A look back at the night before reveals Jung Sun and Hyun Soo’s parting moments after spending the day in Beolgyo. Hyun Soo says goodnight and drops her keys as she fumbles to open the gate. She is flustered, not in a bad way, but happy and shy as she goes inside. Jung Sun walks home feeling lighthearted.
Hyun Soo finds her sister and Joon Ha drinking. Actually, Hyun Yi is crying and he is consoling her; he informs Hyun Soo that her sister just found out her ex-boyfriend is getting married. When Hyun Soo asks how she found out, Hyun Yi gets upset that she is so practical about the whole matter. Joon Ha agrees. Hyun Soo comments that they’re such a great match, they should just date. “No-No!” they shout simultaneously. He puts his arm around Hyun Yi and says they’re like brothers. “Sisters!” Hyun Yi corrects. In any case, they’re drinking buddies and nothing more, or so they claim.
When Hyun Yi asks Hyun Soo where she’s been, her thoughts are expressed in a voiceover: Back then I didn’t know it was love. Why is it hard for us to be sure that we’re in love?
Hyun Soo helps her sister while she throws up. Her sister hopes Hyun Soo is devastated by love someday so she knows how it feels. Joon Ha says that will never happen: Hyun Soo thinks of love as a neatly ironed shirt.
That morning after she is fired Hyun Soo runs to Jung Soo’s house with an overwhelming desire to see him. When he doesn’t answer, sh takes the stairs back down. But then someone calls, “Excuse me. Are you here to see my son?” Hyun Soo asks, “Who’s your son?” While Hyun Soo runs into Jung Sun’s mother, he runs into a store to buy a cellphone. Not being able to gee a hold of Hyun Soo is too hard on him.
The two women have coffee together. Mother asks how she met her son (runners’ club) and her age (29). Mother keeps it short and sweet. She stands and offers her hand with a somewhat cryptic comment, “It was nice meting you. I keep long relationships with people. I’m disappointed this one won’t last long.”After nothing short of a completely awful day so far, Hyun Soo stretches out on the couch at home. Her phone rings. It’s Park Jung Woo. He is slightly disappointed that she doesn’t quite recall why he would be contacting her.
Jung Woo reminds her that he is Joon Ha’s senior and hers too. She asks how he got her number. In fact Joon Ha has already informed him that she was fired; that’s why he is calling. Hyun Soo cringes. “Come to my office at 5 p.m.” he tells her. She doesn’t want to. Then he will remember her as someone with an inferiority complex. She doesn’t care.
There’s an upset in the kitchen over potatoes. The head kitchen chef tells Jung Sun to make them as he was told. Jung Sun informs him that last time the potatoes weren’t done properly. “Are you saying I don’t know that?” When Jung Sun says that’s right, the kitchen staff freezes. The head kitchen chef is about to punch Jung Sun in the face when the main chef walks in and tells them to stop. The kitchen chef argues, but the main chef is stern and cuts him off. He follows Jung Sun outside and reminds him that he needs to work on getting along. “Even if you’re talented you’re still a rookie.” Doesn’t Jung Sun know he is his favorite? But for his own sake, he wants Jung Sun to follow protocol. Jung Sun says that he has learned that when someone tells you to hold back and it’s for your sake, it’s a scam. Jung Sun curtly adds that he knows what is best for him and he will decide whether to stay or not. The head chef realizes Jung Sun can’t be reined in.
As they enter the restaurant, Mother and Park Jung Woo nearly collide. They happen to be seated at adjacent tables. Jung Woo overhears her ask the server to tell Jung Sun his mom is here.
Hyun Soo sits on top of a jungle gym on the playground. She couldn’t be happier when he mom happens by. There’s nothing like getting recharged by Mom who gives her hugs and encourages her. Hyun Soo is touched by how close her parents are and how loving they are toward one another. At a time when her job and living situation are uncertain, the stability of her loving parents is what Hyun Soo needs.
