I Need Romance 3: Episode 11


I have so many problems with Tae Yoon right now, I can’t even… That happy picture being used right now above is so not reflective of how I felt while watching this episode. As we see Joo Yeon’s dating life unfurl once again, we are convinced that Joo Wan is the right man for her. The question is, will she ever realize that?

Episode 11: I Don’t Want to Lose You

After dinner, Joo Yeon refuses to let Tae Yoon drive her home even though they’re officially dating now. (These guys are weird…) She chooses to walk home instead, being only 20 minutes away. Joo Wan is excited as heck and bounces around outside the house with flowers in hand, hoping to surprise her.


And surprise her he does, by pushing the flowers in her face as soon as she gets to the stairs to the house. The flowers are in commemoration of his 100 days in her house and he thanks her for letting her stay. In true Joo Wan fashion he asks if she’s eaten dinner yet. She has. With Tae Yoon. And they’re going to start dating.

Joo Wan is shocked that she would agree to a relationship without him even trying to woo her with flowers or rings. He jokes that it’s okay because he can get those for her and tells her he loves her. Joo Yeon has become so immune to his words that she doesn’t take him seriously, even though Joo Wan means it every time he says it. This totally sucks, because why couldn’t it have been Joo Wan!?


Some days pass and Joo Yeon returns home frozen cold after a date with Tae Yoon. In the cold weather they decided to go for a walk in the park. And she wore heels. And he didn’t offer his jacket, but she didn’t want to ask for it either.

Common sense, meet the window. You’re gonna get thrown out of it.

Of course, this just builds a mounting case against Tae Yoon for Joo Wan. He doesn’t understand what she sees in Tae Yoon, and she says that she just likes the small moments. The little passing compliments interspersed throughout the work day. She also feels nervous around him, which Joo Wan had told her many times before that the nervousness was actually excitement. Joo Wan pouts – he didn’t mean for her to apply his advice on another man.


Back at work, Woo Young has been covering for some of Hee Jae’s work as she’s gotten super busy managing the online shopping mall. She didn’t get a chance to check out the jewelry vendor fair downstairs, but luckily for them Tae Yoon has already gone to check it out. He returns with some brochures and business cards, and then quietly hands Joo Yeon a small box. He’s giving her earrings! She opens it at the desk and smiles her thanks, but suddenly Hee Jae sees it! She doesn’t realize that it’s a gift and then begs to have it. After all, she’s been working oh so hard these past days that she deserves it, right?! And without much choice, Joo Yeon has to give Hee Jae the earrings. Gah! I must admit I found myself hating Hee Jae at that moment for being a bit too bratty.

Tae Yoon later texts Joo Yeon that they’ll be doing work tonight at his apartment. Oooh! That sounds really suggestive…


Joo Yeon finds Min Jung slumped over a toilet seat, taking a nap. The pregnancy has been affecting her hormones, giving her constant morning sickness, and making her more tired than usual. Min Jung has also decided to keep the baby. Even if she doesn’t have the support of the baby daddy (who doesn’t even know yet) and it was conceived out of a one-night stand, Min Jung thinks that since Min Suk seems to be an upstanding guy it should be okay to have his baby.


That evening at Tae Yoon’s apartment, Joo Yeon discovers that she was sorely mistaken about the agenda for the evening. Even though she wore her nice underwear, it turns out Tae Yoon’s not looking for some lovin’. He was serious about doing work at his place. He was going to help her prepare for her upcoming presentation on ‘Select Shop’, her team’s project with Oh Se Ryung. Joo Yeon is completely disinterested in talking about work, pouting that she hasn’t even had dinner yet. Dense Tae Yoon finally realizes that she wanted a date night and orders in, and over their cheap dinner they discuss the presentation.

Tae Yoon takes Joo Yeon home and they say their goodbyes. However he doesn’t let go of her hand. Joo Yeon looks up with expectation – is he going to kiss her? Why isn’t he leaning in to kiss her? Is he being respectful? Is he shy? Should she lean in first? If she is going to make the first move, well, Joo Yeon is an expert at that. Just a light brush on the lips and the guy’s going to be going after her hungrily for more.


But nothing happens. Tae Yoon sends her off inside and leaves. Joo Yeon ends up even more confused. Joo Wan kissed her right off the bat so why didn’t Tae Yoon? Does he really like her?!

Tae Yoon bumps into Joo Wan on the street. Joo Wan’s holding a giant stuffed giraffe and initially tries to hide it. (Sure, like it’s easy to hide a huge giraffe behind your back.) Tae Yoon scoffs at such a childish gift and thinks that Joo Wan should move out soon. Joo Wan in turn scolds him for being a bad boyfriend based on what he’s observed and what Joo Yeon’s told him when she returns from the dates. You know, it’s kind of a bad sign when even if there are good moments, people around the girl only hear or notice the bad moments.


