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115

Boyfriend: Episode 7

Our favorite CEO and her charming young admirer are prepared to face whatever hardships they must in order to be together, but as cute as they are together, they’re not perfect. It’s easy to say that they can endure difficulty, but does that hold true when the actions of one might possibly harm the life of the other? They’re about to be tested – is this relationship truly one of equals?

   
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Jin-hyuk stands outside the Sokcho hotel, unable to control the delighted grin on his face at the memory of Soo-hyun announcing to the press and the world that they’re dating.

Soo-hyun’s mother isn’t so thrilled – she orders Soo-hyun to beg Chairwoman Kim for forgiveness, but Soo-hyun argues that she can’t live her life like that anymore. She tells her mother that she’s been obedient and a “useful” daughter, but that from now on, she’s going to live her own life. Yes!

Director Kim runs into Driver Nam on her way out, already dreading what’s going to happen in the wake of Soo-hyun’s announcement. Driver Nam doesn’t see what’s so wrong about liking someone, and Director Kim gripes at him for being so positive all the time, then admits that she likes it.

Secretary Jang comes out, ready to go as soon as Soo-hyun is finished talking with her mother. She complains that she won’t be able to sleep, and Driver Nam agrees – because his heart is fluttering, hee. He’s such a child, I luff him.

Back at the Seoul hotel, Hye-in looks worried about Jin-hyuk, who was upset after his confrontation with Chairwoman Kim. But upstairs in her office, Soo-hyun looks just as giddy as Jin-hyuk, recalling his happily shocked expression after her public confession. She calls him (after almost chickening out) to invite him to meet her downstairs, and he whispers that the entire PR team is with him.

Soo-hyun gets mixed reactions from the PR team when she shows up in their office to thank them for their hard work. Director Kim had told everyone to stay until they’ve cleaned up, but she senses that Soo-hyun is waiting for Jin-hyuk to be finished, so she dismisses the team. They file out, leaving Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk alone.

Jin-hyuk doesn’t know what to say to Soo-hyun, so she deadpans that he can just say she was very impressive. He starts to tell her that he’s worried because there were so many reporters there, but Soo-hyun stops him, reminding him that she’s much more used to that level of scrutiny than he is.

She admits that she’s worried she made things harder for him, but Jin-hyuk just says they’re both busy worrying about the other. Soo-hyun explains that she’s lived her life with a vague identity – Cha Jong-hyun’s daughter, Taekyung Group’s ex-daughter-in-law, CEO of Donghwa Hotel.

But she says that today is her first day as just Cha Soo-hyun, someone who doesn’t let the person she likes (Jin-hyuk grins at that) get criticized for no reason. She says she feels like she threw a punch, and she tells Jin-hyuk not to worry.

She mentions that she’s hungry, and she gives Jin-hyuk the stink-eye when he reaches into his pocket, worried that he’s going to pull out dried squid again, hee. Instead he pulls out a chocolate, and Soo-hyun sticks the whole thing in her mouth. Jin-hyuk pouts at her, saying that he thought she’d share, and Soo-hyun offers to spit it out, lol.

Woo-seok goes home after the event to mope over seeing Soo-hyun typing Jin-hyuk’s tie (and Jin-hyuk’s excited reaction) and her confession about their dating status. But the next day, his mother has managed to block all the articles about the confession.

She mentions to Director Choi that she found out who tipped off the reporter that asked the dating question, and Director Choi fidgets nervously. He acts like he has no idea what she means, so she tells him that even if he’s not behind it, he needs to fix it.

She orders him to transfer Jin-hyuk to a local branch and let him fester there a while, then fire him. Director Choi worries about what Soo-hyun will do, but Chairwoman Kim chastises him for backstabbing her without a plan in place.

The entire team stares at Jin-hyuk while he works, and when he tries to do anything as simple as get a drink of water, Han-gil and Eun-jin fall all over themselves offering to help. Director Kim finally tells them to stop terrorizing Jin-hyuk, and she gives him a task that gets him out of the office and away from them.

Hye-in helps him put together a list of VIPs that couldn’t attend the hotel opening, so that they can send them gifts. Hye-in admits that Soo-hyun was pretty cool and that she bets Jin-hyuk’s heart was racing, and he smiles shyly.

She confesses to Jin-hyuk about the man who called her and told her to write a slanderous post about Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun in exchange for a promotion, saying that it makes her nervous that she doesn’t know how he knew her number. Oof, Jin-hyuk’s face. Hye-in says she didn’t write that post, but she finds it strange that the man knew that Jin-hyuk was the man from the ramyun scandal.

She thinks it was someone from Taekyung Group, and she says she’s worried that Jin-hyuk will get hurt. Jin-hyuk wonders why they asked her to write the post since she’s his friend, but she doesn’t know, either.

Soo-hyun’s dinner meeting is rescheduled, so she sends Jin-hyuk a text inviting him to eat with her. He waits at the bus stop after work, but instead of Soo-hyun, Woo-seok pulls up wanting to talk. Jin-hyuk is on his guard as Woo-seok asks if what Soo-hyun said in Sokcho is true, and he tells Woo-seok that it’s not easy or accidental for someone to be so open about their feelings.

Woo-seok takes that as confirmation that it’s true, and Jin-hyuk says he also has a question. He asks why Woo-seok even asked him this, and Woo-seok says that he’s like an oppa, looking out for Soo-hyun. As he rides away, he mutters out loud that feeling like an oppa taking care of his dongsaeng is sort of like love.

Secretary Jang is at home grumbling about not having a date when she gets a notification from her dating app. She squeals at the message from the man she’s been communicating with, asking her to meet in person. Unbeknownst to her (and him), it’s Dae-chan, and he gets excited when Secretary Jang replies that she’ll carve out some time.

Over dinner, Jin-hyuk admits to Soo-hyun that his coworkers seem a little jealous. She remarks that the articles about her announcement appear to have been blocked, and Jin-hyuk jokingly laments that the article titles would have been pretty cool: “CEO Cha is in a ‘Some.’

On that subject, he turns serious and says that he doesn’t want to be in a “some” with her anymore. She thinks he’s breaking up with her and gets mad, but he says that his doubts have faded and he’s sure now of his feelings for her, and wants to move forward.

Feeling teased, Soo-hyun says haughtily that he can just do that by himself, so Jin-hyuk surrenders and promises to stop joking. He asks her, very un-seriously, what she wants to discuss, so they talk about going to restaurants, ice skating, and book stores together.

Jin-hyuk asks Soo-hyun what she thinks it feels like to be an oppa, and her answer — protecting someone — seems to upset him. Soo-hyun picks up on his annoyance and goes quiet, but she teases him by withholding a bite of food and breaks the tension.

A text from Secretary Jang alerts Soo-hyun that an emergency meeting has been called for the board of directors tomorrow, and that her presence is required. Jin-hyuk notices her expression, but he doesn’t ask and she doesn’t mention it.

Chairwoman Kim calls her lawyer over to discuss activating the morality clause in Soo-hyun’s divorce agreement. Lawyer Jung says that what’s considered harmful to Taekyung Group is subjective, so it may be a long fight, but Chairwoman Kim is willing to go to battle.

She’s also warned that this will affect Soo-hyun’s father’s political campaign. She describes him as a racehorse who doesn’t obey its owner, but she says she’ll try to “pull his reins tighter.”

The PR team go over plans for the year-end event, and Director Kim pretty much wants the event revamped from the ground up, finding their plans too commonplace. Jin-hyuk suggests a masquerade ball, and Director Kim tells him to write up a proposal, but Hye-in growls that he just made things infinitely more difficult.

During the emergency board meeting, Soo-hyun is accused of inappropriate behavior during the Sokcho Hotel opening. She formally apologizes for discussing her personal life at a professional event, but Director Choi says that they need to take steps to ensure such controversial issues don’t happen again.

He obliquely suggests that her contract as CEO may not be renewed. Soo-hyun promises again not to bother the company with her personal life, adds that she hopes that emergency board meetings are called for necessary reasons in the future, and ends the meeting.

Jin-hyuk is working late when Director Choi finds him to inform him that he’s being transferred to the Sokcho hotel before the end of the year. He tells Jin-hyuk that it’s because of the mess he and Soo-hyun caused, but Jin-hyuk argues that that has nothing to do with the company.

Director Choi says that Jin-hyuk’s presence puts Soo-hyun’s position at risk, mentioning how many shares she owns and how much a financial blow it would be to lose them. He says that the transfer will happen while Soo-hyun is away on business in Shanghai, and that Jin-hyuk is welcome to comply or resign.

Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun leave work at the same time, and when they get to Soo-hyun’s car, Driver Nam fakes a sudden, urgent stomachache. He calls Jin-hyuk from the restroom, saying that he can’t possibly drive right now and asking Jin-hyuk to drive Soo-hyun home. Cutest. Cupid. Ever.

Jin-hyuk doesn’t tell Soo-hyun about his conversation with Director Choi. He does say that he thinks people mostly get through hard times by remembering the good moments in life, recalling a time when his mother was sick and the whole family was buoyed by memories of happier times.

He says that when the two of them experience hardship, he wants them to find strength in happier memories. Soo-hyun senses something strange, but Jin-hyuk laughs off her worries. Later, when he’s alone in his room, Jin-hyuk looks up the fastest route between Seoul and Sokcho and sighs that it’s almost a three-hour drive.

As Driver Nam is walking home, he gets a call from Director Kim’s daughter. Driver Nam meets with her at a playground, where she tells him that she thinks her dad is having an affair. She saw the photo of him with another woman, and she says that she doesn’t have the courage to pretend she doesn’t know.

Soo-hyun’s mom orders her husband to cancel a meeting with his political party, because she has something more important planned. She implies that it’s about Soo-hyun, admitting that she’s sick of Soo-hyun lately but doesn’t want her to get eaten up by Chairwoman Kim.

After their daily PPL moment, Han-gil tells Jin-hyuk that he doesn’t need to work so hard when he owns the heart of the CEO. Manager Lee accuses Han-gil of being jealous, adding vaguely that Jin-hyuk’s position as CEO’s boyfriend may not be all that great.

The meeting that Soo-hyun’s mother has planned is with Chairwoman Kim and the leader of the opposing party — Chairwoman Kim intends to push the merge of the two parties. Soo-hyun’s dad tries to leave the instant he sees who’s waiting for him, but Chairwoman Kim says that he needs to be open-minded now that Soo-hyun’s behavior will cost him votes.

A loyal father, Soo-hyun’s dad says that nobody knows if Soo-hyun will make him win or lose votes. He slams the door and leaves, and the opposing party’s leader worries that they made things worse with this little stunt.

Chairwoman Kim seems unconcerned — the reason becomes clear when Soo-hyun’s father leaves the restaurant and is immediately swarmed by reporters asking if he’s really considering a party merge. He says simply that he has no such intentions.

Jin-hyuk goes for a jog, and his mind is filled with the knowledge that the hotel is everything to Soo-hyun. He recalls Director Choi’s accusation that Jin-hyuk could be the reason she loses everything, but he also knows that his feelings for her are real.

He realizes that he doesn’t have a single picture of her on his phone, so he looks up her address. When he sees that it’s almost two hours away on foot, he grins, “It’s close!” and sets off running. He can barely breathe by the time he arrives, and he runs into Soo-hyun outside her apartment.

To save face, he gasps that her neighborhood is really close to his, hee. She invites him up for a drink of water, and though he insists he’s not thirsty at all, he gulps down a whole bottle in one sitting.

Soo-hyun leaves Jin-hyuk in the living room, where he notices that she’s saved the sandals he bought her in Cuba, along with the Christmas ball representing the day they admitted their feelings to each other. Awww, he nearly melts into a puddle right there.

Soo-hyun admits that she doesn’t have anything to offer him, because it’s the first time she’s had anyone over. She says that Secretary Jang sometimes visits but she doesn’t need to offer her anything, and Jin-hyuk invites her to treat him the same way.

While she pours coffee, Jin-hyuk says that her home is the nicest one he’s ever been in, and she says it’s big, but not warm. She asks him why he jogged all this way in the cold, and Jin-hyuk confesses that he thought he’d give up before getting all the way here.

Soo-hyun notes that he’s always running to her, and he asks if he seems like a stalker, but she thrills him by saying that he seems like a boyfriend. He takes that opening to say that they need to take a picture together. Soo-hyun reluctantly submits, and he takes several shots.

Later, he sits in his tiny, cluttered room, comparing it to Soo-hyun’s spacious apartment. He mutters to himself that they’re definitely mismatched, then adjusts his attitude and calls it a “collaboration.” It gives him an idea, and he pulls up the masquerade ball proposal on his computer and starts typing furiously.

Woo-seok is also thinking about Soo-hyun, remembering one day that Soo-hyun had a cooking class, and his mother ordered her to get her hair done and dress in an outfit she’d chosen. It had gotten out that Woo-seok was having an affair, and his mother expected her to look perfect, even telling her exactly how to smile (often, but not too often).

Woo-seok had joined them at the table, looking exhausted, and had asked Soo-hyun for a divorce. He’d left again (after a telling side-glare at his mother), leaving Soo-hyun speechless.

In the present, Woo-seok gives Soo-ah, his mistress, a pair of earrings. He says that he wants to stop having these uncomfortable meetings, and he thanks her for her help. But she refuses the earrings, saying that they’ll only remind her of today, because, “It’s still a break-up, after all.”

Driver Nam and Soo-hyun’s dad have a drink together, and Driver Nam assumes that Dad is mad about the articles regarding his meeting. Director Kim joins them, and she drops the bomb that she’s getting a divorce. She reminds them that her oppa gave them care of her in his will, and Dad, who previously said they should stick to one bottle of soju, decides they need at least one bottle each.

Jin-hyuk’s dad can tell from his son’s expression that his job isn’t going as well as he claims. Jin-hyuk tells him that he once read that you have to make an effort if you love someone, but that in reality it’s really hard. His dad asks if Jin-hyuk is in love, and Jin-hyuk goes all deer-in-the-headlights… busted.

His dad says that Jin-hyuk has always had to struggle and put in a lot of effort, because his parents couldn’t give him much. Jin-hyuk argues that he feels like he was born rich — his parents paid for school and gave him food and a home, so he considers himself fortunate.

He breaks the news that he’s being transferred to Sokcho, and he asks for help telling his mom. To explain why he’s being transferred so soon after being hired, Jin-hyuk fibs that the Sokcho hotel is more popular than expected so they need more employees quickly.

Mom connects the women’s heels in Jin-hyuk’s room with the transfer, and she asks if he’s moving to open a shoe store. So close, Mom, so close. Dad wants to know what’s up with the shoes, so Jin-hyuk says that he uses them as a prop for photos.

When the PR team learns of Jin-hyuk’s transfer, Han-gil immediately thinks that the timing is strange, since Soo-hyun is leaving for her business trip today. Director Kim accuses Jin-hyuk of not telling her about his transfer earlier (he really is a terrible liar) so that he could finish the year-end event proposal, and he agrees that he wanted to do a good job on his first big project.

Hye-in asks to borrow Director Kim’s phone, which she uses to call Soo-hyun — Director Kim tries to grab her phone back but Hye-in just yells, “I’ll write a formal apology!” and scoots away. She tells Soo-hyun that Jin-hyuk is being transferred, and although Soo-hyun doesn’t react outwardly, she remembers the way Jin-hyuk said he wants to be able to remember the good times when they run across hardships and guesses that he knew.

She tells Driver Nam to turn around and go back to the hotel. She looks determined as she walks back into the building, and Han-gil spots her and runs back to the PR department to tell everyone. He expects Jin-hyuk to be thrilled, but he decidedly doesn’t.

Soo-hyun is fuming as she heads back to her office and tells Secretary Jang to bring Director Choi. Meanwhile, Jin-hyuk jumps up from his desk and heads to Soo-hyun’s office, looking angry and determined.

Epilogue.

Jin-hyuk makes a call to alert someone that he won’t be able to finish planning the year-end event. He tells them that he received approval for the second proposal, and that he’s sending them a file with all the details.

He hangs up and straightens his desk for the last time. He pulls out the welcome letter he got from Soo-hyun when he first started the job, then tucks it safely under the keyboard.

   
COMMENTS

I’m annoyed with Jin-hyuk right now for not telling Soo-hyun about his transfer in advance, although I can understand why he didn’t (and I love that about this drama — even when I disagree with a character’s actions, they still make sense for that character). He didn’t want her to be upset, or worse yet, fight the transfer and get herself into hot water again. It’s his own little twist noble idiocy, though — thank goodness — he never planned to break up with her or disappear on her. He just accepted that things would be harder for a while, but he was prepared to run to Soo-hyun as often as possible, like she said. I find that sweet, and evidence that Jin-hyuk is in this thing for the long haul, but that doesn’t make his silence okay.

The part that annoys me is that when one half of a relationship makes unilateral decisions that will have a huge effect on both parties, it robs the other person of their agency to decide for themselves what they want. To put it bluntly, Jin-hyuk doesn’t have the right to decide what’s best for Soo-hyun, not within their relationship or regarding the other aspects of her life. It’s her right to get all the information and decide what she wants to do about it, even if it’s harmful to her career… she gets to decide if she wants to fight this battle and risk losing the hotel, not Jin-hyuk. But even Soo-hyun shouldn’t make that decision alone… if they’re going to call this a real relationship, they’re both going to need to learn to discuss things and make decisions together.

I liked seeing Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun disagreeing about little things in this episode. It was getting to be a bit too unrealistic that they always understood each other so well without much discussion, so it was fun watching Soo-hyun imply that ice skating is childish, or Jin-hyuk getting mad when she didn’t pick up on his hint that he’d like her to call him Oppa. It’s natural that they won’t agree on everything, and will have little nitpicky arguments, pout like bratty kids, then make up and move forward. I can tell from that final scene that Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun are probably about to have their first real fight, and that it’s probably going to be a big one, but hopefully their little disagreements have paved the way for them to do it in a way that’s productive.

Woo-seok is breaking my heart. This episode confirmed for me that his “affair” was a lie, concocted to get Soo-hyun out of a marriage that was killing her soul. It was so obvious in the flashback that asking or a divorce was painful for him, and that small but fierce glare at his mother proved that he was doing it to get Soo-hyun out from under her iron control. I’m not sure exactly why he’s let the fake affair go on for so long unless it was to prevent his mother insisting that he and Soo-hyun reconcile, but now that she’s pushing for it anyway, it makes sense that he’s finished pretending. I do believe that Woo-seok truly loves Soo-hyun and I also believe that seeing her happy with another man is painful for him, but he’s handling it very well. He only gets involved enough to make sure that Jin-hyuk’s feelings and intentions towards Soo-hyun are in the right place. At this point, many dramas would have Woo-seok go dark and decide he wants her back, turning him into the villain, but I really hope that doesn’t happen here. I love the novelty of the chaebol ex-husband as heartbroken yet committed to making sure the heroine gets what she wants, even if it isn’t him. And I want to see him fight his mother on Soo-hyun’s behalf, even if it means watching him lose the love of his life.

This show has such a slow, relaxing feel to it that it’s easy to miss that things are actually moving pretty quickly. Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun are growing closer at a fairly rapid pace, especially when you consider that everything is all tangled up by the hotel complications, but I love that their relationship is so low-key and simple. When they’re alone together, it’s all about the little moments and the seemingly throwaway comments they make to reassure each other that yes, this thing between them is something important. I particularly loved the moment when Soo-hyun told Jin-hyuk that he seemed like a boyfriend, and he had to sit on his hands to keep them from shaking. Those little things are all they need to understand each other and their evolving relationship, and I love watching a romance that doesn’t need big dramatic gestures (though the public confession was nice, too) to show the audience how much the main couple cares about each other.

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Encounter gets better and better and am really happy with every episode while anxiously waiting for the next one.
Enjoying and loving Bogummy and SHK pairing. PD and crew deserve appreciation. Art work once again is on point.

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I am trying so hard to feel the chemistry between SH and JH.. JH just feels so.....young next to SH, and the relationship is so uneven in every way. I have a hard time believing it could work in the long run. I see it more as a catalyst for growth in both of them, but I am having a hard time suspending my disbelief that a relationship that unequal could work.

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I think it can work in the long run, but definitively some things will have to change, and it is normal. He won't be the boyfriend forever😂😂😂😂😂
But moving forward all the internal and external obstacles they have to confront, I don't see why it should not work. They are like 6 or 7 years apart (that is not much). They are both healthy and in love. They will have to discuss family and money issues but it is their decision.
I don't see why it cannot work: both fee and single😉

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It’s not a question of age; the chemistry is lacking, and the earnest school-boy having his first crush manner in which PBG is playing the character is not a credible love interest for Soo-Hyun, IMO.

I just watched a kind of cheesy Chinese drama in which the lead actor was only 19 at the time, and that boy was so hot he sizzled in his romantic scenes! It made me appreciate his acting, as I suspect those scripted, on camera love scenes could have been his first experiences. (I often wonder if their onscreen kisses are first kisses for some of these young actors/actresses).

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Can I ask in what manner PBG should be playing JinHyuk that would convince you of him being a credible love interest? Does he need to be reserved rather than giddy? Does he need to be even more forward with his flirtation with her, meaning more skinship? (IMO he's already pretty forward considering that she's his boss-- he rarely misses a chance to touch her and never misses a chance to ask her on a date/give her presents) What does a 29 year old man in love look to you?

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JH has 29, almost 30 years..and he's drop-dead sexy... She is beautiful, in her early 30s , but inexperienced in things of love...Also they are intellectually connected (love the same things, they have the good time thogheter)... if you do not see the chemistry between these two, which transmit sensations with a single glance, the problem is yours. Keep watching the Chinese actor and write soon under that drama

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That dinner date Soo-Hyun and Jin-Hyuk went on was cringe worthy. The dialogue was silly and stilted, the “feeding” each other was a tired trope, and was so poorly acted (especially on PBG’s part) that it took me right out of the drama.

There isn’t one bit of convincing passion in this romance. It makes me sad, because this could be a really great drama, and the only scenes that are not convincing - and at times boring - are when the two leads are together. The only interesting thing about them is that they are expositional as to Soo-hyun’s past emotional repression.

I wonder if the “romance” scenes were written - and maybe the character of Jin- Hyuk altered - to fit PBG. If only there were a big contrast between the romantic leads, and Jin-Hyuk was a fun, impulsive, passionate, sexy young guy, whose “carpe diem” philosophy provided a real contrast to the people in Soo-hyun’s world, like the character the pre-show publicity described. Instead, there’s this earnest, innocent, slightly dorky, hardworking, responsible guy, whose only real contrast to other people Soo-Hyun knows is he’s young, poor and powerless. Oh, and annoyingly cheerful with a constant boyish (but not sexy) grin.

OTOH, my heart aches for Jung Woo-seok. He’s a lovely man, and his sadness is palpable. Lovely, nuanced acting by Jang Seung-jo.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been meh about the main couple, but it’s usually the lead actress I find uninteresting, and this is probably the first time I am more interested in the second lead than in the purported soulmate of the main female character. I wish he’d find a soulmate of his own, but as there are no other options being shown for him, that seems unlikely. Sigh.

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I seriously don't get you guys.
You complain about it being Cheesy & cringe but you watch it again & again and still go ahead to complain about he same thing.
Why watch it if you find a problem with it?
Smh.

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I can't speak for others but I think it's because there are some things they like and others they don't so it's nice to talk about the stuff that could have been done better.
Personally, I like the tone of this show, the prettiness, the music, and I really like the premise itself, but I don't think it's realistic enough so I usually post about this. Maybe you can also have fun comparing different opinions.

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Exactly. Also, although I definitely will watch a drama because of who is in it, I will never "love" a drama just because of who is in it. I love Lee Min Ho, but I HATED Heirs and I became so uninterested in "Faith" that although I didn't hate it, I kind of have never gotten around to watching the last 2 or 3 episodes.

And while he isn't anywhere near as handsome as most of the Korean actors I think are extremely attractive and very talented, (Ji Chang-Wook, Lee Min Ho, Lee Jong Suk), I think Park Seo Joon is an amazingly sexy and charismatic actor, and want to watch everything he's in, but I HATED - and could not get beyond 5 or 6 episodes - She Was Pretty.

I have to feel the drama and believe in the relationships to love it. The OTP in this show aren't selling it for me, but I do love the gorgeousness and pacing of this drama, and I am interested enough in the story to continue watching.

Actually, this drama makes me want to read the novel that I understand it was based on. Or maybe there wasn't a novel, but a different story in an original screenplay? I understand that the original source had Soo-Hyun and Woo-seok as having a child of their marriage, which is clearly not the case in the TV drama. I also saw a pre-production description of the drama that noted the child of the marriage, and also that it was a sad story (implying that the couple, like in Roman Holiday, learn from one another in positive ways, but go back to their own lives, having been enriched by the experience).

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@Verpertyne29
I had forgotten about the child, I think her character would be more interesting and easier to understand, the way she took so long to try breaking free from the husband's family, if she had a child.

I love many actors too, including all you mentioned, but almost none can make me stay if the drama itself doesn't deliver. What I don't do is to drop them late, if I watch the first 6 eps a drama has to become really nonsensical to make me consider dropping it.

It's interesting you have talked twice about a possible ending for Boyfriend. There is no chance it won't have a happy ending with the main characters together in some beach but I can imagine an ending in which she grows out of love for him, it would be bittersweet and be much more original and have a longer effect on people's memory.

