Revolutionary Love: Episode 4
Our hero continues to display traits from both extremes, alternating his childish antics with moments of caring. Alas, he also lets his cluelessness get the better of him more than once, and it seems entirely up to the viewer’s connection with the character to determine whether he remains endearingly bumbling, or whether he crosses over that line into vexing. I have hope… but it can be a bit of a struggle holding on to it sometimes.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Hyuk turns himself in, and as the scene is broadcast on new stations, jaws drop all across the city: His mother is horrified, Joon is speechless, and the fired construction trio is shocked to recognize him.
Hyuk maintains a serious mien and takes full responsibility for the incident… and then pauses to pose for a photo op. Sigh. Like I said, one step forward, one step back. He then surrenders himself to the prosecutors who escort him inside.
Older brother Woo-sung watches the news with displeasure, and looks further chagrined when he gets a call from a certain Prosecutor Hwang.
Je-hoon is upset as well, muttering that Hyuk did this without any warning, and rushes off from the rooftop. Flight attendant Yeon-hee starts to tell Joon about something that happened last night, though we don’t hear what.
Surprisingly, CEO Byun is calm in the face of this uproar, though his two siblings are fit to be tied at the hit their stocks will take. CEO Byun ignores their complaints and thinks instead to his wife’s belief in the fortuneteller’s prediction that Hyuk is destined for great things. She had urged him to give Hyuk a chance to prove himself, and now he considers this and makes a phone call.
Hyuk waits in the prosecutor’s office looking proud of himself, while in the adjacent room, a harried Prosecutor Hwang calls Woo-sung to accuse him of betraying their agreement. This is Je-hoon’s sunbae who’d taken a bribe from Gangsu Group to quash this case—only to have Hyuk waltz in and contradict everything. Woo-sung says that Hyuk is acting on his own—and since things have come this far, Prosecutor Hwang should investigate properly and not let Hyuk off easy. After he hangs up, Woo-sung flings things off his desk in anger.
Joon arrives at the Gangsu office to distribute juice, and hears the employees gossiping about Hyuk. She remembers what Yeon-hee told her this morning—that Hyuk had sought her out the night before to apologize, sincerely admitting that he was wrong to assume the matter was resolved with money. Yeon-hee also said that Hyuk credited Joon for showing him the error of his ways—she’d made a person of him.
So now, as Joon listens to the employees speculating about Hyuk going to prison, she wonders if she really is the reason he turned himself in. She briefly worries what will happen, then shakes off the thought, telling herself that his chaebol family will intervene and ensure he gets off with probation. Then she realizes she’s said this all aloud, and apologizes to the roomful of curious employees.
Woo-sung chides Je-hoon for not stopping Hyuk, and presses him to identify the third party who was assigned to stick with him. Je-hoon is reluctant to name Joon, so Woo-sung asks suspiciously if he and Hyuk are planning something behind his back. Je-hoon says that the third party is merely someone who put Hyuk up for the night and didn’t know who he was.
Woo-sung says meaningfully, “I trust you. You know what that means, don’t you?” Well, that sure sounds like a threat to me. Woo-sung adds, “Do you trust me?” The question makes Je-hoon think back to when he’d asked someone to track the IP address of the leaker of Hyuk’s video… and found that it came from the business administration department head’s office—that is to say, Woo-sung.
So now, Je-hoon replies that of course he trusts Woo-sung. In response, Woo-sung says that once he wraps up this case, he’ll have Je-hoon moved to the planning department, rather than wasting his talents here. Moreover, he suggests that they let Hyuk deal with the consequences of his actions on his own.
When Je-hoon arrives at the prosecutor’s office, Woo-sung’s suggestion gives him pause, but he ultimately heads inside.
Hyuk waits and waits, and finally pokes his head into the adjacent office to ask when the investigation will begin. He frets that the waiting part is always the scariest part before punishment, then holds out his hands and asks if he will be handcuffed, thinking he’ll be thrown in prison today. He pleads to be put into a room with lots of inmates, because he doesn’t want to be lonely. His worries are so childlike that even the other two prosecutors can’t hide their smiles.
