For the past couple of episodes, Seo Hye Jin (Jung Ryeo Won) and Lee Joon Ho (Wi Ha Joon) have been growing closer and reaching new milestones in their relationship. However, nothing lasts forever, not even peace.

From Joon Ho’s overbearing parents to Hye Jin being betrayed by her own superior, here are three incidents of trouble in paradise in episodes 11-12 of “The Midnight Romance in Hagwon.”

Warning: spoilers for episodes 11-12 ahead!

Joon Ho’s controlling parents

The line between protective and controlling parents is thin, and some parents cross it unknowingly. To be fair, not every controlling parent is inherently evil. Yes, the act of controlling another person’s life to the millisecond is toxic, but most of the time, parents learn this behavior from their own parents, aka the “generational trauma.” Most of them do not realize that their love is suffocating and that their overbearing nature is causing problems in their child’s life. The situation worsens when the child in question is an almost 30-year-old adult whose parents are trying to snatch away his agency over his own life in the name of “we know better.”

In episodes 11 and 12, we see Joon Ho going through this exact problem. His mother informs him that his father, who was once against him becoming an afterschool academy teacher, has now arranged a meeting with an acquaintance who can help Joon Ho get a better job in the teaching industry. On the surface, the actions of Joon Ho’s parents seem kind and loving; they just want the best for their kid. But later, we learn from Joon Ho himself that this behavior is not a one-off thing and that his parents have always tried to plan his life instead of letting him choose what he wants to do. Thankfully, after having a heartfelt conversation with his parents, they understand their mistakes and seemingly will do better in the future.

Joon Ho’s attempt to reinvent his teaching style

Imposter syndrome is a real struggle where the person suffering from it doubts their achievements. This is the vibe the viewers and even the characters get when Joon Ho throws away the textbook that he worked an entire semester to create.

When Nam Cheong Mi (So Ju Yeon) sees him ripping up his hard work page by page and feeding it into the shredding machine, she tries to explain to him that the material he wrote is already good enough. He does not need to go through the trouble of recreating everything from scratch. Hye Jin also has the same opinion and considers his actions childish. They even end up having a public fight, and the environment gets tense.

Their public fight scene made one thing clear for the audience: dating your coworker might seem all daisies and sunshine at the start since you get to spend a ton of time with them at work and off work. However, it can quickly turn into a tense situation that makes the working environment awkward. Imagine if Joon Ho and Hye Jin were not dating and were not extremely close, would they have fought so loudly in front of everyone? Even the heated argument between Mr. Pyo and Hye Jin from the earlier episodes looks pale compared to Hye Jin and Joon Ho’s fight scene.

Another thing that this entire ordeal made clear was that Joon Ho’s determination is no joke. What Hye Jin and the viewers assumed was that imposter syndrome was just Joon Ho’s drive to create something great for his students. And by the looks of it, he is going to achieve his goal sooner rather than later. With his newer style of lecture getting approval from the director, we shall see in the next episode if he can truly achieve the perfection he is seeking.

Goal: Seo Hye Jin!

Time and time again it has been made clear in “The Midnight Romance in Hagwon” that a teacher’s teaching material is a trade secret that each teacher keeps hidden behind seven doors. It’s especially true for a teacher like Hye Jin, whose teaching style has made Daechi Chase one of the most popular hagwons in the area. Her teaching material might be worth gold.

As the vice director of Daechi Chase, Woo Sung Hee (Kim Jung Young) knows this fact, and she uses it against Hye Jin to fulfill her goal. In episodes 11 and 12, we learn that Sung Hee used to be the director of Victory Academy, which was later acquired by Kim Hyung Tak (Kim Jong Tae), the current director of Daechi Chase Academy. For that reason, Sung Hee despises Hyung Tak and the academy and wants to open her own place.

To achieve her goals, she plans to separate the director’s ace, Hye Jin, from him. At first, her plan is to give Hye Jin’s 10 years’ worth of teaching material, quizzes, exam question trends, and much more to Pyo Sang Seob (Kim Song Il), who is now working for Choiseon Academy. But her plan fails when Sang Seob proves to have more dignity than her and rejects the offer.

She turns to plan B and threatens Hye Jin that she will spread the material and give it to other teachers if Hye Jin doesn’t join her new academy. But the vice director has to face defeat once again as Hye Jin finally realizes that even if her teaching material gets stolen, no one can steal her skills.

Even though the betrayal Hye Jin faces is immense, this situation will definitely offer Joon Ho and Hye Jin another chance to work together, create exceptional teaching material for their students, and get even closer than ever before.

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Hello Soompiers! Did you enjoy Mr. Pyo’s Korean literature class scenes? Also, do you think he is going to snatch Hye Jin’s students with his great teaching skills? Let us know in the comment section below!

Javeria is a binge-watching specialist who loves devouring entire K-dramas in one sitting. Good screenwriting, beautiful cinematography, and a lack of cliches are the way to her heart. As a music fanatic, she listens to multiple artists across different genres but believes no one can top the self-producing idol group SEVENTEEN. You can talk to her on Instagram @javeriayousufs.

Currently watching: The Midnight Romance in Hagwon
Looking forward to: “Squid Game Season 2”