My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 27-28
Making our heroine the owner of her robot somehow seems to exacerbate everyone’s problems rather than solving them. Problems are piling up and there’s still the ever-present danger that being unmasked as a robot will result in confiscation and destruction. But there’s a bigger threat to our new couple’s romance, and no, I don’t mean her ex-boyfriend and his gigantic ego.
EPISODES 27-28 RECAP
When shooting is canceled for the day, Zero-Ten corners Da-da on set and asks her to go on a date with him. He hugs her despite her struggles, and he only lets go when Young-gu confronts him. Da-da leaves, and Young-gu says, “You aren’t Ma Wang-joon, are you? Wang-joon never acts disrespectfully towards Girlfriend.”
In response, Zero-Ten grips Young-gu’s wrist and forces him to his knees. He notes that Young-gu is an older (ie, weaker) model, and warns him not to get in his way again.
The real Wang-joon is still locked up at Diana’s house. He has a television so he flips through the channels looking for news that he’s missing, and he’s surprised to find nothing at all. When his next meal is delivered, the maids ask for his autograph, and it gives him an idea.
He offers to take a picture with them and invites the guard to join them. He pretends the lighting is bad and maneuvers so that he’s closest to the door, and while the others pose, he runs out, locks them in, and quickly texts the message to someone before more guards catch him and lock him up again.
Bo-won hears from Director Go that he hacked into the company email, and learned that the Zero-Ten model that Diana ordered has Ma Wang-joon’s face. At the same time, Young-gu gets Wang-joon’s text saying that he’s been locked up, and he figures out that the “Wang-joon” on set must be Zero-Ten.
Da-da goes to the hospital, where Eun-dong is parading Hwa-ni in front of reporters. Hwa-ni is still pretending to have been terribly injured by Wang-joon’s one punch, but he’s getting antsy at the forced inactivity, so Eun-dong warns him not to get careless. Da-da eavesdrops as Hwa-ni tells Eun-dong that he insulted Da-da in order to make Wang-joon hit him.
She heads home feeling responsible for Wang-joon’s bad situation, and she finds Zero-Ten waiting at her studio. Because she feels bad, she goes with him when he asks her for just one hour, against her better judgment.
Determined to escape Diana’s mansion, Wang-joon starts to break a window, but a guard is standing outside so he abandons that plan. He hears a commotion in the hallway, and when the door opens, he’s never been so happy to see Young-gu. He still fusses at Young-gu, though, asking why he took so long (and HAHA, Young-gu’s face), but he softens it with a fond grin.
They’re about to escape when Diana returns and tells Young-gu that she knew he’d show up to play the hero. She says that someone is about to get hurt, and asks Wang-joon and Young-gu if it’s a good idea for them both to be here.
Wang-joon figures out that she must have done something to Da-da, and Young-gu tries to rush out, but Diana stops him. She says she’s got him attacking her guards on surveillance, a not-so-veiled threat to show people he’s a robot and get him confiscated by the head office.
Young-gu admits defeat and asks Diana to let Wang-joon go. Wang-joon doesn’t want to leave Young-gu there, but Young-gu insists and holds out a hand to shake. Wang-joon takes it, and Young-gu slips a note into his palm — Da-da’s location.
Calling Young-gu “Ken” again, Diana questions him about his newfound emotions, but Young-gu just says he feels sorry for her. He tells her that he won’t be playing her games because he’s not her toy, and suddenly, the power goes out. YES, Bo-won to the rescue!
When the lights come back on a few seconds later, Young-gu is gone. Diana screeches at her guards to find him, then tells Director Park to contact Zero-Ten and tell him to get rid of Da-da. Young-gu joins Bo-won outside and catches him up on what’s happening, then follows Wang-joon to rescue Da-da.
Zero-Ten has driven Da-da way out to the middle of nowhere, and when she’d complained, he’d snapped at her sharply to be quiet. He eventually stops the car and tells Da-da that he doesn’t even know where they are, he only knows that they’re all alone. Da-da keeps calm and gets out of the car, saying that it reminds her of that time they went on a trip together.
She mentions the peanut butter sandwiches she made that Wang-joon enjoyed, and when Zero-Ten agrees that they were delicious, she realizes that he’s not Wang-joon, because Wang-joon is allergic to peanuts. Zero-Ten moves closer, crooning that it’s time to do what they came here for, and Da-da makes a run for it.
She swerves off the road, and when it seems safe, she tries to make a phone call. But Zero-Ten easily catches up and rips the phone from her hands. She asks who he really is, but he just keeps reaching for her, and she cowers in fear.
Just then a car pulls up, and this time it’s the real Wang-joon. He’s shocked to see a robot wearing his face, but Zero-Ten just tells him not to get in the way. Wang-joon tries to stop him so Zero-Ten grabs him by the throat, lifting him into the air and offering to get rid of him, too, and take his place.
Wang-joon gasps to Da-da to get away, but as she realizes that Zero-Ten is a robot, she gets a brilliant idea. She jumps up, and before he can react, she kisses Zero-Ten. The robot immediately lets go of Wang-joon, powers down, then powers back up again. He looks at Da-da with the sweetest smile and says, “Hello, my Girlfriend.”
Young-gu finally catches up to them, and when he also calls Da-da “Girlfriend,” Da-da finds herself in a very weird love triangle (square?). Zero-Ten is staring at her accusingly, Wang-joon is just horrified, and Young-gu looks like he might cry. LOL.
The next day, Director Go arrives at Diana’s mansion to confiscate Zero-Ten, and he declares that they’ll never do business with her again. Wang-joon — who I guess returned Zero-Ten — is angry at Diana for using his face. She retorts that he lost his girlfriend to a robot because he made her hide for seven years, and that at least Zero-Ten didn’t hide like Wang-joon does.
She says he should be grateful that she used a robot that looked like him to sway Da-da’s heart, since he’s such a coward. Wang-joon spits that Diana’s the coward, hiding and playing with dolls. He vows to win Da-da back, telling Diana not to use robots to play around with people anymore.
Wang-joon heads to Da-da’s studio and pulls her aside to talk privately. He asks if she’s okay, but he’s not talking about the attack last night — he’s concerned about her relationship with Young-gu. He says that last night taught him how dangerous a robot can be, so he doesn’t want Young-gu around her anymore, when a single kiss is enough to change a robot’s loyalty.
Da-da says that Young-gu is different, though she can’t explain why. Wang-joon replies that if she continues this way, he’ll be forced to do whatever it takes to separate them.
After he leaves, Bo-won asks Da-da if Wang-joon would really take action against Young-gu. She just sighs heavily, and awww cute, Bo-won and Young-gu both go in for a hug (Young-gu wins, hee).
Bo-won mentions seeing an article saying that Wang-joon may have to leave Doctor AlphaGo Season Two, and that Hwa-ni is in talks to take his place. Da-da takes them to the hospital where they set off the fire alarm, and when Hwa-ni runs out of his hospital room in a panic, the reporters are there to take plenty of pictures proving that he’d perfectly fine, ha.
Yeo-woong is excited to see that Hwa-ni’s scam has caused the public to turn against him, but Wang-joon sighs that it’s true that he hit Hwa-ni. Yeo-woong warns him not to say that to anyone else, which reminds Wang-joon of Diana’s accusation that he lost Da-da because he’s always hiding from people.
He calls Bo-won to meet him in the park, where he asks if it’s true that Young-gu will be sent back to the head office if anyone finds out he’s a robot. He infers from Bo-won’s reaction that it is true, and that Young-gu would never be allowed to return. From his car, Wang-joon calls Yeo-woong and instructs her to arrange for a press conference at the drama set tomorrow.
When Bo-won sees the reporters, he immediately knows that Wang-joon is responsible and runs to his dressing room. Yeo-woong is already there trying to find out why Wang-joon called in reporters, but he’ll only say that it’s to tell them something he’s been hiding.
Da-da is doing Young-gu’s makeup for the day when Bo-won tells her what’s going on, so she goes to ask Wang-joon what he plans to reveal to the reporters. He tells her to watch and find out, but she begs him not to do this, and he says that all he sees in her eyes is worry for Young-gu. He apologizes for making this decision without asking her.
He finds Young-gu outside his dressing room, also looking worried, but Wang-joon walks right past him and heads to where the reporters have gathered. With the cast and crew watching, including Bo-won and Da-da, he says, “I would like to reveal… the person I love.”
Da-da shakes her head, silently begging him not to say her name, but he continues, “She’s special effects artist Eom Da-da.” Kyu-ri and Yoo-jin exclaim and turn to Da-da, outing her to the reporters, who all turn to snap pictures of her.
Later in the on-set studio, Yoo-jin asks Young-gu if he’s okay after hearing Wang-joon’s confession to Da-da. Young-gu just drops the scissors that he’s bent nearly in half in his fist, and leaves.
Da-da is in Wang-joon’s dressing room, and she thanks him for not revealing that Young-gu is a robot, but she’s angry that he would stir up more gossip when they just solved their Hwa-ni problem. Wang-joon says that he only told the truth, and when Da-da has to remind him again that they broke up, he says he’s never felt broken up and he’s only fallen more in love with her.
