Change can be scary, but it can also be for the better. Our characters continue to navigate through evolving relationships and shifting career aspirations that prove their loyalty and commitment to each other.
Record of Youth: Episode 13 Recap
Jeong-ha invites Hae-hyo into her house after he picks her up from a long and rainy day of work. Hae-hyo’s a bit shy being in her house, but Jeong-ha doesn’t think too much about it. While drinking some tea together, she admits that she does feel a bit regretful over calling him right after Hye-jun failed to pick up her phone call. Right at that moment, Hye-jun calls Jeong-ha back so she answers his call. He’s arrived in Singapore safely for his fanmeeting event the next day and wishes to chat with Jeong-ha on the phone that night, but Jeong-ha declines. She internally doesn’t want Hye-jun to know that Hae-hyo’s over at her house so she reasons that Hye-jun should get some rest for his event the next day. With that, the couple hangs up and Jeong-ha returns to chatting with Hae-hyo. Hae-hyo’s fine with being Jeong-ha’s second point of contact for things. Jeong-ha can keep using him all she wants.
Dating rumors between Hye-jun and his co-star Seo-woo quickly spread over the internet and Manager Min-jae shuts those articles down by denying them. Reporter Kim is scolded at work for missing out on exclusives involving Hye-jun. She’s pressured by her boss to cover and produce some more news on Hye-jun given that he’s the hottest thing in the entertainment industry at the moment. The work she was putting in to expose Hye-jun’s relationship with Jeong-ha isn’t enough. After reading some of the news articles, Hye-jun quickly stops by Jeong-ha’s salon to reassure her about the dating rumors. Jeong-ha herself wasn’t aware of the dating articles, but Hye-jun wanted to let her know regardless. Seo-woo is only a co-star to him and nothing more. He also pitches the idea of the two grabbing dinner with Mom. Mom wants to meet Jeong-ha.
Dad contacts Jin-woo’s Dad, but fails to get a hold of him. Jin-woo’s Dad hasn’t been giving Dad any work because of his health issues which Dad isn’t so happy about. It also doesn’t help that Dad remains stubborn and quiet about everything and rejects Grandpa’s offer to make some money. Mom also feels guilty for accepting money and receiving help from Hye-jun so she and Dad vow to not pressure and rely on Hye-jun too much financially. Dad manages to finally get a hold of Jin-woo’s Dad as he’s having breakfast with his family. Jin-woo plans on opening his own studio soon since he feels like he’s the odd one out amongst him, Hye-jun, and Hae-hyo.
Dad pleads to get some work from Jin-woo’s Dad, but Jin-woo’s Dad remains adamant on not giving Dad any work. His health is one thing, but he should also rely on Hye-jun more now financially. Hye-jun’s a big and popular star, Dad shouldn’t be worrying about money. Dad doesn’t think he’s worthy of receiving any money from Hye-jun since he didn’t help his son become a superstar. Regardless, Jin-woo’s Dad leaves Dad out of it. Dad will be thankful much later. Mama Hae-hyo watches a rerun of Hye-jun’s sageuk and just like before, she’s not feeling so great. She’s lost motivation in supporting and managing Hae-hyo’s career, but Hae-hyo isn’t too worried about it. Hae-hyo prepares to head out to hang out with Do-ha — someone who Mama Hae-hyo thinks resembles CEO Lee way too much.
CEO Lee and Do-ha encounter each other for a short bit at the company office. Do-ha wants answers behind Hae-hyo’s SNS account and the amount of followers he has, but CEO Lee doesn’t show much excitement or interest in investigating such a thing. Instead, CEO Lee is more interested in meeting up with Reporter Kim and the two discuss about Hye-jun and Charlie Jung. Reporter Kim is still investigating on Charlie Jung’s death and his dating history, but it’s going to take a little bit longer for her to find out some answers. She visits the police station to meet up with the detective who interrogated Hye-jun, but he refuses to give her any details or answers. They merely brought Hye-jun in since he appeared on Charlie’s call and text history. Reporter Kim assumes there must be more to it. She assumes Hye-jun dated Charlie Jung in the past.
