K-drama Recap: Romance is a Bonus Book ep 9 and 10

Kdrama

Woah. How are we all after the end of episode 10? There was a lot packed into this week’s episodes, although a lot remains a mystery, doesn’t it? Let’s dive in, anyway. Remember – spoilers ahead!

Episode 9

We pick up from where we left off last week. Seo-jun and Hae-rin are having ice-cream sundaes when it starts to snow. They both immediately pick up their phones to text who the snow reminds them of – i.e. Dan-i and Eun-ho, respectively. Trouble is, the recipients have left their phones inside and are having their own heartfelt moment in the snow. And how can we forget?! Dan-i finally realised that ‘The moon is beautiful’ is probably code for Eun-ho having feelings for her and she asked him outright. So, what is Eun-ho’s answer to her question? He freezes and walks inside leaving Dan-i standing there in shock!! WHAT? Eun-ho’s knees literally buckle when he gets inside. He’s worried he’s busted and that he was going to be rejected by her. Dan-i just stands outside in the snow wondering what his lack of response meant.

She heads back inside and asks Eun-ho why he’s not answering her. He lies and says he doesn’t have feelings for her and insists they get back to work. Awkwardness ensues. She thinks about how he was stroking her face and wonders if he was actually poking her face with his pencil instead. She starts rubbing stationary items across her face to see if it feels the same. LOL. When she questions Eun-ho about the face-touching he insists she was snoring. He starts reading the manuscript so she can resume transcribing, but he’s clearly distracted. He wants to know why she thinks it would be bad if he had feelings for her. And isn’t she excited by the idea that he might like her? He gets kind of flirty and tells her she’s cute and that he loves her. She responds with violence. Ok… this is not going well.

Meanwhile, Seo-jun and Hae-rin had parted ways after their texts went unanswered. Hae-rin decides to spend her day at an art gallery and who’s this? Seo-jun! Great minds think alike? They’re totally going to use each other to get over their other crushes. They seem pretty happy to see each other there. New couple alert for sure! I think they’re kind of cute together. They’re both feisty so it could be an interesting mix.

The next day, Dan-i is at work sorting mail and there’s a letter for Kang Byeong-jun. There’s still a lot unsaid about this author. But before we can dwell on it too much, Ms Seo turns up. Remember the wild night out she shared with Dan-i and Ms Go last week? Ha! Dan-i goes back to using honorifics but Ms Seo is like, aren’t we friends now? Ms Seo wants to go out clubbing again and they want to outdo Ms Go aka the Gangnam Leopard. They practice their sexy dance moves in the elevator and when the doors open there’s Ms Go, looking stern. Dan-i addresses her informally and it doesn’t go down well so she switches to formal language. And Ms Go walks off and immediately tells Dan-i to go run an errand for her – purchasing a birthday present.

Over in the the Editorial team, advances have arrived for a book that Hae-rin edited called ‘The Universe is Yours’. The cover looks beautiful! Sigh. I wish I worked in trade. Hae-rin is on the phone to the author, Professor Kang, congratulating him. But uh-oh! The author bio says that Professor Kang is the National Institute of Standards and Technology – rather than a physicist at the National Institute. Hae-rin is mortified. Ms Go throws a tantrum. Ji-yul was meant to check the author bio. I feel so bad for Hae-rin. All the managers are standing there and telling her off and saying she’s become lazy now she’s an assistant manager. Hae-rin reaches into her bottom drawer and pulls out a drink and sculls the entire thing, before icily asking Ji-yul to come to a meeting room.

When they leave for the meeting room, Eun-ho opens up Hae-rin’s desk draw and sees a full stash of SOJU! In tetra pack form! He instructs Dan-i to throw it all away.

In the meeting room, Hae-rin pulls off her ID badge and starts to take off her jacket like she’s readying herself for a fight. Surprised she hasn’t removed her earrings at this point. She starts slamming her jacket down on the table, terrifying Ji-yul, and me to be quite honest. Although I was expecting a long screaming match, she actually kept her disappointment short and sweet. She tells Ji-yul that she’d love to see her letter of resignation but she can’t force it so in the meantime Ji-yul needs to put stickers fixing her error over all 5000 copies of the book by tomorrow morning. Ji-yul bursts into tears and skulks out to the warehouse while Hae-rin makes a call to order stickers.

While all this is happening, Seo-jun is in a hospital hallway. Just who is he visiting? Ok he’s visiting his mum who works at the hospital. He’s worried she works too hard since she’s had cancer. But she insists she’s fine and the doctor even said so. He then pulls out a postcard of a painting from the exhibition he was at – she must be a fan of the artist. He wants to take her to the exhibition before it closes. Then he pulls out two books – one that he designed and one that he thinks she’ll enjoy reading. He seems like a real sweetheart when he’s like this. Maybe I’ve been wrong about him.

At the warehouse, Ji-yul is having some issues paying for her cab ride. Perhaps her mother has cut off her credit cards in protest against her ‘relationship’ with Park Hoon? If she thinks that’s a problem it’s nothing compared to what awaits her in the warehouse – i.e. a sea of books and stickers, plus nowhere to hang her coat or protect her pristine, white handbag. Her mum calls and tells her she isn’t allowed to quit because it will ruin her marriage prospects and then swiftly hangs up when Ji-yul asks about her credit cards.

Back at the office, the team are celebrating because two books are up for reprint. One of which is a book Dan-i had been marketing via … I don’t really know, to be honest. Something to do with a PowerPoint presentation on a blog? Anyway, everyone cheered and she even got a small smile from Ms Go. Go Dan-i!! Dan-i goes onto the blog and is ecstatic to see all the comments readers had posted. Then she does her ‘power dance’ in the hallway and is busted by Eun-ho. Then she heads off to run Ms Go’s present errand.

After she makes her purchase, she stops to look at a men’s shirt. Guessing she’s buying something for Eun-ho? Meanwhile, he’s also out shopping and looking at jewellery! (Massive product placement for Didier Dubot!) Unfortunately, the woman behind the jewellery counter is a massive fan girl. She rushes off to get a book for him to sign and another assistant offers to help. He says he wants to buy a necklace. In fun contrast, Dan-i is buying for her ‘brother’ and doesn’t want the shirt gift-wrapped and insists it can just be put in the bag she already has.

Dan-i ends up getting a call from Eun-ho and he asks her to come to the jewellery counter. He wants to know which necklace she likes best. She doesn’t want to choose without knowing the recipient. So he tells her the recipient has pretty eyes and she’s nice. So she picks one and he puts it on her and she’s clearly uncomfortable. Then he takes the necklace off her and goes to pay and tells her she can leave. Dan-i is so oblivious for someone who is meant to be smart. Does she realise the necklace is for her or not?

In the lift she’s musing about how Eun-ho doesn’t like her and wonders why he’s behaving this way. She gets back to her desk and puts the shirt down. Hae-rin comes over to borrow a stapler and notices the shirt. Then Hae-rin texts Seo-jun and tells him she’s sending his contract. She heads into the kitchen then, and Dan-i reveals she’s hidden Hae-rin’s soju in a box of ramen, hidden under a table. Hae-rin wants to know about how she went at Eun-ho’s house. She’s convinced he doesn’t really live ‘with a woman’. Hae-rin is definitely close to realising Dan-i and Eun-ho’s secret living arrangements. The shirt is going to be a giveaway for sure.

At the warehouse, Ji-yul is going loopy with her stickers. And she’s starving. Park Hoon to the rescue? He thwarts Dan-i’s efforts to join him, makes a run for it, sprints to Ji-yul’s side with sushi and she’s deliriously happy to see the food. And then spends the evening helping her with the stickers.

Hae-rin meets up with Seo-jun with the contract. He’s reading a book she edited because he thinks he will learn more about her that way. They go over the contract and he insists that he wants to work separately from the design team and she agrees to his terms. She even manages to convince him to sign on for five books because he likes how passionate she is about creating books.

On the bus, Dan-i is still mulling over Eun-ho’s words over the last few weeks. I’ve got to say, I’m getting ever-so-slightly tired of this going around in circles. She’s confused, he acts like he has feelings, she’s oblivious and keeps referring to him as her ‘brother’. Then Eun-ho calls and asks when she’ll be home and she lies and says she’s at the office. He’s in the kitchen at home with a bouquet of flowers and the necklace.