Je-hoon joins them, and Prosecutor Hwang pulls him aside to get the facts straight, saying that they need to align their stories if they don’t want to get caught. He asks if the Gangsu side is toying with him, but Je-hoon advises him to treat Hyuk as a normal case, since the company is stepping away because Hyuk acted of his own accord. The prosecutor agrees, and warns him not to demand the bribe back later.
Hyuk lights up when Je-hoon joins him in the interrogation room, asking about Joon’s reaction and what he should do next. He admits that he turned himself in because he felt he should own up to his actions, that it shamed him to hear he was evading responsibility with money, that he wanted to do the right thing—but he has absolutely no plan.
He looks to Je-hoon to fix this as usual, but Je-hoon merely tells him to undergo the investigation and starts to leave. Hyuk begs for Je-hoon to stay with him because he’s scared, but Je-hoon is asked to leave.
And then, both look up in confusion when a small army of suited men step inside the room and present themselves as Hyuk’s legal team, sent by CEO Byun. Hyuk smiles to hear it, but Prosecutor Hwang hisses to Je-hoon, asking what game they’re up to now.
Puffed up with new confidence, Hyuk describes the airplane incident and how he was in shock over Chae-ri and dizzy from whiskey when the plane hit turbulence. The prosecutor says skeptically that the video footage looks like clear sexual harassment, and Hyuk protests that it wasn’t. When asked if there are any witnesses who could corroborate his claim that it was an accident, he says he knows the flight attendant, which causes surprise all around.
He explains running into her afterward and apologizing, and that Yeon-hee accepted the apology. His lawyers ask eagerly if they signed any papers, and Hyuk says that they had signed a contract, but Yeon-hee ripped it up. Asked why, he admits that he touched her chest again, and his lawyers scramble to shut him up.
Hyuk tries to defend himself, explaining that his father had told him not to give himself up, but that spurs the lawyers to shush him again. The prosecutor asks if they’re trying to get CEO Byun indicted too, and the lawyers state that they’ll exercise their right to remain silent, even though Hyuk argues that that’ll make him seem guilty.
That night, Yeon-hee tells Joon that she’s been summoned by the prosecutor’s office to give her testimony tomorrow. She worries about it, admitting she’s scared. Later that night when Joon’s driving job takes her by the prosecutor’s office, she pauses to look up at the building. Hyuk is still in custody, sleeping on chairs in a waiting room, while Je-hoon remains awake, brooding in the hallway.
In the morning, Hyuk is roused awake to be questioned, and he runs into Yeon-hee in the hallway. She tells him she’s here to give her testimony, and Hyuk paces worriedly while she does, assuming the worst. When Je-hoon joins him, he asks glumly if Yeon-hee intends to press charges, and if he’s going to prison.
To his shock, Je-hoon says there’s a chance the matter will be resolved soon—Yeon-hee stated that the plane’s turbulence was to blame, and that the video footage was misleading. And while the matter is not settled yet, Hyuk is free to go today.
Hyuk asks Je-hoon to keep it a secret from Joon that five lawyers were sent to help him—he wants her to hear that he did the responsible thing of coming in to face his consequences. Je-hoon asks incredulously if he really did this all for Joon, seemingly disgusted with him for throwing the company into such an uproar just because of a woman.
Hyuk says that it’s not just any woman, but Joon. I’m… still supposed to like him, aren’t I? I think I am. I keep getting confused.
So Hyuk struts out of the building feeling light-hearted and free. He’s accosted by the reporter mob, but barely registers them when he spots Joon off in the distance. He pushes past the reporters to run to her, and starts to grab her into a hug… but gets yanked back by two of his father’s henchmen, who grab him and deposit him into a car.
He continues shouting her name as he’s driven away while Joon looks nonplussed. She asks Je-hoon what will happen to Hyuk now and whether he’ll get beaten by his father. Je-hoon replies that Hyuk will have to handle that alone: “That’s the world Hyuk lives in.”
She denies being concerned for Hyuk—she’s here to meet Yeon-hee, who joins her now. As they walk off, Joon mutters to herself, “Why would I worry about that guy?”
Joon returns to her rooftop, which is still decked out in Hyuk’s decorations, and recalls her angry words to him last night. She smiles to remember him calling her name, and tells him to live well, sending him off back to his world with a wave at the sky.
Joon meets with the fired construction workers—I guess we can call them by name now, Mr. Lee, Mr. Kim, and Ajumma Ahn—who, upon learning that their fellow worker was really the chaebol all along, now see everything about him in a negative light and blame Joon for lying to them. They blame him for getting them fired, too, saying that they wouldn’t have helped if they’d known he was a chaebol who could just get help from his rich family. So much for those warm fuzzies and workman solidarity, huh?
Ajumma declares that they should demand compensation from the chaebols, and demands that they go over right now. Even Mr. Kim, who’d tried to defend Joon and is the least angry of the trio, joins in to claim his money.
Hyuk is dragged before his father, and immediately drops to his knees and hangs his head. He nervously awaits his father’s reaction, and is shocked when Dad tells him he did well and that he should live as he wants to now. But when Hyuk heads up to his room, his father clarifies that he meant Hyuk could live as he wants—in his own home, with his own means.
Hyuk pleads that this isn’t the right way to handle this, and Dad agrees—then orders him to leave behind everything purchased with Dad’s money, including the clothes on his back. On his command, his henchmen grab for his clothes, and a pixelated Hyuk is thrown out of the house with literally nothing but his name.
A panicky Hyuk rings the doorbell repeatedly and calls out to his family, but inside, CEO Byun warns that anyone who gives Hyuk so much as one piece of clothing will be kicked out.
Hyuk scares passing schoolgirls on the street, but can’t do much to cover up his nakedness. Je-hoon’s father manages to sneak out to toss him a paper bag, but warns that he’d better leave asap, because if he isn’t gone in five minutes, CEO Byun will shoot him with a crossbow. I’m not entirely sure that’s an exaggeration.
So, with head hanging, Hyuk trudges off, thinking:
That day, just like that
I was cast out into a world outside I did not know
I thought it was a journey I would soon return from
But I did not know then
A matrix once shattered
cannot be returned to.
I cannot go back
to who I was before swallowing the red pill.
Wearing the paper bag around his midsection, Hyuk heads off aimlessly, not knowing what to do or where to go.
The construction trio (and a reluctant Joon) make their way to CEO Byun’s neighborhood but can’t quite find the house, and urge Joon to take the lead. So she goes off ahead of them, just as Hyuk comes down the street from the opposite direction.
Nearly bumping into each other, they stop short for a moment before she registers his appearance and the screaming kicks in on both sides.
At Joon’s wails of shock, a mortified Hyuk takes off running off down the street. The ajusshis and ajumma assume that the retreating figure is a pervert and start chasing him, and Joon realizes belatedly that they have the wrong idea.
Finally, Hyuk trips and falls in the road, and Mr. Kim smacks the back of his head. They’re shocked to see his face and recognize him—although on the upside, this does restore their sympathy.
Joon buys medicine for his scraped knees, and Hyuk self-consciously adjusts the jacket he’s wrapped around his waist and asks her not to look at him too directly. He asks why they came to his neighborhood, but they figure it’s best not to tell the real reason and just mumble a vague response.
First things first: clothes to make Hyuk decent. They head off to the neighborhood market to buy him an outfit, though his fashion-forward taste has him turning down several plain options… only to dress himself in patterned joggers and a chaotic yellow jersey. Joon bursts out laughing, but he interprets that positively and that’s the end of the fashion discussion.
