My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 21-22
Every time our heroine and her robotic suitor seem to solve one problem, another two crop up to plague them even further. Just when they seem to have neutralized the threat to Young-gu, an almost-forgotten danger returns to remind them not to let their guard down. It’s difficult to determine which is the more immediate issue, but one thing’s for sure — they’de better not let their guard down, or they could be split up forever.
EPISODES 21-22 RECAP
Da-da storms into Diana’s estate to try and stop Young-gu from following Diana to Switzerland and be reprogrammed. She tells him that she has feelings for him, but he rejects her. But as they drive away, the rain triggers memories of him and Da-da together, and reminds Young-gu who he is.
He jumps out of the car and finds Da-da stumbling down the road, heartbroken. He tells her that he remembers her, calling her “Girlfriend” again. He says that he’s not acting on his programming anymore, then says he loves her, and kisses her. Da-da sobs that she never thought she’d see him again, then passes out in Young-gu’s arms.
Meanwhile, Bo-won is dragged out of Diana’s house and told that Young-gu already left with Diana. He’s still there when a furious Diana returns home without Young-gu and instructs Director Park to call Kronos Heaven and tell them that her “toy” ran away.
Young-gu and Da-da walk home, Da-da insisting that she’s fine now. A street light comes on over their heads, and Da-da says that her dad always told her that meant it’s time to go home, because someone is waiting for you. Young-gu hoists her onto his back, saying that he can get them home faster than they can walk together.
Diana demands to know how her robot disobeyed her direct command and ran off on his own to find his old girlfriend. In-hyuk says that he should have lost his previous data when Diana reset him, and he wonders if this is related to Bo-won’s claim that Young-gu was developing actual emotions. Diana wants to know what he means, so Director Go does some damage control and tells Diana that it’s nonsense, but she doesn’t look convinced.
When she’s alone, Da-da smiles into her mirror, shyly remembering Young-gu’s kiss. She finds that he’s prepared a huge meal for her, though he admits sadly that he had to order it because there was no food in the house. She tells him he did well and lets him feed her, and Young-gu says that he has a weird full feeling in his stomach even though he didn’t eat.
Da-da says that’s called “happiness,” the same kind of happiness mentioned in his book “The Happy Prince.” She says she wants to make that prince even happier, then yawns and ruins the moment, hee. Young-gu tucks her into bed while Da-da complains that she wants to talk with him some more, and as she nods off, Young-gu thanks her for coming for him and saying she likes him.
Hearing a weird noise, Young-gu finds Bo-won stuck in a closet, ha. Bo-won hugs him, relieved that he’s back to himself, then gives him a checkup to see why his didn’t lose his data regarding Da-da when he was reset. Young-gu says it was because of Da-da, who reminded him of who he is.
Bo-won is also concerned that going against his programming is putting intense stress on Young-gu’s physics engine, though Young-gu reassures him that he’s fine (but the buzzing in his chest…). Bo-won’s other concern is the fact that, if Diana comes for Young-gu, Kronos Heaven is obligated to make sure he goes with her.
Da-da wakes from a nightmare about the several times Young-gu rejected her, she can’t find Young-gu. When he walks in after a trip to the store, she hugs his neck, relieved that he didn’t leave her again.
He gives her a disapproving glare and takes her ring out of his pocket, and she weakly explains that she threw it away because he left with Diana. He cracks a smile and puts it back on her finger, promising not to leave again.
They go to their “star-watching” spot to look at the city lights, and Da-da says that she imagines them as being left on because the occupant is waiting for someone. She tells Young-gu that he taught her that warm feeling, and that when she was by herself, she felt all alone in the world.
Da-da asks Young-gu how long they can stay together, then apologizes for asking him to stay with her when she can’t protect him. Young-gu tells her that at Kronos Heaven, he watched lots of dramas and movies, but there was one often-repeated line he never understood: “I’m letting you go because I love you.”
He says that now he knows that it means you love the person enough to not want them to be hurt. He tells Da-da not to feel sorry or struggle, and that he won’t blame her for any decision she makes because being happy with her now is enough.
Bo-won reports to Director Go that Young-gu remembers everything about Da-da. He says that Young-gu is no longer the robot they made, and that he’s defying their mechanism and making one of his own, so they no longer have any control over him — nor should they.
Director Go says that Diana won’t accept that, and Bo-won argues that that’s why they need to protect Young-gu. He asks Director Go to turn over all their data on Young-gu to the head office and let them run diagnostics, which might lead to the head office agreeing that Young-gu shouldn’t go back to Diana.
At the same time, Da-da and Young-gu return home to find Diana waiting in the studio to take back her “toy.” Da-da tells her not to call Young-gu that, but Diana says that it’s ridiculous for Da-da to have feelings for a machine.
Da-da retorts that Diana has no right to abuse him, and she refuses to give Young-gu to her. Diana orders her men to bring Young-gu with them even if they have to break him. Director Go and Bo-won arrive, having been alerted to the problem, and Director Go tells Diana that recovery of robots is Kronos Heaven’s job.
Diana tells her men to grab Young-gu anyway, but Young-gu fights back. He doesn’t notice Diana wrenching Da-da’s arm painfully until she orders him to stop, and she threatens to crush Da-da’s wrist with her own robotic hand if Young-gu doesn’t come quietly.
Young-gu growls that she’ll pay if she harms Da-da, but Diana tightens her grip, and at Da-da’s cries of pain, Young-gu agrees to do as she says. He tells her not to worry, but Director Go tells Diana that the head office won’t sit for this. She repeats that she paid for him so he’s her property.
Desperate, Da-da blurts out, “I’ll pay for him. If this is how you do things, whether he costs ten or a hundred million, I’ll do whatever it takes to buy him!” Young-gu breaks free and tries to go to her, but Diana grabs him, screaming that he’s her toy. Young-gu says, “No. From beginning to end, I was never yours. You have no right to be loved by anyone.” Oooh, ouch. True, but ouch.
Back at Kronos Heaven, Director Go tells Bo-won not to get too excited. Bo-won argues that Young-gu is an important research case, and that his unusual behaviors only occur when he’s with Da-da, so they can benefit by leaving him with her and studying him. He even thinks that they should give Da-da a discount, since technically, Young-gu is glitched.
Young-gu is beyond excited at the idea of Da-da buying him, but she bursts into tears, wondering what on Earth she was thinking, offering to pay ten million dollars. Young-gu promises to work and pitch in for his own cost, but Da-da starts wailing again.
Grinning, Young-gu hugs her and says they can talk this over with Bo-won tomorrow. He swings her up in a princess carry and takes her to her room, then lies down on the bed with her and gives her that look. He says they should sleep together now that Da-da confessed, and she stammers that they haven’t signed any official paperwork yet (and lol, her voice goes up several octaves when Young-gu inches a bit closer).
Young-gu agrees to wait until the papers are signed, and he leaves Da-da with a racing heart. She hugs her little Young-gu stand-in, giggling madly, and gets caught when Young-gu hears and check on her. HAHA, he closes the door as slowly as possible, and even smacks his face into the door frame. They’re so cute.
In his Love Room, Young-gu unpacks the box where Da-da stored his things. He finds his A++ sticker, which Da-da gave him as a sign of her approval, and tucks it into his pocket. He also finds the phone that Wang-joon gave him when he was his manager, and he listens to Wang-joon’s last message where he’d gotten upset that Young-gu stopped showing up for work.
The next day is the first day of shooting for the second season of Doctor AlphaGo. Young-gu walks into Wang-joon’s dressing room to apologize for disappearing, saying that an issue came up, and Wang-joon sneers that his “issue” was another woman.
Young-gu says that he wasn’t himself at the clothing store, but Wang-joon doesn’t care. He warns Young-gu not to play with Da-da or hurt her, especially after he lectured Wang-joon on how a boyfriend doesn’t hurt his girlfriend. He officially fires Young-gu, so Young-gu leaves.
He worries how he’s going to earn money to help Da-da pay for him, and once again he overhears someone having a convenient conversation. This time it’s the assistant PD, who’s just learned that Wang-joon’s stunt double is seriously ill. HAHA, I love it.
Bo-won shows up at Da-da’s studio with a contract for Young-gu’s purchase. He offers her a ninety-percent discount with a seventy-year payment plan, with two conditions — first, she has to share her and Young-gu’s emotional data with Kronos Heaven, and second, if people find out that Young-gu is a robot, he’ll be taken from her and sent to the head office.
Da-da worries that it’s still a lot of money, and the idea of people studying her emotions bothers her. But Bo-won says it’s better than returning Young-gu to Diana, so Da-da grits her teeth and applies her thumbprint to the contract.
Predictably, Diana doesn’t take well to the news that Da-da is now Young-gu’s owner. She warns Director Go that he’ll regret making her his enemy, but Director Go explains that since people almost found out that Young-gu is a robot, the company has decided that Diana breached their contract. He tells Diana that Young-gu is a special robot who controls himself instead of being controlled by humans.
