Red Flags Galore
Episode 3 of Now, We Are Breaking Up winds back to Jae-guk asking Young-Eun if she knows Soo-wan. This time, we flash back ten years to Paris and watch Young-eun meet and fall in love with Soo-wan during her fashion school days.
Another flashback then shows us a longer version of Jae-guk’s call with Yoo-jung. She tells him that Young-eun is that Young-eun.
As the flashbacks end, Jae-guk asks Young-eun what her relationship with Soo-wan was. She blocks the question by asking why she should answer. Before either can continue, the photoshoot begins.
Meanwhile, Chi-sook, who has decided to pursue Jae-guk, ropes Do-hoon into setting up an interview with Jae-guk to continue his professional relationship with Sono, and hopefully extend it into the personal realm with Chi-sook.
Young-eun sets up a dinner between Chi-sook and Jae-guk to discuss the interview. While Chi-sook is on her way, Young-eun meets Jae-guk at the restaurant to request his discretion regarding her filling in for Chi-sook on their blind date.
Jae-guk tries to direct the conversation back to Soo-wan, but Young-eun doesn’t bite. Chi-sook is almost there so Young-eun gets up to leave. At that, Jae-guk brings Young-eun’s choice to have shallow interactions with multiple men into question, juxtaposing it against the seriousness of Soo-wan’s feelings ten years ago.
In another flashback, Soo-wan stresses the importance of having at least one proper meal a day, helping Young-eun find some peace in her busy schedule.
At The One’s office, a potential subcontractor drops off homemade food. She introduces herself to Sono’s youngest design team member, Jung So-yong, who carries the specification sheet for Sono’s new dress design.
That night, Young-eun is doing housework at her apartment when a very drunk Chi-sook arrives at her door along with Jae-guk, Do-hoon, and Kwak Soo-ho, who works for Do-hoon and is Mi-sook’s husband.
Inside Young-eun’s apartment, Do-hoon notices the framed picture, taken by Jae-guk, that Young-eun bought in Paris. While Jae-guk stares at it, we flash back to Soo-wan driving in the rain. He ends a call with Jae-guk as he swerves to avoid an oncoming truck and crashes into a roadworks site.
In the present, Young-eun is in her walk-in closet when Jae-guk enters without permission. When she tells him as much, he pesters her about Soo-wan again, wanting to know what Soo-wan meant to her. Young-eun is fed up, disclosing that Soo-wan apparently cut ties with her without explanation.
We then flash back to Young-eun on the night of Soo-wan’s crash. She waits for him at a restaurant and calls him multiple times. He speeds through the rain, missing the calls. She finally gives up and walks home, obliviously passing Soo-wan’s wrecked car as it is towed away. As the flashback ends, Young-eun tells Jae-guk that she’s been trying to break up with the misery and self-pity she felt that night ever since.
Jae-guk, finally appearing to listen to Young-eun’s pleas for him not to jeopardize the life she’s built, prompts the group to leave. Soo-ho goes home to Mi-sook while Do-hoon escorts Chi-sook in a taxi ride home.
Jae-guk also begins to walk home but stops and turns back to Young-eun’s apartment. He rings her doorbell, but she doesn’t answer. He keeps ringing as she hesitates on the other side of the door. When she eventually pushes the door open, Jae-guk embraces her. They kiss as they make their way further into her apartment.
Jae-guk only returns home the next morning to find Do-hoon looking distressed. In a flashback to his taxi ride with Chi-sook, she flings herself onto him as he nervously tells her to wait. The driver makes a hard turn and Chi-sook falls further onto Do-hoon, kissing him.
Do-hoon lets Jae-guk know that his interview is cancelled. We cut to The One’s office where news has broken that their dress design was leaked, and other brands have already released copies.
Young-eun is reprimanded for the leak and is told to have a plan to make up for the losses that will be incurred. So-yong cries and we flashback to her conversation with the subcontractor. The subcontractor cons So-yong into showing her the specification sheet even though she hasn’t been offered the contract yet.
As the flashback ends, The One’s CEO tells Young-eun to cancel their new dress line to prevent damage to the brand’s image. So-yong wants to resign to pay for her mistake but Young-eun tells her to stay and take responsibility instead.
Young-eun enters a shopping centre where Sono knockoffs are everywhere. She gives Na-ri the instruction to continue the release of their design, confident that people will still pay for the prestige of the original.
She heads back to the office in the rain when she drops her phone. As she picks it up, Jae-guk appears with an umbrella to cover her. He knows about the leak and asks if she’s had lunch, stressing the importance of having at least one proper meal a day. The sentiment reminds Young-eun of Soo-wan, and she asks what relationship the two had. Jae-guk reveals to her that Soo-wan was his brother, and that he died ten years ago.
The Episode Review
Red flags. Red flags galore. This episode was a very long, very laborious lesson in what not to do when you have feelings for someone.
If Jae-guk’s behaviour was a little concerning before, he’s now acting like an actual stalker. His obsession with testing Young-eun and drilling her for information about her relationship with Soo-wan was extremely intrusive. He also crossed a huge boundary by questioning her lifestyle choices, especially in relation to her choice in men and dating, in the name of a man that she does not owe anything to.
Those warning signs then turned into blaring alarms when Jae-guk crossed an actual physical boundary, entering Young-eun’s closet without permission and firing another round of invasive questions at her in her own home.
The direction this episode also did nothing to help Jae-guk’s case. The close-up camera during the scene where he returned to Young-eun’s apartment made him look more like a killer getting ready to go on a spree than a determined lover. His incessant doorbell ringing in the dark hallway while he just stared into the monitor only added to the eerie atmosphere. More than a few women and girls have been in that exact situation (hint: it’s never romantic).
Things weren’t any better with our second leads after Chi-sook harassed Do-hoon in the taxi while he was conveying very clear discomfort. The whole matter was played for laughs but it was tone-deaf at best. Just like most of this episode.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|