Introverted Boss: Episode 13
Hearts are shattered, bonds are broken, and tears are shed when the truth finally comes to light, but three years is a long time for someone to carry a dark secret at the expense of so many people. The burden must be lifted at some point, and sometimes, bygones aren’t merely bygones. The damage has already been done, but at least the road to recovery can finally begin.
Episode 13: “Confession / Go Back”
Flashback to Ji-hye and Yi-soo’s tense encounter from three years back. Yi-soo had overheard everything, but because she couldn’t hate Woo-il, she chose to loathe and blame Ji-hye instead. She suddenly slashed her wrist right in front of a terrified Ji-hye and told her that if she truly was sorry, she should disappear.
Back in the present, Yi-soo’s reminded of that moment as she gazes at the necklace around Ro-woon’s neck. Hwan-ki apologizes to Ro-woon for leaving early and drives off with Yi-soo. Ro-woon spots Woo-il at the art exhibit and brings up wanting to do something special for him and Yi-soo at their wedding, but he walks past her, looking dazed.
Luckily, Yeon-jung’s there to provide Ro-woon some company and show her around. She even jokes that Hwan-ki came just to see her and that the paintings should calm Ro-woon down every time Hwan-ki ditches her.
In the car, Yi-soo learns that Ro-woon is Ji-hye’s younger sister. Shaken by the truth, she tells Hwan-ki to pull over so she can get out. Yi-soo tells Hwan-ki that Ro-woon stirred Woo-il’s feelings and that she kept this knowledge to herself for fear of losing Woo-il in a repeat of what happened three years ago.
She wonders if Ro-woon’s plan was to steal Woo-il from her, but Hwan-ki assures her that’s not the case, and that her heart wavered for Woo-il only briefly. Yi-soo can’t believe Hwan-ki knew all this time and still fell for Ro-woon: “You two can never be together.” She knows he wants to reveal everything to Ro-woon, but reminds him that as soon as the truth’s out, he won’t be able to stay with her — thus, he should give up.
Meanwhile, Ro-woon waits for Hwan-ki at his home. She vows not to contact him first, but she can’t help compulsively checking her phone every few seconds. Hwan-ki’s at Yi-soo’s place to watch over her until their mother arrives, when he suddenly receives Ro-woon’s texts; clearly, she couldn’t wait.
When Hwan-ki returns to his place, he finds Ro-woon fast asleep on the couch with one hand over her phone. He covers her with a blanket, and Yi-soo’s remark about how they can never be together weighs heavily on his mind.
The next morning, Kyo-ri frets about the project she’s working on with Se-jong, which involves satisfying the demands of both artist and client. Ro-woon encourages her to vent over coffee and offers her a choice between a latte and americano, and Kyo-ri struggles to choose; she says she’s in this exact situation with her project — stuck in the middle.
During the meeting with the artist, Kyo-ri had a panicked look on her face while Se-jong bluntly described the artwork as “convoluted” and lacking mass appeal in front of the artist herself.
Then Se-jong and Kyo-ri presented their client with the artist’s work, but the client was dissatisfied; he wanted something “prettier,” but when Se-jong asked him to be more specific, the client felt insulted.
Back in the present, Kyo-ri tells Ro-woon that she understands both sides, but is unable to side with one. Ro-woon replies that she should then take both coffee drinks, and Kyo-ri happily takes sips from both. The rest of the Silent Monster crew joins them, and Se-jong sheepishly admits that both sides hate him now for speaking too freely, which is why Kyo-ri has to attend subsequent meetings by herself.
Yoo-hee offers to help mediate, but then Hwan-ki enters and instructs Kyo-ri to see through the project on her own until the end since it’ll be a good experience for her. Kyo-ri dreads this, but she has no choice but to comply.
Kyo-ri meets with the difficult client who’s still unhappy with the art. As they walk out together, he mentions that it was easier to communicate with her than Se-jong. Suddenly, it starts to rain, and Kyo-ri offers to buy an umbrella for him. But Hwan-ki appears and covers them both with his — he knew Kyo-ri was working late.
