I Need Romance 3: Episode 5


There are two sides to every story, as Joo Wan painfully learns in this episode. We as an audience have always wondered why Joo Yeon has hated him and the memories of their childhood when every flashback seems to be so happy. Though the memories were usually Joo Wan’s, we never saw any reason to doubt them. Until now.

Episode 5: No Matter What You May Be Feeling…


Joo Yeon is completely shellshocked at the fact that ugly Sweet Potato grew up into a handsome prince. It’s nothing short of a miracle to her. But while people are usually happy about miracles, Joo Yeon is not. Her memories are full of Messy-Eater-Joo-Wan and Can’t-Put-Shoes-On-Properly-Joo-Wan. She cannot believe that this is the same kid, and she cannot believe that he practically seduced her several days ago.

Joo Wan jokingly asks if she still has the tooth he gave her as his going away present. Pfft. Like she’d keep that. She demands to know why he kissed her that day because right now she feels like she just got played. Joo Wan thinks she’s acting too jaded and asking too many questions. All he wanted was for her to view him as a man rather than a little kid. There was no “toying around” going on.


Despite all the questions and anger, Joo Yeon invites him to sit down and have breakfast. Joo Wan blows out his candles as soon as she lights them because the happy mood has soured. All businesslike, Joo Yeon begrudgingly allows him to stay with her because his mother was instrumental in her family getting the house in the first place. By letting him stay it’s just a debt being repaid.

Joo Wan makes a smart-ass comment about how sexy she looks when she glares at him. “Sweet Potato!” she yells. “Call me that one more time and I’m going to kiss your mouth shut,” he retorts. Oh yes please do! Joo Yeon scoffs that his kisses aren’t that great, but he reminds her that he overheard her entire conversation with Tae Yoon about how she fell in love at first kiss. Try saying that his kiss wasn’t great again. Heh!


He points out that he’s a great catch: Tall, handsome, great kisser, and mightily successful. But if he’s such a great catch, then why does he like someone like Joo Yeon? She thinks he’s taking pity on her as she can’t figure out why, how, or when it is that he started liking her. Too confused (because she’s rationalizing so much), she heads off to work. Joo Wan offers to drive her since, in the cold weather, he left his car running so that it’d be warm and he could take her to work. Also, it’d be a nice birthday gift to him if she’d let him take her.

Joo Yeon takes him on the offer but promptly pretends to sleep on the way to the office. When they arrive at her office, he promises that he’ll try to answer her questions. Once he does, would she be able to accept him? Joo Yeon keeps her eyes firmly shut so he threatens to kiss her. At that point she “wakes up” and gets out of the car.


Min Jung is having her own difficulties going to work. Since she found out her Friday night date is her next-door neighbor, she takes great pains to avoid him. Unfortunately the moment she chooses to leave her apartment is the same moment that he comes out of his! He tries to get her attention but Min Jung quickly heads right back into her apartment and shuts herself in until he’s gone. And boy is Min Suk weirded out. He leaves rice cakes on her door and heads off, bewildered by his neighbor’s antics.

Min Jung stays a good distance behind him on the way to the parking lot, and when he turns around to head back to his apartment for his car keys, she barely avoids his gaze. She jumps into an unlocked car next to her, freaking out the driver!


At the building lobby, Joo Yeon spots a magazine with Joo Wan on the cover. She checks out the interview and notices that he names her (without really naming her) as his first love. It makes Joo Yeon shiver because these things aren’t supposed to happen. Finding out you’re someone’s first love or seeing an ugly duckling become a handsome prince are things that only happen in fairy tales. Or dramas. It’s not supposed to happen to her.

Joo Yeon is in such a daze that she doesn’t realize Tae Yoon is greeting her good morning. “I’m such a mess, aren’t I?” she asks, and Tae Yoon agrees – if only by a little. As they get their morning coffee he tells her of all the bad things people say behind her back. She’s shocked, not by the fact that she’s been vilified but rather that people expect to hear nice words in the office from the bosses. Even Tae Yoon agrees that he’d rather she be hated but really good at her job. But even though she’s selfish, cold, and egotistical he also knows that she has a completely lovable side to her. And he’s really happy that he gets the privilege of seeing that. All this mushy stuff makes him really embarrassed though and he can only say it if her back is turned to him. As soon as he’s done he runs off to his office.

Joo Yeon is so touched by his words that she goes chasing him and pleads him to say those nice things to her face again. He tries to be all business-like and avoid her, but she keeps pestering him. Aww, they’re kinda cute together. In a very platonic way.


A morning meeting is in order, and Woo Young and Hee Jae have been working hard on a new angle. They want to dispel the notion that home shopping networks are for middle-aged women only so they want to bring in new up-and-coming designers from New York to launch a brand with them. They’ve already come up with a list of designers to contact, too. Tae Yoon approves the plan of action and tells them to forward the list to Se Ryung as well. The team isn’t too happy about having to share credit with Se Ryung, so Min Jung suggests they take out the hottest designer on the list, Park Seun Gun. They’ll give Se Ryung the rest of the designers, and then go scout Designer Park themselves. That way they can retain the credit of having “discovered” him for their channel.


