Sunbae, Don’t Put on That Lipstick: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread
Chemistry is in the air, but Sunbae does a nice job of showing us how love isn’t always as simple as just liking someone. While both of our characters have their baggage from the past, and challenges in the present, what’s really on the table this week is the delicate dance going on between them.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
The more Song-ah and Hyun-seung get to know each other, the more they click. Hyun-seung knows it, Song-ah knows it, and we know it. The friction between them at the start of the drama — and the harshness from Hyun-seung — is addressed frequently, and explained and talked through so much that I really like the perspective the early parts of our story are given.
Hyun-seung admits he was selfish and harsh, and it’s an interesting bit of self-awareness. It’s also very different from the Hyun-seung we see as the drama progresses. His softness and devotion towards Song-ah is delightful and adorable. I could watch their conversations and moments on endless repeat.
Last week’s episodes ended with Song-ah and Hyun-seung pulling their all-nighter. Outside of all the surface-level cuteness (in this scene, and all of them really), I like how each scene also shows some internal truth, or emotional shift. For instance, at the warehouse we again see Hyun-seung’s utter care for Song-ah: he runs out into the torrential rain to get a blanket for Song-ah to rest on, since she’s falling asleep at the table.
His warmth and tenderness affect Song-ah as much as you might expect, and she returns that tenderness to him, dabbing his soaked hair with a towel (I object to the unnatural method of towel-drying in this scene, but it’s a drama thing, so I’ll let it go). As cute as it is, this shared moment also causes Song-ah to take a step back from him. He praises her and her character, but Song-ah responds that Hyun-seung’s heart is “too big for her to accept.” It’s an interesting and authentic reaction as she sees how deeply he cares for her.
It’s a bit of a turn-down, too, but Hyun-seung doesn’t change his actions that much. The two are still very much thrown together (at work and on the weekends) and each encounter continues their dance. Hyun-seung tells Song-ah that as long as they can still be close, he won’t pressure her and that he’ll “maintain a distance” if that’s what she wants. But can he really manage that? It’s not as easy as it sounds. He wants more, for sure, but it’s the return of his own ex-girlfriend that makes him think about his stance in a new light.
Much like the overseas work opportunity, the returning ex-girlfriend trope is one that I often dread. However, much like it handled the first trope, Sunbae takes a pretty light touch here as well. It also doesn’t save this trope for the final few episodes, which leaves me grateful. Instead, the return of Hyun-seung’s ex serves a few purposes: a) it makes his own experience more real for Song-ah, which brings them even closer; b) it shows how Hyun-seung is in high demand (duh!); c) and most importantly, it shakes him up.
I can’t equate it in my head, but his ex insists on taking him back, and when he refuses, likens it to his own unrequited love for Song-ah. Hyun-seung’s perspective shifts. Being pursued by a women who has hurt him and he wants nothing to do with makes him think about his own pursuit of Song-ah. This leads to one of the major shifts in their relationship: Hyun-seung tells Song-ah he’s changed his mind. He can’t be content keeping his distance. Instead, he will try to get over her. And he does this by putting up a wall.
It’s not until this wall is built that Song-ah realizes how much she’s enjoyed getting closer to him, and I love how well the drama captured the feeling of being removed from someone’s life who you were very much involved in only days ago. Quite rightly, it gives Song-ah perspective, and we end our episodes this week with her telling him not to move on. Swoon central!
I haven’t recounted the hundreds of cute moments between them this week — not because they weren’t great, but because all the internal shifts they caused were even more interesting than the moments themselves.
We also see quite a bit more of Hyun-seung’s sisters this week. For Yeon-seung’s storyline, and her husband and the mysterious chef, boy are they hanging fire with this plot! I’m still not completely sure where they’re going so I don’t want to call it, but I’m hoping for the best outcomes for Yeon-seung and her precocious and wonderful daughter.
Ji-seung’s storyline is a little lighter — she continues to be pursued by Jae-woon, who someone manages to catch her eye through his weird buffoonery. That being said, he seems genuinely smitten.
As for Hyo-joo and Jae-shin, they are marching ahead with their marriage despite the flashing red alarms going off in every scene, clueing us into the fact that this is not a great idea. Still, the more we see of these two the more I think they do indeed understand each other, however dysfunctional that is.
At this point in the drama, the storylines are still very much separate (especially the Chae siblings), and as we lean into the second half of the drama, I’m expecting a lot more confluence. And maybe even some louder drama, since the last few episodes have had more internally focused plot movement. It’s not exactly a “brace for impact” feeling, but in a way, I am anyway. There’s a lot of pieces and a lot of plot lines, still to come together. But as long as they don’t drive too deep of a wedge between Hyun-seung and Song-ah, we’ll have to let them come.
- 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