Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 14
Ah, there are a few nice twists in this episode, zipping us nicely into the final stretch. My favorite aspect of this show is its quick, light touch, which comes as a breath of fresh air. It’s also the reason why this show doesn’t get under my skin and doesn’t feel addictive in the way that others might, but it’s nice to have a break from that sometimes. The pacing allows us to dip into conflict here and there, but it never drags the angst out long enough to feel tiresome. It’s essentially the drama equivalent of a beach read, maybe with margarita in hand.
SONG OF THE DAY
Raspberry Field – “She Was Right” [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Byung-hoon takes on Master’s case, and as he wraps up the debriefing meeting with the team, Min-young arrives. The three guys all scramble to look nonchalant, which they’re terrible at, and she wonders why they’re so scattered. Arang blurts, “Why would be be hiding anything from you?” Min-young: “I said scattered, not hiding… Wait, are you hiding something from me?”
She reports on her day’s worth of (totally irrelevant) surveillance on the decoy not-a-real-target, which amounts to eight hours of supermarket clerking. Byung-hoon orders her to repeat the process tomorrow, which, ha.
The real surveillance job goes to our boys, who head out to collect intel on Min-young’s ex-boyfriend from university. But since the boys are totally undermining Byung-hoon’s plans, I guess it’s not a real mission, either: Arang even tells Moo-jin to half-ass the job. Moo-jin is all, “Whoops. Working hard has become a habit.”
Arang comes up with one idea to erase Byung-hoon’s work—after each scheme designed to make Min-young fall for Seung-pyo, the boys will swoop in to negate its effects. I love it.
On to the ex, who works in marketing and seems like a bit of a prat. He’s got a name but I might just call him Douchey Ex, which is probably all we need to know about him. That, and he plays baseball with a team of college buddies and loooves his car.
Byung-hoon’s first step is for Seung-pyo to engage Min-young’s help in delivering lunch orders. It’s a way for them to enter the Douchey Ex’s orbit and, I presume, allow Seung-pyo to shine in comparison. Byung-hoon gets to the baseball field first and watches the team warming up, and gets passive-aggressive about throwing the ball back at the cheating ex. That’s so cute.
Douchebag heads down to pick up the lunches with a couple bro-dudes in tow, and they all snigger to recognize Min-young and automatically assume she’s working a part-time delivery job. Guh, I’m sure we all know dickweeds like this, and I just want to slap them.
Seung-pyo steps up and says she’s helping just for the day as a special favor, and puts his arm around her. She isn’t a liar so when Douchey asks if this is her boyfriend she says no, though Seung-pyo adds, “Not yet” and clarifies that he likes her one-sidedly.
The guys do the frat-boy thing of telling Min-young that she’s playing too hard to get, which is “unlike her,” which also, RAGE. Douchey steps in to give Seung-pyo some bro-to-bro “advice” about thinking twice, because Min-young could turn stalker on him, like she did in school.
Min-young does try to stand up for herself by saying that he’s misrepresenting things, but it’s a feeble attempt in light of his ridicule. She gives up and urges Seung-pyo not to kick up a fuss, so Seung-pyo shoots them a glare and joins her in the car.
Byung-hoon watches from around the corner, fuming on her behalf, and comms over to Seung-pyo that they can’t leave on this note. Seung-pyo checks with her, asking if she really wants to leave things like this, and she admits that she has a hard time talking back to this guy.
Just then, Douchey does the supremely douchey think of rapping on the car hood (ugh, hate people who do this) and tells her she forgot to give them lunch: “You can’t let your humiliation keep us hungry.” Oh really? That spurs both Seung-pyo and Byung-hoon to (simultaneous, split-screened) rage, and Seung-pyo screeches forward… and smashes into Douchey’s car. Omo omo! Now that I wasn’t expecting. I’m sad for Seung-pyo’s car to be sacrificed thusly, but also really gratified.
Seung-pyo tells Min-young that he’s now gotten his message across, and this is her chance to do the same and tell jerkwad what she feels. So while her assface ex is crying over his car (literally), she musters her courage and faces him.
She says she’d truly liked him at one time and therefore kept quiet, but she was the one who dumped him when he cheated on her. Was he so embarrassed to be dumped that he had to go around spreading lies and treating her like a stalker? “Did you have to be this pathetic?”
McDouchebags mumbles a little, though he’s got no leg to stand on, and she shoots him a disdainful glare before getting back in the car feeling much lighter. Seung-pyo gives her a thumbs-up, and she thanks him for his help.
Seung-pyo pauses to tell the Douchenozzle to bill him for the car repairs, then drives off like a cool mofo. Byung-hoon mutters to himself that Seung-pyo had to go off-script and be extra-cool for no reason. Lol.
Min-young suggests a little baseball break for themselves, which takes them to the batting cages. As she bats, Seung-pyo asks how she can remain so positive about romance given her experience, and she says that there were more good memories than bad. After all, those moments of being in love with somebody are your happiest.
