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Radio Romance: Episode 2

Now that the story is set and our characters are in place, it’s time for the fireworks to begin. Su-ho and Geu-rim are the perfect example of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, but eventually, one of them is going to win. Frankly, my money is on the irresistible force, because I don’t think the immovable object enjoys their inertia nearly as much as they think they do.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Su-ho watches as Geu-rim takes one last fall into the lake, and he starts to worry when she doesn’t quickly surface. Just as he looks like he may dive in after her, she finally pulls herself out of the water, noticing that he’s standing there staring at her.

Su-ho remembers a day years ago, when he and a friend had watched a younger Geu-rim playing in the snow with a group of smaller kids.

Geu-rim awkwardly limps away, with Su-ho watching her go but not following. Once she’s back in her own clothing, she sits and checks her ankle, which seems to be getting worse. Su-ho suddenly appears and pulls her to her feet, and he grumpily offers her a ride home as repayment for her stunt work, since he refuses to ever do radio work. But wait, did he skip his CF shoot for her?

She declines his offer and walks away, but Su-ho can’t stand to watch her limping anymore. He grabs her and tosses her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, depositing her in his car and fastening her seat belt before she can react.

Of course, Geu-rim being Geu-rim, she just frees herself again and asks Su-ho if it’s radio he hates, or her. On a roll, she also asks if he tripped her on purpose at that party four years ago and why he keeps picking fights with her. Su-ho listens patiently until she runs out of steam, then he shoves her back in the car, refastens her seat belt, and locks the door this time. HA.

Watch the video

What did I ever do to you?

 

Su-ho ignores Geu-rim’s complaining during the drive, and she’s shocked when he pulls up to her home without being told where she lives. He doesn’t say how he knew where to go, but the threat of being carried again sends Geu-rim slamming out of the car and limping home with as much dignity as she can muster.

When he arrives at his own house, Su-ho is annoyed to see JOON-WOO (who I thought was his manager, but isn’t exactly) waiting, furious that Su-ho left the set without telling him. Su-ho ignores his ranting and just tells him to go. The doorbell rings and Joon-woo offers to get rid of the guy at the door, thinking he’s a weird fan, and he’s surprised when Su-ho lets the man inside.

Joon-woo finally leaves, glaring at JASON (Kwak Dong-yeon) on his way out, who quips that he’s Su-ho’s manager. Jason is actually an old friend of Su-ho’s who’s recently graduated with top honors from medical school. Su-ho sighs and rolls his eyes when Jason tells him with a grin that he’s planning on living here for now.

Geu-rim sits up late that night, stewing over Su-ho’s rude treatment of her.

As it turns out, Su-ho was right about Joon-woo being a spy for his mother. He reports to her that Geu-rim is trying to recruit Su-ho for her radio show, and the fact that Su-ho skipped his CF shoot to drive Geu-rim home. She criticizes Joon-woo when he says that Su-ho may be interested in doing the radio show, calling him a constant disappointment.

She dismisses him to handle a text from JIN TAE-RI (Girl’s Day’s Yura), a former child star, who wants to know if there’s an update on a contract that somehow involves Su-ho. She’s apparently quite the handful, as she makes unreasonable demands of her hairdresser and shoots eye daggers when Su-ho’s current costar Da-seul walks by all dressed up for a formal event.

Tae-ri follows Da-seul out to the hall to berate her for not greeting her as her sunbae, earning a grudging nod. Tae-ri fondles a lock of Da-seul’s hair and threatens to pull it out of she fails to greet her properly again.

Geu-rim meets with PD Lee at the station, where he shows her into a long-neglected storage room filled with old, dusty equipment. He informs her that this is their office now, but she admits that she’s still working on getting Su-ho to DJ their show.

She pleads a very good case for hiring a different actor for their DJ, but PD Lee is just all, “So Su-ho said no?” LOL. Geu-rim whines that Su-ho is totally crazy, but PD Lee assures her that he’s even more crazy.

He does agree that Su-ho is probably the last person who would do radio, but he thinks that that’s exactly why she should convince him. He says there’s another reason he wants Su-ho, but he won’t tell her what it is until after she recruits him.

Geu-rim lingers in a radio booth, looking at a wall covered with letters and postcards to the DJ. There’s even a photo of herself and her mother before she lost her sight, and a postcard she herself once wrote to the radio DJ she idolizes. HA, he’s standing right behind her, and he grouches at her to leave since she’s been fired.

His name is MOON SUNG-WOO (Yoon Joo-sang), and he and Geu-rim are obviously very fond of one another. Geu-rim asks for tips on how to convince someone to become a radio DJ, buttering him up by saying that she went into radio because of him.

As Geu-rim tells DJ Moon how much he inspired her, it suddenly hits her—she was inspired not by strategy, but by sincerity. She bounces out excitedly to enact her plan.

Su-ho’s mother calls him to her office and offers to fire Joon-woo and hire him a secretary instead. She takes it as a win when Su-ho doesn’t answer, then presents him with a contract for a documentary about their family. Su-ho gapes incredulously as she says that their family can make money just by breathing.

He refuses to participate and stands to leave, but his mother stops him. She mentions that it’s his birthday soon and gives him a plaid scarf, wrapping it around his neck herself when he doesn’t take it.

She tells him, “Son, didn’t I tell you? What you’re good at, what you’re bad at, and what you just do… even breathing could harm me.” By the bleak look on Su-ho’s face, you’d think she was slipping a noose around his neck.

When his mother says sweetly that she’ll set up a meeting with the documentary director, he rips off the scarf. He repeats that he won’t do it, adding, “I don’t think I can smile in front of the cameras 24 hours a day.” He carelessly drops the scarf on the floor before leaving.

We flash back to one of Su-ho’s birthdays, when he was around eight years old. His mother had given him a birthday gift – a plaid scarf. Little Su-ho had beamed happily as she wrapped it around his neck, and she’d told him that she had something to say to him on his birthday: “You are not my son. So what you’re good at, what you’re bad at, what you just do, and even your breathing… make sure none of it bothers me.” The scariest part is the lovely smile on her face as she devastates the little boy.

That night Su-ho can’t fall asleep, so he goes to Jason’s room to ask for sleeping pills. Rocking out to music as he unpacks, Jason refuses to prescribe Su-ho anything without a consultation.

Su-ho says he needs them for insomnia caused by his crazy schedule, but Jason says that actually, it’s depression. He tells Su-ho that he’ll be happy to prescribe him medication if he ever cries, but instead of showing real emotions, he always just wears that fake smile.

The next day, Geu-rim tries calling JH Entertainment (Su-ho’s agency, owned by his mother) to arrange a meeting, but she’s firmly rebuffed. She looks at her tablet thoughtfully, getting another idea. Later, she shows up in the JH Entertainment building to ask for a meeting in person.

She’s unsuccessful this time, too, but fortunately for her—and unfortunately for him—Su-ho wanders by and spots her. He grabs Geu-rim’s wrist and drags her out of the building, and they end up in his car with her driving him home. He tells her that he’ll listen to her pitch only as long as the drive lasts, but instead of talking, she hands him her tablet and asks him to look at it.

Su-ho asks sarcastically about her biggest show and her writing awards, knowing that she doesn’t have any. They hit a speedbump, and Su-ho’s hand flies out to stop Geu-rim from hitting the steering wheel. They stare at each other for a long, charged moment, until he finally moves his hand.

When they arrive, Su-ho says that she’s had her chance to convince him to do the show and failed. Geu-rim lists his numerous accomplishments and says that even though he’s popular and successful, he’s going down the wrong path. She encourages him to take off the mask and show people who he really is.

Su-ho does seem to be listening, but he doesn’t say anything in response. Geu-rim asks him to just watch the video on the tablet and listen to the radio for one hour, then take five days to think it over. But Su-ho grows angry and reminds her that he already said he’d never do radio, ordering her not to show up in front of him again.

He’s even upset that she made him be mean about it, saying that he was trying to let her down nicely. He makes his decision very clear: “Stop getting up in my face. Stop showing up, okay? I’ll never go on the radio.”

But rather than being discouraged, Geu-rim’s temper flares. She asks if Su-ho has ever even been inside a radio booth, and she vows to show him how radio can change his life. To do that, she’ll have to keep following him around, so she cheerfully hands him the tablet and says that she’ll be seeing him every day from now on. HA, his face.

Once she’s gone, Su-ho goes inside and turns on the tablet’s screen. He sees that there’s a video, but he doesn’t play it.

Geu-rim reports back to her friends about Su-ho’s disrespect of radio, and they know her well enough to know that she probably lit him up one side and down the other. She insists that she was only showing her sincerity, heh. Drought thinks she should beg Writer Ra for a job on her next show, but Geu-rim snarls that she can’t let Su-ho off that easily.

