Being an agent or manager to a high-maintenance celebrity requires a great deal of patience and is not a job for everyone. A life revolving around a celebrity could feel like a life wasted, since your own dreams and desires have to take a backseat. Ho-jin finds himself questioning what he truly wants, but the answer may damage what he has with his best friend.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
To his surprise, Eun-gab finds Ho-jin sleeping at the office. Ho-jin’s fed up with Young-bin and just about ready to quit being his manager, but Eun-gab says he shouldn’t give up so easily. Joey informs Eun-gab that Ho-jin’s been camping out at the office ever since his fight with Young-bin, and Eun-gab calls Young-bin to see if he’s aware of the situation.
Young-bin replies that Ho-jin doesn’t just want to quit because of him — it’s what Ho-jin wants, too. Eun-gab puts his foot in his mouth when he says Young-bin came across as irresponsible when he left the meeting with CEO Jo that was so difficult to set in the first place, and Young-bin takes offense at that. Eun-gab fails to backpedal, and Young-bin says Im Hwa-su’s over for him.
He doesn’t disclose what CEO Jo said to him that made him bolt out like that, and merely instructs Eun-gab to find him his next project. Joey points out that Eun-gab just made the situation worse by offending Young-bin, and Eun-gab acknowledges his error.
At home, Turtle takes photos of Joon posing with buns from Turtle’s cousin’s bakery. Young-bin was supposed to model the bread, but Turtle didn’t feel comfortable asking him after his tiff with Ho-jin. Turtle received loads of free bread in exchange for advertising them on social media, but Joon scolds him for not doing work that generates money.
Joon asks Turtle to third-wheel on his date with Joo-yeon later so a scandal won’t arise, and Turtle reluctantly agrees to join, though he’s still not sure what attracts her to Joon. Young-bin emerges from his room after sleeping in for days, and Turtle and Joon grow silent; they refuse to talk until he brings Ho-jin back home.
Cut to: the date during which Turtle rolls his eyes while Joo-yeon sweetly compliments Joon on his manly looks. She teases Turtle for looking older than her and runs into a guy she knows on her way to the restroom. Joon and Turtle watch as she chats animatedly with him, and Joon gets jealous.
Joo-yeon sees his unhappy face when she returns to her seat. Joon asks her who the guy was, and she answers that he was a model she worked with on a photo shoot. Joon denies feeling jealous, but advises against keeping in touch with other guys. She wonders if he’s the obsessive, prying type, but Joon laughs at the notion and insists he’s not.
Ho-jin shares a meal with a college sunbae who hands Ho-jin his script to show Young-bin. He invites Ho-jin to meet with another sunbae later today, and asks Ho-jin how the manager gig’s been going; he always thought Ho-jin would make films, and even Ho-jin admits that he’s surprised he’s been a manager for this long. The sunbae assumes managing Young-bin is easy since they’re friends, but Ho-jin can only smile at the irony.
Ho-jin returns to the office and finds Eun-gab frustrated; he still doesn’t know what CEO Jo said to Young-bin, and Young-bin refuses to reconcile with Ho-jin. Eun-gab says that as manager, Ho-jin should get over his resentment, but then Eun-gab makes another verbal misstep; he says Young-bin found it irresponsible of Ho-jin to quit during such a dire situation.
Ho-jin finds it ridiculous that Young-bin would deem him irresponsible to Eun-gab and tells Eun-gab to find Young-bin’s next project without his help. Joey points out once again that Eun-gab continues to fan the flames of their quarrel.
Turtle and his two friends, Eun and the portly sweatshirt designer, have gathered in his room to discuss starting a party planning business. Meanwhile, Joon’s on the bed, calling them losers and criticizing all their ideas. Turtle asks Joon why he’s being so negative, and Joon whispers that Joo-yeon hasn’t returned any of his calls. Turtle figures she’s on a shoot, but Joon thinks she should’ve been able to respond during breaks.
Young-bin runs into Joon in the living room, and Joon agrees to talk. Young-bin has a whole box of Im Hwa-su material that’s going to the trash, and it upsets both of them that they won’t be starring in the movie. Joon says he and Ho-jin should make up over drinks and chew out CEO Jo instead of each other, but Young-bin doesn’t want to hear it, and Joon excitedly answers a call from Joo-yeon.
Ho-jin grabs drinks with the college sunbae from earlier, along with another screenwriter sunbae. Ji-ahn’s there, too, and the sunbaes lament their unemployed lives as screenwriters, but Ho-jin says their scripts are great and that they’re doing what they want. Ho-jin admits that he wants to make a movie, too, just not via Young-bin.
Afterwards, Ji-ahn notices Ho-jin looking troubled, and Ho-jin admits that he’s not sure what he’s doing with his life right now — should he continue as a manager or quit and return to working on movies? Ho-jin says there’s no point in being a manager for Young-bin anymore, and Ji-ahn encourages him to carefully think about what he truly wants.
Later, he calls Young-bin to let him know about the script he received from his sunbae and advises him to check it out. An awkward silence follows, and Young-bin angrily hangs up when Ho-jin has nothing else to say.
Joon and Joo-yeon enjoy a car date by the Han River. It starts off with a kiss, but then she responds to a text from a dongsaeng she used to act with, and Joon immediately gets jealous; he says that because she’s pretty, he worries about men swarming around her. Joo-yeon wants to make certain that this isn’t him being paranoid, and he vehemently denies it, but the mood is ruined and they’re both miffed.
Eun-gab and his wife are sleeping when Young-bin calls and asks Eun-gab to arrange a meeting for him since he’s decided to do the drama that’s about to begin production soon. Eun-gab thinks Young-bin shouldn’t decide so hastily and advises him to wait, but Young-bin says he wants to start working ASAP even if the projects available now are mediocre.
Eun-gab calls Ho-jin next and urges him to do something about Young-bin who’s just going with any project for the sake of working again, but Ho-jin says he isn’t worried — Young-bin will figure it out. Eun-gab asks if Ho-jin isn’t going to work anymore, and Ho-jin carefully replies that he’ll be quitting the manager life for good.
Upon hearing this, Eun-gab speeds over to the office still in his PJs to talk to Ho-jin in-person. Noticing the empty beer cans, Eun-gab asks if Ho-jin said all that while drunk but Ho-jin says he’s not tipsy and meant every word — he started managing because of Young-bin, but now there’s no point in continuing. Eun-gab, still in disbelief, chugs a large water bottle.
Eun-gab tells Ho-jin that he’s been in this business for about fourteen years compared to Ho-jin’s three; every time an actor was difficult, he wanted to quit, but when they became stars, he felt so proud. He reminds Ho-jin that he was with Young-bin from the very start, and that Young-bin became successful because of Ho-jin. “Doesn’t that mean something to you?” Eun-gab wonders.
Eun-gab yells that he’ll be incredibly disappointed in Ho-jin if he quits now after all that effort, but Ho-jin admits that quitting still feels like the right move and apologizes. Eun-gab coldly says that if there’s no meaning to Ho-jin’s work, then Ho-jin should definitely quit and move out of the office by tomorrow.
The next morning, Ho-jin returns to Young-bin’s home to pack up and leave. Young-bin follows him to his room and watches in disbelief as Ho-jin packs. Ho-jin breaks the news that he can’t live with the guys forever and that Young-bin will be getting a new manager since he’s quitting. Young-bin’s incredulous that Ho-jin made this decision without discussing it with him first. “Are you going to start from the bottom again and be a cup noodle-delivering gofer?” Young-bin asks.
Ho-jin angrily shouts that the past three years of his life were a waste of time and gives Young-bin the bitter truth: “You’re the one who ruined the meeting, you’re the one who blew the movie, so why are you getting mad at me right now?!”
Young-bin stammers that he couldn’t apologize to CEO Jo even though that’s what Ho-jin advised, but Ho-jin isn’t surprised — Young-bin always does as he pleases because his feelings are most important. Insulted, Young-bin yells at Ho-jin to leave before storming off.
The motley party planning trio are at their club venue, making sure all the lights and tech work before their costume party. Joon’s there, too, but all he does is disapprove of everything, which Turtle knows to mean that something’s bothering Joon. Joon updates Turtle on his quarrel with Joo-yeon last night, and Turtle explains that he should be okay with her having guy friends, which Joon considers nonsense.
Per Turtle’s advice, Joon calls Joo-yeon to apologize, but hangs up immediately when a male voice answers. Joon assumes the worst and ignores Turtle’s advice to ask her directly who the guy was because he doesn’t want to seem obsessive. Joon admits that because Joo-yeon’s pretty and more successful than he is, he worries more, and Turtle accurately diagnoses his inferiority complex.
Joon calls Joo-yeon outside her apartment building and ends up waiting outside her door when she doesn’t pick up. A real estate agent and his client exit from her place just as Joon was about to ring the doorbell, allowing him to slip inside. Turtle calls him and tells him to leave since she isn’t home, but Joon’s paranoia kicks in from seeing the toilet cover up and is convinced she’s cheating on him.
He spots a cactus plant wearing a hat with “J ♥ M” written on it, and the mysterious “M” drives him mad, causing him to grab the plant in anger, only to end up with a bunch of thorns in his palm. Ow.
Later on, Joon, Young-bin, and Turtle all stand around Ho-jin’s empty bedroom. Joon scolds Young-bin for not preventing Ho-jin from leaving and blames Turtle, too — if it weren’t for his party, they could’ve stopped Ho-jin. But Turtle counters that Joon’s been busy with Joo-yeon, too. Joon says Young-bin should’ve apologized to Ho-jin first — Ho-jin was so good to Young-bin, and now that he’s gone, they’re nothing.
Young-bin gives Turtle the okay to use his name and receive sponsored booze for the party, so Turtle drafts a letter to an American liquor company requesting 100 boxes of beer. Joon loves that Turtle’s being productive on his computer for once instead of the usual games and porn, and Turtle’s glad that he’s finally found an enjoyable, paying gig.
Ho-jin returns Turtle’s call and informs them that he’s in temporary housing now. Joon yells at him for leaving so abruptly and reminds him that they’re on his side — if things get too tough, he should move back in with them.
Joey’s at the boys’ pad to pick Young-bin up; it’s her first time working out of the office and filling in as Young-bin’s temporary manager. Turtle asks Young-bin if he’ll be attending the costume party tonight, but Young-bin declines when he’s told that Ho-jin and Ji-ahn were invited. Then, Joon and Turtle laugh at how ridiculous Turtle’s real name is: Yeon Bong-hyun.
Young-bin wraps filming a PSA, and ironically, his line is: “When you’ve had a fight with your friend, you should say you’re sorry first.” He delivers it with a smile, but it’s clear he’s still reeling from his fight with Ho-jin. He sits alone until Eun-gab joins him; he’s come to support Young-bin on his first day of work sans Ho-jin.
Eun-gab says it seems like that line is meant for him and Ho-jin. Meanwhile, Ho-jin’s at the library, and everywhere he looks, people are studying. He steps outside and answers a call from Lee El, who tells him that she liked the script he gave her.
She tells him to arrange a meeting with his sunbae who wrote it and doesn’t care that he left the agency. She says that because he gave her the script, he should be responsible for all things concerning it; plus, she’s no longer mad at him because of the great script.
Eun-gab’s surprised to find Ho-jin at the office for an Lee El matter. He asks to read the script Ho-jin gave her and doesn’t let him leave until he finishes reading it. Eun-gab concludes that it’s a good script for Lee El and asks Ho-jin what his next steps are.
Ho-jin says he’s still thinking and may work on the set of his sunbaes’ films. Eun-gab wonders if Ho-jin hated being a manager that much, and Ho-jin replies that he didn’t — he was happy when things worked out for Young-bin, but when they didn’t, it was hard to stay on good terms. Eun-gab says it’s because he and Young-bin are friends and encourages Ho-jin to remain a manager — not necessarily to Young-bin — because he’s good at it.
Ho-jin doesn’t know how to take Eun-gab’s compliments since he’s so used to rebukes. Eun-gab smacks him with a pillow when he asks about Young-bin, shouting that he should find out for himself since Young-bin is curious about Ho-jin, too.
The costume party has commenced, and Turtle and Joon are dressed as Mario and Luigi, respectively, and they’re startled by the sweatshirt designer’s Saw getup.
He’s disappointed that Young-bin won’t be coming, but Turtle assures him that Joo-yeon will be, knowing that Joon made up with her. Joo-yeon arrives shortly, only because Joon had apologized to her.
