An Irrevocable Reason
2023’s bonkers K-drama is back and episode 13 of The Interest of Love wastes no time filling in the blanks over what we’ve missed. Su-yeong is back on the bridge and decides to ring Gyeong-pil, whom she meets that night. Gyeong-pil answers Su-yeong’s phone when Jong-hyeon phones, with the pair in the same hotel room. They don’t actually do anything, but Su-yeong goes along with this and hangs up on her boyfriend, refusing to answer.
Su-yeong doesn’t tell Sang-su about her plan though, which brings us to the moments we left off from before. Sang-su is caught in another big misunderstanding after the punch in the hallway, with Gyeong-pil playing the recording outside with Su-yeong allegedly giving consent for the pair to have a casual hookup and hurt everyone around them.
Gyeong-pil’s completely nonchalant attitude sees Sang-su lose control and punch his friend in the face. After calling him a scumbag, Gyeong-pil turns it around and questions what Sang-su has been doing and how that’s any different.
Mi-gyeong tries in vain to get through to Su-yeong, but she simply smirks and walks away. Sang-su still has feelings for her though and despite everything, he doesn’t want to even pretend to be in a relationship with Mi-gyeong. She questions him after work about it. Sang-su is too shocked to answer and simply tells her to leave it.
Jong-hyeon is livid, understandably, and after throwing things around his room, breaks down and crashes against the wall. As for Sang-su, he thinks back over Su-yeong’s words on the beach and tries to make sense of her actions. In typical Sang-su fashion, he follows her back to her apartment but doesn’t pry. She knows he’s following though and decides to leave things and brace for Jong-hyeon’s wrath when she walks in through the front dooer.
Jong-hyeon is heartbroken and tries to make sense of Su-yeong’s actions. She simply apologizes and tells him to study for his exam, pointing out this is a great opportunity for him to live a good life. Jong-hyeon is stuck on those last words though and eventually leaves the house that night, tears stinging his face.
At work the next day, the cameras pick up the incident in the hallway, with Mr Yuk demanding an explanation and as to why Mr Noh wasn’t resolving this. He implores everyone to get a grip, deciding to put the blame on Jong-hyeon and fire him for his outburst. He gets rid of him rather than “one of their own” and tells them all to focus on their work from here on out.
Su-yeong files for a position transfer in the middle of this drama, where she’s faced with the same meandering questions again. She’s genuinely curious as to why she isn’t passing the interview, especially as she’s simply told to “work harder”. Sang-su happens to be at HQ for training and when he overhears a couple of guys badmouthing Su-yeong, he puts them in their place.
In the elevator back down, who should be there but Su-yeong! Sang-su acts like everything is fine and asks her about the interview, which she claims went well. Outside, Su-yeong confronts Sang-su and asks him why he’s being so indifferent to the whole situation involving Gyeong-pil. Eventually she leaves but Sang-su is in trouble for getting physical inside the headquarters.
Mi-gyeong covers for him, but Sang-su eventually speaks to her about it, telling her not to do that anymore. Mi-gyeong is just as confused about the whole situation, especially as Gyeong-pil seems to hint that he did all of this for her.
That night, Sang-su meets with Su-yeong and they talk properly. He admits he was afraid of not seeing her so he kept his mouth shut about the Gyeong-pil hook-up. She tries to push him away but he refuses, claiming he’s going to constantly show up every day so she can see him suffer.
With no other aspirations and Su-yeong having betrayed her boyfriend, Jong-hyeon packs his things and leaves. Su-yeong heads back to see her mum after noticing the room is empty, wanting advice about how to forgive someone. At the same time, Sang-su speaks to Gyeong-pil and admits he doesn’t believe him. Furthermore, he still likes Su-yeong and that’s not going to change.
Gyeong-pil eventually opens up and gives his friend a reality check, pointing out that he needs to get himself together. Gyeong-pil reveals that Su-yeong was the one who rang him first and decided that they should spend the night together.
Mi-gyeong is stressed and between the situation with her father (who still doesn’t know the pair have broken up) and work problems, she ends up in hospital exhausted. Sang-su shows up to help her and they eventually head back to Sang-su’s place for food. As they eat, Sang-su apologizes for how he treated her and explains that it wasn’t okay for him to act that way around her.
Sang-su reveals that he took advantage of her feelings and for that, he’s sorry. He was also naïve enough to believe that he could have enhanced his love for her to 100% over time. He knows she’s a wonderful person but they’re just not a good fit for one another.
“I don’t want you to hurt because of me,” Sang-su says, as tears fall down his cheeks. Mi-gyeong eventually grabs her things and leaves, deciding to take the new car she got for him originally. With proper closure this time, she says goodbye and leaves. When she does, Mi0gyeong smashes the windshield with a brick (or tries to anyway) and breaks down crying.
Meanwhile, Su-yeong confronts Jong-hyeon who returns with a vengeance. He lets himself into Su-yeong’s apartment, grabs the box of books and heads outside in the pouring rain. He’s giving them all uip to work. He confronts Su-yeong again, trying to understand what made their relationship go so wrong. “You never loved me, did you?” He says, believing that Su-yeong feelings were simply an extension of pity for him.
Su-yeong turns it around and asks Jong-hyeon whether he was ever happy with her, pointing out Seon-jae as a good example of this, given what we heard about him laughing and having fun without her. Su-yeong shrugs it off and admits that their love just ended. Eventually she apologizes but does admit to sleeping with Gyeong-pil. “You’re… a real bitch.” He says and walks away, leaving all the books on the floor.
In reality, Gyeong-pil and Su-yeong didn’t sleep with each other. She did all of this to try and get a clean break from everything and felt this was the most drstructive way to do so. “An irrevocable reason” to break everything off and get a clean slate. Only, that’s not possible. Not with Sang-su still hanging about.
In the present, Sang-su shows up with his umbrella and shields her from the rain as the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
While I appreciate Su-yeong wanted to drop a bombshell reason to break her ties with everyone and get a fresh start, the manner in which she’s done this has caused a world of pain for everyone. Jong-hyeon may be needy and have a victim mentality but as anyone who has been cheated on will tell you, that feeling of betrayal cuts deeper than any knife.
Jong-hyeon didn’t deserve that treatment, especially as the pair just ended up talking at the end anyway, with Su-yeong admitting that their love had run out.
Sang-su is the proverbial knight in shining armour here but as a show that prides itself on seemingly realistic feelings and ideas, there’s no way Sang-su would be so forgiving and still throw himself at Su-yeong’s feet, especially not with how he acted so early in the season. I appreciate it’s part of his character growth but even so, the switch to complete nonchalance feels like a step too far.
The break-up scene with Mi-gyeong should have come a while back and I’m glad we finally got some closure there. However, the show continues to use these misunderstanding tropes constantly which is a shame because everything else around that, especially the visual symbolism at play, makes this one of the stronger K-dramas this year, believe it or not!
This is another episode that’s more frustrating than anything else. Still, tomorrow’s follow-up should be a must-watch!
You can read our full season review for The Interest of Love here!