Monthly Magazine Home: Episode 12
Magazines and heartbreak, that’s the name of the game this hour as our protagonists nurse broken hearts. While work takes a backseat, questions of home remain in the forefront as our CEO and writer grapple with what comes next for them.
EPISODE 12: “Home, a container that holds life”
Ja-sung reels over what he’s just learned from Chan, that Gyeom has liked Young-won for a long time. When Gyeom comes to in the hospital, he fibs that he was drinking with his friends, unaware that Ja-sung already knows he was drinking alone. He apologizes for being a nuisance on Ja-sung’s birthday.
With Gyeom conscious again, Ja-sung takes a moment to finally call Young-won and to let her know where he rushed off to. He assures her Gyeom’s injuries aren’t serious and that he’ll talk to her tomorrow before hanging up.
Ja-sung stops by the office to pick some stuff up for Gyeom from the studio. When he searches for a bag to carry everything in, he discovers the designer purse from the charity bazaar that had been gifted to Young-won. Ja-sung connects the dots and he realizes just how long Gyeom has had feelings for Young-won.
The next day at the office, Chan informs everyone that Gyeom has a light concussion, so he’ll be in the hospital until tomorrow. He skirts around questions about why Gyeom was drinking alone and heads out before anyone can try to get more info.
Sang-soon tsk-tsks at Gyeom overdoing it with the drinks. Joo-hee tells him–in banmal no less–“You have no right to say that.” All eyes turn to her in shock, but she just says Eui-joo texted her to tell her to say that. LOL. He apologizes, but Eui-joo doesn’t want to hear it; she announces through Joo-hee that she’s severing ties with him. When Editor Choi tries to talk her out of it, Eui-joo acts like she’s never heard of Sang-soon before.
Ja-sung is keeping Gyeom company at the hospital and when Young-won visits with a gift of flowers, Ja-sung seems to shrink with guilt as he watches Gyeom and Young-won chat.
Editor Choi invites Eui-joo to a restaurant on his dime but when she sees that Sang-soon is waiting for them (complete with an omelette that has “Sorry” written on it with ketchup), Eui-joo turns on her heels to walk out.
She’s furious about being tricked into meeting with Sang-soon and doesn’t want to hear another word from anyone. When he grabs her coat to stop her from leaving, she shrugs her coat off altogether and storms out. Editor Choi thinks Eui-joo’s being too harsh, but Sang-soon says it’s warranted. He picks up his phone and is shocked beyond words.
Gyeom apologizes for messing up the shooting schedule but Young-won doesn’t care about that, she hopes he’ll get better soon so that they can resume going to the convenience store together. He draws a line and tells her they can’t be convenience store mates anymore. When her face drops, Gyeom explains he won’t have the time, since he’s made the decision to study fine art.
Young-won’s disappointed about losing her convenience store mate, but she’ll root for him and his studies. Ja-sung watches in silence, guilt written all over his face. It doesn’t get any better when Gyeom suggests that Young-won and Ja-sung get dinner together. Gyeom asks Young-won to take care of his hyung, and Ja-sung looks pained.
Ja-sung is so distracted as he and Young-won walk out of the hospital that he forgets his coat. He doubles back to Gyeom’s room, but stops short at what he sees: Gyeom, sitting forlornly and staring at his flowers from Young-won. He remembers how Chan had explained that Gyeom had seen how happy Ja-sung was and wanted to protect him.
At dinner, Young-won worries about how difficult things must be for Ja-sung, considering that Gyeom is like a brother to him. She assures him that she won’t let there be any disruptions at work but Ja-sung cuts her off–“You’ve already caused disruption.”
He coldly and plainly tells her that dating her has caused him to slack off and that they should break up. Young-won doesn’t quite believe her ears until he emphasizes that dating isn’t for him. He didn’t realize until they were apart, but he’s come to his senses now and does’t want to waste time or energy.
Young-won faintly asks if all of their time together was a waste. He tells her yes, and walks out of the restaurant. He holds himself together until he gets into his car. It takes every ounce of willpower he has to ignore Young-won’s calls.
