Radio Romance: Episode 4
As the first day of the radio show grows closer, Su-ho is being pushed outside of his safe little comfort zone. His natural instinct is to push back, but that’s not easy to do when he’s feeling himself pulled closer and closer to Geu-rim. The more she confides in him, the harder he’s finding it to maintain his emotional distance, and sooner or later something’s gotta give.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
PD Lee insults Su-ho until he joins him and Geu-rim at a restaurant. His behavior has Su-ho stating that he’s worried about doing the radio show with PD Lee in charge, and he asks if he should just quit. But PD Lee bursts out laughing and apologizes, claiming that he was testing Su-ho to see if he’s capable of getting angry.
Geu-rim tries to get the guys to stop, but PD Lee talks over her, bringing up the contract that Su-ho wrote. He praises Su-ho’s interest in his script and his guests, than asks if he interpreted that correctly.
He stops Geu-rim in the middle of drinking a shot, finishing it himself, as Su-ho glares daggers again at PD Lee’s familiarity with her. This time when PD Lee suggests a group planning meeting, Su-ho agrees.
He hesitates when PD Lee adds that it will be an overnight trip, but the possibility of PD Lee and Geu-rim spending time alone together changes his mind. He’s even more unhappy to learn that PD Lee and Geu-rim live so close together and are going to pull an all-nighter, but PD Lee blames Su-ho’s high demands regarding his script.
Su-ho asks why PD Lee keeps calling Geu-rim “Maknae” when she’s the main writer. PD Lee just says, “She’ll always be a maknae to me,” then heads for home.
Geu-rim hangs back to make sure Su-ho is okay to drive, but he reminds her that while she had one and a half shots, he didn’t drink. She reassures him that PD Lee may seem odd, but he’s actually very talented. Su-ho just snaps at her to shut his car door.
Jason is beyond excited about the overnight trip, insisting that he needs to go along to stay close to Su-ho, and adding that he wants to get to know Geu-rim better. He marvels that she’s even getting him to go on a trip, and Su-ho stomps off to his bedroom, hee.
Su-ho lies awake that night as usual, his thoughts filled with PD Lee and his disturbing familiarity with Geu-rim. HA, he can’t stand the idea of them spending the night together, even if it’s just for work.
In the morning, Geu-rim is astounded at the amount of luggage Su-ho and Jason are planning to bring on the trip. Su-ho tries to take his own car, but Geu-rim overrides him and drives him and Jason herself. Su-ho repeatedly asks where they’re going, but Geu-rim cutely avoids answering.
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An unexpected island adventure
They end up at a ferry dock, where PD Lee and the rest of the team greet them with cute signs. Su-ho is distinctly unamused. Geu-rim brings him seasickness medicine on the ferry, noting his pale face, and he says he’s okay but takes the medicine. On the other hand, PD Lee is sick as a dog, and Su-ho frowns as Geu-rim pats his back and pricks his finger to settle his stomach.
Su-ho’s parents stand for photos at an event for a purse manufacturer, while nearby, actress Da-seul (Su-ho’s current costar and his father’s current mistress) poses alone with a fancy bag. Su-ho’s mother notices former child actress Tae-ri talking to a reporter and glances to Joon-woo, his cue to break up the conversation.
Tae-ri is actually doing a decent job deflecting Reporter Ahn’s questions about Su-ho and his family. Joon-woo tells Reporter Ahn to ask him his questions, so Reporter Ahn asks why Su-ho never comes to events, implying that there’s trouble brewing in the family.
Joon-woo warns that if Reporter Ahn writes stories based on rumors, he’ll fall hard again, and asks if they’ll have to break his remaining wing. Reporter Ahn just laughs and says that there must be a big secret.
Su-ho’s parents end up in the same elevator with Da-seul. So awkward. Su-ho’s mom asks Da-seul how she likes working with Su-ho, then invites her to dinner with her and her husband sometime soon. She exits the elevator, leaving Da-seul freaking out and her husband shrugging helplessly.
She goes back to the event to pose for more photos alone. Tae-ri joins her uninvited, and as the confused reporters take more pictures, she tells Su-ho’s mom under her breath that Reporter Ahn keeps asking why Su-ho isn’t at events lately and if they have a “show window” family. She mentions that it would make things awkward if she said anything, and asks when she’ll be working with Su-ho again.
Su-ho is currently whining as the team waits for the bus to pick them up from the ferry. PD Lee explains that there’s only one ferry, but a bus every two hours, advising Su-ho to learn to wait patiently with everyone else.
They have to walk a short way after the bus ride, and everyone enjoys it except Su-ho, of course. Even when they stop for snacks and a splash in the ocean, Su-ho never cracks a smile, and when a spontaneous snowball fight breaks out, he snarls at anyone who dares to throw one at him.
He’s definitely not pleased with the traditional-style house they’ll be staying in, nor the fact that he has to share a room with the other guys. Almost as soon as they arrive, Geu-rim wails that she left her laptop, which contains the script and all their research materials, on the ferry.
She tells everyone to start without her and heads back to the dock to get it, hitching a ride with a tractor driver since there are no taxis. She’s surprised when Su-ho hops onto the tractor with her, and he says that he saw her leave her laptop bag on the ferry. He doesn’t explain, only saying that he’s following her because he’s going home.
As they ride, Su-ho notices Geu-rim trying to warm her cold hands. He starts to give her his scarf several times but keeps chickening out. They hit a bump at one point, and he reflexively reaches out to steady Geu-rim, causing them both to feel a moment of awkwardness.
Su-ho’s mom is cranky after the event, and upset that Joon-woo can’t find Su-ho. She orders him to keep an eye on Tae-ri and report back if he learns anything interesting. Once he’s gone, she tells her assistant that if they can’t make Su-ho quit radio, then they’ll have to make Geu-rim quit her job. Having heard about the radio show competition, she decides to start with Writer Ra.
Writer Ra and Seung-soo are going through Geu-rim’s office while she’s gone, and Writer Ra asks Seung-soo if he has any ideas for their show concept or DJ. He says he doesn’t and snaps at her to speak to him respectfully, so she slaps on a pained smile and suggests they try to get along.
While Geu-rim rescues her laptop, Su-ho tries to get a ferry off the island, only to learn that there really is only one a day. They wait for the bus again, and Geu-rim tells Su-ho that every script she’s ever written is on her laptop.
She notices that he didn’t bring his bag and assumes that he wasn’t really planning on leaving, but that he came because he was worried about her. Of course, Su-ho denies it.
They sit apart on the bus, and Geu-rim guesses that it’s been a while since Su-ho rode the bus. He remembers a bus ride when he’d sat across from a younger Geu-rim just like this, watching her draw pictures in the condensation on the windows. She’d fallen asleep and he’d slid over to her seat, grinning to himself when her head rested on his shoulder.
Back in the present, Geu-rim says happily that the radio is slow, just like this bus and the sunset outside. She catches Su-ho looking at her, and he quickly shutters the soft look in his eyes and turns back to his window.
It soon turns dark outside, and Geu-rim asks the bus driver when they’ll get to their stop. Unfortunately they took the wrong bus, and are now on the complete opposite side of the island. They get off in the middle of nowhere and Su-ho starts to complain, but he stops himself when he sees how worried Geu-rim is.
He finally whips off his scarf and hands it to her irritably. She takes the scarf and steps away to call PD Lee, but she turns back at a loud yelp from Su-ho. She finds him sitting on the ground, an upset ajusshi leaning over him repeating, “You came, you finally came.” The ajusshi starts to cry on Su-ho’s shoulder, obviously mistaking him for someone else.
Ajusshi takes them back to his house, where Su-ho finds a photo of him with a younger man — probably his son, the person who disappeared. Geu-rim calls PD Lee to tell him what happened, but when she starts to tell him where they are, Su-ho comes running out intending to leave.
Ajusshi brings a tray of food and yells that Su-ho can’t leave. He physically drags Su-ho back inside and feeds him chicken soup, which Su-ho only takes after a nervous glance at Geu-rim. Geu-rim gets her hand slapped when she reaches towards the food, ha.
She asks if Su-ho looks like Ajusshi’s son, but Ajusshi insists that he actually is his son. He asks if she’s his son’s girlfriend, and Su-ho gives her this look when she says she’s not. She goes outside to call PD Lee again, telling him that they’ll have to stay the night and apologizing for ruining the meeting.
Tae-ri goes clubbing that night, and she allows a random guy to dance up to her. He starts to put his hands on her, but Joon-woo shows up out of nowhere to grab the offending hand and crush it. He pulls Tae-ri off the dance floor and reminds her that she’s a star and needs to protect her image.
She asks when Joon-woo will grant her favor, but he says he’s Su-ho’s manager, so his job is to fight for Su-ho, not himself. Tae-ri quips that he’s some manager, when he doesn’t even know where his actor is right now and even abandoned him twelve years ago.
At bedtime Ajusshi pulls out a large stack of postcards. He says that he writes postcards to radio shows trying to find his son, and that these are the ones he hasn’t sent yet. He sits Su-ho down and asks him to read the cards. Su-ho is alarmed when Geu-rim leaves them alone, but she just grins at his pleas for her to stay.
Su-ho lies awake after Ajusshi falls asleep, and eventually he gets up and goes outside. He finds Geu-rim on the porch working on her laptop, having been chased out of her room by a roach, ha. She cheekily asks Su-ho to catch the roach for her, laughing at his horrified refusal.
She says she’s working on the opening script for his first show and asks him to read it. He sits next to her and sees the show title, “Ji Su-ho’s Radio Romance.” Geu-rim tells him that she’s always dreamed of the first day her DJ reads her script on the air, excited that the day is almost here.
She’s been listening to the radio while she works, and when her favorite song comes on, she shares her blanket with Su-ho and settles in to listen. Su-ho stares at Geu-rim for a long time, and she tells him that she loves it when someone requests a song she’s been wanting to hear. She smiles at him, and Su-ho can’t look away.
On the other side of the island, Jason misunderstands PD Lee and gives him his business card, when he was actually asking about Su-ho. Jason turns the question around on him, asking why PD Lee cast Su-ho when he has no idea what kind of person he is. PD Lee says he’s counting on God’s will, then invites Jason to join them in the booth as their confidential therapist.
Still outside, Geu-rim nods off and her head falls on Su-ho’s shoulder. He carries her into the main room and makes a bed for her beside his. He faces her so he can watch her sleep, and a few moments later, she turns to face him in her sleep. Just like that, Su-ho closes his eyes and falls asleep.
He dreams of one day when he was a kid, when he’d seen a friend waving to him from across the street. But instead of being happy, he’d turned and walked away. The friend started to follow, and he’d walked right in front of a truck.
Su-ho had turned to see his friend on the ground, bleeding from a head wound. As the emergency vehicles arrived, Su-ho had used his cell phone to call Joon-woo, shaking and crying when there was no answer.
Su-ho wakes from his dream, and the first thing he sees is Geu-rim’s sleeping face, but he’s gone by the time she wakes in the morning. She meets the rest of the team at the ferry dock, and since the ferry hasn’t left yet, they figure that Su-ho must still be on the island.
But he’s already almost home, having called Joon-woo to get him. Joon-woo notes that even without his own phone, Su-ho still remembers his number, and Su-ho says softly, “How could I forget? I called you dozens of times that day.”
Dropping Su-ho off at his house, Joon-woo says that if Su-ho still blames him, he’ll quit. Su-ho asks if Joon-woo really wants to quit, and when Joon-woo hesitates, Su-ho knows that he doesn’t.
He goes inside to find his agency writing team waiting for him. He asks for half an hour before their meeting, and goes to his room. He remembers seeing Geu-rim when she was a kid, singing along with her earbuds at the bus stop while he and his friend watched. He thinks of the night before, when she’d fallen asleep on his shoulder, then he’d fallen asleep looking at her face.
Su-ho’s mother meets with Writer Ra to extent her support, offering to supply her with a DJ, guests, or even sponsors for her radio show. She says she’ll give Writer Ra anything she needs, so long as she gets Geu-rim to quit within a month. Writer Ra thinks about it, but not for very long.
In the meeting with his writers, Su-ho is given a list of mistakes and problems he may face during the radio show, along with their script for his first episode. Jason bursts in and says that even though he knew Su-ho would do this, it still makes him mad to see it.
He yells at Su-ho for leaving the island alone and making him worry, but Su-ho completely ignores him. Jason spits that this is the first time he ever wished Su-ho carried a cell phone, then he storms up to his room.
He calls Geu-rim to tell her that Su-ho got home safely. Relieved, she asks Jason to make sure Su-ho sees the script she sent him, then she collapses in bed and smiles happily.
The last few days before the show’s first episode fly by quickly in a flurry of script revisions, as Geu-rim worries at Su-ho’s conspicuous absence. Jason tries to ask Su-ho why he isn’t keeping in contact with Geu-rim, but Su-ho stubbornly refuses to even acknowledge the question.
Finally it’s time to record the first show, and the team sits through a long-winded speech by Station Manager Kang (which Geu-rim translates for PD Lee as “get good ratings or you’re dead,” ha). Afterward, PD Lee asks Geu-rim if she’s nervous about her first show, and she admits that she is.
PD Lee says that there are three types of writers — those who write well, those with good ideas, and those who are good at getting guests. He says he’s never met a writer that could do all three, but he believes that she’ll be the first.
Su-ho arrives right on time and wades through a crowd of screaming fans. He’s calm and professional as he enters the recording booth, and he catches Geu-rim’s eye for just a moment before he begins.
Everything seems to be going well until Su-ho starts to talk, and within a few words, it becomes obvious that he’s not reading Geu-rim’s script. The team knows right away that he’s had a different script written for him, but there’s nothing they can do until he’s finished recording the opening comments.
Everyone else is fooled, except for Writer Ra, who grabs Geu-rim’s script from her hands and sneers at it. Geu-rim looks over at Su-ho, catching him watching her, but he quickly drops his eyes.
When he’s finished recording, he gives Geu-rim and PD Lee all the credit, but Geu-rim can hardly look at him anymore. PD Lee bursts into wild laughter, shaking Su-ho’s hand and saying sarcastically that he did great. Su-ho looks at Geu-rim one last time, seeming almost to feel bad this time, then he leaves.
He sends Joon-woo home, and Geu-rim catches up to him while he’s still in the lobby. She tells him that she was worried when he left the island without a word to anyone. She says sadly that she thought they’d gotten close, but the Su-ho she saw today is a different person.
Su-ho has trouble looking at Geu-rim as she asks if he’s aware that she sent him fifteen different versions of her opening comments, knowing that he didn’t even open her emails. She says that it’s up to him if he wants to say the words she wrote, but she asks, “Shouldn’t you at least read it first before making that decision?”
Su-ho never says a word, and when he finally looks at her, Geu-rim walks away. As she walks home later, she doesn’t see Su-ho still sitting in his car. He watches as PD Lee grabs her, knowing that she’s planning to drink soju alone tonight, and leads her to his car instead.
Geu-rim reluctantly starts to get in his car, but she suddenly finds Su-ho standing in her way. He stops Geu-rim with a look, as PD Lee turns to see them staring into each other’s eyes.
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Don’t go with him
Wow. I’m not really surprised that Su-ho went through with his plan to read his own script on the show, but after Geu-rim told him how much it meant to her to have her words read on the radio, I am surprised at how little shame he showed over it. It was extra-low of him not to even give PD Lee and Geu-rim a heads-up — not only did he betray Geu-rim’s trust, but he humiliated her in front of her colleagues, her boss, and worst of all, her rival. They were just beginning to find a little bit of non-adversarial space between them to form a bit of trust, and now that’s all gone. I think Su-ho is about to learn a huge lesson in what it feels like to hurt someone you actually care about, and he’s going to have to work pretty hard to regain Geu-rim’s trust again.
Backing up a bit, I’m glad that Su-ho got a look at the way radio touches people in a very real and personal way. As an actor, he no doubt views radio as a boring and outdated performance medium, so it was good for him to meet a man to whom radio is not only his sole connection to the outside word, but his only hope of finding his lost son. Of course, Su-ho is still too self-absorbed to understand the lesson now. But I fully expect the lesson to connect later, when he’s not in such a state of survival mode and has gotten free of his mother more than he is now.
I’m really curious about what Su-ho’s dream meant, where his friend was hit by the truck. At first I thought that the friend was Joon-woo and that he survived the accident, but based on Tae-ri’s comment about Joon-woo abandoning Su-ho, I suspect it was a different friend and that Su-ho still resents Joon-woo for not answering when he tried to call him. It would begin to explain their strained relationship now, and the fact that Su-ho refuses to carry a cell phone. The boys both had phones in their hands when they saw each other, and Su-ho seemed further traumatized when he couldn’t reach Joon-woo. Now as adults, Su-ho clearly cares about Joon-woo because he asked his mother to give him a job and didn’t take her up on her offer to fire him. But whatever happened between them, it obviously still hasn’t been resolved.
I’m also interested in how Su-ho was able to see Geu-rim so often when they were kids, but she never seemed to see him. We’ve experienced three of his memories of her now, and he seemed quite taken with her (no doubt he thinks of her as his first love), but she never noticed him at all. If Su-ho was a child star, how was he out alone so often that he saw Geu-rim all over town, and how did she never recognize him? What was it about her that captivated him to the point that he still remembers her in such vivid detail? And why does he seem angered whenever he sees her now? His first encounter with her as adults (that we know of), he tripped her and sneered as she sprawled on the floor, and he’s questioned her morals more than once. While he’s definitely still entranced by her, he’s also pretty hostile, so I don’t think it’s as simple as him encountering his first love from childhood.
Obviously, I find Su-ho a much more fascinating character than Geu-rim, simply because he’s so complex and he’s hiding such an interesting past. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like Geu-rim, because I do — I appreciate that she’s not just a prop for the leading man to focus his attention on, but a strong young woman with well-formed opinions and an interesting past of her own. Her mother’s blindness has shaped her whole life, but in a positive way, leading her to a career that she finds meaningful and fulfilling. She experiences the world in a unique way because she’s been forced to see things for more than simple face value. And I absolutely adore that she thwarts Su-ho’s attempts to railroad and bully her at every turn, calling him out immediately when he’s being boorish or when he’s trying to use that fake smile of his to manipulate her.
Su-ho and Geu-rim are the very definition of the phrase “opposites attract,” but I think they can be good for each other once Su-ho starts to relax enough to think of how his words and actions affect others. Geu-rim can teach him that, but first he has to feel safe around her, and he’s just done enough damage that she won’t feel safe around him for quite a while. But they both need each other, if for very different reasons, and I think it will be fun to watch them growing closer once they stop seeing each other as the enemy.
- Premiere Watch: Radio Romance, Cross, Misty
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- Yoon Park considers joining Radio Romance as a PD
- Kim So-hyun offered Radio Romance opposite Yoon Doo-joon
- Yoon Doo-joon signs on to KBS’s healing Radio Romance