Back at home composing songs, Joo Wan tries to figure out the answers to Joo Yeon’s questions. He thinks that the night after the club party, when she said “No one loves me,” was when he fell in love with her. Her words touched him so deeply that he felt warmth and pain for her, a feeling of protectiveness and wanting to dispel her loneliness. But at the same time, he doesn’t think it was enough of a reason to fall in love with her. It only answers the “when,” not “why.”

Joo Yeon arrives home pretty late and Joo Wan asks if she’s had dinner yet. She ignores his attempts at being friendly completely because she prefers being alone to having to deal with another person. He tells her that he’s been thinking all day, and has come up with no real reason as to why he likes her. He just does, for no real reason at all. And he thinks that’s the best situation because he loves her for being her, rather than for a particular reason (i.e. she’s pretty, or she’s smart, or she’s rich) because those reasons can disappear over time. Joo Yeon laughs at him for being cheesy, which hurts his feelings completely.


In her room Joo Yeon emails Joo Wan’s mother about them living together. The email is full of crap because she makes it sound like they’re getting along like brother and sister, and that nothing has changed between them. Lies. Joo Wan catches her email and insists that she doesn’t have to report to his mom about everything. Oh, but she does. She totally does.

And now Joo Yeon tells her side of the story. When they were younger she always had to report what he ate, how he played, and when he took his naps. He stayed with them all the time because he had a really busy mother who couldn’t even take him home on the weekends. He was always crying and screaming, and it drove Joo Yeon crazy. Joo Wan says that he loved being in her house and with her family, and she replies, “But of course! We had to be good to you since we were afraid that the only son of a rich family would get hurt!”


Her hurtful rant is not over: She hands back the workbook that he left on her desk that one time. All of his pictures and stories are wrong. He was a bratty kid, who wanted to build a snowman in the freezing cold for three hours, who stuck gum on her hair and prompted her to cut it short, who gave her his mother’s piggy bank for her birthday and ended up getting her in trouble for “stealing.” Sounds like his mother was a typical mean mother-in-law that we see in the dramas who refuse to really understand the circumstances.

Joo Wan takes his workbook back up to his room. He slowly realizes that his memories might be faulty, and it tears him up inside. A brisk walk in the cold night jogs his memory about his inability to sleep. Joo Yeon had to carry him on her back outside almost every night in the cold just to try and get him to sleep. He realizes that for a girl less than ten years old babysitting was a difficult and unwanted job.


Joo Yeon is feeling equally sorry and texts him to hurry home because it’s freezing cold outside. He offers to get some roasted sweet potatoes, and instantly regrets it. Why mention sweet potatoes when that’s all she sees him as?! He ends up bringing back roasted chestnuts and apologizes to her for being bratty. He apologizes also for not seeing the world through her eyes and being understanding of them, and hands her a peeled chestnut as a peace offering. If he’s truly sorry then Joo Yeon wants him to stop liking her as it’s making her uncomfortable.

Unfortunately this moment just made Joo Wan fall even more deeply in love with her.


Back at work, Woo Young and Hee Jae are spending another late night together. They drink soju cartons and relish on their awesome teamwork, which is impressing their seniors. Hee Jae gets a text from her boyfriend, who misses her, but she doesn’t reply. Their relationship is starting to tire her out because of the effort and the sacrifices she makes while waiting for her boyfriend to pass his civil service exam. Woo Young encourages her to let out tears if she has to, since the bosses aren’t around, and gently suggests that she end it. After all, she needs to give herself some credit instead of sacrificing everything for the guy.


And then, he gives her a peck on the lips.

And then, she goes in for another kiss. WOMP WOMP.


The following morning Hee Jae bemoans her mistake to Min Jung and Joo Yeon. They’re shocked that she kissed Woo Young when she already has a boyfriend. Min Jung tells her to date both and then pick one to marry. HAH! Joo Yeon tells her to not cheat, but at the same time to not tell her boyfriend anything. It won’t do him any good. What’s worse is, Hee Jae actually enjoyed the kiss.

And then Woo Young comes in for work, and Min Jung immediately starts teasing them by saying that Hee Jae kissed someone and she liked it. Hah! The seniors then leave the two juniors to talk. Woo Young is super embarrassed but he points out that even though he kissed her first, she continued kissing him! It’s too much for Hee Jae to handle and she runs off to the bathroom. Heh.


Regarding Designer Park, Woo Young manages to get his team a meeting with him through a friend who manages the designer’s store. They head over to say hello even though they’ve heard that Designer Park already rejected their proposal. As a high-end fashion designer he’s not really willing to associate his name to a home shopping network. Joo Yeon and team are hoping to convince him otherwise… but discover that someone else has already beaten them to the punch.

It’s Oh Se Ryung.

Even though no one told Se Ryung about reaching out to Park Seun Gun, she did it herself because she noticed his name wasn’t on the list. And because Designer Park heard Se Ryung is working with Joo Yeon, he then decided to work with them as well. Se Ryung turned out to be an asset, but Joo Yeon doesn’t like how Se Ryung appears to have “saved” her brand. Se Ryung points out that neither of them shared information about Designer Park when they could have because they don’t see each other as teammates.


