There’s conflict everywhere, but yet Hye-jun remains strong. He stays positive that everything will turn out okay and that not all conflict is bad. Some conflict generate positivity and life-learning lessons while others result in meaningless arguments and fights. It’s up to Hye-jun to decide and determine which ones are worth it and which ones aren’t.
Record of Youth: Episode 14 Recap
Jeong-ha bids farewell with Hye-jun as he heads out for his commercial shooting. He feels apologetic for not checking in with her on how she felt about their relationship, but Jeong-ha doesn’t mind. She gets all his love in return and that’s more than enough for her. Hye-jun also requests for Jeong-ha to walk him to his van. He wants to spend as much time with her as possible; every minute is precious. Dad counts the allowance money he receives from Grandpa and even shows it off to Mom. Mom doesn’t think too much about it, but Dad is proud of his work. It’s the first time he’s received money from Grandpa so he’s going to cherish this moment forever. Hehe. Dad is too cute counting the money, lol. Ji-Ah and Min-jae continue to plead for Gyeong-jun to write a letter of apology to the person who has sued him. Gyeong-jun doesn’t think he did anything wrong, but Min-jae and Ji-Ah try to convince him otherwise.
Hye-jun receives a phone call from CEO Lee who warns him about the headlines that will be released the next day. It’s going to involve rumors about him and Charlie Jung, but Hye-jun isn’t bothered or worried. He still has no plans in siding with CEO Lee and working with him. Hae-hyo still isn’t feeling better and his self-esteem is still at an all-time low. He continues to make mistakes while filming his drama with Hye-jun so the two take a break to talk things over. Although Hye-jun checks in with his friend, Hae-hyo isn’t in the mood to talk or share things. How could he when he’s feeling small and behind compared to his childhood friend? Hye-jun is then reminded of the moment back in school when he pushed Hae-hyo away from him. Hae-hyo teared up upon Hye-jun not wanting to be friends with him which Hye-jun too didn’t feel so great about. Back in the present, Hye-jun watches as Hae-hyo carefully studies his lines. He takes good care of Hae-hyo by having assistant Chi-yeong get him some warm water instead of food. Hae-hyo pukes when he’s stressed. Aww, he knows his friend so well.
Hae-na brings Jin-woo home to Mama Hae-hyo which wasn’t the best decision for either of them. Mama Hae-hyo sits Jin-woo down and hits him with reality. If Jin-woo continues to be in a relationship with Hae-na, he’ll lose Hae-hyo — his childhood friend. Jin-woo should be careful and wise with his decisions. Mama Hae-hyo moves on to Hae-na next and demands for her credit cards. She also warns Hae-na to break up with Jin-woo and to keep things a secret from her dad. If Hae-na’s dad was to ever find out about her relationship with Jin-woo, things won’t go so well for either her or Mama Hae-hyo.
Mom and Dad treat themselves to some new clothes and delicious food. While shopping, Dad notices a man staring at Mom and he grows jealous. How dare this man stare at Mom?! Lol. The man clarifies that he himself is married and he walks away to pick up his wife’s phone call. Mom sort of likes how Dad was jealous even as much as Dad doesn’t want to admit it. While walking outside, they come across a huge screen with the latest news about Hye-jun and his relationship with Charlie Jung. Rumors that the two were dating garners attention given how Hye-jun was the last person who Charlie Jung contacted before he passed away. Mom and Dad pick up a newspaper to read the news and notices that it was written by Reporter Kim. Hye-jun also notices the headlines as he transitions from one schedule to the next. He too isn’t so happy.
While fixing Su-bin’s hair, Jeong-ha and Su-bin discuss about Hye-jun. Su-bin suggests Jeong-ha check in with Hye-jun, but Jeong-ha is hesitant. Asking him might only hurt him more, but Su-bin emphasizes on the importance of asking Hye-jun about the rumors. It might be a source of support for him especially since Jeong-ha is the one asking him. Min-jae is flooded with calls and she has trouble keeping up with them. She finally decides to only pay attention to Ji-Ah and the two meet up to go over their next steps. Prior to their meeting, Min-jae receives a call from Hye-jun where she learns that he did indeed receive a text message from Charlie Jung prior to Charlie’s passing. Hye-jun didn’t mention it to Min-jae since it was of a private concern and matter. Min-jae is shocked with the revelation, but she tries not to stress out too much about it.
