K-drama Recap: Romance is a Bonus Book ep 5 and 6

Kdrama

Well. Having seen episode 6, I’d say episode 5 almost qualifies as a ‘filler’ episode – where nothing much really happens because there’s going to be some big reveals in the following episode. And reveals there were! Let’s dive in to this week’s recap. Remember: spoilers are ahead!

Episode 5

Episode 5 opens with Dan-i putting up posters about how every Gyeoroo employee is a marketer and should be posting on social media three times a day. It seems Dan-i was really affected by the book-pulping of last week and uses this social media hint to tell everyone that the lives of books are precious and she wants to share that with as many people as possible, so she’s not ashamed to face the trees. Bless you, Dan-i. The whole staff go nuts updating their social media. In particular, the CEO creates an account under the name of ‘Lucky Boy’ and starts adding all the Gyeoroo staff … who promptly block him.

In other Gyeoroo news, there’s a new book coming out and it looks like Dan-i wants to have another try at writing a blurb. Eun-ho is surprised after what Mrs Go did to her last time. But Dan-i says she’s not scared of the Big Witch. Fighting!

Speaking of, we learn a tiny bit more about Mrs Go in this episode. She’s shown to be out drinking with friends who are bragging about their husbands’ achievements. Then they look sympathetically at Mrs Go who doesn’t appear to care. She’s happy being single and with no kids. She’s a director and has three houses and her doctorate. She doesn’t care what the others have going on. She picks up the tab and excuses herself. Her so-called ‘friends’ decide, at that, that they want to drop her. I predict Mrs Go is she’s a softie deep down that’s been hurt so she’s out to prove herself and she’ll end up becoming a great mentor to Dan-i. But we’ll see. Maybe I’m optimistic because it’s early in the episode.

Then we get a double whammy – shameless advertising for Subway plus romantic trope … six? Seven? I’ve lost count. Basically, Dan-i and Eun-ho decide to enjoy a six-inch sub together while discussing marketing blurbs. And Eun-ho insists her won’t give her help. And then he offers his sandwich to her. Which is ridiculous because she’s like omg yummm but they actually ordered the same thing. Anyway, Eun-ho is kind of adorable when he’s looking at her with love in his eyes. Wake up, Dan-i!

Next day at work, Dan-i sets up the room for the meeting when she gets a text from Eun-ho. Looks like he had a change of heart about helping her. He tells her that it’s going to be a showdown over the new blurb between Mrs Go and Mrs Seo. He advises Dan-i to wait until everyone gets tired of their arguing and thenĀ  jump in with her idea.

At the meeting, Mr Bong (I think he’s the editorial manager?) asks how the meeting with Spring Onion aka Seo-jun went. Eun-ho says Seo-jun doesn’t want to work with them. We cut to Seo-jun in a bookshop, and he’s picking up such rivetting titles as ‘The Lion Is In” and “I Dream of Economic Freedom’ and ‘Teardrops”. Actually, he’s a hero. The bookshop employee says the books are quite damaged and she’ll get new ones for him. But he says it’s ok – if he doesn’t buy them they’ll be returned to the publisher and shredded and he can read them just fine like this.

Back at the meeting, Mrs Seo is frustrated they couldn’t sign him for the cover design and that will affect the print run of 10K they’d budgeted for. She’s concerned they can’t guarantee sales of that many copies with a debut novel and a bad cover. As predicted, Mrs Seo and Mrs Go argue, and that’s when Dan’i swoops in. She plugs in a projector (so old school) and tells the team she wants to focus on the fact that the author is a rookie and has come up with what she’s called the ‘Irreplaceable Book Project’. The premise is that no one will see the author’s name, synopsis or the title. The book will be wrapped in paper – like a gift where you don’t know what’s inside. Eun-ho suggests putting quotes from the book on the wrapping paper to provide a very small hint to the reader. And it’s a success! Hae-rin is instructed to work with Dan-i on it. Mrs Go is not happy. Dan-i is beside herself and gets a hug from Mrs Seo. YAY!

Later, Hae-rin and Eun-ho are in the library. And he commends her for sticking by Park Jeong-sik, the new author, and she says that she knows someone else who went from writing webnovels to genre fiction and he did well. Then she invites Eun-ho out for dinner. And despite being crazy-in-love with Dan-i, he accepts! Argh. Why is he like this? So Hae-rin leaves first, and then he says he’ll follow ten minutes later. But as he’s getting up from his desk, Dan-i calls. She’s asking when he’s coming home because she’s going to get udon. And he decides to ditch Hae-rin for udon with Dan-i! Hae-rin is devastated. Poor girl. I was all ready to hate her but I actually quite like her.

So Dan-i and Eun-ho eat noodles and Dan-i is curious about what Hae-rin will be like to work with during their marketing project. But also, she’s clearly fishing for him to tell her about the red bra. Eun-ho is happy because he thinks Dan-i is jealous. But then Eun-ho says that Hae-rin is just a ‘cute junior’ and she comes over sometimes to whinge about work. So … they weren’t in a relationship, then?

Walking back home, Dan-i stops at an ATM (or something?) and checks her balance. And she sees that Dong-min has sent money. Eun-ho suggets she check to see if he’s emailed her so she does. Then Eun-ho asks her why she fell in love with Dong-min in the first place. She admits she was too young and thought because he was fun and good to her that meant love. And looking back, if that was love then she thinks love was pretty boring.

Dan-i wants to treat Eun-ho with her first pay check from Gyeoroo. So on the weekend, they head out together. Of course, she gets pushed over and he has to reach out to grab her and then they hold hands! Isn’t that usually considered a big thing for a couple to hold hands?! And they eat and play darts and look like a picture perfect couple for a knitwear catalogue for the entire day. He even blows on her hands to warm them and then puts her hand in his pocket! Ding ding ding trope alert! How is she so oblivious to how he feels about her?! Or are they just so comfortable around each other that she doesn’t even register what he’s doing? She says she wants to get him a gift. Apparently she got him a padded jacket with her first pay check ever. He wants to know why she got it for him. She’s like … um because it was winter? He tells her she should think about why she made that gesture. With that he lets go of her hand and calls her a dummy and walks off. Still not getting the hint, Dan-i then starts nagging about whose house he went to when he was drunk, if it wasn’t Hae-rin’s house.

Back at the office andĀ  Hae-rin is slamming stuff on her desk and making everyone jump. And she’s yelling at Ji-yul for using whiteout to edit a manuscript. LOL. I’m legit having flashbacks to my own editing class where whiteout was forbidden. But then Mr Bong grabs the manuscript and he’s seriously impressed by how neat and clear the editorial mark-up is. Turns out Ji-yul might actually have what it takes to be a great editor. Then, just as they’re all looking sheepishly at each other, Ji-yul’s mother sends in a MASSIVE yellow chair for her to sit at her desk. Hahahaha!

Later on, the staff get a fax. A FAX. Who knew people still sent faxes? Anyway, it’s from the new author who has decided he’s terminating his contract. Apparently he does this a lot. So Eun-ho, Dan-i and Hae-rin jump in the car to go convince Jeong-sik to stay. He’s not home so they take selfies outside the house and send them to him. Um … I’m not sure this is standard practice! Anyway, Jeong-sik eventually turns up and then won’t see them anyway. So they sleep in the car.

Clearly Eun-ho doesn’t operate well first thing in the morning, because he wakes to the writer jumping in his car and driving off and, instead of following in his own car, since he was already behind the wheel, Eun-ho jumps out and starts running after him. Idiot. Anyway, long story short, he manages to get within earshot of Jeong-sik and stages a conversation over the phone about how nerve-wracking it is to release a book. And Eun-ho manages to save the day, and the author contract. They stand on the beach in the snow, and Jeong-sik admits that it was actually Dan-i who helped him see reason. She got up after the others were asleep and spoke to the author through the door about her own struggles and how she felt scared starting a new job after all her time away.

While this chitchat is happening, Dan-i and Hae-rin are playing on the beach like besties. I wonder how Hae-rin will feel when she realises that Eun-ho is in love with Dan-i and she’s the reason Hae-rin doesn’t have a chance. Anyway, later on at the office, advance copies of Jeong-sik’s book arrive and Hae-rin and Dan-i take a photo together to celebrate. At the same time, Eun-ho is at his ex-girlfriend’s shop and he’s buying a handbag for Dan-i. The ex thinks he should own up to his feelings. But he says he’s not ready for that! He’s not sure if what he feels is friendship or romantic, but he’s curious to find out. But he also wants to wait until Dan-i feels the same way. Sigh. He says Dan-i is too important to him to just date and break up with. Sigh again.

As Dani is walking home that night, she ponders Hae-rin’s admission that the guy she likes doesn’t like her back. She’s trying to figure out who Eun-ho might have feelings for, if it isn’t Hae-rin. She turns up home and realises that Hae-rin is also there and is going inside with Eun-ho. Dan-i feels like she can’t interrupt, so she goes and sits at a bus stop. I bet Spring Onion is going to turn up. Omg, what a surprise! A bus pulls up and there he is!

