Record of Youth: Episode 6
Life is filled with ups and downs, which our young actor knows too well. While he has a dedicated crew ready to support him in his endeavors, there are still others who wish for his downfall. Despite the setbacks, he won’t give up on his dreams even if the road ahead looks tough, especially not now when he has someone special by his side.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Standing in the rain, Hye-joon confesses his feelings to Jung-ha, but instead of answering, she pulls him along before he catches a cold. He takes off his jacket to shield them as they run, and they find shelter at a convenience store. She invites him to her place to get an umbrella, and Hye-joon follows.
At home, Ae-sook compliments Young-nam for fixing the kitchen cabinet and wonders if Gramps is okay since he’s been in his room all evening. Young-nam checks up on him, and noticing Gramps walk in pain, he assumes that he went dancing. As always, he warns Gramps not to cause trouble again.
After drying himself, Hye-joon sits down for a cup of tea and looks at the various drawings of Jung-ha displayed on her bookshelf. Her dad drew them all—ranging from childhood to her young adult years—and one particular portrait grabs Hye-joon’s attention.
Jung-ha tells him that this was when her mom was getting remarried, and she asks if he knows what the hardest part is of your parents’ divorce. She smiles slyly and refuses to share since they aren’t close enough. Her distancing upsets him, but Jung-ha explains that she’ll tell him about herself little by little.
He asks if that’s her answer to his confession, and she stumbles for a response. Escaping to her room, Jung-ha can’t believe he actually confessed and steels herself to resist. Waiting for Jung-ha, Hye-joon receives a call from Gramps, telling him about his modeling class and how he needs a portfolio.
As Hye-joon gets ready to leave, Jung-ha cautiously asks about their relationship, but he already interpreted her words as a refusal. She quickly explains that she likes him, too, but doesn’t know what comes next. His answer is simple, “dating.”
Jung-ha walks Hye-joon out to the main road and offers to do Gramps’ makeup for his portfolio shoot. She waves bye as he walks away, and Hye-joon wonders to himself if she stayed behind and watched him that day. Though he wanted to turn around, he didn’t, and future Hye-joon regrets his decision. Continuing his narration, future Hye-joon wishes he cherished their beginning more, especially since he was unaware of how they would end up.
Hye-joon meets Min-jae in a café, and she jumps up from her seat, worrying about his injury. Besides checking up on him, she’s actually here to tell him about his new casting, and he also has something to tell her.
Despite the late hour, Hae-hyo texts Jung-ha, asking what she’s doing, and she replies back that she’s home. She tells him good night, and he chuckles at her conversation-ending message.
In the morning, Hae-hyo drops by a flower shop and picks up some yellow tulips. He gifts them to Yi-young, and she smiles at his show of affection. Ever the realist, Hae-na reminds her mom that Hae-hyo’s behavior will change once he gets a girlfriend.
Unfortunately, Hae-na’s meddling backfires as Yi-young’s attention turns to her dating life, instead. Deflecting the questions, Hae-na changes the topic, and eventually Yi-young’s scrutiny returns to Hae-hyo. She advises him to watch his actions while at the salon, and he suggests just dating, then. She tells him not to make rumors and ends the conversation.
On the ride to the salon, Hae-hyo’s manager notices the second bouquet of tulips in the backseat and tells Hae-hyo not to give the flowers to you-know-who. Hae-hyo laughs at his hasty assumptions of dating, but his manager believes no girl would turn him down.
Jung-ha is promoted to designer, but her celebration ends as soon as Jin Joo enters the room. The senior designer picks on Soo-bin and acts as if she betrayed her to side with Jung-ha. Her accusations fluster Soo-bin, but Jung-ha pays no heed to her words.
Hae-hyo finds Jung-ha in the back and hands her the bouquet, explaining how he picked up a second one while buying them for his mom. Though it was coincidental, it fits perfectly with her promotion, and he offers to buy her dinner to celebrate.
She turns him down since she already made plans with Hye-joon, and he wonders if they’re dating. She tells him that it isn’t a date today, and he wonders what happened to her resolve about not mixing fantasy with reality. She perceives his questions as teasing, but once she leaves, Hae-hyo says that he wasn’t joking.
While Hye-joon works out at the park, Jin-woo calls him about Gramps’ portfolio and tells him that he got permission to use the studio. Hye-joon is worried that he’s asking too much from his friend, but his concerns only make Jin-woo want to help him more.
Meanwhile, the two friends’ parents are eating together, and though they bicker, it’s all friendly banter. Ae-sook finally notices the bracelet Kyung-mi was showing off the entire time, and Kyung-mi notes how Ae-sook would be in the same boat if it wasn’t for Gramps.
