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Average user rating 4.2
110

Boyfriend: Episode 12

A new threat looms near our lovers, one who wears a smile and truly believes that he knows what’s best for all involved, regardless of what they actually want. It’s our CEO’s turn to be the comforting one, as her tender-hearted sweetie blames himself for bringing her hardship. She gets a chance to prove where her loyalties lie once and for all, but doing so will cause blowback of massive proportions — will she have the courage to follow her heart?

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

Woo-seok corners Jin-hyuk near his house to officially declare his intent to win Soo-hyun back. Jin-hyuk retorts that anyone would fall for Soo-hyun, but that it’s presumptive of Woo-seok to act like she still belongs to him. Woo-seok tells Jin-hyuk that it will become a fact, and that Jin-hyuk should find someone average who suits him.

Keeping calm, Jin-hyuk says that suitability doesn’t enter into it when someone falls in love. He continues, “If I must endure hardship in order to protect her, I will not run away from it, whatever it may be.” Woo-seok calls him foolish, but Jin-hyuk says it’s simply courage, so Woo-seok growls that they’ll see what comes of his courage.

Jin-hyuk’s father shows up at Soo-hyun’s office to tell her that he didn’t initially think her relationship with Jin-hyuk was serious, but now Jin-hyuk is serious and Dad isn’t sure what to do. Soo-hyun tells him that speaking with him now, she understands how Jin-hyuk came to be so thoughtful.

Dad says that Jin-hyuk wants him to support them, but he’s a parent and he worries that their feelings will lead to hardships. He’s scared that their love isn’t enough to justify dealing with those hardships and asks Soo-hyun if he should support them. Instead of answering, Soo-hyun just asks him to keep watching them, and he says he can do that since it’s the two of them who matter.

After he leaves, Soo-hyun calls Jin-hyuk to come eat with her. They go to another pojangmacha for Soo-hyun’s first taste of chicken feet, and Jin-hyuk says he really wanted to see her today. Soo-hyun feels the same, so Jin-hyuk says that they’re at a safe stage where they can’t be tempted away from each other even if someone tried. Awww, he’s feeling insecure.

Sensing something weird, Soo-hyun asks if someone is trying to set Jin-hyuk up on a blind date, and the face he pulls is priceless. He asks her why she likes him, growing suddenly serious. Soo-hyun says, “Because you’re Kim Jin-hyuk. There’s only one Kim Jin-hyuk in this world.” A giant smile spreads over his face and he relaxes, feeling reassured.

He says brightly that he feels so good, he’d better sleep over at her place. Soo-hyun tells him to go home, but he accuses her of having naughty thoughts — he only intends to be her human sleeping pill then leave after she’s asleep.

He talks his way in, but after he tucks Soo-hyun in, she says she feels weird about it and asks him to go home. Instead, Jin-hyuk lies down next to her, and when Soo-hyun pops up and complains, he pouts that he’s being a total gentleman.

He pushes her down and leans over her, asking in a gruff voice how she can tell him to leave when he managed to control himself last time. Soo-hyun whines that he’s heavy and pushes him away, because she’s obviously lost her mind.

Jin-hyuk turns his back to her, grumbling that it’s cold out and she’s being so mean by not letting him stay. Then he grins and says that he thinks he belongs in this comfy bed, hee. He pulls an irritated Soo-hyun back down, telling her to just sleep and not get excited, and tucks her head into his shoulder.

She finally stills, and Jin-hyuk asks if someday, they can fall asleep like this every night. Soo-hyun admits that she likes the idea, and eventually she drifts off in Jin-hyuk’s arms. When he senses that she’s asleep, Jin-hyuk carefully rescues his arm, tucks her in, and leaves.

Once he’s gone, Soo-hyun opens her eyes. She smiles, muttering to herself, “What human sleeping pill? More like human stimulant.” HAHA, so she hasn’t lost her mind after all.

The day arrives for Woo-seok’s shareholder’s meeting, and he’s approved as co-CEO of Donghwa. Jin-hyuk tries to ignore the rumors, but he keeps recalling Woo-seok’s threat to see what happens because of his courage. Soo-hyun is quietly upset, but Secretary Jang rages against the board who thinks it’s okay to appoint a co-CEO when Soo-hyun built the company.

On his way into work the next morning, Jin-hyuk sees Director Choi and others lining up as if to greet Soo-hyun, but it’s Woo-seok who gets out of the car. Soo-hyun sits in her office while Woo-seok meets with the shareholders, who tell him that there are still those who oppose this and ask why he’s doing it.

He claims it’s to stabilize Donghwa Hotel, but they argue that Soo-hyun singlehandedly made the hotel what it is today. An argument sparks between those who are for and those who are against Woo-seok as co-CEO, so Woo-seok points out that Soo-hyun wasn’t even the one who fixed the recent issue in Cuba.

Woo-seok goes to Soo-hyun’s office, surprised that she didn’t attend the meeting. She asks him his intent, and when he says it’s to protect her up close, she asks why she needs his protection. He says an incoming wind (Jin-hyuk) might sweep her away, but Soo-hyun says that she’s embarrassed for him and the way he used his mother to do this.

He informs her that he planned this all on his own, and that his mother is probably throwing fits right now. He says he wants to help her (Soo-hyun: “You think this is helping me??”) and asks for time to prove it. Soo-hyun just tells him to make an appointment the next time he wants to see her, and dismisses him.

Woo-seok visits the PR department unannounced, where he makes a show of pointing out Jin-hyuk’s involvement in the Cuba situation. He calls Jin-hyuk talented and modest, but his comments have an air of disdain to them, and Jin-hyuk thanks him in a matching tone of voice.

During lunch, Jin-hyuk goes to a florist and asks for something small and soothing. He’s shown a lemon cypress which gives off a scent when touched, and he sends it to Soo-hyun’s office with a cute note to think of the plant as his head and pet it often.

When Director Kim leaves the office for a meeting with Soo-hyun, Eun-jin wants to gossip about Woo-seok’s partial takeover. She sees it as an attempt to make Jin-hyuk stop seeing Soo-hyun, but Hye-in argues that Taekyung Group was after Donghwa for years before Jin-hyuk entered the picture.

After going over some future promotion plans, Director Kim asks Soo-hyun if she’s okay. Soo-hyun says she’s fine since she has her little lemon plant to pet, but Director Kim is skeptical. Director Kim leaves when Driver Nam enters the office, having received the phone records Soo-hyun asked for.

The log shows that Manager Kim, who sent the damaging email to the Cuba property owner, called one particular number repeatedly in the days surrounding the incident. That number belongs to someone else now, so they need to figure out who owned it at the time.

After work, at Dae-chan’s place, Hye-in asks Jin-hyuk if he feels responsible and tells him this isn’t his fault. He confesses that Woo-seok threatened him, and that now he knows what he was talking about, but he says he’s more worried about Soo-hyun than himself.

The next day, Soo-hyun’s dad calls Driver Nam to his office to discuss how Woo-seok’s takeover is affecting Soo-hyun. Driver Nam says that she’s holding up, and her dad says that she’s becoming bolder lately, but Driver Nam chuckles that he doesn’t know his own daughter if he doesn’t realize she’s always had guts. Her dad vows that he won’t allow Taekyung to swallow Soo-hyun up again, and when Driver Nam worries about his campaign, he says that his child is more important.

Woo-seok finds Jin-hyuk again to gloat over his victory, but Jin-hyuk says that this new arrangement only seems to benefit Woo-seok and nobody else. He reminds Woo-seok that he claimed to love Soo-hyun and asks if this is love, and Woo-seok admits that it’s desperation to protect what’s his. He says that they’ll see whether his desperation or Jin-hyuk’s courage wins, but Jin-hyuk counters that it’s not right to take away the hotel that Soo-hyun lives for.

