The Best Hit: Episodes 7-8
The things a guy will do for a smartphone. Newfangled accessories might be Hyun-jae’s latest fixation, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in how he ended up in a world that has seemingly moved on without him. Past reminders keep popping up around him, and one important encounter could be the key to solving an unresolved mystery.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Hyun-jae is puzzled when he’s notified of an incoming message on his pager: 22198. But when he tries calling his old pager number, it no longer exists, confusing him further.
Back on the steps, Ji-hoon hovers a hand over Woo-seung’s shoulder until Woo-seung unexpectedly pops up and re-energizes herself to carry on with life. She’s in a much better mood now because she’s won the battle against herself… and Ji-hoon points out that fighting against herself means she also lost.
In any case, Woo-seung decides to remain optimistic and now it’s time to exact revenge on the person who gave her a decades-old candy bar. Cut to: Woo-seung chasing Hyun-jae around in circles with a frying pan. HA.
Ji-hoon bounces back and forth taking sides, concurring with Woo-seung that giving her an expired treat gave her the runs, whilst also agreeing that Hyun-jae had no malicious intent. Hyun-jae claims that he didn’t suffer from eating that same chocolate and accuses her of not properly preparing for her exam by going to the bathroom ahead of time. Not. Helping.
Frustrated, Woo-seung revs up for a swing just as MC Drill bolts up, and she hits him full-force in the face, knocking him out cold.
The family notices Grandpa’s apathetic behavior at the breakfast table, which Kyung-jae explains is because of “seeing Hyun–” before awkwardly modifying that to “seeing things.”
Mal-sook chimes in that someone else is secretly living with Ji-hoon in the rooftop room. Grandpa jumps up, terrified, and Bo-hee questions her further, whereas Kyung-jae doesn’t think anything of it.
Upstairs, MC Drill affirms that beepers are obsolete in this day and age (you can’t even get service for one). He hasn’t the faintest idea why Hyun-jae’s pager would’ve rang (or literally, “cried”), but says that maybe it was sad… like him. Aww.
Seeing Woo-seung leave with him, Hyun-jae wonders why either of them would bother leaving the house when they both failed their respective exams. They’ve both decided to stick with their goals, and MC Drill believes that Ji-hoon is a shoe-in for an upcoming debut, saying that his performance made him cry more than when he left for army.
“You served in the military?” Woo-seung asks, confused (since that would add two more years to his age). MC Drill quickly takes it back.
At the agency, MC Drill plops down next to Ji-hoon and tells him not to forget him when he becomes successful, promising to follow in his footsteps soon.
Star Punch’s CEO Young-jae walks in to announce who will be in the agency’s next male idol group. When he says, “Drill,” MC Drill cries in celebration… until Young-jae instructs him to take off his headphones so he can hear properly. Womp.
Ji-hoon waits with anticipation as Young-jae calls out the five names of those in this debut team… but he gets to the last one and Ji-hoon isn’t called. MC Drill protests that something must’ve gone awry, but that’s not the kind of thing Ji-hoon wants to hear right now.
He heads up to the roof instead, and freaks out when someone kicks him from behind. It’s Hye-ri, who repeats his own words about how he looked like he was going to jump and tells him to live if he wants to debut one day.
She doesn’t mince words with him, adding that the guys who were picked today were better than him. She does, however, look back to toss him his lunchbox, and then adds that she thought he was a little bit cool yesterday. But just a little.
Bo-hee leaves Grandpa to look after the bakery, which makes him bitterly remark that he’d rather die early. But then he takes it back, remembering that he saw Reaper Hyun-jae the last time he said that.
He gets grumpy over a news article about self-management prevention measures for dementia (“I’m still too young!”), but ends up reading it anyway.
Young-jae struggles in a meeting with a music producer (cameo by MC Gree, Kim Gura’s son) who’s been tasked with adding some color to the melody he’s stolen from Hyun-jae, but Young-jae is unable to comprehend any of the music lingo he’s hit with. Young-jae describes the sound he’s looking for with a nonsensical string of drum sound effects.
He’s scared out of his wits when he finds an Italian technician under his desk working on his malfunctioning chair, and throws him out. He pulls out Hyun-jae’s music notebook from his safe, but something in it catches his attention, and he asks if anyone else has been in his office.
