Radio Romance: Episode 12
It’s time for Su-ho to prove that he can follow through on the promises he’s made, both to others and to himself. It’s going to take a lot of courage and belief in himself, but thankfully, he’s not alone anymore. Hopefully he understands that, and has learned enough to trust and lean on others for support, otherwise everything he’s gone through will be for nothing.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Su-ho asks Geu-rim to stay the night with him, and she retreats to the bathroom to rant that he’s lost his damn mind. She can’t come up with an excuse for why she can’t stay, so she says that she has to get her skincare products (because that’s what’s important when a sexy man asks you to spend the night with him).
She barely makes it to the hall before she hears Writer Ra and Seung-soo, who seemed to be planning a romantic evening of their own before seeing Geu-rim in the hotel and stalking her upstairs. Geu-rim leaps back into Su-ho’s room to wait for them to leave, whining that she might actually have to spend the night (Su-ho: “You said you’d stay with me…” Awww.)
Things get even worse when Joon-woo calls to warn Su-ho that Tae-ri is on her way up. I love how annoyed Su-ho looks at having his romantic night interrupted. He walks Geu-rim out, but Tae-ri finds them in the hall at the same time as Writer Ra and Seung-soo spot them and hide around a corner.
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A six-way hotel rendezvous
Seeing her exiting the hotel room with Su-ho, Tae-ri laughs derisively at Geu-rim. Su-ho tries to lead Geu-rim away, but Tae-ri slaps her as she passes. Su-ho takes Geu-rim’s hand, but she pulls away to confront Tae-ri.
She says that she pities Tae-ri, but she won’t let her be rude to her because of Su-ho anymore. Tae-ri scoffs and pulls out the recorder she stole from Joon-woo, threatening to play it for Geu-rim and expose Su-ho’s lies. But Joon-woo arrives and swoops in, grabbing Tae-ri before she can play the recording.
Since Su-ho doesn’t know anything about the recording, Tae-ri plays it for him in private. He hears himself telling Joon-woo that he’s not really his mother’s son. Tae-ri says that she’s thinking of playing it during an interview or giving it to a reporter, but Su-ho just says he’d be thankful if she did.
He leaves with Geu-rim, and Joon-woo confronts Tae-ri. Looking disgusted, Joon-woo says that he didn’t move the recorder after she discovered its hiding place because he trusted her. She asks if he was testing her, but he roars furiously, “I was testing myself!” He takes a deep breath, then tells her that she’s taken everything she can get from him, so he doesn’t want to see her again.
By the time they get to Geu-rim’s house, Su-ho looks more regretful than angry, and Geu-rim quips that there are a lot of obstacles to dating him. She gives him the car keys back and says she can’t accept the car, but that if he’s driving, she’ll ride with him. Su-ho offers her a sad little, “I’m sorry,” cupping her face with his hand where Tae-ri slapped her, but she reassures him that he’s got nothing to be sorry for.
In the morning, PD Lee goes back to SM Kang to fight to get his show back. He asks why they’re caving to pressure from JH Entertainment and asks if SM Kang has no power, and gets a baleful look in return. PD Lee warns that they’ll lose all their shows if they keep doing this, then vows to take care of this himself.
He sends a message to all of his production director friends, asking for gossip on JH Entertainment’s stars. He finds out some juicy info, including that the DJ who’s taking over their time slot is thinking of leaving JH for a different agency.
Later he meets up with Geu-rim, who thinks they should tell Su-ho that the real reason their show was canceled was because of threats from JH Entertainment. PD Lee talks her into giving him time to make a plan first, saying that he’ll be responsible since they’re his team.
Geu-rim texts Su-ho, who texts back that he’s on his way to see her. Joon-woo tells him that the drama production company has agreed to adjust the overseas shoots and consider pre-producing the show, on the condition that Su-ho agrees to star in their next drama as well. He asks if it’s worth all this when a drama only takes four months to shoot, and Su-ho says that he wants to make it work.