By the time Jung Sun comes out, his mother is eating a lamb chop (perfectly cooked, she compliments) and asks him to sit with her while she eats. She wants him to not hate her for her behavior that morning. Jung Sun doesn’t want to hear it and returns to the kitchen. What is he supposed to do about this unwelcome visit from his difficult mother? At the counter she tells the clerk to put her bill on her son’s tab. He explains that’s difficult, but Jung Woo is behind her and silently motions to the clerk that he will pay. The clerk tells Mother that everything is taken care of and she leaves. Jung Woo pays for the meals and with an extra tip to the clerk, makes his way into the kitchen.
Jung Sun is mildly surprised to see Jung Woo enter the kitchen. Jung Woo comments that he has a passport to anywhere he wants. Jung Sun says that being corny has become his trademark. His question to Jung Sun is, has he considered his offer? Jung Sun honestly doesn’t know what he is talking about. When Jung Woo reminds him that he offered to invest in a restaurant, Jung Sun says he didn’t take him seriously. In any case, he isn’t interested. Jung Woo notices Jung Sun has a cellphone (he tells him he bought it today) and adds his phone number. A confident Jung Woo lets it go for now, but promises that when he wants something he doesn’t quit. “Then I make it mine.”
Hyun Soo notices a missed call – the number is familiar somehow – and realizes it’s the pay phone number from the other day when Jung Sun called. A random pedestrian answers when she calls (Hyun Soo to Earth) and she asks the location of the phone. She is sad that she has missed Jung Sun’s call earlier. Then her phone rings – it’s another unidentified number. “Hello?” she answers. When Jung Sun tells her that he got a cell phone she can’t hide how happy and excited she is. Now she won’t miss his calls. Pleased, she saves it as On Jung Sun. “I’ve never felt this way before,” she realizes.
Emergency Doctor Won Joon has made a lovely lunch box for Hong Ah. When he says that he’d still love to be a chef, she tells him it would be ridiculous for a doctor to quit and become a chef. “Why?” he asks. He is from a rich family that expects him to be a doctor and he won’t disappoint them. Only someone like Jung Sun who has a poor background can get away with becoming a chef and not caring about what others think. Won Joon tells her that’s not so; Jung Sun’s father is a doctor and his grandfather is a rich man in Andong. He also has an inheritance. Hong Ah can’t understand why Jung Sun hasn’t asked her out, then. When Won Joon tells her that she is presumptuous and that not all men are attracted to women like her, Hong Ah gets prickly and asks if he wants to bet if Jung Sun will fall for her or not. Somewhat amused, Won Joon doesn’t bet on people and tells her to eat. She throws down her chopsticks; he’s made her angry. Doesn’t he know who he is talking to? She is Hong Ah, she informs him and storms off. Won Joon doesn’t quite know what just happened. Hong Ah is showing her true colors.
Jung Woo watches a video audition. His assistant informs him that Hyun Soo is here to see him. He looks at his watch; it’s 5:00 p.m. on the dot. He is surprised she is punctual, writers are often late. She informs him that she isn’t a writer and she likes to be punctual. He thinks a person who writes is, by definition, a writer. He gets to the point: he needs a writer. He’s bought the rights to some material and wants to get the stories underway. He pays $3000 a month with weekends off.
But, to his surprise, she refuses his offer. He asks why. She says it’s too good to be true. He thought she wanted to break from the conventional limitations of the industry. She does, she says, but his offer seems conventional. Since he’s her senior from the same school, he’d like to speak comfortably. Still, Hyun Soo isn’t interested, feeling that the set up is too patronizing. Fine, he replies coolly. He can wait. In fact, her refusing intrigues him more. It makes her seem competent. She replies smartly that she is good at appearing competent when she actually isn’t and tells him not to get fooled by that. He tells her that he will determine whether or not he gets fooled. He hands her his card and tells her to think it over.
