I Need Romance 3: Episode 8

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We’re at the halfway mark of the series! Relationships come to a close but doors to new ones also open up. It also means that our characters have eight episodes to either go back where they came from, or continue on this new path they’ve chosen.

Episode 8: I’m Glad You’ve Learned How To Cry Again

Kind of weird how Joo Wan’s lines at the end of the episode happen to be the titles. It feels spoiler-y. But at least you don’t really understand it until you get to the end.

 

Joo Wan doesn’t tell Joo Yeon whom she’s in love with, leaving her to figure it out for herself. Instead he warns her of living her life like a machine, putting everything she has towards her work and not stepping back to learn and love herself. She initially wonders if she’s in love with Joo Wan, considering that his kiss sent her back in a tizzy. What she doesn’t realize is that when she’s at work and catches a glimpse of Tae Yoon the pain in her chest begins again.

Joo Yeon texts Joo Wan at work, making it clear that she doesn’t like him. He chuckles because he just knew she was going to misunderstand his advice. He teases her that she does like him because she clearly misses him even though they just saw each other that morning. She smiles despite herself. Point for Team Wan!

 

Tae Yoon catches her at this moment and invites her out to dinner as they have much work to discuss. But as they leave the lobby that evening, they bump into Se Ryung. Even though Joo Yeon tries to steer Tae Yoon away, they get caught. The next thing she knows Se Ryung is joining them for dinner.

Se Ryung removes her coat with the help of Tae Yoon but Joo Yeon refuses to remove hers. Turns out, both ladies are wearing the same dress! Tae Yoon steps out to make a call, leaving the two girls to verbally spar.

First, Se Ryung mocks Joo Yeon for always imitating her style. Even when they were in school Joo Yeon would buy dresses, shoes, and handbags that Se Ryung had. If Se Ryung cut her hair, then Joo Yeon would too. (Although we know that Joo Yeon cut her hair out of exasperation with Joo Wan and the “Gum Incident,” Se Ryung’s comment adds another shade of doubt to Joo Yeon’s side of the story.) Joo Yeon fires back that Se Ryung always followed her to the same English class, bought the same books, and joined the same club in university just for the social sessions. Se Ryung manages to deflect all of Joo Yeon’s accusations by noting that she went to the same English class because of a boy she liked, that the books were in the reading list, and that she wanted to date intellectual types. Unfortunately Joo Yeon doesn’t really have much to defend herself against Se Ryung’s remarks. But this little back and forth shows that both ladies really admire and aspire to be like each another – a little smarter or a little more stylish.

 

Se Ryung then asks why Joo Yeon purposely avoided her at the office lobby. Joo Yeon finally admits that it must be because she really hates Se Ryung. It’s not because Se Ryung is “better” than she is, but because Se Ryung insists on making everyone feel like they’re beneath her. She never respected anyone and the reason she stole Joo Yeon’s first love was because she didn’t want to see someone “beneath” her having the guy she liked. Se Ryung thinks Joo Yeon still holds a grudge about the boyfriend, but that’s not really the case. Joo Yeon holds the boyfriend-stealing incident against her because she now realizes she foolishly thought of Se Ryung as a true friend. It’s not about the boy, it’s about Se Ryung.

 

Joo Yeon now understands that Se Ryung never thought of her as a friend, which hurts more than losing a boyfriend. Those words cut Se Ryung up as she looks visibly unsettled. Se Ryung tries to maintain composure since Tae Yoon is on his way back and chirpily announces that Joo Yeon will be leaving them. Hah. Two can play that game. Joo Yeon plasters on a big fake smile and says she’s not going anywhere; she and Tae Yoon have business to discuss so Se Ryung can have her private date another time.

Woohoo! Score for Team Joo Yeon! Finally she knocked Se Ryung down a few pegs.

 

Meanwhile Woo Young and Hee Jae are working late. The two of them sneak glances at each other, wondering what’s the best way to announce that they’re leaving or ask out for drinks while staying cool as coworkers. Eventually Woo Young ends up getting up to leave first, acting too cool for school. He does wait for Hee Jae to come out though and offers to drive her home, but she turns him down.

Woo Young finally gets exasperated with all the awkwardness and tells her that he just wants to drive her home. It’s a long commute through public transportation, it’s late, and it’s cold. As a coworker he just wants to make sure she gets home safe. If she avoids him one more time, he’s going to attribute that to her liking him. Hee Jae finally gets in the car with him and he takes the long way home.

 

Joo Yeon’s dinner ends and Tae Yoon drives Se Ryung off without offering a ride to Joo Yeon. She ends up having to head home by herself but finds the house empty. Where’s Joo Wan when she needs to vent the most!? She texts him to come back home immediately… not realizing that he’s actually in the bathroom taking a nice long bath! He’s highly amused and tells her to say she misses him. If she does he’ll be next to her in five minutes.

Joo Yeon then actually texts that she misses him! That’s how badly she needs him around now! He emerges from the bathroom and asks for a glass of water delivered to his room. That cheeky bastard! She walks into him putting on his shirt and we finally get to see some abs on the dude!

 

Now that he’s clean and dressed, Joo Yeon launches into her dinner with Se Ryung and Tae Yoon. She doesn’t understand what the appeal of Se Ryung is to guys, and why someone so normal like Tae Yoon would ever like her.

And BOOM. In that moment she realizes she’s jealous. She realizes that she might actually like Tae Yoon. The look on Joo Wan’s face confirms this as he knew and warned her about it. As for what she should do next, Joo Wan only advises that she do what her heart tells her to do. Don’t calculate or see what’s so complicated about the situation but just do.

Joo Wan: I love you.

Joo Yeon: Don’t be silly.

Joo Wan: I can say that because I don’t do calculations in my head.

Sometimes choosing the heart over reason helps one be more honest and get what they want.

Woo Young finally drops Hee Jae off in front of her home, above her mother’s dry cleaning store, after taking unnecessary detours just so he could be with Hee Jae longer. At that moment her boyfriend arrives in front of the store, too. Hee Jae quickly hurries in to talk to her boyfriend.

 

He came by because her mother wasn’t going to be home, taking the chance that the mother would be at a community meeting and Hee Jae would be working late. Hee Jae scolds him for not using the time to study instead and reading novels instead of textbooks. Frustrated he asks for the truth: If he fails the civil service exam again what is she going to do? Hee Jae bluntly says she’ll break up with him.

Ouch. That hurts.

Her boyfriend is clearly hurt but it’s like he knew it was coming. Hee Jae doesn’t seem to want to live a simple life with him. She tries to tell him to wake up, but he tells her to wake up. This is where he stops being her meek studious boyfriend and starts showing his maturity. What is reality anyways? Is it so harsh that one must work tirelessly until they get a certain amount of money and reach a certain social status and have a family? Or can reality just be simple happiness in the small things in life, like even owning a small dry cleaning store? Hee Jae has a dream but it doesn’t seem like it’s her dream. It’s society’s dream. And with that, he ends their relationship right then and there.

When he walks out he sees Woo Young sitting in his car out on the street still. The resigned look on his face seems to say that he knows Woo Young is “the other guy.”

 

As Hee Jae’s love ends, so does Min Jung’s. She purposely avoids Min Suk’s texts for their date and chooses not to go for dinner. He has a beautiful diamond necklace for her but slowly realizes that Min Jung is never coming and is not interested in him anymore. Aww. Hook-ups always get complicated when feelings get involved.

 

Tae Yoon drops Se Ryung off at her office as she has to do some more work. She promises to stop by when she finishes, even though it may be early morning. They both discover that they bought tickets to the same Valentine’s Day show, so Se Ryung suggests they go using her tickets and Tae Yoon keeps his as a token. Aww – don’t they look so sweet together?

Then some directors and asset managers for banks and investment firms start showing up and they greet Se Ryung as a big poker winner the other time. Slowly Tae Yoon realizes that her being at work late really means a poker night with some colleagues. Se Ryung says it’s still work as it’s part of networking but he blows up over her little lie.

Wow. Overreacting much Tae Yoon?

He uses this as an excuse for why he can’t be with her because she still hasn’t changed. She points out that she can’t just change who she is and that he clearly doesn’t trust her. But he still won’t accept her because he thinks she values everything else over him, and breaks up with her. What a “modern man.”

 

Soon after Joo Yeon’s team heads to Se Ryung’s hotel room – where she resides long term – for another workshop to discuss the next product they’ll sell. Joo Yeon’s team wants to launch an online shopping mall, which Se Ryung’s team wants to make sure it has creative control over. Of course, Joo Yeon’s team disagrees as a top stylist is not really a guarantee for success. Se Ryung’s team wants to launch a new fashion line that combines fashion and comfort.

 

Through a series of secret taps from his teammates, Woo Young steals one of Se Ryung’s team members’ iPad. They then all pretend they need a bit of fresh air (in the middle of the night!) and run off. Se Ryung’s team members think they might be formulating a plan (which they are by the hotel pool), but Se Ryung really believes they went for a run.