Then it’s his turn at bat, and he’s hilariously terrible. (He flings away the bat entirely on one swing.)
Byung-hoon returns to the agency, where the two boys have a ready excuse for their failure to show up at the mission locale: They’d gotten into a fender-bender and had to wait for insurance. Byung-hoon walks off silently with shoulders slumping, and Moo-jin wonders, “Did he not know the mission would make him feel bad?”
Min-young and Seung-pyo return to the restaurant (with their stacks of boxed lunches), and trade thanks for having such a pleasant day together. Aw. I almost wish they could end up together, because they really are cute and well-matched. But the heart wants what the heart wants…
Seung-pyo’s happy smile fades when Yi-seol appears, though, which is a feeling I understand. I don’t know why I dislike her because she hasn’t done anything to make her objectionable, but… eh. That’s all I can say about her. Eh.
While Byung-hoon checks his watch for the umpteenth time and grumbles about how late Min-young is to return, the boys announce that they’re heading out. It’s all part of Arang’s counter-mission, and they intercept Min-young at the door. He asks her for a favor, and she readily agrees to do some doll-eye-gluing for him (one of his many part-time jobs).
Moo-jin sets a timer to the fuse box, then heads out for a date with Hye-ri. Power outage in 3… 2… 1…
Yi-seol and Seung-pyo sit down for an awkward chat. She tells him that Byung-hoon and Do-il were quite close—so much so that Seung-pyo might not understand. Which is quite similar to what Seung-pyo said to Byung-hoon about his own relationship with his brother. She does have a lingering question, though, which nobody has explained clearly: What is going on with Cyrano that prevents its reopening as a theater? If there’s no debt, why not restart it right now?
Seung-pyo stiffens at the question and gives a vague “I don’t know,” and has a question in return. It’s more of a hunch he’s confirming, that Yi-seol seems quite concerned about Byung-hoon, and that’s something he says can’t happen.
She understands what he’s getting at, which is a misplaced sort of blame toward two people he holds responsible for his brother’s death. (She was driving the car.) She guesses that if she were to stay with Byung-hoon (or be with him), he’d hate them both. He doesn’t disagree.
Moo-jin takes Hye-ri to a restaurant with a view on their date, and she guesses that they’re matchmaking with Byung-hoon and Min-young. There’s something a little bitter in the way she comments on Byung-hoon not knowing his own feelings while dictating other people’s, maybe disapproving or maybe even derisive. Hm.
Then she confirms whether Moo-jin likes her before saying she hopes he won’t hate her in the future, “No matter what I do.” He doesn’t linger on that because she surprises him with a kiss, but alarm bells are ringing all over this scene.
Min-young freaks out at the power outage and sticks close to Byung-hoon, not wanting to be left in the dark alone. He doesn’t know how to work the fuse box so they’re stuck waiting it out, and work side by side amidst candlelight. She even comments on how this feels like they’re in the middle of one of their operations, designed to get the couple closer together, and sidles closer. He shuffles away and wonders where the boys are.
Outside, of course, prepared to wait it out all night. Ha, they’ve set up a tent and camp stove and everything.
Inside, Min-young nods off while Byung-hoon pulls out an old photo of his high school trio. He burns it, recognizing that it’s time to let go of those feelings, but assures Do-il that he’ll still revive the theater.
Then Min-young drops her head on his shoulder, asleep. Byung-hoon leans her the other way and tucks her in with a blanket… but tells her (ergo, himself), “I’ll stay since you’re scared of the dark.”
The boys see this from their computer screen, and send Seung-pyo an unidentified text: Go next door to the agency right now. So he does, and his jaw clenches to see the cozy scene of Min-young sleeping on the couch, with Byung-hoon also asleep on the other end. And there’s the half-burned photo, which looks ominous taken out of context like this.
Thus in the morning, Seung-pyo declares his new decision: He’ll have to take over the theater.
Min-young wakes up in the empty theater, where the possibly unhinged Hawaiian shirt man reappears. This time he’s ready to request their services, and names Hye-ri as his target. Min-young gently refuses, saying that she’s already got a boyfriend, and her teammates arrive to back her up.
But Hawaiian Shirt sneers that their so-called principles never stopped them before. He was referred here by a “friend” who isn’t the type to lie. Hm, is this a revenge thing then? A mission gone awry?
Byung-hoon doesn’t know what he’s talking about, which gets Hawaiian shirt even more upset: “You don’t even remember the things you’ve done?” We’re not left to wonder too long, because then Chef Mi-jin storms in clamoring for “those con men.” Aw, and hers was the story I liked best. Bummer.
Byung-hoon and Min-young try to reason with her gently, saying that they understand how she might feel upset but the mission turned out well and her chef boyfriend Dal-in is a decent guy. Byung-hoon adds that they got her revenge on her bastard ex, too.
