Catching The Swindler
Backstreet Rookie returns for another decent slice of drama as the second half of this show steps it up a gear after a wobbly few weeks of trying to find a consistent rhythm. With Saet-Byul and Dae-Hyun’s relationship established a lot more as friends or siblings rather than lovers, this allows for the drama to feel a lot more organic.
Much like yesterday’s episode, it allows the comedic elements to really shine through alongside the romance.
Episode 8 of Backstreet Rookie picks up following Dae-Hyun’s scare at the end of the previous episode. Saet-Byul stays at Dae-Hyun’s house for the evening and it seems to be just what she needs to wake up with renewed vigor. In the morning, she teams up with Geum-Bi to phone Hyeon-Ji, Eun-Byul’s friend, demanding to know where her sister is.
While she heads out to Manbok Real Estate, demanding answers to what’s happening, Yong-Pil dreams of Jang-Mi until Boon-He notices him sleeping when he should be working and starts beating her husband.
Meanwhile, Yeon-Joo starts to doubt her relationship with Dae-Hyun. This is made even more difficult for her when Dae-Hyun bags a couple of musical tickets for the following night so they can go to the show together.
After watching with him, it turns out they have the opportunity to get an autograph and picture with Director Edward…that same Director we saw in the previous episode.
Seung-Joo shows up too and notices how reserved and embarrassed Yeon-Joo seems to be with her boyfriend. It’s all too much for Yeon-Joo though as she hurries out the front door and gets a taxi back home. Only, en-route she changes her mind and decides to visit Seung-Joo at the bar where the two begin kissing.
Dae-Hyun meanwhile learns about Saet-Byul’s living arrangements and works with her to chase after the Manbok Real Estate Owner. Unfortunately he manages to slip away under a metal grate leaving them high and dry.
Saet-Byul turns her attention to Eun-Byul instead and enlists the help of her “Puppy” to try and work out where she is following her successful second audition. As we soon see, Eun-Byul’s getting a taste of her own medicine as the other girls force her to do all the chores inside the house.
Meanwhile, Dal-Sik continues to write but Geum-Bi’s obsession with his erotic manga becomes awkward when she accidentally donates too much money to his cause. As the pair start talking online, unaware of who the other person actually is, they agree to meet up.
Dae-Hyun refuses to give up on the Real Estate situation though and uses the expertise of his Father’s friends, the “Heavenly Kings”, to find out more about Man-Bok. On a stake-out, Dae-Hyun and Saet-Byul run into one another but unfortunately fail to catch the swindler.
The next day, Yeon-Joo and Saet-Byul both attend the award ceremony where the latter picks up her prize for being the best sales-woman. Only, as Seung-Joo hands it over he mentions how he and Yeon-Joo went to the play together during the first night. That same first night she stood up Dae-Hyun.
This certainly doesn’t sit well with Saet-Byul who immediately confronts Yeon-Joo in the lobby and tries to make her see how much Dae-Hyun is worth. Midway through a meeting with Director Cho, Yeon-Joo thinks back over Saet-Byul’s words and they certainly hit home, making her realize what she’s missing.
Desperate to find him, she races over to Dae-Hyun’s house and is invited in by his Mum. As Dae-Hyun tries to encourage Yeon-Joo to leave out the front door, Saet-Byul walks in and the pair stare one another down, which is where the episode ends.
As Backstreet Rookie finally establishes its character dynamics, this drama is actually starting to settle into a much more consistent rhythm. It’s great to see this too because the characters and ideas are certainly here but up until this point it’s all felt a bit under-developed and half-baked.
With the second half establishing a couple of important sub-plots that look like they’re going to get more screen-time going forward, Backstreet Rookie may just offer up some surprises yet. Quite what’s in store for our characters however, remains to be seen.