Romance Is a Bonus Book: Episode 10
Just in time to derail our hero’s love confession, an accident drags him away from home, leaving our heroine to dwell on her changing heart. Eun-ho thinks he understands the world he returns to, but Dan-yi’s perspective may have changed more than he could have anticipated.
Dan-yi treks home, so caught up at the thought of her “change of heart,” she doesn’t realize Seo-joon is trying to walk her home. He trails behind her all the way to the gate until Dan-yi finally sees him. He’s quick to forgive Dan-yi’s preoccupation, and lifts his hand for a high five to celebrate that they’ll be seeing more of each other now that he’s working with Gyeoroo. Seo-joon closes his fingers around Dan-yi’s as she hits the high five, and he smiles that he got a quick hand hold.
Eun-ho is gone when Dan-yi enters, so she places the shirt she bought for him in his room. But then she remembers the fuss Eun-ho made earlier about the puffy jacket she’d bought for him when he was in high school, and with the realization of what exactly he was hinting at, she tucks the shirt away in his closet.
After being rejected by Eun-ho, Hae-rin retreats to her parents’ restaurant. They’ve got their over-cooked dumplings to share as a family, but her parents’ good cheer evaporates as Hae-rin begins to cry. “I get rejected by guys all the time… because you only give me overcooked dumplings.”
As soon as Hae-rin’s mom hears rejection, she’s on her feet ready to fight Eun-ho. She jostles Hae-rin’s dad to rise and fight too, though he looks a little less reluctant to go to war, ha. Hae-rin splutters that the over-cooked dumplings still taste good though, and the family sits together in commiseration.
Back at the house, Dan-yi finds the necklace and flowers meant for her, but still no Eun-ho. Eun-ho, meanwhile, is at the house where Author Kang is tucked away. He ignores all of Dan-yi’s texts as he cares for the man’s wounds and watches over him. Dan-yi stays up late, worrying and wondering about Eun-ho.
Early the next morning, Hoon and Ji-yul take the bus together to the office after a long night working at the warehouse. Ji-yul seems ready to give in and start dating again, but Hoon tells her to stay strong and pays her fare for the bus.
Dan-yi’s concern grows when there’s no Eun-ho at the office either. Eun-ho continues to ignore her texts as he meets with a doctor for Author Kang. The doctor tells him that the injuries aren’t too serious, and that Eun-ho is better for the author than his own family.
Back at the office, Dan-yi keeps busy, and asks Ji-hong where they keep the fanmail for Author Kang. Ji-hong directs her to the meeting room, where they have a box overflowing with fan letters (I wonder if there are earnest ones from a young Seo-joon in there?)
When Dan-yi returns, the office schedule has been updated, and Eun-ho’s status is listed as out of office for personal reasons. Dan-yi wonders who updated it, and it turns out Jae-min threw the status on there before leaving the office himself. Jae-min travels to check in on Eun-ho, who continues to ignore Dan-yi’s incoming text blasts as he watches over his father.
Back at the office, Hoon and Ji-yul are late and a meeting is about to start. Everyone is pretty understanding, considering the late night they know they had at the warehouse, so they head in to the meeting without them. Except Hoon and Ji-yul did make it into the office, they’re just asleep in the middle of the meeting table, ha. Dan-yi asks if they should set up in a different room, but Director Ko vetos that and they proceed with their meeting, all the while Hoon and Ji-yul remain asleep on the table.
By the end of the meeting, everyone’s having fun trying to slam their books and folders down the hardest, and when the director finally exits the room, Ji-yul and Hoon scramble up.
Dan-yi pulls Yeong-ah aside after the meeting with a suggestion for the launch party they are preparing for Author Yoo’s book. She offers to find an acoustic guitarist for a small book concert, and Yeong-ah likes the idea. They both salute to each other as friends, and Director Ko scoffs at them.
The director retreats to her office, where her phone assistant hears her and asks if she doesn’t have any friends. Director Ko retorts that indeed, she doesn’t have any friends, and that yes, she would like lunch recommendations for only one, ha.
Another night arrives, and Eun-ho remains by Author Kang’s side. He reads to the man and continues to ignore texts.
It’s been three days that Eun-ho has been missing, and Dan-yi asks Seo-joon on their reading date if he knows any cops. She’s distracted when she sees that Seo-joon is crying as he reads the manuscript for Author Yoo’s book. Dan-yi grabs it from him to see which part touched him, and then nods, saying that it will only get sadder.
Dan-yi’s texts become more and more urgent, but Eun-ho remains by his father’s side. Finally, as she rides home from another day at work, Dan-yi sends a text, asking Eun-ho to just send an exclamation mark to confirm that he’s alive. She smiles when she gets a single “!” back, followed by, “I guess you miss me a lot. I came home an hour ago.”
