We start off with Yeonjoo and Saetbyul glaring daggers at each other. Saetbyul’s brought some rice cakes over and Boonhee insists that they all sit together and eat. Yeonjoo and Daehyun try to excuse themselves for a much-needed conversation but Boonhee’s having none of it. Daehyun and Yeonjoo end up being forced to remain and eat and he throws Saetbyul a frown, upset that she had to come right at that moment.
And thus begins episode 9!
Boonhee strts singing Saetbyul’s praises 5 seconds into dinner and Yeonjoo’s tired of hearing about how amazing Saetbyul is. Yeonjoo’s surprised, having been under the impression that Saetbyul quit. Daehyun tries to explain that Saetbyul quit but no one’s listening to him. It gets even worse when Boonhee happily spills that she’s living with them.
Saetbyul and Daehyun both know that Yeonjoo’s going to be furious at this and both desperately try to explain this away but Yeonjoo storms out of the house. Boonhee chatters to herself, unaware of what she’s done. Daehyun runs after her and tries to explain but Yeonjoo yells that she’s done with his explanations.
She asks if he even knows why she came here and the poor guy is naturally clueless about the fact that she’s cheated on him. Yeonjoo, somehow, blames him for not even knowing that she was here because she cheated and wanted to apologize and rides off in a cab.
Daehyun, to his credit, does everything possible to talk to her. He calls her 2 seconds after she enters the cab, but she just ignores it. Saetbyul, who’s raced after Daehyun, watched it all go down and approaches him asking if she should explain everything to Yeonjoo but Daehyun sighs that it’s okay. Saetbyul asks him why he didn’t tell everyone that she quit and Daehyun says he just couldn’t bring himself to. They both look deflated.
Meanwhile, Dalshik’s lovelife is going quite well. Last episode, his secret admirer who donated $1000 to support him as a webtoon artist goes by the username Aphrodite and is none other than Geumbi. In return, he gave her his number and the two have their first ever call in this episode. Both are smitten with the other and neither realizes who the other is. [is this supposed to be some sort of redemption arc for Geumbi where she realizes that judging someone based on their appearance is not okay and falls in love with Dalshik anyway? Oh boy, I guess I’ll buy it but idk why Jamaican culture had to be co-opted for this particular arc. There are so many other ways this could’ve been done. Anyway, back to these oddball lovebirds].
Yeonjoo comes home in a foul mood. Seungjoons there’s waiting but she storms up to her room. Her mom asks if it’s “that useless store manager’s fault” and Seungjoon blames Daehyun for everything. Yeonjoo’s mom says Seungjoon should have cut Daehyun off from Yeonjoo and a job to begin with [Uh-oh, Seungjoon looks like he’s considering this]. That night, no one sleeps well. At the store, Daehyun texts Yeonjoo asking her to call him. Yeonjoo mopes. Saetbyul tosses and turns remembering Daehyun’s worn, haggard face.
She getsup and helps Yeongpil prep bean sprout soup for Boonhee, saying he’s such a great husband. Only Boonhee saunters in, having been woken by their voices, and yells that she asked him to make bean sprout soup 2 days ago and he didn’t so she had some on her own. She asks if she can’t even remember that much. So much for being a great husband.
Saetbyul isn’t fazed by the bickering though and envies having a family that looks and one another in their own way. It feels like a goodbye when she says to herself that she hopes they’re happy and healthy for a long, long time. Uh-oh is she leaving for good?
Meanwhile, Daehyun calls Yeonjoo’s office and hears she hasn’t come to work, so he steels himself and goes to her place, missing her and Seungjoon leaving by 2 minutes. He bravely meets with her mother, who laughs that he’s acting like it’s their first time meeting. Daehyun says it is their first meeting.
[He tries so so hard wow, Yeonjoo doesn’t deserve him.] He explains that Yeonjoo and him have had a misunderstanding and says he hopes to sort it out but acknowledges that it comes down to Yeonjoo’s decision. Her mom realizes that Daehyun’s asking her to stay out of it and he gently confirms it, saying he wants to the decision to be Yeonjoo’s without external pressure. Yeonjoo’s mother keeps a cool face after Daehyun leaves, but immediately calls her secretary in a furor. The next thing we know, Boonhee gains a mysterious rich customer who wants to be insurance from her. She happily runs off to make a sale. And a recruiter mysteriously happens to be YELLING about a job right next to Yeongpil who happily applies. Oh no, oh no, this is going to be so so so painful to watch.
Boonhee arrives at – you guessed it – Yeonjoo’s home, where her mysterious customer is (a piece of shit) Yeonjoo’s mom. She’s outclassed and she knows it, but cheerfully tries to make her sale anyway. Yeonjoo’s mom picks out the two most expensive policies and says she’ll purchase them. She then turns the conversation to family and how she doesn’t know what to do about her well-educated daughter dating a lower-class man. Boonhee doesn’t know that this is about Daehyun and agrees.
