Ji-yeon continues to fight against the thought of being romantically involved with a younger man, but fate (or contrivance) intervenes, and she and Dong-ha can’t avoid each other for very long. He’s officially a part of her life now — or for the next three months, as he tries to temper Ji-yeon’s workaholic tendencies with concerns for her safety. But nothing is ever simple in Dramaland, and we also get our first real introduction of a second lead — whose ties to Dong-ha’s fate remain to be seen.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Ji-yeon kicks Dong-ha out of her bed after discovering the fourteen-year age-gap between them. She throws his clothes at him, telling him he needs to leave.
When he asks why, she frantically explains that he’s twenty-five and she’s thirty-nine. Dong-ha wonders what’s so wrong with that, completely confused at her sudden change in attitude. But she continues to shove him out the door, demanding he forget this night ever happened.
As she tries to fall asleep, Ji-yeon frets about drinking so much alcohol that she would get involved with a younger man, but reassures herself that there’s likely no chance they’ll run into each other again. In his own bed, Dong-ha wonders how, in a city as large as Seoul, he ended up being next door to Ji-yeon, and worries over what he’ll do if he sees her again.
In the morning, Dong-ha prepares for all the odd jobs he’s got lined up through his and Soo-chul’s part-time business, but one client after another cancels. Soo-chul bursts through the door, showing him the scandalous article the Trouble Maker trio posted about Master of Part-Time Jobs last night, smearing their name as an irresponsible and careless errand service.
Dong-ha marches into the Trouble Maker office, demanding to know if the trio are the ones who wrote the article and negative comments. When they find out he’s employed by Master of Part-Time Jobs, they assume that Ji-yeon must have paid him to kiss her, outsmarting them from the beginning.
He tells them it was nothing like that — their prank was so childish that he volunteered to kiss her, and they should be embarrassed for not only that prank, but also for writing their trashy article. Soo-chul apologized and returned the money, so why did they still write it? Shouldn’t they be ashamed of their scheming?
Team Leader Byun says that compared to everything that Ji-yeon has to done to them, this is nothing. “What did I do?”
At the sound of Ji-yeon’s voice, everyone scatters to their desks, and her eyes widen as she sees Dong-ha standing in front of her. He’s still fueled by anger about the article, and when she asks why he’s there, he says it’s because of yesterday’s “incident.”
She automatically assumes that it’s about their hot-and-heavy make-out session (and never have I been so thankful for a flashback). Pulling him aside, she tries to reason with him, but he’s more focused on what the trio did, shouting that he’ll sue. Ji-yeon says that a lawsuit is a bit extreme — even if she did kiss him first, he’s 25 and “legal.” Bwahaha.
At that moment her boss arrives, saying that he understands the situation — he’s already heard all about it. (Ji-yeon, still thinking this is about their skinship, wonders if Dong-ha is some sort of gold-digger. Pffft.)
Director Kwon manages to get the trio to apologize to Dong-ha for their actions. But “I’m sorry” isn’t enough for Dong-ha, who says that not only has everyone canceled this week, but they’ve lost 80% of their clientele. Trust is the most important asset in their line of work, but thanks to that article, Master of Part-Time Jobs has now lost all trust — so now he’s effectively out of a job.
A pretty young intern, JUNG EUN-CHAE (Jung Yeon-joo), arrives at the office to deliver documents before her official start date next week. She also has a package for Ji-yeon, given to her by a mysterious delivery man. But before Ji-yeon can open it, Dong-ha notes the blood dripping from the corner of the box onto her hands, and takes it from her.
Everyone is horrified at the sight of blood, and Dong-ha carefully opens the box to reveal a dead bird (ew) and a letter, which reads in cut-out letters, “Ban Ji-yeon, watch your mouth! I’m watching you.” Suuuuper creepy.
Ji-yeon immediately demands more information from Eun-chae, and belittles her observational skills (and future as a reporter) when Eun-chae admits she doesn’t remember any details about the messenger.