Joon-woo starts to say something about Tae-ri and the recorder, but Su-ho isn’t listening anymore, having gotten an “I miss you” text from Geu-rim that turned his brain to mush. I’d say he’s like a boy experiencing his first crush, if that weren’t literally true.
Meanwhile, PD Lee approaches Su-ho’s mother again, presenting her with a dossier he’s written up listing all of her stars’ secrets. He says he hates this sort of thing, but that he’ll do whatever it takes when she’s threatening the thing he loves.
He proceeds to make a huge spectacle of himself, talking about JH Entertainment’s abuse of power on social media and leading protests demanding they apologize. Su-ho sees him protesting at the JH building that he won’t ever have JH stars on his show, and wonders what it’s about.
Geu-rim hangs out at the studio with her friend Drought, who asks about PD Lee’s protests, but Geu-rim says she’s not sure what’s going on. Tae-ri enters the studio and trades barbs with Geu-rim, while Writer Ra and Seung-soo watch from the booth. Surprisingly, Writer Ra roots for Geu-rim, seeming to admire her stubborn spirit.
It’s Su-ho’s turn to visit SM Kang, wanting to know the real reason their show was pulled and why PD Lee is protesting at JH Entertainment. SM Kang tells him the truth — that his mother ordered them to break up the team because of Su-ho’s schedule. Su-ho thinks about how both Geu-rim and PD Lee lied to him, and his expression goes dark.
Tae-ri asks Geu-rim if she’s curious about Su-ho’s secret, but Geu-rim says that she’ll ask Su-ho himself if she has any questions. She asks for an apology for Tae-ri slapping her, but Su-ho shows up to pull her away before they can finish talking.
In her office, he asks if she has something to tell him. She’s not sure what he means, and he grows frustrated then blurts out, “You got fired from the radio job you love because of me.” He asks why she didn’t tell him, saying that he always finds out about himself through the news.
Geu-rim tries to explain that they didn’t want to hurt his feelings and that they’re working on a plan, but Su-ho asks what they can possibly do. When PD Lee shows up, Su-ho turns on him, saying that he believed him when he said they were a team. PD Lee says they are a team, and apologizes if Su-ho felt foolish.
He explains that he was protecting Su-ho, but Su-ho snaps that he’s in no position to protect him. With one last glare at Geu-rim, he leaves. She follows him to the parking lot, where he vows to get her dream job back, since he’s the only one who can.
Su-ho’s mother gets a report from her lackey that the information PD Lee compiled is all true. He says there’s also a rumor circulating about her family, and that Da-seul, her husband’s mistress, is about to hold a press conference. She heads to the press conference, where she gloats to Da-seul that not one single reporter showed up and warns Da-seul not to try anything like this again.
She heads home to find Su-ho waiting for her. He asks why she hates the radio show, and when she says it doesn’t make money, he counters that that’s why he agreed to do the well-paying drama. He admits that he likes his luxurious life too, but that this is the first time he’s ever asked her to let him do something. He says sadly that she ruined it, so he’s leaving the company.
His father stumbles home drunk and tries to hug his wife, who shoves him to the floor. He appeals to Su-ho, asking him to come home since his mother is so uneasy. Su-ho says that that’s his father’s fault, and his mother screams at her husband for doing this on the same day she had to stop his mistress’s press conference.
Su-ho’s father slurs that she’s always saying that she lost everything because of Su-ho, but that she also gained all this because of him. Su-ho screams at him to stop, and says that it’s time for him to stop lying to people and cut ties with this family. He says that either his mother can set him free or he can do it himself, and his father smacks him hard across the face. His mother hits his father back, and Su-ho turns and walks out.
He sits in his car, wanting to call Geu-rim but turning on the radio instead. He hears the DJ who took his place, and we see that PD Lee is in the booth during the show, taking pictures of everything and talking loudly about posting them online.
Su-ho goes back to the station to see SM Kang about his show. He asks what SM Kang’s personal opinion would be if he said he wants to continue the radio show, and SM Kang says that of course he would want Su-ho back. Su-ho tells him that he’ll handle his mother and keep doing the radio show.
On his way out, PD Lee stops him and says they need to talk. Su-ho agrees, but only to talk to him alone, without Geu-rim. PD Lee admits that he would have been more honest if he’d known Su-ho would be so upset, but that he didn’t want his DJ to be hurt.
Su-ho says that he’s tired of finding out about his schedule on the news. He reminds PD Lee that he once accused Su-ho of living his life according to a script, but that he just treated him the exact same way as his mother (by making decisions for him). He says that he won’t live by PD Lee’s script either, and that he’ll resolve this himself.
Geu-rim camps out in front of Su-ho’s house waiting for him to come home. PD Lee calls and she asks how their talk went, but he’s just concerned that she’s sitting out in the cold.
He heads to the restaurant near their building where Jason is waiting for him. He’s in no mood for Jason’s cryptic quips, so Jason asks if he’s still getting postcards about Su-ho and whether Su-ho knows about them. PD Lee just says that he should be asking Su-ho about that.
Jason asks if PD Lee looked into the events the postcards refer to, but PD Lee only stares at his suspiciously. Jason says he has a lot of questions for Geu-rim too, primarily about why Su-ho only responds to her, but again PD Lee glowers and doesn’t respond.
Su-ho waits outside Joon-woo’s building, ignoring Geu-rim’s calls. When Joon-woo joins him, he says that he wants to learn how to protect what he likes, since the more he tries to protect it, the worse things get. Joon-woo laughs and says that if he knew, he wouldn’t be the way he is.
He brings up the recording that Tae-ri stole. Su-ho asks why that was recorded in the first place, so Joon-woo reminds Su-ho that he used to help him memorize his lines when he was younger. He says that they would record those sessions, and that the conversation about his family just happened to be recorded one day. Whew, that’s so much more innocent than what I’d feared.
Geu-rim is still waiting when Su-ho finally arrives home. She says she’s been there for three and a half hours and asks him to talk to her. She tells him that she came to him because she knows he feels bad for hurting her feelings, and she didn’t want him to be alone.
When he doesn’t answer, she asks if he hates her that much. Su-ho confesses that he’s scared she’ll either leave him, or that she’ll stay and be miserable because of him. He says sadly that she lost her job because of him, but she corrects him — she became a main writer because of him, and she lost her job because of his mother.
He’s confused, so she continues that she knows he’s trying to protect the radio show. Su-ho asks for her hands, and when she offers them, he wraps them around his neck and sinks into her arms. So sweet.
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Lend me your hand
He takes her inside and cooks her some eggs, explaining sheepishly that it’s the only thing he can cook. Geu-rim says she’ll make him something, and comes back later with burnt toast. Jason comes in, surprised to see Geu-rim, and Su-ho brandishes the toast like he’s been betrayed, hee.
SM Kang calls PD Lee to tell him that they need to talk about his conversation with Su-ho. PD Lee is waiting when Su-ho drives Geu-rim home, and after Su-ho leaves, PD Lee scolds Geu-rim for always following Su-ho around. She confesses that it’s not because he’s her DJ, but because she likes him.
The following day, Su-ho meets with his mother to tell her that he’s signed a new contract for the drama that accommodates his radio schedule. He also tells her that he knows of her agreement with the radio station to cancel his show, but that she can stop now, because he’s leaving JH Entertainment.
He tells her that despite what she thought, he meant every word he’s said. Before he leaves, he says that if she ever wants to negotiate with him again, then she’ll undo what she did to get the radio station to cut him.
At the station, SM Kang tells his boss that he’s reinstating Su-ho’s show. He worries about how to get their time slot back, but PD Lee says that they’ll take the 4 o’clock show — 4 a.m., that is.
Geu-rim gets to tell Su-ho the good news, adding in a surprise hug. She says that she knows this is his doing, then sighs that they won’t be sleeping much from now on. Su-ho gapes to hear that his new time slot is in the wee hours of the morning.