Boonhee goes to to say some seriously terrible things for the purpose of making the sale including: that Yeonjoo’s mom has the right to correct her daughter if she’s going doing the wrong path by dating someone of a ‘different class’, that similar ‘class’ people should date, that ‘lower-class people’ should stay in their lane and keep away from the almighty rich. It’s really bad and Yeonjoo’s mom takes vindictive pleasure in all the self-reinforcing garbage coming out of Boonhee’s mouth. Boonhee leaves feeling delighted at scoring a sale. But will it go through? I wonder.
Daehyun returns to find Saetbyul trying to leave. Right as she’s about to go, he’s hit with even more trouble. A customer claims Dalshik sold him an expired sausage and demands $3,000 in settlement for his stomach troubles. The headquarters is breathing down Daehyun’s neck, but he’s certain he threw out all the expired food. He goes through the CCTV and sees the supposed victim of food-poisoning acting sketchy as hell. He realizes that this a scam, but the customer took both his copy and the store copy of the receipt, but Dalshik was too engrossed in his call with Geumbi to notice. NOw Daehyun has no proof and will have to pay the money.
Saetbyul worries over it and confronts Dalshik.
Dalshik mentions pressing circumstances, but Saetbyul yells at him to pay up instead of Daehyun or else.
In the meantime, Yeongpil heads to Yeonjoo’s house for his interview, dressed in a suit and everything. Like Boonhee, he’s overwhelmed at its grandeur. Yeonjoo’s mom tests his ability as a driver by…holding a full cup of tea in the car and seeing if his driving will slip a single drop. WHAT THE FUCK. She belittles him whenever possible vvbut he doesn’t notice.
Meanwhile, Boonhee is rewarded at work for making the most sales. Her boss provides her with an expensive set of Korean beef, which she happily grills for the family that night. [I really, really hope Yeonjoo’s mom actually signs the contract. Or Boonhee’s going to have to pay up for all that beef and that’ll devastate her and ruin her position at her job. UGH I HATE RICH PEOPLE.]
But in the present, Boonhee’s pretty happy at how life is going.
Yeongpil elatedly mentions his interview as well, neither realizing that they were at the same house. Only Daehyun remains morose throughout and leaves dinner early. His family wonders what’s wrong.
Meanwhile, Dalshik and Geumbi confide in Daehyun and Saetbyul respectively, regarding their crushes. Geunbi’s noticed similarities in Dalshik’s manhwa and what she’s done to Dalshik [uhhh.. as in pinching his nipples, that’s how bad it is]
They both don’t realize who the other is and both wonder if they should meet in person. Saetbyul and Daehyun wonder who the other person even is.
Daehyun wonders if Dalshik’s getting catfished but Dalshik can’t imagine that being true. oh boy.
Saetbyul’s staying with Eunjo while she hunts for her sister and worries over Daehyun. Eunjo notices Saetbyul’s long list of worries and cries at how she can’t help her friend out. She asks if Saetbyul’s gone to Geumbi but Saetbyul doesn’t mention Geumbi’s fight with her dad and promises that she’ll catch the real-estate scammer. But first, she wants to help Daehyun.
At a meeting the next day, Seungjoon takes out his anger at being jilted on Yeonjoo. He demands that she formally reprimand Daehyun for the customer complaint. It doesn’t help that everyone at the meeting knows that Yeonjoo will be reprimanding Daehyun and tell her it’s her fault for going ‘so easy on him’. [Since when has Yeonjoo EVER gone easy on the poor guy. UGH].
Saetbyul arrives to see a friend from the headoffice drop by and warn Daehyun of what’s coming. Daehyun wonders if he should just give in.
His colleague tells him that he just wants to see Daehyun succeed and leaves. Saetbyul worriedly watches Daeyun slump, not knowing what to do.
She calls Dalshik and says she’s waiting in front of his apartment and he better show up. Dalshik whines about a date with his secret admirer but has no choice.
At the same time, Jiwook calls Saetbyul.
He managed to find the agency she’s under and has videos of her practicing with her group. Only in reality, Eunbyul isn’t getting along too well with her group members who treat her like a housekeeper.
She blows up and says she’ll settle things with her fists if they keep doing this. The girls threaten to tell on her to their manager but Eunbyul warns them not to mess with her because she’s someone who “only cares about going forward”. [This is so going to backfire on her]
Jiwook ends his call with Saetbyul unaware that a paparazzi has followed him this entire time and snapped pictures of him coming out of Eunbyul’s entertainment agency.