When Director Kwon suggests that it might be from one of Kim Jeong-do’s fans, Ji-yeon coolly requests that the team take photos of the package to keep as evidence, and after she washes her hands, she will check with security for CCTV footage of the delivery guy.
Once Ji-yeon’s alone in the restroom, she’s not as calm as she appears, and she tremblingly washes the blood off her hands.
Just outside the ladies’ room (and within earshot of Ji-yeon), Dong-ha comforts Eun-chae, who blames herself for not checking the delivery or being able to describe the person who gave it to her. He tells her to not be so hard on herself — not everyone is like Ji-yeon, who doesn’t even flinch at the sight of a dead bird.
At the security office, Ji-yeon watches the CCTV screens — but doesn’t get a good look at the messenger’s face. She returns to Director Kwon’s office, where he and Dong-ha have finally settled on three months of contract employment with Trouble Maker to match what he would have made working for Master of Part-Time Jobs. To fulfill the agreement, he assigns Dong-ha to be Ji-yeon’s assistant.
She immediately refuses: “I don’t want him!” But Director Kwon says that their magazine is more popular than ever thanks to the Kim Jeong-do scandal, and if she’s receiving packages with dead birds, she might be in danger. She protests — after all, it’s not like it’s the first time she’s ever received a threatening letter, and she doesn’t need to be hindered by an inexperienced kid. (Dong-ha: “…kid?”)
But Director Kwon says the decision has been made, and Young-sik is happy to fill Dong-ha in on all Ji-yeon’s quirks: how she takes her coffee, what vitamins she likes, how she becomes moody while working if she doesn’t remember to eat, “like now,” he adds, as Ji-yeon glares at them. Ha!
Dong-ha thoughtfully takes it all in, but Ji-yeon is still on the warpath, and orders “Part-timer Yoon” to follow her.
He tags along after her, objecting at her use of banmal, but she says she should be able to speak comfortably to a younger assistant (emphasis on younger).
She orders Dong-ha to address her as “Team Leader,” and if he ever brings up what happened between them last night, he’ll be fired. If he has a question for her, he must first ask permission to ask it — and no personal questions. He also must be available 24/7 in case he’s needed for an assignment: No matter where he is or what time she calls, he must come running. If he talks back too much: “Fired!”
Outside, she recoils at being chauffeured around on his scooter, and he snidely remarks that it’s faster than the bicycle she stole from an orphan. She warns him if he brings that up again, he’s fired. Dong-ha just sort of shrugs: “I’m fired no matter what I do.” As if to prove his point, she climbs on the back of his scooter, with the warning that if they fall over: “Fired!”
As they drive (or scoot?) along, Dong-ha spots a car following them. He tries a few maneuvers to lose the car, but only gets smacked on the back of his head by Ji-yeon for driving like a maniac. They arrive at Kim Jeong-do’s mistress’s home, and this time when Ji-yeon rings the doorbell, Soo-jung actually answers, inviting them in.
Dong-ha offers to play with Soo-jung’s daughter so she and Ji-yeon can speak privately. Ji-yeon says she never meant to hurt Soo-jung — all she wanted to do was reveal Jeong-do as a hypocrite. She just wants Soo-jung to acknowledge that Jeong-do is no good, to stop waiting for him to return to her, and to move on with her life. Soo-jung says that this is the life she’s chosen, just like Ji-yeon chose to wait for Shi-hoon.
Defensive, Ji-yeon says that she’s different from Soo-jung — at least she didn’t give up on her life. As she leaves, she tells her sunbae that the reason she visited was to warn her that she’s going to do all she can to bring Jeong-do down, even if it brings Soo-jung pain.
Dong-ha and Ji-yeon return home, and as he’s parking the scooter, he notices a mysterious figure lurking around the corner. He quickly chases after him, but isn’t fast enough to catch up — but he does manage to confirm that it is the same glasses-and-hat guy who has been following them all day and was responsible for the dead-bird package.