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Because there are lovely and enjoyable things about the drama, but the main couple’s romance is falling flatter and becoming less believable each week. However, Soo-hyun’s journey is interesting in and of itself, and I’m curious where it will take her. This could still be a good story. The best ending would be for Soo-hyun to fully live her own life, as she wants. Hopefully that won’t be giving up the job that she loves, and the position she clearly enjoys, to be with someone with whom she has as little in common as she does with Ji-huyk. His character is sweet, but so devoid of sexual appeal.

And I just saw the epilogue. Those masks he had specially made for Soo-Hyun and himself? They were both hideous and impractical (hers didn’t even have any device to keep it on her face, so she had to hold it over her face the entire time?) That’s the first total miss when it comes to beautiful scenery and costumes. The masquerade party was really disappointing. It could have been spectacular.

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Lol, we get it. You hate PBG. Devoid of sexual appeal? Uhm. Maybe to you.

Do you even know what their masks are supposed to symbolize and how fitting it is for their characters?

The best ending is for Soo Hyun to keep her hotel and her man, Jin Hyuk because why can’t she have both things she love?

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My annoyance is people complaining about the age.
What is wrong with their age difference?
If you feel there is no chemistry than you feel that but people don't point out ages when the man is much older.
Do people say oh well he is like 15 years older than the female lead so that's why the chemistry is off? No its oh she is too childish or he is too stiff or whatever.

And I have no problem with male actors being older than their female co star as long as they fit the roles. And roles are always open for them they can be around unlike women you are old you either have to be paired with an older man or be a mother or aunt or some lady.

Their romance is slow, its not fireworks or hot passion. It is safe and slow and maybe because of the terrible divorce that is what some people need. Some comfort.

You see some dramas the guy is a trouble maker that rocks her boat. Maybe she doesn't want boat rocking.

But I do find a lot of it annoying. The mom the ex mother in law. Like how about sell the hotel and go start a new one. The step mom is always going to be a monkey on her back no matter what she goes.

Either find a way to make the hotel solely hers and find a way around the clause in the divorce or if you cant that hotel will always be attached to someone who will make her miserable.

And this drama is not my style but I feel so sorry for song's character I watch just hoping to see she has a happy ending.

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I wonder if the dinner scene took you right out the drama (and others too perhaps) because it was the first scene of its type?

To me, it also felt odd and I didn't like it, but I didn't like it because of the setting. Our manic pixie dream boy separated from SooHyun by an expanse of white table cloth, eating with fine china just.does.not.suit. And perhaps that's what I was supposed to be feeling! Til now, JinHyuk and SooHyun have had their romantic interactions out in the open air or in a place closer to the ordinary life that SooHyun seems to crave. Even their conversation didn't really match the fancy setting... the room looked more like a place to discuss stock options not whether or not ice skating would be a fun date.

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"If only there were a big contrast between the romantic leads, and Jin-Hyuk was a fun, impulsive, passionate, sexy young guy, whose “carpe diem” philosophy provided a real contrast to the people in Soo-hyun’s world, like the character the pre-show publicity described. Instead, there’s this earnest, innocent, slightly dorky, hardworking, responsible guy, whose only real contrast to other people Soo-Hyun knows is he’s young, poor and powerless. Oh, and annoyingly cheerful with a constant boyish (but not sexy) grin."

THIS!! Now, I think PBG is so cute, and a good actor, and I have seen him pull off some smoulder. Even in the early episodes of the show. And I am no prude when it comes to age differences. However, once they got back, it feels more like PBG character is a school boy experiencing the first touch of a woman, and that woman is his sexy homeroom teacher....PBG is a fresh, endearing young BOY, and not a sexy, throw caution to the wind younger MAN who could hold his own next to an accomplished mature older woman. His age really shows, and I almost blame the writing, and directing. The charachter is written as a virginal, inexperienced, upstanding young man who I guess is supposed to be wise and unspoiled in his innocence. It changes the chemistry from man x woman to boy x woman, and with the ex DH seemingly a great guy who loves the heroine, it almost seems like the story will lean more with the DH and the heroine together in the end with all of them having "grown up" as people. PBG is acting the part as written IMO. It's not his acting, it's the writing.

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"PBG is acting the part as written IMO. It's not his acting, it's the writing."

This x 1000%!!!! I agree so much with you. He's just doing what's been asked of him. There's little smoulder, sexy intensity because that's not with the director/writer want. Instead, there's plenty of wordplay and light-hearted flirtation, which as we've seen, SooHyun likes. I can't imagine that the repressed SooHyun of the first few episodes would have known what to do with JinHyuk coming on any more strongly than he has. And she especially would not have tolerated him being passionate once their boss/employee relationship was established. By being lighthearted and sweet, JinHyuk managed to win her heart. Everything else flows from there.

As to the rest of your comment, I think I disagree. JinHyuk is nothing like the people in her world. The people around her have let her suffer for years. They saw the walls she'd built around herself and let them stand unchallenged. JinHyuk is everything you say: "earnest, innocent, slightly dorky, hardworking, responsible guy... young, poor, and powerless... and annoyingly cheerful with a constant boyish (but not sexy) grin."

But! All of the above somehow combine to make a man who's willing to climb over her walls and extend her a rope ladder so she can escape. He may not be quite as carefree as we had been made to believe, but he's certainly more carefree than everyone else SooHyun knows. And that little bit of difference is enough for her, it seems.

Just my two cents.

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Where was it stated that Jin-hyuk is a virgin?

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Nowhere.

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"Do you even know what their masks are supposed to symbolize and how fitting it is for their characters?"

According to the epilogue, Jin-Hyuk requested a woman's mask that did 3 things: covered the entire face, had a handle on it for "comfort" (which is silly to me, as holding a mask over your face constantly ties up one of your hands, and limits what you can do, and is the opposite of comfortable), and would be unobtrusive (ie not stand out in the crowd, so she wouldn't be noticeable).

As for his mask, it was very heavy and unattractive, but it looked like either a knight's armor, or - my immediate thought - the tinman from the Wizard of Oz (who had no heart).

If there was meaning beyond that, then yes, I missed it. But I still didn't find them attractive or functional. I've actually been to masquerade balls and parties, and I can't imagine wearing a mask that prevented me from eating, drinking and BREATHING for the duration of a party.

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Then that maybe the reason why you dont get his acting because you dont even get the drama 😂 Almost everything in this drama has a meaning. Metaphor that you need to dissect. It’s not just there because it looks pretty.

Those masks. The wizard of oz mask, thats Tin Man. You can google why the writer chose Tin Man as his mask. CSH’s mask, take a screenshot of it and understand why he chose that for her.

This drama is all about the details. Starting from the art piece and every little jab/bicker that they say. If you are too used to dramas that only value prettiness, then I urge you to look further in this drama.

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Uhm, I said exactly that. I’m an English lit major, former high school English teacher, current lawyer. Don’t try to school me in literary allusions , metaphor and literary symbolism.

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Oh then. That you are. No need for me to explain then.

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I actually had a double major of English lit and art history. My first job when I graduated from college - at age 20 - was assistant curator of education at an art museum.

One of the things that absolutely delights me about Korean dramas is their use of the arts, and in particular poetry, in the dramas. My favorite scene , to this day and possibly forever, in any drama I’ve seen is from Goblin. Absolutely and beautifully perfect, in every aspect, from cinematography to costumes to music to acting to the poem that expresses the moment to Gong Yoo’s beautiful voice.

https://youtu.be/Kldqp4Byyuk

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Here there are only your comments that are not very convincing and are very boring. The drama is fantastic just because the two main actors do it and they have a crazy chemistry. The dialogue during dinner was a wonderful example of a meet between two people who are in love already a lot and play on this, it is impossible not to see it. I think you're ambiguous, maybe you're the usual infiltrated fan of another actor, you'd better go back and watch the Chinese actor you mentioned above

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Wrong again. I’ve never even seen any of the actors on this show in a drama, other than Park Bo Gum in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, in which he, like every other main actor, was wonderful.

I have my opinion about the lack of credible chemistry between the lead actors in this drama. It’s my opinion, just like yours is your opinion. Yours is not more valid because it is an opinion. And you know what people say about opinions, right?

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I like them BECAUSE they’re a slightly awkward match. The dinner was weird and was supposed to be weird, from the couple-y feeding to the clash of their ideal dates. They aren’t “well suited” on paper, and if you’d thrown them straight into a date as strangers it never would have worked. They’re too different.

But they met abroad where he was in his element and she was stripped of all her societal expectations and they saw something in each other that was charming and REAL. And that’s what they’re pursuing - I think that’s also why any lust/passion element is on the back burner, because they’re working so hard to jigsaw the depth of their connection in Cuba into the weird borders of their very different Korean lives.

I very much like that these two aren’t going off of chemistry, but something deeper. Overt chemistry would be dangerous for them at this stage. I like that they think about each other all the time and are trying incredibly hard to keep a balance. There’s no overt passion here, but there is a yearning, and that’s what’s keeping me hooked. Even without the skinship, both parties are putting themselves out there more and more, in public and in thought.

And as a side note, I’m not bothered by the age difference one bit. I kind of enjoy the moments when PBG skews young because it reminds us that it exists - otherwise the connection seems perfectly valid.

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I am glad you are enjoying the pairing. I don't think I said they need to fuel the relationship via passion. What i mean is that when you paid someone together, and the age difference is so vast (especially irl) the male lead needs to give off the vibe of a man, and not a boy. IMO the character seems too young. Almost like it is his first rodeo, and it throws off the chemistry for me. I don't hate the characters, actors, or the drama. I am just having a hard time feeling the chemistry, which means I can't buy that they really feel for each other on the level that I am supposed to in order to believe they would risk everything to be together.

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I absolutely do not hate PBG. I think he is adorable, and I've seen him give excellent performances as an actor. But I'm not watching this drama solely for cute PBG. I'm watching what is presenting as a fairly serious love story, and my perception is that he is seriously miscast in this role, and that he has no chemistry with Song Hye-kyo's character in this drama. I am disappointed, because the lack of credibility of the romance affects the overall enjoyment I have of this drama.

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I seriously don't know if he was miscast? Maybe? I just wish that the director could figure out how to get him to seem like he has at least a little history, and knows how to handle a woman. I know he is supposed to be playing a young man of nearly 30, but I don't buy it. The dinner where he suggested to the formerly married CEO of a company that they go to an amusement park was so cringey and awkward. I blame the writing for that. I have a hard time believing that someone as gorgeous as PBG would make it to 29 without a notch or two on his belt...yet that is the impression that I get when they Are together. Like he has zero experience which makes the chemistry so awkward. And I don't blame the lack of chemistry just on him either. She seems like she doesn't really have sexy feelings for him. I wonder if the real life 13 year age difference keeps them from being able to fully sink into their roles, and it just really shows on screen?

Anyway, it's not enough to make me stop watching the show. I have a feeling that they won't wnd up together in the end, so I am not too bothered. Maybe if they add a little skinship after that kiss, things will heat up a bit?😋

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I wonder if you have ever been in love, at 20, 30, 40 years you would like to share the experiences with the person you love, not just a bed ... and the eighth episode heats up with a single glance, long before the kiss ... there is chemistry between them because watching them you do not think about who the actors are or what they did before, but what the characters feel. I think sometimes those who are fans of some other actor criticize randomly, it seems to me to be absurd, whether you are aware of it or not

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Yes. I have been in love. Currently I am in my 22nd year of an extremely happy marriag e. Actually, I think that is precisely WHY I am not buying the m as OTP. I know what it takes to make a long term relationship work. I really like PBG and I like SHG, and I hope that by the time the drama is over, I will have liked them together. As an aside. If I were you, I wouldn't make this personal. You don't know who you are talking to on the other end. What if you were addressing someone with a terminally ill partner, or someone recently widowed? You could really hurt someone, and we are just talking about a tv show. It is a subjective experience, and because of that people will have differing opinions about it. It's nice to see how other people are interpreting the show. Chillax.

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He is clearly depicted as someone who has experience with dating. He has no problem flirting, giving her his number or inviting her for dates.

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Hmm, i'm not sure about that. Sometimes he *is* awfully smooth (e.g. teasing her when she asks who he was talking on the phone at 14:42(?) or 'this is my first day ...with this rice cake')... But then his family seems to think the opposite. Also when the takes SH to the snail restaurant his brother and friend tease him to no end about it (mostly because he brought a girl over, not just because of who she is). And there are some moments when he seems inexperienced, like when SH comments that the scarf he gave her smells nice (of him)...

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I do not believe you, I'm sorry. He is so fantastic in that role that your criticism seems absurd

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Wow. People get so salty.

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Thanks for the recap, @lollypip!

What makes this series a breath of fresh air is seeing how CEO Soo-hyun, even if she's already in her mid-30s, bask in the emotional rollercoaster that is called first love. The series is not the strongest one this year, but it's good enough to make me smile after a long day. Too bad it's going on a break next week :(

I've said this before and I'll reiterate it again, inasmuch as I adore Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun, Driver Nam will always be the best thing in this series- and the best smile award goes to him, too! Sorry, Bogummy! You're a close second, though!

Happy Christmas, everyone! <3

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This is not the best drama of this year because it's the best of the last two years, seriously, I was not so involved for years ... I think the smile of JH is unreachable even for driver Nam...
Very happy Christmas to you too.

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Why doesn't he just quit this job?
I thought ep 7 had to start from there because as soon as they are official he can longer work there. It's no good for anyone. Even after the transfer to the other hotel. It's not what his family would like, it's bad for his new relationship and he even said this much. It's bad for him because he doesn't get treated equally, his co-workers and boss might try to please him but would always resent him, their fear of pointing his mistakes. Nobody could blame them. That's one of the reasons so many big companies forbid employees to date colleagues. Most of all it's bad for her, because it's ridiculous for her to date a low level employee from her own hotel, he would be an eternal source of gossip. Yes, I know it was hard to get this job but it's useless after all this and he knows it.

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He was jobless for nearly 2 years (?). It's not that easy to quit and find a job.

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He's been there for what, a month? Besides it's a job that won't teach him anything anymore and that doesn't offer any possibility to grow, it's not even a job it's more like a salary guarantee. He's young, selfless and caring, if it's bad for everyone why would he stay? It can't be just about money or he would not have spent his savings on a trip.

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In my head, this is how I justify him not quitting right now: JinHyuk spent his 20s doing what he wanted to do. Working here and there, having fun while getting to know people from all different walks of life. He took pictures and read books and made enough money to put a cap on his twenties with a trip of a lifetime to Cuba. And now that the trip is done, he's signified that his carefree youth is over and he's quite ready to become the responsible eldest son and hold down a steady job. Which means not quitting unless and until he has another job offer in hand.

This is just my personal headcanon and I think it doesn't quite match the bios that we've been given from the writer, but to me it makes the most sense.

At heart JinHyuk is a free spirit, but he walked into the cage of being a salaryman with his eyes wide open. His only mistake was not anticipating that he was going to fall in love with his boss. Now his stubbornness is rearing his head, and he'd rather stick it out and fight by his lover's side than leave for something easier.

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If staying there wasn't bad for her I'd completely agree, besides if he's being serious about his future, it's like I said, this job is a joke. He has a college degree right? How exactly working for a year as receptionist is going to improve his career?

The transfer also just proved staying there he is vulnerable to anyone from inside that plots against her. How hard would be for these people to fabricate rumors about him? The best thing would be to go somewhere free from their influence.

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I am learning to love the JH character also for choices that he makes, so unconventional. He would not leave the job to be able to love her freely simply because it does not accept compromises, does not accept that love between two people can be a cause of scandal or blackmail, but has a noble soul, not naive, so in front of the fact that they could use their relationship to hurt her, he decides to accept a compromise, but he does not leave her and does not leave work because he knows he deserves it, he knows that work is important for him and his family. I love him for this too

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If he quits after a month no other hotel would hire him. It’s too unprofessional, they’d throw his resume in the trash

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@modestgoddess
He doesn't have to work for another hotel, he didn't even major in Tourism. Besides he could come up with a decent explanation and she could just find him another job. He doesn't even have to tell anyone about working for a month there.

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@Lixie I’ll grant you that KJH working there doesn’t make it easier for CSH but Chairman Kim was coming for her CEO job way before JH came along. Not to mention, that if the Korean work culture is as cut throat as we’re told, I wouldn’t want my CEO girlfriend to “help” me get a job somewhere else. It cheapens the relationship no matter how pure or sincere her assistance would be. Even the coworkers who like him are openly making slick comments about him dating the boss.... hard pass on the help. He’s a gown *** man and if he has a nose on his face he is not about to make the situation even worse by letting her intervene in that way. Bad enough she missed a whole flight to override his transfer... it simply isn’t a good look; In a drama or in real life.

Someone else mentioned him being stubborn... and kind of digging in his heels. I think he should stick it out to prove his point.

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I wish it would be that easy. I wish she could even recommend him for another company, and yes, he would get another job even nearby, and they would keep in dating... we would still have a plot, since two horrible mothers would do what it takes to separate them, but he wouldn't be the object of gossip among his own colleagues.
But this is the kind of writer who wants to have all her conflicts inside the same house (so to speak): it is easier to go with the characters we already know.

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@javinne

I suspect JH is actually SH's weapon as well as ally.
Since Ep05 it has been looking like she is planning to use him to draw out all the spy networks (not just the leaders). Him being there is like a lightning rod and they are unable to resist.

It wasn't until his EP04 declaration that SH actually realised how politically adept JH was - or that he had such killer timing for counter attack.

P.S. If he is relocated and they maintain a relationship...its already too late. The rumors would be unstoppable, she would still cop all the bad press but lose her weapon to fight.

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Yes, I thought she should be trying to find him a new job. He would be shy about accepting her help but since she is the reason he had to quit, I think he could accept it.

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A serious and responsible man like him does not leave his job because he wants to love his boss ... In fact he chooses to leave only after the threats to her, not for the behavior of colleagues

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He didn’t “choose” to leave; he was ordered to be transferred by the PTB. His choice was to not go running to whine to Soo-Hyun about it, which would have not only been totally out of character, but would have instantly destroyed any possibility that he was worthy to be in a relationship with her.

Going from working in PR management at corporate headquarters to being a front desk clerk at a minor resort hotel owned by the company is ridiculous, though. Realistically speaking, he should look for another job. That is a major, slap-in-the-face demotion ( and we also know, per Evil Ex-MIL instructions to Director Choi, is the first step to firing JH from the company).

During the start of the first episode - especially with all the charming allusions to Roman Holiday - I was thinking Jin-hyuk was a free lance photographer, who traveled the world taking photos. It seemed very compatible with the pre-production description of his character as independent and free-spirited. I was disappointed when we found out he was going to be a brand new employee, at an entry level position as he has no experience in anything but manual labor jobs, at Soo-hyun’s hotel.

I was also a bit disappointed when he admitted he’d entered both poetry and photography competitions, and been shot down. Being a free lance photographer, like Gregory Peck’s character in RH, would have been much more interesting, because Soo-hyun has celebrity status, and her life is fodder for the gossip rags and even mainstream media. The inherent conflict in their relationship would still be there, but much more interesting, as Ji-hyuk would have more autonomy. (or in the alternative, though less interesting, he could land a gig working for a large media corporation, and get an assignment that requires him to cover Soo-hyun’s business or personal life, and/or her farher’s political campaign.

But nope, we get ye olde trope of the minion finding out that the anonymous person they fell for (or in some cases, that they argued with and insulted) was actually their new boss.

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This would only apply if they met after he joined the company. They met before, and were involved before, so he’s in the clear. That’s the HR angle at least.

I don’t think it would help at this stage for him to quit. If she finds him another job he’s a kept man, and if she doesn’t he’s a scandal lightning rod that other hotels will either shun or use for CEO leverage. At least in his current role he got in on merit and as long as he keeps doing good work, he’s fine. It won’t be easy, but better than the alternatives.

His determination to go to the branch hotel indicates he understands how to roll with this - he’s got to demonstrate that he won’t tattle and also that he will follow orders. He’s doing okay.

Soo Hyun has the harder job of having to just stand by, in many ways. It’ll be torment to have the power to reverse this but not use it.

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@Miranda
Nobody knows they met in Cuba and it's not even very believable.
If she finds him a job after being the reason he has to quit, she is just a responsible fair person, wouldn't make him a kept man.
He doesn't have to work in any hotel.
He got in on merit but as long as everyone knows he is CEO's boyfriend he doesn't stay on merit. Nobody would dare criticize him.

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He majored in hotel management. Quitting so soon would make him unemployable.

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I forgot something, everybody is loving cute Driver Nam but I want to give a compliment to Hye-in, this girl is a true friend. After so many weird female characters that always value their strange obsessions with ML more than everyone, even themselves, this girl has her priorities straight. She knows to do what's best for the person she cares about even if that means putting her job on the line.

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Oh yeah, props to Hye-in, too, particularly in Episode 8 when she actually complimented Soo-hyun by calling her "cool". She's a real friend and a decent human being. I wish her happiness maybe with the dongsaeng?

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oops it's in this episode wherein Hye-in calls Soo-hyun cool. my mistake!

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I also respected her for confessing to Jim-hyuk that she was the one who told Soo-hyun about his punitive transfer to Nowheresville

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Yes, she’s wonderful. I’ve said this once before, but she reminds me the most of me in college, where I liked a good friend, but he was in love was someone else, and for some crazy reason, I helped him be with her. Even to the point of giving him something and saying it was from her and visa versa. Like I said, it was crazy. But what she’s doing is being a good friend. And if things don’t work out, she’ll always be there for him, until she won’t be.

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@Lixie @Ally OMG...YES. I am so glad others see it.

To me, Jeon So-Nee as Hye-In is knocking it out of the park. Every episode I am more amazed by her portrayal. Hard to believe she is so early in her career.

FRIEND vs LOVE
She obviously has such a deep friendship with JH. In Kdrama Korea its so hard to maintain that boundary across sexes but I hope it is possible here.

I think HI is disappointed, but she isn't angry. From what we have seen, I don't think JH is putting out mixed signals. His only action of real proximity was that graduation photo. Given what we know of JH this was calculated friendship to ensure her memory of graduation was not one of loneliness.

JH is the one who can read a room and make the gestures no-one else is brave enough too for those who he sees in need.

We all need more friends who will step up for us.

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Driver Nam is a favorite, for good reason, but a close second for me is Soohyun's dad. He's standing firm on not sacrificing Soohyun for his political aims. He's also not willing to give up on his principles by merging the two parties. I'd vote for him.

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Did you notice that in the conversation with Evil Mother/Wife, he seemed to be suggesting that either she took money from the Taekyung Group, or from the ex-mother-in-law, presumably to "buy" his political position, and lied to him about it, so that when all was said and done, they were able to force him to hand over Soo-hyun to be their daughter-in-law? At least that was my read of the comment, but the clear implication is that Evil Mother lied about money from Evil-Ex-MIL, and that is what forced dad's hand when it came to the marriage to Woo-seok.

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No…no, no, no, no, no, NO

Writer, just no. This story doesn’t work if JH is just like every other young guy.

After 3 episodes of her photo driving the plot and the importance of both his camera and the physical photographs, how can we be expected to believe he didn’t remember he had a photo of her. Her Cuba photo, taken with “that camera”, is imbued with memories of his adventure, their meeting, the start of their romance, and the light table. Not only does his camera connect his world, to JH, his photos are physical talismans of his relationships. For someone like JH - a phone photo is hollow.

To me, the writer also looks to have broken one of the reasons SH is attracted to him (He can read her boundaries but won’t accept boundaries set for her by others). JH already knows Chairman Choi is not her ally from the hotel opening - yet he is swayed by him. The JH of ep 1 to 6 is smarter than that…and would not remove her agency.

Its like these odd number episodes I can see the parts that have the hand of a different writer. We keep butting up to the edge of his world where as the even episodes always expand him beyond what we knew before. Not to mention we fall back into basic cliché and plot holes….For goodness sake…how can JH run up a hill and just moments later she walk up from behind him and surprise him….JH would have seen her from miles off.

Their relationship becomes no longer believable if he is just like any other 28 year old. Plot irregularities, sure….but writer(s), you can’t fundamentally re-write the character.

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Here's what I think about the picture issue - it's not that Jin-hyuk didn't have a picture of Soo-hyun at all, and it's not about the quality of phone pictures (which can actually be quite good these days). Jin-hyuk went to see Soo-hyun because he didn't have a picture of her that he could easily carry around and look at when he missed her, like when he was out jogging. He has lots of pictures of Soo-hyun at home, arguably better photos with more meaning attached to them, but he doesn't take those loose photos out jogging. I think he specifically wanted a picture of her on his phone because that's a picture he can carry with him wherever he goes.

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Nothing in the translation I've seen says this, but I think it's also important that he's in the photo as well - it's a picture of them together

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@KDramaNewbie Even the way he takes "selfies" on film is fundamentally different to a phone photo. Hence he would value them differently.

When he uses his film camera with that fixed lens, you can't see yourself (no screen) and you don't get to see the photo until you develop the film. So its not about do I look beautiful.

FYI. We spent 4yrs backpacking 30 years ago doing exactly this with a similar film camera. The only thing you can focus on is actually being in shot and hopefully getting the background in shot. Because of the lens he uses - these photos are almost always about the background and how you change in them. Selfies on a phone are all about how you see yourself.

The best way I can describe it for people who haven't done this is the difference between if you do your own makeup with a mirror - vs - If someone else does your makeup...and you don't get to see the photos of the makeup they did of it until a month later.

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@LollyPip JH just isn't wired to think that way. Creative people always see the world from a skew...not just occasionally.

His giving SH his phone number is a case in point. Not only is it sweet, it is tactically brilliant. No one in her world would ever look in photos for his number....(his number is nothing but still a danger in the wrong hands). P.S. he also knows he doesn't need her to unlock the phone to take a photo.

If you re-cast him now to think about memories and value in such an ordinary way...he's just another 28 year old guy...and he is definitely not that.

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He gave that Cuba pic of her to her as a gift inside the poetry book he gifted to her in ep 3, if I remember. As for the pic, he just wants something to remember her by when he misses her at Sokcho.

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@Livii

I do understand why many may feel that way. But for me - Sure its what other dramas would do. However, it doesn't mesh with everything we know about JH or why he is special to SH.

JH only gave SH a print from the negative...Given he is the print maker, there is nothing to say it is the only print.

I thing the best way to describe it is....Why is that photo with Hye-In graduating so important to HI. Its not just that is with him...its more than that. Taking a selfie with a film camera the way he does requires each person to be totally aware of where they are in space and share trust.

Now Hye-In will never look at her graduation as a event of loneliness. JH's action is deliberate and he knows the act of sharing that photo transformed Hye-In's memory from loneliness to become on full of trust and moment of being truely present.

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I would not categorize that photo from Cuba as a photo of his girlfriend. He even apologies when he shows it to her, clarifying that he didn’t know her then and was just taking street scene shots. There’s no connection in it at all, she’s not looking at him, there’s no emotion between subject and viewer. If he were to pull up that photo and say “this is a photo of my girlfriend” my reaction would be “...does that woman KNOW she’s your girlfriend?” Because the lady in that photo is oblivious.

A photo of your significant other looking at you through the lens is a proper photo of your girlfriend. Or at the very least, aware of you. And that’s why he takes a lot - they’re both in the photo, she’s leaning into him, and she’s also smiling and making eye contact with the picture-maker: Jin-Hyuk. When he looks at those photos later, her expression is for HIM.

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@Miranda

Thanks...thats an interesting take. However, I would love to see your decision tree (from what we know of JH) that makes that case for the photo/value you describe.

I tried to see how I could end up at where you are and I just can't make it fit his character.

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I look forward to Wednesdays because of this show. Like I try to be efficient, get all my work done, clean the house, play with the kids, make sure my husband is happy, everything, just so I can enjoy this show in peace. That’s saying more about this drama than anything else I can say.

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A romance story with minimum big dramatic gestures, just 2 people from diff worlds falling in love with each other as time crawls on. That's sweet.

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it's wonderful

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I seem to be in the minority here, but I rather liked this episode. After focusing on SH's loneliness, and how JH entering her life made her reconsider how she wants to live from now on, it's JH's turn to come into focus. He gets to have a serious look at his feelings and their implications. While he had already accepted in the abstract the fact that dating SH has serious consequences, I don't think he had internalized what that would really mean. When director/mole told him about the relocation, also implying that it was done at SH's initiative, all of the sudden he is forced to seriously think about it.

I am with you that he should have discussed the move with SH rather than planning his exit on his own, but I think that all the brooding triggered by his silence was actually good for the relationship. He got to think long and hard about what that job meant for him - all the effort put into getting in, and more importantly that he might end up disappointing the parents that worked so hard to put him through school. He also had to digest the possibility that SH may be the one sending him away. Still, their interactions so far were enough to completely dismiss that scenario from his mind. He got to figure out that he trusts SH and her feelings for him. Also he realized just how deeply in love he actually is and after weighing it all, he decided that SH was worth it. I'm glad that this decision did not come easy, because it's not just the naive optimism of fresh romance but a conscious commitment.

It's at this point when he slightly messed up when he unilaterally made the decision to leave for her benefit. They are still new at this dating business so it will take time for them to grow into equal partners in their 'collaboration'. I'm sure they have what it takes to get there eventually. Learning the support from JH's parents will not be easy either. Still, I hope the second half of the show will focus on these real challenges rather than more chaebol craziness.

Other highlights:
Teasing and being grumpy at each other; the two of them negotiating their differences with funny faces and a sense of humor. Definitely a good sign.

Also, JH's conversation with his dad was very moving. I wish I could be a half as amazing child to my parents.

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I agree with most of what you said. However, I did not get the impression that JH thought it was SH who was relocating him. From the conversation with the Director I thought it was hinted at the it was the Taegyong group that was behind it.

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I agree totally, I understood he understood it is the T group behind his relocation because they have and upper hand of stocks in that hotel almost as if they are the true owners, and it was explicit for him only then that she could be removed as the CEO, due to her dating him (or eventually showing favoritism to him). So he decided it is not so bad to be relocated, the distance is not so big, and we will still be having our relationship. Of course, it was still painful, but he thought that was the best outcome, meanwhile.

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Can I just pretend I said all this? Because, yes, yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. And his conversation with his father was sweet, and I felt the same way, my relationship with my parents pales in comparison.

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Also, maybe Tod’s would show up so often if people on Korea ran with reflectors on their dark clothing at night.

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*wouldn’t.

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Cut Kim Jin Hyuk some slack. The guy received an underhanded thunderbolt HR transfer notice via Director Choi bypassing even his PR Unit Head and immediate head. Moreover, Cha Soo Hyun was en route to Shanghai and common sense dictated that it was bad timing to tell her about the transfer notice.

Top of mind was to protect Cha Soo Hyun from losing the hotel which, as she has told Kim Jin Hyuk, meant everything to her. Next, he had to protect Cha Soo Hyun's integrity as a CEO of Donghwa Hotel since any move on her part to block his transfer notice would be judged as favoritism and would adversely affect her credibility with the entire staff. The card was clearly on Kim Jin Hyuk's side. Thus, Chief Secretary's thoughtless and rash jab at Kim Jin Hyuk when he asked to see CEO Cha ("Did you send an SOS? Did you call Ms. Cha for help?") was downright mean and insulting. That was farthest from Kim Jin Hyuk's mind. He was there to ask CEO Cha to let him go for her sake. and added he will do his best to find his way back to his position by virtue of meritocracy . Now, isn't that so admirable of Kim Jin Hyuk?
I believe, in line with Kim Jin Hyuk's character, that he had all the intention to tell Cha Soo Hyun but he was siderailed by Hye In's call to CEO Cha through Ms. Lee's phone.

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Excellent!

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I agree with you. JH behaved in the most appropriate way and I do not think his choice could be criticized.

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Honestly he probably SHOULD have told her because then she wouldn’t have been blindsided... but I understand why he didn’t. If they didn’t have this “some” relationship he never would tell the CEO about this, even if she were a friend, because it is completely fraught. Just walking it through gives me a headache: he’s at risk of coming across like he’s telling her what to do, or like he’s asking her to intervene, or any number of other possibilities. He might also get found out by the shady director as having told her. So allowing it to happen and then dealing with it as a done deal (and again, as an average worker that would be exactly what he’s expected to do!) would have appeal.

But yeah, in hindsight the info should have been shared so they could decide together. But I don’t think their relationship is there yet in terms of teamwork - you have to go through exactly this sort of thing to GET to that level of teamwork. So there is a silver lining.

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In love with this episode.

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I'm gonna reserved my comments after ep 8 recap, because 7 & 8 felt like one continuous episode.

But I gotta say that I just realized how the drama loves to have a close up shots of the actors hands. They are great tools to convey the mood and feelings. You will see more at ep 8, how just by simple hand gestures, you can feel all the emotions between the characters (not just the 2 mains).

I will be back after ep 8 recap is up. Can't wait to squeal with joy with all of you.

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LOL. While I'm happy for the leads, I can't help but feel my heart break for WS.

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I have to repeat myself again: Soo hyun only smiles brightly and laugh when she is with Jin hyunk... this is how I know she is madly in love with him (and not only in the some relationship or "the person I like"), I think she already loves him, and I understand why. 😊

This episode was also very good, and I agree with lollypip that a deep relationship doesn't have to be about grand gestures, but the small little even symbolic things that tie two people together, and the nice memories they do with each other everytime. 😉
But I also have to agree with Lollypip that JH should have told her about the transfer and come to an agreement together on what to do. 😐
Sadly, this is a typical trope in dramaland that I wish I would have not seen here and that I am afraid it will happen again: a person gets to know something or is threatened by someone or something that will possibly affect his relationship (which is supposed to be his most important relationship) and yet he decides for himself what to do, hiding the truth from this other person. WS did the same, even deciding to hurt himself in the process because he loved her, and turning her into a divorced woman, with all the implied stigma since this is Korea, just because he thought his decisions were right and she didn't have to know.
In the case of JH, I will have to forgive him, because it is something relatively small and he is not used to think as a couple yet, but WS... oh my, I also feel sorry for him, and I see the true responsible for everything in his horrible mother, but still, I just can't ship him, because he lost Soo hyun himself alone, and now that her heart belongs to someone else... now she is really gone.

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I think I know why I don't feel anything with the main couple. All is too staged for me. They always look beautiful with a lot of close-up on their face, the way they speak doesn't feel natural but deliberate, they always are in beautiful places. Their scenes are in different flow from the rest of the drama.

For the decision of JH not to say to Soo Hyun, he thinks protecting her like that she can't take a bad decision but in the big battle, she has to know all the moves of her ennemy if she doesn't to be look weak. I don't think her decision not to move him should be considered favoritism, if the decision was wrong since the beginning.

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Your first paragraph nails it. Everything is oh so beautiful, but unconvincing. Watching their scenes together, i never forget I’m watching two actors who are working from a memorized script in front of a camera.

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I am slowly losing interest in this drama... I have a feeling but next week episodes I might drop it off entirely.

And anyone else having second lead syndrome? I had a feeling from the beginning that Woo-seok was in a fake relationship and pretended to have an affair in his own way of protecting Soohyun and this week's episode finally confirms that. And that broke my heart and now I want SooHyun to know that and acknowledge and may be you know get back together with him. Like I said second lead syndrome.

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WS is already up there for me together with Won Bin in Autumn in My Heart, KWB in The Heirs, and HJH from The King Loves. I love how WS has kept his dignity so far and how he does all his knight-in-shining armor duties without SH knowing, so as not to burden her. He is a a really great guy who just happens to not be compatible with the love of his life.

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Right there with you. His scenes are the ones that make me tear up. And his ability to express a range of emotions with his eyes and smile is really wonderful. I can’t help caring about him.

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@Vespertyne29
Woo-Seek, Hye-In, and JH's parents are so good. I am loving the actors for these characters.

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I think she will end up back together with him at the end. She needs a man and a partner, not a playmate.

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Can we talk about Soo Hyun’s dress during the restaurant scene?? It was so gorgeous and she was rocking it 🤩🤩😍😍

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Thank you for the recap!
I'm really loving this show (well, except the evil mothers XD ).

I was thinking about a thing: Mrs Kim (kudos to the actress, that was really scary in The guest, while here she is lovely) spoke more times about her brother's death, but we don't know the details.
Now, I don't rememer who said that if a gun appears in a novel, eventually it will shoot. So, I was wonder if this death is somehow linked to the chairwoman Kim and if it could be something to defeat her at the end.

I don't know what to think about Woo-Seok: I mean, it is clear that he cares about Soo-Hyun, but I suppose that a betrayal is something that destroys you, even if it is from an unloved husband. So, even if he faked his relationship to free her from his family, he did something that made suffer a lot and that had consequences on her self esteem and her value.

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Woo-Seok really broke my heart in this episode... Divorce was the only way for him to free Soo-hyun from her mother.

In the drama, they talk over and over again that Soo-Hyun's parents had "sold" her to Taegyeong... Wondering what is that... Did Soo-Hyun's family owe something to Chairwoman Kim? Because of her family sold her, so it's legit for Chairwoman Kim to treat her that way?

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Thanks for the recap. I LOVE this show so much!! The fluttering feel I get when I was those 2 on screen is the highlight of my Wednesday/Thursday night!!
Being a very successful career woman myself (although i’m happily married and do not have a crazy mother), I can totally emphatize with CSH. I love that she’s such a successful female CEO. She’s obviously good at what she does and her hotel employees really respect her for her abilities. Despite all the successes, she’ll always still be a girl who wants to be loved. There’s nothing wrong with that. I know many successful female that makes millions, and they still need this “someone” that can bring love and peace to their chaotic daily life.

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@yarluan

Its all THIS. love and peace.

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I have a totally different view about telling the issue to Soo- Hyun and I felt very happy that he didn't attempt to do it.
Of course she is related to the consequences of his transfer. However for me it's primarily Jin-hyuk's decision and its his reputation. It's not deciding what’s best for Soo-hyun, but thinking about his prestige (it is related to being an attractive- appealing partner as well) .
Running to her and telling the 'big news' looks as if a little kid going to his parent complaining about the hellion in school so that she could save him. It would have been terrible for him not to be able to solve his issues and hiding behind her.
In the end he didn't demand a relocation without consulting his lover; they declared it and he just decided to endure that transfer.
So what if he had been in a different company and that company had relocated him to somewhere else?
Would he have gone to his woman and asked for her help in handling the issue with his employers? Or would he have quitted his newly - and hardly- found position so that they wouldn't have been two and a half hours away from each other?
According to me It was the very best choice to keep his silence and then to convince her not to interfere in it.

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I rather agree with you. JinHyuk decided not to tell SooHyun about the transfer to Sokcho because he knew that she would object, and he wanted to win the argument. Why have a days-long, running argument when you can wait until things "explode" and make your move then?

If he had followed his usual pattern and made sure that he didn't take away her ability to choose for herself by telling her about the HR decision in advance, that would probably have led to a drawn out argument and maybe an argument that SooHyun would have won. But by leaving it to the end of the work week, when SooHyun was already busy and needed to leave the country, he made sure that the argument would be short, to the point, and couldn't be hashed and rehashed. She would have to make the decision and then leave, and presumably be distracted with work while she was gone.

Strategically, it makes sense. And I think it's another example of JinHyuk being both smart and manipulative (which has a negative connotation, but it was kind of a mean thing to do so I leave the word as is), when he needs to be.

Now do I want him to pull the same stunt again? Not toward SooHyun, no. They need to be equal partners. Do I want him to play games with evil MIL? Yes! Defeat her by being not only good and decent but clever!! Fingers crossed that we'll get to see something like that.

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This episode was a bit weak for me. For a moment I thought he was pulling a noble idiot stuff.
I like that she is breaking free for her own sake rather than for love. Was happy to see her confronting her mother. You go girl.

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I am absolutely in love with this drama. It strays from other kdramas these days where the guy is just a male part, fully packed with hormones and aggressiveness. I adore how they portray what romance should be like. The getting-to-know-you stage of each first love until little by little you get comfortable with the skinship. Ahhhhhh! I cant wait for episode 9!

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Park Bo Gum and Song Hye Kyo are doing fabulous job here. I like their chemistry and I can see it. There are refreshing lines like when he said he wants to stop the pre-relationship stage. when she suddenly grabs his arms walking making him smile.
I just died when they kissed.
Not for anything PBG shoots me in my heart.
And SHK looks so beautiful and stylish. She delivers when she started tearing taking his picture.
I can see the slow pace doesnt agree with everyone.
But I love this drama.
I know where most of the hate is coming from.
And I dont see any shippers of this couple because she has a great husband at home.

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I’m obviously in the minority here but I think the ex husband is completely out of line for repeatedly approaching Jin-hyuk. I also don’t think his affair was entirely fake. I just find it too far fetched that he was celibate and pining over his ex for 4 years. Also I thought this date and the previous date with his girlfriend made it clear that the girlfriend thought they were an item. Which means he was leading her on and making her think they had a future. He can’t just bulldoze his way back into Soo-hyun’s because he feels like it.

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I agree he is a total creep. He absolutely had no right to approach Jin Hyuk that way, from the way he responded seems like Jin Hyuk is willing to fight him for Soo Hyun.

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Yes Jin-hyuk was clearly furious that Woo-seok approached him again. I’m surprised that everyone is glossing over that and making the ex husband out to be a saint.

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This episode stressed me out precisely because of the secret-keeping - but I love that even when someone is hiding something, the show never lets it stay secret for long. Hye In gave Soo Hyun the opportunity to act which Jin Hyuk denied her, and she did it out of love for her friend despite the fact that she's also in love with him. Much like Woo Seok hovers yet steps aside because he loves Soo Hyun but knows he's not right for her. I really enjoy the complicated dynamics that manage not to villainize anyone... Except for the two mothers who are beyond help lmao.

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Oppa?!
Chunsin chariyeo! It's not the same thing! I can never see your shoulder playing the Kleenex to her tears. Nah!
I think So Hyun was more hurt than she allowed herself to feel because of the divorce.
Let's all agree to rename this episode "SAVE YOU IN MY HEART" cause only Power Horse of Love can boost a 1hr40m run from PBG just for selfie memories.
CEO mum is hopefully starting to realize that power doesn't necessarily buy the heart, or it's undying loyalty.

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It's a korean drama, I'm sure it's not y'all first one, you know what you getting when you watch one. It's beautifully done, the couple is cute, and everytime they together I smile. If you can root for the OTP and the writing doesnt make you wanna throw your phone across the room isnt it enough? Damn some of yall never satisfied.

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