Jung Sun and his mother sit stiffly on his balcony. She chatters on but he tells her that she is the most beautiful when she isn’t talking. “Should I die, then? I’ll do what you tell me.” He tells her not to say things she doesn’t mean; it doesn’t work on him any more. He slides her an envelope of money saying that it’s repayment for what it cost her to find him, and tells her to get a place of her own. He can’t live with her. “Let’s go back to Paris,” she suggests somewhat desperately. He could finish his studies at Le Cordon Bleu and secure his future. He laughs. She continues, “Do you know what your dad regrets the most? He regrets getting married before 30.” She worries that he will hit on women like his father did. “Mom-don’t assume I’ll be like Dad.” He wants her to stop. She tells him that as a mom, she wants the best for him. “People don’t change,” he answers and abruptly gets up to leave. “I saw her.” Her words make him spin around. “Don’t go near her,” he warns, but he looks worried that his mother and Hyun Soo have already met.
Hyun Soo and Hong Ah drink a toast together. Hong Ah thought her friend would be depressed because she got fired, but Hyun Soo feels enthusiastic for some reason. There are pictures all over the floor that were supposed to go with her article about “Men Who Eat Rare Steak.” Hyun Soo laughs; it seems those men who like their steak rare don’t have a special personality; rather – it’s just preference. “I interviewed Jung Sun.” Hong Ah is surprised. “How? Did you message him?” Hyun Soo says he has a cell phone now.
“Are you two going out?”
“No. He’s much younger than me.”
“I’m glad you’re so realistic.”
“He’s a playboy. He grew up abroad.”
Hyun Soo thinks that’s being prejudice; you have to consider each case. Hong Ah is insensitive when she reminds Hyun Soo that she can’t ignore her upbringing. And, Hong Ah adds, he flirted with her so much in the beginning. That puts a damper on things for Hyun Soo, but when Hong Ah asks for Jung Sun’s number she can’t refuse, can she?
Jung Sun rides up just as Hyun Soo puts out the trash and heads for the library. He offers her a ride. She refuses at first, but before she knows it she is sitting on the back as they ride fast downhill; she grabs for him and he grabs for her as they go over a bump. When they part reluctantly, she tells him that if he comes by later she’ll buy him lunch at the cafeteria.
Hong Ah works out at Pilates. She has Jung Sun on the brain and calls him. When he answers, she scolds him for not having enough manners to give her his new phone number. He didn’t know he was supposed to, he says. She asks him to make a reservation at the restaurant for her on Friday. He tells her not to ask him to do those things and to make it herself. She scolds that he is always so strict with her. He says it’s because she’s his friend. That’s not what Hong Ah wants to hear.
Hyun Soo works on a story titled “Yoon Ha’s Room.” She imagines the characters and the setting as she writes. A student passes a note: No talking in the library; Hyun Soo realizes she has been saying her thoughts out loud. She apologizes and gets up to take a break.
Hun Soo and Jung Sun meet for lunch at the school’s cafeteria. She admits to being a bother to her juniors in the library with her animated writing style. He invites her to come and work at his house. He wants to give her his pass code but she doesn’t want that burden. He strikes a deal: she can study freely at his house and pay him back by being his taste tester. What does she like? “Soups,” she replies.
He watches her as she tastes his first soup concoction. She likes it, but not as much as her mother’s version. That’s probably because there’s a story behind. “So food tastes better with a story?” Jung Sun inquires. She is sure about that and suggests that when he opens his restaurant one signature dish should have a story to go with it. It will be a huge hit. He looks at her thoughtfully.
Day after day Hyun Soo studies at Jung Sun’s and tastes his soups. One day as she slurps a spoonful she tells Jung Sun that his shirt is inside out. She didn’t mention it earlier because she didn’t want to embarrass him. As a matter of fact, he wore it that way on purpose. The stitching bothered him. Her colleague, Joon Ha – a producer she works with – tells her that she is too blunt and one of these days she is going to get stoned to death. Jung Sun asks if she refrained from telling him earlier to avoid getting stoned. That makes her laugh. She wonders if he has been making soups just for her and not for the taste testing; she’s pretty sure about it. He asks if her intuition is usually right – she shakes her head no. She isn’t right this time either, he jokes. But when she says she wants something spicy, he makes that for her the next day.
