Second last week, everyone! And this week’s episodes hit me right in the feels – I was a teary mess, I admit it. But looks like the writers are going to keep us guessing right until the very end. So let’s go ahead and recap episodes 13 and 14 of Romance is a Bonus Book. Spoilers ahead!
It took me a minute to remember what happened last week – Dan-i might get fired by Eun-ho! *sob*. Perhaps to soften the blow, Eun-ho heads out to speak with job agents asking them to look at Dan-i’s resume. I guess he wants to find her a new job before he fires her. But his attempts are in vain. The answer is a resounding ‘no’ – she’s qualified but the seven-year gap from work means that she’s not qualified for a management role, and her age means managers won’t feel comfortable giving her menial tasks to do. One agent even suggests that Eun-ho just take her out for a good meal to cheer her up. Only a couple of days after International Women’s Day, this storyline is really striking a cord.
This episode shall be known as The Episode of Product Placement. Eun-ho takes out his frustration by buying up a whole shop – the shop being CE&. He then gives Dan-i’s resume over to the owner of the store and insists he hire her to help with marketing the brand. When the guy refuses, Eun-ho says he’ll never shop there again and storms out.
Seo-jun is at home, cleaning, when his phone rings. It’s Hae-rin but he’s saved her name under ‘Red Spots’ after her cucumber incident last week. He doesn’t want to talk to her. Hae-rin then calls Eun-ho and he doesn’t answer either. She’s got a cake and tries to remember the way to Seo-jun’s house. Both men end up texting her. Eun-ho calls her out for being unprofessional and insists she apologise since they have to work with Seo-jun again. Then Seo-jun texts and tells her only to contact him via email for work-related things. She texts back and says she’s got cake for him. He says he never wants to see her again. Poor Hae-rin. I do think Seo-jun is slightly over-reacting. He treated her like a friend and now that she’s had this one bad night he’s not willing to forgive her. Harsh.
Eun-ho gets home and he’s feeling miserable at the idea of Dan-i not being able to work and that he might have to fire her. I say ‘might’ because I’m not convinced he’ll actually have to do it. Inside, Dan-i is working on her pitch for the idea competition. This makes him feel worse. She wants help and he wants kisses in return. Aww. Cute. He won’t help her anyway because he’ll be on the judging panel. I’m predicting she wins the competition and that allows her to keep her job.
Anyway, she suddenly remembers she’s meant to be studying with the other ‘recruits’ and rushes off to get ready. Eun-ho packs her bag and then tells her to shut her eyes. He reaches over and puts a new earring in her ear. It’s gorgeous! Although I’m not so keen on the one earring look – the other ear has nothing? Eun-ho tells her he won’t be home when she gets back because he going somewhere and it’s a secret. He’s obviously off to see Kang Byeong-jun.
Afterwards, Dan-i arrives home and Eun-ho has left her a note advising he’s cleaned and done the shopping and there’s soup on the stove for her to heat up. And he signed off with a little red heart. CUTE. She’s wondering where he keeps going though.
Eun-ho did, indeed, head to see Kang Byeong-jun. There’s a doctor there who tells Eun-ho, and the CEO, that Mr Kang has pneumonia and doesn’t have much time left. They should prepare for the worst. Eun-ho is very sad and isn’t sure if he made the right choice to ‘let him go like this … forgotten like this’. I wish I knew what was going on. But I do know this is so sad, seeing Eun-ho cry. I wonder why he hasn’t shared this burden with Dan-i.
The next day, Hae-rin is still wandering around the neighbourhood looking for Seo-jun. She’s somehow managed to find his house. She knocks and he’s about to leave with his dog. When he comes to the door Hae-rin runs away. He then leaves with his dog and then she ‘bumps into him’ on the street. Oh god. No. She starts playing music and she’s got notes written on a big sketchpad like in Love, Actually. Noooo. This has been done to death. She says she’s given up alcohol and asks for forgiveness. And she says he’s perfect. OMG this is so lame. He laughs and then walks off, stoney-faced. Guess he doesn’t like it. She then follows him around on his walk, giving his dog treats and tying a boy around her head. She asks for forgiveness and he’s just not interested.
At work, Ms Seo wants to grab lunch with Dan-i, and they head to Subway for some more blatant product placement. Ms Seo says she’s swamped at work and asks if Dan-i would like to join her team. She’ll ask at the next board meeting if Dan-i can transfer. Fingers crossed!!
At the office the workers are gathered around reading a blog post, where the blogger said they saw Kang Byeong-jun in Amsterdam with a young woman. Apparently people are going crazy with the speculation that he faked his disappearance. Seems the office, in general, has no idea what’s happened to Mr Kang. Mr Bong is convinced he’ll return once day with a finished manuscript for The Heroes – apparently this is the last known draft he was working on before his sudden retirement.
