You can’t always get what you want, unless you’re Young-bin, because he’s constantly surrounded by people who will go the extra mile for him. It makes me wonder if he ever thinks about how incredibly lucky he is to have survived all the crises he’s endured in the entertainment industry and still be able to dream about the future. But then again, perhaps there’s no need to worry when everyone else is busy taking care of his career.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
As our boys hang out along the coast, Young-bin wonders what Eun-gab’s intentions were for giving him the script to Im Hwa-su. Ending up on the streets is a real possibility if he stays funemployed, but Joon says he can provide now that he’s got a solid variety gig.
Joon can’t say the same for Turtle, calling him out on his bluff of living a life of leisure out of choice. He gapes at Young-bin’s suggestion of employing Turtle as his manager since they’re practically joined at the hip anyway. Since all Ho-jin does is nag Young-bin all day, Turtle thinks he can handle it, and Joon relents.
Young-bin decides to talk to CEO Kang about Im Hwa-su, a movie the industry has passed on. Without a director attached nor any investors, it may take years before the movie is re-considered, she explains.
She has another offer: a 40-episode Chinese romance drama that is scheduled for broadcast next year. He’ll be paid up to four billion won for the entire project, and she knows Young-bin still owes his breach of contract fees to CEO Jo.
She’s more than willing to let Young-bin think about both the drama and her offer to rejoin the agency and breezily asks who gave him the Im Hwa-su script. Although Ho-jin signals at him not to, Young-bin honestly tells her that it was Eun-gab.
Once they’re alone, Ho-jin admits that he’s torn: as a manager, he’d recommend going with the Chinese drama; as a friend, he’d tell Young-bin to choose Im Hwa-su. Furthermore, while CEO Kang has a decent offer, Ho-jin would personally choose Eun-gab.
That’s not the answer Young-bin wants to hear, and he only feels more abandoned upon hearing that Ho-jin’s going out with Ji-ahn tonight. Picking up a bag he thinks Ji-ahn might like, Ho-jin asks his buddy to buy it for him and go with the Chinese drama.
Joon shows up on the variety show set and grows jealous when a pair of female crew members laugh at Turtle’s jokes instead of his. He admonishes Turtle in front of them and orders him to fetch some coffee, only to scold him again when Turtle goes the extra mile to go to a coffee shop.
He happily accepts an instant coffee from a staffer instead and lectures Turtle to learn a thing or two from Ho-jin on how to be a good manager. When Turtle asks if being a manager is no better than a slave, Joon tries to save face in front of the girls while quietly chiding Turtle once more. Aw, poor Turtle.
On his date, Ho-jin tells Ji-ahn that Young-bin will probably sign with CEO Kang. She’s relieved to hear that their relationship hasn’t affected what she feels should be an objective decision.
Turtle is in a gloomy mood when Young-bin enters his room, asking how his day went. Given the hard time Joon gave him today, Turtle respects Ho-jin even more now for putting up with Young-bin over the years.
He admits the Cha cousins are difficult to handle, adding that Young-bin’s fickle-mindedness couldn’t have been easy on Ho-jin or Eun-gab. At the question of whether Young-bin should team up with Eun-gab again, Turtle advises that he listen to Ho-jin on this one.
Speaking of whom, Ho-jin chats with Joon, who confesses to purposefully being hard on Turtle today. Joon disagrees with Ho-jin on giving their friend a break, saying that everyone has it rough in the beginning, and the toughness will be good for Turtle.
Ho-jin argues that all new managers find their jobs demeaning and even question why they even do it, but those words don’t reach Joon’s ears. Meanwhile, Turtle tells his viewers that he’ll be taking a hiatus from broadcast since he has a job now. He bids them well, and tells his young viewers to do well at school and succeed later in life.
Eun-gab arrives at work to an alarming surprise in the form of CEO Kang. He asks if she’s here to check in on him, but she comes right out with it—why did he give Young-bin the Im Hwa-su script? She asks if he’s still got a lingering attachment to Young-bin, and when he admits as much, she advises that he give up since she’s made an offer Young-bin won’t be able to refuse.
She’s amused when Eun-gab replies that Young-bin isn’t motivated by money. She thinks it’s unlikely the actor will turn back to the agent he dumped and warns Eun-gab against approaching Young-bin again. Eun-gab says they’ll just wait and see.
Ho-jin is out in a cafe doing research on Im Hwa-su when Young-bin calls to complain that he’s bored alone at home. He calls Eun-gab and pays him a visit at his new office, even venturing a joke about the name of his new agency.
After dancing around the awkward topic of Young-bin’s potential new agency, Ho-jin tells Eun-gab of how much Young-bin wants to work on Im Hwa-su. He’s here to get Eun-gab’s opinion on what Young-bin should do because Eun-gab has offered some sound advice in between all the yelling over the years.
