My Lovely Girl jumped the shark with episode 12. Maybe SBS did the drama a favor by preempting an episode last week so the end of this episode isn’t what the audience holds onto for an entire week. Tomorrow we’ll see the fall out from the big secret finally being revealed, but this story has officially shanked the OTP pairing by showing me a grown 30 year old man running away with his new girlfriend to keep an inconvenient truth from reaching her ears. Good one, Hyun Wook. I would rather any other trope be placed on the table than the lame running away option which we all know is basically dragging scene filler.
The ordinary uninspired parts of MLG worked up until now because there was a noticeable lack of makjang behavior. People pushed and pulled to keep some secrets and acknowledge hard truths, but always in a thoughtful way that left the main characters easy to root for. Hyun Wook has always been the runaway type as evidenced by his missing for three years stint after So Eun died, but it rankles me that he’s not learned from the past mistakes and once again repeats the same immature behavior with Se Na. Even worse is his reason, to keep her happy because once the truth comes out she’ll be hurt. That’s nonsense, she’ll be hurt but it’s not something Hyun Wook has a right to decide for her whether she should know or not.
Episode 12 recap:
Hyun Wook takes Se Na to a fancy restaurant for a date dinner. Se Na wishes she could do something for Hyun Wook but he’s happy just to do things for her. She’s waxing on and on about how dating Hyun Wook feels like a dream and wishes it happened three years ago so that she could have introduced Hyun Wook to her unni So Eun.
Se Na is either blind or even more clueless than imagined as she misses all of Hyun Wook’s facial frowny cues upon the mention of her unni. Se Na goes on and on about how Jae Young told her that he knew So Eun from years ago, in that case does Hyun Wook also know So Eun? Hyun Wook can’t exactly say “yes, and in the biblical sense” right then and there so he just stays silent. Se Na assumes that means he doesn’t know So Eun since she was just a small singer while Hyun Wook was very famous back then. Se Na, deduction is not your strong suit, stick to songwriting please.
Hyun Wook takes Se Na home and she actually notices that he seems off. Hyun Wook brushes it off as eating too much while sitting across from someone as beautiful as Se Na. Woah, the drama isn’t even trying with the excuses, is it? Se Na buys his explanation and happily swans back to her apartment.
Hyun Wook storms straight to confront Jae Young about what he said to Se Na. Jae Young is pleased to own up to it and even happier to finally know the reason for why Hyun Wook is so nice to Se Na all this time. Hyun Wook warns Jae Young to stay away from Jae Young, who in turn blames Hyun Wook for not revealing who Se Na is related to. If Jae Young knew then he wouldn’t have done what he did to her. He asks Hyun Wook to convey his apology to Se Na for him before sauntering back inside.
Hyun Wook goes back to Se Na’s place and calls her professing to be missing her. Se Na happily bounds outside like a puppy to see her owner to greet Hyun Wook, not finding it weird that he’s back a short while after dropping her off. Hyun Wook silently hugs Se Na and she is all happy and not asking any questions.
The AnA management team is marveling over Shi Woo’s success as a ballad singer and want to plan his upcoming full album release. Talk goes to signing Se Na as a songwriter before she becomes popular and is signed away by another agency. Director Kang also wonders how long Hae Yoon plans to keep being away from work?
Shi Woo listens to his manager reading aloud all the positive feedback on his touching ballad performance. Compliments are pouring in but Shi Woo hears one particular comment about how the song is very well written and it makes him think of Se Na. He asks for a cake from his manager and calls Se Na over fo a celebratory party.
Se Na sits with Shi Woo and he’s celebrating her upcoming popularity thanks to him. Her song is very well written and soon she will be famous in her own right. Shi Woo wants her to be his songwriter for his next full album. Se Na’s face falls and Shi Woo asks if she doesn’t want to? Se Na is happy to do it but worries AnA won’t like it. Shi Woo assures her that AnA liked what she did for the ballad and will be fine with her working on his next album.
Se Na blows out the candle on the cake and Shi Woo stares all moony-eyed at her. He asks “shall we start working together today?” and dumb as bricks Se Na wonders what he means by that. Shi Woo calls her out for being an idiot so Se Na finally says “I have someone else I like.” Shi Woo sighs and asks if he’s just been rejected?
