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Boyfriend: Episode 4

It looks like Soo-hyun’s struggle to keep what little independence she’s earned is going to be harder than she thinks, because a good reputation will only get you so far when people are determined to wear you down. Thank goodness she’s got people who believe in her no matter what, but even they aren’t strong enough to do more than offer sympathy. There’s only one person who can help her stand up to her enemies, but does he have the courage to risk everything on her behalf?

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Jin-hyuk tells Soo-hyun honestly that he came back to Sokcho because he missed her. She replies that it’s nice that someone missed her, but that it’s a dangerous thing to say, so she’ll pretend she didn’t hear it.

Jin-hyuk says that in this huge world, they met and spent a day together in a city far away, then met again as employer and employee at home and spent another lovely day together. He thinks that’s all pretty amazing, and he smiles despite Soo-hyun’s obvious discomfort.

After they eat, Jin-hyuk wants to have coffee, and they find a bench on the beach to sit. He gives Soo-hyun his coat, saying that being with her keeps him warm. He’d claimed not to be at all tired after his sleepless night, but he starts to nod off right away and topples over onto Soo-hyun’s shoulder.

While he naps, Soo-hyun says that she didn’t have friends when she was little because her mother wouldn’t allow it, so any time she got close to someone she’d have to break things off again. She says that she forgot how fun it can be to spend time with a friend, and that having to become distant is still very painful. “That’s why I’m trying to stop.”

Jin-hyuk wakes when his phone rings, and he apologizes for crashing on her. She teases him for having a heavy head, and they finish their coffee in companionable silence.

Unable to find Soo-hyun, Woo-seok leaves a note for her at the hotel desk, but as he’s about to leave, he sees Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun pull into the parking garage together. He watches as Jin-hyuk gives Soo-hyun some more of the potato rice cakes they ate together, and asks her if it wasn’t nicer to eat breakfast with a friend than alone.

In her room, Soo-hyun finds a package from Woo-seok — the expensive dress he purchased for her. But it’s the potato rice cakes from Jin-hyuk that she opens and that make her smile.

Woo-seok stays in the area and follows Soo-hyun to the artist’s studio, where she’s told that Artist Jang is still out of town. One call from Woo-seok to the artist’s assistant reveals that Artist Jang is hiding from Soo-hyun nearby, so he goes to see her.

She reluctantly admits to Woo-seok that as her sponsor, his mother is pressuring her to back out on Soo-hyun’s exhibit. Woo-seok acknowledges her tough position, between his mother being her sponsor and Soo-hyun being her biggest fan. He tells Artist Jang that the only thing that ever earned him brownie points with Soo-hyun was driving from Spain to Portugal when they were first married, just because she wanted to see the sunflower field that inspired one of Artist Jang’s pieces.

Convinced, Artist Jang calls Soo-hyun and tells her that she can have the painting for her exhibit, but that she won’t take money for it. She says it’s a gift for a fan who went a long way to understand her art.

Chairwoman Kim is unhappy when she hears what Woo-seok did for Soo-hyun. He tells her to treat Soo-hyun better as her ex-daughter-in-law, but Chairwoman Kim argues that as a former family member, Soo-hyun should think twice before getting involved in scandals, so she’s punishing her.

Woo-seok says they had no right to punish Soo-hyun even when she was family, but his mother promises to be nice once Soo-hyun is family again. He says that it’s up to him and Soo-hyun to get back together or not, but Chairwoman Kim counters that the two families are already involved, snarling that Soo-hyun is just like her useless father.

She tells Woo-seok to let her handle Soo-hyun, but he argues that she’s not an object and can make her own decisions. He says again that he will decide if he wants to remarry Soo-hyun, warning his mother that if she keeps pushing the issue, he’ll cut ties with her.

Jin-hyuk is so tired by the time he returns Dae-chan’s truck that he borrows Dae-chan’s room for a nap. As he lies there, he thinks about Soo-hyun saying that it hurts to make herself distant to someone she cares about — unknown to Soo-hyun, he was still awake. He smiles to himself at this proof that she does care about him.

Dae-chan complains to Jin-myung and Hye-in about Jin-hyuk borrowing his truck in the middle of the night. He says that the only reason a man acts like that is because of his parents, or a woman (Jin-myung: “Our parents are fine.” Dae-chan: “So it’s a woman!”). Hye-in finds Jin-hyuk still sleeping, and she wonders what’s happening to him.

Still thinking about Jin-hyuk’s admission that he missed her, Soo-hyun asks Secretary Jang to return the dress that Woo-seok left for her. He says it was just an early birthday present, but Secretary Jang tells him that it was the fact that he went all the way to Sokcho that makes Soo-hyun uncomfortable. Woo-seok sends some advice to Soo-hyun through Secretary Jang — it’s been hectic because of the scandal articles, so she should be more careful.

Secretary Jang passes on the message, though she doesn’t understand what he means. She complains that the Artist Jang situation was obviously a warning, but Soo-hyun just says that she won’t be left alone even if nothing happens.

At work, Jin-hyuk tells Hye-in that he heard she was at Dae-chan’s, and she asks why he was so tired. He just says he had his reasons. Their manager, Han-gil, wants to do something for Soo-hyun for her birthday. Director Kim says Soo-hyun doesn’t like things like that, but Hye-in sees Jin-hyuk make note of the date.

Jin-hyuk also learns that Han-gil shares the same birthday with Soo-hyun, which is this coming Saturday. Han-gil tells him not to get him a gift, but that if he does, which he shouldn’t, that he prefers women’s skincare products.

Secretary Jang literally chases Driver Nam down in the parking garage to demand the truth about what’s going on. She yells at him for taking Jin-hyuk to Sokcho, but he says that nothing happened, though he kind of hopes something does happen.

He snaps that Soo-hyun’s happiness is more important than a hotel, and that he hasn’t seen her smile like she does with Jin-hyuk since she was a child. Secretary Jang mutters that she’d support Soo-hyun if the person she was dating was good enough for her, and Driver Nam tells her she’ll never get married with that attitude.

Jin-hyuk’s whole family sees the picture of Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun on the news, and although Jin-hyuk’s face is blurred, Jin-myung recognizes Jin-hyuk’s sweater (which he’s currently wearing). He asks Jin-hyuk if he’s met Soo-hyun, and Jin-hyuk says stiffly that yes, he has and yes, she’s pretty in person. Mom says haughtily that a woman should just have a husband and family instead of being rich and famous, and she snaps at Jin-myung for saying that he’d like to find a woman like Soo-hyun.

As Driver Nam walks Director Kim home, he asks if she’s heard anything from the private detective she hired to find out if he husband is cheating, She hasn’t yet, but she says she has a strong intuition, reminding Driver Nam that she even sensed when her brother died.

Chairwoman Kim is having Soo-hyun followed, and she receives several photos of Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk together in Sokcho. There’s also a picture of Jin-hyuk with Hye-in, and Chairwoman Kim learns that Hye-in is his friend and a long-time employee at Donghwa Hotel.

Jin-hyuk waits until the end of the day to give Han-gil the birthday gift he was told not to get him, making Han-gil’s day. As they wait for their bus, Hye-in gets a call from someone asking her to meet him regarding Jin-hyuk. She leaves, telling Jin-hyuk that she decided to take the subway.

Soo-hyun passes Jin-hyuk sitting at the bus stop, and in her distraction she slams on the brakes and gets rear-ended. Jin-hyuk runs over, and he gives the other guy his card and promises on Soo-hyun’s behalf to pay for the damages.

He pulls Soo-hyun aside and offers to drive her home, but she snaps at him that she’s fine, all while avoiding looking at him. Jin-hyuk says that she seems like she’s screaming for help, and she finally turns to him, yelling that he knows nothing about her.

He figures that as long as she’s mad he may as well double down, so he pulls her by the wrist to the passenger side, puts her in the car, and gets behind the wheel. He says that she can yell at him later, but tonight he’s calling the shots.

His attempt to be the alpha male is undermined when he unzips his tie, and Soo-hyun gets the giggles. Jin-hyuk just zips it back up and says it’s worth it if it makes her laugh.

Hye-in meets with Chairwoman Kim’s man, who tells her to put a message on the company bulletin board about Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun, and in return she’ll get a promotion. She refuses to do anything to hurt Jin-hyuk, and even when the man tries to fan her jealousy, she tells him that it’s wrong to interfere when it’s not even true.

Soo-hyun stops Jin-hyuk a ways from her house to drop him off in case reporters are still at her place. He says to wait, sitting very still until the clock ticks to midnight, and he wishes her happy birthday. He gives her a small gift, saying that it’s just a lipstick, but that he thought it would suit her.

Soo-hyun thanks him but declines to take the gift, and Jin-hyuk assumes that it’s too plain. She says that she doesn’t want to be involved with him anymore, that she’s not used to it and it makes her uncomfortable. Jin-hyuk wilts, disappointed, then gives her a brave smile and says that he just got too excited.

He gets out of the car and leaves without another word, and Soo-hyun watches him go in the mirror. She honks, then rolls down the window and holds out her hand, and Jin-hyuk runs back to give her the lipstick. She says she just doesn’t want to seem ungrateful, but when she’s alone, she sighs that she just can’t help herself.

Secretary Jang shows up to start the birthday celebrations, and she finds the brand-new lipstick. She guesses who it’s from, but Soo-hyun threatens to end the party if she nags. She tells Secretary Jang about the car accident and how Jin-hyuk happened to be there, and that the lipstick is a birthday present.

Soo-hyun says she knows she’s acting weird lately, and Secretary Jang agrees that she’s more like the “lunatic Soo-hyun” she was before her father got into politics. They talk about their days together in school, how they’d play hooky to go to a concert.

Secretary Jang says sadly that Soo-hyun needs to stop this. Soo-hyun tells her that she’s thought the same thing ever since Cuba, but she keeps running into Jin-hyuk. Secretary Jang offers to return the lipstick like she returned Woo-seok’s gift, but Soo-hyun just grabs it away from her.

Over dinner, Chairwoman Kim gives Soo-hyun’s mother a gift for Soo-hyun, and she tells her to discuss things with her husband, who’s still against the merging of parties that Chairwoman Kim wants. She explains that he would run unopposed if they merge, and Soo-hyun’s mother reacts with abject gratitude.

Soo-hyun gets ready to go to her parents’ place for her birthday, though she grumbles that being left alone would be the best gift. She invites Secretary Jang along, who says that she’d love to see Soo-hyun’s dad, but not her mom.

Soo-hyun’s mother gives her Chairwoman Kim’s gift along with an admonition to be nicer to her. Her dad tells her mom to stop nagging, and he gives her a book of poetry — the same one Jin-hyuk gave to her.

Secretary Jang asks to meet with Jin-hyuk, and he suggests Dae-chan’s restaurant, which she finds confusing and a little beneath her. Her attitude offends Dae-chan, who tells her snippily to leave and find a nice cafe (is it too early to ship it?). Jin-hyuk shows up in time to break up the fight, and he asks why she wanted to see him on the weekend.

She asks him to stop getting involved with Soo-hyun, because she’s not as strong as she looks. Jin-hyuk asks if Soo-hyun has any power over her own life, and why it’s necessary for her secretary to monitor her friendships.

Secretary Jang points out that for regular people like them, relationships are private, but that’s not the case for people like Soo-hyun. She shows him that even last night’s fender-bender is news today because the other driver recognized Soo-hyun and tweeted about it (luckily he thought Jin-hyuk was her secretary).

She tells Jin-hyuk that this must all seem new and exciting to him, but for Soo-hyun, the slightest mistake can destroy her world. She leaves Jin-hyuk stunned, but after a moment he goes after her.

He tells her, “I’m not having fun exploring a new world. I’m just surprised every day. I realize that we live in different worlds. It’s surprising. I’ll make sure not to cause more problems with my feelings, but my feelings aren’t based on curiosity. Letting a person into your heart, even for a brief moment — I believe it’s meaningful.”

Despite Hye-in’s refusal to publicly out Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk, a notice is posted on the company website anyway. It accuses Soo-hyun of harassing an employee with her “personal desires,” painting her as the aggressor and saying that the employee can’t refuse her for fear of losing his job. Hye-in reads the posting and wonders who could have written it.

Jin-hyuk reads the comments on the slanderous posting incredulously — the employees are starting to turn on Soo-hyun, and they sympathize with the employee she’s accused of harassing. The HR office still supports Soo-hyun, though Manager Lee is suspiciously quiet on the subject… a flashback shows us that he had dinner with both Director Choi and Chairwoman Kim’s investigator, promising them that he’s loyal and can keep a secret. He also reads the posting, and smirks — argh, he took the deal, didn’t he?

Director Choi reports to Chairwoman Kim that their plan is going well, and that a board meeting will be held soon to accuse Soo-hyun of damaging the hotel’s reputation. When Woo-seok hears about the situation, he orders his secretary to find out who posted the message at Donghwa, and to have a hacker bring down the server so nobody else can read it.

In the hotel cafeteria, Jin-hyuk overhears employees criticizing Soo-hyun and speculating on who the object of her affections could be. Secretary Jang advises Soo-hyun to go home, but Soo-hyun refuses, saying that she’s done nothing wrong and that acting guilty will only make things worse.

At the end of the day, Director Choi ambushes Soo-hyun in the hotel lobby to publicly accuse her of avoiding his calls. She tells him to his face that there’s nothing to discuss, but he sneers loudly that she’s upset everyone at the hotel. A crowd is gathering (including Jin-hyuk and Hye-in), so he invites Soo-hyun to explain herself, here and now.

She repeats that there’s nothing to explain and turns to go. Director Choi tells her that as CEO, she should reveal whether the man she’s been seen with is an employee, or some guy she picked up in a host bar as some rumors claim. Soo-hyun’s silence has people assuming that she’s guilty, but when Driver Nam comes to collect her, she starts to go with him.

Suddenly, Jin-hyuk calls out, his voice ringing confidently. Soo-hyun slowly turns to see him smiling as he steps forward to stand in front of her. As if nobody is watching, he asks if she’s headed home, and she thinks, “Just live your life from now on. Don’t take another step towards me.”

But he replies silently, “I’ve made my choice. I’ve decided to take a step towards the world you’re standing in all alone.” Out loud, Jin-hyuk says that he has some money, and he invites Soo-hyun to get ramyun with him, his treat.

He makes it clear who he is by saying that there’s too much traffic to go to the rest stop this time, so they should eat at a convenience store. The crowd realizes two things at once: that the man from the scandal is Jin-hyuk, and that he’s been spending time with Soo-hyun because he wants to, not because he’s being harassed.

He narrates, “Don’t ask me what this feeling is. I don’t know yet, either. Right now, I just don’t want to leave you alone to be lonely. That’s all.”

Sh stares at Jin-hyuk for a long time, thinking of all the kind, generous things he’s done for her… then she returns his smile.

 
COMMENTS

Well, go Jin-hyuk! In other circumstances, what Jin-hyuk just did would be monumentally stupid, but it was actually very smart of him to make his feelings known so that the rumors of Soo-hyun harassing him would be discredited. This is my favorite thing about him — that he’s not scared of how he feels, even if he’s not exactly sure what his feelings mean yet, and he’s not ashamed to let everyone know that he likes and respects Soo-hyun and wants to be her friend. He’s young, and he doesn’t have any experience in how things work in Soo-hyun’s world… But he’s not naïve, he knows what kinds of issues will crop up if they have any kind of relationship, friends or otherwise. However, he also knows that love is more important than money or status, and he cares for Soo-hyun enough to feel it’s worth it. Most importantly, he’s confident that despite her reticence, Soo-hyun feels the same way, if only she’d admit it to herself.

I think that that quality of Jin-hyuk’s is what Soo-hyun finds herself drawn to, they way he’s willing to go for what he wants even before figuring out why he wants it. She’s been forced to hold back her whole life, forced not to show what she wants for fear her controlling mother will take it from her, so she’s just convinced herself that she doesn’t need or want close relationships. But then, here comes this young man who isn’t scared to say what he wants and is willing to make himself vulnerable for her, and she just doesn’t know what to do with him. So she tells herself that she’s okay without him, when that’s quickly becoming untrue.

I really felt for Soo-hyun after she told the sleeping Jin-hyuk why she’s trying not to even start anything — because of her mother, she knows how painful it is to care for someone and have to distance herself from them. It makes their struggle that much more meaningful that Soo-hyun isn’t trying to put the brakes on things because she’s being threatened with losing her hotel, but because she’s personally scared of the pain she knows she’ll feel if she lets herself get any closer to him then has to break things off. I want her to see through Jin-hyuk that the important things in life are worth fighting for, worth risking everything for, because I believe that she already instinctively understands this. She’s just too afraid of what will happen if she goes for what she wants, so she tells herself that she doesn’t want anything. Jin-hyuk is going to change that, and I’m looking forward to the person Soo-hyun will be when she stops being afraid.

I have to mention the lovely artwork that’s highlighted at the beginning and end of each episode, and bookends exactly what’s happening in the story. In this episode, for example, the first painting was of two people standing back-to-back, facing a crowd of snakes that loom over them menacingly. It perfectly illustrates the issue of Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk being threatened from all sides, but at the end, the snakes all fall away as the couple in the center clasps hands. I love the artwork itself, it’s absolutely gorgeous, but I also love how it condenses the events of each episode and makes even the hardships beautiful, reminding us that whatever Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk will go through, it’s all just a part of their story and it all contributes to what I hope will be a beautiful love.

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LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

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My love for this show knows no bounds at the moment.

It takes my favourite movie and does something I thought was impossible. I had always postulated that Roman Holiday couldn't have a romantic sequel as every permutation leads to disaster.

This show replays the story in modern Korea...complete with parallels for the inevitable political wrangling of royalty. I love that the age flip is not just a cheep aside. Instead, It takes the roles Audrey (formal and stately) and Gregory Peck (idealistic) chose when they parted and transferred them into their new ages.

I am still scared for their chances of finding a happy future together. However, this show indicates there may be a way and if they are brave enough it just may work out for them.

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Oh! I hadn’t seen this parallel until you mentioned it! I loved Roman Holiday! Those two are Hollywood royalty as well. I know what I’ll be doing waiting for next week’s episodes!

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@Ally

Ep01 is basically a remake of the movie and I was squealing with joy at every detail.

This is such a well crafted re-imaging that I am now intrigued about what this show is wanting to explore. They have burned through so much storyline gold in the first 4 episode - that could have been a whole drama. They must have something up their sleeve.

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For all those who are not ROMAN HOLIDAY fans - here goes all the parallels I can do from memory, but I am sure there are loads more:

- The opening montage and her status as a girl in the public eye (reimagined newsreel)
- Woman under pressure of expectation
- Man on a escapist adventure.
- His refusal to accept compensation.

The Setup
- Modern Korea as a parallel for the unspecified middling European country.
- Cuba (post sanction) as a parallel for post war Italy (that is a piece of location genius)
- His camera and love of writing (combines roles of reporter and photographer)
- The diplomatic/trade gala (Split between Cuba business presentation and Mother In-Laws event)
- The sore feet and social taboo of taking off shoes (time shifted from the diplomatic gala)
- Short hair cut - throwing off the shackles (done in the montage not the adventures)
- Music at the mother in-laws event (gala dance)
- Cuban brass and string music as a sign of the exotic

The escape from the "embassy" (read hotel)
- The view and dancing = desire for leaving (now postcard on bed)
- The fight with the secretary (roles flipped)
- The sleeping drug (tablet not injection)
- Falling asleep and meeting the male lead
- Sleeping head on the shoulder
- The male lead not knowing the identity
- Poetry reveals their true selves

The adventures - Her with no money and his lack of funds
- Gelato = Beer
- Coffee = Coffee
- Dance barge = Salsa show
- Secret photos of her (now done before the adventures)

The Press Event (opening of Ep02)
- She realises who he really is (now re-discovers him)
- The pause and acknowledgement
- The gift of the photos (time shifted)

The beautiful bit of meta with the Audrey postcard by the cafe.

The very opening of episode 1 is so beautiful once you know its ROMAN HOLIDAY. I didn't realise until I re-watched that even first 30 seconds is that Roman Holiday world. Once I noticed the short hair change, it is obvious that we are meant to view that world only from the back of her head so we focus on her hair and the throngs relentlessly surging at her. The entire world of the princess is there.
- Living for her father
- Poked, prodded by ever closer scrutiny
- A life not her own
- Her long hair
....
then
- alone ( + short hair)

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And! that's how first leads set themselves apart from the second leads :) They always cross the line, taking that one step closer to that person, where as the latter continue to love/support in the background. What Jin Hyuk did was very risky for the company and Soo Hyun, but he still took her side, decided not leave her all by herself when things went sour. And maybe that's what Soo Hyun needed all this time - she needed allies to stand by her. To let her know that it's not a lonesome battle. They all wonder what's making her happy and eccentric these days. They see it for themselves now.

This drama feels like we're hitting climax already when we're just in ep 4? I feel like they're going through stuff that should be have been something that's happening halfway through the series. How is this gonna survive till the end when all issues are already out on the table this early? I hate this gut feeling in me that says they would stretch these issues out.......... :-/

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Also gosh, can we, like, swap driver ahjusshi as Soo Hyun's father instead??????????? loved that proud smirk he's got at the end.

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"It would be a hundred times better to give it all up and live in a farm with someone you love" - Nam Ajushi

I would go one step further and say Its worth giving it all up for your freedom to choose.

That's the difference between him and her friend/secretary. She cares for her but still thinks her friends needs to keep her social status. She really doesnt know what her friend wants. She is making choices for her that is based on her misconceptions and her own thoughts.

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I so agree. But I think the problem is the secretary hasn't seen how happy Soo Hyun is with this young man. The pictures online spelled troubled for her, that he will destroy everything Soo Hyun worked hard for, but she didn't actually see what Soon Hyun was like with him. Nam Ahjusshi saw it first hand how childlike and genuine she was when they were at the plushie stall. And that's why he is all team Jin Hyuk from day 1.

So hopefully now that she's seen it herself, she will change her mind too and be forgiving of Soo Hyun's "drastic" actions. Seems like that will happen next episode - is that her secretary sitting with them at the moon snails restaurant in the preview?

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She will get there. She cares for her. But she has also seen how how she has struggled to get where she is now. I think she plays the devils advocate. What if PBG was a bad guy or someone planted by the mother in law to ruin her image? We all know he is a good guy but why shouldnt a friend look out for her. I think she is treading with caution and that’s not a bad thing.

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Yes! that moment when Jin Hyuk called her, that was unexpected. I though they'd dragged the issue at least 3 more episodes before Jin Hyuk decided and moves forward. But now, learning how Jin Hyuk is, it shouldn't be that surprising that he stepped forward. It's like showing her that whatever happens, even if it's her against the whole world, he is with her. When nobody said a thing when she is completely uncomfortable, he showed her he's not gonna be a bystander.
About the climax, yeaaah this felt like something that would happen in episode 8 ish? or even 12ish?
I hope they won't drag it...... I just want to see them happy and how they sort things out <3

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I was muttering at the screen hoping he WOULDN'T step forward, but once he did, he did it perfectly. Took me a while to realize why it was perfect: he wasn't stepping forward in a grandstanding manner at all. It was all about their relationship, and all about publicly aligning with her, and not leaving her to deal with this alone... but in a really complex way that worked.

This is what her ex-husband never did, it seems. He could do the romantic stuff, he apparently could do the behind-the-scenes stuff, but when it came time to just align himself with Soo Hyun when things got rough he couldn't do it. He has a really scary mom who probably threatened him, but fact is he couldn't do it. He left Soo Hyun out there frequently. And he probably recognizes that about himself, which is why he engineered the divorce. He knows that he can't be the person Soo Hyun needs with his family.

And that's why those last few moments were interesting. Jin Hyuk isn't yelling "this is my woman" or "how dare you gossip about her" or anything like that. He's not making this about him. His approach to her was very personal, very warm, and not at all different from how it would be if no one was watching. It made it clear that these two people do really have this level of communication between them, and that nothing needs to be explained because it's just two people who like being together eating ramyun. All the bystanders could get a glimpse of the natural sympathy between the two, but there was no territory-marking or alpha-male-ing. Just a clear show that this is an existing, willing friendship and that this lanky, likeable guy makes the ice queen smile just by being him.

I would think that her employees would be pretty charmed by Jin Hyuk's sunny personality (he is so OBVIOUSLY kind), and understand why this one guy appears to have cracked her shell.

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And this is also why second leads break our hearts. Because they do their knight-in-shining armor duties in the background, without telling the main leads. I'm now really curious to know more about WS' back story.

I'm glad though that JH, while not as powerful and influential as WS, is more courageous enough to step up for SH's sake and more open to SH about what he feels about her. It's about time that SH has met someone like him.

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Exactly!!!!! I mean what did he do this episode???? He told Artist Jang that wonderful time he’s spent with Soo Hyun in Spain as they chased after the sunflower field. He had such a soft expression on his face remembering that time. He went to see Artist Jang, persuaded her to come see Soo Hyun!

What else did he do??? Ordered his secretary to find out who published that article on the bulletin board and to take that down!

Like why would you do these secretly!! He’s legit shielding her from the background and I was like Nooooooo!!! He was breaking me slowly. And then the cliffhanger at the end happened and sorry, I forgot about rooting him and was swooned by Jin Hyuk just like that💔

And you are right! This episode showed a big contrast between what can Woo Seok and Jin Hyuk do for Soo Hyun. He’s influential, he is nobody. but Jin Hyuk takes home the gold because boy did it right - crossed that line to be with her.

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His mother is ruining her life and how can he proudly go and say 'I am fixing your problems'?
He just can't take credit for this because his own family is doing this. He has no chance with a mother like that!

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The fundamental difference is JH has nothing to lose. Worse he will get fired and he will go back to running his dad's business or do odd jobs.
While for WS - he has his mother, his company etc. There is a thin line between bravery and stupidity and WS is treading carefully within his constraints.
WS is more aware of consequences while JH doesn't know hence doesnt care ; )
Also WS always comes with a baggage - his mother - almost impossible to get the girl. LOL

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Ahhhhhhh. yes you are correct. I didn't see it from this angle. Jin Hyuk's what-the-hell-I`ll-just-go-to-her attitude clouded my thoughts. But you are correct. Woo Seok has got a lot of stakes and that is why perhaps he's been doing everything for her in the background all this time, whereas yes, Jin Hyuk has got nothing to lose.

Being adult is hard. You sacrifice almost everything, if not all, but things still do not come your way. Jin Hyuk is carefree and that is why he can take her out of that dark she is in just like that. Woo Seok, yes, does come with a heavy baggage. sigh.

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Jin Hyuk’s character is a bit too conveniently written from my point of view. For someone who is in their early thirties (isn’t that the characters age?) I would have liked more details on his twenties. It’s all poetic and free spirited. But then why would he end up with a corporate job at this point in life?
I mean, it’s not impossible but makes his character feel more like 24 than 30!

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@mayhemf yeah that’s one of my main concerns too in this drama. And how I’m in somewhat drawn to Woo Seok after ep 3. The Main lead is, as what you’ve said, continently written, too carefree (tho I loved that part of him), and that we don’t really get to see what his life is like outside Soo Hyun. I just hope he isn’t only written for the purpose of being Soo Hyun’s “boyfriend”. And that he too will have cracks/flaws in his character.

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@13infamyss
@mayhemf

You are both correct and this is the issue with WS.

No matter what he does, unless he is willing to slay the dragon, any SH return to him is a return to the clutches of his mother.

As the heir, he has an escape valve. Soo-Hyun has no such weapon against the Mother In-Law.

His caution is actually the sign of the brutal reality that awaits her if she returns. Coming from a political family she knows this all too well.

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@mayhemf @13infamyss it does feel like Jin Hyuk's character felt too conveniently written as he really has nothing to lose (very little compared to SH anyway, maybe some privacy or his profile become public) but I hope the writer has reasons of making him do odd jobs till he is almost thirty and show his flaws. As it's still early episodes we've seen SH's world more than JH so I hope they'll dig more to that xD really hoping he won't be just 'the perfect sunny guy who cracked her shell' !

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@mintful

Is it that JH needs to be that way?

Only the innocent can take on that world. They don’t know the reasons not to.

No one with more experience would take it on and be strong enough for her. They know to much.

This is the direct opposite for her. When she was younger she didn’t know enough to run. Now from experience she knows this is her only escape. She either has to become the mother in-law (that would kill her) or that world will literally destroy her...and she would have seen what they did to others.

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@mayhemf
@13infamyss

"....JH has nothing to lose"

I think you maybe miscalculating what power the mother in-law has - and the viciousness of her reprisals.

This is no run of the mill rich lady. In this world she is akin to royalty and no peasant survives smiting royalty. If this is the ROMAN HOLIDAY sequel then we are looking at one of the greatest Sageuks in disguise .

To her, JH is a nothing and she would not blink at ending his existence through fair or foul means...Including everyone he cares about.

JH literally has everything to lose.

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I agree. At the start of ep3, SH's mother-in-law threatened her by showing photos of JH with his family and by making him appear as a stalker. WS has more bargaining power in that he is the heir of Taegyong group. I don't think his mom will easily throw him out. Which is sad considering that he didn't use this previously to protect SH.

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Thanks for the reference to Roman Holiday. Duh, how did I miss it.

This is why I don’t watch Chaebol stories because I can’t relate to the characters. I don’t visualize their actions. This mother and mother in law are way beyond my comprehension.
I thought he can just leave Seoul and their power can’t destroy him once he leaves the city.
Let’s see where the show goes.

Consider registering sankdramalama :)

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Now that you mentioned Roman Holiday, I am now curious to see if Encounter/Boyfriend will follow a somewhat similar ending. *shudder* (It took me a while to get over Roman Holiday's ending.)

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@doublefault I always thought this is not a happy ending show. Don't know why. It almost looked to me that he shakes her up and she finds the courage to live her life in a way that makes her happy.
She has a company to run, employees depend on her and like her etc.
Now that the RH reference is in my head, I feel we are doomed!

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@mayhemf
@13infamyss

I had always postulated that ROMAN HOLIDAY would always lead to tragedy if the story continued past the movie moment. I just couldn't play it out to end any other way.

HOWEVER>>>>

This show does things I never counted on - and perhaps there is a way.

I always thought that Audrey going back was her rejecting the other life and going back to her duty. I never understood that in this world once you step out - the spell is broken and in reality there is no going back. Either you can't un-see it for what it is. Or - like an animal rejected by its mother after someone touches it - The system will never fully accept you back.

The issue for Hye-Kyo is that she has gone further. By choosing the encounter with Jin-Hyeok (at the welcoming ceremony), she has taken a second step away from that world.

The age swap is essential. It needs a young view of the world as they don’t know the reasons not to do what is so dangerous + the maturity of a woman who knows what the consequences of staying are.

This is also not Lady MacBeth politics (which I thought at first). This is the world is Sageuk politics of royalty and nobles. Men do external politics and women are masters of the household worlds and their husbands do not interfere. I had originally thought that if Hye-Kyo had crossed the mothers her father and her family would be decimated. However, I had not counted that the Father may only be silent at home ...but not in the political world. There may still be political life for him if she and her father play it right.

I think it is the Korean's understanding and incorporation of fiefdom politics that allows them to see it.

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It's Taek all over again! Maybe I shouldn't start that war again, though...

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Yep! that cliffhanger too gave me them Taek-feels all over again. He would always cross the line to get to her in a heartbeat. And how in the smallest, yet meaningful, ways, he became Duk Seon’s hero.

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Omg these are my thoughts exactly. It's the guy-who-loves-me-but-only-in-the-background vs the-guy-who-is-willing-to-cross-the-line-to-show-that-he-loves-me dilemma. Although in Taek's case, he had a lot more to lose especially when he decided to forfeit a baduk match. At this point, we don't know Jinhyuk that much yet.

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WS seems like a villain than the 2nd male lead. HE freaks me out more compare to his mother.

I dislikes he called SH an idiot for asking the failing hotel later threaten/Blackmail SH using his mother! Plus he did everything for SH in hope to 'bring' her back to his side by making SH feels indebted with all gifts he bought.

Portugal trip was even trying to score brownie point for himself...

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I ship Oppa Dae Chan and Secretary Jang! Hahaha!
Also, swooned when Jin Hyuk spoke up at the lobby to clear things up with Soo Hyun. Love this drama, can't wait to see what's next. I hope these two would be willing to fight for what's going on between them, whether friendship or love. Jin hyuk is exactly what Soo Hyun needs and she in turn brightens up his world when they're together.
I don't like that it seems Hye In has feelings for him. I just hope she'll support her friend no matter what.

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I forgot to breathe in that last few minutes!

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unknowingly held my breath! xD

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The hairs on my head stood up and saluted PBG!

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@neener @mintful @ryanglass
Same, same and same!!! I mentioned below that I almost did a standing ovation. I think I was giggling with joy and trying to clap softly, (so as not to wake the family)!!!

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I was already standing hanging up my clothes lol

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I was surprised by how much I liked the ending. It could've ended up really cheesy but it turned out really beautiful. It is as if JH took a leap of fate in deciding to join SH in her world. Loved the use also of Pachelbel's Canon as background music.

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@doublefault I've been liking the music choices in this show. They use familiar pieces with a twist. Just like the tropes!

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Like Pachabel’s Cannon in D? I noticed that too. And I like the predominantly piano background. Simple yet stately.

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To my rather untrained ear, it didn't sound like it was in D. I thought it was closer to C or even B. (It's also why I only wrote Pachelbel's Canon without the key. 😅 )

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Well, the original Canon was in D, not sure if the music director/composer changed the key for this version—my ear is terrible when it comes to knowing what key it’s in just by hearing it, so no worries.

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I think it's a remix though. There is a verse taken from Pachelbel's Canon but it morphs into something else if you listen to it long enough.

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Yes, they took a very common song and made it their own as @growingbeautifully said above—hopefully foreshadowing the dramas turning tropes on their heads as well.

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Wow Go Jin ! i was still skeptical about this drama when i watched the first 2 episode but now i am sucked in !
What he did was very brave and goes along with his character , he goes for what he believes in, he cant see anyone he loves gets hurt. . But pretty sure he will face consequences for this ☹️
And the worst mother in kdrama has a new contender :SooHyun's mother. What a evil person.
Won Seok : i feel bad for him, he genuinely loves but he can never give Soo Hyun the happiness like Jin coz he is tied down by his family. Hope he doesnt evil which is a likely scenario.
And man as u pointed the art is beautiful. They put good thoughts behind them and their meaning. Love it when they think of this much details even in opening and ending of a drama.

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Re: Woo-seok. I am also hoping he doesn't go evil. Obviously he wasn't a good husband, but so far he seems to be a decent ex. Fingers crossed he can stay that way. But I'm not going to hold my breath.

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I have hope for him but also afraid because he was looking for infos on Jin Hyuk. What will he do with that? :/ Will they go through the storyline of 'I am the one who can protect her so you should leave her to me' ? I hope not... Jin Hyuk, protect her! ahaha

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I feel bad for Woo Seok. He's in an impossible position, and honestly I'm not sure how he would get out of it. His family have him tied down so tightly, and his mother is never going to take her claws out of Soo Hyun, the fact that he actually loves his ex-wife is kind of heartbreaking because he just can't win. He would probably love to be the sort of guy Jin Hyuk is to her, but can't see his way to getting there - and he may actually be right that there IS no way to get there. He's screwed.

Unfortunately, trapped people often lash out, so there's a good chance that he's going to get really jealous of Jin Hyuk. He seems like a pretty good guy so far, so maybe that will just be a simmering jealousy, or maybe he will know about some of his mother's machinations and NOT stop them this time. But I also am hoping it's not a full-evil situation.

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<He seems like a pretty good guy so far

He's not that good. He has a girlfriend he has strung along for several years. That girl has gotten little screentime because she an insignificant extra, so we don't sympathise with her, but it did seem like that she thought that relationship was real and had hopes for it.

If WS had just divorced SH to "free her", it would be easier to say he's a nice guy, but he does not seem to care if he's using or hurting others if that's what "freed" SH. (This is ignoring the divorce contract and his mother's still continued maltreatment of his ex.)

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I got a different impression, I thought that the girlfriend was in on the sham relationship. After four years, that girl didn't seem at all warm or familiar with him. I think she's fully aware of her role in this show and just wants to know when her part ends.

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I agree. And lest we forget that “joke” he made at the party about his mom being interesting; the comment about her having both the ex and the current wife in attendance... so funny/ witty I forgot to laugh.

I got the impression the woman at dinner was tired of being held by a string. 4 years is a long time to act like anything and she didn’t come across as that savvy.

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I think WS regrets that he wasn't able to protect SH during the time that they were together. He was probably looking for a fresh start with the supposed divorce and underestimated how evil his mother is.

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@lollypip @redoy21
I was blown away by the art from Ep 1 but I didn't take the time to examine the ending and compare it with the beginning artwork. Now I must do it justice by pausing on the pictures and put them up side by side to catch every nuance of symbolism that may have been carefully drawn in. 😆

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The evil mother and mother in law are the biggest plot issue for me. I really dislike that trope, and particularly in this otherwise subtle, nuanced drama, find it exceptionally jarring.

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Watching this drama is like eating beautifully presented but flavorless dish in some upscale restaurant. It’s not boring, it’s bland. The main couple paring was as wrong as many had expected. Bogummy looks and acts like a handsome schoolboy who clearly knows how attractive he is. What’s worse, they make everyone around him faint from his handsomeness. Is that me, or lately, the writers build their whole non-story around famous male leads’ “attractiveness”, (I’m looking at you Terius) and then cross their fingers and hope to get high ratings for their looks alone. No chemistry between leads. These two beautiful actors look so awkward together. No story. Tired of evil mothers and chaebol husbands.

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sometimes I wonder are people watching the same thing I am watching?
now I understand how so many people can have two completely different opinions on the same thing

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Exactly. Are we watching the same drama? Or better still, are they even watching the drama we are watching?

Boyfriend is a drama where literally everyone and everything, from the characters---both their dialogues and body language---the setting, the music, etc. all play a role in unfolding the narrative. It is a nuanced/layered drama that needs to be watched carefully lest you miss an important detail along the way. How in the world is it a non-story? How can one judged or conclude so simplistically that the whole plot capitalizes around the male lead's attractiveness?!

@lollypip was on point when she said that the drama "uses the usual tropes in UNUSUAL ways and that is what makes the drama stand out.

Allow me to post what I wrote in the Soompi drama thread:

A UNIQUE CINDERELLA STORY

Episode 1 starts with showing an image that we would associate with the classic Cinderella story: the plot device of a shoe (not a glass shoe or slipper this time) but one of Cha Soo Hyun's heeled sandals that falls off as she sits on the ledge of the structure.

I am sure all of us know fully well the classic Cinderella tale: "the rags to riches fate" of the heroine as she is found by the handsome prince by means of that glass shoe and who, by then, was in love with her and intended to marry her.

In the case of Boyfriend, the narrative is reversed. You have an "ice princess" in the person of Cha Soo Hyun who will be saved by commoner, Kim Jin Hyuk, from the trappings of wealth, power and overzealous ambition that gave her a miserable and fettered fate/existence to rightfully claim her personal happiness found in the "simple joys of everyday life".

Non-story? Nah.

I call it AWESOME.

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And just my two cents, if you're hating on a drama too much, why even continue watching it? I understand we all have different opinions, but if a drama is already wearing you out, then better drop it for your own sake and move on to the next one that piques your interest :)

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You said all I wanted to say and more. Some people I've heard, don't like the married Song and a single younger Park pairing, so they're loaded with hate bullets, which I don't understand. They look beautiful y'all, chemistry is good too. What's not to like here?

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We can just ignore it right? How can we ask someone to not watch a drama. What if they like watching a drama they hate? Or may be they wanted to see til Ep 4 and decide to stop or continue?
When a person says they don't like a drama, we can ignore it or explain why you love it, but asking them to not watch it (or not post negative comments - as noticed in other recaps) seems a bit wrong to me. my 2 cents!
No offense to you personally teachermok! I am noticing a lot of people don't want to read anything negative about a show they love.

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No offense taken, @mayhemf! :)

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The idea that viewers would be upset that one lead actor is married in RL, and one is single, seems really bizarre to me. They are actors. I know Korean actors, like actors from other countries, get married ( sometimes to other actors) and have kids, yet continue their careers. That has nothing to do with their acting capabilities, or whether they have on screen chemistry with their love interest in a drama.

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You actually have the same opinion as my husband. He’s actually pretty much sworn off watching this with me because of the vicious mothers. But he’s in love with Jin-Hyuk’s family! It’s just like his. Them sitting around the television watching the news is totally what his family would do and snark about what they are watching. Also, sitting around the table eating and talking. I love that it shows what a normal loving family is like and what kind of kids they produce. Jin Hyuk is my husband, his family is my husband’s as well. As such, he doesn’t see what’s so special about this drama and is probably going to skip it. And the mother-in-law? He says he already has one of those too, and doesn’t need to relieve that trauma! Lol.

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*re-live

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Disagree that it is boring or bland. But I’m also struggling with buying the leads as a credible couple. PBG is beautiful, but he looks and comes across like a 15 or 16 year old. I’m having issues seeing him as a late 20s professional man.

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Although, i think him being "29" on the show, bordering on 30, is tje convenient way to explain why he is pretty decisive about his life. no more doubts about "finding himself" or whatever nonsense. which is why I'm ok with it.

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I’m with Marina. So, like everyone’s suggesting, will drop this show. :) Plus, song hye kyo looks like park bo gum’s mom.

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Thanks for the recap, @lollypip! What I'm loving best about this series is how it uses age-old tropes but still manages to throw in some jaw dropping surprises (like THAT memorable ending). I wish it could sustain this momentum coz we're just 4 episodes in; and, what worries me the most is that we might be left with majority of the remaining episodes angsty and whatnot if it fails to do so.

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yes, that ending had me go asdfghkl but also left me afraid what will the next episodes have if the jaw dropping stuffs is already in the first 4 episodes?

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P.S. I'm now low-key shipping Secretary Mi-jin with moon snails guy Dae-chan hehe

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Me too! @teachermok18 They are just contradictory enough for sparks to fly. First the arguments then the passionate sparks 😋

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yeah it's moving too fast! I had very low expectations for this show and am pleasantly surprised. I want to see PBG smile a little less so we can see his acting more ; ).
Between the mother and mother-in-law we are in for some nasty ride.

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reading this while listening to the ost brought back all the feelings from while watching the episode

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I'm surprised I'm still enjoying this drama, but here I am rooting for our main lead 😄
Things that I like about episode 3-4
1. Driver Nam! He can read and understand Soo-hyun more than anybody else. He's like a perfect big brother that she never had. On a different note, I'm confused with the relationship between Driver Nam and Manager Kim. Are they siblings, or in-laws? Why they're very close that they can causally have snacks together at convenience store.
2. I'm very glad Soo-hyun closest co-workers are people who have known for decades. It's not really surprising actually. I believe they're all on her sides (well, except her mother...)
3. Her ex is not crazy evil and have common sense, I hope he keeps that way.
4. Jin-hyuk's childhood friend is not petty although I bet my last ramyeon she's jealous of Jin-hyuk's attention to their CEO

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Manager Kim's brother, Driver Nam and Soo-hyun's father were all reporters before her father went into politics. Manager Kim and Driver Nam remained close after her brother's death.

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Thanks!

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No, I am not on the Secretary Jang/Dae-chan ship. She calls up an employee on the weekend (which, by the way was not requested of you to do), goes to their neighborhood demanding to talk and after he gives you a location, you go in to complain and then is rude to the staff there.

Between that and taking the lipstick without asking (take a hint woman), Jang crossed several lines this episode and it getting to comfortable under the guise of looking out for her boss.

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Ah, when you pointed that out, that's true, too. I hope she becomes better, though. Good thing that Soo Hyun took back the lipstick and kept it without saying a thing. While I still have the feeling she really is just afraid that Soo Hyun will be hurt in this relationship (as she'd be the one most impacted), I think she could understand her a lot more as a long time friend.

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@larelle79 I believe that Sec Jang was no longer acting in the capacity of Secretary when she called Jin Hyuk, but as her friend. Her behaviour with SH in private is that of one who is a close friend who has her back. Generally I find Korean culture among friends (and even acquaintances) more intrusive than my own, but it's 'normal' for them, so I wasn't too bothered by the lipstick thing.

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oh yes, it was wrong of her to go meet him on a weekend - borderline power abuse.

but lipstick - I had a diff theory. I think she was assessing SH's true feelings. She asked if she should return it and looked at her. I think she wanted to see how her friend felt about this guy. And her reaction confirmed her doubts?

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I've been in a drama hiatus for months and I'm glad I picked this up. I was skeptical this pairing would work at all. Can't imagine. But this drama was able to make me catch up to the latest episodes and dragged me into their world. A lonely one of Soo Hyun's and a bright one of Jin Hyuk's. First of all this felt like a movie. They way they shot this was so pretty. There were subtle feelings in the drama, a soft atmosphere, unspoken emotions. I read that many people found it boring. Well, if I had read those first and not give the drama a try, I'd regret it. It might not be for everyone, but so far it's for me (really hoping it'll be good till the end but if it stopped exciting me midway, I will just drop it... maybe).
Of course this isn't a perfect drama. That chaebol annoying moms storyline, we've heard it at least a thousand times. I don't like those moms either. Usually my excitement will drop a lot with those type of storyline, but the main characters were able to keep me drawn to them. I love the gender role reversal here. Finally, a female chaebol one!
I also like that they both know they weren't supposed to be together but they can't deny their interest to each other. As innocent as Jin Hyuk looked, he actually isn't that innocent. He knew the risk and didn't do the whole 'i love her so i have to leave her and make her hate me' move (yet, anyway! lol I'm afraid it'll happen. From him or her... pls dooon't). Of course there will be problems from his act, as this is only the first few eps, I guess things will go even more downhill from now on. Those snake moms will ruin their lives even more.
With Jin Hyuk, Soo Hyun isn't a robot. She is herself. Jin Hyuk knew this, too. Jin Hyuk sure knows his way through words, but somehow it all felt sincere. I even thought Bo Gum should be a real playboy guy with sweet words next xD
Soo Hyun actually wants simple things that people would find ordinary. But since she herself isn't an everyday citizen, those memories are precious for her (eating ramen in the rest stops, drives, playing in the sand). I know her friends just didn't want to her to be hurt and tried to protect her but maybe all she needs was for people to catch her back when she decided to fight and fall.
I'm also pretty glad that Jin Hyuk's friend wasn't the one who posted those mean post! I was a bit worried but when it was revealed it wasn't her I was happy! Woo Suk seemed a bit dangerous now.
That ending! We need to talk about that for sure. Wow. That was such a bang! didn't think he'd do that. And SHE SMILED. I was afraid she'd go like 'no, we can't do this' BUT SHE SMILED. She just needed to know someone is willing to step into her lonely world for her, it was him. I wonder how his work friends will react.
Also Dae Chan and secretary Jang need to meet more LOL
shoutout to Mr. Nam too! The president of JinHyuk-SooHyun ship lmao
Oh I also like that Jin Hyuk tried to make it clear that yes...

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Smart move to give it a chance instead of getting bogged down by misguided comments.

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@mintful

I wonder how his work friends will react.

I can imagine that there's going to be a lot of fallout for Jin Hyuk over this public gesture of friendship, but I also think that he is prepared to take the challenges for a friend.

With Jin Hyuk, Soo Hyun isn't a robot. She is herself.

And ex-husband, Woo Seok, repeatedly tells his mother that SH is not an object. I want 1 really big trope reversal in this chaebol-run universe. I'd really like for the chaebol snake mums 😈 to suffer being treated like objects themselves, and to admit that it's the wrong thing to do to anyone. I guess it would be too much to ask that they make a sincere apology to their children and in-laws as well. 😋

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hi @growingbeautifully! Long time no see xD (I remember you in JBL thread ehehe)
I think he had thought through before he did that surprising move (though of course what happened to her was an extra push to do it right there and then). From the first four eps, Jin Hyuk is stubborn and has strong principle despite looking extra extra cute and innocent (:p).
I knowww I'm tired of these chaebol snake moms urgh. I need them to suffer too xD idk how, maybe I need to call Buamdong Revenge Club xD
I want to see where the friendship with his old friends go to. Esp with the best friend... >< she could go both ways now.

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Hi @mintful Was it that long ago that we chatted on a thread? That would be about 1 year ago!!! I'm glad to see you here, and that you've left drama hiatus for this show. It was a pretty good choice!

I'm also loving Red Moon, Blue Sun so if you're thinking you might like a mystery-thriller with interesting characters, you can check out that show as well. 😃

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Yeah! I remember dropping by just for a bit but I found no drama that caught my attention long enough so I haven't joined any discussion (or open DB at that) since JBL o_o I'm excited I'm now back and felt like writing a whole essay on this drama xD When I started I thought whenever I lost interest I'll just stop, I had no expectation.

Thanks for the recommendation! I'm not usually into mystery-thriller (sometimes I like them but I usually don't try them out of curiosity xD) but I'll give the first ep a try :D

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@growingbeautifully also wanted to add now Jin Hyuk's position and reputation might be at risk ... right?
people might think he is taking advantage of her as well...

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@mintful Yes, in or around high society where impressions, one's image and rumours are so ridiculously important (and often blown out of proportion), Jin Hyuk stands to lose a lot, just by skimming the outside of that society.

He (or his friends or family) will be used as a pawn to make both him and SH compliant. It's a chaebol given. When that happens, what I want to see is if WS can turn the tables, but without trying to earn an advantage for himself. That would really be a wonderful new way of using the chaebol power trip trope. 😄

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I'm afraid his friends and family will be used as pawn... :/ if they are, please make it somehow different. I'm tired of the chaebols always getting what they want through manipulation...
I'm still a bit worried of WS >< if he used it for good, YAY!

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Tho i like the ending. Jin Hyuk seems a bit pushy in this episode. I feel like it’s making SH uncomfortable and he seemed to be oblivious.

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Wonderful review @lollypip! Thanks!

I think that that quality of Jin-hyuk’s is what Soo-hyun finds herself drawn to, they way he’s willing to go for what he wants even before figuring out why he wants it. She’s been forced to hold back her whole life, forced not to show what she wants for fear her controlling mother will take it from her, so she’s just convinced herself that she doesn’t need or want close relationships. But then, here comes this young man who isn’t scared to say what he wants and is willing to make himself vulnerable for her, and she just doesn’t know what to do with him. So she tells herself that she’s okay without him, when that’s quickly becoming untrue.

I was first so drawn into this show because of Soo Hyun's loneliness, now add to that, that unfair 'enslavement' she has to suffer continually and the freedom she is forced to give up, and I'm rooting so hard for her to break free.

The way you put it ... that she's afraid to show what she wants because her mother will take it away from her makes it sound like it's deliberate. Just because she wants it, she is not to have it. Or like mother will just keep punishing her forever, just because. I've got to watch some more and think about this, because this is child/family member abuse in an underhanded, insidious way. The possibility of this gives me chills.

I can't bear her 'nice' father. He is a wimp. He has not been able to stand up to his wife or to truly protect his only child. What kind of President will he make... he'll just be a puppet under the thumbs of 2 scheming witches. At least her ex-husband does try to stand up against his mother on her behalf. He does more behind the scenes to help and protect his ex-wife than her own father seems to have done.

Jin Hyuk's personality, youthful enthusiasm and relative lack of inhibition is exactly the right combination that Soo Hyun needs in a friend. He keeps it simple and direct, and he does not have so many burdens that he needed to hesitate too long. He and his friend care for each other, therefore when friend is in trouble, she should not be left to face it alone, but be assured that her friend stands by her all the way, especially since she was getting into trouble due to malicious fake news using him. I was almost giving him a standing ovation 😍 with claps and cheers when he came to stand in front of her, to share the brunt of the attack and to shame Choi 'and company'. 😄

Love how this show is going and rooting for Soo Hyun all the way!!! 😂

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Agreed that the dad seemed really powerless! He might be a leader of a country but he'd most probably be his wife's puppet this way....
Also let's do a standing ovation for Jin Hyuk together ahaha xD

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I forgot that I wanted to say this: You know the funniest thing about that ending speech of Jin Hyuk's, he actually included in his ramyeon proposition the statement; "I have some money ..." I believe I started giggling from that time onwards and Soo Hyun could no longer hide her smile.

What a wonderful callback to their time in Cuba, and a suggestion that as 2 persons who'd encountered each other and become friends, that they could hang out together without fear, PLUS, it included an assurance that he'd take care of her to the best of his ability. 😃

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I just love the pacing of this drama.
I wish other drama's will copy the pace of this one.
Give us the good stuff slowly. Don't heap it all down on us, then run out of excuses and subplots, and leave us counting the creases on a leads jacket and re-watching old scene's by episode 10-14. Amen.

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I had to pause the screen at the end, held my breath, and SQUEEEEEEL when he came forward. THIS! THIS is why i love watching kdramas.

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I didn't like the end... I wanted Soo-hyun to be strong. She was just standing... She transformed a bankrupt hotel in a great one, she must be used to fight against this kind of attack. I wanted her to squash and crush this jerk. So I found the end more disapointing than exciting.

Sokcho looks like a really beautiful place!

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but she has always been alone to face everything, she is more fragile than she seems, hers is just a mask. I am so excited for this end.

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I'm waiting for the scene where she will buy a proper tie for him and teach him how to tie it... 😉 And related to this, I'm also waiting for more tension between them, their relationship is still a bit unclear since she insists in talking about "friends" all the time. Hopefully next week they will dial up the romance.

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omg didn't think of that tie possibility! That'd be cute!!

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You and me both!

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Thanks for this recap.
The ending of episode 4 made me scream, cry, smile and happy. I know i am in for a bumpy ride with this drama but am ready for it M.
iI thought ep4 will be frustrating based on Ep3 ending but i was wrong. Ep 4 was great and enjoyed it. That ending scene is just brilliant

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this drama is just like the poetry of that book, it re-reads it and seems more and more touching, more understandable. Jin-Hyuk is slowly coming into my mind and into my ❤️, as is also happening in Soo Hyun, she is fragile. he understood it by exposing himself to save her. It is as it should be the true man, strong, frank and sensitive. Drama and chemistry so far beyond expectations.

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Serendipity and small acts of bravery.

This is what it really takes for relationships start.

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Am I the only one who thinks Jin Hyuk didnt do a very smart thing speaking up for Soo Hyun? It's great that it dispelled the rumours but he just opened up another can of worms by establishing he has some sort of relationship with her to everyone. These are the big corporate guns and dirty politicians who will stop at nothing to get what they want. Realistically, love will not conquer all in these circumstances. What he's doing may seem like child's play to these people. I'm almost afraid to continue watching the repercussions of his actions.

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Actually thinking about it he has put himself in a position of danger as well as safety. Now he will closely watched by others but the dangerous ones were already watching him.
But now he can't be fired easily because if he does get fired everyone will start gossiping about his removal where the reason to fire him won't seem justifiable and can damage the standing of hotel among employees

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At first I thought that too. I was thinking that was a very immature and selfish move... idk what will transgress nxt week, but like many beanies said, at least it's out now. So whatever needs to happen to them will. Instead of having this "Damocles sword" hanging on top of their heads...

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No, JH might not have done the 'smart' thing by speaking up.

But he did the correct thing-standing up against the norm where it's always the hardest

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I'm addicted to this show. That ending took my breath away.
Thank so much for the recap. Also the people at soompi have explained the metaphors /imagery behind the animations so well. Looks like this is another drama I will continue to ruminate on when I really should be studying.

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After Mr. Sunshine, I thought I would stop watching K-dramas for a while, but gurrlll I was wronggg. This drama got me hooookkkeeddd (mainly because Park Bo Gum’s smile... I certainly believe that smile can cure a disease 😂). I really like the story, the pace, the hidden messages here and there, and the subtle things that the drama told you but if you’re not observant enough you wouldn’t catch it. Like in episode 3, when SH asked JH whether she can open the car window and JH seems confused because he knows it is her car, she can do anything she wants with it, why asking permission from him? And SH just smiled faintly, like she’s used to people telling her what to do and people forbid her doing anything that she wants to do (ahem.. looking at you, evil mama) so JH’s reaction is something new to her. And in episode 4, we see a gift from ex-husband with the note “I picked it up on my way here” side by side with potato rice cakes from JH that said “he bought it on his way to Sokcho” and SH prefer the potato rice cakes. Uuuuu is that a sign 😚.
I also wanted to note that the cinematography and the coloring is top notch! PD-nim and everyone behind the drama you’re doing a really great job! Not only that but also the soundtrack and the animation in the beginning and the ending of every episodes. This drama is really in its own league and I do hope that they can maintain its good quality until the end.

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Taekie for the win! He may be young, but he plays the strategies well.

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I'm glad people are still calling him that 😍 even if that wasn't my team. He was good in that drama and I'm glad we got to know Taekie.

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OMG I'm so glad you mentioned the artwork! They never cease to take my breath away and the fantasy feel to them adds a whole new layer to the drama.

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Thank you again for a lovely recap! I wonder when people are complaining about the “lack of chemistry” between the two leads, they are really observing the coolness of CEO Cha opposite of the very open and “my heart is falling out of my sleeve” sincerity of Jin Hyuk. However, this is exactly how they are written and Song Kyu-gyo and Park Bo-gum are playing these characters appropriately. I’m still not convinced PBG is acting at all though. He just exudes sincerity anyway. And that’s what will ultimately save their relationship, his sincerity. There is no way he looks like he’s being coerced into a romantic relationship with his boss (or being sexually harassed due to a power imbalance) with that last scene. Well done, writer and show and PBG. At the same time, he’s given her permission to be more open with him as well. The “ice” is meting, both around her heart and in their relationship. But there is still a ways to go. She is still unsure about relationships, even though she’s been married, that relationship with her ex-husband wasn’t borne of love, but politics and business. I bet they never even consummated their marriage. It is apparent that her ex does care for her, and maybe even is in love with her. She’s definitely capable and a genuinely nice person, so at the very least, there admiration there. I just hope that the consideration he’s given to her continues and what he does (like the preview suggests) is out of a deep concern for her well-being above anything else. They’re all adults here, so I have my fingers crossed that they act like they are. But this is a kdrama after all, so I’m not holding my breath either. Yay for friend-zone girl sticking to her morals and scruples! I’m thinking if I were a character in this show, I would be her, forever pining for my gorgeously handsome friend when he’s in love with someone else. (Wait, did I type that out loud?) I still love this show, minus the poisonous mothers. But conflict has to come from somewhere, *sigh*.

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I would also be the friend pinning for the ridiculously sweet and handsome friend!!

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@ally-le True about Jin Hyuk's sincerity. He's probably hardly acting at all, and will hopefully win over more people by just being himself.

I'm hoping Woo Seok (and Hye In) will once again turn the 2nd lead cliche on it's head, by remaining sweet all through.

That's the thing with poisonous mothers ... without them, there's too little conflict. But then again, I wonder if toxicity is the only way to get conflict. However, those mothers do at least explain why SH seems like a sad, robotic princess, stuck in her tower. :)

Did your husband hear you typing that out loud? :D

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Haha! I’m sure he did! He knows the second lead status I had before marrying him!

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director choi needs to go down, smirk removal, cant wait. maybe though he gets redemption too

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This drama is making me so happy, even in the moments of frustration or pain. I just love that it takes Soo Hyun seriously and explores all the complex facets of her character, and furthermore it's nice to see the number of characters who aren't actively against her (or against Jin Hyuk) but who for one reason or another can't be the ones to break convention and help her life the life she deserves to.

The artwork is gorgeous and thought-provoking, as you mentioned, plus the cinematography and music cues feel like they're being done by some who truly cares about the story. I'm very impressed with the production team thus far, they're enhancing the drama by carefully cultivating their artistic choices.

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@kangminjae Yay for the appropriate art and music and camera work and post-production work. Everything comes out as a work of art. 😃

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This drama makes me cry happy tears. I seriously love everything about it sor far and while we are just four episodes in, I dare say that it is SHK's best work by far. She really embodied the role and made it her own and I find myselm relating so much with her Cha Soohyun.

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About the ending: I usually hate showy public displays of affection; because to me romance is a matter between two people only and there's no place to bring in random strangers. But here it works somehow.

It's because although he is not in love with her just yet he can's stand to see her humiliated by all the nasty rumors. He does it just as a way to protect her, risking his privacy, reputation, and job in the process. He does is deliberately, knowing full well the mess he is getting himself into. I also love that her original silence was her way of protecting him in return.

I don't think JH is naive about the context, although he does not yet have all the facts (it's not just his age and lack of life experience; for a person brought up in a happy middle class family is hard to imagine the full level of craziness of her world) but does get the gist of the situation. Also, it's not that he does not care about the consequences, but that he feels that protecting her is the right thing to do regardless.

Practically, I think it will end up being a clever move. Since mother-in-law-from-hell (MiLfH) has been stalking SH, it would have come out eventually; or worst-mother-ever (WME) would have gone ahead with the JH-as-stalker coverup. At least this way they get to control the narrative.

Lastly - is he smiling too much and too broadly? Yes. Like an idiot? No. It kind of feels on purpose, as a way of reassuring her. Like he knows the power of that smile and uses it intentionally.

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Um, PBG smiling too much? Is that even possible? but I get what you’re saying, I think you’re right, his smile is to reassure her and I’m sure he knows the mountains he can move due to it—at least the actor does.

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MiLfH is the word I need from now on ahhahaa xD
true about the narrative, now they can't pain him as a stalker.
Yes, his smile felt a lot like a reassurance. He does smile a lot but this time it felt like a way of saying that he knows what he is doing. (and in this drama I'm aways in the position to get ready to screencap because urgh that smile of PBG is like warm sun in the middle of a cold snowy winter!!!

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I'm still in with both feet with this show, and Bogum can do no wrong in my eyes. What a sweetheart.

Side note: I hope their first kiss will be when she's leaning close to teach him how to tie a zipper-less tie.

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Ep4 ending is just Wow!
Loving this drama more and more every episode

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Maaaaan I love this! Dramagods pls make the writing be good till the end. Many ppl complain abt the pace, but I think it makes the overall tone of the drama somewhat contemplative...That cliffhanger tho 😭😭😭 cannot wait for nxt week!

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With episode's ending, I feel like the show has finally earned it's title. At first I thought "Boyfriend" was such an arbitrary, trite, moniker. But now I get why it's thematically resonant.

I love the fact that their relationship has been slow to develop and difficult to label, and that their eventual romance is being built on friendship and mutual protectiveness. In the beginning, because they first encountered each other in a space that was removed from the context of Korean social norms, they could simply exist as two people who enjoyed each other's company. But now, because of nosiness and narrow minded (misogynistic) nonsense, they've been forced to put their relationship in the public eye. I feel like at this point, if the show is going in the direction I think it is, Jin-Hyuk is going to be defined, in the eyes of the public, as the "young boyfriend" of this famous CEO socialite. Suddenly he, and their relationship will have an unwanted label and he and Soo-hyun will have to navigate the complexity their private feelings with all of these oversimplified and shallow public perceptions in place. In the public eye, there's no room for ambiguity. There's no understanding of friends figuring out their feelings. He's an attractive younger man with whom an older, powerful woman spends her alone time. Therefore he's "the boyfriend", despite the fact that even when their relationship is romantic, it will still be so much more than that, simply because they are two fully realized human beings who care deeply for each other. And for Jin-Hyuk, who has had no experience with this kind of pressure, I'm sure that being labelled "the boyfriend" and being forced into pre-determined boxes and wrestling with false perceptions will be extremely stressful, and it's possibly a title he may even come to resent before the end. And I'm fascinated to see how he and Soo-Hyun will weather that inevitable storm.

Anyways, if this is, indeed, the direction the show is taking, then I think the title is actually kind of brilliant, and much more nuanced than the international title, which only references their initial "Encounter," and doesn't really encapsulate what follows...

But anyways, I digress. Thanks for the recap! Looking forward to the next one!

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*claps* very well said!

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Roman Holiday reference then Notting Hill!
Some people are complaining because of the makjang tropes but how about the classic rom-com scenes beautifully re-made? I’d like to commend the show for how they reimagined the Notting Hill proposal. It was nothing less than how it was beautifully done in this episode and we are just in ep 4. A little bit of hesitation here, so many gushing from people around, subtle yet moving lines and out of the water public confession. Just amazing. I squealed when he called her name twice and when they faced each other while Pachelbel Canon was playing 🥰. I won’t care if they use all the makjang stuff kdramaland made available when the show here and then give us a reproduction of amazing classic rom-com moments such as in Love Actually, Sleepless in Seattle or Pretty Woman.
On the side note, I hope Sec Jang changes while the ex husband and girl best friend do not. Hope them two will stay as non-villains.

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This drama is SO likable. I'm enjoying it completely.

I love the pace and thus far, conflicts and angst have not been drawn out and the story is moving forward! Characters are making decisions, and being honest/real with who they are. So refreshing!

I loved the ending. It was a bold move and I'm happy with his decision. I loved how in that moment he addressed all the rumors. It was brilliant. It was natural and not threatening. There will be consequences but I'm confident that the characters will be able to deal with it directly and honestly. Looking forward to seeing how the characters tackle the fallout!

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And I like the current friendship angle and the uncertainty of what they are feeling and the exploration of the possibilities of that uncertainty ...

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I also like the fact that it shows the inner feelings and personality of Soo Hyun which only shows whenever she is with him. Behind this powerful figure is a woman who has different desires and yearning. I also love the fact that Jin Hyuk, not understanding the consequences of his actions, moves forward to stand by her and discrediting the rumors that he was threatened by the position of Soo Hyun to go on a date with her. I love the punchlines, the pacing, and the twists. It may be a typical rich-poor encounter but the revelations are a bit different. They are doing extra miles leaving viewers with dropped jaw. I like the line " I have some money". They all started there and I think this line made Soo Hyun smiled. Since she kept on asking him if he had some money on their previous meetings. There is so much to look forward to and too early to drive conclusions. Nonetheless, this is a refreshing drama.

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Me: don't say it! Don't say it!!
Also me tearing up after he said it.

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me too, tbh. I'm afraid something bad will happen if comes forward but when he did I went asdghjkl so shook

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I love this drama (so far). Most of my thoughts have already been said of eloquently by the other users here so I’m not gonna repeat myself

I’d just would like to share my theory as to what would happen next.

I have a strong feeling that JH won’t be fired despite his ballsy move. I do have a feeling tho that he’ll be transferred (temporarily) to the Sokcho branch of the hotel thanks to WS. What made me think about this was his line the preview of episode 5 (“Will we see each other again?”) and that look of concern he has while inside that cafe. Since he’ll be in Sokcho, maybe it will be CSH’s turn to drive all the way just to see him since there has been so many parallels in this show so far!

Also, when do you reckon they’ll kiss? I’m surprised that despite all that has happened between them he hasn’t eaten half of her face yet. Teehee

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This is not Lady MacBeth politics (which I thought at first).

I suspect this is the world of Sageuk politics. If we view this drama through that costumed politics of royalty and nobles - then what we are seeing in these early episodes is only half the story. Men do external politics and women are total rulers of the household worlds (including marriage) and their husbands do not interfere. Men are outsiders in this world.

I had originally thought that if Hye-Kyo had crossed the mothers her father and her family would be decimated. However, I had not counted that the Father may only be silent at home...but not in the political world.

There may still be political life for him if she and her father play it right. Sageuks are full of powerful matriarchs who had their power removed while the king continues merrily on.

This is why the mothers play politics so mercilessly...there can be no challengers to them on the field.

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Are we looking at one of the greatest Sageuks ever - just in disguise.

I find the politics within this neo-Sageuk so much more convincing that that of AN EMPRESS’S DIGNITY.

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This is my first time watching a Korean drama as it is airing for the first time, and the waiting is both good and bad. (Good because I have a career to handle and don’t get tempted to stay up until the WER hours to watch “just one more episode,” and bad because I’m used to the instant gratification af having a completed drama to watch on demand).

This is a yet another beautifully filmed drama, with gorgeous scenery, beautiful actors, and some wonderfully nuanced acting. I haven’t previously seen any series featuring Song Hye-kyo, and I absolutely love her performance here.

That being said, I am having a hard time seeing the chemistry between the two leads. Park Bo Gum is a beautiful young man, and he was adorable as a 19 year old crown prince in “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds” ( although the character who caught my attention, and made me ugly-cry, was Kwak DonByung’s character, Kim Byung-yeon). I’m having a hard time seeing him as a 27 year old professional. He mostly seems to just smile all the time, which makes him look about 15 years old, and I thought his “drunk acting” was just silly stereotypical over-acting. I hate the zipper tie - it’s tacky, like a clip on is, and rather pathetic that an adult man doesn’t know how to tie a necktie.

I really, really want to love this story, because it is so visually stunning, and so beautifully paced, but I’m afraid the OTP isn’t going to work for me - and it’s made worse because I really like her ex-husband so far, and find him very attractive. He doesn’t seem like the filandering asshat he is initially portrayed as, but as someone who knows, appreciates and actually loves his ex wife, but who has also lived with all the social restrictions/burdens that come with being a chaebol heir.

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Why is there no edit option here!

I wanted to add that I’ve only been reading dramabeans recaps for about a month, and I love them. I particularly like the way the recappers point out references, history, and the inside jokes that I would otherwise have missed. I also usually, but not always, share the opinions of the recappers. However, I do NOT particularly enjoy reading comments from people who are just hating on the show. I don’t mean my comment to be that way. I love so many things about Boyfriend that I want to buy into and ship the lead couple, but I’m having some issues with finding them a credible couple, and the issue seems to be Bo Gum’s casting in this role. I’m hoping to be convinced otherwise as the series progresses.

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I love that artwork at the beginning and end of each episode. It's beautiful and meaningful.

Do you think that SHK tearful eyes are so beautiful? I first saw it in Descendant of The Sun and in here at the end of episode. The tearful eyes has so much meaning. When you want to cry but hold it or when you feeling touched, the eyes can speak for it. Only great actor that can convey those feelings very well.

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@parksooha13

Have you noticed the parallels between Soo-Hyun's art on her walls and Jin-Hyeok's photographs?

Both character's wall art/photos are randomly hung like an homage to the pictures at the cuban cafe.

Hers - even in her luxurious building are still randomly place and all her artworks are dreamlike views. Its as if she is the princess trapped in the tower of her parents' world looking at the world that seems so far away...dreaming a way out.

His photos have the same random hanging yet are so tactile. The images of his community are viewed from within his world - looking for people and what makes them meaningful.

There are is of two world views longingly looking at each other.

P.S. I so love these opening/closing artworks

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Yes, I remember when Soo Hyun sitting on her bed looking outside the window and we see that in front of her there's a painting about a girl sitting like her but in the meadow or something.

Seems like the PD or writer really love paintings or art works.

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@parksooha13

OMG. How much I loved that scene. It so jumped into my imagination.

Did you notice in that scene - the bottom half of the actual window she is staring out of also has a painting of the houses on the hill.

Its just after she gives the sandals a home in her shoe display and the 3 art works tell you how to read her emotions.

I read it as the picture you mention is how we are to see her. The right picture of the isolated houses shows the fantasy of her view. The 2nd picture of houses placed under the real window she is looking out merges fantasy and reality.

I cried a little tear of both sadness for where she is and happiness for finding her escape route - no matter how tenuous.

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@parksooha13

How does Rapunzel escape the tower when she has already cut her long hair?

I guess that is what the drama has to solve.

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1. @lollypip I sailed off on The Jang/DaeChan the moment Sec. Jang arrived at the restaurant. Too soon? Probably, but I’m here for it.

2. WooSeok... I’m not a fan. I don’t totally dislike him but he’s not worthy of Soohyun’s time or attention much less affection. He had his chance, for whatever reason blew it and now he’s riding The Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell). BTW, this actor is strapped with another overbearing mom??? And come to think of it, an inept ability to be a decent husband...smh #moneyflower

3. JinHyuk’s Dad recognized it was him, too... And it is hilarious.

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3. He did?? I didn't see it. I have to rewatch that scene 😆

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Good news!

From Good Data Corporation:

1ST WEEK OF DECEMBER: Park Bo Gum ranked 1ST and Song Hye Kyo ranked 2ND in the TOP 10 MOST BUZZWORTHY ACTOR/ACTRESS

Boyfriend/Encounter Drama ranked as the 1ST BUZZWORTHY DRAMA!

https://m.entertain.naver.com/read?oid=112&aid=0003107289 … ……

For two consecutive weeks!

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Happy to say SHK's latest return drama is a triumphant so far. From the first time we see her in Autumn in my heart...almost 2 decades later, her natural subtle acting style has become sublime, it is simply supreme.

What incredibly high quality first 4 episodes, I am a little taken back, to be honest. To the point, I am fearful of the inevitable dread that show may not sustain this intricate quality for the rest of the series.

My 2 fav details (easter eggs)

The most important cupid of their journey is the Hotel Havana Cuban concierge manager, who had not only advised CSH visit the beach location to observe the sunset by putting her in that taxi that eventually broke down (while adding the 'obligatory' comment on 'it is where people fall in love'), he also inadvertently pointed the secretary to the wrong location, which allows the couple a few hours to spend themselves. He was also seen at the end of episode 1 in the black and white silent movie sequence, at the street cafe asking KJH to move to the next table, because he would like to sit at his usual table. Of course, a few minutes later, CSH's chauffeur car crashed to the table while breaking KJH's camera. These series of unfortunate events/fates/serendipity are the reason they met and fall in love halfway across the world, and made the impossible possible. I wonder if they will revisit Cuba later on in the series, and the manager gets to make another guest appearance - in what capacity.

The fact KJH rushed back to her in Ep3 driving overnight was not simply because he is thinking of her. Any more than he had taken the sign of the song request on the radio sounds like she was calling for him and made him rush back to her (and dare to hope). The fact she changed the subject so quickly rather sheepishly (... uh.. I like the soup! Yeah right lol!) at breakfast is practically an admittance she did request the song, embarrassed by him caught her, though something she'd never admit in a million years that she was thinking of him - listened to her 'employees' advise to listen to music on radio to help her to sleep instead of taking sleeping pills. Throughout the series, she gets caught out by him several times, drew to each other made the relationship balanced and believable. Feelings building these feelings naturally. And we are only on episode 4!!! 'Globin', and 'Love from another star' have all played around these themes done well, but that would be about ep 8-10.

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Can we pause for a moment and talk about the ex-husband? I'm starting to sympathize with him if not for the way he was painted in the earlier episodes. I am really confused. He seems to have fallen truly in love with Soo Hyun years ago, and still loves her in the present. He's all Daddy Long Legs and doing clean-up services after her.

So why the "cheating" in the first place? Why the scandal about wanting to marry another woman but not really?

I would want the show to expound on that and I'm sure they will and it will twist our hearts because it will be sad and noble idiot kind of reasoning.

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@battousai

Or - is he a rich boy who only wants what he can't have?

(Looking at this world through the politics of a Sageuk - as I think this is how the story is constructing that world). ATM - it looks like he just wants some tinsel on his serving of status quo.

Unless he is willing to overturn is position as heir...any return to him is a return to his mother. As posted earlier. This is not Lady MacBeth politics. If we view this drama through that costumed politics of royalty and nobles - here women are total rulers of the household worlds (including marriage) and their husbands do not interfere. Men do external politics and are outsiders in this world.

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When I saw comments about the ending of Ep 4, i never imagined it would be of this caliber. While him speaking up may have been stupid from some perspectives, Jim Hyuk was selfless, effective, and swoon worthy.

She's bad for forcing an employee to spend time with her?
Well, he is asking her. And in front of 200 people so no one can deny who stepped forward. And the cinematography of that moment. I stopped moving and breathing for a few quick beats of my aching heart.

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This episode is full of beautiful details - that I missed on the 1st viewing.

1 - Secretary Jang actually drove them together.
Jang's words about returning the lipstick being parallel to returning WS's gift....to SH this conflated her relationships with WS and JH. You can see SH's eye's change at that moment...It makes what she feels for JH now feel dirty (as she felt in her marriage) and she won't allow that. You can see the exact moment where SH makes the decision..she becomes calm and takes the lipstick without words.

Secretary's talk to JH is similar. It cast his feelings as small and unworthy..i.e his relationship world is not of real value.. However, it's more that SH should be left lonely so as not to annoy others that is the point that he can not countenance. It is not in JH to leave a friend to suffer alone.

2 - DRIVER NAM made SH lose. (or...JH is a killer counter attacker)
The ending is not just JH being brave or noble..this is JH as brilliant political tactician. As the staff rumours start, Driver Nam stepped forward to take SH away. However, Nam's actions are a tactical disaster for SH as her retreat appears to confirm and the staff murmurs spread. Both SH and Director Choi's faces confirm that at that moment she has lost...people now believe Choi and that genie is not going back in the bottle.

THEN>>>BOOOM
JH reads the room and sees she has lost and now what is at stake but he alone sees a counter attack. The moment he steps forward, SH is mortified...she can not see the attack JH sees and fears that he has made things worse and expects the situation will lead to a disastrous direct confrontation with Director Choi. Instead JH has timed is run perfectly. At the very moment Choi's plan has run its course he removes all oxygen from Choi's attack by only addressing her. Choi can not react and is shown up as the pretender to the throne he is and the staff are silenced.

It took me ages to see why JH stepped forward at that moment and not earlier....JH is tactically brilliant with timing to die for. Its just we all missed it for the gallantry.

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Manager Nam is my favorite character and Jin Hyuk's zipper tie kills me every time!

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