The puzzle pieces to the bigger picture has been scattered around this entire time, but our characters finally start to slowly piece everything together. Suppressed emotions and feelings are no longer hidden and unspoken words are finally spilled. What will happen to our characters when they realize that not all things are as it seems and that some things are in fact the truth?
Was It Love?: Episode 10 Recap
It’s October 2006. Ae-jung makes her way into a cafe where Dae-oh is highly concentrated on typing up his submission for the novel entry contest. Though Ae-jung is excited to celebrate their 300th day together and she even carries a small gift for Dae-oh with her, Dae-oh has his eyes set on the contest and his laptop. Bored, Ae-jung searches through Dae-oh’s backpack to find a book and card inside and she assumes it’s for her. However, Dae-oh grows upset at Ae-jung for going through his things and he quickly takes the gift away from Ae-jung. The aspiring film producer disproves of Dae-oh’s suspicious behavior and she storms out of the cafe in anger.
Ae-jung reflects on her previous relationship with Dae-oh and how things used to be. Somewhere along the way in their relationship, things began to fall apart and even topics like marriage didn’t ring in Dae-oh’s mind. She notes,
His feelings for me was what first led to us dating. However, I started to love him more than he loved me. And in the end, because of that imblanace, our relationship ended. History will repeat itself. We’ll start dating again because of his love for me, but we will yet again break up because I’ll end up loving him more. This time around, it won’t just be me who gets hurt. However.. what if he means it? What if that’s how he truly feels?
Ae-jung is well aware that Ha-nee too will get hurt if she was to give Dae-oh another chance. However, she also feels as if he’s genuine and serious this time in making her happy. So Ae-jung retraces her steps and she finds herself in front of Dae-oh’s place. Meanwhile, Dae-oh comes across Ah-rin that night as he paces back to his place. She has some jokbal with her and she wants to meet with Dae-oh to discuss about the movie. However, since she is a top star after all and it’s dangerous to be seen in public so she invites herself over to Dae-oh’s place for the meeting. So the two munch on food and chat in his apartment. Ah-rin rants for a bit about her career as a public figure and how she’s not allowed to be angry or upset which throws Dae-oh off. Ah-rin reminds him of someone who he used to know. Ah-rin ends up spilling some beer on her outfit so he gives her some clothes to change in. Dae-oh also heads out to the pharmacy to grab some ointment for the small scar on Ah-rin’s thumb as she was trying to open the can of beer that exploded on her.
It’s at this time that Ah-rin reminisces on the past. Back in high school, she was able to achieve great scores and grades thanks to Dae-oh’s tutoring. However, her teacher didn’t believe in her and in fact, it was only Dae-oh who truly believed in Ah-rin and supported her. It was only Dae-oh who gave Ah-rin that extra boost and confidence in herself that no one else gave her. That could explain as to how she developed feelings for him along the way. Jin and CEO Song have a meeting back at the company office and she shows the actor the photos of him with Ha-nee at the hospital. Like all the other times, CEO Song isn’t happy with Manager Myung’s way of managing Jin and she dismisses him from his job. However, just like he did all the other times, Jin protects his manager and declares his decision to terminate his contract with CEO Song. He’s had enough of her toxic, angry, and frustrating behavior and he’s no longer going to tolerate any of it. Jin is certain of his decision to break ties with CEO Song and he heads out to talk to Ha-nee afterwards.
Ae-jung arrives at Dae-oh’s place only to be greeted by Ah-rin. The actress attempts to brush Ae-jung off, but the film producer won’t leave so easily. Ae-jung also enters the apartment along with Ah-rin and they talk with each other for a bit. After pretending to act close to Dae-oh, Ah-rin reveals the real reason as to why she’s over at Dae-oh’s place: she plans on confessing her feelings to him and surely, Ae-jung will help with that, right? Ah-rin met Dae-oh back 14 years ago and she’s going to make sure things work out with him now that they’ve reunited. Before Ae-jung can give Ah-rin an answer, Dae-oh enters his place to find Ae-jung inside as well. It doesn’t take long for Ah-rin to get an answer to her request. Both Ae-jung and Dae-oh ask for Ah-rin to leave the apartment to give them some time alone. They have something they need to talk about. Oof, take that, Ah-rin!
With Dae-oh and Ae-jung alone in his place, they get down to the gist of things. Ae-jung brings up the past and notes that she witnessed what happened 14 years ago. Dae-oh and a woman alone in his bedroom and who she assumed was Ah-rin kissing Dae-oh. Dae-oh doesn’t quite seem to comprehend what Ae-jung is referring to and even if he did, it’s just a misunderstanding. However, Ae-jung was heavily hurt by this so-called misunderstanding and she’s never forgotten about it ever since. Dae-oh suggests that they go head to head and try to untie all the knots to their relationship that has been holding onto them so he questions why she came to see him 14 years ago. But Ae-jung has no desire to give any answers as it’ll only lead to more problems. She has no regrets and it won’t change anything. The two continue to blame each other for their break-up and who was to primarily blame for it. Dae-oh claims that Ae-jung never trusted her, but Ae-jung had her reasons for not doing so. In the end, Dae-oh sets his foot down with Ae-jung and declares his final decision to end things with her. She won’t have to ever worry about him again because he’s now over her.
While taking her little puppy on a walk, Ha-nee feels as if someone strange is following her. She quickly throws away her chocolate milk carton in the trashcan and walks away, unaware that someone’s picked up the milk carton that she drank out of. Ha-nee returns to Sook-hee’s bar and the two have a chat with each other about Dong-chan. Ha-nee assumes Dong-chan is angry at her which is why he hasn’t been in contact with her, but Sook-hee thinks otherwise. She’s pretty sure that Dong-chan has a crush on Ha-nee. Hehe. When Ha-nee returns home, she finds her mom with some chicken and pizza. Great! But Ae-jung also smells like alcohol which Ha-nee isn’t a big fan of. Ae-jung heads back to the store to grab some coke that she forgot with the chicken and pizza. On the way there, Jin – who pops up in the neighborhood in hopes of talking to Ha-nee – discovers Ae-jung and he trails behind her.
He eventually makes his presence known to Ae-jung and Ae-jung is too drunk to notice anything strange. She confides in Jin her conflicting and honest thoughts about everything. She can finally let go of the burden she felt from what happened 14 years ago. She can let all of that go now. But for some reason, things still feel suffocating. She still feels like something is weighing her down. Even though Ae-jung is supposed to feel better and she’s relieved that neither her nor Ha-nee or Grandma will get hurt, she doesn’t feel all that great. Ae-jung is still clearly hurt and sad.
Grandma discovers a box of belongings and items in the house and she places the box in Ha-nee’s bedroom. It’s there that she finds Ha-nee’s diary with entries as to who her father is and reads the page written about Jin possibly being Ha-nee’s dad. Ha-nee is furious upon seeing Grandma with her diary and she storms out of the house. Although upset, Ha-nee announces to Grandma that Jin is her father. He’s her long-lost father who abandoned her and Ae-jung to become successful. Despite the overwhelming emotions inside of her, Ha-nee is more concerned about her mother and pleads for Grandma to not mention anything to Ae-jung.
At Thumb Films, Hye-jin has an announcement of her own and she breaks the news to Ae-jung that Jin has left his entertainment company. Ae-jung confirms the news with Jin later on that day after Jin and Ah-rin rehearse their fight scene for the movie. Jin can sense that Dae-oh is the man who Ah-rin has feelings for, but she doesn’t explicitly mention anything. With Ae-jung’s arrival, Jin leaves the room to sit down with Ae-jung and have a talk with her. Ae-jung worries for Jin with his new situation, but Jin reassures her that everything will be okay. She should just focus on the movie and he’ll take care of his personal matters. Manager Myung pulls Jin aside minutes later so the two conclude their talk. As Ae-jung will discover seconds after, Dae-oh was watching them the entire time. He too still seems hurt and heart-broken. Manager Myung attempts to keep his cool with Ae-jung, but he can’t help but feel a bit of anger towards her. He knows she’s not to blame for Jin’s situation, but he also feels as if it is her fault. Jin reassures him that Ae-jung is not to blame for this and he becomes distracted by a notification on his phone afterwards.
