Love is in the air this hour because these two are too cute for words. But while falling in love might be easy, dating will present new challenges for our boys. Maintaining a relationship in this industry will prove to be difficult—knowing who to trust and depend on will be more important than ever, because the higher you climb, the further you fall, but success means nothing if there isn’t anybody to share it with.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Everything is a blur in Eun-gab’s dreamscape as he wakes to his wife handing him a gold bar. His dream abruptly cuts to the office, where both CEO Kang and Young-bin also give him gold. So when Eun-gab actually wakes up in his bed and his wife approaches with his daily supplement, he pouts, still-bleary-eyed: “You’re supposed to give me gold!”
Realizing it was a dream, he wonders if she has good news for him. She does—she’s signed them up for couples counseling with their pastor. Eun-gab whines that he’ll do no such thing and shuffles away.
Young-bin, meanwhile, is busy training at the action school, where Joon is also preparing for a role in War Terminator he hasn’t even scored yet. Turtle jokes that Joon’s old man face is perfect for the historical movie’s premise.
Eun-gab swings by to check in on Young-bin, swearing that he’s here to show his support for the movie rather than discuss the dating scandal with So-hee. Since the leaked photos were mostly innocent — hugging and holding hands — the agencies put out the statement that Young-bin and So-hee were just “good friends.”
Still, Eun-gab advises Young-bin to tread carefully, then enthusiastically tells him how he thinks his dream about Young-bin and gold bars means that this movie will be a hit. Eun-gab makes sure that Young-bin’s main focus is on work, and then instructs Ho-jin to stick to Young-bin like glue whenever he’s off meeting So-hee.
Ho-jin points out how awkward it’d be as the third wheel, to which Eun-gab clarifies that his job would be to wait outside. Picking up on Ho-jin’s upgraded wardrobe and cologne, Eun-gab wonders if Ho-jin is seeing someone himself. He bars Ho-jin from dating in this presently fragile situation, then reckons that no girl would be interested in him anyway. Ouch.
Eun-gab heads out to join CEO Kang and the other directors at a restaurant, only to hear the unsettling news that they’ve all agreed to his dismissal as co-CEO. Told that he’s on his own now, CEO Kang adds that he’d been gorging himself on the scraps over the years. He vows to take his portion with him and calls the agency’s talent frantically one by one, to see who will leave with him.
So it’s only a matter of time before he calls Young-bin too, then lets out a relieved sigh when Young-bin agrees to stick with him, just as his other big stars have. The foursome wonders if Eun-gab will actually split ways with CEO Kang, though Young-bin admits that he thought his agent was calling to nag some more about So-hee.
And that reminds Ho-jin to plead with Young-bin about doing a better job of keeping his love life under wraps. Turtle asks where they’re going anyway, but it’s no use asking the two doofuses in love in the backseat who are busy sending selfies to their girlfriends. Lol.
None of the guys’ jabs about Ho-jin’s budding relationship with Ji-ahn faze him, either; in fact, he dishes back that he’s better off than the still-single Joon and Turtle. While Joon worries about not hearing back from his audition yet, Turtle would still like to know where they’re going.
Young-bin suggests they head to So-hee’s place, and when the others protest that the reporters waiting there will recognize their car, he replies that they can take a different car.
Cut to: a red boxy vehicle that the guys think looks too girly. But they decide it’s good enough for sneaking past the reporters, and soon Young-bin greets So-hee with a kiss. Ho-jin is left waiting in the car, but he immediately brightens when Ji-ahn calls.
He speaks in jondae until he’s reminded that they’d agreed to drop the formalities. Saying that he’s waiting for Young-bin, he rambles on about being scolded by Eun-gab because the lovebirds are throwing caution to the wind, then apologizes for complaining about work.
But Ji-ahn understands and tells him not to worry about Eun-gab too much; she’s known him for years now and he only nags because he cares.
When Ho-jin asks about Eun-gab and CEO Kang butting heads, Ji-ahn says that’s nothing new. She is concerned about how little she and Ho-jin have seen each other, and before Ho-jin can finish promising her a weekend date, Young-bin calls.
