Radio Romance: Episode 9
Su-ho is reaching the uncomfortable point where if he wants to be closer to Geu-rim, he’s going to have to let her into his world. That’s a particularly scary thing for him, since it’s something he’s never done with anyone before. He’s happy to be open about his feelings for her, but when it comes to telling Geu-rim his darkest secrets, will Su-ho be strong enough to be honest, or will he retreat back into his safe little bubble and shut her out again?
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Su-ho confronts PD Lee, saying that the way he’s acting around Geu-rim, people might mistakenly think he likes her. PD Lee replies, “That’s correct, though. I like Song Geu-rim.” But then he adds, “What if I said that?”
He brings up the contract that Geu-rim signed, saying she’d do everything Su-ho says, implying that Su-ho misunderstands her attentiveness to him as interest. Su-ho just asks if that’s how it seems, and he tells PD Lee to stop touching her and speaking banmal to her.
PD Lee says he does those things to everyone, so Su-ho asks if he likes Geu-rim or not. PD Lee laughs, “I said I like her. I also like you. Isn’t it natural for a PD to like his writer and DJ?” Well, that’s clear as mud.
Geu-rim starts awake to find Su-ho standing over her, and he fusses at her for sleeping in the hallway. She reminds him that he’s a famous actor and shouldn’t be following her around, and he snaps that he does plenty of other very important things. He yanks off the blanket from PD Lee and tosses it away, shoving the one he brought at her.
She gets a call from Eun-jung, the teenage girl with terminal cancer. Geu-rim and Su-ho find the girl sobbing that she doesn’t want to be on their radio show anymore. She tells them that her first love stopped responding to her calls and texts, and she thinks she got dumped.
Geu-rim thinks Su-ho should try to persuade Eun-jung to be on the show since she’s his fan. He asks what Geu-rim will do for him if he does, so she says reluctantly that she’ll do anything he wants. She immediately regrets it when he demands that she grant him two wishes.
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A deal for two wishes
Su-ho gets Eun-jung to tell him that she was planning to confess to her first love on the radio show. He gets hilariously jealous when he says he thought she liked him, and she says she does, but not as a guy.
Eun-jung says that she texted her first love asking him to come to the show, but he says he’s too busy to talk. Su-ho sympathizes, and the two bond over how shabbily their loves treat them.
Su-ho mentions that he can’t stand how “that guy” treats Geu-rim, and Eun-jung knows he means that “homeless-looking PD,” ha. She asks about Geu-rim, and Su-ho pouts that all she thinks about is radio. OMG, these two are so cute.
When Geu-rim joins them, they inform her that she’s intruding on a private conversation. She asks if they’re telling her to leave, and gets two suspiciously angelic nods in reply. She goes, annoyed, and they go back to their very serious conversation about first loves.
A few minutes later, Su-ho calls Geu-rim to report that Eun-jung will do the show. She’s thrilled that the show is on, but he’s more concerned about getting his two wishes, hee.
In Su-ho’s room, Jason notes how much Su-ho has changed, and the fact that he hasn’t asked for sleeping pills in weeks. Su-ho asks where he’s changed the most, and Jason says that he doesn’t just answer questions according to script anymore, but engages in actual conversations. He adds that Su-ho’s started liking someone, closely watching Su-ho’s reaction.
The next morning at JH Entertainment, Su-ho firmly tells his parents that he won’t be doing that drama, or anything else, with Tae-ri. His mother calmly warns that he’ll lose advertisement deals if he doesn’t show his face, and tells him to quit radio right away. But Su-ho says he plans to keep doing the show.
When they’re alone in the elevator, Mom says that they already signed a contract for the drama so he’ll be responsible for what happens if they break it. Su-ho asks why he should be responsible for something he didn’t sign, and Mom fires back, “You’re not my son, but I’m responsible for you.” Whoa, damn.
With the worst timing ever, Dad asks if they can get a role for Da-seul, his mistress, in the drama. Mom tells him to handle his own messes, because she’s already got her hands full with the biggest mess he created — Su-ho. Dad tries to butter her up, but he only succeeds in causing her to snap, and she smacks him with her purse over and over.
When the elevator door opens, they’re once again the perfect family. Dad stops Su-ho and tells him to do the drama as Mom says, but Su-ho says that he really wants to stop all this. He even begs Dad to stop cheating on Mom, but Dad just says to obey his mother.
PD Lee and Geu-rim find Su-ho back at the hospital, camped out in Eun-jung’s room signing autographs for the other teenage patients. Eun-jung’s mom looks on, and she gets a text from Eun-jung’s father saying that he sent money.
Ha, Eun-jung plays up her friendship with Su-ho to impress her friends, coaching him to act natural and smile at her. Geu-rim and PD Lee watch through the door, and Geu-rim notices that Su-ho keeps rubbing his right temple.