Lunch is next, and Hyuk chooses his new favorite—soup with liver and intestines. Mr. Kim runs off to buy him a slab of tofu to commemorate his release, and they urge him to eat up.
Hyuk is touched, and he starts to say apologetically that he hid his identity and fooled them… but instead of apologizing for it, he exclaims that he’s glad he did it. But since he means it as a compliment (because he’s moved at their kindness) they laugh it off, and when Joon spoons some tofu into his bowl, he eats it happily.
Je-hoon arrives at the Byun house, where his father tells him of Hyuk being chased off. Dad warns that the mood inside is dark, and advises Je-hoon to lie low and do as the CEO says.
Hyuk’s mother cries over Hyuk being kicked out, but CEO Byun tells her that she wanted him to give Hyuk the chance to fly. If he has wings, he’ll find a way to fly—so all they can do is toss him out of the nest.
CEO Byun asks Je-hoon if he has any guesses about where Hyuk has gone. Je-hoon says he’ll find out, and CEO Byun tasks him with keeping close to him and reporting regularly what Hyuk is up to.
This makes Je-hoon think back to a recent conversation with Woo-sung, who’d wondered why his father saved Hyuk after all. He’d rejected Je-hoon’s speculation that it was the quietest way to handle the case, saying that people want to see the bad guy punished, so it doesn’t matter if Hyuk actually was a bad guy. So why would his father choose to save Hyuk over the company?
Je-hoon also recalls how Woo-sung had asked him to report everything first to Woo-sung before telling CEO Byun. CEO Byun, meanwhile, instructs Je-hoon to tell him directly, without telling anyone else. Je-hoon had agreed with Woo-sung then, and now he also agrees with CEO Byun’s instructions.
Hyuk fishes for compliments from Joon about how cool he was to turn himself in, but she scoffs, “Did you turn yourself in just to look cool?” He thinks to himself that he did, and when she says that his actions were standard procedure (and not praiseworthy), he tells her he’s changed.
She says that has nothing to do with her, but he insists that it does, and reminds her of the note he left her. He starts to recite the poem, but she cuts him off and heads toward the bus pulling up to the station.
Hyuk grabs her arm and whirls her around, and a heart starts to pound—hers, I think She gulps as he starts to speak… until he says he has no bus fare, womp wooomp.
Je-hoon sits for a coffee break with his father, who offers a words of wisdom for managing his difficult job: When the wind blows, let it knock him over, and when it rains, get wet. That’s the safest approach to not upsetting his superiors.
Je-hoon gets a text message from Joon, and finds a picture of Hyuk yelling from a bus window, ha. She writes, “Found this on the street and picked it up. I sent him home, so go and settle things.”
Hyuk arrives at the rooftop and stretches out comfortably, happy to be back at his “paradise.” When Yeon-hee arrives to hang her laundry (and notes his odd outfit choice, heh), Hyuk thanks her for her testimony.
Yeon-hee tells him she didn’t do it for his gratitude—she just told the truth. Even so, she says it doesn’t change the fact that she felt sexually harassed by his actions, and he concedes the point. She adds that it felt unfair that he received such an outpouring of censure over it, and there was also the thing Joon said. Hyuk perks up at that—what did Joon say?
In a flashback, we revisit the night before Yeon-hee gave her testimony, when Joon told her she was free to say whatever she wants, but advised her to give an honest accounting of what happened and why.
Hyuk is moved, and Yeon-hee says that what really angered her was their attitude in quashing the matter with money. Hyuk grabs her hand to ask what else Joon said about him, but Yeon-hee just asks drily if he really is a pervert. He looks down, and recoils at the sight of a bra clasped in his hand (that she was about to hang). She shoots him a glare, and he pours on the apologies.