Kyo-ri’s about to introduce him as her boss, but Hwan-ki interrupts and says he’s the chauffeur for today. He leads the way to the car, and the client is about to step inside when Hwan-ki stops him and says the car’s for Kyo-ri. The client tries not to appear too offended when he’s handed an umbrella from Hwan-ki.
Inside the car, Kyo-ri wonders if someone as insignificant as her deserves to be chauffeured, but Hwan-ki reminds her that she’s a representative of Silent Monster who took on the role of CEO for this project, so she deserves it. She asks him to pull over so she can sit up front with him so it’s less awkward, but Hwan-ki answers that that would make him feel uncomfortable, heh.
She laments her oversensitivity since it made her perceive Hwan-ki as a difficult person, when really he’s quite adorable. Hwan-ki replies that Kyo-ri feels more than others, which is why she’s often nervous and sad, but notes that her keen empathy is a huge strength and rare trait.
Hwan-ki’s comment moves her to tears, and she answers that Hwan-ki actually empathizes best. Kyo-ri promises to be quicker at calling him by his first name, and the two smile throughout the car ride.
The next day, Kyo-ri meets with the artist who prioritizes the arts over commerciality. She acknowledges the artist’s vision first before calmly offering a suggestion. Then she meets with the dissatisfied client. She understands his sales concern, but calmly reminds him that customers these days like unique designs that are also pretty, and he can’t refute that.
Kyo-ri returns to the office feeling quite proud of herself for managing to satisfy both sides. Ro-woon and Se-jong congratulate her, and Kyo-ri modestly answers that she merely listened, and it was thanks to Hwan-ki that she succeeded. Later, Ro-woon catches Hwan-ki heading out to meet with Yeon-jung and says she hates feeling like she has a cheating boyfriend, but he heads out anyway since Ro-woon refuses to listen to him and return to her home.
Hwan-ki waits for Yeon-jung at the bar, and when she arrives, she snaps a couple selfies with him to cheekily send to Ro-woon. Yeon-jung laments that the stars never align for them, but Hwan-ki thanks her for her friendship, without which he would never have been able to open up. She tells him not to draw the line with her just yet and encourages him to be there for Ro-woon while he still can. Yeon-jung, you are too cool.
Ro-woon waits for Hwan-ki at his place and fiddles around with a guitar. She receives Yeon-jung’s selfies with Hwan-ki and grumbles, unsure if Yeon-jung is her friend or foe, heh. Hwan-ki arrives and watches her sing until she realizes his presence and pouts — he’s not the dating novice that she thought he’d be.
Hwan-ki joins her on the couch and takes the guitar from her. You’d think from his nonchalance, he’d be some kind of Eric Clapton, but then he starts strumming rudimentarily and singing a nursery song about piglets. Ro-woon bursts out laughing and takes it back from him.
She sings beautifully for him in earnest. Then, Woo-il enters, appearing vexed that she’s singing to Hwan-ki and ending on the lyric: “More than anyone else in the world, I’ll love you.” She notices Woo-il standing there at the end of the song and admits he wasn’t supposed to have seen that, since she was going to sing the song at his wedding.
Hwan-ki follows Woo-il to his office, and Woo-il asks if he would’ve disowned him had he chosen Ji-hye over Yi-soo, adding that part of the reason why he couldn’t choose her was because of Hwan-ki. “Are you choosing Ro-woon over me?” he asks. Hwan-ki emphasizes that Woo-il doesn’t have to take responsibility for everything on his own, and that he’ll join him so long as Woo-il comes clean.
Woo-il is crushed to learn from Hwan-ki that Yi-soo knows everything that happened three years ago. Hwan-ki tells him Yi-soo has a secret of her own, but that he should open the door himself and ask her directly, since Hwan-ki’s covered everything up for him thus far. He also apologizes for making Woo-il stay with Yi-soo — he mistakenly thought he could protect them if they remained together.
Woo-il figures that whatever Yi-soo’s hiding isn’t as disgusting as his secret, given how she managed to smile at him despite knowing what he did. Hwan-ki urges him to tell the truth since he’s suffered enough already. Alone in his office, Woo-il sadly gazes at Ji-hye’s drawing.