He says he doesn’t judge Woo-seok’s past or his feelings, but that it’s never okay to deliberately hurt someone. He admits that he’s just an average man, and says that he’ll protect Soo-hyun in his own way. He expresses a wish that Woo-seok is a reasonable man, and walks away.

Over lunch, Jin-myung calls out Hye-in’s crush on Jin-hyuk. She tries to deny it and quickly excuses herself saying she needs to make a call, but Jin-myung finds her outside all sniffly and brings her a tissue. He jokingly offers to install a dating app for her, but she’s afraid she’ll just get matched with Dae-chan, lol.

Knowing that Soo-hyun is working late, Jin-hyuk bring a sandwich to her office. He tells her to use her boyfriend as food delivery more often, but she jokes that she doesn’t need to because he shows up anyway. That’s fair.

He notes how down she seems, and says sadly that she’ll be mad if he apologizes for feeling responsible for everything that’s happening. She tells him that he has nothing to do with the fact that she used to be a family member of Taekyung Group, or that she’s still fighting them, but he’s sad that his feelings got her in trouble.

Taking his hand, Soo-hyun tells Jin-hyuk that his feelings are what heal her, and that she’d be scared if he weren’t by her side. She says that she helped him understand what love is, and thanks to him, she knows what it’s like not to fear. Jin-hyuk smiles gratefully and takes her in his arms, and he says in a rough voice that he cherishes her.

Soo-hyun whispers into his ear, “I love you.” With a look of wonder, Jin-hyuk pulls back to stare into her eyes, then hugs her again.

He can’t stop smiling the next morning, and he calls Soo-hyun as he waits for the bus. She’s at work despite it being the weekend, and Jin-hyuk is on his way to visit Mrs. Lee, who sprained her ankle. He asks if he can see her later, but she says she’s too busy today.

Dae-chan has convinced Secretary Jang to have lunch with him, and she says it’s because she feels bad for walking out on him last time they tried to have a date. Dae-chan says he understands how she felt, and he plunks a rose on the table and asks if she wants to date him officially. Aww, that was so clumsy, but he’s so freaking cute.

When she doesn’t answer, Dae-chan ducks his head and pretends to be fascinated by his food. She picks up the rose and finds a note tucked inside the paper: “Jang Mi-jin-sshi, I bought a rose that looked as beautiful as you while I was at the market early in the morning — Lee Dae-chan.”

She hides her grin and tells the top of Dae-chan’s head that she’ll date him, and he nearly explodes from relief. He bombards her with compliments from her clothing to her hair, and she preens under his attention even as she pretends she doesn’t care.

When they finish eating, Dae-chan offers to drive Secretary Jang back to work, but when she sees his blue work truck she tries to escape, ha. Dae-chan calls her and she claims a sudden stomachache, promising to call him later, but when she emerges again he’s waiting for her, happily beeping his horn. Awww — while Secretary Jang was in the bathroom, Dae-chan bought her some medicine for her supposedly upset tummy.

When Jin-hyuk gets to Mrs. Lee’s tea shop, Soo-hyun is already there, and the double visit makes Mrs. Lee’s day. She unpacks the mountain of food that Jin-hyuk’s mom sent and offers some of it to Soo-hyun, then remembers that she hardly ate last time and packs it back up again. HA, Soo-hyun actually does look hungry.

When they leave, Soo-hyun says that Jin-hyuk’s mom’s cooking looked amazing, and he brags that Mom is a great cook. Soo-hyun gets all fired up about the way Mrs. Lee hoarded his mom’s food from her, and Jin-hyuk laughs at her adorably pouty rant.

In the morning, Mrs. Lee calls Jin-hyuk’s dad to invite herself to dinner at their house, and she asks if Soo-hyun can come, too.

Woo-seok surprises his mother by showing up at her office, and he tells her that he’s getting involved at Donghwa in an attempt to end the war between their family and Soo-hyun. Chairwoman Kim warns that there will be dire consequences if he does anything unexpected.

Chairwoman Kim lays down a solid rule that Soo-hyun will never set foot in her household again, but Woo-seok fires back that you should never say never. She tells Woo-seok to just take care of the hotel, then takes a call about delivering something to Soo-hyun, which makes Woo-seok suspicious.

She tells him that she’s sending Soo-hyun something to wear for Woo-seok’s father’s memorial day, and he asks why she’s making Soo-hyun come to the memorial when she just said Soo-hyun is never allowed in her house. He tells her to stop this, but Chairwoman Kim says that if Soo-hyun doesn’t attend then she’ll take it as her rejecting their family, and she’ll make both Soo-hyun and her father pay.

Jin-myung brings home some bungeoppang (sweet red bean bread) as a treat for the family, and just as they decide to cut the fifth one and share it, Dad pops it in his mouth. Dad tells them about Mrs. Lee coming for dinner and asks Jin-hyuk to invite Soo-hyun, making Jin-hyuk beam happily, but Mom worries that she won’t want to come to their house.

When Soo-hyun gets Jin-hyuk’s texted invitation, it reminds her of her conversation with his father and how unsure he is about their relationship. But she’d asked him to hold off and watch them, so she accepts, and Jin-hyuk admits that he’s nervous about her coming to his house.

Soo-hyun asks Secretary Jang what she should wear to an “important appointment” tomorrow, but Secretary Jang reminds her unhappily that tomorrow is Woo-seok’s father’s memorial ceremony. She thinks that Soo-hyun should attend with Woo-seok making his move, just to keep things civil, but Soo-hyun doesn’t look happy as she realizes that she has to make a choice.

Jin-hyuk runs into Driver Nam in the parking garage, but their smiles fade when Woo-seok drives up and gets out to greet Driver Nam. He makes a point to say, in front of Jin-hyuk, that he’ll see Driver Nam tomorrow when he brings Soo-hyun to his father’s memorial.

After Woo-seok leaves, Jin-hyuk asks Driver Nam if he can drive Soo-hyun home tonight. He surprises her by waiting in the car’s driver’s seat, and on the ride home, he says that Mrs. Lee had to cancel dinner tomorrow night.

But the next day, Secretary Jang tells Soo-hyun that Dae-chan wants her to help at his restaurant tonight, since Jin-myung won’t be able to work due to his family having dinner guests. Oops, busted. Knowing Jin-hyuk as she does, Soo-hyun quickly works out what’s really going on.

Soo-hyun’s mother calls to pressure her to to go along with Chairwoman Kim just until the elections, and later, Soo-hyun sits for a long time staring at the dress Chairwoman Kim sent, debating what to do. She thinks about everything she’s done for her dad’s political career, up to and including marrying a man she didn’t love.

She fixes herself up in the mirror and when Driver Nam calls, she tells him she’ll be down in a few minutes. The arrival of her car at the memorial service draws a crowd, curious to see if she really showed up. Someone tells Woo-seok and Chairwoman Kim that Soo-hyun’s car is here, and they both smirk, though for different reasons.

As Jin-hyuk’s family prepares for dinner with Mrs. Lee, Jin-hyuk fibs that Soo-hyun can’t come because of a meeting, not because she had another social engagement. Jin-hyuk jumps up to answer when the doorbell rings, but instead of Mrs. Lee, Soo-hyun is standing there with a shy smile on her face. She came!

Jin-hyuk is struck speechless and looks as though he might burst into tears. He practically stumbles towards Soo-hyun, then belatedly remembers to breathe. He says helplessly, “I’m in trouble. There’s no exit now. I’ll never be able to escape from your charms.”

He launches himself at her, joyful tears streaming down his face.

 
COMMENTS

More than anything, more even than her confession of love (but squeee, she finally said it!), Soo-hyun’s showing up to Jin-hyuk’s home for dinner instead of going to the memorial ceremony was a clear and unmistakable declaration of her decision to see this thing through with Jin-hyuk, no matter what happens. It’s no wonder that Jin-hyuk cried — words are easy, but Soo-hyun’s decision proved to him exactly where he stands in her heart, and I’m not surprised that that’s the moment he realized that for him, there’s no going back. Soo-hyun is it, he’s done, game over.

