The Best Hit: Episodes 15-16
Ji-hoon finally gets some advice he really needed to hear—that life is shaped by the choices you make and the opportunities you fail to take. Faced with a fork in the road of his young life, there’s no time to dawdle if he wants to take a shot at everything he’s ever wanted. He may have had his fair share of unfulfilling moments over the years, but he’ll be reminded that the best advice he can ever get is to follow his heart.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Complaining of his growling stomach, Hyun-jae points to the first restaurant he sees. He’s too hungry to wait for a place Woo-seung insists has cheaper and more generous portions and ushers her inside.
He spots Ji-hoon at a neighboring table, just after Hye-ri has confessed her feelings for Ji-hoon. Woo-seung calls out to them, and Ji-hoon stammers to be caught in the middle of a blatant lie. He awkwardly introduces Hye-ri as a fellow trainee.
But Hye-ri corrects him and says she’s not a trainee, and Hyun-jae bluntly observes, “Wow, you’re really pretty.” Cue: a side-eye from Woo-seung.
Woo-seung confirms that she and Hyun-jae are having dinner together because a certain someone blew her off, then leans in to tell Ji-hoon to enjoy his meal with his “ssam-nyeo.”
She later explains to Hyun-jae that the term ssam-nyeo is her twist on “some,” substituting it with ssam [a lettuce wrap]. She protests when Hyun-jae calls her his ssam-nyeo, but he means that she always picks a “fight” (ssam) with him.
Looking over at Ji-hoon, Hyun-jae remarks that the “Yoo Hyun-jae power” must be strong, and gives Hye-ri a thumbs-up of approval at Ji-hoon’s choice of a lady. He then analyzes Woo-seung… and folds his thumb away. HA.
He shifts gears and offers to make a wrap for Woo-seung. He piles on the raw garlic and then Woo-seung engages him in a sudden round of rock-paper-scissors. She wins and stuffs the garlic wrap into his mouth.
Hye-ri catches Ji-hoon’s flush of jealousy and accurately guesses that Woo-seung must be the girl he likes. After dinner, she follows Ji-hoon following Hyun-jae and Woo-seung, who stop to play an arcade claw machine thanks to a flyer.
Hyun-jae is impressed by the prizes and tells Woo-seung to take her pick because he’ll win it for her in one try. Hye-ri points out the doll she wants, and Woo-seung tauntingly tells Ji-hoon that his sweetheart wants him to win her a doll.
Hyun-jae and Ji-hoon take turns battling the claw machine, and everyone groans whenever the claw slips at the last second. Ji-hoon takes note when Woo-seung and Hyun-jae get particularly close. Later, Woo-seung starts crying over her last two coins, but she lets Hyun-jae try one last time and kisses the coin for good luck.
Ji-hoon pushes him out of the way and scans the box like a complicated math equation. He puffs up with pride when he wins a prize, but before he can give the doll to Woo-seung, Hye-ri swoops in to claim it for herself. She says she’ll treasure it even though it’s not the exact one she wanted and calls Ji-hoon “oppa,” which Woo-seung mockingly repeats in his ear.
The friends return home in time to see Kwang-jae close up shop for the night. He declines Ji-hoon’s help in bringing the chairs inside, then he learns from a phone call that Bo-hee took the minor role of the kimbap in the commercial after all.
She’s a good sport about it because it’s a paid gig, believing that it’s due time for her to abandon her dainty image. Kwang-jae refuses to see that happen.
Woo-seung catches Ji-hoon returning from the bakery the following morning and teases him about his new ssam-nyeo. She wonders why a such a pretty girl would like a guy like him, and MC Drill gasps to hear that his buddy is the object of Hye-ri’s affection.
Hyun-jae checks that the coast is clear before inviting Kwang-jae upstairs to expound on his multiple timeline theory via his suspect board: He’s Hyun-jae who traveled from 1993 to 2017, whereas the other Hyun-jae whom Kwang-jae remembers lived until he vanished in 1994.
What he has yet to figure out is what happened to Other Hyun-jae in the months leading up to the disappearance. Kwang-jae, who has barely paid attention to this explanation, says he doesn’t know either because he and Other Hyun-jae lost touch.
He does admit to being investigated by the police as Hyun-jae’s former manager, which reminds Hyun-jae that Kwang-jae is a prime suspect in this case. Kwang-jae is more interested in catching flies than in all this talk of multiple Hyun-jaes.
Hyun-jae moves on, asking if Kwang-jae ever ripped this studio apart in the years afterward. But Kwang-jae reiterates that nothing ever turned up and after he disappeared, Mi-young—Mal-sook’s mother and CEO Lee’s daughter—resided in this rooftop apartment. Ah well, that explains Mal-sook.
Kwang-jae says he and Hyun-jae were bitter enemies after he literally walked out of their lives. Then Hyun-jae shows him his music notebook and notes that his unreleased songs are now hit singles. Kwang-jae considers that circumstantial evidence, but what Hyun-jae knows is that Young-jae and MJ are connected.
Furthermore, Hyun-jae believes the bagfuls of cash are still in this apartment, and when Kwang-jae questions how he could possibly know that, Hyun-jae shows him that his handwriting is slowly showing up in the pages of his copy of the notebook.
That tells him as time passes, the events leading up to Other Hyun-jae’s disappearance are happening back in the past. Pointing to the words “rooftop” and “floor,” Hyun-jae said he checked every square foot of this studio, but it was all concrete flooring. However, there’s one place he no longer has access to: the storage closet, aka Woo-seung’s room.
Young-jae indulges his rich wife with a massage and gripes about Kwang-jae’s stubborn attachment to the World Agency building. His wife doesn’t understand why he wants that old building so badly, and Young-jae says he wants to build his own settlement, his own Star Punch Town. Lol, you mean like SM Town?
His rich wife Cathy proposes a different plan: if they lend Kwang-jae the money, he’ll have to repay them instead of the bank, which means the building is theirs if he defaults. Young-jae praises his wife for coming up with a brilliant plan, and she pops out to attend a meeting. He then sits at his desk and flips through the pages of Hyun-jae’s notebook and stops at the page about the money hidden somewhere in the rooftop studio.
Now that Woo-seung is working at Star Punch, she wonders if she’ll see Ji-hoon on a regular basis. But Ji-hoon plans on quitting the trainee life, explaining that he’d already decided to quit if he didn’t make the debut team this time. She’s the first person to know, and she asks if he won’t regret his decision. Remembering Dad’s rant at Young-jae, he says he won’t regret it because he shouldn’t have chosen this path.
He sadly notes how her first day is his last here, adding that their paths never seem to cross. Woo-seung doesn’t pick up on his meaning and throws an arm around him, asking him how things are going with his ssam-nyeo.
Ji-hoon defensively answers that he likes someone else, and when she asks who that is, he says it’s someone he’s known for a while. Woo-seung says that narrows down the possibilities and is surprised to hear that it’s someone she knows too.
Ruffling his hair, she admits that she’s happy to see that Ji-hoon likes someone. She asks if he confessed his feelings for that special someone yet, and he answers that every attempt to do so went awry.
Like the time Ji-hoon waited for Woo-seung after school with flowers and chocolate back in high school, which was the day she introduced him to her new boyfriend. He tried talking to her alone anyway under the excuse that “the day was good, the day was just so,” but then a clap of thunder roared overhead.
Or the time he bucked up the courage to try again some years later, but every time he started his confession with “I…” the “like you” portion was drowned out by outside noise, like the sound of dogs barking or a passing car or bird droppings landing on his face. Woo-seung advises that Ji-hoon profess his love without any hesitation and wishes him the best of luck with a tiny pat on his butt.
Hyun-jae, meanwhile, inputs various passcodes into the digital door lock, hoping that one of the combinations will let him into Woo-seung’s room. He doesn’t get why Woo-seung is so private and complains that he’s got a lot to do here. But then he gets locked out from too many attempts and lets out a long frustrated cry. D’aww.
Ji-hoon packs up his locker and remembers his first day at Star Punch when he first met MC Drill and thought he was a sunbae. That illusion quickly came crashing down when MC Drill greeted their actual sunbaes with a deep bow, a memory he looks back on with fondness. Ji-hoon stares at the nametag on his locker for a long beat, then rips it off and walks out with his things.
Woo-seung starts her workday carrying heavy boxes. Unable to see, she accidentally runs into MJ, who’s pleased to learn that “Second Place” scored the internship here. He offers to help her carry the boxes, but she insists that she’s fine and a box tumbles onto the ground.
MJ winces in exaggerated pain, acting like she hurt his wrist. Next thing we know, Woo-seung is replicating his autograph on dozens of his CDs while MJ nurses his “sprained wrist” with ice. She gasps when he says he’s got about a thousand more to sign thanks to an upcoming concert, so she makes a phone call.
Hyun-jae picks up with a loud “What?” and barks that he’s busy right now. He can’t bring himself to ask Woo-seung for her passcode and simply hangs up, much to her annoyance. She takes a deep breath before launching into game-plan mode and orders MJ to bring her the thousand CDs and a glass of water. She then signs each and every copy with precision and efficiency while MJ snoozes on the couch.
