[Discuss Away!] Crash Course in Romance: Episodes 11-12

It pains me to think that we only have 2 more weeks left with this drama. It’s been such a pleasure watching this show and feeling all these emotions with each passing episode. I’m also dreading the day when we’ll have to bid farewell with this drama and these wonderful characters. I don’t want to say goodbye just yet, but the day will come soon.

For now, I’m going to savor and enjoy and appreciate all the moments we have so far with our characters. Episodes 11 and 12 dove deeper into the murder investigations as well as Sun-jae and his family’s connection to it. I see this as the drama’s way of wrapping up this storyline and I actually like the pacing of it so far. The drama settled and solidified things with Chi-yeol and Haeng-seon’s relationship so that it could then transition to focusing on Hui-jae and his mom’s sub-plot. And as we saw at the end of episode 12, Hui-jae will reveal the truth and share his account of what he saw the night that Mr. Jin Yi-sang was killed. I don’t really feel anything for Hui-jae or his Mom and I honestly wasn’t all that invested in their storyline in the first place. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel like Hui-jae’s Mom couldn’t catch a break. Her eldest is in jail and she has to represent him in court and then her son wasn’t going to school so she had to use her connections to get him back on track with his exams. She was going through so much stress and it must have been very overwhelming for her. Though I still don’t think she’s this amazing angelic Mom (though the drama never made her out to be one in the first place) and I didn’t agree with her actions, I can see why she resorted to doing what she did. All this commotion and chaos was going to one day break and when those walls finally cracked, everything came tumbling down all at once.

‘Crash Course in Romance”s biggest strength lies in the familial moments and characters whether that’s Haeng-seon’s family dynamic, Haeng-seon’s family members, or Haeng-seon with Yeong-ju (who’s basically like family). It doesn’t come as a surprise then that the two latest episodes highlighted these relationships once again. There was Yeong-ju and Jae-woo where Yeong-ju realized that she was getting older and that she’d like to also be in love. Maybe that person for her could be Jae-woo who she has been around for many years and is very familiar with. But Jae-woo didn’t quite feel the same and wasn’t interested in her from that romantic perspective. Poor Yeong-ju just wants to be loved (but please run away from Dong-hui. He’s a red flag. He’s not the person you think he is!!).

Then there was also Hae-yi and best friend Sun-jae who was stressed and overwhelmed with his brother’s situation (and maybe even a bit traumatized from having witnessed the entire commotion itself). The drama has done a really good job so far in balancing Hae-yi and Sun-jae’s relationship and not overdoing it with the romance. Though you could sense that Sun-jae had a crush on her, the drama never shoved it in your face or was too direct with it. Instead, it showed you little hints here and there until it became a lot more apparent in the latest two episodes. I liked that the romantic development in their relationship didn’t start until just recently and that the drama was able to tread a fine line between just being friends and then harboring feelings for that friend (AKA Hae-yi).

The drama’s ability to maintain this balance made Hae-yi and Sun-jae’s hug in episode 12 so much more impactful and emotional. Sun-jae has a crush on Hae-yi, but she is his best friend first and foremost. Just as he was there for her when she was going through a rough patch in her life, she was there for him during this rough moment in his life. Sun-jae leaned on Hae-yi for comfort and support. She lended that shoulder for him to cry on when he was vulnerable and needed it the most. She continued to reach out to him and never gave up even when he didn’t respond back to her. There is also no shame in wanting some help or needing a friend’s shoulder to cry on. That hug signified the beauty and blessings of their friendship, but also the hope for potentially something more if they both choose that path.

