My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 31-32
Our romantic robot is in a crisis, and his beloved Girlfriend is going to have to use every friend and resource available to her if he has any hope of coming out the other side undamaged. But there are still enemies, both known and unknown, who would love nothing more than to see their happiness destroyed.
EPISODES 31-32 RECAP
Da-da lets Young-gu stay in her room for the first time, and he spends the entire night watching her sleep. They have plans for a picnic, so Young-gu gets up to start preparing, but he suddenly collapses to the floor.
Meanwhile, Bo-won reels from his conversation with Director Go regarding Young-gu’s recent data. They’ve concluded that the more he develops real emotions, the more fragile he’s becoming, and he may already be in danger of a meltdown.
Bo-won and Director Go hurry to Da-da’s studio at her frantic call and examine Young-gu. They explain to her in simple terms that Young-gu’s physical system can’t handle the changes in his software caused by his un-robot-like emotions, similar to when a cell phone overheats.
Young-gu recovers on his own and seems back to normal, and he insists on packing for their picnic as planned. He accidentally tears the door off a cabinet, then has trouble staying upright, and he seems to switch between awareness that something is wrong and frightening denial.
Da-da eventually grabs him in a backhug and begs him to stop. She tucks him onto bed, though he keeps repeating that he’s okay. Director Go advises Da-da to keep Young-gu as still and quiet as possible, but he’s fixated on that picnic. Bo-won convinces Young-gu to trust him and rest, and says he’ll find a way to fix him.
Young-gu promises Da-da that he’ll love her even more when this is over to make up for this. Da-da tells him that his love doesn’t stop just because he’s taking a break, and he closes his eyes. Da-da cries, remembering Young-gu’s promises to love her forever and feeling guilty to learn that those promises require a heavy price.
After more eavesdropping (does this guy ever do any actual work?), In-hyuk calls Diana to tell her about Young-gu’s meltdown and that Director Go and Bo-won are looking for a way to save him. She says smugly that this is why a toy should act like a toy, and orders him to continue spying for her.
In-hyuk gets caught by Director Go, who suspects that In-hyuk was talking to Diana about Young-gu. In-hyuk stammers that he was calling a colleague to see if they can help, and Director Go accepts his excuse. He tells In-hyuk that he has Bo-won to thank for getting his job back — while In-hyuk was away, Bo-won petitioned the head office several times to rehire him. This comes as a shock to In-hyuk.
Da-da goes back to work without Young-gu and Bo-won, only saying vaguely that they have something to take care of. Yeo-woong worries when she can’t reach Bo-won, and her “dating mode” annoys recently-single Wang-joon. He stomps out of his dressing room and overhears Da-da telling the assistant PD that Young-gu won’t be able to come to the set for a while.
While filming a scene, Da-da is so distracted that she spaces out and misses a cue to spray blood from a dummy while Wang-joon’s character operates on it, and the PD throws one of his tantrums. Later, her phone stops working, and Yoo-jin notes that her curse on electronics is back.
Da-da recalls that when she first met Young-gu, he’d told her that it wouldn’t happen anymore. This further proof that something is terribly wrong makes Da-da cry, alarming Yoo-jin and Kyu-ri. She sobs that this is all her fault, and all her friends can do is try to comfort her.
Da-da eventually lets them know what’s happening with Young-gu, and after work, Kyu-ri tells Da-da that she should stay home with Young-gu for a while and just focus on being in love. Yoo-jin stops by the Real studio with a box full of notes and articles on robotics, hoping something in the box might help, which is just the sweetest thing.
Bo-won tells Yeo-woong that something is wrong with Young-gu, apologizing for being too upset to check his phone all day and worrying her. Yeo-woong says that Young-gu is probably just sick, and that just like being sick strengthens humans’ immune system, Young-gu will be stronger when this is over. Bo-won lays his head on Yeo-woong’s shoulder, thanking her for saying that.
Da-da goes into her room to see Young-gu, but she can’t bring herself to touch him and just says she’s sorry. He whispers, “Girlfriend, don’t go,” and Da-da apologizes for waking him, and he says he’s missed her. He asks her to hold his hand, but Da-da is scared to make him worse by triggering his emotions.
He says softly, “What are you talking about? I move because of you, and live because of you.” He holds out his hand and Da-da takes it, and Young-gu says with a smile that he feels stronger. Da-da tells him that everyone is thinking about him and asks him to hang on a little longer.
Wang-joon is too worried about Da-da to sleep, and when Yeo-woong stops by with his schedule, she tells him that Young-gu isn’t well. Wang-joon goes to Da-da’s place and sees Young-gu lying in bed, and he asks Da-da if Young-gu can be fixed. All she can say is that they’re working on it. Growing frustrated, Wang-joon asks if Da-da really thinks that the stuff she’s reading from Yoo-jin will help.
