Was It Love: Episode 7
Try as she might, our producer can’t seem to outrun her past as old friends and lover return to her life and dig up shared memories. Though she might be able to avoid answering their questions at the moment, eventually she will have to confront her own feelings, both her past and present ones, in order to bring closure to those around her.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Dae-oh confesses his feelings to Ae-jung, and she stares at him speechless. She suddenly bursts into laughter and calls him a liar. How could the great Cheon Eok-man like an evil villain such as her? She returns his jacket and tells him that these actions don’t suit him.
Yeon-woo arrives at the event, too, and spots Ae-jung making a beeline towards the restroom. He calls after her, but Bo-hye grabs him first. She gushes about her handsome son and drags him away to introduce him to the others.
Alone at the bar, Dae-oh shoves ice cubes into his mouth to cool down from his rejection when Ah-rin joins him. She asks if Ae-jung is alright, but to her surprise, Dae-oh shows more concern for her—completely the opposite response from earlier.
Bo-hye interrupts their conversation, and Ah-rin introduces Dae-oh to her management company CEO. However, Dae-oh’s eyes are glued to Yeon-woo who pretends to meet him for the first time. Dae-oh asks if they saw their producer, Ae-jung, and Yeon-woo realizes that the woman he saw was her. He excuses himself from the group, and Bo-hye chases after her son.
Ae-jung leaves the event since her outfit is ruined, and her mind wanders back to Dae-oh’s confession. While she mumbles about his crazy words, Yeon-woo catches her in the lobby and escorts her out of the hotel despite her refusal. Bo-hye arrives in time to see her son with someone else, but her other duties prevent her from following them.
Yeon-woo takes Ae-jung to a shop and offers to buy her new clothes as well as a pair of shoes since her heels have caused blisters. She refuses his gifts, but from her tone, it’s not just those that she’s declining. Yeon-woo catches on but tells Ae-jung that these are just items. She finally smiles at his antics and lets him buy them.
CEO Song calls Manager Myung into her office and confronts him about Ryu Jin’s impromptu school lecture. Ae-jung is clearly in the photo, and CEO Song asks if this is the reason for Ryu Jin’s involvement. Meanwhile, Ryu Jin practices his greetings to Ah-rin, but even while pretending, he can’t force himself to wish her well. Heh.
Ryu Jin finds Dae-oh standing outside the women’s restroom, and Dae-oh explains that he was looking for Ae-jung. He sighs, deciding to leave the event as well, but as soon as he turns the corner, he comes back to vent to Ryu Jin. Dae-oh repeats this process a few times before Ryu Jin finally tells him to choose one, so Dae-oh replies, “Can’t we go together?”
The two of them end up at a neighborhood bar, and Dae-oh tells Ryu Jin about his confession to Ae-jung. Ryu Jin looks shaken by Dae-oh’s profession of love and reminds him of Ae-jung’s daughter. Dae-oh stares right at him and says that he’s serious. His response is the final straw, and Ryu Jin leaves, claiming that there are too many eyes on him.
Pa-do drops by Thumb Film to see Ae-jung, but only Hye-jin is there. He hands her an envelope to help with casting Ah-rin, but Hye-jin tells him that they already got her on board. A step too late, Pa-do returns home and tells Director Kim that he might join the PTA. Director Kim wonders what caused this sudden change in behavior, and Pa-do tells him that it’s because of a friend.
At home, Ae-jung remembers Dae-oh’s confession, still calling it a farce, and ignores his incoming call. Drunk and obstinate, Dae-oh dials her number again while waiting outside her house until Yeon-woo comes out. He gets up to confront the teacher, but Yeon-woo brushes past him without a word.
Dae-oh follows him to a basketball court and keeps picking a fight, asking why a rich kid is playing “commoner.” Yeon-woo drops his ball and admits to Dae-oh that he likes Ae-jung. He turns the question back to Dae-oh and asks why he keeps pestering her. Dae-oh tells him that he’s trying to get closer to her like they were in the past.
Hearing his response, Yeon-woo glares back at him since he was the one who hurt Ae-jung all those years ago. Dae-oh tells him that he was the one who was hurt and grabs Yeon-woo by his lapels. As emotions run high, Yeon-woo throws the first punch, and the two men tussle on the ground. In the end, their fight dissolves into hair-pulling and biting.
