Protect the Boss Episode 12 Recap

Protect the Boss is resembling more and more a slice-of-life drama, with sprinklings of the more typical K-drama emotional hooks, but ultimately an ensemble story. Ji Heon and Eun Seol may be the hero and heroine, but they are not the universe of PTB. It’s everyone else that adds the richness which makes this drama work. Not sure why some folks are bemoaning which character gets more development or screen time, because PTB focuses on everyone’s role in this story to the extent necessary to tell the story well. Isn’t that the most important thing?

Episode 12 was a slower episode that really made everyone stop and take a deep breath, but I foresee the story jumping into yet another critical plot development starting next week with the succession played out against a family struggling to do what’s best and what everyone wants.

Episode 12 recap:

Moo Won pulls Eun Seol in for a goodbye-esque hug, fully cognizant that it’s not possible between them romantically, but reluctant to let go yet. Ji Heon watches from above but makes no move to interrupt or make his presence known.

Moo Won ends the hug and drives away. Only when Eun Seol turns to walk up the stairs does she see Ji Heon’s seen everything. He smiles and asks if she’s taken care of things? Eun Seol nods. Ji Heon says that’s fine, and teasingly says he’ll coolly forgive her now (for letting Moo Won hug her).

Moo Won is parked outside and sees a drunken Na Yoon stumbling home. He asks if she’s alright? When he moves to leave, Na Yoon stops him and gets into his car. He tells her to leave since he’s exhausted today. She asks if he wants to go drinking? He yells at her that he’s tired and screams for her to get out of the car.

Eun Seol asks why Ji Heon came by tonight? He reminds her that she didn’t answer her phone in 2 rings, which is against his rules. She smiles and concedes she did do that. Ji Heon wonders if Eun Seol doesn’t like Moo Won, and doesn’t like to be around Moo Won so she wants to leave? She shakes her head. He changes the subject to himself – he wants her to cancel her transfer. He also requests she feed him dinner, since she’s caused him worry so he hasn’t eaten yet and has expended a lot of energy.

Eun Seol takes Ji Heon home to eat bibimbap out of a bowl with Myung Ran. Ji Heon is grossed out by the communal bowl and the fact that there are lots of ingredients he doesn’t eat in there. Myung Ran chides him for complaining like ice-cream girl does. Ji Heon says the bibimbap he’s familiar with doesn’t look like this. Myung Ran scoops up a spoon and feeds him like she feeds ice-cream girl. When he protests the too big scoop, Myung Ran raises her fist and tells him to open and eat.

Na Yoon sadly says she’ll leave and apologizes for bugging him. Moo Won apologizes for yelling at her. He doesn’t like himself for never being candid, always putting on an act. So he ends up never being able to do anything. Na Yoon doesn’t know how she can comfort him? She asks Moo Won if she can teach her what to do? She suddenly suggests drinking which she learned from Myung Ran.

Na Yoon and Moo Won go to a noraebang to sing and drink their woes away. Na Yoon is so dreadfully out of tune when she sings the Korean version of “I Will Survive” it’s hilarious. Then it’s time for Moo Won God to sing (and we get to hear Jaejoong’s gorgeous voice and pitch). Na Yoon watches Moo Won singing and looks about as enchanted as any sane woman would look if that man was singing live in front of us.

Eun Seol discusses the succession issue with Ji Heon, who knows she’s here because his father asked her to. He’s not interested in it. He might have a passing interest but then it goes away. He’s a peaceful guy who dislikes competition. He wants to come into her world but she doesn’t want him to. How will he make a living? He asks her what she would suggest for him?

Ji Heon leans in to kiss Eun Seol when Myung Ran comes out and interrupts. Myung Ran offers to buy them a whistle so they can alert her in advance if they are engaging in certain activities where they need to be left alone. Moo Won is still singing and thinks back to his interactions with Eun Seol.

Moo Won gets drunk and passes out. Na Yoon calls Eun Seol and Ji Heon to come take care of Moo Won. They arrive to find Na Yoon still singing her heart out. Ji Heon tries to wake up Moo Won but he’s out cold. Ji Heon takes Moo Won home.

During the ride, Moo Won’s head naturally falls to rest on Ji Heon’s shoulders. Ji Heon pushes it away, but then allows it to remain. Ji Heon rests his head on Moo Won’s and apologizes. Ji Heon deposits the drunk Moo Won in his bed and gets chewed out by his aunt for letting Moo Won get so drunk.

The Chairman describes to Grandma how well Ji Heon did during today’s presentation and how proud he was to witness it. Grandma is relieved to hear this. She feeds her son a bite of food and they happily banter. The Chairman mentions how Ji Heon is really serious about giving more benefits to employees. Grandma likes that – she’s not against treating people better, and only wants people to be more frugal in spending. They tease each other about whether parents listen to their children or vice-versa.

Ji Heon comes home to find his daddy still smiling in his memories. Ji Heon asks his dad if he was watching dramas and feeling touched? The Chairman raises his hand (to pat Ji Heon on his back) but Ji Heon immediately ducks thinking he’s about to be wacked.

Na Yoon uses every opportunity to pick on Eun Seol, including tossing a stuffed animal at Eun Seol, who just takes it and ignores her. Myung Ran locks ice-cream girl out of the apartment. Na Yoon cries outside until Myung Ran opens the door. She promises Myung Ran that she won’t do it anymore before she’s allowed back inside.

Ji Heon and Eun Seol arrive at work the next day pretty exhausted from not getting enough sleep the day before. In the elevator, they run into the Chairman, who asks Eun Seol to come see him later. Ji Heon wants to know why his dad wants to see his secretary. His dad gets annoyed and raises his hand out of habit, which causes the secretary to quickly crouch down so that Eun Seol can climb on his back and block the CCTV. The Chairman holds his hand and promises not to hit anymore.

Ji Heon takes Myung Ran to the coffee shop, where he informs his former coworker that he’s been selected as a beneficiary of the DB Group scholarship program. Ji Heon gets hugged for his generosity. Ji Heon introduces Myung Ran as his replacement part time worker at the coffee shop. Myung Ran works hard, but the other coworker wonders her real identity is, suspicious that she might be a relative of the Cha family, or an illegitimate daughter.

The Chairman takes Eun Seol to the department store for a shopping spree. I love this huge break from convention where it’s always the male lead who does the makeover, but this time it’s the future father-in-law. Eun Seol models outfit after outfit for the Chairman, who offers his input. It’s cute and not at all skeevy.

When they are paying for the clothes, Na Yoon’s mom walks by and is shocked to see this tableau. She immediately informs Moo Won’s mom, who is shocked that Cha Bong Man has approved of Noh Eun Seol. Na Yoon’s mom wonders why she’s annoyed seeing it. Moo Won’s mom thinks it’s because Na Yoon’s mom had a crush on the Chairman back then. Na Yoon’s mom is annoyed that everyone likes Eun Seol and wants to plot to get rid of Eun Seol.

Moo Won’s mom goes to meet with Director Park, who delivers the latest news to her. She notices that the poor Director looks dreadful. He confesses that he can’t sleep at night, his guilty conscience eating away at him, fearing the Chairman will punish him one day. He confirms that Moo Won’s mom will protect him if the Chairman wants to punish him. She demurs but he reminds her that he’s not one to take the fall. His nickname back in school days was “water ghost”, referring to someone who even in drowning death will drag another down with him. Hahaha.

Grandma meets with Moo Won to sign investment papers. She asks her grandson if he’ll go on a date with her? He explains that he’s busy. She wonders if he’ll work until he dies? She suggests he live more, so Moo Won ends up walking in the park with his grandmother. He sees a bike riding duo and flashes back to riding bikes with Eun Seol.

Grandma asks if he wants to ride a bike, which leads to Moo Won riding a bike with his granny grabbing on tightly from the back perch. Moo Won asks if Grandma is having fun and then increases his speed. After the ride, Moo Won sits down and explains to Grandma that he wanted to change his world. He doesn’t want to change it so that Eun Seol can be with him, he wants to change it so that Eun Seol is happy in that world no matter who she is with. Grandma doesn’t know how to comfort him, but he says he’ll be fine.

The Chairman and Eun Seol schlep all the new clothes out of the store. She thanks him since she has dreamed of someone taking her on a shopping spree like they do in drama. The Chairman reveals that people thought he looked like Richard Gere when he was young. LOL, does that make Eun Seol a hooker with a heart of gold? Eun Seol calls him Cha Cha Gere.

The Chairman asks her to dress better in the future and don’t just leave these clothes in the closet. He asks if Eun Seol has managed to entice Ji Heon to want to succeed the company. She explains that he’s not interested, and she doesn’t want to entice him to be interested. The Chairman concedes his request for her to entice him is perhaps not reasonable. What about using force? He sighs that it’s not going to work either. The Chairman wonders what other skills Eun Seol has, because she’ll need to leave the secretary’s office soon once rumors start spreading about her and Ji Heon.

The Chairman goes to his community service, where he picks weed with other ladies. He overhears the other ahjummas complaining about their rebellious children. He joins in the discussion and asks what’s their recommendation to deal with such a child? The ahjummas say he needs to kick the kid out and cut the kid off, then the kid will learn the lesson and come crawling back. The Chairman says he’s too soft-hearted and can’t bring himself to do that.

They suggest beating the kid into compliance. The Chairman concedes he’s beaten the kid before but it hasn’t worked. The ahjummas are impressed to see a dad so concerned for his child. They compliment the Chairman on looking like a movie star. The Chairman preens, until the ahjummas think he looks familiar, like that gangster Chairman!

Eun Seol runs into Moo Won back at the office. He asks if she’s been out working? She laughs that she just made a movie with the Chairman (the K-version of Pretty Woman). Moo Won says if the Chairman mistreats Eun Seol, to tell him and he’ll stand up for her. The mood gets awkward until they start walking. Moo Won asks her to grab a bite sometime and she agrees.

Ji Heon sees Moo Won in the bathroom. Moo Won immediately glares at Ji Heon, confessing that he can’t let Eun Seol go that easily. Ji Heon yells at Moo Won and the two of them start fighting. Before they can throw a punch, another person walks into the bathroom and they pretend to be doing normal activities while shooting daggers at each other.

Moo Won walks into his office and confesses to his secretary that he feels much better after mind screwing with Ji Heon. I love how immature Moo Won is turning out to be. Ji Heon regrets trying to be nicer to Moo Won, and tells Eun Seol not to trust Moo Won and stay away from him. Eun Seol says she feels sorry and grateful towards Moo Won and doesn’t want to hear Ji Heon besmirching him.

Eun turns to leave but Ji Heon tells her to walk towards him five steps. She tells him its forbidden to engage in any skinship or romance during office hours. Ji Heon agrees, but only if she allows them to date in the open outside the office. She smiles.

Na Yoon meets with her mom, who is still pissy at her suddenly rebellious daughter. Na Yoon’s mom hands her the keys to an apartment. Na Yoon is excited and says Myung Ran and Eun Seol will surely like living there, too. Na Yoon’s mom is upset but tries to control her temper and wonders what her daughter wants these days.

Na Yoon’s mom can’t handle watching her daughter treat Eun Seol so well. She announces that she will chase Eun Seol away from both Ji Heon and Moo Won. Na Yoon doesn’t know why her mom is like this, since Eun Seol did nothing to her mom. Na Yoon’s mom blames Eun Seol for Na Yoon’s rebellion, which Na Yoon correctly says it’s because of her mom’s behavior, not Eun Seol. Na Yoon warns her mom that if she did anything to Eun Seol, Na Yoon won’t stand for it. This only pisses her mom off more.

Na Yoon gets a call from Moo Won, who hands her a marketing plan for a new project. She asks if he’s feeling better now. Moo Won keeps talking about work and avoiding the topic. Na Yoon happily says she’s gotten revenge on Eun Seol for Moo Won, didn’t she do well? He’s totally morose and she wonders if she should stop trying to cheer him up.

Moo Won realizes that when he was dumped by Na Yoon, Eun Seol cheered him up, and now when he’s dumped by Eun Seol, Na Yoon is the one cheering him up. She figures her presence isn’t wanted so gets up and leaves. Moo Won drives past her and asks if she wants a ride. She declines because she’s got some pride. Moo Won drives off, but then reverses the car and allows Na Yoon to get in.

Eun Seol invites Myung Ran to join her and Ji Heon for dinner. He grumbles about the unromantic date. Eun Seol asks him what she should do, since Myung Ran called to ask about dinner and Eun Seol can’t pretend otherwise and eat in secret. Ji Heon is annoyed at all the obstacles around Eun Seol – Moo Won, wrestling girl, her martial arts daddy, Na Yoon, etc. Eun Seol gives Ji Heon a piece of meat, but he opens his mouth to make her feed him, which she does.

Ji Heon gestures her face over so that he can clean the sauce of the side of her mouth. She smiles and does the same with him. Ji Heon suggests that they quickly finish eating after wrestling girl arrives so they can go elsewhere. Eun Seol agrees.

The Chairman reads Eun Seols’s resume and bemoans her lack of skills, only knowing how to use her fists to handle things. His secretary confirms that Grandma had the same reaction when he delivered Eun Seol’s resume to her. The Chairman says that in his eyes, Eun Seol is beautiful, but in the eyes of others, they will not think so. He needs to make her presentable. Ji Heon is already looked down upon by others, when paired with Eun Seol they’d be laughed out of society. Secretary promises to organize a training program for Eun Seol.

Na Yoon and Moo Won run into Myung Ran on the street, and tag along with her to the barbecue restaurant. Ji Heon is even more pissed. Moo Won says he was dragged her by Na Yoon. Eun Seol deflects and tells everyone to eat. Ji Heon allows them to stay but tells them to leave as soon as they are finished eating. Eun Seol suggests a toast since they hardly ever get together. Everyone is worried about Moo Won getting drunk.

Eun Seol asks Moo Won if the food is good? Na Yoon wonders why Eun Seol is not asking her? Na Yoon says the food is only okay and then purposely takes big bites. Ji Heon feeds Eun Seol who takes a bite from his chopstick. Myung Ran finally gets fed up with the awkward atmosphere, and calls Secretary Kim out to be her pretend boyfriend during this dinner. AHAHAHA. The poor guy is just so confused about the weird dynamic around the table.

Finally the gang eat, drink, and bicker the meal away. Just like a family.

The three girls wake up severely hung over the next day. Eun Seol gets called to go to the Chairman’s house because she has classes to attend. Na Yoon laughs and tells Eun Seol that it’s started now, and warns Eun Seol that it’s going to be very boring.

Eun Seol arrives at the house and is immediately dragged off by a lady. The Chairman tells Ji Heon to change and go visit shareholders with him today. Ji Heon just wants to know where Eun Seol was take to? Eun Seol is taken to flower arrangement class, taking music lessons, and learning the art of fine dining.

Ji Heon wonders why his dad is taking him to visit the shareholders? Ji Heon reminds his dad that he’s not interested in succession. Ji Heon calls Eun Seol, asking if she’s hanging in there, and telling her to ditch class. Eun Seol won’t ditch because the Chairman paid for the tuition up front and she doesn’t want it to go to waste.

Moo Won meets with his mom and discusses that he wants to start eliminating all the secret slush funds at the company. He wants to change the world they live in. As Moo Won’s leaving his mom’s hotel, he runs into Eun Seol, who was dragged there for her lesson. They go have some tea, where Eun Seol explains she had hour long lessons in 5 different subjects, and all the teachers happily reminded her to come next week.

Moo Won smiles and confirms the Chairman has fully accepted Eun Seol. She thinks he’s gone overboard in accepting her, in ways she doesn’t want. He tells her to explain this to the Chairman, which she was planning to do. Moo Won confesses he’s feeling better after hanging out drinking last night. He teases that she’s also happier. He suggests they do this again to annoy Ji Heon.

The Secretary hands the Chairman a stack of reports on some company shady practices in the past. He notices the Chairman doesn’t look so well. The Chairman gets up to walk outside, reminding the secretary to burn these documents. Eun Seol runs into the Chairman as he walks outside. She suggests coming back another time but he tells her to go into his office and wait for him.

Eun Seol goes into the office and casually starts flipping through all the reports left on the table. When the Secretary comes back in, he quickly grabs the files out of her hand. She asks what those reports contain and he demurs that it’s just standard company performance reports.

Moo Won’s mom and Na Yoon’s mom have gotten a hold of reports listing out the secret slush funds established by the DN Group. Na Yoon’s mom asks Moo Won’s mom if she wants to do anything about it? Moo Won’s mom sigh and says she just wants to understand the situation for the time being. Na Yoon’s mom reminds her that to go public, they need to pick the right time. Moo Won’s mom reluctance leads Na Yoon’s mom to ask if she’s going to just let Moo Won lost out?

Eun Seol looks really concerned while the Secretary asks if Eun Seol can confirm that she doesn’t know anything. The Chairman walks back into his office.

Thoughts of Mine:

This episode confirms for me that comment I made earlier that the love triangle is the weakest link in this drama is correct. I don’t mean that in a negative way, only that it’s not a really compelling love triangle in the typical K-drama way, with tons of feelings and overwrought emotions that make the viewer hurt for everyone involved. In one episode, Moo Won accepted the inevitable but kept going in his life, only occasionally stopping to annoy Ji Heon a little. Which I love to see, because it means he’s starting to let go of maintaining the façade of genteel perfection and let his inner kid out more. Good for him.

