One boy’s broken heart is more than enough to complicate the lives of everyone around him, and it’s no fun for anyone. It’s especially difficult when it looks like everyone else cares more about his future and well-being than he does, when he’d really prefer to be left alone, thank you very much. Let’s hope there’s some way to knock some sense into him…
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Following his split from So-hee, Young-bin has not left his room for days, which is cause for concern for his buddies and newly unemployed Eun-gab. Heartbroken Young-bin spends his days sleeping, and no amount of moral support from anyone seems to pull him out of his funk. Ho-jin worries about all the engagements he’ll have to cancel, and Joon asserts that time is the only cure for heartbreak. But Turtle believes a fun time at an EDM festival can make Young-bin feel better. Joon worries about Young-bin dropping out of War Terminator like he said he would, but Turtle figures Young-bin will stay on since it was so difficult to nab the part in the first place.
At home, Eun-gab still dresses for work while on a call with CEO Jo, who has an unmistakable case of schadenfreude. She denies sounding gleeful over his notorious firing, but Eun-gab calls out her unprofessionalism for speaking to him with her mouth full. She promptly sets aside her bagel and cuts to the chase — despite his exit, she still has to work with him on War Terminator, and they agree to redraft Young-bin’s contract to reflect the change in representation.
After the call, Eun-gab’s wife notes that he’s been leaving for work later than usual these days. She doesn’t know that her husband got fired so Eun-gab makes up excuses (i.e., car needed repair) and takes a cab to “work,” aka Young-bin’s apartment. Young-bin stirs awake and finds Eun-gab standing over him.
Young-bin sits up in bed, looking pale and weak. Eun-gab asks if dropping out of War Terminator was an idea made in jest, but Young-bin shakes his head and reiterates that he has no desire to do the movie anymore. Eun-gab reminds Young-bin that times are tough for him, too, following his dismissal, and that dropping the movie would worsen their situation. But Young-bin merely expresses his wish for Eun-gab to understand him before deciding to sleep some more. Ugh.
Eun-gab tells Ho-jin, Turtle, and Joon that they all need to figure out a solution to Young-bin’s state ASAP. Ho-jin says he’s letting Young-bin be since sleeping is how he typically recovers, but Eun-gab wants Ho-jin to act, to call So-hee and see if there’s a chance for reconciliation because Young-bin must do the movie; everyone’s livelihood hinges on it. Ho-jin reassures Eun-gab that Young-bin wouldn’t act so thoughtlessly, but Eun-gab isn’t convinced.
Before leaving, Eun-gab wishes Joon luck on his audition for the variety show, and that tiny bit of acknowledgement makes Joon’s day. Turtle and Joon leave for the audition while Ho-jin stays behind and calls So-hee.
Turtle and Joon arrive too early for the audition, and nervous Joon gets the runs. After Joon relieves himself, Turtle lets him in on a secret: It’s a hidden camera audition. The producer mistook Turtle as Joon’s manager and divulged that tidbit. Turtle warns Joon not to be so obvious and to show his real self, but Joon ends up addressing the hidden camera and acting anything but natural.
Joon reassures Turtle that he’ll do better for the real deal. Joon joins the meeting with the producers and scans the room for hidden cameras. The producers inform him that variety star Ji Suk-jin (Running Man) will arrive shortly, but that actor Julien Kang (Real Men 2) couldn’t make it. Joon asks if Julien is the guy who notoriously cleaned a convenience store while drunk, which makes the producers laugh.
They encourage Joon to be unfiltered and funny like that because that’s variety. Suk-jin finally arrives and reminds Joon that their variety program is about reviving unpopular actors; ergo, Joon must drop the nice guy image and be provocative.
Suk-jin asks Joon if he has any funny tales to share, and Joon answers that he doesn’t because he’s dedicated to acting. Dear face, meet palm. Suk-jin figures Joon may have something scandalous to share about Young-bin, but Joon yet again gives a straight answer and just says “no.” Subsequent attempts made by Suk-jin to elicit a funny response from Joon fail, and he and the producers conclude that this meeting can’t be broadcast because it was so boring.
