I Need Romance 3: Episode 9


If I may speak so frankly, women are hellish bitches while men are perfect companions. It’s the episode where Se Ryung becomes a manipulative bitch and Woo Young masters his team mates’ menstrual cycles. You read that correctly.

Episode 9: Don’t Make Me Regret Coming Back to You


After crying for a while Joo Yeon finally manages to fall asleep with Joo Wan watching by her bedside. Her phone rings and Joo Wan picks it up for her, wondering who “Venomous Snake” could be. It’s Tae Yoon and he needs her to work on a progress report for the New Brand Team ASAP. They have a meeting tomorrow with the rest of the fashion department over the failures of her team.

Joo Wan interrupts Tae Yoon and informs him that Joo Yeon just went to sleep. He’s not going to wake her up because it took her a while to get to sleep, and because he finds Tae Yoon completely insensitive. After using Joo Yeon for his own lover’s quarrel he’s calling her to do more work rather than out of concern for how she might be feeling. Appropriately shamed, Tae Yoon spends all night working on the report himself.


The following morning Joo Yeon wakes up a half-hour late and freaked out over the email she just received from Tae Yoon. She knows that he called the night before and is angry that Joo Wan didn’t even wake her up to talk to Tae Yoon. Sigh. No matter how she may feel about Tae Yoon, work still comes first for her.

Joo Yeon quickly gets ready for work – all the while griping about her meddlesome roommate – while Joo Wan packs her lunch and prepares her breakfast. He also offers to drive her to work so that she can eat breakfast along the way. Joo Yeon brushes off the packed meal, opting to review her team’s progress on a tablet instead. She finds Joo Wan’s constant nagging about eating irritating: “It’s all about food, food, food, food, food to you.”

Hehe – that comment actually gets on Joo Wan’s last nerve and he tells her to take it back. She grudgingly apologizes, and then petulantly mouths “food, food, food, food, food” when he doesn’t look.


They reach her office garage and Joo Yeon gets out of the car like a zombie, eyes still focused on the tablet before her. She even leaves her handbag and packed lunch in the backseat. Joo Wan sighs like a mother of a careless child and gets out of the car to bring it to her. But he bumps into Tae Yoon first. Hey! A messenger! Joo Wan gives Tae Yoon the bags and orders him to give it to Joo Yeon for him. Tae Yoon accepts it but stares at Joo Wan and his house slippers. Hee – in the rush of getting to work Joo Wan hasn’t even changed out of his pajamas.

Tae Yoon gives Joo Yeon her belongings in the office and then hands her the progress report that he worked on instead. She’s surprised that he took it upon himself to work all night on it. Immediately he grabs her wrist and tells her to come with him. It’s a bit awkward as they pass colleagues seeing them sort of hold hands, and Joo Yeon has come to put more meaning to the hand-holding than she should. He gets them both a huge breakfast at the office cafeteria because he knows that her roommate is worried that she may not be eating well.


And then, Tae Yoon broaches on the subject of her crying herself to sleep. He never realized that she was a bit of a crybaby since she rarely cried in front of him. A little embarrassed and unwilling to admit her feelings for Tae Yoon, Joo Yeon says she cried out of anger because she didn’t like playing a second fiddle to someone else’s relationship and being the one to help resolve others’ issues. Tae Yoon says she shouldn’t feel that way. He just finds it more comfortable to be honest with her about his feelings. There is no apology for what he did, which I thought was a bit rude since he did use her. Really, no matter how comfortable you are with someone you shouldn’t use a friend in that way. Especially when they don’t know from the start that you’re using them.

On top of that Joo Yeon finds it really strange to interact with him now because everything feels like a new experience, tinged by her newfound feelings for him.