Sitting alone in the restaurant, Young-won downs shots as Ja-sung’s words echo in her memory, including when he told her, “I’ll become a boyfriend you can always be proud of.”
The next morning, Young-won wakes up with a massive hangover… in Ja-sung’s apartment. She gasps when she remembers what happened the night before.
In a drunk stupor, she’d shown up at his place and banged on the door until he let her in. Once inside, she’d wailed and flailed about on the living room floor about the break-up and not understanding what had happened between them. Mortified, Young-won sneaks out and finds a sticky note on the front door: “I’ll pretend yesterday didn’t happen. Don’t ever do this again.”
Sang-soon celebrates with another dance routine, and this time he’s rejoicing at the fact that his apartment’s value has already jumped by 50 million won. He’s willing to buy everyone dinner to mark the occasion, but Eui-joo keeps making sarcastic remarks. But now, his confidence is so high that he responds in kind, pretending he doesn’t know any Yeo Eui-joos.
Eui-joo takes refuge in the reference library, scoffing at Sang-soon’s attitude, and she stumbles on Young-won curled up in a corner and crying.
Eui-joo’s shocked and offended on Young-won’s behalf, especially at Ja-sung’s dig about dating her being a waste of emotions and time. She tells Young-won to forget him, and no matter what, don’t get clingy and go crying to him. (It’s a little late for that bit of advice.)
Eui-joo takes her out for lunch and encourages her to eat well to show she’s not in pain from the break-up. Unfortunately, Gyeom and Ja-sung have chosen the same restaurant for lunch. Oblivious to the tension, Gyeom suggests they all to eat together.
Ja-sung shovels food into his mouth while Young-won can barely get anything down. Eui-joo subtly takes swipes at Ja-sung about his fickleness, and while her comments grab Gyeom’s attention, he doesn’t fully catch on.
Though Ja-sung seemed completely unaffected by Young-won’s presence, she’s clearly not invulnerable. After lunch, as Eui-joo rants about Ja-sung, Young-won ends up vomiting.
Young-won faces Ja-sung on her own, handing him the newest advertorial proposal. He accepts and tells her to leave. She apologizes for her drunk behavior and he reminds her that he told her he’d pretend it hadn’t happened.
She thanks him, and informs him that it won’t happen again. But she has a request: if anything like that happens again, please treat her coldly so she won’t have any lingering feelings.
He stays calm until she leaves and thinks back to the previous night. After Young-won had cried herself out, he’d carried her to bed and tucked her in. Ja-sung had pulled back from her but she’d grabbed his hand in her sleep and begged him not to go. In the present, he pulls himself together, but he’s clearly not as unaffected as he first seemed.
Mi-ra drops off a homemade lunchbox for Gyeom. She offers some to Chan too, and he gets all smug, thinking she was sneakily using Gyeom as an excuse to cook for him. The lunchbox is impressive three layer set, and Chan sighs that he has no choice but to tell Mi-ra “yes.”
During their staff meeting, Editor Choi points out that Young-won did really well with the last feature article, so she should write more of them. Ja-sung agrees–and tells everyone that Young-won will no longer write any advertorials. He delegates the task to Editor Choi until they find a new freelance writer and abruptly leaves the meeting.
Once again, Eui-joo tells Young-won to forget him and move on; this is actually a blessing in disguise. Now that she’s off advertorials she can write about topics she’s interested in. Young-won agrees, but she still looks like she’s just going through the motions.
Eui-joo informs Gyeom that he should set the shooting schedule with Editor Choi instead of Young-won from now on. Gyeom’s surprised by the change and finally mentions the weird vibe during their lunch. He asks if something happened between Ja-sung and Young-won.
Gyeom confronts Ja-sung, and they have a stand-off as Gyeom lays into him. He asks if it’s true that Ja-sung dumped Young-won. Did he really give a ridiculous reason like not wanting to waste time and emotions?
He can’t understand why Ja-sung would date her in the first place if he was just going to hurt her. Ja-sung says he didn’t realize what a hindrance dating would be, and after all, money is what’s most important to him.
Gyeom looks disgusted as he calls Ja-sung the worst and says Ja-sung’s not the person he thought he was.