They set up to air the show from an auditorium at the hospital. Geu-rim’s mom is in the audience, as is Eun-jung’s mother, and even Jason comes to watch. Su-ho is still rubbing his head right before the show, but when Geu-rim asks, he says he’s fine.
Eun-jung sounds like a pro as she talks about how she’s spent most of her life in the hospital. She says that a lot of people cry when they have to come to the hospital, but she doesn’t, because if she cries then there’s someone who cries more than her. Sadly, she tells Su-ho that that person was supposed to come today, but they didn’t.
She adds that she’s doing the show anyway because she knows they’re listening. She says he’s her first love, but that he hardly ever comes here. She turns to the mic and says, “Dad, are you listening?” Wait, her first love is her dad? I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Eun-jung explains that because her mom takes care of her full-time, and her dad works to support the family, they can only get together once a month. She tells Su-ho that she’s jealous of his family because they’re always together and smiling. Geu-rim notices that Su-ho looks frozen, so she sends him a note to respond naturally.
We see a man on a delivery scooter, listening and smiling proudly to hear his daughter’s voice on the radio. Eun-jung says sweetly that she’s a little mad he didn’t come today, but she’ll forgive him since he’s her first love.
She changes the subject, asking Su-ho what he and his family talk about. In his mind, Su-ho hears his mother saying he’s not her real son, and his father telling him to obey her orders. Seconds tick by, but he finally speaks: “Um… I’m not sure. Today we talked, but I can’t remember it. I don’t think it was a conversation.” Oof, he looks so lost.
Both of Su-ho’s parents are listening, and at the music break, Dad says he thinks they should let Su-ho keep doing radio because he’s really good. Mom barks at him to shut up, insisting that Su-ho has to do the drama.
Eun-jung’s dad speeds to the hospital, and he sits with his wife just as the show goes back on the air. Having recovered a bit, Su-ho asks Eun-jung for some final thoughts. She says into the mic, “Dad, I’m sorry for taking away your first love. I’m sorry for making you take all my tears that I won’t shed. Dad, stop crying for me now. And I miss…”
Her words trail off as she looks up to see her dad, smiling down at her through his tears. She breaks into a beautiful smile and breathes, “He’s finally here.”
When the show is over, Geu-rim tells Su-ho that her father died in a car accident. She says it was sudden, and that she couldn’t speak a single word that day, so it broke her heart when he said that he can’t remember what he said to his family today. She fusses at Su-ho for not knowing about her father, sure that she told him back when they first met, but he insists that he remembers and she never mentioned it.
PD Lee wants to go out and celebrate. Geu-rim promises to make him soju bombs, but Su-ho snaps peevishly, “Don’t do that.” Hee.
Su-ho’s mom calls Tae-ri and tells her to make sure Su-ho quits the radio show. Tae-ri yells at Mom to do something about it herself, and they hang up on each other.
At the station, Seung-soo is worried because their idol DJ has gone missing again. Writer Ra decides to let Tae-ri DJ the show, and when Tae-ri sneers that they’re using her as a backup, they tell her that it’s because she’s their most popular guest. It works, though Tae-ri acts like she’s doing them a huge favor.
Secretly, Writer Ra despairs that all Tae-ri inspires is negative comments. Geu-rim innocently suggests that she have Tae-ri respond to the comments on the air, saying that Tae-ri is a good speaker.
Su-ho goes out to celebrate with everyone after the show, and it’s not long before the drinking games start. Su-ho is hilariously dismal at them, but he’s too competitive and prideful to admit defeat. He insists on taking his penalty soju shots until he passes out on the table.
Tae-ri asks about Geu-rim, and Seung-soo says that she’s positive and hardworking while Writer Ra grumbles that she can’t write (Seung-soo: “How would you know? You never looked at her stuff!”). Tae-ri and Writer Ra wonder how Geu-rim managed to land Su-ho as her DJ, figuring there must have been some sort of contract involved.
After Jason and Hoon-jung leave, Geu-rim looks after Su-ho, still conked out on the table. She feels bad about letting him drink so much, and PD Lee starts to snap something about how many other people will protect him, but he stops himself mid-sentence.
Geu-rim thought it was strange that Jason would leave without Su-ho, and sure enough, he heads to the art gallery to meet up with Su-ho’s mother. He asks if Su-ho knows that JH Entertainment put him through medical school.
He says that while studying psychology, he learned that when a person can’t win over one person, they try to fulfill that obsession through others. “That’s why you’re taking everything from Su-ho,” he concludes. “Even me.” Dammit, that’s what I was afraid of.
When PD Lee steps out to make a call, Su-ho stirs. He slurs that he wants Geu-rim to make him soju bombs, and not anyone else. She tries to stop him from talking, but she leans in close when he says that when he sees her, it puts him in a good mood.
