Boyfriend: Episode 8
To some couples, a separation like our star-crossed but determined lovers face would spell the end of the relationship… But these two have never been like other couples. Every hardship they face seems to only make them stronger and more committed to making this work. For once, I’m not scared to watch a couple face opposition from society, their enemies, and even their own families, because I know it will only temper their love into something even stronger.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
After hearing about Director Choi’s plans to get rid of Jin-hyuk while she’s out of town, Soo-hyun heads back to the hotel and calls Director Choi to her office. She pleasantly accuses him of plotting to backstab her, and she asks him to explain himself.
When he launches into a blatant lie, she informs him that she already knows the truth. Director Choi drops the innocent act and tells Soo-hyun that he’s not acting alone, and when she learns that Taekyung Group is behind this, she says that now she understands why she’s never liked Director Choi.
She makes it crystal clear that if Director Choi crosses the line one more time, he won’t like the results. She tells him to choose between being Taekyung’s puppet, or Donghwa Hotel’s respected director.
Jin-hyuk marches towards Soo-hyun’s office when he learns that she cut her trip short, but Hye-in stops him to confess that she told Soo-hyun that he was being transferred. He thanks her for caring, saying that he’d have done the same, because they’re friends.
When he gets to Soo-hyun’s office, Soo-hyun apologizes for getting him tangled up in her mess. She promises to cancel his relocation, but he says that it will look like favoritism.
He asks her, “Let me go, and please wait and see how I make my way back.” He says that his only concern is that Sokcho is too far for him to run over whenever he misses her, and she tells him sadly not to make jokes.
Soo-hyun visits her mother to declare that she won’t live as though she’s not allowed to do what she wants anymore. She says she believes that Taekyung Group is going to sue their family over the morality clause in her divorce agreement. Her mother asks why Chairwoman Kim would sue them when Soo-hyun and Woo-seok are reconciling, but Soo-hyun says firmly that that’s not happening.
She tells her mother that she started smiling again when she got divorced, an that she’s never going back. She says that she’s not here to discuss this, but to inform her mother of what she’s already decided.
Her mom asks if she’s acting crazy because of “that guy,” but Soo-hyun just says that she’s decided to be the owner of her own life. Her mother mentions her father’s campaign, but Soo-hyun says that his career is what he’s made of it, and not because of either of them.
Afterward, Soo-hyun tells Driver Nam to drop himself off near his house and she’ll take the car. He offers to take her wherever she needs to go until she says she has a date, and suddenly he’s all “I’ll get out right now!” Soo-hyun texts Jin-hyuk and suggests they have a little farewell party.
Jin-hyuk’s mom is upset that he’s being relocated so far away, and she senses that he’s being sent away because he made someone angry. His dad doesn’t think Jin-hyuk could get on anyone’s bad side, but Mom sniffles that that’s why she’s so upset.
Hye-in offers to write Director Kim a letter of apology for borrowing her phone to call Soo-hyun and alert her to Jin-hyuk’s transfer. But Director Kim says she’ll overlook it since Hye-in acted out of friendship.
At home after work, Jin-hyuk finds his camera that was broken in Cuba. His mom stops him on his way out to see Soo-hyun, and he fibs that he has work to do. He belatedly realizes that she’s carrying groceries she bought to make him a nice dinner on his last night at home, and he gives her a big hug before he leaves.
He takes Soo-hyun to a lovely open field near the city, and as they walk hand-in-hand, Jin-hyuk says he sometimes comes here to “photograph the wind.” Soo-hyun says he should have been a poet, and he confesses that he submitted a poem to a contest once, but it was cut immediately.
He laughs that the same thing happened with his photos, so he decided to just take pictures as a hobby. He tells Soo-hyun that their relationship is truly special now that she knows two of his secrets.
They climb an observation tower to enjoy the view, and to combat the cold wind, Jin-hyuk gives Soo-hyun his coat. He stands close behind her, rubbing her shoulders. She absolves herself of any responsibility if he catches a cold, but he says he’s strong.
Soo-hyun tells Jin-hyuk that she’s made a lot of good memories since meeting him in Cuba, the kind that make her smile at random times. He says that he has too, and he reminds Soo-hyun that they can overcome anything with these good memories, and she agrees.
Jin-hyuk decides to tell Soo-hyun one more secret. He says that he learned about love in a book, and he thought he knew what falling in love felt like. Very seriously, he tells her that it’s clear to him now, thanks to her, what love really is. Soo-hyun smiles and says that his third secret is wonderful.
They stop for coffee, and Jin-hyuk gives Soo-hyun his broken camera. He tells her to think of him while taking nice photos with it, and he shows her how to use it, then steps outside. He jokes that the picture will look great since the subject is so handsome and poses so Soo-hyun can practice.
But instead of taking the picture, Soo-hyun just holds the camera up to her face, trying to hide the tears welling up in her eyes. She regains control, and although her eyes well up again, she snaps a great picture of Jin-hyuk’s smile.
Today is also the day of Dae-chan’s blind date, and he’s so excited that he actually giggles. He gets to the restaurant first, and when Secretary Jang arrives, they both flinch when they spot each other.
Secretary Jang looks around for her date, then calls him when she doesn’t see him. Dae-chan answers, and there’s this hilarious moment when they realize that they’re each other’s dates and just plop down at the table, both looking extremely grumpy.
They’ve never learned each other’s names, so Secretary Jang complains that she didn’t make the connection to Dae-chan’s restaurant. She asks if he opened it when he was in college, and when he says he didn’t go to college, she asks why. He argues that nobody ever asks why someone did go to college so he doesn’t get why people ask why he didn’t.
Secretary Jang remembers that Dae-chan lied on his dating profile, saying that he’s the CEO of a restaurant franchise. He replies that he intends to branch out, but it’s enough to give Secretary Jang an excuse to storm out (after telling Dae-chan not to mention this to Jin-hyuk, ha). She ends up at Subway, asking her sandwich if she was too hard on Dae-chan.
Dae-chan goes back to his restaurant to drink with Hye-in and Jin-myung, complaining that he got tricked. Hye-in invites him to the hotel’s year-end masquerade ball, insisting that there are a lot of nice women out there.
Jin-myung tells Dae-chan to buy a new suit, and when Hye-in says he can just borrow one from Jin-hyuk, Jin-myung reminds him that he can’t pull off Jin-hyuk’s look. He grumbles that he avoids comparing himself to his brother because it never ends well for him, and Hye-in is all, “That’s wise.”
On the drive back to the city, Jin-hyuk tries to hide his cough, but Soo-hyun feels his forehead and declares that he has a fever. He says he’s fine, but he doesn’t sound fine, and Soo-hyun takes him back to her place for some medicine and hot tea.
As Soo-hyun make the tea, Jin-hyuk impulsively slips up behind her and wraps his arms around her waist. He says that he’s greedy, and that spending time with her just makes him want more. Soo-hyun touches his hands with hers, which quiets him, but he whispers, “I want to hold you.”
Soo-hyun turns in Jin-hyuk’s arms, then lays her head on his shoulder. They hold each other like that for a long time.
Jin-hyuk’s mom makes Jin-hyuk’s farewell meal for breakfast the next morning. It’s the first that Jin-myung has heard of Jin-hyuk leaving, since he’s gone most of the time, so Jin-hyuk explains that he’s going to Sokcho for more training. Jin-myung brags that Hye-in invited him to the big party, and Jin-hyuk tells him to have fun in his place.
Soo-hyun’s mother complains about their daughter’s behavior to her husband, blaming Soo-hyun for interfering with his political campaign. Soo-hyun’s father maintains that they’re the ones who interfered with Soo-hyun’s life, saying that they never should have married her into that family.
Her mother accuses him of blaming her, but he says it’s his fault for not looking into things when she lied that she got a loan from the bank, or he would have known the money was actually from Taekyung Group. Evidently they couldn’t pay back the loan, and Soo-hyun’s marriage to Woo-seok was their “repayment.”
Woo-seok gets in invitation to the hotel party just moments before his secretary informs him that Jin-hyuk was relocated to Sokcho. He visits Soo-hyun at work to ask her why she didn’t stop the transfer, and when she asks why he cares, he says that it concerns the woman he likes. His unexpected confession angers Soo-hyun, so he leaves after telling her that he misses her a lot lately.
That evening, Soo-hyun tries to get some work done at home, but she can’t concentrate. She finally breaks down and calls Jin-hyuk, who lights up at her call and tells her that he misses her already. She teases him for his cheesy romantic lines, and she wishes him luck at his first day tomorrow.
Driver Nam visits with Director Kim’s daughter again, who tells him that her dad moved out. She says she feels bad for her mother, calling her an abandoned dog, and Driver Nam objects to that. But when she asks him to buy her mother’s favorite bread, he’s back to considering her an awesome kid.
Chairwoman Kim meets with Soo-ah, Woo-seok’s recently ex-girlfriend. Soo-ah tells her that they broke up, but when Chairwoman Kim asks why, Soo-ah refuses to say. Chairwoman Kim goes to Woo-seok for answers, wanting to know how much he paid Soo-ah, and know why he was willing to lie in order to get divorced. Woo-seok tells her that Soo-hyun doesn’t know about this, and Chairwoman Kim calmly dismisses him.
Jin-hyuk is assigned to the front desk at the Sokcho hotel, which seems like a step down from his job in the PR department. During breaks, he makes calls to check on the plans for the year-end party, seeming saddened that he won’t be there for the party itself. After work he wanders the beach, missing Soo-hyun.
Director Kim brings Soo-hyun a few masks to choose from for the party, and when Soo-hyun says she’s only planning to drop by for a minute, Director Kim tells her that Jin-hyuk worked really hard on this and convinces Soo-hyun to pick a mask. She chooses an elaborate black mask held on with a stick, because it will cover her entire face.
Driver Nam shows up in Sokcho, bellowing angrily that the new year’s party setup is a complete mess, and he tells Jin-hyuk’s boss that he’s here to take Jin-hyuk because the CEO is very angry. When they get to the car, Driver Nam says with a twinkle in his eye that he’s actually not here to pick up an employee, but his boss’s boyfriend. Awww.
When Woo-seok arrives at the party, Eun-jin greets him at the door and offers him a variety of masks to choose from. He picks a simple gold mask with a black feather that only covers his eyes.
Secretary Jang is excited about the ball until Soo-hyun tells her that Jin-hyuk planned the whole thing, then she decides that she feels bitter about it, ha. They enter the ballroom to find it full of masked people, and Secretary Jang goes her own way so that people won’t recognize Soo-hyun with her.
Jin-hyuk almost runs into the hotel without a mask once they arrive, but Driver Nam stops him to remind him of his own party concept. He gives Jin-hyuk a box with a mask inside, and a suit that he says is a gift. Jin-hyuk goes inside, leaving Driver Nam to try on the gladiator helmet he brought, which doesn’t fit on his giant head, hee.
Inside, the party kicks off, and naturally Eun-jin is the first one on the dance floor. Director Kim finds Driver Nam sitting outside, obvious in the tiny pumpkin mask he was able to find. She jokes that she feels sorry for his mask, and he fires back that she looks better in hers, so she sails off to look for her prince charming.
Soo-hyun moves through the dancing bodies holding her mask in front of her face, just observing, while Woo-seok prowls the room looking for her. At one minute until midnight, Woo-seok spots her, just as the DJ tells the partygoers to find the person they want to ring in the new year with.
A hand grabs Soo-hyun’s arm and pulls her out of the room. On the balcony, she find herself with a man in a tin man mask, and he takes it off to reveal that it’s Jin-hyuk. Soo-hyun removes her mask, and as the DJ counts down the last ten seconds of the year, they smile at each other.
Everyone inside yells out “Happy New Year!” and suddenly the party decorations burst into life. OMG, Jin-hyuk has recreated the salsa bar in Cuba where he and Soo-hyun danced on the night they met. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Soo-hyun is definitely crying as she watches the salsa dancers putting on a show, reminded of dancing with Jin-hyuk.
At the sight of her tears, Jin-hyuk pulls Soo-hyun into his arms. He looks down at her as if asking a question, and when he sees the answer in her eyes, he kisses her. The party fades away as they get lost in each other, and inside, several more romances look like they may just be beginning.
Woo-seok had called Secretary Jang to find out what Soo-hyun wore to work today, but at the party, he finds Eun-jin instead, wearing a similar jacket.
A flashback shows that before he left Seoul, Jin-hyuk called the company providing the masks. He’d ordered a custom-made mask, one that could be held on by a stick that would cover the whole face — the mask Soo-hyun chose.
First of all, I asked for a conversation and a mutual decision, and thank you Drama Gods, I got one. They stumbled on the way there, but Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun actually sat down, discussed their future, and mutually agreed on a course of action regarding Jin-hyuk’s relocation. It’s worth saying again, that I love how these two don’t shy away from the hardships and complications their relationship causes, but they face them head-on, determined to conquer them and be together. Jin-hyuk is willing to go through with the relocation and make his way back to Donghwa Hotel through his own hard work, and Soo-hyun isn’t scared to be sued for breach of contract by SK and Taekyung Group.
I’m so proud of Soo-hyun in particular, and how she’s slowly but surely learning to stand up to her detractors, even her own mother. Her statement that she smiled when she got divorced was so telling, and it explains why she seems so fascinated by Jin-hyuk’s smile (aside from the obvious). To someone like Soo-hyun, who’s rarely had much to smile about, meeting someone like Jin-hyuk who smiles so easily must be like experiencing a whole new world. And in response, she’s smiling more as she learns to take back her life, which is just lovely to see. She looked so relaxed and happy with Jin-hyuk on their last date before he left, and for once his declaration of love (because he didn’t explicitly say “I love you,” but he was very clearly telling Soo-hyun, in his unique poetic way, that he loves her) didn’t make her back away — instead, by telling him that his secret was wonderful, she may as well have said she loves him, too.
But seriously, they finally kissed! I was expecting it the night before Jin-hyuk left, but I love that it happened at the party, after all the work Jin-hyuk did to recreate the night they first met. They’ve come so far, and the kiss felt like an acknowledgment of everything they’ve been through to get here and a promise going into the new year, that no matter what happens, they’re in this together. I even loved the way it happened — I know, I’m a hopeless romantic — with the countdown, the party reveal, then Jin-hyuk’s silent question and Soo-hyun’s unheard yet enthusiastic answer. So perfect for these two, who’ve never needed words to convey their feelings for each other.
On a side note, I think Driver Nam might be one of my favorite drama characters of this year. He’s such a papa bear, so much so that Director Kim’s daughter and Soo-hyun (even well into adulthood) go to him with their problems and seem to trust and love him like a father. He’s even protective of Director Kim, his deceased best friend’s little sister, and I get the feeling that it’s just engraved in his DNA to protect and cherish the women he loves. I hope that Director Kim decides to give Driver Nam a chance – I don’t sense a romantic connection between them now, but with all of their late-night half-drunk confession sessions, surely there’s something special between them?
But of course, as soon as I voice my wish for Woo-seok to remain Soo-hyun’s reluctant but loyal supporter, his actions start to turn problematic and now I’m worried that his breakup, the confession, and the attempt to corner Soo-hyun at the party signal that he’s about to start making problems. He’s never voiced any concerns about Jin-hyuk, and even seemed friendly, if reserved, on the couple of times they’ve met, but now I’m scared that what I interpreted as cautious friendliness was actually Woo-seok sizing up the competition in advance of making his move (and speaking of which, kudos to Jang Seung-jo for his portrayal of Woo-seok, he’s got me all torn up!). What if he’s not suffering in silence, but biding his time until he can pounce? I can only console myself with the times he’s told his mother to leave Soo-hyun alone to make her own life choices, and trust that he meant those words to apply to himself, as well. If the Drama Gods are still listening, pleeeeease can Woo-seok not be a villain? Please??
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