Backstreet Rookie episode 5 definitely feels like most of its storylines are in a bit of a holding pattern, but at least it amounts to a decent cliffhanger.
This recap of Backstreet Rookie episode 5 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Picking up right where we left off last week, Backstreet Rookie episode 5 starts off awkwardly, with Yeon-joo catching Dae-Hyun giving Saet-Byul a piggyback ride around the convenience store. And things only get more awkward from there, since Yeon-joo, under the guise of celebrating Saet-Byul’s employee of the month award, invites her to dinner with them.
You know where this is going. Yeon-Joo wants to embarrass Saet-Byul by having her flounder in a high-class restaurant, Dae-Hyun doesn’t know where to look, and Saet-Byul is on the defensive. Nothing’s any better when Dae-Hyun and Saet-Byul start noisily discussing business in the hotel. They get the bus back, leaving Yeon-Joo with the smarmy Director Cho.
All the usual subplots persist in Backstreet Rookie episode 5. Dae-Hyun continues to try and balance his business and his feelings for both Saet-Byul and Yeon-Joo, while Saet-Byul frets over her sister, who continues to act out.
The big comedy setup of the episode is Saet-Byul being interviewed for a part-timer magazine after her success, which is a major deal for Dae-Hyun’s family, who are all in attendance. It makes for some decent laughs as everyone tries to prompt Saet-Byul into pushing a new image that Dal-Sik dreamed up of a 24-hour convenience store being the urban equivalent of a lighthouse to desperate sailors. As part of the interview, Dae-Hyun has to give Saet-Byul another piggyback for a photo opportunity, which he agrees to only on the guarantee that the article will circulate internally and not go through headquarters where Yeon-joo can see it. We know where this is going.
Meanwhile, Eun-Byul secretly goes to an audition, which she passes, but Geum-bi bribes one of her friends to spill the beans and Saet-Byul goes to confront her. They argue, but it’s easy to get the sense that Saet-Byul is being overprotective here. It prompts some reflection, and we get to see more of the sisters setting out on their own following their father’s death. Saet-Byul has done everything she can to provide in difficult circumstances, but she might be taking that instinct too far now.
Backstreet Rookie episode 5 also folds Ji-wook into the plot more, since Saet-Byul invites him to the store team dinner because Dae-Hyun doesn’t believe she knows a celebrity. There’s a lot of pettiness at the dinner, but it takes a turn when Dae-Hyun finds out the photo of Saet-Byul on his back is going to be circulated all over the company website and social media. Yeon-joo is at a team dinner herself when the picture starts to circulate. Dae-Hyun tries to speak with her, but she has already left with the director. When he eventually finds them, she’s getting a piggyback ride of her own.
A decent cliffhanger closes the episode, as Saet-Byul’s photo being everywhere allows her to be tracked down by the vengeful girl gang she embarrassed earlier in the season. She’s struck from behind and falls unconscious as the episode fades to black.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.