I also really enjoy the quiet little moments we get of Haeng-seon and Hae-yi. Their relationship has always been one that I was the biggest fan of just because I love it when dramas emphasize female relationships and friendships. It’s not that it’s that rare in K-dramaland, but I’m just not sure if dramas invest as much time and depth into these relationships compared to say the relationships of male leads. ‘Our Blooming Youth‘ is doing a great job with the female friendship in that drama between our female lead and her best friend/servant and then this drama has done a good job of showing us Haeng-seon and Hae-yi’s dynamic with each other. I know we’ve gotten quite a lot of the two, but am I crazy for still wanting more? From the playground scene in the beginning of the drama where Hae-yi shared how she wanted to enroll in Chi-yeol’s course to Hae-yi and Haeng-seon sitting outside on the bench once Hae-yi got enrolled into the course to the two hugging each other while being each other’s protector in episode 11, I just like seeing the mother-daughter pair spend time together. The fact that they’re actually aunt and niece just makes it so much more interesting and touching. I will always be Haeng-seon and Hae-yi’s biggest supporter.

I’d like to think that I’m Haeng-seon and Chi-yeol’s president of their fanclub, but I think Hae-yi has earned that role rightfully so. She brought her tutor and her mom together by acknowledging the truth about her mom to the world and, therefore, bridging Haeng-seon and Chi-yeol to be lovers. I loved the growth and development of Hae-yi the last few episodes and how much she’s grown up in front of our eyes. It must not have been easy for her with the guilt and doubts she had about herself and her role in all of this (even though none of it was her fault). She then stepped up and announced the truth to quiet all the haters noise as well as to give her mom the love and relationship that she deserved. Hae-yi understood the sacrifices and time and energy and love that her mom poured into taking care of the family and the banchan business. She also recognized that her mom deserved to live her life the way that she wanted to, including being in love and all the wonderful things that come with that. Those things don’t have to be exclusive. You can still devote your time to the family and business, but you can also be happy in a healthy and loving relationship.

The drama is now showing us through Haeng-seon and Chi-yeol the typical phases that comes with romantic relationships. We saw the two get to know each other. We saw them then eventually fall in love. Then we also got the part where the couple finally got on the same page after a bunch of misunderstandings and going in circles. Then with the latest two episodes, we saw the two sort of have their first “fight” or argument (and of course, it’s about none other than Dong-hui!!). Then we saw the two make up and apologize to each other after the argument (but no Haeng-seon, you were actually right all along. Dong-hui is crazy like that!!). So the drama was showing us the cycle and phases that couples typically go through in relationships and I thought it was cute.

But I think I enjoyed watching Haeng-seon and Chi-yeol make up after the fight the most. I might have screamed when Chi-yeol showed up in front of Haeng-seon’s house at 5AM to accompany her on her morning trip to the seafood market (GIRL THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW HE’S A KEEPER!!). It’s a mix of the drama’s amazing ability to capture the smallest details that makes you go crazy, but it’s also just the chemistry between Chi-yeol and Haeng-seon and the way they love each other and the things they’ll do for each other. Chi-yeol has no time for sleep because he’s too busy thinking about work and then his girlfriend. It was also in this scene where the two lovers clarified the misunderstanding regarding their text messages (which again was because of Dong-hui!!). There were many lovey dovey and juicy moments between the two (ahem Haeng-seon spending the night at Chi-yeol’s place ahem), but the seafood market date was probably my favorite in the two latest episodes.

I can go on and on about Chi-yeol and Haeng-seon and I also can go on and on about Dong-hui and my disinterest in this particular sub-plot. I think his character could be interesting to some, but I’m probably in the minority where I find him off-putting only because I feel like this drama didn’t necessarily need a villain. It would have succeeded just as well on its own without a character playing the villain role. Regardless, it seems as if the drama is starting the beginning of the end in wrapping up Dong-hui’s story. I wonder if there’s a redemption arc somewhere for him though I really wish there wouldn’t given that he murdered two people and attempted to even hurt our very own Haeng-seon. I hope there will be justice not only for the victims who died but also so that Hui-jae and his family can heal. I also hope that Dong-hui will face the proper consequences and punishments that he deserves so that no one else will get hurt and also so that Chi-yeol and Haeng-seon can breathe a little bit more peacefully.

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