CEO Song also has a hard time with her break-up with Jin. She reminisces the very first time she met him after watching one of his auditions. However, she doesn’t fret for long when she receives a request from Jin to meet up. Turns out she’s done a DNA test of her own and that’s why Jin wants to meet her. Blah. Ah-rin and Dae-oh grab some food together. Ah-rin’s still curious about what he and Ae-jung talked about that night at his house and she ends up confessing her feelings to him. She lets Dae-oh know how she feels about him. However, Dae-oh sets boundaries with Ah-rin and apologizes for his reckless behavior with her. He’ll make sure to stay strictly professional with her which Ah-rin isn’t too happy about. What exactly is his relationship with Ae-jung and why does she feel so pathetic compared to the film producer? Ah-rin walks out of the restaurant in humiliation.
Dong-chan continues to avoid Ha-nee even at school and can’t stop thinking about the possibility of being siblings with her. If Pa-do and Ae-jung were once married, that that means he and Ha-nee are siblings. It also doesn’t help when Ae-jung approaches Dong-chan at school for a parent-teacher conference that she has to go to. Dong-chan secretly refers to Ae-jung as his mother and he watches as Ae-jung reunites with Ha-nee as well. Ha-nee is relieved upon hearing that Grandma hasn’t mentioned anything to Ae-jung and Ae-jung goes off with her day. Ha-nee utilizes the opportunity to update Dong-chan on her investigation and the recent update with Grandma, but Dong-chan has no interest. He discourages Ha-nee from moving forward with the DNA test and shares that he only got involved this entire time because he pitied her. Ha-nee grows angry at Dong-chan’s response and she expresses her wishes to no longer be friends with Dong-chan. She feels betrayed, especially after all that they’ve gone through together.
But things aren’t as they seem and Dong-chan feels guilty about his harsh words towards Ha-nee. He didn’t mean to brush her off like that and it just came off the wrong way. When Dong-chan comes across Director Kim later on that day at his house, he asks for details about his mom. Does Director Kim know anything about his mom? Although Director Kim lies, it’s obvious that he does know the truth. Director Kim suggests for Pa-do to also reconsider revealing the truth to Dong-chan. Pa-do is then reminded of the moment when a dying Tan Zi-yi asked for Pa-do to take care of her son before passing away. It was then that Pa-do discovered a frightened and lonely Dong-chan hiding in the closet of the room. Pa-do has never forgotten that day ever since which was why he kept the photo of Tan Zi-yi and little Dong-chan in his secret room. It was also through the photo that he realized Dong-chan knows a lot more than before.
Mama Yeon-woo confronts Yeon-woo about his living situation. She’s aware that he’s living with Ae-jung and how she was the same woman who he was in love with 14 years ago. Nothing has changed for Yeon-woo, but Yeon-woo clarifies that it’s not like what she thinks. Yes, he’s still in love with Ae-jung, but Ha-nee isn’t his kid. However, he is prepared to be her father if Ae-jung allows for it. Mama Yeon-woo grows even more flustered with Yeon-woo’s statement. Dae-oh himself is confused and uncertain as to what to do. He finds himself in Ae-jung’s neighborhood in hopes of meeting with Ae-jung. Instead of Ae-jung, it’s Ha-nee who he finds walking to Sook-hee’s bar and he joins her not too long afterwards. Ha-nee isn’t feeling too great and she’s sad over her loss of friendship with Dong-chan. He was her only friend. Plus, she was planning to find her father so that she could repay back Ae-jung for all that she’s gone through as well as Dong-chan for his help. Now, all of that has vanished and she’s not so sure what to do.
Dae-oh listens in on Ha-nee’s situation, but he also grows shocked upon learning about Ha-nee’s search for her father. Wait, so he’s still alive? While Ha-nee sheds tears just thinking about her recent struggles, Dae-oh attempts to comfort her while also take in the news about Ha-nee’s father. CEO Song confronts Jin about the DNA test and is certain she can take him down with the results she received. However, she’s going to make things even worse and involve Ae-jung as well as Ha-nee in all of this too. Paranoid and afraid, Jin contacts Manager Myung to get in contact with reporters who Jin assumes CEO Song has shared the news with. On his drive back home, Dae-oh repeats Ha-nee’s comments about her father in his mind. He can’t stop thinking about how she said that her father was better off dead. Combine this with Ae-jung’s statements about how her husband has “died” and how Ae-jung wishes for Dae-oh to remain dead in her heart and Dae-oh begins to piece everything together. It slowly starts to click to him and he realizes that there is more to the story that he didn’t know about. EEEEEK.
Grandma sheds tears upon thinking about the possibility of Jin being Ha-nee’s father. And to think this entire time that she was his fan too and admired him. When Jin shows up in front of Ae-jung’s house to talk to her, Grandma also joins in on the conversation and she lashes out at the popular actor. How could he hurt Ae-jung and abandon her this entire time? Jin begs on his knees for forgiveness and assumes he is Ha-nee’s father because of the night that he and Ae-jung shared drinks after she broke up with Dae-oh. However, Ae-jung clarifies that Jin isn’t the father and that it’s not him. So if that’s the case, who is it then? Who is Ha-nee’s father?
It’s at that point that Dae-oh also shows up to the house and questions if he’s the father. Is he Ha-nee’s father? Is he the one? Yeon-woo also approaches the house and observes all the commotion and chaos unfolding. Everyone is at a loss of words upon hearing Dae-oh’s question and Ae-jung can only stare at Dae-oh quietly. She’s unsure as to what to say or how to react.
Episodes 9 and 10 really stepped things up which I appreciate. Of course, things are now moving a little bit too fast and I wished all the hints and progress could have been given to us little by little in earlier episodes. We got a lot of things accomplished within the last two episodes and although I don’t want to complain about it, I also felt as if we had to go through so much just to get to where we were by the end of this episode. I’m just glad and grateful that things are slowly coming together and that there has been huge improvements in this drama with episodes 9 and 10. Of course, the main being that we sort of finally have some kind of confirmation that Jin and Yeon-woo is not the father and that indeed, as we had all been guessing all along, Dae-oh is Ha-nee’s dad.
It doesn’t come as a surprise and I’m not going to complain about it either. I can see why some viewers might be disappointed, because the drama chose to remain cliche and make our male lead the center of attention within this story. I’ve been on Dae-oh’s side from the beginning (although there were some times where I didn’t find him as attractive or charming), but I think it also makes sense narratively that he’s the father. Putting aside the fact that he’s the male lead, Dae-oh was also the one who had an actual romantic relationship with Ae-jung and the drama focused on their intense and heart-breaking relationship this entire time. To put that amount of attention and effort into their relationship only to dismiss Dae-oh as the father wouldn’t really make any sense. Plus, it could explain for Ae-jung’s resentment and hate towards him and all her comments about Dae-oh being “dead” in her heart. It aligns with the comments that Grandma and Ae-jung told Ha-nee as a young child and it also makes sense with the similar comment that Ae-jung mentioned to Dae-oh on the rooftop at the beginning of episode 5. Dae-oh has remained dead to Ae-jung and her family this entire time because he’s the father.