Joon feigns surprise when he’s told that this meeting was a hidden camera audition, then later admits that he was careful because he already knew. He asks for another chance to “fall for the hidden camera,” which only confirms to the rest that Joon is a lost cause. Oh Joon.
Eun-gab visits a retired actor who now stews large batches of meat for a living, to convince him to return to acting and sign with him. Joey’s useless in backing Eun-gab up, and hot steam from the meat blows right into Eun-gab’s face. The old man states that as an actor, he, just like his meat, will require lots of TLC and a contract signing fee, which Eun-gab can’t afford given his recent firing.
Eun-gab’s interrupted by a call from CEO Jo; she’s miffed that he never informed her about Young-bin and So-hee’s breakup which will detrimentally affect War Terminator, and has already affected Young-bin since she heard about his canceled engagements. She angrily hangs up, and Eun-gab asks the old man if he can buy some of his meat in lieu of the contract payment.
Ho-jin finds Young-bin binge-watching The Walking Dead, looking zombie-like himself with dark bags under his eyes. He mentions that he called So-hee, but Young-bin is uninterested in the details. Ho-jin gives up and heads to the living room, where Turtle and Joon update him on yet another failed audition.
Turtle wonders why Joon was so polite during the hidden camera audition, and Joon answers that he wanted to preserve his good image as an actor.
Eun-gab stops by to drop off the meat from earlier, and Ho-jin notices how exhausted Eun-gab is after running around all day and meeting with actors to grow his clientele.
Upon hearing that Young-bin’s still miserable, Eun-gab says that two narcissistic actors in a relationship rarely works. He scolds Ho-jin for failing to stop Young-bin and So-hee in the first place, but Ho-jin contends that a manager can’t control his actor’s emotions. Eun-gab remarks that Ho-jin’s been talking back frequently these days, and Ho-jin apologizes, attributing it to stress.
Eun-gab notes that actresses are more professional because they’re less sensitive, but guys tend to take it harder; So-hee will still do War Terminator without any problems. He instructs Ho-jin to continue persuading Young-bin.
Eun-gab returns home and finds his wife upset. She heard he got fired from her gym buddy whose husband works at CJ, and she can’t believe he didn’t tell her. “Aren’t we a family?” she cries. He tries to explain how he wanted to sort everything out before filling her in, but she storms off and orders him to sleep in the library.
The next morning, Eun-gab drives his daughter to school. He expects her usual request for treats, but she doesn’t have one today because she knows he got fired. He tells her not to worry, and she says she’s not, but does mention that a classmate whose father got fired transferred schools. She surprises him with a kiss on the cheek which moves him to tears. Aww.
After weeks of being cooped up in his room, Young-bin finally decides to shave and join Ho-jin for a meal in the living room. Ho-jin informs him that CEO Jo called because they have to revise the contract, but Young-bin says there’s no need since he’s not doing the movie anymore. Ho-jin tells him to get over himself because dropping the movie would complicate matters for everyone involved.
Unfortunately, Young-bin doesn’t budge and wants to meet the director to tell him his decision in person. Ho-jin’s just about had it and clarifies that Young-bin’s being irresponsible, but Young-bin counters that he’s taking responsibility for his actions and will accept the consequences; therefore, Ho-jin should mind his own business.
This is the last straw for Ho-jin, whom Young-bin accuses of sounding more like Eun-gab and a manager than a friend. “If you were going to be like this, why did you hire me in the first place?” Ho-jin yells. “Because you wanted to do it,” Young-bin answers matter-of-factly. Ho-jin tells him to do whatever he wants and walks out.
Turtle and Joon meet with the variety producers again, but because Joon bombed his audition, they enlist his help to carry out Julien Kang’s hidden camera audition. They assume that because Joon is an actor, he’ll do well in tricking Julien. Turtle knows this is an incorrect assumption, but Joon lights up at their belief in him and promises realistic acting.
As part of the ploy, Turtle and Joon tail Julien’s car in the parking garage. Turtle wonders if Julien will pummel Joon when he finds out this was all a prank, but Joon doesn’t think so and is set on showing off his acting chops. While Julien’s having issues with his parking ticket at the machine, Joon honks the horn repeatedly and yells at him to hurry to rile him up.
Julien asks for patience, but Joon continues to push his buttons by making fun of his variety appearances. Joon flips him off and hollers, “Fuck you!” but right before the fight escalates, the producers and camera crew appear and inform Julien that this was all a prank.
Julien laughs it off and compliments Joon on his acting. Joon feels great after the successful prank and heads to Julien’s dressing room to greet him, but he overhears Julien threatening to beat Joon to a pulp and skedaddles.
Turtle and Joon find Young-bin at home lounging in the living room. Young-bin asks for a ride so he can inform the director that he won’t be doing War Terminator anymore, but both Joon and Turtle agree with Ho-jin that dropping the movie isn’t the right choice. Annoyed that no one’s taking his side, Young-bin wordlessly leaves the house. Turtle turns on the TV to a boxing match, which makes Joon even more fearful of getting beaten up by Julien.
Ho-jin’s out on a date with Ji-ahn, but he can’t enjoy it after hearing that Young-bin abruptly left the house and is ignoring everyone’s calls. Ji-ahn is patient and understanding and encourages Ho-jin to go and make up with Young-bin and lift his spirits. She also startles him when she adorably rests her head against his lap.
Eun-gab goes back to his old office, this time with a lawyer in tow, to get what’s his. CEO Kang also has her lawyer with her, and writes down a figure on a sheet of paper and passes it to him. Eun-gab scoffs at the paltry number and reminds her that he knows all of the agency’s dirty little secrets, along with clients’ scandalous stories, so if she doesn’t want to take this fiasco to court, she better go with the figure he has in mind. CEO Kang calls him scum, but Eun-gab has won this time.
Ho-jin calls Eun-gab to let him know that Young-bin left abruptly, and fears he may be out meeting with the director to tell him he won’t be doing the movie. Eun-gab instructs Ho-jin to continue searching for him, while he’ll handle the rest.
Young-bin’s actually scuba diving in an indoor pool to clear his head, alone, and stays underwater for long moments.
Upon surfacing, he runs into a diving instructor who recognizes him and his friends from previous visits, and she understands the feeling: Underwater, everything comes to a standstill.
Afterwards, Young-bin helps the instructor pick out a birthday gift for her brother, and the two grab lunch later at a quiet restaurant. Young-bin seems comfortable with her and admits that it’s been awhile since he spent so much time with a person he barely knows.
When he tells her that his friends were nagging him to do something he doesn’t want to do, she says it’s his life to do, or not do, as he pleases, and he agrees. He wonders if she feels uncomfortable being around him because he’s a celebrity, but she says she doesn’t perceive him that way.
But moments later, Young-bin catches her bragging to her friend over the phone that she’s hanging out with the Young-bin and how she pretended to be nice to him. Young-bin silently leaves the restaurant and takes a solitary stroll across the bridge.
Eun-gab’s wife has lunch with her girlfriends. One of them brings up her husband’s recent firing, but she assures them that she’s not worried. Minutes later, Eun-gab arrives and surprises her with a Tiffany necklace in front of her friends. She pulls him aside and asks for an explanation. He says he wanted to make it up to her after keeping her in the dark about his firing, adding that he was able to afford the necklace because he got his severance pay and his stock shares back.
Eun-gab meets with CEO Jo and gifts her with cakes from a famous bakery. He asks her to pick one, and follows up with question: “If I asked you to pick between Young-bin or So-hee, who would you choose?” Eun-gab says the two can’t work together anymore, and that if she chooses So-hee, Eun-gab and Young-bin would pull out. However, he notes that it’d be hard to replace Young-bin now since other eligible actors are most likely booked.
At a bar, Joon worries about Young-bin being MIA and angry Julien Kang, who won’t forgive Joon unless he makes an in-person apology. For once, Joon curses his acting prowess, heh.
