Radio Romance: Episode 11
Su-ho is smiling so much these days, and I love it! And not that fake smile he learned for the cameras, but real, happy-boy smiles. Unfortunately, things are coming to a head with the various power plays surrounding him, and it’s time for Su-ho to truly stand up and take charge of his own life. He’s going to need that smile—or more accurately, the reason for it—for the upcoming battle.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
After promising Geu-rim that he will keep doing radio with her, Su-ho shows her an interview in which he says that he’s trying to find a way to be in the drama, while still DJing the radio show. He’s a little annoyed that she didn’t trust him after he’s been bending over backward to like the radio as much as she said he would.
He reminds her that she said she wants to hug him, revealing the real reason he’s here (so cute). But instead, Geu-rim leans over and gives Su-ho a kiss. It’s a pretty effective way of shutting him up, hee.
Su-ho just blinks at Geu-rim, making her shy. He asks what she just did to him, looking like he’s trying not to grin like a fool. She says she lost her mind, and Su-ho just can’t stop smiling.
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Shutting him up with a kiss
He drives her home, Geu-rim protesting that she does trust him, she was just afraid to confront him. She whines that they’ve been arguing for two hours (lol!), but Su-ho just asks why she was afraid of him. She says that she was scared he really was leaving the radio show and that she’d be hurt.
She asks him not to be mad at her, and has him give her his car keys so she can look at the present he got her. She finally gets out of the car, and Su-ho heads home looking pretty satisfied with himself.
Geu-rim goes to tell PD Lee that Su-ho is going to arrange things so that he can do the drama and keep working with them, too. She says that she believes Su-ho is sincere, and PD Lee agrees that he owes Su-ho an apology for yelling at him at the drama press conference.
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I kissed you! So what?
Geu-rim tries to write, but she just pokes at random keys and thinks about kissing Su-ho (can’t say I blame her). When he calls, she picks up with a defensive, “Yes, I kissed you, what do you want?!” Amused, Su-ho says he just called to wish her goodnight, and they both end up giggling like children.
In a meeting, the drama production company claims that Su-ho’s comment that he’s not going to stop doing radio damaged them. Su-ho’s mom starts to speak, but Su-ho interrupts to point out that not only is there no damage, but that his comment actually increased the public’s interest in the drama.
The production company says that since there’s a signed contract, they intend to proceed with the drama’s overseas shoots. Again Su-ho interrupts to say that he’ll pay the penalty for changing the schedule, and he even offers to repay his acting advance by a factor of twenty.
He makes sure that they understand that if he backs out of the project entirely, they’ll be hit a lot harder financially than he will, and tells them to write a new contract that will accommodate his radio schedule. He leaves, and although Mom looks positively furious, Joon-woo smiles.
Later, Mom says that Su-ho’s plan to do both projects is impossible. Su-ho tells her that he’ll make it possible, adding that he’ll be in control of his own schedule from now on. Mom blames this mess on him, but Su-ho says that he didn’t cause this situation. She tries to threaten Su-ho with the picture of him kissing Geu-rim, but he says there’s nothing wrong with kissing the person he likes.
Meanwhile, Station Manager Kang’s higher-ups tell him that they consider it worth losing Su-ho from one show to preserve their relationship with JH Entertainment, who provides a lot of their talent. Station Manager Kang argues that Su-ho brings in listeners, but he’s ordered to dissolve the team.
The next morning, Geu-rim ignores another of Su-ho’s calls, grumbling that he calls her constantly. She spots a poster of Su-ho’s last drama and sighs that she forgets what a big star he is.
PD Lee calls Su-ho on his way to work to ask for an update, but Su-ho wants an official apology for the way PD Lee yelled at him. He gets Geu-rim, and while they’re headed to see Su-ho, Station Manager Kang checks in with Writer Ra and Seung-soo to see if they can manage a daily show on short notice.
Su-ho’s steel-trap mind remembers every angry word PD Lee said, and he parrots them back to him verbatim. PD Lee manages to apologize respectfully while still seeming disrespectful. Su-ho says that he gave up a lot to do their radio show, but PD Lee fires back that he also gained a lot.
Later, Jason makes dinner, but Su-ho just stands in the doorway making faces at Geu-rim, trying to get her to follow him. She ignores him, and eventually he stomps off while glaring daggers at her, which is worth watching at least three more times, PWAHAHA.
After dinner, Su-ho pops out of nowhere to yank Geu-rim to his bedroom. He asks why she’s not answering his calls again, admitting that he only called this stupid meeting so that he could see her.
Okay, I know he’s pissed, but that is so adorable, and Geu-rim is obviously charmed. She jokes that he’ll be moving into her house soon, and he’s all, You think I won’t? When Geu-rim asks why he’s so obsessed with the phone, he snaps, “It’s not the phone I’m obsessed with. It’s you.” Well, swoon then.
Over in Jason’s room, PD Lee casually wanders the room and asks what happened to Su-ho twelve years ago. He mentions the postcards they’ve been getting accusing Su-ho of being a murderer, looking pointedly at an identical postcard on Jason’s desk. Jason just smiles.
Geu-rim and Su-ho are still in his bedroom when they hear a screech. They find Tae-ri in the house, furious and assuming that Su-ho won’t do the drama. She blames Geu-rim, but Su-ho tells her to leave Geu-rim out of this. PD Lee takes Geu-rim out with him, leaving Su-ho and Tae-ri to talk.
Su-ho tells Tae-ri to stop acting like this, but she says she won’t stop until she gets the leading role opposite him. She vows to do whatever it takes, and when he asks why it has to be him, she says simply, “Because you’re Ji Su-ho.”
As PD Lee and Geu-rim drive back to the office, Station Manager Kang calls to tell them that the show is canceled. PD Lee barges into his office to ask why he’s doing this when they’ve created a good show with good ratings.
Station Manager Kang says that JH Entertainment made a deal regarding Su-ho, and PD Lee storms right back out again. Geu-rim guesses that he’s going to see Su-ho’s mother and insists on joining him. They find her at the gallery in the middle of an interview, and stand there glaring to get her attention.
Joon-woo takes Tae-ri home, and when he gets back to Su-ho’s house, he says that he thinks she’ll be upset for a while. Su-ho tells Joon-woo that he’s going to focus on the radio show and continue with the drama negotiations, and he asks for Joon-woo’s help. Joon-woo agrees, and Su-ho says that his plan is to do both the drama and the radio show, but his way.
PD Lee asks Su-ho’s mother why she wants to pull Su-ho from the radio show so badly. She says it’s about money, and PD Lee admits that if it’s because radio doesn’t make Su-ho much money, there’s not a lot they can do. But he also says that if Su-ho leaves JH Entertainment to do the radio show, then they’ll do anything necessary to protect their DJ.
Geu-rim tells Su-ho’s mother privately that she knows Su-ho is a valuable asset to her company. But to their listeners, she says he’s their precious DJ, friend, and family. Geu-rim adds that he’s precious to their team as well, just for himself.
Writer Ra and Seung-soo run into PD Lee and Geu-rim on their way to pack up their office, and Writer Ra lies that she’s sorry to be taking over their time slot. PD Lee wishes her luck in kissing up to JH Entertainment, but warns that she’ll accomplish nothing the way she’s going.
They call Su-ho out to give him the bad news, and as the guys drink, Geu-rim tries to cheer them up, saying it’s only temporary. Wait, did PD Lee lie to them? When Su-ho asks why it’s happening, PD Lee takes the blame and says they’re being punished because of him.
Geu-rim chirps that things will be fine, but a few shots later, she’s moaning that nothing will ever be fine again, ha. She whines pitifully that she only got to be a main writer for one month, and although Su-ho looks concerned, PD Lee laughs at her and calls her cute. Su-ho tries to take Geu-rim home, but she makes a frowny face and tells him to go alone, making PD Lee laugh even harder.
Geu-rim drunkenly informs PD Lee that she always did what he told her, and took his abuse, but she learned to write scripts so she was happy (ha, he’s so entertained right now). She turns on Su-ho next, calling him “Su-ho-yah” for the first time and completely disarming him.
She grumbles that she put aside her self-respect to follow him around and beg him to do the radio show, but that she got to be a main writer because of him, which made her happy. She manages a sleepy “thanks” before passing out on the table.
PD Lee calls Geu-rim cute again, and this time Su-ho calls him on it. PD Lee asserts that she is cute, and he starts to slide his scarf under Geu-rim’s head as a pillow. But Su-ho is fed up, so he grabs the scarf and flings it across the restaurant.
That sparks a shoving match, then a punching match. After, they sit on the curb bruised and bleeding, and Su-ho brags that Geu-rim is closer to him because she started liking radio when they listened to it together years ago. PD Lee fires back that he’s the one she’s making radio shows with now. LOL, these two.
Joon-woo finds Tae-ri huddled outside his apartment and helps her upstairs. He goes out for hangover medicine, but she’s gone when he returns, having gotten what she came for — an old audio recorder.
PD Lee hitches a ride home, and the guys get Geu-rim into bed. They sit in the kitchen glowering at each other, and Su-ho says he’ll stay, but PD Le refuses to leave him alone with Geu-rim (her mother is visiting family).
They end up camping out on the living room floor. Su-ho says he has a meeting with the drama team tomorrow, and PD Lee promises that he’ll do his best to give Su-ho a radio show to do. Su-ho says that he just doesn’t want Geu-rim to cry, since radio is her life.
In the morning, Geu-rim looks disgusted with them both for sleeping over, ha. They all head down when Joon-woo arrives to pick up Su-ho, and Su-ho asks Geu-rim what she’ll do today.
She jokes that she’ll be very busy eating and reading comics now that she’s unemployed. PD Lee shows up saying that he’s taking Geu-rim on a date, surprising her and Su-ho. They can’t think of a reason to object, but only a few minutes later, Su-ho is slumped in his seat in the van texting his woe to Geu-rim.
A short flashback shows that Joon-woo asked PD Lee if Su-ho is really leaving radio. PD Lee told him to keep it a secret, because he has a plan for Su-ho. Joon-woo starts to ask Su-ho something, but he remembers PD Lee’s request and keeps it to himself.
PD Lee takes Geu-rim to the mall, and when he notices her looking longingly at a particular coat, he buys it for her. He claims that it’s a gift for her last two birthdays that he missed.
In Su-ho’s meeting, he points out that the drama is nearly identical to another well-known drama and that there’s no reason for the drama to be filmed abroad. He asks for a more reasonable proposal, then excuses himself to call Geu-rim.
She’s walking with PD Lee at the park, where he apologizes for not making her dream happen, but he promises they’ll try again as soon as possible. Geu-rim thanks him for trying so hard to cheer her up, and for making her into a writer, then cringes at her own cheesiness.
When Su-ho finally reaches Geu-rim, he’s upset that she’s with PD Lee and tells her to go home. She snaps that she’ll do as she pleases then hangs up on him. Good girl.
Tae-ri finds Su-ho’s mom at the gallery and plays her the recording she swiped from Joon-woo’s apartment. A younger Su-ho can be heard telling Joon-woo that his mother told him on his ninth birthday that he’s not her son, and not to do anything to harm her. He asks Joon-woo how he’s supposed to do that.
Seung-soo and Writer Ra happen to witness Su-ho having lunch with the drama executives, and they note that Su-ho bounced back quickly after his radio show was canceled. They end up bickering over their own failed marriage, as it happens to be the anniversary of their divorce.
On the bus, Geu-rim thinks about how much Su-ho’s changed since doing the radio show. She calls her mom to tell her that she’s not a main writer anymore, and to get Mom’s support. Mom asks how things are going with that “rude jerk,” and Geu-rim admits that she likes him but she’s scared because of his star status. Mom tells her daughter not to worry, and to follow her heart.
Instead of going home, Geu-rim heads to the station for some of her things. She finds the car key in her pocket and goes down to Su-ho’s car to open the gifts he left there for her.
They’re just regular gifts, but what makes them special are the handwritten notes Su-ho included with each thing: a fancy watch comes with a request to spend a lot of time with him, a pair of shoes include an apology for tripping her, and a box of herbal supplements are attached to an apology for making her jump in the cold lake.
There’s even a note in the passenger seat of the car, apologizing for making her drive him around, but requesting more rides so that he can see her more often. Geu-rim smiles, wondering when Su-ho became so lovable, but when he calls her, she complains that he needs to get rid of that phone.
He asks her to come to the hotel where he’s staying because (supposedly) reporters are swarming his house. He invokes the contract that says she has to do anything he says, so she goes, but she makes it cleat that she’s only staying for a few minutes.
In the elevator, Geu-rim remembers that this is the same elevator where Su-ho objected to the idol Mi-nu clinging to her. Su-ho meets her at his floor, and the smiles they give each other are just adorable.
PD Lee and Jason meet up, and PD Lee asks why Jason is sending the postcards to the radio station. Jason looks confused and says that not only isn’t he sending them, but he’s been receiving them, too. He says that the most recent ones are more specific, saying, “The person Ji Su-ho killed is Woo Ji-woo.”
In return, Jason asks PD Lee what Su-ho is to him. PD Lee say cryptically that the answer is complicated.
Su-ho paces nervously once Geu-rim is in the hotel room. She asks him to get rid of his phone, and when he protests that she’s the one who asked him to get it in the first place, she quips that he calls so often it runs down her battery, ha. Su-ho asks again about what she did with PD Lee today, and she figures out that he’s jealous.
He perks up when Geu-rim says she talked to her mom about him, demanding details. She admits her fears about being with him, then tells him that she looked at his gifts. She apologizes for calling the gifts a burden, when she truly felt touched by them.
Su-ho surprises Geu-rim by asking her to stay with him, but he shoots down her suggestions of cards or television. Silly girl, you’re in a fancy hotel — he doesn’t want to play cards with you! She asks what he wants to do, and Su-ho gets adorably stammery and just stares blankly at her.
She says she’ll go home, but he stops her and says that she can’t refuse his requests per their contract. Geu-rim reminds him that she’s been fired, and she orders him to tell her where the contract is, gaping when he sheepishly pulls it out of his pocket.
Geu-rim asks what kind of contract says that she has to do everything he says, and Su-ho blurts out, “It’s what I wanted! I did it because I wanted to be with you.” Awww.
He says the contract made him happy because it connected her to him. But he adds that he doesn’t need it anymore, and rips it up on the spot. As soon as he frees her from the obligation of obeying him, he asks nervously, “Will you stay with me tonight?”
I love that Su-ho has started working within the system and taking charge of his own career instead of sitting back while Mommy Dearest makes all the decisions. I especially love that his solution wasn’t to cause a lot of problems by refusing to do the drama, because he knows that it would be futile. Not to mention, his mother can’t really object so long as he’s technically doing what she wants (the drama) and getting the executives’ agreement on the scheduling changes. Normally I would feel that a character changing themselves just because of a love interest doesn’t seem entirely healthy, but Su-ho seems pretty clear that he’s not pushing back because of Geu-rim, but because it’s what he wants. He knew the situation with his family was messed up before Geu-rim ever re-entered his life. She’s simply the first thing he’s ever wanted badly enough to risk upsetting the status quo.
However, I can see a tendency in him to try to dominate and control Geu-rim in much the same way his mother dominates and controls him. Luckily, Geu-rim tells him to shove it and puts him in Time Out whenever he tries to take over. I mentioned before that Su-ho’s coping mechanism while growing up was to become like his mother in order to survive her (which I think is a very interesting choice by the writer), so a lot of his healing is going to be about more than just to start making his own decisions, but finding who he really is underneath the persona he’s had to cultivate just to get along. It’s good, and healthy, that he’s got Geu-rim and PD Lee who just ignore his bad behavior, and he’s slowly but surely showing Geu-rim his insecure side, the side that needs someone to just love him regardless of how he acts. So far, Geu-rim is doing a great job of rewarding Su-ho with hugs and kisses when he lets that guard down and shows her his pain and need for reassurance.
Joon-woo seems to be earning Su-ho’s trust back now that he doesn’t work for Mom anymore. That makes me so happy, because he’s the one person who’s been beside Su-ho since before Ji-woo’s accident, and the only one who truly knows what happened back then. There’s still a lot between Joon-woo and Su-ho that needs to be healed, but it’s pretty huge that Su-ho even asked for Joon-woo’s help. I love seeing Joon-woo’s proud smile whenever Su-ho asserts himself, and how much more relaxed he seems now that he doesn’t have to report back to Mom. I’m just not looking forward to what will happen when Su-ho is finally ready to face whatever it is that happened to Ji-woo when they were young. Joon-woo let him down that day in multiple ways, and as much as Su-ho clearly loves Joon-woo, he’s still carrying around a lot of anger towards him.
On an entirely different subject, I really appreciate that Su-ho and Geu-rim’s love story isn’t treated as a middle school crush like some dramas will do, with grown adult characters act like sex between two consenting adults doesn’t exist or is too scandalous to even consider. They don’t actually say right out that that’s what Su-ho is asking of Geu-rim, but between his nervous glances and the delicate dialogue, there’s no doubt that Su-ho and Geu-rim both know exactly what he means when he asks her to stay the night. And normally I’d find Su-ho’s shyness to be disingenuous, but we already know that he’s never dated, and that Geu-rim is the girl he’s loved for half his life. The way that Yoon Doo-joon plays the moment comes across as very realistic under those circumstances… I believe that he’s a guy with very little experience, who’s in a romantic hotel room with the girl he loves, and is now freaking out because he wants to ask his dream girl to take things to the next level with him. Mostly I love that the show is going there at all, because I’m just glad that we’re not being asked to believe that Su-ho hasn’t been thinking about it for weeks now. And I think it was huge that he ripped up the contract before asking Geu-rim to stay, because it meant that she can freely refuse if she wants. Not that the contract truly obligated her, but Su-ho made himself very vulnerable in that moment, which is the most important thing.
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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