Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 2
Helping people fall in love is all in a day’s work for the love experts over at Cyrano Agency, where you’re in the capable hands of those who don’t believe in the lofty ideals of romance. They’ll gladly fill in the gaps of that mysterious someone that fulfills your greatest fantasy, but don’t be surprised when they can attribute your emotions to hormones or calculate the rate of success of what you thought was your best pick-up line.
Because you see – making love matches isn’t their goal; it’s just a job. So be careful where you tread and make sure that it’s not just a trick of the eye.
SONG OF THE DAY
Dating Agency: Cyrano OST – “CHANCE!” by Peppertones [ Download ]
EPISODE 2 RECAP
The sudden embrace takes Min-young by surprise, and a few more seconds of awkward silence pass before she speaks up. Although they’re both aware of their close proximity, Min-young seems to be the only one noticeably affected by it. Once the coast is clear, Byung-hoon casually lets her go.
He then uses this opportunity as a teaching moment to illustrate how perfect his plan was. When Min-young grumbles over the fact that it was all staged, he once again points out the importance of a lasting first impression.
He asks, “Do you know the probability of successful dating relationships thanks to a lasting first impression?” She doesn’t and he’s like, Google it. Cheeky.
Meanwhile, Seung-pyo sips coffee at his restaurant. He muses over the pile of paparazzi-like photos of Byung-hoon and Min-young lying on the table, and he slams his cup over Byung-hoon’s face. Eek, are you two not friends?
Then the same pair of gangsters who threatened Byung-hoon to pay up in the previous episode walks through the door. Huh? Are you the one pulling the strings, Master?
Back at Cyrano HQ, Min-young entertains the boys with her swashbuckling tale of courage at the train station, only to have Byung-hoon burst her bubble.
She excitedly asks Moo-jin about their next course of action, and pouts slightly when he ignores her. They haven’t heard back from Jae-in yet, but Byung-hoon reassures his team that his “rescued chick” strategy has never failed him.
Thankfully for Min-young (and us), Arang cheerily explains that this phenomenon occurs when the target finds herself growing curious about the well-being of the one she saved from danger.
…which is exactly what Jae-in is doing this very moment, and she looks up the identity of her mysterious man in the library system. Heh, I love that she has a Sherlock Holmes screensaver.
It’s no surprise that Byung-hoon finds Min-young’s suggestion to let the potential couple meet absolutely ridiculous – how will they ever get paid that way?
Astonished by his pragmatic answer, she argues, “You’re in the business of helping people fall in love! That should be your goal!” He corrects her – that’s their job, not their goal.
He pegs her for a romantic, and is hard-pressed to believe that everyone in the world longs for romance. Something that can be easily explained by hormones like romance is just a media ploy, he flatly replies.
Min-young can hardly believe her ears, and she leans down to ask if Byung-hoon ever wanted to be in love. Byung-hoon: “Of course not.” She gets the same answer from the Cyrano boys, and Min-young is astounded to learn that the so-called love experts are a bunch of robots who don’t believe in the idea.
Just then, Byung-hoon’s phone rings (he set it up so that both he and the client would receive calls simultaneously) and the boys spring into strategizing mode, ignoring Min-young, who protests in an annoyed voice as the phone continues to ring: “Aren’t you going to get that?!”
A little while later, Seung-pyo finds Min-young sitting by herself at the bus stop. He offers to give her a ride, since it looks like she’s had a rough day.
In the car, he cautiously asks about how work is going, and when Min-young says that she may pack up her things because she doesn’t get the Cyrano boys, he tells her that he thinks she’ll stick around for a while.
He invites her to drop by the restaurant if ever she needs a place of refuge. Hm, why are you so keen on having her stay?
Using the analogy that someone who hates potatoes can still sell potato soup, Min-young doesn’t understand how the romance experts who don’t even believe in the idea can be in charge of other people’s love lives.
She loses Seung-pyo in her analogy, but he figures that if you can’t trade out the person who hates potatoes, you may as well hire someone who loves them.
She’s surprised when they drive up to the library, and he explains that there’s little that goes on in Cyrano that he doesn’t know about. I’ll bet.
