Boyfriend: Episode 15
This episode is everything I’ve been dreading since this drama began. The one thing that could separate our lovers has come to pass, though they’re both obviously heartbroken. Both of them have to want this relationship to work, but if one of them is ready to give up, there may be no way to fix it this time.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
After their bookstore date, Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk go to a nice restaurant for dinner. Soo-hyun tries to say something, intending to break up with him, but Jin-hyuk interrupts her with a gift. It’s a leather case for the camera he gave her, which he made with his own two hands.
Soo-hyun sees that he’s even engraved her name on the case, and she acknowledges what a thoughtful gift it is. Jin-hyuk asks what she was going to say, but she says it’s not important.
That night, as he’s grinning to himself about their amazing date today, Jin-myung sends Jin-hyuk a text with some photos that were taken of him and Soo-hyun earlier. In them, he’s feeding Soo-hyun bites of cake, and Jin-myung quips that he’s a pretty awesome boyfriend.
Soo-hyun’s father holds a press conference regarding his withdrawal from the presidential race and the fact that he’s turned himself in to the police. He tells the press that a corporation illegally funded his campaign, and that he’ll be honest with the prosecution and accept his fair punishment. Soo-hyun watches him on the news and remembers him telling her not to think that any of this is her fault.
At work, Jin-hyuk listens to the PR employees speculating on whether it was Taekyung who gave Soo-hyun’s father the illegal money, until they remember that he’s sitting right there and stop gossiping. He’s thinking about his dinner with Soo-hyun’s dad, when he’d asked Jin-hyuk to be strong for Soo-hyun.
A flashback shows us that when Soo-hyun’s dad told his wife about his plans, he’d asked her to be his witness regarding the illegal money from Taekyung. She’d been terrified, but he said he had a plan to make sure she only gets a suspended sentence. She’d refused, even when he’d said this would help free Soo-hyun from Chairwoman Kim’s grasp. But he’d told her firmly that her dream of being first lady is never going to happen.
Secretary Jang turns Woo-seok away at Soo-hyun’s office door, stating that Soo-hyun won’t be meeting with anyone today. He says he’ll come back later after confirming with Secretary Jang that Soo-hyun is okay. Meanwhile, Chairwoman Kim is terrifyingly calm as her call to Soo-hyun’s mother goes unanswered.
Jin-hyuk struggles with whether or not to contact Soo-hyun, and when her phone finally rings, it’s Driver Nam calling to tell her that he’ll drive her father home from the police station. Jin-hyuk waits until Soo-hyun leaves for home and offers to drive her, and she invites him to stop for tea, because she has something to discuss.
He thinks she’s just worried about her father, and he tells her that her dad mostly just wants her to take care of herself. Soo-hyun thanks him for worrying with her, then she drops the bomb — she wants to break up. Jin-hyuk goes very still, staring blankly as if her words make no sense. She tells him that he didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just that some loves aren’t meant to last.
She asks for his help in doing this so that she can remember their relationship happily, but Jin-hyuk can’t understand why it has to be a memory at all. Soo-hyun says that they’re the only ones who are happy, but that she considers every day with him a miracle, so she doesn’t want things to end badly and ruin that miracle.
Jin-hyuk says that he promised her father he would stay beside her through this difficult time. Soo-hyun replies that she knows he cares for her, and she cares for him, so that’s why she’s ending this here. She says that it will be hard, but she can make it through her father’s ordeal.
As it sinks in that this is really happening, Jin-hyuk’s eyes fill up with tears. He asks in a broken voice, “Why… why are you abandoning me?” Soo-hyun says she could never abandon him — what she’s doing is letting him go. She stands to leave, but Jin-hyuk jumps up and grabs her hand to stop her. He can’t speak, he can only look at her pleadingly, but she releases his hand and walks away.
Jin-hyuk walks towards home in a daze, then he suddenly breaks into a run. Soo-hyun is huddled in her bedroom as Jin-hyuk frantically calls and rings her doorbell, over and over again. Eventually he gives up and leaves, though it looks like it’s killing him.
Soo-hyun never moves until morning, when she finally gets up and takes off her couple ring.
In the morning, Jin-hyuk’s dad worries that his son looks terrible, but Jin-hyuk just says he’s been busy. Mom looks like she knows more about it, but she doesn’t say anything.
On the news, Soo-hyun sees that after her father’s official statement, the prosecution issued Taekyung Group with a search and seizure warrant, having determined that there’s a risk of evidence destruction. She calls her dad just to make sure he’s okay, and she thanks him for doing the right thing, which gets him choked up.
Chairwoman Kim tells her lawyers that the search and seizure won’t find any evidence, and that Soo-hyun’s mother won’t have the guts to testify.
Jin-hyuk is miserable at work, to the point that Director Kim sends him home early. He stops by the store, and Dad thinks he’s just worried about Soo-hyun, but Jin-hyuk says he’s taken medicine and only needs some rest. Mom is surprised to see Jin-hyuk home early, and she looks a little guilty as he goes straight to his room.
Soo-hyun meets with Director Kim regarding an upcoming appreciation event for the employees. Unaware of the breakup, Director Kim says that she sent Jin-hyuk home sick, and Soo-hyun looks worried.
Jin-hyuk is just sitting in his room in the dark, still dressed from work, when Jin-myung calls him (having been tipped off by Dad that he’s not feeling well). Jin-hyuk sounds terrible, but he says he’ll rest a while then meet Jin-myung at Dae-chan’s restaurant later. But instead of resting, he stares at his collection of items that remind him of Soo-hyun, sighing heavily.
The only person who knows about the breakup is Secretary Jang, who shows up at Soo-hyun’s home that evening with cake to help her feel better. She mentions Soo-hyun’s father’s power move, which should put an end to Taekyung’s lawsuit threat against Soo-hyun, but Soo-hyun says that things will get worse for him because of her.
Secretary Jang thinks that’s silly, and that Soo-hyun isn’t responsible for Jin-hyuk’s mother either, or for the fact that Jin-hyuk fell for her. She rants that Jin-hyuk’s mom had no right to meddle in their relationship, and Soo-hyun asks dryly if she’s really here to comfort her, ha.
Out of nowhere, Soo-hyun says she’s going to Cuba once the issue with her father is sorted out. She advises Secretary Jang to take a year off while she’s gone, and Secretary Jang looks shocked — then says she’ll just spend that year in Cuba with Soo-hyun.
At Dae-chan’s restaurant, JI updates Jin-hyuk on a meeting he missed about the employee event. She tells him there will be a musical guest, and a vote for the best employee of each branch… the gossip is that Jin-hyuk is the most popular from their branch.
He keeps insisting that he’s feeling better, but Hye-in can tell something is going on. Jin-hyuk claims he’s just catching a cold, but neither Hye-in, nor Jin-myung listening nearby, are fooled.
While their sons are out, Mom confesses to Dad that she begged Soo-hyun to break up with Jin-hyuk, and Dad is very much not pleased about it. Mom argues that she knew Jin-hyuk would never give up on the relationship, but Dad says that if she knows that, then she should give him her support; or if she can’t do that, then to stay out of it.
Mom refuses to admit she was wrong, insisting that things will calm down over time and Jin-hyuk will forget all this when he’s married and has kids. Dad asks incredulously if she knows their son at all. She argues that if they stay together now and break up later, Jin-hyuk will be the only one getting hurt, and that she just wants their family to live a normal life.
Disappointed, Dad reminds her that when the boys were little and they only had enough money for a fruit stall, Jin-hyuk would take care of Jin-myung while his parents worked. He asks Mom how she can watch her son work hard for his family and not do the same for him now.
He tells her that she’s made a mistake, and Mom bursts into tears, crying that she knows Soo-hyun is also hurting over this. She says she’ll be punished for breaking Soo-hyun’s heart, but she can’t let Jin-hyuk be hurt.
Jin-hyuk stands in the doorway, having overheard his mother’s accidental confession. He goes back outside, stunned, and suddenly so much of what Soo-hyun said while she was breaking up with him makes sense. He calls Secretary Jang when he can’t reach Soo-hyun, and she tells him Soo-hyun is still at work.