Shi Woo drives Se Na home and teases her for not liking him and liking another guy. He’s feeling so hurt now that he might not be able to drive home properly. Se Na finally goes the straight up route and tells Shi Woo that she likes working with him on songwriting but if he keeps going on like this then she won’t be able to work with him going forward.
Shi Woo agrees to stop mentioning it but demands that Se Na only pay attention to him and not be concerned with others, that way she can write songs that are suitable for him. Se Na smiles at his little boy tactics which gets Shi Woo to warn her to stop smiling otherwise he won’t let her out of the car. Se Na pokes him playfully in the head and gets out of the car. Shi Woo watches her walk off and can’t believe she likes someone else.
Hyun Wook’s dad calls Hae Yoon out to meet and ask why she’s not been to work lately? Does she want to leave the company? Did something happen with Hyun Wook? Does he have another girlfriend? Hae Yoon covers for Hyun Wook and lies that nothing of that sort is going on. She just wants to rest, do a bit of studying, and date. Hyun Wook’s dad won’t let her leave AnA that easily because she’s a member of the agency family. Hyun Wook’s dad is friends with Hae Yoon’s dad so she’s like a daughter to him. Hyun Wook’s dad feels terrible if she leaves AnA like this.
Se Na is brooding at home while thinking about Shi Woo’s offer to work together, but then worried that he likes her and it’s not a good idea. Joo Hong’s boyfriend tells her to take the job otherwise she’s just an unemployed songwriter. Se Na gets a call to meet with another agency looking to hire her for a gig. She goes to the meeting but calls Hyun Wook beforehand to tell him the good news. He wishes her well on the assignment.
Se Na is shocked to see Jae Young walk in for the meeting as he reveals his interest to hire Se Na to work for him. Se Na claims she can’t make the decision alone and needs to confer with Hyun Wook. Jae Young doesn’t see the need since she’s not an exclusive songwriter for AnA. Jae Young wonders if she’s reluctant because it’s him. He apologizes for getting off on the wrong foot with Se Na and if he had known she was So Eun’s little sister then he would have been nicer to her.
Se Na asks how Jae Young knows her sister and hears that they were pretty close. So Eun even confided in Jae Young when her relationship with her boyfriend ran into trouble and she was very upset. Jae Young then claims he shared too much with Se Na but her interest id piqued at the mention of her unni’s boyfriend. Se Na reveals her sister never said anything and asks if the boyfriend also made music? All Jae Young can say is that the person is in the industry because he can’t tell Se Na who he is since it’s revealing another person’s personal life. Jae Young turns the conversation back to business and wants to contract with Se Na for ten songs.
Se Na walks home deep in thought and runs into Hyun Wook walking Dal Bong. He can tell she’s stressed and hears that the agency looking to hire Se Na is Jae Young. Even worse is hearing from Jae Young about So Eun’s former boyfriend. Se Na doesn’t know whether to accept Jae Young’s job offer and whether to look for So Eun’s former boyfriend. She thinks that she’ll not like him if she met him.
Hyun Wook calls Sang Jin out to drink and both of them have worries, Hyun Wook over Se Na and Sang Jin over his music school which doesn’t have enough students to pay the bills. Hyun Wook is worried that Se Na becomes hurt and sad because of him when all he wanted was for her to be happy. He doesn’t want Se Na to lose her happiness because of him.
Hae Yoon goes back to work and she’s back to being herself. She tells Hyun Wook that she came back not for him but because Hyun Wook’s dad convinced her to. He’s like a dad to her as well and she doesn’t want to disappoint him. Hyun Wook is happy to see Hae Yoon back regardless of the reason.
Hyun Wook meets with his dad to discuss Hae Yoon, whose dad is a friend of the family and also an investor in AnA. Dad doesn’t want Hyun Wook to hurt Hae Yoon and warns Hyun Wook to stop it with the girl he’s seeing. Hyun Wook won’t because the girl’s life suffered because of him and he wants to take care of her. Dad wants Hyun Wook to break up with the girl and after that he’ll stop meddling in Hyun Wook’s dating life.
