Level Up Episode 6
Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) manages to get an inebriated An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) up and starts to call a cab. She spies food on his shirt. She picks it off and goes to eat it but he stops her hand. She apologizes for a overly familiar act. Dan Te declares that his is food. He eats it off her fingers. Yeon Hwa’s eyes widen in surprise.
The next morning Dan Te wakes next to his bed. He staggers out to his living room and is surprised to find his step brother, Kang Hoon, who he’d thrown out of the apartment. Kang Hoon states Dan Te let him in the apartment and he should thank the lady for helping last night. Dan Te can’t remember and doesn’t know who the lady that helped last night is. Dan Te advises Kang Hoon to stop spending money to make money. He gives the new passcode which Kang Hoon recognizes as his step father’s and Dan Te’s father’s birthday (recall he died early in the series). Kang Hoon comments they ate abalone on his birthday. Dan Te grunts and goes to get ready for work. Kang Hoon is thrilled that Dan Te doesn’t remember what happened last night and vows to start his YouTube channel to elicit a fortune.
Meanwhile Yeon Hwa’s father asks about her and CEO An’s alcohol consumption the previous evening. Yeon Hwa shares that Dan Te (CEO An) can’t process alcohol. Her father wonders if something is going on between them. Yeon Hwa dismisses this, declaring Dan Te’s personality is always changing. Her father notes everyone has 3 personalities – work, personal and secret.
Dan Te and Yeon Hwa ride the elevator up to the office. They disagree on how the company should proceed. Yeon Hwa expresses her relief that Dan Te got home safely. He wonders if that means another person helped him last night.
When Manager Park and Kwak Han Cheol (Baro) arrive for work, Manager Park asks Dan Te why he called him and said nothing the previous evening. That’s news to Dan Te.
Alone Dan Te is shocked to see all the phone calls in his call history. One of them, Bae Ya Chae (Kang Byul), calls and asks if he’s okay. Dan Te guesses she’s the lady that Kang Hoon referenced. Ya Chae chides Dan Te to give Kang Hoon some latitude. She tells him to pay her back later. Dan Te can’t believe he owes her money. Ya Chae ends the phone call to attend to business.
Yeon Hwa and her team struggle to come up with a good idea.
Han Cheol tells Dan Te he’s ready to be tested on his knowledge gained from reading all the manuals. Dan Te says the other management team member, Chief Song, can offload an assignment to Han Cheol. Dan Te isn’t happy when Manager Park reports he’s unaware of the status of the NexViper contract termination as Chief Song is handling it. Chief Song arrives with a package for Dan Te. He reports he’ll negotiate the contract termination with NexViper that afternoon. Dan Te looks at the package’s note “I’m cheering for you” and doesn’t understand. Inside is fresh abalone. Dan Te isn’t interested and gives it to a thrilled Manager Park.
The NexViper CEO learns his chief is negotiating the contract termination with Joybuster that afternoon. The CEO tells his chief not to accept the contract termination.
Chief Song explains to Han Cheol that while NexViper is the best positioned game publisher their fees drain Joybuster’s profits. When he steps away for a phone call, Dan Te steps in. Han Cheol knocks his coffee cup off the table. Both he and Dan Te instinctively reach for the cup and brush hands. Manager Park enters and teases them. Manager Park leaves with the abalone. Dan Te assures Han Cheol they hired him because he has potential.
Chief Song is dismayed when a family matter comes up that demands his attention.
Yeon Hwa’s team want her to keep a positive working relationship with Dan Te.
Eatery owner, Mi Ja, is surprised when Manager Park stops by with the abalone. She tells him to stop by after the eatery closes with Yeon Hwa and Han Cheol and they’ll enjoy it together.
Dan Te receives a text from Ya Chae suggesting an eatery. He is frustrated he can’t remember why money exchanged hands last night.
Dan Te asks Yeon Hwa if Ya Chae paid the bill last night at the eatery they drank at. Yeon Hwa states eatery owner didn’t take payment because of the long standing relationship with his father.
Chief Song tells Manager Park he can’t handle the NexViper negotiation because of the family matter. Dan Te is understanding when Chief Song lets him know. Han Cheol is surprised when Dan Te gives him the assignment to get the contract termination from NexViper or face dismal.
Han Cheol does his best but the NexViper Chief is experienced and counters every argument. He even brings in the former Joybuster employee that now works for NexViper to shore up his argument.
Manager Park can’t believe that Dan Te gave Han Cheol the contract termination from NexViper assignment. Dan Te counters that Han Cheol wanted to be tested. He and Manager Park attend a meeting. When Han Cheol calls, Dan Te doesn’t answer due to being in the meeting.
Han Cheol is taken aback when the NexViper Chief demand a large termination fee. The alternative is to sell the intellectual property rights to Joybuster’s founding game. When Han Cheol calls this time, Dan Te answers. He decides they must sell the game’s rights. Han Cheol knows this will crush Yeon Hwa and declares he’ll find another way. But when the NexViper Chief ends the discussion, Han Cheol can do nothing else.
