Jung Sun runs with Hyun Soo, but she doesn’t want to hold hands. He wonders why when she doesn’t even think of him as a man. He isn’t one to cling to someone who has rejected him he assures her. She tells him she likes that about him.
They are in the center of Yeouido Park. He plays a song on her phone and begins to sway to the music. “Practice the dance you will do when you win the contest.” Hyun Soo is giddy at his playfulness but says she won’t dance now, and skitters away.
He walks her to her house. “You consoled me,” she calls after him and watches as he waves over his head and walks down the street.
The next morning Sister Hyun Yi noisily wakes up Hyun Soo. “How can you sleep when you failed to get nominated? I would have killed myself by now,” is her not-so-cheery greeting. She continues to nag Hyun Soo, complaining that she mooches off her and can’t even get a decent job writing. “Give me breakfast,” she demands.
Hyun Soo takes out the trash and accidentally crashes into her sister who is on her way to work. The barrage of insults continues until Hyun Soo can’t take it anymore. “You need a beating,” she tells her little sister. Hyun Soo grabs her sister’s hair and tells her she is going to teach her a lesson today. She wants people to watch – the thing Hyun Yi hates the most. They squabble in front of neighborhood onlookers. “I have nothing to lose,” Hyun Soo hollers, but is suddenly embarrassed to see that Jung Sun has stopped on his bike and is watching. “Hello” she greets him. “I guess this is how you show affection to your sister,” he wonders. As she picks Hyun Yi up off the ground she says, “I love her so much,” and gives her difficult sister a hug.
The kitchen is bustling. Jung Sun gets a special package from the VIP customer. Beautiful truffles are packed in a wooden box – they guess it’s $2000 worth! Jung Sun immediately repacks them and catches up with the customer. He tells him he can’t accept the gift and sets it down. The customer asks, “Are you scared to be loved?” Jung Sun looks at him oddly and says that sounds corny. “Well, it does sound quite corny” and he introduces himself, “I’m Park Jung Woo.” He wanted to show his appreciation and thought chefs liked food gifts. “I didn’t say I didn’t like it, I said it was too much. I’m On Jung Sun.”
“On? I didn’t know there was a last name like that.” Jung Sun goes on to tell an elaborate explanation of his family’s ancestry. Jung Woo thinks he must have lived with his grandfather to know so much about his past. He didn’t live with him, Jung Sun explains, but he did spend time with him. He is the only son of his grandfather’s eldest son. Jung Woo guesses that his grandfather must have been against him wanting to become a chef, but Sung Jun says it was his father who was against it while his grandfather always sided with him. Jung Woo suddenly asks, “Do you like me? Why are you telling me about yourself?” Jung Sun insists he is only being sincere and that Jung Woo is weird. With a laugh, Jung Woo asks Jung Sun to take a look at the business card he handed him. Sung Jun reads “On Entertainment?” Jung Woo explains that he planned the name of his future company ten years ago. “On” he snaps his fingers, “always awake and alert – but as soon as I heard your name On Jung Sun I felt that I had lost. I figured I’d never be able to beat you.” Park Jung Woo is interested in investing in a restaurant with Jung Sun. He thanks him for liking his cooking, but thinks Jung Woo is getting ahead of himself. For now, they part ways. But not until Jung Woo asks Jung Sun to please accept the gift. Jung Sun smiles.
Hyun Soo arrives at work with a carrier of drinks. She runs into Joon Ha who whispers that the producer is in a bad mood because the script is unacceptable. They head up to what promises to be a confrontational meeting between the PD and head writer Park.
Jung Sun studies a cookbook by famous French chef Alain Passard. The head kitchen chef gives him a hard time and tells him to do what he is told. His friend, Won Joon, stops by to see him. At first the kitchen chef is annoyed but Won Joon asks if he feels well and pulls out a light to look at his eyes while explaining that he is a doctor. He suggests he get a checkup for his liver that could be bad. The kitchen chef leaves concerned and Jung Sun asks if it’s serious. “You believed that?” Won Joon replies. He doesn’t like that his friend gets bossed around by that guy and got back at him. When Jung Sun chops potatoes with a flair to show off, the knife slips and cuts his finger. “My life is full of retributive justice,’ he mumbles.
The director unhappily reviews the script with the lead writer Park. She realizes he doesn’t like the direction she took. He asks why she veered from their agreement to portray the concept that “human nature is never evil.” Why did she go against that? Hyun Soo looks on but doesn’t say a word: it is exactly what she brought up during their discussion while writing the script and was shut down.
Won Joon and Jung Sun prep in the kitchen side by side. Won Joon reminds his friend that he always wanted to be a chef but he followed his father’s wishes. “So your dream is to make your father’s dream come true?” It’s not that easy, Won Joon argues. They tussle. Won Joon gets a text from Hong Ah asking if he’s coming into town this weekend; he likes her (sigh) but to her he is only a nameless plant.
Hong Ah sits alone at a cafe table writing; she’s stuck on a sentence. She gets a text: I am on my way from court. When the server sets down a drink she tells her that she didn’t order it. The server nods at the table behind her where the attorney is sitting. He smiles and sends her a finger heart. Hong Ah isn’t impressed or pleased. He offers that his uncle is a producer. He can introduce her to him. “I see,” she answers coolly. As she abruptly packs up her things to leave he insists that she was flirting with him, sitting there toying with writing. Annoyed, she flings the drink on his shirt saying, “Drink this all you want,” and walks off.
Hyun Soo and Hong Ah run into head writer Park at her apartment. Hyus Soo wants to offer to help her revise the script but it is awkward to say that. To save face, head writer Park says that what the director wants is what she said – only in a different way. Hong Ah has stopped by to see Hyun Soo who always seems too busy. When head writer Park says that she hired her on Hong Ah’s recommendation, Hong Ah says that’s not what she meant. In fact, head writer Park has a reputation of being one the best melodrama writers, she quickly adds. Head writer Park says she needed a compliment these days. (Disaster averted.) She tells the two friends to go ahead and spend the afternoon together. But Hyun Soo starts to say that she will help rewrite the script until Hong Ah grabs her arm to stop her. When head writer Park goes inside, Hong Ah tells Hyun Soo to put up with her until the end of the project. There’s no place to go if she gets fired, after all. Just play it smart and avoid her when she is annoyed. Such good advice, isn’t that what friends are for?
The two women need a break and take a joy ride in Hong Ah’s convertible to release their frustrations. Hong Ah confides in her friend that the lawyer is a jerk. She loves that Hyun Soo gets her and doesn’t treat her like she is thoughtless. On the contrary, Hyun Soo says she thinks too much. Hong Ah loves being a writer – her family loves writers – but Hyun Soo pouts that her family hates that she’s a writer.
After enjoying the fresh air they arrive at Hyun Soo’s house. A sudden hug from Hong Ah surprises Hyun Soo who hugs her back. Crabby Hyun Yi looks down at the two of them. When her sister comes in, she asks, “Are you two in love? Do you like her more than me?” Hyun Yi, who claims she should be on a diet, slathers her ice dream with chocolate sauce. A parcel has been delivered to their address by mistake. Hyun Yi says to call the delivery company tomorrow. But Hyun Soo decides to drop it off in person – it was supposed to go to Jung Sun.
Jung Sun looks to see if Alain Passard has replied to his email. He hasn’t. He gets an inquiry from Hong Ah: what’s your address? Hyun Soo walks along, looking for the address that matches the one on the box. Jung Sun waits outside. She delivers the package to him and turns to leave. He invites her in for something to eat. At first she refuses his offer, but before she knows it he has lured her in with his words. She is surprised, enchanted – by his charming house.
The view is what’s important, he tells her as they gaze at the lights from his balcony.
Jung Woo thanks the person on the phone for working hard; it turns out the contact isn’t going to work out. He fiddles with his pocket watch, saying to himself that it is a new beginning. “I will win. I always have.” Jung Woo seems unsettled.
Jung Sun carefully slices the a truffle, telling Hyun Soo that it is rare and something not even found in their country. Hyun Soo bluntly asks how much he makes and quickly offers that she earns $800/month. Without looking up he says he makes $1500 and uses most of that for rent. She can’t understand it: she is older and makes less and he squanders his pay for a high-priced place to live. Once again, their views on money differ; for now, this is how he chooses to live he tells her. “When did you become so independent?” she asks. “At 15. When my parents divorced,” he states matter-of-fact. Hyun Soo wants to taste a piece of truffle. She eats it thoughtfully, commenting that she’s never had this taste before. Jung Sun smiles and tells her that a truffle doesn’t have much taste in and of itself; but paired with the right thing, it’s delectable. He hands her a piece of bread with a spread and the truffle on top. Now the unique flavor comes through. Like a true chef, eh enjoys watching her eat deliciously.
A couple who has been together for many years strolls along the street. The wife is playful in a sweet way, wishing to capture their romance from a time past. She embraces her husband who, at first is shy and doesn’t want anyone to see, but then wraps his arm around her waist. As they kiss in the moonlight, a nosy neighbor on the second story pours a filled watering can on them. She scolds that they are shameless carrying on like that, having an affair with someone else’s spouse. The wife is adamant that they are a couple, but the belligerent neighbor chases them off with a promise to douse them good for such outrageous behavior.
Hyun Soo stumbles. Sung Jun asks if she’s okay. “I fall over often,” she answers. Maybe she’ll just take a rest down here, then. He isn’t sure what she means exactly and asks if she’s flirting with him. She is defensive and says that she doesn’t flirt; ask anyone. “Do you realize you talk like an old man?” she nags and tells him to act his age. “Yes, ma’am,” he replies. That makes her feel old – she wants him to call her by her name.
“Give me your number,” he asks but she doesn’t have a pen. Then he’ll memorize it. Hyun Soo is charmed by that.
The lovey-dovey couple is none other than Hyun Soo and Hyun Yi’s parents who have stopped in to shower after being doused with water. Hyun Soo guesses they got that treatment because they were acting out in public. She knows her parents well. Mom shoos Hyun Yi off the couch so she can sit next to their father. They flirt and make the daughters cringe at their parents’ openly loving behavior.
From her hotel room Mother calls Jung Sun’s dad. The person you’ve dialed is not available at the moment. Please leave a message . . .
Jung Sun jogs on the treadmill, grinning at the thought of Hyun Soo the night before. Hyun Soo jives to James Brown singing “I Feel Good” as her way of waking up, but her sister’s crabby attitude quickly puts an end to that.
Jung sun picks up a travel magazine at the gym and flips through: Taebak Mountains and Cockles catches his eye. He calls Hyun Soo from a pay phone and invites her to eat with him. Sounds good to her, she wants to interview him anyway.
Hyun Soo asks head writer Park for the day off. Apparently it isn’t the norm, but she tells her to go ahead. When they meet at the South Seoul bus terminal Jung Sun surprises her with tickets to Beolgyo to try the cockles where they come from. “Food is just food for me but for you it’s another way of learning,” Hyun Soo says with a new appreciation of Jung Sun’s approach.
She is a snacker and munches away on chips; he’s not. As the bus rolls along, Hyun Soo looks out the window and smiles. “I’m happy. Since I’ve been an assistant writer, I never had a peaceful day of rest.” He thinks it must be hard. She couldn’t ask for a day off when her superior was working hard. But he thinks that’s just a way of saying her supervisor didn’t give her a rest. So, her question for him: how does “Men Who Eat Rare Steaks” sound as title for her next writing idea? Are those men different? He isn’t sure, he’s never thought about that. Think about it, she tells him.
The view is gorgeous as they take a boat ride, hike, and then leisurely walk to the restaurant. Jung Sun doesn’t just dig in; he takes in the aroma of the food before tasting it. She follows. She doesn’t like sashimi but reaches for some; he grabs her chopsticks with his to take it from her saying, “You don’t like it.” But her answer is refreshing; “Humans are full of contradictions.” Next, they plan to take in the area’s culture, but it’s late and the museums have closed. They enjoy a cup of tea in a tea house.
It’s time to catch the last bus but when they arrive at the depot there is a workers’ strike going down. Can they catch the train, they wonder? “Follow me” he says.
They scurry down unfamiliar streets lit with glitzy signs and a bustling night life. Hyun Soo wonders where in the world he is taking her, but the place he is searching for is an internet café. He quickly purchases train tickets and secures a way home. But before they go, he checks his email to see if chef Alain Passard has answered his application for an internship at his restaurant in France. Hyun Soo quietly asks if he’ll go to France if he gets accepted, realizing that he has plans beyond his life here. He replies that he has to go anyway to finish up at the university.
They make a dash for the train. Once settled, they fall asleep. When Sung Jun wakes up, Hyun Soo is gone. He looks for her and finds her standing in the vestibule looking contemplative.
He tells her he was worried. She tells him she’s not a kid. “I’m so happy.” That’s the second time she’s said that he comments. Just then the train jolts and he falls towards her. “You didn’t make me happy. I’m happy on my own. It depends on how I perceive a situation,” she replies thoughtfully.
He gazes into her eyes and says that he’ll follow her advice to act his age. Today, he will be twenty-three. “I want to kiss you. Do I need to take responsibility for that?” She replies no. It may not be love, what he is feeling. She tells him a woman won’t be swayed by such a comment. If she wants, she can avoid his kiss, he says softly.
Jung Sun walks home with a smile on his face. He stops dead in his tracks. There, at the foot of his stairs, is his mother. With luggage. “I just got here,” she greets him. He carries her things upstairs. She puts her hand on his face and tells him, “I missed you.”
She knows that he was the one who always protected her.
Flashback: Sung Jun’s father picks out tofu and greens from his bowl and throws them on the table. He asks if Sung Jun’s mother does this to make him mad and reaches across the table hitting her on the head with his spoon. Over and over. Jung Sun stands up and grabs his father’s arm. Mother stands next to Jung Sun and says to Father, ‘Let’s get a divorce.” It is an unhappy family situation.
Sung Jun places bedding on the floor for his mother. She complains that she needs a bed to sleep in, but when he walks away she says she will be understanding. After all, she is the mother. He walks out onto the balcony with a painful look on his face.
When Hyun Soo arrives at work she is bluntly told that she no longer has a job. Head writer Park’s pride has been hurt that Hyun Soo and the director both ripped apart her writing. Hyun Soo apologizes, it’s not that at all. But head writer Park has decided to take out her vengeance on Hyun Soo and tells her that when she gave her permission to leave, she meant permanently. It’s an embarrassing office scene as head writer Park cuts down Hyun Soo calling her evil and a liar. Everyone is uncomfortable. Hyun Soo has no choice but to leave. She wasn’t prepared for this.
Hyun Soo feels very alone. She can’t help the tears that fall. It dawns on her that the person she longs for, the one who she wants to run to is Jung Sun. Before she knows it, she is running full speed towards his house.
Mother is in Jung Sun’s kitchen making breakfast. It’s not what he wants to wake up to. She wants his attention but he isn’t willing to ignore her past behavior to give her that. When he reminds her that she threw him away just like that, she slaps him, but immediately apologizes and is sorry for her outburst. Turns out that is nothing compared to what comes next: in a fit of uncontrollable anger, Mother sweeps the contents of the counter and everything crashes to the floor. She slumps against the wall, crying pitifully, I was wrong.”
Jung Sun clenches his fist at his mother’s emotional outburst and outrageous actions. Too many bad memories flood back. The one person who comes to mind is Hyun Soo; suddenly he can’t contain his need to see her and runs in her direction. Both realize their emotional support for each other has become their stability in the midst of their suddenly unstable environments.
Hyun Soo runs up the stairs and rings Jung Sun’s doorbell. Mother looks up. Jung Sun calls from a pay phone, desperately trying to reach Hyun Soo.
These two are meant to be together.
- Jung Sun has fallen for Hyun Soo hard and, even though she has rejected his proposal, they are becoming close anyway. I love that Jung Sun was spontaneous in arranging for their day trip; he seems curt and serious as if that is something he wouldn’t do. And maybe he wouldn’t normally, but perhaps Hyun Soo has sparked a playfulness in him. He has the type of personality that can easily be misread, but when the walls come down, he is quite charming and attractive. Their train kiss felt fresh and free on both sides.
- I like the way Hyun Soo is self-aware, even though most everyone around her (with the exception of her friend, Hong Ah) gives her a hard time. The clash with head writer was predictable and, if you ask me, Hyun Soo can find something better. The pride thing, it is so extreme in Korea (at least the way it is portrayed in kdramas)! We still don’t know why Hyun Soo is in the working position she is in – everyone seems to know that her previous job was better, more prestigious, and on the right career path. Now, she’s been fired from an assistant position that, as Hong Ah reminded her earlier, leaves her with no other options, really.
- I can’t help but wonder if Hyun Soo loses her balance because of an illness that perhaps Emergency Doctor Won Joon will detect?
- Park Jung Woo is an intriguing character. He is friendly – sometimes too much so – and eager to invest. But there are blockades in the way and he seems to be growing impatient. What is he trying to win at?
- I like actress Kim Mi Sook – she is perfect for the part of Jung Sun’s mother. Like Sung Jun, I’d work hard to keep my distance from her. But, mothers have a way of finding their children when they need them. I feel bad for their tainted relationship.
- The looming prospect that Jung Sun will leave for France sometime has surfaced. He is anxious for it to happen, hopefully he will hear from the famous French Chef Alain Passard and get the much desired opportunity to work as an intern. But it Hyun Soo is hearing it for the first time and is aware that he plans on leaving.
- If only they could run into the arms of one another without Mother being in between them!
- Anyhoot, there is a lot going on in this kdrama and I feel that the storylines are well-paced. No one can accuse Jung Sun and Hyun Soo of being sappy for love. They take their relationships – and themselves seriously, I like that.
- I am going back to the single episode recap – this isn’t my style to wait until two episodes are completed to recap. Look forward to episode 5 recap appearing in a more timely fashion!