Ji-yeon dismisses Dong-ha since she no longer needs his services, and is annoyed when he walks up the stairs with her. He tells her that he’s not following her because he wants to — he just happens to live next door.
She immediately finds that suspicious, calling him a stalker and wondering if there’s a wire tap in his apartment. Dong-ha exasperatedly points out that’s crazy, and slips into his apartment, making sure she can’t follow him. (But he does remind her that if she needs anything, to give him a call and he’ll come running within seconds. Aw.)
Back in her apartment, she gets serious when she sees the polar bear picture — which takes her to a happy flashback when she was marveling at similar photos taken by NOH SHI-HOON (Han Jae-Suk), as he gave her a loving back-hug.
Ji-yeon turns away from the photo to crank up the music, and starts her stress-relieving dancing. But the thought that Dong-ha might be listening causes her to suddenly shut off the music.
In his apartment, Dong-ha (who had indeed been happily grooving to her tunes) hears the song cut out, and stands up in concern, worried something happened to her. He rushes over to her apartment, where she greets him with surprise (and toothbrush in hand), as he rushes around, checking to make sure everything is okay.
Ji-yeon snickers when she sees his shoes: one house slipper and one sneaker. “You really must have been in a hurry!”
Just as she’s reassuring him everything is fine and she doesn’t need him, the wind blows against the blinds and startles her. She ducks behind him, revealing how nervous she truly is, despite her words. She insists she’s fine and he can leave (as she clings to his arm, ha!), but Dong-ha the boy scout says he’ll stay a little longer.
She begins to offer him something to drink, adding that she has beer — but that only reminds them of her drunken invitation from the night before (which lead to their super sexy fun times). Ji-yeon turns on the TV instead, and it’s one of the kiss scenes from I Need Romance 3. Ha. Both of them shift uncomfortably in their seats, and she quickly switches the channel — to yet another sexy scene. HAHAHA!
Deciding the radio would be safer, they soon get involved in a quiz show (where Ji-yeon imagines the announcer in her living room). Or at least Ji-yeon does, as her competitive streak means she yells out answers before the question is even finished — and half the time she’s wrong, much to Dong-ha’s amusement. He teasingly asks if she’s the type who hates to lose. Ji-yeon: “How would I know? I’ve never lost.” Hee!
Music plays on the radio, and they soon reveal the generation gap between them as Ji-yeon mentions songs from popular singers from the 1980s — but Dong-ha only recognizes the songs because they’ve been remade by contemporary K-pop artists.
In one last effort to connect, she starts singing her favorite song, “Sunset Glow,” and is delighted when Dong-ha immediately starts singing along with her — but then he adds in the chorus from the version he knows by Big Bang, which is not the original Lee Moon-se version that Ji-yeon is singing. Even so, it’s just so cute how they happily manage to meld both versions together.
In the morning, Ji-yeon’s mother rolls up with a suitcase and rings the doorbell to Ji-yeon’s apartment. Ji-yeon is sprawled out asleep on the sofa, and Dong-ha is sleeping in a nearby chair. After she wakes up and realizes it’s her mother at the door, she and Dong-ha hurriedly try to figure out how to hide him (and no, just throwing a blanket over him isn’t going to work). She ends up shoving him into a closet, despite his protests.
Mom is there to drop off some homemade food before she leaves on a trip to Jeju, but she also has another reason for visiting — she signed Ji-yeon up for a matchmaking service.
She’s lucky that Ji-yeon is still only 39, because once she turns 40, the fees are more expensive, so she really needs to find a husband this year. Ji-yeon refuses the thought of going on blind dates, saying she’s happy just the way she is. But Mom is determined to marry her off.
The sound of Dong-ha shifting in the closet gives Ji-yeon an idea, and she sweetly calls to him: “Darling! Come out!”
