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.
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.
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.
- Premiere Watch: Clean With Passion for Now, Boyfriend, Memories of the Alhambra
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- Park Bo-gum and Song Hye-gyo explore Cuba in new Boyfriend teaser
- Jang Seung-jo joins Boyfriend’s star-studded cast
- Boyfriend sets premiere date and releases first stills of Song Hye-gyo
- Park Bo-gum, Song Hye-gyo in first script read for Boyfriend
- Song Hye-gyo, Park Bo-gum’s potential noona romance Boyfriend headed for tvN