You know what they say about secrets—they’re no fun unless shared with everyone. But perhaps bad news is the kind of secret better left unsaid for the sake of protecting a friend and maintaining the illusion of stability. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news, after all. A terrible actor would prefer being compared to Marlon Brando than a tree, so a well-intentioned, little white lie couldn’t hurt, right?
EPISODE 3 RECAP
The boys are at an office for Joon’s and Turtle’s cosmetic procedure. Turtle suggests Joon fix his face instead of his nether regions, and Joon answers confidently that he’s the second most handsome of the bunch. He brags about resembling Star Wars’ Kylo Ren, but Ho-jin jokes that C-3PO is more like it because of his robotic acting.
Turtle scans through the comments of an article written about War Terminator and notes that everyone’s eager to see Young-bin in it, but Young-bin hasn’t confirmed the movie yet. Ho-jin guesses Eun-gab prematurely released the article as a strategic move. Young-bin says he received a text from So-hee; she may appear in War Terminator, too.
Based on their similarly timed social media posts, Turtle believes she and Kang Haneul are definitely dating. Ho-jin advises Young-bin to ask her directly for the truth instead of sulking. But Joon states that actresses are secretive and may answer dishonestly and dares Ho-jin to ask their interior designer Ji-ahn if she’s single.
Ho-jin asks Young-bin if he’ll definitely do War Terminator, and Young-bin answers that he should. Turtle repeatedly ascertains Young-bin’s interest because when So-hee dumped him last time, he wanted to take a semester off; he knows So-hee is Young-bin’s kryptonite. Joon chides them for getting swayed by women instead of doing the swaying.
Turtle and Joon’s names get called. Turtle fears an erection may occur if the aesthetician is female, but Joon tells him to relax. A pretty, female nurse escorts Turtle away, but Joon ends up with a man, much to his horror.
Cut to: Joon and Turtle hobbling stiltedly post-bikini wax while Ho-jin and Young-bin snicker. Young-bin is caught off-guard by an unexpected call from MC Boom, and at the same time, Ho-jin gets in the car and is surprised to hear Young-bin’s voice on the radio. Boom has spontaneously contacted Young-bin for his live radio segment, and Young-bin ends up confirming War Terminator as his next project.
Girl group SPICA is also in the studio with Boom, and they express how excited they are for his movie. Ho-jin runs out of the car and motions for Young-bin to end the call, but it’s too late; he’s publicly confirmed his participation in War Terminator and the deal hasn’t even been struck.
Eun-gab is in a staff meeting and complains about the expenses wracked up by his spendthrift clients. Joey takes minutes, and Eun-gab warns her not to include his expletives. CEO Jo calls Eun-gab, asking if he released the War Terminator article, and Eun-gab denies it. She says she’ll publish a correction and advises Eun-gab to keep movie details under wraps.
Eun-gab suggests they sign this week for Young-bin’s role, but she pushes it to the following week. Suspicious of the delay, Eun-gab calls his colleague at CJ and asks him why casting hasn’t been finalized yet, but doesn’t receive any answers. Eun-gab senses something’s up, and wonders if he’s about to get betrayed. Eun-gab takes it out on one of his employees who’s just trying to eat a pastry, and he orders Joey to call CJ until she reaches his colleague.
Back at home, Turtle records himself playing a computer game and provides live commentary to his few online followers. Joon’s cleaning the house and scolds Turtle for his pigsty of a room. As Joon wades through the mess, he spots Turtle’s overdue credit card statement, but Turtle isn’t the least bit concerned.
Joon angrily wonders what he’ll be when he grows up, sounding just like a mom. He recommends Turtle find a job so he can pay back the money he owes Joon. But Turtle replies that he’ll simply borrow money from Young-bin and Ho-jin to pay Joon back, drawing Joon’s ire.
Young-bin and Joon giggle as they watch Ho-jin on his best behavior as Ji-ahn goes over interior design details. Then Turtle comes along asking Ho-jin if the DVD he found is porn or a movie, thoroughly embarrassing Ho-jin. He humiliates Ho-jin even more by pointing out the obvious: “Why are you so dressed up? Oh! Ji-ahn’s here. That’s why!”
Young-bin finds it odd that he still hasn’t heard any War Terminator updates, so Ho-jin decides to call Eun-gab on his way out. But he hangs up as soon as he sees that Ji-ahn hasn’t left yet. Ho-jin offers to give her a ride, and adorably clears out the clutter before opening the door for her.
He apologizes for the uncomfortable ride in his clunker of a car, but she assures him that she’s perfectly comfortable. He explains that he can’t part with his first car yet, and Ji-ahn surprises him when she says she understands the attachment. A call comes in from Eun-gab, and Ho-jin answers it reluctantly.
Eun-gab curses at Ho-jin and calls him an idiot, all of which Ji-ahn hears over the speakerphone, prompting an embarrassed Ho-jin to pull over and speak to Eun-gab in hushed whispers directly into the phone. Eun-gab orders him to inform Young-bin that they won’t be signing the contract this week because it’s getting slightly pushed. Ho-jin asks if there’s a problem, but Eun-gab answers that he’s not sure yet and it’s driving him nuts.
Nevertheless, he orders Ho-jin to tell Young-bin that everything’s going swimmingly, heh. Ho-jin thinks Young-bin should know the truth because he already announced on live radio that he’d do War Terminator. Eun-gab flips out that Ho-jin wasn’t able to stop Young-bin from saying that and orders Ho-jin to just keep Young-bin happy.
Eun-gab’s wife is surprised to see her husband at her gym; he says he was in the area and wanted to see her. But that proves to be false because he greets another woman there and asks if she can connect him with her husband through her phone since his ran out of battery. She proceeds to do that, and he also has her ask him if he remembers throwing a bag at a taxi. Eh?
Cut to: the CJ colleague Eun-gab called earlier, sprinting out of his office and into Eun-gab’s car. Years ago, he had sent his blind date home drunk and threw his bag into her taxi to leave with her, and this was when he was seeing someone else. Ugh. He asks Eun-gab not to threaten him with that incident anymore because he’s now a changed man devoted to his wife. But when he answers that he doesn’t know why Young-bin’s War Terminator deal is being delayed, Eun-gab hangs another anecdote over his head.
Eun-gab reminds him that his wife has a big mouth, and that only a year ago, the colleague brought actors to a high-end prostitution salon. This prompts the colleague to finally open up, and he divulges that the War Terminator director Lee Jun-ik isn’t even considering Young-bin for his movie. Uh oh. The director has never seen any of Young-bin’s works, and Eun-gab is furious, to say the least.
The boys are in the car again, and Joon notices that the War Terminator articles have been corrected from “Young-bin is confirmed to star” to “Young-bin’s casting has not been decided.” Concerned, Young-bin calls Eun-gab for an update, but Eun-gab feigns a cold and suggests they chat later. He also says Young-bin shouldn’t worry about the articles.
Ho-jin knows that’s not true, but he reassures Young-bin anyway that Eun-gab will handle it. But it doesn’t escape Young-bin that Ho-jin just sided with Eun-gab. The boys arrive outside the shabby studio of Turtle’s designer friend. Turtle met him through Instagram, and he needed someone to advertise his clothing. The portly designer steps out in an orange jumpsuit and isn’t thrilled to see that Turtle brought his “Lord of the Rings” crew instead of coming alone.
The designer holds up a pink sweatshirt he designed; it looks like he scrawled random words and pictures on it with colored markers. Turtle finds it cool, but Joon thinks it’s ridiculous. Offended, the designer disses Joon by saying he looks like a greyhound and asks Turtle to promote his fashion often.
Turtle hands the sweatshirt to Young-bin to wear, but Ho-jin disapproves of it. Young-bin isn’t fond of the design either, but the designer mentions that Gong Hyo-jin will also be wearing it. The designer says he’s a fan of the War Terminator novel, but that Young-bin was miscast. Young-bin’s face falls as the designer mutters that Yoo Ah-in would’ve been perfect for the role. Turtle reassures Young-bin that the designer is actually a nice softie who just had a difficult past, heh.
Young-bin wears the sweatshirt in black when he and the boys meet with his sassy stylist. She asks him to take the embarrassing top off, but Young-bin’s a good sport and keeps it on because it’s comfortable. The stylist an outfit ready, and Young-bin changes into a sharp black suit. She glances at his friends and recommends that they put a little more effort into their physical appearances: “Do you purposely dress down to make Young-bin shine brighter?”
She asks Young-bin if he really is confirmed for War Terminator like he said on the radio, and Young-bin clarifies that he’s still in talks for it. She heard that Yoo Ah-in, Lee Min-ho, and Lee Jong-seok also received the script, which is alarming news to both Young-bin and Ho-jin. Young-bin and the boys go to speak to Eun-gab in person, but Joey tells them that he isn’t in the office yet. Eun-gab returns shortly and upon seeing the boys, scrambles inside the conference room behind them to hide. Joey spots him, but by the time the boys turn around, Eun-gab had concealed himself. Joey suggests that they call him.