Min Jung and Joo Yeon head out together, completely infuriated by the fact that Se Ryung is going to take all of the credit. Even though it’s technically a success for them, they want to have been able to recruit Designer Park without Se Ryung’s help. They both start railing about all the weak men who fall under her spell and then get left in the dust when she doesn’t need them anymore. Min Jung mentions one particular person who was “destroyed” for a year post-break-up with Se Ryung: Tae Yoon.

It’s complete news to Joo Yeon that Tae Yoon was dating Se Ryung, but at that time she was a newbie and therefore didn’t know as much about Tae Yoon’s personal life. Min Jung reminds her of the time Tae Yoon went on “sabbatical” and roamed through a desert until the CEO of the home shopping network went to fetch him back for work.


Min Jung gets off at the hotel where she meets Min Suk, leaving Joo Yeon lost in her thoughts. It’s time for her weekly tryst! Despite knowing that he’s her next door neighbor, the passion is not gone. But once the sex is done and the talking begins, she discovers that Min Suk and her other neighbors call her a 40-something-year-old Old Maid that avoids everyone and might be menopausal. HAHA! Min Jung tries to mask how disappointed she is, but then Min Suk pulls out on of her gray hairs! Eeek!

Joo Yeon heads back to the office and starts drinking the soju cartons from Woo Young’s stash. Tae Yoon stops by, and she asks if he gave Se Ryung the list. After all, they are exes. Joo Yeon is so disappointed in him for having dated a woman riddled with rumors that her opinion of him has gone down. And with those harsh words, she leaves.


Tae Yoon heads to his favorite bar and finds Se Ryung is waiting for him there. Apparently she’s been stopping by frequently in the hopes of bumping into him. He treats her coldly and when she offers to start their relationship over, he flatly rejects her. He doesn’t want to be played around by her. Se Ryung finds small comfort in the fact that he hates her because that means he must still care about her. And with that, she pays for another bottle of his favorite liquor and heads out.


Back at home, Joo Yeon is regretting the harsh words that she said to Tae Yoon. She calls him up and quickly apologizes before he can say anything. But it’s not him on the other line. It’s the bartender instead! Tae Yoon’s passed out before the designated driver arrived, having had too much to drink. It’s a good thing that Joo Wan isn’t coming home for the night, so Joo Yeon has Tae Yoon come over to her place.


The following morning, Joo Wan excitedly brings home some breakfast for his Shing-Shing. But he sees a guy’s shoes by the front door. Uh-oh. He’s really annoyed that on the first night he stays out of home she immediately invites a guy over. It hurts his feelings too because it makes it seem like she doesn’t care enough about his love for her. With perfect timing Tae Yoon comes out of the bathroom in only a bathrobe.


Tae Yoon: “Who are you?”

Joo Wan: “And who are you to be asking me that?”


Thoughts and Comments:

This episode really just set up for things to come. It established a future love triangle/square between Joo Wan, Joo Yeon, Tae Yoon, and Se Ryung. It established more of the rivalry between Joo Yeon and Se Ryung as we see their disagreements in action. It’s not longer cat fights along the conference table, but an actual race for designers, their consent, and pitting products out on the market. It deepened the relationship between Joo Wan and Joo Yeon by giving her side of the story, almost effectively putting their relationship back at square one. It also set up Hee Jae’s potential growth in her dating life, and it gave Min Jung a harsh wake-up call to reality.

There were definitely really cute moments in the episode when Joo Wan would tease Joo Yeon and try to win her over with his charm, but I’m really glad we saw a mature side to him that acknowledges that he’s wrong and does his best to fix it. It allowed Sung Joon to stretch some of his acting ability too. While there were moments when he looked like a petulant boy (read: unconvincing), there were also quiet thoughtful moments that really showed off his character’s thinking process and anguish. I’m glad we got to see more of this.

I am pleasantly surprised at how Hee Jae’s storyline developed because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to forgive her when she turns to Woo Young romantically. But it worked out for the best because she really regrets the mistake, but doesn’t know how to move forward just yet. I really feel bad for the boyfriend though. Hee Jae’s story has the classic scenario of “who do I choose?” that the other two series had because she is torn between her current boyfriend and another guy who’s so much nicer and perfect in his own way. And just like what happened in the two previous series, I’m kind of hoping she stays with her current boyfriend. He’s cute to boot.

I’m going to admit that I’m not going to enjoy the misunderstandings I can foresee happening in episode 6. It just doesn’t sound fun as Joo Yeon will probably mislead both Se Ryung and Joo Wan into thinking more happened than really did. I don’t like the idea of Tae Yoon being used as a pawn because I think he has nothing but honestly good friendly feelings for Joo Yeon, and I don’t want him to appear emasculated to Se Ryung. I don’t want Se Ryung to think that Tae Yoon can’t handle her being around, and therefore needs comfort in the next closest person (Joo Yeon), because he’s so much stronger than that. I hope this complicated “love square” that may ensue gets taken care of immediately. As in, in the next 45 minutes of the show.

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