Then they spot Jae-in trying to hail a cab with a cat (named after another mystery novel character Philip Marlowe) in her arms. It takes about two seconds for Min-young to realize that she’s off to see the vet, aka their client, Joon-hyuk.
Byung-hoon rushes out as soon as he receives the call while Seung-pyo and Min-young tail the taxi. In an effort to stall for more time, Seung-pyo swerves in front of the cab, cutting them off.
The near-accident doesn’t deter Jae-in from climbing out of the taxi and march towards the animal hospital on foot. Min-young chases after her, leaving Seung-pyo to deal with the supposedly injured taxi driver.
Once Min-young is out of earshot, Seung-pyo drops the polite act, and warns the man not to exaggerate his non-injuries lest he actually wishes to end up paralyzed. Okay seriously, are you evil or not?
With Byung-hoon still on his way, Min-young thinks fast and tries to stall Jae-in by the front desk. But Jae-in is a woman on a mission, and she charges past her in order to see the doctor.
And who should turn around to greet her but Byung-hoon himself. Oh whew, you made it! Then Min-young surveys the room to find Moo-jin hanging around and their client safely out of sight.
Turns out Byung-hoon is allergic to animal fur which explains why he stopped Joon-hyuk from approaching him at their first meeting and avoided to touch the cat. Min-young, however, finds Byung-hoon’s allergy highly amusing as he sneezes and scratches in front of the mirror.
She all but rolls her eyes when Byung-hoon rattles on about how worried he is that their target might fall for him instead, given how cool he looked in the doctor gown.
So she argues that if the gown makes the man, “…then we could have had our client see her instead.” HA – the lady has a point there.
Then I love how vain Byung-hoon actually is. He’s all, No, no, it HAD to be me. *sneeze* *scratch*
It’s hard to tell whether Min-young’s visit to the library is part of Team Cyrano’s plan. Jae-in isn’t exactly happy to run into Min-young for the third time in such a short time span.
Once Min-young introduces herself, she launches into this long-winded explanation: See, it was the on-call doctor whom Jae-in met last night, not Dr. J (their client), who by the way is perfect, talented, a great man of character, and did I mention perfect?
It’s clumsy, but it gets the job done, and Jae-in seems reassured that the animal is in good hands.
Meanwhile back at the hospital, Byung-hoon hilariously plasters himself to the glass at the sight of the cat. Then he slyly moves behind the glass to place even more distance between the animal and himself.
He pops out from behind the glass he’s hiding behind when Joon-hyuk expresses his doubts. Even if Jae-in ends up falling for him, he can’t shake off the nagging feeling that they deceived her to do so.
But Byung-hoon explains that all they’re doing is creating an image in order to pique Jae-in’s interest. In other words, they’re merely attempting to impress her, like how a poor man would excessively spend money he doesn’t have on a woman he likes.
In the car, Moo-jin breaks his usual silence to ask Byung-hoon why he hired Min-young to work with them. When Byung-hoon answers that they needed another team member, particularly a female, Moo-jin counters, “Is that all?”
It seems that Min-young’s words affect Byung-hoon more than he lets on. For now he answers: “We’ll see.”
Then he acts all annoyed when they stop to pick up Min-young to carpool back to the agency. Ah, so the visit to the library wasn’t part of the plan at all, and Byung-hoon voices his complaints from the backseat.
Min-young prevents another oncoming lecture with the suggestion that they should have a welcoming party for her as a new hire. Byung-hoon immediately disapproves of the idea, but as soon as Min-young mentions that she’ll foot the bill, he asks: “Where?”
Next thing we know, we’re at Seung-pyo’s restaurant where an inebriated Min-young sits at the bar while Byung-hoon provides critical commentary on her character.
She joins the boys and belabors the point of why she wants to help others find love: She’s here to create true love matches, not arranged ones.
At Byung-hoon remark that that’s considered satisfaction by proxy, Min-young angrily rises from her seat, yelling that he helped her realize that she’s a far better person than he is. Omg, I kind of love drunk Min-young.
Min-young stumbles back to the bar, rifling through her bag to find an appropriate gift for Master. She presents him with her treasured Swiss Army knife “to use to peel potatoes.”
That’s both adorable and hilarious, and I love how Seung-pyo lights up. Then she ruffles his hair like a puppy. Hee.