In more product placement, we cut to a scene where Seo-jun makes a show of making a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee at home. He’s then in his study and some papers drop to floor. Once has the title The Heroes and it’s written by Park Jeong-hun. At the same time, Dan-i is also in her study, researching the disappearance of Kang Byeong-jun. In his letter announcing his retirement, he says he’s disgraced and driven out into a barren plain. His well is dried up and empty. Seo-jun then starts taking down all the clippings that he had pinned up.
We are then treated to a very cheesy scene involving all the managers strutting into the office wearing billowing trenchcoats. Ah. Today must be voting day for the poetry book. The rest of the staff are outside the meeting room, wondering what the hell is going on. Apparently when they started out, they’d always wear trenchcoats to visit important places so it’s become a tradition. Mr Bong is very anxious and practically begs to publish the poetry. Dan-i starts counting the votes. And it’s all ‘yes’ votes (apart from the CEO’s vote). It’s going to be published. Mr Bong loses it and high fives everyone. The CEO is not happy and cries. Mr Bong sends finger hearts around the table! Hahaha!
Everyone is very excited about publishing poetry. This is a historical moment. Then Park Hoon and Ji-yul and Dan-i announce they are participating in the idea contest and they all click their submit button in sync. So cute.
Dan-i remembers that this meeting will also decide whether she can transfer into Ms Seo’s team. Eek. Will Ms Go speak up about the resume? Yes. Ms Seo asks about transferring Dan-i and Ms Go says that she was of the understanding Eun-ho was terminating Dan-i’s contract. Everyone is shocked because they’re all so happy with Dan-i’s work. The CEO wants to know what the issue is and Ms Go spills the beans. Afterwards, the CEO and Eun-ho discuss it alone. The CEO agrees they have to terminate the contract. I can’t believe this. I really thought the CEO was a bit fairer than this. Surely Ms Seo isn’t going to let this go?
The mood in the office is super awkward after the meeting. The managers are looking sadly at Dan-i. Ms Seo even gives Dan-i the cold shoulder. Dan-i says she figures the meeting didn’t go well and not to worry about it. Ms Seo ends up telling her she knows about her academic background. Dan-i starts to shake. Awww. This is bad. She even tells her that they need to terminate her contract. Mr Bong asks Eun-ho and he says he won’t do it.
Dan-i heads back to her desk and she’s crushed. Eun-ho tries to text her and doesn’t know what to say. She texts him and pretty much gives him an out – she tells him he just fired her and then gets up to go to the CEO’s office. And Eun-ho jumps out and runs after her. Dan-i tells the CEO that Eun-ho fired her and she wants to explain why she lied. She talks about her troubles to find work and that she was happy to give up her background so she could work. She asks if he would reconsider terminating her because she really loved working here. And then she leaves and the CEO says nothing. ARGH. Then she heads to the bathroom to cry in private – heart breaking!
Later, Ji-yul turns up at Park Hoon’s place with a suitcase. She’s been kicked out and needs a place to stay. He can’t understand why she didn’t go to the jimjilbang (sauna) instead. And she throws in his face that he said he would take care of her and he cracks it. In the next scene, he’s at the jimjilbang and has left his own house for her comfort. LOL.
At home, Dan-i is talking with Eun-ho. She’s worried about making things hard for Eun-ho. Looks like he’s encouraging her to go to work until her contract ends. I don’t really understand what they mean by termination then. Maybe Ms Go just meant that they wouldn’t renew her contract? Anyway, Dan-i says she only needs Eun-ho by her side even if everyone turns their back on her.
Next day, Eun-ho drives her to work (he’s off to give a lecture) and wants a kiss payment. She’s terrified someone will see. She gets out and heads in. She’s very brave. I wouldn’t want to show my face. Then he leans his whole upper body out of his window and makes a love heart shape and yells “Fighting!” and does finger hearts. Aww. He’s so nice making her feel better even if he looks silly.
At the end of the episode, Eun-ho is wrapping up his lecture when he gets a text from Hae-rin. She tells him that Dan-i just resigned. He calls Hae-rin and he’s very upset. Intrigue! Did she quit because she wanted to leave on her own terms?
We start the episode with Eun-ho striding down the hallway on his phone to Hae-rin, after hearing the news of Dan-i resigning. Then we flashback to how it all went down.
Dan-i was nervous to go into the office. When she went in she feigned confidence but everyone was looking at her slightly awkwardly and making small talk. Mr Bong, Hae-rin and Ms Seo are the most affected. Mr Bong calls Dan-i over and gives her a job to do. No one else seems to want to give her stuff to do. Park Hoon and Ji-yul feel bad that they’re permanent employees and Dan-i is way more qualified but she’s only on a contract. Dan-i meanwhile, is listening to them all talk about her. Hae-rin implores everyone to act as though nothing has changed. She finds Dan-i in the hallway and asks her to lunch. The CEO walks in and doesn’t even say hello to Dan-i! And then reminds Hae-rin she has a lunch meeting so Dan-i eats ramen alone outside. My heart is breaking.
