The Best Hit: Episodes 23-24
Now we’re really getting somewhere. Important revelations will threaten to put a strain on more than one relationship, for both family and friends. For some of our characters, the coming days will be a turning point in their lives as they build new dreams and protect valuable memories. It would be nice to preserve the rooftop friendships that have been built so far, but it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes to light.
EPISODE 23 RECAP
As Woo-seung cooks porridge for Hyun-jae, she thinks back to being woken up by his touch. Unaware that Hyun-jae’s heart was pounding, she noticed that his face was still red, which he attributed to his fever. Having followed an online recipe, she hopes her cooking will still be edible.
Hyun-jae sits outside wrapped in a blanket, happily thinking of the same memory. He tells her that he loves porridge, but then stares blankly at the finished product. Woo-seung tells him to eat up even if it tastes bad because he needs his strength, but he tells her to taste it first: “What if I get sicker after eating this?”
She figures that he must be feeling better if he’s joking around again and encourages him to eat. She looks expectantly as he takes a spoonful and remarks, “Mmm… it’s bland.” She fetches him some soy sauce and obediently raises the dish so Hyun-jae can reach with his spoon.
He takes another bite and repeats, “Mmm…” before stating, “Kimchi.” She hurries to get him some, only to freeze when he moans for water, too. She thinks he can fetch water for himself, but he whines, “But I’m siiiiiccckkkk.”
He grates her nerves when he has her all but feed him the water and complains to get the perfect size of kimchi on his spoon. Eating it once more, Hyun-jae says again, “Mmm… ” and finishes, “It’s not bad this way.” He assures her that it tastes fine now, which makes her smile.
Now she complains about him waiting for her in the rain and he gripes that she was the one studying for hours. He feels there’s no need to thank him, then demands a fried egg. She tells him to just eat the porridge as is, so Hyun-jae starts coughing forcefully… and immediately stops when she gets up to make him an egg. Throwing the blanket off of him, he joyfully digs in.
As soon as Kwang-jae and Ji-hoon return from their overnight fishing trip, Kwang-jae is called out to Dongdaemun in the hopes to get a regular gig for his idol girl group. Ji-hoon asks for a ride so he can get his broken watch checked out, and then reminds Dad to keep the promise he made last night. Dad replies that he made no vow, just that he’d consider Ji-hoon’s offer.
Upstairs, Ji-hoon finds Woo-seung folding up the blankets and asks if she slept out in the common space. She stammers an explanation that her lock is broken, but when Hyun-jae emerges from the bathroom, Ji-hoon quickly realizes that the two were all alone last night.
He grabs his broken watch from the nightstand and puts it in his backpack… and then sees an identical-looking watch on his desk. Puzzled, he takes out the other watch and compares the two. His eyes widen to see that they both stopped at the same time and bear the same engraving.
He hurriedly places one watch on the desk before Hyun-jae returns from the bathroom and notes that it’s broken. Hyun-jae calls his broken watch more like a lucky charm and asks if they can chat.
They head down to the bakery, where Hyun-jae cuts to the chase and admits that he lied to Ji-hoon. He muses that he tried to deny it but there was no use, and sighs, “I… think I like Choi Woo-seung. No, I like her.”
Ji-hoon scoffs, saying that this confession comes as no surprise to him. He leaves a confused Hyun-jae in his wake: “How did he know when I didn’t?”
Kwang-jae worries over CEO Lee appearing more tired and listless lately, though Grandpa attributes that to summer. He wonders if they should try to build World Agency into a proper entertainment company like back in its glory days. Grandpa reminds him of the costly expense, but Kwang-jae thinks it’s possible if they can find some investors.
Over at Star Punch, Hyun-jae spends his workday smiling at Woo-seung in the lounge. He confirms that he’s feeling better thanks to her and tells her that she’s won the lottery—him. Checking to see if anyone else saw that lame joke, she tells him to leave. But he insists on staying and waves his hands in front of her like a child.
Ji-hoon stares at his broken watch at home, thinking of the many details about Hyun-jae that don’t quite add up. MC Drills trudges inside, completely exhausted from his reserve forces training, but he quickly changes the subject and says he heard it rained in Seoul last night.
But when Ji-hoon says he didn’t know because he wasn’t in Seoul, MC Drill realizes that Hyun-jae and Woo-seung were alone last night.