Once he’s gone, Diana summons Director Park and tells her to get the Kronos Heaven head office on the phone. She wants them to send her a new “toy” — the sturdiest one they have. She slashes her painting of Young-gu, snarling that if she can’t have him, nobody can.
Kyu-ri and Yoo-jin show up for work while Bo-won is still at the studio, and Kyu-ri screams at the sight of Bo-won (she thinks he assaulted her at the sauna). Bo-won is still pretty smitten even though he got slapped, and he gives Da-da a huge Go with it wink then introduces himself as Real’s new employee.
Anticipating the PD’s demands ahead of time, Da-da has Yoo-jin and Bo-won model both styles of android makeup she designed for Wang-joon’s character. The PD reluctantly admits that she’s a troublemaker but does good work, and makes a quick decision.
Da-da gets ten years scared off her life when a guy in a crow mask grabs her — HAHA, it’s only Young-gu, who tells her with a grin that he’s been hired as a stuntman provided he does well today. She guesses that he got fired as Wang-joon’s manager, but she just tells him to be careful, and he’s moved by her concern.
Young-gu knows that Da-da signed his purchase contract and asks if this means they can sleep together tonight. RAWR. Da-da says a bit too casually that yes, people do sleep at night, but Young-gu just gives her a saucy wink.
Wang-joon finds Da-da and asks her in private if she’s really dating Young-gu now. She confirms it, though she’s unable to explain why Wang-joon saw Young-gu with another woman at a hotel. She just tells Wang-joon that she hopes they can keep things professional on set to avoid rumors that might hurt Wang-joon’s career.
In Da-da’s on-set studio, Yoo-jin and Bo-won nerd out together over their mutual love for robots. Yoo-jin shows Bo-won the little robot arm he made that Da-da broke, and it only takes Bo-won seconds to pinpoint the coding errors and fix the robot, earning Yoo-jin’s everlasting admiration.
Bo-won tries to similarly charm Kyu-ri by helping her carry a heavy bucket, but it hurts his hand and he drops it, splashing fake blood all over Kyu-ri. She screams at him for ruining her new pants, and Yoo-jin muses that Bo-won is all brains and no brawn.
While getting the mop, Bo-won runs into Yeo-woong, who says shyly that this is an interesting connection. Bo-won says it’s not connection, it’s just coincidence, and shushes her when she mentions their accidental kiss.
While filming a fight scene with Young-gu, Wang-joon gets a little too aggressive and actually cuts Young-gu with his prop sword. The PD praises Wang-joon for being passionate about this second season, but Wang-joon is confused — why didn’t Young-gu bleed?
Eun-dong shows up on set to hand out sandwiches to the cast and crew, and he gives Da-da one to take to Wang-joon. Luckily Da-da notices that he chooses one with peanut butter, and which Wang-joon is allergic to. Eun-dong asks how she knows so she says it’s her job to know the actors’ allergies, expressing surprise that Eun-dong didn’t know.
Eun-dong plays the doting CEO when Wang-joon arrives, but Wang-joon knocks the sandwich from his hand and tells him to leave. He refuses to do the interview that Eun-dong set up, and announces that Eun-dong is no longer the president of his agency.
Later in the dressing room, Wang-joon tells Eun-dong that his attempts to pretend nothing happened won’t work. Eun-dong reminds Wang-joon that he signed a contract that said he’s an affiliated actor of Eun-dong’s company for the duration of Doctor AlphaGo Season Two, which means Eun-dong is in charge of him until the drama wraps.
Wang-joon mentions the dead flower boxes, and Eun-dong taunts Wang-joon to go tell everyone he threatened him — but if Wang-joon does that, he’ll spill the reason he threatened him, and the seven years’ worth of Wang-joon’s weaknesses that he’s been saving up. Wang-joon says that it would be worth his career to see Eun-dong go down, but after he storms out, Eun-dong says that he’ll get rid of Da-da before that happens.
Someone sneaks into the on-set studio, breaks into Da-da’s toolkit, and mixes some kind of powder into a jar of lotion. Da-da sees someone slink out of the studio, but she’s stopped by the assistant PD and loses track of them.
Young-gu excitedly tells Bo-won that he’s going to shower even more affection on Da-da now that he officially belongs to her. But Bo-won tells him to play a little hard-to-get and hold back on his urges, and that it would be best to maintain a bit of distance from her in public because of the second condition of the contract.