He apologizes to her before picking up, and Young-bin invites him upstairs to eat. Ho-jin declines, but next thing we know, he’s sitting on So-hee’s couch. Young-bin emerges from the bedroom and So-hee exits from the bathroom, and Ho-jin’s scowl says it all.
When Ho-jin confirms that he was talking with Ji-ahn, So-hee suggests that they all go on a double date next time. He agrees to ask, but lately he’s been too busy dealing with the recent dating scandal to take Ji-ahn on a proper date.
He notes how Young-bin is trying hard to impress So-hee by cooking for her when his friend usually doesn’t even step foot into the kitchen at home. Young-bin returns that Ho-jin can just do the same for Ji-ahn then.
Joon is out with Turtle when he hears that he didn’t get the role in War Terminator because another hopeful knew some of the crew. Turtle’s attempts at cheering him up fall flat, and Joon accepts the idea that he won’t ever pass an audition.
His day gets worse when a stranger swipes his juice order, so Joon confronts him. He gets worked up over the man stealing his drink since that’s the second thing being stolen from him today. It doesn’t matter if the man has already had some either, as Joon grabs the cup and downs the contents before spitting it back up.
Eun-gab arrives at the office to find Joey on the couch. He orders her to call for the staff, only to learn that they’re out. So he takes his frustrations out on Joey and her androgynous look, complaining that he’s always put in an awkward position whenever they have guests who ask if she’s a man or a woman. But Joey argues that the problem lies with society’s expectations surrounding gender roles. Go Joey—you do you.
He gets a call from CEO Jo, who relays that So-hee’s agency would like to place So-hee’s name before Young-bin’s in the credits. She figures So-hee’s agency might still be bitter about the dating scandal, but she’d rather let the management companies involved figure it out on their own.
Having heard the rumors about Eun-gab parting ways with his company, she adds that she could easily talk to CEO Kang instead. But Eun-gab protests that he’ll take care of it and quickly hangs up, amazed by how fast news flies.
His call with CEO Park at So-hee’s management company is another ordeal since the man doesn’t like his actress always being listed second. Eun-gab argues that Young-bin is a more popular celeb, which is when CEO Park returns that So-hee made her acting debut first. Plus, she was cast in War Terminator before Young-bin.
Eun-gab counters that that’s because So-hee’s role is less important, but then clams up when CEO Park makes mention of Eun-gab possibly striking out on his own. If that’s true, he says, Eun-gab doesn’t need to worry so much about Young-bin, right?
Eun-gab keeps his rage in check for two more seconds before he finally bursts and swears to hunt CEO Park down himself.
Ho-jin is caught between So-hee and Young-bin both speaking with their agents. Although Young-bin says he doesn’t care about top billing, Eun-gab barks that there will be no change so Young-bin had better not let his girlfriend sway him. And next to him, Ho-jin whispers that credits are important.
So-hee joins them moments later, and she admits that she’s always thought it unfair that the lead actress is listed second in the credits. Young-bin readily offers to switch up the order then, but So-hee says she’ll go along with whatever the director decides.
But when she relays how Eun-gab called her a terrible actress, Ho-jin insists that Eun-gab didn’t mean anything he said out of frustration. Young-bin agrees, adding that Eun-gab always talks badly about actors who aren’t under his wing.
He apologizes on Eun-gab’s behalf and then shares how apparently her agency said some awful things about him too, calling him a playboy. So-hee apologizes, and they hug it out, agreeing not to argue just because their agencies are.
Ho-jin reminds them that he’s still here, and the couple replies that they know—they just feel comfortable around him. Although Young-bin would like to stay here all day, So-hee mentions that she has a meeting regarding another movie she’ll take on immediately after War Terminator.
Eun-gab holds individual meetings with the staff, showing great interest and concern in them so they’ll stick with him after the split. Afterward, when Joey asks if all of Eun-gab’s plants — which represent his biggest talent — will follow him, he says they will. She, however, is free to go home. Aw.
While the guys chow down on fast food that night, they discuss So-hee’s next potential project which has her romantically paired with Park Seo-joon. Young-bin immediately sits up when Turtle remembers how Park Seo-joon once described his ideal type as So-hee.
Joon smacks Turtle upside the head for that remark, then takes his remaining rage out on his food. He bitterly tells Young-bin to worry about So-hee, who will definitely end up with Park Seo-joon if she agrees to that movie. Young-bin returns that co-stars don’t always get together, but Turtle points out just how true that stereotype is for him.
Eun-gab is the center of attention when he arrives at work the next day. He loudly declares that he’s not leaving, then calls his contact at CJ. Apparently the entire industry knows about Eun-gab leaving his agency, and the last he’s heard, all the celebrities are planning to stay put with CEO Kang.
That’s news to Eun-gab, who then hears that some of the staff he’s talked to have also decided to stay. And if that weren’t bad enough, Eun-gab is barred from joining the staff meeting. Forcing his way in doesn’t work either since CEO Kang barks a reminder that he’s been fired.
Eun-gab does his best to keep it together while he speeds back home to open the safe in his bedroom. He jumps when his wife appears behind him and reassures her that everything’s fine. But that doesn’t explain why he’s checking their savings in the middle of the day, so he quickly switches topics and claims that he’s feeling sick.
As Young-bin and So-hee hang out at her place without Ho-jin, he asks how her meeting went. He gapes when he learns that she has already signed on to the movie, believing that they would’ve discussed it before she made a decision.
She doesn’t see why they’d need to make her career choices together and adds that he has no need to worry because she has a keen eye for projects. Yeah, I don’t think that’s what worries him.
He drops the subject, so So-hee shares her concerns about their movie. She and the director don’t see eye to eye on her role because she thinks the character is too passive and uninteresting.
She’s hurt when he sides with the director and she argues that this is a difference in opinion, not a matter of what’s right or wrong in a Joseon-era movie. They leave the argument hanging on a frosty note.
Ho-jin and Ji-ahn, however, are enjoying a delightful date as he adorably reaches for her hand. She takes him to a craft workshop, where he compliments her handiwork on a leather business card case. His face falls when she tells him that she’s made one other case here before, but she clarifies that it was for her mother and she wanted to make one for him too. He beams.
They agree to go eat afterward, but then Young-bin calls to ask Ho-jin to pick him up. But… the man is on a date!
Ji-ahn understands that Ho-jin has to leave for work, adding that he has no reason to feel bad. Young-bin doesn’t say much in the car, though he explains that his argument with So-hee wasn’t really a fight.
He feels bad for cutting Ho-jin’s date short, worrying that he might drive a wedge between him and Ji-ahn, but Ho-jin reassures him that it’s fine. He’s told to worry about So-hee instead since Ho-jin finds it weird to see them argue. They’re both puzzled when CEO Kang calls.
Meanwhile Eun-gab is home alone because his wife and daughter are visiting family. He reaches for a bottle of liquor and is about to open it when he gets a call from Ho-jin. He ignores it and one from Young-bin as well.
Ho-jin keeps trying to call the next day, to no avail. Young-bin knows that things must be bad if Eun-gab is shutting people out, then the conversation turns to the possibility of Joon appearing on a variety show. Even if things go well, Joon is still worried—-what if his acting career suffers because people think he’s just a funnyman in variety? Oh, the meta.
When Turtle worries that Joon will misdirect his anger at the variety show’s production crew, Joon says they should be worrying about Young-bin’s supposed temper. Although Young-bin insists that he and So-hee aren’t fighting, Ho-jin says they should make up soon because it’s never good to leave arguments unresolved. Young-bin pouts and agrees to call and apologize.
Joon launches into a speech about how love between two actors is always doomed because both parties are the center of their own universes. One person will end up overshadowing the other, which is when Turtle points out that Joon wouldn’t know because he’s never dated anyone.
Ho-jin and Ji-ahn pull some strings so that So-hee and Young-bin can get some alone time on a roof of a building currently under renovation. So-hee apologizes first, admitting that he had to take the brunt of her pent-up stress. They both know she’s a workaholic, but Young-bin says he’s always admired that about her. Agreeing not to talk about work, they make up.
Eun-gab rushes to the office after an alarming call from Joey and finds her reluctantly packing up his things. He immediately calls CEO Kang and demands that they talk.
He screams at her, wanting to know if this is how she treats a longtime employee and friend, but she reminds him that he was aware of the dismissal for some time now. She knows he’s been trying to take both talent and staff away from her, and he’s invited to try.
