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Boyfriend: Episode 9

Even as our favorite adorable couple grow close and closer, the people around them, especially the ones who love them, grow worried for them. They have valid reasons for their concern, and even though it’s difficult, the lovebirds give serious thought to the possible issues. But when it’s time for a decision, what will the do – will they stubbornly insist on staying together, or will they decide that splitting up is the best thing for everyone?

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Jin-hyuk pulls Soo-hyun out of the party as the guests are counting down to the new year. She smiles when he takes off his mask, and Jin-hyuk slowly, tentatively kisses her.

Inside, Woo-seok sees them and sadly turns away. He looks dazed and heartbroken as he leaves the party alone.

After the party, Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun head to Subway (like you do). Jin-hyuk is nervous they might be seen together, but Soo-hyun assures him that nobody is there anyway. He tells her that Driver Nam let him ride in the backseat of the car, doing a funny impression of Driver Nam saying that he was there to pick up his boss’ boyfriend and making Soo-hyun laugh.

Soo-hyun offers to drive Jin-hyuk back to Sokcho so he can be at work at 9 a.m., but he says he can sleep on the bus. He suggests they go on a late-night date, but Soo-hyun feels bad, as his boss, that he has to work on a holiday. Jin-hyuk says cheekily that he can go now if she doesn’t want that date, and Soo-hyun protests.

The party is still going at the hotel, and Dae-chan wins the grand prize drawing of a free night’s stay at Donghwa Hotel. The DJ asks him if he’s single, and tells him to unmask and invite his love interest to share the prize with him.

Secretary Jang, who’s been hanging out with the dashing stranger, looks horrified to realize that she’s been flirting all night with her nemesis. She slinks out while Dae-chan looks around for her, narrowly avoiding public humiliation.

Dae-chan runs after her, catching her on the stairs. She’s all Nice to see ya, gotta go, but he stops her. Secretary Jang mutters that they’re probably not that happy to see each other with their masks off, and Dae-chan agrees, but he thinks it’s weird to act like they don’t know each other.

Meanwhile, Jin-myung thinks the whole thing is hilarious, and he suggests they all go out for a drink. He and Dae-chan put on a pitiful act for Secretary Jang’s benefit, and although she rolls her eyes and sighs, she agrees to go.

At the movie theater, Jin-hyuk asks if Soo-hyun wants popcorn, and she nails him with a quip about his preference for dried squid. They have the theater nearly to themselves, so Jin-hyuk takes the opportunity to hold Soo-hyun’s hand. She smiles and leans her head on his shoulder, and he rests his head on hers.

Despite saying that she’d only have one drink, Secretary Jang ends up pretty toasted. Dae-chan asks for her address before she gets any drunker so he can drive her home, which greatly amuses Jin-myung.

Secretary Jang slurs that he’s too happy for someone whose brother was banished to Sokcho, but Jin-myung defends that Jin-hyuk was transferred, not banished. She repeats herself before passing out, and Jin-myung runs out to call Jin-hyuk, but Jin-hyuk is too engrossed in his movie date to answer.

When the movie is over, Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun are reluctant to part again. Soo-hyun says Jin-hyuk will be tired at work later, but he says it was worth it. She drops him off at the bus station, and Jin-hyuk he heads for his bus, then he suddenly runs back to grab Soo-hyun’s face through the window and plant one more kiss on her.

Secretary Jang wakes up in the morning, horrified to find that she spent the night in Dae-chan’s restaurant. She snaps at Dae-chan for not taking her to a hotel, but he says that even with his free voucher, everything was booked. They both look like nine miles of hungover road, so Dae-chan says they’re going to a sauna, then for breakfast.

After eating, Secretary Jang reluctantly admits that she feels better and thanks Dae-chan. He asks what she meant when she said Jin-hyuk was “banished,” and he doesn’t believe her when she says she was just drunk and babbling. She checks her phone and freaks out when she sees another article about Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk on their date last night, this time not bothering to blur Jin-hyuk’s face.

She grabs a taxi and calls Driver Nam, who says there’s nothing wrong with a couple going on a date. He hangs up right in the middle of her tirade, unconcerned.

Woo-seok, who was up most of the night waiting for Soo-hyun to arrive home, is woken by his mother throwing pictures of potential marriage matches on his bed. She’s seen Soo-hyun’s picture with Jin-hyuk and decided that she’ll never allow that hussy back into the family.

Soo-hyun spends her day ignoring calls from Secretary Jang and her mother, who vows to get rid of Jin-hyuk one way or another. She turns her anger on Soo-hyun’s dad, but he says Soo-hyun is probably avoiding her calls for good reason and offers to talk to her himself.

At work, Jin-hyuk tries to ignore the murmurings of the people who recognize him from the article. He takes a break and calls Soo-hyun, who asks if he’s okay, but he reminds her that they expected this. He tells her everything will be fine, but when they hang up, he doesn’t seem quite so confident.

A neighborhood boy recognizes Jin-hyuk and shows the article to his mother, who runs inside to ask Jin-myung about it. He tries to play it off like Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun are just friends, but with the evidence of Soo-hyun’s shoes in his room, Mom doesn’t know what to believe.

Soo-hyun accepts an invitation to dinner from her dad, and she brings up the article first to apologize for his name getting dragged into it. He asks if she’s heard from Taekyung Group (AKA Woo-seok’s mother), and she says she’s preparing her offense for when she does, because it’s time she confronted her head-on.

She worries that her battle may hinder his campaign, but he scoffs and retorts that he’s been a hindrance to her all her life. He tells Soo-hyun to worry about herself and the huge battle she’s facing. Best dad ever. He asks whether Jin-hyuk will be able to watch her go through this because of him, especially since he’s not used to being in the public eye, and he warns Soo-hyun that Taekyung won’t leave Jin-hyuk alone.

Later, Jin-hyuk tries to call Soo-hyun but gets her voicemail, and he picks up a call from Jin-myung. He asks if their parents know that he’s dating Soo-hyun, but Jin-myung says they don’t. They talk about nothing important for a few minutes, wish each other Happy New Year, and hang up. Jin-hyuk realizes that he’s standing in front of a produce store much like his family’s, which seems to make him a little homesick.

The next day, Jin-hyuk sees a little girl in the hotel lobby, crying her heart out because her teddy bear was accidentally taken to the laundry with the sheets. He promises the little girl that he’ll look for her bear himself, then goes through all of the laundry one sheet at a time for two solid hours.

He finally finds the bear, and the smile on the little girl’s face makes it all worth it. The little girl’s mother stays to take a few shots on Jin-hyuk at work without his knowledge (but with his boss’s permission) — ha, turns out she’s a journalist.

Back in Seoul, Soo-hyun reluctantly meets with Woo-seok for coffee. He shows her their wedding rings, which he still has, and he softly asks her to come back to him. He says they can live far from his mother, and that he’ll make sure she doesn’t have to attend family events and can keep running the hotel.

Oof, he looks so hopeful and at the same time, so bleak, as if he already knows her answer. Soo-hyun asks why he’s doing this now, when he never used to interfere with his mother’s horrible treatment of her. She says that even though she’s forgotten his mother’s actions, she still remembers how weak he looked as he stood by and did nothing.

She tells him that she just endured it, until he said he loved someone else and she didn’t have to endure anymore. Instead of explaining, Woo-seok says they can live abroad, even Cuba where the new hotel is. Soo-hyun says gently that she’s seeing someone very special to her, but Woo-seok says cryptically that even she can be swayed, but he warns her not to be blown away.

Soo-hyun’s mother shows up at the hotel to confront Jin-hyuk, who immediately goes on his guard. She warns him to stay away from Soo-hyun, but he refuses to make that promise, so she tells him that Soo-hyun’s family and Woo-seok’s family have already agreed that they’ll be getting remarried.

Jin-hyuk asks if it’s what Soo-hyun wants, but her mother says that she’s destined to do what’s chosen for her. Undaunted, Jin-hyuk argues that it’s Soo-hyun’s life, and her mother sneers that dating her daughter must make him feel brave. She tells him that a big fight will begin because of him, accusing him of putting Soo-hyun in that position.

The next day, Soo-hyun and Secretary Jang run into Director Kim and Hye-in in the hallway. Director Kim introduces Hye-in as the one who stole her phone to call Soo-hyun, and Hye-in apologizes, but Soo-hyun thanks her, then pulls Hye-in aside to ask her some questions as Jin-hyuk’s friend. Hye-in works up the courage to ask Soo-hyun to stop seeing Jin-hyuk, worried that he’s already moved for Soo-hyun’s sake and scared of what else he might do.

Out of concern, Secretary Jang shows Soo-hyun an article that someone wrote about Jin-hyuk, making him out to be a gold-digger who’s trying to get famous by dating her. She also lets Soo-hyun know that her mother went to Sokcho to see Jin-hyuk.

That evening, Soo-hyun struggles between the worry that her friends and family are showing, and Jin-hyuk’s claims that this is all normal and expected. At the same time, Jin-hyuk is bombarded with requests from people he barely knows, asking for everything from drinks to free hotel nights and “joking” that he’ll own Donghwa Hotel soon.

He has to take a moment to force a smile into his voice when Soo-hyun calls him. He tells her that his personal information getting out was just a prank by old classmates, but she’s upset that the best parts of him were twisted to look bad (like his studiousness being called a ploy to get girls).

Jin-hyuk says it’s nothing, and when Soo-hyun counters that she knows the comments hurt him, Jin-hyuk says he’s more worried about her. Soo-hyun says that they should take some time to think things over, and Jin-hyuk fights back tears as he says with forced cheer that this must be hard on her since he’s so ordinary.