I am officially done with Woo-seok, and I regret ever feeling bad for him. No matter what he says, by attempting to take over Donghwa, he’s not in any way trying to help the hotel or Soo-hyun. he wants to undermine Soo-hyun so that she’ll – he thinks – have no choice but to go back to him if she wants to keep her beloved hotel. He actively threw Soo-hyun under the bus by telling the shareholders that she didn’t even save the Cuba project, when she dropped everything to do exactly that, but just got beaten to the punch by Jin-hyuk (and while I agree that what Jin-hyuk did was presumptive and inappropriate, at least he had the hotel and Soo-hyun’s best interests at heart). For Woo-seok to say that Soo-hyun isn’t competent to run the hotel, when it’s doing better than it ever has, and in fact was falling apart under his family’s management, was the final betrayal that made me stop caring even one tiny bit about what Woo-seok wants.

The scary thing is, he’s probably even convinced himself that he’s doing this for Soo-hyun, telling himself that he’s making up for not standing up to his mother on her behalf years ago. But it only proves how little he knows Soo-hyun, who never wanted him to fight her battles for her. She only wanted Woo-seok to be on her side and support her, but he never did, not once while they were married and she was living an oppressive nightmare. Whereas Jin-hyuk does exactly that — he doesn’t ever stand in the way of Soo-hyun’s ability to handle her own conflicts, or try to take over and make decisions for her. He talks a lot about protecting her, but Jin-hyuk’s way of protecting Soo-hyun is to just be whatever she needs in that moment, whether that’s a friend, a sounding board, or just someone who will buy her a nice-smelling plant to cheer her up. She doesn’t need a Woo-seok to swoop in and solve all her problems — she needs a Jin-hyuk to tell her that she’s strong and smart and capable of fighting her own battles, and that he’ll be right over here, loving and admiring her as dominates the battlefield.

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I still think this is a beautiful drama but its getting uninteresting for me... I find the love story very fantasy or dream like bc it just perfectly fits together. I'm starting to doubt if I will be able to finish it or not. Most likely I will bc I like the leads but I wish the drama would get more interesting again.

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I agree. Seeing as there's only 4 eps left, I'm hoping for some major plot movement. I've been hoping that for a few weeks already, but whatever

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Maybe you guys are all too much used to fast-paced dramas with lots of kicks and gags and adventures and bickering, and that's why this one seems to be boring.
I feel it is a matter of style. This drama appeals to all kind of people but I think mostly, noonas older than 30??🙄
Or not necessarily older people but those who enjoy art and poetry. This is a very artistic drama and it is full of symbolism.
Personally, I have enjoyed every second of it, and I wish I could have some other two or four episodes more, even in order to get to know the secondary characters a little bit more.

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Yes, that might be the case XD

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That's precisely why I'm enjoying this immensely. It's realistic, no one's screaming or being borderline verbally abusive (while supposedly falling in love). There's a lot of love, intelligence and support among families and friends.

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This show is beautiful and pleasant, but it continues to feel like nothing's happening. There are things are going on, I suppose, but there's no tension in any of them. Neither Woo-seok nor Taekyung Group feel like a real threat, and they don't feel necessary to the show in any way. Like, if you cut them out entirely, the show would be the exact same to me. I'd rather this be more about the characters (especially the secondary characters; especially the dad, Driver Nam, and Director Kim).

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I totally agree. I love this drama but this focus on the villain is so boring

The couple’s romance already peaked in Cuba IMO. And instead of focusing on the villains who are against them, can’t we see the two have at least one arguement? And is it just me? Or are they not stilted towards one another again when they returned in Seoul? I know this episode had tender moments but you’d think they’re body language would change now that they’re official.

I agree that focus on the secondary characters would be more interesting

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*their

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I, for one, am glad of the lack of tension. I'm still traumatised by Pretty Noona.

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Ditto. Sometimes I just need a drama - even though a mellow drama, but it's sweet and have low tension, LoL.

I used to love watching "On The Way to the Airport", which falls in the same category with "Boyfriend", though OTTTW is a little bit sadder...

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Oh, "On the way to the airport" is my favorite so far!

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Me, too - I loved "On the Way to the Airport"!

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I had doubts before I started the first episode. But so far, I like everything here. (Well, except for the ex-husband, ex-MIL, and horrible mother.) Slow but steady. I don't think it will go bad, with only a few episodes left.

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Although the characters of ex-husband, ex-MIL, and the mother are horrible, but they're still bearable. I stopped watching "My Only One" regardless I like Choi Soo-jong, because there are too many characters like Dae-ryuk mother (and the actress who happens to be Chairwoman Kim here, LoL) and Da-ya... and at that time Doran's mother was still materialised kind of mother...

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Thank you, @lollypip, for the recap. I agree - Woo-seok's kind of love is something that feels suffocating. It is for a child that needs protection, not for a woman who has a mind of her own. Go, Jin-hyuk!

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Chairwoman Kim went to see her son, not the other way around.

And I knew Soo Hyun was gonna be at the dinner. Like Driver Nam said, the woman always had guts.

And Jin hyuk's dad was just awesome in his conversation and I would not expect anything less. He let his worries be know while being respectful.

Secretary Jang, one step forward and 25 steps back. She knows who Dae-chan is and he ain't trying to be anything different. Woman, if a man with money was interested in you at this point, he would let you know.

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Woo-seok is such an utter douchebag now. Like dude, back off.
Maybe the writer will somehow subvert this and not relegate him to the "evil ex club?"
Coming for Soo-hyun's position is such a cheap and disrespectful move.
There's also something I realized in this episode, when he told JH that he can't handle SH, because he's just a normal 30-year old. I think he's really ashamed of himself precisely for that reason, because even with his power or money and all the things that come with being a chaebol... he was never able to do anything for SH. Yet without all of that, JH is able to do so much more for SH in the right way.

And regarding Jin-hyuk's decision to tell Soo-hyun that the dinner was cancelled, instead of the truth... I hope the boy now learnt his lesson. That was a wrong move there, he should've been more honest and not make the decision for her. But I really like that SH met him halfway there; and that whenever one of them falters, the other one stays strong.

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I was like, "Whoa boy... ah nah you didn't" when he lied. I'm glad Soo Hyun realized it quickly.

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Love this drama and am happy with the flow. Best OTP for me

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Soo-hyun whines that he’s heavy and pushes him away, because she’s obviously lost her mind.

LOL!

Let’s talk Asian values, shall we? Or really, just Confucianism. In this context, Soo-hyun’s reaction isn’t just because she has lost her mind, but a perfect reflection of the cultural context. And that’s why I loved this episode so much. (It gave me hints of Goblin all over again, another very Confucian kdrama.) Now, as a “westerner,” I understand the value of sex and intimacy and I understand the outcry about the bedroom scene not going there. But as someone who was brought up with very Asian family values, I also understand the why behind why they didn’t go there. For a primer and study about Confucianism affecting sexual behaviors in three Asian cities, this may help: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235616/ (How does Traditional Confucian Culture Influence Adolescents’ Sexual Behavior in Three Asian Cities.)