Saetbyul, on the other hand, heads to the hospital where the man is supposedly ‘recovering’, but is instead gleefully planning what to do with his newfound $3000. She threatens him to reduce the sum he’s demanding or else. The man and his girlfriend laugh, not considering Saetbyul a threat but she brings in Dalshik. Only it’s a very different Dalshik dressed in the classic style of a gang member.
The man’s easily scared and reduces what he’s demanding to $1,000. Dalshik almost wets himself trying to keep up the act but does a damn good job.
Saetbyul informs a delighted Daehyun that she wheedled the man into reducing his demands (but doesn’t mention how). Daehyun’s delighted but gently tells her that she doesn’t have to concern herself with his business when she has a real-estate scammer to find. Saetbyul huffs away calling him ungrateful and Daehyun sighs that he pissed her off. Right then, Jiwook comes in looking for Saetbyul.
Daehyun tells him she no longer works at the store. Jiwok asks for her address and Daehyun has to admit that Saetbyul was scammed and he no longer knows where she lives. Jiwook’s horrified. In a fit of pique, he asks Daehyun why he doesn’t care about Saetbyul.
Jiwook storms off and Daehyun wonders why he’s so angry.
Knowing Saetbyul well, Jiwook’s able to find her and tells her to live her life without worrying about Eunbyul. He asks if she’s like to stay at his place and Saetbyul accepts. They sneak into his fancy apartment building unaware that they’re getting papped.
He shows her Eunbyul’s dance practice videos and Saetbyul looks relieved that she seems to be doing well.
The next day, Yeongpil gets ready for his job as Yeonjoo’s mother’s chauffeur. Boonhee gruffly slides him some money tells him to look and at the part. She even says she’ll do the dishes for him. Yeongpil drives Yeonjoo to work. She’s cold and due as always, not knowing that this is her boyfriend’s father. Yeongpil notices that she works at headquarters and marvels at the ‘coincidence’.
Meanwhile, Saetbyul calls her old manager at the promotional goods gig she had, asking if he has any work. He says he doesn’t, but we see Seungjoon sitting in front of him, saying Saetbyul can never be hired again.
Saetbyul has no idea about any of this and gets a call from Daehyun asking him to come to the store. When she arrives, quite a few people in the store are performing an inspection. She asks Daehyun why he called her and he says he wanted to show her this. He’s informed the cops to see if the supposed victim from earlier is a scammer and voluntarily asking for an inspection of his premises to prove he has nothing to hide.
[Ahhh, so Daehyun did have an idea as to how she reduced what the victim was demanding.] Saetbyul looks shaken at being caught and gets pissed. She says she’s not impressed at all and he’s just showing off how righteous he is. As she leaves, she yells:
Daehyun grouses at her rudeness but gets a text for Yeonjoo asking if they can meet for dinner. He happily agrees and asks where they should meet. Yeonjoo sighs. [Looks like this won’t be good.]
Over dinner, Daehyun explains exactly what happened with Saetbyul and how his mom was responsible for all this. Yeonjoo doesn’t seem to be listening and adds noodles to their food. Daehyun pauses, saying Yeonjoo doesn’t like ramen though.
He looks so lost! She says he should meet someone that suits him, because she doesn’t think she’s that person. He tries to stop her but she gets up right after saying that and rides off with Seungjoon. Daehyun can do nothing but watch her go.
I don’t think there’s anything else I felt while watching today’s episode besides pure fury. Yeonjoo, her mother, Seungjoon. There wasn’t a single ray of sunshine together because these large clouds poured on poor Daehyun. Tomorrow’s episode doesn’t look like it’s going to get better. It looks like Daehyun’s about to find out where his dad works, or rather for whom he works. I can only hope Saetbyul and Daehyun comes through for each other because it really looks like no one’s going to come through for them.
I like that Daehyun had no feelings whatsoever for Saetbyul beyond friendship and that it was Yeonjoo who was two-timing. In a lot of shows where the male/female lead already has a partner, we usually have the male/female lead slowly falling for someone else and then their partner does something terrible enough for the male/female lead to be justified in leaving them for the other person. Here, Daehyun loved Yeonjoo and did everything he possible could for her.
I just worry that in showing the depth of his devotion for Yeonjoo that this show won’t succeed in showing his relationship with Saetbyul as something special, as the right fit for him, instead of a rebound. Because done poorly, Saetbyul could seem like a rebound. We don’t have many episodes left so I’m really hoping the show comes through on this because we’ve explored the demise of Daehyun and Yeonjoo’s relationship really well (I’m really satisfied with how realistically this went down), but can Backstreet Rookie pull off a new relationship well in such little time? Tomorrow will tell!