Other bits and pieces:

  • I love all the publishing ‘fact bombs’ they drop casually into each episode. Episode 5 brought us two authors lamenting the fact that their content was uploaded online and for free so now they see no income from their work.
  • The scene where Eun-ho and Jeong-sik are standing on the beach, blew my mind. Because it was snowing on the beach. And as an Aussie girl, I cannot imagine it ever snowing on a beach.
  • The ending credits revealed that Dan-i cooked Eun-ho dinner for his first birthday after his mother died and he thought it was his best birthday ever.
  • Eun-ho also read Dan-i’s favourite books so he could learn more about her. Oh, Eun-ho. You’re so sweet and what every bookworm dreams of!

Episode 6

Omg cuteness alert for this episode! First off, I was totally wrong in thinking that Eun-ho and Hae-rin were an item. I guess leaving your red bra at a guy’s place doesn’t automatically mean they’re sleeping together. But cutely, Hae-rin has been going there when she’s drunk and hiding love letters in his bookshelves. And in tonight’s episode, it’s lucky letter number 13 where she confesses she’s in love with him. Of course, Eun-ho has no idea these letters exist, so that’s a slight problem. But still cute, nonetheless.

While Eun-ho and Hae-rin are drinking tea, Dan-i isn’t able to go home and, as we saw at the end of episode 5, she ran into Spring Onion at the bus stop. Ok given he’s now officially a main character I feel like I should stop referring to him as Spring Onion. Seo-jun. She runs into Seo-jun and they decide to get dinner together. But not before he dazzles Dan-i (and everyone watching this show) with his smile and whips out an umbrella to save her from the sudden downpour. Seriously this guy is so incredibly cute. But I’m scared to trust him. He seems like a jerk and then he smiles and I can’t remember why I think he’s a jerk. So they get udon and sake together and Eun-ho walks past, having just dropped Hae-rin off to get a taxi. Or something? I’m confused because couldn’t he just get a taxi from his place? Anyway, you just know he’s going to see them together and get jealous. Only a matter of time.

So, over dinner Seo-jun comments that this sudden rain is known as nalbi and Dan-i is surprised and asks if he’s read April 23 by Kang Byeong-jun. Seo-jun looks uncomfortable and says he has and quotes the first sentence from the book. Dan-i is impressed and starts babbling about the author and how it was his last book and how he retired and Seo-jun is getting more and more stony-faced. Maybe he’s related? Anyway, she says that the title April 23 makes no sense because it’s never mentioned in the book so she started researching it and both Miguel de Cervantes and Shakespeare died on April 23. Dan-i’s theory is that April 23 represents the end of his career as a writer. She goes on to say that people who think Gyeoroo locked him up are crazy and that they have too much time on their hands. Seo-jun is clearly unimpressed. This relationship might be all over before it’s begun. Dan-i tells him that she works for Gyeoroo and that certainly piques his interest. He wants to know do people at work talk about Kang Byeong-jun and she says no, but they’re going to the orphanage where the royalties are donated tomorrow. With that, her phone starts ringing and it’s Eun-ho looking for her.

Amazing. Eun-ho decides to head back for udon, too. And to his surprise sees that Dan-i’s new pal is none other than Seo-jun. Remember the last time they met they didn’t part on nice terms. Neither are happy to see the other. Except that Seo-jun is (very smugly) looking forward to continuing his interrogation.

Meanwhile, in direct contrast, Park Hoon and Ji-yul are catching up over an orange juice. She’s just been on a bad date and they decide to go see a movie. She’s ignoring her mother who is sending photos of men she doesn’t like. Ji-yul decides to call her mum back and tell her that she’s dating Park Hoon who promptly chokes on his OJ. H’e so excited LOL. And then she’s like, are you insane I was lying. Poor Park Hoon.

Back at the noodle place, Eun-ho and Dan-i start a conversation via text where Eun-ho tries to remind her who Seo-jun is, and asks her not to tell Seo-jun that they live together and work together. Too late. So Seo-jun says he’s very interested in Dan-i, and Dan-i is like, no problem, Eun-ho is like my little bro. Eun-ho is not happy. They get home and he’s super mad that she’s acting like it was meant to be that she kept running into Seo-joon. And then came my fave jealous quote from Eun-ho: “That asshole is a not a ‘we’. He’s just a separate individual.” Haha!! What a comeback. Jealous Eun-ho at his finest! He tells her that she needs to stop saying she has nowhere to go, that he’s her home. Swoon!!! Dan-i doesn’t understand where this attitude is coming from and spoils the moment by saying that Eun-ho sounds super corny and girls don’t like it. Speak for yourself, Dan-i. Then she goes to her room and finds the handbag Eun-ho got her.

