“I Need Romance 3” episode 16 recap – Finale!

I Need Romance 3 Joo Yeon and Wan
Noona seduction technique #4672: leopard print lingerie, to appeal to the animal inside.

Side dish: I comforted myself while watching this episode by stuffing my face full of snacks. I ran out pretty quickly, but if I’d planned ahead, I would have gotten myself a box of assorted Japanese Kit Kat from J-list.com because Kit Kats are the best candy, and Japanese Kit Kats are the the best Kit Kats.

Episode Recap

The final episode of “I Need Romance 3” opens with Shin Joo Yeon (Kim So Yeon) caressing the face of her sleeping lover, Joo Wan (Sung Joon), and having deep thoughts about love. She kisses him on the cheek, high on the bliss of having slept with a much younger man. He wakes up, and asks for a kiss on the mouth instead, which she happily provides. They snuggle, and I wonder at the amazing power of TV sex, where Joo Yeon has been completely transformed after one night with Wan. Who knows? Maybe he is that good.

Youngest team member Jung Hee Jae (Yoon Seung Ah) also wakes up in bed, but she’s by herself. Her boyfriend, and sole male work colleague, Lee Woo Young (Park Yoo Hwan) comes in with breakfast and she hides under the covers, telling him not to look at her early morning hideousness. He admits to having already watched her in her sleep, and tries to pull the blanket away from her. She refuses, and asks him to bring her clothes. He complies, then dives under the covers. They giggle.

Driving in the car with Wan, Joo Yeon’s happy face almost puts me off my Pocky, but she interrupts her staring at him for a flashback to a meeting in a café with her team. The arrival of a hot waiter prompts much swooning among the women. A miffed Woo Young says that the coffee shop owner hires hot waiters as a marketing strategy. His female teammates don’t care and start a discussion about what’s sexy in men.

Hee Jae mentions the waiter’s voice, while oldest team member and unwed mother Lee Min Jung (Park Hyo Joo) counters with the waiter’s hands. Joo Yeon, in full robot mode, has no interest in hot waiters or the discussion, which doesn’t put off Min Jung, who goes on to discuss Adam’s apples. Woo Young check his Adam’s apple to make sure it’s still there, while Hee Jae launches into a story about how men’s necks are sexy when they back up their cars (WTF), and when they shave. Min Jung expresses a preference for firm thighs, and Hee Jae counters with a firm butt. Joo Yeon agrees for the first time, while Min Jung goes on to talk about the line from ear to neck. Woo Young, exasperated, counters that woman are complicated, while men only look at two things: chest and butt. I would be offended on behalf of all men and women by this discussion, but I’m too busy stuffing my face with snacks.

Back in the car with Wan, Joo Yeon waxes rhapsodic about his hotness in voice over. Wan’s mind is on food, however, and he proposes that they eat brunch. In voice over, she also points out the awesomeness of his voice (okay, fair, I can get behind that), then agrees to go eat.

Woo Young shows off his car-backing technique for the easily impressed Hee Jae, who applauds his sexiness. He demands a kiss for his good parking job, and they giggle again. I take a break to find more Pocky.

Wan and Joo Yeon settle into a café. He pulls out her chair for her then walks off to order under her lustful gaze. As they eat, she notes the sexy way he drinks his coffee in voice over. He points out that she’s acting weird, and in voice over she berates herself for ever thinking of him as  ‘Sweet Potato’.

Back at the office, Joo Yeon goes on about Wan’s perfection (and his ankles for some reason) to Hee Jae, Min Jung, and frenemy and stylist Oh Se Ryeong (Wang Ji Won). Hee Jae mentions that she found him really hot when he played piano, while Se Ryeong brings up his eyelashes. Min Jung points out that everyone thinks he’s hot, including the masses who listen to his radio show. Joo Yeon’s happiness dims, as she begins to realize that she’s in love with a hot commodity. Se Ryeong points out that he gets gifts from fans all the time, which he apparently never brings home. Everyone swoons over how hot he is for being considerate. Se Ryeong mentions that one of the women at her company, much younger than Joo Yeon, is a big fan of his.

