Breaking The Glass Ceiling
Episode 9 of Record Youth begins with an interesting flashback for Jeong-Ha as we see the significance of rain in Jeong-Ha’s past. This ties in with her parents and she never thought anyone would get her an umbrella or keep her safe. In terms of keeping safe though, she finds solitude in her uncertain but exciting future with Hye-Jun.
Hye-Jun heads out for a run but is interrupted by Min-Jae calling through with confirmation of his schedule for the day. Eventually he asks to meet at the salon for Jeong-Ha to do his make-up in preparation for his big day ahead. When he hangs up, he finds Min-Ki up stretching and preparing to make good on his promise to have a career in modeling.
When Hye-Jun returns home, Min-Ki follows and begins scolding Yeong-Nam. Yeong-Nam’s icy heart seems to be thawing slightly though as he sits and watches Hye-Jun’s performance on his phone in the bedroom. When Ae-Suk calls him up for it, he simply brushes it aside and continues.
Elsewhere, Jeong-ha gets off the phone to her Father and finds a message from Hae-Hyo confirming what he’s wearing for his big gig. In celebration of this, catering staff work hard to get mouth-watering dishes available for Hae-Hyo. When Tae-Su sees this, he immediately suspects something and keeps his guard up That something happens to be I-Yeong who sits down to talk with him about the upcoming drama that Do-Ha and Hae-Hyo will be starring in. If she apologizes then Hae-Hyo will be in the supporting role.
It turns out Hae-Hyo’s being referred to as a “silver-spooner”. Do-Ha wants to be friends with him as he had everything handed to him on a plate. It’s a back-handed compliment and one that seems to hint Do-Ha wants to leech off Hae-Hyo. He doesn’t have any friends and senses Hye-Jun is bitter and greedy. Acting as the good friend that he is, Hae-Hyo sticks up for Hye-Jun and tells him the boy is not like that.
I-Yeong however, most certainly is. She starts to take offence to Hye-Jun’s meteoric rise to stardom and wonders whether her son and him are on the same level. As her cagey conversation with Hye-Jun draws to a close, I-Yeong learns about the relationship between Jeong-ha and Hye-Jun. As she gets up to leave, she walks away smiling. She’s definitely up to something.
It turns out I-Yeong’s parents always ruled over her and she’s determined to do the same thing for Hae-Hyo.
Meanwhile, Jin-U meets Hae-Na outside while he’s drunk. After some back and forth, they eventually embrace and head back to the hotel room where it’s implied that they sleep together. On the back of this though, Hae-Na receives some pretty damning news from her friend about her Mother and how badly I-Yeong’s hooks are clawed into her.
Min-Ki is unfortunately less than impressive on the cat walk. He stumbles again and worries that he’ll be dropped from the program. Called in to speak to his mentor, she mentions a nursing home called Premium Silver. Thankfully she’s not suggesting he get a room there, rather they’ve requested him to be their model for a print ad going forward.
Hye-Jun works his way through his interview with a reporter while Min-Jae watches on. When she asks about Tae-Su though, Min-Jae acts suspiciously and she senses there’s more to this story.
I-Yeong and Ae-Suk have very different ways of parenting. I-Yeong remains confused over why Ae-Suk won’t meddle with Hye-Jun’s relationship. When Jin-U’s Mother phones, I-Yeong starts bad mouthing her but Ae-Suk is having none of it. These two feel on the verge of having a big argument but right now that hasn’t come to fruition.
Back home the family gather for Min-Ki’s big announcement. He’s in an advertisement and thanks Hye-Jun for the deal he’s got. Yeong-Nam is not convinced though and believes that the whole thing is a scam.
Hye-Jun eventually flies off the handle and confronts his father over the lack of support he gives. Of course Gyeong-Jun gets involved too and it causes fractures to grow in the family. Eventually Hye-Jun and Min-Ki leave the dinner table and eat alone.
The next day, Hye-Jun’s fame is clear to see as he attends a press conference for Director Choi’s movie with Hae-Hyo and Do-Ha. He completely outshines the other two and although he doesn’t say much, he does make a big impact on the crowd and presenter. Backstage, he even receives a beauty package and a cell phone for his troubles.
While Hae-Hyo does his best to be a good friend, Tae-Su tries to calm down Do-Ha who’s annoyed at Hye-Jun’s fame. On the back of this, Tae-Su tells his client to be patient. Do-Ha is beside himself though and determined to beat Hye-Jun no matter what.
Hye-Jun’s next project – carefully selected from a slew of titles – happens to be The King Returns. As we cut forward in time, we see a snippet of an action sequence from that mini-series. As filming wraps up, Min-Jae and Hye-Jun realize the next roll-call is at 5am and decide to sleep somewhere near to where they are.
The next day, Hye-Jun knocks it out the park with an excellent performance. The drama tops the charts and it causes Hye-Jun’s popularity to sky-rocket. The newspapers are all over this too and start to call him a superstar. Hye-Jun remains grounded and humble in the wake of this lavish praise and focuses on work.
While things look up for Hye-Jun, Jeong-Ha contemplates buying out a commercial space for her upcoming project. On the back of this, she heads off to meet her Father at I Like You. She’s intending to sell her house in order to fund her dream. Her Father however is worried for her and struggles to hold back tears. He apologises for the past and drops to his knees, pleading with Jeong-Ha to let him help with her finances.
With the OVN Drama Awards coming up, I-Yeong finds herself struggling to get to grips with Hye-Jun’s newfound fame. It’s not helped by Jin-U’s Mother who tells her Hye-Jun will win the award for best actor. Desperately, she sits with Hae-Hyo and tells him her blood is boiling.
Hae-Hyo isn’t aware that the 1 million followers he has are fake – bought by I-Yeong herself of course – and she berates him for his lackadaisical attitude in the wake of Hye-Jun’s success.
At the Awards, Hye-Jun wins best actor and is in complete shock. As he revels in the applause, he gives his speech and intentionally avoids mentioning his Father. Hae-Hyo however tries his best to keep smiling but I-Yeong’s words appear to get through to him.
The Episode Review
Interestingly, Record Of Youth jumps forward in time this week and starts to set up an intense rivalry between Hae-Hyo and Hye-Jun. Thanks to I-Yeong’s meddlesome ways it seems likely that these two are going to be fighting over their fame. Hopefully their friendship can remain intact but as we heard from Hae-Na’s friend, I-Yeong’s claws are sharp and dug in deep to her children.
Elsewhere, the significant awkward speech at the end really hammers home how much Yeong-Nam is realizing he was wrong. It’s a surprisingly satisfying moment but one that’s also tinged with poignant regret on his part. His face sank when Hye-Jun intentionally missed off thanking him and it’s obvious he’s realized the error of his ways.
Hopefully we see a redemptive arc in his future, potentially supporting his Father and helping him with the upcoming advertisement gig.
For now though, Record Of Youth bows out with a decent episode. It certainly sets up an intriguing follow-up tomorrow to see what everyone makes of Hye-Jun’s fame.