He drops the fake smile and asks if he put her in a bad position, and now Soo-hyun is crying too as she says she’s just scared that he’ll get hurt. She says that his life gets shaken the closer she gets to him, and she’s scared that the people who watch her will turn on him, too.

Shaking, Jin-hyuk suggests they take a “no news is good news” approach and not call each other for a while, and see who lasts longer. Soo-hyun agrees and they hang up, equally devastated.

Some time passes, but every little thing seems to remind Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk of each other. Soo-hyun goes around taking pictures of places they’ve been together with Jin-hyuk’s camera, while Jin-hyuk sits on the bench where they had coffee and he fell asleep on Soo-hyun’s shoulder. Soo-hyun visits Jin-hyuk’s neighborhood playground, and Jin-hyuk walks along the beach where they once played together.

After a month, Hye-in calls Jin-hyuk to ask why he hasn’t come home for a visit. She says his parents are worried, and he promises to come home soon. As he waits for the bus to Seoul, he can’t help thinking about what Soo-hyun said the last time they spoke — that she’s scared he might get hurt. Instead of catching his bus, he goes home.

Sh finally takes the last photo on the roll of film in Jin-hyuk’s camera, and she recalls him telling her to go to Mrs. Lee (the cafe ajumma), who has a darkroom. Mrs. Lee is happy to see her, having been alerted by Jin-hyuk that Soo-hyun would show up to develop film one of these days.

She helps Soo-hyun develop the film, and Jin-hyuk’s smiling face slowly appears on the paper. Catching onto Soo-hyun’s mood, Mrs. Lee says that she still misses her husband, who passed away. She tells Soo-hyun that she and Jin-hyuk should see each other while they can and be happy, then leaves Soo-hyun alone with her thoughts.

As she leaves the cafe, Jin-hyuk’s picture in the seat beside her, Soo-hyun makes a decision and turns her car around. She drives all the way to Sokcho, thinking about how she once said that he’s always the one running to her. She finds him sitting on a bench near a lighthouse, reading a book, and she stops a short distance away and calls him.

He’s so happy to see her calling that he jumps to his feet as he answers. Soo-hyun confesses that she’s caved, and Jin-hyuk teases that they never agreed on what the winner would get. She asks what he’s doing, and he lies that he’s eating with coworkers.

Soo-hyun asks where those coworkers are, and it gradually dawns on Jin-hyuk that she can see him. He slowly turns around, and when he sees her right behind him, he almost drops his phone. Soo-hyun takes a step towards him, and Jin-hyuk breaks into a run.

When he reaches her, he grabs her in a happy, grateful hug, looking like he’ll never let her go. His voice narrates the words he was just reading: “If the sea’s job is to make waves, mine is to think of you.”.

 
COMMENTS

Oh, I love that Soo-hyun lost the bet! She’s the one who resisted this relationship so hard at first, and she did notice that Jin-hyuk is always the one running to her, so I find it significant that now she’s the one who’s willing to let down her guard and show her true feelings by going to Jin-hyuk first. I don’t think it means she loves Jin-hyuk more than he loves her or anything (a case could be made that it’s the other way around since he did the harder thing by respecting her wishes and staying away when he was tempted), but I do think that it shows how much Jin-hyuk’s love has changed Soo-hyun. He’s shown her how it feels to be valued just for herself, and not for what money or status or connections she can give to him, so it was time for her to show him how much that all means to her.

They’re both changing, in fact, and it’s so wonderful to see the effects that Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun are having on each other. They started out such polar opposites — one perpetually serious and almost depressed, one a bit too naïve and optimistic — but it’s almost like they’re pulling each other towards a healthier middle ground. Soo-hyun is learning to loosen up and to stand up for herself, something she always had inside, but she just never had a good reason to assert herself until she met Jin-hyuk. It also turns out that she has a wicked sense of humor, and I love her little jabs about Jin-hyuk’s previous embarrassing behavior. And Jin-hyuk is seeing that the world isn’t all roses and sunshine, but instead of letting it get him down, he’s just becoming more grounded and mature as he learns to navigate a world that doesn’t think he’s perfect, like the one he grew up in.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again — I just love all the little moments between Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun that remind those of us watching of what it’s like to be in a new, fresh love. That thrill you get just to hold hands in a dark movie theater, the miserable feeling when it’s time to say goodbye, are moments that most dramas don’t bother to show us. But Jin-hyuk and Soo-hyun make them feel so big, like they do when you’re the one in the moment and every second you get to spend with your favorite person is precious and full of meaning. And the not-so-happy moments are just as meaningful, because seeing Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk so devastated at having to take a break just proved how much they really car for each other, and my chest literally ached for them in that moment.