As they leave the office, Se Ryeong asks Joo Yeon whether she’s nervous about her relationship with him. When she admits that she is, Se Ryeong agrees that she has reason to be, since there’s no such things as security in dating. Kang Tae Yoon (Namgung Min), ex-boyfriend to both of them and love of Se Ryeong’s life, picks this moment to walk up to them. He mentions to Se Ryeong that he has heard the news that she’s not moving companies. She tells him that she never meant to, since she has a reason to stay (meaning getting Tae Yoon back). He barely changes expression and leaves. When Joo Yeon asks Se Ryeong how she can say things like that so easily, Se Ryeong compares dating to a game, one that she’s still playing with Tae Yoon. Joo Yeon is impressed with her confidence.

At Wan’s radio booth, he’s interviewing two female pop stars (I guess I should know them, but I don’t), one of whom professes to having a crush on him. Embarrassed, but amused, he asks her what she likes about him. Joo Yeon, watching the interview on her laptop, gets progressively more annoyed as the two singers point out that he’s good-looking, cool and sexy. He laughs and tells them that he hopes his girlfriend is watching. Joo Yeon’s annoyance is deflated as he announces that he loves her on air. Joo Yeon gets all sappy and smug.

So sappy, in fact, that she waits outside the house for him. When he gets home, she asks him what he likes about her, since there are so many young and pretty women around him. He dismisses them all, since they’re not her, then asks if he makes her feel insecure. She admits to it, and he takes it as a sign of affection. She confirms that she’s insecure, because she likes him, and he tells her not to be, but instead to treat him really well, and to tell him that she missed him today. So she does, while making doe eyes at him.

The two of them snuggle on her couch while she thinks about how little has changed between them since he moved in, except now the nights are awkward. As if on cue, Wan suggests going to bed. Joo Yeon agrees, and scampers off to her room like a shy virgin (WTF), as he laughs uncertainly. Joo Yeon sits in her room restlessly, when she gets a message from Wan, asking where they should sleep. She’s about to tell him that she’ll go to his room, but thinks better of it, and decides to use psychological warfare learned from working in a home shopping network to get him to come to her. Tactic 1: Play hard to get. Wan refuses to respond to this and it’s a failure. Tactic 2: Set a time limit. Another failure, as Wan tells her to go to sleep. Tactic 3: the bonus gift. She sends a message saying the giraffe wants to say good night to him, and finally he humours her. Joo Yeon celebrates her victory as Wan comes in to say good night to the giraffe, then kisses her. She pushes him down on the bed and they make out. Wan stops to tell Joo Yeon that he’d prefer it if she’d just say she wants to sleep together. If she can’t learn to express herself, how is he supposed to know what she’s thinking? Joo Yeon tells him to stay in her room, and they get down to serious monkey business.

Back in the office, Min Jung, Hee Jae and Joo Yeon listen as Se Ryeong talks about how direct she is if she wants sex. “What’s the point of beating around the bush,” asks Se Ryeong, “So what if you get rejected?” Min Jung wonders if Se Ryeong gets rejected, and Se Ryeong says that she does, since everyone has preferences.

Min Jung asks about doing stuff you don’t like for the person you love, which Joo Yeon says she does. Hee Jae’s hard limit is apparently sex in the car, which prompts the question whether Woo Young has ever requested that. Hee Jae denies vehemently. Se Ryeong says she likes doing it in the car, while Joo Yeon and Hee Jae disagree. Min Jung admits public sex is her biggest fantasy. They decide to play a game where they say their fantasies by pretending they’re talking about someone else. Hee Jae brings up bondage, and the fact that she likes to do it with the lights on (then why was she so shy earlier?), but Woo Young is against it. Woo Young walks in before she can spill more beans about their relationship, prompting her to run away in embarrassment. The women giggle while Woo Young reports on his work. Min Jung tells him that Hee Jae doesn’t like to have the lights off then runs away. Se Ryeong spills the beans about the bondage then leaves, while Joo Yeon just finds an excuse and takes off.

