Ae-jung can no longer reject or ignore the situation that she’s been tied into. She can no longer deny the wave of emotions that she’s been feeling with her circumstances. The same goes for our male characters who become increasingly bold and daring with their actions. They’re certain it’s Ae-jung who they want to be with, but who is it that Ae-jung herself will ultimately let into her life in the end?
Was It Love?: Episode 8 Recap
It’s the year 2003. Jin is seen in his military uniform and enters the restaurant where the rest of the students in the Theater and Film Department has gathered for some drinks and fun. As a freshmen, Ae-jung introduces herself to the rest of the group and expresses her excitement in being a part of the department. From the department get-together to their retreat to the times Ae-jung would support him during his nervous auditions, Ae-jung was there for Jin. However, it wasn’t always good memories. He was also there when Ae-jung and Dae-oh revealed their relationship news to him. He notes,
I was first. I was the first one to meet her. I was the one to fall for her first. And I was the first one to love her. I was even the first to have my heart broken by her. In every aspect, I was always the first.
In the present, Jin pulls Dae-oh’s hand back as Ae-jung naps on her desk at Thumb Films. The two step aside to take a break and to catch up with each other while Ae-jung continues to rest not too far away on her desk. Jin gets straight to the point and he pleads for Dae-oh to stop having feelings for Ae-jung. He’s serious about it too. He should stop liking her. Just before the two could talk any further about it, they get distracted by a phone call that Ae-jung picks up. Ah-rin and Manager Do makes their way along with Hye-jin into the office with some food and snacks for our team.
It’s awkward with all six in the office together and Ae-jung attempts to lighten up the situation. Jin and Ah-rin has no choice but to acknowledge each other despite their bad blood. They step outside in the balcony to catch up with each other and to address the uncomfortable situation between them. Jin and Ah-rin sure have their fair share of dirt on each other: Ah-rin still recalls the time she witnessed Jin relieving his stomach in a tall grassy area as she herself was smoking a cigarette. Years later, not much has changed between the two. They still bicker and threaten each other with these secrets and Jin even assumes Ah-rin must have taken on Ae-jung’s project to annoy him. However, Ah-rin clarifies that she has other reasons for doing the movie. She’s busy pining after another man.
This man observes Ae-jung in the meeting room as she sets up the table with the chicken that Ah-rin’s bought for them. Dae-oh questions whether Ae-jung heard him and Jin talking earlier while she was napping in which she lies that she didn’t. Hye-jin then decides to stir up some noise by bringing up rumors about the movie that both Jin and Ah-rin were supposed to act in together. Upon hearing the gossip, Manager Do grows nervous and he purposely drops a mug on the floor to interrupt Hye-jin. Eventually, the conversation ceases and Ae-jung steps aside to reflect on the moments earlier when she overheard Jin pleading for Dae-oh to stop liking her. She was awake after all and she did hear everything.
Eventually, the meeting finally concludes and our crew goes their own ways. Ae-jung eventually accepts Ah-rin’s request to take her home after declining both Jin and Dae-oh’s offers. Poor Hye-jin is left to go home all by herself. On the ride back home, Ah-rin confirms Ae-jung’s life as a working single mother. Ok, so Ae-jung doesn’t have a husband, but Ae-jung also isn’t looking for a relationship at the moment. Ah-rin hopes onto the hope that she might still have a chance with Dae-oh.
Back at home, Yeon-woo and Ha-nee join each other at the dining table to make some toast for Ae-jung. Ha-nee can’t help but be fond of Yeon-woo; she wishes that he could have been her father. Yeon-woo shares the same mutual feelings as Ha-nee. Eventually, Ae-jung returns home and Grandma drags her to the bedroom to have a quick talk. Grandma hands over the parenting notebook that belonged to Ae-jung and Yeon-woo from back in college. It’s obvious that Ha-nee is craving for a relationship with her father; she might be mature but she still is a kid after all.