He says, “That’s when I figured out that it’s better to feel good than to look good. I’ve always chosen what looked good, which is how I got here. But all of that stinks. So I don’t need to look good. I want to feel good now.” Aww, he’s so sweet.
PD Lee rejoins them, but Su-ho isn’t finished with his confessions. He grumbles that he’s still annoyed that Geu-rim wouldn’t get lost when he told her to, “But now that I tell you I like you, you try to run away.” Geu-rim looks up at PD Lee guiltily, as PD Lee looks away and tries to appear unaffected.
He drags Su-ho to the bench outside and asks Geu-rim if they should just leave him here. Geu-rim argues that they can’t just dump a top star, ha. She asks if PD Lee recalls her telling him about her first love, then gestures to the half-unconscious Su-ho like, “There’s the charmer right there, I’m so proud.” PD Lee sighs heavily, watching Geu-rim for a moment as she looks at Su-ho fondly.
In the morning, Su-ho wakes to find PD Lee beaming down at him. As he leaps up, PD Lee parrots his own words that (from his behavior last night) people might mistakenly think he likes Geu-rim. Su-ho repeats PD Lee’s words as well, that he does like Geu-rim, but he adds that it’s not because she’s his writer or because of her contract to obey him, but that he likes her for who she is.
He tells PD Lee again to stop touching Geu-rim and speaking banmal to her, even if he does it to everyone else. PD Lee says that he’ll do as Su-ho says when Geu-rim reciprocates Su-ho’s feelings.
Su-ho practically runs out of the building, then decides that PD Lee and Geu-rim live too close together. He heads to the realtor’s office and says he’d like to buy the building, but when the current owner shows up, Su-ho is dismayed that it’s PD Lee, PFFT.
He storms home ranting up a storm, which Jason finds delightful. Su-ho complains that Geu-rim won’t call or text him, or answer his calls. Jason remembers that her mother is being discharged from the hospital this morning, and Su-ho runs right back out again.
As Geu-rim helps her mom pack her things, Mom asks if she’s been dating, having sensed that her daughter is hiding something. Geu-rim admits that something is up, but she’s interrupted by Su-ho before she can give Mom any details.
LOL, Su-ho is so transparent, and Mom asks Geu-rim if he’s the guy. PD Lee bursts in seconds later, and Mom asks if he’s the guy, but Geu-rim says he’s not. The guys bristle at each other and argue over who gets to drive Mom (and Geu-rim by extension) home, until Geu-rim says they plan to take the bus.
Out in the parking lot, Su-ho and PD Lee both try to get the ladies to accept their offer of a ride while Geu-rim insists they can get themselves home. Eun-jung runs out to say goodbye to Geu-rim’s mom, and she gives Su-ho a kiss on the cheek to thank him for making her happy yesterday.
Eventually, Mom consents to let Su-ho drive her, while Geu-rim rides with PD Lee. Mom tells Su-ho that when he spoke about his family during the radio show, she could tell how he felt. She says he has a warm heart, which makes Su-ho look thoughtful.
When it’s time for Tae-ri’s radio show, she seems prepared to address the negative comments people have posted about her. Seung-soo is worried something will go wrong, and as soon as the first comment comes in criticizing Tae-ri, she drops to banmal and starts bragging about how many commercials she’s made, lol.
Things just get worse as Tae-ri curses and threatens the listeners, and Writer Ra and Seung-soo have identical panic attacks in the studio. They cut her off with a song, and after the show, Tae-ri says that she wants to kill Geu-rim for suggesting this idea for the show.
She goes down to the van JH Entertainment provided her, only to overhear her new manager telling someone on the phone how she’s got no future and that she’ll probably be fired. Tae-ri just asks him to get her something to eat, and she fights back tears when Joon-woo doesn’t answer her calls.
Su-ho’s father has dinner with Da-seul, where he brags that his wife does everything he says, then looks utterly terrified when she walks into the dining room and joins them. Having anticipated this, Da-seul hands her a package of photos of herself in compromising situations with Su-ho’s father, intending to use them to pressure Su-ho’s mom into casting her again.
Su-ho can’t stand the sight of PD Lee taking Geu-rim and her mother into their building, so he uses one of his wishes to get Geu-rim to go to dinner with him. They end up running into Su-ho’s father on his way out of the dining room, and the coward sends Su-ho in to handle his mother.
He arrives just as his mother slaps Da-seul several times, so he grabs her hand to stop her. She gathers up her dignity and leaves, and Su-ho exits right behind her after grabbing the photos from Da-seul.
During dinner, Su-ho seems to be trying too hard to be cheerful, but Geu-rim admits that she’s upset on his behalf and wants to leave. They find a spot overlooking the city, and Su-ho starts to say that he’ll use his second wish to take Geu-rim somewhere nicer next time.
Geu-rim stops him and apologizes for asking why he laughed when it wasn’t funny back when they were kids. She says that she only acted like she knew everything, but she didn’t. She tells him that her father died when she was fourteen, then her mother lost her sight when she was fifteen, admitting that she selfishly feels a bit better to know that she wasn’t the only one suffering back then.
They take a walk, and Su-ho says that he refers to his mother by her title because she isn’t his birth mother. He tells Geu-rim that she told him on his ninth birthday when his father was on vacation with his mistress, and that this is the big secret of the family everyone envies so much.
Undaunted, Geu-rim tells him, “This is something I’ve learned about you — that even if you aren’t talking, you are actually talking.” She says that she used to think his silence meant he was ignoring her, but now she knows that when he was telling her to get lost, he was really saying things like, “Help me,” “Hug me,” and “I want to cry.”
As she speaks, Su-ho’s eyes fill up with tears, but he doesn’t say a word. Geu-rim continues, “When you look at me without saying anything, like you’re doing now, I want to hug you.” A single tear falls down Su-ho’s face, and Geu-rim steps in and pulls him into her arms.
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Speaking without words
I can’t help but hope that PD Lee, or whoever is in charge, decides to broadcast Su-ho’s show from the road on a regular basis. Su-ho does so much better when he can connect with his guests on a personal level, both on the show and off. Actually being with them in their own environment gives Su-ho a perspective that having them in the studio wouldn’t provide, and it shows him how he can affect others instead of just acting for a camera and never seeing the impact he has on people.
That hug was so sweet — I liked it better, and thought it meant more, than the kiss a few episodes ago. It’s so gratifying to see Geu-rim finally taking steps towards Su-ho, and not just because it shows Su-ho that his feelings are reciprocated, but because the poor boy just needs some affection so badly. He’s been utterly alone his whole life, with nobody he could count on or trust with his love. It’s a miracle that he’s waited for Geu-rim for so long, even when he had no hope that she would ever feel the same for him. Even when Geu-rim tried to put up professional barriers between them, Su-ho still didn’t give up. And I understand why — Geu-rim is the only person he’s ever met who cared about him for himself, without wanting something from him. And his love will never be flashy or obvious, but he shows it through his tenacity in never doubting or giving up on his own feelings. It proves how strong his feelings are, and how much he needs her to love him back, that he’s been able to be so consistent despite his personal background. So to see Geu-rim finally responding positively is extremely satisfying.
Speaking of, I just adore how Su-ho’s feelings for Geu-rim come not from her being pretty or anything superficial, but simply because being with her makes him happy. It actually makes sense that he doesn’t value good looks very highly, because he’s spent his life surrounded by beautiful people, and it means nothing special to him. He loves Geu-rim because she’s the first and only person who only cared about him as a person, but also because she’s taught him that looking good (both physically and socially) don’t make a person happy. Su-ho may not be the easiest person to be around, but he’s got his priorities firmly in the right place. Considering his upbringing and the fact that his entire life has been built around appearances, it just goes to show what a deeply decent person he is, that he never internalized any of that and even instinctively rejected it. I’ve mentioned that I don’t mind the reunited-first-love trope when it supports the story’s current events, and this is a perfect example — without having met Geu-rim when he was young, Su-ho probably would have grown up to be a very different person now.
Meanwhile, Su-ho’s mom seems to be getting more desperate as her hold on Su-ho slips, and although she seems calm on the surface, I think she’s like a duck, paddling like mad underneath. You can see in her eyes that she’s not as confident of her hold on Su-ho as she used to be. I think that something she said in this episode revealed the true nature of their family… I’d been thinking she was possibly a second wife and that Su-ho was his father’s son from a first marriage, but then she called Su-ho the “biggest mess [her husband] has created.” That sounds like Su-ho is probably the product of one of his affairs, and that she decided to raise him, for whatever reason. I’m guessing it’s because Mom (and I call her that for expediency’s sake, not because she’s any kind of mother to him) saw his moneymaking potential as an actor, even at a young age. They definitely owe a large part of their success to his talent, and I think she’s scared to lose the money and power that come from the years of treating Su-ho like a business commodity instead of a person.
I’m scared that, once Su-ho makes it crystal-clear that he has no intentions of being used anymore, Mom is going to absolutely lose it. She’s already proved that she has no problems ruining someone’s life if they threaten her iron grip on her husband and son, and Geu-rim is going to end up right in her line of fire. I have no idea how Su-ho plans to keep her from destroying Geu-rim, and probably the entire radio station by extension. Surely he’s fully aware of what his mother can and will do when she decides to turn her wrath on Geu-rim, but he’s shown no fear of the repercussions of his decision to keep doing the radio show. I just hope he’s got a plan up his sleeve to stop her.