When Hye-joon comes home, Kyung-mi gushes about his good looks and asks for Do-ha’s autograph. He explains how he isn’t close to him, and Kyung-mi understands since she heard rumors about the actor’s terrible personality.
Hye-joon asks to borrow the car, so Young-nam drops the keys off in his room. Before he leaves, he shows his concern for Hye-joon’s injury…by scolding for still working part-time jobs. Feeling awkward, Young-nam mentions Gramps, and Hye-joon asks him to stop guilting Gramps for his past mistake.
Speaking of whom, Gramps practices at the modeling academy even though it’s his day off. The instructor seems impressed by his dedication, and Gramps brags about Hye-joon’s support for his new aspirations.
Jin-woo stops by the sandwich shop Hye-joon works at, and while waiting for his food, he tells him that Do-ha is trending. Hye-joon looks unconcerned by the news, but at Jin-woo’s insistence, he decides to text Min-jae about it. However, she messages him first, telling him how happy she feels about his career, and Hye-joon tells his friend that he was casted in a drama.
Min-jae calls Director Yoon, but the director yells at her since Tae-soo told him about their “betrayal.” Seething, Min-jae calls Tae-soo for an explanation, but he’s busy fixing his own problems.
Do-ha barges into his office, pressing him for a solution, so Tae-soo tells him to calm down first. The actor won’t leave without hearing his plan since he doesn’t trust him, but to his bafflement, Tae-soo agrees—he shouldn’t trust him.
Yi-young makes a call to complain about Hae-hyo being associated with Do-ha, but since the latter has a large fandom, she agrees to the marketing strategy for now. Meanwhile, Hae-hyo gets ready for his commercial shoot with Jung-ha as his makeup artist, but before they leave, she receives a text from Hye-joon. Seeing her smile, he asks if she likes him that much, and she says that she does.
On set, Hae-hyo plays racquetball until he’s covered in sweat and falls to the floor. He reaches over and grabs… a doughnut. The director calls cut, and as they prepare to reshoot the scene, Jung-ha touches up his makeup. While she does her job, he seems acutely aware of their close proximity.
It’s almost time to start Gramps’ photoshoot, yet Jung-ha is nowhere in sight. Gramps notes that his friend probably isn’t coming, but Hye-joon tells him that she keeps her promises. On cue, Jung-ha calls Hye-joon to apologize for being late and tells him that she’ll still make it.
Catching a ride with Hae-hyo, Jung-ha rushes off to the studio without so much as a glance back. Watching her leave, Hae-hyo thinks to himself that while he chose friendship over love in the past, this time he wants to make a different choice.
Jung-ha looks worried as she runs into an empty studio, but once she checks the changing room, she finds everyone patiently waiting for her. She smiles at Hye-joon, and he beams back at her.
The three friends help Gramps with his photoshoot, complimenting his poses and having a grand time all around. Afterwards, they celebrate with drinks—though the two guys stick to soda since they’re the designated drivers.
While the younger kids laugh, Gramps comments on how beautiful they all are and thanks them for today. He tells them that the best thing he did was have Young-nam because he was able to meet Hye-joon, Jin-woo, and Jung-ha. Adding to the list of good things, Jin-woo tells the others about Hye-joon’s drama casting, and they cheer for him as well.
Kyung-joon looks for apartments again and finds an amazing deal that meets Ae-sook’s budget requirements. The real estate agent sits him down to sign the paperwork, but Kyung-joon is tentative about entering a contract without meeting the owner first. The real estate agent threatens to pull the deal, and instead of finding this response fishy, Kyung-joon agrees to sign.
Still in his office, Tae-soo reads the articles of Do-ha pushing his fan to the ground, but in the comments section, his “fans” defend the actor’s actions as justified. With public sentiment now on their side, Tae-soo orders an employee to send all the reporters a gift.
Having waited in the parking lot this entire time, Min-jae confronts Tae-soo when he leaves for the night, but neither her appearance nor her admonishments faze him. He describes his actions as a life lesson since the entertainment world is filled with jerks like him. Min-jae explodes, calling him inhuman, but he merely applauds her for finally catching on: agents aren’t humans.
Min-jae sits in her car alone when she reads a text from Jung-ha, congratulating her for getting Hye-joon a role in a drama. Reading her words, tears fall from Min-jae’s eyes despite her best efforts to hold them back, and she holds her phone close to her chest as she cries.
Tae-soo takes Do-ha to a private club room and explains how he buried the scandal by manipulating the comments. Do-ha comments on how Tae-soo is smarter than he looks, and Tae-soo suddenly drops honorifics, looking peeved. However, he quickly slaps on a smile and brings in some women to entertain them.
On his way home, Young-nam bumps into Gramps and wonders why he’s dressed so differently. Gramps twirls for his son, bragging about looking good, and inside, he tells Ae-sook about Hye-joon’s drama casting.