Dong-chan suffers a nightmare of a woman laying dead on the ground with blood all around her. He’s hidden in a closet and catches sight of Pa-do through the small cracks on the closet door and awakens to the sound of a gunshot in his nightmare. Pa-do checks the box of allowance money that he has dedicated for Dong-chan, but it’s obvious that Dong-chan hasn’t been utilizing the money. On his way out of the house, Pa-do confronts Dong-chan about the money, but Dong-chan has something else more crucial on his mind. He’s curious about his mother and what she looked like. Why did she die? He can’t seem to recall any memories of her. Before Pa-do can say anything, Director Kim calls his attention for another urgent update.
Pa-do watches news coverage of 4 unidentified male bodies found off the coast of Incheon. Based off of the tattoos on the back of their necks, it seems as if the deceased men were a part of Pa-do’s rivalry gang. He directs Director Kim to keep an eye out on Dong-chan and to make sure nothing happens to him. Uh-oh. Back at school, Dong-chan and Ha-nee do some sit-ups during P.E. class. Ha-nee is certain Jin is her father and she’s set her mind on seeking revenge. Just then, Mama Yeon-woo stops by the school so Yeon-woo meets with her later on that day. Mama Yeon-woo is curious about the woman who Yeon-woo has been meeting up with and hiding from her, but Yeon-woo has no plans in introducing Ae-jung to her. There’s a reason as to why he hasn’t been sharing anything with his mom.
Everything starts to make more sense to Dae-oh. He takes another good look at the photo that he, Jin, and Ae-jung took back on the day of their college retreat and he notices how Jin was staring at both him and Ae-jung in the photo. He visits Jin later on that day and confirms what he had been dreading and fearing all along. Jin too has feelings for Ae-jung which could explain why he told Dae-oh to stop liking Ae-jung. Jin is already in too deep and there’s nothing he can do about it. The friendship between the two turns sour as they both acknowledge the harsh reality they’re faced with: they both have feelings for Ae-jung. Dae-oh can’t seem to comprehend why Jin was supportive of him and his relationship with Ae-jung back during college and why he never said anything until now. Why did Jin help him back then during college?
And so the drama takes us back to the time in college when Dae-oh pleaded for Jin’s assistance in helping him win Ae-jung’s heart. After several failed attempts, Dae-oh depended on Jin’s help as a last resort to get Ae-jung to like him. If she still didn’t like him even after Jin’s help, Dae-oh would give up completely. And so that was why Jin gave in and assisted Dae-oh with his confession. While in the library, Jin handed Ae-jung a beverage as well as recited a confession that Dae-oh had dedicated to Ae-jung. Eventually, Ae-jung accepts the confession and Jin walks out of the library without batting an eye at Dae-oh who stood a few aisles away from where Jin and Ae-jung was. Jin’s help worked and he lost his chance to possibly be with Ae-jung.
Ah-rin seeks any and every opportunity to meet with Dae-oh so she has Manager Do call him for another chance of a meeting. However, the meeting doesn’t go quite exactly as planned. They end up finding Dae-oh unconscious at a restaurant thanks to the alcohol he’s had too much of. They try to troubleshoot by finding the address to Dae-oh’s place. Meanwhile, Ae-jung spends some time revisiting the parenting notebook that she and Yeon-woo participated in back in college. Yeon-woo joins her outside in the front of the house not too long afterwards and he has a genuine conversation with Ae-jung about Ha-nee’s circumstance. She’s become curious about who her dad is, but that doesn’t discredit the hard work and effort that Ae-jung put into raising Ha-nee. Ae-jung did a tremendous job raising Ha-nee without a father.
Plus, Yeon-woo is confident that if need be, he can now provide for Ha-nee and Ae-jung and serve as that father figure — something that he necessarily couldn’t do back then 14 years ago because of how young he was. Just when Ae-jung is close to responding to Yeon-woo’s plan, the two are interrupted by some noise near their house. Turns out Ah-rin and Manager Do were taking Dae-oh home and they made their way into Ae-jung’s neighborhood. Ae-jung greets them upon hearing the ruckus and she finds drunk Dae-oh being carried by both Ah-rin and Manager Do.
