Find The Unique Solution
Episode 14 of Crash Course in Romance begins with Dong-hui once more aiming at Haeng-seon. The real story though is that Hae-e spotted him and tried to run away. Dong-hui tied her up and brought her back to his place but she broke free from her binds. Hae-e notices that the place is like a shrine to Chi-yeol but in her efforts to run away, she was hit by a car. Dong-hui follows, leaving a note on her phone before eventually leaving Hae-e in a mess on the ground.
Hae-e is taken to the hospital and when Haeng-seon and the others find out, they hurry and wait nervously for the results. Chi-yeol reassures Haeng-seon, while Dong-hui heads to the hospital and feigns sympathy. When he finds out Hae-e is in recovery, he’s not happy. After all, she knows his secret and if she wakes up, it’ll all be over for him.
Hae-e is in a rough way but she’s moved to a recovery suite. Unfortunately, the police believe the suicide story to be correct and point out the note on her phone and the blank exam paper as evidence toward this. That’s fine except for the fact they clearly haven’t even checked Hae-e’s body for injuries, and Haeng-seon manages to do just that. She notices a red mark on her palm, which won’t come off with wet wipes.
Sun-jae is wracked with guilt as a result of Hae-e’s injuries and tells his mum once more that they need to open up and tell the Academy the truth about the exam papers. Seo-jin refuses, pointing out that she’s doing all of this for his future. “You have a great career. Are you happy?” Sun-jae asks. And tellingly, Seo-jin is silent. That’s a no then!
Su-a continues to spiral, and even more so now than Hae-e has attempted to “commit suicide”. Su-a’s results are back and they’re not good, while Sun-jae gets his results back and heads up to the roof, contemplating jumping over the edge. Geon-hui arrives and quite literally knocks some sense into him, as the pair end up wrestling. It’s just what Sun-jae needs to relieve a bit of a stress as these two continue their on/off friendship.
Back at the hospital, Chi-yeol interjects when the detectives question Haeng-seon about the possibility of abuse being linked to Hae-e’s backstory. Haeng-seon urges the police to reinvestigate, pointing out the strange suicide note is not like her, while the marks on Hae’es palm are another red flag. Finally Chi-yeol starts to get the message that Dong-hui is a fraud, as he learns that his assistant has decided to go ahead with the math camp despite promising to delay it.
When Chi-yeol confronts Dong-hui about his behaviour, the latter makes things personal and points out that he’s throwing his future away. Dong-hui snaps and makes a horrible remark about Hae-e, prompting Chi-yeol to part ways with him and kick his assistant out.
Dong-hui heads home and rips down Chi-yeol’s photos off the wall, bemoaning his luck. He also grabs a journal off the table too, something written by Su-hyeon. Dong-hui believes that Chi-yeol has abandoned them, as we learn that Dong-hui is actually Seong-hyeon, the kid brother of Su-hyeon, the girl who jumped off the balcony.
The abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother, who tortured him constantly, forcing him to sleep out on the balcony, study non-stop and even poured water over his head. It would appear that Su-hyeon pushed his mother off the balcony, but a lack of definitive evidence allowed him to get off without facing time behind bars.
Fast forward 3 years and after losing a bunch of weight, Dong-hui started working for Chi-yeol, paying his way into getting a fake ID to get close to Chi-yeol. As for Chi-yeol himself, he realizes that Dong-hui is the bad guy here, evidenced by a bright red mark on his papers.
Hae-e’s birth mother shows up, as eccentric as ever, and pretending to care about her daughter. She claims to have been in Japan all this time but given she’s never cared about Hae-e before, Haeng-seon watches silently at her sister’s eccentric behaviour.
Speaking of crazy behaviour, the midterm results are updated and everyone from Class 1 suffers. All the mums end up receiving calls as someone has let slip about the leaked exam papers. It’s quite clearly Sun-jae, who rings his father and asks him to look after their mum in the aftermath of this.
Chi-yeol heads home but Dong-hui is there, waiting to apologize. He drops to his knees and begs for forgiveness, promising to never cross the line again. Chi-yeol decides they should start anew and offers to shake his hand. Now, Chi-yeol knows about the calloused hands off the back of the detectives earlier and now he’s starting to seriously suspect Dong-hui. In fact, he follows him home and finds out where he lives.
The Episode Review
There are very few bright patches of happiness in this episode and that’s perhaps to be expected after what we’ve seen across the past few chapters. However, unlike episodes 12 and 13, this one does do a good job of showing Chi-yeol’s deductive mind and how clever he is to lull Dong-hui into a false sense of security.
I do question the police though and why they didn’t even check out Hae-e’s body, especially given we know there’s a ball bearing killer out there and the detectives are closing in on this.
What’s particularly good about Dong-hui’s backstory is how it ties into the overall themes of abuse and parents crossing the line when it comes to “helping” their kids study. This is something we’ve seen in Sky Castle and other dramas of its kind, and Crash Course in Romance does manage to blend the mystery and themes together in a much more coherent and worthwhile way this time around with that big reveal.
You can’t help but feel sorry for Su-hyeon (Dong-hui). What kind of mum would torture their son like this? And to make matters worse, we’ve seen both Sun-jae and Su-a’s mum inching closer toward this sort of behaviour as well, which speaks volumes about this sort of pushy parenting and how damaging it can be.
The final couple of episodes look set to be big ones and while the mystery is handled much more effectively this time around, let’s hope Dong-hui is captured and that’s resolved before a final episode with our familiar rom com vibes!
You can read our full season review for Crash Course in Romance here!