Here’s what I’m hoping for in this week’s episodes of Romance is a Bonus Book: more jealous Eun-ho, some realisation from Dan-i that she’s in love with Eun-ho, and some sort of confirmation that Seo-jun is either a creep or a nice guy. Regarding Seo-jun, I’ll take either possibility – I just want to know either way. So, without further ado, let’s get into this week’s episodes. Spoilers ahead!
We left off last week with Seo-jun asking Dan-i to meet him outside her office for a date. She accepts and he does a victory dance out the front. The rest of the staff get up to leave. Mr Bong texts Ms Seo to ask if she wants to have dinner and she ignores it and asks loudly if anyone wants to go out clubbing. Poor Mr Bong! Dan-i attempts to leave but Eun-ho decides it’s a great time to assign some last-minute work. Jealous Eun-ho – check! So Seo-jun is outside waiting while Dan-i is chained to her desk. She gets it done and tries to hand it in but Eun-ho insists on checking it – slowly. Then they both get in the lift together and he gives her his scarf so that she doesn’t get cold. And he insists on tying it around her neck himself.
Meanwhile Park Hoon is instagramming his ramen – artfully on display with a book. Then his doorbell rings and a man and woman come in. Ha! It’s Ji-yul’s mum. Omg this is amazing. He’s acting his little heart out and crying. She’s giving him the third degree abut wanting family money and he’s telling her all he cares about is making Ji-yul happy. His facial expressions!! OMG. This is a great scene.
In another great scene, Eun-ho is having a crisis over whether to call Dan-i or not and decides he can’t be an ‘average loser’ and call. It’s too lame. So instead he texts her about a supposedly broken rice cooker, water purifier, tissue absence etc. Nice, Eun-ho. Real subtle.
Anyway, onto more important things – Seo-jun and Dan-i’s date. He takes her, first, to the Moonlight Bookstore. Then, he buys a stack of books and they head off to a restaurant. He says he likes taking his mum to nice restaurants because it’s just the two of them. This is where I’m starting to think this Kang Byeong-jun guy might be his father? But then that would make him Eun-ho’s brother. Now that could be a fantastic twist!
Then he pulls out the book Dan-i had been looking at called “The Soliloquy I Want You To Hear” and he’s written a note in the front for her. Then from behind their table, he pulls out the ‘real gift’ which is the completed painting of her drinking soju outside the store the night they met. How on earth did he transport that there?
Dan-i tells him she’s worried about being on a date because he doesn’t know about her ‘past’. She’s worried that she’s older and he won’t approve of what she’s really like. And he asks her if she has a criminal record and she says no, but some might think she’s worse – she’s a divorcee. And with that his face closes down and he drops his cutlery on the floor. Surely this is a massive overreaction but it’s just the writers messing with us. Surely.
So the rest of the date is told via a series of flashbacks once Dan-i is home. She tells Eun-ho that Seo-jun is an old-fashioned jerk. Eun-ho is not-so-secretly pleased. Apparently there were a series of awkward moments. There was the cutlery drop, there was him spitting water across the table when she revealed she has a daughter, then the sudden onset of hiccups when she told him she’s 37 (he’s 29). Cut to Seo-jun who is telling his dog about it and how it was mortifying but also just a series of poorly timed coincidences. Awks. Dan-i then hypothetically asks Eun-ho if he would be turned off if he liked a woman and found out she was divorced and had a child? And he’s like, I did and it didn’t turn me off. And Dan-i is completely oblivious that he’s talking about her!
The next day at work, there’s a team meeting. The managers are talking about a new release and Mr Bong is sitting on the window ledge, clearly having a breakdown. He’s reciting some poetry and everyone is clearly over it. Then one of the staff tells Park Hoon and Ji-yul that Mr Bong has an “illness”. “Poetry illness” and this is a relapse. Apparently he’s famous for making the company lose money by publishing poetry. Then Mr Bong leaps up and starts handing around brochures for a water purifier. LOL. Side hustle?
The meeting wraps up and he follows the CEO into his office. Turns out the water purifiers are actually the side hustle of a writer he is trying to help. The CEO tells Mr Bong that he needs to stop worrying about the writers and worry about the people around him – i.e. Ms Seo. I feel sorry for Mr Bong. He really just wants to publish poetry. Then Ms Seo comes in to hand the CEO a marketing proposal, but gets stuck into him, saying that he had no right to be so hard on Mr Bong. There’s definitely a chance Mr Bong and Ms Seo are getting back together. I hope Mr Bong finds a way to woo her. That will be really cute!
In the kitchen, Park Hoon is telling Ji-yul about his fantastic acting in front of her mum. He invites her to use him to “discover her freedom”. These two are too much. Then they hug and he’s loving life. Bahahaha. Park Hoon might be my favourite. Shame Ji-yul still seems to find him repulsive in a romantic way. But that’s definitely going to change. I just know it. This is a K-drama after all.