With a little liquid courage, Dae-oh lays his hand on Ae-jung’s shoulder and demands for an answer. Out of him, Jin, and Yeon-woo, who does she choose? Everyone remains confused and clueless as to what Dae-oh is referring to so he makes things clear on where he stands. Dae-oh mutters that he chooses Ae-jung. To him, it’s only Ae-jung. Ah-rin and Manager Do eventually take Dae-oh home and Ae-jung is reminded of back in high school when she was preparing for college. Dae-oh was her tutor and that’s how they became acquainted. Whether back in 2005 or in 2020, nothing has changed for Dae-oh. He still only has eyes for Ae-jung despite Ah-rin confessing to him in the past. Meanwhile, Ae-jung and Yeon-woo feel conflicted by all the things they heard and saw that evening. They feel uncertain as to what to do next.
CEO Song stares at the group photo of Jin with the rest of the middle schoolers after his guest lecture at Ha-nee’s middle school. She calls one of her employees for updates on whether or not they’ve found out anything about the photo. When Dae-oh awakens the next morning, he recalls his actions from the night before with Ae-jung. He also remains distracted by a documentary before getting a phone call. The next thing you know, Hye-jin and Ae-jung are busy rushing for a meeting on an island that they planned to do some location scouting for. With the village head putting up a fight against the team, Ae-jung has no choice but to set out and advocate for her and her team.
So with that, Hye-jin and Ae-jung arrive at the bus station with their hands packed and ready. Hye-jin excuses herself at the last second to use the restroom so Ae-jung gets on the bus first. However, Hye-jin ends up never returning based off of the order by Dae-oh. Ae-jung’s bus ends up moving and Dae-oh makes his way to the same location as Ae-jung via driving. He wants to accompany Ae-jung on the trip by himself. Grandma is busy pestering Sook-hee to pressure Ae-jung to find herself a man. It’s been 14 years since she’s dated and it’s about time that maybe she reconsiders things. Sook-hee doesn’t go through with Grandma’s request, but she does give Grandma a recommendation that will help Grandma with her plan: she should take a good look around her.
So with that, things begin to click for Grandma and she sets her eyes on Yeon-woo. While watching Yeon-woo fix a broken lightbulb in the house later on that day, Grandma brings up the arboretum that opened near their house and how Yeon-woo should visit it soon. She’s also super interested in who specifically Yeon-woo will visit the arboretum with. Pa-do stops by a temple to pray and pay respect to Dong-chan’s Mom, Tan Zi-yi. In Mandarin, he questions whether Dong-chan will come around to eventually understanding him. After the session, Pa-do exits the temple and prepares to head home. However, he receives anonymous photos that were taken of him, Director Kim, and Ae-jung outside of Thumb Films studio a few weeks back. He’s aware that he’s being followed and it doesn’t take long for Pa-do to discover his enemy.
However, things don’t end so quickly. The man threatens Pa-do and his loved ones. The fight between Pa-do and his rivalry gang is never going to end so he should pay close attention to his loved ones just in case. Ae-jung is not an exception. With that, the man escapes and Pa-do urges for Director Kim to search up on Ae-jung’s whereabouts. Sure enough, Ae-jung is safe and sound on the boat headed to the island. Her cell phone runs out of battery so her phone call with Hye-jin is cut short.
It doesn’t take long for the rest of the guys to find out about Ae-jung’s trip to the island. Dae-oh notifies Jin by sending him text messages of his plans to confess to Ae-jung once more. Of course, Jin refuses to allow that to happen and he merely escapes from Manager Myung to make his way onto the dock. Yeon-woo also finds out about the trip after a visit to Thumb Films where Hye-jin informs him of the details and Dae-oh’s plans to be there with Ae-jung. Pa-do also learns of the trip thanks to some quick investigating from Director Kim. So with that, all three guys rush their way to the dock, but the boat leaves just seconds before their arrival. They all find themselves waiting, but it’s clear they’re all there for the same person: Ae-jung.