Sang-soon has dinner with Mi-ra, Joo-hee, and Editor Choi and he’s in high spirits about his future home. Sang-soon says his move-in date is two years from now, but he’ll easily be able to make the loan payments since the price of the apartment is skyrocketing (not sure how that works, but it seems linked to the subscription system). When a call comes in, Sang-soon is shocked by whatever he hears.
Young-won curls in bed, glad to finally be home, but Imaginary Ja-sung pops up to remind her that she’s living in her boyfriend’s—no, ex-boyfriend’s—home, not her own. Young-won throws a pillow at him to chase him off, saying she doesn’t want to think about him anymore.
Ja-sung and Editor Choi arrive at the latest locale for the advertorial, a combined art studio and home setup. Their dynamic is very different from the usual—Editor Choi is his shamelessly flattering self with Ja-sung and the homeowner.
However, Editor Choi surprises Ja-sung by knowing real estate terms, and the interview gets done without any major issues. After the interview, Ja-sung admits he underestimated Editor Choi and starts to say he’ll take him on permanently, but Editor Choi hastily interrupts—he just memorized the terms Young-won schooled him on.
This sends Ja-sung into such a vivid reverie of Young-won he accidentally calls Editor Choi by Young-won’s name instead.
The next day, Eui-joo walks into work to see Sang-soon looking upset. She asks what’s wrong (in her usual snarky, flippant way), assuming it’s something frivolous like the dinner bill being too expensive. Sang-soon gets up and leaves, and Eui-joo shows real concern when Joo-hee tells her Sang-soon might lose his apartment.
In the library, Sang-soon tells Editor Choi about his looming loan payment deadline. He doesn’t have much time and he needs 50 million won but can’t even borrow from a bank due to his bad credit.
Sang-soon asks Editor Choi for help, but he doesn’t even have 5,000 won to spare. Editor Choi suggests Eui-joo instead since she recently got her deposit back from her landlord. Sang-soon won’t even entertain the thought; how could he ask her when he’s wronged her already? Eui-joo, having eavesdropped the entire time, says to herself that Sang-soon has some decency at least.
Throughout the day, Young-won sees Ja-sung’s name everywhere. From PowerPoints to menus, she sees Ja-sung’s name where it doesn’t exist.
Chan checks in with Joo-hee, remarking that Mi-ra must be dying with joy right about now. At Joo-hee’s confusion, he figures Mi-ra just hasn’t seen the special note he left for her: “You broke down the solid wall called Jang Chan. Mi-ra, you win. Let’s officially go on a date.”
He muses that the heart’s a funny thing, and it eventually opens up to the person who chases after you. Joo-hee matter-of-factly tells him to close his heart. Mi-ra doesn’t like him. Then who does Mi-ra actually like? Joo-hee nods at the photo in front of him… it’s Gyeom with his dimpled smile. Everything finally clicks.
In full panic mode, Chan races to stop Mi-ra from seeing his note. He manages, just barely, and he wrests the lunchbox away from her saying that he forgot to put in a gift of chocolates for her. Mi-ra thinks Chan’s a strange fellow, but Joo-hee just thinks he’s just a sad person.
Young-won trudges along and now she’s seeing Ja-sung’s face everywhere she goes. He’s the student who bumps into her, the deliveryman she walks past, and even everyone in the elevator. It’s funny, but sad.
Sang-soon is dealing with his financial woes, and he’s surprised by a notification on his phone saying he’s received a deposit of 50 million won from Eui-joo. He doesn’t understand why she’d help him and he tells her he can’t accept, but she deflects with her classic sarcasm. He tells her he won’t ever forget her kindness and she pinches his cheek aggressively and wonders what he would ever do without her.
Ja-sung walks into his apartment and finds Young-won there, sitting in the dark. He tells her not to do this again, but she ignores him and carries on; she just can’t understand why he would break up with her. He denies being impacted in any way and tells her to leave. But she can’t—he’s dreaming.
Ja-sung wakes up and his eyes land on Young-won’s plant and all the other things that she had chosen with care.