Hwan-ki finds Ro-woon at his desk sharpening pencils with his boxcutter, except she’s not very good and the pencils are in a sorry state. He gives her instructions, but she still can’t get it, so he moves behind her and guides her hands with his. The close proximity makes Ro-woon grin, but she says there’s only one way to calm themselves while maintaining their distance.
Cut to a game of Go-Stop. Ro-woon wins, to Hwan-ki’s disappointment, and she asks him to fulfill her wish. He lists three things she can’t do to him: (1) remove his clothes, (2) touch him, or (3) ask him for anything that goes against common sense. She leans in and asks him to do for her what he always does in secret every morning, and he’s surprised she’s seen it all. Eh?
Hwan-ki reluctantly turns on the music, slips on his hood, and starts dancing. Ro-woon urges him to put some more oomph in it, and eventually, he loosens up and dances like he means it, heh. Ro-woon joins him, and an adorable dance party of two ensues, and it’s cheesy moves galore!
Meanwhile, Yi-soo gets her hair and makeup done at the salon since it’s her wedding day. She’s surprised Woo-il came to the salon and steps out in her white dress, all done up. He looks weary for a man who’s about to get married before surprising Yi-soo when he asks if she’d like to go somewhere with him.
Inside the car, Woo-il asks if there’s anywhere she’d like to go or anything she’d like to own. Yi-soo answers that she has something in mind, but that it’s too expensive and nonrefundable, so she dare not ask. But Woo-il says to spill, and Yi-soo answers that she’d like Woo-il’s time: She wants him stay with her until the wedding and not leave.
She says she wants to go to the amusement park, but he ends up taking her to their old neighborhood playground since her ribs are still on the mend. Woo-il removes his scarf and wraps it around Yi-soo, informing her that this is her free pass — if she loses it, she can’t go on any “rides.”
The first ride at “Woo-il World” is the swing set, and Woo-il happily pushes Yi-soo as if she’s on the swinging viking ship ride. They move on to the rollercoaster (aka the slide), and Woo-il piggybacks Yi-soo so she can swing through the monkey bar hoops. The two look positively happy for once, laughing and chatting with ease.
Yi-soo’s reminded of the past, and we flash back to when the two were kids. At the same playground, scared little Yi-soo cried at the top of a tall metal structure, and Woo-il climbed up and handed her cotton candy. Back in the present, the two sit atop the same structure and share the sweet treat.
Yi-soo leans on Woo-il and says she misses the past. Woo-il wishes he could return to the past as well. “That’s why I should stop before it gets too far,” he says. Yi-soo proposes they get going since it’s almost time for their wedding, but Woo-il takes her arm and calmly tells her she can stop acting like she’s okay all the time, and she can stop sticking by a coward like him.
He wonders why she stayed with him despite knowing everything he did. He says he made an irreversible mistake to both her and Ji-hye. Yi-soo tries to convince him that bygones should be bygones, but Woo-il replies that that was his excuse for the past three years, and now he wants to stop living like that.
He tells her to head home — he’ll talk to her parents. Yi-soo cries that she needs him, but he takes her hand one last time before letting go and walking away for good.
Back at the penthouse, Hwan-ki’s suited up, and Ro-woon has also dressed up for the wedding tonight to sing for the couple. But Hwan-ki sees that she’s wearing Woo-il’s necklace and orders her not to attend, since it’s a family gathering. He leaves without her, and Ro-woon pouts since she even prepared a present.
She brings it to Woo-il’s office and places it on his desk. Then something catches her eye, and she picks up the drawing of a building Ji-hye had worked on three years ago for a certain coworker; Ro-woon had teased her for harboring a crush. Ro-woon wonders if Woo-il was that person in question and walks out with the drawing, her mind reeling.
Yi-soo’s parents are waiting at the venue, and the mother complains about the small wedding dinner in lieu of a big ceremony. Woo-il arrives solo and grimly discloses that Yi-soo won’t be coming because he can’t marry her, adding that he had fooled both of them with shameful lies. He says the secretary from three years ago died because of him, but that Hwan-ki took the fall on his behalf.
