The love triangle gets more complicated than ever in Backstreet Rookie episode 8, but with a relationship looking on the verge of ending, how much of the show will be left if that happens?
This recap of Backstreet Rookie season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
You’ll recall that the previous episode didn’t end well for Dae-hyun, and at the start of Backstreet Rookie episode 8 things aren’t great for him either. He’s terrified by the Samara-like Saet-byul in his home, which turns out to be with the blessing of Boon-hee, his mother, and if he has a problem with it he can just leave. His own house!
It’s kind of amazing how much more likable Dae-hyun and Saet-byul are compared to Yeon-joo. She lets on to Seung-joon that she was put-out at The Phantom of the Opera because Dae-hyun was there and she was supposed to be with him, but she can’t even bring herself to admit that she regrets not going with him, and Seung-joo is quick to insist that all Yeon-joo’s currently anxiety and confusion is his fault. What a snake.
Dae-hyun’s exceedingly upset about Saet-byul living at his house, since he apparently can’t shower given there’s only one bathroom, and his dad keeps robbing him to stash funds for his adulterous holiday. He tries to cheer himself up by being ripped off for more Phantom of the Opera tickets, and Yeon-joo is still reluctant. Why does he even bother?
Speaking of which, outside of obvious familial commitments, it’s a wonder that Saet-byul bothers with the still missing Eun-byul too. The youngster’s friends won’t cough up her location, so Saet-byul is despondent, even though Eun-byul, having been introduced to the other members of the girl group, believes she’s on the way to living out her dreams. We’ll see.
At least Saet-byul is made to feel welcome in Backstreet Rookie episode 8. Boon-hee has no intention of letting her leave until she has somewhere to stay, even cleaning out a spare room for her. But Dae-hyun’s still a bit annoyed at the invasion of his privacy, especially once – thanks to more unseemly behavior from his father – she mistakenly catches him in his boxers. Oops.
Dae-hyun and Yeon-joo’s date is, predictably, woeful, as he continues to make a Herculean effort and get almost nothing in return. Rather amazingly, Yeon-joo feels aggrieved at the embarrassment she’s experiencing, despite only being put in an awkward position – Dae-hyun arranged for her to take a picture with the director, who would obviously recognize her – because of her own deceit. Blimey, she’s insufferable and seems to think that having to work hard at a relationship means it isn’t worth the effort.
I know I’ve said in the past that I actually prefer Dae-hyun and Saet-byul as a friendship or even a kind of parental relationship, but I’d happily see them together if it meant Dae-hyun spending less time with Yeon-joo – or ideally none at all. You can tell he cares a lot for Saet-byul because once he finds out why she’s staying at his house he attempts to chase the scam artist down. She joins him on the excursion, and they lay out some truths to each other, which is nice, even though they lose the guy. Yeon-joo, meanwhile, makes out with Seung-joon, which was bound to happen eventually.
Another thing that had to happen: Eun-byul’s dream lifestyle isn’t as glamorous as she thought. Saet-byul enlists the help of Ji-wook in tracking her down, but after a bit longer doing everyone’s dishes and laundry, she might find her own way home. Everyone seems to be looking for someone else in Backstreet Rookie episode 8 since Dae-hyun also asks his dad for help in tracking down Man-bok, the rent scammer, but an ad-hoc stakeout goes a bit wrong. Then again it situates Dae-hyun and Saet-byul back in the same place, and they enjoy some flirty banter again. Witnessing a couple being intimate sends them both a bit haywire, and it’s even more awkward than ever on the ride home.
The awkwardness begins in earnest when headquarters want to give Saet-byul a monetary award for her sales, and Yeon-joo is obviously present. Seung-joo presents the award personally and gives away that Yeon-joo stood up Dae-hyun to see Phantom of the Opera with him. Saet-byul, incensed, confronts Yeon-joo about this, and she plays it off like it’s none of Saet-byul’s business. Things escalate, and Saet-byul gives no quarter, so Seung-joon, like the snake he is, fires her on the spot. But the damage is already done, and Yeon-joo, left to stew in what Saet-byul said, realizes the truth of how she has treated the impossibly earnest Dae-hyun. She heads to the store and then to his home to speak with him, but of course, Saet-byul is staying at the house. They arrive at more or less the same time for the big cliffhanger ending.
This was another solid episode of the show, but the big problem with it at the moment is that it’s impossible to wish anything other than ill on Yeon-joo. She’s so clueless and thoughtless that I – and I assume everyone else – am just waiting for Dae-hyun to ditch her and have done with it. But then again, would there be much of a show left if that happened? It’s certainly pretty light on plot, and you have to wonder where it’s heading long-term since things are currently so bad in Dae-hyun and Yeon-joo’s relationship that surely it can’t last much longer. Right?
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.