One evening they enjoy dinner together on his balcony. The food is fancy and she asks if this is how she seduces women. It isn’t, he responds. Maybe he doesn’t see her as a woman, she concludes. She asks if he has heard from Alain Passard. No, but he sent another emial. If he hears back, he will be gone for five years, isn’t that right she asks? He nods. She calculates that by then she’ll be 34, maybe married. “Tell me not to go and I won’t,” he tells her. (If that isn’t a confession of love, what is?) But Hyun Soo doesn’t think she is important enough for him to consider that. “Why?” he asks, “we kissed.” She tells him not to assign importance to a no-strings-attached kiss. They just got caught up in the moment she says calmly. And they should keep clear lines. Her appeal, he adds, has dropped – not going by the guidelines is what he likes about her. His phone rings. he ignores it. They toast to, um, unspoken non-commitment?
It’s Friday night and the all-male kitchen staff is well aware that Hong Ah – goddess of everyone – is dining there again. Head kitchen chef assigns Jung Sun to do the inventory. He protests that it’s not his job but when he is challenged, he agrees to it. Then, what does everyone need?
Hyun Soo is pleased with the progress she has made on her script for the open call contest. She gets a call out of the blue from assistant Kyung who tells her that Writer Park wants her to come back. Of course she can’t, the way she was let go. Writer Park gets on the phone herself. She covers for firing her by saying that everyone flares up now and then. Come back, does she have a grudge? Doesn’t she respect her? Hyun Soo feels obligated to return to the office. She notices that Writer Park takes everything out on Kyung now. She complains loudly that she can’t even make a decent bowl of ramen and calls her an idiot. The staff is uncomfortable with the way Writer Park belittles the lowest woman on the totem pole.
Mother stops by Jung Sun’s father’s office. She’s back in Korea and makes her presence known. She sees his new family picture and wonders why he doesn’t hit his new wife like he always hit her. She smashes the picture. He tells her to leave. “Once my husband, always my husband. You’re not allowed to be happy until I’m happy.” Take that.
Jung Sun walks Hong Ah outside after she’s had dinner at the restaurant. A passerby accidentally knocks into her and she takes offense. She doesn’t like how he looks at her and wants him to apologize. The guy ins’t much of a gentleman and tells her that she may be pretty but she has a nasty attitude. Jung Sun steps in between them and with his arm on her shoulder, tells the guy to let it go; both of them escalated the situation. If he stops in the restaurant sometime, he will treat him to a meal and sends the guy on his way. Hong Ah wants more of Jung Sun’s attention – she wants him to take her home. He isn’t interested in her forward behavior and has already called a taxi. Hong Ah acts put out. It doesn’t look like she is done fighting for his attention.
Hyun Soo decides that she can’t work for Writer Park and focus on her own writing and tells her so. Writer Park drops the article that Hyun Soo gave her to look over and tells her that she isn’t a good writer in any way, shape, or form. Has she deluded herself? She reminds Hyun Soo that she was a judge for the open call writing contest last year and if this had been submitted it wouldn’t have passed round one. Writer Park continues to belittle Kyung, this time for making bad coffee. Kyung has had enough and quits, too. Writer Park hangs over her head that she took her in and fed her and gave her a place to stay, openly humiliating her. Writer Park vows to make sure neither of them makes it in this industry and huffs and puffs into her office.
When Jung Sun arrives home his father is waiting for him. He wants to talk and tells his son to handle his mother. How can he do that? a stoic Jung Sun asks. Take her and leave so he can live peacefully. Go back to Paris. Jung Sun is disgusted. His father says she is crazy. “And who made her that way?” Jung Sun angrily replies. His father says that everyone blames someone else for their problems. “I was there!” Jung Sun says angrily.