Young-gu grows worried at the thought of never seeing Da-da again, and Bo-won assures him that he’s working at Real in part to make sure that doesn’t happen. He advises Young-gu to quit his job as a stuntman before someone figures out about him, neither of them realizing that Wang-joon is standing nearby and heard every word.
Da-da goes to Wang-joon’s dressing room to prep his makeup, and Yeo-woong asks if she’s really dating Young-gu now. She admits that she feels sorry for Wang-joon after they dated for so long, reminding Da-da that Wang-joon originally hid their relationship because he didn’t want people to think she was getting work because of their connection.
She says that they would have gone public from the start if they’d know Eun-dong would cause such problems, unaware that Da-da doesn’t know Eun-dong is the source of the threats. While doing Wang-joon’s makeup, Da-da asks him why he didn’t tell her Eun-dong sent the flower boxes and apologizes for thinking badly of him.
She says maybe she didn’t know him as well as she thought, and he asks if she knows Young-gu well. She says honestly that she knows everything about Young-gu because he tells her everything that’s on his mind. Wang-joon says softly, “I can do that, too. I can show you and everyone what you, Uhm Da-da, mean to me. I can do that now.”
When she’s finished applying Wang-joon’s prosthetic, Da-da goes to check in on Young-gu, who acts strangely nervous when she reaches to adjust his costume. The assistant PD calls Da-da back to Wang-joon’s dressing room, where he’s developed a horrible, painful blister under the prosthetic.
He’s taken to the hospital, and Yeo-woong returns later to tell everyone that Wang-joon had an acute allergic reaction to the makeup. Strangely, traces of peanuts were detected under the prosthetic, and he won’t be able to shoot until he recovers.
Da-da says that’s impossible — there are no peanuts in the products she uses. Eun-dong walks over and slaps her across the face, yelling at her for harming his actor, but just as things start to look very bad, Wang-joon walks in. He stands glaring at Da-da… then takes her in his arms, shocking the entire cast and crew.
Well, that was bold. I see what Wang-joon is trying to do — he’s hoping that if his and Da-da’s relationship is no longer a secret, then Eun-dong will be forced to draw back his claws, because the thing he’s trying to prevent is a done deal. But we’re not dealing with a regular disgruntled CEO — Eun-dong is unstable and dangerous, and I’m sure this is just going to make things worse.
I feel a lot better about Young-gu as a boyfriend for Da-da now that we know that his “feelings” — as far as a robot can have them — are genuine and not something he was programmed for. His programming compelled the behavior of a loving, attentive boyfriend, but not the actual desire to love and be loved, which is why I felt weird about them being together for a long time. But now that Young-gu is essentially re-writing his own programming to include the feelings and not just the actions, I’m not conflicted about their romance anymore. I mean, I could quibble about small issues in the storytelling (and the fact that more recent shows have done it better), but this is a fantasy story based on an almost fifteen-year-old manga, so I’ve decided to just enjoy My Absolute Boyfriend for the fluffy bit of fun that it is.
I knew that Eun-dong would pop up again, and while I find him annoying at best, I’m glad that Wang-joon has something to think about other than pining for Da-da. It was careless of Wang-joon to assume that just telling him to stop would solve the problem, because Eun-dong already hired someone to harm Da-da at least once, proving that he’s not just making threats but is willing to follow through on them. Now he’s lost his big star anyway, so he’s going to escalate the threats and attempts to harm Da-da… and he’s even deliberately dosed Wang-joon with an allergen that could have killed him. As a character, Eun-dong is a little too mustache-twirly for my taste, but he’s a serious and immediate threat, and if Wang-joon is smart he won’t let his guard down for a minute.
In fact, I’d love to see Young-gu and Wang-joon develop a friendship, even if (or maybe especially if) it’s a begrudging one, and team up to protect Da-da from Eun-dong and Young-gu himself from Diana. If nothing else, they have something important in common — they both care for Da-da and desire her happiness and safety. It would be fun to see them become grumpy yet determined allies against anyone trying to harm Da-da, and I’d particularly like to see Wang-joon learn Young-gu’s secret and help keep Diana from getting her claws into him. But Eun-dong seems a more immediate concern at the moment, especially since he’s directly attacking Wang-joon and trying to place the blame on Da-da. I don’t understand why he’s willing to lose the commodity he claims he’s doing all this to keep — peanut allergies can be deadly — but he’s dangerous, and it’s going to take more than Wang-joon’s refusal to go along with him to make him stop.
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