Meanwhile, Young-jae’s secretary reaches the conclusion that Kim Da-bong isn’t Hyun-jae because his fingerprints identify him as a Yoo Bong-jae. Furrowing his brows, Young-jae reveals that Bong-jae was Hyun-jae’s birth name and confirms that the test was valid.
Hyun-jae sneaks up on Woo-jae at her desk, scaring the bejesus out of her. He comes bearing lunch and he watches her with his mouth open as she dines on her expensive tuna lunch. Excited, he tells her how happy he was to find that this place was still open twenty years later and sighs at how the owner has since gone bald.
Woo-seung calls his story a bald-faced lie since Hyun-jae would’ve had to been eating sushi as a toddler for his claims to make sense. She says eating this food makes her feel anxious and asks why he’s suddenly acting so nice to her. “Because I want to,” Hyun-jae answers. She presses for more, so he continues, “I must like you or something.”
She nearly chokes on her food, but Hyun-jae says she’s asking too many questions instead of eating and hands her an expensive piece of fish.
While Grandpa reads a book on battling Alzheimer’s, MJ drops by Young-jae’s office and asks to start his album over from scratch. Ah, so your question about the puzzle really was about your approach to music.
He’s followed Young-jae’s demands for years and now he’s sick of the charade and wants to issue a public apology for having deceived the world about his career. Young-jae reminds MJ that doing so puts his entire career at risk and MJ could lose everything. But MJ wistfully comments, “I never thought that it was mine to begin with.”
However, Young-jae has more pressing matters to tend to because his rich wife bursts into his office just then, demanding to know why he hasn’t done away with Bo-hee’s contract like she told him to.
Before MJ can take his leave, Young-jae wants to know where these thoughts originated from. MJ answers that he’s been thinking about this for a while, but it was only recently that someone taught him the only way to fix a puzzle put together the wrong way is to dump everything and start over.
Hye-ri visits Ji-hoon at the bakery and enlists his help in buying a celebratory cake. She lights the candle and announces that her team finally has a date for their debut. She has him clap for her upon blowing out the candle and he sincerely congratulates her.
She asks why he declined joining the debut team at Ssen Entertainment and learns that Ji-hoon’s father also runs an entertainment agency. “Where?” she asks. Ji-hoon answers, “Here. It’s called World Agency. I’m going to make my debut with him.”
Back at Star Punch, Woo-seung drops off some marketing material for the sound engineers. One of the folders she places accidentally hits a key that triggers a blue error screen, and the engineers blame her for losing their work. Having witnessed the exchange, Hyun-jae rebukes them for shifting blame to her when they were responsible for backing up their own work.
He asks if everything will be okay if he reproduces the song they lost. He doesn’t need the guide version since he remembers from one listen, and the sound engineers angrily stalk off. Woo-seung paces nervously as Hyun-jae gets to work recreating the various audio tracks.
She’s overwhelmingly grateful afterwards and treats Hyun-jae to a drink in the lounge. When she says she now sees him a totally new light, he says it looks like she just fell head over heels for him. She’s willing to put up with his self-flattery today because she’s amazed that Hyun-jae could perfectly recreate a song from memory.
He says true artistic talent can’t be expressed in words, but now he’s proven that he’s worth his salt. She sigh as he praises himself for being so amazing at everything, from his charisma to his adorable eyes to his perfect nose. He has trouble thinking of the right word for his lips and puckers up. Woo-seung grabs his lips and tells him that it’s awesome if he doesn’t use them. To talk or kiss?
Remember that book on Alzheimer’s Grandpa was reading earlier? Now he’s searching the whole house for it and wondering how it could’ve gone missing when he was reading it not too long ago. He focuses his energy, which is illuminated in a bright light, and tries to remember where he was reading his book. But it’s no use, and Grandpa whines on the couch.
Seconds later, Grandpa is filled with new determination, unwilling to lose to his deteriorating memory.
When Young-jae hears the recreated song, he remarks that this version is even better. He’s told that the new music producer patched the song together, and he softly gasps, “Hyun-jae?” The engineers ask where Hyun-jae came from, but knowing that Hyun-jae’s music talents have gotten better over time changes Young-jae’s tune.