At the same time Joo Wan meets with Se Ryung for breakfast. Se Ryung knows that Joo Yeon might like Tae Yoon, whether Joo Yeon realizes it or not herself. She shamelessly asks Joo Wan to help her stop Joo Yeon from going to Tae Yoon, but Joo Wan won’t. Even though he likes her a lot he’s not going to stand in the way of what she wants to do in her life. What an understanding fellow. To him, who Joo Yeon ends up with romantically is less important than her becoming a better person.

Se Ryung’s jealousy can’t take it. Even if it comes off as possessive rather than loving, she wants Tae Yoon for herself. She treats people the same way as material things, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. And she knows one way to stop Joo Yeon from going to Tae Yoon.


Meanwhile Tae Yoon is under fire from all the other displeased team leaders who want New Brand Team to be dismantled because of its failures. Tae Yoon points out that it’s a new and unique idea, so it’ll take time to gain traction and succeed. It doesn’t make it easier since the other team leaders are so stubborn and want Joo Yeon to fail.

Because of the stress Tae Yoon’s recurring gastritis acts up and he takes medicine for it. Joo Yeon advises him about what foods to eat since she read up on it after she found out about his condition years ago. Clearly she pays attention to him. Despite his health Tae Yoon promises that he’ll always have Joo Yeon’s back. Se Ryung enters right here, interrupting their little moment, but she doesn’t comment on it. She and Joo Yeon have an interview to do.


The photographer wishes to take pictures of them looking close since they are supposed to be high school friends. Joo Yeon only wants the reporter to know that they were high school classmates that happened to work together, but Se Ryung takes it further, making it seem like they’re the best of friends who decided to join this venture together because they love working together. Se Ryung even says that she had no reservations about working for the home shopping network. Pfft. It’s sickening how they play-act for the reporter.

Joo Yeon smiles throughout but as soon as it’s over she’s more or less sickened by how many facades Se Ryung can put up. But it’s not a facade. Se Ryung actually wants to be friends again.

HAH! Flashback to her conversation with Joo Wan and we realize it’s all a lie! This is part of her master plan to separate Joo Yeon and Tae Yoon. If they can be friends again then Joo Yeon won’t try to get together with Tae Yoon because she wouldn’t go after the same man her “friend” likes. Joo Wan disapproves of this plan because Se Ryung is being manipulative of others’ feelings (and she totally thinks she’s faultless), but he can’t really do anything about it. He’s stuck in the middle.


Back to Se Ryung and Joo Yeon. Se Ryung claims that she thought of Joo Yeon’s words and felt that they were untrue. She really does see her as a friend, and wants to work together again. Oh and FYI, she didn’t really break up with Tae Yoon. They’re just on a “break.” Se Ryung extends her hand – friends? Joo Yeon is wary, but she ends up shaking hands with her.


Joo Yeon lets out a smile and reveals her secret ambitions: To become independent of the Fashion Department and be a director, just like Tae Yoon. Se Ryung smiles widely and agrees to help her get to that goal. EW EW EW EW EW! Women disgust me! And I’m a woman! But this manipulation disgusts me!

On to the other ladies… Min Jung decides to change her cell number so that Min Suk can no longer contact her. He is befuddled over why she suddenly cut off contact with him and starts stalking her online, trawling through their previous conversations to figure out what she does exactly. It’s a little amusing to see a guy spend so much energy tracking down one girl. He must really, really like her.


Meanwhile, Hee Jae is in need of a pad. And by “pad” I mean those sanitary napkins. Using sign language she asks if Min Jung or Joo Yeon have any. Pfft – Min Jung is already pregnant and pre-menopausal, so do you think she’d have any!? Joo Yeon has none, so Hee Jae gets up to “run an errand” at the market. Woo Young suddenly gets up and pulls out a shared cabinet drawer. Inside are extra stockings and sanitary napkins!

The girls are shocked that there is a pack in the office, and of all people that Woo Young knows about it!

Woo Young: I know that it’s almost that time of the month in the office. It starts with Hee Jae, then Team Leader Shin, then Min Jung. All three of you are very different. Team Leader Shin becomes mean and snarky. Min Jung only wants sweets, and Hee Jae can’t ever seem to stop eating. And on top of that all three of you become super sensitive. I bought some when I went to the market yesterday for snacks because I knew that the demand for it would start today. Oh and I bought stockings in every color in case you need it. And now, I’ll be off to meet with the marketing team.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *pause as I clutch my stomach and die of laughing*

What a perfect little brother. Min Jung wonders if he could possibly be gay, but Hee Jae adamantly defends his sexuality. Teehehehe.


Joo Wan texts Joo Yeon when she’s coming home for dinner, and she says she wants seafood pasta with salad tonight. They’re so cute because they’ve become so comfortable with each other, and Joo Yeon actually smiles when she receives texts from him. It’s also funny that before texting her, Joo Wan already purchased all the ingredients for seafood pasta and salad. He’s one step ahead of her and hints that they really are “soul mates.”


Min Jung is having some difficulty though because she’s not sure what to do with the baby. At first Joo Yeon doesn’t want to lend a sympathetic ear because it’s not like she could help in anyway. But then Joo Wan’s words ring in her mind: Min Jung just needs someone to listen, not to give advice. So, Joo Yeon tells Min Jung to tell her her problems. Aww, Joo Wan is changing Joo Yeon!

Min Jung wants to have the baby because it’ll be her last chance at having kids, and she has no other family. But she didn’t want gossip spreading behind her back in the office for being a single mother. She thought about quitting before she started to show but she loves working too much. She also worries that her dating life will be over, that she’ll get fat, that she’ll ruin her figure, and that she dies before her child grows up. Her own parents died a long time ago so she has no parental support now.

Joo Yeon hands her a tissue and promises to be by her side, defending and protecting her from all rumors. She also tells Min Jung to not worry about the future and to deal with it when it comes.


Joo Yeon recognizes that Joo Wan is an amazing influence in her life. Now she doesn’t have to feel lonely when she comes home, she gets to cook different things instead of eating out all the time, and she has someone to help her with the buttons on the back of her dress. Over dinner she asks if Joo Wan’s spoken to his mother since he arrived, but he hasn’t. In fact, she probably didn’t read Joo Yeon’s email to her but the secretary did. Joo Wan’s mother is so busy that she barely pays attention to him and doesn’t concern herself over him and his music career. But he was able to grow up well because of what he learned from Joo Yeon while growing up in her house.


After dinner she goes up to his room and finally listens to his hit single “Now and Forever,” which jogs her memory about seeing the giraffes on a snowy day. When they were younger, Joo Wan had drawn a camel in his workbook, but thought it was a giraffe. Joo Yeon brought him to a toy store and showed him what a camel and giraffe looked like (camels have humps! giraffe’s don’t!). She bought him a giraffe stuffed toy for his “education” and told him to make sure his mom pays her back. When they left the store it started snowing and Joo Wan tried to protect his new giraffe from the snow.

Why Joo Wan ended up thinking that he saw the giraffes at a zoo is a mystery, but they definitely did not go to a zoo. But now that they’ve reunited, they can.

Another thing that shows that Joo Yeon has softened up is that she’s much more connected to the present now. She used to be a machine and just work continuously. But now she can actually feel and appreciate the small moments in life. And she doesn’t sleep with her fists curled up in a tense ball anymore.


That evening Hee Jae visits her boyfriend – Ji Seung is his name! – to give him some marinated crab that her mother made. However he’s no longer at the study room that he used to rent out. He actually passed his exam and was in the training institute, staying in Seoul for Hee Jae rather than transferring to another city. Hee Jae is immensely hurt that he didn’t even tell her this and allowed their relationship to deteriorate to the point where they broke up instead.


The following day it’s time for the team’s new broadcast. This time Se Ryung also does an on-air interview with the host about the clothing and the designs. Sales go up and everything gets sold out in the pre-sale. It’s another big win for the team! Even the other team leaders are disgusted by how Joo Yeon succeeded again. Joo Wan watches the broadcast and texts his congratulations, but that’s not enough to satisfy Joo Yeon. She needs to hear it from Tae Yoon.