Turns out Hyun-jae’s recent doodle of a cell phone is superimposed over the notes on the page. Hyun-jae still has his own copy with him, which only contains a doodle. Oh, so Young-jae is looking at a song that Hyun-jae hasn’t written yet?
Hyun-jae seems to have made a full adjustment to the digital era, as he groans at how bored he is without either of his devices working properly. He heads back to Woo-seung’s room to get a better Wi-Fi signal and reads about how his car was found abandoned by a lake in 1994.
He wonders if going there might trigger some memories… an idea quickly abandoned by him playing mobile games instead, since he has no money to travel anywhere. LOL. He ends up woefully thinking of how those bagfuls of cash would be worth a fortune even today, and then he remembers that he had an emergency fund.
He digs into his box of possessions and fishes out a copy of In Search of Lost Time. He prays his money is still there, flips through the pages, and finds two banker’s checks. Score!
Kwang-jae is excited when the PD who rebuffed him earlier (Park Hyuk-kwon) calls back to give Bo-hee a variety guest spot. Kwang-jae doesn’t know that Bo-hee is a last-minute replacement and explains the music show’s noraebang challenge format to her later that night.
Bo-hee likes the idea, asking if there’s a chance for a reappearance if she wins. She’s confident that she doesn’t need to practice for a show within her field of expertise.
But she ends up at the noraebang where Woo-seung works anyway, annoyed when she gets the lyrics wrong again. Just outside, Woo-seung pulls her hair out running her finances and realizes she doesn’t have enough to get her own place.
On her way home, she spots Ji-hoon sitting alone on the swings. This time, it’s her turn to take a seat next to him. She can tell that he didn’t make the cut and welcomes him to “loser world,” the land full of disappointment and failures. Ji-hoon scoffs, saying that he’s already a resident.
She advises him to quit the idol trainee track and study to get a job that actually pays. She finds his flip-flopping attitude about staying in the industry complicated, so she pulls him to a merry-go-round and spins him around. He gets off because he’s getting dizzy, but that’s exactly her point: “Find your center. It may seem like the world is spinning, but it’s actually you.”
The next day, Hyun-jae does his usual routine of squatting in the attic storage closet for the strongest Wi-Fi signal. He doesn’t seem to care when Ji-hoon chides him for sitting in Woo-seung’s room, and scowls that they should be grateful to have a celebrity in their midst.
Ji-hoon catches the slip-up, but accepts Hyun-jae’s response that he still doesn’t remember anything. Woo-seung walks in moments later and reclaims her phone to get Hyun-jae’s attention. Like a little kid, he asks for two more minutes and says the internet only works in this spot.
She warns him to leave, swinging a warning hook close to his face. Hyun-jae swats her arm away and catches her next punch with his fist. The mere mention of money makes her soften, and he promises to settle his debts with her if she follows him.
That’s how they end up at the bank, which is closed because it’s Saturday. Woo-seung is annoyed that Hyun-jae doesn’t already know that and calls herself a fool. He says that’s enough of a self-introduction and offers her a part-time gig: Take him to Lake Suryeon, and he’ll pay her for the day’s work. He shows her the banker’s check to prove it.
Instead of being impressed, Woo-seung asks if he stole this money. He’s offended but promises to pay her on Monday. But she wants indisputable proof that he’ll keep his word, so she records a video of his promise to pay her, or move out.
Her ears perk up when Hyun-jae says he remembered something. He leans in close to whisper, “I… hated people like you the most.” Hah.
Practically the whole motley crew accompanies Bo-hee to the TV station today. Grandpa suggests that they stop to buy lottery tickets because he had a lucky dream last night where he saw a fire-breathing dragon.
Believing she needs all the luck she can get, Bo-hee offers to buy that dream from him (following the Korean belief that you can sell a dream to someone along with its fortune). Grandpa takes the deal, saying that anything good that happens is because of him.
Hyun-jae is baffled by the all the lines in the expansive Seoul subway map of 2017. He’s even more amazed that people use a transit smart card, and Woo-seung adds that no one these days uses the catchphrase, “Thumbs up!”
Embarrassed, Woo-seung tells him to do something about his silly-looking hanging belt and walks ahead of him. Hyun-jae overhears a high-schooler talking to a friend on her phone in a string of incomprehensible abbreviated slang, which sounds like an alien language to his ears.