He stands at attention with his adorable bed head as Mom inspects him, as, to his surprise, he’s introduced as Ji-yeon’s boyfriend. But he goes along with the it, thanks to a little encouragement (by way of a painful pinch on his arm) from Ji-yeon.
The two pretend to be a happy couple (and Ji-yeon’s overboard aegyo is hilarious), when Mom interrupts their “lovey-dovey” moment to tell him that he shouldn’t feel obliged to stick around since he’s so busy, and nearly calls him “son-in-law.” Hee! It looks like Mom totally approves of Dong-ha. Can’t say I blame her.
At an orphanage, Eun-chae dresses a cute little boy as her mother, OH MI-YEON, hands over an envelope of cash so Eun-chae can buy clothes for her new job. She sweetly tries to give it back, saying she has lots of clothes, because “Unni has at least a truck load’s worth.”
At the mention of her older sister, Mom is clearly affected, and Eun-chae tries to brightly cover up her faux pas by inviting her mother to come visit her at her new home.
Mom smiles as she waves good-bye to Eun-chae, but the smile doesn’t linger.
Dong-ha is at the orphanage as well, having just fixed one of the windows — but instead of accepting payment, he hands over his own envelope of cash. As he does so, he asks after “Young-chae’s mom,” learning that she’s been doing a lot better, especially now that her daughter from the U.S. is here. Dong-ha is surprised to discover she has another daughter.
As Eun-chae waits at the bus stop, the twinkly-music and slow-motion wind of fate passes by — or it’s just Dong-ha on his scooter, who pulls up and stops, recognizing her as the intern from Trouble Maker.
In her apartment, Ji-yeon is reading (and rocking out to Big Bang’s version of “Sunset Glow” — aw, why so cute?), when her phone rings. We don’t know who’s on the other end, but her face becomes serious as she says that she understands, and prepares to leave the apartment.
When Dong-ha discovers she’s no longer at home, he tries calling her — but she ignores his call because she’s having dinner with actor Kim Jeong-do. Eeeek! Dong-ha told you stay put for this very reason!
Jeong-do says that if Ji-yeon stops pursuing her article, he’ll withdraw the lawsuit. But Ji-yeon’s not backing down: She points out that he’s the one who should be more afraid of public opinion, reminding him that in politics, every vote counts. She asks him if he hired someone to follow her, “but you wouldn’t be that awful, now, would you?”
Oh, but he would, because after she leaves, Jeong-do tells his flunky that if they can’t reach her with words, they’ll have to “show her” instead. This can’t be good.
While Dong-ha is busy frantically running around trying to track down Ji-yeon, she returns at her apartment. Seeing that the front door is slightly open, she cautiously enters her home.
It’s a scene straight out of a horror film: Shadowed in darkness, her apartment is completely ransacked, and hanging up is one of her dresses with an ax and blood dripping from it. She gasps and steps back — only to have the arm of the mysterious glasses-and-hat guy break through the window of her French doors and grab her around the throat. Gah, why so scary?!
Ji-yeon manages to fight back by biting his arm, and then reaches for a fireplace shovel. He easily rebuffs her attack and flings her across the room, where she knocks herself out as she lands head-first.
Before the creepy glasses-and-hat dude can do anything else, Dong-ha arrives to tackle him to the floor. The two men exchange some pretty vicious punches, and glasses-and-hat dude swings a chair at Dong-ha, who blocks it with arm. Ouch. Glasses-and-hat guy rushes off, and Dong-ha hurries to Ji-yeon’s side, desperately asking if she’s okay.
She’s unconscious and lost in a memory: Shi-hoon gives her the polar bear picture (the one we see in her apartment), adding that he and Ji-yeon should go see them together sometime, because polar bears are at the end of the world, “and I want to go to the end of the world with you.” Written on the back of the photo: Would you marry me?