In her own home, Young-won wakes up and she’s a hungover mess. Her once-neat apartment is more pigsty now, and she says to herself, “A house is a container that holds life. My life is a total disaster.” The doorbell gets her attention; it’s Eui-joo.
Eui-joo and Gyeom manage to get Young-won to join them on a countryside jaunt. Young-won isn’t 100% sold on the trip, so Eui-joo asks Young-won to stay, claiming that people might get the wrong idea if they see she hangs out alone with Gyeom.
Editor Choi is hanging out at the office so that he can spend the weekend without getting nagged by his wife. But his plans to relax get interrupted when he realizes Ja-sung is there too.
Ja-sung is totally spaced out and his office is a mess, but he insists he’s fine. He just felt like rearranging the furniture for efficiency’s sake. When Ja-sung changes the subject to ask why Editor Choi’s in the office on a weekend, Editor Choi pretends he’s there to get a head start on his work.
Back at his desk Editor Choi senses something eerie… and he turns to see that Ja-sung’s now staring right at him, having moved his desk once again. As soon as Editor Choi turns back around, Ja-sung starts moving again and the sound of the desk being dragged around fills the air.
The destination is the country home that Gyeom’s parents own, and Young-won is decidedly more cheerful now that they’re there. Eui-joo’s shocked to see Sang-soon running up to them, and she’s bemused by her new nickname, “Queen Yeo.” Sang-soon insists that he needs to be wherever she is, since she’s his savior.
As the group checks out the home, Sang-soon innocently asks if Ja-sung helped procure the house for Gyeom’s parents. Sang-soon keeps asking until Eui-joo pinches his lips together and tells him to shut up, saying she doesn’t want to hear that name.
Young-won forces a smile and pretends she’s fine, even repeating Sang-soon’s question and praising Ja-sung’s real estate skills. But this time Sang-soon yells at her to shut up, since Queen Yeo doesn’t want to hear it (lol, Eui-joo pinches his lips shut again).
Young-won runs to the bathroom, and when she’s alone, she lets her mask drop. While at the rest stop, she had overheard Eui-joo and Gyeom talking about their plan to get her out of the house and cheer her up. She tells herself she shouldn’t be down—after all, Eui-joo and Gyeom are working so hard for her. She looks at herself in the mirror: “I can get over him.”
At the office, strange noises from the library break Editor Choi’s concentration. He finds the library in disarray, with books all over the place and Ja-sung busily attempting to organize everything by color. He tries again to help, but once again Ja-sung begs him to mind his own business.
Back in the countryside, the foursome walk around and come across a school and playground. At Young-won’s suggestion, they decide to play a round of “Red Light, Green Light” inside the school. Young-won throws herself into the game, falling over at one point, but she’s in high spirits and Eui-joo and Gyeom exchange grins at Young-won’s improved mood.
As they walk out, Gyeom checks in with her about her fall. He says he hopes she stops hurting and is healed soon. He plays it off as though he’s talking about her leg, but it’s clear he has another meaning in mind. Before the vibe can get too heavy, he asks Young-won what she wants to do next. Her idea? An old school dance party and karaoke session. Everyone sings and dances their heart out as Gyeom takes their photos.
Editor Choi finishes the article, but can’t find Ja-sung in his office. He’s in the kitchen, cleaning and reorganizing every drawer and cabinet. Once again, Editor Choi tries to help, but Ja-sung is insistent, asking if he needs to get down on his knees and beg for Editor Choi to mind his own business. As Editor Choi reluctantly turns away, Ja-sung knocks a glass over and shatters it. He won’t accept help until he cuts himself and Editor Choi finally steps in to take care of him.
Editor Choi tends to the cut and asks if there is something Ja-sung wants to forget. He points to a book on Ja-sung’s desk titled, “If You Want to Forget, Move Your Body.” Editor Choi understands; when his building’s approval for reconstruction fell through at the last minute, he cleaned the house over and over so he wouldn’t keep thinking about it. But exhausting yourself doesn’t make you forget. The very act of struggling to forget means you’re actually thinking about it.
“Then, what can I do?” asks a rather vulnerable Ja-sung. Editor Choi says he doesn’t know. But perhaps, just let things be. After all, time heals all wounds—even Ja-sung’s finger will heal with time.