 

While they’re analyzing Se Ryung’s products, Tae Yoon calls Joo Yeon to see what they’re up to. He finds them in the hotel pool discussing Se Ryung’s products without feeling the pressure or antagonism of the other team. Instead of berating them for not being team players he tells them that it just started pouring outside. If they’re supposed to be outside for a run…

 

Woo Young kicks off his slippers and his jacket and with a loud whoop jumps into the pool! Partyyyy! Well not really – more like, this is the best and most fun way to get wet. Tae Yoon throws their jackets into the pool as well. Now they’re sufficiently soaked like they really went out in the rain!

Joo Yeon and her team waddle back into Se Ryung’s room, drenched. Se Ryung and her team are surprised that they really did go out for a “run” and Se Ryung snidely remarks that it must be hard to work for Joo Yeon. It doesn’t have the right effect though as Min Jung, Hee Jae, and Woo Young just grin widely.

 

The following day Se Ryung visits Tae Yoon and hands him a ticket to the show. She will be waiting for him there as she hopes they can just get over this little fight. Tae Yoon is unresponsive so Se Ryung visits Joo Wan in his studio to hang out after a long absence. Clearly she’s bored with no boy toy so she goes back to her first one. Joo Wan learns that Se Ryung’s relationship might have just ended, which worries him because it now puts Joo Yeon in the forefront.

And sure enough, Tae Yoon invites Joo Yeon to go watch a show, using the tickets that he bought. She’s excited at the prospect of going on a “date” with Tae Yoon even though she tells Joo Wan that they used to go watch a movie every so often when working late. Joo Wan helps her pick an outfit and then drops her off at the arts center for the show. He’s so good to her even when he knows he might lose her.

 

As Joo Wan drives away he notices Se Ryung’s car driving into the center. He discovers that Se Ryung actually invited Tae Yoon to the show and is hoping to see him there. Immediately, Joo Wan races back.

 

The show has already begun, and Se Ryung realizes that Tae Yoon is never coming. It’s only when she leaves in the middle of the show that she spots him in the distance… sitting next to an oblivious Joo Yeon. She’s incredibly hurt by his cold expression, and when she leaves the theater she bumps into Joo Wan.

Se Ryung tells Joo Wan about the girl Tae Yoon was with, thinking that he only met her once. But that’s not the case, as he explains who Shing-Shing really is to her. It’s a surprise to Se Ryung but she doesn’t react with jealousy to the news. Joo Wan also explains that Joo Yeon never knew that Tae Yoon was using her, so she’s not to blame for this incident.

After the show, Joo Yeon asks why Tae Yoon is so down even though the show was good. To his credit he confesses that he used her to get back at Se Ryung. Joo Yeon understands his pain and doesn’t take offense at what he did. However she goes back home feeling absolutely miserable.

 

Joo Wan tries to comfort her but she won’t let him. She hates that she cries much more often now that he’s around. But Joo Wan is happy. He embraces her and tells her to cry in front of him any time she wants. “I’m glad you’ve learned to cry again,” he says.

Thoughts and Comments:

Wow. The prospect of Tae Yoon as a love interest opened up and almost immediately got shut down again. While it is possible that Tae Yoon and Joo Yeon may date out of revenge against Se Ryung, it’s pretty clear that both cannot be in a healthy relationship with one another. Their love would be poisoned by Tae Yoon’s bitterness and Joo Yeon’s longing for what she can’t have. At the same time, it’s a bit hard for me to imagine Tae Yoon with Se Ryung in the long run because he doesn’t trust her. Se Ryung hasn’t done anything wrong to him (yet) but he’s taking offense that she’ll host a poker night instead of spending the evenings with him. It’s an unfair request to make her not network considering that she’s a successful businesswoman in her own right and needs to maintain status quo or network even more to reach a higher social status. I never thought I could hate Tae Yoon until the moment he broke up with Se Ryung. It’s like he wants a woman who’s devoted to him but then chases a strong independent woman.

As for Se Ryung and Joo Yeon it’s pretty clear they both grudgingly admire each other. Se Ryung’s strength is being stylish. Joo Yeon’s strength is in her brains. I love that both are constantly competing with one another but to Joo Yeon’s credit, she can at least admit that she’s imitating her ex-friend. Se Ryung still has too much pride to admit that Joo Yeon is better than her because it masks her insecurity that she’s not a better person. It makes Se Ryung a little more pitiable, but I still dislike how she always has to put down Joo Yeon in some way with every interaction.

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