I’ve had this vague worry about Woo-seok for a while now, because while his sad eyes and lingering love for Soo-hyun break my heart, I also worry that he’s in a place of unhealthy denial. He can see that she loves Jin-hyuk, and he even seems to objectively like Jin-hyuk and approve of him. But Woo-seok asking Soo-hyun to get back together also shows that he doesn’t think her relationship with Jin-hyuk is serious, which means he doesn’t respect Soo-hyun’s wishes when she tries to tell him that they’re not going to be together again. I’ve been scared that Woo-seok would go dark and begin behaving like a villain, but it might be even worse if he just… refuses see the truth. He may not have any nefarious intentions, but a single-minded pursuit of Soo-hyun could create its own set of problems if Woo-seok decides that she’s meant to be with him and nothing else matters.

One thing I really love about this show is that it could so easily go makjang, but it never does. Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk face a lot of opposition for a lot of different reasons, but those reasons are all realistic ones that I can see a couple like them facing in the real world. Nothing comes across as overblown or unnecessarily dramatic, and nobody puts on crazy histrionics. (Except maybe Soo-hyun’s mother, but even she never makes me think, “Pfft, nobody would really act that way.”) Even when the stakes Soo-hyun and Jin-hyuk face are high, they’re presented as realistically high, and I can even understand each of their opposers’ justifications for asking them to please reconsider whether this relationship is a good idea. I didn’t even feel that their decision to take a break was unnecessary or just thrown in to create tension — things are getting tough, and it was smart to take a step back to evaluate their feelings and see of they’re strong enough to risk them both getting hurt. Now they know that being apart is too painful, which will hopefully make them that much stronger.

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First, every time I think of the bus terminal scene I can't wipe the stupid grin off my face. And he spoke in banmal to her! (for a little bit, they usually both use jondaemal) They are so adorably perfect together!

Second, although their temporary break was sad there were some silver linings too: no noble idiocy; they talked as sensible adults and decided together that they need time to consider their feelings. I love that it was Mrs Lee who finally pushed her to go. It took exactly one look at SH staring at JH's picture to know that SH loves him too and that they belong together. ( She continues to be my favorite secondary character. I love her wisdom and her lack of judgement.)

Third, I adored the scene with JH and the little girl. Made me fall in love with him a little too. Also, I heard this saying once: 'if you live your life right then no malicious gossip can touch you.' Any person who has actually spent more than 5min with JH would know the kind of person he is. Same goes for CSH. They are thoroughly decent people and that counts for something - at least in this kdrama world.

Lastly, JH can hide a world of hurt behind a smile, but when they are together and things are ok (e.g. after the kiss) he goes back to flashing those honest ginormous Cuba smiles, the smiles from when the world was simple and he had no real troubles. If she is there he is happy. And that's that.

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Thanks LollyPip...love this drama to bits and love reading your comments and all

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AHHHHHH I really love this show! Loved their date and how Soo Hyun explained to Woo Seok that they're never getting back together. Even though my heart breaks for him, I find it rude that he's not respecting Soo Hyun's wishes and current relationship. He OBVIOUSLY knows how happy she is with Jin Hyuk but now is the time he decides to step up and win her affections? Too late for that. He lost his chance. I'm glad it was explained why Soo Hyun never developed feelings for him and honestly, who can really blame her? He never stepped up for her when they were still married. He had all the time in the world to win her affections but he decided to be a coward. Besides, it was his decision to come up with the fake affair and ask for a divorce even though he could've just stood up to his mom and fought for Soo Hyun. He could've done all of those things before when he was still her husband instead of now. She's moved on and very much in love with her new partner so he should back off and respect that. Hope he won't be in denial for too long but it seems like it's going that route. I can't believe we have a few episodes left :-( I'm gonna miss this show so much. Praying for a happy ending for Soo Hyun and Jin Hyuk! I think their break made them stronger than ever.

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It's exactly what I think about Woo Seok.
The differences between him and JH are just the fact that JY respects SH and is ready to face the world for her, while WS never was and even now he doesn't respect her.

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Right?! It's almost patronizing how he's minimizing their relationship into her being naturally "shaken by a wind", especially after she TOLD him that Jin Hyuk is very important to her, and even explained to him the reason WHY she could never fall in love with him then and still can't now. And the fact that he didn't speak up to even apologize or explain himself, even when she deliberately paused to give him a chance (so classy by the way), speaks volumes.

He's actually more like his mother than he thinks- someone is only shaken if they actually belong to you. Soo Hyun isn't his, but he has the line of thinking that since he's always loved her she should be with him. Just like the mom thought that since she wanted her back as her daughter in law, Soo Hyun should stop "misbehaving" and "naturally" go back to where she "belongs". And now that he sees her happy with someone else like how he wanted her to be happy with him, he wants to make his move and get in on that happiness. But he still doesn't realize that by essentially belittling and ignoring her feelings for Jin Hyuk and glossing over her reasons why she left him and treating her as if she should naturally do what he wants- just like her mother and his mother- he is only pushing her farther away.