She hurries off to his office, and he congratulates her for the success. Joo Yeon explains that she did it for him because she felt so bad that he had to bear the brunt of the criticism for her team’s failures. In exchange for her success she’d like it if he went on a date with her on Sunday.

And… Se Ryung overhears all of this after quietly following Joo Yeon to Tae Yoon’s office.

Over dinner, Joo Yeon tells Joo Wan that she’s finally beat Se Ryung. She actually knew that Se Ryung was trying to manipulate her to keep her away from Tae Yoon. Two can play that game and so Joo Yeon agreed to be “friends,” only to backstab her by asking Tae Yoon out on a date. Joo Wan is disappointed in her. Does she really like Tae Yoon first or did she like Tae Yoon because Se Ryung liked him? For Joo Yeon, it’s both.


Joo Wan can’t believe that Joo Yeon and Se Ryung are so alike yet hate each other. They’re both willing to step on other people just to get what they want. They think that it’s a dog eats dog world out there, when it’s really not and doesn’t have to be. And for the first time, Joo Wan regrets coming back to Joo Yeon.

Thoughts and Comments:

This was a particularly painful episode for me to watch. For most of the 45 minutes I could not tolerate watching Joo Yeon being jerked around by Se Ryung. To see her working so well together with Se Ryung with the knowledge that she was being used was just heartbreaking and infuriating. Just as I was coming around to liking Se Ryung she pulls off this manipulation that makes her irredeemable.

But on top of that, Joo Yeon is not so innocent either. Talk about twisting a knife in the gut. Suddenly Se Ryung is not as bad as she seems. Joo Wan believes that Se Ryung is more innocent than Joo Yeon because she’s not going to be smart enough to realize that Joo Yeon is manipulating her, too. I have a hard time believing that Se Ryung really never accounted for this possible betrayal, but Joo Yeon has said that Se Ryung thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. If that’s the case it’s possible that she doesn’t think she could ever be outsmarted.

I am more angry that Joo Yeon is being very reactionary. When Joo Wan calls Se Ryung innocent, I take it to mean that she’s aware that she’s ruthless and will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. She has a spoiled brat mentality where she thinks she’ll get what she wants because there’s no reason not to. She doesn’t realize that there are more cunning people like Joo Yeon who will counter her. And that’s precisely what Joo Wan is also telling Joo Yeon to stop doing. Stop reacting to Se Ryung’s actions. Stop confusing your feelings for other people who are innocent bystanders when your feelings are really directed at Se Ryung. It’s hard for anyone to be the bigger person and to not get involved with Se Ryung’s game, but at the same time you just wish Joo Yeon would listen to Joo Wan for once.

It’s really sad to see the two ladies succeed when they work so well together but also know that it’s all an act. They are simply accommodating each other because they think they’re friends again, not because they are. Imagine if they go back to being enemies? The New Brand Team will suffer again. I also find that Tae Yoon is no longer worth fighting over. He is just like the two women fighting over him. He is selfish, too, because he expects his woman to cater to him and doesn’t think of what they may be feeling as he uses them for his own revenge. Joo Yeon also seems to have moved on with Joo Wan, and it’s only a matter of time before she realizes her growing love for Joo Wan like she realized the love for Tae Yoon. Her heart has moved on before her head already.

Woo Young and Joo Wan have shown me in this episode that the guys are actually pretty awesome people. At least there are some redeemable guys in this episode. Woo Young’s knowledge about the women’s cycles is freakishly spot on. It’s barely even mentioned in the series that he grew up in a household of older sisters, so it’s easy to forget that he knows what the women are going through all the time. As for Joo Wan, he’s so incredibly understanding of Joo Yeon that it’s almost unreal. He’s the guy that loves the girl so much he’s willing to set her free. That’s what makes him a good catch.

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