Jugglers: Episode 13
Not everyone thinks that Chi-won and Yoon-yi’s relationship is adorable, and there are some serious issues threatening them both professionally and personally. I can only hope that Chi-won has a good plan up his sleeve, because they’re going to need it. Help comes from some pretty unexpected directions, though some of it is help that I’m guessing that the uptight Chi-won could really do without.
EPISODE 13: “Come closer or go away”
On their way out of the building after work, Yoon-yi notices the other employees staring at her. She checks her phone and sees the very thing she’s been dreading — a post on the company website accusing her of seducing another of her bosses, along with pictures of her and Chi-won together.
Chi-won catches her when she stumbles in shock, and they look up to see Executive Director Jo and Bo-na standing nearby, matching triumphant sneers on their faces. Chi-won tries to put an arm around Yoon-yi and lead her away, but she jerks away from his touch and runs out of the building.
He follows, and he soon finds her crying alone on a bench. She sobs for him to stay away, that she wants to be alone. She’s still crying later at home, and she ignores Chi-won’s calls and knocks on the door.
He calls her brother Tae-yi, who comes running, eager for the chance to impress Chi-won and give him another copy of his resume. Chi-won orders Tae-yi to let him in the house then sends him away, disappointed with his resume still in his hands.
Peeking warily into Yoon-yi’s room, Chi-won asks if she still wants to be left alone and starts to go when she doesn’t answer. But she suddenly pops up and starts wailing about how unfair it is that the assistant always gets the blame in these situations. When she cries that they’ll make her quit, Chi-won assures her that he won’t let that happen.
He says sweetly that he can’t work without her, because she’s the one that helps him be a good boss. She sniffles that other assistants can do her job, so Chi-won tells her, “You pay attention to others. You also stick your nose into everything. You make people laugh, and you’re warm to be around. I’m jealous of you for being like that.”
Yoon-yi asks what comic book that’s from, and Chi-won leans in to whisper that it’s a secret, making them both laugh. Bolstered, Yoon-yi says that she refuses to hide behind him because she did nothing wrong. She vows to be herself, ready to take on anyone who doesn’t like it.
But she leaves the house the following morning hidden behind a scarf, hat, and huge sunglasses, slinking out of the gate only to find Chi-won waiting for her. He lets her babble nervously, then bustles her into his car and tells her that people will forget everything soon if they’re just honest.
Yoon-yi is still cringing behind her scarf when they get to work, but Chi-won tells her to be confident. He takes her hand and they march together through the lobby, defiantly glaring at the disapproving security guard. Too bad Chi-won is so focused on being a badass that he walks right into the gates, ruining his grand entrance, hee.
The rest of the team holds an impromptu meeting to discuss the fact that they’re going to be questioned about Chi-won and Yoon-yi’s relationship. They’re worried that Yoon-yi will be forced to change departments, but Chang-soo fervently refuses to let that happen.
They wonder why he’s so adamant, so he reveals that he and Yoon-yi dated for years. Hilariously, not one of them believes a word of it.
Yoon-yi and Chi-won are called in separately to the ethics committee, to discuss the fact of their relationship. They’re honest about it, Chi-won reassuring the committee that he’s divorced, and that he actually rents a room from Yoon-yi.
Yoon-yi makes a point to refute the previous accusations that she seduced her old boss, Director Bong. She says she’ll accept a transfer, but Chi-won says that they refuse to resign or accept being put on the waitlist.
Yul returns Jung-ae’s phone, telling her curtly that she left it in his car yesterday. He can barely look her in the eye, looking deeply disappointed, and he goes into his office hardly saying a word to her. Jung-ae is confused until she turns her phone on and sees several calls from “My little sister Mi-ae,” and she realizes that Yul must have seen the calls.
Chi-won makes a call to confirm the identity of the person who posted the article about Yoon-yi on the company website. When Yoon-yi brings him some paperwork he tells her that the poster used a laptop to send in the article, then quit.
He asks if she can think of anyone near Executive Director Jo that would have planned this, and if she ever lent or misplaced her phone, since that’s the only way the person could have gotten their selfie pictures. She remembers letting Bo-na borrow her phone, but she doesn’t tell Chi-won about it.
Executive Director Jo is thrilled with Bo-na’s work, and she ask him nervously what will happen to Chi-won and Yoon-yi now. Executive Director Jo says they’ll be separated, which will be his chance to take down Chi-won. He asks Bo-na what she wants him to do with Yoon-yi, and she says that she’s fine with a department transfer.
She’s feeling smug over coffee with Kyung-rye, but Kyung-rye is furious and threatening to kill whoever stole those selfie pictures. Yoon-yi joins them, glaring suspiciously at Bo-na, and she tells Kyung-rye that the ethics committee will decide on what to do in a few days.
Yoon-yi asks Bo-na if she knew what Executive Director Jo was planning. Immediately defensive, Bo-na asks why she thinks it was him, and Yoon-yi says he’s the only possible culprit. Bo-na asks if Yoon-yi suspects her, and Yoon-yi admits that she does because Bo-na borrowed her phone recently.
Bo-na storms off and Kyung-rye blows up at Yoon-yi for fighting again. She tells Yoon-yi to have a professional check her phone if she’s suspicious of Bo-na, but Yoon-yi says she’s scared to do that because it might confirm what she doesn’t want to know.
In his office, Yul stares at a folder that his father’s minion gave to him, saying that it’s information on his assistant. Yul had roared at him to leave, but he’d kept the folder, though he hasn’t looked at the contents yet.
In the elevator, Jung-ae asks him if he wants to eat lunch before their long meeting this afternoon. He says he’s not hungry, and he ignores Jung-ae’s growling stomach, though it looks like it pains him to do so.
When they get to the lobby, a loud voice calls out, “Unni!!” Jung-ae stops in shock to see her sister Mi-ae, the one whose identity she’s using for this job, approaching her and looking upset.
Yul clocks Jung-ae’s reaction, but before Mi-ae reaches them, Kyung-rye thinks fast and runs over, slinging an arm around Mi-ae’s neck. She hauls her away, pretending to be the “unni” she was yelling for. Yul asks Jung-ae if she knows that woman, but she stammers that she doesn’t.
The ride to the meeting is quiet and uncomfortable, until Yul asks Jung-ae to go to the e-sports convention in Hong Kong with him. He asks if she has a passport, but she stammers that she has too work to do. He knows she’s lying, so he pulls over and kicks her out of the car.
Yoon-yi finds the office empty except for Chi-won, and she sadly concludes that the team went for lunch without them. She goes to Chi-won’s office to ask what she should pick up for him, but the team suddenly bursts in, loaded down with lunch for everyone. Awww, I luff them.
They all trundle to the break room, where they deliberately seat Chi-won and Yoon-yi together. Chi-won asks if they knew about them, and all at once the whole team bursts out that they’ve known all along.
We get to see the team members’ ethics interviews regarding the couple, where they unanimously support Chi-won and Yoon-yi’s relationship (even Chang-soo, though he’s grumpy about it). They even tell the ethics committee that their romance is beneficial to the department’s production and morale.
But everything isn’t all hearts and roses, as Executive Director Jo leads a team of executives to demand Chi-won’s resignation. Vice President Do asks them to wait for the ethics committee’s decision, but he’s accused of letting his personal feelings interfere with his professional judgment.
Jung-ae goes to Yoon-yi to tell her about Mi-ae showing up at the office, and right in front of Yul. She says that Yul is looking at her and treating her differently and that she’s sure he knows something. They make plans to discuss things after work with Mi-ae.
Yoon-yi takes tea to Chi-won and Vice President Do, who asks her to stay and talk. He tells them that it might be a good idea for Chi-won to move out of Yoon-yi’s house, and Chi-won immediately objects, saying that they’ve done nothing wrong. Vice President Do argues that they’re attracting a lot of attention, and that it’s just until things calm down.
When they get home that night, Chi-won tells Yoon-yi that he’s decided to follow Vice President Do’s advice. She objects to him making decisions without even consulting her, reminding him that he promised to stay by her and protect her, and she begs him not to leave her alone again.
But Chi-won says it’s not just about the two of them. He tells her that Vice President Do told Chi-won in private that the company is considering dissolving the video department, upset about his whistle-blowing project. Vice President Do said that this scandal is only giving them a good excuse.
Yoon-yi tells Chi-won that before she’s his girlfriend, she’s a member of the video department team. She decides that Chi-won moving out is the right thing to do.
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Lady and the tramp noodle kiss
She even helps him pack, and they take a break for Chi-won to make some ramyun. He reassures Yoon-yi that being with her makes him happy, and she watches him cook for her with stars in her eyes.
They share the ramyun straight from the pot, and at one point they have a Lady and the Tramp moment with a noodle. Chi-won’s glasses steam up as their lips inch closer together, but he bites the noodle before they get too close. Yoon-yi pouts, so he pulls her in for a sweet little kiss. Too cute.
Soon it’s time for Chi-won to leave. He tells her to go see her friends and have fun, and she asks him to call her when he gets where he’s going. She heads inside, telling herself that it’s okay because he’ll be back soon.
On his way out, Chi-won gets a call from Yul, who’s already several drinks into a good drunken mope. He looks like he’s been crying when Chi-won joins him, saying that came because he owes Yul for that song. Yul asks him how much he trusts Yoon-yi.
He tells Chi-won, “I’m scared that the person I trust really isn’t who they say they are. It’s scary. I always thought that person was on my side, and believed that person was on my side, so the thought that I was wrong angers me.” But even though he says he’s angry, he’s valiantly fighting back more tears.
Chi-won reminds Yul that he said he has a good eye for people. He says that trusting someone, regardless of all that, is true faith.
Yoon-yi goes to Kyung-rye’s place to talk things out with Jung-ae and Mi-ae. Jung-ae apologizes to her sister, who complains that Jung-ae is too naïve. She’s also upset that Jung-ae’s friends not only played along, but encouraged her in pretending to be someone else to get a job.
Kyung-rye asks Mi-ae (who studies law) about the legal ramifications. Mi-ae informs them that if they’re discovered, both Jung-ae and Yoon-yi could go to jail for forging documents and tortious interference (damaging another person’s contractual or business relationships). Yikes, that’s very bad.
Chi-won drags a very drunk and very floppy Yul all the way home and dumps him on the couch. Yul curls up into a tiny ball and begs Chi-won in a child’s voice to move in with him.
It’s a good idea, so Chi-won temporarily moves into Yul’s guest house. He calls Yoon-yi to talk as they lay in bed, Yoon-yi pouting because her “Mr. Nitpicky” isn’t upstairs anymore. She can’t sleep, so she searches “forging documents and tortious interference” on the internet, and cringes at the results.
Worried about Chi-won’s reaction and knowing how much he hates when people lie, she steps outside for some fresh air. She’s surprised to find Chi-won sitting on their bench, saying that he missed her. She teases him about it, and he pretends to be obtuse, which she obviously finds adorable.
The next morning, Chi-won wakes up back at Yul’s place with a sleepy figure snuggled up to him. He smiles groggily and ruffles the person’s hair, then realizes that the hair is much shorter than Yoon-yi’s. He yelps and kicks Yul to the floor, scandalized.
Breakfast is a measly bowl of porridge and some opened cans of tuna, Chi-won’s version of “cooking” after Yul says the landlord shouldn’t have to do it. Yul puts on his mom’s puppet and aegyos at Chi-won, who threatens to barf if he doesn’t knock it off. LOL.
Chi-won makes the mistake of mentioning Yul’s depression last night, which sends Yul back into a downward spiral. So Chi-won redirects Yul to the food, and even reluctantly puts some tuna on Yul’s spoon when he pouts, just to cheer him up.
Yul is back in good spirits by the time they get to the office, and they run into Executive Director Jo in the elevator. He hears Yul wheedling at Chi-won to make dinner for him and taunts Chi-won that living with people is his “thing.” Chi-won fires back that it’s better than digging up dirt on people, and he warns Executive Director Jo not to mess with Yoon-yi.
They glare at each other until Yul squeals that this is better than a drama. Chi-won leaves first, so Yul hugs Executive Director Jo and says he’s excited to see how the drama ends. PFFT.
Yoon-yi calls a meeting of the video department to give them a company notice about the possible dissolution of their department. Ms. Moon is concerned because their department is a low-performer, but Chang-soo says that intra-company videos can’t be evaluated on that basis. Team Leader Gong knows that this is the work of Executive Director Jo, who badly wants to take their department down.
He’s right, and Executive Director Jo is currently in his office cackling like a madman at the announcement. Bo-na presents him with the last three years’ performance results, showing that their departments overlapped quite a lot and giving Executive Director Jo hope that he can absorb the video department.
Chi-won tells him team that if they want to survive the reorganization, they have to prove their worth to the company. To do this, they must make sure the whistle-blowing project is a success. They choose the complaints of unfair work distribution in the Ad Planning department for their first episode, which is unfortunately Executive Director Jo’s department.
Thinking about Chi-won’s statement about true faith, Yul starts to open the folder containing Jung-ae’s personal information. She enters his office, so he asks her one last time if there’s anything she wants to tell him. But she remembers Mi-ae’s warning that she could go to jail, and she says there’s nothing.
