Boyfriend: Episode 11
These two just get cute and cuter, and if they don’t stop soon, my head is going to explode. Things have been quiet lately, so they’re all caught up in their romance and letting their guard down. That could turn out to be a fatal mistake as new opposition pops up from unexpected directions, and they’re going to need to be on their toes to keep ahead of this game they would rather not play.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun spend a day in Cuba just enjoying their time together, playing on the beach and dancing along with street performers and being very much in love. Jin-hyuk adorably nods off at the airport, and Soo-hyun teases him that she knew a guy once who refused her offer of a ticket upgrade.
She says he can refuse again if he wants then heads to her own business class ticket, but this time Jin-hyuk follows her. He throws an arm around her shoulder and tells her to take him with her, so cute.
Back at work, Soo-hyun is happy to see that Jin-hyuk has earned his way back to the Seoul hotel as “the face of Donghwa.” The PR team is (mostly) thrilled to have him back, and when he gets a break, he texts Soo-hyun to joke that she should welcome him back personally. She just sends back a cheeky congratulations text, making him pout.
She invites him to her office and he declares it too formal, but he also says that he can’t leave the building with her on his first day. He gives her directions to “a place only employees know about.” She says she knows every inch of the hotel, but Jin-hyuk bets dinner that she doesn’t.
When she arrives at the recently reconstructed storage area, Soo-hyun has to admit that Jin-hyuk won the bet. Jin-hyuk stares at her expectantly like he wants some lovin’, but Soo-hyun says she has to go back to work now, making him pout. She says there’s nothing for them to do here anyway, but Jin-hyuk slowly backs her into the wall and croons that this is what office romances are for.
He’s arguing that nobody ever comes here just as they hear someone approaching. Soo-hyun shoves him into a closet just in time, lies to the janitorial employee about why she’s here, and leaves. Han-gil calls Jin-hyuk while he’s still stuck in the closet (“Did you go back to Sokcho??”), but the janitor lady sees him leaving sheepishly and mutters to herself that those were the good ol’ days, HA.
Director Choi receives a text from Woo-seok containing the video of him and Manager Lee pressuring that employee to send the email to Cuba that nearly blew up all of Soo-hyun’s plans. He calls Woo-seok to see what he wants, and Woo-seok invites him to to speak in person.
After work, Driver Nam jokes to Soo-hyun that they should both move to Hongdae-dong — she’d be closer to Jin-hyuk, and he’d be further from Director Kim, lol. She laughs, then says that she needs to find out who was behind that malicious email, but she doesn’t want to go to the police and have the Cuban hotel become a big news topic. She says that she needs his help, and Driver Nam doesn’t hesitate to offer to do anything she needs.
Director Choi admits to Woo-seok that he was surprised to get that video, and Woo-seok retorts that he was surprised Director Choi would go that far. He says that he suspects his mother would be furious to learn that it’s on record, so Director Choi asks what he wants. Woo-seok says that he doesn’t intend to get Director Choi in trouble, he just needs his help with something and thought the video would be good “incentive.”
He says that he’ll keep quiet about the video, but that Director Choi should ask Chairwoman Kim what she has planned — whether she’ll protect him, or blame him for everything. He suspects it’s the latter, and he says they can talk about it after Director Choi has that conversation with his mother. He warns Director Choi not to mention the video or he’ll immediately forward it to Soo-hyun.
Jin-hyuk gets together with Hye-in, Jin-myung, and Dae-chan for a celebratory “our buddy is back” drinks. They decide to have a little birthday party for Jin-hyuk and Jin-myung’s mother — Jin-hyuk offers to give Mom his hotel vouchers, and says they can eat at the hotel, too.
Growing concerned about the articles regarding Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun, Jin-hyuk’s dad takes him to lunch. He tells Jin-hyuk that he and Mom know about Soo-hyun, and Jin-hyuk apologizes for not telling them sooner. Dad mentions that Soo-hyun is rich and famous, and he says he trusts Jin-hyuk, but…
Jin-hyuk interrupts to tell his father that he wants to see how far this thing with Soo-hyun can go. Dad asks, what if it goes wrong, but he concedes that worrying about the future isn’t sincere when two people love each other. He says that he just wanted to talk to Jin-hyuk so he could decide whether to support him or be against him, and Jin-hyuk gently asks for his support.
Driver Nam has lunch with an old investigator friend, and he asks him to get the phone records for a certain number. As a side issue, he asks what would happen if he beat up a friend’s cheating husband, and when the investigator says he’d be arrested, Driver Nam is all Cool, good to know…
Speaking of whom, Director Kim worries that her daughter Ji-woo will get criticized for having a divorced mother. Ji-woo calls her dad strange, cheating on such a beautiful woman as her mom, and she says sweetly that she wants to grow up to be cool and have a good job like Director Kim.