Min-jae meets with Ji-Ah to go over their next steps and she still plans on taking legal action against the reporter as well as the company behind the headlines. They also agree to proceed with their team meeting scheduled for the next day. To express her appreciation and gratitude, Min-jae prepares some snacks for Ji-Ah at the office, but they’re soon joined by Jeong-ha who also stops by. Min-jae awkwardly introduces the two to each other, but Ji-Ah pretends as if nothing is wrong. They exchange friendly greetings and business cards before Ji-Ah goes about with her day. Jeong-ha voices her support for Min-jae and how great she’s been handling everything. Although there’s no plan set in stone at the moment, Min-jae remains optimistic. She also notes just how much Hye-jun loves Jeong-ha. Even when he has a short break, he always spends it by visiting Jeong-ha. Jeong-ha is grateful for the love, but that’s also another reason as to why she’s hesitant to be in relationships. She rather be the one who loves more than the one who receives the love.
Mom and Dad call Gyeong-jun to come up with a game plan. They need to do something about the updated news surrounding Hye-jun’s career. Gyeong-jun isn’t too worried since he has confidence that Min-jae will take care of things. He also declines the family meeting that Mom and Dad proposes. He has plans that night so he won’t be able to make it. After her time with Min-jae, Jeong-ha is tempted to call Hye-jun on the bus ride home. Instead, Jeong-ha receives a phone call from Hae-hyo. While at work, Hye-jun talks to Ji-Ah on the phone regarding the articles. He thanks her for helping Min-jae keep the situation under control for now, but it’s obvious that he’s still not that fond of her. He remains cold to her. Jeong-ha and Hae-hyo have some lunch at her salon. They chat about Hye-jun and Jeong-ha is curious as to how Hye-jun is coping with everything going on. Hae-hyo assumes he must be happy since he’s a superstar and Jeong-ha admires Hye-jun’s attitude and ability to fight things head on.
She jokes around with Hae-hyo who’s dealing with some serious stuff himself so he’s not in the mood for games and jokes. He shares with her how his family has been stressing him out. Min-jae picks Gyeong-jun up from work and together the two head to the police station to meet with the man who’s been writing hate comments on articles about Hye-jun. Min-jae wants to seek settlement between the two, but Gyeong-jun refuses to settle. He still doesn’t think he did anything wrong and blames the man for writing hate comments in the first place. Although Gyeong-jun could, he doesn’t reveal his identity as Hye-jun’s brother and he continues to fight against the man. Min-jae steps in one last time to apologize to the man for Gyeong-jun’s behavior and reiterates that Gyeong-jun will write him a letter of apology.
It’s been a long day for our Jjampong CEO and she meets with Hye-jun to go over the texts that Charlie Jung sent him before his passing. After reading the texts, Min-jae isn’t as concerned and she assumes they can reveal it to the public to calm everything down, but Hye-jun refuses to. He wants to protect Charlie Jung’s reputation. They move on to talking about Gyeong-jun and how he was sued by a hate commenter. It’s news to Hye-jun as well who wasn’t aware of the situation his brother was in. They then switch the topic to Jeong-ha and Min-jae warns Hye-jun to be more careful when with Jeong-ha. The same reporter behind the controversy surrounding Charlie Jung and Hye-jun also threatened to reveal Hye-jun’s relationship with Jeong-ha to the public (aka Reporter Kim). The thing is — Jeong-ha is already aware of this since she was right there next to Min-jae when Min-jae found out.
Hye-jun visits Jeong-ha and spends time with her that night despite Min-jae’s wishes. They clarify their stances regarding revealing their relationship to the public and now it makes sense to Hye-jun as to why Jeong-ha brought up the topics of paparazzis and breaking up. He questions why she’s not mad at him for not being there for her more often or why she’s not upset with him, but Jeong-ha doesn’t think too much about those things. She doesn’t want to be in a relationship with someone she’s angry with all the time, but Hye-jun reasons that it’s so much more than that. Conflict isn’t bad. Conflict can help you understand someone much better, but Jeong-ha sees it the other way around where conflict only results in arguments and fighting. Hye-jun is confident that that will never happen with him and Jeong-ha because he loves her. The two continue to walk to Jeong-ha’s house when Jeong-ha asks about Hae-hyo to Hye-jun. It seems as if something has been bothering him lately, but Hye-jun too isn’t too sure.
Hye-jun does have an idea as to what Hae-hyo has been going through though. On the bus ride home, he’s reminded of their conversation on set about Hae-hyo’s embarrassment in facing Hye-jun. He feels too small compared to Hye-jun to the point where he can’t even face him. While walking in the neighborhood that night, Hye-jun reflects on his life so far and how much he’s gone through to get to where he is. He’s reminded of a conversation he had with Mom when he was younger about life and how they shouldn’t feel small even though they might not be as rich as others. To Mom, little things like making gimbap for Hye-jun that he enjoys is more than enough for her in life. So Hye-jun meets up with Hae-hyo that night and the two talk things out. Hye-jun reasons that Hae-hyo should never feel too small in front of him. Hae-hyo admits that he wanted to be just as great as Hye-jun so he tried to take control of his own career. However, as he would discover, his career was never really his since his mom was always meddling in it. Hye-jun too can relate since he still hasn’t completely made up with Dad.