PTB is really a story about relationships – parents, friends, coworkers, all the different relationships that form who each of us are in this world. Through Eun Seol, all the characters find their relationship ties tested and strengthened. It is through connecting with the world that Ji Heon is about to overcome his phobia, reaching out to the people he used to find so frightening when clumped together in big groups. I don’t think Moo Won loves Eun Seol as much as he longs for Eun Seol – who she is, what she represents, how she lives her life. He thinks being with someone like her would make him happy, but really it’s becoming more like her that would make him happy.

I hate to throw out a K-drama cliché, but I have a gut feeling the Chairman is sick. There are teeny tiny hints since the very beginning, and his insistence and constant pressure for Ji Heon to succeed lends credence to this potential plot development. He’s afraid that he can’t protect Ji Heon for much longer, so he needs to hand the reins to Ji Heon now before it’s too late. If the Chairman has anything even resembling a terminal or critical illness, I will go to Korea and beat the screenwriter for even considering offing the most amazing daddy character I’ve seen onscreen in ages.

Right when I bemoan the love triangle for sputtering for a few episodes without any forward momentum, this episode definitely ends it AND gets Eun Seol and Ji Heon together. All without any fanfare or dramatic OMG moments of swirling camera angles and soaring ballads. Just like that, Eun Seol and Ji Heon are together, quietly, calmly, and confidently. They like each other, and will take the next step one at a time. It’s such a treat to watch a drama that respects the viewer and appreciates its characters.


Protect the Boss Episode 12 Recap — 69 Comments

  1. Thank you for the recap!! Lol at the flower arranging lessons – just what every ‘well-educated’ lady needs to know 😛

  2. thank you, totally agree with: “Eun Seol and Ji Heon are together, quietly, calmly, and confidently. They like each other, and will take the next step one at a time.”, but still I hope for a kiss from them, a kiss which ES respond to JH kiss…need that badly, hahahahha. I trully hate MR for interrupting JH & ES almost kiss at ES’s house, arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……..

      • LOL

        But yeah just a side thought… someone on soompi said that Papa Cha should pass the company to No Eun Sol and I think that makes a lot of sense. If that happens, Ji Heon is going to be on board too and I think Mr Cha Cha Gere can trust No Eun Sol to keep his company safe.

  3. koala, I love you!!! Just when I felt a little bit disturbed by your comments and review yesterday, today your opening sentence comes to me as a great delight!! In fact, this is indeed a slice of life drama. And many Korean drama critics actually give Protect the Boss high score for it really tries to give a new face to a cliched rom-com. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    BTW, am I the only one who actually thinks the chemistry between Ji Sung and Choi Kang Hee is getting even better and reaching an entirely different level? I think the way they interact with each other, either with eye exchange or body contact, is so much like a real couple. They don’t “act” out their intimacy anymore. They are the intimate partners. Period. They don’t need lovey-dovey scenes to create the spark. Even being in the same frame will great a subtle feel of loving feeling. Honestly, this kind of natural performance can only be seen in a film setting and they just do it right here in PTB. AMAZING!

    • I agree with you. All during yesterday’s episode the way No Eun Seol looked at Ji-Heon was so brimming with love it was amazing to see. She hasn’t SAID she loves him, but everything she does speaks to that love.

      Moo Won never had a chance. She was flattered by his attention, but Ji-Heon is a rock the landed in the brain or a worm that squirmed its way into her heart.

      • I know, right?! Especially in the scene of stairs, ES’ glittering eyes of ES, with her brimming smile, already speaks so much~~~Yesterday’s episode I am a fangirl of Ji Sung, but today I am a fangirl of Choi Kang Hee. I love how they interacted in the office. He asked her to step forward and she knew what he wanted to do but still did it anyway, and he knew that she would follow his instruction, but only to a certain extent. So he would make up the “missing” step.

        Honestly, I think this is purely ad-lib performance by JS and CKH. From the very beginning of PTB until now, they just keep rewriting the rule of how to play an onscreen couple. They are like ping-pong players playing with,not against, each other. I love all the characters in PTB, but JS-CKH tandem really opens my eyes. They could even perform mime together!

  4. T T +wails+

    My heart bleeds for Moo Won. There are so many mixed emotions going inside the heart and head of this guy. Okay, so he’s definitely my number 1 contender for Martyr of the Year award.

    It reminds me of the novel “House of Men”

    Thanks for the recap, Koala bear…

    Go All Blacks!

    (Back to work )

      • You’ve read it right – martyr. His situation is similar to that of the story of the Prodigal Son. He is the good son and yet he is always a second placer. Sometimes it is also good to be selfish as well. It is exhausting to be always giving. Be at the receiving end as well.

  5. I love all the characters, but my favorite couple is definitely Grandma and the chairman.
    They are so cute together. Veteran actors should be respected and emulated.

  6. When I first started following PTB, I thought I was going to hate NY, whose entrance into the drama made her seem like the typical second female lead. But now I’m coming to love her more and more. In fact, I may just love her character growth the most out of all the characters in this drama (the Chairman is a close second, though). I love how she’s bonding with ES and MR, and it finally rings true to me when she stands up for her newfound girlfriends in front of her mom. Before, I honestly found it kind of bewildering – it didn’t seem like she’d yet grown that strong of an attachment to them, so I was wondering what was in it for her to stand up to her mom for them like that – but now it definitely feels like she’s come to truly cherish MR and ES. I believe you said in a previous recap, Mrs. Koala, that ES represents the real world to these chaebols sitting in their lofty towers and that’s why they’re so drawn to her, because she represents all that is normal and healthy, in contrast to their constant in-fighting. Likewise, I think NY’s friendship with ES and MR is the first real, healthy relationship that she’s ever had; her relationships with JH and MW were tinged/”tainted” by romance in the past. Additionally, I think through ES and MR, NY is also rediscovering a better relationship with JH and MW, without all the complications of romance attached. Just hope her mom doesn’t ruin it (but I feel like PTB wouldn’t take its story there, at least not based on its past trajectory).

  7. O! my gosh! I absolutely LOVE this drama. The cast does have a great vibe together and the chemistry between Ji Heon and Moo Won, heats up the screen as the cutest sibling rivalry I have ever saw. I also thought the same thing about papa and I was like noooo. Please don’t take my papa away. Why is there something wrong with my papa? My heart is already breaking for the next episodes. There are too many preparations being done by him for Ji Heon and Eun Seol. FIGHTING!!