The next morning, Dae-oh wakes up in pain but finds comfort in the thought that Yeon-woo must be in worse condition. Alas, Yeon-woo looks fine except for a busted lip, and he digs through a drawer for some ointment. When Ae-jung sees his wound, she helps him apply some medicine, and Yeon-woo smiles, happily declaring that he won.
While Ae-jung wonders what’s wrong with Yeon-woo, Grandma comes up to her and asks if she threw away a notebook recently. She opens a drawer to get it, but the notebook is gone since Ha-nee stole it back.
She hides the notebook under her puppy’s bed, and Sook-hee comments on how she acts like the puppy’s mom. Ha-nee calls herself both a mom and a dad, which makes Sook-hee laugh because it’s the same thing Ae-jung says all the time.
Thinking of Ae-jung, Sook-hee says that being a mom and a dad requires a lot of sacrifice. Her words catch Ha-nee’s attention, and Sook-hee tells her that after giving everything up, Ha-nee was the last thing Ae-jung had.
Reverting back to a cheerier mood, Sook-hee hands Ha-nee an envelope, and Ha-nee accepts it with a smile, expecting an allowance. Unfortunately, it’s a bill for the puppy’s expenses, and Sook-hee congratulates her on already accumulating debt. Pfft.
Dae-oh loudly flips pages in the office to catch Ae-jung’s attention, but she deliberately ignores him. Hye-jin finally addresses the elephant in the room and asks what happened to his face. Dae-oh tells her that it was over a woman, and Hye-jin praises him for being passionate and manly just like his main character.
He explains that he did go to the emergency room once for a woman, and Ae-jung grimaces, clearly sharing the same memory. She tries to steer the conversation back to work, so Dae-oh suggests pulling an all-nighter to discuss why the lovers separated. He baits her into agreeing, but before he can ask her out to lunch, Ae-jung gets up since she has a prior engagement.
Dae-oh follows Ae-jung to ask why she’s avoiding him, and she tells him that they’ll talk about it tomorrow at the meeting. Dissatisfied with her answer, Dae-oh mentions that he revised the script while thinking of her, and Ae-jung finally stops and faces him.
She apologizes for not remembering their past, and though it makes her a jerk, she also doesn’t recall the reason for their breakup. Dae-oh calls her out for lying because she seems to hate him a lot for someone who doesn’t remember, but Ae-jung yells at him to leave her alone since she’s too busy to think about his feelings.
He refuses to accept her excuses since he never told her to stop living her life. Instead, all he wants is to love her on top of it all, and says that he wasn’t trying to reminisce because even thinking about that night he confessed makes him bitter.
2005. Dae-oh appeared everywhere besides Ae-jung at school, asking her out to a meal until she finally agreed. Over clams, Ae-jung told him that she’s only eating with him so they can forget about his confession from before, but Dae-oh didn’t seem to care much, instead asking if she liked clams.
Ae-jung called them her number one, so Dae-oh grabbed a clam and said that he’ll be her new number one after he ate it. She looked at him in confusion as he claimed to be risking his life for this proposal, but things became clear to her very soon.
In the emergency room, Ae-jung scolded Dae-oh for eating a clam when he’s allergic, but he seemed happy about the predicament despite itching all-over. He told her to keep her promise and chuckled, “Noh Ae-jung, I like you a lot.”
Ae-jung arrives at school for the PTA meeting and runs into Pa-do on the stairs. They sit together in the classroom, and Pa-do avoids eye-contact with everyone despite all the mothers looking at him. Yeon-woo asks for nominations for a new PTA president, and Chan-young’s mom (the bully) is the first one mentioned.
Another mother nominates Pa-do so that more fathers will participate, and the others seem keen to the idea. When Yeon-woo asks for anyone else, Pa-do throws Ae-jung’s name into the ring. Meanwhile, their two children sit outside discussing Ha-nee’s stalled search for her dad. Suddenly, Chan-young sprays them with water, and he mocks them for having only one parent. Dong-chan stops Ha-nee before she hits him in the face, and another student comes running up to them with big news.
In an overwhelming landslide, Pa-do wins the position of PTA president, and the room erupts into cheers. He asks if he could nominate a vice-president to help him, and Chan-young’s mom jumps at the chance. To her embarrassment, Pa-do turns down her offer and suggests Ae-jung instead since she’s a producer.
Ae-jung runs up to Ha-nee and Dong-chan as they leave school, and tells them about her new title as vice-president. They congratulate her on beating Chan-young’s mom, but she informs them that Pa-do was the one who defeated her.
Right then, Director Kim and Pa-do arrive to pick up Dong-chan, and Ha-nee remembers him from the night Ae-jung came home drunk. Heh, she’s so cheeky, it’s adorable. In a stilted voice, Pa-do tells Dong-chan to get into the car, and Ae-jung and Ha-nee are left bewildered by the encounter.
On their way home, Director Kim is the only one talking, but despite his attempts to lighten the mood, Dong-chan never smiles. Unlike his response towards Ae-jung’s nomination, Dong-chan doesn’t care about Pa-do becoming the president and only wants his dad to not run into him at school. All the while, Pa-do remains silent and only glances at Dong-chan briefly.
Back at Thumb Film, Dae-oh recalls Ae-jung’s words about not having any good memories with him, so he turns to Hye-jin for advice. However, poor Hye-jin thinks this is a test and asks for more time to come up with a response. Ha, she’s so flustered that Dae-oh gives up his seat so she can think.
On her way to a meeting, Ae-jung spots a woman whose dress has a hole, so she follows her to the bathroom to inform her about the mishap. The woman turns out to be Bo-hye, and though she frets about the popped seam, she isn’t desperate enough to accept Ae-jung’s sweater. Pfft.
Ae-jung offers to sew it for her, and ignoring Bo-hye’s protests, she turns her around and goes to work. In a matter of minutes, the dress is fixed, and Ae-jung is gone just as quickly. She meets with Ah-rin and apologizes for the delay, but Ah-rin tells her that it’s fine. Instead, she warns Ae-jung that her CEO can be intimidating, but her worries are for naught since Bo-hye and Ae-jung laugh as soon as they see each other.
Over dinner, Bo-hye is impressed with how quickly the production side of the movie is going, and Ae-jung looks thrilled to finally receive some outside praise. Ah-rin asks if she can meet Dae-oh in the near future, and Ae-jung agrees to set up a time since they couldn’t talk a lot at the event.
Bo-hye is surprised to hear that Ae-jung was there, and she stares at her curiously, remembering how Yeon-woo left with a woman that night. Ae-jung explains that she had to go home to her daughter, and the mood in the room instantly lifts. They compliment Ae-jung for being dependable, and Ah-rin even asks if she can call her unni.
After the meeting, Ah-rin dances in her van, and tells Manager Do that she’s sworn sisters with Ae-jung now. After learning about Ae-jung’s daughter, Ah-rin assumes this means she is married and asks her manager to schedule a meeting with Dae-oh.
Dae-oh sits outside Sukey in hopes of finding Ae-jung but runs across Ha-nee instead. She’s putting up flyers, so Dae-oh presumes that Ae-jung isn’t giving her enough allowance and offers to give her some money. Ha-nee doesn’t recognize him and walks away from the stranger, but Dae-oh follows her and nags the entire time.
Having heard enough, Ae-jung confronts Dae-oh for acting nosy, and then finally blows her top when he hands her some cash and tells her not to be upset with her mom. She asks if she looks like a beggar and yells at him for talking poorly of her mom. She runs away from him, but Dae-oh chases after her, saying that he feels misjudged. Definitely not his brightest move.
Yeon-woo spots Dae-oh running after Ha-nee and gets off the bus. As he runs to her, Ha-nee crosses the street but drops her fliers. She bends down to pick them up in the middle of the road, and a motorcycle comes charging towards her. Dae-oh spots it first and yells at Ha-nee as he dashes forward.
Elsewhere, Ryu Jin has an interview and remembers his manager’s advice to keep CEO Song happy. When asked about his school lecture and if his first love is CEO Song, Ryu Jin doesn’t deny it and asks for a round of applause for her.
His reply worked like magic, and during dinner, CEO Song smiles at him. Though she still doesn’t like Ae-jung, she’ll trust his judgement. After the movie, though, she plans on moving the company to the United States to jumpstart his Hollywood career. When Ryu Jin shows some doubt, CEO Song stops smiling and warns him not to lose her faith over some trivial emotions.
Ryu Jin steps out of the room and looks conflicted over CEO Song’s warning. He pulls out his phone, and his finger hovers over Ae-jung’s name.
Alone in the office, Ae-jung sighs over a paper jam when someone comes in. It’s Ryu Jin, and he offers to fix the printer like he did in the past. She thanks him for the help and comments on how he was always by her side back in the day. Her words strike a chord, but she doesn’t seem to notice as she asks why he came to see her.
He asks if she’s okay with Dae-oh after the confession, but before she can answer, her phone rings. She answers the unknown number, and immediately her face falls. Ryu Jin drives her to the hospital, and Ae-jung frantically asks the front desk about Ha-nee.
Luckily, Ha-nee looks unscathed, though the same can’t be said of Dae-oh. He whines about his shot, and Ha-nee berates him for scaring her and causing this debacle in the first place. While the two of them bicker, Ryu Jin finds them, and he calls Ha-nee’s name. Unhappy to see him, she glares at him before leaving the hospital.
Ryu Jin goes after her to ask if she’s okay, but Ha-nee steps away from him and asks why he cares. She tells him to not bother with her anymore if he isn’t her dad, and Ryu Jin stumbles for a reply. At that moment, Ae-jung runs to Ha-nee and embraces her. She assures her mom that she’s fine, and then points to Dae-oh because he was the one who’s hurt.
Ae-jung grabs Ha-nee’s hand and walks past Dae-oh without acknowledging him. Later that night, Dae-oh lays in his bed and thinks back to the accident. He threw himself to shield Ha-nee from the fall, which resulted in his busted hand. He sadly remembers how Ae-jung used to care about him when he got hurt, and in her own home, Ae-jung texts Dae-oh to thank him but doesn’t send it.
Drinking alone, Yeon-woo also remembers the accident from earlier, and the image of Ha-nee in Dae-oh’s arms makes him sigh. Likewise, Ryu Jin returns home and looks frustrated with how the night’s events unraveled.
At work the next day, Ae-jung sees Dae-oh’s scribbles on his script that ask why she left him. When he comes into the office, she thanks him for protecting Ha-nee, and Dae-oh sits there speechless. She flees the room before he can respond, and he cracks a smile.
While Sook-hee cleans her bar, the puppy stares at her sadly, so she eventually gives in and takes care of the puppy as well. As she cleans the bed, she discovers the notebook Ha-nee left when Grandma arrives with a bag full of food. As Sook-hee hands her some vegetables in return, Grandma spots the notebook and learns that Ha-nee left it here.
Back at Thumb Film, Hye-jin asks the others if they can go home after they figure out the reason for the breakup, and Dae-oh turns to Ae-jung for her opinion. After contemplating for a moment, she tells him that their love just ended. He pushes back against her answer, calling such a relationship meaningless, so Ae-jung postulates a new interpretation: what if the male character’s love was fleeting?
With this in mind, the female character’s actions make more sense because her love turned to hate after realizing the truth. Ae-jung points out the author’s note which says something similar, and after their meeting ends, Dae-oh goes to the rooftop to read over the passage.
Dae-oh narrates, “Everyone has a first love, but yours is different from mine.”
As the scene cuts to Yeon-woo, Dae-oh describes how some first loves are those you wanted to protect by being by their side. As for others like Pa-do, maybe it was a person you couldn’t protect to the end. As for Dae-oh, himself, he writes, “A person who I loved so much to the point of hating them.”
Returning to the office, he finds Ae-jung sleeping at her desk and reaches out to touch her. However, at the last moment, Ryu Jin grabs his arm and stops him. As they stare at each other, Dae-oh finishes his note, “and someone I was afraid of losing again”
Nearly half-way into its run, and we still have no clue as to why our ex-lovers separated. On one hand, I understand the need to drag things out, but it still feels frustrating. Rather than focus on the present, a lot of current tension has to do with the past. Unresolved feelings and miscommunications have lasted over a decade and continue to affect the lives of our protagonists, but instead of talking things out, the writer is letting all their problems fester. As a result, it feels like character development has come to a standstill as all the main players are stuck on this carousel. Unfortunately, this is affecting Ae-jung’s character the most, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to root for her.
First, I’m really disappointed with Ae-jung for not telling Dae-oh why they broke up. I would have been fine with her not wanting to share if she didn’t use it as leverage to get him to sign on to her movie. A major part of him working with her (at least as the show portrayed it) is for him to finish his incomplete debut novel. However, if Ae-jung is going to stay silent and tell him, “their love just ended,” then what does she contribute to the team? This is a major misstep on the writer’s part for me because it makes Ae-jung look noncommittal and deceiving. She hasn’t done anything to really help produce their movie, and the one area where she could provide insight, she withdraws from the spotlight. Ultimately, it feels like a cheap tactic to drum up drama. It keeps the viewers in the dark to create tension but at what cost? Though the suitors may be winning over viewers’ hearts, I firmly believe Ae-jung is the crux of the show, and if the writer doesn’t develop her more and give the viewers a reason to root for her other than the fact that she’s a single mother, the entire show is at jeopardy.
Instead of dwelling on the past, I think the show needs to move on in order to revitalize her character. Currently, it doesn’t make much sense as to why four guys might love her and sacrifice so much for her sake (Dae-oh and Ryu Jin both gave up chances to work in Hollywood, Yeon-woo is living in an attic when he could afford a much nicer place, and Pa-do forgave over a billion won debt). In many ways, the show hasn’t convinced its viewers that the guys like present-day Ae-jung for who she has become, but rather they seem to like past Ae-jung so as default, they like current Ae-jung. The only outlier is Pa-do, but his case isn’t all that different since he seems to project a past image onto her as well. Personally, the best romances are the one where I love both individuals in the relationship separately as well as together, and in this case, I really want to love Ae-jung (especially for Ha-nee’s sake). Ae-jung greatest partner at the moment is her daughter, and I wish there were more moments of them together. Ha-nee seems to really love her mom, but instead of just hearing about it, I want to see their relationship, too.
While the romance is the show’s greatest pull, I find myself gravitating towards some of the non-romantic scenes and relationships because Ae-jung feels more alive and nuanced in those moments. Though it probably won’t last very long, I enjoyed the budding friendship and goodwill shared between Ae-jung, Ah-rin, and Bo-hye. It was nice to see them praise Ae-jung for doing her job, and even if it probably wasn’t for the right reasons, it was encouraging to hear other women praise Ae-jung for being a working mother. Having a child can be hard, but it shouldn’t be the reason a woman’s career gets ruined. Thus, it’s nice to see the show depict working moms such as Ae-jung and Bo-hye even if this message is unintentional. For the most part, I like Ah-rin as a character because she’s straight-forward, and when Dae-oh isn’t in the picture, she’s actually friendly and professional to Ae-jung. It would be nice if her character doesn’t become another typical second-lead who hates the female lead because of a man. In the same vein, I think Bo-hye is a much more interesting character as an entertainment CEO than she is the rich and overbearing mom, so hopefully, the show doesn’t reduce these two characters to cardboard cutouts.
The other relationships I really liked this episode were the ones related to Ha-nee and Dong-chan. I’m curious as to why Dong-chan has such a bad relationship with Pa-do and seems to like Director Kim more than his own dad. Since he does like the director, he probably doesn’t hate Pa-do because of his job, so what happened between this father and son to create such animosity, especially since Pa-do seems to care for Dong-chan? As for Ha-nee, her banter with Dae-oh was cute, but it also tore me to watch them together. On one hand, I want him to be the dad because it makes the most logical sense, but on the other hand, it pains me that these two lovable dorks were separated for so long. While Dae-oh chasing her in the streets was creepy (I know it was played for laughs, but from Ha-nee’s perspective, it definitely was scary), I liked how the show didn’t make Ha-nee immediately grateful towards him for “saving” her. She blamed him for causing the situation in the first place, and from the way the motorcyclist swerved, Dae-oh might have actually caused more harm with his tackle. Despite all that, you could tell Ha-nee was thankful, and the way she begrudgingly fed him chocolate milk felt like an exasperated daughter appeasing her childish dad. Out of all the men, I love Ha-nee’s relationship with Dae-oh the most because they already feel so comfortable together even though they barely know each other.
- Premiere Watch: Men Are Men, The Good Detective, Was It Love, Graceful Friends, Train
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- Song Ji-hyo to be romanced by Sohn Ho-joon, Kim Min-joon, Gu Ja-sung, and Song Jong-ho in JTBC’s Begin Again
- Song Ji-hyo courted for upcoming JTBC romance drama Begin Again