CEO Lee stops by Min-jae’s office/apartment to talk to her about Hye-jun. He’s still highly interested in signing Hye-jun under his entertainment company and even lies about how he saved Hye-jun from another round of a dating scandal involving Jeong-ha. Min-jae is confident that Hye-jun will renew his contract with her, but CEO Lee feels otherwise. He will do whatever he can to appeal to Hye-jun and to get him under his wings so he goes to visit Gyeong-jun at work. After explaining to Gyeong-jun a bit of his history with Hye-jun and the story behind his entertainment company, he hands Gyeong-jun a gift card as well as his business card. CEO Lee can pay Hye-jun a lot more if he were to sign with A June Entertainment.
Do-ha and Hae-hyo work out together, but Do-ha isn’t working out much. He’s focused on Hae-hyo’s SNS account and accuses the model-turned-actor of buying his followers. Hae-hyo isn’t so sure what Do-ha is referring to so Do-ha assumes Mama Hae-hyo must be the one behind everything. The more Hae-hyo thinks about it, the more everything begins to make sense to him. He recalls the conversation he had with his mom about his SNS account and how she’s willing to do things that she hates just for the sake of his career. After work, Hye-jun stops by Jjampong Entertainment to renew his contract with Min-jae. Although he’s keen on sticking with Min-jae, he makes sure to take a good look at the contract first.
On the drive home, Hae-hyo chats with Jeong-ha on the phone. Thanks to Hae-hyo, Jeong-ha met with the female celebrity that he recommended to her and things seem to be going well for our salon owner. She’s thankful but apologetic to Hae-hyo who’s always helping her out. She offers the same kind of support to Hae-hyo, but he doesn’t think he’ll need Jeong-ha’s help anytime soon. When he gets home, he stresses out about his SNS account. Hae-na updates her mom about her dating life and her plans to go on a date. Mama Hae-hyo is keeping her daughter on watch, but she still isn’t feeling so great about Hae-na’s relationship. Hye-jun finally arrives home and spends some time with Mom in his bedroom. It’s been a while since Hye-jun’s spent time with really either his mom or Jeong-ha and Mom feels a bit sad. Mom feels as if she’s not deserving of Hye-jun since he had to grow up on his own as a young kid and she feels as if she hasn’t done much for him, but Hye-jun remains grateful nonetheless. They transition to talking about Jeong-ha and Mom expresses excitement in grabbing dinner with her.
Gyeong-jun surfs the internet to find the same netizen spewing hateful comments about Hye-jun on an article. He attacks the commenter once again before meeting with his brother to converse about CEO Lee. Gyeong-jun describes his experience with meeting with CEO Lee earlier that day at work, but Hye-jun isn’t thrilled. In fact, he lashes out at Gyeong-jun for meeting with him and accepting his gift card. It’s not like Gyeong-jun was aware of CEO Lee’s bad history with Hye-jun, but Hye-jun argues that Gyeong-jun should have known better. The two go at it until Gyeong-jun storms out of the bedroom. The torture and pain just won’t stop for Hye-jun. Hae-hyo too isn’t feeling so great and he confronts his mom about his SNS account. Mama Hae-hyo doesn’t deny it and she admits to buying him followers. Hae-hyo wanted to prove to people that he could succeed on his own, but he won’t be able to do that now. He’s embarrassed and he lashes out at his mom for ruining his self-esteem. Mama Hae-hyo is left speechless upon listening to her son.
