Backstreet Rookie: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
Suddenly there are more than misunderstandings at the heart of our hero’s problems — this week, malicious actions make some serious waves, and our hero has to deal with much more than a broken heart. As his family’s pride and integrity are also trampled, hurt piles on hurt.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Accidental Saet-byul encounters have made Dae-hyun’s relationship with Yeon-joo full of friction time and time again, but this week’s encounter really does it. There’s nothing special about it; is it the cumulative effect, or seeing how comfortable Saet-byul is around Dae-hyun’s family that really kills it once and for all? Perhaps both. So, even though Yeon-joo was just rushing to his house to make up with him, what happens instead is quite an awful breakup. Dae-hyun is left sitting crestfallen over a bubbling pot of jjigae.
But the breakup is not as simple as it seems — actually, their families have already become involved, and it’s the stuff that heartbreak is made from. We saw it last week when Yeon-joo’s mother humiliated Dae-hyun as the “delivery boy,” but it gets so much more cruel this week.
It turns out humiliating Dae-hyun and pulling him and her daughter apart wasn’t enough. Now Yeon-joo’s mother has a nasty scheme to bring down the entire family’s pride. She hires Dae-hyun’s father as her driver, making him all but grovel (and reenacting a fitting Parasite scene here). Then, she contacts Dae-hyun’s mother and leads her down the garden path promising to sign a hugely lucrative annuity package. I wasn’t sure if she would follow through — but it turns out, following through with the insurance was even more cruel than not. Because by this time Dae-hyun’s mother has figured out what’s going on, and chooses to willfully play dumb to get the contract signed and make her big commission.
It’s like a knife through the heart, witnessing what Dae-hyun’s parents are going through. The humiliation was meant to show them their lowly social position, their general unworthiness, and then to make them loath themselves for enduring her torment for the benefit they would see. The scene where Dae-hyun’s parents sit at their kitchen table in the aftermath is such a heartbreak. And no surprise, Kim Sun-young wows once again with her conflicted sobs in between bites of food. I regret saying I didn’t like these characters earlier; they were amazingly real and heartfelt this week.
While most of the focus is on Dae-hyun and his family this week, his mother’s tears are not the only tears we see. Saet-byul (after the accidental Yeon-joo meeting) leaves the house and stays with Ji-wook, A.K.A. Puppy, who lives up to his name this week (as ever). He’s clearly thrilled to have her under his roof, but the arrangement doesn’t last long. Not only is she kicked out by his manager, but the paparazzi has already gotten the shots they need, and I don’t think this particular plot line will end well. And what a shame, this squishy kid just wants Saet-byul in his life and is so earnest and sweet it makes me want to shed a tear.
Yes, back to tears — it’s Saet-byul that’s doing the rest of the crying this week in a lovely, heart-warming scene. Dae-hyun’s mother is worried sick when Saet-byul doesn’t turn up that night, and her motherly scolding (and calling Saet-byul family) brings huge tears of happiness to Saet-byul’s eyes. It’s as touching as any scene between these two, and I honestly can’t wait for them to be mother and daughter in laws. Please let’s have that happen.
Interspersed in this week of touching and heart-wrenching scenes we have a huge dose of “comedy” with Dal-shik and Saet-byul’s friend HWANG GEUM-BI (Seo Ye-hwa). She’s long been the pervy webtoon’s #1 fan, and things escalate pretty quickly this week when the two make contact over the web, and then the phone. They only know each other by their screen names, but they’re both crushing hard.
The giddiness of both characters is verging on cute… and then they meet again in real life and whole-heartedly despise each other. This dynamic has been going on since the get-go, so it will be funny to see when/how they handle the reveals around this relationship. It’s sure to be a disaster, but I’m betting on a romance as the conclusion.
Speaking of romance, we might just be heading there with Saet-byul and Dae-hyun next week. While Dae-hyun is reeling from his breakup and the slap across the face his family just took, Saet-byul runs off to where he’s drinking his broken heart away. He’s drunk and miserable and spouting out all kinds of nonsense, but through it all the common denominator is ever the same: Saet-byul is pure-heartedly thinking of him first, and trying to support him, protect him, and comfort him.
After such a huge turn of events this week, Dae-hyun might find himself in the place where he can start to see Saet-byul as more than a part-timer, and I’m willing to say I’m convinced: she’ll make an awesome partner for him. But before that can happen, I think Dae-hyun needs more closure around his relationship with Yeon-joo — or at least the air needs to be cleared before they can both fully move on.