One of the reasons I like kdramas is because of the lack of sex influencing people’s behaviors. Couples actually talk, spend time getting to know each other, and not jumping into bed together just to have sex. It’s usually taking your time to get there, having enough respect for the other person to understand them before physical intimacy, which is much more realistic than how a lot of American shows portray it. In Confucianism, there is actually a stigma against even talking about sex, which is why so many kdramas (and other Asian dramas) don’t even encroach on the subject. For women, having sex prior to marriage is a degradation of their filial piety where they are beholden to their families until they get married (their lives, bodies, everything) so they have to stay “pure” until they are married into another household. And there, they are not just their husband’s, but his family’s. Which is why we see so many shows where the heroine is basically a slave to her mother-in-law. It is all about hierarchy and a strict code of conduct to keep order in society. It’s a code of conduct that has lasted thousands of years to keep all of Asia orderly. And, unfortunately, it’s also a code that keeps women subservient and under male dominance. Whether it is right or wrong isn’t up for debate. It is Confucianism. So we can assume that Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk won’t have sex before they are married in this show (and if they do, then the writer has failed us). How can we assume this? Because of Jin-Hyuk or maybe even Park Bo-gum). He is the perfect child to his family, and filial piety runs deep in his veins. Yes, he has lied to his mother and father, keeping his relationship secret for several weeks, but when it matters, he doesn’t do anything to hurt them. This is his culturally ingrained way of life. He is too conscientious and thoughtful to put Soo-hyun in a situation that would further degrade her own filial piety, not to mention his, including having sex with her before they...

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...are married.

Which brings me to why he lied about Teacher Lee coming to his family dinner to give Soo-hyun a way out of deciding whether to go to her ex-husband’s father’s death memorial or Jin-hyuk’s family’s dinner. I have no qualms about him doing this because it is in this as a result Confucian upbringing that he did. Instead of putting her through the process of deciding whose family to shame, he did what any considerate person would do in a Confucian society, take you and your family out of the mix. It had less to do with not allowing her to make her own choice, and more to do with allowing her to “save face” and not doing anything shameful in the eyes of her family or his. EVERYTHING is in the context of your family unit in Confucianism. As @leetenant pointed out to me when we started this discussion on the WWW thread this week, this is no different than what her ex-husband is doing in trying to get back with her and doing things that he thinks is in her best interest. She’s right, it isn’t. He’s under the same filial obligations, and he’s trying desperately to get her back into the good graces of his own family, or at least so that it doesn’t look like she’s deserted a family she promised to stay loyal to. But we know that his actions are unwelcome to her, so puts it in another, more controlling, context. Jin-hyuk isn’t trying to control her, and their relationship doesn’t need a lot of conversation for them to know each other’s motivations. It’s so intuitive and I love that about it. I think she will be glad that he tried to keep her from bringing shame upon both families, but I’m so glad she was able to choose in the end where she ended up being.

And this brings me to the father’s death memorial service. I go to every death memorial that I’m asked to in my family (on my mother’s side where they still practice ancestor worship). And I would probably go to all my husband’s family’s too if they did them (but thank goodness they don’t). Your ancestors are your life-line and you are blessed or cursed because of them in Confucianism. (Think Disney’s Mulan where her father prays to the ancestors for her and she has to bring honor to them.) It you don’t go to their memorial, it is the ultimate filial dishonor. It is like spitting in the face of God, if you believe in God. Because they are god-like. They are in the afterlife looking after you. If you don’t honor them, they can affect your life for the worse. In this context, because Soo-hyun married WS, she is his father’s daughter. A piece of paper for legal annulment of the marriage doesn’t matter, she made a spiritual vow to that family to be in it for the rest of her life, but she can make amends every year by going to the memorial service. Again, in my “westernized” brain, this is ludicrous, but in the context of Confucianism, it makes perfect sense. Hundreds of years of teaching is hard to break in just a couple generations. So our “what’s the...

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...big deal?” is a HUMONGOUS deal to them.

So how scandalous is her not showing up? I’m sure we’ll see this next week. But it all the more underscores what Jin-hyuk feels when she shows up at his gate when she should be there. She has basically committed Confucian suicide and will likely be shunned and lose all standing in that family and they can do anything to her according to that crazy contract she signed outlining the conditions of the annulment and her getting the hotel. She has consciously made that decision to walk away from all of that, come hell AND high water, because in Confucianism, she has called all that onto herself by choosing the path to Jin-hyuk’s family and turning her back to Taeyoung’s. And she did it all for him. I’m sensing a great deal of pain and tears next week knowing all of this.

But seeing Park Bo-gum cry tears of happiness this week will probably be worth it all!

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Yeah I peaked in the What We're Watching thread.

I hated this episode. You know why. I'm still not letting one episode ruin the show for me - although I am bracing myself for a table flip should it become necessary.

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If DB should ever have a panel and wanted two polar opposite opinions on the same drama, thy should hire us!

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@ally-le
We'll always have Circle...

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Well explained. Being asian myself does not preclude me from face palming very often because of my 'westernised' brain/sensibilities. So what more our western beanies. But it allows me to tolerate? understand? certain things that may turn off/put off (I hesitate to say offend) others.

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This episode was basically a Confucian primer. Parents and their blessings vs. curses. Companies with their hierarchy as a microcosm of Confucian society. Order must be maintained!!! At all cost!!! And then at the very end, it gets flipped upside down, with Seo-hyun’s public rebellion. I really loved it.

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"One of the reasons I like kdramas is because of the lack of sex influencing people’s behaviors. Couples actually talk, spend time getting to know each other, and not jumping into bed together just to have sex. It’s usually taking your time to get there, having enough respect for the other person to understand them before physical intimacy, which is much more realistic than how a lot of American shows portray it."

I get your point about the values re: sex, Ally - and yet these values are somewhat...lip service, I would have to say, in the face of aaallll the many, many, many "love hotels" in Korea, which many modern couples (who live with their parents) make use of. Not to mention lots of prostitution. Not to mention the very common affairs that married men have enjoyed since time immemorial throughout Asia.

So realistic? I would say not. I believe non-married Asian couples are having as much sex as Westerners, but do not talk about it as much.

Speaking as a person from what might be a similar background to yours with a somewhat different opinion, the face of what's shown in k-dramas - the public values in tv shows and movies - is a lot like the public values of 1950s American shows. People were sexing it up then, too; but the movies sure had a lot to say about "good girls" and "bad girls."

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P.S. Spoke to an elder in the family a few years ago, and she shocked me by talking quite openly about her life in Korea in the 1950s and 1960s. It seems that she and a lot of her peers were quite...busy in their love lives. Not really different to how modern Westerners live; only somewhat more discreet in front of their own elders. And certainly more discreet in front of their children, who had no idea their parents/grandparents had lived such lives!

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Yes, I get this too. It’s what they want us to see and also what they want their children to see and emulate. Every mother wants Jin-Hyuk as a son. Also, there are families watching these with their impressionable children, at night, in prime time, so there’s that too. But don’t forget kmovies. I’ve seen (and enjoyed) those too, and they are much racier. Did you happen to read the article I linked above? This shows that there is much less premarital sex going on in Asia. Now, could the participants have lied? Maybe. But being anonymous should have given them protection.

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@ally-le: I haven't read the article yet, but likely will. I do note that the article title is about adolescents' behavior, not adults - and JH and SH are full adults.

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So, that’s another point, that women and men in Asia and also in the west, are waiting longer and longer to get married. So we can’t expect people to remain abstinent before marriage if they are in their 30-40’s. It’s a paradigm shift that is wreaking havoc on the traditional social structure in Asia. For better or worse. I’m not really agreeing with the tradition, just putting focus on it so that the behaviors in the show can be put in a social context that makes sense. The age range in the study is actually 15-25 years I believe, which was even more surprising to me.

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Dear Ally,

Thank you for these insights!

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@ally-le I love your explanation! I know almost nothing about Confucio but I am a Christian who tries to follow the Bible to the letter (at least in regard to worship), and I am also against sex before marriage, I can't stop but consider it dirty. The Bible also teaches that sex is only for married couples. (And no, it doesn't teach anymore polygamy is ok. That was only at the beginning, more or less).