Joon’s mother arrives at the rooftop, and Yeon-hee explains to Hyuk as they leave the area that Joon’s mother has a tendency to show up just when Joon’s managed to save up some money. Hyuk is confounded at the idea that parents would take money from their children. She realizes belatedly that she’s said too much about Joon’s personal life, and asks him to keep her words a secret. He agrees, on the condition that she keep the bra incident a secret.
Joon is out distributing business cards when she gets a text from Yeon-hee informing her of her mother’s arrival. Instant mood-killer, that.
Joon braces herself before going home that night, where she finds her mother setting the table for dinner. Joon tells Mom flatly that she can’t give her money, not buying it when Mom says she just came to see her. Joon grows increasingly agitated as she reminds her mother that she’s never once taken money from her and pleads with Mom to stop doing this, over and over.
Mom continues setting the table and tells her to eat dinner, and when Joon sits down angrily and starts eating, Mom apologizes for her failings. Joon’s face twists, and she says she doesn’t have the money. Mom just says okay.
Hearing the exchange from outside, Hyuk wears a long face, feeling bad on Joon’s behalf.
When Je-hoon finds Hyuk, he takes him back to his apartment to talk, though it’s Hyuk who speaks first. He asks if Je-hoon has 10 million won, explaining that Joon is crying because of her mother over that amount of money. Je-hoon points out that he’s hardly in a position to be worrying about others when he’s been kicked out from home, but Hyuk isn’t concerned for himself, figuring that his mother will get his father to change his mind within the week.
Je-hoon mutters at how absurd Hyuk is to ask for that amount of money when he can’t even take care of himself. When Hyuk protests that Joon is crying, Je-hoon tells him to look into it himself if he’s so worried.
That night, Joon slips out of bed while Mom sleeps to pull out her bankbook, which has about a third of the money Mom asked for. Joon sighs in frustration, while her mother—who’s awake after all—feigns sleep.
The next morning, Hyuk whines to his mother over the phone for that 10 million won, but she informs him that his father has forbidden it. He’s blocked her from using her accounts and is reviewing every charge on her cards, so she can’t give him anything.
He tries his high schooler sister next, but she’s sitting right next to Mom and replies with the same answer. Hyuk fumes impotently, then asks Je-hoon if he really doesn’t have 10 million won himself. Je-hoon tells him grimly that some people spend a year saving up that much and warns that he was barely able to get Hyuk his phone back—he should be grateful with that much. Hyuk pouts, calling his friend cold-hearted. I know, what’s a measly ten grand between buddies, right?
And then, Hyuk gets a call from cheating Chae-ri, who tells him she saw him on TV and that he looked fantastic onscreen. Peas in a pod, these two, always missing the point.
That gives Hyuk an idea, and he gets a gleam in his eye. Uh, why am I supposed to think he’s a better person than her again? When Chae-ri rushes to meet him in a cafe, fawning all over him, he cuts right to the chase and asks for 10 million won.
She thinks he’s acting out because of the hotel incident and insists it was a misunderstanding. He assures her that he’s not angry anymore and presses for the money. Chae-ri says this is a low way for him to break up with her. Then he says they’ve already broken up, which she denies, and oh my god are you really arguing about this right now?
Then Hyuk spots her handbag and recalls that he spent more than 10 million won buying it for her, and says she can give him the bag if she doesn’t have the money. He lunges for it, and they grapple over it for a moment, although he’s unsuccessful at wrestling it away. She tells him to call when he’s over his anger and leaves huffily.
While tidying up Joon’s room, her mother spots a childhood photo of Joon with her father, which brings a wistful look to her face. Joon, meanwhile, goes to the bank to cash in her account, despite the fact that she will have to eat penalties to cash it in early.
Next, Hyuk hits up his older brother, waiting outside the building until Woo-sung exits to go to his car. Woo-sung is surprised at the money request, but Hyuk explains that there’s a girl he likes, and she’s crying over money. “What can a guy like me do for her other than money?” he asks.
Joon buys fruit for her mother on the way home, and is surprised to find her place empty, with just a note on the fridge. It’s from Mom, and it thanks Joon for the money Mom received from the young man downstairs. Ack!