Inside, Ms Go gets a call from Mr Lee – an author who apparently did not renew his contract with Gyeoroo and is upset that his book is still being sold. Ms Go throws a small tantrum, and the whole office admits they had no idea. Song-i in the editorial team was responsible for alerting key people of this contract ending and decides to throw Dan-i under the bus and blame her for not doing the task! Dan-i says she didn’t recall ever being asked to do it. The whole office is staring at her. This is terrible!! Ms Go tells Song-i she should have checked it was done and shouldn’t have delegated such a task to a contract employee. I’m sure Song-i has made this up to get out of trouble. Not nice! So Dan-i resigns.
We then flash forward to Hae-rin recounting all of this to Eun-ho over the phone. Dan-i is currently packing up her desk, having decided she can’t take the humiliation. She packs a box and Mr Bong bids her farewell. Ms Go stands there looking stern, which is really sad. I wish she’d supported Dan-i a bit more. Ms Seo doesn’t even look up as Dan-i leaves. I could cry. I feel so sad. When Dan-i gets to the lift, Hae-rin is waiting there and carries the box and says she will walk to the bus stop with her. She insists she will call and Dan-i tries not to cry. In the end, Hae-rin cant go to the bus stop because she has a meeting and heads inside looking very sad.
Then Eun-ho pulls up and runs into the office and then straight back out again on learning Dan-i had left already. Dan-i sits near the bus stop and cries. And I’m crying. Eun-ho rushes up and stops her from getting on the bus. He pulls her into his arms. Aww.
To break up the heaviness, we are treated to a light moment at Park Hoon’s place. Ji-yul is doing sums to figure out a budget to live on. Park Hoon reminds her of the utilities and realises she can’t afford to pay his rent while he sleeps at the jimjilbang and proposes they find a way to live together and split the rent. Ji-yul says that’s fine since she’s not attracted to him at all. He throws himself at her and tells her he finds her extremely attractive and she’s like, meh. And so Park Hoon ends up back at the jimjilbang for the night. And Ji-yul’s mum is seen watching him from her car. She’s convinced Ji-yul can’t survive.
That night, Eun-ho and Dan-i are laying in bed reading a book and looking like a picture-perfect ad for reading. They’re both in cream knits and the book cover of whatever they’re reading looks gorgeous. Seriously, Korean book covers – LOVE. They’re reading a poem to each other. He looks blissfully happy that she’s with him, which is really sweet. But then he gets up and says good night. He’s blushing when he leaves lol. Looks like he was blissfully feeling something else. And maybe Dan-i too, since she seemed relieved/frustrated when he left.
The next morning her alarm goes off and she realises she doesn’t have to go to work. Eun-ho has cooked an elaborate breakfast feast for her. He hands her his credit card and tells her she can buy whatever she wants. Then he says he’s going to get revenge on her behalf and transfer his publication rights to a competitor publisher. And that he’s going to stay home until she feels better. He’s talking rubbish but he has genuinely taken the day off for her. Sweet.
At the office, the CEO is upset that everyone is angry with him over Dan-i. Inside his office, he notices a button on the floor. Again. He walks into Ms Go’s office and says he’ll sew her button for her, thinking it’s on her sleeve. But of course it’s on her chest. He gets all freaked out and she’s like come at me, sew the button on. Ok clearly these two are into each other. He tells her he really loves having her in the office and likes the balance she brings. Ms Go seems very touched by this. He then goes to bite off the cotton with his teeth, bringing his face very close to her chest before she insists on scissors. Wow. That was surprisingly sexually charged for this show! A bit of that with Dan-i and Eun-ho and I might support chemistry a bit more!
Speaking of, we are treated to a nice montage of Dan-i and Eun-ho snuggling, and snacking and reading together. This is basically my idea of a perfect day with the perfect man.
Then we cut to Seo-jun who is posting a manuscript submission to Gyeoroo under the name Park Jeong-hun. That’s the name on the manuscript we saw in his office. With the title The Heroes. Which is also the name of Kang Byeong-jun’s unfinished manuscript. Curiouser and curiouser!
Later that night he starts shredding all his Kang Byeong-jun stuff. He takes the bag of paper outside and Hae-rin is waiting in the laneway. She insists on throwing the bag of rubbish away for him. They wrestle with the bag and, of course, it splits and spills everywhere. I dont really get why he’s so angry with her. Then she bursts out that the cuttlefish she’d been talking about is Dan-i and Eun-ho is the pollack. Now she’s got his attention. He invites her in and they get drunk on red wine and beers. They agree not to give Eun-ho and Dan-i their blessing.
When Seo-jun wakes up the next morning, Hae-rin is on the floor piecing together the shredded paper. She can see it’s papers about Kang Beyong-jun and also an extract from a novel but she can’t quite work out which one. He’s mad but still offers to get hangover soup with her. She wants to know what’s in the locked room and he jokes about it containing a corpse which freaks her out. I still don’t totally trust him. But also he seems genuine enough that he’s probably going to be totally innocent in the end.
Meanwhile, Dan-i is looking for jobs when her phone rings and it’s Ms Go. Ms Go wants to meet. Dan-i then goes through her whole wardrobe looking for something ‘flashy’ to wear. I guess she’s hoping to look like being fired hasn’t affected her. Ms Go seems quite amused by this. She wants to give her a business card – its for a small publishing company with only a few employees. Ms Go has recommended her. She said it won’t be an easy job. She tells her to learn about book marketing and then she can move on to a bigger company. I feel a lot better about Ms Go now that she’s reached out.
So … Dan-i got the job! She’s chatting about it with Eun-ho in her room and then he asks if he can sleep in her room. She says ok and tells him to get changed into his pjs. He decides that isn’t necessary. They’re both like blushing teenagers! And that scene came to a close very quickly. Why do the CEO and Ms Go get sexual tension, but we get a closed door when it comes to Eun-ho and Dan-i?!
Next day, Dan-i starts at the new publishing company. The office is … a husband and wife team. They seem very sweet and tel her she can chase her dreams here. I feel like this is too good to be true. Dan-i sits at her desk and realises there’s a woman sitting at the desk next to her. She’s hiding under a blanket and looks very unkempt. She slips a note to Dan-i telling her to run while she can because this place is a hell hole. Uh-oh.
Back at Gyeoroo, Mr Bong takes an abusive phone call from an irate customer whinging about typos in a book. He’s taking the call from Dan-i’s desk and contemplates how much he misses Dan-i and all her hard work. Ms Seo is in the kitchen also missing Dan-i. No one seems to be able to cope without her. The fridge is empty and the snacks in the kitchen are running low. Then Hae-rin asks Eun-ho how Dan-i is and ends up tricking him into admitting he lives with her. So I guess it’s out in the open then!
When Dan-i gets home after a very stressful day she collapses on the floor. She complains that her bosses are nutjobs. But the thought of Eun-ho got her through the day.
It’s the weekend and Park Hoon is ringing the doorbell to his own house lol. He heads inside after coming to his senses and Ji-yul isn’t home. She’s gone to work for the day it seems. He looks through her notebook and it’s full of receipts and little notes telling herself she can be frugal and also become a really good editor. We cut to Ji-yul at the office she’s going through novel submissions. She opens up the one Seo-jun submitted and starts reading. It’s The Heroes.
At home, Dan-i is cleaning and heads upstairs to the attic. It’s a mess of boxes and stuff. She starts rearranging things and comes across the Blue Night/April 23 manuscript and thinks the Blue Night is a better title for the book. She starts going through the contents of the box and finds a diary of Mr Kang. After reading a little and she finds a note that mentions taking medication. She then finds another diary. There’s a note in there saying his son visited him.
At the office, Ji-yul has read the entire manuscript and she looks totally freaked out. Hae-rin comes in and is surprised to see Ji-yul there. Ji-yul tells Hae-rin about the manuscript. Hae-rin takes a look at the author name and starts reading through the pages.
Meanwhile Dani is placing all the notes in chronological order. She comes to the conclusion that Mr Kang is ill and Eun-ho has been looking after him. Eun-ho comes home and it’s much later. He calls out for Dan-i and heads upstairs. He finds her surrounded by the notes and she’s crying. She asks if he’s been taking care of Mr Kang and if he’s in Kapyong. I’m assuming Kapyong is the name of maybe a hospice that Mr Kang is in? Eun-ho is afraid of the world finding out about Mr Kang and that he will be criticised for the decision he made. But he feels comforted that Dan-i will be by his side even if the whole world turns against him for this.
Eek and that’s the end of our episodes for this week! I am so keen to get to the bottom of this mystery. So, predictions for our finale.
- Dan-i gets her job back at Gyeoroo after winning the idea contest. And the CEO decides to change the ‘rules’ for employing people.
- I think … Seo-jun is Kang Byeong-jun’s son. And he had the original manuscript for The Heroes and decided to finish it off.
- I don’t think Eun-ho is also Kang Byeong-jun’s son (despite him saying that when he handed over the retirement statement). I think he’s just been his carer and close friend.
- Seo-jun and Hae-rin end up together.
- The CEO and Ms Go end up together.
- Park Hoon and Ji-yul … will they end up together? Or end as friends? I’m not sure.
- Mr Bong and Ms Seo get back together. (K-dramas always have happy endings, right?)