Over at the bakery, Bo-hee gently asks Kwang-jae if they should hire a part-timer since she’ll soon be busy with filming commercials and other activities. They barely hang up the help wanted ad before Hyun-jae plucks it off the wall and says they’ve found their part-timer—him.
Bo-hee belatedly recognizes him as Ji-hoon’s friend, and when Kwang-jae protests, Hyun-jae just ignores him. She sits him down for an interview and asks for his name. Slightly flustered, Hyun-jae fishes for an appropriate name and softens the consonant of his nickname “Dda-bong [thumbs-up]” to “Da-bong.”
She’s amused by his funny name and asks how old he is. He says he cannot divulge any more personal information, adding that everyone has a secret they don’t wish to share, while the soundtrack from A Better Tomorrow II plays softly in the background. She’s sympathetic to his woes and he takes her hands, which snaps her out of the moment.
Kwang-jae declares that they’ll be hiring a female part-timer instead, and Hyun-jae is confident that he can win over the female customers’ hearts with gentle kindness. Whereas Kwang-jae is completely against hiring Hyun-jae, Bo-hee gives a wholehearted yes because he feels like family and makes her feel warm and fuzzy inside. He assures them that he’s also a great driver, and the way he says it reminds her of Hyun-jae.
Grandpa returns home from the bank with bad news: If they don’t pay up in a week’s time, the building will be put up for auction. Kwang-jae says he already tried to borrow money from everywhere he could, and informs Grandpa that Bo-hee accepted the commercial gig.
Woo-seung lets Hyun-jae in when he comes knocking at her door. Having finally gained entry, he apologizes for snapping at her earlier and tells her about his new part-time job at the bakery while using his foot to check the floorboards.
He jumps when she growls at him for dawdling in her room, and that’s when he hears a distinctive creak. He obeys when she tells him to leave, but not before he bends down to ask her for her passcode. She whispers that there’s no way she’d tell him and commands him to get out.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Itching to get out of the house, Hyun-jae invites himself to Woo-seung and Ji-hoon’s outing. Ji-hoon had hoped to spend time alone with Woo-seung since she’s busy working during the week, but she points out that Hyun-jae will start working too and lets Hyun-jae tag along.
Hyun-jae travels the city like an excited kid, jumping and pointing at every marvel. He swings by the hair salon for a new ‘do, and his chopped locks leave Woo-seung momentarily speechless. She mutters that he looks like a person now, and Ji-hoon wonders if he should get his hair cut.
They follow Hyun-jae into an appliance store, where Hyun-jae says he finally remembers who he is. They tune in, but then roll their eyes when Hyun-jae claims that he’s from the future and issues commands to the smart refrigerator to prove that he brought it with him from his time.
Hyun-jae rejoices when he finds a coin lying in the street, then pulls Woo-seung into the nearby arcade to try his hand at the claw machine. He wins a doll on the first try and gives it to Woo-seung as an early birthday gift, taking a mental note of the date.
He then asks what class she was in during high school, which Ji-hoon perceives as hints of romantic interest in Woo-seung, whereas Hyun-jae is just trying to narrow down the possibilities for her passcode. He grumbles when his plan is foiled because Ji-hoon tells him to stop poking around in Woo-seung’s business.
MC Drill feels left out when everyone else returns home together that night. He rolls over to see Hyun-jae admiring appliances on his phone, which only adds to the many oddities in Hyun-jae’s character. He thinks it’s weird that Hyun-jae likes old dramas, never had triangle kimbap before, and is overall old-fashioned.
He concludes that Hyun-jae isn’t from here and ventures, “You’re… from overseas.” He then speaks in English and Hyun-jae plays along before gesturing behind MC Drill’s back that he’s nuts. Meanwhile, Woo-seung places the doll Hyun-jae won for her on her desk with a smile, calling it a friend for the decapitated teddy bear she brought with her.
Hyun-jae is insulted when he’s tasked to be the occasional road manager for Kwang-jae’s idol girl group. He mocks Kwang-jae behind his back for being so chivalrous with Bo-hee, and when Woo-seung comments that she’d like to get out of the city, he tells her to tag along.
But she has to head into work today and shares that she knows of a great little-known jajangmyun restaurant in Paju. It was the last meal her birth father treated her to as a young girl before he left her for good, and that bowl of jajangmyun was topped off with a fried egg.
She always meant to return to that restaurant, but she never found it again. The only other detail she remembers was that it was in the middle of nowhere, where a restaurant shouldn’t be. Hyun-jae can’t get that story out of his mind while he drives the girl group to their gig.
Kwang-jae takes note that Bo-hee’s cough is getting worse, but she insists that she’ll be fine. She hopes that the money from this commercial will repay their outstanding debt and put an end to Kwang-jae’s worries. She mentions that she was recently looking through some old photos but couldn’t find a single one of Kwang-jae because he was always the one behind the camera. But she does remember that he was pretty cute back then, and he asks how cute she thought he was.
Their faces fall when they arrive on set and learn that the star of the commercial is none other than frenemy and former teen idol rival HA SOO-YOUNG (cameo by singer Kan Mi-yeon). Soo-young pointedly remarks on how popular Bo-hee was among the boys, then cracks up once she sees Bo-hee’s cartoonish makeup.
Soo-young spits up again once Bo-hee is in her kimbap costume, and Kwang-jae looks on as Bo-hee does one falling take after another nonstop. He gets increasingly frustrated with the director, but then Soo-young gets pulled away to film her drama. Bo-hee has no choice but to wait in her costume, and Kwang-jae helps her get comfortable.
Woo-seung’s stomach growls when she returns home from work, so Ji-hoon offers to whip her up some ramyun. Ji-hoon’s phone happens to ring at that moment—it’s Hye-ri, whose caller ID “Pretty Do Hye-ri” is enclosed with hearts. Turns out Hye-ri edited her name on Ji-hoon’s phone when he went to the bathroom at the restaurant, and Ji-hoon swears to Woo-seung that he didn’t change it himself.
He answers the call while Woo-seung leans in to eavesdrop on Hye-ri yelling at him for quitting the trainee life without letting her know. He abruptly ends the call and doesn’t pick up when she tries calling back.
Woo-seung asks if Hye-ri is the girl he likes. He denies it, to which Woo-seung presses that there’s no such thing as secrets between friends. He gets angry when she insists that the call sounded like a lovers’ quarrel, barking that he’ll just give it a shot with Hye-ri if that will make Woo-seung happy. He tells her to make her own ramyun and storms out.
Hours later, Bo-hee is still waiting on set and feeling ill. She sends Kwang-jae off to fetch her some water, and then Soo-young finally shows up again, not the least bit apologetic about the delay. Having had enough, Bo-hee gives Soo-young a piece of her mind, berating her for putting a whole production crew on hold today.
Bo-hee pulls rank as her sunbae and Soo-young’s manager intervenes, asking if she’s proud of being old, and actually starts pushing her around. Kwang-jae witnesses the scene and runs over to clock the manager right in the face. Both men are prepared for a full-on fight, when Bo-hee screams and faints.
Thankfully, they find out in the ambulance that Bo-hee only has a high fever, but Kwang-jae blames himself for the whole mess. She admits that she faked the fainting to stop the fight because she heard that the other manager knows martial arts, and didn’t want him to get beaten up. He insists that the best fighters are those who fought in the streets, like himself. That makes her laugh, while he quietly winces in pain over the one punch he threw.
Hyun-jae has to refrain himself from scowling at the idol girl group on their way back from their gig. But then he slams on the brakes when he sees a tiny Chinese restaurant in the middle of nowhere.
He pokes his head inside to see if they’re open, then confirms that this place tops off their jajangmyun with a fried egg just like Woo-seung described. He gets even more excited when the owner says he can take an order to-go.
Kwang-jae and Ji-hoon go out for drinks, where Ji-hoon thanks Dad for staying by his mother’s side and apologizes for disappointing him. Dad admits that he was petty for being jealous that Ji-hoon was a trainee at Young-jae’s agency of all places, and encourages Ji-hoon to get everything off of his chest.
Dad blames himself for all of Ji-hoon’s woes; it all started when he didn’t let Ji-hoon publicly acknowledge that Bo-hee was his mother and barred him from pursuing his dream of becoming a singer. He wonders what right he had in saying all of that when he isn’t even Ji-hoon’s biological father. Ji-hoon sheds silent tears.
Dad admits that he thought that was the only way of protecting Ji-hoon from getting hurt by the industry. He believed everything would work out if he stuck it out for a little longer, but he learned that he missed all the great opportunities that came his way by putting things off.
Ji-hoon shares that he plans on quitting the trainee life, but Dad disagrees with the notion of not doing what you want while you still can. He hopes that Ji-hoon doesn’t lead a frustrating life like he did, and that Ji-hoon will do and say everything his heart tells him to. They commemorate this with a shot for their family and another for Ji-hoon’s future. Something suddenly dawns in Ji-hoon’s head and he runs off with a quick apology.
Hyun-jae zooms home at lightning speed to make sure Woo-seung’s jajangmyun doesn’t get soggy, making the idol girls reel from carsickness. At the same time, Ji-hoon runs through the streets trying to get a hold of Woo-seung, who has just left the convenience store when she answers her phone.
It’s Hyun-jae’s call she answers, and he barks at her to hurry up and come home. He waits with her bowl of jajangmyun and tries his hand at unlocking her door once more. His first few attempts are incorrect, so he enters her birthday… and the door unlocks.
Hyun-jae hurriedly checks the floor until he hears a hollow sound in one area. But before he can attempt to remove the floorboard, he hears Woo-seung’s voice outside and looks back at the bowl of jajangmyun.
But before Woo-seung can come inside, Ji-hoon catches up to her out on the rooftop and breathlessly says he wants to reveal to her who he likes. She says to tell him inside, but he whips her around and holds her shoulders to get her full attention. “There’s someone I’ve liked for a long time, someone you know,” he starts, “It’s you. You, Choi Woo-seung. You’re the one I like.”
“As Park Woo-seung, Yoon Woo-seung, and even now as Choi Woo-seung, I’ve liked you as a woman, not just a friend,” he confesses. Just on the other side of the door, Hyun-jae holds the bowl of jajangmyun in his hand and whistles after hearing Ji-hoon’s confession.
Today’s epilogue is Jay-2’s music video for “Say It”: Hyun-jae and Young-jae bust a move alongside their backup dancers in a tunnel and underneath an overpass while rocking matching plaid outfits. I love everything about this ’90s-style music video, from the baggy clothes to Young-jae making cheesy shadow hand puppets in the tunnel.
Well, it’s about damn time, Ji-hoon. No matter what Woo-seung’s answer may be, I’m glad he was finally forthright about his feelings for her after harboring a longtime crush she knew nothing about. I was happiest to see that he put Dad’s warm encouragement to follow his heart into action right away, which led to a big turning point for his character.
If I had to guess, though, I’d expect Woo-seung not to reciprocate his feelings under the drama logic that Fate has always thrown a wrench into Ji-hoon’s confessions. Even Ji-hoon recognizes that the stars never appear to align for them, though sometimes he was the one who created that missed opportunity by speaking up too late. And since he and Woo-seung are such good friends, I’m bracing myself for the inevitable fallout that happens when a friendship turns into awkward unrequited love.
Conversely Hyun-jae and Woo-seung are getting closer, though I do think Hyun-jae is too transfixed on his quest to find out what happened to Other Hyun-jae to think of anything else at the moment. He doesn’t appear to show any outward romantic interest in Woo-seung in the same way Ji-hoon does, but it’s telling that Fate is consistently working in his favor, like how he won her a prize with a coin he found on the street or coincidentally stumbled upon the restaurant Woo-seung went to once with her father as a child. At this point in the series, Hyun-jae doesn’t appear to be jealous about Ji-hoon’s feelings for Woo-seung, though that might change now that he knows about them. But he also has bigger things to worry about, like why’s here in the first place.
Which brings us to the money Other Hyun-jae hid beneath the floorboards of the rooftop studio. It’s refreshing to see our hero confirm the multiple timelines theory instead of trying to explain the possible broken logic with one timeline. Now we know for certain why Young-jae wants that building so badly, though I still have to wonder how a copy of Hyun-jae’s music notebook still fell into his hands. But now my heart aches at the thought of Bo-hee pining after Other Hyun-jae, because that reinforces the idea that this Hyun-jae doesn’t have any feelings for her.
I admit that I thought knowing Ji-hoon’s lineage would be an important factor, but now that isn’t as important as the relationships he’s building with both of his dads. Kwang-jae is a huge influence on his life while Hyun-jae can be the driving force he needs to chase after his dreams. In fact, I would be perfectly satisfied if Hyun-jae doesn’t foster any romances with anyone in 2017 if he has a greater role to play in being an encouraging force to everyone he interacts with. Who needs romance when you can have true bromance?
- The Best Hit: Episodes 1-2
- Premiere Watch: My Sassy Girl, Seven Day Queen, Best Hit, Duel
- Yoon Shi-yoon shows off his idol genius in The Best Hit
- Cha Tae-hyun brings in several high-class cameos for The Best Hit
- Retro fun at the world’s hottest attic room in The Best Hit’s new posters
- ’90s idols and accidental kisses in KBS’s The Best Hit
- Lee Kwang-soo makes cameo appearance in The Best Hit
- Carefree twentysomethings of idol variety-drama The Best Hit
- Cha Tae-hyun joins variety drama The Best Hit as actor and director
- KBS variety drama The Best Hit casts Yoon Shi-yoon, Kim Min-jae