Joon can’t get through to her mother, so she goes to Je-hoon next. When she sees Hyuk inside smiling at her, she storms inside and clocks him in the face.
She accuses him of not taking her words seriously, and bites out that he hasn’t changed a single bit—he’s still that chaebol punk down to his bones. Hyuk holds his face, stunned, and thinks to himself, “She’s crying. I don’t want her to cry anymore—all I want is to see her smiling. What went wrong?”
She tells him never to show himself to her again. He asks himself, “What do I do now?”
Oy, this show. I found the first two episodes promising, so when yesterday’s episode annoyed me with all the characters, I was hoping that this episode would bring things back around and set the course for a happier, funnier story. It didn’t do that, however, and just continued to piss me off with characters behaving in mean, or judgy, or just plain stupid ways. I’m willing to give Hyuk a lot of credit for wanting to be a better person despite not knowing how, and I cut Joon a lot of slack for being stressed out in a shitty situation, and I can totally see why Je-hoon feels trapped (even though I feel like he’s in total control of his destiny and is being rather self-defeatist much of the time). I’m totally here to root for them to grow and change and open their narrow-minded views of the world, because they’re all so fixed in their one worldview that it prevents them from seeing things through other people’s eyes, which is a fault whether you’re a spoiled chaebol or a struggling Candy.
But the writing just misses the boat, I think, and strikes entirely the wrong tone. I still find this premise to have potential and I really like these actors, but I found myself thinking multiple times today, “Dude, is this really the time and place for that?” The broad strokes of Hyuk’s cluelessness aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re applied at the wrong points. This drama kind of feels like that class clown who’s always missing his cue, who comes in too late to hit the punchline or rushes it by being so early that the joke feels like a non sequitur. Siwon is still the master of the many-sided comic facial expression, but no matter how adorable the face is, if it’s pulled at the wrong time, I don’t care—I’m going to find it inappropriate and/or annoying, rather than adorable. I kind of wanted to smack that smile off Hyuk’s face this episode every ten minutes, because he just seemed to have no clue of what situation he was in and how to react appropriately to it. I’m annoyed at the writing for messing this aspect of this character up, because I thought last week showed that Hyuk has a really sweet and earnest side. Even yesterday, he was a well-meaning, if frequently stupid, puppy. But today, I feel like he lived up to his reputation as a reckless spoiled punk, rather than being the victim of misunderstanding.
The thing is, the show doesn’t mean to show Hyuk as badly as he’s coming off, I think. I finally had a moment of softening at the end when he told his brother that he wanted money for Joon, because money is the only thing someone like him can offer her. That felt like a surprise stroke of insight from him, rather keen and a little poignant. I don’t begrudge him for trying to offer money as a solution because (1) it’s always worked in his world, and (2) we saw him learn with Yeon-hee’s case that a sincere apology means more. But his way of going about it grated on my nerves, as did his flippancy regarding his own situation—he was kicked out naked and still he thinks everything will be back to normal within days? That Je-hoon will pull a string or mommy will smooth things over or daddy will make a call? You could give this guy a clue and he still wouldn’t take it.
I do think the events of next week’s preview seem to indicate relief in our future (although I really think that stuff should have happened today), so I’m reluctant to write off these characters entirely—it’s still early, and I see that change is in the works. It’s just that the pacing is entirely too slow and we get too much aggravation with too little gratification, and if that’s going to be the ratio for the rest of the show, I don’t know if I can take it. The romance seems to be starting to spark now that Joon is feeling something consciously toward Hyuk, but I fear that by the time it happens, I won’t care anymore. Last week I was thinking this show could be Warm and Cozy done right… but now I’m wondering if it’s just another Warm and Cozy. I’m not averse to continuing to watch it, but the recapping patience-meter is a lot lower, and I’m not sure it’s the best use of our resources. Fair warning!
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