Ji-hoon waits up for Woo-seung at the bakery and invites her inside. He gives her a bagful of bread to snack on while she studies, and she enthusiastically responds, “Thumbs up!”
His inquiry as to how work is going makes her sigh that she’s only creating problems at the office. She has Hyun-jae to thank for getting her out of trouble today and thinks he’s a musical genius judging from how he could recall a full song after hearing it only once.
She wonders if their resident amnesiac is actually a famous celebrity, then gets on the defensive when Ji-hoon says she’s been prattling on about Hyun-jae. He drops the subject.
Elsewhere in the bakery, Kwang-jae asks what Hyun-jae’s been doing lately. Hyun-jae changes the subject by asking about the building’s outstanding debt, which Kwang-jae says was paid off.
Just as Hyun-jae mentions that someone helped them out, Kwang-jae cuts him off, saying that’s none of his business. He asks Hyun-jae to write a trendy song befitting this generation, and Hyun-jae says he’ll think about it.
Kwang-jae has more to get off his chest tonight—he knew that Bo-hee was pregnant with Ji-hoon but failed to tell Hyun-jae out of fear that Bo-hee might run away. He thought that he’d have another opportunity to talk to Hyun-jae and guesses that if he’d told Hyun-jae everything, then Hyun-jae would be in his shoes today and would never have disappeared.
Hyun-jae acknowledges that as a possibility, but he believes it’s also possible that nothing would’ve changed. He declares that he’s given up on trying to return to the ’90s because he doesn’t know how to get back and doesn’t see the point in doing so when he’s no longer the Hyun-jae who left 1993. This means he’ll be staying in the rooftop apartment for a little longer, and confesses that during his timeslip, one name popped up in his head: “Kwang-jae.”
Hyun-jae heads back to the rooftop studio, where Ji-hoon asks to chat. He asks if Hyun-jae is truly an amnesiac because everything that comes out of his mouth feels like a lie. He admits he was bothered by Hyun-jae’s presence from the moment he dropped into their lives and reminds Hyun-jae to move out soon.
Ji-hoon also asks Hyun-jae for a favor we don’t get to hear, but it must have something to do with Woo-seung because he later declines an invite to get some late-night ddukbokki and curls up to sleep instead.
EPISODE 24 RECAP
Kwang-jae is optimistic about the prospect of rebuilding World Agency, telling Grandpa that he has a few investor meetings lined up. But Grandpa is still fixated on his lost book and checks the bathroom, and then the refrigerator, but it’s not there.
Woo-seung pouts when she learns that Hyun-jae has left for work without her this morning. Hyun-jae thinks back to Ji-hoon’s request: for Hyun-jae to stop liking Woo-seung. As her friend, he knows she’s been through a great deal and doesn’t want to see her get hurt again, especially by an alleged amnesiac. In the present, Hyun-jae sighs that Ji-hoon isn’t wrong.
Woo-seung surprises him in the lounge and calls him out for leaving without her this morning, reminding him of how he accused her of doing the same last time. His glum response and exit makes her wonder if he’s mad at her.
Hyun-jae runs into Mal-sook at the convenience store that evening and offers to be the courteous Oppa and listen to her woes. She swears that this story is about her friend, and he impatiently prods her to share her story.
Mal-sook says her friend likes a boy, but that friend’s friend also likes the same boy. Hearing how Mal-sook’s friend is having trouble getting over that boy for the sake of the friendship reminds him of his own predicament, and he asks if that friend misses that boy even when she’s doing nothing.
Mal-sook lights up at that, and Hyun-jae asks in a breaking voice if the pain stabs at her heart. She says that’s true too, and they both hang their heads in defeat.
He returns home and declines eating dinner with the others, claiming that he already ate. He then munches on triangle kimbap alone in bed while Woo-seung enjoys dinner with the other boys. When Woo-seung sits down to study later that night, she wonders why Hyun-jae is acting like a petulant child. She tries and fails to get Hyun-jae out of her mind.
Hyun-jae has trouble not thinking about Woo-seung at the office too, as his brain imagines her as the sound engineer during a recording session. He rubs his eyes to snap out of the delusion. He later figures it’s okay if he and Woo-seung accidentally cross paths, and then he lingers outside the intern office.
