Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
While our couple enjoys their blossoming romance (and so do we!), we also get to see their teamwork at play as they solve work problems and navigate office dating in the cutest ways possible. But it’s not all roses this week, as our secondary characters deal with everything from an existential crisis, to a reveal that threatens a marriage.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Oh, the cuteness — let’s talk about the cuteness first. It’s so refreshing for a drama to feature a couple getting together in the second half of the story… and then not showing signs of any hairline fractures that will cause a requisite penultimate week breakup.
On the contrary, Hyun-seung and Song-ah are just about as happy as two people can be, and I love the total ordinariness of the things that make them happy. Driving together to work. Getting the other person their morning coffee. Collaborating on a project, or solving a problem together at work. Or, you know, unabashedly kissing in the middle of the park.
Our couple is solid and sweet, and the actors are selling this lovely romance to me at about 200% at this point. Rowoon, especially, has been turning in such a fun, delightful performance. I hadn’t seen him in anything but Extraordinary You prior, and while I loved him there, I wasn’t expecting the nuances and fluidity he’s bringing to Hyun-seung. Each episode I’m surprised and then delighted by his goofy facial expressions, mannerisms, and all the little details that he pulls off (even when he’s not the focus of the scene).
I would gladly watch these two flirting, enjoying each other’s company, and getting caught dating at work, for the entire remainder of the drama (how much do I love the KLAR team!), but sadly not everyone is as happy as Hyun-seung and Song-ah are. Indeed, this week the more serious drama falls on our secondary storylines.
Jae-shin has reached critical mass. After the death of his father, he’s compelled to go find the mother that abandoned him (no biggie, just another fantastic cameo performance by Kim Mi-kyung). She harshly rejects him, and that seems to be the final straw for Jae-shin. He can no longer seem to keep up his false life, and he confronts Hyo-joo on her manipulation of him, turns in his resignation from KLAR, and goes MIA. I do feel for him.
Jae-shin’s rebellion against his path, his past, and the role he carved for himself is interesting, though. He’s reached rock bottom, but rather than go into villain mode, he’s ready to start over — from the bottom, as he says. And besides leaving his life behind, that also means seeking out Song-ah and apologizing for how he treated her. (How refreshing that their relationship comes full circle on this note, rather than one where he viciously tries to win her back or ruin her current relationship!)
Jae-shin’s behavior starts the chain reaction we’ve all been waiting for: when all of our characters realize just how closely intertwined they are. Ji-seung learns that her ex-client Hyo-joo is Jae-woon’s sister. And Jae-woon learns that Jae-shin and Song-ah were recently dating. Slowly, connections are being made.
Of course we can’t forget poor Yeon-seung. After weeks and weeks of hanging fire, we finally get the big reveal about her husband, KANG WOO-HYUN (Lee Dong-ha) and the chef. Of all the scenarios I was imagining, this one didn’t occur to me. The chef is indeed gay, and interested in her husband — but it seems quite unwelcomed by Woo-hyun (at least from what we’ve seen so far).
We learn the two had a brief fling of sorts during their college days, and Woo-hyun is shown wrestling with it. He’s been a giant mystery to me thus far, but this actually makes sense — if the chef is the force of unwanted affection here, it makes sense why Woo-hyun is so often shown uncomfortable around him and unable to make easy eye contact with him (or with Yeon-seung, really). The pressure he’s living under makes him as withdrawn as we’ve seen – at least, that’s how I’m reading it right now; we’ll have to see what happens when Yeon-seung and Woo-hyun finally have the serious conversation they so sorely need.
Like favorite dramas are oft to do, they whoosh by far too quickly — and that’s exactly where we are with Sunbae. With only two weeks left of the story, we’ve got precious little time left for a few knots to be tied and connections to be made. However, Sunbae never feels rushed or crammed. It takes its time, and I can only think that it will continue at this pace through the conclusion.
Our main couple is surely heading in the right direction. Song-ah has the seal of approval from the family seer, KANG HA-EUN (Park So-yi), and she’s also met Ji-seung — can’t wait for the awkward double date when they realize he’s dating their CEO!
Finally, I don’t think I can end without another mention of the swoon factor here — there’s something about the romance between Hyun-seung and Song-ah that has me feeling as swept off my feet as they are. Perhaps it’s the fact that Hyun-seung’s devotion and patience paid off, and now they’re just as happy as they can be? Or that Song-ah comes alive because she’s confident in his love and loyalty? That Hyun-seung is rewarded with the love of his life for being a genuinely nice guy? Whatever factors are contributing here, the bottom line is: I really love this couple.
- Premiere Watch: Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce)
- New stills for JTBC’s Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick
- Kim Ro-woon relentlessly, romantically pursues Won Jin-ah in new JTBC office drama
- Kim Ro-woon is a swoony noona-killer Sunbae, Don’t Put On That Lipstick teaser
- Script reading for Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick with Won Jin-ah, Kim Ro-woon
- Won Jin-ah, Kim Ro-woon confirm new JTBC drama