I feel bad for him, but who could truly love someone who could never stand up for them when it's important and actively show their love for them at all times? He just isn't the one, and the sooner he realizes it the better.

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Lovely analysis!

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Nice, short, muted angst with just a tinge of noble idiocy, but not too bad, like LollyPip said. Interested to see what conflicts will come up next for them and whether it can make them go through another separation or not. I hope Wooseok will give up without too much of fight.

I have to admit I was super distracted by the teddy bear. It must have been filthy. Why was Jinhyuk wearing a mask when he was going through all the dirty laundry but not gloves? I hope he thoroughly Lysoled the bear before giving it back to the girl!

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HAHAHAHA I just made exactly the same point in my comment about gloves!! Ewwwwwww 😆😆😆

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I thought about gloves, too!! XD

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The thought of everything he could have been touching... *Shudders* 😷😷😱

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But if he wore gloves the PD would lose the opportunity to show BOGUMMY's manly VEINS. XD

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Woo-Soek...*sigh* honey, it's time to let go. Let Her Go!
What makes you think she would be happy even of she gets back to you a second time? It won't work.
He might be happy but she will remain her reserved sad self. And if that continues, it will only make him sad as well.
You were married to her, yes your mother is over bearing but you did nothing. All he did was stand there with his puppy sad eyes watching his mum torment his wife and he did Nothing. NOTHING! Gosh.
Buying bags & jewelry does nothing Wooseokie...it only made things worse. It made Soohyunie look so pitiful. Don't you get it?
And there you are telling SH not to let the wind Sway her. Honey, if she does sway, I will be the tornado to sway her away from you. Yup!

I loved that our couple took sometime apart. JH not going to Seoul shows he didn't want to b tempted to see SH first. He was waiting for her to make a decision on where their relationship stands.
I love the respect he gives her to make decisions on her own.

However, I would also like JH to voice things out. Don't keep things in. Kinda interesting that CSH who used to endure things is voicing her worries out & JH who used to be daring is now enduring things.
I understand why he did that though.

I was happy that the separation only lasted for a while. Thank you Writernim.

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Woo-seok is such a shell of a human being. He has no idea of how to have a relationship - this is what happens when you've had everything planned and handed to you and have never had to work for anything. No wonder he came up with that patronising plan to humiliate her into ending the marriage to "set her free". He doesn't respect her as a person. I'm so happy she's found someone better.

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@mellinadear12
"However, I would also like JH to voice things out. Don't keep things in. Kinda interesting that CSH who used to endure things is voicing her worries out & JH who used to be daring is now enduring things." - Yes I love it when couples rub off on each other and they are adapting and become more alike without even realising it. Don't they say that being close to someone for some time will make them even look alike? 😆

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I love and enjoy the show tremendously so I am willing to give writer some slack over the angsty separation especially that it resolves quite quickly. However it is still somewhat frustrating to watch. The motivation for a break is noble since both of them recognize the hurt the other is experiencing and want to protect each other, but the bet to see who can last longer during "no news is good news" although not completely idiotic but still nonsensical to me, even Soo-hyun herself immediately acknowledges that it is a lose-lose situation. "No news" means not talking to each other, and not being able to connect with each other is bad news. Mutual support is what they need in this difficult phase of their relationship.

However I do love the heartbreaking conversation....her request struck Jin-hyuk's insecurity of being not good enough....the crack in her voice to honestly confess that the reason for the break is due to her fear of him begin hurt......they are such a lovely couple that sometimes I just want to shake them so they would stop being so considerate and just scream their unfiltered feelings like everybody else in Dramaland (okay, maybe this comment stems from watching The Last Empress 😆)

I love that the hotel manager is such a nice person, but he might be a little too chill for job! Your employee can decide when he leaves for a spontaneous break? It is wonderful customer service, but you don't mind your employee leaving his designated front desk post for 2 hours to help a customer to find her doll without asking for your permission first?

Also Jin-hyuk, you bother to wear a mask but don't mind sifting through hundreds of hotel bed sheets without gloves? Did you even wash your hands before poking that little girl's cheek? Aaahhhhh I am so relieved because I finally have found one flaw in your being. I thank you Writer-nim!

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I was in two minds while watching it. On the one hand, stopping all lines of communication at the nascent stage of a relationship seems like a terrible idea and I was glad she quickly realised she'd done the wrong thing. On the other hand, I can see how you would feel that something's wrong if all you talk about is how hard things are.

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I do like that both of them acknowledge the difficulty they face, but I don't feel that that ever dominates their conversation. What I find so wonderful about their exchanges is that it always seems to solidify their bond and enables them to find solace in each other's words, so the decision to stop communication is exactly the opposite of what should be done and what would be good for them in their situation.

