Honesty is the name of the game this time around, and we have that to thank for the swift advancement in the main plot and romance. In a world populated with too many people harboring secrets and hiding their real feelings and putting on fronts, it’s refreshing to have one open book to read, isn’t it? True, the heroine can be a bit of a ditz, but I think it works with this mix of characters. ‘Cause sometimes, you just want a thing to be a thing. That spade? It’s a spade.
SONG OF THE DAY
Jessica – “그대라는 한 사람” (You’re the one person) from the drama OST. [ Download ]
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Temper boiling over, Seung-pyo shoves Byung-hoon and offers to explain what he knows. He demands to know why Byung-hoon returned to Korea after his friend died—guilt? Byung-hoon catches on that he knew Do-il pretty well. “We were closer than you think,” Seung-pyo fires back. He wants an answer to his question—why did he take over the theater from his dead friend?
The brewing fight gets broken up when Min-young bursts in, here to apprise the boss of the nurse’s case. The men break apart and act normal while she explains that Hae-shim rejected the firefighter’s confession, which sure strikes them all as odd.
Grandma certainly can’t make heads or tails of it, and she follows Hae-shim around the hospital asking why she turned down the guy she was so crazy about. Hae-shim answers that her feelings just poofed when he confessed, and chalks it up to a latent femme fatale propensity.
Of course, that’s just an excuse, and she gets teary-eyed once she’s alone. Please don’t tell me she’s dying or cancerous or being a noble martyr. I don’t know if I have the patience for that, although that was my immediate thought at her reaction to his comment about not wanting to leave anybody behind.
Min-young asks about the strained air between Byung-hoon and Seung-pyo. Rather than address that, he turns it around on her and notes that she was equally awkward. Rather than address that, she mumbles an excuse about just being surprised to see Master there.
They review the video footage of Hae-shim’s rejection and wonder at the turnaround. Byung-hoon wonders that if the feelings haven’t changed, then perhaps it’s the circumstances that have. Grandma just wants them to fix it—they got Chul-soo onboard, so they can get Hae-shim too.
Then she beckons Byung-hoon near and grabs onto his hair, shaking him furiously and insisting that he take responsibility. Ha, she’s having one of her actress flashback spells, and Byung-hoon has to shout “Cut!” to get her to let go.
Min-young watches her leaving and says sadly that she wants to succeed with this case because it could be Grandma’s last wish. Byung-hoon scoffs that conning Min-young is the easiest thing in the world, which is a comment that goes over her head… and as Moo-jin wheels Grandma away, we see that her “spell” was all an act. Ha.
Byung-hoon senses that something else is bothering Hae-shim, and tests out his suspicion by approaching her as a friendly visitor with extra coffees to hand around. He spills some on her wrist and dabs at it apologetically, which allows him to glimpse the monster bruise on her arm. Ack, don’t tell me it’s The Cancer after all.
We get another flashback revealing more of Seung-pyo’s past friendship with Do-il, as he thinks to the day they scoped out the restaurant space together. Do-il had been the one to bring it to his attention, and they’d both smiled at the thought of fate and circumstances arranging for them to set up their respective businesses right next door to each other.
Seung-pyo had wondered, “Maybe it’s to make up for time we spent apart all this while.” Hm, so they knew each other from even before debtor days? Are we back to the long-lost brothers theory? The memory makes him look all the grimmer now, as he asks himself, “Should I just get rid of him?”
Byung-hoon assembles the team to inform them of his hunch regarding Hae-shim’s health, suspecting that Grandma and Hae-shim knew each other previously. He instructs them to gather all the info they can on her past.
That turns up a recent record of chemotherapy, due to a recurrence of her previously treated cancer. She has very low survival prognosis, and this makes Min-young insistent that they hurry to make the most of her remaining time. Byung-hoon points out that they have the problem of Chul-soo being left behind, but the others all argue that it would be better to let the couple have their time. Byung-hoon warns that they don’t know what it feels like to lose somebody and makes the executive decision to drop the case.
Min-young tearfully pleads to keep trying, because it’s too sad for the nurse. Byung-hoon: “You feel sorry for Lee Hae-shim, but Kim Chul-soo is fine? When he’s alone and hurting later on, who’ll take responsibility for that?”
Grandma catches Hae-shim retching and guesses that she’s relapsed, putting the pieces together. She chides Hae-shim for pushing Chul-soo away anyway, since she should live her life to the fullest while she has it—we all die in the end anyway. But Hae-shim says she couldn’t do that to him, and laments the timing of falling for someone just before she found out she was sick again.