Annoyed, Woo Young pretends he has a phone call and goes out, calling Hee Jae to follow after him. Standing outside the building, they have an argument about her sharing his sex techniques with her friends. He tells her all the stuff he finds annoying about her and asks whether she’d like it if he told that to his friends. Guys don’t tell their friends these things; they talk about other girls instead, he explains. Hee Jae counters that men share porn, which women find weird. I can’t follow this part of the discussion, so I’m relieved when they get back on track. Woo Young asks how much she told, and Hee Jae says that it was only about the lights being out during sex. He tell her to wait and see if he turns out the lights next time, and she laughs.

Min Jung’s Baby Daddy (Yoo Ha Joon) contemplates the logistical nightmare of having twins, then answers the door to a delivery for an order he doesn’t remember making: a baby carriage for twins. At Min Jung’s house, he shows her a baby store’s worth of stuff he ordered while drunk. She finds his alcoholic tendencies cute, then tells him that they can take care of the kids while living separately, rather than marry. She tells him the kids will go under her family registry, to which he objects. She tells him that she’s doing it so that he can run away at any time. He asks her if she goes to the hospital often, and she says yes, since she’s older. She offers to show him her pregnancy journal, and the ultrasound photos if he ever wants to look at it.

Hee Jae and Woo Young are parked in a car overlooking the Han River, so it must be time for a serious confession. Woo Young assumes she’s going to make the first move, but instead she turns on the radio to Wan’s program. He’s reading out anonymous messages, and he gets to one that’s obviously her. It’s long-winded, but I’ll cut it short: Woo Young helped her to think about what she really wants, and it turns out she wants to travel by herself for a year. When Woo Young clues in that she seriously wants to go, they argue, while Wan sends them love messages over the air.

Joo Yeon listens to Wan as she attempts to cook. Chopping carrots is more annoying than working overtime for Joo Yeon, who’s so domestically challenged that she looks totally unnatural in an apron. Wan gets home and checks in on her handiwork in the kitchen and finds that she’s nowhere near finished. He’s shocked at her low level of cooking competence, and she decides to give up. He stops her, saying she’ll have to cook sometimes, and she needs the practice. They argue over who’s going to do the dishes while I wonder where I can get some more Pocky. As Wan cleans up, he points out (to himself) that he’s even eaten already. Brave man that he is, he makes a game effort to eat her sad-looking Vietnamese rice wraps. After chewing for a long while under her expectant gaze, he gives his approval and then points out what needs for improvement. He stops himself when she looks sad, and gives her a score of 30 points, then raises it to 31 when she pouts.

As they brush their teeth, Joo Yeon tells him she’s going to sleep with him. Wan turns her down, saying he’s busy. She says he’s playing hard to get, and rejects his rejection. Wan dares Joo Yeon to make it impossible for him to reject her, so she takes off her fuzzy robe to reveal leopard print lingerie. Joo Yeon teases Wan with her sexy older woman wiles until he snaps and carries her into the bedroom.

Back at the office, Hee Jae tells Woo Young that she’s going to turn in her resignation, and he tells her to do whatever she wants since they broke up yesterday. Meanwhile Joo Yeon and Min Jung are discussing starting a new team for the online shop and putting Hee Jae in charge of it, when they get called in to the senior director’s office. Tae Yoon is already there, discussing Min Jung’s situation with the senior director, telling her that the company needs to expand its childcare benefits to her, since she’s irreplaceable.

Tae Yoon is dismissed as Joo Yeon and Min Jung enter, and the senior director gets right to it, telling them that Tae Yoon has convinced her to keep Min Jung on despite her impending single motherhood. She tells them that there’s going to be more work as Tae Yoon is being sent to Hong Kong to be the global manager, and they assure her that they’ll pull through.

As Joo Yeon and Min Jung get back to the office, Hee Jae stands up to announce her news, but is prevented by Woo Young who drags her out of the office. He drags her to a suitcase shop first, where he buys her a suitcase on a 12-month plan. When Hee Jae protests, Woo Young tells her not to talk, because he’s really mad. She might be the first woman this ever worked on, because she actually stops talking. Woo Young then drags Joo Yeon to an electronics shop where he buys her a camera and a tablet PC, both also on a 12-month installment plan. He tells the guy in the shop that if his woman is human, she’ll return to her boyfriend who’s paying for her electronics on a 12-month plan. Hee Jae apologizes and says thank you, and Woo Young tells her not to talk again. She hugs him and tells him she loves him. He tells her to get off of him, because he hates her right now. She smiles with happiness.