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I actually liked the way it was all set up: first she was temporarily overwhelmed by the nasty comments coming his way, especially in light of her dad's observation that she knows better then anyone how bad it can get. He was clearly hurting despite pretending everything was ok... she could hear it in his voice so SH expressed her concerns about things being too hard, for him. When it sounded like she was about to suggest they break it off, JH intervened and suggested his bet instead: we don't break up but try not talking to each other for a bit and see how long that can last. Her wavering hurt though, because it felt like she did not completely trust him, or them. So he made it so the ball was in her court, stopping himself from going back to Seoul just in case he might cave. And sure enough she came back to him. I loved that she apologized for letting him down and told him how much she missed him. At the end of it their relationship was stronger than ever. Rather nicely done imo.

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I agree with both of you. It was the wrong decision but also an understandable wrong decision and I like how quickly it was resolved (and what was said about it in the next episode).

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Even though I found this self-imposed separation a bit frustrating to watch, I do think it is handled beautifully! I absolutely love the way it is resolved in the next episode especially JH's explanation of his own reaction when hearing her request.

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I love that SH is quietly shedding her ‘wooden’ self. Her smiles look genuine and her face is more relaxed than I have seen in the last episodes! I have never been a fan of hers as an actor but I can surely compliment her acting capabilities of bringing in those little subtle changes to her expression.

And JH is a ❤️ I adore him!

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This is my current favorite romantic drama. The chemistry between SHK and PBG totally works, script is great (especially with all the poetry references), direction of drama is spot-on, cinematography gorgeous. And yes, it totally makes me remember all the good things about first love/dating. Love, love, love!

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No noble idiocy! Yaicks!
They talked about it and suggested time apart and understood it would hurt, in both sides.
They are honest and always knowing what they are for each other.
This is like one of the best and healthier OTPs I have ever seen in dramaworld.
Of course, they are just too gorgeous to be true, but in their behaviour, their feelings and the way the face problems, they are making me feel very proud.
I could talk for hours, but I have no time. Just one tiny thing I liked very very much: during the phone call, when he asked her if she was ok, and she said she was, he knew she was lying,, only by the tone of her voice and the way she spoke. I remember I said to myself: that's it. No matter the kind of relationship you have, but when someone knows you're lying or telling the truth just by the way you speak, there you go. You have found someone very special in your life.
I am in love! 😍

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This show is so beautiful and what really struck me about this episode was the small moments that showed how much both protagonists have changed because of each other.

That show in an earlier episode of the beach with the bench mirrors the lonely girl shot in the painting in her office. In the previous episode, it was her sitting there and then he came into shot and jointed her. In this episode, it's now him sitting there alone. In contrast, she's out and about in Seoul, photographing life - observing and living it. Looking at a work of art in the open rather than one trapped in a gallery.

He's now stronger and more thoughtful, but less carefree. She's now less bound by the suffocating strictures of her life. And of course her late-night drive to Sokcho mirrors his earlier one. This remains a relationship where each gesture of one is eventually reciprocated by the other in a way that re-enforces their equality despite the differences in age or status between them.

And that's why it's one of the most stunning shows I've ever seen - because its beauty is in its simplicity.

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Wonderful insight @leetennant. I love it when characters mirror each other or we can see the parallels and their growth. When they effect changes in each other that is ultimately positive, then their couplehood is on the right track. They are reducing the distance that society has placed on them, becoming similar even without consciously trying and giving more. The feels are so great! 😍

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I can't like this comment enough. I didn't even realise that they both drove to Sokcho to see each other until you mentioned it, along with all the other wonderful parallels. This is what I like so much about this couple: reciprocity. Something Woo-seok doesn't seem to understand.

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Aside from the lack of histrionics, I would like to compliment the drama for the absence of physical violence----no slaps, assaults, tortures---to threaten either Cha Soo Hyun or Kim Jin Hyuk with separation.

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Thanks for the recapping!

Every week I love this show more!
Before watching this episode, I was thinking about the structure of almost all episodes: start with a problem -> development -> resolution (that is summarized by the artwork at the start and the end of every episode).

So, I thought that if a break up or a noble idiocy were on the way, they wouldn't have lasted more than an episode. I'm so glad it went that way, plus, as LollyPip wrote, the break up wasn' forced or introduced because we are at the middle of the drama and the two have to part away to spend the other half of episodes to try to reconcile.

