I Need Romance 3: Episode 6

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Oh what a painful episode this was for me on so many levels. The love triangle heats up in an unexpected way, and, at episode 6, I can’t believe the drama has already gotten to this point. I feel like everything is happening too fast, but then again we only have 10 episodes to wrap everything up.

Episode 6: I Hope You’ll Never Come to Know Your Own Heart

 

We start off a couple of hours before the end of episode 5, where Joo Wan is working all night at his studio and leaves just in time to grab her breakfast at a nearby cafe. He heads to her home with the expectation that she’ll be happily surprised by his gesture but gets a rude awakening in the form of Tae Yoon.

At first Joo Yeon wants to push Joo Wan out of the house and brush him off as a delivery boy. But that’s just too much of a drama cliché so she goes down the honest route. She introduces Joo Wan as a “brother” of sorts who lives with her, and Tae Yoon as her boss who stays over every so often when he’s had too much to drink. It’s pretty awkward for them to still say hi to each other, and Joo Wan is clearly jealous that she let another man stay with her.

 

Suddenly a weird smell wafts through the air. The soup is burning and the iron was left on Tae Yoon’s shirt! Joo Wan is so miffed that she made soup for Tae Yoon that he won’t even lend out his button down shirts for Tae Yoon, whose white shirt has a nice big hole on the back. He’s also annoyed that Joo Yeon washed Tae Yoon’s suit when she said she’d never do Joo Wan’s laundry. He demands to know where Tae Yoon slept last night, hoping that it wasn’t his room. Joo Yeon: “He slept with me on my bed. So?”

Joo Wan: “No way that happened. Stop trying to hurt me and tell me the truth.”

 

Whee! I’m so glad he could see right through her. Joo Yeon concedes that Tae Yoon slept on the couch and then goes to check in on her boss. Tae Yoon is surprised that Joo Yeon is living with any man at all, but they weren’t exactly in a sharing mood the other night.

They sit down at the breakfast table and Joo Wan starts listing all of Joo Yeon’s bad qualities: she can’t cook or do basic housekeeping. Joo Yeon kicks him under the table, except she’s actually kicking Tae Yoon’s leg! Hahahaha!

 

Tae Yoon heads out first, and Joo Wan holds Joo Yeon back to ask her something very important. What exactly is her relationship with Tae Yoon? He figured out that Tae Yoon is the one Joo Yeon called to discuss “the kiss” but they act closer than that of boss and employee. He wants her to carefully think about it and tell him if there’s anything going on between her and Tae Yoon. Joo Yeon pauses but firmly replies that she has no feelings for him.

Joo Yeon leaves, and it turns out that Tae Yoon was waiting for her in his car. He can tell that Joo Wan is crazy in love with her, and so by offering to give her a ride it would drive Joo Wan even crazier. I love that Tae Yoon is not doing this out of spite, but in a way to intensify the feelings between Joo-Joo. (Joo-Joo = Joo Yeon and Joo Wan. I’m tired of writing out their names…)

 

At the office building’s parking lot, Hee Jae catches Se Ryung arriving in her car. She hurries over and greets Se Ryung politely, and proceeds to ask for an autograph. Guess Hee Jae was always a fan! She just never got to show it because of Joo Yeon. Se Ryung is amused and flattered, and then hands Hee Jae a trendy blazer from an Italian designer in Gangnam. It’s still too cold to wear the blazer alone but Se Ryung gives it to her so that she can start setting a trend.

Tae Yoon’s car arrives at that moment so Hee Jae thanks Se Ryung and runs off. Se Ryung is so not happy to see Joo Yeon and Tae Yoon come out of the same car but she brushes it off by noting how Tae Yoon is wearing the same clothes from last night, thus hinting that they spent the night together. Joo Yeon explains that Tae Yoon slept over at her place last night and then heads in to the coffee shop in the building. Tae Yoon purchases three coffees – one for him, one for Joo Yeon, and one for Se Ryung. Joo Yeon realizes at that moment that she’s never really known Tae Yoon as a man in a relationship and wonders what he must have been like when he was with Se Ryung. Him buying a coffee for Se Ryung gives her a glimpse of what he might be like. Meanwhile, Se Ryung accepts her cup of coffee as a win over Joo Yeon.

Oh so petty.

 

In the office Min Jung is obsessively picking out all of her gray hairs while Hee Jae tries on the new blazer. Hee Jae also tries to avoid seeing Woo Young, running off to the bathroom every time he comes around. He tells her to stop treating the kiss as a big deal, but she can’t. How can you not treat a kiss as big deal!? Especially when Hee Jae is in a relationship?! Woo Young is actually happy that she thinks of the kiss as a big deal since it was for him too. OMO – a confession!

 

The meeting between Joo Yeon and Se Ryung’s teams begin. Se Ryung’s idea for the product is something that’s edgy, asymmetrical in both style and patterns. Joo Yeon’s team expresses some concerns that the style may be too “high fashion” for their customers. Even though they’re trying to broaden their audience, the pieces don’t seem wearable off the runway. Joo Yeon’s product idea is to go for wearable clothes that are very detailed and can be used in both the office and the club. Se Ryung’s team scoffs at the idea, saying it’s too unoriginal and you can get those designs anywhere else.

With no agreement in sight, Se Ryung offers another solution: they’ll do the segments separately with their own product designs. Both leaders are so bullheaded about their beliefs that their own product will succeed that they agree to do it separately. Tae Yoon is not happy about their choice and reminds them to take responsibility for the leftover stock. In regards to that, Se Ryung is willing to work together with Joo Yeon in getting rid of it but Joo Yeon’s pride won’t let her. She would rather get rid of the leftover stock – of which she’s sure there’ll be none – by herself.

 

At first, Joo Yeon is confident that she can succeed, but when she hears that Tae Yoon gave her and Se Ryung two prime time slots on Saturday afternoon (thus bypassing all the other team leaders in their company) she begins feeling the pressure. The other team leaders are insanely jealous of Joo Yeon because of her haughty attitude and can’t wait for her to fail. Joo Yeon realizes then that Tae Yoon has a lot of faith in her, and that doing separate segments just might not work out.

She changes the game plan. They’re not going to do completely separate segments, but rather do it partially together. In the end, Joo Yeon is going to be the Managing Director for both segments, but she’ll do one for her own product, and one for Se Ryung. She sends Woo Young and Hee Jae to Se Ryung’s team to convince them to make the designs more accessible.

 

Min Jung and Joo Yeon then notice Hee Jae’s unique jacket and ask where she got it from. Hee Jae doesn’t reveal whom she got it from, but says that it’s from an Italian designer that Gangnam ladies are going crazy over. That gives the seniors an idea: they’re going to sell that jacket!

Thus starts a really busy few weeks for Joo Yeon. She barely comes home, only returning to shower and change before heading back to the office. Joo Wan cooks her dinner and does her laundry, but she’s barely home enough to register it. Joo Yeon and Min Jung track down the Italian designer to get samples and to get him to agree selling the product while Hee Jae and Woo Young successfully convince Se Ryung to make a more sellable clothing line. Se Ryung’s really not too bad to work with. It’s just that seeing Joo Yeon makes things that much more antagonistic from the start.

At the same time Min Jung is having difficulty seeing and getting hot flashes. She keeps going to see her doctors, and while she bemoans getting bifocals no one in the office can spare a moment of sympathy. She finally learns that she is going through early onset menopause, which freaks her out. She returns to the office depressed and sadly announces that she’s got menopause. No one knows how to react. Even I don’t know how to react – why would you tell everyone you have menopause?!

Since no one can give her a word of sympathy she starts calling them out as bitches and bastards. How dare they not say anything when she’s having a difficult time?! Joo Yeon awkwardly says it’s because they’re at work right now, and that she has been trying to be understanding by letting Min Jung go to the doctor without so much of a protest. That’s not enough for Min Jung, and she calls Joo Yeon a bitchy crustacean with no heart. It’s actually kind of awkwardly amusing to see Min Jung accuse everyone of being unsympathetic to her when she’s talking to two guys (who can’t relate), and two girls (who also can’t relate). It’s a bit sad that no one can say “Are you okay?” but at the same time it makes for very weird office conversation.

Min Jung leaves the office in a huff and calls up Min Suk for a quick rendezvous at the hotel. One of the symptoms of menopause is a decrease in sex drive, and she is going to prove that wrong now!

 

That evening Joo Wan is happy to see Joo Yeon’s car back at home but she’s nowhere to be found. He finds her at the neighborhood restaurant around the corner eating seafood soup and having several bottles of soju. The ahjumma of the restaurant begs Joo Wan to take Joo Yeon home, but we know she means it in a gently annoying way. She doesn’t mind Joo Yeon as much as she claims to.

Joo Wan can tell that Joo Yeon is depressed, and she asks him what’s so similar between her and shellfish. Joo Wan: “You’re all… hard?” HAHA – I love that he figured it out. Joo Yeon is annoyed because being hard on the outside doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a heart! But Joo Wan points out that if hurt, crustaceans can’t recover from it. They’re pretty much dead. Joo Yeon agrees – and pops a clam into her mouth. LOL.

 

As for Joo Yeon, even if she’s a crustacean she can recover from it because he’ll shield her from all who want to hurt her! Aww that’s sweet, but a practical answer would also be that no one is going to eat her heart out alive. Literally. Probably metaphorically, but not literally. Anyways.

Joo Yeon orders more soup but by then she’s so drunk that she nearly drops her head into a bowl of boiling hot broth. Joo Wan catches her face just in time and takes her home piggyback style. He sees a vision of young Joo Yeon carrying baby-Joo Wan so many years ago and says that it’s now his turn to do something she’s always done for him. Aww. In voiceover, Joo Yeon believes that Joo Wan still thinks their little drama-fairy tale could still come true, and being carried home by him released a small bubble of hope within her that maybe, just maybe, it could happen.

 

Hee Jae and Woo Young leave the office late, and he offers to drive her home instead of waiting outside for a cab. She’s impressed by his nice car and by the scarf he hand picked for her. Oh my God Woo Young – why are you buying gifts for your non-girlfriend?! They barely reach the exit of the building’s compound when she spots her boyfriend waiting for her. He texted and called her, hoping to see her.

Woo Young comes out to give Hee Jae her bag and gives a perfunctory greeting. Thankfully Hee Jae’s boyfriend doesn’t misunderstand; he really thinks that Woo Young is honestly just driving his co-worker home out of chivalry. Hee Jae offers to grab a cab or get something to eat for the both of them (she’ll just expense it) but the boyfriend’s okay with just taking her home the cheaper way. The point is, he just wants to be with her and is happy to spend some extra time with her.

My heart just broke for this guy.

That evening Min Jung sends out her Letter of Resignation through a group chat on Kakao Talk. Since it’s the digital age and they’re all so busy, they can just process these texts as a formal letter. Min Jung is so angry with them that she hopes they fail in tomorrow’s broadcast.

 

It’s a little stressful for Joo Yeon because now she has to do Min Jung’s job as well for her segment of the broadcast. Instead of accepting help from Woo Young and Hee Jae she sends them off to prepare for Se Ryung’s broadcast. And then, the show starts.

Immediately, things are going bad. There are a lot of calls coming in about the Italian designer’s blazer, but no one is buying it. It’s not even that the data processing is all wrong. Joo Yeon’s rivals at work and Min Jung all feel vindicated: the heartless Joo Yeon has finally failed at something. Even Se Ryung shows a faint expression of “I told you so” but refrains from gloating about it. After all it is the blazer that she gave Hee Jae to begin with.

Tae Yoon cuts Joo Yeon’s segment short and it quickly transitions to Se Ryung’s segment. Joo Yeon has a small walk of shame through the office lounge to Tae Yoon’s office as her coworkers snidely remark on her failure. Se Ryung’s segment is also going off the charts with all the sizes getting sold out, which emphasizes her own failure. When Joo Yeon knocks on Tae Yoon’s door, he gives her a cold expression and asks, “Do you have something to say to me, Team Leader Shin Joo Yeon?” Brr…

 

Later that evening, Joo Wan descends from his attic to get more water when he realizes that Joo Yeon’s been home for a while but left the lights turned off. He finds her crying but not because of her failed segment. She’s not even crying about losing to Se Ryung or everyone talking crap behind her back and relishing in her failure. She’s crying because for the first time after going to Tae Yoon’s office after every successful segment, he greeted with a cold expression.

And that’s when the bitter truth sinks in. No other man can measure up to Tae Yoon in Joo Yeon’s eyes because she’s not seeking her exes’ approval when she has Tae Yoon’s. She doesn’t need anything in her life but Tae Yoon’s approval. She’s in love with Tae Yoon.

And as Joo Wan embraces her, he hopes that she will never realize her feelings for Tae Yoon.

Thoughts and Comments:

The title of this episode is so apt, but so sad. I am cheering for Joo Wan here, no matter how selfish he may come across because I really want him to end up with Joo Yeon. It gives me some hope that he realizes she’s in love with Tae Yoon before she does because hopefully she’ll never realize it. But the situation is very reminiscent to a scene out of the book Emma by Jane Austen. It was a moment when Emma realizes that all she ever needed in her life was Mr. Knightley’s approval. Her happiness is dependent on his approval, and all she ever wanted was Mr. Knightley for herself rather than being matched up with any other lady. Tae Yoon is very much like Mr. Knightley in that both give honest opinions of their lady loves and know a little too much about her that they are almost brother and sister. Joo Wan knows a lot about Joo Yeon as well, but does not have the same relationship with her as Tae Yoon does.

And – in case you never read the book – SPOILER ALERT: Emma ends up with Mr. Knightley.

It was at this moment that I felt the drama was hearkening back to the previous seasons. It’s not just Hee Jae’s storyline anymore, but also Joo Yeon’s. Will she end up with the man who’s been by her side the entire time (Tae Yoon) or the fresh new face in the bedroom over (Joo Wan)? I’d like to think that the drama is going to let her end up with the new guy in her life because the last two seasons didn’t give us that satisfaction.

It’s very humbling to see Joo Yeon fail for the first time and I look forward to seeing how she will rise up again. I don’t want her to change her personality right away or completely, but I would like to see how she’s going to put her pride aside and overcome all the bad talk. At the risk of wanting to emulate this drama too much – because life isn’t always a K-drama – I still want to see what my “role model” is going to do next and perhaps learn from it myself. I can’t help but wonder if the blazer was done purposely by Se Ryung to plant a seed in Joo Yeon’s head that it might be a good product to sell, but that could just be me wanting to blame Se Ryung too much. The style of the blazer was probably too fashion forward so Se Ryung perhaps knew it wouldn’t catch on with the home shopping network’s viewers. But at the same time it’s not like Se Ryung knew which product Joo Yeon wanted to sell until way after she gave the blazer to Hee Jae.

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