He asks why she shed tears at the noraebang then—did the thought of driving him out bring tears to her eyes? “If in ten years’ time you’ve been working with someone like yourself and you’re in my position, you’ll understand how I feel,” she answers. But Eun-gab won’t hear any of it and agrees to leave, taking CEO Kang up on her promise to try and take everyone he can with him.
Unfortunately all the celebs who verbally agreed to stick with him have now decided to stay because CEO Kang offered them more money. So Eun-gab throws all of his actor plants angrily in the trash, but he hesitates when he gets to Young-bin’s.
So Eun-gab calls Ho-jin and asks to speak with him and Young-bin together. Neither of them is surprised to hear that Eun-gab will be leaving the agency, telling him how CEO Kang had arranged a meeting with Young-bin.
They scoff when Eun-gab tries to be understanding to the idea that Young-bin will have to weigh his pros and cons and consider CEO Kang’s offer, because Young-bin and Ho-jin have already made up their minds—they’re sticking with Eun-gab. Aw. Misty-eyed, Eun-gab takes his Young-bin plant and his daughter’s box of notes and takes one last look at his office.
He makes one last call for the staff to leave with him and calls out the ones who had verbally agreed to follow him out, but none of them budge. He reminds everyone that he extended a hand to each and every one of them when they fell on hard times, but now they’ve forsaken loyalty for money.
He asks what Joey will do then, and she softly agrees to leave with him… if Eun-gab agrees not to say snide things to her anymore. Eun-gab admits that he can’t promise that, but he can apologize right away. That’s enough for her, and they pound on it. Awwwwww.
An employee follows Eun-gab down to the parking lot, not to join him, but to collect the company car, credit card, and phone. Eun-gab hands them back, stopping to break them first, then tries to tear off his name from the company logo, to no avail.
Turtle accompanies Joon on his meeting with the variety show’s PD and writer and helps him out by outing him as a die-hard Infinite Challenge fan. Joon does terribly at the meeting, but afterwards he gets upset when a customer mistakes him as the valet out front, only to back down when a burly man emerges from the car.
As it happens, the man vaguely recognizes Joon from his idol days and demands that he sing for him. Joon obliges and that’s exactly what the variety PD and writer witness. That sends Joon into another funk, and he gets super existential about his life’s purpose and who he is.
He thought he’d be just as successful as Young-bin by now, but nothing seems to be panning out for him. He stands outside a photo studio for a long time, then we cut to a dinky photo booth. Joon says he wants to find out who he is by capturing a picture of himself in this state, and takes photo after photo.
We catch up with So-hee and Young-bin post-business time, and she gets embarrassed when Young-bin is content at just looking at her. She agrees to let Young-bin read the script for her next movie, but his expression darkens when he reads it over.
He says it’s boring and he doesn’t get what message the story is trying to convey. But So-hee tells him to be honest with her, so Young-bin complains that there are too many love scenes. She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but he doesn’t like it at all.
He asks how she’d feel if he were to have kiss scenes and love scenes with another actress. She says she wouldn’t care because it’s just work, but Young-bin says it matters to him. So-hee takes a moment before she asks if Young-bin will be this concerned with all of her future projects, and when he says yes, she realizes that this is a big problem.
Joey drops Eun-gab off at home, though he’s plenty drunk on soju by now. He complains how the market has rigged the system to drop the alcohol potency of soju down to 18 percent (the thinly veiled similarity between the number 18 and the word shibal, a.k.a “fuck” in Korean, isn’t lost).
Evidently he’s on his third bottle now, and he’s slightly hurt when Joey tries to get him out of her car. He reminds her that he lost his job today—the least she can do for him is hear him out.
But Joey tells him that he has nothing to worry about—Eun-gab is more than capable of starting over and succeeding again. Eun-gab says those words don’t make him any happier, then giggles to himself.
He gets out of the car and Joey gives him one last word of encouragement before driving off. Realizing that he’s still holding the soju bottle, Eun-gab hides it among the ivy.
He enters the house in a jovial mood, giving his daughter a kiss and spinning his wife around. She wonders if something’s the matter since Eun-gab never drinks, but Eun-gab says he had a celebratory drink. He borrows his wife’s phone to call Young-bin, telling her that he left his at the office.