Mama Hae-hyo takes it out on her husband for not listening to her when Hae-hyo and Hae-na were younger. Because they went with what Hae-hyo’s Dad wanted to do, Mama Hae-hyo feels as if Hae-hyo and Hae-na’s lives are ruined. Hae-hyo takes up Jeong-ha’s offer on her support and he calls her out for a meeting. They meet up at a playground, but little words are exchanged. Hae-hyo just wants to be surrounded by Jeong-ha’s presence as a way to be comforted and that’s more than enough for him. Jeong-ha forgot to bring her cellphone with her so she misses out on Hye-jun’s text messages. 30 minutes into the silent date and Jeong-ha calls it a night. She’s sleepy and she succeeded at her job in cheering Hae-hyo up.
Grandpa calls Hye-jun the next day to update him about the commercial that he’s filming. Hye-jun worries that things might be difficult for Grandpa who doesn’t have an agent, but Grandpa isn’t worried. He has someone in mind: Dad (YAY!). After learning from Jin-woo’s Dad himself about Dad’s unemployment, Grandpa sweeps up on the opportunity to drag Dad with him to his commercial set. Although Dad lies that he has work and pretends as if he’s not interested, he ends up driving Grandpa to the filming set. Hye-jun makes a stop to A June Entertainment to have a word with CEO Lee. Min-jae’s a bit paranoid and concerned that Hye-jun wants to sign with CEO Lee, but Hye-jun doesn’t. It’s just that he wanted to set things straight with his former manager who’s desperate to be with him again. Hye-jun warns CEO Lee to stay away from his family and to never bother them again. There’s no chance that he will ever sign with CEO Lee again so CEO Lee shouldn’t keep his hopes up. On the topic of family, CEO Lee reveals that Gyeong-jun didn’t accept the gift card like how Hye-jun originally thought. With that, Hye-jun exits the office with his head high and his confidence intact.
Hye-jun gives Gyeong-jun a phone call to apologize. Gyeong-jun didn’t accept the gift card since he had been scammed before so he’s extra cautious and wary of people nowadays. After the phone call with Hye-jun, Gyeong-jun receives another call. This time, it’s from a cybercrime investigator from the police station inquiring about a comment that Gyeong-jun made on the internet. Hye-jun and Min-jae meet with a law firm to resume with their plans on capturing hate comments. The associate they meet with is none other than Ji-Ah which they both were not expecting. Ji-Ah’s assisting with the case for now along with her team leader who runs late to the meeting. She presents Min-jae and Hye-jun with the ID usernames of the accounts who’ve been sued and there’s one ID in particular that stands out to Min-jae. As Ji-Ah would share, the person whose ID starts with ‘top’ isn’t a kid but rather a man in his 40’s.
Mom delivers some rice porridge made by Hae-na to Mama Hae-hyo who’s feeling a bit under the weather. Mama Hae-hyo isn’t in the mood for some rice porridge so Mom takes some time to cook some food for Hae-na’s mom. Mama Hae-hyo enjoys the food and would also like Mom’s company, but Mom also has a house to clean and take care of. She leaves Mama Hae-hyo behind. Gyeong-jun stops by Jjampong Entertainment to meet with Min-jae and Ji-Ah. They advise him to write an apology letter to the ‘top’ username person and as defensive as Gyeong-jun is, he sort of has no choice. He gives in. Hye-jun arrives onto the filming set and finds Hae-hyo memorizing his lines. Hye-jun was hoping to run into Hae-hyo at the gym, but Hae-hyo never showed up. It’s a good thing Hye-jun didn’t run into Do-ha either who Hae-hyo voices his dislike for. The two even chat a bit about Jeong-ha who has an interview for a make-up job with actress, Lee Hae-ji, thanks to Hae-hyo who set them up.
And so Jeong-ha heads to her meeting with Lee Hae-ji (cameo by Hyeri). Hae-ji hires Jeong-ha on the spot thanks to Hae-hyo’s recommendation and after watching one of Jeong-ha’s youtube videos. She’s impressed by what Jeong-ha has to offer as a make-up artist and plans on visiting Jeong-ha’s make-up salon occasionally. After the meeting, Jeong-ha delivers the exciting news to Hae-hyo first. Hye-jun is there with Hae-hyo when Hae-hyo receives the call and he gets a bit jealous. He waits for a call from Jeong-ha like she mentioned she would, but she doesn’t. She even quickly ends a phone call with him while on the bus back home. They end up texting each other instead.