Jason resorts to stealing Su-ho’s script to lure him to the dinner table, where he says that he’s made foods that will help Su-ho sleep. Su-ho just wants sleeping pills, complaining that he’ll be exhausted on the set tomorrow if he can’t sleep tonight. Jason just says that he’d be glad to see Su-ho get sleepy.

Instead of drugs, Jason advises Su-ho to tell him how he feels. Su-ho scoffs, saying that he called Jason here because he already knows about his problems, but Jason asks how he can possibly know without being told. Su-ho storms off, leaving Jason grumbling that he failed again.

Su-ho’s parents have dinner together, Mom complaining that her husband ignores her calls, and him telling her that she’s looking old lately. Damn. Su-ho’s mom tells her husband that she can overlook his affairs with starlets but to please keep his hands off the staff, aware that he’s been sleeping with his stylist.

When he asks why she’s in such a bad mood, she tells him that Su-ho (“your son”) has been acting strange. She says that they need to bring Su-ho back to heel if he wants to keep living as he is now, adding on a cryptic, “I’m sure you know what I mean.” She tells Su-ho’s father to move back into the house for now, even allowing him to bring his lover along if he wishes.

Jason tags along with Su-ho on his way to the set the next morning, determined to stick closely to Su-ho. Su-ho can’t focus, remembering Geu-rim’s promise to see him daily. He’s distracted when another actor, JIN-SOO (Ji Il-joo), bounds over to ask about the pretty writer who acted as stunt double for the main actress.

Jin-soo decides that they should invite her to the get-together after filming tonight, curious if she’s as enthusiastic about alcohol as she is about casting Su-ho on her radio show. Later Su-ho overhears Jin-soo discussing Geu-rim with the assistant director, and it seems to annoy him.

Geu-rim tells her mother about Su-ho over breakfast, and Mom is as supportive as ever. She tells her daughter not to give up no matter what, renewing Geu-rim’s determination. When she gets the call inviting her to come out with the crew, she asks if Su-ho will be there, and she agrees to come along when she’s told that he will.

Back on the set, Joon-woo glares at Jason and demands to know who he is and why he’s following Su-ho. Jason says he’s Su-ho’s manager, but Joon-woo fires back that he’s Su-ho’s manager. Busted, Jason confesses that he’s an old school friend who’s in a “secret relationship” with Su-ho, ha.

Su-ho leaves early, declining the invitation to go drinking even when Jin-soo tells him that Geu-rim will be there. Interestingly, Jin-soo seems irritated when Geu-rim shows up at the party and asks after Su-ho.

On the drive home, Jason is eaten up by curiosity over this writer everyone is talking about, but neither Su-ho nor Joon-woo will enlighten him. He pitches a cute little fit, but he gives up when he gets no reaction.

Geu-rim pours her famous soju bombs for the cast and makes them all promise to guest on her new radio show. Jin-soo pours her drink after drink, promising that Su-ho will arrive soon and pushing her to keep drinking even after she’s had too much. I don’t think I like him.

Geu-rim staggers out into the hallway and slides down the wall, berating herself for not being able to hold her liquor. She tries to get up, but she falls again, and she hears someone walking up behind her before everything goes black.

She wakes up the next morning in bed, but to her dismay, it’s not her bed. She slowly remembers what happened the night before—Jin-soo had found her on the floor and asked her to leave with him, and he’d helped her to her feet. Someone else had approached them, but Geu-rim’s vision was too blurry to make out their face.

As she tries to remember who the second person was, she’s startled to see Su-ho standing over her. She asks him what happened last night after Jin-soo helped her stand, wondering how on earth she ended up in Su-ho’s bed. Su-ho just heads for the bathroom to shower, and he asks Geu-rim blandly if she plans to join him.

Try as she might, Geu-rim can’t remember how she got here, and she wails at Su-ho to come out and tell her what happened. He hears her and opens the door in his bathrobe, nodding to her filthy clothes and asking if she wants to shower. She suddenly remembers something else from last night—throwing up all over Su-ho’s pants. Ew.

The doorbell rings, and when Su-ho sees that it’s his mother at the door, he turns to Geu-rim to say, “Writer Song, should I do the radio show? Then do something for me.” He greets his mother, and she informs him that he’ll have to move home next month when the documentary starts filming.