Surprise, surprise. Ho-jin finds Young-bin at their favorite movie theater. Young-bin’s feelings haven’t changed; he can’t do the movie because he’s hurting and still likes So-hee, so seeing her everyday on set would be too painful.
Surprisingly, Ho-jin sides with him, but explains that before, it was his job as manager to convince him not to drop out.
Back at the bar, Turtle and Joon are relieved to hear from Ho-jin that he’s found Young-bin, even though he won’t be doing the movie. Joon feels like quitting the variety program, but he knows Young-bin will lose money for breaching the contract, so he won’t. Plus, as the hyung of the house, he feels obligated to provide financially.
Joon and Turtle arrive at Julien’s boxing gym where Julien is currently in the ring, sparring. The two are terrified, and Joon apologizes for going too far with his acting last time, but Julien rejects it: “Forget your apology. Let’s fight man to man.” Julien motions for both of them to hop into the ring, but ultimately, only Joon gets pushed in.
Joon begs for forgiveness, but Julien quips that it’s only fair for Joon to forgive him as well—since this whole thing was actually a hidden camera prank on Joon.
The producers and camera crew come out for the big reveal, pleased with the way things played out this time. They apologize to Joon for tricking him, but Joon is so relieved to be alive that he laughs along with everyone else.
Young-bin and his managers arrive for a meeting with CEO Jo. Before the meeting, Young-bin apologizes to Eun-gab for causing such trouble, but Eun-gab simply suggests they start the meeting. Young-bin starts to speak first, but CEO Jo asks to have the first word and breaks the news that So-hee will be dropping out of the movie.
Ho-jin and Young-bin are surprised, and CEO Jo explains that the couple’s breakup rendered Young-bin and So-hee unable to co-star, so she had to let one of them go. She chose Young-bin.
Eun-gab considers the matter settled, but Young-bin still wants to have his say, and declares that he’ll be the one opting out of the movie, not So-hee. CEO Jo is blindsided, but after the meeting Young-bin accuses Eun-gab of going too far and forcing So-hee out.
Eun-gab warns that if Young-bin doesn’t do this movie, the future of his career is at risk, which is why Eun-gab is not going to let him drop out. Young-bin’s determined to stick to his decision, though, and leaves to inform the director of his decision. Ho-jin tells Eun-gab that because Young-bin’s made his decision, they need to accept it and figure out other solutions.
But Eun-gab is incredulous that Ho-jin is willing to jump off the cliff with Young-bin, when he should be stopping his best friend instead. “Sometimes, managers have to be mean and nasty to protect the client’s career. That’s what managers do, and if you can’t, then just quit,” Eun-gab shouts at Ho-jin.
Ho-jin receives a call from So-hee, and Young-bin reluctantly decides to see her at Celebrity Chef Sam Kim’s restaurant. So-hee tells him she still wants for them to do War Terminator together.
When he says it’s too hard for him to work with her, she volunteers to drop out so he can still do it. Young-bin says he can’t because he’s not like her. So-hee agrees that they’re different, which is why she broke up with him in the first place, because she knew they’d always fight about the same thing. So-hee wishes him well, and the two sit in awkward silence.
Right before Young-bin’s meeting with the director, Ho-jin asks Young-bin one last time if he’s okay with dropping the movie, and Young-bin admits that he’s mortified and simply wants to run away. I can think of a better option than that, but never mind. Young-bin says he won’t regret this decision and enters the building to break the news to Director Lee Joon-ik.
Cut to a crazy EDM festival with hundreds of attendees and colorful lights where all our boys have gathered. Joon asks about the meeting with the director, and Young-bin answers that the director didn’t say much and just sighed. Turtle points out that Young-bin has no chance of ever working with the director again, and Ho-jin agrees. Young-bin tells his buddies to lighten up and smile because all he wants to do now is have fun and unwind.
The boys head upstairs and enjoy the music. Ho-jin reminds Young-bin that he still has his friends and Eun-gab who’ll support him to the end, and Turtle informs them that Joon cried the entire ride to the festival because he was so upset by the hidden camera prank.