  8. Moo Woon T__T

    “he wants to change it so that Eun Seol is happy in that world no matter who she is with.”

    Gosh that breaks my heart. *sobs*

  9. I absolutely agree with you ockoala, even your speculation about Cha Daddy’s illness makes me upset, but also decrease my anger which caused by lack of love persuasion between Eun Sol and Ji Heon.

    The thing that still annoying me is about Eun Sol’s character development. Although i like her to be remain as Ass Girl, sometimes I want her to become more realistic with her feelings. Well what happens in Ep 11/12 really confusing me. When she said she won’t move out of her world makes me exciting about Ji Heon’s effort to stand in her world. However, in this episode she seems forgot what she said before and try to make-over herself so he can stand in those chaebol’s world.

    Well those things make me crazy to watch how Eun Sol sacrifice herself for other people (like Ji Heon mention it). I just hope she really talk to Cha Daddy to stop this training because what she has done with Ji Heon isn’t equal to those treatment. So at the end of the drama, we can see Eun Sol and Ji Heon happily as a ordinary couple (support by uninterest Ji Heon to take company). Sound selfish? Ha!

    Still, i’m really want screenwriter will make scene about Eun Sol response’s for Ji Heon’s love in real act. Something that can tells you “She definitely won’t live Ji Heon for any matter”.

    Btw, will you make a recap of PTB’s special episode? I will be grateful if you do that! Thanx for the recap btw! 😀

  10. Thanks for this insightful recap. PTB really is a gem!
    I thought yesterday’s episode was winding down the love triangle, so I was happy to see that happen today. I loved how naturally ES and JH came together as a couple, and how they played out the hug-seen-by-a-third-party. Another kdrama cliche bites the dust!

  11. I love this drama! I have not been disgusted or bored with any of the episodes. Good writing, plot, and acting.

    SN: The pretty woman scene reminded how much I hate KDrama “high fashion” . The fashionable stuff normally looks like crap to me.

  12. For correction :
    Something that can tells you “She definitely won’t leave Ji Heon for any matter”.

    It’s hard you know make a comment with a cellphone. He3x

  13. I don’t understand all the fighting about the screentime either! The entire drama just feels very natural, easy-going, and happy. I like its pace and now I just adore how simple our two lovely main leads got together. No tears and fuss and angstangstangst drama. Just a simple acceptance from friendship to love. Now that is some real world stuff. And finally, a drama where the main female lead and the second female lead gets on fabulously! I feel like this drama just hits all those spots that all previous kdrama have neglected for fear that it’s not “interesting” or “dramatic” enough.

  14. Captain Koala – consider me your back up if they try to off Papa Cha!! Clue me in on flight details and assassination plan pronto!!

    I do not think I have ever seen a more stable and relateable family than the Cha family – in a kdrama. The best family scene for me so far is when Grandma enveloped her weeping son and comforted him! How wonderful is that!

    All the characters are sufficiently fleshed to give them purpose in pushing the narrative – yes – even the cute but slightly off their rocker Moms.

    I’m glad that there are no histrionics by the 2nd leads – and that they are reflective of their chaebol station in life and do not suddenly descend to the gutter so to speak.

    About NES not changing – i think that – that is the main point isn’t it? That this normal person – is representative of so many out there [as opposed to the elite class] – her struggles to make a living, her victories and her principles – i would not like to see NES change her views on life and her principles. Bettering herself in terms of deportment is maybe something she too yearns or dreams of – which girls does not want to be spoiled? – but I am glad that NES as a person has not changed – it is her realness that is grounding the chaebols.

  15. i love this drama. i wasn’t really interested with the romance part in the beginning. i enjoyed the rivalry between ji heon and mu won more but this week’s episode made me look forward to the nayoon and mu won love line. es and jh have established their relationship a long time ago so i’m more excited on what’s going to happen with mw an ny.

    and finally grandmother starts showing some love to mw. i was beginning to doubt she wasn’t his grandmother because she never seemed to care about mu won.

    and super last. wow! jaejoong can really sing!! even if it seemed that he was toned down a bit to make it more realistic (that MW can sing), he still sounded so great,

    • Me too. I’m just eager to see MW-NY T__T My fav cp in this drama >.< Inspite of that loving gaze of MW to ES i still think he loves NY indeed :"P Yayyyyyyyy This ep DRIVE ME CRAZY ~~

      Srr ab my English, I can't think anymore lol

  16. isn’t it cool that the future father-in-law is buying clothes for his future daughter-in-law. where have you seen that kind of set up in kdrama history? its amazing because the chairman didn’t do it because Eunsol is poor, but he wants her to look good in front of Jiheon, isn’t that funny that the father cared more than the boyfriend?, kekekekeke, and about what the chairman said about putting Eunsol and Jiheon together would look like dumb and the dumber to other people, that was probably the best statement i’ve heard in this drama.

  17. I love this show! I love this show from episode 1. Even before that, I couldn’t wait for this show to come. I’ve watched a lot of kdramas, and personally, this is is in my top 10! I love JS and EN and I feel bad for MW, but I have a feeling his going to get together with Na yoon. I’m sad that there’s only 4 episodes left. Wish there was more!

  18. Thank you for taking the time to share your recaps. I love how you view this drama and it gives me new perspective… Instead of jut mooning over Jaejoong. I love this ep if only for the fact that he sang in this episode. However, I am also beginning to love the humanity and closeness to reality of the plot. The relationships that are important to any person is highlighted. It factors in reality of society as well as the difference in classes but it was highlighted differently. I like that while Chairman knows Eun Seol does not match up to Ji Heon, the elders of the Cha family do not take everything from her to make her give-up (which is like a staple in every chaebol-family in kdramas).

    …now if only I can have a boss… Or better yet… An office mate who resembles Muwon God… I think I will be all giddy from all the eye-candy… And die in happiness^^

  19. I haven’t watched any drama for such a long time, but I do read recaps, many of your recaps. in this series, I am really love the chairman character, he is too adorable, very different from any parent character of K-drama…
    “If the Chairman has anything even resembling a terminal or critical illness, I will go to Korea and beat the screenwriter for even considering offing the most amazing daddy character I’ve seen onscreen in ages.”—> thats why so many people love to read your recap, thanks again

  20. A big NO to the Chairman being sick. Nuh-uh. It’s a total cliche. And with the whole illegal fund arc coming up, I think he has enough problems to deal with.

    I’m rather pleased that ES and JH got together in a quiet, non-melo way, though I wouldn’t mind fireworks and lots of kisses. Oh well 😉 But this is in line with their characters.

    Do you think the show will enter a period of angst soon, what with ES finding out about the illegal funds? As much as I love the quiet, gentle way ES and JH got together, a story needs a period of conflict and difficults to make it more exciting.

  21. Ms. Koala I have to agree with you that the chairman is sick.

    They have been harping on how bad he looks for several episodes now.

    Also the Chairman’s need to get Ji-Heon settled has a sense of urgency around it.

    I think that the files detailing illegal stuff might be a part of the Chairman’s plan to clean up the company so that Ji-Heon, who has alway expressed a desired not to be responsible for a tainted company, can have a clean company to inherit. –then again maybe not.

    Also I think his health may cause a crisis in management and the four young ones (with an able assist from granny) will have to band together and work to save the company. –or maybe not.

  22. “Right when I bemoan the love triangle for sputtering for a few episodes without any forward momentum, this episode definitely ends it AND gets Eun Seol and Ji Heon together. All without any fanfare or dramatic OMG moments of swirling camera angles and soaring ballads. Just like that, Eun Seol and Ji Heon are together, quietly, calmly, and confidently. They like each other, and will take the next step one at a time. It’s such a treat to watch a drama that respects the viewer and appreciates its characters.”

    YES! This is exactly my thoughts…some folks are too used to the cliches in Kdramas that they need everything to be laid out open to them. When Jihun and Eunseol start dating in episode 12, they start wondering when did Jihun said the “I love You” to Eunseol? When did they declare or confess their love…it’s as if the couple can’t move on to dating (let me quote you..) ‘without any fanfare or dramatic OMG moments of swirling camera angles and soaring ballads.’

    I like this drama alot and all the actors, staff and crew are important.
    They know what they are doing and we should trust them to do a good job
    because they have done excellent so far.

    Thanks MsKoalas for your recaps. I’ve enjoyed all since the beginning.
    Looking forward for their 2hrs of Ngs and interviews this 10/9.^^

  23. This drama really just makes me smile. 🙂 It’s really just nice to watch and follow along to see what happens.

    I am one who has commented that I would have liked to see some growth in ES. I really don’t think there is any harm in that — just as much as she influences them, I think that they can do the same for her – in a good way. She can still show growth and not have the essence of herself be changed. Anyhow, it’s a moot point. If it’s not shown, then no big deal… as I’ve said before, I love the story, I love the show and I love all the characters. Everyone has really embraced their characters and I can’t imagine anyone else playing them.

    there were so many great little moments in this episode. Will be sad when it’s all over. First rom-com in a long time that has been good.

    • I guess my question for the ES growth comment is what kind of growth do you want to see? I actually think ES has gotten character development. When she first started out, she had an “I don’t care what you think” attitude and very much in your face. Also, the fact that she initially did not want to accept being a part of the Cha family world… but now in these past episodes you see her willing to give it a shot, to give love a try, to allow her world and the Cha world to intersect and integrate. I think that’s character growth. That growth I’ve seen is that softness in how she deals with people and the acceptance of the world that she doesn’t like and doesn’t want to be a part of…. Again, I’m not sure exactly what other kind of growth/character development are the fans looking for?

      • I also complained about the lack of character growth in ES. But I am so happy to admit that I am completely wrong after watching 12. First of all, she is still wonderfully grounded in an commoner’s world, which is why I LOVE her to pieces from the outset. It looks like she is giving up her old self by taking bride lessons and wearing high-end clothes, but she didn’t give up lessons simply because Old Cha already paid the fee(she is afraid of losing money), and she told Old Cha that with the same amount of money, they could have gone to a cheaper shopping mall getting more bargain clothes.

        But the point is, she still accepts Old Cha’s favor, not because he is JH’s father or he is the boss’ father. She loves Old Cha–somehow I love all the scenes with ES and Old Cha, because both of them share a similar background, and their bonding exudes a certain quality which is different from that of ES and JH. Ultimately, with her love for Old Cha and JH, she knows that she needs to find a middle way that connects her old world with the chaebol world she despise. I think this aspect of hers, is not even a character growth, it’s more like a transformation. And her transformation will go hand-in-hand with how a big corporation should run its own business, for instance, by sponsoring students with scholarship.

        I actually think PTB is even more than a drama of interpersonal relationship. In essence, it is a humanist drama that has a social implication. It will be delimiting if we only situate the drama with typical “character” analysis.

  24. I have yet to watch the last 2 episodes but your recap is so good I felt like I almost saw the drama only the visuals are not moving 🙂 but the words definitely are 🙂 So, congrats once again for a great job!

    Indeed what makes PTB stand out from all the dramas Ive seen is that it is a powerful and harmonious ensemble work. It is the most realistic in my humble opinion because in real life our world do not evolve only on our own cares and concerns. It always involves all our relationships not just with our significant other, so to speak. This drama is doing an excellent and revolutionary work before our very eyes by sending this wonderful message. Of course, we love to watch the main couple grow and fall in love but we also want other people around them, the people they love and care about, to grow as well. The entire dynamics of this web of relationships is what is exciting to see and feel. A love story that revolves entirely on the couple while other characters are written to be just like cardboard cut-outs that are just there to prop the main couple up is to say the least one-dimensional, boring and catatonic, however explosive the chemistry of the two. In real life, this is also what makes for a healthy relationship. A relationship that focuses entirely on their coupledom would not have anything else going for them.