Mom prepares to leave work and bids farewell with Mama Hae-hyo on the way out. Mama Hae-hyo’s curious as to why Mom is still working for her. It’s not like she has to now that Hye-jun is making money. Mom is still insistent on not relying on Hye-jun financially for money. His life is his and her life is hers. Plus, she has other reasons for still working. As long as Mama Hae-hyo still wants her to be the housekeeper (in which she does), then she’ll keep working there. After filming the commercial, Grandpa and Dad make their way back home. Grandpa hands Dad an envelope full of money which Dad attempts to hand back to Grandpa. It’s too much money for him and he doesn’t want to accept the entire thing. Grandpa reasons that he wants to make up for all that he couldn’t do for Dad when he was younger. Dad had to take care of the family growing up and wasn’t able to do much because of that. Grandpa still feels guilty about it so he invites Dad to work for him and to accept all the money that Grandpa will make as a model. Dad tears up listening to his dad speak so fondly and highly of him, but he still remains worried. It feels weird and unfamiliar for Grandpa to change so suddenly and think so differently.
Jeong-ha comes home to find Hye-jun in her house once again. He skipped his shoot to spend some time with his girlfriend which Jeong-ha grows worried about. She recalls Min-jae’s comment about her relationship with Hye-jun possibly being exposed and she brings it up. Hye-jun’s been swept up in dating rumors and scandals and there could be paparazzis trailing him. They could go public with their relationship, but what if things don’t work out between them? What if they break up? What will they do then? Hye-jun’s taken aback by Jeong-ha’s thoughts for he never considered breaking up a thing. Jeong-ha reasons that they’ll never know what will happen to them. Plus, he’s been busy. Hye-jun’s been trying his best in their relationship but so has Jeong-ha. She’s been trying to appreciate things as they come because she never knows how long things will last. With that, she questions if Hye-jun is truly happy now that things are working out for him. Hye-jun reminds her of both their dads who had to make sacrifices when they were younger just to make a living.
Hye-jun’s break is cut short and he has to attend his commercial shooting. He’s clearly distracted by Jeong-ha’s comments while on set though and it also doesn’t help that he receives a phone call from CEO Lee then. CEO Lee gives Hye-jun one last chance to take up his offer on switching agencies. CEO Lee is well aware of what the headlines the next day will be and it involves none other than Charlie Jung. As we will see, journal articles and newspapers question Hye-jun’s connection with Charlie Jung. Was Hye-jun the last person who Charlie Jung called before passing away? Hye-jun isn’t so thrilled upon hearing the news from CEO Lee. Things just took a turn once again.
Enough with using Charlie Jung as a plot device to drag Hye-jun’s career down. We’re still on that? It’s one thing to make a big deal out of a character who isn’t even alive and in the drama anymore to take Hye-jun down, but it also just screams so much unnecessary drama as well as huge levels of homophobia. Again, if the drama wanted to make a big deal about Hye-jun and threaten his career, it could have gone with anything else. Literally anything else. You have a whole Hae-hyo right there who is starting to feel the pressure and heat to catch up to Hye-jun (and Do-ha) and who now is feeling even worse knowing the truth behind his SNS account. I get that the drama didn’t want to make Hae-hyo the complete villain who betrays his friend of many years, but there was potential for the drama to go that route and then redeem his character in the end. I’ve never been one who was completely interested and intrigued with ‘Record of Youth’ as a drama in the first place, but I’m also not afraid to voice my discontent with the drama when need be. I’m definitely not a big fan of the direction and route that it has taken in regards to threatening Hye-jun’s career. You had so many other options to tank his career and yet you went with this one? And you’re still going with this one? C’mon!