Turtle hopes the party will grow later on in the night, and Joon’s still preoccupied with the guy who answered Joo-yeon’s phone. Turtle tells him to quit moping, but he sighs that he lost his confidence when he gained a pretty girlfriend. He switches topics when Joo-yeon joins him.
She’s upset because a stalker broke into her house, and talks about how her real estate agent saw a strange man enter. It dawns on Joon that she’s talking about him, and he nervously laughs when she tells him that she was out that day hanging out with her male cousin. Joon’s relieved to hear the guy was her cousin and tells Joo-yeon that he wants to treat her well.
Meanwhile, Eun-gab visits his old workplace — renamed Ok Entertainment — to meet with CEO Kang. She heard about the Im Hwa-su debacle and Ho-jin’s departure and tsks at CEO Jo’s inability to let things slide. Eun-gab eagerly asks her if she heard anything about CEO Jo, and we don’t hear her response, but it prompts Eun-gab to call CEO Jo immediately and yell at her for meeting with Young-bin for the sole purpose of hurting him.
Eun-gab defends Young-bin as a talented actor, and CEO Jo states that she merely told the truth — he’s a terrible actor who only does movies to sleep with actresses — and hangs up before Eun-gab can holler at her further. Young-bin’s at home when he receives a call from Eun-gab, who compliments him on his acting prowess and calls him a true actor. He says he just got off the phone with CEO Jo and wonders why Young-bin didn’t defend himself when she bashed him, and he encourages Young-bin to make up with Ho-jin soon.
We return to the costume party, the size of which still hasn’t grown, to Turtle’s disappointment; he needs celebrities present for the party to go viral on social media. Joo-yeon picks up a call from her manager and doesn’t like what she hears, and angrily turns to Joon to ask if he was the home intruder.
Her manager checked the security footage and saw Joon, and Joon stammers that he didn’t want to enter her place, but that he was suspicious of the guy who answered her phone. Joo-yeon cries that he should’ve asked her about it directly and that Joon’s being obsessive. But Joon doesn’t see it that way and argues that she’s too busy and has too many guy friends.
Joon says that even then and now, she’s still doing better than him and should be more considerate of him. When he asks who the “M” was on the cactus hat, she incredulously replies that it was a fan gift, and determines that they should stop seeing each other since things will only get worse.
A few partygoers leave when they learn that Young-bin won’t be showing up, and “Nation’s Prostate” Joon isn’t enough reason to stay. Turtle deems the party a failure and glumly joins Joon at a table. He tells Joon to apologize to Joo-yeon, but he doesn’t think he can because of his inferiority complex — she’s successful, and he’s not, which makes him unattractive.
A fight breaks out on the dance floor between a belligerent guy dressed as Harley Quinn and a person in a Doraemon costume. Harley calls Doraemon out-of-date, which prompts Joon to get up and interfere. Harley tells Joon that Doraemon is irrelevant, and Joon shouts that Doraemon is still popular and beloved by women. Harley says Luigi is another guy past his prime, and Joon launches himself at Harley, and they tussle on the floor.
Cut to: a disheveled Joon and Turtle still at the party that seems to be losing more people. Turtle wonders if Joon saw himself as Doraemon and Joo-yeon as Harley Quinn and laments the failure of his party and his inability to do well in anything. Ho-jin makes an unexpected but welcome appearance, and they’re glad he made it, even though the party’s not a success.
Then to everyone’s surprise, Young-bin arrives and joins them. Eun quickly uploads photos of him at the party on social media, and Joon says it’s nice to have all four of them together again, as Ho-jin and Young-bin stand around awkwardly. Eun says the Internet’s abuzz now that Young-bin’s here, and Joon and Turtle enjoy themselves now that the party is in full swing.
Young-bin and Ho-jin catch up upstairs, away from the activity. Ho-jin chides Young-bin for not telling him about what CEO Jo said to him during the meeting and tells him not to feel offended because everyone knows he can act.
Young-bin apologizes for letting out his anger on Ho-jin, but Ho-jin tells him to forget it since he did the same to Young-bin. Young-bin asks if they’re cool now, but Ho-jin clarifies that he wasn’t mad, but a bit lost.
Ho-jin’s decided that he’ll continue being a manager, just not as Young-bin’s, and Young-bin reacts in surprise. Ho-jin explains that he gets too emotional when working with Young-bin and that it detrimentally affects both of them; besides, he figures that Young-bin’s already made it so he doesn’t need Ho-jin anymore. Ho-jin expresses that he wants to start from the bottom again with nothing, without relying on Young-bin.
This did not feel like the penultimate episode, and had the major events of this episode taken place sooner, perhaps in the middle of the series, we could’ve had ample time to witness how Young-bin’s life changes without his best friend/manager there with him. And we also could’ve seen what it’s like for Ho-jin to go back to square one without the safety net of Young-bin, but with the newfound freedom to finally do what he wants. It’s weird to watch this and not feel any semblance of an imminent end, and even weirder that something as major (in the scheme of this show) as Ho-jin’s split from Young-bin happened so late in the series.
We’re fifteen episodes in, and I still don’t think Young-bin’s changed even a smidge. His brief spell of depression following CEO Jo’s roasting of him was puzzling because believe it or not, we still don’t know if Young-bin’s actually a good actor, objectively speaking. Of course, Young-bin was hurt by CEO Jo’s harsh criticism, but was it especially upsetting to him because there was some truth in what she said, and he knew it? Is he actually a terrible actor? I would’ve loved to see this confrontation open Young-bin’s eyes and compel him to examine his success up till now and question whether his good fortune was a result of hard work and talent or if all of it was a mere fluke. To me, Young-bin just seemed like he was upset by the unexpected diss to his face, slept the pain off, and resumed life. There was no change in him, and so I guess we’ll just have to accept without any considerable evidence that Young-bin is a good actor, and that he believes he is, too, never mind that he’s rarely seemed like one.
I’m disappointed that Ho-jin decided to continue as manager. I agree with Eun-gab that he’s good at what he does, but Eun-gab doesn’t know Ho-jin well enough to realize that perhaps Ho-jin is overqualified to be a talent manager, and that unlike Eun-gab, he never dreamed of working in representation; Ho-jin sort of fell into it because Young-bin was his best friend. It’s pretty clear that Ho-jin is a cinephile with a genuine love of movies. His college sunbaes even remembered him as such, and I wish Ho-jin quit management altogether to see him tap into his creativity and pursue his interests even if it means starting from the bottom rung again.
Even if the finale turns out to be the best episode ever (sha right), it’s going to make it really hard for me to forget how disappointing Entourage ended up being as a whole. I thought tvN had another remake success on their hands after The Good Wife, which I loved, but such was not the case. Generally speaking, I found no faults in the casting, even if Seo Kang-joon wasn’t all that riveting as the main character, but I think the show’s faults can largely be attributed to the poor writing. For a show that purported to be a slice of life of the fast-paced entertainment industry, the pace of this show was unbearably slow and each episode exceeded an hour. I expected zippy, witty dialogue, fast and crass jokes that landed, lots of delicious snark, and inside humor about a fascinating and anomalous industry where dreams of the lucky few are made. There’s so much thrill, excitement, and drama that can be mined from the backdrop of show business, but this show was seriously lacking in the fun and funny department. And I can assure you, my not being a male did not have anything to do with my level of enjoyment; I don’t believe it ever takes a certain gender to “get” or enjoy a certain show.
Hollywood operates slightly differently from Korea’s entertainment industry, and it would’ve been nice to see some stories unique to Korea. Each of the four guys had a compelling central conflict, but it’s looking like poor Turtle’s, and even Joon’s, probably won’t get resolved satisfactorily. As for the cameos, because none of them were really incorporated into the storylines in a way that felt necessary, they were all throwaways. We didn’t need most of them in the first place, and they added absolutely nothing to the story.
Ho-jin and Eun-gab are still the best aspects of the show. Park Jung-min and Jo Jin-woong are fantastic actors, but their characters were also the most interesting and fully fleshed out, with arcs that I actually cared about. They were great underdogs, and I loved rooting for them. I didn’t care for Young-bin because not only was he boring, he also drove me nuts with his poor decisions. I guess at this point, I just wish for a finale that’s fun and humorous, where the boys go back to being bros, and learn… something. Actually, I’m not sure what I want them to learn, but a 60-minute finale (instead of a 70 minute one) would be quite nice for starters.