Hye-jun breaks down into tears when he enters his bedroom that night. He takes a good look at all the gifts and photos and love surrounding him in his bedroom and he’s grateful for all the support. To answer Jeong-ha’s question, he is happy. He’s happy because he can cry all he wants in his own bedroom without getting interrupted. Hye-jun visits Jeong-ha the next day at her salon to get some make-up done. Jeong-ha enjoys just talking to each other about the day-to-day stuff, but she also brings up the topic about the news article. Hye-jun reveals that Min-jae is meeting with a lawyer to take care of that stuff. And so the meeting happens and Min-jae receives more information on what she can do to counteract all the mess. Ji-Ah and the lawyer point out what phrase in the article Min-jae could sue defamation for, but it still isn’t enough for Min-jae. She’s informed that going after the reporter might just be the easier and better route.
Min-jae stops by Hye-jun’s set to update him on the situation. She’s also going to work on getting him a day off so that he can get some time to rest and recuperate. Hye-jun informs Jeong-ha about the plans and suggests she do the same. That way, they can spend some much-needed time with each other. Hye-jun also spends some time with Jin-woo who he hasn’t seen in a while. Jin-woo’s been busy doing some thinking on his relationship with Hae-na and Hye-jun can relate. As tough as some relationships can get, Hye-jun believes that they can also help you grow. Hye-jun admits that he’s neglected both Jin-woo and Hae-hyo with his busy schedules, but he doesn’t feel all too bad for he knows that they will always be there for him at the end of the day. Jin-woo too feels the same way and the feelings are mutual. He informs Hye-jun one other thing before the two go their own ways: Dad hasn’t been working because of his injured shoulder. Hye-jun wasn’t supposed to know about it, but Jin-woo thought he should tell Hye-jun.
Hye-jun returns back home to find Mom and Dad outside of his bedroom, contemplating on whether to go in or not. They assume Hye-jun is still inside, but Hye-jun greets them shortly after watching them for a few seconds, lol. Gyeong-jun continues to read comments on articles written about Hye-jun and he grows worried after reading a few wanting Hye-jun to be removed from his current drama. Hye-jun confronts Gyeong-jun about his situation and the two talk things out in Hye-jun’s bedroom. Hye-jun argues that Gyeong-jun should just write the letter of apology. If anything, Gyeong-jun should do it for him. Gyeong-jun’s said plenty of insulting things to Hye-jun so if Gyeong-jun wants to protect Hye-jun, he should write the letter of apology. Gyeong-jun still doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong, but Hye-jun warns that he’ll also get into more trouble if he doesn’t do as suggested.
So Gyeong-jun has no choice but to write the letter of apology with Hye-jun there to support him. The two work together and collaborate on how to best write the letter. Yay for bonding moments! Reporter Kim receives a phone call from the police station about the complaint that Min-jae has filed against her. She grows angry and upset at the action they’ve taken and is advised by her boss to reveal the exclusive she had on Hye-jun and Jeong-ha’s relationship. It’s the only thing they have at the moment against Hye-jun. Mama Hae-hyo and the family head out to a restaurant for some dinner and family time. She can’t help but grow irritated at Hae-hyo’s dad with his every comment and she lashes out at him when they get home afterwards. Hae-hyo’s dad isn’t so sure as to why she seems so upset and angry at him, but Mama Hae-hyo just can’t stand him, lol.
Hye-jun and his family all gather for some breakfast together after what seemed like forever. Hye-jun is clearly the favorite in the house now that he’s a superstar, but Mom points out that there’s not one but two celebrities in the house. Grandpa shares with Hye-jun about Dad’s involvement in his career and how he now has Dad as his manager. Hehe. Our adorable family of five enjoy some food together. Reporter Kim isn’t so happy about getting sued by Hye-jun and his company, but she doesn’t back down. She releases an article exposing Hye-jun’s relationship with Jeong-ha and uses the photos she gathered of the couple together as proof. Upon reading the article, Jeong-ha panics and assumes she and Hye-jun not meet up that day. Min-jae feels the same way too. However, Hye-jun remains indifferent. He’s not worried. The truth has been revealed so it’s not like anything will change. He sets out to Jeong-ha’s salon, but as he will soon discover, Jeong-ha is unavailable to meet with him like they had planned. She’s busy meeting with Reporter Kim instead who unexpectedly visits her at the salon.