Hyun Wook’s stepmother goes to Director Kang and asks him to do reconnaissance on the former AnA trainee that she thinks is Hyun Wook’s dad’s mistress. Director Kang agrees and awkwardly goes to the woman’s café. He recognizes the woman who calls him Tae Min oppa.
Shi Woo is signing autographs at home while hanging out with his mom. She’s still happy about the ballad song he sang for her, and all her friends love it as well since his earlier music wasn’t the stuff the ahjummas liked to listen to. Shi Woo asks his mom’s advice on whether it’s possible for a girl not to like him? Mom doesn’t think so and hears from Shi Woo that he likes a girl now.
Shi Woo goes to deliver a contract to Se Na that she’ll be working exclusively with him from now on. Se Na won’t sign on his handwritten contract with no terms and conditions. Shi Woo will let her dictate the terms of the contract and all she needs to do is sign. He takes out a lipstick and presses her thumb print on it.
Shi Woo doesn’t make an effort to go inside even after hearing that Se Na is alone. He tells her to be nervous before leaving and smiling all the way out while looking at the signed contract.
Jae Young meets with Sang Jin to have him do vocal training for his agency singers but Sang Jin declines the chance to make more money. He’s working with Hyun Wook and also thinks Jae Young crossed the line this time. Jae Young insists Hyun Wook is partly to blame for everything that’s happened. Sang Jin correctly calls out Jae Young’s insecurity complex while Hyun Wook didn’t even want to be agency president and only did it because his dad’s sick.
Jae Young insists he did nothing wrong despite Sang Jin pointing out that he drove a wedge between Hyun Wook and So Eun leading to their break up. Jae Young blames Hyun Wook for taking his love away in the first place. Sang Jin doesn’t want to argue with Jae Young anymore on this since it’s basically talking to a brick wall.
Jae Young gets a call from Se Na declining his job offer, she’s working with AnA in some capacity and doesn’t think it appropriate to also work for Jae Young. He wants to talk to her in person but she doesn’t see the need. Jae Young asks if she wants to see where her unni used to work? If so then they can meet there and talk some more. Since seeing Se Na, Jae Young has been thinking about So Eun a lot.
Sang Jin processes Jae Young’s conversation with Se Na on the phone and then calls Hyun Wook to warn him that Jae Young knows Se Na is So Eun’s little sister. Even more worrying is that Jae Young called Se Na out to meet at the bar where So Eun used to work.
Hyun Wook zooms into damage control as he first tries calling Se Na but she doesn’t answer since her phone is in her purse. Hyun Wook then zoom zooms in his red sports car to waylay Se Na. Because the truth that is so inconvenient for him can never be revealed, yes?
Jae Young arrives at the bar and doesn’t find Se Na anywhere. He does see on the wall of pictures a couples polaroid of So Eun with Hyun Wook. He smirks before sitting down to wait for Se Na.
Hyun Wook pulls up near the bar and drags Se Na off. She checks her phone in the car and notices twelve missed calls from Hyun Wook. She wonders how he knew where to find her, is he having her followed or placed a tracking device on her? She smiles as if it’s really romantic and I want to smack her.
Se Na gets a call from Jae Young and blows him off right in front of Hyun Wook, promising not to meet with Jae Young again. Hyun Wook drives Se Na to the beach and she thinks he’s got a surprise for her. They get out of the car to walk along the beach and Se Na natters on about what the surprise is but is happy to be here with Hyun Wook regardless.
Hyun Wook takes off his coat to drape over Se Na before stroking her cheeks. Se Na brings up how Hyun Wook is acting weird today. Hyun Wook asks if Se Na can still love him even if he turns out not to be what she thinks. What if he’s the bad guy? Se Na is certain she’ll still love him because that won’t happen. Hyun Wook wants to go far away and asks if Se Na will go with him? Se Na asks if he’ll come look for her if she ran away and hid? Hyun Wook will do that and Se Na will also follow him wherever.
Hyun Wook pulls Se Na in for a hug.
