K-Drama Couch Recap: “Encounter” Episode 13
True love and heartfelt acceptance seem not enough for the couples of Encounter to achieve a happy ending.
Tying a loose end yet adding another layer of conflict are appearing to be a cycle frequently used in tvN’s Encounter.
While Bogum magic keeps the drama engaging, achieving a gratifying ending through the last three episodes is going to be a challenge.
Meet my girlfriend
Leading Soo Hyun to their house, his family is surprised to see her arrival. The dinner goes smoothly, but Jin Hyuk’s mother’s bothered look and stolen gazes to Soo Hyun leave an unsettling feeling.
Walking Soo Hyun home, he listens to her comment about how happy and comfortable their family felt like. Jin Hyuk also admits intentionally, pushing her to attend Woo Suk father’s death memorial service. Apologizing for it, he vows not to get swayed about things that involve her past.
Chess game begins
Moving her chess pawn, Chairwoman Kim meets Director Choi to push for Soo Hyun’s departure as a CEO. She orders her minion to get the directors against pushing her extension.
Meanwhile, Soo Hyun receives the camera she asked Mi Jin to look for to give to Jin Hyuk since she broke his.
Pondering on his father’s advice for them to live a life that will make them happy, Soo Hyun snaps back to reality and calls Jin Hyuk.
Excited to hear about Soo Hyun getting the same camera model like his, they meet up for dinner. She shares how since meeting him, she has gained strange experiences by eating exotic dishes. Can’t contain excitement for his new toy, Soo Hyun boasts having a hard time looking for it.
But Jin Hyuk nonchalantly responds he will thank her secretary for the camera, making her pout. She sulks and chides him for getting excited on the camera than seeing her, so he shifts attention to feed her.
The flaw in Director Choi’s plan
Surprised to learn the people who instigated the fiasco in Cuba, Soo Hyun holds her anger and seeks her boyfriend for an advice on her situation. Having a compassionate heart, Jin Hyuk shares how he would be forgiving to someone who has done wrong to him because people can make mistake more than once.
Soo Hyun confronts the assistant manager of the PR team. Instead of dismissing him, she commands him to reveal the real culprit which made the company almost lose Cuba hotel. She also assigns him to Cuba hotel so he can fully understand the potential of the place.
Taking her man’s insight, on the board meeting to decide her position as a CEO, she drops a no-return bomb to Director Choi. Revealing his abetment to the Cuba problem, he is dismissed from his position.
“I can no longer imagine living without you.”
The PR team prepares for the wedding promotion event, and is scheduled for a photo shoot. When the photographer is rushed to the hospital, Jin Hyuk steps in to take the pictures to stay on the team’s timeline.
Mi Jin and Soo Hyun, who pass by the area, see Jin Hyuk in action. Later at night, Jin Hyuk brings the bouquet of flowers used from the pictorial, and talks about how he can’t help but pictures her being prettier than the model.
Obliging his request to hold the flowers, Jin Hyuk stands and gazes at Soo Hyun. Kneeling down in front of her, he emotionally reveals how he cannot imagine a life without her anymore.
With an unreadable expression, Soo Hyun evades the moment, refusing to answer Jin Hyuk’s proposal to live together with him.
Soo Hyun’s Highs and Lows
Dropping by to help close the fruit stand, Jin Hyuk engages to a heartfelt talk with his father. The latter reveals his initial disapproval on his son’s relationship, but promises to support them fully. Unbeknownst to them, Jin Hyuk’s mother overhears their talk, and appears worried about her eldest son. She even pretends needing an early rest, knowing Jin Hyuk wants to speak with her about Soo Hyun.
To celebrate the defeat of Soo Hyun’s detractor, she invites Mr. Nam and Mi Jin to join her and Jin Hyuk for dinner. After a happy meal, Soo Hyun rests on Jin Hyuk’s lap.
After dinner, Jin Hyuk pushes to get a response from his proposal last time. Soo Hyun bravely narrates her innermost fear on living together based on what she had to go through in her first marriage. She sadly utters how she dreams of living with him happily ever since the dinner with his family. But her memories and past keep pulling her back.
Wiping her tears and fears away, Jin Hyuk stares at her eyes and tells her how he once met a woman in Cuba. He doesn’t know who she is, but the first thought he had is if she has a boyfriend, and hoped that she doesn’t have one.
He reassures her that she is the first person who left a deep impression in his heart. Being with her everyday is his earnest wish. Sealing with a let’s-trust-each-other embrace, they agree to take their relationship up to another level.
Greeted by a bright morning, Soo Hyun orders Mi Jin to make the flowers she received from Jin Hyuk last longer. Upon receiving a note from Jin Hyuk’s mother to meet, she heads to see her.
Refusing to beat around the bush, Jin Hyuk’s mother pleads Soo Hyun to break up with her son. Citing their different worlds, Soo Hyun painfully weeps, listening to the mother of the man she loves begging her to stop their relationship.
Encounter Episode 13 Afterthoughts
No matter how much Park Bo Gum sedated me in moments when Encounter moved to a dragging pace, there is a limit to me being accepting as a viewer.
For episode 13 though, Soo Hyun’s sentiments hit the right spots of my emotional nerves, making me want to protect her as well.
I mean, when will these two people just wanting to be happy and in love get the peace of mind they deserve? It is distressing to even think on how the heroine was hit with the same nightmare she had in her first marriage with Jin Hyuk’s mom’s woes erupting like this.
Not that her woes are baseless, a mother’s heart goes beyond protecting her own first. But her attempt to hindering her son’s happiness does not add up to the balance of the narrative.
Will Soo Hyun choose to be selfish and claim the love she and Jin Hyuk promise to protect?
Catch up on this week’s episodes of Encounter on tvN and tvN Asia.
ABOUT THE WRITER
abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.
Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful, Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.