After signing contracts, Hae-rin tells Seo-jun she’s going to Eun-ho’s house and Seo-jun is surprised but says he’ll walk with her since they’re neighbours. Dan-i has been slowly walking home and suddenly stops when she sees Hae-rin and Seo-jun standing outside the house. So she hides behind Eun-ho’s car. Seo-jun actually sees Dan-i hiding and promises to keep quiet. Given she now can’t go inside they agree to go and get dinner.

Hae-rin goes inside and tells Eun-ho that Seo-jun signed the contract but Eun-ho isn’t exactly thrilled. He tells her she left a book on his bookshelf and asks her to get it. So off she goes into his study. She remembers leaving all her love letters in there. Then she gets the book out that Eun-ho told her about and an envelope falls out. She opens the letter and it’s from Eun-ho and says that he’s read all her letters but ultimately he can’t return her feelings. She starts crying. HOW AWKWARD. Imagine being crushed like this and being in the guy’s house and he’s just making tea in the kitchen like it’s no big deal. MORTIFYING. Then Eun-ho’s phone starts to ring and the caller ID says ‘Kapyong’ and his face tells us this isn’t a good thing.

Dan-i and Seo-jun are having noodles and it’s clear Dan-i has something on her mind. Seo-jun tells her she can confide in him if something’s troubling her. She gives him a metaphor about a book she’s had with her for a long time, her favourite book. She says she’d memorised it but now she’s seeing sentences she’s never seen before and everything feels strange. And she missed many lines and it’s like she’s reading a whole new book. Seo-jun suggests that she’s had a change of heart. He says books can change but only because we change. And this gives Dan-i pause. Very insightful there, Seo-jun.

While this is happening, Eun-ho is driving and is close to tears! Kapyong calls again and he says he’s on his way. WHERE?! He pulls in at a house and rushes inside. I’m actually on the edge of my seat for the first time in this whole show. He runs upstairs and a man tells him ‘he’ is asleep and the wounds from the fall are bad. Eun-ho is visibly upset and he goes inside and there’s a man laying on a bed with wounds on his face and he’s tied to the bed? Eun-ho is crying and it’s very sad. I can only assume this is his dad/Kang Byeong-jun and he must be mentally unwell hence the ties on his arms and feet? Aw my heart is breaking for him. But then the episode ends and we are really no closer to knowing anything for certain!

Other bits:

  • I’ve never noticed this in television shows until I started watching K-dramas: the way brands are obscured. Like in the scene where Dan-i is sorting the mail, she’s holding a Gucci bag and the two c’s are covered in black circles to obscure the branding.
  • I wonder why Eun-ho hasn’t shared his family situation with Dan-i. There must be more to this mystery.

Episode 10

This episode begins with Dan-i walking home and pondering what Seo-jun suggested – that she’d had a change of heart about her ‘favourite book’. He’s walking along behind her and smiling … here I was thinking maybe he realised that she was in love with Eun-ho. But if he’s following along smiling maybe he doesn’t? I guess everyone on this show is oblivious. They end their night together on a high five that turns into a hand hold and it’s awkward! Totally cringe-worthy. Dan-i clearly isn’t into him. Is she into anyone? Is her sudden awkwardness around Seo-jun because she’s finally having feelings for Eun-ho? I can only hope – because, as I mentioned, I am getting tired of this supposed love triangle except Dan-i doesn’t really seem to be participating.

She heads inside and knocks on Eun-ho’s bedroom door but he’s nowhere to be found. She leaves the shirt she bought him on the bed. But then she remembers Eun-ho questioned her about buying him things in the past. She decides giving him the shirt is a bad idea and will only cause more questions so she takes it back and puts it in her closet.

Meanwhile, Hae-rin is at her parents’ restaurant and she finally throws a tantrum. She starts by bawling over overcooked dumplings and her parents are like … what the hell? Then her dad, perhaps the only intelligent person on this show asks her if Eun-ho rejected her? And then her mother throws a tantrum and promises to get back at Eun-ho on her behalf. LOL. What supportive parents. Amazing. Then they all sit and cry together.

Elsewhere, Park Hoon and Ji-yul are waiting for a bus. She’s struggling with having no money and thinks maybe she should call her mum and agree to a blind date. She’s fascinated by people on the bus. This is going to be a tough transition for her.

Over the course of the first half of the episode, we flash between Eun-ho being by the bedside of the older man – we still don’t know who exactly he is. Eun-ho bathes his wounds and sits there looking very sad and I want to give him a hug. Dan-i texts him, worried by his absence from work and that he hasn’t come home or contacted her. All we really get out of Eun-ho’s time with this man is that another man (a caretaker maybe?) says that the bedridden man would be glad to have Eun-ho there and that Eun-ho is better than the man’s children.

I had assumed this was Kang Byeong-jun … but then why isn’t Eun-ho referring to him as his father? Or was he a father in the symbolic sense? So many unanswered questions. The CEO also stops by and tells Eun-ho to take comfort that the man can sleep soundly knowing Eun-ho is there.

The only other thing to note from this, is that one of Dan-i’s jobs during this time was to put a bunch of letters addressed to Kang Byeong-jun in a box in a room at the office. Which, I think, confirms that this bedridden man is indeed Kang Byeong-jun. It’s just what his actual relationship with Eun-ho is that’s the question.

Anyway, after those sad scenes we get a small comic reprieve in the form of a team meeting. The editorial and marketing teams gather and on entering the meeting room, they find Park Hoon and Ji-yul sound asleep on the table and decide to let them sleep and carry on the meeting! Haha! They discuss Mrs Yu’s new manuscript that Eun-ho and Dan-i were transcribing. Hae-rin comments that she read the transcription and is amazed at Eun-ho’s abilities because there wasn’t a single typo. Of course, Dan-i should be getting the credit for that. They make a lot of noise but Park Hoon and Ji-yul don’t wake up until the meeting is over. After the meeting Dan-i suggests to Ms Seo that they get a guitarist for the book event. They’re besties at this point and Ms Go isn’t happy. In fact, I’d say she’s jealous.

Three days pass with no Eun-ho and Dan-i is anxious and asks Seo-jun if she should file a missing persons. But Seo-jun is too busy reading Mrs Yu’s manuscript and he’s crying through the sad bit. Aww. I like a man in touch with his emotions. Also, is there anything more cathartic than crying through a sad part of a book? Or K-drama for that matter?

After many messages to Eun-ho, Dan-i finally gets a message back while she’s on the bus. Eun-ho says he’ll come home if she admits she misses him. She runs home to him. Finally some emotion out of her! She bursts in, ready to kick his butt for making her worry. But she walks in and he’s asleep in his bed. She picks up his things and then sits down on his bed and realises he’s sick. He has a fever and tells her he’s ok. He just wants to know if she missed him and he takes her hand and holds it. And as much as I don’t feel the chemistry between them, my heart still fluttered. He asks her to stay until he falls asleep and also says he’s relieved he’s sick so she can’t yell at him over the necklace he bought her.

Later on, they sit down to eat and Eun-ho asks Dan-i if she tried the necklace on. Dan-i asks why he said he didn’t like her and he said he thought she’d be better off not knowing. She asks when did he start to like her and he says he doesn’t know. And Dan-i tells him he should have kept his feelings to himself. But he didn’t want to keep lying to her. Dan-i is really upset. He guilts her into taking the necklace because he’s sick. Then he says he won’t force her to act any differently and she can date Seo-jun. I’m very much on the fence here about these two. They’re definitely endgame, but I’m having trouble seeing it happen because Dan-i really doesn’t give anything away. Meanwhile Eun-ho hasn’t even told her where he’s been this whole time!

Back in his room, Eun-ho takes some pills and his phone rings and it’s Hae-rin. She’s in a restaurant, totally drunk and tells him he’s a bastard for rejecting her. As she sobs, Seo-jun walks past and sees her. She quickly hangs up, mortified Seo-jun has witnessed this. Then he calls her and asks if she needs a friend but he can’t come inside because he’s got his dog. But he can take his dog home and come back. Ok I’m back on Seo-jun’s side. He seems like a sweet guy. She tells him to go home and hangs up. Then he texts her and says he doesn’t know what’s going on but don’t cry and call him if she needs him. Ok. Swoon. I’m Team Seo-jun! I don’t care if he’s got a creepy locked room. (I hope I don’t come to regret these words.)

The next day at work, the stickered books have arrive. This leads to Eun-ho having a chat with Ji-yul. He says all editors leave typos in books but they feel ashamed of it. Whereas Ji-yul thinks it’s unfair. He hands her a list of 30 books with titles like ‘What it means to be an editor’ and tells her she has a week to read all of them. He tells her people would kill to be working there and that it takes years of hard work to create a book and many people will feel disappointed to open the book and see a sticker ruining the page. And he asks her to think long and hard about why she’s there. Will she turn over a new leaf? We’ll see. Probably. Because this is a K-drama and there’s always a happy ending.

Afterwards, Seo-jun turns up at the office to see Hae-rin. Everyone comes over to meet him and he introduces himself and reveals he bought coffee. Then he asks where Dan-i is and everyone is surprised that they know each other. She’s out of the office meeting a guitarist for the book launch so he leaves a coffee on her desk.

He then has a meeting with Hae-rin and Eun-ho where they talk about cover concepts. It doesn’t go well. He’s extremely assertive and doesn’t like the ideas that Hae-rin has. Hae-rin gets defensive straight away and declares she doesn’t like his ideas either – even without seeing what he’s mocked up. They end up arguing and Hae-rin almost storms out. But then Eun-ho and Seo-jun start looking at the covers Seo-jun mocked up and Hae-rin can’t help herself and takes a look. And she loves them and all is well, again, with the world. In fact, they look fairly smitten with each other.

While this is happening, Dan-i comes back to her desk and everyone is gathered around wanting the gossip on how she knows Seo-jun and why he singled out her particular coffee. LOL. Eun-ho isn’t going to be happy about this. One of her colleagues says Seo-jun is known as Mr Pretentious at his previous company and everyone had to meditate before meetings before him because he’s so difficult to work with. Interesting. I have a feeling that’s not going to be a problem going forward.

After the meeting, Seo-jun tracks down Dan-i and asks her to dinner but then Eun-ho initiates a work dinner so Hae-rin invites Dan-i along. Eun-ho is not impresed. Meanwhile Dan-i is wearing the most adorable pink check coat. I want it so much!

Seo-jun takes them to the restaurant he’d booked for several days to win Dan-i over. He actually booked the whole place this time so he could do all the cooking. He wanted to show off for Dan-i. Eun-ho is supremely unimpressed. Hilarious. Hae-rin wants to know if Seo-jun and Dan-i are dating and Seo-jun says not yet. Then Hae-rin and Seo-jun have a long conversation about who they texted on that snowy day and how the person she texted doesn’t like her back and she’s mad. Awkward since Eun-ho is sitting there listening to all of this. Then Seo-jun cuts his finger and Dan-i doesn’t offer him a bandaid (despite earlier declaring at the office that she always carries them) so Eun-ho takes this as a comforting sign that she doesn’t have feelings for Seo-jun after all. Suddenly he’s in a much better mood.

After dinner, Seo-jun offers to walk Dan-i home and Eun-ho walks Hae-rin to the taxi stand. Dan-i looks back at Eun-ho and he looks back at her. Is this the start of some feelings?! I don’t know. Because on the way home she pulls out a bandaid for Seo-jun’s finger! She then heads inside and Eun-ho is there waiting for her. He stands in front of her and says he can’t hold back anymore and HE KISSES HER! I mean … my jaw dropped but also she didn’t kiss him back so … Hmm. I was legitimately shocked but then I kind of got over it because she wasn’t returning the kiss AT ALL. I can’t stand in K-dramas when the guy kisses the girl and she just stands there not moving her mouth and eyes open in shock. It’s extremely unromantic.

Other bits:

  • Mainly just one bit: do we believe in Dan-i and Eun-ho? Someone convince me please. Because usually with these shows I’m shipping the main couple like no tomorrow. And usually by now we’d have a little bit of a feeling that both couples felt the same way about each other. It’s definitely a slow burn, but is it too slow?

 

Sam

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