Revolutionary Love: Episode 3
Our hero is a one-step-forward, one-step-back kind of guy, which is occasionally a source of comedy, but just as often a reason for the heroine to blow her top. But he’s showing signs of learning how to take steps on his own, which goes a long way in rooting for him as he bumbles along on his path toward growth. Slowly. Eventually!
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Dressed as a hotel maid, Joon slips into Hyuk’s room in order to sneak him out before the police officer finds him—given that he’s been accused of a crime but hasn’t presented himself to the authorities (per his father’s orders), he’s evading the law.
Hyuk is touched at the thought that she came to help him, but she tells him coolly that she’s only doing this for the money. At that, her father’s voice rings in her memory: “Don’t make important life decisions because of money.” Joon remembers when her father lost his job, and he’d told her that he’d made a cowardly choice. She had seen the envelope full of bank notes in front of Dad, and he’d added, “I hope you won’t live like me.”
She thinks, “Back then, I didn’t know what that meant.” But a few days ago, her mother had called to ask for money, because her child (Joon’s step-sibling) was injured and her mother had nobody else to ask.
Now, she tells Hyuk matter-of-factly that she’s so busy just getting by that she can’t bother worrying about some chaebol heir. Hyuk doesn’t seem bothered, though, and asks how much she needs. He tamps down a smile when she names her price, then proposes a condition in return: to have Joon stay with him until he can return home. Joon thinks of her mother’s plea for help, and also her father’s warning.
“But Dad, do you know this?” she thinks. “I don’t even have an opportunity to make important life decisions. I’m just hanging on day by day.” So she nods and accepts the deal. Hyuk extends a hand, and they shake to today being their Day 1.
Ha, and then Je-hoon’s voice cuts in angrily over the phone, having been ignored this whole time. Joon tells him to get the car ready and meet them at the back entrance, just as the hotel doorbell rings. Joon urges Hyuk into the maid’s cart, and when he’s safely stowed inside, she opens the door and pushes the cart past the officer.
She wheels the cart down the hallway under the officer’s scrutiny, and makes it safely to the elevator. She jabs at the door close button, muttering at Hyuk to stay quiet in the cart. But at the last second, an arm holds open the door and the police officer joins her in the elevator.
Joon sweats bullets during the ride, and then the officer shows her Hyuk’s picture and asks if he’s the guest in the suite she was cleaning. Joon says she’s never seen him before, and when Hyuk’s stomach rumbles loudly in the cart, she claps a hand over her own stomach nervously.
The rumbling grows more insistent, and Hyuk doubles over in pain. When Joon spots the bottom of the linen cart wiggling as Hyuk moves around, she gives it a swift kick—right in Hyuk’s rear. To the officer, she lies nervously that there’s a mosquito in here, waving her hands around.
The officer hands her his business card and asks for her to call if she sees Hyuk around, but Joon tells him that she’s not allowed to disclose guest information. The officer presses, and as she pushes back on the request, Hyuk lets out a mortifyingly long, slow fart. Bwahaha!
Joon shrivels up in embarrassment as the smell hits, while Hyuk finally relaxes, having let it all out. On the upside, it stops the officer’s line of questioning, and the second the elevator doors open, he shoots out of it.
Joon wheels the cart past the officer, feeling relieved—just as Hyuk’s phone dings with a chat notification. The officer notices the cart moving as Hyuk fumbles for his phone and calls out to Joon, who decides to make a break for it.
She’s able to push the cart into the vast laundry area, giving her and Hyuk enough time to hide there before the officer catches up. They huddle together among the linens, and when Hyuk’s heart starts to pound at the close quarters, he does his best to calm it down.
The officer gets asked to leave by an employee, and Joon and Hyuk sneak out behind him. He spots their retreating backs and follows, but they make it to the parking garage, where Je-hoon pulls up in his car with seconds to spare.
Hyuk checks his phone to see who sent the text that gave them away—and it’s Chae-ri, wheedling for a chat. Of course it would be her, always up to ruin something.
Je-hoon protests their deal to have Joon be Hyuk’s personal attendant, but they both stand by the agreement. Je-hoon says she can’t handle managing Hyuk, and rattles off all his past offenses, like public urination. Hyuk winces and tries to explain himself, but Joon waves it off and says it doesn’t matter.
Je-hoon says he won’t allow her to do it, and she takes that as a lack of faith in her abilities. They start bickering back and forth, and Joon points out that she’s the reason they were able to escape the hotel.
That’s when Je-hoon notices the police car in his rearview mirror, and starts to pour on the speed. The cop speeds up accordingly, then turns on his siren. Je-hoon weaves through traffic for a while, while Hyuk and Joon urge him to pull over to let them out. So Je-hoon takes advantage of a sharp turn to pull over, leaving the cop to get boxed in by buses.
When Je-hoon’s car peels out, the cop pursues—and when Je-hoon finally pulls over, the car is empty. He asks where the other passengers went, not seeing Joon and Hyuk on the bus that passes behind him, and Je-hoon plays dumb.
The officer can’t pursue the Hyuk issue, but he does state that Je-hoon was speeding. Je-hoon counters that he wasn’t, and that if he was, the cameras will have caught it and he’ll be sent a ticket. So he’s able to leave the scene without a citation, leaving the cop empty-handed.
On the bus, Hyuk and Joon finally relax. He asks where they’ll go next, and she replies, “The perfect place for a third-generation chabeol to hide.”
And so, back to the construction site they go, ha. Hyuk groans that he’d rather go to prison, but Joon calls the bluff and ignores his pleas to let them go to his yacht instead. Hyuk gets roped into another day of labor, this time laying brick.
It isn’t until Joon gets a quiet minute to change her clothes that the reality hits her, and she wonders if she was crazy to aid and abet a fugitive. When Je-hoon calls, she tells him curtly that The Chaebol is safe and cuts the call short, saying she’s busy.
Je-hoon reports back to hyung Woo-sung that Hyuk got away safely, and that he assigned a third party to stick with him. Woo-sung asks who that is, but Je-hoon just tells him not to worry.
Hearing that Woo-sung has arranged a sudden press conference, Je-hoon asks someone to track an IP address for him.
Joon works diligently laying tile while Hyuk runs around like a hyperactive child, first trying to help her and then crying over a tiny boo-boo on his finger. Joon shuts him down (by showing him her monster scar, putting his scratch to shame), and Ajumma sees Hyuk walk away pouting and calls him a puppy who chases around his owner.
At lunchtime, Hyuk frowns down at his soup of unidentified offal, but decides that for the sake of bonding with Joon, he’ll eat it. He reluctantly tries it out—and then his eyes widen in wonder at the strange but irresistible taste. He chows down enthusiastically.
Their heads snap up when the news program on TV turns to the press conference being given by Woo-sung, who adopts a contrite demeanor and apologizes for the uproar caused by his brother. But he adds that Hyuk has cut off contact, playing up Hyuk’s irresponsible chaebol image (while looking humble by contrast).
Hyuk looks stunned at that, and Je-hoon, who stands nearby as Woo-sung speaks, also looks perturbed. Je-hoon then spots the cop from earlier, Officer Jang, in the audience, and they lock gazes for a moment.
The construction ajumma tsks that the elder brother is a decent guy, and that it was always the younger brother who was trouble. One of the ajusshis sniffs that this is all for show, and that everything will be taken care of with money.
The other ajusshi calls Hyuk a reckless punk, and Hyuk protests weakly that the words are harsh, and that the chaebol could have reasons. Ajusshi retorts that if he did, he should surrender himself. Hyuk says that maybe he tried, and his father stopped him with his fists, which makes Joon think to Hyuk’s battered face earlier. But when she asks if he got beat up, Hyuk merely says he means it’s possible that’s what happened.
The elders dismiss Hyuk’s comments and tell him to worry about his own future, rather than sympathizing with some chaebol. As everyone files out to resume work, Hyuk remains seated, looking glum. Joon tells him not to feel bad—it’s just that to ordinary folks, it looks like chaebols get favors and special treatment and aren’t held to the same set of laws.
Je-hoon finds Officer Jang waiting for him at his desk after the press conference. The officer asks for Hyuk’s whereabouts, but Je-hoon deflects, saying that he only knows what was said in the official statement.
Officer Jang informs him that he will be subpoenaed, then notes that it’s strange for an older brother to apologize on his younger brother’s behalf, and stranger still that he would apologize on behalf of his company and staff: “I don’t know what kind of wrong you could say that the hard-working employees have committed.” It’s a good point, and Je-hoon just says that he agrees with that complaint.
While the construction crew gathers outside to meet the building’s owner, Hyuk sits by himself, mulling over his father’s directive to be quiet and do nothing. He remembers the beating he suffered, as well as his brother’s statement and Joon’s comments about how people see chaebols.