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i hope viewers can now understand Soo Hyun's reason for not falling in love with Woo Seok after watching this episode. I'm so glad they decided to provide more insight on their marriage.. seems like Soo Hyun tried to love him but he never really stood up for her when they were married so we can't blame her if she wasn't able to develop feelings for him. Sure he has been "harmless" and romantic in his own ways so far but don't you guys see that he won't be good for Soo Hyun? First of all, he was her HUSBAND but during their marriage he was never really able to comfort and protect Soo Hyun from abuse. Like she said, all he did was shower her with presents as if that would heal her from the abuse. He practically allowed Soo Hyun to be abused by his mother which is very very toxic in my honest opinion. He's no longer a child so why is he still allowing his mother to control him? I think any girl would get turned off. He loves Soo Hyun but during their marriage it seems like he didn't express it at all. He needs to understand that love cannot be bought. I can't believe there are still viewers who actually ship the two of them together even though their marriage was very toxic. No one in their right mind would return to that miserable life especially now that Soo Hyun has someone who made her realize that life is beautiful and colorful, not dull and like a prison. With Jin Hyuk, its the complete opposite. They have a very healthy, warm relationship which in turn made her an even better person. During the first few episodes Soo Hyun was very stiff and now she has learned to loosen up and she even started smiling bigger. That's why I love her relationship with Jin Hyuk so much because it's so pure! I think at this point no one can really break these two apart anymore.

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I don't understand how anyone could ship them either. I said he was a shell of a man and I can't stress enough how much I feel that's true - especially after this episode.

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Thanks @lollypip! I like your insight on the changes that our couple is making because of each other. Their greater give and take is wonderful to see.

Soo-hyun is learning to loosen up and to stand up for herself, ... It also turns out that she has a wicked sense of humor, and I love her little jabs about Jin-hyuk’s previous embarrassing behavior. And Jin-hyuk is seeing that the world isn’t all roses and sunshine, but instead of letting it get him down, he’s just becoming more grounded and mature ...

This is the kind of growth I always look forward to enjoying in our OTPs. Apart they may stagnate or not reach fuller potential, but together they become so much more! Now that this has happened, all the more I can get behind them, especially since (unlike how The Third Charm that failed in this aspect) both parties are giving and contributing to the relationship.

SH's wicked sense of humour made me LOL 😂 in an otherwise more sombre episode. I hope she never avoids the chance to rib her boyfriend for his 'indiscreet' behaviour towards his boss.

Their kisses and romance scenes are fantastically natural. 😍 Not easy to pull off since they are friends in real life and he is a friend of her husband!!! I can imagine how much embarrassment and awkwardness those love scenes must engender. 😅 I just love how professional and convincing they are in their craft.

So now I have the delicious joy of watching Ep 10 knowing our couple's foundation is tested and strengthening. I hope every occasion of pain and angst will have a balancing occasion of growth and joy in this relationship. 😃

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Thank you for your lovely thoughts, @lolypip! When JH was waiting for the bus to Seoul, I could see his soul! PBG has such expressive facial features that when they are flat, you can see the weight of the world in them. I also thought to myself that it was her turn to see him, she needed to make that move, or it would just be a one-sided relationship. It reminds me of when my husband and I were dating long distance (we were a 5 hour drive from each other) and my attending gave me the weekend off. He would drive up to see me much more than I would to see him, and I decided to surprise him and drive down. He was surprised, but I was even more so when then that was the weekend he decided to propose! He had made plans to see me a couple weekends later but had just gotten the ring and couldn’t wait, so making that decision got me engaged a little faster! Anyway, the importance of reciprocity cannot be downplayed here. Both parties have to give it their all for any relationship to work, not just one party. Someone will feel neglected, overworked, and under appreciated. Right now, their relationship is new and they are still basking in the glow of that newness of love, but if JH keeps sacrificing himself for her and she sacrifices herself for her career, that’s a relationship that won’t last, because eventually JH will be fatigued and feel like she’s taking advantage of him. Never mind all the naysayers in the company and family now, their conflict will be within themselves. So, again, it was SO IMPORTANT that she decided to see him, finally. I hope that they continue to look out for each other. And not just him protecting her. What a wonderful show. I’m not surprised I love it, but I am surprised how much I am loving it!

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Question: what does makjang mean?

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Just watch Last Empress and you'll get the feel of it. Over the top, overly dramatic, often ridiculous characters and storylines.

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An overly dramatic drama? Ah I see. Thx

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good example = the last empress, Pricess Aurora
equivalent to a spanish telenovela (birth secrets, evil twin, evil MIL, coming back from the dead etc)

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PBG's smiles honestly give me chills. It does not make sense for one human to be so beautiful, my goodness.

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***WARNING***do not read this comment if you are a happy beanie.

A couple of questions:
? Were any of the (eps 1-6) JH's relationships built on lies?
? Did (eps 1-6) JH ever overstep the bounds?
? Would SH go into the battle ahead in a relationship infused with fibs?