They go back to the station, where Su-ho states firmly that he can’t do it, because “I’m Ji Su-ho.” He says he’ll discuss this with SM Kang, but PD Lee tells him to stop being arrogant. He says that things like time slot, theme, and even the DJ’s script are his job, and that he won’t give in.
Su-ho counters that his world has rules, and doing a radio show at a time when nobody listens could be a serious blow to his career. PD Lee says that they’ll just do it without him, and Su-ho storms out.
He goes straight home, where he finds one of the threatening postcards on a table that says, “Murderer Ji Su-ho, remember March 2006!” He goes to his closet and takes out a box filled with unopened letters, all addressed, “To my muse, Geu-rim. From the ever-shy Woo Ji-woo.”
Jason takes another report to Su-ho’s mother, this one full of information about how he met Geu-rim twelve years ago. He asks her if that was around the same time that Su-ho tried to commit suicide, and he doesn’t believe her obviously rehearsed answer that he only suffered from exhaustion. `
Su-ho suffers a nightmare that night, remembering his friend, Ji-woo, in the hospital. Ji-woo had given him a letter to pass to Geu-rim, saying that it was the last one, because if he won the last round of something (a music competition? He’s holding a guitar) then he’ll tell Geu-rim everything himself. Ji-woo had taken the letter, but instead of giving it to Geu-rim, he’d hidden it along with all the other letters Ji-woo wrote to her.
Su-ho’s dream ends with a replay of Ji-woo’s terrible accident, and he wakes with a start. Geu-rim calls and asks him to go on a date with her, even though it’s the middle of the night. He goes, although the air is strained between them.
She takes him to ride the bus, ignoring his silence to ask if he’s ever ridden the bus at this hour. She laughs to be sitting here with a top star, and she takes his hand in hers. As they sit, people get on the bus, and Su-ho tries to pull his hand free but Geu-rim just holds on tighter.
When they get back to his house, Geu-rim asks him sweetly to do the 4 a.m. show. She says that she’s not sure when it started, but now she can’t imagine working with any other DJ but him. He snaps that she wouldn’t ask this if she knew how scary it is for him, and she admits that she’s also scared. But she adds, “I want to believe in your voice and give it a shot.”
She goes to the station and starts writing, hoping that Su-ho will show up for their first show. She puts a note on her script like Su-ho once requested, that says, “P.S. Ji Su-ho’s voice that I want to hear at 4 a.m.” Underneath is another note saying, “I want to hear it alone.”
Later, PD Lee finds her asleep on her desk beside the finished script. He waits until she wakes, then teases her that the script must be amazing since she slept for three hours. She goes to wash up and he checks the script, his face falling when he sees her note for Su-ho.
Half an hour before the show, Su-ho still hasn’t shown up and he’s not answering Geu-rim’s calls. PD Lee uses Geu-rim’s phone to leave him a message: “Su-ho-sshi, I know how you felt when you agreed to do the show. I also know the responsibility you felt. I’ll be waiting.”
The team get ready for the show, still trying to reach Su-ho with no luck. He walks in with only a few minutes to spare and doesn’t say a word to anyone, just sits and starts the show. At the first music break, he finally glances at Geu-rim, and she says that she knew he would come.
After the show, PD Lee chides Su-ho for his late entrance, and Geu-rim promises to give him a wake-up call from now on. Su-ho leads Geu-rim out to his car, and when she asks what they should do, he says they’ll talk while they drive.
But before she gets in, PD Lee steps in and shuts the car door. He turns to Geu-rim, looking as if he has something to say.
Okay, I like PD Lee (now that he keeps his hands to himself), and I think that his feelings for Geu-rim are genuine. But it’s way too late in the game for him to be doing this, if he’s about to do what I think he’s about to do. He promised Su-ho that he would back off if Geu-rim ever said she likes Su-ho back, and she said exactly those words to him in this episode. Sir, that’s your cue to accept that you missed your chance, and let the lady make her own choice.