Hyuk adopts a relaxed pose amidst the heavy thoughts, and looks out and comments on the nice weather. Then he spots something that has him venturing outside on the scaffolding. Ah, there are dandelion stems growing out of a crack in the building, and he works his way closer until he can pluck them.
Meanwhile, in the construction yard below, the site’s owner, CEO Min, complains to the foreman about the slow pace of the work, snapping at the growing costs. He insinuates that the crew is taking pay without working, stirring Joon’s indignation.
Finally, Joon can’t hold back and interjects that they’re working hard to build this site properly, and that rushing to do a slapdash job could cause major problems later. Moreover, it’s against the law to force a crew to build to subpar standards. CEO Min snaps at the foreman to get rid of her, and the foreman, feeling the pressure, fires her on the spot.
Hyuk blows on the dandelion flowers, sending the seeds scattering into the wind. He watches them fly away, and then notices the scene unfolding below him. He takes a step forward, and accidentally knocks a brick off the scaffolding… where it falls right in front of CEO Min… and hits a rock… which chips and flies into the air… and hits Ajusshi in his hard hat… and ricochets back at Min… hitting him squarely in the forehead.
Everyone watches this with horror, and CEO Min’s subordinate catches sight of Hyuk and orders him apprehended.
Je-hoon meets with Hyuk’s mother, who seems to be the only person actually worried about his welfare. She hands him a credit card to give to Hyuk, knowing he can’t use his own cards, and asks if Hyuk is still seeing Chae-ri or involved with any women (thinking of the fortuneteller’s prediction). Je-hoon assures her that he isn’t meeting any women.
Hyuk calls Je-hoon and urges him to come quickly, just as CEO Min’s henchmen arrive to grab him. Hyuk doesn’t resist, and goes with them.
But when the police arrive to handle the situation, CEO Min declares that he’s the victim of attempted murder. When Joon protests, he calls her an accomplice, insisting that Hyuk was acting in retaliation for firing Joon. The other workers counter the accusation, arguing that they’re all witnesses and that nobody saw Hyuk throwing anything.
When CEO Min points out that his men apprehended Hyuk on the fifth floor, the workers lie that Hyuk was nowhere near there, and was in fact underground when it happened. As the furor erupts around him, Hyuk looks around in confusion, wondering why everyone’s coming to his defense.
Finally, Joon threatens to report CEO Min for illegal wastewater dumping if he doesn’t rescind the attempted murder accusation. She must be right, because CEO Min’s smug expression drops and he raises a hand to hit her—which is then grabbed by Je-hoon, who suggests that they chat.
Je-hoon’s sudden arrival has Ajumma fawning over his sharp appearance and stable job. Hyuk explains that he’s his friend and assures the workers that Je-hoon is an expert at handling things like this.
Expert at cleaning up Hyuk’s imbroglios, that is. Je-hoon offers CEO Min ample compensation for medical and mental injuries, suggesting that they come to an agreement without involving messy paperwork.
And then he applies the pressure, saying that he looked into Min’s background and found that he owns a few paper companies, likely for tax evasion purposes, as well as slush funds. Based on Min’s reaction, he’s right on the money.
Thus an agreement is quickly reached, the police are dismissed, and Hyuk brags about Je-hoon’s skills to the crew. But Joon’s expression remains grim and she asks what really happened. Hyuk explains about the dandelions and how the brick got knocked down, smiling widely as he says it was an accident. Joon asks if his other exploits were also accidents, and he replies sunnily that they were.
Despite his carefree attitude (or maybe spurred by it?), Joon is hit with the realization that she was crazy to take on this job, and she calls it quits right then and there. Hyuk starts to go after her, but Je-hoon holds him back and orders him to get in the car, and Hyuk reluctantly obeys.
Joon calls her mother to tell her she can’t give her the money after all, and asks her not to keep calling.
Hyuk is heavy-hearted on the drive back, wondering why everything he does ends up like this. Je-hoon agrees that it would be hard to come up with so many different episodes even if he’d been trying to cause trouble.
Hyuk says he was only trying to send off some dandelion seeds—is that so wrong? Je-hoon replies that his actions nearly got him taken into the police station and everyone fired, and Hyuk supposes it was his fault, then. He asks what he can do to get Joon to forgive him, and Je-hoon tells that she isn’t going to change her mind.
Je-hoon hands over the credit card from Hyuk’s mother, which Hyuk accepts glumly… until an idea strikes him and brings the gleeful smile back to his face. Holding up the card, Hyuk crows, “I’ve thought up a way to get Joon to stop being angry!” Oh, want to bet on that? I’m feeling a preemptive cringe already.
