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Romance is a Bonus Book: Episode 12

Our heroine gets to bask in the good feelings that come with a successful event, and she has our hero by her side from start to end. Everything is going so well for Dan-yi, in her personal and professional life, so of course that means a new challenge must arise. Dan-yi has worked hard to succeed at her job, but the lie that started it all is finally starting to make its way back to bite her.

 
EPISODE 12

Jae-min and Ji-hong finish up their meeting with a pack of journalists to promote the release of Author Yoo’s new book. They keep up appearances until the pack departs, and then both complain about how many free books they have to give away only to write the journalists’ articles for them anyway. They turn to their phones and that’s when Ji-hong sees the news that Yeong-ah was in an accident.

Yeong-ah is with their son at the hospital, and the doctor tells her that he suspects meningitis and will need to do a spinal tap (ouch).

Meanwhile, the book concert for Author Yoo goes well with Dan-yi at the helm. But while the reading is a great success, members of the audience are starting to realize some truths about Dan-yi. Hae-rin watches Eun-ho watch Dan-yi, his eyes glued on her with admiration. A few rows down, Director Ko now knows that Dan-yi falsified her credentials on her resume. And a few rows up, Seo-joon is trying to concentrate on Dan-yi, but the man next to him (Hae-rin’s dad) keeps falling asleep, ha.

After the concert, Director Ko leaves with her colleague without saying a word to anyone. Seo-joon lingers and Hae-rin catches up with him. Seo-joon is surprised to see the couple he was seated next to are Hae-rin’s parents, and they’re quick to fawn over him and offer him free dumplings at their store. As soon as they see Eun-ho though, they dart off. Seo-joon comments that they must be fond of him, but Hae-rin mumbles that they might not be so much anymore.

But when her parents greet Eun-ho, it’s nothing but niceties. He offers to get them a cab, and they follow him out to the curb. When Eun-ho’s back is turned, Hae-rin’s mom finally gets the courage and whacks him in the head with her bag, ha! Eun-ho pivots back to see what hit him, and she apologizes that the bag is possessed. As the taxi arrives, Hae-rin’s dad takes his turn and trips Eun-ho. But when Eun-ho rears up to ask why he did it, Dad is unwilling to admit anything.

It seems that these little revenges are enough though, because Hae-rin’s parents stop their attacks and instead apologize that Hae-rin is too uptight and admit they can’t force him to like their daughter. Mom tells him to keep coming around for kimchi, and her face breaks into a wail as they drive away, knowing that she’s lost her potential son-in-law, haha.

Dan-yi sits with Author Yoo after the reading. The author is grateful for Dan-yi’s support, and Dan-yi offers Author Yoo the silk scarf she picked out as the company’s gift. Eun-ho pops in then to drive Author Yoo home, but he flashes a big smile and a wink as he tells Dan-yi that he’ll see her at home. Dan-yi answers a call from Ji-hong who is looking for information about Yeong-ah.

In the lobby, Ji-yul and Hoon celebrate the success of the event, and Hoon is surprised to hear Ji-yul talk as though she’s really interested in the event. It seems that Ji-yul has already read two books from Eun-ho’s recommended reading list, and the two of them do a little victory dance. Their joy is interrupted by Ji-yul’s mother, however, who shows up with a new blind date candidate for Ji-yul. Hoon puts on a serious face and intercepts the proffered hand of the blind date. Ji-yul threatens to move in with Hoon if her mother keeps pressuring her to date, and that sends her mom into a fury. Mom jumps to smack Hoon with her purse, and Ji-yul and Hoon flee.

Seo-joon finds Dan-yi and Hae-rin in the crowd and offers to treat them both to a drink for a successful event. But Hae-rin has things to talk about privately with him, so Dan-yi quietly bows out. Before they can leave though, Ji-yul returns to tell Hae-rin how much she admires her as a mentor. Hae-rin tries to keep her usual tough demeanor, but a smile starts to hint at the corner of her mouth as Ji-yul raises her arms above her head in a heart, and Seo-joon can’t keep his chuckle hidden. As Ji-yul skips away, Seo-joon teases Hae-rin.

During the bus ride home, Dan-yi receives encouraging texts from Hoon and Ji-yul, and her good mood soars even higher. But meanwhile, Director Ko continues to discuss the truth about Dan-yi with her colleague at another company. Director Ko asks her friend to send Dan-yi’s resume to her to confirm, and when she asks her friend what she would do in the circumstances, the answer is to fire her. Her friend says that she would find it uncomfortable having someone so over-qualified working on such menial tasks.

Eun-ho is surprised to see that he’s beaten Dan-yi home and gives her a call. Dan-yi is just getting off the bus, and Eun-ho starts walking towards the park in their neighborhood to catch up with her. They remain on the phone together, and Eun-ho asks about Dan-yi’s good mood. He arrives in the park but hangs back and watches as Dan-yi giggles and smiles about how great she feels to work hard and enjoy her job.

Dan-yi says that she’s proud of herself, and she’s also grateful to have Eun-ho by her side and that he held her hand. Eun-ho finally hangs up the phone and rushes over to pick up Dan-yi and swing her in celebratory circles. The two yell into the sky, praising one another and smiling.

And at the bar, Hae-rin chugs down her beer as Seo-joon watches agape. Hae-rin holds up a pollack in one hand, and labels it a man, and a cuttlefish in the other and labels it a girl. She lays out her evidence: the cuttlefish bought a shirt, and then later the pollack was wearing that shirt (Hae-rin ties a napkin on the pollack). She asks what it means, and Seo-joon replies that it means that the girl bought the shirt for the guy. Hae-rin nods that of course, it doesn’t mean that they like one another, just like falling asleep on a guy’s shoulder one time doesn’t mean it’s love either (oh boy, these dense kids…)

But Hae-rin has further evidence, like the fact that the pollack couldn’t keep his eyes off the cuttlefish. Seo-joon asks what the cuttlefish thinks of it, and Hae-rin says that she’s not sure, but she thinks the cuttlefish has feelings for the pollack too. Hae-rin grabs for Seo-joon’s beer when she finds her own glass empty, and then bites off the head of the pollack and declares that she wants to kill the guy. Seo-joon asks meekly, “You want to kill them?” Hae-rin nods and Seo-joon laughs.

While those cuties brood and flirt, another set of cuties are out enjoying time together as Eun-ho and Dan-yi grab some street food together. Eun-ho grabs hold of Dan-yi’s hand, and they refuse to let go even as they struggle to pull money from Eun-ho’s wallet.

Ji-hong is not having such a good night, as he arrives at the hospital. He finds his son awake in his hospital bed, while Yeong-ah rests with her head down at his feet. Ji-hong and Yeong-ah move to the waiting room to talk, and Ji-hong suggests that they get back together for their son’s sake. Yeong-ah says that they didn’t break up suddenly though. She says that their relationship wore down over time, and that she’s moved on. She tells Ji-hong that she’s seeing someone, and his eyes bug out at the news.

Later that night, Eun-ho wakes to a call from Seo-joon. Eun-ho finds him at a restaurant, Hae-rin passed out on the table. This is their second bar stop, and Hae-rin concluded the night by trying to make cucumber soju, which she is allergic to. Seo-joon’s concern starts to rise to panic, but Eun-ho doesn’t act like it’s life threatening and tells Seo-joon to carry Hae-rin. But Seo-joon says Eun-ho should do the carrying, since he barely knows Hae-rin.

With Hae-rin on Eun-ho’s back, they wobble back to Seo-joon’s apartment. Eun-ho’s so desperate to put Hae-rin down, he doesn’t even note the conspicuous 0423 passcode to Seo-joon’s apartment. After Eun-ho tucks Hae-rin into Seo-joon’s bed, he raids the closet for Seo-joon’s other bedding. Eun-ho declares that he can’t let Hae-rin spend the night alone with Seo-joon, so he’ll be sleeping over as well and starts to set up the bedding on the floor. Seo-joon says that there’s a spare bed, but he’s only got the one extra set of bedding, so Eun-ho pats the spot next to him on the floor.

Dan-yi wakes up the next morning, surprised to see Eun-ho gone. Back at Seo-joon’s apartment, the two men are intertwined on the floor, Eun-ho cuddled into Seo-joon’s arms. Eun-ho mumbles Dan-yi’s name as he folds his hand into Seo-joon’s, and then the two wake up and scramble away from one another. They don’t even have time to react to one another though, because Hae-rin stumbles out of the bedroom, her face covered in welts and her body still kind of tipsy. She smiles as she kneels down, until the smile turns downward and she starts to gag. Seo-joon just barely manages to rush her to the bathroom to throw up.

At the office, a gaggle of employees spots a sign near the elevator announcing an idea contest for all employees with a cash prize. Some wonder if it’s all staged and winner already chosen, but the rules of the contest ensure that all submissions are anonymous. Dan-yi of course takes a photo of the poster and Ji-yul cheers her on.

Dan-yi and Yeong-ah notice the spots that still cover Hae-min’s face. Ji-hong admonishes her for not being more careful when she knows that she’s allergic to cucumbers, and she retorts that she did it on purpose because she wanted to die. But then they point out that her allergy isn’t actually bad enough for that.

Time for an executive meeting, and Ji-hong is back at it trying to get a book of poetry published. Jae-min immediately shoots it down, but Eun-ho admits that he likes what he sees as he starts to read. Ji-hong suggests that they decide the way they used to when the company first formed, and Dan-yi arrives with the lock box Ji-hong requested. They have two weeks to vote, either yes or no, and the proposal needs four out of five votes to pass.

As they all leave the meeting, Director Ko hangs back and asks Eun-ho to meet with her. In her office, she hands over Dan-yi’s resume, the sparse one submitted to Gyeoroo. Eun-ho’s confused, but she tells him to keep reading, and Eun-ho finds an article about Dan-yi winning a contest for her former marketing employer underneath the resume.

Director Ko says they made a mistake in hiring Dan-yi, while Eun-ho protests that they’re lucky to have someone of her calibre, even in a contract position. Eun-ho says that other companies shunned her because they thought she had lost her touch after her break, but that her work at Gyeoroo obviously shows that’s not the case.

Director Ko counters that she’s alarmed by Dan-yi’s ulterior motives, like getting involved in the marketing department. Eun-ho says that they allow their employees to apply for different teams every year, but the director reminds him that policy is for full employees only, not contract ones like Dan-yi. The only way for Dan-yi to change from the support task team is for her to apply for a regular position first. And in light of the recent revelations, Director Ko tells Eun-ho to terminate Dan-yi’s contract.