Yi-soo’s parents are stunned to hear this along with the fact that Woo-il had feelings for Ji-hye, though he ended up betraying both her and Yi-soo. Yi-soo’s dad is livid and raises a champagne bottle above Woo-il’s head, raring to strike. Woo-il kneels, willing to accept the blow as he says that he’ll relinquish everything he’s been given and leave the company. Yi-soo’s dad manages to drop the bottle, and Woo-il thanks them for being his family, even though he failed to fit in despite his efforts.
As he walks out, he finds Ro-woon standing there speechless, having overheard everything. She holds up Ji-hye’s drawing and informs him that she’s Ji-hye’s sister. He answers that he already knew and was about to tell Ro-woon the truth, but gets cut off when Ro-woon demands answers: “Did you love my sister? What on earth did you do to her?”
Ro-woon starts to cry and remembers Woo-il’s strange behavior in the past when she had pointed out that Yi-soo had the same necklace. She grips the pendant and realizes that all this time she thought the necklace was from Ji-hye when it really came from him — he had given it to Ji-hye. She’s overcome with guilt, and Woo-il can only apologize.
She asks him if he abandoned Ji-hye so cruelly that she killed herself, and Woo-il admits that Ji-hye was his truth, but that she misunderstood that he dumped her. Hwan-ki arrives just then, and Ro-woon asks him if she and her family suffered all because Hwan-ki wanted to protect his. Woo-il jumps in and says he begged Hwan-ki to cover for him. He then informs Hwan-ki that he had revealed everything to his parents and told Yi-soo the truth first.
Hwan-ki’s alarmed that Woo-il went ahead and divulged everything by himself even though Hwan-ki said he’d do it with him. Woo-il explains that Hwan-ki had shouldered too much on his own and that it was his turn now. Hwan-ki panics when Woo-il says he dropped Yi-soo off at home, knowing how unstable she is.
Ro-woon pleads with her eyes for him to stay, but he apologizes and runs off to find Yi-soo, even though it clearly pains him. He finds Yi-soo’s bedroom empty and tries calling her repeatedly, but to no avail.
Then we see Woo-il at Ro-woon’s father’s barbershop, kneeling on the floor. Her father grabs him by the collar and collapses into tears, devastated and in shock. Ro-woon watches this through the window and yanks off her necklace once she’s outside. Then she answers a call from Yeon-jung.
Cut to: Ro-woon awkwardly standing around at the spa. Yeon-jung cheerfully drapes her arm around her and guides her to a table. Ro-woon admits that she’s not in the mood for this, but Yeon-jung answers that Hwan-ki told her everything and asked her to look after Ro-woon tonight. She jokes that the ex/first love is looking after his current girlfriend and recommends Ro-woon sweat the sorrow away.
They relocate to another room, and Ro-woon expresses how stupid she was for crushing on Woo-il and cherishing the necklace he gave to Ji-hye. Yeon-jung assures her that if Ji-hye’s watching now, she’d be thankful and proud of Ro-woon — without her, the truth would’ve remained buried.
Ro-woon replies that Hwan-ki was the one who revealed the truth and persuaded Woo-il to speak up. She says she does feel resentment toward Hwan-ki, but suspects there’s another reason for Ji-hye’s death: “No matter how many doors I open, there might be more doors.”
Yeon-jung notes that Hwan-ki is like that. “Loving someone like him is not easy.” Ro-woon says it’s about time she convinced her to give Hwan-ki up, and Yeon-jung agrees, pointing out that he’s too difficult for a baby like her, heh. When Yeon-jung falls asleep, Ro-woon quietly thanks her and leaves.
Cut to Ro-woon standing on the rooftop of the Brain building. She’s about to chuck her necklace when she hears Yi-soo calmly ask, “If you’re going to throw it, can I have it?” Creepy. Meanwhile, Hwan-ki arrives downstairs, and the guard confirms that Yi-soo’s on the roof.
Yi-soo admits that she’s the original owner of that necklace, but Ro-woon’s expression indicates that she already knew. “Are you happy now?” Yi-soo asks. She says that ultimately, Ji-hye took Woo-il away from her even after she died.