Byung-hoon tells Grandma of his decision to drop the case. Grandma chides that everyone thinks of people with terminal illness as those already dead, just waiting to head on to the afterlife. But no, the sick are just like everybody else, wondering what to eat or do or see today: “The only difference is that we’re aware of the time that we’re living.”
Byung-hoon challenges her stance by asking whether she’s ever considered that it could be selfish. Grandma laughs: “Remaining behind is nothing to fear. Dying without ever sparking those embers—that’s something to fear.” Still, Byung-hoon replies that he can’t turn spark Chul-soo’s embers and then immediately turn them into ashes. Grandma is displeased and grumps that he won’t receive one penny for the case.
Min-young wonders whether her imminent interference is too, well, interfering, but she musters up the nerve anyway and visits Yi-seol’s workshop. Seung-pyo happens to drive by to spot her, and takes mental note of the visit. Hm.
She wants to clear up the misunderstanding between the old friends and says that Byung-hoon doesn’t mean to continue with his current line of work—he’s only doing it temporarily until he can get back to producing theater. She doesn’t betray any confidences or slip about her own feelings, but Yi-seol catches on anyway, finding her concern for Byung-hoon rather telling.
On the way out, Yi-seol asks outright if she likes him. Taken aback, Min-young takes a moment to come up with a denial, but Yi-seol says, “It seems to me that you do.” She adds that she’d like for a woman like Min-young to like Byung-hoon.
So Min-young goes home in a bit of a daze, and wonders if it’s true that she does like him.
Grandma takes the matchmaking into her own hands, and puts in a frantic call to Chul-soo pleading for help from the strange people who are trying to take her away. Chul-soo races to the hospital, and finds Grandma sitting down for a nice chat with Hae-shim.
Grandma sits them down with a stern word to both: Chul-soo should buck up and give it a proper try instead of taking his first rejection, and Hae-shim should be honest about how she feels. Then she moves aside to give them some privacy… only to bark at them from one table over to get going already. Haha.
Moo-jin arrives at the hospital with Hye-ri today, and asks if she wants to wait outside. But Hye-ri has taken Grandma’s advice to heart (old lady gives good advice) and is her usual cheery self today, saying she wants to say hi to Grandma.
Chul-soo starts speaking first, explaining that Hae-shim had been the reason he’d come to the hospital so much, because he’d been looking for reasons to see her. Only he’d been a coward and fooled himself into ignoring his feelings.
Just then, Grandma grabs Hae-shim by the hair and starts hurling curses at her, in another of her spells. Chul-soo jumps in to break them up, and then Grandma seems to realize what she’s done and beats her head with her fists in frustration. Hae-shim cradles her protectively and urges Chul-soo to leave, and pretend today didn’t happen.
But Grandma tells the pretty lady not to cry, and that bodily wounds heal—it’s the heart wounds that she should take care of. Don’t worry about a little cancer lump, she says: “You’re not dead now, so don’t live like a dead person.”
Moo-jin arrives in time to witness the display, and Hye-ri takes his hand to offer some support. The news shocks Chul-soo, who returns to work in a daze.
The two loan shark goons chuckle to themselves over a clever scheme they’ve cooked up (which means it’s probably stupidly sweet) as they fix up the Cyrano Theater box office, then call Min-young out. Playing dumb (admittedly not difficult for them), they ask what the structure is for and insist she demonstrate, then lock her inside the box office with the newly attached latch.
They leave her inside while chortling to each other, then head inside the restaurant to wonder loudly what disturbance is going on at the box office with Min-young. So Seung-pyo heads out curiously to find her asking for help, and agrees to let her out.
At the last second, he pauses to ask her to answer a question first: “Was the reason you rejected me… because of [Byung-hoon]?” She says no: “Why would I like him?” Seung-pyo notes, “I didn’t ask if you liked him.” Aw. I guess he has his answer.
Seung-pyo asks her to come by again, and to forget he every said anything so they can be like they used to be. He uses his wish now, which is for her to drop by the restaurant like she used to. With that, he lets her out.
Min-young spots Moo-jin arriving outside with Hye-ri, and that makes her smile. They’re cute. She chirps to Moo-jin that she saw it all, but he’s got more serious matters on his mind and gathers the team: He wants to continue with the case.
Aw, it’s three against one, and I love that Moo-jin is taking the lead in this push. Arang argues that all they want is to get the two people to be honest with each other, and Moo-jin states that if they don’t do it, he’ll quit.
Chul-soo goes out drinking with his firefighter buddies, and as he pulls out his wallet, he sees a scrap of paper. It was Byung-hoon’s request from the elevator stoppage, when he was acting desperate to tell his sweetheart he loved her before he died. So he calls Min-young, AW, to convey the message that Byung-hoon asked him to pass along: “He said he really loves you.”