While Joo Yeon is busy agonizing over the non-kiss, she receives a text from Tae Yoon. He wants her to close her eyes next time because he gets too nervous at the thought of kissing her when she’s staring right back up at him. Coward. But Joo Yeon likes that I guess.

Joo Wan bursts into Joo Yeon’s room with his gift. It’s the giraffe of their childhood! Joo Yeon squeals in delight and loves the gift. Joo Wan puffs himself up; see, he does know what Joo Yeon likes! It’s not childish at all!


When Tae Yoon returns home he’s greeted by the sight of Se Ryung in the hallway. This time she didn’t try to force herself into his apartment without his permission. He sends her off because he doesn’t want to see her anymore. “I get that you’re tired of me,” Se Ryung says. “But you’re going to be tired of Joo Yeon one day too. [There’s going to be a point when] you’re going to fight with her, then make up, then fight, then make up. That relationship will become a burden on you too. But will you still go to her?” With his dead fish eyes, Tae Yoon says he would. And with that, they part ways again.


That same evening – in the evening full of walks – Woo Young escorts Hee Jae home following her route, since he wanted to see how long her commute was. He offers to pick her up every morning, even though her home is out of his way to the office. Woo Young then points out the yellow streetlight up ahead: “I’m going to kiss you under that streetlight.” He hurries her over there, stares into her eyes, and then leans in.

And suddenly, Hee Jae panics. She remembers Ji Seung and how he saw Woo Young’s car outside the laundromat when he dropped her off one night. She pushes him away and bids goodnight. Woo Young: “I just got dissed…”


The following day Joo Yeon does her presentation on New Brand Team and ‘Select Shop’. Of course, she does it perfectly. Her team is just about to become the most popular and most envied team in the fashion department of the company. Tae Yoon’s boss, Director Yoon, comes around and comments on how well Joo Yeon is doing for the company. If she keeps it up she just might take over Tae Yoon’s job. Tae Yoon isn’t worried, but Director Yoon warns him to keep his guard up. After all, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.


Se Ryung finishes styling up Joo Wan’s idol boys in edgy rocker chic. Joo Wan complains that he’s getting styled in too many pink clothes and wants some darker clothes too. Heehee. Doesn’t he know that he looks good in pink? At that moment, Se Ryung’s assistant comes in to tell her to call up the attorney. Joo Wan then overhears Se Ryung’s plans to cancel her contract with New Brand Team at a moment when she’s at the most advantageous so that Joo Yeon’s team will suffer the greatest losses.


Joo Wan laments over the cruelty that he sees in Se Ryung and worries about her and Joo Yeon. They’re both losing themselves to this evil competition and becoming crueler than he ever imagined. Se Ryung suggests they go get some fresh air, and Joo Wan ends up driving them to the Han River with the top down. It is freezing but refreshing too.

At the riverside Joo Wan suggests that Se Ryung stop mixing business with her personal feelings. It’s quite clear that her wanting to break the contract with New Brand Team is in reaction to her break up with Tae Yoon. But Se Ryung doesn’t want to act cool, and she doesn’t know how to separate the two. She’s someone who would strike back if she’s forced to do something she didn’t want to do.


With that in mind, when Woo Young and Hee Jae next visit her office for some work she sends her fish back with them to give to Tae Yoon. Min Jung recognizes that fish from Tae Yoon’s home and they all realize that it must have been a “couples thing” that Tae Yoon did with Se Ryung. Awkward. They also get invitations to Se Ryung’s party, which Director Yoon is attending as well. Translation: They have to go too.

Tae Yoon suggests Joo Yeon that they go work after office hours. This time, by “work” he means date. Ugh Tae Yoon – can you stop being so confusing? They make curry and listen to classical music, and finally Tae Yoon musters up the courage to kiss her. They’re really awkward when they cuddle. He tries to unbutton her shirt but Joo Yeon stops him. Not yet. Good girl, Joo Yeon. Don’t give yourself up to him just yet.


Meanwhile Min Jung catches Min Suk going through her mail at the lobby. He was just curious about her and wanted to find out more about her. Min Jung wants him to just go away but he won’t let go. They take the conversation back into her apartment and he tries to convince her to continue dating him. Even though he was a little creeped out by her age, he still likes her. That’s…nice…

But Min Jung doesn’t want to continue dating, which prompts him to wonder if she’s hiding something else. He noticed that she got mail from a baby formula company, and from an OB/GYN’s office. Does she have a kid? Is she married?! Min Jung tells him to just go away and that what they had was good for three months. Min Suk: “Are you kidding me? Do you not know how popular I am with my female students? Do you think you’re in any position to turn me down when you’re older than me?”

OH. MY. GOD. You did NOT just say that, Min Suk. He’s finally kicked out to his own apartment and left to wonder about the letter from the OB/GYN.


It’s the night of the party and everyone who’s anyone is there. Joo Wan is even present but Joo Yeon doesn’t acknowledge him too familiarly. It would start too many rumors. Se Ryung then greets Director Yoon, Tae Yoon and Joo Yeon together. Director Yoon recalls that Se Ryung joined the company because she also liked someone in the company. Se Ryung outright points out Tae Yoon. AWKWARD. Majorly awkward, considering Tae Yoon is in no position to refute it and he can’t exactly tell everyone that he’s in an office romance with Joo Yeon. A banker who showed up at the fated poker night weeks ago recognizes Tae Yoon as well as “the boyfriend.”


Tae Yoon and Se Ryung steal away for a private chat. Se Ryung is purposely doing this to Tae Yoon because she wants him to live in her shoes for a bit. Be the center of rumors to the point when people misunderstand and you can’t explain it away, and the person you love begins to believe the rumors more than you. Soon, Joo Yeon is going to feel just as insecure about her relationship with Tae Yoon as he was while dating Se Ryung. This is Se Ryung’s parting gift for Tae Yoon, and this is the end of the relationship.


At that moment, Joo Yeon and Joo Wan come upon the both of them talking. Se Ryung notices her and makes a well-timed comment loud enough for Joo Yeon to hear: “Why are you even dating Shin Joo Yeon?” She suggests that Tae Yoon likes her because she’s easy, but before Tae Yoon can respond, Joo Wan tries to lead Joo Yeon away.


Tae Yoon is alerted to Joo Yeon’s presence and won’t let her leave. This is still a work function and she needs to separate her personal emotions from work matters. They’ll have to wrap up their work and then they can talk about their relationship later. Joo Wan won’t let that happen and wrenches Joo Yeon from Tae Yoon’s grasp.

Joo Wan walks Joo Yeon home. He purposely left his car at home since he thought he was going to be drinking, so now they have to face the bitter cold on the streets. Though Joo Yeon is in a daze she does realize that she needs to finish her work event and go back there. Joo Wan stops her. Why is she even worrying about a jerk like Tae Yoon?


So fine, Joo Yeon does not go back to the party, but she doesn’t want Joo Wan following her around either. But Joo Wan won’t leave her. He’s really, really angry. He tells her to stop dating Tae Yoon because she needs to find someone who can really appreciate her, who can worry about whether or not she’s feeling cold, who can recognize her needs and wants.

Joo Yeon: “Where am I going to find a man like that?” HULLO! HE’S IN FRONT OF YOU. Joo Wan tells her that such a man exists. There is a man who will fit her fairy tale and always be concerned for her. And even if she doesn’t want to end up with him (who, hint hint, is THAT FAIRY TALE GUY), then he doesn’t want to lose her to Tae Yoon. Ever.

Thoughts and Comments:

I don’t have much to say about this episode because it left me seething and foaming at the mouth. I guess it’s good because I’m really irritated at the characters and not so much at the actors, or the scriptwriting, or the execution. So kudos to the actors for portraying their characters so well (although I wish Nam Goong Min would look less like a dead fish when he’s mad or trying to be emotionally distant), and kudos to the writing for creating strong characters that are all different and real in their own unique way.

The bad thing about Tae Yoon is that he’s not your typical bad boy with a heart of gold who won’t get the girl. He’s not your typical jerk either who will end up getting a girl even though he was mean to her all the time. He’s your average businessman who’s more focused on work and saving face than he is in relationships. He’s perfectly charming, perfectly well-mannered, and perfectly successful. He’s more restrained than emotional, and it makes him seem like a sturdy rock that one can rely on forever. At the same time, he comes off as cold and unfeeling. While I understand how and why Joo Yeon likes him, I also can’t understand why she does. I can understand Joo Yeon’s feelings for him because to some extent I have felt them too. Who hasn’t melted at the sight of a crush complimenting you on something when you thought he’d never notice? Who hasn’t forgiven a friend after they ditch you numerous times, and then finally see you and greet you with a big hug and a sorry? I get it. But at the same time I wish she’d wake up and smell the roses. He’s more in love with himself than he is with another girl. And sometimes, love should play out like a fairy tale.

And as much as I disliked Se Ryung the past couple of episodes, I’m glad she gave Tae Yoon a dose of his own medicine.

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