Hyn Wook calls Jae Young out to warn him to stay away from Se Na. Jae Young sees no need since Hyun Wook is no one to Se Na, unless he’s now in love with So Eun’s little sister. Jae Young promises not to tell Se Na what Hyun Wook did to So Eun. Jae Young doesn’t feel bad because it was all Hyun Wook’s fault. Hyun Wook is the one who is putting Se Na in danger, rather than letting her go he’s keeping her close. Jae Young refuses to sit back and watch Hyun Wook lying to So Eun’s little sister.
Joo Hong and her boyfriend are hanging out after work and about to get down with their usual flirting when Se Na comes home and they jumped apart.
Se Na sits in her room thinking about Hyun Wook’s proposal at the beach to go away with him. She talks with her unni to share that she has a guy she likes now and hopes that her unni also will like him. Understatement of the century.Hyun Wook sits at home apologizing in his mind and hoping that his decision is right.
The AnA management team meets to update on Shi Woo’s new album before moving to the practice room to watch the upcoming boy idol group perform. Hyun Wook finds the members relationship a problem but wants to debut them regardless and force them to live together in the same dorm. The lead singer doesn’t seem pleased with that decision and Hae Yoon wants Hyun Wook to think about it some more but he’s made up his mind.
Hyun Wook gets a call from the US to discuss an audition and interview that has been arranged. He asks for a three bedroom house near the campus to be found right away.
Shi Woo goes to see Hyun Wook to stop the search for an album producer because he’s already signed Se Na. Hyun Wook tells Shi Woo to look elsewhere because Se Na won’t be able to do it. Shi Woo asks directly what Hyun Wook’s relationship is with Se Na? Hyun Wook asks if Shi Woo wants to hear the truth? Shi Woo leaves because he wants to hear it from Se Na.
Shi Woo goes to see Se Na and asks if it’s true she can’t work with him anymore. Se Na apologizes for not telling him earlier and explains she’s going overseas to study. Shi Woo won’t let her go because she’s the best music producer in his mind and he won’t work with anyone else.
Shi Woo pulls Se Na in tightly for a hug and asks her not to leave, he won’t let her leave. Se Na hugs him back and tells him not to act like this because it’s not like they won’t ever see each other again. Poor Shi Woo looks so sad.
Hyun Wook is packing up and telling Dal Bong not to worry, once he passes through quarantine then they will be together again. He finds a picture of puppy Dal Bong and stares at it with a smile.
Joo Hong doesn’t know why Se Na is going overseas since she can study music here as well. Her boyfriend thinks it’s a good idea since Se Na is going with doggie flower boy but he does find it odd that Hyun Wook suddenly quit his agency president job and is going abroad so quickly.
Se Na goes to Hyun Wook’s place and hears that Sang Jin will take care of Dal Bong until he’s cleared to travel. Se Na finds the picture of puppy Dal Bong and notices the scarf and pin around him in the picture. Se Na flashes back to giving the same scarf and pin to her unni before she left for Seoul. Se Na goes back to her place and broods over the picture some more. When she asked Hyun Wook who made the scarf, he claimed not to remember. Se Na thinks the scarf looks like one she made years ago but chalks it up to just looking similar.
Hae Yoon finds out Hyun Wook is taking Se Na abroad when she sees the travel documents on his office desk. Hae Yoon doesn’t see the need since things are going well at the agency and with Se Na. Hyun Wook reveals Jae Young found out so he has to book it. He knows this is irresponsible but he has no choice, and his dad will be back soon at the agency. He asks Hae Yoon to keep this a secret.
Hae Yoon angrily goes to confront Jae Young about what he’s doing to Se Na and Hyun Wook. Jae Young claims someone has to step in but Hae Young retorts that he has no right to do so. Jae Young wonders if Hae Yoon is ready to support that couple? Of course not, she must want Jae Young to tell Se Na that truth that So Eun died because of Hyun Wook.
Hae Yoon slaps Jae Young and reveals she’s just happy that Hyun Wook is back in her life after he disappeared for a few years. Even if he doesn’t love Hae Yoon that doesn’t matter, she’s just happy to have him in her life so why is Jae Young doing it so that Hyun Wook will leave again. Hae Yoon won’t see Jae Young again after this.
Hyun Wook goes home to see his dad and reveal that the new idol group Informer will debut soon. He wants his dad to pay more attention to the agency and also work harder on calming the family strife. Hyun Wook’s stepmother stops Hyun Wook at the front door to bring up his decision to debut Informer, a guy group, rather than a girl group like she asked so Mina could debut. Hyun Wook asks his stepmother to take good care of his dad and he hopes the two of them can get along better going forward.
Se Na is finishing up her packing but her mind keeps wandering back to Jae Young knowing who So Eun dated in the past. Joo Hong and her boyfriend want to send her off at the airport but she declines since Hyun Wook is coming to pick her up. The friends hug goodbye and Se Na thanks them for taking care of her during this time.
Se Na answers a call from Jae Young as she heads out to wait for Hyuk Wook. Jae Young suggests she go to the bar because he saw pictures of her unni there. Hyun Wook arrives to find Se Na not there. He calls her and hears that she is going somewhere first before meeting him at the airport. She wants to say goodbye to someone.
Se Na goes to the bar where So Eun used to work and lo and behold, finds the picture of So Eun and Hyun Wook on the picture wall. Dun dun dun, the truth is finally out. She finally understands all of Hyun Wook’s motives and strange push-and-pull behavior with her in the past.
Hyun Wook calls Se Na from the airport and she ignores his call.
Thoughts of Mine:
No matter how a drama tries to write as character as being wonderful in many different ways, all it takes is one egregious violation of trust or consideration for me to be turned off entirely. That’s happened with Hyun Wook, and it’s of no fault from Rain’s acting or his chemistry with Se Na. Hyun Wook’s character is simply the pits right now, wholly unpalatable from either an agency president or boyfriend perspective. He has no sense of responsibility or accountability, how could I root for him to be with Se Na and overcome his past pain? I’m sure what happened with him and So Eun was not his fault, not just with the truck accident but also with whatever anger issues she had towards him before she died. At most he was a shitty boyfriend and more likely just a guy who contributed partly towards a series of unfortunate events. That’s not something he should or needs to keep from Se Na. I’d be okay keeping it from her if they were just platonic, but to date her under the veil of concealment and active lies just roils my stomach. No, just no.
Se Na is no better which is why I’m less spitting mad. Sometimes I think she totally deserves Hyun Wook because she’s basically got zero critical thinking skills. It takes her forever to cotton on that Shi Woo likes her and her dating behavior around Hyun Wook since they got together has been a series of clueless blunders. How she’s even dating him without asking important questions of him makes me worry for her future wellbeing. He could very well be pulling a major con on her and once he gets her overseas then she’s his sex slave for life or he’s selling her to a brothel. Sure I’m exaggerating but it’s no stretch in pointing out that Se Na takes whatever Hyun Wook says at face value, even strange and extreme behavior like a sudden decision to go overseas and study. We know Hyun Wook means her no harm and is just being a coward about owning up to his past, but ultimately Se Na contributes to it all by her placid acceptance of whatever Hyun Wook wants from her. Don’t see Jae Young? Fine. Go abroad with him? Sure. These two do not have a healthy relationship as far as I’m concerned.
The entire drama has been mired in the Hyun Wook big secret for the last two episodes that even the B and C plots have ground to a halt. The AnA agency scenes are perfunctory and Shi Woo’s career is trotted out when needed to keep it going. Rae Heon and Infinite Power is MIA, and perhaps Hoya is fine with signing up for a drama along with L and then getting unceremoniously dumped midway through. Ra Eum and Mina’s disappearance further illustrates how this story was meant to have greater breadth with more character arcs and ends up mired in the Hyun Wook’s mud pit of guilt and avoidance. Shi Woo remains the best character still, the only one who has shown positive character growth, and Hae Yoon joins him late in the same boat with how she’s gone back to work and accepted Hyun Wook’s rejection and relationship with Se Na. If only the leads were half as mature and candid as the second leads, then this drama might have remained breezily watchable. Now I’m holding back a gag reflex anytime Hyun Wook shows up looking constipated.
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