She wails that she has to do something, but Wang-joon says angrily that he warned her something would go wrong eventually. He yells that the least she could do is be happy with the guy she left him for, so that his jealousy and bitterness are justified. He says there’s nothing Da-da can do to help Young-gu, because even if they fix Young-gu now, it will only get worse later.
Da-da cries out for Wang-joon to stop and accuses him of coming here to torment her. She says she’s already miserable enough and begs him to leave, but before he does, he tells her coldly not to cry in front of him. Outside, he faces Young-gu’s window and says, “I told you not to make her cry.”
After working through the night, Bo-won shows Director Go some information he found on an earlier robot companion model that suffered a meltdown, though with slightly different symptoms. Something called a “heart cooler” was made for it and installed, which reduced the robot’s overheating by eighty-five percent, and the robot is still working fine.
He says that the head office made another heart cooler for research purposes, but that it’s the only one that exists because it costs as much to make one as to make a new robot. Director Go promises to send a request to the head office for the heart cooler to install in Young-gu, and Bo-won is so excited that he hugs him.
He rushes to tell Da-da about the heart cooler, which he believes can fix Young-gu. But the head office refuses their request, because they’re not willing to lose the only heart cooler they have on a robot that’s already caused a lot of problems.
Everyone is shocked when Wang-joon shows up and says to tell the head office to send the heart cooler anyway, or he’ll make a huge stink about the fact that they gave Zero-Ten his face without his permission. He tells Director Go to make sure they understand this is a threat, not a request, and Director Go is more than happy to comply.
Da-da thanks Wang-joon, but he says he didn’t do it to help her, he just hates Kronos Heaven for making those robots. He tells Da-da to stop crying and apologizing, then calls himself a huge idiot for doing this. Just moments later, they hear that the head office approved their request for the heart cooler, and that it will arrive tomorrow morning.
They’re all too preoccupied to notice In-hyuk lurking nearby, and he goes straight to Diana with the news about the heart cooler. Diana sneers that she hates happy endings, and orders In-hyuk to bring her the heart cooler. But he says he can’t keep doing this because Director Go is getting suspicious of him, and it makes him feel guilty to see Bo-won so sad lately.
On top of that, if he takes the heart cooler, he says they’ll all know it was him and he’ll be fired. Diana asks how much money he wants, and when In-hyuk says he can’t be bribed, Diana mentions that he’s in a lot of debt. In-hyuk grows angry to learn that she did a background check on him, and he says disdainfully that now he knows why everyone ends up leaving her, and walks out.
Wang-joon is packing away the mock cake that Da-da made for him when Yeo-woong comes over to thank him for helping Young-gu get the component he needs to fix Young-gu. Wang-joon says that he still doesn’t want Young-gu and Da-da’s relationship to work out, and that he was even happy when he heard something was wrong with Young-gu.
He admits that he doesn’t want Young-gu to wake up, but he knows that if he doesn’t, Da-da’s heart will break. He sighs that he must be a bad person, but Yeo-woong says she understands how he’s feeling and hugs him until he gives up and hugs her back.
Bo-won and Da-da take Young-gu back to the Kronos Heaven facility, and Da-da tells his still form that she misses hearing him calling her “Girlfriend.” She says she wants a hug as soon as he wakes up, then tells him she loves him.
In the morning, Director Go travels to Incheon Airport to pick up the heart cooler. But In-hyuk is the one who greets the man from the head office, pretending that Director Go sent him. We’re shown that his resolve not to take bribes didn’t last long, and he’d crawled back to Diana to make a deal.
The man from the head office asks for ID, and since In-hyuk is a current Kronos Heaven employee, he has no reason to doubt In-hyuk’s claim that Director Go is waiting for him outside. He hands the heart cooler over to In-hyuk, but luckily In-hyuk doesn’t get far before Director Go shows up. He chases In-hyuk through the airport, but he manages to jump into a rideshare van and get away.
As Director Go calls Bo-won to tell him the bad news, In-hyuk delivers the heart cooler to Diana. Before he hands it over, he reminds her to keep her promise. Diana thinks about Young-gu telling her that she doesn’t deserve love and that he pities her, her eyes growing hard as she handles the heart cooler.
Director Go calls Bo-won and quickly tells him what In-hyuk has done, and they assume that he’s working for Diana. They agree to meet at Diana’s mansion, but Da-da gets there first and screams for Diana to come out. Diana leans over the stair railing, carelessly waggling the heart cooler at Da-da, who orders her to hand it over because Young-gu needs it.
She tells Diana to take out her anger on her, not Young-gu, since she’s the one who kissed Young-gu and “stole” him from her. Diana snarls that that’s exactly what she’s doing, silently threatening to drop the heart cooler. Bo-won and Director Go run in, and Da-da gets on her knees to beg Diana not to do it.
Diana wonders if this is the love that Young-gu spoke about, then lets go of the heart cooler. It smashes on the floor, right in front of Da-da and she gasps in disbelief. At Kronos Heaven, a tear slides down Young-gu’s cheek. He opens his eyes and sits up, feeling the impossible wetness on his face.
Da-da, Bo-won, and Director Go are removed from the house by Diana’s guards, Bo-won screaming that he has to get the pieces of the heart cooler and fix it somehow. Director Go gets a call from Kronos Heaven — Young-gu has disappeared.
Diana tells Director Park that Young-gu will be shattered like the heart cooler, as will anyone else who doesn’t listen to her. Director Park looks like she has something uncomfortable to say, but In-hyuk returns for the money Diana promised him. Diana decides not to pay him since smashing the heart cooler wasn’t as fun as she’d hoped.
She expects him to keep working for her since he’s deep in debt and his mother is waiting for a heart transplant. In-hyuk says that Diana will be punished for this someday, but she croons that “someday” is for people with no money, like him. Since Kronos Heaven refuses to sell her any more robots, she tells In-hyuk that if he wants his money, he’ll make them change their minds.
Da-da runs all the way to her studio, and she finds Young-gu there looking for her. She gets upset when she see that he walked home barefoot, and he adorably misunderstands and apologizes for coming into the house with dirty feet.
He also says he’s sorry for passing out and being sick without permission, and he goes to hug Da-da, but she pushes him away. He hugs her anyway while she cries on his shoulder that she was scared when he disappeared.
Bo-won finally catches up to them, and Da-da goes upstairs to collect herself as Young-gu tells Bo-won that there were tears on his face when he woke up. Bo-won says despondently that they weren’t tears — it was the immersion cooler in his head malfunctioning and leaking, and it’s proof that Young-gu’s meltdown is getting worse.
Bo-won blames himself for not anticipating that human emotions in a robot body spell disaster. He tells Young-gu that Da-da knows everything, and that they had one chance to fix him, but Diana ruined it.
Bo-won decides to stay the night, and when Young-gu goes upstairs to Da-da, he finds her also blaming herself for his meltdown and scared he’s going to die. Young-gu tells her sweetly that it’s not true, and that he can’t die because he’s a robot, but he mostly seems to be trying to convince himself.
He repeats what Da-da told him about how even humans never leave because they stay in people’s memories. But Da-da sobs that that’s a lie, and that she’s already forgetting things about him like exactly what he said when they first met.
She says he has no idea how scary it is to forget, and that she doesn’t want him to only be a memory. She begs him desperately not to die and leave her, and he promises he won’t, pulling her into his arms.
This is a first for me, but I really don’t have that much more to say about the story at this point that I haven’t already said. Other than dealing with Young-gu’s meltdown, there wasn’t much forward plot movement in this episode, and very little character development — unless you count Wang-joon claiming to give up, but he’s done that several times before. This show had so much promise, and not one but two successful predecessors to riff off of, and I thought that the changes to the basic plot and characters were a great idea to freshen and modernize the story. Even the casting was spot-on. But My Absolute Boyfriend is one of those dramas that, despite having all the necessary components, just couldn’t manage to make them work.
I don’t like pointing fingers, but I have to lay this one squarely on the writer — instead of using the excellent source material and creative alterations he made, he completely failed to deliver a story that made any sense or carried any emotional impact. It’s like he got bored with his own story and just gave up. Which is such a shame, because this is the same writer who brought me into Korean dramas in the first place with Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (and the subsequent Flower Boy Next Door), so I know he’s more than capable of writing fantastic characters and delivering dramas that are both humorous and heart-wrenching. I was so hoping that this remake would feel like the Flower Boy dramas, and I’ll always be disappointed because a similar thoughtful, poignant treatment of My Absolute Boyfriend was so, so close.
I know, I know, it’s not over yet, but this late in the show there’s too much to be able to go back and fix, if I even believed the show was planning that. Not to mention the episode cut (I know the full episode count is online, but we’re going with the cut), means there are only two more hours to wrap up the story, and I’m sure that between the missing episodes and the writing, we’ll be left with a lot of loose ends. I at least hope we get an explanation of why Diana chose Young-gu’s face, which seems to be the face of someone she knew when she was younger, since she said something like, “This must be what [he] looks like now” when she first saw him. And I still hold out faint hope for some sort of redemption arc for Diana, or at the very least for something to happen to make her regret the way she treats people like playthings and multi-million dollar robots like crash test dummies. Oddly, she’s the only character left who interests me much, and even that’s mainly because we still don’t know much about her. And I have a nasty feeling that Eun-dong is still waiting to pounce on Da-da to punish Wang-joon for daring to defy him.
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