Yes, she knows it was just part of the act, but it still brings a smile to her face to hear the words, and to realize that it was her phone number he’d scrawled in the moment. She returns to the team meeting more determined than ever, and the three of them pester him into agreeing. He gives in, though he tells them all to remember that he’s not doing it because he likes it. Yes, Mr. Grumpypants, I’m pretty sure you don’t have to clarify that about anything.
The operation centers around the next fire drill, which starts with Arang asking Chul-soo to help with someone who collapsed. He leads him away, wonders where the ill person went, and tags Chul-soo’s walkie-talkie with a bug device. Thus it sounds real when a report comes over the walkie-talkie line about a real emergency situation with a woman on the roof, and Arang wonders, “Could it be that sick nurse?”
Chul-soo goes running for the roof, and finds a woman standing on the roof. “Don’t do it! Life is precious,” he says, panting for breath.
But it’s just Min-young, dressed as a nurse, who says she’s on the roof to play hooky from the drill. Meanwhile, a separate announcement blares down below about Kim Chul-soo being injured on the roof, and he grumbles at the wrong report.
Min-young asks whether he’s curious to see who would be the first to run here after him. He says stiffly that it would just be the person closest in vicinity, but Min-young says she thinks it would be the person who cares the most. And right on cue, Hae-shim comes running up calling his name and asking if he’s okay.
So now, Hae-shim admits that she’s very ill, and doesn’t have much time left. She didn’t want to trouble those around her. Chul-soo says he had thought the same way, and avoided situations to spare them hurt. “But now I realize,” he says, “that it’s greater pain and trouble to be without the person you live.”
He asks her not to worry about the future, and to not give up. He promises to stay with her till the end, then corrects himself: “No, please be with me for my sake. Please trust me. We’ll have a happy ending, until we die.”
Hae-shim says there’s one thing she wants to do with him, and that takes them right back to that ledge. She asks the same question she did the last time: “If I jump with you, will you go on a date with me?” Today he answers yes, and offers his hand. They jump, and land together, whereupon he grabs her hand again and says, “If we’re together, there’s nothing to fear.”
As she watches the happy couple, Min-young thinks to herself that if you want to have that feeling of being able to overcome anything when you’re with somebody else, you have to be honest about your feelings in the present moment.
On the drive back, Min-young is in chipper spirits, and Byung-hoon teases her about her useless chatter at the restaurant. She wonders why he’s so curious about Seung-pyo these days, wanting to know if she knows anything about him. All she can recall is him mentioning a hyung he can no longer see, which made him sad.
That rings some sort of bell with Byung-hoon, and he makes the sudden decision to head to Yi-seol’s workshop. That’s disappointing to Min-young, who asks if they have to go—he still likes her, doesn’t he?
Now it’s his turn to ask about her sudden interest. She dutifully drives them to Yi-seol’s, and watches glumly as he gets out with out a word. Then she makes up her mind and follows him out the car, and admits, “It keeps bothering me. I think I must like you.”
This was probably the least interesting of the agency’s cases, but it served its purpose and for that I’m okay with it. It’s too bad it could have been quirky or unexpected like the other cases, which all had some element of humor or offbeatness to add some unpredicability to the proceedings. Like the dorky chef, the mystery-loving uptight librarian, the scary and scared Ring girl…
I like the themes of the nurse-firefighter plot, though they were fairly on-the-nose. The comparison to Byung-hoon’s past is smart in the way that it allows us to get more of the backstory out without dwelling on them as the centerpiece of the show—this drama is better when the emotions come out in little moments, rather than trumping them up as the main point. So I like that they constructed a story to act as the mirror for Byung-hoon’s issues. I just didn’t love the story itself. The biggest flaw, I think, is that it was just predictable. Cancer? Yawn. That’s a terrible thing to say, but I mean in the context of a K-drama, where cancer is all but a parody at this point. Surely there could’ve been a better way to draw out the life-goes-on message. Yes? …no?
But no matter, since we’re two weeks out from the finale and this story has wrapped. Time to move on.
I’m relieved that Min-young was so forthright with her confession—another example of the case of the week’s message tying in well with our main characters—because she’d just connected the dots that honesty is the only way to get what you want. Granted, we’ve been watching Min-young and Byung-hoon bumble around their growing attraction for a few weeks so it’s hardly news to us, but at least she didn’t take forever after coming to her realization to actually act on it. Left entirely to Byung-hoon, I think they’d be flirting and tiptoeing around it for years to come. Somebody’s gotta take the wheel, right? Appropriate since she’s the physical driver of the pair.
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 11
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- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 6
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 5
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 4
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 3
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 2
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 1