Also knowing this writer so far through this drama, I knew they wouldn't do anything that night... JH is a tease, and I loved how he said a couple of naughty things, but honestly just wanted to put her to sleep. I didn't find it ridiculous, I found it actually very intimate. Who puts you to sleep but your parents? When you are an adult... someone you really really trust and love. A, family member, a loved one... someone who wouldn't hurt you... I loved everything about that scene in the bed.
And their actions trying to honor their family... well, I also like it very much. I know it is unfair to women who were obliged to get married, who are being mistreated and all that. There, my feminist western mentality pops out, but if the family is a loving one, I understand you would want to honor them and behave as expected. I don't think WS's family deserve that... But I understood why she went in the past.
Very happy with the outcome now, but I algal foresee problems.... big problems, like JH said.

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Thank you, @ally-le, I was waiting for your comment. Now it's all clear and I can reconsider this episode from a new perspective. And now I fully understand the importance of SH's choice not to go to the memorial service.

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>Whether it is right or wrong isn’t up for debate.

I thought this was exactly one of the things this show wanted to talk about? I don't care if they had sex or not but I do care if they were trying to send a conservative message in a situation where it doesn't seem realistic. That kind of thing always cheapens any story.

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I'm not sure if it's not realistic though. Before we got married, my husband and I never cross the line either even though we got passionate in kissing as well hehehe. People don't have sex before they got married for many ages so why is it now it's considered weird if someone choose to not have sex before marriage? I know things are changing rapidly in Asia, but given how polite and honorable JH is, I think it makes sense for him not to sleep with SH before marriage. Anyway, it's my interpretation of JH's character so we'll see how the drama play out for these last 4 episodes...peace!

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She is a divorced independent woman that hasn't had sex in years. He is single, around 30 and also hasn't had a partner for a long time it seems. There is no reason for them to choose not to have it. Marriage? They barely know each other. It's crazy to even think of it, that these two should wait for something before doing it. Anyway, people will believe what they want. Btw, when you say people used to wait, it was usually because of culture, or they did it but it was a secret, none of that applies to them.

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It is so baffling to me how many people around here are so shocked by the two of them not sleeping together. Like they have to have this really good reason why they haven't done it yet. I am of the same mind as you, and have friends who think the same way. Even those who don't are not all that baffled by this decision. It is perfectly realistic, and probably depends on your society, social circle and way of thinking. You do not need to provide excuses at to why you want to wait for marriage or perhaps to be together longer to take that step. Just like people who sleep together on the first date do not have to provide explanations as to why they were not more cautious or thoughtful about it. JH and SH may not even necessarily be waiting for marriage, but all this fixation on why they haven't done it yet seems so odd to me.

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I think this preoccupation has to do with the fact that in Cuba, they seemed much more physically intimate than when they returned to Korea, either because the writer or director backpedaled for some reason, or they never had sex in the first place. It changes the narrative for some people watching, because sex is important and signals a change in that intimacy level. Whether before or after they are married is kind of a side point that has to do with the value system that we are operating under, and yes, that’s important too—to determine hiw conservative this show wants to be or what social commentary it is attempting to convey. It fundamentally changes how people interpret this show.

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That's not what people said. Nobody cared if they sleep or did not sleep together, they cared the story used a weird scene to imply they didn't when that was not necessary.

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Thanks @ally-le
That was exactly the reason, it felt like that scene was written to say they did not have it in Cuba and that seemed artificial.

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@Ally Good points. I guess it is a matter of interpretation, and one cannot be sure what the writer intended. I for one never thought that they did, given that nothing was shown to that effect, and kdramas (or pretty much any show, generally) would give more concrete indication (not necessarily overt, but something more telling than one steamy kiss, which even some couples who do not sleep together do have from time to time) that such progress has been made in the relationship.
But @Lixie, perhaps it is my misunderstanding, but you did say that there was no reason for them not to have slept together yet, and I for one, do not see why any reason has to be given, nor do I find it to be unrealistic, hence the examples I gave of my own experience to that effect.
Anyway, if the show does indeed intend to convey a conservative message, of which one can only speculate, I don't see that there is any problem with that, as long as it is not out of place or character. Which seems to be where my opinion varies from some others.

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@morose
Yes, you misunderstood my comment, I didn't explain it right. I don't care if they did or did not do it, previously I only talked about the weirdness of a scene that seemed to be there only to imply they didn't. When I said there was no reason for them not to do it, that was a reply to y's post above which said " I'm not sure if it's not realistic though...I know things are changing rapidly in Asia, but given how polite and honorable JH is, I think it makes sense for him not to sleep with SH before marriage." We don't even know if it happened in the story because OTP didn't talk about it but it seems y and others think it would be natural for them not to do it. That I disagree. They might as well have dozens of reasons not to do it, but to say it's natural they would not, is another matter. I really doubt SH or JH would consider morally wrong to have sex before marriage. When I said they had no reason not to, I meant moral reasons. They still might have different reasons not to do it of course and nothing wrong with that.

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@Lixie Oh okay, sorry for the misunderstanding. Anyway, I suppose it all comes down to how widely prespective, assumption and interpretation differ in this rather ambiguous portion of the drama.

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Anybody else confused whether or not they slept together in Cuba?

The scene in SH’s bedroom in this episode suggests they didn’t. But what is throwing me off is why is JH so sleepy in the airport that day after the balcony scene? It just seems like an odd direction to have him dozing off and it’s pretty silly to think it’s just jetlag when Soo Hyun was up and about

I know it’s not really a big deal but consistencies should be present here.

Like the balcony scene in ep 10 was very amorous while the balcony scene in ep 11 was somehow sanitized?

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I'm under the Confucian impression that they didn't...kisses are ok, sex is a no-no.

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Given that this is an Asian drama, I understand

Then why would they throw us that balcony kiss in ep 10? For shock value perhaps? I mean it was very, very suggestive. I just feel like this inconsistency somehow left a bitter taste in my mouth

I’m Asian as well and I know pre marital sex is still taboo in most Asian cultures but I feel like that aparment scene somehow diminished the height that their romance achieved in Cuba. She was literally trying to throw him out her bed (lol) and was acting like it was the first time she had been with a man when just a week ago she was literally rubbing her body against his and eating his face in that balcony. Not even caring if others could see

And here I was thinking this show was a cut above the rest

I’m so perplexed and tbh, a bit disappointed

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“When in Rome,” I guess?

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But I get your disappointment. But I was more dissolutioned in Pretty Noona where they did have sex and we’re obviously intimate and in love and then they had to throw all that away due to misogyny, class and ageism, corporate shinnanigans, and filial piety with mother knows best and we’re back to the old traditions again. At least Boyfriend is relatively consistent in its traditionalism with a twist.

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Oh my goodness, Pretty Noona! That was a very painful drama to watch for all the wrong reasons. I was so glad once the finale came and quickly erased it from my memory the day afterwards

Encounter still has its strong points. It’s only this particular scene that took away a huge chunk of my enjoyment of the show. I’d usually feel this high after every episode ends except for episode 12

I’m sorry to be ranting but I just really want to release this: what really killed the entire apartment scene for me is the shocked look of CSH’s face when JH put his arms around her. I was like, “Gurl, what?!” He is her damn boyfriend and she was acting like she has never touched him before. And she didn’t even hug him back when he cuddled with her. What is up with that characterization???

IDK. I guess I was just really rooting for SH NOT to be this virginal heroine but this episode really backpedalled on all progress she has made on that Cuban balcony.

Unless they are just trying to set us up for something else (she did book a hotel room after all in the PPL scene), then I think I found the drama’s weak point now

I’m starting to sound crazy LMAO

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Agree totally. Me, I was second hand ashamed of Jina in pretty Noona, that she slept with Joon he, even though wow, he is difficult to resist, he is amazing, but no. It was implied she slept with the first boyfriend too, and at the end of the series she had a third boyfriend (one that pleased her mom)... 😡
Anyway... I understand, kind of, that some will do it if they really really feel in love, but in pretty noona, that love went out of the window when they broke up anyways for the reasons you mentioned, Ally.

That is why Encounter is definitively more consistent. It is: love (true love) first, then commitment, then intimacy (preferably after marriage).