Eun-ho returns to his desk, his eyes on Dan-yi. But soon a barrage of tasks come in: the fridge needs restocking, there’s a chair in the meeting room with a broken wheel, and books that need to be packed up. But when Dan-yi goes to the fridge, it’s already been stocked by Eun-ho, and she finds him on the floor fixing the wheel of the chair in the meeting room. She admonishes him that people at work will suspect their relationship if he keeps helping, but he just keeps on lifting the book boxes for her.

Jae-min spots Director Ko’s missing button under his desk and stops by her office to return it to her. She’s not in, but she returns just as he’s about to leave and takes the button back. He asks if she’d like to go to lunch with him and Eun-ho, but she declines.

Eun-ho spends his lunch with Jae-min trying to figure out a loophole for someone like Dan-yi to take on a non-contract, regular position. But Jae-min confirms all the rules that Director Ko laid out, and he doesn’t seem keen to make exceptions to their policies either, though he’s not aware that it’s Dan-yi that Eun-ho is so concerned about.

On his way home, Eun-ho reaches out to a friend at a headhunting firm. His friend is eager to represent Eun-ho, but Eun-ho explains that it’s not for himself. As he hangs up, Eun-ho spots Dan-yi reading and walking and stops to pick her up. He teases her about reading while walking, and reminds her of the time that she fell down the stairs doing it in high school, but he was there to save her. She reminds him that she wins in the game of who saved whom, since she broke her entire body risking her life for him. Eun-ho nods that he hasn’t really helped her at all.

Dan-yi keeps reading the poetry manuscript that Ji-hong wants to publish, until Eun-ho teasingly grabs her chin and suggests that she look at his handsome face instead, ha.

Once home, Eun-ho realizes they’re out of rice, and it’s the perfect moment to suggest a dinner date. Eun-ho is careful to make it sound casual, and Dan-yi hides her expression behind a piece of fruit as she agrees. The two dart off to their rooms to get changed, but neither can pick the perfect outfit–something not too casual, but not something that’s too try-hard either.

Once they decide on outfits, neither wants to be the first waiting for the other, so they dart in and out of their rooms until eventually they see each other lurking around the corner. Awww.

Dan-yi notes that Eun-ho is wearing the shirt she bought for him, and he asks if she was embarrassed she bought it for him because of her feelings. Once in the car, Eun-ho tells Dan-yi that he was originally going to wait for Dan-yi to figure out her feelings for him on her own, but he realizes that she’s too dense for it, so he says it out loud for her. “You like me,” he tells her, and leans in close. Dan-yi closes her own eyes, her lips puckered for the kiss, but Eun-ho smiles and just reaches across to fasten her seat belt.

At dinner, the two easily tease one another, and Eun-ho points out that Dan-yi is wearing the necklace she got for him. After dinner, Eun-ho suggests a movie. As they watch, Eun-ho moves the popcorn over and lifts up the armrest between them so that they can hold hands. As the two cuddle closer, the real movie disappears from the screen and instead, words of narration appear: “One late night, a woman and a man went to the movies after dinner.”

Dan-yi begins to trace messages to Eun-ho on his hand, and the on-screen narration interprets that she told him that she likes holding his hand. He kisses the back of it, and she writes that she likes that even more. Eun-ho writes back that he’ll look for more things she might like, and after a brief hesitation, Dan-yi writes that she also liked their kiss.

Eun-ho writes, “What would be a good title for this?” and they decide that “First Date” is a good title for the vignette that they’ve written together.

The two bring some groceries back to the house and as they’re unpacking them, Dan-yi brings up the interesting fact that Seo-joon’s birthday is April 23, the same date as Author Kang’s last book. Now the significance of Seo-joon’s door passcode strikes Eun-ho.

Over at Seo-joon’s, he arrives home with Geum-bi and then enters that same password, 0423, to enter his locked room of Author Kang evidence.

Back to Eun-ho, who has unearthed the boxes he has with the original written manuscripts by Author Kang. He finds the manuscript for April 23, which was originally titled “Blue Night,” until that was crossed out and replaced by “April 23.” Eun-ho’s first meeting with Seo-joon flashes in his mind, and his words, “Did you lock him up?”

 
COMMENTS

Here we go, back to the sweet moments between lovers and amongst friends. After a brief mid-show stall, I think we’re back on track to deliver the sweet happy ending I’ve been rooting for, and to show all the best small moments of love along the way.

I love the way that the concepts of books and people are blended together subtly from the very first episode. From the little credits epilogues that accompany every episode to Eun-ho and Dan-yi’s dialog forming a piece of their own live’s flash fiction, the show does a lovely job of showing appreciation for the publishing industry and the characters it has centered in that industry. For our characters, their jobs reflect in their lives. They love what they do to contribute to stories, that they can’t help but see their own lives as parts of a book, moments that can be dog-eared for later and dates that can be recorded.

And now that our main romance is official and no major feelings have been hurt for the second leads, I’m happy to see a blossoming bromance between Eun-ho and Seo-joon. Seo-joon is just too affable to actually not like Eun-ho, and when Seo-joon isn’t a challenge to Eun-ho’s love for Dan-yi, you can tell that he really likes the guy. We’ve just got to get Hae-min’s parents aboard the Hae-min+Seo-joon love train, and our couples will be all set.