He reminds her that he smiled and said he wouldn’t do it, but his mother says in a warning tone that she smiled and said he will. Su-ho wonders out loud if his father’s lover will also be in the documentary. He tells his mother that he’s thinking of doing a radio show, and that in fact, he was just discussing it with the show’s writer.

She goes inside to confront Geu-rim, and her sharp eyes take in Su-ho’s bathrobe and the rumpled bedsheets, and she connects the dots. She asks how long he plans to play on the radio, and how long he plans to play with Geu-rim. Su-ho just says he’s not sure.

His mother comments to Geu-rim that she’s apparently good at casting celebrities, insinuating that Geu-rim offers the guests sexual favors. She leaves, and Geu-rim demands that Su-ho explain why he didn’t correct her. He says that all she needs to know is that it got her what she wanted—him on her radio show.

Geu-rim yells at Su-ho for using her in his fight against his mother, making her look easy and using her show to manipulate her. He smiles and says that she’s free to turn him down, but the sight of his fake smile only makes her angrier.

Giving him a look of utter disgust, she says, “Ji Su-ho-sshi, why are you smiling right now? This isn’t funny. Why do you keep fake smiling at me?” He lets the smile drop and asks her to leave, which she does without another word.

As he watches her from his window, Jason joins him and guesses that she must be that writer everyone is talking about. He tells Su-ho to do the radio show, excited to see him showing some emotion.

Later, Su-ho notices that Geu-rim left her purse behind. He finds the old postcard that she wrote to DJ Moon and reads it, then he watches the video she made for him on her tablet. In the video, she shows him around the radio station, talking about how DJ Moon inspired her to become a radio writer.

She shows Su-ho her “hideout,” a room at the top of the building where she can look out over the entire city. She admits that she’s not a good writer yet, but she says that she’ll bow to him gratefully if he agrees to let his voice read her words to the world.

At the station, Geu-rim watches DJ Moon working on his show. He gives her an adorable grin, and all of her recent struggles seem to hit her all at once, making her tear up.

Station Manager Kang calls her to his office immediately, and she can hear him yelling at PD Lee about her through the door. When she goes in, he’s beside himself at the idea of her being a main writer, and he refuses to let PD Lee say a word.

He asks Geu-rim if she really thinks she can be a main writer, and he tells PD Lee to hire Writer Ra, but PD Lee insists that he’ll be hiring Geu-rim. Station Manager Kang says that she can be the main writer if Su-ho is the DJ, certain that that will never happen. Angry now, PD Lee declares that Geu-rim is his main writer even if Su-ho doesn’t sign on.

Writer Ra corners Geu-rim in the hall and tells her that there’s no way she’ll ever be a main writer. She scoffs that Geu-rim should know her limitations, and as she continues to spout insults, Geu-rim’s head hangs lower and lower. Writer Ra yells that Geu-rim has more chance of being a main writer than Su-ho has of becoming a DJ, but she’s surprised to hear a voice call out, “I’ll do it, the radio show.”

Geu-rim looks up to see Su-ho standing right there, and he says again that he’ll do the show. He walks over and takes her wrist, pulling her away from Writer Ra.

Watch the video

Let’s do radio

 
COMMENTS

Okay, finally Su-ho did something for the right reasons! I knew he had it in him, and it’s been so frustrating to watch him deny his own nice instincts. But Geu-rim was right that sincerity could win him over when nothing else could, and although it took him a while to get there, I’m happy that Su-ho is doing the show at least in part because Geu-rim found a way to appeal to his softer side.

I really liked Geu-rim after the first episode, but honestly, Su-ho made a bigger first impression on my just simply by being more tragic. But after the second episode, I find myself really appreciating Geu-rim a lot more. She’s just so outspoken and honest without ever sliding into rudeness or disrespect, and I love how, no matter what’s happening she insists on being respected. She does everything with a no-holds-barred approach, charging in without fear and just getting things done. She makes an effort to understand and connect with people, which is exactly the skill that Su-ho lacks. I can’t wait to see him cave in the face of Geu-rim’s tenacity.

I was initially confused by Su-ho’s conflicting reactions to Geu-rim, but I think I understand him better now. Aside from strongly suspecting that something happened back when they were young, I think that Su-ho doesn’t want to like Geu-rim but he can’t help it, and he can sense that her bull-in-a-china-shop approach to life threatens to burst the safe little bubble he’s constructed around himself. I suspected that he’d been abused in some way while growing up, because his tendency to shut down emotionally when confronted is a pretty classic red flag. I’m looking forward to Geu-rim teaching him that it’s not only okay to say what he’s thinking, but that it’s safe, and that he doesn’t have to hold onto his emotions so tightly.

His deciding to do the radio show is a good start—normally I’d find it odd for someone to make such a commitment just to stick it to their mother, but in Su-ho’s case, he really needs to start asserting himself and his own wishes. I have no doubt that his mother will make his life a living hell for this act of rebellion, but I truly believe that Su-ho is just beginning the process of breaking away from a lifelong abuser, so this is something he really needs to do. I’m also starting to think that Su-ho’s inability to perform without a script (that I’m sure we’ll see once he gets into the studio) isn’t just an odd quirk, but an actual symptom of his abusive upbringing. He can’t show his own emotions, so he uses his acting to express himself instead.

Not that it makes what he did to Geu-rim okay, basically using her as a weapon against his mother and tarnishing her reputation in the process. Su-ho may have a distressing inability to access his own emotions, but he’s also unable (or unwilling) to empathize with others, so I’m sure he meant it when he said to Geu-rim that it doesn’t matter what his mother thinks about her, since she’s getting what she wants out of it. But Geu-rim has already shown that her pride isn’t an acceptable trade-off for a job, so I don’t blame her for being furious at him for that. And the really crappy thing is that Su-ho knows (or thinks) that Geu-rim needs him more than He needs her, which puts him at an unfair advantage, and which he completely exploited.

So for a lot of reasons, I’m really glad we have the character of Jason added into the mix (and not just because Kwak Dong-yeon is awesome). Jason is the only person that Su-ho can truly call a friend, and he’s not scared to stand up to Su-ho, even if he’s kind of goofy about it. He’s probably also the only person who knows what Su-ho has really been through, and I find it interesting that he and Geu-rim are the only two people who can tell that Su-ho’s smile is fake, and who feel comfortable standing up to him. The character of Jason has an interesting way of humanizing Su-ho for the audience by making him seem less of a jerk by choice. He highlights that Su-ho just a guy who’s depressed and needs to realize that he has feelings, and that those feelings are perfectly normal. I hope the show continues to explore Su-ho’s depression and Jason’s urging him to get treatment, because it’s been a while since we’ve seen an obviously depressed drama character getting proper psychiatric treatment for their depression instead of just counting on love to cure them.

 
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Ah, I finally got a chance to break free from Hwayugi's clutches to read these recaps. I think I'm going to check this out. It looks right up my alley! Thanks for the recap! :)

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Actually GR & Jason are the two characters who see the fake smile, as rightly pointed out by somebody.. Is it just me who keeps falling for Kdrama alot nowadays?? ah i am going mad with these serials.. awesome.. ok i saw one trailer and yeeeee they are kissing already... tiong.. i m waiting for that scene from now on... and i actually like the pair they are cute together i dont know why people talk about the age difference when they have good chemistry.. I vote for you ppl.. let the house burn in romance man.. i want to see more romantic moments between them..

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Thanks for recapping, LollyPip!

I suspect that Su-ho's fake smile is a way of resisting parental demands without appearing overtly rebellious or strident. Maybe a form of simulated filial piety? I'm thinking of the phrase “Smile when you say that” that's used when someone says something disagreeable.

His fake smile is also camouflage for his depressed state. How many people laugh because “it beats crying”?

As someone who's been told since he was a small child that everything he does can be harmful to his parents' interests, Su-ho has had to adopt protective coloration and put on a good show. As a member of a “perfect” family, he is not allowed to express anything that is not socially acceptable or that would call that perfection into question.

I'm willing to bet that Su-ho is also a workaholic. It's an efficacious way to bury one's feelings. But it's also something imposed by his parents' greed. I get the impression that he's on a treadmill as a cash cow.

We'll see how efficacious Doc Jason's ministrations are. I liked the idea of his home-cooked nutritional support for depression and insomnia.

I'm tickled to see (and hear!) Yoon Joo-sang as veteran DJ Moon Sung-woo. He's got a great radio voice.

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I don't even feel the age gap that's howgood the chemistry is!

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I admit I couldn't connect with this episode as much as with the first. Some scenes, like the one in the car when he puts his arm across her and they have this "charged look", just fell flat to me because it felt really contrived.

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Does anyone know title of the song that was played when they were arguing at the end?

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