Then Mr Bong and the CEO have a huge screaming match because Mr Bong is going to treat a writer, Mr Choi, to lunch. The CEO said they absolutely cannot afford to be treating writers to meals when they aren’t going to publish their books. And Mr Bong says the CEO is too much of a salesperson and then throws his company credit card on the ground and says he’ll pay for lunch by himself. Yikes. He stalks out and Eun-ho follows, telling him to look into publishing Mr Choi’s prose, but poetry just isn’t profitable. Mr Bong is upset that poetry as an art is dying.
He then leaves, and calls Mr Choi who doesn’t answer. Mr Bong is at the restaurant ordering beef and still no sign of Mr Choi. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. He ends up leaving and heads for Mr Choi’s house. Eun-ho is there with groceries (he’s a good guy, Eun-ho). They head up and Mr Choi’s landlord comes up saying he’s three months behind on his rent but she feels sorry for him. The landlord ends up letting them in because they’re concerned. Oh dear. He was dead in there!! How heartbreaking.
Mr Bong is completely distraught! He calls the CEO to tell him. He tells the CEO that “Poems knocked on his (Mr Choi’s) heart every day and he had to write them down.” This reminds me so much of the message of Big Magic, which I read recently. Inspiration is like an entity that’s floating around and it comes to the person and it’s up to them to accept the inspiration and go with it, or ignore it and risk offending it. Seems Mr Choi always went with it regardless of whether it would bring him money. You’ll remember from the flashback to an earlier episode that he said he was broke because his poems had been uploaded illegally and so he gets no money. So this really is especially sad.
Later on, Eun-ho is recording a writer’s podcast show. He’s interviewing a writer, Mrs Yu, about her new book. Meanwhile Seo-jun is a the florist picking up a bouquet he ordered. And Hae-rin is there! Turns out she ordered exactly the same bouquet. Oooh new couple alert? Hae-rin realises who he is and lets him take the first bouquet saying that now he owes her one. He leaves and then she cancels her order saying that they’re meeting the same person. Curiouser and curiouser.
Back with Eun-ho he’s now presenting the writer, Mrs Yu with a huge box of SU:M37 skincare (how’s that for some unsubtle product placement?). He then orders dinner and Mrs Yu reveals that she invited two more people. Turns out she’s invited Hae-rin and Seo-jun. This should be interesting. The manuscript for her new book is inexplicably wrapped in fabric in the middle of the table. And no-one will let Seo-joon look at it because he works for another publisher. And then Mrs Yu announces she wants Seo-jun to design her book cover. After dinner Mrs Yu is put in a taxi and Eun-ho gives her A FINGER HEART through the window! LOL. I seriously thought this was just something K-pop idols did in photo shoots. Is this something people actually do in real life? And … do they usually do it in a professional setting like meeting a client?!
So they begin to go their separate ways but Seo-jun asks Eun-ho if they can carpool since they’re neighbours and he wants to see Dan-i and give her a gift. Eun-ho says he doesn’t want Seo-jun seeing Dan-i. They end up carpooling and, once home, Seo-jun gives his present to Eun-ho and asks him to give it to Dan-i and let her know he will be waiting outside. Once inside Eun-ho takes the present into his room. He opens the bag and it’s a stuffed toy? He throws it into his closet but then feels guilty. Eun-ho admits he regrets letting her go the day of her wedding. So he ends up going out to Dan-i and hands her the toy and tells her Seo-jun is waiting outside. She’s thrilled and rushes out. Omg I’ve just realised the toy is a spring onion. Awww.
- Do all Korean households have a tray of coffee mugs and a jug of water? Seems bizarre to me. I think it’s the pouring of water into a coffee mug? Why not a tray of glasses?
- I don’t understand the painting. Would you want a huge artwork of you, drunk and standing outside a bridal store? Yay or nay?
- I couldn’t be bothered going into detail about this, but let’s just note that Seo-jun was in some sort of hospital waiting room thinking about calling Dan-i. So there’s obviously going to be a story there, but since it wasn’t mentioned again, I guess it’s not going to be addressed for a couple of episodes at least.
- PS. Have I mentioned how much I love the CEO? He is so cute. I loved when Ms Seo started crying in his office and he carefully folded a tissue for her to have. And then when she left, he started crying loudly. Bless.
