Steering away from the comedy and romance, episode 10 of Backstreet Rookie doubles down on the melodrama in the best possible way. With bubbling tensions simmering up to boiling point, this Korean drama delivers a really strong episode. Whether it’s enough to push this out of mediocrity remains to be seen but there’s certainly some promising signs ahead.
Instead of taking her home, Seung-Joo decides Yeon-Joo needs to go out for drinks. While she starts to cheer up, Dae-Hyun most certainly does not. As he takes over from Boon-Hee at the convenience store, Dae-Hyun continues to wallow in self-pity.
Saet-Byul meanwhile learns that Director Cho has been meddling in her affairs and he’s the reason she’s not working for him anymore. Desperate to find out how Dae-Hyun is, Saet-Byul heads out but keeps a distance. While she watches him longingly, Ji-Wok sees her in the distance and sighs heavily. Realizing she still has feelings for Dae-Hyun, he walks away.
In the morning, Dae-Hyun learns that Yeon-Joo’s Mother is the second-largest shareholder in GS 25. Given what Yeon-Joo told him before about not lying to one another, his ex-girlfriend is really starting to sound pretty hypocritical now. It’s made even worse when Hye-Ja returns home and Dae-Hyun sees first-hand that his Dad working for her.
Unfortunately Boon-Hee also sees too but keeps a distance to save her son the embarrassment. Eventually she puts on a brave face and heads inside where she gets Hye-Ja to sign the insurance contract. Only, she clearly knows what’s happening and tries to convince Hye-Ja not to meddle in her daughter’s affairs. As she leaves, Yong-Pil too starts to sink into a depressive state and turns on the sprinklers as a parting gift for Hye-Ja while he leaves.
After sweet talking Ji-Wok into giving it up, Saet-Byul finds the location of Eun-Byul’s audition. Hiding in the garage, she overhears her sister talking on the phone and smiles as it’s surprisingly positive. They finish eating together and Saet-Byul heads back home quietly. Only, she finds Boon-Hee upstairs waiting for her. Despite berating her, Saet-Byul holds back tears of joy as Boon-Hee calls herself the girl’s guardian and family.
Heading to the convenience store with a cooling mat for him to sit on, Saet-Byul struggles to find Dae-Hyun. Thankfully Dal-SIk gives her hints over where he may be and she heads to the beach, desperate to cheer him up.
Dae-Hyun is blind drunk though and passes out on the floor. As he does, Saet-Byul grabs him and takes him back home where we learn she fell in love with Dae-Hyun 10 years ago. Grabbing her wrist, a drunken Dae-Hyun pulls her in closer to him, which is where the episode ends.
The Review Write-Up
There’s a decent amount of melodrama in this episode and it’s certainly welcome to see the supporting characters given more development. The messy situation with Hye-Ja spills over in the worst possible way and the whole family are humiliated. Dal-Sik’s inclusion here though injects the series with the perfect amount of humour to offset this. His ongoing saga with Aphrodite is cute too and it’ll be interesting to see what his reaction is to finding out it’s Geum-Bi.
Alongside that though, the ending hints that the show may be trying to rekindle the romantic sparks between Dae-Hyun and Saet-Byul. Whether that’s a good move or not remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure though, Backstreet Rookie delivers one of its best episodes so far. Let’s hope that continues!