It belatedly occurs to him that he’s been left behind, though Woo-seung comes back to find him. Grabbing his wrist, she reminds him not to get distracted and follow her.
Meanwhile, Bo-hee gets ready on the set of the music competition show. When the writer arrives to welcome Bo-hee, Grandpa rambles on for an embarrassingly long time about how he’s a very important CEO who discovered Jay-2.
Bo-hee confirms that she’s prepared a yoga routine for the show, but is told that that’s nothing compared to other guests who can do a handstand on a tennis racket or play a recorder with their feet. Kwang-jae reassures her that her yoga routine will still get her screen time, but Bo-hee runs off after the writer with an idea.
Once Hyun-jae and Woo-seung arrive at Lake Suryeon, he walks up to the space where his car was found abandoned. He mulls over why he ended up at this spot and went missing in 1994. He wonders, what if it was made to look like he disappeared?
He finds a few items scattered on the ground, including a Jay-2 album and a framed photo of himself. Meanwhile, Woo-seung enjoys the outdoors and decides to send Ji-hoon a selca of her with the beautiful scenery.
While trying to get an ideal angle, her foot slips and her phone flies out of her hands and lands on a boat. She puts one foot on the boat, which only makes it move farther away, leaving her in a precarious straddled position.
On the back of the broken photo frame, Hyun-jae discovers a written message from Bo-hee: “I’ll always be waiting for you.” He then hears Woo-seung crying out for help and sees her fall into the lake.
Seeing her flail in the water, Hyun-jae runs into the lake to save her and drag her back to shore. He’s worried that she’s all wet, but his concern isn’t about her catching a cold, but about his precious phone getting wet. Lol.
He rummages through her bag to fish out Woo-seung’s old phone, and is utterly relieved to find that it’s still working. She bops him on the head for caring more about a device than a person, but he points out that she’s fine.
But in the plunge one of Woo-seung’s contact lenses has fallen out, leaving her vision compromised. So she has no choice but to blindly follow Hyun-jae, holding on to his belt for guidance. He tells her to acknowledge how useful his belt is, still upset over her calling it old-fashioned earlier.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
During the filming of Challenge! Gayo Star, it’s time for Bo-hee to show off her surprise hidden talent: chug down a whole bottle of soda in one go. Everyone, including the host, appears worried, but Bo-hee is determined to try.
It’s at that moment Kwang-jae remembers that Bo-hee was willing to do anything to make sure she’d become a regular cast member on this show and earn enough money to put out an album and pay back their mountain of debt.
He signals to Bo-hee not to do this, but she takes the bottle and starts chugging. The excitement grows as she keeps drinking and drinking. She successfully empties the bottle in one try and assures the host that she can still sing. Kwang-jae gives her two thumbs-up.
Things are looking even better when she chooses the perfect song (Kang Su-ji’s “Violet Fragrance”). She sings the first line just fine, but then suddenly lets out an involuntary roaring belch into the microphone that has so much force that it blows away everyone on set. An imaginary dragon appears, driving the point home.
Bo-hee apologizes, but then her body lets out another burp. Suffice it to say, she’s eliminated from the competition, and she hangs her head, mortified.
When Woo-seung tries to provide directions home, Hyun-jae says he doesn’t need them because his brain remembers how to get back. She asks if that means he remembers something, and Hyun-jae replies that he thinks he was smart.
But Woo-seung has to spell it out for him that she has to use the restroom, muttering that he may be smart but has no tact. He leads her down the road and points her to the bathroom. She tells him to stay put this time and leaves him with her bag.
Hyun-jae starts humming along to a song blaring through speakers nearby, but then it occurs to him that this is one of his songs. We flash back to when Hyun-jae was composing this very song, and Kwang-jae teased that he’d run off with his music notebook one day if Hyun-jae kept acting up.
Hyun-jae tracks down the song playing outside a bakery and asks the employee who the singer is. He doesn’t recognize the name MJ, but when she points to the life-size cardboard cutout of MJ in the store, Hyun-jae rips off the head so he can find the jerk who stole his song.
Woo-seung returns from the bathroom and hangs on to the first backpack she sees. Kim Jong-min (another 1N2D cast-mate) gives her a puzzled look, shoves her off of him, and walks away.
Realizing that she’s been abandoned yet again, she uses the pay phone to call Ji-hoon to meet her outside with cab fare and her glasses. She’s too exasperated to explain the full story, and a tear falls from her eyes.
Woo-seung blindly tries to cross the street by herself, despite not being able to see two feet in front of her. The pedestrian light turns red seconds later and passing cars honk at her to get out of the way. Just then, a hand grabs her elbow—it’s Hyun-jae, who pulls her close and repeats her earlier words, to not get distracted and follow him.
Hyun-jae takes her hand and safely leads her to the other side. Woo-seung lets go of Hyun-jae’s hand and flips out when she learns what time it is because she’s late for her other part-time job. Meanwhile, Ji-hoon waits outside wondering why Woo-seung is taking so long to get home.
Bo-hee is in the mood for a drink tonight, so they stop the car at a pojangmacha. Grandpa insists that Kwang-jae stay with her, tsking at him when he doesn’t get the hint that being a shoulder to lean on can open up Kwang-jae’s chances at romance.
Kwang-jae sits down with her and reassures her that burping is a natural human response, and promises to do his best in making sure that her burp doesn’t air on the show. He declines a drink because he wants to make sure she gets home safely. Aww.
She figures it’s because he’s her road manager, and he starts, “Not just because of that…” before accepting that drink after all. He says she can take her time; he hasn’t forgotten his promise to ensure her a successful comeback.
She thanks him for believing in her, and then lets out another burp. A pair of ajusshis cackle at her from the neighboring table, and she stops Kwang-jae from confronting them. So he orders a bottle of cola, chugs it in one go, and burps to prove that everyone burps and farts. His sweet gesture makes her smile.
Hyun-jae grumbles about helping a blind Woo-seung with work at the convenience store since he isn’t dirt poor anymore. He notices a tear fall from her eye, and she says she’ll do it herself, then knocks over several boxes.
He refuses to help, but he sees her struggle and ends up helping anyway. He wonders to himself if all women in 2017 are like Woo-seung or if she’s the exception.
MJ’s van happens to make an unexpected stop outside that convenience store when the road manager has to use the bathroom. His three obsessed fangirls are stalking MJ in a taxi, and they see him get out to buy himself a drink.
Hyun-jae helps him pick up a bottle he dropped, then recognizes MJ’s face. He hilariously holds up the cardboard face as a comparison and calls MJ out for not being the original songwriter for the single “Come Back Again.”
MJ says he’s got the wrong man, but Hyun-jae won’t let him go without an answer: “Be honest. Where did you steal it? How did you steal it?” Woo-seung hears the commotion, but the fangirls get there first. One of them kicks Hyun-jae from behind, which kicks off a huge food fight.
MJ slips away as a fangirl grabs Hyun-jae’s hair. He pulls her off, only to be hit with a large package of toilet paper and pummeled with bags of chips. He pushes the fangirls away and roars, but the girls return fire with bullets of sparkling water.
Woo-seung reaches around blindly trying to see what’s going on, and the fight is finally put to stop by her angry boss. Needless to say, she gets fired and is paid off with snacks in place of her wages. She finds Hyun-jae’s claims that MJ was at the convenience store absurd, but he fires back that MJ’s crazy fangirls were there.
She whines that nothing has gone right ever since she met him, and to make matters worse, she’s left her bag at the store. Hyun-jae offers to go back for it, and calls out to her saying that nothing has gone right for him since he met her either. She breaks into an amused smile.
CEO Young-jae wonders who could’ve been responsible for that doodle in Hyun-jae’s notebook when the CCTV footage shows that no one trespassed in his office. But he has more important matters to attend to when MJ arrives and tells him that a stranger at the convenience store knew that he didn’t write “Come Back Again.”
MJ isn’t sure who that stranger was, but says he did look an awful lot like Young-jae’s former Jay-2 partner, Hyun-jae.
Woo-seung returns home to find that Ji-hoon has installed a digital door lock to her room (the passcode is her birthday, d’aw). She wonders where Ji-hoon is, not realizing that he’s running around all over town looking for her, worried sick that she never found her way back.
Hearing about a woman involved in an accident nearby, he starts running in a panic. But that’s when Woo-seung calls using MC Drill’s phone and asks him where he is. He denies that he ran out looking for her, and that’s when we see that he’s gone all the way back to where she first called him earlier that night.
Kwang-jae carries a drunk Bo-hee on his back and reassures her that there are people out there who still like her. She wonders what could’ve been if she hadn’t met Hyun-jae, and Kwang-jae says that’s all in the past—people have changed and so has the world: “What’s so important about the past? It’s the present that’s important.” (Hyun-jae = present.)
He adds that he means “the present,” not Hyun-jae, and believes they should let Hyun-jae go now. Her eyes closed, Bo-hee sheds a tear, and Kwang-jae promises to do his best to fill the void Hyun-jae left behind.
But then nature calls for Kwang-jae, so he gently puts her down on a bench and runs off to the bathroom. Hyun-jae happens to be walking down that very street and does a double take when he sees Bo-hee passed out, and worries about leaving her alone.
When Kwang-jae returns moments later, Bo-hee is gone. He looks around worriedly and sees a man carrying Bo-hee away on his back. He runs after them and pulls at the man’s arm… to find himself face to face with Hyun-jae.
Ha, it’s a cheesy ’90s commercial for the candy bar Freedom (the same one Hyun-jae brought with him from the past): An office woman sits down at her cubicle and chucks her purse at her desk, and the Freedom candy bar morphs into a tiny Hyun-jae, who then dances alongside the woman to the Jay-2 single “Say It.”
He thrusts the candy bar in the air and declares, “I’m free! Thank you, Freedom!” and flashes a smile at the camera.
Oh boy, that’s going to be an awkward conversation. How do you explain to your former manager that you’re not dead and traveled twenty plus years into the future? Hyun-jae’s encounter with Kwang-jae is the one run-in I’ve been looking forward to the most, because they both know portions of the past not yet explained to us. For instance, how much did Kwang-jae know about Hyun-jae’s shady money dealings prior to his disappearance?
I’m getting a family sitcom feel to The Best Hit as we swing in and out of different subplots. Some storylines are more fun to follow (like Hyun-jae’s fish out of water experiences and his bickering relationship with Woo-seung) than others (like Hye-ri’s growing affections toward Ji-hoon), but I do find the string of scenes enjoyable, since there is a central mystery—namely Hyun-jae’s disappearance in the ’90s—and clear goals for our other characters, whether that’s a debut, a comeback, or praying that Death doesn’t come early for them.
I do find it amusing that Hyun-jae sees taking steps to solving his mysterious disappearance as a choice; he exhibits the classic genius behavior of single-minded devotion to particular interests, and currently, his main interest is one smartphone. But we also know that he’s smart in other ways, even if he often gets coerced into doing Woo-seung’s bidding. Despite his laid-back perspective on life, he still has a soft heart and he does care, exhibited when he saved Woo-seung’s life and came back for her, and also carried Bo-hee home. I was slightly worried that he might’ve thought Kwang-jae stole his music notebook, but was relieved that he guessed someone else must’ve nicked it.
As with any time-traveling series, there are bound to be consequences. Hyun-jae’s doodle magically appearing in the other copy of his music notebook is one, and that alone introduces a whole slew of new questions. What kind of consequences are there if Hyun-jae doesn’t return to the ’90s and never writes the song eventually written on that page? What happens should he decide to burn that notebook? What will he do (or can he do) when he finds out that his former duo partner has been plagiarizing his work for years? And most importantly—who left that message on his pager?
- The Best Hit: Episodes 1-2
- Premiere Watch: My Sassy Girl, Seven Day Queen, Best Hit, Duel
- Yoon Shi-yoon shows off his idol genius in The Best Hit
- Cha Tae-hyun brings in several high-class cameos for The Best Hit
- Retro fun at the world’s hottest attic room in The Best Hit’s new posters
- ’90s idols and accidental kisses in KBS’s The Best Hit
- Lee Kwang-soo makes cameo appearance in The Best Hit
- Carefree twentysomethings of idol variety-drama The Best Hit
- Cha Tae-hyun joins variety drama The Best Hit as actor and director
- KBS variety drama The Best Hit casts Yoon Shi-yoon, Kim Min-jae