Dan-yi races home, ready to remind Eun-ho how hard she can punch, but her enthusiasm diminishes when she sees that Eun-ho is sick with a fever. Eun-ho tells her that he’s relieved that he’s sick, so that her focus is on him and not on the necklace and flowers he left behind for her. Dan-yi wants to go make some soup for him, but Eun-ho grabs her hand and drags her back, asking if she’ll stay by him until he falls back asleep.
When Eun-ho wakes up later, Dan-yi is making soup for him. As they sit, Dan-yi asks why Eun-ho told her he didn’t like her. Eun-ho replies that he thought it would be better if she didn’t know. When she asks when he started liking her, he tells her he’s not sure, just like it’s hard to tell when one season ends and the next starts.
Eun-ho looks at the expression on Dan-yi’s face, and says that this is the reason he didn’t want to tell her at all. She retorts that he should have kept it to himself then, but Eun-ho points out that she had him against the wall with her questions. Eun-ho tells her that he’s going to keep living as he always has, giving her gifts and taking care of her, all while they both date others. He says that she can date Seo-joon if she wants, and he won’t be sad or lonely. After having his say, Eun-ho heads back to bed for more rest, leaving Dan-yi with her head in her hands.
In his room, Eun-ho receives a call from drunk Hae-rin. She’s in his neighborhood, at the udon restaurant, and eager to let him know both how happy she is that he finally answered and sad and angry she is to have been dumped. This isn’t just Eun-ho’s neighborhood though, and soon a certain princeling and his faithful dog companion mosey up next to the restaurant window.
Seo-joon waves at her, and Hae-rin ducks her head when she spots him. She gives a hasty retreat on the phone and hangs up, just in time for Seo-joon to call her. He says that he can’t come in, but offers to walk with her and talk. Hae-rin’s not up for the offer, but Seo-joon sends a text to let the offer remain standing and waggles his fingers for her to call him.
At work the next day, Dan-yi delivers a copy of the new book, with revision sticker, to Jae-min. As Dan-yi hands out the book, everyone can’t help but notice the way the sticker takes away from the production value of the book. Hae-rin’s anger bubbles over again, and she beckons for Ji-yul to follow her into the meeting room.
Dan-yi is happy to see Eun-ho back at work. Ji-hong cuts his finger, and Dan-yi is quick to deliver a bandage for the cut. She smiles that she always has them on her, since her heels are often in pain.
In the meeting room, Hae-rin unleashes her frustration on Ji-yul until Eun-ho interrupts and sends her to prepare for their upcoming meeting with Seo-joon. Ji-yul awaits admonishment from Eun-ho as well, but instead of yelling he sits her down and hands her a list of books about editing to study. Eun-ho explains that all editors make mistakes, but it’s also true that all editors feel terrible about their mistakes, because they care so much about their work and the final product that so many others work on with them. Eun-ho gives Ji-yul a month to do some studying and try to live up to the job expectations.
Once back at her desk, Ji-yul overhears everyone and how hard they work, and how much additional work they’re all doing to help recover from the mistake, and the shame finally starts to sink in.
Meanwhile, Hoon and another new employee head out to try to promote the book at bookstores. They scramble to position the book in a more prominent spot on shelves, and convince the book clerk to go along with it.
In the afternoon, Seo-joon arrives at Gyeoroo bearing coffee for the editing team, as well as one for Dan-yi. Dan-yi has just stepped out for a meeting to snag a classical guitarist (cameo by musician Jo Jung-chi) for the book launch party, so he places the cup on her desk for her.
In the meeting, Hae-rin begins to detail her ideas for the book design, but Seo-joon is quick to interrupt her and shoot down all the concepts she has in mind. Uh oh.
Out in the common office space, Dan-yi returns and finds all of her coworkers crowded around, eager to hear how she knows Seo-joon. Dan-yi just smiles and nods about it, but then everyone begins to gossip about how they’ve heard that Seo-joon is notoriously difficult to work with, and has earned the nickname “Mr. Pretentious.”
Back in the meeting, the mood sours more and more as Seo-joon announces that he plans to use an oriental painting for the cover, and Hae-rin is immediately not on-board with the idea. Seo-joon goes on and on, jumping from accusing Gyeoroo of not wanting to take interesting risks to insinuating that Hae-rin is closed-minded for thinking of Oriental painting as old-fashioned.
Meanwhile, Eun-ho is doing his best to keep both of their tempers at a reasonable level and not laugh at the both of them. Hae-rin is ready to call the meeting done, and speaks over Seo-joon to tell Eun-ho how difficult the new book designer is to work with. Not to be outdone, Seo-joon tells Eun-ho that it would be easier if he could work with another editor.
And then Seo-joon pulls out the sample ideas he’s assembled, and Hae-rin can’t help but cover over to look, and she likes what she sees right away. All the drama is gone, as the pair look over his ideas together, united in their protectiveness for the book. Eun-ho just sits back and smiles at the two of them.
As he leaves the meeting, Seo-joon spots Dan-yi and asks if she’d like to join him for dinner. Eun-ho tries to interfere by suggesting that Seo-joon go out to dinner with him and Hae-rin to celebrate their successful first meeting, and it backfires when Seo-joon just invites Dan-yi along to that.