I’m so much more invested in Hye-jun and Jeong-ha’s relationship and how they’re going to come out of everything alive. Clearly, they’re trying their best to stay afloat at the moment, but it might not last much longer given just how busy they are individually. Combine that with Hae-hyo’s support and help to Jeong-ha and I can see why the two are distant now more than ever. I want to see the drama focus on our main couple and hone in on how they plan to survive. I assume the drama is going to proceed with exposing Hye-jun and Jeong-ha’s relationship as the final straw that will threaten his career, but I just wished they could have gone with that a lot earlier. I wished their relationship was the threat to Hye-jun’s career and not Charlie Jung. I wished the drama wouldn’t slander their only homosexual character (who I might mention again isn’t even in the show anymore!). Again, the drama had everything going for them and yet they remained lazy and frustrating.
It’s sad to think that this is the most interested and invested I’ve been in Hye-jun and Jeong-ha’s relationship. The stakes are much higher now and they’re on two different pages as to how they view their relationship. Hye-jun is okay with revealing it to the public while Jeong-ha worries more about the aftermath and the impact that it’ll have on the both of them. I like that Hae-hyo also seems to be getting the upper hand on some stuff because while I don’t think he will be the reason as to why our couple breaks up (and I don’t want him to be), I like that Hye-jun sort of has some competition.
It makes the drama more enticing and intriguing overall, but it also adds another layer of depth and personality to Jeong-ha and Hye-jun’s relationship (which, for the most part, has been relatively smooth so far up until when Hae-hyo rescued Jeong-ha in the rain at the bus station. She started to view him a little differently afterwards and they began to spend more time together while Hye-jun was pushed to the side). Of course, there’s nothing romantically going on between Hae-hyo and Jeong-ha (at least on Jeong-ha’s side), but I just find it so much more interesting now that Hae-hyo’s a little bit more involved in Jeong-ha’s life. I assume Hye-jun and Jeong-ha are still going to be the endgame, but they’re facing a strain in their relationship that they aren’t so sure how to resolve. It’s not always the conflict itself that says a lot about a person, but how they respond to it and bounce back that will count.
Now that I think about it, everything else other than Hye-jun’s career has been really hitting it for me in this drama so far. I find it a bit sad that Hae-hyo’s arc was expanded on quite late into the drama. He’s been the most interesting character for me within the last few episodes given just how conflicted he now feels about his career. At first, he was a bit naive in everything and thought he could prove himself without his mom, but as he learned in this episode, it wasn’t like that at all. Hae-hyo should have known that his mom was behind many things behind his career with just how involved and serious she was, but it was also so compelling to see him be so stressed about everything. It’s nice to see a change of pace and urgency for him after what was many years and months of him just sort of cruising by. Again, I wished it was something that the drama dedicated more time on earlier in the drama other than just making Hae-hyo out to be the second male lead with a crush on his best friend’s girlfriend, but I’m glad that he’s finally getting some love and attention in this drama. Also, as much as I don’t want to admit it, I did really enjoy the interactions he got with Jeong-ha in this episode.
Another component that I’m completely loving is the way that the drama has progressed in regards to Grandpa and Dad’s relationship and how much the two have changed. Grandpa is finally on the path to being the father that he wanted to be for Dad and even if it happened much later, he’s glad that he’s able to do something for his son. And of course, with Dad being Dad, he doesn’t want to admit it and his pride and ego gets in the way, but Dad can feel just how much Grandpa loves him. The conversation they had in the bedroom about Grandpa repaying Dad back and wanting to make things up for him was so bittersweet. Grandpa has always recognized and acknowledged his shortcomings and mistakes as a father and his wishes to be better. It’s always been on his mind, but it’s even more gratifying to see that he can be that type of father to Dad while also still achieving his dreams as a model (which was also the same reason as to why they got into the bad financial situation that they did when they were younger). Grandpa’s making up for his mistakes while doing what he’s always wanted to do and I love it. I love how more forgiving they are of each other now.
Extra screenshots from the episode~