The clenched feeling around my heart relaxes with this episode of I Need Romance 3. I’ve developed some hope for our characters and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The characters are inching ever so slowly to their destinies and learning that what seems perfect isn’t really the perfect thing for them.
Episode 12: No Matter Who You Are, I’ll Be By Your Side
Joo Wan quickly regrets scolding Joo Yeon about her dating preferences. He realizes that she must be completely down and out, and confusing her even more about Tae Yoon’s worthiness as a man would not help the situation. He follows her home against her wishes, even though they live in the same house.
He apologizes to her for the things he said earlier, and she admits that she feels completely humiliated. But even then, she understands that Tae Yoon couldn’t do much for her. They were there for work, and Se Ryung just unfairly brought in all of her personal issues. Joo Wan disagrees and believes Tae Yoon should have protected her, but didn’t. Just because they work at the same company doesn’t mean that they’re devoid of feelings.
Joo Yeon wants to be alone, so Joo Wan lets her go ahead. She ends up at the neighborhood restaurant, because she has no other friends to go to or anywhere else to drink. Joo Wan doesn’t follow her inside; if she doesn’t want his company then fine, he won’t give it! But that means he’s stuck standing outside in the freezing cold, hoping she’d finish drinking soon.
Hah! She doesn’t finish her drink soon so Joo Wan gives up and heads home, frozen to his toes. On his way back he bumps into Tae Yoon, who’s been worried about Joo Yeon and came around after the party ended. Joo Wan scoffs at his proclaimed worry for where Joo Yeon is and refuses to say where she is. But then he remembers that Joo Yeon still likes him. She truly likes him. So Joo Wan then asks if Tae Yoon sincerely likes Joo Yeon.
Tae Yoon is annoyed by the question but it’s only because Joo Wan doesn’t really believe that he likes her. Tae Yoon thinks that as long as he and Joo Yeon know about their feelings for each other it doesn’t matter what other people think. Joo Wan disagrees; everyone in the world should know how much he likes Joo Yeon because if he truly loves a girl, he should exalt her to everyone. There is no reason to hide love to between the parties involved.
Eventually Joo Wan tells Tae Yoon about the neighborhood restaurant. At first, Joo Yeon mistakes Tae Yoon for her ‘Sweet Potato’ but is pleasantly surprised to see it’s Tae Yoon. With just a simple “sorry” Joo Yeon’s anger and insecurities dissolve away. She’s being blinded by love right now and only seeing what she wants to see, hearing what she wants to hear. They make up when Tae Yoon apologizes for not protecting her back at the party, and he says that he likes her because she has a stunning smile and is comfortable to be around it.
Yech. Yech. Yech. Sorry but this whole scene just shriveled up my insides. Such is my distaste for Tae Yoon.
Back at home Joo Wan wonders where Joo Yeon could be. It’s quite late and he’s hoping she’ll come back home soon. It’d make him feel worse if she ended up sleeping over at Tae Yoon’s place – and to think he told Tae Yoon where she’d was!! He grabs Giraffe and lies down on her bed, waiting for her to come back home.
Meanwhile Min Suk is agonizing over the OB/GYN letter he saw in Min Jung’s mailbox the other day. Without much options left, he rings her doorbell very late at night and barges right in. He goes through her living room and discovers books about pregnancy and giving birth. Is… Min Jung pregnant? And suddenly a question dawns on him: Is the baby his!? Min Jung denies it but Min Suk doesn’t believe her.
Min Suk: How could you have gotten pregnant without my consent? You told me it was safe, and that you knew what you were doing. [I assume this meant, unprotected sex.] How could you be pregnant? I told you I don’t want to get married!
Min Suk is practically at wits’ end because he can’t believe he’s going to be a father. Min Jung doesn’t expect him to take responsibility though, but since it will be his child he wants them to make a decision together about the fate of the baby. And suddenly he worries that the baby might overhear them fighting about its existence. Hah! That was unexpectedly funny. Min Jung kicks him out and then reassures her little baby that she’s going to keep it no matter what.
Back to Joo Yeon. Tae Yoon escorts her home and expresses some concern over Joo Wan living with her. She tells him not to worry as they’re only childhood friends and Joo Wan is just attached to her because they grew up together. She really doesn’t see that Joo Wan likes her, even though it’s clear to the rest of the world that he does. Hint hint! Joo Wan is doing something right!!
When she enters the house she looks for him immediately. Instead of going to her room she goes up to his and is surprised to see that he’s not there. She quickly texts him to come back home, and that she’ll be waiting in his room until he’s home. And then… she falls asleep on his bed.
It’s the following morning and Joo Wan wakes up in Joo Yeon’s bed. She’s still not in and Joo Wan freaks out that she spent the night at Tae Yoon’s. Haha, I love watching him be like an overprotective best friend. He finds his cellphone in the living room and then sees all of Joo Yeon’s texts. She came home! He quickly runs up the stairs and sees Joo Yeon sleeping on his bed. Yay! Joo Wan climbs into bed and then hugs her tightly, putting his leg over hers and snuggling up with her like a giant teddy bear. Awwwwwwwwwwww!
Woo Young texts Hee Jae that he’ll be in front of her house to pick her up in about five minutes and to wait inside. She’s too excited to wait and goes outside the laundromat, seeing Ji Seung for the first time in a while. He’s dressed in a sharp suit, clearly on his way to work. Just to make things really clear, he came by to formally end their relationship. She can think of him as the bad guy in the years to come, and confesses that he has no confidence in being happy with her anymore, not when she’s so unhappy with herself.
Hee Jae blames him for wanting a better woman than her because he didn’t bother telling her he passed his exams. Ji Seung: “I didn’t tell you I passed the exams because it wasn’t ‘me’ that mattered to you, but ‘me passing the exam’.” She was more interested in status than she was in the person she was with. And with that, he leaves her in tears just as Woo Young arrives.
Over some coffee, Hee Jae realizes that she’s more upset at the truth of Ji Seung’s words than at the break up. She has never tried to figure out what her own dreams and goals are, but rather doing things that were practical and could be done within her means. It didn’t matter if she loved it or not. Now when she looks back it feels like the past five years were a waste because she didn’t try to fulfill any of her dreams during that time.
Woo Young assures her that the past five years weren’t a waste. She ended up getting a lot of meaningful experiences on what it means to be in a relationship and how to maintain one. It sets her apart from many other women their age who just want to date around for fun. Her experiences make her his ideal girl. Hm, if this is your way of trying to convince her to stay with you, Woo Young, you’re not entirely convincing.
Meanwhile, Se Ryung hears from her assistant and Attorney Kang that she cannot break her contract with Joo Yeon’s team just yet. They would end up losing a lot of future profits and considering their current financial state they can’t afford to lose the income. But one thing is definitely going according to plan for her. Rumors are flying all around that she and Tae Yoon are still in a relationship, and that the Select Shop was only created so that he could give his girlfriend a new project to work on.
The rumors shed a bad light on Tae Yoon, but Joo Yeon can’t defend Tae Yoon without revealing more about herself and her relationship with him. Tae Yoon calls her into his office with the intent of telling her that everything will be okay and to not believe the rumors. She beats him to the punch by saying it first, reassuring him instead. He then gives her a pair of earrings and cautions her to not lose them to Hee Jae again.
Director Yoon then calls up Tae Yoon and Joo Yeon to her office. She intends to turn the New Brand Team into a New Business Licensing Division. Leaping from her success in bringing an outside stylist, Joo Yeon will now be the director for this new division where they’ll do more things like Select Shop to set themselves apart from other competitors. Tae Yoon is very happy for her, even though Director Yoon wonders if he’s okay with his former junior rising to his level so quickly.
Joo Yeon, Min Jung, Hee Jae, and Woo Young celebrate the new division with Se Ryung and her team. Min Jung has been promoted to Team Leader, which Se Ryung’s assistant teases that she might not really deserve it because Woo Young and Hee Jae are the real hard workers who make their bosses look awesome. Se Ryung wants to hear Joo Yeon thank her because it was her involvement that led to Joo Yeon’s success. Joo Yeon does thank her, but it comes off as insincere.
And then Se Ryung drops the bomb. Her company will no longer be working with Joo Yeon’s team in their new venture. Se Ryung’s assistant is stunned to hear this when she thought that they agreed not to break the contract. Se Ryung says that she has a new business opportunity with a foreign company and it is going to be more favorable to her than Joo Yeon’s Select Shop.
The news sends Joo Yeon off to Joo Wan’s studio, complaining about how awful Se Ryung is to do this just as she has to prove herself and her new division. She wants to just ruin Se Ryung once and for all! Joo Wan reminds her to think from Se Ryung’s position because her frenemy just got dumped. It’s quite obvious that she’s acting out based on her emotions because she can’t deal with the heartbreak. While Joo Yeon may have been able to brush off her break ups, Se Ryung can’t do that with Tae Yoon.
Even Se Ryung’s assistant wonders why her own boss would act against the attorney’s suggestion of not breaking the contract. But Se Ryung coolly smiles and says she has it all under control. She knows that Joo Yeon’s division won’t survive without her so she’s expecting Joo Yeon to come begging for her to come back. She never intended to break the contract in the first place. Clearly Se Ryung is doing anything she can to make Joo Yeon feel lower in status.
Joo Wan then points out to Joo Yeon that the studio is empty today. His idol group just debuted and from the looks of it they’ll be a success. Joo Yeon offers to get him anything he wants for his congratulatory gift, which gets him excited. Really? Anything? His “anything” is to go home and watch the meteor shower from outside their house. They snuggle under a yellow blanket and keep their eyes on the sky for some falling meteors.
When Joo Yeon starts to feel cold in the winter air, Joo Wan has a way to heat her – and our hearts – up. He leans in, and soon they’re kissing. WHEE! And soon… they’re back in the apartment. WHEE! And soon, they’re on his bed and have finally succumbed to their feelings for one another. OMO!
The worst part is, it’s all a dream! Joo Wan actually never told Joo Yeon what he wanted because it’s not exactly the best timing right now to make moves on her. Instead, he just wants to go home for some ramen together.
Min Jung arrives home to find Min Suk waiting for her outside her door. This time he promises this will be the last time he’ll bother her like this. They go into her apartment to talk about the baby. Min Suk reiterates that he cannot marry her, and he doesn’t want the baby at all. All the men in his family cannot handle kids or monogamy, and he’s sure the same tendencies run through his veins. He cannot make Min Jung happy at all because he’s unwilling to make the sacrifices for a family.
However, if she’s keeping the baby then he’ll provide child support until the child is 20, and he’ll move out so it won’t be awkward between them. He also gives her a box of strawberries; his mother was pregnant with him during the winter as well and she craved these fruits, so he figured Min Jung would want these too. (And she does.) I have to give him props for being honest and true to himself, even though the truth is depressingly heartbreaking. And Min Jung cries, feeling even more alone now that she doesn’t have the baby’s father’s support.
Joo Yeon and her team are going to have to go back to square one now that Se Ryung is pulling out of their partnership. They need to find the newest and hottest designers and approach them for a partnership. Min Jung is hesitant to find a new stylist because they just got used to working with Se Ryung, and a new stylist may not equate to success.
Tae Yoon stops by Joo Yeon’s office with a new nameplate. Min Jung then asks what’s wrong with his “girlfriend” Se Ryung, and that’s the first time Tae Yoon hears of Se Ryung pulling out of their partnership. He offers to speak to Se Ryung but Joo Yeon wants to take care of the issue herself. It’s under her department so it’s her responsibility.
Joo Yeon meets with Se Ryung at a bar and asks point blank why Se Ryung wants to pull out. Se Ryung says it’s all just business and refuses to admit that it’s because of Tae Yoon. She knows that Joo Yeon can’t succeed without her, so she might stick around if Joo Yeon begs. Joo Yeon then remembers Joo Wan’s words about looking at the situation from Se Ryung’s point of view, and considers being more understanding towards Se Ryung. However, Tae Yoon also told her that Se Ryung’s company is not doing well financially so she ought to not fall for her ploys. She might just want to leverage a better contract with the company.
As Joo Yeon debates which route to go – the sympathetic one where they lay all their cards before each other, or the hardball route where they continue to play business mind games – she gets a text from Woo Young. Two of their top designer contenders refused the offer to work with them.
And with that, Joo Yeon tells Se Ryung, “We got ourselves a new stylist.” Se Ryung’s smirk disappears. Joo Yeon thanks her for all the hard work and the collaboration, and offers to pay for the drinks.
Uh oh. Who just made the big mistake?
Joo Yeon worries that she might have made a mistake by playing this game with Se Ryung because either way, she has no stylist now. Tae Yoon reassures her over the phone that she did the right thing and to give Se Ryung some time to think it over. He suggests they go catch a movie for a little de-stressing and tells her he’ll pick her up from her home.
At that moment, Joo Wan catches her just outside the house. He asks how her meeting went, and she admits that she feels awful. However, she had to be awful because she won’t be able to beat Se Ryung by playing nice like Joo Wan suggested. The one difference is that now she feels lousy about it when before, she would have been happy to crush a person’s dreams. Joo Wan smiles. He realizes that he can’t change Joo Yeon anymore. The more he compares her to the good girl she used to be the more he’ll see her as an evil person now. It’s greedy of him to expect her to be the same Joo Yeon from the past, so he decides to accept her for who she is.
And with that, he says, “You did well Shing-Shing.” He’s not going to reprimand her for doing it her own way and say that it was wrong. She can live her life the way she wants to because no matter what, he’ll be by her side.
Aww. Those sweet words cheer Joo Yeon up and he opens his arms up into a hug. She jumps up and hugs him with a huge smile on her face.
…And Tae Yoon sees all of this.
Thoughts and Comments:
HA! SUCKS FOR YOU TAE YOON! TAKE THAT!
I wish Joo Yeon would appreciate the relationship she has with Joo Wan and recognize that it’s more than just love. It’s a real friendship. They can tell each other off honestly, and support each other not matter what. They rely on each other’s opinions… although right now it’s more of Joo Yeon relying on Joo Wan. Either way they have a really good relationship and it’s something that Tae Yoon should be jealous of and feel threatened by. No matter what, he and Joo Yeon can’t seem to get over the fact that they’re coworkers first.
Joo Yeon needs to realize that Tae Yoon isn’t perfect because even though they have a love created by two rational adults, it feels more forced than natural. I think her impression of him as a perfect guy is slowly chipping away, but I think something big needs to happen. A catalytic event that makes her realize Tae Yoon’s got a lot of baggage and is not right for her. I hope it happens soon.
As for the other girls, I think both have realized that their current relationships are not perfect at all with their respective guys. Hee Jae’s relationship with Woo Young isn’t perfect because Ji Seung points out to her her own flaws. She might have relished in the idea of a new love with an “equal” but in reality she doesn’t even love herself enough. So if she can’t love herself, how can she be capable of loving another? I personally think that Hee Jae and Woo Young need to end whatever it is they have right now. And with this episode, Min Jung realizes that she may not be able to develop a perfect relationship with Min Suk, despite his initial overtures of how much he loves her. The baby has ruined things, but it has also sadly opened her eyes to the fact that maybe this guy isn’t that great after all. I’m kind of sad to see that Min Suk isn’t keen on having a family at all, and I am hoping that he’ll change once Min Jung has her baby. However, it’s awfully brave of him to admit that side of himself when he’s about to have a kid.