How We Approach an Unsolvable Conjecture
Episode 13 of Crash Course in Romance starts with the ball bearing killer aiming at Haeng-seon. Just before he fires though, Chi-yeol arrives just in the nick of time and stops a horrible accident from occurring. He has doughnuts for her, as the camera pans across to the man inside the car to reveal that it’s definitely Ji Dong-hui.
As for Hui-jae, he tells the court that he’s been feeding stray cats out in the street. However, all of a sudden they started to get killed or injured by metal balls. He was patrolling the area and caught sight of the culprit. He followed Dong-hui, and witnessed him hurting Young-min. Hui-jae fled the scene but unfortunately Dong-hui caught up and almost choked him out. Hui-jae didn’t see the culprit’s face but knows that the index finger of the culprit was calloused, long and white.
Off the back of this statement, and the lack of a thorough investigation, Hui-jae’s mum calls for the entire incident to be written off. When Hui-jae walks out the courtroom, he points the finger at his mum, Seo-jin, bemoaning her bad parenting for suspecting him from the beginning and not giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Meanwhile, the students get their test results back but Hae-e is livid at Sun-jae and wants to talk about the test. Su-a approaches her and believes she’s cheated to get the top result in Maths, the one she didn’t cheat on. When Hae-e turns, Su-a grabs her hair only for everything to be broken up by the other students. It’s a precarious situation, one that eventually ends with Hae-e skipping out of school.
At the same time as this, Haeng-seon realizes there’s something going on between Jae-woo and Yeong-joo, with the former admitting that he misread the situation and didn’t mean that this was gross but more that he wasn’t sure on his feelings. He helps out Yeong-joo and speaks to Chi-yeol later on too, contemplating whether he has real feelings for Yeong-joo.
When Seo-jin heads home, Sun-jae is there and he’s not happy. He calls out his mum for the test results, who admits that she needed to do whatever she could to get him an advantage over the competition. Sun-jae pleads with her to stop this, contemplating going to the academy and admitting the truth.
The Director at the Academy comes up with an idea of drumming up extra support for Choi Chi-yeol as a comeback. He contemplates a Math Camp that’ll bring in a fair amount of participants. He deduces that it could be over 2000 that attend if he agrees. Thanks to Dong-hui’s persuasion, Chi-yeol decides to go ahead with this.
With Chi-yeol’s thermostat broken, he decides to use this as an excuse to come over and see Haeng-seon at her place. Jae-woo greets him as brother-in-law of course and allows him to stay in his room, as per the normal Korean culture!
The group all play games together but Hae-e is not in the mood. After the whole math debacle, she retreats to her room, struggling to get through to Sun-jae, who’s not picking his phone up. He feels like he’s betrayed Hae-e and clearly feels ashamed of what’s happened. As Sun-jae berates himself, Hui-jae shows and comforts his brother.
Over at Haeng-seon’s house, Chi-yeol wakes up in the middle of the night and switches rooms to Haeng-seon’s. She’s shocked but the pair eventually snuggle together for the rest of the night. When they awaken in the morning, Haeng-seon and Chi-yeol find themselves caught in the same room. Chi-yeol slips over into Jae-woo’s, prompting a hilarious “man to man” promise to keep what happened in the middle of the night a secret.
Outside, Hae-e tries to talk about the test results but Chi-yeol admits that he has a packed schedule and doesn’t have a lot of time to talk. He rings Dong-hui after, asking for the photos and videos from Incheon to be sent over. Our killer begrudgingly sends them eventually, where Haeng-seon notices that the water is completely still, throwing Dong-hui’s little excuse about waves awry.
At the Academy, Sun-jae is praised for getting the answers in the Reading section correction, given it’s his strength. As for Hae-e, she flunks that part intentionally, not wanting to win by cheating. She feels betrayed and notices Sun-jae outside looking guilty. However, Su-a approaches and contemplates throwing Hae-e off the roof, She doesn’t, thankfully, but it goes to show the amount of pressure and stress she’s under.
The detectives close in on Dong-hui, doing a background search on Jeong Seong-hyeon, looking more thoroughly at the case this time. Speaking of looking thoroughly, Haeng-seon stops by the office to give Chi-yeol and the team some food. When she turns the corner, returning as she forgot something, she notices Dong-hui throwing the bags in the bin.
Caught red-handed, Haeng-seon confronts the crook and demands answers. She knows that he’s a fake and is intentionally trying to do her wrong. Chi-yeol overhears and tries to explain away Dong-hui’s actions but it seems even he’s having trouble with this. When Chi-yeol hears Dong-hui’s excuses, he shrugs them off, deciding they need to finish recording first.
Hae-e speaks to Seo-jin that night, admitting that she’s been trying to convince Sun-jae to do the right thing and speak the truth to the teachers. Seo-jin scoffs and points out that her own exam results would go in the toilet if she does that. Well, Hae-e has already submitted a blank exam so that won’t be a problem. She wants to try and make things right and do the righteous thing but Seo-jin shrugs it off, pointing out that loads of people will be hurt if she does this.
On the way home, Hae-e is stalked by Su-a who once again imagines hurting the girl. It’s definitely something linked with her psychological breaks and it makes for an unnerving sequence. Su-a heads back home before she does anything though, soaked in sweat and believing she’s out of her mind. Su-a admits to her mum that she’s turning into a monster and doesn’t know who she is anymore.
Meanwhile, Hae-e doesn’t come home and no one appears to have seen her. Yeong-joo and Haeng-seon begin looking through the streets, while Chi-yeol and Sun-jae join the hunt too. The thing is, the last person to speak to Hae-e was Seo-jin, which doesn’t look good for her. When Sun-jae finds out this is the case, he’s livid and demands to know what happened. She shrugs incredulously at Sun-jae’s accusations and then tells him to “go to school or whatever.” Mum of the year right here!
At the police station, Chi-yeol and Haeng-seon learn about the blank reading paper. They try ringing Hae-e again and it does ring through but it seems to have turned off again before they get anywhere. So what really happened? Well, we cut to that night and see Hae-e running down the street. Unfortunately, she’s hit by a car. And who should be standing over her? Yep, it’s our killer, Dong-hui.
The Episode Review
Crash Course in Romance goes full melodrama makjang here, with an entire episode that seems to have lost sight of what made this show so appealing to begin with. I’m all for tonal shifts in shows (I actually enjoyed Twenty Five Twenty One’s somber tone late on) but here it seems to betray what this series was supposed to be.
The red herring with Su-a being involved with Hae-e’s disappearance and subsequent accident was obviously too good to be true and alas, it’s Dong-hui who’s behind what happened. But in doing all of this, and focusing so much on the obvious murder, the show has slipped into dark thriller territory.
The tonal shift here feels jarring and awkward, especially as the writers attempt to weave that in with more lovey scenes between Chi-yeol and Haeng-seon. These fail to actually strike the right chord as a result. It’s such a shame as well because the series has been firing on all cylinders for a long run of episodes. Hopefully this killer subplot can get wrapped up and leave this one to finish on a high.
You can read our full season review for Crash Course in Romance here!