He bursts into her office, and when he sees her, he runs across the room to take her in his arms. He asks why she didn’t tell him about meeting with his mother, and Soo-hyun only lets herself relax into him for a moment before she pushes him away.
She somehow looks him right in the eye as she says that’s not the reason she broke up with him. She tells him that her mind is made up, and not to make it more painful than it already is. Devastated, Jin-hyuk asks how it’s possible for it not to be painful if he can’t see her again.
He says that his mom just needs time, like they did.But Soo-hyun tells him that his mother made her tangerine syrup, something that can’t be bought with money. Jin-hyuk starts to lose it as she says she can’t break something that precious (meaning his family), when she can’t even go out for ramyun without it ending up in the news.
She asks Jin-hyuk if that syrup (his family) really suits her, and he fights through his tears to ask if she thinks he loves her because she’s the CEO of Donghwa Hotel, or because her father was a politician. He says that everyone’s different, but that can’t be a reason to break up, because love is about two people growing to be more like each other.
He begs her not to do this, but Soo-hyun says resolutely that watching him and the people he loves being slowly worn down because of her would be more painful than not seeing him at all. He tries again to stop her from leaving, but she keeps walking before he can catch her crying.
Left behind, Jin-hyuk breaks down, his heart completely broken. He tries to walk home, but Soo-hyun’s words overwhelm him and he collapses in the street. Soo-hyun also walks herself home, but she somehow manages not to cry again.
Jin-hyuk’s mother is asleep on the couch when he finally makes it home. He stops to watch her sleeping, then tucks the blanket around her more tightly and goes to his room. Mom starts to cry — she was awake the whole time.
In the morning, Jin-hyuk dreads having to sit across the breakfast table from his mom. He pastes on a smile and pretends nothing is wrong, but his father doesn’t look fooled.
Soo-hyun approaches her mother about the possibility of buying a small art gallery and living there while her father serves his prison sentence. Her mother refuses to discuss it, but Soo-hyun remembers how her mom used to take her to art exhibitions when she was young.
She admits that she studied journalism because her mother used to be a news announcer, and her mother softens a little. She says she gave up that life a long time ago, but Soo-hyun offers to help her start over. Her mom asks why she’s doing this, and Soo-hyun says simply that it’s because she’s her daughter.
She leaves, and her mother remembers that she recently told Soo-hyun that she doesn’t care about relationships, she only cares about person’s value. She seems to understand how wrong she was, and she starts to cry.
Jin-hyuk’s mother brings his dad lunch at the fruit store, and she sees him reading an article about Soo-hyun’s father. He grumpily says he’ll eat later, and she tells him that she doesn’t want Jin-hyuk with someone who has such a complicated story. Dad snaps that it’s not a story, it’s a life.
Jin-hyuk is even more distracted at work today. He skips lunch, saying that he ate a big breakfast, but Director Kim can tell something isn’t right.
She’d been up to Soo-hyun’s office, where Soo-hyun told her about her plan to go to Cuba until the new hotel is finished. Director Kim puts some clues together in her head — Soo-hyun’s plan to leave and Jin-hyuk’s being so pale and tired — and makes a pretty good guess about what’s really going on.
One of the board members visits Soo-hyun to talk about Woo-seok. Evidently, he’s taken all the Donghwa shares that were held by Taekyung shareholders and wants to give them to Soo-hyun, but she politely declines. He advises her to take the shares while she can, since Taekyung won’t be able to sue her now, but she says that she doesn’t care about shares or assets, she just wants to be able to work at Donghwa.
Director Kim stays behind at lunch and invites Jin-hyuk to sit with her, probably to make sure he eats something. She tells him that Soo-hyun is talking about going to Cuba long-term, and asks if something is wrong between them.
That evening, Driver Nam talks to Soo-hyun about her father and the difficult decision he’s made. Soo-hyun says she’s fine, just worried about her dad, and Driver Nam asks why she broke up with Jin-hyuk if that’s true. He asks if she knows that her father met with Jin-hyuk and asked him to take care of her so that she’d have someone for support during this time.
She remembers that when she broke up with Jin-hyuk, he’d said something about a promise to stay beside her. With a sigh, she tells Driver Nam that she was being selfish (by being with Jin-hyuk), but then she realized that her life could be a burden to Jin-hyuk.