The next day, the staff are in hanbok and performing some sort of play at an orphanage. Then they all play games with the kids and both Dan-i and Hae-rin are smitten at the sight of Eun-ho running around with the kids. Then, a very tipsy Mrs Seo turns up wearing sunglasses and a red wig! And she’s like, OMG YAYYY I got divorced. THEN, did not see this coming, Park Hoon runs into another room where Mr Bong is sitting with two other colleagues, and starts gossiping about how Mrs Seo is divorced and thrilled and how weird her husband must be. AND turns out Mr Bong is the husband (well, ex-husband now)!

When they all get back on the bus to go to the office, Mr Bong tries to sit with Mrs Seo but she tells him to go away. Park Hoon and Ji-yul are up the back and Park Hoon decides that Mr Bong and Mrs Seo must be having an affair hahaha! But then, suddenly there’s this really loud wail and Mrs Seo is having a breakdown and she rips off her sunglasses and her red wig. And then Mr Bong starts crying. Yikes. What is going on? So many emotions!

While the team is on the bus, the CEO and Eun-ho head off to the cemetery, to the CEO’s wife’s grave. There’s a flashback to when the CEO took Eun-ho there for the first time ten years ago to sign his contract for The Bloody Contract. The CEO wanted the contract signed in front of his wife who was a big fan of Eun-ho’s. Eun-ho then says that while they’re there in front of the CEO’s wife, this is the end of Kang Byeong-jun’s career and pulls out a document stating this fact. To this, the CEO asks what Eun-ho’s relationship is with the Kang Byeong-jun and its HIS FATHER! Did anyone see that coming?? To be honest, I was wondering if Kang Byeong-jun was a pseudonym of Eun-ho’s. I wasn’t expecting it to be his father!

Anyway, after some time with the CEO telling his late wife’s grave all the company gossip, we cut to Seo-jun’s place. He’s coming out of a locked room with a book. He starts thinking about Dan-i’s theory. And he’s holding April 23. And I got goosebumps. There’s just something about him that gives me the creeps. And the beeping of the door locking also made me uneasy. I hope I’m just being paranoid after watching too many K-dramas.

At the office the next day, the team is looking at the advance copies of the new book. Everyone is thrilled except for Mrs Go, who insists on seeing Eun-ho and Hae-rin in her office. She’s not happy about Dan-i’s name being on the copyright page and insists her name be taken off before printing begins. She wants Mrs Seo’s name on there instead. Hae-rin isn’t happy but relents and walks off and Eun-ho stays behind to defend Dan-i. This scene was so heartbreaking because at the same time, Dan-i sees her name on the page and cries happy tears. *sob*

Then the new recruits are all talking excitedly about it and Hae-rin makes a call to the printer and advises about the alteration to the page. Dan-i overhears and it’s so crushing!!!! Then Mrs Go calls her in to run another lame errand. I can’t take this! It’s so humiliating for Dan-i. It’s like she’s being punished for taking time off work to be a mother. On the way from running the errand, Dan-i struggles to hold back her tears, especially when she ends up on the phone with her daughter. I feel like it’s the first time we see her looking vulnerable. I’m so sad for her. But I admire her too. She’s clearly crushed but she also tells her daughter that she wants to make her proud.

I guess there’s a small time jump because the next scene is in a bookshop and people are queuing up to buy the new book and it’s a hit on social media. And it’s a sell-out and it’s going to be reprinted! I’m actually tearing up! It’s a great success for the team. And especially Dan-i since her idea has contributed so much to the success of the book selling.

We end with Eun-ho giving Dan-i a copy of the book that has her name on it and telling her that he knows the book success was down to her idea. And then her phone rings and it’s Seo-jun calling. And he asks her out on a date. There’s Eun-ho’s jealous face. And, oops, there’s Hae-rin seeing the whole thing and we watch it slowly sink in what’s happening before her. Is she realising that Eun-ho loves Dan-i? End scene.

Wow what an episode!! I’ve got to say, I was feeling a tiny bit bored with episode 5, but episode 6 more than made up for it!

Questions:

  • Now we know about Kang Byeong-jun … but does Eun-ho still have a relationship with him? And why did he retire in the first place? What’s the big secret?
  • Speaking of secrets, please, what’s happening with Seo-jun? Is anyone else just completely charmed by his smile?
  • What’s the deal with Mrs Seo and Mr Bong? I hope we get more details on that next episode.

 

Sam

Blogger, editor, K-drama and telenovela watcher, romance and chick-lit reader.
Sam