Ho-jin and Turtle find Joon still depressed in his bed. Now Joon is upset that Eun-gab never invited him to leave the agency too, but then he gets good news from the variety show PD: They want to work with him.
Apparently the PD and writer were impressed when they saw him at the valet parking lot, and even though Turtle can’t wrap his head around what they were impressed by, he congratulates Joon anyway. Ho-jin gives him a high-five and now Joon is all smiles, saying that they should celebrate with a drink.
Ho-jin gets a call from Eun-gab and reassures him that he and Young-bin will come see him tomorrow. He lies that there’s nothing wrong with Young-bin and hears that they were the only two people (aside from Joey) who agreed to stick with him.
Ho-jin can pick up on Eun-gab’s depressed tone, and Eun-gab wonders if his dream about gold bars was hinting at this ending. He refuses to accept Ho-jin’s sympathy about how it could also mean he’ll be better off and more successful in the future, but he’s grateful that Ho-jin and Young-bin have agreed to stay by his side.
He asks to speak with Young-bin, who we see sulking upstairs. When Eun-gab asks if things are going well with So-hee, Young-bin matter-of-factly replies that they broke up.
“Speaking of which, I don’t think I can do War Terminator,” Young-bin declares. “I want to drop the project.”
I can’t say that I’m at all surprised by Young-bin’s latest decision not to do the movie since it solidifies that his primary reason for chasing after it was because of So-hee. His attitude toward this project has been mostly unprofessional as well and that has also spilled over to So-hee and her work ethic. Both of them seem to be so fixated on the honeymoon phase of their relationship to fully grasp how lucky they were to evade any public outcry about those leaked lovey-dovey photos, which was swiftly dealt with offscreen.
Neither So-hee nor Young-bin appear to appreciate how the people around them work around their new lovers status. Even though Eun-gab acknowledges their relationship, Young-bin doesn’t take any measures to throw the reporters off the scent. Then there’s So-hee, who whines that she’s envious of Ho-jin because at least he can go on a date with his girlfriend outside. Never mind the fact that Ho-jin has to repeatedly apologize to Ji-ahn for either cutting their conversations or their dates short.
And as much as I love Ho-jin and Ji-ahn’s budding relationship to pieces, I fear that Young-bin’s words hold true because no matter how understanding and angelic a girl can be, there’s bound to be a last straw that breaks the camel’s back. At the very least, Ho-jin catches himself whenever he finds himself complaining about work, and Ji-ahn is willing to listen. But surely Young-bin could’ve called up either Turtle or Joon to pick him up in a rental car instead of interrupting Ho-jin on his date.
Before I get deep into the lovebirds’ relationship, I do feel for Joon, who not only feels overshadowed by his cousin but is faced with constant disappointment. I love that Turtle is his reluctant cheerleader and understand when he gets upset whenever Joon is so absorbed in his own depression to accept the comfort. I do wonder if this set of photos will lead to a belated modeling career for Joon because the meta about having a variety career did make me giggle. It would be funny if Lee Kwang-soo’s character Joon did become a model since that would be the true reverse career path the real-life actor has taken.
I must admit I couldn’t invest myself in Young-bin’s ongoing fight with So-hee. In regards to the War Terminator credits, I first thought that Young-bin was being a pushover while So-hee detracted from a chance to make a bold statement for all lead actresses by leaving the decision up to the director. But then again, we know so little about War Terminator itself that it’s hard for me to understand the importance of the argument that her name should get top billing. Young-bin’s jealousy toward So-hee’s upcoming project isn’t anything new either, and those feelings came off more as childish and unprofessional than actual concern for their relationship. Both of them have been involved with actors in the past, so are we to buy into the stereotype that co-stars will always mix business with pleasure?
But what upsets me most is that Young-bin’s latest act of fickleness has backfired on Eun-gab, who has gone from the zenith of his career to rock bottom. My heart broke when Eun-gab took that Young-bin plant with him because it was the last of his few treasures, because I had an inkling that Young-bin would eventually renege on his promise. It does, however, warm my heart that Joey is there to encourage him. Maybe he’ll set aside a new Joey plant and give her the tender loving mentorship that she deserves.