Jin-hyuk makes it all the way home, but instead of going inside, he turns around and goes to visit Mrs. Lee. He tells her that he’s upset because Soo-hyun is going through a difficult time, but he can’t help because she broke up with him.
He says that he should probably let Soo-hyun go, but Mrs. Lee advises him to give her some time. Jin-hyuk sighs that he planned to do that, but Soo-hyun persuaded him that she’s serious.
He says that he thought he’d brought Soo-hyun out of the castle she was living in, but judging by what she said, now he feels like he only locked her up in another castle made of guilt. He thinks she feels guilty for causing pain to people around her, and that if it’s true, then their love is meaningless.
Soo-hyun passes Jin-hyuk in the hotel lobby the next day, but she doesn’t even look at him. He thinks, “Look how miserable you seem,” as she thinks, “Don’t be too hurt. Jin-hyuk-sshi, I’m sorry.” Jin-hyuk goes up to his desk and to draft a letter of resignation, but before he begins writing, he sees the welcome letter Soo-hyun wrote when he first started at Donghwa.
When he tries to write down his reason for quitting, all he can think about is his relationship with Soo-hyun, and how much has happened since they first met. Mostly he remembers how committed they’ve been to making it work no matter what, so instead of finishing the letter, he marches up to Soo-hyun’s office like a man on a mission. Yes, you go tell her!
When he gets there, for the first time, Jin-hyuk looks angry.
I am so glad to see Jin-hyuk looking pissed off, because let’s face it — he’s wonderful and I love him, but he’s way too nice. I don’t think it’s an act, I believe that he really is just that sweet and understanding, and that his first instinct in any situation is to try to see the other person’s point of view. And those are wonderful traits to have, but sometimes, when something is wrong and you know it, you have to get angry and fight. And if ever there was a time for Jin-hyuk to fight, it’s now. I don’t know what he plans to say to Soo-hyun, but whatever it is, I have no doubt that it will be strong and firm and right. If he’s the man I think he is, he’ll tell Soo-hyun that she’s coming at this situation all wrong, and that the answer isn’t to give up but to keep fighting, like they’ve always done, together as a team.
I’m surprised that I’m not even mad at Soo-hyun for breaking up with Jin-hyuk, which I fully expected to feel once she actually pulled the trigger. But once she did it, although my heart was breaking for Jin-hyuk (and can we just take a moment to acknowledge what an amazingly beautiful crier Park Bo-gum is?), I could see why Soo-hyun is willing to cause him this much pain now in order to save him more pain later. Her biggest fear is for Jin-hyuk to lose his family, something she’s always wanted and never had, and something she knows is essential to him.
Jin-hyuk’s mother was wrong to make Soo-hyun feel like her love for Jin-hyuk would cause their family to be destroyed, because if it’s even possible for one person to cause that kind of destruction, then the family can’t have been that strong to begin with. But she not only made Soo-hyun feel that her very presence could cause Jin-hyuk to lose his family, but that even if she stayed with him, she would never be accepted as one of them, and that’s just not true (she’s already accepted by his father and brother). Soo-hyun truly believes that by breaking up with Jin-hyuk, she’s giving him the one thing she never had — family.
But what his mother doesn’t seem to understand is that for Jin-hyuk, Soo-hyun is it. His father is absolutely right — Soo-hyun is Jin-hyuk’s first and last love, and if they break up for good, he’ll never recover. He may have his family, but he’ll never be truly happy again like he was before they met and fell in love. I don’t think his mother is a bad person – I think she acted selfishly out of fear, and that if they can take away that fear, she’ll see that Soo-hyun isn’t the problem, but the solution. The answer isn’t for Soo-hyun to leave Jin-hyuk, but for them to face this and fight like they’ve faced every other problem they’ve come up against. Jin-hyuk has a tough job ahead of him — he has to convince Soo-hyun and his mother that Soo-hyun is as essential to Jin-hyuk’s happiness as his family is, and that without both, he won’t ever be complete. But he’s an intelligent, insightful man, and if he thinks hard enough, he’ll realize that Soo-hyun has already given him all the clues he needs to fix this.
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