REVIEW: ‘Crash Course in Romance,’ Episodes 11-12

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Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12 — But Why Tho

With the last episode ending on a major reveal from Hae-yi (Roh Yoon-seo), it was easy to conclude that for the main couple of Crash Course in Romance, their relationship could commence forward towards less choppy waters. However, as viewers will discover in Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12,  Nam Haeng-seon (Jeon Do-yeon) and Choi Chiy-yeol (Jung Kyung-ho) are not out of the woods yet. In fact, there is an enemy in their midst threatened by Haeng-seon’s influence on Chiy-yeol, and by end of Episode 12, we’re left wondering how bad things are going to get for our leading lady before the credits roll.

Episode 11 delivers on the romance but also pushes things forward in terms of the crime mystery. It also helps Hae-yi resolve some of her trauma surrounding the truth about her family dynamics. After revealing to the public that Haeng-seon isn’t her mother, but is actually her aunt, she not only opens the door for Haeng-seon and Chiy-yeol to date without fear but also for a potential backlash against Hae-yi for lying. After a past experience in middle school, Hae-yi expects her classmates to hate her, but they don’t. In fact, they think she’s cool for revealing the truth.

The awkward love triangle between Hae-yi, Lee Seon-jae (Lee Chae-min), and Seo Geon-hu (Lee Min-jae) progresses slightly and provides a little more slice of life. Geon-hu admits in front of the entire class that he wants Hae-yi to go out with him if he manages to get into college. This stokes further tension between Seon-jae and Geon-hu but Geon-hu calls him out. Seon-jae has spent the entire season of Crash Course in Romance not doing anything. It’s like he’s expecting Hae-yi to notice his feelings without taking the initiative. While this particular subplot still feels out of place from the rest of the series, it’s cute to see first love and its complications happen.

For Haeng-seon and Chiy-yeol, we finally get to see our main couple embrace their feelings. They go on dates. Haeng-seon’s brother,  Nam Jae-woo (Oh Eui-shik), embarrasses her by referring to Chiy-yeol as his brother-in-law. They’re trading cute stickers with each via text. Things are going well, but trouble is on the horizon and it has proven my theory surrounding one of our characters: Ji Dong-hee (Shin Jae-ha).

In Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12, we start to see the cracks in Dong-hee’s mask. Chiy-yeol’s self-admitted confidante is starting to lose control of his boss and, as is revealed pretty blatantly in Episode 12, he is thoroughly threatened by Haeng-seon’s influence on Chiy-yeol, as she has influenced him on significant life decisions that have ramifications outside of just Chiy-yeol. He doesn’t hesitate to gaslight both Chiy-yeol and Haeng-seon, purposely trying to drive wedges where he can, which spill over into the beginning of Episode 12. While I feel the writers should have waited one more episode before hitting things full throttle for Dong-hee, it does make one wonder how the next four episodes of the series will develop.

Dong-hee’s actions have a direct correlation with the murder mystery at hand. The writers have been dropping hints all throughout the season, distracting viewers with the set-up of Lee Hui-jae (Kim Tae-jung) as the killer. We get further evidence in Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12 that verifies that Hui-jae is not the killer and his mother’s lack of trust and belief in her sons does little to help matters. In fact, Jang Seo-jin (Jang Young-nam) is honestly leading the pack in Crash Course in Romance as the worst mother with how genuinely little she seems to care for her sons outside of maintaining the family face.

By the end of Crash Course in Romance Episode 12, viewers are met with two bombs, which will set up the stakes for the remaining episodes. Unfortunately, there is an elephant in the room as we now reach the end of the series. The biggest issue, aside from the general lack of subtlety that’s permeated the entire series, is the execution in tone.

Tonally, the bulk of the series has been unbalanced, with Episode 12 being the latest example of that. Most glaringly with the inclusion of an unnecessary and cringey romantic subplot between Nam Jae-woo and restaurant employee/family friend, Kim Young-joo (Lee Bong-ryun). While it’s hard to say whether or not the tone balance will get any better by the series’ end, it seems unlikely that it will. The time for course correction is not there.

While Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12 propel things forward, the tonal imbalance in both episodes highlights a repetitive flaw in the series.

Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12 are now available on Netflix, with new episodes airing on Saturdays and Sundays.

Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10


While Crash Course in Romance Episodes 11-12 propel things forward, the tonal imbalance in both episodes highlights a repetitive flaw in the series.

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