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@javinne Why a woman should be ashamed to have sexual relationships? O_O
It's her body, she does how she wants! And nobody has the right to judge her for that.
You don't want to have sexual relationship, it's your right too and nobody should judge you for that.
It's about our own choice and I'm sad to see that people are so easy to judge somone for that.

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@kurama Did i judge? I am not sure. I was disappointed. Most Korean dramas heroines are basically chaste. Either if it's Confucianism like Ally says, or fantasy... that is one of the reason I love Korean dramas. So I was disappointed with Pretty noona. I hate western television where almost everything is about sex. I know women have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, but I don't like to watch them. For me it is sinnful to act like that... Also, because in the western series, they do it for nothing and almost with everybody. For me it is disgusting. Why would I watch something like that for entertainment??
Personal taste. I don't think I am judging. But maybe... I am sorry.
Still, as an audience, I am careful of what I watch, because I might end up feeling proud or ashamed of what I have watched.

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Some people like to see a lot of sex in a drama and that's perfectly fine. Some other people would prefer not to see a lot of sex in a drama and I think that's perfectly fine also. Let's not judge each other. One of the reason I'm watching k-drama is because there's less sex scenes compared to US drama hahaha. It's just my preference and I'm a happily married woman with a happy sexual life. I was initially confused whether JH slept with SH or not in that episode. However, I read some discussion in soompi regarding this and I come to the conclusion that the stars came down and kissed JH when he's sleeping and that star that came down was actually SH...so I interpreted that last scene as a re-enactment of the poem that JH said when sleeping in the garden in Cuba. Anyway, I maybe wrong...we shall see what happens in the next 4 episodes

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I'm of the nonConfucian opinion that they were intimate in Cuba, but they are keeping it on the down low because they are back in KR and they cannot afford to do as they please anymore (not in the mood to argue about it, but I'm basing my view on body language and the fact that the "can i please sleep at yours" was way too casual to be a first).

The cynic in me is tempted to think that leaving it ambiguous was a marketing decision - they are selling this drama to a range of countries - some more conservative than other - so they wanted to make sure it was ok for the whole range. The scene at her flat ended up a bit odd and awkward as a result.

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Another good point. And here I thought he said that to add shock value and to be cheeky. But maybe he really meant it.

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I think I know what you mean. I initially thought so too because of the following:

1. JH was sleepy in the airport in Cuba (very suggestive)
2. He was really hungry for more alone time with her when he invited her to the storage room
3. When they were on the phone together at the end of episode 11, he was teasing her that he was going home to an empty house and said “Shall I wait for you at home?”

But come episode 12 the following threw me off:

1. When they were dining together he was like “what are you imagining? I’m just going to watch you sleep”
2. When they were in bed JH said “I had to control myself last time”
3. Of course, CSH virginal reaction to having a man in the same bed as her

Sigh.

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LOL...
I thought he was teasing most of the time.

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On the plus side, i'd add:
The way they sit in the car, how he throws his arms around her at the airport, and the scene in the playground, when he touches her knee.
About the weird bits:
I am thinking that 'last time' was when she was drunk, and that she reacts negatively because it's her place. The way I saw it, she was not objecting to the act (though she may think it unwise) but to the location; her being reluctant to allow him in her inner sanctum. But admittedly that last one is a bit of a stretch and it's better explained by some executive seeing the editing in cuba kiss ending and asking them to tone it down for PR reasons. The scene did not help the broader narrative so it may have been a last minute patch in. Still, it is one mistake in an otherwise close to perfect show for me. I'm willing to let it slide (was kind of surprised when people took it so seriously).

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Haha comment num 3 win

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Yes, for the sake of the story, I'm also choosing to go with this version.
The cynic in you is the regular me btw lol.

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"Anybody else confused whether or not they slept together in Cuba?"

I think they totally did.

Show doesn't want to commit to that, though (for cultural tv reasons), so leaves itself an out of plausible deniability.

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Ding ding ding. I think they want to allow you to read it either way, but I think they telegraphed it when they kick up the makeout while they're on the wall at the beach. What happens in Cuba stays in Cuba, so in their day to day lives, they kind of still haven't.

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Completely agree on all 3 points! This in particular: "I think they telegraphed it when they kick up the makeout while they're on the wall at the beach." That was the longest kiss scene I've ever seen in a k drama, followed by another passionate kiss scene on the balcony of the hotel room, leading naturally (one would think) to...

"What happens in Cuba stays in Cuba," so they were kissing passionately for all the world to see. Like many people, vacation in a foreign land is maybe not quite real to them, allowing them to let down their inhibitions and publicly behave in ways they wouldn't at home.

"...in their day to day lives, they kind of still haven't." That's possible in the context of their resumed lives in Korea, but I get the feeling JH is angling for a return to physical intimacy! (The hotel hallway, the bed.) He's not pushing the issue too much, but he is flirting/hinting quite a bit. She is not currently taking the bait, though.

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I don't care whether or not they slept together in Cuba... it's not important!!

To be honest, I'd kill for one show to have a couple where one says "yeah I want to wait for marriage" and the other one says "I feel the same way" and then that's it. Then we don't have to have awful, cringey out-of-character scenes like this one that are poorly-written, jarring and regress our lead's relationship. They seriously could have had one of the writers wander onto the set at the end of episode 10 and break the fourth wall to say, "Our main characters are NOT having sex at this time." Because tonally that scene was the equivalent and just as on-the-nose.

They could have spent the night in Cuba curled up in bed talking before finally falling asleep in each other's arms just as the sun rose. The point is the intimacy of it generally, not the specifics.

It's like in their mad quest to reassure everyone they did not have TEH SEX they remove all sense of hard-won intimacy from their relationship. That's what I have a problem with and that's why I hated that scene.

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I totally agree with. The apartment scene was poorly written and out-of-character

I mean I also don’t care if they had sex or not but if they didn’t have sex, they why even bother repeat na balcony scene twice? You know?

And yes, it really regressed the leads’ relationship IMO. Shame that it was the strongest part of the show

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"I don't care whether or not they slept together in Cuba... it's not important!!...The point is the intimacy of it generally, not the specifics.

"It's like in their mad quest to reassure everyone they did not have TEH SEX they remove all sense of hard-won intimacy from their relationship."

Fair point, ChinguMode! Thank you for articulating this.

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I mean, he could have been tired for any reason. I don't think it's anything to think so deeply about. Some people will still doze off from time to time after a full night of sleep. He may have had a restless night. He may have been reading some book or the other till dawn. I mean there are a million reasons that have nothing to do with sleeping with her, I don't see why it should be related at all to the question of whether they slept together or not.
Besides which, the difference in the balcony scenes is no big deal. People in love are not always in a passionate mood (even in fiery telenovelas, haha). They were on the first balcony day, but on the other, they were just playful. It isn't anything so abnormal, is it?
And re the conservative angle, I am pretty sure, realistically speaking, couples who agree to abstinence before marriage, or for the time being, or for any other reason, do get carried away a la the first balcony scene from time to time. It doesn't necessarily mean they followed through.
In any event, I don't think they've slept together either.
Nor do I think the simple scene of her throwing him out of her bed should be enough to diminish their romance (she may have not have been ready or in the mood to take that step with him on that occasion, even if she got 'carried away' in romantic Cuba, so why not get rid of the tease?), when it has solidified emotionally in so many other ways in the past episodes.

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I thought this drama was supposedly about a woman who had spent her entire life having other people make decisions for her and control her life (Mother controlling who she befriended and what social life she had as a child, sold into loveless marriage to "pay off" money her mother had borrowed to advance father's career, ordered around and controlled by Evil MIL) finally finding her "inner self," and gaining control over her life.

What we get instead is Soo-hyun falling for cute, constantly grinning, sugary sweet younger guy who - suprise! - is constantly making decisions for her, and deciding what's best for her, without her input.

Jin-hyuk decides she's too tired to drive, so - without informing or asking her - he calls her driver to come pick her up, or decides only he can drive. He decides only he can save her Cuban hotel deal, so - without consulting her, or getting permission from anyone, and with absolutely zero legal authority - he rushes off to Cuba to "rescue" her deal. He apparently - after only a month or two there (because he was almost immediately shipped off to the resort hotel) - knows her own hotel better than she does, and can show her the new renovated area that she, earlier shown to be a hands on CEO who pays attention to every little detail, knows nothing about, to sneak in a little on-the-job un-professionalism hanky-panky during the work day.

Everyone is OK with Jin-hyuk's father butting in to decide whether he will approve of the relationship, and so it's apparently appropriate - even cute! - for the father to go grill Soo-hyun when she's at her workplace, in her office, despite the fact that his 29 year old son and the 35-36 year old love interest are adults. (But then, Jin-hyuk does live with his parents).

Now, in this episode, we see Jin-hyuk decide for himself which choice Soo-hyun should make about where she's going to spend her evening. It's clearly supposed to be romantic - caring about her even - that he lies to her so she will go to her former father-in-law's memorial ceremony instead of coming to his house for a dinner with the parents (which, of course, Mom will probably prepare, cook and clean up all by herself, as she is the only estrogen producer in the household). And when she finds out what he was lying to her so she wouldn't feel conflicted, or - heaven forbid - make the wrong decision, she thinks it's perfectly fine, even though she makes a completely different decision on her own.

This is an example of the really terrible writing and character/plot development (as glacially slow as both are) in this drama. Jin-hyuk's decision to make decisions for Soo-hyun are supposed to be thoughtful, loving, and even "romantic."

Sorry, it's still not giving her the respect to make her own decisions. The fact that she has the hots for Jin-hyuk doesn't make it sexy or romantic. It just exchanges a man she doesn't love for a man she allegedly does love deciding they know...

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what's best for her.

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Ok, Jin Hyuk Dad did not butt in. He approached his son first, who confirmed the relationship and then Soo Hyun after she made the first interaction ( the wine at lunch and informing the staff that if they need anything, so be it). It was not a grill, the man was a bit nervous but said his piece and was quite respectful of Soo Hyun. After the way the parents have been acting towards the couple, he was been down right quant.

I think Jin hyuk's parents should be allowed to say something. They are not interfering, they are just talking about it.

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He went to her office - during business hours - without being invited, to "talk about" the relationship with his 29 year old son. And he was considering whether he approved. It was ridiculous.

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In Korea (and in the majority of Asia) this is entirely appropriate though. Parents, grandparents, and elders have every right to confront children (no matter their age or power) in matters related to them. If my dad shows up to my office (that I run) and wanted to talk to me, I’d be expected to drop everything and talk to him. It’s out of showing respect to your elders that I am required to do this. What’s progressive in this scene is that he doesn’t just come out and deny the union as her mother did when she met Jin-Hyuk. He’s much more respectful of her and is thoughtful in his wisdom saying he sees the trials that may come and wants to be sure that his son is not taken advantage of and that her feelings towards JH are genuine. That they both will be committed to each other because what is coming needs more than just infatuation to get them through it.

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He can talk to his son all he wants, but going to talk to a 35 year old woman at her place of work - where she is the CEO - is ridiculous, and cheesy, and bad melodrama. He isn’t HER father. And this isn’t supposed to be of the same ilk as a melodrama like BOF.

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@ally-le, so can we consider an act of rebellion the fact that a lot of times SH refuses to talk to her mum? That in this way she is choosing to be a different person from what family and society expect?

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Yes, I thought that was rather strange but I just tried to imagine if it could be possible when they have such different culture. I think he should have had that conversation in another place, even with all the "parent respect" tradition, she is the CEO there, he could be causing rumors showing up like that.

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I also don't see why there should be any issue with him speaking to her. Being a straightforward fellow we know him to be, he made a request (rather than waiting for an invitation that may not come any time soon) she was available to see him, and he had an honest discussion with her.
Also, no matter how old a child is, a parent can always approve or disapprove of what they do- it doesn't mean he was going to forbid Jin Hyuk from seeing her, or do anything in excess of letting him know his stance and giving advice. Besides which, if this instance qualifies as melodrama, then real life must have quite a bit of it, since I am past 25 and can see my mum, and a number of my mates' parents, doing the same thing.

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In this case, the “girlfriend” is also his son’s boss, which made approaching her at her workplace even worse.

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Yeah, I was considering all that in what I said. Anyway, I suppose it is a matter of perspective. To me, boss or not, his requesting to see her and having an honest and respectful conversation with her is not an issue. Approaching her at the workplace is neither here nor there, since hardly anyone who would gossip knows he is JH's dad, and even if they did... what of it? She is dating a fellow, and his father comes to see her... there isn't anything shocking in that. I mean, it's fine if you personally find it to be inappropriate behaviour, but that does not make it unrealistic melodrama.

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I think most of what you're objecting to in this show ultimately comes down to cultural differences, not bad writing. So you are probably going to be quite frustrated in watching k dramas.

At this point, are you hate-watching? Not judging; just curious.

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Ikr! I think a lot of people tend to say 'bad writing' when they personally cannot relate to certain behaviours or when the story does not go in a direction they were expecting it to.

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I think Soo Hyun and Hee Ju from MoA are the same in the writting. In the past, they're strong character : for Soo Hyun she's an ice princess who made this hotel and Hee Ju is a kind sister who worked non stop to support her family.

But from the start of the drama, we couldn't see this from her. Soo Hyun finaly chose who she loves but in a work we can't see her fights. She had a confrontation against the Director, asking to chose a side and his next move is the email about Cuba Hotel. In the lobby, I wanted her to defend herself but she did nothing and it's Jin Hyuk who saved her.

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Woo-seok's arc is pathetic. The impression from early episodes as a layered, complicated character has been thrown out of the window now he is actively putting Soo-hyun back into the SAME situation as their marriage. And after all that mistress subterfuge and divorce! So illogical, lame, pointless...
As superficial as it is, I kinda get why Secretary Jang is a bit shook being picked up in a work truck after a lovely date in a classy restaurant. She obviously felt guilty about feeling what she felt and tried to keep it inside, and thank God Dae-chan kept on being his sweet self. She has no problem in serving customers, so I hope she get off her pedestal soon and realise that a good heart is better than any material possession.
Jin-myung & Hye-in, I am shipping them!
I have realised the drama's weekly arc: in odd episodes, dragons appear, in even episodes, they vanquish the dragons. Watching both episodes back to back appease my rom-com sweet tooth every week, I hope they continue to the final eps like this :)

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It reads like she sees Dae chan as a filler until someone better comes along. So it is only gonna take a luxury car for her to change her mind.

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I was really sad for both of them when she run away out of shame. I don't think they could have a solid relationship, but being a drama, probably they will.

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But real world talk, Dae chan will be okay, Jang will not.

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I loved several things about ep12:

1. that when they are troubled, they run to rather than away from each other.
2. that he calls her SoHyun-ssi when she is in his good graces but switches back to her title 대표님 when he is grumpy.
3. how balanced their relationship is. if in ep9 SH was scared to face the odds and JH was the one 100% certain of their ever after, the balance shifted this time 'round. As WS's meddling chipped at JH's confidence, SH finally threw away her fears. Losing full control of the hotel did not matter quite as much as she thought it would. She is now brave enough to follow her dreams, and to redefine what those are. She set herself free all by herself. And that is awesome.

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I recognize that everyone has pretty vastly differing opinions on this drama, but personally, I'm really enjoying this so far. I know it can seem kind of boring because this OTP relationship kind of slowly plugs on without much drama, but that's the part that is refreshing to me. There are no crazy misconceptions/misunderstandings that break our couple up for 20% of the drama nor is it a drama where the chaebol character is a complete and utter turd and suddenly transforms into a better person....the relationship of our OTP has slowly and steadily deepened as time progresses and both characters, who both grow and mature throughout the show, are fundamentally very good and likeable individuals. Yes, this is not a splashy, trashy sort of drama but is very sweet and comforting---like a nice warm cup of cocoa with whipped cream and some Bailey's (for the steamier balcony kiss!).

