My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 9-10
A split-second decision lands our heroine smack in the middle of her robot boyfriend’s full, official dating protocol, and when this robot dates, he really dates. He’s not shy about what he wants, and he’s proving to be much more reliable and attentive than Da-da’s past relationship. But there’s more to that situation than Da-da knows, and the question is, can her ex fix the mistakes he’s made before it’s too late?
EPISODES 9-10 RECAP
Da-da gets a message from Bo-won, asking her to take care of Young-gu for a few more days. She goes to Incheon Harbor and finds him getting rained on, saving the A++ sticker she gave him, and she tells him he can follow her home or not, whatever.
Young-gu reminds Da-da that in five minutes, his one-week trial will be over and he won’t remember her. He asks hopefully if he should stop the reset or let it continue, but Da-da says she’s not capable of taking care of someone else and that he should go to a better person.
Her umbrella blows away, so Young-gu moves close to share his with her. Suddenly Da-da changes her answer, and tells him not to reset. She says that lately, he’s right there every time she wants to run away, which makes her wonder what it would be like to have him there all the time. Young-gu just smiles and nods.
Meanwhile, Wang-joon thinks about how Da-da made it clear that since he broke up with her, they should have nothing to do with each other. He’s got three black boxes filled with threats that prove that he didn’t really want to break up, but he has to accept the consequences of his decision.
Da-da takes Young-gu home, and he thanks her for coming for him. She just says that he came for her, too, the last time it rained. She brings him a towel, but he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it, so she uses it to dry his hair.
Looking a little dazzled, Young-gu stares up at her as her record player springs to life. She notices the intensity in his eyes and hands him the towel, then retreats to her bathroom. She registers her pounding heart, and when Young-gu knocks on the door to ask if she’s showering and if he should join her, she barks at him to go away, hee.
After trying unsuccessfully to catch Young-gu, Director Go and In-hyuk go to Diana’s house to break the news to her. She’s excited for her new toy, but she goes cold when they tell her there was a problem in production and they need another week. The maid is so frightened that she accidentally spills hot tea on Diana’s gloved hand.
But Diana says she can’t feel it — then pulls off her glove to reveal a prosthetic hand. Ooooh, interesting. Diana deliberately drops her ring into the scalding hot teapot, then playfully tells the maid to get it for her, as if it’s a fun game. She forcibly holds the crying maid’s hand in the teapot, and lets go at the last second.
Diana asks Director Go and In-hyuk why her toy isn’t finished when she gave them plenty of time and money, but she accepts their excuses and just asks if they’re making Zero-Nine according to her specifications. In-hyuk stammers that they gave him a face woman adore, but Diana says she only wants two things — utter subjection, and no betrayal.
Director Go says with a forced smile that she knows they’re capable of providing that, but Diana says that Zero-Seven was too weak and boring, and she wants something more durable. She tells them that if they miss the deadline again, they’ll play a very fun game together, making both men squirm.
In the morning, Young-gu surprises Da-da with a backhug, making her yelp. He’s surprised by her reaction since they’re official now, and explains that his test stage is flirting, but the full version is dating for real… then he immediately decides her shorts are too short, HA.
Da-da says he got the wrong idea when she told him not to shut down — she only told him that so he wouldn’t forget all the trouble he’s caused her. But Young-gu insists that she activated his full protocols, so she has to accept his love for her, and tosses out cute little finger hearts while Da-da shakes her head at him.
Young-gu brings out a couple ring, saying that it’s part of his official version. Da-da asks why she should wear it, so Young-gu tells her that he can read her emotions when she has it on, because the stone on the ring will change colors according to her mood. He says that black means she’s angry or sad, and pink indicates love.
Da-da starts to remove the ring, but Young-gu stops her, saying that she has to wear the ring for him to function at full capacity. Da-da whines that the ring is more like a shackle, but she’s no match for Young-gu’s pouty face. Triumphant, he pulls her close and leans in to kiss her, and the stone on her ring instantly turns pink, hee.
But she wiggles out of his grasp and says she’s too busy for this, and settles down to work. She’s making a little doll like the ones on Wang-joon’s cake, and she tells Young-gu that it’s her other source of income now that the drama is over.
Young-gu asks if he can help, since he’s created a lot of extra expense for Da-da since he arrived (such as van repairs), but she says he can help best by doing nothing, and poor Young-gu deflates. Da-da gets a call from Kyu-ri with a part-time job opportunity that starts right away, and Da-da excitedly accepts.
LOL, Wang-joon has to show up at an amusement park to dole out the free hugs he promised if his drama, Doctor AlphaGo, reached a certain ratings percentage. He’s grumpy because he promised Da-da to marry her when he got successful at that same amusement park, but Yeo-woong says it can’t be changed.
She loads up more fan gifts, and Wang-joon spots another black box. He runs outside hoping to find the fan who left it, but they’re gone, so he just hides the contents (more damaged photos and demands to break up with Da-da) from Yeo-woong.
The job Kyu-ri arranged is also at the amusement park, doing makeup for a zombie event. Kyu-ri immediately notices Da-da’s new ring and assumes that Da-da’s secret boyfriend finally proposed to her. Da-da says it’s nothing like that, so Kyu-ri just says she trusts Da-da to know what she’s doing.
And then the dulcet tones of Young-gu’s happy, “Girlfriend!” ring out, and there he is, waving at her. Kyu-ri still thinks he’s Da-da’s cousin, so she assumes that Young-gu is here for her and calls back, “Boyfriend!” HAHA.
Young-gu tells Da-da proudly that he also got a part-time job at the amusement park. Da-da is worried he’ll cause trouble and tries to send him home, but he argues that she’s having to work more because of him, so he can’t just sit at home. He’s adorably earnest about wanting to be useful and help her, and he tells her dramatically to try to hang in there even if she misses him terribly all day, hee.
He goes to orientation, where he impresses his new boss in a roleplay for calming down an upset customer by cracking silly jokes to diffuse the situation. He continues to be good at everything, so when Da-da and Kyu-ri come to check on him, he’s gained a small following of female employees.
At Kronos Heaven, In-hyuk expresses concerns about Diana to Director Go, beginning to understand why Bo-won didn’t want to send Zero-Nine to her but also annoyed at the trouble he’s found himself in as soon as he came back to work.
Director Go says that Bo-won thinks of Zero-Nine as a brother, and that he doesn’t see him as a mere robot. They find Bo-won’s diary in a bag left in his car, and they wonder what it means that he wrote the word “real” and circled it.
Just when Da-da and Kyu-ri think they’re done doing zombie makeup for the day, they’re asked to help carry some props. Young-gu sees Da-da and offers to help, but she tells him petulantly to go help some other women like he’s been doing all day, though she can’t understand why she’s angry, hee.
She sees a crowd gathering and goes closer to check it out, and she gets jostled and drops her box of props. She chases down a rolling skull and suddenly finds herself careening into Wang-joon. He catches her in his arms and they freeze, long enough for it to get awkward, and they don’t snap out of it until Young-gu calls to Da-da, “Girlfriend!”
The MC starts Wang-joon’s free hugs event, and he assumes that Da-da is a fan and tells her to get the first hug from Wang-joon. Awww, the look on Young-gu’s face is heartbreaking. Wang-joon steps between them and starts to hug Da-da, but Young-gu grabs his arm, spins him around… and hugs him instead.
He holds Wang-joon tightly, glaring at Da-da over his shoulder the whole time. He doesn’t let go until after Da-da walks away upset.
After the event, Yeo-woong tells Wang-joon that she had no idea Da-da would be there today. She wonders out loud if Da-da and the Young-gu are dating, since Da-da is pretty, has a good personality, and she’s devoted even when the guy is a jerk, hee.
At the end of the day, Young-gu is paid extra and offered a job any time he wants one, for triple pay. Kyu-ri wants to go out for drinks with Da-da and her “cousin,” but Da-da says she’s too tired.
On her way out, Da-da passes the bench where she and Wang-joon once exchanged couple rings. Wang-joon joins her and says it’s familiar to him, too. He asks if she’s all better now, meaning the cut on her forehead, and Da-da says she’s much better, meaning the breakup.
She says that all she feels now is sorry for her past self, and how stupid she was. Wang-joon says he can tell she’s not okay, and he grabs her hand when she tries to leave. He notices Young-gu’s ring, but before either of them speaks, Young-gu himself shows up.
Da-da tells Wang-joon that she was only waiting for Young-gu, who laces their fingers together and leads her away. As they walk, Da-da apologizes to Young-gu for using him to pretend she’s not hurting anymore. Young-gu says his purpose is to be used by her, but Da-da asks him to just accept her apology.
Da-da discovers that her wallet is missing and realizes that she must have lost it when she dropped the box of props. Wang-joon is still sitting in his van when he sees Da-da and Young-gu scurrying back into the amusement park, and luckily Young-gu’s scanners quickly find her wallet where it fell behind a trashcan.
Da-da finds the quiet amusement park interesting, after all the lights and noise earlier. She says she’s worked a lot of part-time jobs here, but that it’s been a long time since she came just for fun. So Young-gu invites her on a date, and uses his very expensive robotic abilities to run the carousel so she can take a ride.
While she’s still riding, Young-gu disappears, then shows up beside her just in time to catch her from falling off her horse. They share a long, emotionally charged moment, while Wang-joon watches sadly from a distance.
Young-gu takes Da-da on all the rides, looking like he’s quietly freaking out while Da-da screams with delight. He gets a little dizzy from the roller coaster, so Da-da lets him pick the next ride, and he squeals happily on a kiddie ride, hee.
Later, Young-gu makes Da-da wait alone, then shows up on one of the parade floats, all lit up and sparkly. He pulls out all the stops, making a swarm of lighted drones form pictures in the sky above them, ending with a heart. He tells her this is how he feels, and Da-da can’t help but be impressed.
Yeo-woong drops off Wang-joon at home, promising to pick him up in the morning for a meeting about Doctor AlphaGo 2, but he just mopes inside. She sees one of those black boxes with the dead flowers in the van, and remembers Wang-joon getting upset over a similar box this morning.
Young-gu offers to let Da-da sit and rest, but they’re next to her and Wang-joon’s bench, so she balks a moment before sitting. Once she does, she’s surprised how easy it is, and she thanks Young-gu for cheering her up and enabling her to associate this park with fun again.
She says that being in the dark amusement park reminds her of chaebols in dramas who rent the entire park to impress a girl. At the mention of dramas, Young-gu gets all romantic again. He swoops in, and with his lips an inch from Da-da’s, he croons, “Like this?”
She backs away and says she hates cheesy guys, so he asks her ideal type. Da-da says she wants someone insignificant and unpopular, not someone she barely sees once a month, who has difficulty clearing his schedule just for a meal with her.
Young-gu says sadly that she must have been very lonely, and he tells her that she’ll never be lonely again, because he’ll always love her the same. Da-da says that loving without getting anything back tired her out, but Young-gu assures her that that’s what he was made for.
Yeo-woong confronts Wang-joon with the black box and asks why he didn’t tell her he’s being threatened, and if this is why he broke up with Da-da. Wang-joon says that Da-da doesn’t know about this, and that his plan was only to break up temporarily, take care of it, then tell her. Yeo-woong says that Wang-joon should have told Da-da first, but Wang-joon just snaps that this is hard for him, too, and storms off.
In his room, Wang-joon looks sadly at the engagement ring he bought for Da-da, which he did plan to give to Da-da on the night he got his award (which means his comment earlier that day really was just a joke). But just before the ceremony, he’d received the first threatening black box.
The note inside had ordered him to break up with Da-da or she’d get hurt, and the pictures proved that the sender even knows where she lives. Wang-joon thinks to himself that he only wanted to protect Da-da, and he asks himself if he was wrong. “I’m scared, Da-da-yah,” he thinks. “I’m scared that we might really drift apart.”
Da-da nods off on the bus ride home, and her head lolls over to land on Young-gu’s shoulder. She wakes up just in time to catch their stop, and when she fusses at Young-gu for not waking her up sooner, he’s too happy to look properly chastened.
It turns out that Wang-joon kept the cake that Da-da made for him, with all the figures of him on it. He looks at it, vowing never to let her go, and to get her back.
At home, Da-da sighs that she’s still behind on her bills even after today’s job. Suddenly the lights go out, and Young-gu walks into the room, festooned with white twinkle lights. He says he’s helping her save on electricity, but he obediently turns the lights back on when she asks.
He hands over his own pay, and Da-da gasps at the amount. Young-gu says he feels proud when he thinks about how he earned the money and is able to help her, and he understands why humans value money so much. Da-da gives it back, saying that it’s his to keep, but he says he only needs her.
Da-da relents, but only agrees to take half, giving the rest back to him to keep just in case. She jokes that his “Christmas in summer” look is killing her, but he says with a worried frown that she can’t die, making her laugh at how cute he is.
Young-gu insists that he’s not cute, he’s a grown man. Da-da asks what that has to do with anything, so to prove it, Young-gu looms over her and asks smoothly, “Do you really want to know?”
I know it’s still early, but I’m ready for these two to kiss! Young-gu clearly wants to be a “real” boyfriend to Da-da, and she’s obviously attracted to him. He’s not even a human, so there’s no downside to Da-da just giving him a little test-drive and seeing exactly what he has to offer. On the other hand, that would be using him, and if Da-da feels guilty simply using him to get rid of Wang-joon, there’s no way she’d use him physically, even if she is attracted to him. Then there’s the whole question of whether a physical relationship (even just kissing) with a robot is icky, or if it’s fine as long as nobody gets hurt. I’m not up for such ethical dilemmas today, so I’ll wait for the show to answer that question for me.
That said, as cute as Young-gu is, and as nice as it would be to have a devoted “boyfriend” that you know won’t ever cheat or leave you, I’m still not fully invested in his emotional relationship with Da-da. I think it’s because he’s programmed to have feelings for whatever woman kisses him first… he doesn’t care for her because of who she is, but because he’d feel this way about whichever random woman had kissed him. It has nothing to do with who Da-da is as a person, which is why this story is different from previous dramas that featured robots in love. They cared for their person because they got to know them, and they somehow evolved past programming to develop something new and unexpected, while Young-gu is only behaving as he was made.
That doesn’t make him a bad character or this story less valid, because he’s still precious and his “feelings” are genuine, regardless of their origin. But it does give his and Da-da’s romance a different feel to it, and it’s understandable how Da-da resists him, since she’s generally pretty pragmatic and sensible. Young-gu’s programming simply raises a different set of questions to be explored while watching My Absolute Boyfriend… Is it really love if the one feeling it has no choice in the object of their love? You could argue that it’s not real if it’s programming, but on the other hand, how many of us real humans get to choose who we love? Love can happen even when you don’t want it, so that’s not so very different than Young-gu being programmed to love.
I do feel for Wang-joon after learning his reason for breaking up with Da-da. Like Yeo-woong, I still think it was wrong of him not to include Da-da in the discussion and decision, especially after seven years together, but I can believe that he made a knee-jerk decision out of fear. Still, his grouchy, mopey attitude is getting old, even now that we know he never planned to break up for good. But he did do it, and he did it in a really hurtful, evasive way instead of just talking to Da-da, and he had to know that he was risking the chance that she might not want to reconcile. But if Wang-joon wants to keep that door open (and I think he’s been stupid, but not so stupid that he doesn’t deserve the chance to at least try), then he needs to stop acting pitiful and do something — go after his stalker, or tell Da-da the truth, or just anything besides acting like a jerk to everyone around him. Basically, Wang-joon needs to grow up and take some action, or he’s going to lose what little sympathy I have for him.
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