In the hospital, Ji-yeon slowly flickers in and out of consciousness, and as she does, she thinks she sees Shi-hoon’s face smiling down on her, calling her name. In a voice-over, she says that the end of the world wasn’t the North Pole after all — instead, for her, the end of the world is where love stopped.
Shi-hoon’s face is replaced with a concerned Dong-ha as she continues her voice-over: “To have a new beginning, there has to be an end. But I don’t even know how to start.”
After Dong-ha checks to make sure she’s come back to her senses, he sits back and sighs in relief. He chides her for ignoring his calls, saying that she’s starting to make him actually worry and care about her.
As a tear rolls down her face, Ji-yeon wonders if she’ll ever be able to love someone again.
It’s official: I love this show. Everything about it delights me — the characters, the script, the pacing, the editing, the visual style. Everything. It has humor and intrigue and characters who treat each other with respect.
Particularly the leads. I adore them. Uhm Jung Hwa and Park Seo Joon have convinced me already that Ji-yeon and Dong-ha belong together forever and forever, just based on the natural chemistry between them. Dong-ha totally won me over when he was so confused as to why she was freaking out over their age difference — he didn’t see it as an issue. But he also respected the fact that she did, and, really, Dong-ha just seems to respects Ji-yeon, even if he doesn’t always understand her. Oh, sure; he’s not totally incapable of getting in a little snarky comment here and there, but he treats Ji-yeon like a person, and not as a conquest or something to boost his ego. Or even a hindrance that he’s stuck with and will have to learn to like.
No — despite their flashes of annoyance with each other, it’s plain to see they both share a mutual (if at times grudging) attraction and genuine affection for each other.
My favorite moments in this episode were when they were hanging out at her apartment — at first glance, the fact that Dong-ha was more apt to recognize “Balloons” as being a DBSK song instead of a Five Fingers song should prove their wide age gap. But in reality, the two of them were able to overcome it with a shared love music that has managed to bridge that gap. Ji-yeon was sharing some of her favorite songs, something that is very personal and meaningful for her, and instead of shrugging it off because he didn’t know the singer, Dong-ha was happy to find a way to connect.
That is probably the main why I love these two — they connect. Despite their differences in both age and general temperament, they seem like two puzzle pieces perfectly suited to fit each other.
Which is why I’m not too keen on a secondary love interest popping up. Eun-chae seems sweet and thoughtful, and yes, she’s closer to Dong-ha’s age — but Dong-ha and Ji-yeon don’t need an outside interference to create hurdles in their burgeoning relationship. Ji-yeon’s insecurity over dating someone younger (and what I imagine will be people’s reactions to such a relationship) are hurdles enough. Not to mention it seems like Eun-chae’s older sister, Young-chae, is Dong-ha’s previous girlfriend — and from the way her mother was acting (and from what Dong-ha was saying to his plant in the previous episode), it seems like Young-chae has passed away.
I don’t know about you, but falling in love with the man your dead sister was in love with just doesn’t seem kosher. (What am I saying, this is Dramaland — anything goes.) But such a scenario seems more suited to a melodrama than a light and breezy rom-com like Witch’s Romance.
Really, is it too much to ask to spend the rest of show watching Ji-yeon do her best Lois Lane impression as she does anything and everything to reveal the truth about unscrupulous hypocrites, with Dong-ha tagging along as some mix of Clark Kent goody-two-shoes superhero and Jimmy Olsen adorable-errand-boy? Dong-ha can move into Ji-yeon’s apartment (since she’s the one who made him lose his old one), and there can be forced-cohabitation shenanigans as they spend their evenings sharing their favorite music with each other.
And kissing. Because there definitely needs to be more kissing.
- Witch’s Romance: Episode 2
- Witch’s Romance: Episode 1
- Kissing tips and beating hearts in Witch’s Romance
- First teasers for Uhm Jung-hwa’s new rom-com
- Uhm Jung-hwa headlines noona romance for tvN