Back at the country house, the group have dinner together and Young-won is eating properly and looks much happier. She tells the others that she feels her stress levels dropping and she’s glad she came. Her phone rings with a call from her mom and she steps outside to take it.
Sang-soon comes back from the bathroom and overhears them talking about Young-won feeling better. When he asks what they mean, Eui-joo just says Young-won’s going through some stuff so they’re cheering her up. He praises her again, in all seriousness, saying “Your goodness knows no bounds!”
Eui-joo agrees, then bemoans her singleness. Sang-soon says whoever she ends up with is blessed, so Eui-joo asks him to set her up with someone and pinches his cheeks. As she toasts with Gyeom and eats, Sang-soon gazes at her and his heart beats a little faster.
Young-won finishes the call and looks up at the night sky. She posts in the homeowner forum.
“Do you know the saying ‘a home is a container that holds life’? My home was literally a mess today. Just like my life. So I left, as if I were running away from home. I think it was a wise choice. Spending the day outside, bustling about, I tried not to think about him. And it worked.
Actually, that’s a lie. I want to go home right this minute. Because at home, I can let the tears I’ve been holding back flow freely.”
Throughout the entire day, Young-won had seen Ja-sung everywhere. Back in Seoul, alone in his home, Ja-sung reads Young-won’s post and finally lets himself cry.
Sorry, Ja-sung, but I have no sympathy for you. I get it, it hurts right now but you brought this on yourself, for the flimsiest reason in the world. I mean, the most obvious reason is that he feels guilty for dating the girl that Gyeom—the closest thing he has to family—has a crush on. But if this was his way of caring for Gyeom, his plan clearly didn’t work.
The noble idiocy here is especially bad because Ja-sung is not only making the decision for Gyeom but for Young-won as well. He’s decided what will make them happy without communicating with either of them. But he’s either not thinking of Young-won’s happiness at all or he’s assumed that Young-won will be happier with Gyeom. And Gyeom actually told him that Ja-sung’s decision didn’t make him happy! He actually lost Gyeom’s respect with this decision, although Gyeom doesn’t know the full truth yet, so now he’s more alone than ever. Relationships are a two-way street and while it’s all fine and good to consider other people’s feelings, it’s not so good to take action by yourself.
I just don’t understand, and I blame the writing. I get that a break-up just as the main couple is finding happiness is a common plot device, but I hate it in general and very much in this situation. I think the problem is that they set up a couple that actually communicates pretty well and is supportive of each other, so at first glance there’s not much that could result in conflict. But there are plenty of other aspects to mine—what about their financial divide and differing experiences in life? But instead of tackling material that feels natural for this couple and this drama, the show threw in something that feels angsty, all for the sake of angst.
That aside, I liked Gyeom in this episode. Gyeom is such a mild-mannered person most of the time, even in situations that call for a little more fire, that his righteous fury at Ja-sung’s treatment of Young-won felt good to see. It was wonderful seeing him partner up with Eui-joo to cheer up Young-won. Though their plan wasn’t able to solve Young-won’s heartache, it’s good to see that she has people in her corner. Eui-joo’s loyalty is awesome; though she can be a bit of a hot mess generally, at the end of the day she cares for Young-won deeply and wants what’s best for her.
And Sang-soon. Sweet, sweet, Sang-soon. This guy can’t seem to catch a break, and life has just thrown him a major curveball if he’s actually falling for Eui-joo. Their bickering chemistry is super fun to watch and I’ve been wondering for a while if they would go in this direction. He is super earnest and I think he’s sincere with his flattery when he called her his queen and says she saved him. In contrast, she’s rarely serious and doesn’t think very far into the future. I don’t know if this couple will last (or even get started really), especially since they have such different views on marriage, but regardless of the result I imagine it will be entertaining to watch.
- Premiere Watch: At a Distance Spring Is Green, Monthly Magazine Home, Hospital Playlist 2, Nevertheless, Voice 4
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- Jung So-min, Kim Ji-suk showcase their homes in Monthly Magazine Home
- Jung So-min and Kim Ji-suk confirmed for new JTBC housing drama