Backstreet Rookie · Convenience Store Saetbyul · Recaps

Backstreet Rookie Ep 7 Recap (and wow this got good)

We start of with Saetbyul’s bombshell to Daehyun that she’ll be quitting the store. Daehyun looks lost for words for a second, then grabs Saetbyul’s hand as she turns to leave.

She  says it’s nothing sudden, and she meant to quit but didn’t want him to get the wrong impression. Daehyun asks where she’s going to work now but Saetbyul sweetly tells him that’s none of his concern now. She asks if he can leave and Daehyun refuses, asking if it’s because he got mad at her and promises raise after raise but she shoves him out regardless. A worried Daeyhun wonders what to do. And thus begins episode 7!

On his way out, he passes Eunbyul who’s coming in to visit her sister. Saetbyul’s rightfully pissed at Eunbyul’s exclamations at how nice the hospital room is but doesn’t hit her for causing trouble and lets it go. They return to their apartment to find…chaos. 

Turns out the broker that Saetbyul (among many others on their floor) signed with, was a fraud and the landlady’s kicking them out of the apartment. Saetbyul yells at the eviction officers to put down her stuff but her landlady says there’s nothing she can do save going to the police and trying to find the fraudster. The landlady asks why Saetbyul doesn’t check her mail and says she even came by day after day to warn Saetbyul but no one was home. This doesn’t register with Saetbyul who’s too upset at being evicted to realize her sister’s role in this.

At the police station, Saetbyul and Eunbyul put their trust in another tenant (1001) who’s also been scammed and says he’s studying to be a cop, but the outlook doesn’t seem good. The cops they speak to say that it doesn’t even matter if they catch the fraudster, if the man’s spent all the money, there’s no restitution for Saetbyul and the other tenants. Saetbyul looks defeated.

She finds a small room to stay in for the time being, but Eunbyul, brat that she is, complains nonstop. She rubs it in that Saetbyul got scammed and has the nerve to say that instead of complaining about the crowd she (Eunbyul) hangs with, Saetbyul should make use of the crowd she hangs with and call Geumbi for money. Saetbyul refuses, not wanting to use her friends, and Eunbyul whines away some more.

Saetbyul gives up and leaves the room, wondering what she should do now. Right then, Daehyun, having seen Saetbyul circle her pay date on a store calendar, sends her double the pay he owes. He plays it off as sick pay, and asks if they can work harder together the next month but Saetbyul’s response is short. She tells him to get back to work and stop texting her.

The next day she tries working as a product sales person again but doesn’t have a good sales day. Daehyun has an equally poor day wondering how to explain to his parents that Saetbyul’s not coming back. Without thinking, Saetbyul walks towards Daehyun’s store and pauses when she finds herself in front of it. While she’s there, she sneaks in to get her journal since Daehyun’s quickly stepped out.

But he comes back in 30 seconds and she panics, running to the storeroom to hide. Only disaster after disaster strikes. First, Daehyun pops into the storeroom (Saetbyul flattens herself against the wall so he doesn’t see her) and farts all of the place. Right after Saetbyul nearly dies of lung poisoning, a ton of deliveries arrive and the deliveryman asks for Daehyun’s returns. Prior to leaving, Saetbyul had packed these up beforehand. But Daehyun doesn’t know where they are. Saetbyul grows more and more nervous as they search the room, and takes advantage of when they search another room to place the box in public view. Daehyun gets spooked seeing the box where it wasn’t before. He gets even more freaked out when the deliveryman says some convenience stores have ghosts. Saetbyul happily takes advantage of this.

She flashes the lights on and off and on and off so it looks like indoor lightning and Daehyun panicks and runs out of the storeroom. Saetbyul uses the time to escape, but doesn’t have time to get her notebooks. She gets a call from Eunbyul who’s gone to beg Geumbi for (money) help. Saetbyul reluctantly visits Geumbi’s gigantic mansion. Eunbyul’s over the moon at how swanky it is but Saetbyul looks really uncomfortable.

Geumbi shows Saetbyul that a new episode of her favourite webtoon, Her Reggae Boy, just came out and as usual she was the first to leave an adoring comment. Oh boy. Dalshik swons over the same comment, and Geumbi’s username: Aphrodite. I’m so unexcited for the cringefest that’ll occur when they realize who the other person is. 

He asks Daehyun for the real reason Saetbyul quit and Daehyun has no idea. Dalshik theorizes that Yeonjoo maybe responsible. He’s right, but he envisions a much more violent scene with the two girls ripping each other’s hair out (and clothes too apparently). Daehyun has his best wtf face on by the end of Dalshik’s theory.