Woo-seung’s boss catches him peeping and informs him that the interns are out on set. In a whisper, he asks where that is. Turns out Woo-seung and the other interns are busy setting up for MJ’s fansigning event at a cafe, and he’s caught peering inside.
She taps his shoulder to get his attention, which scares him out of his wits. Barely meeting her gaze Hyun-jae claims that he was passing by and thought of having a coffee. She says the cafe isn’t open for business right now, but offers to fix him a drink since she previously worked as a barista.
Her cheery mood makes him smile, but he declines her offer and looks for an exit. But then Woo-seung grabs his wrist and tells him to use his words to express his anger because his petulant silence bothers her. Hyun-jae mumbles that he has no reason to be angry with her, releases himself from her grip, and leaves.
He’s still thinking about her when he heads for the convenience store, and his minds drifts when he sees the part-timer’s name tag. “Part-timer. Oy, Part-timer,” he says blankly before being brought back to reality.
Ji-hoon sends Woo-seung a cake for her and her fellow interns to enjoy. She thanks him and agrees to treat him to a movie. Elsewhere, Kwang-jae’s meeting with a potential investor at a fancy restaurant gets canceled at the last minute.
Disheartened, Kwang-jae steps out to leave and runs into Young-jae’s rich wife Cathy, who’s here to have lunch. She picks up a copy of his business proposal and chides him for having such bad entrepreneur skills because he won’t ask the best investor he can get, meaning, her.
Kwang-jae figures Cathy wouldn’t be interested anyway, but it tears at her heart to see him and CEO Lee struggle to make ends meet. She promises to look over the proposal and be in touch.
After searching the entire house for the book to no avail, Grandpa finally calls it quits. Turns out it’s in Mal-sook’s backpack, and she explains to her teacher at reading time that her grandfather packed it for her. Lol.
Hyun-jae enters Young-jae’s office looking to borrow his fancy car when he spots Young-jae’s open safe and a copy of his music notebook. He takes out his own copy in his backpack and compares the pages to one another, then reads the notes that Other Hyun-jae left behind.
He switches out the notebooks just moments before Young-jae comes in and ask what he’s doing behind his desk. He asks for a company car so he can go for a drive to clear his mind, but he gets a firm no. As soon as Hyun-jae is out of sight, Young-jae checks that the music notebook is still in the safe.
Hyun-jae reviews the other copy of his music notebook at home and notes that he continued to write music into 1994, including ballads. He sighs at a few scribbles of Bo-hee’s name and possible date ideas, then curiously reads the “To Coda” marking about the bagfuls of money hidden in the rooftop apartment, since that wasn’t anywhere to be found.
It then occurs to him that the “To Coda” mark tells the musician to jump to the coda section, which leaves him wondering if the money was moved.
Mal-sook comes in looking for Ji-hoon to help Bo-hee move some boxes in the bakery, but since Ji-hoon isn’t home, Hyun-jae steps in to help her. Bo-hee allows Mal-sook to play a game on her phone again while she grabs some bread for Hyun-jae, and calls out the passcode: “22198.”
Hyun-jae’s ears perk up, remembering those were the same digits that popped up on his beeper. He mentions that’s a unique numerical combination, and Bo-hee cheerily answers that she’s used that number for years and explains that it carried another secret meaning: “I want to be alone with you.”
Realization dawns on Hyun-jae as Bo-hee clarifies that she used to date someone in secret and that message was how they covertly told each other that they wanted to meet.
Hyun-jae returns to the rooftop apartment, where he declines another offer from the boys to eat together and heads out for some air. Downstairs, Grandpa picks up the second book in the series for battling Alzheimer’s and vows to finish it this time.
Cut to: Grandpa dozing off. HA. Mal-sook comes in to remind Grandpa about packing her shoes for school, and he sleepily agrees, determined to beat his condition. He then reaches for Mal-sook’s bag and places the book inside before turning in for the night.
Hyun-jae takes a stroll in the park, thinking about everything he’s learned today, when a sudden downpour forces him to take cover. A few feet away, Woo-seung happens to also take cover and calls out to him, remarking that they keep running into one another.
He glances in her direction, then runs into the rain to fetch her a yellow umbrella. He lies that he’s waiting to meet someone with a car, so Woo-seung thanks him and walks away. The somber piano melody from La La Land starts to play as Hyun-jae rushes toward her, whips her around, and leans in for a kiss.
Now the music swells into the What Could Have Been sequence between Woo-seung and Hyun-jae: Hyun-jae agrees to go out for ddukbokki, heads out to work with Woo-seung holding hands, makes dinner with Woo-seung who feeds him some food, and when he wakes Woo-seung up with his gentle touch and his heart pounds, he swoops in to kiss her.
Hyun-jae looks over, watching his imagined self kissing Woo-seung under the umbrella in the rain, and then disappear back into his imagination.
Woo-seung grows worried at home when the rain gets heavier but Hyun-jae still hasn’t returned home. He’s walking with heavy steps in the rain and looks up to see Woo-seung waiting for him under her umbrella. She asks what’s wrong, and he silently pulls her close to embrace her.
Ji-hoon hears Hyun-jae’s phone ringing in the apartment and picks it up, wondering why Dad’s name is saved as “Kwang-jae.” He answers, but before he can get a word in, an irritated Kwang-jae asks, “What took you so long to answer, Hyun-jae? Hey, Yoo Hyun-jae!” Shocked, Ji-hoon drops the phone from his ear as Kwang-jae calls for Hyun-jae over and over again.
Now he knows. We’ve been aware of the mystery of Ji-hoon’s true parentage since day one of this series, but actually knowing who Ji-hoon’s birth father is became less important in the following weeks since I found more of an emotional pull watching him establish his relationship with Kwang-jae and Hyun-jae. Even Kwang-jae was left to make assumptions from vague statements that Hyun-jae was Ji-hoon’s birth father, and we have yet to hear Bo-hee either confirm or deny this claim. The fact that her passcode is the same number on Hyun-jae’s beeper a big tally in the Hyun-jae column, but I’m willing to wait to hear the truth straight from the horse’s mouth.
I know I sound like a broken record when I say that I wish Ji-hoon learned important life lessons from both paternal figures in his life, but now I fear Ji-hoon will never see Hyun-jae in that way because they’re rivals in love. And while that idea of a cross-generational love triangle was a concern we’ve been prepared for for weeks now, it seems all too clear that this will be the misunderstanding that Ji-hoon latches onto in the near future.
Still, I have to give credit to Hyun-jae’s honesty for coming clean to Ji-hoon as soon as he connected the dots to his feelings for Woo-seung. Furthermore, unlike Ji-hoon, Hyun-jae didn’t sit on his feelings either and was straightforward in revealing them to Woo-seung as well. But much like every other drama romance we know all too well, those happy moments were followed by forced emotional distance brought on by a confrontation. As Woo-seung’s longtime friend, Ji-hoon did have some merit in trying to protect her from getting hurt again, yet at the same time, he also has romantic feelings for her, making it impossible for him to be objective.
I admit I groaned a bit watching Hyun-jae acting standoffish toward Woo-seung since it’s the classic noble idiot move and thinking that’s it’s honoring a person’s request when the sudden 180-degree change in behavior ends up hurting someone’s feelings. I could understand Woo-seung’s frustration and confusion as Hyun-jae kept an arm’s length between them since it’s hard for her to get close to anyone, and I liked that she kept trying to point out the elephant in the room.
Needless to say, today’s umbrella scene was bittersweet compared to Hyun-jae’s swoony glance up from the umbrella in Episode 22. I’m a sucker for the What Could Have Been trope since it shows us glimpses into a slightly tweaked reality if our characters made different choices. I thought using the La La Land epilogue track was a nice touch, though unlike the movie, neither Woo-seung nor Hyun-jae would have to put their dreams on hold for their love story. But my personal takeaway here is that my heart can pine and sympathize with Hyun-jae in this somber moment because his character is being played perfectly by Yoon Shi-yoon, who is a perfect embodiment of adorable, dorky, and pensive.
Even with the romance and the mystery taking big steps this hour, I’m happiest about the return of the Grandpa and Mal-sook storyline. I found it hilarious and sweet watching him trying to be proactive about his Alzheimer’s and trying so hard to battle his developing symptoms. I know we’ll soon face a day when Mal-sook will put the puzzles together and realize what’s going on with her grandfather. But until that heartbreaking day comes, I’ll enjoy Grandpa stuffing her bags with books he has no idea where he misplaced.
- 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