked very cute in this episode, and for that I will forgive him for his horrible taste in women.

As for Hee Jae and Woo Young, is it me, or have they literally turned into a commercial for consumerism? I mean, I love my handbag as much as the next person, but I never thought of it as a way to cheer myself up from my morning commute. Obviously I have much to learn from these two.

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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