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Relationships not perfect, exist in cultural vacuum. Sh is making big choices to free herself, i see no problem in cutie pie jh being the impetus to her joy

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Thanks for a masterful review @lollypip. At this stage I think all of us could do with a friend like Jin Hyuk. Sending that plant was such amazing thoughtfulness. And the lie about Ms Lee not coming to the house was to forestall or end the dilemma that Soo Hyun would face in deciding where to be.

I'm amused and curious about who is in that car of Soo Hyun's that Mr Nam gamely drove to her in-laws place. Might it be Sec Jang with a note, or just Mr Nam without any passengers, or maybe it was a delivery of the dress to be returned to sender? I want to see WS's and his mum's face when the find that Soo Hyun did not arrive at their party. 😝

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I think I spotted Secretary Jang in the car with driver Nam. A very worried Secretary Jang, poor thing.

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LOL. Poor woman. Being friends with Soo Hyun has probably robbed her of some years of her life, with all that worry and stress on SH's behalf.

It's cute though that SH herself will quietly think and decide what to do and does not evince as much stress.

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I love this drama. The love story is steady & mature. It helps me from the anxiety of unstable love story. It shows the beauty of having a perfect balance relationship in term of support & reality. I love how every simple scene touch my heart & make me smiling giddily. It's so beautiful & romantic. Maybe I'm an old schooler but i love this drama every bit. Lets just say I'm a hopeless romantic. I love how both of them are very soft yet very firm. Defending what they treasure with every corner of their heart.

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I believe that the wind that Woo Seok mentioned is not Jin Hyuk but his mother who wants to take legal action against Soo Hyun as well as to put a stop to Soo Hyun's father's presidential aspirations. She would be surprised when she finds out that he intends to drop out of the race.

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I am hoping against hope that that is what Woo Seok really means, and that when it looks like his mother is going to win against Soo Hyun he will self-sacrificingly give all the hotel shares he had Choi gather for him plus his own to SH, so that she can finally have her freedom from his mother.

He really is just awful at communicating with SH, as the show depicts so well.

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I have the same hope!

@ally-le @jamieopso @sashaabdeen @carmen @eokuno @charlie

I've a question about WS. I think WS and SH's marriage may have had a sliver of hope if he'd been able to communicate better and to have withstood his mum. I'm puzzled by how come he now can stand up to mum. The only thing that 'changed' if it can be called that, is that Soo Hyun is in love with someone else and WS want's her back. So, where did he get his courage from?

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Maybe a sliver of hope if WS had been able to communicate with SH better...but WS fundamentally does not understand SH, either. They were well-matched only outwardly, in terms of fame, influence, age, status, wealth.

I think WS thought she was "safe" and relatively happy as the ice princess in her tower hotel, forced only to show up to do biannual obeisance to his mother. I think he thought her relative "freedom" was bought with a great sacrifice - losing her as his wife - and that he didn't begrudge her, either. He was content as long as she had that limited (twisted version of) freedom, which he thought was the best he could do for her.

I don't think WS ever thought she would unthaw and begin a new romance. He may have thought she was incapable of that.

Her romance with JH means that now WS might lose her forever AND that his mother will declare war on her, and that SH will lose everything.

Those two factors might give WS that "desperation" he talks about to fight his mother and make an open play for SH. He is also older and may have been gathering information behind-the-scenes on his mother's power, and how to fight her.

WS is stunted from a lifetime with his mother, weak in some very important ways, jealous, a poor communicator who doesn't "get" SH; but I think he doesn't truly mean SH harm. I hope the show is setting him up to appear to be a simple villain now, and that he will do his version of better. Please Show, don't disappoint!

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Thanks! Nice and possibly accurate insight @jamieopso!

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I accidentally "liked" my own comment, when I thought I was clicking "like" on yours, @growingbeautifully! I didn't even know that was possible, lol...

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So I think WS has always had a plan to win his wife back, which is why he paid someone to act as if he was having an affair and not actually having one. He’s cares for her from the very beginning. Maybe he was thinking that his mother would change, be less viper-like, or maybe SH would find some meaning in owning that hotel and having some part in the whole family business machine. I think he saw her dying inside while married to him and being controlled by his mother, as he was too, and knew she needed a way out. He may have always had the dream of moving away with her, until JH shows up out of absolutely nowhere Cuba and moves up his timeline. Now, he’s out of time and has to act more decisively and he does, to everyone else’s chagrin. But I, for one, am glad he’s finally standing up to his mother. I hope the writer gives him a satisfying conclusion because he’s a child who desperately needs love too and has no one to give him any right now. He also needs to get out from the grip of that family to truly be happy. He’s totally sympathetic (or maybe it’s the actor making him seem that way) and he deserves better.

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I think his courage comes from the fact that SH is dating another man, as the others wrote. Probably WS thought that SH would have remained alone forever, so "one day" he could try to have her back. But with JH in the picture, now, there is no time left.

I would be glad if in the end he will give his shares to SH to save her position as CEO of the hotel. It would be a refreshing twist.

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I agree with all of the insightful comments of our wonderful beanies below! The line from the song "don't know what you got til it's gone..." is what runs through my head when I think of WS. Even though they were divorced for a number of years, he never reconciled that SH was really "gone" (even though in her mind, she was over the relationship w/ WS and his crazy-ass fam). It's that disconnect that is fueling WS's desperate actions---because he never really understood SH, he still thinks that there's a chance that she'd go back to him.

In seeing SH change and blossom with the love of JH, WS is terrified and is pretty much acting like a dude w/ a death sentence---he doesn't have anything to lose at this point. WS obviously loved her enough to enable her to get out of that horrible household and let her go---too bad he didn't realize that what he should have done was stand by her, support her and fight for and with her. That is the difference between WS and JH---the resolve to support the one that they love and jointly work through whatever issues come up. It's wonderful to see a couple actually communicate with each other!!!

Not sure why (maybe it's great acting), but I genuinely feel sorry for WS---his sad eyes and hurt expressions get me all the time. Then I have to remember the absolute hell SH had to go through for all of those years and not have the support of her hubby and then I snap out of really fast!!

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This is my first melo-drama ever and I like it a lot. I used to think that I only like rom-com drama but this drama changed my mind completely. I love the beautiful shots; I love the acting; I love the songs; I love that the drama is trying to change prejudice against divorced woman and I love that SH is a strong and independent woman and JH is a confident and supportive man. I think the slow burn romance in this drama is very realistic and I honestly think that ep 11 and ep 12 are very beautiful and romantic. I have been replaying their scenes over and over again.

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Glad you’ve joined the discussion! (Now to get your registered.)

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PBG is so stinkin adorable that it has motivated me to keep watching this show. I guess I am warming up to the pairing a little bit. I read somewhere that PBG and SHG's husband are close friends. That explains why, no matter how good their acting is, I could not find their chemistry believable. I don't care how professional you are, that is awkward with a capital A. I'm mad at whoever had the bright idea to cast them together. It must be so uncomfortable for them. Kudos for their very professional acting skills for carrying them this far.

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Mrs Lee / Jin-ah evil mum always gives me chill. When she didn't give the homemade food to SH, I was like: "Here you are!"😂😂😂

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i come to realize that I feel relax when watching this drama. maybe because I know that the leads definitely will follow their hearts, and not to bow down to anyone demand that want to control their life.

so, for me..there's no exactly a moment of i-want-to-pull-my-own-hair because of leads' noble sacrifice or lets-break-up-because-i-dont-want-to-get-you-hurt-by-your-ex-mother-in-law or whatsoever.

it's just matter how they made the decision and embrace it together.

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