The landlady reminds Hyun Soo to be out by tomorrow. Hyun Soo is surprised, but finds out that her sister put the apartment up for rent to get back her deposit and move into a smaller, cheaper place. How long did Hyun Soo think she could mooch off her, she asks? Hyun Soo puts her head in her hands and cries. Everything is falling apart.
I was moved by how passionate you are. I would love to work with you. Alain Passard. It’s the text Jung Sun has been waiting for. He is elated. The first thing he does is call Hyun Soo. When she answers he asks if she was crying. No, she lies. “You’ve hit the jackpot Ms. Hyun Soo. I’ve received some really good news and you’re the person I’ve chosen to share it with.” She guesses that he heard from Alain Pussard and congratulates him.
“Wanna meet up?” he asks. She say’s it’s late. But Hyun Soo doesn’t want him to see her upset especially when he is so happy.
The next morning the main chef is busy calculating the inventory. There are items missing. Didn’t Jung Sun do the inventory? The kitchen chef listens hides from around the corner. Jung Sun looks at the figures and says he only ordered one, not two of the items. When the chef accuses him, Jung Sun is disappointed, “I came to this place because of my trust in you. You’ve broken my trust. I’m quitting.” Instead of apologizing he asks how Jung Sun could do this to him and put him in such a bind. Jung Sun offers to compensate the chef for the missing items since he was the one who made the order. The chef insults him by saying that the rumor that he is from a rich family must be true and that’s why he’s such an asshole. Jung Sun tells him that they won’t meet again if he doesn’t stop the character assassination. Jung Sun knows how to stand up for himself.
News travels fast. Jung Woo waits for Jung Sun and asks him to come somewhere with him. He takes him to his apartment. As he cooks up some pasta he asks, “Is this how you do it?” Jung Sun replies that there’s no “right way” and demonstrates his method. Suddenly Jung Sun approaches Jung Woo and asks, “Can you give me anything I ask?” When Jung Woo asks what he wants, Jung Sun says in all seriousness, “You, CEO Park.”
Jung Sun breaks out in a wide grin. Seeing Jung Woo cringe was worth it. “So this is what i’s like to be on the receiving end, ” Jung Woo says with appreciation for Jung Sun’s humorous tease.
Jung Woo still wants to open a restaurant with him. Jung Sun isn’t ready but if that time comes, he promises to open it with Jung Woo. That makes Jung Woo smile. Oh, and the pasta – it’s overcooked comments Jung Sun.
Hyun Soo makes a call to Jung Woo. He tells her to meet him at the batting cage where he is practicing. That offer – she’ll take it. If it’s still valid, that is, she adds. Can she start tomorrow? Of course, she replies. He asks if she wants to try hitting once. No, she’s not in the mood. But he gives her a lesson in On Entertainment 101: you have to do what the owner says. That’s how the company works. “I’ll do it,” she answers. She misses on the first try. “Can I do it again?” He tells her no. When she asks why not he says because she wants to. Sounds like he is all about controlling one’s impulses. She thinks he must like having power. “Yep, I do,” he won’t deny it. He suggests they get something to eat.
Won Joon helps Jung Sun pack and head to Paris to work at his dream internship. What about Hyun Soo he wonders. What about her? Will she wait, did you ask? Jung Sun says he asked. How many times? Just once. Doesn’t he know that he should ask her again to wait for him? For women, love trumps everything a knowing Won Joon informs his friend. Jung Sun says that if he calls he is sure she will pick up.
Hyun Soo and Jung Woo eat a meal together. She teases him that his taste is child-like. He comments that he likes the dish because it reminds him of his mother. Then he can have her make it, she replies casually. He looks at her silently. She realizes she has made a blunder; his mother has passed away.