So, back to Spring Onion and the spring onion toy. Turns out he designed the spring onion toy himself. It’s one of a kind. It’s … kinda cute, actually! Then Eun-ho comes out, surprise, surprise, with a coat and wraps it around Dan-i’s shoulders, scolding her for coming outside without a jacket. He then makes a big show of telling her to hurry up because she’s apparently promised to watch a movie with him. Dan-i ignores him and instead goes for a walk around the hood with Seo-jun. He tells her he’s thinking about designing Mrs Yu’s book and he’ll definitely do it if she tells him to. What an idiot. I was waiting for alarm bells to go off for Dan-i but she was too preoccupied with the hand warmers Eun-ho had thoughtfully put in her pockets.
Speaking of Eun-ho he’s at his bookshelf, takes a book down and OMO what’s this? A letter? FINALLY he’s going to read one of Hae-rin’s letters!! There’s a voice over where Dan-i says Eun-ho fascinates her and he’s like her brother. ARGH. I’m legit losing hope in this romance. OK what the hell, Eun-ho. He just put the letter back without reading it! Apologies this is a very incoherent paragraph. But seriously … what?! So Dan-i spends the whole walk with Seo-jun talking about Eun-ho. She reveals that when her ex-husband emailed her he asked for her to keep Eun-ho away so she realised Eun-ho has been looking out for her this whole time – for the last 20 years, really. Seo-jun is realising that he’s got a lot to live up to. I wish Dan-i would realise how Eun-ho feels about her. Hopeless. Absolutely hopeless.
Seo-jun ends up taking Dan-i to a restaurant. He’s revealed to have made multiple reservations over the next few days in case he’d failed in getting there tonight. I don’t know … I feel like he’s coming on too strong. He’s very needy. He suggests they try seeing each other for three months. Why three months?! I don’t understand this guy. When Dan-i hesitates he then proposes going to and from work together every day. Whaaat. Seriously. What is this? And then, back home, she’s telling Eun-ho about it and she’s all giddy with excitement. This is not how things are supposed to go down. Eun-ho, at least, is not impressed.
But THEN, we get some action. Eun-ho tells Dan-i he’s in pain so she leaps off the couch to check his temperature and when she can’t find anything wrong he grabs her hand and holds it over his heart and says the pain is there. Now THIS is what we watch K-dramas for! ARGH but then Dan-i goes and ruins the moment by marvelling at his pecs. I mean, fair point, but also the wrong point here, Dan-i. So then Eun-ho stands up and tackles her to the ground (lol!) and tells her he’s a really great man and then walks off, leaving her laying there, heart pounding. FINALLY. Wake up Dan-i. Wake up. Then, deciding that wasn’t enough, Eun-ho storms back out. He’s like, why are you so obsessed with Seo-jun, you’re plenty attractive even if you’re over 30. Right. Probably not necessary, but ok.
Next morning, Seo-jun is telling his dog that he’s pretending to go to work so he can spend time with Dan-i. So he’s a liar. He’s at the bus stop and Eun-ho drives past. He gets out and gives Seo-jun a lecture on lying about work and also that Dan-i is uncomfortable with his young age. Then Dan-i turns up and Eun-ho goes and sits in his car. On the bus, Seo-jun and Dan-i both pull books out. And then he gives her one ear bud to listen to music with him. If I trusted him, this would be super cute. But I don’t, so it isn’t. He spends half the ride watching her. He’s fallen too quickly.
At the office, Dan-i starts writing in her book – a note back to Seo-jun underneath the note he wrote for her. Then Eun-ho walks in wearing really hideous jeans and carrying an enormous fabric-wrapped package which is apparently the new manuscripts. And everyone gathers around gossiping about how she submits stuff long-hand. Eun-ho needs to ‘digitise’ the manuscript and Dan-i is tasked with helping him. They decide working from home will be best. Naturally he’s thrilled because that will put an end to Dan-i’s morning commute with Seo-jun.
Speaking of Seo-jun. ARGH. He’s at home, punching numbers into a keypad and creepy music is playing. And the room has stuff pinned up everywhere about Kang Byeong-jun. You’ll remember he’s the author that ‘retired’ and was revealed last week to be Eun-ho’s father. Anyway, he then gets a text from Hae-rin asking to meet.
Now, onto Park Hoon who is basically my fave character. He’s discussing a night out clubbing with Ji-yul and one of their colleagues suggests a bar that’s really popular because the “Gangnam Leopard” goes there. Whoever that is. And then they have a little dance off in between the library shelves. He’s so great. I’ve seen him as the weaselly creep in Fight For My Way and he was great. But he’s amazing in this more fun, comic role.
In the next scene, Park Hoon and Ji-yul are at the nightclub and Dan-i and Ms Seo are in the line and have put on sunglasses in an attempted to look younger. They get turned away by the bouncer for not being the right ‘fit’ and as they’re tussling with him, Ms Go turns up in a fur coat and insists they’re with her and they get immediately. I knew inside Ms Go had a heart. So now they’re all in this raging night club and it’s what I’ve been waiting for!! The three ‘oldies’ are getting drunk and they come down the stairs like they own the place. LOL. I am loving this so much. Ms Go throws off her fur coat and starts dancing, and everyone gathers around and Ji-yul is shocked. Then, Ms Go gets up on the stage. She’s the Gangnam Leopard!! Ha!!
Elsewhere, Mr Bong is out in the middle of a river and is joined by the CEO and Eun-ho. I think Mr Bong is drinking his grief away.
The three oldies leave and decide to continue on clubbing. They go back to Ms Go’s apartment. They pour shots and decide to drop honourifics. Dan-i tells Ms Go that she’s annoying at work. They decide to hang out on the third Friday of every month. They ask Ms Seo about her divorce and she starts to cry. She says Mr Bong was never on her side. And she flashes back to a time she was out shopping and the owner of a shoe shop was being a jerk to her. She had to stand up for herself since Mr Bong wouldn’t. She’s always thought he’d take her side no matter what and he didn’t. Soon enough all the women are crying.
At the river, the drinking continues. Mr Bong admits he probably did the wrong thing but he didn’t think it was a big deal at the time. So he signed the papers because what else could he do? But he’s clearly broken over it. This is so sad.
So then Dan-i tells Ms Go and Ms Seo that she’s divorced, too, because her husband cheated on her. And she reveals how angry she is. Ms Go looks really taken aback. Dan-i says she wishes she hadn’t begged her husband to stay, and wished she had kicked him in the nuts instead. Ms Go is like, let’s go do it now! I’ll come with! I love this newly formed girl gang. Ms Go says she has something to show them. She brings out a photo of her on her wedding day. Except she never actually got married because she left him at the altar. She wanted to study more and progress in her career and thought being single was the only way to do that. And she’s sad about being all alone. And then they all start bawling again.
Later, Eun-ho gets home and starts calling out for Dan-i and he sees her passed out on the floor in the kitchen. He leaps to action and goes to call an ambulance before realising she’s not unconscious. She’s just a really heavy sleeper and also drunk. So he cancels the ambulance. LOL. He puts her in bed and tucks her in.
The next morning she literally crawls into the kitchen and collapses on the floor saying she’s dying. She can’t remember getting home but does have one memory that stands out from the night before. YIKES. She was sick of sitting in Ms Go’s house listening to Ms Go and Ms Seo go on and on about their mistakes and started screaming that she’d had enough of them being ‘crazy bitches’ among other profanities. OOPS. Cannot wait to see them at work again.
Ms Seo is also awake. Eun-ho sent her the address for the lake where Mr Bong is passing his time. She turns up in last night’s outfit, with makeup smeared all over her face, looking like hell. And he dishes her up a cup of ramen and she pours him a cup of coffee. And then she asks him to come back to work because he has to keep living his life. Then she leaves and cries as she’s walking away. So. Sad.
Then, the weekend is over and it’s time to start digitising the manuscript. Eun-ho reads and Dan-i types. They work solidly until eventually Dan-i falls asleep on his shoulder. And he decides now might be the perfect time to do a tour of her face with his finger tips? AND LEAN IN TO KISS HER?! But then her phone buzzes with texts from Seo-jun and she wakes up. Seo-jun is texting because he’s with Hae-rin and wants to know if he should design the cover? And Dan-i says yes. I don’t like this one little bit. He shouldn’t be doing something just because Dan-i says yes. And Dan-i is old enough to know better.
Anyway, Seo-jun and Hae-rin have lunch and he tells her he’ll design the book. Then they order chocolate sundaes and it starts snowing. Is this a sign? I’m positive it is. They’ll be together before the end of the season. Probably even before Dan-i and Eun-ho at this rate.
And then, for our final scene this week, we find out Dan-i wasn’t asleep when Eun-ho was touching her face!!! She was just resting her eyes! AWKWARD. She heads outside with Eun-ho so they can enjoy the snow together. And they reminisce about when he told her the other night that the moon was beautiful and how it’s a metaphor from a book, meant to mean “I love you”. Suddenly Dan-i comes to her senses and she asks him, do you like me? And the episode ends!
- What do we really think about Eun-ho? Is he a little bit too perfect? They groceries for the writer in episode 7, the hand warmers … he’s so thoughful!
- Have you ever watched a K-drama and ended up more invested in the side characters? This is fast happening for me with Park Hoon. And it happened to me when I watched What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? I ended up enjoying the romance between the security guard and Manager Bong more than I did the main characters’ love story!
- Will Eun-ho admit he likes Dan-i now that she’s asked him outright? Or is this going to be strung out as long as possible? I’m betting on the latter. It’s only episode 9 and 10 next week. Still a bit to go. Besides, the chase is more exciting. I do hope at least Dan-i starts to reciprocate the feelings though – because it’s very one-sided at the moment.