We got a bit more information about Su-ho’s past in this episode, which managed to fill in some blank spots. I guessed right, that Ji-woo had a crush on Geu-rim at the same time as Su-ho, but I never imagined that Su-ho wasn’t giving Geu-rim the letters from Ji-woo. Obviously she got at least one, but Su-ho seems to have kept most of them. I’m not surprised to learn that he tried to commit suicide, and I’m assuming that it’s because he felt that he betrayed his best friend while his only other friend, Joon-woo, let him flounder alone. I’m still unsure whether Ji-woo was in the hospital for something else and his accident happened later, or if he was there because of his accident and died of complications. I suspect the former, but regardless, it’s clear that Su-ho met Geu-rim while visiting Ji-woo and also developed feelings for her, to the point that he interfered with Ji-woo’s courting of her from afar.
I thought it was good that Su-ho backed off of Geu-rim a bit in this episode, even if it was because he was upset with her. It gave her a chance to come to him, which I think he needed as reassurance that she’s with him because she cares about him, and not because he’s concocting ridiculous contracts and setting up bogus situations in order to see her. I don’t think that Su-ho means to be overbearing and controlling, but it’s all he knows about relationships. Not that it makes his constant calls and orders okay, but it does explain that this isn’t the way Su-ho would be if he knew better. Geu-rim is giving him the opportunity to learn and do better.
I’m glad that when Su-ho avoided her, Geu-rim was able to show Su-ho that he can relax and trust her, because she’s not going anywhere. I do think that Su-ho’s behavior has been problematic in the past, and that if he weren’t making an effort to change, Geu-rim would be justified in running for the hills. But she understands him, and she knows that his behavior isn’t acceptable, and I love that she hasn’t made a big deal out of it or started fights over the way he’s treated her. She’s just avoiding his bad behavior and rewarding his acceptable behavior, and it’s working.
What makes Su-ho more than just a grouchy, arrogant ass is the fact that he does, eventually, give in and change. He may not like it, and he may go kicking and screaming, but when he’s wrong, he caves every single time. He’ll even confess the truth to Geu-rim later, like that he only wrote that contract because he wanted to be near her but he couldn’t admit it. That shows me that he knows that he’s behaving badly, and that he’s fully aware of the real reasons for his tantrums. That awareness is what makes him redeemable, and more than just a controlling stuck-up star. The trick is getting him to the part where he gives in, and luckily Geu-rim has enough patience and understanding to wait until he gets there.
I do have a tendency to talk about Su-ho much more than Geu-rim, except in terms of how she affects him. I’ve been wondering why, and I think it’s because Geu-rim came into the story, and Su-ho’s life, already a grounded, rational, emotionally healthy person. She doesn’t need to change or grow much, because she’s naturally centered in a way that’s rare to see in drama characters. I like her character a lot, and I think that Kim So-hyun plays her so that she doesn’t come across as boring or naïve. I particularly liked her appeal to Su-ho late in the episode, when instead of cajoling him into doing the 4 a.m. show, she took him out to show him how many people are still up and living their lives at that time of the night. Then she told him that the radio show has become about more than just being a main writer for her, but now it’s about doing it with him. She was letting him know in a roundabout way that his presence has become necessary to her feeling fulfilled in her career, because she can no longer imagine doing it without him. I hope Su-ho understands that she was giving him a huge gift in that moment — the knowledge that he’s become an integral part of her dream.
I’m incredibly impressed with all of the actors’ performances, and the way that the actors manage to convey their struggles and inner conflicts without having to make it obvious. I love that moment when a character who previously seemed cold, unfeeling, and antisocial shows just a simple flicker of the eyes or slump of the shoulders and you realize that whoa, you’ve been all wrong about them and they’re really lashing out because they’re wounded. That moment of insight is such a satisfying feeling as an audience member, and brings you that much closer to the characters because you feel like you personally figured out what make them tick. Su-ho is the most obvious example of this, but I’ve felt that instant of understanding for other characters, most notably PD Lee and Joon-woo. Even Jason is not what he seems on the surface, though in a very different way from the others. I really commend the actors for the subtlety they give their characters, and the writer and director for drawing out something special from each of them.