On the other side of things, I’m glad they’re holding Yeong-ah strong against getting back together with Ji-hong. I love them both, but Yeong-ah is right to point out that it wasn’t just some big misunderstanding that suddenly caused this divorce. Time eroded their relationship until what she needed was no longer there, and a family emergency is definitely not reason enough to go back to the status quo. Not all couples need to end up together for this show to have happy endings for all of them.

The one relationship I’m not so certain about is Director Ko and Jae-min. There have been these microscopically small moments between the two of them, where I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps Director Ko has feelings for Jae-min. The way she lingered at the orphanage when Jae-min wanted to stay behind, and the way the camera felt the need to zoom in on these two’s fingers as she plucked the button from Jae-min’s hand. Is there something more here than a surface collegial friendship?

I agreed with Director Ko in earlier episodes when it came to following the rules, but this time around it feels less convincing to me. Director Ko’s motives have always been about her feeling intimidated and territorial around Dan-yi, and this reveal helps validate her misplaced suspicions. She can now take all of those feelings and explain them all away, that she was right in not trusting Dan-yi, and make someone else fire this person who makes her feel uncomfortable in the one space where she feels like she has total control.

The easy answer seems to be to just tell Jae-min the truth and let him override the policies in place. Jae-min may love his money, but he also loves his employees, and he’s seen first-hand Dan-yi’s incredible efforts. But the more dramatically interesting solution lies in the upcoming employee idea competition, so I imagine we’ll avoid the easy route for that one instead. And I do understand why Eun-ho may be saving an honest appeal to Jae-min as a last-ditch effort. He wants to find a good loophole that solves everything without having to confess all of the secrets and small lies that have been made to protect Dan-yi above all else.

Dan-yi was just hoping for a job, and instead found a calling. Even though she’s doing just “menial” tasks, she has stumbled into a workplace where she feels like she’s contributing to good in the world. Eun-ho’s headhunting idea is well-meaning and logical, but it would feel so crushing for all of us. I’m so invested in the way that books have shaped Dan-yi’s life, and I am prepared to cry if she is dismissed. I might have shed a small tear just thinking about it now.

With just a couple more weeks to go, two secrets remain to be resolved: the truth about Dan-yi’s work experience and the truth about Author Kang and all those somehow involved with him. The pacing seems about right, and I’m confident that this isn’t going to drag out or distract too much from the finale and happy ending. We’ve got just enough time for a little heartache, some emotional reveals, and a satisfying end.

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Thank you, abirdword, for the speedy recaps! This episode definitely delivered on the cute, but I still can't help but be concerned by the approaching storm over Dan-yi' s falsifying her experience.

It's especially sad because she's found such a great home at the publisher.

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I understand why Director Ko is upset. After all, Dan-yi lied in her curriculum vitae. That would cause distrust naturally. HOWEVER, Director Ko would be a far better human being if she talked with Dan-yi directly instead of giving the hard choice to Eun-ho, which I don't understand. I thought that after their girls night together, Director Ko would be more friendly towards Dan-yi, or least, treat her with respect, which...didn't happen.

Other thing that I didn't quite understand, is why Eun-ho speaks to Director Ko has if she was his boss. I think that she has some control of her department in that company and some power given that she has her own office like the big boss. But Eun-ho was the first employee of that company, and if I understood right, he was the co-founder. He also gave that company lots of money through his works. And the assets from that missing author was given to the company through him too! It's Eun-ho that should be superior, not Director Ko! I'm so confused...

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EunHo is part of the founding member but he was young/inexperienced and was a writer. His role is not in management.
From an org chart it looks like Director Ko oversees both marketing and Editorial teams. EunHo is a Chief editor. He would be reporting to Director Ko.

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Thank you for the clarification!

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Thank you for explaining. Even if he was young and he reports to Director Ko, he has some credit as a founding member. Besides that, he was the one who brought more money into the company. And he arrived before her. She should be less bossy towards him.

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Yeah! I actually like the fact that he respects the people in his workplace and that in itself is extremely virtuous.

He stood up for Dani in his own way, in a principled manner. If he were to bulldoze through Director Go, which clearly is superior to him (she has a room, and he's sitting outside with the rest of the editorial team, that shows their hierarchy), and use his personal relationship with President Kim to his advantage, that would be quite uncharacteristic of how his character has been written, which is an upright man!

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I think Director Ko acted that way because she felt betrayed by Dan-Yi, above all because she seemed to be fond of DY after their girl nights together (in her own way, of course).

I don't understand the work relationship between DK and EH, too...

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AS Blue Footed Booby (mayhemf) pointed out, she is in charge of the marketing and Editorial teams, so her position is officially higher than Eun-ho's. Even so, he was there before her because he was a founding member. She should be more polite and respectful to him, after all, even though he is younger, he is a senior co-worker.

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I didn't like Director Ko in the beginning, I still don't like her. She is one character who so far has not learned anything, didn't grow in any way. Ji Yul made more headway than her. She is one of those competent but very unpleasant to work with people. She keeps reminding me of the saying about judging a person by how they treat their subordinates.

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Thank you @abirdword for the recap!
I look forward to the recaps because, eventhough we all watched the same show, it's a bit different to read about an ep in detail.

My notes for the ep..
1 I take back what I said about the show not having any evil character because there is!!! The interviewer/Dir Go's friend. My take, she's just jealous of DYs accomplishments! Really want DY to show her what she's got in the future!

2 HRs parents are so cute! Taking every chance to fulfill their promise to HR to get revenge for her. But they can't help it, they adore EH. Hehehe

3 HR and SJ, waiting for more bonding when they find out about EH and DY.

4 EH and SJ, my theory is SJ is the son of author Kang... but not so sure about EH. Hoping for a good and logical explanation about them and the author. Looking forward to more scenes with these two.. new bromance! Though the next might be serious rather than funny.

5 Save the best for last... EH and DY 💕
Need I say more hehehe
I just love their scenes!
LNY and LJS were able to show the familiarity of bffs for more than 20 years, and the hesitation and shyness between a new couple!
The food stall scene and the theater scenes are the sweetest! Add that to the moon, the snow, the kitchen, the muscle touching scene, their confessions,.. So many memorable ones!
WISH: I love the other characters, but can we have a version of the drama with only EH and DY scenes? 🤭

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Forgot to add (sorry, i got lost in their cuteness hehehe) ...

What I like about this couple is that they are their own persons and they know they are both capable and talented enough. They just need each other's support.
EH can't help but be concerned and try to help her when he can, but he still tries to do it within the rules and feels frustrated when he can't.

DY on the other hand, told EH that him always wanting to do something for her will make her uncomfortable. I think she said each person is responsible for their own life. LOVE the strong female lead!

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How much did I love that dialogue from her - to each his/her own.
I love Dan-Yi.

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I am starting to think as well that EH might not be a son, but only SJ. EH was probably close to author Kang and agreed to help him disappear. I think author Kang will be described as a horrible father who left the family to be a writer. The classic "genius who can achieves greatness but is a crappy husband/partner/father" trope comes to mind. I think that EH now will start having regrets about agreeing to this plan (see the preview) because now he will see what keeping this secret did to other people: SJ having to leave school to take care for his sick mom etc. SJ looking desperately for his dad. He probably started designing books in order to get close to author Kang and one day be able to meet him.

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I really hope the whole button thing is going to be the key to something. Like maybe when he goes into her office to deliver the button, Pres. Kim sees Dan-yi's file open on Dir. Ko's desk, and so now he knows? He seemed to linger in there. And the whole thing with the button is weirdly drawn out. (Didn't it take two episodes to develop? Why???)

I confess I'm still mostly here for the Gyeoroo stories; Dan-yi and Eun-ho are cute, but I'm just not too invested in that, for whatever reason. Park Hoon and Ji-yul continue to amuse and delight me; I'm hugely intrigued to see how Yeong-ah and Ji-hong's story plays out (confession: I am a sucker for super tidy happy endings, so I won't mind if they get back together, even though I agree with all the philosophical reasons given here and elsewhere against it. I have no defense. I just like unreasonably happy tidy endings.); Hae-rin and SJ are SUPER cute to me---the actress playing Hae-rin is killing it in this show and I am loving her; and of course Dir. Ko and Jae-min are fascinating to me, too.

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I thought maybe the point of the button was that Dir. Ko had to take it from his hand, so they touched fingers -- maybe that was supposed to make them look at each other differently? Esp. in combination with her looking at his family photo.

But then that button showed up again?!

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right? it just seemed too elaborate to be about only a touch. at least to me. we’ll see though!

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@anothernicole @lindag
That button saga was a puzzle to me. Dir Ko did not notice it at first eventhough it was really on its last thread and dangling so low.

It was pointed out to her, but she did not take action (she could have got Dan-I to get her another jacket or sew the button back on).

She drops it but never misses it. Jae Min finds it, recognises it and returns it to her. He invites her to eat ... it is an opportunity for her to have lunch with colleagues, but again she demurs.

Now I'm wondering what the significance of that button is. Perhaps in the same way that she fails to miss the button or to take action to fix it, so too Dir Ko continues to miss the fact it's good people who make up a great company and not just the rules to work by, plus that they too can make good friends, and she continues to fail at connecting with at least her colleagues, who seem to be the only people she spends some time with.

After last episode's teary grieving over a wedding that never was, she has yet to recognise in Jae Min and the others, the sweet Gyeroo family that is, and to fix the button of her loneliness by calling on Yeong Ah and Dan-I for some warm support.

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@growingbeautifully, that's a very interesting and thoughtful read on the button. It fits beautifully, but somehow I don't think the writer thought that deeply about it.

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hehe the writers owe us for this one if they didnt ;)

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I like this line of thinking quite a lot. In a way, Ko herself could be represented by the button. "Dangling," as if not quite attached to the whole...Kim notices, tries to get her to fix the button, and more directly, invites her to eat with the group, but she's fallen away from the people who work with her and care about her without even noticing. The next step then is to see what happens to the button, I guess. Does Dani see it on the desk and stitch it on for Ko? Ko's trajectory in this show is so fascinating--she is by far of the more intriguing characters I've come across recently. I hope there's a real arc in her growth and development as the show winds down.

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I thought the same thing about the button story - that he was going to see Dan Yi's file. When it didn't happen I started dreading the romance of Director Ko ad President Kim.

I am with you that I am not enamored with Eun Ho and Dan Yi's story. It wasn't developed in a way to make me invested. I find Hae Rin-Seo Jin and even Hoon-Ji Yul stories more interesting. I think they wasted the opportunity with Eun Ho and Dan Yi and ended up with something that is quite bland and unexciting.

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Dir. Ko was doing so well and making such strides, it's sad to see her go back to her cold self. I know that lying about having more qualifications than you do is bad, but I didn't know that underselling your qualifications was such a big deal. I just hope they don't take Dan-yi's idea after she wins the competition and then they fire her cause that would be too much. I almost want all the people that Dan-yi has worked with, like the sweet Author Yoo, to refuse to work with the company unless they keep Dan-yi. Wishful thinking I know but rules are meant to benefit people, not be used as a weapon. I'm looking at you Dir. Ko.
Meanwhile, our 2 couples are so cute together and much better matched this way than they were before. Of course Hae-rin's parents are heartbroken. Their revenge was so funny, but even they couldn't stay mad at the adorable puppy.

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A few things
1. I thought Dan-yi's date outfit was super ugly. Especially in comparison to the ultimate fine-ness that was Eun-ho. Do better girl.
2. I'm kind of....bored? With Eun-ho and Dan-yi's relationship. I spent this episode and the last waiting for a shoe to drop. Which---they only just got together this ep, so. There isn't a shoe to drop in that relationship yet. I think it could be because Encounter was such a mellow noona romance that it at times seemed boring (which sounds like a bad thing but really is not. Boring is not the correct word choice) but watching this on the heels of that...I mean. Don't get me wrong. Pretty Noona just may always have the best handhold of any drama ever for me, and it certainly brought the sexy for the 8 eps that the drama existed and all, but I 100% do NOT want this drama (or any other ever in the future of all dramas) to go down like that.
3. My favorite part of this entire ep was Ji-Yul and Hoon dancing to Ji-Yul's awesomeness.
4. Dir Ko and her colleague/friend need to get a mother chucking life. Who CARES if you are "uncomfortable" with a work subordinate who is over qualified? Do you think that Dan-yi doesn't know that she's over qualified? Do you think maybe there's a reason she decided to apply for and accept a job that she's clearly overqualified for? Bills don't stop coming just because you have a higher degree. They dont stop coming just because you aren't working. She's doing what she HAS to do in order to survive. Who are you to say that you feel "uncomfortable" having her run errands. If its fine for her you shut your cake hole and let her work.

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And what makes me more upset with Director Ko is that she heard from Dan-yi how hard her life has been (not all the details, but the main ones). I think she knows that Dan-yi has a kid. How could she easily said to fire her or terminate her contract? Does she has no heart? I know that she probably feels betrayed, but Dan-yi had her own reasons. EVEN THAT MEAN FRIEND told Director Ko that Dan-yi might've hid her qualifications because of her long break, so THAT MEANS she was unemployed (clearly explaining why she had to hide her qualifications in the first place)...Firing her means she'll have to work on saunas again and do other side jobs...I am truly disappointed at Director Ko.

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I can't say I am disappointed because I didn't expect anything different from her. She is so focused on rules and her idea of right that she lost sight of people long time ago and that makes her wholly unrelatable.

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I don't like most of Dan Yi's outfits but you are right this one was one of the worst. After changing hundred times that's what she ended up with? Really?

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Yes, my exact thoughts! This outfit was the worst. What were the stylists thinking for this scene? Ugh... Such a lost opportunity.

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1. same
2. same
3. SAME
4. same

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One of my favorite episodes! After all the wait, finally this is an episode that officially recognizes our OTP as a couple.

When Eun Ho ran towards Dani and carried her, when they were in the cinema, can't help but feel that it was LJS himself overjoyed... the happiness in his smile was so immense. Haha... LJS has always had amazing chemistry with all his co-stars (with the exception of Suzy in WYWS which I didn't really feel), but this one truly is at another level. You can really feel his genuine love towards LNY!

I can't wait for the Hae Rin - Seo Joon ship to sail too, though it seems from the episode preview that he was freaked out by her and wanted to draw boundaries LOL.

I wish we didn't have the Director Ko and the Author Kang drama, I would prefer more of EH-Dani and HR-SJ bonding time to be honest! Alas, it's still a drama and we need some challenges. Let's hope it doesn't take away too much from the warmth the drama has been able to show us. It's already a win in my books.

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I was so giddy watching this episode. All of his drama, I found LJS is the cutest in here... <3 <3 <3 Can't wait for the next episodes.

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So, I totally missed what the show was trying to tell me about Director Ko’s and Jae-min’s relationship. Are they supposed to be another couple? Sorry, I just don’t see it. He’s such a softie with two adorable girls and she’s...not. I kind of think she would be a wicked step-mother. She can barely take care of herself, let alone a family. Sorry if I sound like I’m hating on her. It’s just not a great pairing. Her self-centered nature would have to be thrown out the window. If there was anyone who needed a noona romance, it’s her.

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I think what she is missing is a family. The regret of giving up on a chance to make a family. I don't think she will be a wicked person. She just needs to come out of the wall she has built around herself and feel more secure.
Having said that, I too don't see her and CEO Kim together.

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I agree. Additionally, Jae-min is still attached to his beloved, the way he visits and talks to the memorial tree. It's so heartbreaking but I totally get it. My dad is a widow for 20+ years and he still talks to my mom with such love.

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I still enjoy this show but I decided that Hae-rin is the best character in the show. She's super weird, smart and good at her job. And I just enjoy every scene she's in. I'd love to see a show about her and the publishing company.

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I totally love her too. And it helps that I really like the acress as well. Jung Yoo-Jin has such an easy manner in her acting style. She’s just a little bit different in the characters she plays, but still extremely likable. Her parents in this drama are so extra! I was dying when they were getting their “revenge” on Eun Ho, and then complementing him still in the taxi afterwards!

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SIGH this Eun-ho. I think it's kind of nice that this attraction/togetherness is slow, steady and comfortable. He's been quite forward about things but Dan-i's also gradually opened her heart up to the idea of Eun-ho being a possibility. I am concerned about how she's going to be dealt with at work though; I foresee many team members coming to her aid to support her (since she has been a good support to Gyeoroo after all) but I wonder if it would be enough.

And Hae-rin's parents.... bless them. :)

locations:

Hosting reporters (ep 12): Hwangkumtae — Incheon Songdo Branch [황금태 인천송도점] https://koreandramaland.com/listings/hwangkumtae-incheon-songdo/

Drunk on cucumber soju (ep 12): Royal Saloon [로얄싸롱] https://koreandramaland.com/listings/royal-saloon/

Date at 'Romance Table' (ep 12): Artinus Farmer’s Table [파머스테이블] https://koreandramaland.com/listings/artinus-farmers-table/

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@Mich Thanks for all the hard work you put in to get all the details of the locations and how to get there. Do you drop by any of these filming sites yourself as well?

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thanks very much @growingbeautifully! i certainly don't do this alone; the original founder of KDL also puts in lots of hard work in establishing the site :) i'm just happy to help!

and yes! when i travel to Korea, i usually make it a point to visit drama locations, especially for recent favourites. OT - but here are some blog posts of mine detailing my visits to some of them:

http://koreandramaland.com/the-ultimate-strongest-deliveryman-guide-to-gangdong/

https://koreandramaland.com/korean-drama-filming-locations-along-the-bundang-lines/

https://koreandramaland.com/a-kdrama-afternoon-in-gyedong/

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One complaint that I do have is how the show keeps on trying to frame Director Go as being mean and unreasonable. Really nothing that she said in this show was wrong.

We know and understand why Dan-i lied on her resume, but that is something that would get you fired. I don't blame Director Go, I blame the show for creating conflict in a contrived way.

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I agree with your sentiment about Director Go - I don't find her that bad although I do find her character quite sad. When she surprisingly met her ex-fiance I immediately started crying. Just hit a nerve, to see an old flame that you never really got over. Ugh. My heart ached for her in that moment.

I have seen a lot of people say that Dan-i lied on her resume (on the soompi forum mostly) and I disagree. She omitted qualifications, she didn't lie. She does have a high school diploma. That's what the job required. It would be lying if she had made up relevant qualifications that she didn't have.

In Australia, when you are applying for a job you will have selection criteria, of which your educational background is one and then a whole bunch of other key selection criteria that you need to tell the company how you fit them. So I believe no two job applications are the same because you tailor your application for the job. I work between three industries concurrently (urban development, performing arts and education) and I don't need to tell the Urban development job I have about my acting education history and vice versa. Only what is relevant. Or I also teach children as well (i have too many jobs), I don't take about either experience and only focus on my tutoring and teaching experiences. I deliberately omit certain information as I see what is relevant in order to get the job.

Obviously in Dan-i's case, she has decided to omit because she was getting no where and had decided she would in a way go back to the bottom of the ladder and accept menial work at a lower pay grade. She has shown she gladly accepts to do that work and in fact goes beyond what she should be doing by doing those personal errands for Director Go. I think everyone should be surprised that she didn't tell them all but her omitting her past qualifications does not stop her from doing the job that she had been hired to do.

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I have yet to watch "my fair share" of dramas, but I see a set-up re: Director Ko a mile away. Her wanting Dan-yi's contract terminated is the show “redeeming” her character. (Honestly, no one in this show is a true villain!) By choice, Director Ko lacks warmth, and eschews personal connections. But we've been shown that she is not (really) an ice queen. I bet we’re going to find out later that this is the push Dan-yi needs. She’ll apply for the contest, and win (her Happy Ending).

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Thanks @abirdword
That was one of the nicest dates in the wide array of kdrama show dates that I've seen. Dan-I's openness to communicating that she likes being in a romance with Eun Ho (finally!) is so refreshing. I applaud Eun Ho for now taking the lead and blazing a path for coupledom with Dan-I.

Park Hoon is such a hoot. I liked how he changed his expression once he caught sight of Ji Yul's mother and put on the aggrieved 'boyfriend of her daughter' act. I hope JI Yul will wise up to seeing Park Hoon not just as colleague and convenient accomplice, but as a suitable boyfriend.

I like that show is true enough to life in that there's growth and ups and downs with people. We don't improve consistently in a linear fashion and we often change our minds and backtrack too. I like that Ji Yul is improving her work attitude, that Hae Rin has woken to the connection between Eun Ho and Dan-I and is able to use Seo Joon as a listening/sounding board. Also it's not a surprise that hard-as-nails Dir Ko will stick to her rules. Giving in to softer feelings and bending the rules for a 'friend' would seem weak to her.

However there's hope yet, because there were no written rules on a person under-employing themselves. Ko had to ask her friend what she would do under the same circumstances, before she knew what to do. We have to trust to Eun Ho's resourcefulness and the up-coming contest to find a loophole that gives Dan-I a fair chance to continue working at Gyeoroo.

It may turn out that she still has to re-apply for a permanent position, but with her good track record and abilities, it will be a case not only of the company liking her but also of their hiring the best fit for the team. That little hurdle of being trusted after the lie may still rankle for a while, but the good folks of Gyeoroo will probably forgive her quickly.

Before all that good stuff though, I think we'll see the awkwardness of everyone finding out about Eun Ho and Dan-I, and the fact that they've known each other for so long.

The time has also come for Eun Ho to tell Dan-I about his connection to Writer Kang. He can't be in a serious relationship with the hopes of being together forever and not let her know. It's also time to bring Dan-I's daughter back for a visit or at least a video call with both Eun Ho and Dan-I.

As always, I love the book metaphors and Dan-I's introduction to the book, Dear Stranger - "We are all strangers to each other. Distant but close, unfamiliar but familiar at the same time. We carry an array of untold stories. I am curious about the untold stories in my own heart." - We ourselves find it hard to know our own hearts and are sometimes strangers to ourselves, what more even with those we think we know. Hence my wish for Ji Yul and Hae Rin and Dir Ko to recognise who Hoon, Seo Joon and Yeong Ah/Dan-I are to them respectively, and to find out that their combined stories are written many times on the same pages.

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The 'stranger' thought was very profound.

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I hope that director Ko does not feel betrayed by DY. I hope she only wants to respect the rules and after the contract termination, she will tell DY to apply for the marketing dept. Although I assume that the creative idea contest will be the way for DY to get a proper job there. She will, for sure, send in her idea before she gets fired. *wink wink*
23th April...seems to be very important but as a door access code is it not very good. Never use such a personal info as you door access code. This is security 101! ahahahah. Also using it for the 2nd door is not a smart move.
I am starting to wonder if EH might be only the valued apprentice of author Kang (see preview and what the doctor said). Author Kang decided to disappear to hide his sickness but in agreeing to his demands EH is keeping a secret that will hurt others and now that he met SJ he might see first hand what pain his actions are causing.
I still find it odd that SJ has a secret room with all the info about the search for author Kang. Is the lock on the door there to prevent his mom to know what he is doing? It does not look like she visits him at all, so I don't understand why the lock is there.
The first date was so lovely and cute. Him being tasked to fire her is showing us all the things he does in the background to help people. DY already mentioned before that EH does a lot of things without anyone knowing and she is aware he did a lot to help her (get her ex to pay child support etc) and now it is happening again. Although this time I don't understand why he is not telling DY right away. I know it will hurt her but this is something she caused and since they are close he could have told her and started finding a plan b together (as a couple).

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This was one of the funnier episodes.
I love Hae Rin’s parents to bits. They are hilarious but the way they love is so warm and humane. If Seo Joon really has daddy issues it would be great for him to be included in their fold.
Hoon’s reactions to Ji Yul omma continues to crack me up.
Hae Rin pollack shirt, her suicide attempt through cucumbers and its consequences. Brothers or not the boys’ interactions with each other (who will carry Hae Rin) and their sleepover. LOL.

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Don't forget that the boys tied their wrists together so that neither could escape their sleeping arrangement (and thus endanger Hae Rin's virtue), that was hilarious too.

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Honestly, I find Eun Ho too perfect and it's kind of boring. I mean he's a genius writer, a good editor, a good boss, he dresses like a model, he has money, etc. The part that could make him more "human" is his father but they continue to drag the mystery.

The best part of this drama for me, it's Hae Rin ( I love her parents!), the compagny and the books.

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It's funny how different our views on the characters can be. I don't like Hae Rin's parents. They behave like Eun Ho owes them something, but no one is obliged to love anyone else. Eun Ho has only been nice to Hae Rim, who sometimes is a bit stalkerish in her ways. She keeps going to his house even when he asked her not to. He's been more than patient with her.

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It's their parents, of course they're not objective!

I like them because you can see they love their daughter. If she's happy, they're happy, if she's sad, they're sad too. They care about her when Eun Ho is the cause of her sadness they want to support her by being mean with him. But you clearly can see they're failling to do it because they know Eun Ho is a good person.
For the Hae Rin's behavior, if one person can't say anything to her, it's Eun Ho. He loved a woman during 20 years even if she was married and had a kid. He went to her house when he was drunk (even he didn't show himself) and he knew Hae Rin's feelings but he only turned her off when he knew that he had a chance with Dani. I found Hae Rin pretty reasonable.

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I do see Eun Ho's flaws but they're not really shown as flaws, rather charming or more to add to his good qualities. And by this I mean being immature and childish with Dan Yi regarding his feelings, instead of respectful and mature. Even his rational side didnt stop him completely. He first said he's respect her wishes and let her be (after he confessed) but then said screw that. Sure she ended up liking them and them being a couple now, but that type of behavior I dont find good and def not perfect guy material (for me). But on everything else about him, I agree.

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Just a comment on the clothes. I love the winter coats! The characters wear a new coat every day! EH is best dressed in this drama. His home outfits are comfy and fashionable and he looks so good in those outfits! DY looked best when she was out drinking with EH all those years ago. Obviously LNY is gorgeous, but why are they dressing her in oversized and dowdy outfits?

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Hahaha that moment of Eun ho & Seo joo cuddling 🤣🤣🤣

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