“Closed For Personal Reasons”
Episode 12 of The Interest of Love starts with us back at the hotel once more but this time we actually see Su-yeong and Sang-su getting the room together. As they get hot and heavy, kissing, a brief scene between Gyeong-pil and Mi-gyeong eventually paves way for how yesterday’s episode ended.
Mi-gyeong does her best to stop Sang-su from breaking up with her, pointing out that him not loving her isn’t a valid excuse to break up. She’s desperate to keep whatever they have together but Sang-su has already made his mind up. “You gave me your word.” She wails, before eventually turning and walking away.
As for Su-yeong and Jong-hyeon, their decision is left hanging over them both as Su-yeong turns it back to her boyfriend and asks where his feelings lie. To complicate matters further, Sang-su and Su-ywong eventually talk on the phone with Sang-su pretending he’s back home and that he’s not okay. The reality is, he’s outside her apartment and she sees him up the road. Jong-hyeon watches the pair outside going for a walk together.
At work the next day, Mi-gyeong acts like everything is okay which surprises Su-yeong. However, everything is given a injection of tension when Yang Seok-hyun is suspended for the affair scandal at work. Mi-gyeong interjects loudly, pointing out that this is exactly what the consequences are for this sort of behaviour, right in front of Su-yeong in the hallway.
Sang-su is well aware of everything that could happen but he doesn’t care. Being brave is about facing your fears and embracing that, ready for whatever could come your way. Mi-gyeong suggests he could lose a lot more than he thinks and is actually okay with him having feelings for someone else because even that is better than breaking up.
Su-yeong tags along with Jong-hyeon and his study group as they celebrate 50 days before their exam. Seon-jae drinks too much and starts acting confrontational toward Su-yeong, showing off how jealous she is. She also brings up how reserved and awkward Jong-hyeon is not that his girlfriend has arrived. That doesn’t seem to phase her though, but what does is seeing the little convenience store shut down on the corner street.
This has some symbolic value here, as it’s a good representation of how Su-yeong and Jong-hyeon have now “shut down for personal reasons” and are a shell of what they once had. Even holding hands doesn’t feel the same. “Your palm is sweaty.” Su-yeong says. Sang-su happens to see them together holding hands and remembers what Mi-gyeong said earlier about the pair of them living together.
The thing is, the love and the spark they once had has gone and no amount of dates and fixing things will remedy how Su-yeong feels. “I have something to give to you.” Jong-hyeon says eventually, showing off a ring to her. She’s taken aback and shocked. She likes the ring he’s got her but it doesn’t fit.
Meanwhile, Sang-su heads out with Mi-gyeong and her mother, sitting them both down to reiterate his news again. Mi-gyeong’s mum points out she fully approves of their marriage which only makes what Sang-su is about to do that much harder. “Don’t do it.”Mi-gyeong pleads, repeatedly. It’s no good. Sang-su reveals that they’re breaking up and she leaves them both at the restaurant, silently, without saying a word.
Mi-gyeong pleads with Sang-su outside, asking why he couldn’t just love her. She doesn’t understand but eventually does leave, distraught. Speaking of leaving, Jong-hyeon also decides he’s going to go, promising Su-yeong that he’ll pay her back and also find a new place. “Can I ask you for a favour?” He says before going, as Su-yeong helps take a picture for him.
At work, Mi-gyeong decides to speak to Su-yeong in confidence. She apologizes and brings up how she’s told Sang-su about her and Jong-hyeon living together. Mi-gyeong shrugs it off, claiming it was for personal reasons. She’s tried to resent Su-yeong but has found she’s incapable of doing that. However, she does want Su-yeong to keep feeling guilty about the whole situation regardless.
Outside, there’s a super frosty confrontation between Sang-su and Jong-hyeon. The latter catches Sang-su phoning Su-yeong after work and he admits she’ll be out soon. However, he clutches his bag with the hand sporting his relationship ring to show off to him. It’s incredibly awkward but perhaps more telling is the fact Su-yeong isn’t wearing her ring. She tries to force it on her finger alone that night, and eventually it does fit but isn’t that just a metaphor for their relationship? Forcing two things together that don’t work?
Sang-su covers for Su-yeong at the sub-branch the following day but she’s left behind her iPod. In reality, she’s needed some space to really contemplate over Jong-hyeon’s question and figure out whether she really does like him or not. It’s very obvious she doesn’t but at the same time, there’s a lot that could go wrong and blow up if what’s happened is made public.
Sang-su heads to the beach to meet Su-yeong, who decides to switch her phone off and ignore Jong-hyeon’s messages professing his love for her. Sang-su sits with Su-yeong and encourages her not to destroy the sandcastle by her side, pointing out that some things can last a long time. After, he obliges to her request to head off and get her something hot to drink, giving her his coat in the meantime. He promises to be quick and heads off to the nearby stall.
Despite rushing there and back, when Sang-su returns to the beach he finds his coat on the floor and Su-yeong gone. Her phone is still switched off and now it becomes clear why. S
Su-yeong visits her father at the oyster place, deciding to sit with him and drink. Su-yeong brings up how hard her mother was working while he was off working, wanting to know exactly why he destroyed their family so. “It can’t be stopped. Once you start loving someone, you can’t stop.” He admits. He knows what he did was wrong but now, finally, Su-yeong understands things from her father’s perspective. He actually came back to their family out of regret but if one knew how much you’d suffer by doing so, he admits he wouldn’t make the same choice again.
Su-yeong bemoans her father’s lack of help (even though he technically has helped her) and heads home. She ignores the message from Jong-hyeon but instead looks over Sang-su’s picture of the sandcastle.
After ringing someone (it’s unclear whether it’s Sang-su, Jong-hyeon or someone else entirely) we cut to the next day. Jong-hyeon shows up at work purposefully, where Su-yeong and Sang-su happen to be in the breakroom together.
Su-yeong says nothing to Sang-su, blanking him the whole time, as Jong-hyeon immediately confronts her at work, demanding to know the truth of what’s happening. Jong-hyeon looks enraged and immediately heads up to see Gyeong-pil who’s behind Sang-su, smacking him in the face. When Sang-su stops him, it turns out Gyeong-pil has apparently slept with Su-yeong. Sang-su is shocked as Su-yeong is caught in the middle of all this.
The Episode Review
What on earth is going on?! The Interest of Love puts the drama back in office drama and good grief, that big reveal is going to send ripples protruding out all through next week’s double bill. Given how many fake-outs and misunderstandings we’ve had across the entire series, I have a feeling this one may be the same.
Gyeong-pil could well be taking a bullet here for Sang-su and pretending that he slept with Su-yeong to shield the truth, while the latter is just trying to get a rise out of Jong-hyeon, potentially to make him break up with her so she can be with Sang-su without getting her lover in trouble. Take that theory with a pinch of salt though.
What’s particularly interesting here is how the symbology continues in this episode too. The shop Jong-hyeon and Su-yeong were frequenting is now shut down due to personal reasons, similar to how the pair are feeling, while Su-yeong’s ring not fitting properly is a good comparison to their relationship in general.
Who knows what’s going to happen next but The Interest Of Love is very much a must-watch K-drama right now!