The tables turn multiple times, as we finally reach some moments of clarity in our complicated relationship triangle. Na-ri unravels her feelings, and her precipitated instincts guide her decision between the two guys in her life. It’s painful and rewarding, watching Na-ri navigate herself out of her head and learn to trust her heart.
EPISODE 19 RECAP
Outside the glass office, Na-ri witnesses Hye-won kissing Hwa-shin and drops her bag in shock. When Hwa-shin pulls away, Hye-won criticizes him for depicting her as the poor girl with no backbone harboring a one-sided crush on him. Hwa-shin harshly responds that his depiction of her to his mother is factual.
Na-ri interrupts their conversation to talk to Hwa-shin alone, but Hye-won refuses to leave. Hye-won asks Hwa-shin if he’s dating Na-ri, and he curtly clarifies that they’re over. The tense face-off is interrupted by PD Oh, who acquiesces when Hwa-shin strongly requests that he leave his own office.
Arms crossed, Na-ri uses the case in point to prove her argument that Hwa-shin is untrustworthy. Within the hour he left, he’s already kissing another woman. He asks if she’s qualified to condemn him, reminding Na-ri that she claimed herself unqualified to berate Jung-won’s encounter with Soo-jung. Why should she care who he kisses?
Then a realization dawns upon him, and his suspicion grows as Na-ri demands that he take off his glasses. She reminds him not to wear those glasses in front of other women, and especially not kiss another woman while wearing those glasses. Hwa-shin takes off his glasses in disbelief and wonders, “Surely, not…”
Hwa-shin drags Na-ri to the roof and clarifies that he and Hye-won are just colleagues. Na-ri doesn’t believe him and rapid-fire interrogates him about his relationship with Hye-won. Hwa-shin finally gets a clue and asks if Na-ri is jealous right now. She denies it, but Hwa-shin has already caught onto her jealousy for him. Hwa-shin grins at this realization and asks why she cares about his relationships but not Jung-won’s.
Thinking back to his 51/49 pleas, Hwa-shin suspects that Na-ri likes him more than Jung-won because she’s only showing jealousy for him. He knows the exact feeling of jealousy she’s experiencing, and he riles her in his growing excitement: “You’re jealous, right now. You are jealous. Acknowledge it.” Na-ri doesn’t explicitly acknowledge it but orders him not to wear his glasses in front of other women or kiss other women. That sounds like an acknowledgment to me, and Hwa-shin knows it.
Hwa-shin laughs out loud and yells from the roof about this new revelation: “Pyo Na-ri loves me more more more more! No wait, actually, she only loves me! She’s only jealous of me!” He breaks out into dance, but Na-ri continues to worry about Hwa-shin’s relationship with Hye-won. She desperately asks for solace that the kiss was simply out of rage, but Hwa-shin drops his smile and responds, “Perhaps.”
As Hwa-shin heads back to the office, summoned by PD Oh, Na-ri wonders if he’s going back for Hye-won. He’s thoroughly amused by Na-ri’s insistence to go home together and reminds her that he left. Smiling widely, he tells her not to wait on him. Oh boy, you are milking this.
Sitting together on the broadcast stage, Sung-sook accuses Ja-young of stealing her husband and daughter. She says that no one loves her, but Ja-young claims that their ex-husband loved Sung-sook more. He would constantly compare her to Sung-sook and even admitted that he regretted divorcing her. Delighted by the “compliments,” Sung-sook snuggles next to Ja-young, who seems to enjoy their momance.
PD Oh rattles on about the upcoming election coverage while Hwa-shin and Hye-won stare each other down. They respond as if they’re listening to him lecture them about ratings and promise to get the job done. Once they’re alone, Hye-won asks Hwa-shin how it felt to be the 101st man she’s kissed. He responds that her strong façade won’t repair her pride but admits that the kiss wasn’t bad, since he learned something from it.
Hwa-shin finds Na-ri waiting for him, and they continue their conversation inside another office. He prompts her to acknowledge her jealousy, but Na-ri claims that she’s angry — not jealous — because she can’t understand him kissing another woman within the hour of leaving her. He reminds her that she basically did the same thing between him and Jung-won, to which Na-ri shamefully hangs her head.