Everyone’s in good spirits, until Young-bin opens his mouth and utters this: “I don’t think I can continue working with Eun-gab.”
If a show is solid and has all the elements of a crack drama, you won’t see me complain about an episode that has a runtime of over an hour; if I can’t feel the extended duration, I’m a happy camper. Unfortunately, Entourage is not that kind of show, so this episode was a long and frustrating 70-minute slog to the end.
Try as it did to make us feel bad for jilted Young-bin, this episode did not succeed in making me sympathize with Young-bin’s heartbreak and ultimate choice. Sure, a split is tough for everyone and we all handle the pain in different ways and yes, sometimes it takes awhile to recover and move on. But did the ends justify the means? Young-bin had nothing to gain and everything to lose by dropping out of War Terminator yet he still…dropped out of War Terminator. This was an incredibly unprofessional, selfish, and costly move by a supposedly A-list rising star. Eun-gab made a miracle happen by persuading CEO Jo to drop So-hee so Young-bin can go through with the movie. He essentially eliminated the root of the problem, but then here comes little diva Young-bin rendering all that work useless because he can’t possibly do the movie on account of his lingering feelings for So-hee and his torn heart. From the wise words of Ho-jin, “Do you drop out of school if you fight with a friend? If you break up with a coworker, do you resign?”
The answer’s glaringly obvious to me, but that’s where Young-bin and I vastly differ. He’s mentioned his desire to just drop everything (which includes acting) more than once so I’m pretty clear on what his priorities are. His happiness comes first, then his career. Or whatever is left of it, I guess. Happiness is important, but I hate how much his questionable decisions hurt the very people whose job is to advance and protect his career, which Young-bin obviously cares so little about. Ho-jin is his best friend, and Eun-gab is the man keeping Young-bin employed. Shouldn’t he care about their well-being, too? Young-bin’s most redeeming quality was his loyalty, but seeing as how he’s ready to drop Eun-gab, I’m not sure there’ll be much left for me to like about him apart from his good looks.
Team Ho-jin and Eun-gab forever. These two deserve way better even though dealing with a needy talent is more often than not part of their job descriptions. I’m relieved Ho-jin’s able to squeeze in some dates with Ji-ahn even though he’s unable to fully enjoy them because of you-know-who. Ji-ahn is surprisingly understanding and considerate of Ho-jin’s constant work emergencies. She’s a sweet and calm presence that Ho-jin needs, and I hope their relationship withstands the Young-bintastrophes. It’s hard to believe that Ji-ahn is CEO Kang’s daughter because CEO Kang is just the most reprehensible character on the show. She fired Eun-gab in the most unnecessarily humiliating manner, and part of me feels like that was her intention, which is just an even poorer reflection on her part. I truly think she hates Eun-gab with a passion, but I’m not clear on why. Every time she hurls degrading insults at him, I’m just baffled because I have no idea where all this contempt is coming from.
Perhaps in part because I’m so over Young-bin and his inability to adult, I found Turtle and Joon’s scenes to be particularly funny, especially the parking garage tiff between Joon and Julien Kang. It cracks me up that as an actor, Joon either goes all the way to max (i.e. pranking Julien) or not nearly enough (i.e. failed audition with real-life friend and Running Man castmate, Ji Suk-jin). There’s just no middle ground for him. He’s not the sharpest crayon in the box, and I’m not sure when he’ll be able to harness his nerves, but I’m glad we’re starting to see some promise in his career even if it means getting punked on variety programs instead of starring in scripted shows. But who knows? Maybe Turtle’s right, and variety’s where Joon will truly shine.
So-hee has been a rather unriveting character, but I have to say I admired her civility and professionalism when she met with Young-bin after they broke up even though Young-bin could hardly face her. So-hee was very patient and careful with her words and made every attempt to make War Terminator work for Young-bin, but the two are not a good intellectual match so nothing she said could’ve changed Young-bin’s stubborn mind.
I’m not sure how much of Young-bin’s immaturity I can handle, but if it lasts as long as some of our random cameos (like the pointless two-second one made by Chef Sam Kim), I wouldn’t mind at all.