Dan Te takes the lead and meets with the NexViper CEO and tells the game’s rights.
Manager Park understands Han Cheol’s disappointment. They head to Mi Ja’s eatery. Manager Park explains that selling the game’s rights was the logical option for Dan Te, who doesn’t mire himself in emotional aspects of work.
Yeon Hwa and Mi Ja enjoy the abalone with Manager Park and Han Cheol.
The NexViper CEO wonders why CEO Ah sold the game’s rights cheaply without bargaining hard.
Kang Hoon does his first YouTube gaming broadcast. Unfortunately, he has no viewers. He lies to Dan Te that the broadcast went well. Dan Te gives him a decibel meter to celebrate. He warns Kang Hoon the sound from the broadcasts must remain reasonable if he plan to live with Dan Te. Kang Hoon denies sending Dan Te the abalone pointing out he doesn’t have the money.
Manager Park gets drunk and reveals that Dan Te sold the founding game’s rights. Han Cheol says he can explain. Yeon Hwa gets upset and leaves.
Dan Te puzzles who sent the abalone and why he owes money to Ya Chae. Those thoughts vanish when Kang Hoon states Monkey the turtle isn’t looking good. The vet tells Dan Te that at 35 years old, Monkey has lived a long life and this deterioration is natural.
Dan Te gently puts Monkey back in the tank when he returns to the apartment. He’s surprised when Monkey bites him and draws blood. As Dan Te sucks on his finger he recalls sucking on Yeon Hwa’s finger the previous evening. Kang Hoon answers his phone when Yeon Hwa calls.
Outside Dan Te’s apartment building, it’s crossed communication when Dan Te apologizes to Yeon Hwa. He believes he’s apologizing for his finger sucking behavior. Yeon Hwa believes he’s apologizing for selling the game’s rights. Yeon Hwa is forced to admit that Dan Te’s admission of error makes being upset with him difficult.
When Dan Te returns to the apartment he tells Kang Hoon he remembers everything.
Flashback…Yeon Hwa helps Dan Te stand. Ya Chae arrives (after returning Dan Te calls and Yeon Hwa explains the situation). She declares she’ll handle Dan Te from here. She chides Yeon Hwa for letting Dan Te drink. Then Kang Hoon calls from the police station. Ya Chae brushes off Yeon Hwa’s offer to help and takes Dan Te to the police station.
At the police station the YouTube student, Sang Mi, presses charges against Kang Hoon for vandalism and assault. Kang Hoon vigorously protests. Ya Chae agrees but Dan Te surprises everyone and agree to settle with San Mi to drop the charges. Ya Chae comes with the required cash.
Outside the police station Sang Mi declares the settlement wasn’t much. She changes her tune when she learns Ya Chae is an entertainment agency CEO. She promises to get along with Kang Hoon. Ya Chae isn’t interested and takes Dan Te and Kang Hoon home.
Present day…Dan Te tells Kang Hoon the amount of the settlement. Dan Te gets Kang Hoon in a headlock. He’s forced to release when Han Cheol calls worried about Yeon Hwa.
Dan Te heads outside his apartment building, where he last saw Yeon Hwa. She’s there sitting alone and forlorn. Dan Te starts to move to her but Han Cheol arrives.
Han Cheol apologizes to Yeon Hwa for not finding a way to stop the sale of the game’s rights. Yeon Hwa has tears running down her face when she admits she’s upset that she couldn’t stop the sale either. She states they are merely employees without the power to decide such matters. But Han Cheol can’t stand to see her cry and offers a gentle hug.
Dan Te watches them then turns to go back to his apartment.
Good episode. Writer Kim Dong Kyu created a multilayered story this episode. There was the mystery of what happened the previous evening that Dan Te couldn’t remember – who helped him and why did he owe her money? Then there was the no win situation Han Cheol was put in trying to negotiate the contract termination that unbeknownst to him, would never be agreed to by NexViper.
An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) figured out what happened the previous evening. Dan Te’s memory returned and he recalled Yeon Hwa helping him, Ya Chae taking over, and him ordering her to settle with Sang Mi. I continue not to be impressed with either Kang Hoon or Sang Mi. But Dan Te felt concern when his pet turtle Monkey got sick and didn’t want to hear the truth, that age was taking its toll. He didn’t realize that he and Yeon Hwa were discussing two different events when he apologized to her. I don’t yet see feeling between them. She speaks her mind to Dan Te but that doesn’t translate to romance.
Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) was upset when the game’s rights were sold. Han Cheol apologized but Yeon Hwa knew neither of their efforts would have changed the outcome without the power to make such a decision. That game was important to her and it hurt to have it sold. She cried, Han Cheol felt bad and offered her comfort in the form of a hug. I don’t see Yeon Hwa taking Han Cheol out of the friend zone. But Dan Te isn’t a romantic possibility in her mind either at this point.
The first song of the OST is a ballad “Like Now” sung by Jeon Geon Ho:
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as very good. My rating chart is below: