Level Up Episode 8
The Joybuster team gets back to work but there’s a breach of their system…it’s an emergency! The game engine is blocked by their competition NexViper. It isn’t to swap in a new engine. they are undermanned so they can’t make the delivery deadlines. An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) declares he’ll figure out a solution.
Ex-Joybuster employees know working at NexViper and happy they are clever to find a way to disable their competition. They see CEO Ah enter the building to visit the NexViper CEO. They smile.
The NexViper CEO won’t sell the game engine to CEO Ah. IF he were to reestablish the publishing contract that CEO Ah recently terminated, then he’d consider it. Dan Te’s answer is no.
Dan Te tells the development team they have to switch to a new game engine. He brings them energy drinks and implores them to work hard.
The management looks at the budget. It is tight and they don’t have latitude to slip the delivery deadline.
As everyone is leaving for the day, Bae Ya Chae (Kang Byul) drives up and informs Dan Te it is time for him to pay his debt. When Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) walks out, Ya Chae is less than thrilled to see her. She takes Dan Te by the arm and puts him in her car. Manager Park, Yeon Hwa and Kwak Han Cheol (Baro) wonder what that is about.
Han Cheol and Yeon Hwa exit together leaving Manager Park to make his way home alone. Yeon Hwa admits she’s worried they won’t be able to overcome their issues and make their deadline. Han Cheol suggests she eliminate some stress of the work day with him.
They eat fried foods with relish. Han Cheol suggests they shoot clay pigeons. Yeon Hwa agrees.
Ya Chae and Dan Te eat on a rooftop terrace. He’s doesn’t act interested in her.
Yeon Hwa tells Han Cheol she’ll think about the overworked development team all night. Han Cheol suggest that the master coder Joseph Lee could help them. Yeon Hwa loves the suggestion and hugs him.
Ya Chae isn’t happy when Yeon Hwa calls Dan Te during dinner. Dan Te agrees to talk to her tomorrow at work about Joseph lee. Ya Chae believes Yeon Hwa called to disrupt their dinner. She tells him not to take Yeon Hwa’s calls when they are together. She admits she doesn’t like Yeon Hwa. Dan Te counters that Yeon Hwa is just an employee. Ya Chae asks if she’s more to him. Dan Te won’t give her the answer she wants.
Ya Chae drops Dan Te off in front of his apartment. She gets upset that he doesn’t want to be with her. Dan Te assures her he doesn’t lie. She cries. He wipes her eye and smears her mascara. He tells her to go home. She leaves.
When Dan Te enters the apartment his step brother, Kang Hoon, and YouTube student, Sang Mi, are there reading for a YouTube broadcast. Dan Te doesn’t want them to disturb his peace and quiet. Sang Mi asks after Ya Chae. Dan Te doesn’t answer.
Sang Mi reminds Kang Hoon that she promised to get her a tour and meeting with Ya Chae.
Dan Te thinks about Ya Chae and isn’t happy that she got upset.
Yeon Hwa explains to the management team that Joseph Lee could help them meet their deadline because he’s a master coder. Yeon Hwa contacts him via an email address provided by the last seminar Joseph Lee spoke at. Unfortunately Joseph Lee’s answer is swift and concise. Yeon Hwa forwards the email to Dan Te…he won’t help Joybuster as he doesn’t work for any private company. Yeon Hwa lectures her about finding a way to convince Joseph Lee. Han Cheol suggests looking for clues about Joseph Lee through the seminar video. The team watches the video. Joseph Lee is masked in front of a computer. They don’t see clues to tip them off to his location. Frustrated they all walk away.
At his apartment, Dan Te endures a broadcast by Sang Mi and Kang Hoon while he watches the Joseph Lee video. Sang Mi surprises him when she recognizes the wallpaper image on Joseph Lee’s phone. It is Artemis the girl band that Ya Chae manages. Sang Mi suggests that Joseph Lee is a fan club member and suggests they go to Ya Chae for help to lure Joseph Lee into the open.
With no other ideas, Dan Te takes Sang Mi to visit Ya Chae. He explains his predicament. They suggest Artemis attend a fan event they’ll arrange that Joseph Lee would be sure to attend. Dan Te gives her his best puppy dog eyes pleading look. Ya Chae arranges a tour for Sang Mi while she talks to Dan Te in private. Ya Chae agrees to help, but has a condition.
Dan Te returns to work and provides Yeon Hwa the information about the Artemis fan club. Yeon Hwa agrees to convince the fan club president to stage a meet and greet to lure Joseph Lee to attend.
Unfortunately the fan club president is the man that had an argument with Yeon Hwa on the subway. He demands that the CEO of Joybuster visit if they want his help. Yeon Hwa calls Dan Te. But Dan Te recalls Ya Chae’s condition…that Dan Te NOT see Yeon Hwa outside the office. Dan Te sends Han Cheol instead. That doesn’t go over well. Han Cheol calls Dan Te and declares the fan club president won’t talk to anyone but him. Dan Te has no choice.
Dan Te arrives and explains the situation to the fan club president. He is willing to talk it over a drink. Yeon Hwa stiffens and reminds Dan Te that he can’t handle alcohol. Stuck with no options, Dan Te agree to eat and drink with the fan club president.
Dan Te, Yeon Hwa, Han Cheol and the fan club president go to the eatery Dan Te used to meet his father at (and where he got drunk last time with Yeon Hwa). The discussions go well. We learn the fan club president’s backstory. Dan Te drinks two shots. He pretends all is well. The fan club president posts a meet and greet with Artemis. Joseph Lee sees the announcement and is the first to respond that he’ll attend.
Han Cheol helps the drunk fan club president into a taxi and leaves.
Dan Te tries to walk home but goes in the wrong direction. Yeon Hwa helps him. Determined NOT to black out and not know what he does drunk, he buys a selfish stick and records himself. Yeon Hwa helps him into a taxi to get him home and gets in telling the taxi driver where to go.
Of course Ya Chae calls. Dan Te puts her in a live video chat. It is clear that Dan Te is drunk AND he’s with Yeon Hwa. Ya Chae is NOT happy. Dan Te broke his word to her. Yeon Hwa promises to get Dan Te home. Ya Chae hangs up. Dan Te doesn’t understand why Ya Chae isn’t happy.
When they arrive at the apartment building, Yeon Hwa escorts Dan Te to his apartment. They are surprised to see Kang Hoon, Sang Mi and Ya Chae there. Yeon Hwa senses the cool regard of Ya Chae and quickly leaves. Dan Te passes out. Ya Chae has no choice but to leave.
As she walks out of the apartment Ya Chae fumes that her request was blatantly ignored by Dan Te.
The next day at the meet and greet with Artemis, a masked Joseph Lee arrives. But the Artemis isn’t there and not answering phone calls. Yeon Hwa calls Dan Te to report the situation.
Dan Te knows Ya Chae isn’t happy that he saw Yeon Hwa outside the office. He calls her to ask why Artemis is late to the meet and greet. Ya Chae informs Dan Te that Artemis isn’t showing per her instructions. Dan Te declares Ya Chae broke her promise of help. Ya Chae counters that Dan Te broke his promise not to see Yeon Hwa outside the office. She hangs up on Dan Te.
Dan Te arrives at the meet and greet. He and Yeon Hwa explain to Joseph Lee the situation – they need his help coding and this meet and greet was a sham. Joseph Lee gets on his scooter and flees. Yeon Hwa and Han Cheol give chase on foot. Dan Te borrows Mi Ja’s bike and gives chase. Joseph Lee heads out into traffic, a car slams its brakes, we see Joseph Lee’s scooter on the ground. Dan Te yells his name.
This wasn’t the brightest idea for an episode. Writer Kim Dong Kyu identified Joseph Lee as the only coding master that could get Joybuster’s development back on track. But Joseph Lee refused to work for a private company. The Artemis fan club president encounter and the sham meet and greet to lure Joseph Lee was the rest of the episode and more silly than substantial. Frankly this episode was not stellar storytelling.
An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) broke his word. Ya Chae demanded that he NOT see Yeon Hwa outside the office. I shake my head at his agreement. Yeon Hwa is his employee. He wasn’t seeing Yeon Hwa socially but in a work context outside the office. But that didn’t matter. Ya Chae likes Dan Te, she is persistent, and Dan Te realized his lack of response hurt her. It bothered him, because he has a heart. It was irritating to watch Dan Te thwarted this episode by Ya Chae and the NexViper president.
Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) tried to convince Joseph Lee and the fan club president but to no avail. She called Dan Te for help and he sent Han Cheol. Unfortunately that didn’t suffice. Dan Te was forced to deal with the fan club president and that included drinking. Yeon Hwa had to see Dan Te home safely based on what she knew happened the last time he got drunk. Ya Chae may be jealous, but it is unfounded. Dan Te doesn’t have romantic feelings for Yeon Hwa and she doesn’t have romantic feeling for him.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as decent. My rating chart is below: