Boyfriend: Episode 6
It’s to be expected that the closer our cute couple grows, the more aggressive their enemies become, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch. Luckily, Jin-hyuk’s example is beginning to give Soo-hyun courage, and she’s growing more confident in her ability to stand up against those who would prefer she remain meek and obedient. The tension is building until something is bound to snap, and if she’s lucky, that “something” might just be Soo-hyun’s willingness to let others control her life for one more minute.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
After mutually agreeing to see where their feelings take them, neither Jin-hyuk nor Soo-hyun are sure what to do next. Jin-hyuk invites Soo-hyun for a romantic ride on his bike, and he puts his gloves on her cold hands. He says her small hands are cute, and she tells him that if he keeps calling her cute, she might start to think it’s true.
Jin-hyuk jumps on his bike and coaxes Soo-hyun to sit behind him, firmly wrapping her arms around his waist. They both grin wildly as he pedals to nowhere, just enjoying each other’s company.
They stop at a small coffee shop, where Jin-hyuk buys a little cake to celebrate their “some” relationship status. He removes the two Christmas ornaments from the top of the cake and suggests they each take one as a keepsake.
He mentions that Soo-hyun has never worn the lipstick he got her and asks if she doesn’t like it, but she says that it seems more like a Spring color. Jin-hyuk says that now that they’ve ridden a bike and are having coffee together, it’s Spring for them.
Later, they both end up putting their Christmas ornaments next to the shoes they’ve saved from their meeting in Cuba. They also decide to change each other’s contact info in their phones — Jin-hyuk tries out an informal “Soo-hyun” but decides it’s too soon and goes back to “Director”, while Soo-hyun bites the bullet with “Jin-hyuk.”
Woo-seok calls out Director Choi, his mother’s mole at Donghwa Hotel, to ask about the rumors. He barely holds in his temper as Director Choi criticizes Soo-hyun for being too soft, then says in a tightly controlled voice that Soo-hyun may seem cold, but she has a warm heart.
He asks, oh-so-sweetly, why Director Choi confronted Soo-hyun in front of so many employees, and Director Choi belatedly realizes that he’s not here for an anti-Soo-hyun gossip session. He says that Soo-hyun keeps avoiding him, but Woo-seok reminds him that Soo-hyun is not his friend.
He tells Director Choi that companies usually give hotels to the eldest son, which would make him Soo-hyun’s replacement if Soo-hyun is kicked out. But he says that Soo-hyun made Donghwa Hotel successful, so it wouldn’t be right to take it from her.
He says that he doesn’t deserve the hotel — and neither does Director Choi. Director Choi claims that he has no such aspirations, and Woo-seok’s smile is positively predatory.
The next morning, Soo-hyun decides to wear the lipstick from Jin-hyuk after all. As she’s heading into work, she spots Jin-hyuk nearby zipping up his tie, and even Driver Nam sees Jin-hyuk and gets a giggle out of his zipper tie.
The HR team is busy working on the opening for the Sokcho hotel, and Manager Lee volunteers Jin-hyuk to handle the celebrities. Han-gil points out that that’s the most difficult job and Jin-hyuk is very new, but Jin-hyuk says he’d like to try, and Eun-jin (the office flirt) is assigned to help him.
Jin-hyuk’s friend, the tea shop ajumma, invites him to bring Soo-hyun over to try out a new tea. Soo-hyun smiles at his texted invitation, but she replies that she has another commitment, so he says they can go another day.
At Dae-chan’s restaurant, Jin-myung says that he hopes his brother and Soo-hyun end up together, and they both agree that Soo-hyun is awfully pretty. Dae-chan comments that there’s something wrong with Secretary Jang, but Jin-myung says that she’s cuter and a better catch than him (Dae-chan: “Hey, I have a knife in my hand…”).
Jin-myung has been flipping through the dating app, and he shows Dae-chan the profile of a woman that he thinks is perfect for him. She’s got her face covered with a scarf in her profile picture, and a note saying that she’s got high standards, which Dae-chan finds rude but Jin-myung takes as confidence. Jin-myung sends the woman a message on Dae-chan’s behalf, and of course, it’s Secretary Jang.
Director Kim brings a report to Soo-hyun on how the event planning is going. She asks whether she should invite Chairwoman Kim, and Soo-hyun tells her to send an invitation to her, and to Woo-seok as well.
Her mother literally shoves her way into Soo-hyun’s office, visibly upset. She tells Soo-hyun that the way she envisions a hotel before she builds it is the same way her mother envisions being the wife of the prime minister. She warns that anyone who gets in the way of her vision will pay, even her own child.
Soo-hyun ducks her head and lowers her eyes like an obedient child, but when her mother stops talking, she says, “You’re my parent. You’re my mom and I’m your daughter.” Her mother growls that value is more important to her than being related.
Jin-hyuk happens to be leaving work at the same time as Soo-hyun, but they only get a chance to nod at each other before Soo-hyun drives away. Jin-hyuk notices that something seems off with Soo-hyun, so he texts her that she looks prettier than a model wearing the lipstick he gave her.
Director Choi arranges for Jin-hyuk to be invited to the Sokcho hotel opening as a reporter, planning to make Soo-hyun explain herself in front of everyone. Manager Lee worries that humiliating Soo-hyun could harm her father’s candidacy, but Director Choi only cares about his own advancement.
At a meeting regarding the new hotel in Cuba, the architect that’s doing the renovations suggests that they get rid of the garden in the middle of the building. But Soo-hyun tells her not to touch it, believing that the garden is the soul of the hotel.
On her way back, she stops to pick up something at her tailor’s, and she buys a tie for Jin-hyuk while she’s there. As she waits for it to be gift-wrapped, she hears Woo-seok’s voice behind her, saying that he wants to wear a certain suit this weekend to impress a woman.
He sees her and comes over to ask if she heard anything. She just says no and walks out, but he cheers up when the saleswoman tells him that Soo-hyun bought a tie for a man.
Jin-hyuk visits the tea shop ajumma and tells her shyly that he and Soo-hyun are in a “some” relationship. Ajumma says that she didn’t recognize Soo-hyun at first, but she knows now that Soo-hyun is Jin-hyuk’s CEO, and she seems concerned about whether or not they can have a normal relationship.
Jin-hyuk says that he’s willing to take the risk, because whenever Soo-hyun smiles, it makes him happy. Ajumma comments that this doesn’t seem casual for him, and Jin-hyuk looks surprised, then grows thoughtful.
Driver Nam wants to pick up Jin-hyuk and have a soju with him, and he asks Soo-hyun why she’s being so careful, because it’s okay to spend time with people who make you happy. He declines a call from Director Kim, but Soo-hyun says that she’s been stressed with the Sokcho hotel opening and needs to relax.
She drives to the tea shop after all, then just sits in her car, unable to go inside. Jin-hyuk finds her with her head on her wheel, and he knocks on the window, scaring her to death. He invites her inside for tea, but instead she suggests they go for a walk.
As they walk, Jin-hyuk gives Soo-hyun his scarf, which she says smells nice. She asks how he’s doing with the hotel opening and asks if it’s difficult inviting celebrities, but he says it will all work out. He asks her how he made the Donghwa Hotel a success in such a short time, and she says that she recruited top talent from hotels around the world, and used what she learned of other top hotels as a model for Donghwa.
Since she clearly knows how to take risks, Jin-hyuk asks why she’s so hesitant with him. She says she’s not sure, and he makes a face and keeps walking. But she catches up and slides her hand through his arm, and Jin-hyuk, thrilled, adjusts her grip until they’re holding hands. Awww, they’re so happy.
When they get back to the car, Soo-hyun gives Jin-hyuk the tie, fibbing that it came with a gift for her father. Jin-hyuk looks like he might explode from the pleasure of getting a gift from her. He says that nobody’s ever given him a tie before, and Soo-hyun admits that she’s never given one, either. At home later, Jin-hyuk googles how to tie a necktie, and practices in the mirror.
Driver Nam takes Soo-hyun’s advice and meets Director Kim for drinks, and she tells him about the picture she saw of her husband with another woman. Driver Nam offers to beat her husband to a pulp since her brother isn’t here to do it. Director Kim grumbles that her brother was weak and died, but Driver Nam disagrees, saying that her brother was the best of them.
Director Choi runs into Woo-seok at the driving range, and he gloats that the HR team is having trouble getting celebrities to attend the new hotel opening because they’re afraid of Taekyung Group. Woo-seok doesn’t comment, but he looks disturbed.
It’s true that Jin-hyuk is having trouble, so he visits an entertainmeent company in person, but he’s left to wait in the lobby for hours. Finally an assistant tells him that the actor is busy that day, so he heads back to the hotel to regroup.
The entire office is shocked to see Woo-seok walk in and offer to help with their celebrity problem. He asks Jin-hyuk for the invitation list, and Manager Lee grabs it from Jin-hyuk to hand it over. Woo-seok says that he knows most of them and tells Jin-hyuk (who has no clue who he is) that he’ll handle it.
Jin-hyuk asks who that guy was, and Eun-jin tells him that Woo-seok is Soo-hyun’s ex-husband. Director Kim chastises Manager Lee angrily for giving Woo-seok the list without her permission.
Soo-hyun takes the other gift she bought (a sweater) to her father, who tells her that he’s heard what’s going on from Driver Nam. He asks if she’s okay, then says that it’s one thing if Jin-hyuk is someone important, but if this is all just happening by chance, then it hurts him to see her the center of gossip.
Soo-hyun just says she’s used to people being overly interested in her life, but she reassures her dad that it’s not his fault. She invites him to the hotel opening in Sokcho, but he says a politician would only ruin the mood and promises to visit later.
Back at work, Hye-in pulls Jin-hyuk aside to warn him that Woo-seok and his mother are scary people, but Jin-hyuk just says that no matter how big they are, he’s still himself. Hye-in says that there’s a rumor that they’re eyeing the hotel, so Soo-hyun can’t afford to make them angry.
She asks if Soo-hyun will have his back, and he grows serious, not liking the question. Jin-hyuk listens and thanks her for her concern, then goes back to work.
On the day of the hotel opening, Soo-hyun’s mother orders her husband to go with her, but he stubbornly reads his paper. She grabs it and crumples it into a ball, warning him to get up before she does something worse.
Chairwoman Kim is offended when Soo-hyun isn’t there waiting to greet her the moment she steps out of her car, as if she has nothing else to do. She’s preparing to start the event, but when she runs into Jin-hyuk in a hallway, she notices that he’s not wearing the tie she got him (and she admits that it actually wasn’t free).
He pulls it from his pocket, confessing that he can’t figure out how to tie it. Soo-hyun takes it and puts it on him herself, making him puff up happily at the intimate gesture. Soo-hyun tells him to wipe the grin off his face, but Jin-hyuk just giggles that he can’t, hee.
Nearby, Woo-seok sees them smiling at each other, and he turns and walks away.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony goes off without a hitch, and afterward, Woo-seok finds Jin-hyuk taking photos in one of the hotel rooms. He comments on Jin-hyuk’s tie, saying that the person who gave it to Jin-hyuk has good taste, then he leaves again.
Chairwoman Kim sits down with Soo-hyun’s father to discuss the merging of political parties. He tells her that it won’t happen because their values are too different, and Chairwoman Kim accuses him of using Taekyung Group then not following through on his promises.
She obliquely threatens him, mentioning information that she has on him and the “vulgar” gossip about Soo-hyun. She says that he and Soo-hyun need to get back in their places, but Soo-hyun’s father asks her to refer to Soo-hyun by her proper title and not her name.
Chairwoman Kim purrs that family should be close, but Dad reminds her that they haven’t been family in years. She says firmly that he’ll go back to where he belongs soon and they’ll be close like family again, but he tells her not to be so sure about that.
In a bad mood now, Chairwoman Kim finds Jin-hyuk in the lobby and decides to talk to him. She says he’s better looking in person, then asks nastily if Soo-hyun was lonely. Jin-hyuk just politely tells her that he has to work, but she forbids him to leave her presence without permission, accusing him of acting out because he’s close to Soo-hyun.
Something in Jin-hyuk’s expression goes hard, and he turns back just as Soo-hyun and Secretary Jang come around the corner. Soo-hyun hears him tell Chairwoman Kim that he thought he’d learned everything, but he missed the manual on how to treat VIP guests. He apologizes if he offended her and bows, and Secretary Jang stops Soo-hyun from getting involved as Chairwoman Kim lets out a dark laugh.
She says that she can see why Soo-hyun fell for Jin-hyuk, asking where he found the manual that taught him how to seduce rich, lonely women. Secretary Jang leads a distraught Soo-hyun away, so she doesn’t hear him say that he doesn’t need such a manual and offer to show Chairwoman Kim to her seat.
Chairwoman Kim mentions the saying about a dog chasing a chicken in vain. She says darkly that dogs that don’t know their place lose everything they have and starve to death. Woo-seok finds them then, and he tells his mother that she’s needed elsewhere, interrupting the tense exchange.
Shaken, Jin-hyuk takes a moment to calm down, suddenly understanding Soo-hyun’s reluctance to get close to him a lot more clearly. Hye-in finds him, having witnessed the whole confrontation, and he’s visibly shocked and upset that Soo-hyun had to live for so long being treated that way.
Later there’s a press conference, where Soo-hyun answers questions about the hotel in Sokcho and the one she’s planning in Cuba. Jin-hyuk stands with the rest of the photographers, so he’s there when one reporter asks Soo-hyun about the rumor that she’s been dating.
He wants an official statement from her on the subject, but she says that it’s not an appropriate subject for this event. The reporter ignores her and asks if it’s true that the man is actually a stalker.
Soo-hyun looks at Jin-hyuk, who smiles and nods as if to convey that whatever she says, he won’t hold it against her. He starts to leave to take the pressure off, and she remembers him asking her what kind of relationship they have.
In a clear voice, Soo-hyun says, “We’re in a ‘some’ relationship.” Jin-hyuk freezes and turns back to look at her in shock, and he sees her looking right back at him, smiling.
I love that Soo-hyun finally took this step to announce their relationship status, because until now, her relationship with Jin-hyuk has been all about him taking the risks and her following along complacently. Which has been fine until now, since she’s so inexperienced at showing her true self to anyone. It makes sense that she needed to be led into this, or she would have just given up on it like she’s done with every other personal relationship in her life. But after that confrontation with Chairwoman Kim, Jin-hyuk needed reassurance of Soo-hyun’s feelings for him, and you could see how much it meant to him for Soo-hyun to announce to the world that they’re dating.
But aside from the big dramatic gesture, I love how the tiniest things seem so important to Jin-hyuk, which also makes sense now that we know Soo-hyun better. He’s bowled over by something as simple as her meeting him for tea or holding onto his arm because he understands the amount of courage those gestures cost her. Soo-hyun is fighting against a lifetime of conditioning and social pressure in order to simply sit with him in a car, and he knows full well how significant it is for her to even admit that she likes him to herself, much less to everyone she knows, friend and enemy alike. It’s so sweet how Jin-hyuk reacts to each tiny moment like it’s a big one — his inability to control his face when Soo-hyun was tying his tie was adorable — and it really proves how sincere his feelings are for her.
I continue to find Woo-seok a fascinating character, the way he supports Soo-hyun from the wings with not just his mother, but her other detractors, too. Even though you can tell that it hurts him to see her with Jin-hyuk, he cares about her and respects her enough to help her fight her battles even if she may never know it. And if he did manufacture an affair to let her out of their marriage, I can understand why he did it now that we know more about Soo-hyun herself — she’d been too conditioned to obedience by her mother have asked for a divorce no matter how miserable she was, and she would have fought Woo-seok’s request for a divorce under any other circumstances. By throwing himself under the bus and making himself the bad guy, Woo-seok could let Soo-hyun out of a situation that made her miserable, and make sure she was well provided for by giving her the hotel as compensation. I still worry that jealousy and rejection may get the better of him and that he might turn against Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk, but for now he does seem to be trying to accept the situation graciously and do what he can to support and even help Soo-hyun. So I’m giving Woo-seok the benefit of the doubt unless and until he does something to lose my trust.
I’m scared that Jin-hyuk may try to play the Noble Idiot now that he’s seen the true horror of what Soo-hyun has gone through at the hands of her former mother-in-law, so it’s good timing that Soo-hyun is finally making an effort to take charge of her own life. Jin-hyuk may seem perfect, but he’s still young and he’s never inexperienced cruelty like Chairwoman Kim is capable of, so I wouldn’t blame him if he thought that letting Soo-hyun go would be the right thing to do for her. I have a feeling that their roles are about to switch, and that it will be Jin-hyuk who soon needs coaxing and convincing. I’m looking forward to seeing Soo-hyun grow more confident, and to her being the one that reminds Jin-hyuk that what’s important isn’t money or power, but the genuine love of a true heart.
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