JH (ep1-6) was so disarming because he told stories that sounded unbelievable but were true.
SH knew JH (ep1-6) had limitations...but she could bank on his word to her.
JH (ep1-6) always walked up to the line but never actually crossed it. Even the ep4 confrontation with Director Choi...he only addressed the girl he liked in words that were true after everyone else had finished.

If you change JH from this neo-schollar (ep1-6) into an ordinary 28yr old guy (ep9 and 10), you change the motivations and attraction for her.

? Would SH go out with just any 28yr old guy...just because he is cute?

I wish all the beanies who continue on with the drama the best of happiness and all story moments to fill your heart.

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@SadKDramaLama: I have really enjoyed reading your comments up until now, re: the fairytale elements, the sageuk/royal family political machinations, etc. This comment, too, is interesting, but cryptic. Could you explain more of what you mean in this comment?

For me, I think the fibs were clearly understood by both. In that sense, they were not lies, but part of a culture that values nunchi, and also part of a relationship where it is understood they care deeply about each other and are fibbing to protect the other.

JH is finding some of his original idealism shaken, that is true; but he is still a fairy tale boy. That seemingly impossible labor he undertook to find the white teddy bear hidden within mountains of white sheets reminded me very strongly of the tasks undertaken by protagonists in classic European fairy tales: spinning straw into gold, separating huge heaps of grains individually, climbing glass mountains, etc.

Another fairy tale element in this episode was WS. I had this vision of him and SH being like children in the grips of a witch, like Hansel and Gretel. Even though they were both adults, they were helpless like children in a nightmarish situation. This is the first time I truly pitied him: though both SH and WS were raised by abusive mothers, WS's mother is considerably more powerful than SH's mother.

I don't play chess, but this show makes me think of both mothers as queens, and SH's father as a king (I don't care for him either, btw: he stood by every bit as much as WS did during SH's abuse). In fact, all the male characters in this show are less powerful than their female counterparts. WS is trying to be what? a knight? That would account for his strange, indirect moves, his less-than-straightforward approach. Or maybe he is the "king" counterpart to SH's father.

In that case JH is a supposedly an inconsequential nobody, a pawn in the eyes of the world - but he is a straightforward mover. This makes me think that SH's natural story arc will be to step up her game and become a full-fledged queen herself.

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hello, I agree with your comment but with a clarification: jin hyeok, already he knows that the world is not all roses and flowers, his mother was very sick, simply he sees the glass half full, is a positive man, not a simple idealist!

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This was, so far, the worst, most boring episode. The dialogue between the lead couple was stilted and unnatural. So much of it was "remembering" conversations they'd already had that the plot was barely advanced. I guess the actors did the best they could with what they were given.

The lack of chemistry between the leads was still very noticeable, and had it not been for what happened at the very end of the next episode, which FINALLY showed a believable attraction between the two - I would have finally given up on this mediocre, unoriginal drama, even though the lovely cinematography - and the two lead actors - make it so very pretty to look at.

Jin Hyuk continues to be bland. I really hate the blatant product placement here, but even worse is the writer's blatant, pretentious attempts to make Jin Hyuk, and also to some extent Soo Hyun, seem "deep," "interesting," and "romantic." The literary references are so clearly attempts to add depth to the story, but they fall flat. They are not germane to the story, and don't advance the plot, so they come across as gratuitous, and in lieu of character development (ie: so, let's show how JH is deeply and romantically thinking of SH by having him read a quote from a book in which a mother is thinking of her daughter, because. . .???) What makes these clumsy literary references so annoying is that I have seen it done so perfectly. For example, I just watched "Because This is My First Life, " in which the writer used Chong Hyon-jong's beautiful poem, "Visitor," as well as Doris Lessing's short story, "To Room Nineteen," to great effect. The literary allusions were woven so beautifully and skillfully into the dialogue/voice over that they felt organic to, and advanced the development of, both characters and plot. They were not just gratuitous nods to show how "artsy" the characters were. Another wonderful example is the use of Kim In-yook's poem, "The Physics of Love," in Goblin, which remains one of the most visually - and audibly, as Gong Yoo's voice is beautiful - gorgeous scenes in any film or drama, in any language, that I have ever seen.

This drama continues to offer very beautiful cinematography, scenery, and people, without offering much depth or originality. It's the same tired, predictable story, and the Evil Mother and MIL are so over-the-top bad that I just tune out when they show up on the screen. Take out the two popular leads and nobody would be raving about this show.

The only good thing about this episode was that at least it firmly established that, as sad and sympathetic as he is, Woo Seok missed his chance with SH and isn't going to get another. Dude, that ship has sailed. Get away from your Evil Soul-Sucking Mommy and MOVE ON.

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WS loves the real SH, the one he met in their first blind date. Now as SH returns to her old self thanks to JH, might be the logic of his timing. The fact that SH now has JH is irrelevant to him. Might be because the way he was raised, his wealth and power or simply it's his personality, or all combined.

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