Back at the office, Joo Yeon and Min Jung are flabbergasted to hear of Hee Jae’s resignation, but since Min Jung has to go to the doctor, it’s left up to Joo Yeon to try to talk her out of it. Instead, Joo Yeon dispenses some wisdom about doing what she wants to do, instead of becoming a robot like Joo Yeon.

At the doctor’s, Min Jung is looking at an ultrasound of her twins with a worried Baby Daddy, who is reassured by the doctor that the fetuses are okay. Min Jung is amused with him.

Back at the office, Woo Young texts Hee Jae to confirm if she really turned in her resignation. She texts that since her boyfriend is paying for everything on 12-month installments, she’s going to relax and go on her trip. Woo Young wishes someone pretty would come along to work there. Hee Jae asks if he wants to be with her tonight, and Min Jung tells them to get a receipt to be reimbursed for the hotel. They were having a private conversation in the group chat again, and Min Jung laughs at them as they freak out.

Wan is setting the table at home with wine glasses. He calls Joo Yeon to find out where she is, and she says she’ll be home in 10 minutes. He pouts that she didn’t say ‘I love you’, so she says it, and blows him a kiss. I wonder where I can go to buy more Pocky.

Joo Yeon calls Tae Yoon, who is at the airport, and tells him to come back safely from Hong Kong. He tells her he’ll have too much work for that. Tae Yoon looks up to see Se Ryeong walking towards him, and tells Joo Yeon to be prepared, because he’ll control the whole Asian market by the time he’s back. She tells him she’ll be a reliable junior and hangs up.

Se Ryeong came to the airport to give her last words to Tae Yoon. She hands him a necklace that he gave her, and tells him to put it back on her when he returns. Se Ryeong says goodbye and walks away as Tae Yoon stares at her back. Elsewhere in the airport, Woo Young is still trying to talk Hee Jae out of leaving. She’s unmoved, and tells him she loves him. They hug each other.

Joo Yeon comes home to find Wan waiting outside for her. When she asks why, he says he wanted to see her that much sooner. They hug, and Joo Yeon tells Wan she loves him. Wan explains in voice over that the words “I love you” mean a pledge to make new moments every day.

Min Jung and Baby Daddy look over their ultrasound photo in a café, while the fake baby snoozes close by. He tells the fetuses he loves them, and kisses a surprised Min Jung on the cheek. As he pastes the photo into her pregnancy journal, she kisses him back.

Back with Wan and Joo Yeon, they reaffirm their love again, and start making out. Wan says in voice over (his mouth is otherwise occupied), how happy he is that Joo Yeon is able to say these words again, and believe in love. The series ends with a montage of their lovey-dovey moments.


It was nice to see some conflict in Woo Young and Hee Jae’s relationship, as it’s been nothing but sunshine and roses since the beginning of their consumer-based love. For Min Jung and her Baby Daddy, things seem to be looking up, even as we get more revelations about Baby Daddy; so far, an alcoholic commitment-phobe with stalker tendencies. Anyway, since he seems to be willing to raise his children, I’ll forgive him for his small lapses in judgement, especially since eating all these snacks gave me a sugar crash by the end of the episode, and I was too dopey to be worried about it.

Joo Yeon’s transition from robot to love marshmallow has been so sudden in these last two episodes that I haven’t really caught up. She spent episode 14 grappling with the whole “feelings” thing, episode 15 acting like a 12-year-old girl, and now she’s trailing hearts and flowers everywhere she goes. This may not seem that sudden, but we have 13 previous episodes of stupid robot behaviour to overcome, and I’m not sure this hurried conclusion really cuts it. I guess we’re expected to believe that Wan really is that good in bed, to effect this magical transformation. Whatever. I guess it’s nice to end on a happy note. Or maybe it’s just nice to end.

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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