He tells her that his acting career and his fans are important, but not as important as she is, so he wants to reveal everything in his heart. He says he’ll come to her house tomorrow for her dad’s memorial, but Da-da tells him not to.
He goes to distract the reporters so that Da-da can slip out, and Young-gu finds him. Wang-joon says that they should each fight for Da-da in their own way, and that he’s confident Da-da will choose him since he’s human. He joins the reporters (at least he admits that his love is one-sided) and Young-gu clutches his chest, feeling something grinding inside.
Hwa-ni whines to Eun-dong that the CCTV footage from the hospital shows Da-da setting off the fire alarm. He wants to expose them, but Eun-dong shows him an article about Wang-joon’s confession, thinking they can use this to force Wang-joon to retire.
While making her father’s favorite foods for his memorial, Da-da asks Young-gu why he’s not asking her about Wang-joon’s press conference. He says he’s curious what she’ll do, but he trusts her, and he just wants to spend some quiet time with her after everything that’s happened recently.
They hear Bo-won downstairs, here to remind them that the first installment for Young-gu is due tomorrow. Young-gu tells him that they’re waiting for a ghost, and Bo-won freaks out and jumps into Young-gu’s arms, hee.
Wang-joon shows up for the memorial (against Da-da’s wishes, what a surprise) and he’s brought a suit for Young-gu to wear. Da-da performs the ceremony, then Wang-joon remembers that she gets sick on this day every year, so they all tell her to go rest.
Later Yeo-woong retreats to the Love Room to field phone calls from reporters wanting all the details of Wang-joon and Da-da’s relationship. Bo-won joins her, saying that he’s sticking around to make sure she’s safe when she leaves, and Yeo-woong giggles that nobody’s ever wanted to protect her before. She notes that Young-gu seems not to be feeling well, but Bo-won assures her that Young-gu is unusually healthy.
Downstairs, Wang-joon warns Young-gu to be careful because people will recognize Da-da now, and they’ll gossip about her dating another man. Young-gu says that Wang-joon knew the press conference would put Da-da in this situation, and Wang-joon says he did it anyway because he loves her. He says he’s only letting Young-gu stay with Da-da in case a fan or a reporter tries to break into the house, so all Young-gu is allowed to do is protect Da-da and nothing more.
Once they’re alone again, Young-gu finds Da-da toasting her father’s photo with a shot of soju. He asks where dead people go, and Da-da says they don’t go anywhere — they stay in people’s memories, in texts they can’t bear to delete, and in photos they cherish. She says her father remains in music and dances they shared, choking up a little.
Young-gu takes her hand and asks her to show him the dance she danced with her father. As the old record player plays “Unforgettable,” Da-da teaches Young-gu to dance. He says that everything they do together is a first for him, and that she taught him all of it, and Da-da promises to teach him a lot more things in the future.
The next day, Yoo-jin shows a very eager Bo-won how to use the beauty products Kyu-ri uses. Yoo-jin asks how Young-gu gets his skin so luminous, joking that he’s almost perfect, like a robot, and gets smacked for using the forbidden word.
Yeo-woong asks Bo-won if he wants to have lunch with her, but he says he’s planning on having plans. When Kyu-ri walks in, Bo-won asks her to lunch right in front of Yeo-woong… so mean! Kyu-ri just tells him to go wash his face, because he’s used so much skin lotion that he looks greasy, hee.
Yeo-woong orders Bo-won to eat with her instead, trotting out the famous line from I’m Sorry, I Love You: “Do you want to eat with me, or kiss me?” She keeps up the questions until she gets to “Do you want to kiss me or marry me?” and Bo-won nervously agrees to eat with her.
The PD is in a great mood today, because thanks to Wang-joon’s public confession, interest in their drama has skyrocketed. Wang-joon tries to invite himself to go with Da-da to her father’s burial place after work, but she says she’ll go alone. Wang-joon remembers Da-da telling him once that her father had a hard time after her mother died young, and that she said they should grow old together.
He says he still wants that with her, and that it’s something she’ll never be able to do with Young-gu, who will never age. He asks what people will say, and what Young-gu will think, when she’s seventy and he still looks in his twenties.
In the wake of having Zero-Ten confiscated, then Wang-joon’s press conference, In-hyuk tells Diana that the only way for her to get Young-gu back from Da-da is to reveal that he’s a robot. But Diana says that she doesn’t want him back — she wants him to be miserably destroyed in front of both her and Da-da.
Young-gu is still working as a stuntman, and Kyu-ri asks if he’s uncomfortable around Wang-joon. He says that Da-da is his girlfriend, so what’s between him and Wang-joon doesn’t matter. Kyu-ri says that she watched Da-da for seven years, and although she didn’t know who her boyfriend was, she obviously loved him very much.
Yoo-jin yelps something about being tactless, and Young-gu feels something grinding in his chest again. It stops, so he stands to head to the set… but he suddenly goes still and slumps back down onto the couch. Kyu-ri and Yoo-jin think he’s playing a prank, but when Da-da walks in and sees Young-gu, she knows that something has gone terribly wrong.
As much as I love this story and was rooting for the girl and the robot to be together forever in the Taiwanese version, I don’t think I’ve ever considered Da-da and Young-gu as valid endgame OTP material. In other robot romances where I’ve shipped the girl with the robot, the girl wasn’t bogged down with baggage from an inconsiderate ex, and the robots they knew were fully realized personalities who just happened to fall for the girl (I’d argue this even for the Taiwanese Absolute Boyfriend because Nai Te wasn’t a lovebot, he was a sexbot, and he developed genuine feelings for Xiao Fei that he wasn’t programmed for). Young-gu is adorable and sweet, but at the end of the day he’s programmed to love Da-da, and this change in the story undermines his development of genuine feelings because he was always meant to think he loves her. And the way Da-da’s character is set up, including her backstory with Wang-joon, what she needs isn’t a robot but a real person who values and respects her, and is proud to be with her. I believe that the majority of her “feelings” for Young-gu stem from the fact that he gives her the appearance of what Wang-joon never could/would because of his career, but I don’t think that she’ll be contented with Young-gu’s type of love forever.
Ideally, Wang-joon would be learning from everything that’s happening, and treating Da-da better, but unfortunately he’s just getting more possessive and controlling. As I said in the last recap, Wang-joon has been walking a fine line with me for a while, and I’d hoped that being rescued by Young-gu would at least open his mind to giving Young-gu a chance. He’s judging Young-gu without knowing anything about him on an individual basis, or taking the time to find out why Da-da says that Young-gu is different. Now yes, in a real world I would totally understand Wang-joon’s concerns — robots are not people and can’t be judged or predicted based on human values. But this is a fantasy story, and in that context, I wish he would at least give Young-gu a chance to change his mind. And he’s learned nothing from losing Da-da… he still doesn’t listen to her or respect her wishes or opinions, because if he did, he would slow his roll and stop thinking that it’s his job to “save” her from a threat he’s (so far) created in his own mind.
Young-gu has never done anything to endanger another person, not even when he was temporarily “Ken.” Wang-joon’s fears are based on nothing, and unfortunately he’s gotten even more ramped up by the close call with Zero-Ten, who was a completely different entity under completely different circumstances. And Wang-joon doesn’t get a pass for revealing his relationship with Da-da at the press conference instead of outing Young-gu as a robot, either, because again, he did it without talking to Da-da first or asking how she feels about it (and he knows it was wrong because he apologized before even doing it). Saying he did it because he loves her doesn’t fly with me, because it’s not romantic to tell the world her name when Da-da was actually shaking her head “No!” Then he just blatantly emotionally manipulated her by using her parents’ deaths to try to guilt her into taking him back. He’s gone from “neglectful but harmless” to “actively manipulative and disrespectful,” and I’m pretty much done with him.
It’s just infuriating, because this is another show (~side-eyes Abyss so hard~) that had everything it needed to be a hit, including great casting and a twice-proven, internationally beloved storyline. I even liked the changes made to the original plot, like having Wang-joon be Da-da’s ex-boyfriend instead of a childhood friend, because the potential for exploration of imperfect human love versus perfect but programmed robot love was enormous. Instead, the show is just shooting itself in the foot by not even addressing the interesting philosophical conundrums and making its main characters unrelatable (Young-gu), stagnant and borderline annoying (Da-da), or downright unlikable (Wang-joon). How I wish we were seeing a show that dug deeper into the causes and implications of a robot developing real emotions, and gave us a heroine with even a little character development as she tried to figure out which kind of love is right for her. Instead we have Da-da taking stands with no explanation beyond “he’s just different,” Wang-joon doubling and tripling down on being a boundary-stomping jerk, and Young-gu just… doing nothing. It’s just disappointing to see the story ruined this way, when it could have been so good.
- Premiere Watch: My Absolute Boyfriend
- Yeo Jin-gu transforms into Minah’s Absolute Boyfriend
- Absolute Boyfriend finds a home at SBS for May premiere
- Absolute Boyfriend remake drama is a go with Yeo Jin-gu, Minah
- Yeo Jin-gu and Chun Jung-myung up for Absolute Boyfriend
- Kim Haneul and TOP are top contenders for Absolute Boyfriend