At the end of the day, the foreman pays Joon for her day of work, then adds that she and the three others (the ajumma and two ajusshis) are fired, per the CEO’s orders. They plead for him to reconsider and convince the CEO otherwise, but the foreman is firm. Feeling responsible, Joon blames herself for bringing Hyuk here and apologizes to them, although they assure her (albeit weakly) that they’ll be okay.
But she has to give it a try, so Joon goes to see CEO Min that night to ask for the trio’s jobs back. She adds her threat from earlier to report him for illegal dumping, and confirms that she has evidence, holding up her phone.
But Min CEO chuckles, saying that he found out the guy who threw the brick is the Gangsu Group chaebol. He challenges her to report him, saying that he can send Hyuk to prison with one phone call. Joon bluffs for him to go ahead, since she has nothing to do with Hyuk.
Min’s henchman grabs her phone out of her hands, and confirms that there are no photos backing Joon’s threat. He laughs at her attempt to con him, and she half-demands, half-pleads for him to reinstate the three workers.
Min counters that he will, if she gives up Hyuk’s location—now this is how you make a deal, he smirks.
Joon gets tossed out on her rear, and when she complains about her phone being thrown, the henchman throws a handful of bills at her to cover a new one. He tells her to buy candy with the change, calling her a baby.
She gets locked out of the building, and after yelling ineffectually for them to open the doors, she slumps down choking back tears. She thinks back to Min’s deal, and how she’d warned that he wouldn’t get away with it without retribution from Gangsu Group. Min had noted that she’s more worried about the chaebol than the three jobs. “What are you?” he’d asked. “His girlfriend?”
Chin trembling, Joon apologizes to the three for failing, feeling angry and helpless.
Hyuk spends the evening decking out Joon’s rooftop in decorative lights, and waits in anticipation for her to come home. When he spots her off in the distance, he scrambles to get everything ready.
Je-hoon paces outside his door too—it looks like he’s been waiting all night as well. As Joon passes by on her way upstairs, he asks how much money she needs. In typical fashion, their words seem to twist mid-conversation and they get into another bickering round as she asks who he is to lend her money and he points out that she was going to work for Hyuk for cash. She reminds him that she quit and says she won’t take money earned that way.
Hyuk times the lights to turn on as Joon steps onto her rooftop, and she looks blankly around at the lights, the dinner spread, and the private chef he hired. Hyuk looks mighty pleased with himself and says that he learned a special taste today thanks to her, so wanted to give her a gift to soothe her spirits after a tiring day.
Hyuk points out the expensive beef and the wine and the roses he prepared, expecting her to be won over with his romantic gesture. But she shakes off his arm, angry all over again. She exclaims in frustration with herself for trying so hard to help him when he’s someone who only knows how to show off with money.
He doesn’t understand her reaction, so Joon informs him of the dire straits faced by the two ajusshis and ajumma who got fired today. It may have just been another job to him, but to them, it was a desperate lifeline, she says. She thought he’d at least have a conscience about it, but indicates the rooftop display and asks if that’s all he could do. She asks bitterly how shocked everyone would be to know they’d gotten fired over a wild, reckless chaebol punk like him.
Hyuk holds out three envelopes and tells Joon that he prepared it for the three who got fired. She asks if he just solves everything with money, and he says earnestly, “But why not? Everyone likes money.”
She asks why “the likes of him” came into her life and ruined everything. “Ruin?” he asks, bewildered. “Me?”
Her words get increasingly heated as she asks him to return to his world and get lost. She grabs the envelopes from his hand and rips them up, then storms into her apartment.
“Get lost?” he repeats, hurt and surprised at her reaction.
Joon flashes back to a memory of her father, who had been cornered by gangster-types in his restaurant and accused of screwing over CEO Byun. They’d tossed him a fat envelope and warned him to be careful, since the CEO would be watching.
After they’d left, Dad had told Joon not to make important decisions because of money and hoped she wouldn’t live like him. She cries at the memory.
Hyuk stands in the middle of his romantic display, staring at Joon’s closed door. “I liked you so much I considered meeting you to be fate,” he thinks somberly. Recalling her angry accusations just moments before, he sighs heavily.
Je-hoon is feeling just as miserable, and broods in his apartment.
“Before you called my name, I did not make a move,” Hyuk thinks, reciting the same poem he’d thought of when he meet Joon (Kim Choon-soo’s “Flower”). “When you called my name, I, finally, became a flower.”