Jeong-ha heads over to Jjampong to have a private chat with Hye-jun. With all the news and controversy surrounding Hye-jun, his image has taken a hit and he has to pay for the penalties he’s reached for a breach of contract. However, that’s the last thing on his mind. Upon arriving at Min-jae’s place, he’s happy to be reunited with Jeong-ha and to get to talk to her. With their relationship now known to the public, he feels as if he can take things a little bit easier. He doesn’t feel as anxious about his career or their relationship. It’s great for Hye-jun, but this is also where things end. There’s much more to the meeting than Hye-jun had expected. Jeong-ha declares her love for Hye-jun by commenting the words “I love you”, but follows it up with another statement. She wants to break up. Jeong-ha never imagined she’d be in a relationship that cliche and yet, here she is.
Oof, that ending scene was painful. It hurt even more that Jeong-ha said she loved Hye-jun first before proceeding to wanting to break up. I’m not completely sure if this was an act of noble idiocy on Jeong-ha’s part or if the drama is just merely misleading us into thinking that the two are going to break up, but regardless, that ending scene did hurt.
We knew that Hye-jun and Jeong-ha were going to be put to the test once their relationship was exposed to the public. It was something that the drama teased in the last episode and then went through with in this one. I do think Hye-jun is going to fight for the relationship a lot harder than Jeong-ha will and it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out for them during our finale week. That’s not to say that Jeong-ha’s given up on their relationship, and so therefore, she pitched the idea of breaking up. It’s not that she fell out of love with him that she wanted to end things. I think it was just rather more so the fact that Jeong-ha loved Hye-jun so much she was willing to break up with him to protect him. Their relationship was the final straw that really impacted his career and she wanted to try to undo some of the damage that was done. She wanted to play her part in looking out for him.
Pushing aside all the drama surrounding our main couple’s relationship and its impact on Hye-jun’s career, I really enjoyed watching our characters struggle and navigate the confusing times with their friendships. From Jeong-ha asking Hae-hyo about Hye-jun to Jeong-ha asking about Hae-hyo to Hye-jun and everything else in between, it made our characters realize just how distant they’ve grown from one another. In the process of focusing on themselves and dealing with their own personal issues, they’ve forgotten about one another. The part that made me heartbroken was when Jeong-ha asked Hae-hyo while they were eating at her salon on how Hye-jun was holding up. It was one thing for Hae-hyo to be asked that question because he wasn’t on the best terms with Hye-jun at that time, but it also was so sad given that Jeong-ha and Hye-jun are in a relationship so you would think that Jeong-ha would know how how her own boyfriend was doing.
That question and conversation served as a testament to just how distant Hae-hyo and Hye-jun had become as friends, but also just how distant Hye-jun and Jeong-ha had become as lovers. They’re so busy that they’re now asking each other how everyone is doing and that’s the part that is so sad for me. They want to be in contact and they want to be there for one another, but they also don’t know how to because that constant communication isn’t there. Things have changed in all these friendships and relationships and they’re trying their best to navigate all the changes, but they also have to take care of themselves at the same time and it’s a lot for everyone to handle. Like Hae-hyo mentioned, how can he have time to check in on his childhood friend when he has personal stuff going on his own life? He’s facing the biggest crisis in his life yet and he’s also afraid to lose his friend in the process. It’s challenging for everyone.
Adding on, if there’s anything the drama has done well, it’d be in the way that it’s highlighted and talked about friendships. There’s beauty in friendships and our characters know that they will always have one another even after everything ends. Like Hye-jun mentioned to Jin-woo, he knows what he’s done wrong. He’s fully aware of how much he’s pushed Jin-woo and Hae-hyo to the back burner in the process of becoming bigger and getting busier. However, it doesn’t concern him too much because at the very end of the day, Hye-jun knows that Jin-woo and Hae-hyo will be there for him. He knows that they will remain good close friends and that he too will always be there for them as well.
It’s such a moving and touching sight to see in the drama, but it’s also a feeling that rings true in life. Sometimes, you get carried away because you’re busy focusing on yourself. I know that feeling all too well myself. In the process of placing yourself first, you lose contact with your close friends or you might not talk to them as often anymore. However, there’s comfort in knowing that some things will simply never change even when your environment has changed. You know you will always have one another and can pick things up from where they left off as if nothing ever happened in the first place. That’s the reality to life, but that’s what also makes friendships worth it so much more. That’s the beauty in it all.
Extra screenshots from the episode~