    I feel that the flow of the story as it is now is going very well and Papa Cha is just amazing from the get-go. If he suddenly gets the death sentence from the writer, I hope it would be for a very good reason that would mark this character on our minds for a long time. JH and ES’ natural coming together just adds up to the fluidity of the story and even MW and NY’s interesting relationship might take an even amazing turn in the next episodes. Even Grandma’s rel’p with MW is given focus and depth in this episode while MR takes a diff role now from ES friend to JH protegee at the coffee shop.

    All in all I am just so excited to see how things will turn out for a drama that is as revolutionary as this…and what it can do for future rom-coms! 🙂

  25. “I don’t think Moo Won loves Eun Seol as much as he longs for Eun Seol – who she is, what she represents, how she lives her life. He thinks being with someone like her would make him happy, but really it’s becoming more like her that would make him happy.” ~Thank you for articulating my half-formed thought about MW. I think he’ll grow a lot happier as he continues to become more like ES– he’s already starting to stand up to his mom, and it feels like he’s making more and more choices based on who he wants to be rather than on who he’s expected to be.

    Thanks a mill, Koala! I’m lovin’ the PTB ride!

  26. Hahahahah Na Yoon’s mom is a trip. I dont know what the hell she is planning, which I think is something big that she needs to stop. But I can take a little angsty drama as long as it keeps gettinh resolved in the quick and fun PTB fashion, and the drama stays pure and awesome. But I seriously think that Na Yoon’s mom is going to end up with the chairman or Eun Seols dad heheheeh. Toooo funny. Eun Seol and Na Yoon becoming sisters. Heheh

  27. They’re funds off the books. They aren’t reported to the government, probably hidden in some Korean equivalent of off-shore accounts, and hence no taxes have been paid on those earnings. Who knows what they’ve done with those funds in this drama, but most kdramas employ slush funds as moneys laundered or used to bribe powerful politicians or some other key decision maker.

    The drama made clear that the DN group is guilty of tax evasion and that it’s been the Chairman’s mission to clean up that mess before Jiheon takes over. Basically, he’s planning to be the fall guy, or rather to be accountable for his transgressions.

  28. Cha Cha Gere is like best daddy ever !!!
    It’s actually funny how I thought this wouldn’t be a good drama at all. especially after City Hunter. and how I’m actually in love with it now. It’s been such a long time since I watched such a funny, heartwarming and still amazingly interesting drama.

  29. Ockoala-sshi, I am completely in agreement and in love with this recap of yours. Regrettably I cannot quote my favorite lines in this recap- there are too many, I’ll end up quoting pretty much the whole thing <3

    I am just so touched by the genuine love between family members, friends, and surprisingly to a lesser extent, lovers in this drama. If and when I feel down in the future, this drama will totally be my pick-me-up =D !

    Unfortunately, I too think the chairman is going to fall ill, on top of DN Group being in a crisis over the will-be illegal slush fund/tax evasion scandal, all of which have been foreshadowed from early on in the series. But I don't think the excellent writers of PtB will kill him off, I am guessing he'll be hospitalized, at most?

    I also believe the gang of six (formed after the BBQ dinner, lol) will have to work together to save DN Group, and that we will have one of the most most most satisfying ending in k-dramaland after all these have ended =D !

    Now excuse me while I go and rewind the Cha Cousin bromance scenes for the Nth time, kekeke!

    • Oh and, I am rooting for JH dad and MW mom to end up together. Not only because the chemistry has always been there, it’ll be so hilarious to see jaws collectively drop over this unlikely reunion, and even more hilarious for MW to have to call JH ‘hyung’ LOL!

      • LOL. i think it would be SO MUCH FUN to watch xDDD And despite the fact that it’s a total cliche if JH Dad fall in, I would cry a river if it happened >.<

  30. Thanks for your recap… I watch this live last night and have to wait your recap this morning….
    Last ep left us with the staircase scene with JH watching ES and MW hug, I thought he will get angry to ES, but I love how mature JH is, behind his childish act, he is more mature than any typical Kdrama guy who gets so angsty upon seeing the girl hug other guy.
    This ep is more like the love-triangle after effect. Poor MW got rejected twice by two girls in one drama. I’m glad he copes well with the rejection and can I hope the MW-NY to be revived?
    Favorite scenes in this ep:
    Daddy Cha- ES shopping spree (the first time father in law splurge over daughter in law I’ve seen)
    Grandma-MW date in bike (gosh, Grandma is the best indeed)
    3 pairs samgyupsal dinner (such a heartwarming scene, where everyone can talk to each other normally, I hope they can be like this till the end)
    MW karaoke (two songs sung beautifully, as expected of Jae Joong)

  31. Thank you so much for recapping this wonderful drama, Ms. Ockoala!

    I thought yesterday’s episode was a little bit dragging, but this episode leaves me thoroughly entertained and waiting. They stepped up the funny and the drama.

    I love how mature all the characters are. They’re childish in small things (like MW and JH getting on each other’s throats, or NY bawling her eyes out so much), but they can be quite mature when it comes to serious things. Like real people.

    I love how JH and ES get together, shedding pretentions and just enjoying being around each other.

    This time, I’m feeling NY-MW pairing, but I wouldn’t mind if they become friends instead.

    I love the impromptu barbecue party. I had the feeling that Jaejoong ad libbed sneakily pouring soju onto his cup while the rest were focusing on MyungRan and Secretary Kim. I love the feeling of camaraderie in this scene: JH and MW actually having a civilized, friendly conversation, NY annoying ES and MR having to hold her to her seat, and Secretary Kim just sitting there, probably thinking “Why am I with this crazy people?”

  32. Am loving the pairing of Myung Ran and Secretary Kim! Lol! Even the side characters are hilarious especially Chairman Cha’s secretary.