Seo-joon has arranged for dinner at the tiny restaurant in the neighborhood, and he’s going to be cooking their meal. Seo-joon is entirely focused on Dan-yi–he’s made all her favorite things, and serves everything to her first. Eun-ho’s face twists in annoyance, and only sours further when Seo-joon asks about the guy Hae-rin hoped to meet on the snowy day, and she announces that she was dumped.
As Seo-joon and Hae-rin banter goodnaturedly, Dan-yi can’t help but think about Eun-ho and his confession. And when Seo-joon cuts his finger while cooking, it’s Hae-rin who jumps to help him, not Dan-yi. Eun-ho’s face begins to change as he remembers earlier, when Dan-yi gave Ji-hong a bandage. He knows now that she has bandages on her, but has chosen not to help Seo-joon. Smug delight replaces Eun-ho’s misery as they eat.
Eun-ho offers to walk Hae-rin to a taxi while Seo-joon walks Dan-yi home. Seo-joon asks Dan-yi if it wouldn’t be better to let everyone at Gyeoroo know they live together, but she admits that would also mean telling everyone they’ve known each other for a while, and she’s not ready for that. Feeling bad about earlier, Dan-yi pulls out a bandage for Seo-joon’s finger. He smiles and thanks her, unaware of what it was that made Dan-yi “forget” about it earlier.
When Dan-yi arrives home, Eun-ho is waiting for her in the garden, shit-eating grin still on his face. “Did you have fun on your date?” he smarms sarcastically at her.
Officially with the upperhand, Eun-ho asks why Dan-yi didn’t give Seo-joon a bandage, and tells her if she feels bad about Eun-ho being okay with her dating someone else, she should just feel it. Eun-ho smiles, and tells Dan-yi there are days, like today, where he finds it hard to hold back.
“What are you holding back?” she asks, and after a moment, Eun-ho leans in and surprises her with a kiss.
Ah, it’s too bad. After gathering great momentum following a streak of excellent episodes, this week was a bit of a stumble. It feels like they just weren’t ready for the shifting balance of power between Dan-yi and Eun-ho, and so we were held hostage by fevers and ignored texts while they gave the relationship breathing room and tried to further the mystery.
Unfortunately, the scenes where Eun-ho cared for his father fell flat for me, probably because the man seemed less like a father and more like an unconscious man in a bed. Because we haven’t met Author Kang before, it was difficult to mourn what kind of man he was before he became ill. And because he didn’t interact at all with Eun-ho for the entire episode, it’s hard to feel anything about the interactions other than apathy. The man seemed more prop than someone in Eun-ho’s life. At one point Eun-ho just sat there trimming his fingernails, and it felt like he could have been pruning a plant for all the emotional impact it had. I’m not completely disillusioned by this father story line, but I do feel like this was not the right way to introduce this dynamic.
I am glad, however, that some of our time spent in limbo was dedicated to the blossoming relationship between Seo-joon and Hae-rin. These two have met their match at last, and I’m excited for them. And I don’t think Hae-rin’s parents would hate a guy who is a great cook.
Seo-joon looks a little desperate at times now, smiling and begging women everywhere to just please call him, haha. It makes me feel better about his inevitable breakup with Dan-yi though, because he doesn’t seem so invested in her as much as he does getting someone to pay attention to him. I’m surprised he remained interested in her through this week’s episode, when she was markedly distant.
Of course, I could be ignoring all of the bonding time these two are supposedly having off-screen. The show is so bored with Seo-joon and Dan-yi’s non-chemistry, it’s even given up on showing us anymore of their morning and evening dates. I thought the writers had somehow just completely forgotten about them, but they made sure to have Seo-joon mention it to let us know they continue. In any other show, I would be dying to know how these dates were going, but I’m confident that they’re pretty but boring, and definitely not worth the wasted air time.
The hour was saved in the end though, as Eun-ho finally gained awareness that the game changed, and it was in his favor now. From sulky to gloating, I loved the shift in the restaurant as Eun-ho picked up on what Dan-yi’s long silences were about. So cocky, he was able to tease her about her “date” in the garden, and then went in for that kiss.
From Dan-yi’s reaction, it looks like she’s going to try to deny it a bit more, but that’s okay. That just means that next week I’ll get the hijinks I was hoping for, with Eun-ho preening about in triumph while Dan-yi blushes and makes miserable efforts to deny her feelings.
- Premiere Watch: Spring Must Be Coming, Kingdom, Romance Is a Bonus Book
- More stills for Lee Jong-seok, Lee Na-young tvN rom-com Romance Is a Bonus Book
- Romance Is a Bonus Book teases with ASMR clip
- Romance Is a Bonus Book releases new stills
- Warm and friendly first script read for Romance Is a Bonus Book
- Lee Na-young confirms drama comeback in Romance Is a Bonus Book
- Lee Jong-seok, Lee Na-young up for tvN noona romance