But Mi-jin isn’t hearing it—the ends do not justify the means, and what they’ve done is profited off of manipulating people’s emotions. She slaps Byung-hoon and storms out with a warning that this isn’t over. Hawaiian Shirt sneaks a device onto a shelf, then follows her out.
The guys wonder how she found out, and it isn’t because chef client Dal-in said anything. (Byung-hoon confirms it, and notes that Dal-in can’t do much other than cry. Aw.) Apparently somebody sent Mi-jin an email to tip her off, which is certainly strange.
Then the loan shark goons swing by for another trip up to the rooftop. Byung-hoon protests that he made the payment this month. But since crafty Seung-pyo’s behind all this, I’m sure he’s thought of all the loose ends.
The goons tell Byung-hoon he no longer has to make payments—all he has to do is move out of the theater within ten days. Orders from the hyungnim. That’s when Seung-pyo makes his entrance. Oh, we’re outing him now? Interesting.
Min-young rifles through paperwork trying to locate receipts to prove payment… and finds a business card for Douchey Ex. She wonders why would Byung-hoon have this. Next to it is Seung-pyo’s business card. Not incriminating by themselves, but now this is pinging her suspicion-o-meter and she delves deeper, looking for casefiles.
And there it is: her dossier.
Seung-pyo identifies himself as both Do-il’s younger brother and the loan shark who took on his debt. Now he means to take the theater back, since he can’t leave it in the hands of his brother’s betrayer and killer.
The sneering raises Byung-hoon’s hackles, and he sends a fist into Seung-pyo’s jaw: “Do you know what I meant by coming back?” Seung-pyo returns the punch, saying he doesn’t much care.
Byung-hoon wonders why Seung-pyo changed his mind so suddenly, and guesses it was because of Min-young. He drops the case.
Seung-pyo calls it an excuse, saying that he never had any intention of working on the case properly from the start: “You were always a coward. To my brother, and to Min-young too.” He tells him to move out.
Byung-hoon returns to the office to find Min-young clicking through the computer files. It’s all a lie, right? She asks him to tell her it’s all a misunderstanding. Instead, he confirms it.
Hurt, she asks if he did it to get rid of her, knowing how she felt about him. He tells her he’ll be quitting, to which she asks, “Do you think quitting makes it over?”
In frustration, he retorts, “What did you expect from me? Did you think you mean something to me?” Stung, she calls him the worst, operating with brain and no heart. “Fine, I’ll disappear from your sight, forever.”
She leaves in tears, and the boys hang their heads. Byung-hoon tries to call and waits all day, but there’s no sign of her. Eventually a car pulls up to the side of the road, presumably to give her a ride, though we don’t see who.
And later, Byung-hoon gets an ominous text message with an attached photo, of a bound and gagged Min-young.
Uh… that’s scenario’s gonna twist, right? Because a last-minute kidnapping… meh.
Everything up to that, though, I enjoyed. This episode was like a collection of every aspect of the whole agency premise, explored just a little to give us a taste of potential conflicts without belaboring any one in particular—an efficient episode, in that sense.
It’s nice to have a case come back and bite them in the ass, especially after they’ve patted themselves on the backs and forgotten all about it. The lives of the clients go on, though, so Hawaiian Man’s outrage seems fitting—you manipulate a life and then you can’t even be bothered to remember when I’m yelling at you about it?
To play the apologist briefly, I’ve never had deep moral qualms about the nature of this business. Part of that is because Cyrano is a pleasantly breezy watch that never lingers on any one bit of angst for long enough to cause me any level of grief, but it’s also because I feel like there was enough wiggle room in the scenarios to explain it, mostly.
Certainly in a real-world scenario an agency like Cyrano is just asking for litigation, but in a drama sense I actually think they have done a fairly good job establishing scenarios and then allowing for their clientele to shine. In the firefighter-nurse storyline, the team made sure that both sets of feelings were engaged, and ready to step back when they thought one side might not want the match. There’s a line there between outright scamming and persuasion, and there’s a case to be made in defending the persuasion end of things. Some cases are definitely better than others, such as the one with Jung Yumi, who only wanted help in bolstering her own courage. Others are potentially more problematic, as Mi-jin argues.
Even in the best scenario, though, you have to admit that knowing situations were engineered takes the luster off, even if the feelings engaged were genuine. For instance, Seung-pyo’s lunch delivery mission—he behaved exactly as I would have expected him to act, with or without a director pulling strings. In fact, you could argue that Seung-pyo has no need of the agency’s “help,” and might be doing it more to stick it to Byung-hoon than for the actual romantic aid. But once Min-young knows that the case was set up, there’s no getting around the feeling that she’s been manipulated. If only Seung-pyo had continued his suit on his own merits… He may have still ended up without the girl, but at least she wouldn’t have questioned his sincerity. Which may be exactly why the Seung-pyo thing was doomed from the start.
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 13
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 12
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 11
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 10
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 9
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 8
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 7
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 6
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 5
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 4
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 3
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 2
- Dating Agency Cyrano: Episode 1