Na-ri apologetically mentions the dinner from earlier, and Hwa-shins erupts in anger. He explains that he left the house determined to give up after seeing her with Jung-won and Madam Kim at the restaurant. Na-ri cautiously asks if this is their end, and Hwa-shin vaguely responds that it depends on Na-ri’s actions. She asks again if he’s going to date Hye-won, and he leaves her hanging to fuel the fire of jealousy. Meanwhile, Jung-won walks into an empty house and looks over Na-ri’s calendar, which has his name written on all the days that month.
Hwa-shin returns to the dorm and hesitantly asks Dong-gi what the difference is between jealousy and anger. Dong-gi asks him a hilarious series of questions: Woman or man? Woman. Woman or girlfriend? Girlfriend. Girlfriend or lover? Lover. Lover or wife? Wife. Hwa-shin takes back the last statement since doesn’t have a wife (ha!), and Dong-gi continues to not answer his question by asking Hwa-shin what he did wrong.
Dong-gi then explains how the election story made its rounds to other anchors before landing on Hwa-shin and asks if he’s angry or jealous about this. Dong-gi tries to isolate Hwa-shin’s current emotion to distinguish between anger and jealousy, but Hwa-shin feels a mix of both, which only complicates his thoughts.
Na-ri steps into the elevator with Hye-won, and she asks Hye-won if this was her first kiss with Hwa-shin. Hye-won says that it was their first kiss in PD Oh’s office and irritates Na-ri by saying that the rest is up to Na-ri’s imagination. Na-ri won’t take that as an answer and asks for the facts. They both know how imagination can eat away at their souls and drive them crazy, right? Hye-won tells her that Hwa-shin admitted the kiss wasn’t bad, and that only spirals Na-ri into more jealousy.
Hwa-shin tries to call Na-ri, but he’s intercepted by PD Oh and Announcer Uhm preparing a birthday cake. They drag Hwa-shin into Sung-sook’s birthday celebration, and he reluctantly sings the birthday song upon request. The cake becomes the birthday cake for Announcer Uhm and PD Oh who have relatively close birthdays, and soon enough, everyone is making wishes with the cake. Ha!
Announcer Uhm and Ja-young both wish for marriage; PD Oh wishes to live with his family; Sung-sook announces her wish for Pal-gang to abandon the two mothers equally; and Hwa-shin wishes that you (Na-ri) won’t stay at the house without him. Altogether, they blow out the candles of the cake.
Na-ri arrives at the share-house but sits in her car, conflicted on what to do. Jung-won finds her outside, and she explains that she can’t enter the house anymore because Hwa-shin left. Jung-won understands the conflict but tries to coax her back into the house for now.
Jung-won calls Hwa-shin to confirm that he won’t return to the house. Hwa-shin asks if Na-ri returned to the house and bursts out in anger when Jung-won confirms that she did. Jung-won clarifies that the departure from the house means that Hwa-shin is giving up on Na-ri. Jung-won says that unlike Hwa-shin, he won’t give up easily and intends on marrying Na-ri.
Hwa-shin hangs up and tries to contain his frustration. Meanwhile, Na-ri stares at the “Jung-won” calendar in her room and reflects in disbelief. She takes out her suitcase to pack her things.
It’s raining outside, and Na-ri sits with Jung-won at the dinner table. After a brief moment of hesitation, she admits that she was jealous earlier when she saw Hwa-shin with another woman. She kept a log on her calendar of who she wanted to live with every day, and though Jung-won was written all over it, she only felt jealous with Hwa-shin. “This is really strange, but I think this is the answer. Jealousy comes from love. My heart must be for Hwa-shin. I’m sorry.”