Eun-gab practices his sick voice before picking up Young-bin’s call and fibs that he’s at the hospital for his cold. But Young-bin says he’ll stop by so Eun-gab changes up his story and says he’s about to be treated for his hemorrhoids. Young-bin inquires as to why the War Terminator script was circulated among other actors if he was already confirmed for the part.
Eun-gab admits the script was sent to them, but reassures Young-bin that he’s still the frontrunner and that there’s no problem. Young-bin suggests they sign the contract immediately if that’s the case and also meet with the director, and Eun-gab regretfully agrees.
After the call, Young-bin thinks Eun-gab is being cagey because whenever something came up in the past, Eun-gab always avoided his calls and assured him that everything was fine. Ho-jin decides to stay behind to talk to Eun-gab when he returns.
Eun-gab finds CEO Jo reading in a tiny nook at a comic book store, her go-to place for film ideas. He cuts to the chase: He knows the director has no interest in Young-bin. CEO Jo replies that she already knows Eun-gab was the one who prematurely released the article about Young-bin’s confirmed casting. When he brings up meeting with the director, CEO Jo says the director is currently in China.
Eun-gab asks for her thoughts on Young-bin’s casting, and she says that her company and CJ both want him, and that they’re in the middle of convincing the director. She asks Eun-gab for some patience and optimism. She has to finish reading her comic book before her meeting, and Eun-gab snidely encourages her to do so since he’s about to leave anyway on account of their pointless conversation and the claustrophobic store.
Eun-gab returns to his office and finds Ho-jin waiting for him. He teases Ho-jin for having cup noodles for dinner, and Ho-jin apologizes for not having eaten sooner. Eun-gab adds that he, too, didn’t eat dinner yet because he was out and about all day. Ho-jin goes to dispose of his noodles, but Eun-gab stops him and asks him to make him some too, surprising Eun-gab.
Aw, the two slurp on their cup noodles together. Eun-gab asks why Young-bin was here earlier, and Ho-jin replies that he wanted to see what was up when he heard that the War Terminator script was distributed to other actors. Eun-gab reprimands Ho-jin for not saying the right things to Young-bin and making him feel better. He compares a popular script to a smart and sexy woman—others would obviously be interested too.
Eun-gab is relieved that Young-bin’s still interested in doing the movie. Ho-jin inquires about the contract delay, but Eun-gab deflects. Ho-jin asks where Idea stands on this, and Eun-gab impatiently answers that he’ll handle everything so Ho-jin need not worry. Ho-jin even suggests Eun-gab speak to Young-bin directly if he doesn’t feel comfortable disclosing anything to him, but Eun-gab refuses. Finally, Eun-gab sets down his noodles and turns serious, warning Ho-jin that what he’s about to say stays between the two of them.
Joon warms up the grill and arranges cocktail glasses. Turtle grumbles because he’s struggling to convince his numerous connections to advertise his friend’s sweatshirt on social media. But Joon’s not surprised because he still thinks the sweatshirts are terrible, but Young-bin thinks they’re not half bad and offers to send some to his celebrity friends.
Turtle jumps at the offer, but Joon scolds him for always mooching off of Young-bin. Ho-jin arrives and Young-bin asks about his meeting with Eun-gab. Ho-jin nonchalantly says there was no problem, but Young-bin doesn’t look convinced. Turtle throws Ho-jin a sweatshirt so he can join the sweatshirt club, which disgusts Joon even more.
Ho-jin wonders what all the food is for, and Young-bin says it’s to celebrate Ho-jin’s move into the house. Young-bin follows Ho-jin inside and orders him to fess up; he can read Ho-jin like a book and knows something’s up. Ho-jin sheepishly admits that the director has never seen Young-bin’s works and has no interest in casting him. Young-bin silently registers this for a beat and wonders what’s next. Ho-jin says Eun-gab’s working on it with CJ and Idea, both companies that are pushing for him, and tells Young-bin not to worry.
But Young-bin’s miffed that both Ho-jin and Eun-gab kept this big secret from him; he expected Ho-jin to divulge first. Ho-jin replies that he only found out today, and because Eun-gab said he’d handle it, he figured Young-bin would’ve been better off not knowing until everything was resolved.
Young-bin guesses they would’ve lied to make him feel better if he didn’t get the part, and Ho-jin concurs. Young-bin appreciates that Ho-jin’s finally being honest with him, but wonders if he could be more of a friend and less of a manager. Ho-jin replies that he’s trying to do both well, but it’s draining.
Joon detects the awkwardness between them and asks if they had another couple fight. He also tries to create a cocktail using flashy moves from a YouTube video, but he ends up making a mess, knocking over bottles and spraying alcohol all over the boys. He insists the taste is good, but all of them spit out their drinks, disgusted.
Turtle stays up late playing his usual computer game, preventing Ho-jin from falling asleep. Ho-jin heads to Joon’s room, but walks away when he sees Joon sleeping in his birthday suit, only to return, stare at his junk, and wonder what “that” is. Young-bin’s room is the only other option so he quietly slides next to Young-bin.
Young-bin mutters that he’s not asleep and says Ho-jin should’ve listened and slept in his room from the start. But Ho-jin didn’t want to bother him knowing that Young-bin is a light sleeper. Ho-jin knows Young-bin is still awake because he’s worried about the movie and reassures him that everything will work out. Young-bin says he’s being optimistic, but when Ho-jin asks if he’ll be okay if he doesn’t get the movie and So-hee does, his disappointment is unmistakable.
Ho-jin can’t wait until the construction is finished because all three guys have odd sleeping habits. But Young-bin jokes that Ho-jin will be down since Ji-ahn won’t be coming by anymore. Young-bin is reminded of their schooldays when all four of them slept like sardines in one room. Young-bin recounts a particularly frightening moment when he woke up from his sleep and Ho-jin’s face was right in front of him; that was the closest he’s ever been to another man’s face, and Ho-jin argues that he was just sleeping.
The next morning, Young-bin yawns as he gets his hair styled. Ho-jin yawns, too, and Turtle wonders what they did last night. Ho-jin remarks that he was traumatized by Joon and yells at him to wear clothes when he sleeps. Joon smirks and asks if he saw “it” and encourages all the boys to sleep naked because it’s best for the health of his package.
Turtle says Joon’s is in mint condition because he has no use for it, and Joon angrily reminds Turtle that he sent his ugly sweatshirts to his celeb friends as a favor. But Turtle says it wasn’t helpful because none of them advertised that they wore it.
Young-bin doesn’t want to go to Yoo Ah-in’s brand party, but Ho-jin says So-hee will be there, and that seals the deal. Young-bin spots Song Ji-hyo on his way out of the salon and stops to say hi. She mentions So-hee dating Kang Hanuel, and warns Young-bin that if he gets caught in a scandal, it’ll be a huge headache for him.
Joon instructs Turtle to zip it and watch, and excitedly approaches Hyukoh band, but they don’t recognize him. Joon does a small song and dance number from his boy band days to dredge up their memories, and that’s when the band “remembers” him. Joon uses his sunbae status to ask Hyukoh for a favor, and Turtle is ecstatic.
Cut to: the fashion show for Yoo Ah-in’s brand. After it ends, the boys run into actress Park Han-byul, and then they see Ji-ahn and Eun-gab’s scary boss, CEO Kang. The boys are surprised to learn that CEO Kang is Ji-ahn’s mom, and later, Joon laments that Ji-ahn is way out of Ho-jin’s league.
Young-bin’s sassy stylist informs Young-bin that Yoo Ah-in and So-hee are together right now, and she overheard him telling So-hee that he’s doing War Terminator. Ho-jin can’t believe it, and neither can Young-bin. While Eun-gab is shopping for groceries for his wife, Young-bin calls him and inquires about Yoo Ah-in; this is news to Eun-gab, too, and he rushes to meet Young-bin in person.
Eun-gab meets the boys at the after party and assures Young-bin that he did not lose the role. He walks over to Yoo Ah-in to find out his status directly. Turtle calls his designer friend expecting to hear gratitude for promoting his clothes, but it seems Gong Hyo-jin’s participation was enough to satisfy the designer, which renders all of Turtle’s hard work pointless.
Turtle feels betrayed, but not for long because supermodel Song Haena compliments his sweatshirt and asks for a selfie with him. Joon expertly photobombs in the back, heh. After speaking with Yoo Ah-in directly, Eun-gab informs the boys that Yoo is very interested in War Terminator, but has a scheduling conflict so he can’t do it. Eun-gab even confirmed this with CJ, and promises Young-bin that he has not one iota to worry about. Eun-gab spots CEO Kang and peaces out early to avoid seeing her.
The boys catch Ho-jin staring at Ji-ahn, and Turtle makes fun of him and Young-bin for being so terrible with relationships. Meanwhile, Eun-gab is spotted by CEO Kang anyway. Over the phone, she instructs him to clean up the War Terminator mess, and the two hurl colorful insults at each other before Eun-gab flees.
Ji-ahn catches Ho-jin as he’s about to leave the party, and she seems to regret that he isn’t staying. Ho-jin asks her why she never mentioned that she was CEO Kang’s daughter, and she says that it seemed irrelevant. He nervously asks her how Eun-gab described him to her mom, and she says she was told how smart and hardworking he is, which surprises Ho-jin. At the very last minute, he manages to work up the nerve to ask her if she has a boyfriend, and she answers that she doesn’t.
Ho-jin returns to the car doing a silly little happy dance with his arms. Young-bin spots So-hee just as they’re about to leave, and when he stops to talk to her, she says he should definitely do War Terminator, saying that Yoo Ah-in wanted to do it, but she thinks Young-bin’s a better fit. He beams. Young-bin then asks her a question that we don’t hear.
Back in his car, Young-bin informs the boys that So-hee isn’t dating Kang Haneul; she told him that Kang was just a close oppa to her. They don’t seem convinced, but let Young-bin believe it. The boys meet Eun-gab for dinner at a restaurant that Eun-gab says is a favorite of director Lee Jun-ik. Young-bin mentions that the director has no interest in him, which clues Eun-gab in to the fact that Ho-jin exposed their secret.
Ho-jin stays behind for another scolding from Eun-gab. Eun-gab instructs him to lie to Young-bin, but Ho-jin admits that he can’t. He thinks managers should be honest to their actors, but Eun-gab counters that well-intentioned lying is part of the job to keep the actor happy and protected. He orders Ho-jin to use his brain and denies ever saying that Ho-jin was smart and hardworking.
Eun-gab treats the boys to dinner and says that as soon as the director returns from China, he’ll arrange a meeting for Young-bin. But their server states that the director came here just a few minutes ago with Kim Soo-hyun and is currently in the room next door. Uh oh. Young-bin concludes that he just lost the role to Kim Soo-hyun, and says with a sigh, “I’m doomed.”
Young-bin losing War Terminator did not come as a surprise and subsequently, the whole will-he-won’t-he-get-the-movie buildup felt futile and unnecessarily long. I saw Young-bin’s loss coming from a million miles away so watching Eun-gab go through all these hurdles — feign sickness, blackmail colleagues, etc. — to get to the bottom of the War Terminator conundrum was not as enjoyable as it should’ve and could’ve been. The stakes didn’t feel high enough, and not once did I think maybe Young-bin had a chance.
I’m just not entirely convinced that Young-bin is an A-list celebrity. I almost think he’s a bit too nice; he’s surprisingly levelheaded and restrained. But I’m conflicted because I kind of like that aspect of him? I’m not saying all A-list celebrities need to be demanding and out of touch drama queens, but if I took away Young-bin’s handsome looks, I really can’t identify any aspects that distinguish him as an A-list actor. I can’t say that he’s charismatic. What is his defining trait as an actor? Is he a rom-com favorite? Or are dark and intense dramas his specialty? I’d be curious to know what genre of storytelling shot him to fame because I for the life of me can’t figure it out. Young-bin, on a scale from Nam Joo-hyuk (sorry) to Kim Soo-hyun, what are you?
I found Ho-jin’s and Young-bin’s little sleepover to be quite cute, but don’t think it served much of a purpose other than showing us for the umpteenth time that they’re BFFs. I do like that we get to see men openly discussing their feelings to their male friends, which took place during the sleepover and when Young-bin confronted Ho-jin and asked him to be more friend and less manager. I appreciated that.
Eun-gab continues to be an engaging and humorous scene-stealer. He’s loud, blunt, and savvy, and whenever he’s missing from the screen, I notice my interest level drops tremendously. I’d also really appreciate it if we got more screentime for Eun-gab’s wife. The cameos in this episode seemed like throwaways, however, neither adding nor taking away from the narrative. The pacing still continues to be troublesome and much too slow for my liking; for now, I’ll attribute it to the uneven writing and direction.
I really wish the comedy, both physical and verbal, landed more consistently and frequently. Sometimes I get the sense that the show is timidly dipping its toes into crass humor territory, fearful of ruffling too many feathers and coming across as too vulgar. The tone of the show is rather imbalanced; there’s a little bit of sex humor, some industry stuff, and a lot of ordinary conversations amongst the boys. The entertainment industry is chock full of interesting personalities, and I wonder if they had the boys separated from the pack for once and interacting with other people for longer periods of time, the show would be a better watch. Just a thought.