Soo-hyun remembers that the playground in Hongdae-dong is about to be sold. She calls Jin-hyuk to pay up on her lost bet and buy him dinner, and they meet at the playground. Jin-hyuk jokes that he was worried she’d forget, since this is the only way they can see each other, complaining that he misses her constantly.
Soo-hyun admits that she wanted to see the playground one last time so she used the excuse of buying him dinner, sighing dramatically that he doesn’t understand how she feels (about him). She tells Jin-hyuk that the garden in Cuba made her think of this playground and how meaningful it is to him, saddened by how he’ll feel when it’s gone.
He says that Samuel, the Cuban garden’s owner, said that his love affair with his wife started and finished in that garden. He admits that it’s disappointing to think of the playground being gone, but he can let go knowing that he started his own love here.
He stays crouched in front of Soo-hyun for a while, gently pushing her on the swing with a hand on her knee and gazing up at her adoringly. She asks if his legs hurt, and he stands with a groan, whining that she’s great at ruining romantic moments, hee. Soo-hyun suggests they go to Dae-chan’s place to eat, but Jin-hyuk has another idea.
Meanwhile, Woo-seok gets in his car with a bouquet of flowers and a fancy bottle of wine, and he texts Soo-hyun to ask if she can see him. She’s having too much fun eating udon with Jin-hyuk at a pojangmacha to even see his text.
Jin-hyuk gets curious when Soo-hyun orders soju, having never seen her drunk. Jin-hyuk doesn’t drink, offering to drive Soo-hyun home later, even though she mopes that it’s no fun getting drunk alone.
Soo-hyun slurs to Jin-hyuk that she’s soooo happy these days, way happier than him, because he takes her to eat foods she’s never had before. Jin-hyuk declares Soo-hyun even cuter when she’s drunk, and she says proudly that she’s a very cute person, people just don’t know it.
Growing a little more serious, Soo-hyun says again that she’s very happy that Jin-hyuk is by her side, and he says he’s happy too, making her tear up a little. She confesses in a wobbly voice that she wakes every morning wondering if she only dreamed him, and it scares her that he might disappear.
Jin-hyuk asks why he would disappear, but Soo-hyun says that he might be taken away from her like the friends her mother chased away. Taking this very seriously, Jin-hyuk says, “Soo-hyun-sshi, I have a set of coordinates now. My place is a one-meter perimeter around you. That’s where I’ll always be.”
She says that’s nice with a grateful little smile, then adds, a bit annoyed, “Don’t you think a meter is too far away?” So Jin-hyuk leans closer until his face is only inches from hers, and she declares it perfect.
Soo-hyun fights Jin-hyuk later as he takes off her coat and puts her to bed. He finally gets her tucked in and smiles down at her, then kisses her forehead and cheek, reluctant to leave her.
Soo-hyun wakes with a monster headache and a spotty memory of the night before. Mostly she recalls force-feeding and manhandling “Our Jin-hyukkie,” and she cringes in horror.
She takes a call from Jin-hyuk, and he sings the lyrics to “Drunken Confession” down the phone at her (aww, his voice is so sweet). Right when he gets to the big climax, Jin-myung bursts into Jin-hyuk’s room belting out the song and Jin-hyuk quickly hangs up, lol.
Director Choi goes to Chairwoman Kim as advised, admitting that he’s worried about what will happen when Soo-hyun finds out who was behind the attempted sabotage. Woo-seok was right about his mother, who acts mystified, as if she has no idea what Director Choi is talking about.
He goes back to Woo-seok, who can tell by his expression exactly what happened. Knowing he has the upper hand, he instructs Director Choi to procure shares of Donghwa for him until he holds more than Soo-hyun. Once he has them, he says he plans to hold a special shareholders’ meeting, because Donghwa has gotten too big for Soo-hyun to handle alone.
He’s not planning to remove Soo-hyun, but he tells Director Choi that he wants to create a co-CEO position for himself. Dammit, I knew this would happen.
Secretary Jang lurks outside Dae-chan’s restaurant for half an hour until he finally goes out to bring her inside. He feeds her hot soup to warm up, and when a customer asks if she’s Dae-chan’s girlfriend (probably due to the huge goofy grin on his face), Secretary Jang quickly says she’s just a customer.
Jin-myung bounces over, and she tells him to stop calling her Secretary Jang. He says he doesn’t know her name, and Dae-chan practically sing-songs, “Jang Mi-jin!” She gets huffy when the guys tease her and stands to leave, so Dae-chan grabs her wrist, making her protest loudly.
Without missing a beat, Dae-chan quips, “Then can I hold your hand?” and Secretary Jang can’t help but marvel that he’s a secret playboy. Dae-chan catches her calling him by name, and it makes him so happy that he orders a bottle of soju.
Soo-hyun’s dad visits her at work to ask for the use of a private room. He tells her that it’s an important meeting, but nothing for her to worry about. He meets with Congressman Lee, the leader of the opposing party, to discuss a party merger in the hopes that a larger, stronger party will have a better chance of winning the election.
In exchange, Soo-hyun’s dad offers to drop out of the election and support Congressman Lee’s candidacy. Congressman Lee asks him what’s the catch, and Soo-hyun’s dad says that he wouldn’t win anyway, so he’s negotiating for Congressman Lee to protect his party’s ideals.
At the same time, Woo-seok approaches his uncle, one of Donghwa’s directors, to ask for his help convincing the directors to make him co-CEO. His uncle says that he’s only here out of guilt — he convinced Soo-hyun’s father to marry Soo-hyun to Woo-seok by promising him that Woo-seok would protect Soo-hyun from his mother.
He says that he can’t even look Soo-hyun’s father in the face now, because Woo-seok let him down. Woo-seok says that he’s desperate to get into Donghwa, but his uncle tells him to give up, because this hotel means too much to Soo-hyun.
On his way out, Soo-hyun’s dad invites Driver Nam to lunch. They run into Jin-hyuk, and Driver Nam tells Dad, “This is the guy” before introducing him. Driver Nam invites Jin-hyuk to eat with him, and Woo-seok comes by just as Jin-hyuk is respectfully declining due to work.
At the end of the day, Jin-hyuk goes shopping for a necklace for his mother’s birthday gift, and he thinks about Soo-hyun’s confession that she’s always scared she’ll lose him.
Jin-hyuk takes Soo-hyun on a date, where he teaches her how to take good photographs. As they walk, he talks about the book he was reading on the day they met in Cuba. In it, a poet writes a letter which he buried under a metasequoia tree, and later, someone digs it up to deliver it to its recipient… and the story stops there.
He’s curious about what was in that letter, and Soo-hyun quotes him, “I learned how to love through textbooks.” Cheeky. She wonders why the poet didn’t deliver the letter himself, and when Jin-hyuk tells her that he was dying, she pouts that he’s bringing the mood down.
He argues that true love doesn’t disappear just because the person does. He says he should do something to cheer her up, and he takes her hand and puts it in his coat pocket. She pulls out a plastic film case with something in it, and opens it to find a matching pair of couple rings. Swooooon.
Soo-hyun gives Jin-hyuk a bright smile, feeling much happier now. Jin-hyuk puts her ring on and promises to upgrade them every year, feeling sorry that they’re not as nice as her other jewelry. Soo-hyun agrees, making Jin-hyuk a little sad, but then she holds up her hand and chirps, “This one is the most beautiful.”
Jin-hyuk tells her, “My heart is full of you. Unlike the friends you used to like, I can’t go far away or disappear. All I think about is you. Until the day you take your last breath, I’ll be by your side.” Soo-hyun steps into his arms, then puts his ring on his finger, and they take a picture of their hands together.
Jin-hyuk’s mom is feeling depressed on her birthday since nobody has mentioned it, not even her usually thoughtful son. Dad closes the store and tells her that Jin-hyuk wants them to come to the hotel for lunch, and sweet Mom is so relieved that Jin-hyuk came through.
It’s Mom’s first time in such a fancy hotel, and she doesn’t hide her excitement. She and Dad run into Soo-hyun in the elevator and, unaware of who they are, she gives them directions to the restaurant. Mom belatedly recognizes Soo-hyun from the news articles, but she doesn’t say anything. Soo-hyun watches from a short distance as Jin-hyuk greets his parents with hugs, then turns away.
While they eat, Jin-hyuk gives his mom the necklace, earning a baleful glare from Dad (who didn’t get her anything, ha). They’re all surprised when Soo-hyun’s assistant brings a bottle of wine as a gift from Soo-hyun, and Mom confesses that she’s never had real wine before.
The assistant reports to Soo-hyun that he gave them the wine as instructed, but that they refused her offer to use the other hotel facilities. She figures out that they probably feel overwhelmed, so she nixes his suggestion to upgrade their room for the night.
Woo-seok is in his office, stewing over seeing Jin-hyuk invited to lunch by Soo-hyun’s father, when Secretary Kim comes to ask if he really intends to go through with his plan to become CEO of Donghwa. Woo-seok says he does, and he tells Secretary Kim to use his personal funds to buy the Donghwa shares.
Jin-hyuk’s dad is preoccupied when they get to their hotel room, and Mom admits that she feels uncomfortable about Jin-hyuk’s relationship with Soo-hyun. Dad defends Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun, then he tells Mom to rest while he goes out for some air.
As he walks home, Jin-hyuk calls Soo-hyun to thank her for sending the wine to his mom today. She notes that his family looks happy and comfortable, unlike hers. Jin-hyuk says it feels weird to be going home to an empty house, and asks if Soo-hyun gets lonely doing it every night.
There’s a knock on Soo-hyun’s office door, so she hangs up, and Jin-hyuk keeps walking. Woo-seok gets out of his car where he’s been waiting and calls to him, and when he sees Woo-seok, Jin-hyuk gets that wary, almost angry look on his face again.
He asks Woo-seok why he’s here, and Woo-seok says, “It’s because of the woman that I fell for at first sight, and am still in love with.”
Soo-hyun’s assistant leads her late-night visitor into Soo-hyun’s office — Jin-hyuk’s father.
I really hope that Dad isn’t there to try and talk Soo-hyun out of dating Jin-hyuk, because these poor kids already have enough to handle with Soo-hyun’s and Woo-seok’s parents on their asses. At least Dad’s there out of love and concern, but Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk are two grown, mature adults who are in love, who have already been through hardships and vowed not to let it tear them apart. What can Dad say that will make them change their minds? I just want Jin-hyuk to shout at everyone to leave them alone and let them succeed or crash on their own — he’s way too old for Mommy and Daddy to be sticking their noses into his personal life. Even if they’re trying to keep him from getting hurt, well… getting hurt is a part of life. You can’t shield your children forever, and you certainly can’t — and shouldn’t — still be trying to shield them after they’re well into adulthood.
I’ve said it before, but each episode does such a beautiful job showing how the difference in Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk’s age and social/financial status is a complete non-issue for them both. Most shows would lean hard on that issue to drive the conflict, but even their detractors are more concerned about other issues besides their age gap and income, which is nice (for certain values of “nice”). Neither Soo-hyun nor Jin-hyuk seem to give a toss about any of that, and I’m particularly impressed that Jin-hyuk isn’t threatened by Soo-hyun’s beauty or money or social status. He’s not a beta male at all, but he’s content to be her satellite, to just be near her and support her and love her. He’s not ashamed that he can’t afford to pay for fancy dates and he doesn’t feel emasculated when she pays. He’s actually perfect for a strong independent woman like Soo-hyun, because he’ll never resent her for making more money than him or her authority over him at work, or even the fact that most people will see her as “above” him in status.
And similarly, Soo-hyun doesn’t look down on Jin-hyuk in the slightest for his humble background or lack of money. She doesn’t mind, and in fact initiates, doing simple things like eating at pojangmachas and hanging out with Jin-hyuk’s friends over moon snails. She even lists them among the things that make her so happy that she cries, which no doubt makes Jin-hyuk feel as though his world is valued and appreciated by her. And the one time he does show some insecurity over not being able to afford nicer couple rings, Soo-hyun quickly puts that to rest by declaring his ring her favorite of all her jewelry. But mostly I love that all these things just happen without needing discussion or confirmation that they’re both cool with the way things are, because they just understand each other that well.
As for Woo-seok, I still feel bad for him, but he’s drifting into unhealthy territory and it’s time for him to stop or things are going to get very bad. He knows about Jin-hyuk, he knows that Soo-hyun is willing to risk her reputation and her career over him. For pete’s sake, Woo-seok has even helped them a few times from behind the scenes. I don’t even fault him for trying to get Soo-hyun back, because he can see her relationship with Jin-hyuk progressing and knows that his window of opportunity is closing. I don’t begrudge him one last Hail Mary attempt. What I do mind is that Soo-hyun made it clear that they’re not going to get back together, but he’s not listening. It’s what I’ve been fearing — that Woo-seok is letting Soo-hyun’s rejection turn him bitter and vindictive, so that he’s done a complete 180 from telling his mother that Soo-hyun is perfectly capable of running Donghwa, to planning to take it away from her himself. I suppose there’s a slight chance that he wants to become CEO only to stop his mother from taking the hotel away from Soo-hyun as per the morality clause in their divorce, but the way Woo-seok is acting lately, I no longer trust his motives to be good ones.
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