She starts to leave, and Yul opens the folder and sees her real name, and that she’s married with a child. He breathes her name, “Wang Jung-ae-sshi,” and she freezes to a halt. Looking betrayed, Yul asks her softly, “Who are you?”
After the team meeting, Yoon-yi tells Chi-won that she’s worried about the ethics committee decision and the possible re-organization. He teases that she’s also worried since her tenant moved out, and he invites her to lunch to take her mind off things.
She takes advantage of their solitude in the elevator to straighten his tie and fix his hair, but she shies away again when he mentions the CCTV cameras. The doors open, and they’re shocked to see Director Bong, Yoon-yi’s old boss, standing there smirking at them.
Yul gives Chi-won a notice of rules that he’s expected to follow while he lives in his house rent-free. First, they’re to wear matching outfits while at home — ha, Chi-won looks like that orange tracksuit makes him want to die. He’s also expected to play games with Yul for at least three hours a day, and to perform basic household duties.
At night, Chi-won talks to Yoon-yi on the phone, and she asks him to sing her a lullaby. As he sings, we see that Yul is curled up with his head in Chi-won’s lap, peacefully snoozing as Chi-won pats his back with his mother’s puppet. All together now — awwww!
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Matched roommate bonding
Well damn, things are looking pretty bad for Chi-won and Yoon-yi. Between their careers being in the hands of the ethics committee, and their entire department in danger of dissolution, I don’t see how they can salvage the situation without things changing drastically. I trust Chi-won to have a plan, but he can be so combative in the face of corporate pressure that I fear he could actually make things worse with his whistle-blowing episode. And of course he had to target Executive Director Jo’s department, which is only going to make Executive Director Jo that much more determined to take Chi-won down. We know that Chi-won is doing it because the department has the most complaints, and that he’s more concerned with honesty than payback, but Executive Director Jo will see it as a direct challenge.
At least one positive thing has come from this whole fiasco, and it’s so gratifying to see Chi-won’s team come together to support him and Yoon-yi, both as colleagues and as a couple. Of course we just discovered that they’ve known all along and have done what they could to keep it on the down-low, but now that it’s out, it’s nice that they’re just embracing the situation instead of distancing themselves. It’s got to mean a lot to Chi-won and Yoon-yi to know that their team has their backs.
I’m actually glad that Chi-won moved out of Yoon-yi’s house for the time being, because he’s right; the appearance of impropriety will only them at this point, and there’s more to think about than just themselves. They know they haven’t done anything wrong, but it looks like they have, so living separately for a while is a smart move. Plus it gives us lots of adorable bromantic cohabitation hijinks between Yul and Chi-won, which I’ll never get enough of, because I’ve kind of missed that endearing grumpy side of Chi-won. And Yul needs this right now because he’s having his own private crisis, and coming home to a house with someone else there will be good for him.
Seeing Yul’s poor little puppy heart get broken over Jung-ae’s lies was every bit as painful as I feared, if not more so. He’s repeatedly said that he needs someone he trusts to be by his side, and he’s probably come closer to trusting Jung-ae than anyone else in his life. He’s shared some very private moments with her, shown her his soft underbelly, and to learn that she’s been lying to him — and continues to lie when he gives her chances to come clean — has got to feel like the worst sort of betrayal. Of course, Jung-ae has very good reasons for her lies (as much as lying for good reason is even possible), but that probably doesn’t make Yul feel any better. Knowing him, he’s likely hurting just as much over the fact that she doesn’t feel she can trust him as he is over the actual lies themselves. But Yul is a sweet guy, and I’m sure that if Jung-ae came clean and apologized, he would forgive her and help her out of any legal trouble she may have accidentally gotten into.
Jugglers has such a fun way of using tropes in different ways to make its points. So often the tropes seem to be exactly what we’ve seen a thousand times, but then they’re turned on their ear into a situation that’s heartwarming and sweet. Yoon-yi’s disapproving mother turns out to be just a mom worried that her baby could get her heart broken. The ex-wife’s father actually approves of and supports Chi-won’s new love. And the reveal of Chi-won and Yoon-yi’s relationship becomes a point of connection and bonding instead of tearing them apart. It’s this use of familiar situations to enact unexpected outcomes that makes the show so watchable, and makes me look forward to seeing how Chi-won and Yoon-yi get themselves out of their mess, because whatever they do I know it will be fun and unpredictable.
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