For all her flaws, Geumbi remains a great friend. She cuddles up to Saetbyul and they reminisce over when Saetbyul was working in a dingy restaurant after her father’s death and Geumbi visited, looking super posh but happily slept on the floor in room at the back of a restaurant all cuddled up to her. [Ugh I can’t help but like her when she does this. She’s the exactly opposite of Yeonjoo. Rich, but not snobby at all. If it weren’t for the whole racist thing, I would like her so much more. Loyalty is always great. Ughhh, why did Dalshik’s character have to be so problematic!! I wouldn’t care about any hatred between the two if he was just a normal guy!]

RIght then, Daehyun texts Saetbyul saying she left her notebook at the store and he’ll come over to bring it to her. Saetbyul races out of Geumbi’s house to her place to pretend she still lives at her old unit. Daehyun asks why she quit. He says she was the first employee he ever hired. He just wants to know the real reason so he can properly say goodbye. Saetbyul says it’s because she needs more money for her sister so she wanted to move onto a higher-paying job. Daehyun says there’s nothing he can say to that.

He gently hands Saetbyul the delivery he got earlier (which she saw while she was playing ghost) and says he got this for her but it ended up becoming a farewell present. He wishes her all the best and leaves. Back at Geumbi’s, Saetbyul opens it up and finds elbow pads and knee pads. She tries them on and wails when they fit perfectly.

We finally cut to Yeonjoo, who keeps going over Daehyun taking her obnoxious mother’s tip and sadly walking away. Daehyun thinks back to the same thing but doesn’t text her. Yeonjoo at Seungjoon get into a slightly awkward situation at work when Seungjoon’s dad plans a dinner with a European director, who praises how good Seungjoon and Yeonjoo look together. Yeonjoo delivers a death sentence in seven words when she responds.

She says she can’t make it to the dinner. The chairman asks if it’s work-related, saying he can take care of it for her but Yeonjoo says it isn’t and politely smiles, not revealing anything more. Her prior arrangement is, of course, with Daehyun. Yeonjoo starts off with apologizing at how rude her mother was to Daehyun. He says he was so embarrassed that day that he could’t introduce himself, but he did recognize how hard this must have been for her. He comes to the sweetest conclusion.

He says  their 1,000th day anniversary is in 2 days and he procured tickets for The Phantom of the Opera, as arranged by a European director (Uh-oh). He says they’re in the very front row of the general admission area and looks so pleased with himself. Yeonjoo worriedly remembers being invited by the chairman and the director to the same show but in the ‘royal seat’. She nevertheless promises to go, especially given how hard it was for Daehyun to get the tickets. But her mother, once home, reminds her that not everyone gets to sit in the ‘royal seat’.

Her mother scoffs that Daehyun didn’t even introduce himself to her. Yeonjoo fires back that it’s not like it would’ve gone well for him even if he did. Her mother laughs and tells her to wise up already. Yeonjoo thinks back to Daehyun accepting the tip from her mother and the desperate look he shot her before doing so. When Yeonjoo did nothing, Daehyun just took the tip. Yeonjoo thinks that she might have been the one who really hurt Daehyun, not her mother. [Okay, I’m LOVING this maturity.]

Meanwhile, things are not looking good for Saetbyul. She’s hired as a motorbike deliverygirl. Her employer says she’ll get paid $200 a day at minimum and that there’s a guy who currently makes$8,000 a month, much more than the $2000 Daehyun paid her. That goal gets her really excited. Only her job ends up being quite dangerous. Fellow motorbike deliverymen tell her she’ll never get paid if she follows the traffic lights and to just ignore then and speed through as she sees fit. Saetbyul doesn’t follow that advice, but something dangerous might very well come of this.

It doesn’t get better when she returns to Geumbi’s place to hear this.

Geumbi’s dad yells that Geumbi couldn’t graduate because of Saetbyul. Geumbi retorts that it was because of him not Saetbyul. Geumbi threatens that if he dares to say a word to Saetbyul, she won’t eat or drink or graduate or ever forgive him. Her dad loses that argument but Saetbyul feels over worse at being the cause of familial discord. She secretly packs up everything and sneaks out that night while Geumbi’s asleep.

Daehyun’s not having a good day either. Yeonjoo tells Seungjoon she can’t come to the opera with him, but Seungjoon points out all the VIPs  who’re going to be sitting with them and reminds her that this isn’t a date, this is work. Yeonjoo calls Daehyun and makes up an excuse to cancel seeing the opera with him. Daehyun acts like he understands, and work comes first, but deflates.

True enough, Saetbyul gets into an accident on the way to delivery noodles. It isn’t her fault; a car clips her, but she gets blamed. Her boss deducts it from her already-miniscule paycheck and a fellow deliveryman tells her she’s lucky. The guy who made $8,000 a month died.

Geumbi and Eunjo are worried about Saetbyul but dance away at Dalshik’s favourite machine and set another record. Of course, they run into him. And of course, cue racism. And of course, Geumbi pinches his nipples to shit. I’m tired of this shit. 

Daehyun and Saetbyul’s bad day continues. Daehyun tries to change the date for his musical tickets but it’s fully booked. His dad is desperate to see his first love (his wife’s former best friend who moved to China and now runs a restaurant there) and steals money from Daehyun. He wants another $1000 for the airfare to China to see her, but pretends it’s for an all-boys vacation with his friends. Tired of everything, Daehyun gives him the opera tickets and tells him to ask Boonhee first. A parcel arrives to the store for Saetbyul and Daehyun’s ready to tear his hair out when his dad asks when Saetbyul is going to return.

He texts Saetbyul asking her to pick up her package. At a sauna, Saetbyul bandages her scraped arm from the accident, while Eunbyul sucks up to her. Turns out Eunbyul got an offer from an entertainment agency but needs her guardian aka Saetbyul to sign the contract for her. She’s super sweet to Saetbyul but some of what she’s saying is genuine, like wanting to produce a better life for them and making up for all the times she caused trouble.

Meanwhile, Yeongpil’s doing his best at being pretty disgusting and trying to do his best to worn his way into his wife’s affections so he can worm money from her to see his first love. At first, Boonhee is gratified at the opera tickets and foot massages, but realizes what he’s after (thought she thinks it’s an all-boys vacation) and is furious. She rants to Daehyun and hands him back the tickets. Daehyun wonders what to do now.

Saetbyul wakes up to a note from Eunbyul promises to pay her back with a new house. She races to her sauna locker and Eunbyul’s stolen all her hard-earned money. The stress is too much and Saetbyul finally breaks down in tears yelling Eunbyul’s name.

Turns out Eunbyul’s stolen the money to hire a mother-impersonator to sign the contract for her. The lady is smooth and shrewd as hell and does a fantastic job. Eunbyul’s supposed to start living with the other trainees right away. Saetbyul calls her repeatedly but Eunbyul ignores her, saying she’s going to succeed no matter what.

Boonhee finds Saetbyul in tears at the sauna and cheers her up. She rants about her troubles with her husband, and her money-grubbing daughter, and Daehyun who’s been rejected. Saetbyul perks up at that one and Boonhee explains the musical fiasco. She asks when Saetbyul’s coming back and Saetbyul realizes Daehyun hasn’t told his parents. She looks worried

That night, Daehyun attends the musical by himself. Yeonjoo sees him from her prime seats. It’s isn’t clear if Daehyun sees her too, but he walks out during intermission and drives home.

At the same time, Boonhee hears from a neighbourhood friend that Saetbyul was scammed out of house and home and lives in a sauna. It’s pretty sweet but she runs all the way over to the sauna to find Saetbyul but she doesn’t seen to be there anymore.

Meanwhile, Daehyun’s dad steals money from the cash register and yells at Daehyun to hurry to the store or call Saetbyul over. Daehyun tells his dad he’s stuck in traffic and to be patient aand gets irritated when his dad keeps yelling at him to hurry up.

After a long night at the store, Daehyun returns home to crash but freaks out when what appears to be a ghost in a white dress pops up in front of him. The ghost clears her hair and its Saetbyul! Daehyun grabs her cheeks and pinches them to see if she’s real and she is!

Okay, so we’re officially getting some living-together-hijinks!! This should be fun!

Thoughts:

I actually really liked today’s episode. Probably the best of them all thus far. All characters showed real maturity (save Eunbyul, she’s a nut) and I love how Saetbyul isn’t interfering with Daehyun’s relationship. Rather it’s Yeonjoo’s own actions and no one and nothing else that will be responsible for the downfall of his relationship with Daehyun. It felt more like a slice-of-life drama than a rom-com today and honestly, I think this show is better in the former genre, showing people as flawed but not without redeeming qualities. It just doesn’t work well as a rom-com, especially because the comedic parts are highly dubious.

I really feel for Daehyun in his episode, he’s trapped between a rock and a hard place. His parents, Yeonjoo, Saetbyul, you could feel how frustrated he was and how he just wanted everyone to leave him be for 5 minutes. Poor guy. I hate how Yeonjoo takes advantage of him and seems to believe he’ll always be chasing after her and waiting in the wings for her. She could’ve been honest with him. She could’ve fought to bring him with her. She could’ve put her foot down, but she chose not to. Saetbyul would’ve never done that. We’re almost at the halfway mark and I’m curious to see how Daehyun-Yeonjoo’s going to go down and how we’re going to start a new relationship with only 9 episodes left in the show!

But for once, I find myself looking forward to tomorrow’s episode and what it’ll bring! Well done, show!

 

 

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