Look, I shouldn’t even be happy that Ae-jung and Dae-oh finally had a talk and conversation in this episode because we should have gotten it many weeks ago instead of all the constant bickering, fighting, and arguing, but like I also can’t help but be happy. We should have been given this talk a long time ago and it took a whole 10 episodes for them to finally talk things out, but I’m just grateful that it happened in the first place and that they both gave it an attempt (despite it being an unsuccessful attempt at that). It was nice to just watch them act like actual adults and have a full-on conversation about the incident from 14 years ago. It might have taken them a bit too long for them to get to this point, but I’m also glad that they were able to fully express how they felt about their break-up. It sure wasn’t easy for Ae-jung to do such a thing so she stepped it up by showing up at his place and I like Dae-oh’s persistence in wanting to talk things out (instead of just ignoring things and avoiding it). Again, the talk wasn’t the most successful because they didn’t solve anything or untie all the knots to their relationship and they gave up halfway through the fighting, but I like that they at least tried. It’s this attempt that counts and hopefully will serve as one of many attempts to clarify any misunderstandings, address any secrets or elephants in the room, and to hopefully get things right for the future.
As we saw with this episode, there was a woman with Dae-oh down in his bedroom which Ae-jung witnessed and a part of me is inclined to believe that it was indeed Ah-rin (and of course, Dae-oh wouldn’t know because he still doesn’t realize that Ah-rin was the former student who he tutored in the past. He hasn’t quite made that connection just yet). To be fair, Ah-rin isn’t the worst second female lead and she’s actually not that bad (
no villain is as bad after you watch the second leads in ‘Dinner Mate‘ to be honest), but I don’t know what it is with this drama and people still being in love with the same people from 14 years ago. I get it – first love’s are a thing and there are just some people you will always have a soft spot for, but to still be hung up on a relationship or a person you knew more than a decade ago is a bit too much for me. At least with Dae-oh and Ae-jung’s relationship, it makes a little bit more sense given that they had a more complicated history and relationship with each other and it involves a kid, but the concept seems a bit outlandish for the other characters in this drama. Of course, it’s this trope that fuels this drama in the first place and is primarily what serves as the catalyst in getting the drama running, but man, do people not know how to move on?!
The drama is starting to ramp things up now that we’re 10 episodes in which I appreciate. Although a bit later than I would have liked, we’re finally getting the pieces to a bigger picture for all of our characters (Pa-do included) and it’s nice to know the backstory to our characters. Of course, my heart hurts a bit when I sense the angry angst between Dae-oh and Ae-jung because I just wished they would desperately work things out (let’s not even talk about how flustered I was with their “talk”.. we basically went back to square one when they chose to end things. What happened to starting things over and giving Dae-oh a second chance?! Ughhh. And the fact that they could have made things work by just listening to each other instead of talking over each other. Ae-jung and Dae-oh, you both can do better!). Dong-chan’s assumption that he and Ha-nee are siblings which is why he’s avoiding her was funny. However, what’s not going to be funny is when he learns the truth about his mother and how she died. Jin’s complicated mess with CEO Song is not my most favorite thing in this drama and I can do without it completely. I like watching Jin advocate and stand up for his staff members (especially Manager Myung) and putting CEO Song in her place, but her threats to take Jin down is irritating and frustrating (and plus, what were the results to the DNA test anyways and is there actual evidence that she can threaten Jin with? Or is she merely just pretending to use the DNA test to threaten him?). Anyways, CEO Song is obsessed with Jin and I hope he teaches her a good, good lesson.
The last three episodes started with college flashbacks which I absolutely loved. I LOVE it when the episode begins with a flashback and I prefer that WAY more than the college scenes being randomly and abruptly interjected throughout the episode. It has so much more of an impact and is so much more effective in the storytelling. Again, it’s a shame that the drama didn’t do this with every episode, but I hope the drama continues on with it from here on out. I enjoy the college flashbacks, but I did find the episodes a bit choppy whenever they were implemented throughout the episode. I hope the drama keeps it up by starting each episode off with a college flashback. Of course, my favorite starts to the episodes so far has to be both episode 8 and 9 and getting to learn things from both Ae-jung and Jin’s side of the story. I hope we get one soon from Dae-oh’s side of the story and how he felt about Ae-jung during his relationship and what exactly caused him to act the way that he did more than a decade ago. Now that Dae-oh knows he’s Ha-nee’s father, the stakes have increased for him and it’s going to be important to learn what exactly went down 14 years ago and what he plans on doing moving forward.