Her phone rings. Jung Sun is in the airport and makes that last call to her before he leaves. His mother is there, too; they are returning to Paris. Hyun Soo tells Jung Woo she won’t pick it up. “Do you want to?” he asks.
- We see another side of Hong Ah in these episodes. As a rich girl, she is used to getting what she wants and if she is happy, then everyone is happy. She has become jealous of her friend, Hyun Soo. She was the one who got her friend a job. She was the one who connected up the runners’ group. But now that Hyun Soo is acting independent and, worse, has someone like Jung Sun interested in her, that won’t do. Hong Ah wants the attention when she wants it. She demands it, in fact and going behind her friend’s back isn’t against her rules of behavior. She even insulted Hyun Soo by playing the social status card. Boo. And the way she disregarded Won Joon who seems like such a good guy (and a doctor to boot), yeah, no.
- What is Jung Woo’s game? He is charming and his offers are generous. He is always on top of everyone’s news. Why don’t people take him seriously? We come to realize that Jung Sun isn’t ready to jump on the chance for a blind offer that Jung Woo will invest in a restaurant. But wouldn’t Jung Sun at least want some information and wouldn’t he be flattered? The game plan all along was to get the opportunity to work as an intern for Alain Passard; that come first before opening a restaurant. I guess straightforward Jung Sun and corny Jung Woo needed some time to get used to each other. I laughed at Jung Sun’s prank, asking Jung Woo if he would really give him anything – “I want you CEO Park.” The look on Jung Woo’s face was priceless and he was good-natured about being on the receiving of a corny line for a change. I think these two could have a promising business future ahead of them. On the other hand, I was disappointed that the main chef accused Jung Sun of stealing the inventory without asking why the kitchen chef made him do it in the first place. Obviously it was a setup, but in the end, none of that mattered since Jung Sun is happily on his way to Paris.
- Which brings me to the opening scene of this kdrama where Hyun Soo runs into Chef On Jung Sun and we hear her voiceover that her first love disappeared when she was 29. So, are we to conclude that when she doesn’t answer his call from the airport, they don’t see each other again until five years later?!?! Jung Woo definitely is entering the relationship field with her, and I love him. He is debonair and a true charmer, but I’ve come to like Jung Sun’s seriousness with glimpses here and there of boyish behavior that is another kind of charming. Blunt Hyun Soo and even blunter Jung Sun get each other and have made room in their lives for one another, and then boom! he is off to Paris just like that. It doesn’t feel good.
- Mother is a mess, but father is such a chauvinist jerk! Jung Sun is angry to have to be in the middle. I hated when his father revises the truth, but I love that Jung Sun doesn’t let him get away with it. And not letting her ex-husband be happy until she is happy, I don’t blame Mother’s sentiments. But she has made two ominous statements – one, that Hyun Soo won’t be around long (does Mother have something to do with Alain Passard contacting her son to get him to return to Paris? and two, she won’t stay still about her ex-husband’s new wife.
- And now for Hyun Soo – she is forced to reconsider her situation now that her sister has kicked her out on her own. The job that she turned down suddenly doesn’t sound so bad and she calls Jung Woo. Their meeting at the batting cage sets the tone for what she can expect: he has all the power and as an employee she must comply. It could make Jung Woo seem power-hungry and dictator-like, but I don’t think he is that way. Although he does like control. There is a tiny sliver of the possibility of him going over to the dark side, but for now, I want to think that his charm comes from a good place. I pegged him as a worthy second lead syndrome candidate and I love a good story line that leaves us feeling like the second lead is a good guy. I hope that’s the case with Jung Woo. But I want Hyun Soo and Jung Sun to find their way to each other. Will five whole years go by without that happening? Noooo…
- I love the combination of food and writing, it seems perfect for romantic tragedy, doesn’t it? Oh, and I ended up recapping two episodes together anyway. It just happened that way. Like Hyun Soo, I can be fickle. 🙂