K-Drama Couch Recap: “Encounter” Episode 4 Recap

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Setting a boundary is not an easy thing to do when the universe conspires to push for a seemingly impossible romance to happen in this week’s episodes of Encounter.

You have to admire how gutsy Kang Jin Hyuk (Park Bo Gum) is, to declare his feelings toward his boss Cha Soo Hyun (Song Hye Kyo) in the third episode of Encounter. Owning it with conviction in the succeeding chapter is remarkable.


Enveloping viewers with anticipation and slightly worrying us with its romantic journey, Encounter maintains the top spot in the midweek rating’s race, securing 9.2% for this week’s episodes.

Encounter Recaps: Eps 1&2Ep 3Ep 4Ep 5Ep 6Ep 7Ep 8Ep 9Ep 10Ep 11Ep12Ep13Ep14Ep15Finale

Here are four key points that would add weight to the conflict that is soon to be traversed in the story.

1. Connection


Soo Hyun politely dismisses Jin Hyuk’s declaration, but the latter musters his strength, backed up by his sweet analysis of how their connection seems to have been blessed by fate. He invites her for a quick coffee break to a very nice place.

2. Confession

Tired from driving back to Sokcho, Jin Hyuk dozes off while sharing a cup of coffee, overlooking a beautiful view of the sea.

Not knowing that he wakes up from his quick snooze, Jin Hyuk listens as Soo Hyun narrates her sad childhood memory of how she never had the luxury of having friends while growing up.

3. Soo Hyun’s Black Knights

Soo Hyun’s ex-husband, Jung Woo Suk (Jang Seung Jo), warns his mother Chairwoman Cha not to meddle on his ex-wife’s affairs. He even goes to the extent of hunting down artist Jang, who has been avoiding Soo Hyun to denounce what she agreed to with his mom.

Declining the gift she receives from Woo Suk, Soo Hyun also denies getting the artist’ painting free of charge, which was worked on by her ex-husband. Jin Hyuk meets with Soo Hyun’s secretary-friend Mi Jin, and is advised by the latter not to pursue his feelings for their boss if he is just curious. Clarifying that he is not just curious, Jin Hyuk stands on what he believes that his fated encounter with Soo Hyun is meaningful.

4. “I’ve made my choice. I decided to take a step forward to the world you are standing in all alone.”


Despite the warning, Chairman Cha carries on with her plan of making life hard for Soo Hyun. She lets her cronies in the hotel move to fire up the latter’s dating scandal by posting it on the internal employee forum.

The executive being groomed by Chairman Cha stirs a scene after work, placing Soo Hyun in a tight position. Mr. Nam steps in, but the vile executive taunts even more. Just then, Jin Hyuk calls Soo Hyun, and makes a move that will cause them a no-return situation, faintly admitting that he is the man involved in the hotel boss’ dating gossip.

Encounter Episode 4 Afterthoughts

I exclaimed a cute omo as my heart skipped a beat in the dying minutes of Encounter’s Episode 4, as if I was watching a thrilling drama. *chuckles

This week, we learned two kinds of bravery from Soo Hyun and Jin Hyuk – one that protects one’s self, the other of shielding another person needing it.

We got a glimpse of how Soo Hyun’s life has been everything but a lie while growing up. Her role of being a perfect daughter obedient to her parents, even to the point of getting an arranged marriage, was well established.

In a way – meeting someone who is slowly making her feel that she matters as she always has a choice and does not need anyone’s opinion about what makes her happy – leaves a ruminative message for those who shares her sentiments.


Jin Hyuk, as smart as he is, knows well that everything will be hard if he shoots for a relationship with a woman that is way beyond his league. The social norm, age disparity and economic status have been modern essential parameters in creating a relationship. But Jin Hyuk’s character is making us go back to the basic meaning of how a lingering relationship begins — via chance encounter, sharing and listening to each other’s stories, and empathizing each other’s pain while sharing dreams together.

Encounter has always been clear on the romantic plot it is keen to thread to. That’s why it is easy to be drawn to its pragmatic storytelling.

It does not push viewers to overanalyze by keeping the conflict within the audience’ understanding. It sure does have typical prototypes of characters, particularly villains, pertinent to melodrama structure, but it is shining because it has poignant plot shifts, made engaging by the relatable sketching of the main characters, being focused on by the narrative.


*All photos screen captured from VIU. Fans can watch Encounter on VIU.


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.

E: abby@hellokpop.com