Hyuk stays on the rooftop all night, and finally, when the sky starts to lighten, he comes to some kind of decision. Holding his mother’s credit card in his hand, he crushes it in his grip and then leaves.
In the morning, Joon finds a note taped to her door. Using language from that same poem, Hyuk has written, “I pray that you call my name, the name suited to my color and fragrance. Not Third-Generation Chaebol!”
She crumples up the note and starts to head out, when Je-hoon runs up to ask if she’s seen Hyuk. She doesn’t know much, but hands over the note.
Then, downstairs friend Yeon-hee runs up to show Joon something on her phone—a news report.
Dressed in a suit, Hyuk shows up at the prosecutor’s office and walks to the front of the crowd of reporters. Again referencing the poem, Hyuk thinks, “Going to you, I want to become a flower.”
Woo-sung watches the news report of Hyuk’s self-surrender with a vexed expression. Clearly this messes with his eeeevil plans.
“Joon-ah,” Hyuk continues. “I want to become a look that you can never forget.”
Well, thank goodness for that. There are aspects of Hyuk’s character that can be annoying (or worse) when taken at face value, and while that makes for a satisfactory arc in the long run—there’s nowhere to go if he starts out perfect!—it can cause frustration in the moment. I think this show has mostly been able to keep Hyuk in our graces by revealing the better aspects of his character and showing signs of growth quickly. Taken at a slower pace, I think I’d have a lot more trouble accepting the character; as it was, I was feeling antsy with both Hyuk and Joon today, and really needed that last twist to keep me feeling good vibes.
For both characters, I can see why they feel the way they do, so my trouble wasn’t in understanding their reactions. It was mostly general frustration at the lack of understanding between characters, even if that was the point. I do really feel affection for Hyuk’s pure-minded sweetness that it does a lot to save his character from being the punk society sees him as, but you do start to wonder how a guy can get into so many scrapes and have them all be totally innocent. I don’t doubt that there really were innocent reasons, but there’s a difference between the intentions and the causes—just because you didn’t mean something doesn’t mean you can skirt responsibility for the fallout. I think it’s that last step Hyuk is missing: that he has to accept everything that arises out of his actions, not just the parts he intended. And when Hyuk thought he could get Joon to forgive him by throwing her a romantic date night, I had to facepalm at this idea that one positive act cancels out a negative, without Hyuk doing the work to figure out what the issue driving her anger was.
Even considering that, I had a harder time with Joon today, and maybe it’s because Kang So-ra is so good at actually seeming legitimately fed up that I felt unjustly accused on Hyuk’s behalf when she basically lost all faith in him and trashed his character. It isn’t that she didn’t have reasons to feel that way, but I think what drives me in this story is the feeling that she’s supposed to get Hyuk in a way that other people don’t, and that’s the missing piece that spurs him to change for the better. But today, she was like everybody else, writing him off and seeing him as a lowlife punk, and it made me wonder, ever so briefly, if I should be rooting for this romance.
But what brings her back to me is the fact that she didn’t sell him out at the end, and that her outburst on the rooftop was perhaps directed more at herself than at him. It seems like she does know Hyuk isn’t as bad as she wants to believe, and that twists her conscience because she can’t reconcile that with the actions he produces. It’s easier for her to call him names and give up on him, but she can’t actually give him up to CEO Min, even if it means giving up on the three jobs she feels responsible for. I hope that seeing him face his punishment restores her faith in his goodness, because I need for someone in this world to have faith in him. There’s small consolation in knowing that Je-hoon does at least know Hyuk’s not a terrible guy, even if he still kinda hates him anyway. But that’s a kind of love-hate that I can handle, and even understand, seeing how Je-hoon grew up.
What’s interesting for me is how childlike Hyuk can be—I don’t know if I should feel amazed that he’s retained his childlike sense of wonder or consider that an expected consequence of his upbringing, which forced him to retreat into himself in order to survive. His poetic nature seems partly to stem from his naturally romantic spirit, but also feels like a coping mechanism. Nobody has taught him how to be an adult or deal with the world; it was telling that when Joon accused him of fixing everything with money as though that was the worst thing ever, he didn’t see the problem because everybody likes money—and I’m sure in his world, they all do. It feels like he has to be taught how to be a normal person all the way from the start again, because nobody has ever bothered trying before, and I really, really hope Joon is up to the task.
- Premiere Watch: 20th Century, Witch’s Court, This Life Is Our First, Mad Dog, Revenge Club, Go Back Spouses, Package, Black, Revolutionary Love
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