Mama Yeon-woo does some investigating on her own on the woman who Yeon-woo left with on the night of Cheonmyeong’s Night. She requests for the event guest list and is eventually joined by Ah-rin who enters her office. They have a conversation about Yeon-woo who Mama Yeon-woo isn’t so happy with. He’s still keeping things away from her, such as who the woman he likes is or where his house is. Speaking of house, it clicks to Ah-rin that she saw him the evening before when she stopped by Ae-jung’s house. She brings this to Mama Yeon-woo’s attention.
Ha-nee and Dong-chan hang out at a cafe. Ha-nee continues with her revenge scheme against Jin who she assumes is still her father. She’s going to get as much money out of him as possible for child support to compensate for all the time and money that Ae-jung’s spent on raising her. With that, Dong-chan suggests to Ha-nee that they go somewhere. Ae-jung arrives on the island safely and she enters the house of the village head. The owner of the house appears not too long afterwards, but it’s not only him who Ae-jung greets. Dae-oh too is with the village head and Ae-jung learns that things aren’t as what they seemed. The village head actually isn’t disproving of her plans to film at the island and instead, he’s actually quite excited at her arrival.
The village head then receives a phone call from one of his sailors about Jin, Yeon-woo, and Pa-do’s trip to the island. They too are on the boat and they’re making their way over to the island. While our three guys pretend to remain cool on the boat, it doesn’t take long for Jin and Yeon-woo to begin puking. Pa-do does his best to help them feel better, lol. Unaware that they will soon have visitors, Ae-jung and Dae-oh stroll around the island. Ae-jung quietly thanks Dae-oh for his hard work in helping her scout for filming locations, but it doesn’t feel genuine and Dae-oh isn’t happy. They finally address the elephant in the room by bringing up Dae-oh’s feelings for her once again.
Ae-jung wishes that she just be able to focus on work, but Dae-oh isn’t so sure he can let that happen. He missed her so much the past 14 years, he wants to fill up those absent years with memories. He lost her for 14 years and now that they’ve reunited, he doesn’t want to lose her again. So to make it even more clear to Ae-jung that Dae-oh doesn’t want to let her go, he slowly leans in for a kiss. The tips of their nose touch and they close their eyes as the space between their faces grows smaller and smaller.
My thoughts and commentary for this episode is pretty short. I don’t have much to say other than that the beginning of this episode probably has to be my favorite start to an episode so far in the show. I loved learning the backstory to Jin and Ae-jung’s relationship as well as hearing his side of the story in terms of where he stands in all of this. So far, we only heard about Ae-jung and Dae-oh’s perspectives and how betrayed and hurt they felt by each other so it was also really nice to see things from Jin’s perspective. I even felt for him when he strongly believed that he was first and that he knew Ae-jung before and better than anyone else did. My heart broke for him and for a second, I was sure I wanted Jin to end up with Ae-jung.
My other commentary in this episode is really only that Son Ho-jun being on the island gave me major ‘Three Meals a Day’ vibes which I think the drama might have also sort of been going for. Lol. Me being on my Son Ho-jun fangirl adventures, I’m currently watching Season 5 of ‘Three Meals a Day’ and just like many others, I am really enjoying it. How ironic and funny to think that I wasn’t a big fan of the show when I first gave it a try, but now I’m marathoning all the episodes. Lol. It also makes so much more sense now in the last episode of the variety show when it was mentioned that Son Ho-jun was filming for ‘Was It Love?’ on another island. Up until episode 8, I wasn’t so sure what they were referring to, but the island scenes finally popped out in this episode and now I understood why he couldn’t make it for the last episode of ‘Three Meals a Day’ (it’s also crazy just how far back they were already filming for the drama!). Anyways, if there’s anything important to take away from this commentary, it’s the fact that while I like Oh Dae-oh, I love my Son Ho-jun even more *blushes*
Extra screenshots from the episode~