Level Up Episode 7
Kwak Han Cheol (Baro) apologizes to Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) 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. An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) watches them then turns to go back to his apartment.
Walking home Yeon Hwa apologizes for crying on his shoulder, and frequently. He smiles secretly pleased.
Dan Te remembers something else from the night he got drunk. He pulled Yeon Hwa close to him to get warn and called her mother.
It’s move in day at the new office location. No one’s impressed with the open work area in the warehouse, the management on a platform so they can be watched, and the ping pong table on the same level with the management team. Yeon Hwa discusses it with Dan Te but to no avail. Dan Te discusses it with the team and agrees to let the designer paint the interior on her own time.
Dan Te’s step brother, Kang Hoon, complains to his friend that his first live YouTube broadcast was a bust. YouTube student, Sang Mi, arrives and is solicitous. Kang Hoon isn’t interested in her help anymore and walks away. She follows. He finds her irritating. She makes the point he has to hook viewers and being aggressive is one way to do so. Kang Hoon doesn’t want riddles he wants step by step instructions. Now he follows her.
The Management team decides to use the room with the ping pong table to host the shareholder meeting.
A Joybuster proposal is released on the internet. Dan Te and the planning team that Yeon Hwa leads agrees to keep their plans for the new game strictly within the Joybuster.
Dan Te works late. Yeon Hwa works late. A rat scurries under her desk. She freaks out. Dan Te doesn’t dispose of the rat, he’s not comfortable with it either. Instead they both sit on their chairs waiting for the rat to leave. Dan Te asks if he was rude the night he got drunk. She tells him not to worry about it. But Dan Te is concerned his actions reveal his flaws. Yeon Hwa reveals she knows that he sold the game’s rights. Dan Te doesn’t remember telling her. She retorts that he told her everything in front of his apartment building. Dan Te admits he thought she was referencing when he sucked her thumb. Yeon Hwa realizes that Dan Te didn’t apologize for selling the game but rather sucking her thumb. Dan Te counters selling the game’s right was the correct decision and there is nothing to apologize for. Angry, Yeon Hwa jumps up and pushes his chair. It rams into a concrete pillar. Dan Te hits his head.
Manager Park arrives at the emergency room where Yeon Hwa is watching Dan Te sleep. She apologizes to Manager Park. Dan Te reveals he is awake. Yeon Hwa apologizes to him. Dan Te sends both of them away.
Manager Park drives Yeon Hwa home and talks about Dan Te’s email to the Joybuster team. Yeon Hwa reads the email on her phone. Dan Te tells the employees that selling the game’s rights put them on new path where they will survive and thrive together. Manager Park tells Yeon Hwa that Dan Te is working hard to make Joybuster succuessful. He asks her to see Dan Te’s efforts in that light.
The next morning, Dan Te thanks the rat exterminators for taking care of the issue.
All the employees assume Yeon Hwa hit Dan Te when they see his bandaged head. No one will listen that she didn’t deck Dan Te.
The Management team discusses the shareholder meeting. Outside, they spy a tent. Inside the tent is CEO Jo, whose come early for the shareholder meeting. Dan Te asks if CEO Jo sent the abalone, which he confirms. All the employees are thrilled to see CEO Jo. Dan Te, Manager Park and Han Cheol leave.
Manager Park explains to Han Cheol that CEO Jo kept one share and sold the rest. With one share CEO Jo can attend the shareholders meeting. He wonders if CEO Jo intends to disrupt the meeting. Dan Te is worried.
CEO Jo and the employees have a grill out and enjoy being together again.
Dan Te broods.
The next day CEO Jo comes out of the tent dressed in a suit. The main shareholder arrives. Dan Te wants to start the meeting. CEO Jo wants to delays until the other shareholders arrive. The shareholders arrive. The employees guess the new shareholders bought a single share and are there to be disruptive. CEO Jo forces the Korean anthem to be sung, all the verses. When Dan Te speaks about the future, CEO Jo questions where Dan Te’s funding is coming from. Dan Te admits he sold the games’s IP to raise capital and terminate the financial draining contract with NexViper. CEO Jo is outraged. That game was the basis of Joybuster’s portfolio. Dan Te counters a new game will take its place. Dan Te tries to dodge answering the question. CEO Jo doubt the truth of that statement. Dan Te refuses to divulge details citing the leaked proposal. CEO JO makes sure the minutes are recording their disagreement. The minutes will be made public.
The employees can’t help but overhear. They know CEO Jo was emotionally attached to the game that was sold. Yeon Hwa knows that CEO Jo wants the disagreement recorded in the minutes which was be made public.
CEO Jo charges Dan Te with bad management. CEO Jo makes sure the minutes are recording their disagreement. Dan Te and CEO Jo verbally spar. CEO Jo declares the Joybuster employees don’t believe in Dan Te. CEO Jo asks the employees if they trust Dan Te. No one says a word. Dan Te feels the silence acutely.
Dan Te admits he expected flack for his decisions. CEO Jo demands to know if the new product is real or a lie. Yeon Hwa interrupts and stands next to Dan Te. She states as the product development lead, she can answer the question. She verifies that Dan Te’s tactics could be considered concerning but the reality for the Joybuster team is that starting over from scratch is fun. Dan Te is shocked at her words. She points out that due to security concerns they can’t reveal details about the new game which is worked out by the planning team and the development team is beginning to implement. She offers to brief CEO Jo privately after the meeting.
CEO Jo can’t believe that Yeon Hwa is siding with Dan Te. Yeon Hwa corrects that Joybuster is one team – Dan Te, his managers, the original Joybuster team, and the shareholders. Dan Te doesn’t want CEO Jo briefed separately. Yeon Hwa insists CEO Jo can be trusted with the new game’s details. Finally the shareholders approve Dan Te’s report. Everyone sighs in relief. The shareholders leave.
Yeon Hwa briefs CEO Jo and everyone about the new game. CEO Jo loves it and the new technical path it takes. Everyone claps and Yeon Hwa is relieved.
After the meeting CEO Jo apologizes to Dan Te for pushing him hard. He admits he sold to Dan Te because NexViper angered him with how poorly they treated Joybuster. He misses Joybuster and wants to return in any capacity. Dan Te reminds CEO Jo that he can’t work in this technical area per their contract. Dan Te admits that CEO Jo is well loved by his employees and asks if CEO Jo would offer to be a subject matter expert that Dan Te could use as a sounding board. CEO Jo is pleased and goes to hug Dan Te who hold up a hand to stop the physical contact.
The Joybuster employees break down CEO Jo’s tent. CEO Jo tells Yeon Hwa that he hired her because she was a fighter. Dan Te declares that Yeon Hwa fights with him all the time. CEO Jo teases that Dan Te and Yeon Hwa have chemistry. They both reject that. CEO leaves.
The Joybuster team gets back to work but there’s a breach of their system…it’s an emergency!
This series isn’t what I expected. I don’t know if romance between Yeon Hwa and Dan Te will occur or even if it should. Writer Kim Dong Kyu kept the focus on the shareholder meeting and others challenging and doubting Dan Te’s management choices. Dan Te has made bold decisions – ditching the games in development, breaking up with NexViper, selling the game’s rights to NexViper for capital to development and publish their own game. It is unsettling. But Yeon Hwa captured it well, this is a fresh slate for all the Joybuster employees. There is joy in starting from scratch.
An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) was challenged. CEO Jo directly challenged Dan Te’s honesty and ability. Dan Te couldn’t help but notice CEO Jo’s easy rapport with the team even though his decisions tanked Joybuster. I liked that Dan Te was irked, jealous, and forced to admit that he doesn’t have the same loyalty that CEO Jo does. But loyalty isn’t bought, it is earned. Dan Te is earning Yeon Hwa’s trust and she’s the strongest voice in the team. Dan Te remembered calling Yeon Hwa mother. That had to be embarrassing.
Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) stood with Dan Te. She recognized CEO Jo’s tactics and couldn’t let Dan Te stand alone during the stakeholders meeting. She explained the game was mapped out in the planning team’s minds and development was the next step. Yeon Hwa realized that she and Dan Te were discussing two different events when he apologized to her the previous evening. She decked him when she pushed his chair which rolled into the cement pole. It was kinda cute that he didn’t like the rat either as they both sat on the chairs.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as good. My rating chart is below: