The Best Hit: Episodes 27-28
Every relationship that Hyun-jae has built in this series will be put to the test, making him question when and where he belongs in this world. Sometimes things need to fall apart to make way for better things, but seeing the bigger picture won’t be easy when the immediate fallout is accompanied by heartache. But there’s no doubt that it’s time for Hyun-jae to face the music when it comes to his worst-kept secret and take a few important steps in the right direction.
EPISODE 27 RECAP
Stunned and hurt by the revelation that Hyun-jae is the Yoo Hyun-jae, Woo-seung marches to the Star Punch building. Hyun-jae catches up to her, however, and they chat outside, where he confirms that he is Yoo Hyun-jae.
She’s unable to wrap her head around the idea that someone who disappeared twenty years ago suddenly reappeared one day, looking as if he hadn’t aged a day. Hyun-jae knows how strange that sounds, but those impossible-sounding circumstances happened to him. She warns him that this better not be a joke before realizing that this explains why all of his references were so dated.
Hyun-jae immediately apologizes, adding that he should’ve told her sooner. As someone from the past, he knows he should never have had feelings for a girl Ji-hoon liked, especially when there was such uncertainty about his return to his time. “But I couldn’t bring myself to do that,” he reveals, “because I like you.”
Getting choked up, Woo-seung asks if he’ll return to his time. Hyun-jae honestly says he doesn’t know and doesn’t know the way back either. “You can return to your time then,” she asserts, as a tear falls from her eyes. “Go back. Go back to the world you originally came from.” Her co-worker picks up on her despondent expression, but she assures her that it’s nothing.
Hyun-jae heads back to the bakery, where Ji-hoon doesn’t give him the time of day. Moments later, Kwang-jae and his idol girl group walk in through the doors, and the doors swear that they won’t ever ride along with Kwang-jae and wonder why Hyun-jae’s too busy to be their road manager lately.
Hyun-jae calls Kwang-jae out to chat, and they relocate to a cafe, where Hyun-jae divulges that Ji-hoon knows who he is. Kwang-jae admits Ji-hoon has known for some time now and suggests that Hyun-jae talk to his son. He understands Ji-hoon’s shock of meeting his supposedly dead but now same-age biological father, that his desire to become a star came from both of his famous parents, and that star power lineage is why Ji-hoon never got to live a normal life.
Hyun-jae sighs that it would’ve been better if his jump to the future happened in 1994 because he’d have knowledge of his relationship with Bo-hee and of Ji-hoon. Kwang-jae solemnly agrees.
Later that day, Hyun-jae ruminates over a torn page in his copy of his music notebook. Woo-seung happens to walk into the lounge just then, and a cloud of awkwardness hangs over their short and stilted exchange.
But she can’t help but think of Hyun-jae at home, where a triangle kimbap in the fridge reminds her of the first time Hyun-jae successfully opened one on his own. She breaks into an involuntary smile at Hyun-jae’s selfie still stuck in the freezer, but that smile fades soon enough. She takes down all of Hyun-jae’s photos and the doll he won for her and puts them away in a box.
Over at Star Punch, Young-jae is in awe of an app where he can buy an office chair on his own. MJ teases that Italian chairs are the best out there, but Young-jae drills in the point that people should do the work themselves before realizing that doesn’t apply to MJ’s career at all.
Letting MJ enjoy his sushi dinner, Young-jae broaches the topic of renewing MJ’s contract at Star Punch. He gives MJ space to ask all of his questions and perks up when MJ starts, “Well…” and then finishes, pointing at another nigiri: “…are you going to finish this?”
Young-jae promises to let MJ transfer to whatever agency he likes afterward if he renews his contract here one last time. Then MJ offers him a piece of salmon… only to eat it for himself at the last second.
Hyun-jae finds Mal-sook sitting alone and hungry in the bakery. He whips up some prepared food for them, then asks what happened to her friend caught in a love triangle. Mal-sook matter-of-factly replies that her friend gave up, having realized everyone would be happier that way.
He asks if that friend is doing okay and is told the adage that unrequited love happens more often in life. He leans in to ask if giving up is the right thing to do, to which she quotes Sailor Moon that “giving up also requires courage.” Hyun-jae sighs, saying that isn’t so easy for him, and then they mirror each other’s actions to keep eating.
Both Hyun-jae and Woo-seung contemplate whether or not to call the other while the montage from their first encounter to the many memories they shared play through their minds.
The next day, Grandpa is browsing nursing home brochures when Bo-hee walks in to remind him about the opening party for World Agency. He pretends that he was in the middle of his yoga routine and groans in pain when she leaves.
They head down to the office, where Grandpa immediately takes residence behind his old desk. Kwang-jae gently corrects him that he’s the CEO now, and Grandpa grumbles that no one sent him any flowers.
That’s when a large flower arrangement arrives from Kim Da-bong. Aww, Hyun-jae. Everyone laughs at the message of “Runny Nose” on the banner, and then Ji-hoon arrives with MC Drill, ready to work.
Kwang-jae sits both boys down to propose that they debut as a duo, naming all the famous duo groups of the ’90s (Deux, Jinusean, and Jay-2). Ji-hoon and MC Drill are onboard with the idea, so he has them think of a good name. That’s Grandpa’s cue to chime in that he can come up with a great name for them, and Kwang-jae says they can start practicing as soon as he finds a studio.
He assures Ji-hoon that he’s also looking into the choreography, and then Grandpa cuts in with an idea: “Hoon’s Drill,” playing on the idea that they can “drill through any wall.” Ignoring that idea, Kwang-jae instructs the boys to think of a name.
Things are still awkward between Hyun-jae and Woo-seung at the office, but they go about their daily routine. Small details like a triangle kimbap and a part-timer uniform constantly remind them of the other, and when they see each other on the opposite ends of the hall, they pass each other without acknowledgment.
Ji-hoon and MC Drill take a break from dance practice when MC Drill realizes that they’re out of drinks. Cue Hyun-jae, who brings a bagful of refreshments and asks how practice is going. He gets stern when he’s told it’s all right, saying that their performance needs to make the crowd go wild.
He sticks to his usual amnesiac excuse to explain his mysterious stage experience, but he quickly realizes that he’s unwelcome here. He gets up, sees the broken watch among Ji-hoon’s things, and leaves.
He heads back to the bakery, where he’s told to drive the idol girl group to their gig at Dongdaemun. He warns that he might not be able to keep up with this part-time road manager job for long, but Kwang-jae won’t hear another word and sends him upstairs to grab the schedule.
So Hyun-jae heads up to Kwang-jae’s room and rifles through his desk drawer to find the schedule. But he also sees the jewelry box tucked inside and opens it to see the ring meant for Bo-hee.
He then heads out (and half-jokingly reminds Mal-sook to call him “oppa” vs. “ajusshi”), leaving Grandpa to test out some of his group names on Mal-sook. She thinks his first idea of “Hoonie Beanie” is tacky, and then Grandpa roars in celebration of his next idea: JB.
But Mal-sook points out that sounds like “jebi” (aka a swallow) and can’t hear a distinction.
While Kwang-jae is hit with a flurry of bad news from his investors pulling out of World Agency, Ji-hoon catches up with Woo-seung at a cafe. She’s glad to hear that he’s practicing again since she initially thought he’d quit again right away. They exchange a few light-hearted jokes, and then Ji-hoon carefully asks if she still meets up with Hyun-jae.
Her hesitance speaks for itself and Ji-hoon admits he does see Hyun-jae on occasion. Ji-hoon gets up first, but he turns back to remind her that no matter what happens, he’ll always be on her side, so there’s no need to suffer alone.
Hyun-jae has just finished packing his things in the rooftop apartment when Ji-hoon returns home. After agreeing to head somewhere with him, Ji-hoon belatedly registers the camping equipment in the minivan. Hyun-jae reassures him that they don’t have time to go someplace far… they’ll just spend one night together.
Thus, Ji-hoon has no choice but to follow Hyun-jae’s orders at the camping grounds. He takes over after Hyun-jae injures himself in his attempt to set up the tent, and they clap and dance in celebration once they’re done.
Realizing how happy they are, Ji-hoon stops first, and Hyun-jae breaks the awkward silence with the suggestion to eat before sunset. He cheerily reminds Ji-hoon that he brought everything they need and adorably pets Ji-hoon on the chin. But when Ji-hoon opens up the case for the gas burner, he finds a drill in there instead. Whoops.
The drill vs. gas burner mix-up spurs an argument, while MC Drill hears a ringing in his ear and wonders if someone is talking about him. Lol. Meanwhile, Ji-hoon figures they can just pick up some food at a nearby convenience store and continues to scold Hyun-jae about the mix-up on the way there.
EPISODE 28 RECAP
Kwang-jae pleads with the chairwoman in person to reconsider her decision to withdraw her investment in World Agency. He’s told that a better offer landed on her desk, and despite his argument that he has another idol group in the works, it isn’t substantial enough for the chairwoman to change her mind.
Night falls on the camping grounds, where Hyun-jae and Ji-hoon still argue about the drill they accidentally brought (and MC Drill keeps wondering who’s badmouthing him, ha). Hyun-jae opens up the floor for Ji-hoon to ask him anything, then apologizes for not telling him the truth from the start.
He explains that he wasn’t sure if people would believe him, and he felt guilty about how the people he knew lived such different lives than what he imagined for them. Ji-hoon asks what year he came from, and Hyun-jae replies, “1993. I only knew of your mom’s name back then. I found out she was Kwang-jae’s hometown friend, and we hung out a few times as a group.”
Ji-hoon acknowledges that Hyun-jae doesn’t know anything about what happened after he jumped into the future. He was always curious as to why his biological father abandoned him and Mom, why he was never in touch, if he knew if his son existed, or if that son was doing well.
Ji-hoon apologizes for condemning Hyun-jae on the days of his life that he hasn’t even lived out yet. Hyun-jae understands that Ji-hoon can’t help feeling that way; he may not have physically lived out those days himself, but acknowledges that he was self-centered and arrogant back then. Having grown up without a family, he led a carefree lifestyle and didn’t know how to lead a normal life.
It was only when he started living with Ji-hoon and the others did it feel like he was living with a real family. “I always thought I did everything myself,” he admits. “I thought everyone else who stayed by my side was there to use me.”
Ji-hoon remarks that it feels strange having a heart-to-heart with Hyun-jae, who chuckles in agreement. “But, I’m sorry… that I couldn’t be by your side,” Hyun-jae adds. “I’m sorry, for making you feel lonely. I’m sorry, for doing the things to be sorry.”
Hyun-jae is unable to sleep while Ji-hoon sleeps in the tent that night. He covers Ji-hoon in a blanket… and then puts a finger in his nose and giggles. Pfft. He then sits outside and looks at pictures of Woo-seung and the other friends on his phone.
He sends Woo-seung a text to check in on her, and when she replies that she’s studying, he figures that he shouldn’t bother her and sends her bits of advice: “Don’t live so diligently, don’t live so much for the future, and don’t focus on what’s above you. Everything that’s fun in life is already around you.”
He utters the last piece of advice aloud: “Don’t become an idiot who knows nothing, like me.” He signs off before Woo-seung can respond and refocuses his attention to the stars above him.
Hyun-jae returns the next morning to find Kwang-jae stressed out over losing all of his investors. He’s told that someone must’ve swooped in with another offer on the table, and that Kwang-jae is busy looking into alternatives. After assuring that he and Ji-hoon had a good chat, he gets a call from MJ.
He meets with MJ in the recording studio and has him listen to one of his latest compositions. MJ’s comment that the track sounds great leads Hyun-jae to wonder how someone with a great ear for music like him ended up being signed under Young-jae.
Hyun-jae chuckles when MJ admits that he didn’t think much of it at first, but hearing him talk about how his initial goal was to debut and eventually became greedy for success, thinking that would bring him happiness reminds Hyun-jae of himself back in his glory days.
He asks when MJ’s contract with Star Punch expires and proposes that he sign with Kwang-jae. The identical “-jae” suffix Young-jae and Kwang-jae spurs MJ to crack a lame “Two Jae” joke. Hyun-jae chides him for not listening to an adult, and then adds to the joke, offering, “Yang [Double] Jae.” You guys are two peas in a pod.
Hyun-jae heads back to the rooftop apartment and feels the void Woo-seung left behind in the storage room. He drags over a box to see if there’s anything he should take with him. He puts a cassette player in the keep pile and places a piggy bank that jingles on its side in the garbage pile.
But then he sees a coda mark on the bottom of the piggy bank and remembers seeing the same mark in the music notebook. He cuts into the plastic pig and discovers the item that was jingling inside: a key.
Hyun-jae heads to the bank, where the employee confirms that the key is associated with a safe deposit box opened in 1994. He’s asked to input his pin number, so he racks his brain to think of the most important numeric combination to Other Hyun-jae. Remembering the importance of “22198,” Hyun-jae inputs that number and waits with bated breath until the employee confirms that it was correct.
Led to the bank vault and left alone to check his belongings, Hyun-jae opens the safe deposit box and opens it to find an envelope. Inside is a banker’s check worth two billion won and the missing page from his music notebook.
He’s proud of Other Hyun-jae for converting the cash into a banker’s check, but whatever he’s written on the page brings tears to his eyes. “Was it all because of this? What’s so important about this?” he asks himself, getting choked up.
Over in his office, Young-jae shuts down the idea of offering more money to MJ in his renewed contract, citing that his success is all thanks to him. Hyun-jae walks in just as MJ’s manager leaves the office and says he has good news. He knows Young-jae was eyeing the World Agency building in order to find the bagfuls of cash he stashed away years ago, then hands over the envelope containing the banker’s check.
Young-jae tries to mask his astonishment by asking if Hyun-jae’s motive of moving into the rooftop apartment was to find this money. But Hyun-jae is here to strike a deal with him with this money: Young-jae can take the money if he calls off renewing his contract with MJ.
Young-jae thinks on the idea for a few seconds before agreeing to Hyun-jae’s terms. He hands over the written copy to MJ’s renewed contract, which Hyun-jae rips up. He warns Hyun-jae to be prepared for the public backlash on MJ because the agency took the extra mile to cover up his tracks over the years, but Hyun-jae is hardly concerned about that.
Kwang-jae makes a fuss once he hears that Hyun-jae simply handed over that large sum of money to Young-jae. But Hyun-jae has a plan: If Kwang-jae comes back to the chairwoman with a guaranteed successful artist in tow, she may reconsider her investment.
He listens to Kwang-jae’s pragmatic argument that a star like MJ would never think of signing with a small company in debt like World Agency, but tells him to draw up a contract anyway, because they don’t need to worry about a down payment for now.
Little does Kwang-jae know that that banker’s check was written by the same bank that went under during the IMF crisis. Young-jae belatedly connects the dots in his office, and has his secretary confirm whether or not the check has any value. LOL.
Kwang-jae manages to grab a quick meeting with the chairwoman and introduces her to the newest artist World Agency has signed. Cue MJ, who walks in and happily greets the chairwoman with a wink. Just outside the door, Hyun-jae sends Kwang-jae a thumbs up.
On the ride back, Kwang-jae notices MJ inspecting the dusty minivan and assures him that they’ll upgrade their ride soon. Hyun-jae peevishly snaps that Kwang-jae never showed him the same consideration, and Kwang-jae reminds him how he used to piggyback him after a night of drinking.
When MJ reminds Hyun-jae to keep his promise of teaching him songwriting, Hyun-jae replies, “How can I teach you that? You have to be born with that talent.” MJ realizes that he’s been lied to, but Hyun-jae encourages him to take a crack at it and see if he’s got some natural talent in music composition.
Kwang-jae assures MJ that he’ll have Hyun-jae write him some great songs, and MJ immediately changes his loyalty to Kwang-jae.
Woo-seung’s ears perk up when she hears Hyun-jae’s voice call out “Part-timer,” only to realize that it’s her boss addressing a pair of part-timers. She’s instructed to look into repairing a busted printer and looks through her call log which is filled with mostly exchanges with Hyun-jae and Ji-hoon.
Hyun-jae returns the van key in the World Agency office, where Grandpa is taking a cat nap. He’s spooked when Grandpa suddenly wakes up and recognizes him as Hyun-jae and accusing him of running off with the large sum of cash.
It doesn’t occur to him that Grandpa’s memory has temporarily reverted back to over twenty years ago until Grandpa shouts that he’ll have Hyun-jae blacklisted in the industry. Hyun-jae takes this opportunity to apologize to Grandpa as CEO Lee for his wrongful actions.
He asks CEO Lee not to hate him too much because he didn’t know any better. Realizing that this is a sincere apology, CEO Lee says they can move past this if Jay-2 produces a second album, and asks about if the letter Hyun-jae sent him was important. Hyun-jae has no idea what he’s talking about, but that’s when CEO Lee comes down with a migraine and snaps back to the present, blaming Hyun-jae for looking so much like the Yoo Hyun-jae he once knew.
Hyun-jae gets a scathing call from Young-jae about the now worthless banker’s check. Young-jae warns that he no longer lives in Hyun-jae’s shadow and won’t let Hyun-jae get away with this. But there’s more bad news in store because a sound engineer runs in to inform him that Hyun-jae must’ve anticipated that they’d try to steal the USB drive.
He plays the track for Young-jae, and Hyun-jae’s singsong voice plays through the speakers: “Be a nice person, Young-jae. Come to your senses and don’t covet what belongs to others.” Ha, what a perfect revenge.
Hyun-jae tells himself that Young-jae got what he deserved, and when he goes to charge his phone, he sees the broken watch on the desk. He goes shopping to get a new watch for Ji-hoon, and later that night, a customer drops by the bakery just before closing time to check the CCTV footage to see if she left her wallet here last night.
