Well, they keep saying it’s not over till it’s over, so I’m gonna take their word for it, even though I could swear that the plot has run its course. But hey, I’m not about to complain if we get heaps of cuteness, am I? I’m pretty sure no one’s watching this rom-com to find out what happens to the magazine, that’s for sure. Thankfully there are some developments on multiple romance fronts, and a nice character arc for our scruffy ace reporter.
Oh, and I’m just popping in for an episode to help lollypip out; she’ll be back with the final two episodes shortly!
EPISODE 14 RECAP
With his arms around Hye-jin in a backhug, Sung-joon tells her that after saving the magazine, he’s going to propose to her. He says that he still carries the memory of losing her, and that he’s been missing her for fifteen years.
Sung-joon: “I’ve found you after fifteen years. I don’t want to lose you again. The next fifteen years, and the next, and the next, and if time permits, then the time after that too—I want to be with you.” Uh, that sounds a lot like a proposal to me.
He realizes his own nervousness and says that he’s just never been so sure of his own heart before, and wanted to tell her how he feels. He pulls Hye-jin’s hood up so that she doesn’t get cold, and she tells him that she’d like it if he succeeded. She breaks into a big grin, and he pulls her in for a kiss.
But that niggling feeling of foreboding wasn’t for nothing, because Sung-joon returns to the office to discover that his big feature interview has been canceled due to their subject’s impending drug scandal. Shin-hyuk hears the news from another source at the same time and races back to the office, and Sung-joon confirms it.
The rest of the team is just as deflated when they hear that their next issue will be missing its 12-page cover feature, and they scramble for ideas. None of the possibilities sounds all that promising until Poong-ho suggests an interview with Ten, the mysterious mystery writer who wrote the hit crime novel that they’ve been passing around the office.
They wonder if someone as secretive as Ten would agree to a photo shoot and interview, but Sung-joon suggests doing it without the photo shoot—if they can get Ten, they might not even need pictures at all. Editor Kim watches from her balcony office and notes that Ten is their next target.
Sung-joon meets with Ten’s book publisher, who says that he only communicates with the author via email. He promises to pass along the request for an interview, but tells Sung-joon not to get his hopes up.
Hye-jin greets Sung-joon on his way back by sticking her face right in his face, with no explanation. She remembers him saying that just looking at her gives him strength, so she tells him to look all he wants and get his fill. That’s cute.
She tells him not to worry because everything will work out, and gets him to smile. They stand there holding hands in the hallway for a while, just giggling like fools.
In a different hallway, Joon-woo confronts his girlfriend Seul about her weird avoidy behavior lately, and she shocks him by suggesting that they reconsider their decision to date. He clearly wasn’t expecting that, and she leaves him reeling.
Meanwhile, Ha-ri comes home to find Dad waiting outside for her, having heard that she quit her job at the hotel. He doesn’t seem mad, but just asks if she got tired of it and wants a new job. I’m seeing now why she ended up a spoiled princess.
But Ha-ri sticks to her guns and says she’s figuring out what it is that she can accomplish on her own. She says that she won’t be accepting Daddy’s help anymore, and adds that he should say no if she ever goes running to him in a moment of weakness. He chuckles and still offers to help her out whenever she needs it, and Ha-ri notes with a smile that he’s not hiding her from his wife anymore.
She berates herself the moment he leaves though, wondering what possessed her to act so confident when she actually has no idea what to do with her life. She rallies together all the optimism she can and gives herself a pep talk, scaring the downstairs café ajusshi in the process.
The Most staff reaches the end of their potential interviewee list with nothing but rejections. Reporter Cha adds with a sigh that there’s a rumor going around that their company is getting a new vice president—the chairman’s son—next week. Shin-hyuk complains that the pattern is so typical, and everybody’s a second-generation chaebol nowadays. Pfft, everybody if they’re you.
Seul panics that she only has a week left to seduce the chairman’s son, and looks back and forth between the last two candidates: Poong-ho and Shin-hyuk. She decides to start with Shin-hyuk and asks if he wants to have dinner on their way out, but he stops her mid-sentence to tease her about her nose hairs poking out, much to her horror.
Sung-joon hears that Ten hasn’t even read the email that he sent, and he sends his team home early that night instead of having everyone sit there waiting in defeat. It’s looking pretty dire, and the others wonder if Sung-joon will return to New York if Most goes under.
Shin-hyuk notes Hye-jin’s worry and reminds her that it’s never over until it’s over. He says they’ll find a way, and prompts her for a fist-bump before heading out.
Joon-woo chases after Seul as she’s leaving, and holds his phone up to ask if he should go on a blind date. She tells him to go ahead, so he calls to make the date on the verge of tears, then starts crying as he runs away from her in hilariously dramatic slow-motion.
Seul takes out her phone to call Shin-hyuk, but then starts to remember all the sweet things Joon-woo has done for her, and how much she likes him. Then it’s her turn for a dramatic slo-mo run as she chases him all the way to the bus stop.
Joon-woo’s already on the bus when he sees her running toward him, and asks for the bus driver to stop. The ajusshi refuses, saying that this isn’t a taxi, and Joon-woo whimpers, “They always stop in dramas.” Hee.
He sticks his head out of the window and yells for her to meet him at the next stop, and she runs all the way there to declare that she doesn’t want him going on that blind date. She says she’ll only have eyes for him from now on because she likes him so much, and he beams.
Seul demands a kiss, and another, and another, and Joon-woo complies happily.
An abrupt cut takes us to Sung-joon, who takes a call from Hye-jin as he goes for a run. She surprises him by showing up with a basketball and challenging him to a game, and they play a ridiculously adorable game of kiss-cheat-steal-the-ball that vaguely resembles basketball.
After exhausting themselves with piggyback rides and stealth kisses, Hye-jin sits down to cut Sung-joon’s nails because she’s noticed he doesn’t have the time for it lately. She tells him that he did the best he could to save Most, and not to blame himself too much. He admits that he always thought his way was right, but he learned this time that maybe that’s not always the case.
At the staff meeting the next morning, Sung-joon announces that they’re giving up on the feature spread, and instead they’ll just fill the rest of the pages with articles and other content that they’ve always wanted to do. Everyone worries about not having a big feature, but Editor Kim agrees with Sung-joon and tells the staff to just enjoy what might be their last issue.
Though it’s bittersweet, the entire staff rallies and puts together the final issue. Hye-jin even gets her article approved for publication, and Shin-hyuk smiles proudly. Sung-joon commends Reporter Cha on a job well done and apologizes, and she counters that it’s not over yet—they could still be in first place.
Sung-joon offers to take the final issue to press himself, and when he suggests a night out with the staff, they all look at him like he grew a second head. They eagerly confer about what expensive thing to eat, and Hye-jin is alone in suggesting cheap alternatives.
Everyone parties at a noraebang while Sung-joon drops off the final issue and requests that the printers take extra care with this one. When he rejoins the team they make him sing a song, and instantly regret their move when he busts out a really embarrassing love ballad sung off-key.
Hye-jin is the only one who isn’t horrified, and she just clasps her hands and sways to the music thinking it swoony. They say love is blind, but apparently it’s also tone-deaf.
While Shin-hyuk gets everyone dancing again, Hye-jin sees Sung-joon slip away to the office on his own. He stands in the empty office and remembers the staff chatting away about how excited they were to start working at Most, and how proud they were to tell people about it. Poong-ho says he swears every issue that he’ll never do it again, but come next month, he’s always back for more like it’s an addiction.
Back at the party, the staff gets pretty drunk and Joon-woo asks Editor Kim if her nephew can’t save Most from being shut down, but she says she’s just a salaried employee like the rest of them and has no power.
Hye-jin finds Sung-joon at the office, and he lies down with his head in her lap, suddenly feeling very tired. She pats him on the head and tells him that he did a good job and that it’s not his fault, her tears spilling onto his face as she says it. Shin-hyuk comes by the office looking for his phone, and walks out when he sees them together.
The next morning, Hye-jin is surprised to see that Ha-ri spent the night looking for a new job. Ha-ri complains that there are endless careers out there and none that suit her, but Hye-jin sees that she’s crossed off every single job on a list except for one: hotelier.
Shin-hyuk calls to say that he’s coming by to say something really important to Hye-jin, and gets her into the car like it’s an emergency. His tone gets serious as he makes her promise not to tell a soul about what he’s about to say. She swears, so he says, “The truth is… … … I’m so bored.” Hahahaha.
He says he’s awfully bored and has no one to play with, and whines for her to play with him for a day. She gets angry that he made her worry and orders him to pull over, so then he gets serious again as he adds that there is something really wrong… “I’m hungry.”
He takes her to a fancy buffet, where he embarrasses her by shouting when the expensive beef comes out, or requesting pickled radishes and then making her toss-feed them to him. He’s adorable, but actually dating this guy would be exhausting.
When Hye-jin tries to cut the day short after lunch, Shin-hyuk complains that she’s ditching her oraboni just because she has a boyfriend now, and insists that they have to do especially exciting things because he’s especially bored today.
So next up is the amusement park, where he gleefully drags her from ride to ride as she screams in fear. She asks him what’s so special about today, and all he tells her is that she’ll find out tomorrow. He stops to pick out a hat that he likes from a street stand, and informs Hye-jin that she’ll be paying for it. Heh, one last freebie for the road?
Over coffee at the end of the night, Shin-hyuk says he’ll take back the thing he said about them not being friends, because he can’t deny that they’re really good friends. Hye-jin confirms it: “We’re really, really good friends.”
He whines that HE should’ve been her classmate first, which would’ve made him her first love, or that he should’ve at least kissed her when he confessed his feelings. We know he’s serious, but he covers up with jokes, as usual.
His tone changes when he gets up to say goodbye, and he tells her to be well like he’s not going to see her again. He turns back to say, “Have I told you that I really like you? Beyond liking someone as a woman or a man—just as a person. The person Jackson, no, the person Kim Hye-jin… I liked you a lot. Thank you.”
He says that he felt excited because of her, and says goodbye one last time. He high-fives her and gets in the car, and tears finally spill out as he drives away.
The day of the new vice president announcement arrives, and Editor Kim is dressed uncharacteristically in a suit and fedora, wondering mysteriously if today is the day. At the same time, the printers receive a call asking to stop the presses on Most’s latest issue, and they call Sung-joon to ask what’s going on.
He’s just as surprised and says he’ll look into it, and then receives an email from Ten agreeing to the interview if Sung-joon comes alone this afternoon.
Both Poong-ho and Shin-hyuk are conspicuously absent from work today, and Editor Kim twirls a fountain pen in her hand as she rides the elevator somewhere.
The company assembly starts, and the new vice president is announced. The Most staffers all gape as a pair of feet take to the stage, and elsewhere another pair of feet (plus twirling fountain pen) arrive at a fateful meeting.
The new vice president and chaebol heir turns out to be… Poong-ho?! No way. Ha, he even wears his corsage on his backscratcher. His teammates are floored, and his aunt Editor Kim arrives in the auditorium and looks on proudly.
Meanwhile, Sung-joon arrives at the hotel for his interview with Ten and announces himself. A well-dressed man stands at the window and turns around to face him… and naturally it’s the only person left in our mysterious trio: Kim Shin-hyuk. (Sans beard!)
Sung-joon stares agog, and Shin-hyuk says with a smile, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Ten.”
I like the twist, since I fully expected Shin-hyuk to be our chaebol vice president, and for Editor Kim to be mystery author Ten. It was a nice misdirect to make Shin-hyuk seem like a bored rich kid rebelling against his strict chaebol family, which I guess could still technically be true, even if he made his money on mystery novels. In any case, I prefer the twist to the straight version, which would’ve bored me. Honestly, Shin-hyuk is the only reason I cared about this storyline in the least, because Siwon plays him with such boyish charm and manic energy. His character is so lovable and pivotal to the heroine’s development, and his life outside of Most was the only one I was ever curious about. It must be the way he covers up all his pain with jokes that just wrings my heart.
The one thing that leaves me curious is the way he said goodbye to Hye-jin in this episode, confirming that they were friends and acting like everything would change from here on out. It’s the kind of thing that might make sense if he were to show up as her boss the next morning, but I don’t think it affects her greatly if he outs himself as a mystery novelist. Perhaps we’re just supposed to read it as him letting her go for good in a romantic sense and moving on. I’d like to think that he agrees to the Ten interview because of the entire Most team (or my personal hope—his budding bromance with Sung-joon), but it’s probably all for Hye-jin in the end.
Frankly, I do feel my excitement for the show waning in recent weeks, namely because the romantic tension was quashed so early in the game, which took the show from crack addiction levels to just sticking it out for the cute moments. It just feels like they ran out of conflict, or mistakenly thought that the magazine storyline would hold the same interest. I love our lead couple, but I really wish they hadn’t sorted out (or glossed over, really) all of their issues quite so easily. I mean, is Hye-jin never going to take Sung-joon to task for having been such an ass at the start? Does it not bother her, the things he said when he didn’t know she was Hye-jin? And I’m still convinced he doesn’t eat, by the way.
And what does saving Most have to do with proposing, anyway? If it’s simply a way to tie the two remaining storylines together until the finale, it’s just an artificial condition. (Never mind the fact that telling a person you’re going to propose later is, in fact, proposing.) If there’s actually a practical concern—say, he’s afraid to be jobless—then I think they should’ve made him poorer, so that we feel the stakes a little more. It would just be nice to feel some pressure, to make us care more about whether or not the magazine survives. Or reintroduce conflict into the central romance to carry us through the end. I know, I know, I’m an angstmongerer. I’m not saying I want them to be unhappy—I love the cute, but I just want to be excited again! Yunno, I think Shin-hyuk is onto something here. Make it fun again, Jackson! Surely there’s enough story left for two more episodes, right?