Jung-won looks crushed and tries to justify that jealousy isn’t love. He reminds her of the comfort, warmth, and reliability she felt with him. He asks if he’s boring — if he’s bland because he doesn’t cause trouble — and Na-ri tearfully shakes her head no. Jung-won argues that those feelings with him are also love, but Na-ri isn’t convinced. She admits, “But I just want to be by Hwa-shin’s side.” Jung-won asks if she really likes Hwa-shin more, and Na-ri nods. Oof, she’s shattering his heart.
Unable to accept Na-ri’s decision, Jung-won asserts that she needs him. Her feelings for him may have ended, but that’s not the case for him. He’s not willing to give up and claims that his sincerity will go longer than Hwa-shin’s jealousy. Na-ri apologizes again and leaves the house.
As Na-ri begins to drive away, Jung-won stops the car in the rain and desperately pleads that Hwa-shin only started liking Na-ri because Jung-won did. Without Jung-won, Hwa-shin’s feelings will soon disappear, he claims. Jung-won also predicts that their relationship will be over in three months, since Hwa-shin has never maintained a relationship for longer. Jung-won begs her not to leave, but Na-ri feels compelled by jealousy to follow her heart. She apologizes and drives off, leaving Jung-won stranded in the rain.
Na-ri climbs the stairs back to her rooftop home and breaks down in apologetic tears. But in the following days, she doesn’t show any signs of sympathy when she sees Jung-won waiting in front of her building. She announces that she likes Hwa-shin and tells Jung-won not to come again.
After the weekend, Hwa-shin receives a message from Jung-won with updates that Na-ri left the house and broke up with him. But Jung-won also warns Hwa-shin to stay out of his way in his attempt to get Na-ri back. Hwa-shin reads the message just as Na-ri greets him in the dorm, but she’s swiftly kicked out so he can change.
Madam Kim wonders why Jung-won was out of contact all weekend, but he doesn’t comment on it. She asks what Na-ri thought of him, to which Jung-won has no response. Awkward.
Na-ri buys tea for Hwa-shin, and she updates him about leaving the house and breaking up with Jung-won. He’s getting a different message from Jung-won, but Na-ri insists that it’s her heart that matters. Hwa-shin doesn’t completely believe her heart anymore, but it’s a mutual feeling now. Na-ri asks if he’s going to date Hye-won, and he’s offended that she still can’t trust him.
Na-ri follows Hwa-shin into the elevator, and she calls herself stupid and pathetic for liking Hwa-shin, which unintentionally insults Hwa-shin. She trails after him and asks if he’s going to break up with her. He responds with a vague “Later,” but we see his smirk as he walks away from her.
Hwa-shin visits a drunk Jung-won, who’s blasting some strange dubstep coping music in his house. He quietly mutters an apology, but Jung-won unexpectedly tells him to date Na-ri. Then, he assures Hwa-shin that Na-ri will return to him soon anyway.
Still in denial, drunk Jung-won calls out for Na-ri in front of her building. She comes down to him and tells him to stop visiting, so that she can stop feeling guilty. He asks if Hwa-shin is staying at his rooftop home, and Na-ri responds that Hwa-shin is staying at the overnight dorms at the station due to the election broadcast. Jung-won shakes his head and claims that Hwa-shin is married to his work — doesn’t Na-ri want to actually get married?
Jung-won warns her that Hwa-shin won’t go all the way to marriage, but Na-ri isn’t interested in what he has to say. He promises to be back, and as he’s driven away by Secretary Cha, Na-ri expresses her final lingering feelings: “I liked you. Thank you.”
Hwa-shin and Hye-won busily prepare the election coverage, and Na-ri keeps a close eye on the pair as impeccable Hwa-shin coaches Hye-won through her nerves. They go out for sandwiches, and Na-ri joins them. She exchanges one half of her sandwich with Hwa-shin and tries to make small talk about the dragging election.
Hwa-shin cues Hye-won to leave, which gives him some alone time with Na-ri. She claims that Announcer Park is giving her a hard time but quickly takes back her lie. She admits that she just wants some attention and concern from Hwa-shin, but he’s not that easy.
That night, Na-ri stares at Hwa-shin’s house from her patio and expectantly approaches the railing when his lights switch on. She looks around and first finds Hwa-shin’s mother, who recognizes her as Jung-won’s girlfriend. Hwa-shin joins his mother, and she asks when Na-ri’s getting married to Jung-won. No one bothers to correct her, and Hwa-shin remains oddly neutral towards Na-ri.
During breakfast at the restaurant, Chef asks the mothers how they’ve decided to proceed. Ja-young tells Sung-sook that her wish won’t come true and snatches the newspaper out of her hands when Sung-sook tries to ignore her. Then, Ja-young asks Chef to date her, and Sung-sook berates her for her greed. She’s going to take Pal-gang and Chef? They’re both sharpening their knives to fight for Chef, which both flatters and frightens him.
A complaint is taking Hye-won and Soo-jung out of the running for the election coverage, since both announcers have powerful families backing opposing candidates. For the objectivity of the news, they need another announcer to take Hye-won’s place, and PD Oh gives Hwa-shin the choice between Na-ri and Jin (the catty announcer from a previous episode). He’s not happy about it, since he’s just established a rhythm with Hye-won.
As Hwa-shin awaits the broadcast, Secretary Cha arrives with an outfit delivery from Jung-won. Hwa-shin remembers Jung-won’s promise to continue giving as he’s always done for his friend. He sheepishly asks how Jung-won is doing and accepts the outfit.
Hwa-shin arrives at the news desk, where Na-ri is waiting for him. She thanks him for choosing her, but he’s not pleased at all. He pessimistically breaks to her to she won’t meet the expectations of the live election broadcast because she’s still green, but Na-ri isn’t discouraged. She says that she’s quite possibly a better partner than Hye-won.
Hwa-shin warns her about the slew of numbers that she must accurately report, and before he can finish his sentence, she’s already practicing her lines from the teleprompter. She delivers her lines with ease and accuracy, and Hwa-shin looks slightly impressed. But he smells the alcohol on her, and Na-ri admits that she drank a little soju to calm her nerves and loosen her tongue. He orders her to brush her teeth, and she obediently leaves to do so.
Hwa-shin receives a call from Hye-won, who’s drinking to cope with her unfair disqualification from the election coverage. She asks for encouragement, and Hwa-shin agrees to meet her. Na-ri follows him to suggest a meal together, but he leaves because he already has plans.
Na-ri spots Hwa-shin with Hye-won at the pojangmacha outside the station, and she sneakily sits at the table right behind Hwa-shin to eavesdrop on their conversation. Hye-won asks Hwa-shin if Na-ri is as good as she is, and he nods that she’s getting there. Na-ri tries scooting back as close as possible to hear their conversation, bumping into Hwa-shin in the process.
Then, Hye-won asks Hwa-shin if he feels the same with her before and after their kiss. Na-ri doesn’t want to hear the answer, so she takes her bottle of soju and leaves. As Na-ri walks away, Hwa-shin responds that he feels no different, and Hye-won finds his response cold. Hwa-shin explains that Na-ri is having a hard time because she broke up with his friend (is that what you think?), and Hye-won drunkenly wishes for his broadcast with Na-ri to tank.
Na-ri enters the weathercaster room and spins around with her soju, feeling at home. She checks the locker room and smiles when she sees her locker still labeled with her name. She continues to chug her soju bottle in the ladies’ overnight dorm but begins to search for food when her stomach growls for food. She finds a cup ramyun hidden in the crevice between the bed and nightstand, and she looks delighted to have discovered its existence.
Na-ri brings the ramyun to the guys’ overnight dorm to share with Hwa-shin, since he likes ramyun. Hwa-shin notices her drunken state and seems concerned that she hasn’t eaten. He refuses the ramyun, so Na-ri doesn’t want to eat it either.
In almost exact imitation of Hwa-shin’s drunken confession, Na-ri says, “I’ll do everything. Date me, please. Please.” Hwa-shin looks down and doesn’t respond, and Na-ri demands to know why he’s so cold, even after she’s broken up with his friend. Hwa-shin says that he giving it more time, since she broke up with his best friend. More importantly, she broke up with a good guy because of him.
