I NEED ROMANCE EPISODE 7
The episode opens by showing us how busy Joo Yeon's life is. 4 hours of sleep, unpaid bills, no time to eat. Yet we see her go from crying in Wan's arms to opening the fridge to grab an apple, tears vanishing like they'd never been. This is another example of how out of touch she is with her own emotions. She shuts down rather than to feel anything, not even understanding why she pushes away.
At a party celebrating the success of Se Ryung's team, Se Ryung again makes a play for Director Kang, and again he rejects her. As he leaves, she tears up. What's this? The Ice Queen, rattled by a brush-off? The plot thickens...
Hae Jee confronts Se Ryung about her blazer gift to her, claiming trickery. Se Ryung plays it up, and tells them they fell right into her trap. Director Kang observes the exchange and asks Se Ryung why she is lying. He assures the hoobaes that nothing like that happened and leads Se Ryung away. He confronts her; she responds merely with "people who know me would know the truth." They hold each other; he strokes her hair, and accepts her invitation to head to the bar.
It appears that Tae Yoon and Se Ryung really love each other. She hurt him once, but he appears almost over it now, and the good memories apparently overwhelm the hard times. I wouldn't have guessed Se Ryung really cared for anyone, and I bought into Kang's line that he's just another fish for her to catch, but the reality appears to be a good deal more complicated.
Meanwhile Woo Young invites Hae Jee out for a drink. She says no, and he responds with a cheery "See you Monday!" Glumly, she asks herself why he gave up so soon. He tells himself he did this out of courtesy, since she already has a boyfriend. If she's conflicted, he didn't want to add to that and cause even more stress.
Joo Yeon and Wan run through the frozen night. She is a bundle of energy and cliched optimism; he is a bundle of frozen bones, and advises they head inside. On the stairs, he tells her that she doesn't hurt in the right way, she just forces herself to cheer up and move on. He admits he wants their relationship to be different--uncomfortable--because he likes her. She sees him as a sibling, but he sees her as a woman and wants to be seen as a man, preferably a desirable one.
Wan sits down with her and plays tunes on the piano, asking her what she hears in the music. Each tune has a different emotion, but she merely hears the sounds. She is so out of touch with her childhood that she doesn't remember teaching this to him. She falls asleep on his shoulder, so he carries her to his bed and holds her hand, enjoying the closeness. Here she truly seems crustacean-like, hard-shelled on the outside to shield herself from any emotions. Who listens to music and hears only the music? Most people feel something; whether you are annoyed by discordant tones, energized and pumped by pounding club beats, or warm and relaxed by angelic strains, music plays on the emotions.
At the bar, Se Ryung and Kang Tae Yoon play with the dog there, and agree simply to enjoy petting the dog and take allergy meds together. He says he has some at his place, and they end up there. He admits that he thought about her ever day; they end the night in each others' arms.
Joo Yeon wakes up, with Wan lying beside her. He's sure she'll freak out, hit him with a pillow, scream, or something. He sits up and retreats to a corner when she strokes his hair. He tries to quickly explain, but she simply says she's had the best night's sleep ever. He tries to put the moves on her, but she simply shrugs him off again.
The fact that she did not fly off the handle is indicative of how comfortable she is Wan. He only seems to want the best for her, even if it leads her away from him for a time. Despite the fact that she chides him and labels him childish, he actually has a deeper and more mature love for her than she realizes. He sees through her tough veneer, and recognizes her flaws. He wants to make her feel something, understand the feeling, and internalize it like a normal human being.
Min Jung finds out that she is pregnant, the doctor also informs her this could be her first and last due to the menopause. Joo Yeon visits Min Jung -- they confront each other outside in a bizarre "I didn't miss you either" manner, until Min Jung's lover shows up, and she scoots into her apartment and pulls Joo Yeon in, too. He knocks on her door, and says that she has a delivery. Joo Yeon answers the door and flirts with the man a bit while accepting the package -- it's a copy of his newest book. The two women muse for a bit about him, then Min Jung tells Joo Yeon she's pregnant, but Joo Yeon doesn't want to listen and leaves abruptly while uttering lame excuses. Min Jung breaks down in tears.
Joo Yeon discusses this with Wan, who tells her that it's just offering support; she has no idea what purpose "support" would serve. He finally convinces her that she did wrong, and she composes an apologetic and supportive text message to send, which he sends when she chickens out.
When Min Jung quit last episode, I was a bit worried -- I like her and her crazy energy. I'm glad to see her back, even if drastically changed. I do wonder if the change in hormones will see her even more crazy and more over-the-top. Joo Yeon's adverse reaction to Min Jung's news shocks me. Usually a friend is someone you can count on to at least listen to you when you vent. She's so shut off from her emotions that she can't even do that.
At the office, Joo Yeon shuts down gossiping co-workers by telling them that her team will use "a creative and aggressive method" to rid themselves of all their extra inventory. Turns out this method, which she hasn't shared with her own team, is opening a booth and selling it on the street, which, in the frigid weather, is no mean feat. They manage it though with Se Ryung's team (as all her inventory was returned), and the two sub-teams have a tense group dinner together. After dinner Director Kang shows up, and picks up Se Ryung. Joo Yeon is dismayed at this, even to the point of physical pain, and gets meds at the pharmacy.
At home, Wan tells her she's not sick, she's heartbroken. Maybe, at last, he can get to her heart, to help her to feel again and process pain the right way, to love someone the right way, to be a functioning human being. He has certainly worked his way into her life and she feels comfortable around him. I keep hoping this will bring them together the way he wants them to be.
If this series has one fault, it's that each episode seems to put something in the way of true love. Min Jung can't admit to her lover she lives next door (possibly because she's deceived him about her age and her name). Joo Wan can't get into Joo Yeon's heart, because her love is reserved for another -- Director Kang. Joo Yeon can't be with Kang because he is in love with Se Ryung, and Hae Jee is torn between her boyfriend and her co-worker. Every time something appears to be working right,a monkey wrench is thrown right in to shake things up.
As Joo Yeon would put it, I believe in the fairytale. Castles, fireworks, the whole nine yards. I enjoy the story of two people getting together and living happily ever after. Despite all the celebrity divorces and troubled romances, the myth of Prince Charming endures; just ask Kate Middleton, recently married to Prince William, second in line to the throne of Britain. And believe it or not, she's over 30. But fairytale romances, however ideal, always require effort before the happily ever after. Cinderella was tortured by her stepsisters, Prince Charming had to trek through endless lands to find the foot that fit the slipper, Snow White had to dodge the evil Queen's attempts to kill her. Real life is the same -- real work is required throughout a relationship, and there will be hard times to endure. But it's worth it if you find your Prince Charming or Snow White. Hold onto those moments where reality is far away, and the only thing here and now is you and your lover.
I Need Romance 3 airs Mondays and Tuesdays on tVN, DramaFever, and other streaming sites available by country.
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