The Cyrano boys carry Min-young out of the restaurant, and Byung-hoon frowns over the ordinary gift. Oho, is our team leader feeling a bit jealous?
Although the two speak politely to each other in jondae, the air is noticeably tense between them. Seung-pyo retorts that the unexpected gifts are always the ones that are most fun. “Or do you not know anything about that?” Something tells me we’re not talking about the knife anymore.
He acknowledges that he’s pretty skilled with knives, and he mysteriously adds that there may never be a chance to properly show them off.
Seung-pyo removes his glasses once Byung-hoon leaves. He then calls his two lackeys out of hiding, who address him as “hyung-nim.” Ah, so they act as spies while they help out with the Cyrano missions. Makes you wonder if our restaurateur really is a mob boss, doesn’t it?
When Min-young wakes some hours later, she stumbles across Byung-hoon watching old high school movies by himself on a projector. Her presence doesn’t go unnoticed, and Byung-hoon shoots her a point-and-look that basically says, You, come here. Ha.
He’s given her a new nickname “Airhead,” given that there’s nothing but air (gong-gi) in that head of hers. He promptly changes the subject when she mentions the movies, scolding her for hanging around the workplace instead of going home like normal people do.
But Min-young disagrees with him and admits that people become completely real in their drunken state. Therefore, she meant every word she said earlier and genuinely wants to find what she really wants to do while working at Cyrano.
Those drunken words still bother him, so he beckons her forward to ask exactly why she thinks that she’s a better person than he is. Her answer: “Because you don’t have a heart.”
That’s the exact reason why he’s so good at this job, Byung-hoon retorts. All he has to do is give what the client wants without his emotions dictate his actions.
So if she wants to save herself from getting hurt in the future, she can chuck that idea of sincerity out the window.
Everything goes according to plan in their next scenario. Arang reports from the subway that Jae-in is on her way to her weekly book club when she catches a brief glimpse of Joon-hyuk at the station.
Byung-hoon instructs their client to follow the script as Jae-in trails behind her mystery man, careful to remain unseen. At the designated location, she witnesses two suspicious men (including Moo-jin) converse in the street. Recalling the strange note she found at the library some time ago, she wonders: “Is it drugs?”
She runs forward when she sees Joon-hyuk spring into action. The men disperse and Moo-jin gets on his bike and rides in her direction. Just before he’s about to run her over, Joon-hyuk pulls her out of the street. Now that’s a swoonworthy moment.
Min-young is surprised that Jae-in is the one to suggest dinner, and Byung-hoon corrects her, saying that the issue wasn’t dinner per se, but rather whom she shared it with.
He points out how ironic it is that Min-young is in the business of creating love matches when in reality, she constantly gets rejected. He gives her a word of advice: “The most important thing about romance is to fulfill the other person’s fantasy.”
To do so requires a certain kind of mystery, and for transparent girls like herself, they always end up getting dumped. “Why?” Byung-hoon answers, “Because they tire of you right away.”
That statement puts Min-young on the defensive, and she proclaims that her charm is hidden deep DEEP inside where no one can readily see it. But that’s the very problem, Byung-hoon replies. “That’s not charm, but a delusion.”
He tells her to watch and learn from their client. Min-young scoffs – how is she to believe the words of someone who doesn’t even believe in romance?
We catch up with the budding lovebirds at dinner, where Jae-in acts like a giddy teenage girl around Joon-hyuk. She hangs on his every word until Joon-hyuk is suddenly called away.
Her thoughts drift, and we get a peek inside Jae-in’s mind as she fantasizes about where he’s gone. We see Joon-hyuk engage a roomful of gangsters in a fight, and whips around at the sight of Jae-in.
HA – I love that the audio and video track are in sync with the time period, and it takes the waiter’s interruption to bring her out of her reverie.
While she’s stuck in her fantasy, Joon-hyuk is painted with theater makeup before he’s sent back inside. He feigns injury which triggers her fantasy once more, and remains mysteriously vague when she asks about his line of work.
His elusive nature tugs at Jae-in’s curiosity, but she lays the subject to rest, adding that no matter what he does, she’ll always be on his side. Hook, line, and sinker.
At Seung-pyo’s restaurant, Min-young confides in him, saying that though things are going well for their client, the situation still makes her feel uneasy. Initially drawn to the idea to help people fall in love when she quit her job, she admits that she’s confused whether her job at Cyrano is based on something real or just an illusion.
“And what if it’s not real?” Seung-pyo asks. She falls back on her potato metaphor, and asks what happens if the potato lover gets caught meddling with the restaurant. Will she be fired?
He puts her worries to rest, telling her that she can always come work at his restaurant if she’s ever fired. It’s sweet, but is this a moment of foreshadowing? Then he rises to attend to another customer whose face is hidden from view.
Min-young visits Joon-hyuk at the animal hospital to convey her thoughts about the case. She suggests, “How do you feel about showing Jae-in the real you?” Uh-oh, I’m not getting a good feeling about this.
It’s time to execute the third and final chapter of the operation and Byung-hoon narrates that the secret around Joon-hyuk’s double life will leave confuse Jae-in, which will make her fall in love with their client.
Byung-hoon tries to call Min-young for an update, and isn’t at all surprised when she doesn’t answer. Then we see that it’s because she’s still trying to convince Joon-hyuk that he can win the lady’s heart without Team Cyrano’s help. He agrees.
When Joon-hyuk doesn’t pick up either, Byung-hoon puts an emergency call to the other team members to initiate Plan C.
So Moo-jin drops by the library in order to grab Jae-in’s attention, who recognizes him from the other night. She starts to panic over how to contact Joon-hyuk, and receives a text from him a minute later.
Jae-in calls him back, but since a call to Joon-hyuk also gets automatically forwarded, it’s Byung-hoon who intercepts the call.
Min-young is taken by surprise when Byung-hoon suddenly grabs her by the arm as soon as she arrives at the library.
He says that he thought of executing a new plan since he expected that Min-young would backstab him. To find out what she was up to was child’s play, given that her actions were predictable as usual.
She should know what this means for her future at Cyrano, but he’ll spell it out for her: She’s fired.
Ack – this show keeps on getting better. There’s so much material to glean from a single episode that often times, I feel like I’m missing out on a minute detail that turns out to be crucial to the team’s operation. Every word seems to hold its own weight, and with so many bees at work in the hive, it’s almost like you need two pairs of eyes to keep track of everything that’s going on. This allows for the story to move at a brisk pace that I dearly hope sustains for the rest of the series.
The various perspectives surrounding love and romance is a (sometimes belabored) recurring theme in this series, personified by our leads. Min-young’s idealistic take on romance clashes against Byung-hoon’s realist viewpoints more than once in this episode, and we’ve seen how her meddling has left her jobless twice now. Though her intentions are good, it’s Byung-hoon who drives the point home that her actions do more harm than good. At least for the agency, that is.
Not only does Min-young now have to try and get her job back, she’s tasked to learn how to earn Byung-hoon’s trust again. Best of luck to you there, sista.
Speaking of whom, Byung-hee is an intriguing character to unpack. Already we can see the cracks in that supposed calm and collected temperament of his, and can almost guarantee that he’s harboring some deeper issues. Not that you’d notice of course, given his roundabout and defensive answers regarding anything that hits remotely close to home.
Although he says that he doesn’t believe in romance and love, it may be safe to assume that he doesn’t believe in it anymore. He’s like the electrician whose light bulbs at home are broken or the deli owner whose refrigerator is empty. So you could call him a ringleader who doesn’t house a heart of love nor possesses a desire for one at present. Which is why it’s so entertaining to watch how much it bothers him that Min-young’s words affect him so much. Aw, this Dorothy is just trying to help the Tin Man find his heart.
We still don’t know what the deal is with Seung-pyo aka Master, who is still much of a question mark. All we can assume at this point is that he has some sort of vendetta against Byung-hoon that we have yet to find out. Though we know little to none about their history, we can assume that Moo-jin knows about it. Seung-pyo’s hot-and-cold personality leaves me wanting, and I absolutely love his interactions with Min-young so far. It’s hard to pinpoint where his intentions lie at this point, but he seems to enjoy her presence, and I can’t wait to see how their already chummy relationship continues to develop. Please don’t be evil, Master!
Though there’s still so much to figure out about Lee Chun-hee‘s character, there is of course, one thing that I know for certain: Chunderella, you’ve never looked better.