Ro-woon recognizes that Yi-soo is a victim too, and receives the shock of her life when Yi-soo tells her not to blame Woo-il, since she was the one who killed Ji-hye. “Ji-hye didn’t commit suicide?” Ro-woon asks. She jumps when Yi-soo suddenly steps toward her and warns her to back off.
But Yi-soo calmly states that Ro-woon shouldn’t be afraid since she just wants her necklace back; plus, there’s only one person she wants to hurt. Yi-soo snatches the necklace from Ro-woon and steps onto the ledge, ready to jump. Ro-woon immediately grabs her to pull her back to safety, but Yi-soo resists and screams at her to let go.
Uh, where to begin. This episode was a bad goulash, just a hot mess. It literally had everything and the kitchen sink. I know I was supposed to feel dread at the end with the rooftop struggle, but Yi-soo is so makjang-level crazy that the severity of the moment just vanished. Where’s the suspense? The mystery? Ro-woon finally knows now, but how anticlimactic was her reaction to Woo-il and how that supposedly big moment played out? It sorely lacked impact. Also, Woo-il could’ve been apologizing for spilling juice on the carpet instead of a three-year-old coverup with how collected and minimally remorseful he looked. In contrast, Hwan-ki broke down sobbing when he apologized to Ro-woon in previous episodes even though he had nothing to do with Ji-hye’s death!
I wanted to hold out hope and believe that maybe there’s something more to Ji-hye’s death, but we’re near the end, and I’m just not sure if a satisfying and somewhat reasonable twist can be squeezed in this late in the game. Also, what are the next three episodes going to be about now that Ro-woon’s mostly in the know now? Is she right in thinking there’s another, bigger reason for Ji-hye’s death that no one is privy to? I’m still not convinced that Ji-hye jumped to her death all because of a guy — too rash for a seemingly reasonable person — but based on Ro-woon’s tearful conversation with Woo-il, heartbreak-driven suicide seemed within the realm of reason to her, which was so odd and infuriating. I, on the other hand, just don’t buy it, and it’s one of many glaring flaws that’s preventing me from fully enjoying the show.
I also don’t believe for a second that Ji-hye had romantic feelings for Woo-il. If anything, I thought she had a tiny crush on Hwan-ki. And as far as I know, that drawing was for Hwan-ki, but Woo-il basically pressured her into giving it to him instead. I know some people believed the drawing was intended for Woo-il, but it’s kind of a major problem if there’s so much confusion surrounding an important plot point. We know Woo-il had feelings for Ji-hye, but did she feel that way about him? I admire the show for tackling a rewrite, but they really could have have cleared this up too, in addition to toning down the main leads; the reason for Ji-hye’s suicide is important only because the show made such a big deal out of it from the outset, so it’s worrisome that this is the weakest and least interesting conflict. Also, are autopsies and science not a viable option anymore? And has Reporter Woo gone fishing?
I’ll end with some moments that I liked, which were all light and/or heartwarming, which the show does well. Kyo-ri finally discovering her self-worth thanks to Hwan-ki’s belief in her was a lovely moment. Anytime Hwan-ki dances or sings a song about piglets, I smile, and all the Yeon-jung scenes make me marvel at how cool and forthright she is. (Can she get her own show, please?) Also, I loved that she became Ro-woon’s makeshift sister/mentor. It was also nice to see Woo-il and Yi-soo have fun with each other for once, even though it was clear they had more of a brother-sister relationship instead of a romantic one.
Not sure what the next episodes will look like, but I wouldn’t be opposed to more dancing Hwan-ki, cool cucumber Yeon-jung, Silent Monster shenanigans, and kisses, because an un-mysterious mystery isn’t all that compelling.
- Introverted Boss: Episode 12
- Introverted Boss: Episode 11
- Introverted Boss: Episode 10
- Introverted Boss: Episode 9
- Introverted Boss: Episode 8
- Introverted Boss: Episode 7
- Introverted Boss: Episode 6
- Introverted Boss: Episode 5
- Introverted Boss: Episode 4
- Introverted Boss: Episode 3
- Introverted Boss: Episode 2
- Introverted Boss: Episode 1