Crash Course in Romance recently unveiled Jeong Seong-Hyeon, the real identity of one of its main characters, as Chi-Yeol’s dark past finally catches up to him and his loved ones.
Crash Course in Romance has a couple of light-hearted beats that it follows with explosive energy. There are clichés, tropes, and themes expected from a rom-com, but also the fresh breath of air and spunk it exudes with each of its characters.
However, for every wholesome character with a heart of gold, there’s one with all the contrary qualities. The show deals with privileged parents doing anything and everything to maintain an inflated image and status in society, through the means of their children’s academic performance.
And while this crucial subject matter serves as the core thematic conflict in the show, there’s also a more immediate and trope-y danger afoot, and the source of this danger is a prominent character from Choi Chi-Yeol’s past.
Jeong Seong-Hyeon is Jeong Su-Hyeon’s brother. His sister was the same one who was driven to suicide after she found out that she became a beneficiary of the exam leaks that her mother caused.
Eaten up by guilt, Su-Hyeon gave up her life, but before her life met a grim fate, she was a cheerful person full of life. She was also a great admirer of Chi-Yeol and seemed to have a crush on him.
When Chi-Yeol learned of her death, he rushed off to the funeral, where he stumbled upon a chubby, bespectacled brother of hers, Jeong Seong-Hyeon. The innocent boy handed the star teacher his pen that his sister had once taken and didn’t return.
Chi-Yeol left the pen with Seong-Hyeon, and with it, his image of the savior and the kind-hearted person that Su-Hyeon had in her mind. Seong-Hyeon came to learn about the trustworthy adult Chi-Yeol through his sister’s diary, where she had mentioned him as the only adult she considered trustworthy enough to confide in.
A love curve-ball most unfavorable
Su-Hyeon’s suicide would keep weighing on Chi-Yeol’s conscience ever since it occurred, as he felt his role in the fate that engulfed her in its flames. His health would always worsen whenever the memories would come flooding in, but as of late, Chi-Yeol’s health has improved a lot, and he doesn’t even think about Su-Hyeon’s death that much.
This is all a result of his falling in love with Nam Haeng-Seon, who has filled his empty life with much-needed love and enthusiasm to keep living for more than just success and work. All of this has been the biggest sore to Chi-Yeol’s assistant, Ji Dong-Hui, a.k.a., Jeong Seong-Hyeon.
He doesn’t want the star teacher to focus on anyone or anything but his success. Any deviation from their scheduled work and into the lovesick dynamic of Chi-Yeol and Haeng-Seon comes as a brutal pang to Jeong Seong-Hyeon.
Trust, protection, obsession, destruction
Jeong Seong-Hyeon was essentially treated as livestock by his mother, a treatment she subjected his sister to as well. Akin to a lot of other moms in the story’s central plot, Seong-Hyeon, and Su-Hyeon’s mother was obsessed with her children’s academic excellence, and she ensured this excellence with any and all measures possible.
She got in touch with the school director, with the help of Choi Chi-Yeol, who was unaware of the purpose he was sharing the director’s contact info. Su-Hyeon’s mother got the answers leaked with the help of the director, and Su-Hyeon inadvertently became the beneficiary of it.
This unfair leg-up gnawed at Su-Hyeon’s conscience, and as it ate her up from the inside, she wished to confide in Chi-Yeol, eventually doing so as well. When she died, Jeong Seong-Hyeon, who was already familiar with Chi-Yeol, began seeing him as the only adult he can trust as well.
After killing the adult who tormented him and his sister — his mother, Seong-Hyeon was tried in court, but due to insufficient evidence, he was acquitted. Following that, he ran away and disappeared. Three years later, he got himself a forged identification, with a new name, “Ji Dong-Hui.”
He became a team member under Choi Chi-Yeol at the Pride Academy, eventually climbing up to the position of his assistant. Throughout Crash Course in Romance, he’s shown to be incredibly caring of Choi Chi-Yeol, but the latest episodes make it clear that this was all a part of his obsession with the star teacher.
Bereft of any adult he can trust, much less look up to, Jeong Seong-Hyeon devoted himself to Choi Chi-Yeol, which is why he started eliminating anyone daring enough to inflict any harm upon Chi-Yeol, having the potential to do so, and even those who love the star teacher.
This is because Jeong Seong-Hyeon feels only he can be the one deserving of Chi-Yeol’s trust. When the star teacher starts forgetting about Su-Hyeon, it only comes as a severe blow to Seong-Hyeon, who has always wanted to “protect” the adult he thought he could trust, i.e., the adult he could subject his obsession to.