Hye-joon drops off Jung-ha at her place, and she asks if she can take a picture to record this surreal moment. He readily poses for her photo, and to further cement this as reality, he asks her out to watch a movie to which she agrees.
He holds her hand while walking her home, and notes that it hasn’t rained. She says that the rain will remind her of someone but doesn’t share who. Standing outside her place, he tells her to go in first, and they slowly let go of each other’s hand. This time, Hye-joon waits and watches as Jung-ha leaves.
Fulfilling their promised movie date, Hye-joon and Jung-ha meet at the theater early in the morning. After taking their seats, he asks for the time, and Jung-ha touches her watch which is specially designed for the blind. She explains how she strives to empathize and tells him to try reading it, too. He reaches over to use her watch, and Jung-ha freezes as his touch.
Min-jae lies in bed as she sighs at the multiple missed calls from “Sa Star” (aka, Hye-joon). Rather than deal with the problem, she opts for a different solution: sleep.
In a cafe, Jin-woo sends his last vaccination receipt to Hae-na and meets with Hye-joon to give him Gramps’ portfolio. After hearing that Hye-joon saw a movie with Jung-ha, he asks if he likes her more than his friends, and Hye-joon picks Jung-ha in a heartbeat. He asks the same thing to Jin-woo, and he just as quickly chooses Hae-na. Hye-joon freaks out when he hears her name and warns Jin-woo to keep him out of it.
Jin-woo picks up Hae-na and takes her to a hotel room that he prepared with all the classic romantic decorations—petals in the bathtub, candles, banner, and more. He suggests getting into the mood with some wine, but Hae-na cuts to the chase and kisses him.
As she pulls him to the couch, Jin-woo backs away and postpones having sex to another day because he still thinks of her as a little girl. She yells at him for ruining mood—he wasn’t the only one looking forward to this day—and Jin-woo takes back his statement, saying that they can do it. His lackluster response infuriates her more, and Hae-na gets up. Jin-woo grabs her, but she firmly tells him to let go, calling him a loser before marching out.
Hye-joon comes home to Gramps practicing his posture even at home and warns him not to overdo it. He hands him the portfolio, which Gramps adores, and they hide his keepsake in a drawer. They join the rest of the family for dinner, and Ae-sook cooked a feast to celebrate Hye-joon’s casting.
Kyung-joon is dubious of the news since the drama doesn’t even have a broadcasting station, but Gramps puts a stop to his questioning. Once Young-nam comes to the table, he asks about Kyung-joon’s new apartment, and his eldest son assures him that it’s good. While they eat, Ae-sook places meat in Hye-joon’s bowl, and he smiles at the gesture.
After dinner, Hye-joon calls Min-jae, but she continues avoiding his calls. The next morning, he goes to meet her in person, and as soon as she sees him, she apologizes. She doesn’t think she’s cut out to be his manager, but Hye-joon tells her that it’s fine because nothing in life is free.
She’s amazed by his composure, but then shrinks back when he raises his voice to scold her. He believes running away is bad, but more importantly, he dislikes how easily she quit. He asks if she’s unconsciously thinking lightly of her work and confesses that he doesn’t have much time: “Sometimes, I’m not laughing even when I laugh.”
Yi-young sighs at the new script Hae-hyo received and berates his agency for not doing its job. Hae-hyo comes down as they’re talking and comments on how his manager looks like Yi-young’s employee.
Returning to her room, Yi-young tosses aside the script and asks Ae-sook about Hye-joon’s next project. Taking a break from her cleaning, Ae-sook tells her about his drama casting, but when she says the name, Yi-young makes a face—it’s the same one Hae-hyo is considering. Making a quick call, Yi-young learns that Hye-joon’s name isn’t attached to the drama and tells Ae-sook the bad news.
Walking through a bookstore, Hye-joon picks up a book that starts with a quote from Nikos Kazantzakis, “How simple and frugal a thing is happiness.” Moving to a café, he studies English by watching shows, and at home, Gramps practices his modeling.
Gramps moves into the living room for more space but is interrupted when Ae-sook and Kyung-joon come home. He returns to his room but suddenly faints in the doorway. While Ae-sook and Kyung-joon stay with him at the hospital, Young-nam packs some of Gramps’ clothes to bring to the hospital. He goes through a drawer to grab his pacemaker ID card and stumbles across his portfolio.
At the hospital, Gramps wakes up, and the doctor notifies them that his fall was caused by exhaustion or stress. Ae-sook and Kyung-joon turn to Gramps for an explanation, but he just hems and haws.
When Hye-joon comes home, Young-nam throws Gramps’ portfolio to the ground and accuses him for being unrealistic. Hye-joon argues back, describing how he gave up on college for hyung because of their family’s financial situation, but Young-nam doesn’t see it that way. He scolds Hye-joon for resembling Gramps, but Hye-joon bites back, “It’s way better than resembling you!”
Seeing red, Young-nam slaps Hye-joon across the face, and everything goes silent for a second. Barely over a whisper, Hye-joon asks if he hit him, and Young-nam huffs before stomping away. With nowhere else to go, Hye-joon sits in the van and cries.
When Jung-ha calls him, Hye-joon holds back his tears to answer, and hearing his stuffy voice, she asks if he’s sick. He tells her that he’s okay, so she asks if he can come out and play with her. Agreeing to meet, he takes her to a park, and she marvels at the nice place.
He tells her that he comes here when he’s depressed, and admits to feeling down, though he isn’t anymore because of her. She takes that to mean she’s his antidepressant and asks to be paid for her services. He hands her some money, and she giddily runs off with the free cash. Heh.
On their walk, they find a piano in the park and sit on the bench. She joins him as he plays “Chopsticks,” and Hye-joon narrates, “When you love a woman, magic happens. That woman has a name: Ahn Jung-ha.”
Hye-joon starts another piece (“Two Hands, to You”), but this time by himself. He sings a soft and quiet rendition only meant for her ears, and Jung-ha watches him, unable to tear her eyes away. When he finishes, he meets her gaze and then slowly leans in. As they kiss, Hye-joon sheds a tear.
There’s something melancholic about this show, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that the current timeline is in the past. Ultimately, what we’re watching is memories, which means there’s an end. Though Hye-joon and Jung-ha’s relationship has just started, the show reminds us that something happens and their happiness doesn’t last. Even in the moments when the audience should squee, the show doesn’t portray these scenes with unabandoned bliss. While it’s adorable to watch the couple together, at the end of the day, they have to separate, and on screen, it’s only ever Hye-joon we see—walking away or waiting. Ultimately, Hye-joon is the narrator, and we experience the world through his eyes. Time is running out for our young actor, and his sense of urgency can be felt throughout the show. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, as Gramps wisely said, but on the other side of the coin, today will never come again.
As the show progresses, Young-nam continues to occupy the same role and never seems to improve as a father or son. He constantly belittles Gramps, and is the opposite of Hye-joon, always holding onto the past and never moving forward. While some of his anger is justified—it seems he took on the role Gramps should have played—his behavior comes across as vindictive and mean. However, even if Young-nam is angry at his father, there’s no reason for him to take out that frustration on Hye-joon. Though he seemed surprised by how hard he slapped him, it doesn’t nullify the fact that he hit his son and refused to apologize afterwards for his mistake. After a certain point, it becomes hard to redeem a character, and in this case, I doubt I will ever understand why Young-nam treats Hye-joon the way he does.
The saddest part of that scene, though, was Hye-joon’s reaction. He has nowhere to go—not even a room to call his own—thus he escapes to his dad’s van just so he can cry in peace. Hye-joon really had no place or person to turn to for solace until Jung-ha entered the picture. In some ways, their budding relationship seems fast, but sometimes emotions are inexplicable. Like her name, she brings him peace, and when he’s with her, you can see from his expression how everything else melts away in her presence. However, because he loves her yet barely knows her, he still wants to impress Jung-ha, which is probably why he keeps some of his troubles a secret from her. In the beginning, their sense of familiarity—a kindred spirit that’s been wearied and worn—was what drew them to each other, but maybe it’s these same things that made them fall in love that will push them apart: Their drive becomes selfishness, their dedication becomes stubbornness, and their allure turns into another distancing secret. On the other hand, maybe they’ll just slowly drift apart, not even knowing themselves how they ended things as the other parts of their lives grow in importance. Alas, even if their future may be bleak as future Hye-joon hinted, it simply means we should cherish their beginning that much more.
Besides Hye-joon, Hae-hyo seems to like Jung-ha as well, but unlike with Hye-joon, it’s harder for me to see when and how Hae-hyo fell in love. More than an attraction, I get the impression that Hae-hyo is interested in Jung-ha because she likes Hye-joon instead of him. Surrounded by people who are constantly boosting his ego and growing up never wanting of anything, I doubt Hae-hyo has ever “lost” to his friend. Even when he talks about choosing friendship over love, he’s always at the center of his words. Naturally, Hae-hyo is the protagonist of his story, but I don’t think he understands that everyone else is the lead of their own, as well. Hye-joon is his friend, and it seems possible that he might have subconsciously categorized him as a supporting role. Thus, Hae-hyo never realized that he’s the side character in Hye-joon’s story, so when Jung-ha makes him aware of this fact, he confuses these emotions as love. For the most part, Hae-hyo is kind and giving, but so far, it’s only been because of his affluent background. When the time comes for Hae-hyo to truly lose something, I suspect that he’ll be choosing more than just love over his friendships.
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