  33. LOL to daddy:D i love him so much:D in ep 10 he did the most moving scene, when he forgave the waiter that made a mistake thinking how his son is also the same! this is the real world:D

    and he buys clothes for ES omg:DDDD

    yeah and finally MR with ex-secretary as i expected:D I love them;D btw i am looking forward for JH to open his own company:D maybe he hires his ex-secretary too:D

    and that part-timer guy! didnt you surprised to see him in coffee shop too? well i was surprised cuz he was just a guy in ep 2 or 3 i dont remember exactly but they put him in the story again:D that’s the brilliance of PTB:D
    also in ep 10 when ES talks about the fight between MW-JH from the earlier episodes, OMG how funny is that, how they come up with an idea like that:D she teased MW fighting moves (that was really funny in the fight scene even to tease him about that in the drama too -they are right :DDD- ) and also hair pulling:D and they gave the cliches right into the eye then making it more obvious by actually mentioning the cliche itself in the secript:D Loving the PTB crew:D

  34. Thanks for the recap. When the Dvd comes out, I am gonna show this to my parents. I think this will be a perfect 2nd drama for them after Mygirl. It is different, more mellow in some ways but still funny and heartwarming.

  35. Such a great episode. Love that Ji Heon and Eun Seol are together now. And the bathroom battle was too hilarious, I was laughing so hard when they both jumped into the air to bash each other and that random guy just walked in. LOL.

    Just read on dramabeans that Protect the Boss is getting a two episode extension!! Yay an extra week of PTB. 😀

  36. Thanks koala-shi for a marvelous recap, I love your style ^^
    Do you guys know that PtB get an extension for 2 more episodes, as therr are obviously so many stories yet to tell? Good job, PtB production team.

    I just want to say that Cha Cha Gear swept me off my feets since episode 1 till now ^^ The drama focuses a lot on Cha family, so we are familiar more to the interaction between Daddy Cha/GM/JH. That left me some resentment toward GM a bit >.> What you said is not like what you act, grandma. Luckily, there were heartwarming scenes between MW/GM in episode 11.

    What I like most about this drama is that everyone is just honest to his/her feelings and showing no headache-induced pretense (which is I found in most K-drama, and it turned me off). All these characters have different personalities, while showing no pretense they still keep the story line going smoothly. Gotta give that to the screenwriter, you are the man!

    Last but not least, I agree that there are more stories yet to be told. I’d like to see MW’s secretary get some freaky time of her own. Everybody has one, right?

    • LOL, I actually do like MW’s secretary…i thought they looked good on screen…if I didn’t love NY so much I would ship MW with his secretary. If JH had good luck with his secretary (ES) then why not MW…his secretary is efficient and obviously knows him really well.

  37. an amazing drama, low on angst just enjoy life… thank you for recapping this absolutely lovable and memorable drama!! love love love it so much… its so frustrating to wait for episodes to come but it is definitely worth it!!!! thank you thank you!!!

  38. Captain Koala, once again, I bow before you. Your insight and profound thoughts in each of your recap highly enriches our k-drama watching experience. And your wit makes them so much more enjoyable. Loving the drama; loving your recaps! Thanks so, so much.

  39. Hi Koala,

    Thank you so much for your recap and your profound thought on the drama. I agree with you in every sense of the word. This drama is nice because it put consideration into each and every character irregardless how big or small the role it might be and tying up things nicely.

    I agree on your intepretation of Muwon-Eunsul’s relationship, that “Moo Won didn’t really love Eun Seol as much as he longs for Eun Seol – who she is, what she represents, how she lives her life. He thinks being with someone like her would make him happy, but really it’s becoming more like her that would make him happy.”. She is like the breathe of fresh air that he never has and she shows him how happy he would and could be if he just listen to his heart and do what he think is right and make him happy rather than do what his mom thinks is right and make her happy.

    Eunsul is the ties that binds everyone together, helped Jihyun overcome his phobia and mature up, helped Nayoon and Muwon see that their life is not about what her/his mom wants but what she/he wants in life. But it’ll be good to see some growth in her too and I guess they are doing that through all the lessons she’s taking. Of course its boring for and all but I think if she and Jihyun are gonna end up together it’s not wrong for her to learn more about his world. Not that she needs to change in order to be accepted into the upper class, but having these kind of knowledge will come in handy and of course, open up her eyes. She claims that upper classes looks down on normal class but she herself keeps bemoaning and discriminating upper class.True, some might be stuck up asses/bitches but not all are like that and I think there’s no harm for her to learn more about the world to keep the scale balance.

    I love the Cha cousin’s. Their love-hate relationship is really one of the main puling factor in this story. For all their estrangement, fighting over Eunsul actually pull them closer as what their grandma was hoping for. All their childish and immature squabbling and fights are funny and heartwarming in the same time. TBH, Jihyun-Muwon has more chemistry than Eunsul-Muwon. For all the heartache and pining for Jihyun, Nayoon seems to be able to get over it quite easily and putting her attention on Muwon more.Well, she did still have feelings for Muwon since the beginning…..

    Though how Eunsul and Jihyun get together lack the usual drama that kdrama loves, it’s not unwelcoming. Really like how natural they fall for each other and get together.

    Grandma’s the life saver of the crisis. She is nice and I’m glad to see her being fairer to both her grandsons in this episodes. I’m so glad she has some quality time with Muwon and have this heart to heart talk with him. It’s time for this pair of grandma and grandson to make up for lost time.

    I too hope that Chairman does not have terminal disease but well, we can’t really avoid all the hints being dropped on us since the beginning. For all his violence, he is a very nice father who really loves his son very much and will do everything in his power to protect him. It’s be a great loss if the scriptwriters really decided to kill him off finally T_T

    Nayoon’s mom might look cute and harmless but she’ definitely has more evil tricks up her sleeves. She’s definitely gonna cause more problem in the episode to come. Maybe then, it’ll end up with Muwon and Jihyun working hand in hand to save their company.

  40. I kind of agree with the dad illness part. It will be a good plot point because Ji Heon’s phobia has something to do with people abandoning him. That’s got to be the issue there.

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