Eun-gab replies that Ho-jin nor Young-bin have ever really listened to him so they should do whatever they like. He knows Young-bin always prefers movies, and they both know that Im Hwa-su might have a future if they score the publication rights to it. Eun-gab would like to help but it’ll only look like he’s trying to lure Young-bin to sign with him, and Ho-jin says that’s fine.
Ho-jin says he’d still like to work with Eun-gab and thinks that Young-bin might like to as well. Eun-gab smiles at the idea of being on Young-bin’s good side again and considers asking around to put Im Hwa-su back on the movie roster.
Joon upgrades his wardrobe by raiding Young-bin’s closet while yelling at Turtle again. Young-bin giggles in his chair, amused by the ongoing master-slave dynamic. Turtle calls up the stylist as commanded, and when he pleasantly thanks her, Joon barks at him for flirting with his employees instead of doing his job.
Turtle steps out to continue the call and asks the stylist if she knows anyone he can set Joon up with, thinking that a girl might calm him down. She says she knows a ton of girls who are interested in Joon, so he can set it up.
Eun-gab and Ho-jin seek out CEO Ahn on one of his fishing trips on a serene lake. The man still hasn’t forgotten how Young-bin betrayed him last time, and they run before the angler can throw his latest catch at them.
Cut to: Ho-jin and Eun-gab fishing while CEO Ahn enjoys some coffee later. He believes Im Hwa-su is a good project and is optimistic about securing a production company if Young-bin signs on. In a sing-songy voice, he promises to work with them if they manage to reel in a big catch.
Eun-gab whispers that he’s never been fishing while Ho-jin admits to being afraid of fish. Ha. Just then, Eun-gab’s rod tenses, and all three of them work together to reel in a big fish.
Ho-jin arrives home to find Young-bin munching on snacks and reading over the Chinese drama scripts. Young-bin says his heart is with Im Hwa-su, and then Joon walks in with a huge smile on his face—his variety show scored Moon Geun-young, and he’ll be acting as her manager for the next two days. Neither Ho-jin nor Turtle can hide their jealousy, much to their actors’ annoyance.
Eun-gab and Ho-jin drop by a run-down office which belongs to another CEO whose script Eun-gab once passed over three years ago. CEO Park says Im Hwa-su was supposed to be his final movie before retirement, but the actor pulled out of the project and his company has been suffering ever since.
He still owns the publication rights to the movie and wonders if Ho-jin really has read the script. He says managers typically are only interested in how much screen time their actors get or how their characters will be portrayed, which sounds like a passive-aggressive insult against Eun-gab.
Frustrated now, Eun-gab asks if he’ll hand over the rights to the movie or not. Ho-jin jumps in to defuse the situation, saying that CEO Ahn has already agreed to work with them. Eun-gab sighs when CEO Park asks for a 30 percent stake and 300 million won for the movie’s development, and the CEO storms out.
Eun-gab is still worked up even though he knows these arguments are avoidable when CEOs like that man only have their own interests at heart. He thinks they can talk to someone younger who also has a stake in the movie, but Ho-jin is determined to persuade this man and settles in to wait.
Turtle has about enough when Joon yells at him again for playing music in the car before his variety show shoot. He asks why Joon is treating him this way and warns him that he’ll get really angry if it continues. But when he turns back, he sees an extra-sensitive Joon listening to music through his earbuds, who’s missed his whole speech.
When the crew breaks for lunch, Turtle informs Joon that filming will continue until tomorrow. He already told the crew that Joon can make it, which once again ignites Joon’s short fuse. But Joon slaps on an enthusiastic face in front of a crew member and whispers that they each have a role: He’s the angelic actor and Turtle is the evil manager.
“Haven’t you learned that already after hanging out with Young-bin and me all this time?” he asks. Turtle apologizes and says he can make it up to him by setting Joon up on a date. He practically guffaws when Joon thinks he has a shot with Moon Geun-young, which only opens him up to more lecturing.
Joon orders him to get him cup ramyun because Turtle has made him lose his appetite for lunch. Turtle does as he’s told, but then accidentally trips on a wire, causing the food to go flying. He picks up the food and stands there on set, feeling insignificant.
Ho-jin is still waiting at the office when CEO Park finds him there in the dark. He’s impressed when Ho-jin knows about the 1981 mystery thriller film Suddenly at Midnight, and when he makes another barbed stereotype at managers, Ho-jin says that anyone could be a good or poor critic of movie scripts, including managers.
He admits that although he’s still has much to learn about the movie industry, he firmly believes that Im Hwa-su is a good project. He might be Young-bin’s manager, but he’s also his best friend and that friend genuinely wants to do this movie.
He asks CEO Park to reconsider, and the next thing we know, Ho-jin calls Eun-gab to say that CEO Park is interested but there’s an additional stipulation: He wants an apology from Eun-gab. Eun-gab makes a huge fuss about the demand and says he’ll be right over.
Cut to: Eun-gab bowing to CEO Park in apology. Heh. He agrees to CEO Park’s demand of 170 million won and a 17 percent stake, and Ho-jin sends him a silent thumbs-up. They reflect on their efforts afterward as Ho-jin says his work is done now.
When Eun-gab points out that Ho-jin is wriggling out of responsibility, the latter says he learned it from him. They share a good laugh over that and Eun-gab pats him on the shoulder.
While Turtle ends his day alone at a bus stop ignoring Joon’s calls, Eun-gab speaks with CEO Ahn as he arrives home, and stutters when CEO Ahn asks if Young-bin has signed on with him.
Ho-jin calls, and Eun-gab tells him to proceed with bringing Young-bin into the project, and that Eun-gab will step aside. What’s important is that Young-bin works on a project he enjoys, regardless of whoever he’s working with.
He tells Ho-jin to give Young-bin the good news, but not say a word that Eun-gab helped him secure the movie. He knows Young-bin won’t like hearing someone else helped him out, and from now on, he’s nothing more than a stranger to him.
So Ho-jin tells Young-bin the good news about Im Hwa-su, adding that he’s got his work cut out for him. Ho-jin explains that’s why he’s been so busy lately, but Young-bin is reluctant to believe that Ho-jin did all that legwork on his own without saying a word.
Ho-jin says he wanted to wait until it was a done deal, lest he be on the receiving end of one of Young-bin’s fits. Young-bin can’t shake off the feeling that his buddy is leaving something out, but then he’s reminded of the fact that he still needs to talk to CEO Kang.
Joon arrives home in a rage looking for Turtle because he left without a word. He bursts into Turtle’s room and asks if working at an actual job was too hard for him, but Turtle says he just hates life and hates Joon most of all.
He admits that felt like a loser today, fetching coffee and ramyun, all while being ignored. He just couldn’t take feeling any more pathetic and decided to come home. Both Ho-jin and Young-bin sympathize with him, saying that they had it tough too at first. They look to Joon, who initially berates Turtle a bit more before apologizing to him.
“Say it again,” Turtle says. Joon apologizes again and confesses that it was all to teach Turtle a life lesson. He promises to go easier on Turtle tomorrow, and Ho-jin makes sure that they shake on it.
He picks up a call from Ji-ahn just then, which spurs Joon and Turtle to both yell at him for abandoning them for a girl.
Young-bin finds Turtle in the closet making preparations for Joon tomorrow. Upon hearing Ho-jin’s efforts in Im Hwa-su, Turtle remarks that Young-bin is lucky to have a manager like Ho-jin and Eun-gab.
He corrects himself a second later, since Eun-gab is no longer his agent, and the mention is off-putting to Young-bin, who’s decided to sign with CEO Kang. Young-bin thinks that Turtle has matured a bit now that he’s working with Joon, but they can still laugh about having a beer before facing tomorrow.
Young-bin calls CEO Kang about getting him signed on to Im Hwa-su versus the Chinese drama. But she lies that she’s visiting her hometown and offers to discuss the project in a few days’ time since things can still change.
She makes sure to confirm that CEO Ahn is spearheading the movie and mentions that she’s sent along the contract with Ho-jin. As it happens, the written offer is even higher than she initially mentioned: a 1.5 billion won five-year contract with a 20 percent share of profits.
Eun-gab is called out to a meeting with CEO Ahn, who is enjoying lunch with CEO Kang. He accepts a bowl of makgulli while eyeing the other man, who joins in on teasing Eun-gab about when he was much bigger. But Eun-gab dishes it right back, saying that CEO Ahn ate even more than he did.
But that’s enough talk about the old days, and Eun-gab would like to know what this lunch meeting is all about. CEO Kang says she nearly fell for the ruse, believing that Eun-gab only helped Young-bin in order to steal him away from her.
She says his efforts were for naught because Young-bin won’t be doing the movie. CEO Ahn agrees, pointing out that he believed Young-bin was going to sign with Eun-gab. Adding insult to injury, she says she’s doubled the money in Young-bin’s contract, and if he does the Chinese drama, he’ll have a good chunk of change in his pocket.
She asks that Eun-gab step away from Young-bin now, and he in turn asks her to take good care of him. They drink to that to seal the deal.
Joon wraps up filming with Moon Geun-young and wonders if he should buy her a cake because it’s her birthday tomorrow. Turtle agrees to go out and buy one, but he’s completely broke ever since he gave all his money to (scam artist) Seung-hyo.
Joon reluctantly hands over his card and gapes when Turtle gets an expensive cake. Turtle grumbles when he hears the cost will come out of his paycheck and is upset that he’s missed dinner too.
He reaches into the cake box, only to touch the cake itself, to Joon’s annoyance. Joon hurries to hide the cake behind him before Moon Geun-young arrives. He sings her a happy birthday and moves aside… to reveal Turtle devouring the cake himself.
Turtle isn’t the least bit sorry and smears the frosting on Joon’s face before wishing the actress a happy birthday and storming out. Joon chases after him with Geun-young not far behind and they have it out on the street.
Joon fires Turtle on the spot, threatening that he won’t be able to work in this industry anymore. But Turtle says he never wanted to end up in entertainment, and when Joon tells him to stay away from Young-bin, Turtle bitterly says he won’t hang out with Joon anymore.
He gives Joon a new nickname of “Nation’s Prostate” to go along with Moon Geun-young’s status as “Nation’s Little Sister.” Needless to say, the actress doesn’t appreciate it and chases after him.
Young-bin and Ho-jin head down to the parking lot to meet with CEO Kang’s employee, who pulls up in a fancy new convertible. He’s here to drop off a physical copy of the contract as well as the car here as Young-bin’s new ride.
They’re both taken aback, and while Young-bin admits that the perks are nice, Ho-jin picks up on the reservation in his voice. CEO Kang calls to make sure that Young-bin has received the contract, then follows up with the news that Im Hwa-su will be casting a different actor.
She says she heard it from CEO Ahn himself and they can talk about the details tomorrow. The good news is that they can prepare for the Chinese drama immediately, and she hopes that Young-bin will have good news for her as well.
They take the car out for a spin, and when Ho-jin wonders if this is too expensive of a gift, Young-bin says he doesn’t even enjoy driving. Ho-jin is still confused by the news that CEO Ahn changed his mind since he had verbal affirmation that Young-bin would be attached to the project. And that’s when Ho-jin finally confesses that he went to see CEO Ahn with Eun-gab.
Speaking of whom, Eun-gab’s wife worries that he’s fallen into another depressive episode. Before he can tell her otherwise, Young-bin and Ho-jin stop to see him. With Ho-jin’s encouragement, Young-bin says he heard how Eun-gab helped out with securing Im Hwa-su.
He tells him how CEO Kang said the movie would go to another actor, so they came to see him. But the thing is, Young-bin won’t be able to take the car. When asked why, he answers, “Since I have to work with you.”
Eun-gab is utterly flabbergasted and wonders if something’s wrong with Young-bin before exploding in celebration. Young-bin admits that he spoke out of anger last time, and he really does appreciate Eun-gab for trying to secure Im Hwa-su.
He points to Ho-jin for part of the reason too, and Eun-gab breaks into a smile and praises Ho-jin for being so clever. He gets a good laugh at the situation, then asks what will happen to this car.
Young-bin says they’ll give it back after taking it out for a drive. Eun-gab: “Can I drive?” They hit the streets, where Eun-gab snaps at Young-bin when he jokingly asks if Eun-gab will buy him a fancy car. Eun-gab admits he’s in a much better mood now because “we’re together again.”
Finally, but also for how long? I feel I can never tell with Young-bin who seems to jump ship whenever there’s a bump in the road. This episode’s cliffhanger sounds like an addition to the many similar endings before it with Young-bin’s open declaration that changes in the following episode. So as much as I’m happy that he’s teamed up with Eun-gab again, I’m afraid that the next narrative conflict will be more of the same—where Young-bin gets upset that something else didn’t go his way and changes his mind without any regard of the consequences.
He’s incredibly lucky to have people like Ho-jin and Eun-gab to put out the fires he creates without asking for much in return. Both of them knew how much Im Hwa-su meant to Young-bin and went out of their way to make it happen. Young-bin, on the other hand, didn’t lift a finger to secure his next project and kept other people waiting on a decision. Not only that, the potential pitfalls to his career are mentioned but never executed including the recent threats from CEO Jo about blacklisting him in the industry.
I would’ve loved to see Young-bin struggle more with this decision between CEO Kang and Eun-gab since he was a free agent. While they were busy arguing about whether Young-bin would choose money or loyalty, we have so little insight into how Young-bin felt about the whole ordeal. Everyone else is busy pulling the strings that his character is left to react to the outcomes.
But his ongoing difficulty isn’t quite as frustrating as Joon, who I was just rooting for in the previous episode. I wasn’t surprised when Turtle became his manager nor when I thought he acted like a jerk who was bitten by the celebrity bug. But what I did find unsettling was his reasoning to purposefully act entitled because he wanted to toughen up Turtle’s skin. And while the few days at the new job gave Turtle a better appreciation toward Ho-jin, neither Joon nor Young-bin seemed to realize just how much of themselves their friends put up with. If it’s possible for Eun-gab to selflessly do everything he can for Young-bin, then surely we can pray for a day when Joon and Young-bin do something to show their appreciation for their friends.