He plays back the video footage for her and confirms that she took her wallet with her, but then he sees that Kwang-jae stood behind the counter and did something we don’t get to see. He does replay the footage for Bo-hee when she returns, though, and now we see Kwang-jae practice placing the ring box on the counter and acting surprised.
Hyun-jae makes a quiet exit while Bo-hee watches Kwang-jae practice getting down on one knee and presenting the ring.
Hyun-jae heads down to the World Agency office, where Kwang-jae thanks him for everything that happened today. He has Kwang-jae promise to get Grandpa get checked out by a doctor and turns to him to ask if Kwang-jae can’t spend one day living for himself. His advice for Kwang-jae is to stop putting things off and to do whatever he wants.
Kwang-jae heads upstairs to the bakery afterward and apologizes that he left Bo-hee to close up on her own. He walks over to put away some boxes, which is when Bo-hee hugs him from behind. “Just for a moment,” she says into his shoulder, a tear about to fall from her eye. “Let’s just stay like this for a moment.”
She holds onto him for another minute as a tear rolls down her cheek and the CCTV captures the moment.
Up in the rooftop apartment, Hyun-jae surveys the space one last time and heads out with his things. He sits outside and texts Woo-seung, asking her to meet him here. He follows up with the message that he feels like he doesn’t belong in this time and place, but wanted to see her one last time and says he’ll wait until 10 PM.
His deadline comes and goes, and Woo-seung neither responds nor shows up. Still, Hyun-jae waits an extra hour and a half before giving up. Woo-seung is at home studying when she suddenly bolts out of bed and runs over to the rooftop apartment.
She arrives, sweaty and breathless, only to find the space empty. She checks the rooftop, where the tears welling up inside her fall from her eyes. She ekes out, “Thumbs Up…” and a hand turns her around.
It’s Hyun-jae, who gives her a tiny smile, then pulls her into his arms. “How can I leave you behind?” he asks. “So don’t go,” she answers, melting into his embrace. “Don’t go anywhere.”
Kwang-jae’s idol girl group walks into the bakery, where Mal-sook hands them a USB drive and a note from Hyun-jae, which says: “Just trust and follow me.” They check the contents of the USB on the laptop and discover an upbeat, updated version of their trot single. Remarking that the song is so much better now, they sing and dance along to the revised tune.
Right off the bat, this pair of episodes contained so many things I wanted to see from Hyun-jae’s character the moment he landed in 2017. While I understand that he himself had to realize that he was no longer the selfish and arrogant star who only lived for himself in 1993, I wish that the many little things Hyun-jae did for nearly everyone would’ve been spaced out throughout the series, rather than being accompanied by his preparations to bid them farewell.
But perhaps that’s what makes all of those moments feel bittersweet, because hardly anyone anticipated the idea that Hyun-jae was preparing to leave behind the people who felt like family. I do have to admire all the active steps Hyun-jae made this hour, including fooling Ji-hoon into taking a spontaneous overnight camping trip with him. Whether or not Hyun-jae is Ji-hoon’s biological father, it was important for them to clear the air and allow each side to explain themselves.
It was good of Ji-hoon to recognize that he couldn’t blame Hyun-jae for not remembering a time he himself hadn’t lived out yet, but I was more impressed that Hyun-jae didn’t let himself off the hook either and acknowledged that he was a different man back then. I can’t help but think that the similarities between Hyun-jae and MJ aren’t simply innocuous references. Furthermore, the two both enjoy lame humor and share a passion for music. It’d be a hilarious twist if MJ happens to be Hyun-jae’s son (a theory some of you have previously mentioned), especially since we’ve never been told of MJ’s parentage.
As sad as it was to see Grandpa temporarily revert to the ’90s in the World Agency office because of his Alzheimer’s, I am glad that it gave Hyun-jae an opportunity to sincerely apologize for his actions. Even if Hyun-jae were to return to his time, there’s no telling if he’ll retain all of his memories made here to be able to make that same apology. Not only that, I’m so relieved that he thought ahead to troll Young-jae on both the music track and the banker’s check. I have to admit I didn’t connect the dots about the foreclosed bank until Young-jae did, which made that moment doubly hilarious.
I’m afraid I can’t speak much on the romance in our main couple since both characters went the traditional route of going about their daily lives while thinking of one another, and ultimately Woo-seung made the choice to stay with Hyun-jae and beg him not to go. If anything, I’m happy that Hyun-jae gently helped Bo-hee be clued in on Kwang-jae’s feelings for her, which led to an opportunity for her to reciprocate. Hyun-jae may be ready to leave this chapter of his life behind, but it’s safe to say, we’re not willing to let him go just yet.
- 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