The Worst Birthday Present
Episode 11 of The Interest of Love starts with Su-young reflecting back on the moments with Sang-su in the past. She’s always had affection for him, but she’s also a little regretful that she made him have second thoughts back then. Back when… she decided to reject him? Yeah it’s a bit complicated, but hey, life is too right?
After the ice rink kiss, Sang-su admits that he likes Su-yeong and he’s willing to take the risk to tell her that. He also knows it’s too late and he’s to blame for this stop/start behaviour. He reveals his true feelings to her outside the rink, leaving Su-yeong shocked and unsure how to process this.
Meanwhile, Mi-gyeong learns that her father had a hand in her promotion. It wasn’t for her hard work, it was simply to do with her status in life… and now she gets it. Realizing that her father is treating her exactly as she’s now treating Sang-su, she tries desperately to phone her boyfriend. However, he’s busy going for drinks with Su-yeong, which turns into The Lying Game.
The pair trade a whole bunch of lies as part of their game, with Su-yeong eventually admitting that she’s the one who probably liked him first. While the par are gentle and understanding, Mi-gyeong is not. She’s not willing to accept Sang-su’s reluctance to commit and decides to ring him and Su-yeong constantly. Naturally, neither of them pick up as they’re too busy holding hands during the car ride home.
Back home, Su-yeong is greeted by Jong-hyeon who has food for her as a thank you. He also promises to pay her back after all of this, given his father has now had surgery and will be undergoing rehab shortly. Su-yeong apologizes to Jong-hyeon but her initial prickly demeanour (and clearly feels guilty too) and allows him to take his time before leaving his.
This whole situation is resting on a precarious knife edge, especially with the secrets likely to spill out at some point. For now though, it slips into the morning meeting at work and it’s super awkward between everyone. The first port of call comes from a move to the sub-branch that needs some help for 3 months.
Su-yeong volunteers but they need one more. Sang-su very clearly wants to go and almost raises his hand (which Mi-gyeong notices) until Gil-pyeong steps up and volunteers. Although he’s not happy with this, Su-yeong is the most experienced in this field, given the others at the branch don’t have anywhere near the same level of expertise.
After an amusing interaction with another team member, whom Sang-su and Si-yeong overhear calling Su-yeong a pretty troll, Sang-su’s mother stops by for a loan. When she heads off, Mi-gyeong rushes outside to see them off and hugs Sang-su. He doesn’t reciprocate and in fact, asks Mi-gyeong for some time so they can talk. Mi-gyeong makes up a whole bunch of excuses to stave off the inevitable as Sang-su refuses to elaborate. In fact, she’s cold toward Sang-su at work for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, Su-yeong breaks the news of her move to Jong-hyeon who admits he’s a bad boyfriend and not very dependable. She tells him it’s not like that and in fact, makes some time to see him at the study cafe. However, his friend happens to be outside and Su-yeong meets Seon-Jae for the first time. The same Seon-jae whom Jong-hyeon was talking to in the study group and refused to take a call from during the date.
Su-yeong heads off to the sub-branch for her work but things have changed now. Su-yeong and Sang-su are more determined than ever in what they want… but there’s a problem. Gyeong-pil sees them together and contemplates what to do. At the same time, Mi-gyeong returns to the office after an extended period of absence. unfortunately, she just misses Sang-su who originally said he’d be leaving to pick her up… but actually showed to see Su-yeong.
Sang-su does return to the office later on and confronts Mi-gyeong, once again telling her they really need to talk. Mi-gyeong refuses to hear it and walks away, not having the courage to face Sang-su’s confessions.
Speaking of confessions, Mi-gyeong shows up to see Sang-su’s mum and admits that she’s the one who helped get her the security deposit she asked for. Mi-gyeong encourages her to keep it a secret from her son. Instead, she refuses the offer and decides she’ll straighten things out with the landlady. After all this time, Mi-gyeong doesn’t understand the value of hard work, believing money will solve all problems.
Meanwhile, news of Seok-hyun’s mistress and cheating on his wife is big news across the bank. All the district managers are aware of what’s happening and how the story goes. Both Su-yeong and Sang-su become part of this whole ordeal. Su-yeong is humiliated by half the guys, who believe she’s the one who’s the mistress.
Gyeong-pil tells all of this to Sang-su and points out how he knows exactly what he’s been up to. Sang-su refuses to entertain him but he does tell Sang-su to make sure neither woman gets too hurt. So as a result, he messages Mi-gyeong again who agrees to meet him the following day after work. Unfortunately, Mi-gyeong also happens to have invited Su-yeong and Jong-hyeon too… to celebrate her birthday. And of course, Sang-su doesn’t even have a present! It’s incredibly awkward as Sang-su takes a seat.
The dinner goes ahead and I know I said it before but this dinner is unbelievably awkward. You can cut the tension with a knife as Mi-gyeong brings up how long Sang-su and Su-yeong have known each other. As things get tense, Sang-su decides to speak to Mi-gyeong in private.
As they drive back, things take an awful turn, inevitably. She refuses to hear him out, especially on her birthday. She pulls the car over and starts to be sick by the side of the road, pointing out to Sang-su that Jong-hyeon and Su-yeong are living together. “I’m sorry. Let’s break up.” Sang-su eventually says.
At the same time, Jong-hyeon turns to Su-yeong at the bus stop and asks: “Do you really like me? Do you love me?”
The Episode Review
It seems episode 11 is all about the awkwardness and my gosh how crazy was that final dinner? It’s been foreshadowed for a while that this whole thing would be a complete disaster with our four leads and we finally get a taste of that right at the death. For Sang-su to not just break up with Mi-gyeong but to do it on her birthday of all days, right after a super awkward meal with Jong-hyeon and Su-yeong, is next level.
That whole section with the car ride had been beautifully foreshadowed earlier in the series though when Gyeong-pil revealed to Sang-su that Mi-gyeong went through a messy break-up before.
It’s very clear that this is going to spill over at the bank, especially if the Seok-hyun situation is anything to go by here. There’s absolutely no turning back now but whether Su-yeong has the conviction to break up with Jong-hyeon as well remains to be seen. I have a feeling she may not, and then the whole situation with Sang-su is going to become big news at the branch.
Everything here has been simmering for a while and now we’re finally hitting boiling point. This messy drama is going to absolutely explode in the coming episodes.
You can read our full season review for The Interest of Love here!