Na-ri asks, then, if he was just waiting, and he nods. Na-ri tears up in realization and bursts into tears. Hwa-shin laughs as she wails and kicks about on the bed, and he gets up to sit by her. He looks at her lovingly and asks, “Na-ri-sshi, will you please date me now?” Na-ri laughs through her tears. He asks again, “Please please please, let’s date now.”
Hwa-shin wraps Na-ri’s hands around his neck, and he wipes away her tears. The, he leans down and kisses her. They happily kiss the night away, with the uneaten ramyun at their side.
I love the thought and attention that goes into small seemingly insignificant details in the show, both tangible and intangible. The kiss and the ramyun were carefully tied together to show the emotional progression between Na-ri and Hwa-shin, and I think that elevates our understanding of the relationship. Though the build-up to this moment was a bit roundabout, the ending scene feels earned and deserved because of the symbolism of that cup ramyun: rediscovering something that was hidden but always there. It shows how purposeful the writers and directors are with building this story and relationship, which makes me love this show even more with each new discovery in the details.
I’m happy to report that the romance and the momance lives on, with Sung-sook and Ja-young hopelessly attached and invested in each other’s lives. We’re lucky that Dad’s will assigned Ja-young as Pal-gang’s guardian because Sung-sook isn’t one to let one note determine her fate, whereas Ja-young is more the type to let dread consume her. There’s a nice balance between the two mothers, and if they could stop being so hostile with their rivalry, they could be the power mother couple for Pal-gang. We already know that’s what Pal-gang wants, but Sung-sook’s wish for mutual suffering is going for the complete opposite. I’m preparing my slow clap for when Sung-sook and Ja-young realize that they can both fulfill their role as mothers without being mutually exclusive.
Oh my, there is so much to digest from the break-up conversation with Jung-won and his response. I loved the brutal painful honesty that Na-ri finally recognized and articulated, and I initially felt SO BAD for Jung-won. Even though Na-ri denied it, he is quite boring and bland as a character in comparison to Hwa-shin. Without the context of Hwa-shin, he actually may have been a reliable top candidate for Na-ri. For a moment, I wondered if Jung-won would be the obvious choice because of his reliability and comfort. I wondered if Na-ri was making a mistake by choosing the erratic and egotistical Hwa-shin over this sweet boy. But then, words started coming out of his mouth. I just needed him to stop talking and start crying miserably so that he wouldn’t say any more stupid things, but he just kept talking.
As soon as Na-ri confessed her honest feelings about him, he suddenly spoke with a super demeaning tone. His instinctive response to her rejection was to become an ass and mansplain that she needed him, that she just didn’t realize how much she needed him. Noooo, that’s a big bright neon blinking red flag. I’m not going to pretend that Hwa-shin didn’t do this either, but it’s so pitiful and pathetic when you can’t own up to blatant honesty. Even after some time to recover, Jung-won continued to pester Na-ri and Hwa-shin with his projections of their future. It was messy and almost unforgivable, but it was real. Relationship endings aren’t the cleanest things to watch.
Hwa-shin’s got a gift in making people go mad, and I’m not sure if that character flaw is just being used to mask the inconsistencies in his character. I couldn’t really tell why he was being so distant with Na-ri after she basically confessed to wanting a monogamous relationship with him. Initially, it seemed like he was just playing with her — almost reverting back to the Hwa-shin who mistreated crushing Na-ri for three years. But then, he justified his cold distance to him feeling bad for Jung-won? That confuses me and frustrates me, and surely, it irritates the hell out of Na-ri.
Nevertheless, I’m happy and relieved with the relatively guilt-free and mutual kiss between these two because I didn’t think we would get there so soon. But I’m already worried about the rest of this drama. What’s it going to do with the remaining episodes? Let the second leads dig themselves a deeper hole of despair? Dating shenanigans between Hwa-shin and Na-ri? Tie up the loose ends tighter and tighter? I have no idea what’s to come now, but as long as we’re promised plenty of hilarious and lovable shenanigans between these two, I’m not complaining.