By Bryan Tan
This recap contains spoilers for episodes 5-6 of Record Of Youth, available currently on Netflix.
The first hints of a romantic triangle brew in Record Of Youth in this week’s episodes, as Won Hae Hyo (Byun Woo Seok), close friend and rival to Sa Hye Jun (Park Bo Gum), feels stirrings of romantic attraction to Ahn Jeong Ha (Park So Dam).
Hae Hyo’s situation in life could not stand in more stark contrast to Hye Jun’s; he hails from a wealthy family, lives in a huge mansion penthouse and is on a meteoric trajectory towards being a successful runway model and actor.
Hye Jun, on the other hand, shares a rundown room with a doting grandfather (Han Jin Hee), has to contend with a belligerent father (Park Soo Young) who thinks his younger son is a good-for-nothing banking on his good looks, and an older brother (Lee Jae Won) who takes every opportunity to rub his new career as a banker in Hye Jun’s face.
ROY takes this opportunity to remind us that everything is fair in love and war, at least initially. Hye Jun and Hae Hyo’s lives are incomparably different, yet intertwined; they both find themselves fighting on an even battlefield when it comes to their love interest make-up artist Jeong Ha, who initially had a huge crush on Hye Jun but does not seem to mind the attention from Hae Hyo.
Things take a turn when Hye Jun sustains a minor injury to his forehead while on set filming for a movie. In an endearing scene, Jeong Ha puts a bandage on his wound and Hye Jun offers gallantly to walk her home. Jeong Ha argues that he’s injured and should head home first, but Hye Jun adamantly says that he’s not dying and it’s not a big deal. Jeong Ha leaves in a huff, saying that he’s being dramatic and that she doesn’t like it. Yet, amidst a downpour of rain (somewhat clichéd; even Jeong Ha ironically acknowledges that it rains every time they have a moment), Hye Jun finally confesses (gasp) to Jeong Ha in front of her house.
The chemistry between the two is unbelievably easy and real, just like a couple in the early stages of getting to know each other and bickering over little things. The game is not up yet, as Hae Hyo buys a bouquet of yellow tulips and gives them to Jeong Ha at her workplace. The look of defeat on his face gives one the feels when he learned of their moment together, even as he forces a smile when Jeong Ha asks if she was doing the right thing going out with Hye Jun.
It gets harder for Hae Hyo to find any leverage with Jeong Ha, as Jeong Ha tries to help Hye Jun’s tall and rather dashing grandfather find a job as a model. If ROY intends for this triangle to continue, I predict grander and more aggressive gestures from Hae Hyo, who’s used to getting his way in life and would most certainly want the same in love.
Let’s not forget the incredibly emotional final scene. Hye Jun arrives home completely brow-beaten from a revelation that he lost a career-making acting role in a mini-series, and is confronted and slapped by his father, outraged that grandpa is looking into becoming a model at his age.
Hye Jun locks himself in the family van and bursts into uncontrollable sobbing. Your heart just aches terribly for him, making you want to cradle his head in your arms and soothe him. Jeong Ha calls him in the midst of his emotional outpouring and the two meet. What do you expect happens next? A long kissing scene, and Hye Jun even goes in after the first kiss for a second one, a single tear tracking down his cheek. Find out if this love triangle is doomed in the next instalment of the weekly episodes on Monday and Tuesday.
Check out our review of the first four episodes of Record Of Youth: