This series is in need of emergency of an overhaul of storyline being sucked into a stupidity vortex. If lying for the sake of the other person wasn’t enough, then the advice around our main couple sound like a poor greeting card. With three episodes left, the air of this kimchi vat has gone out and this batch is starting to stink. And not in that delicious fermentation way.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Concerned by Kang-jae’s declaration that he needs to return home to attend to “family matters,” Gun-hee asks if he has to go, muttering why it had to come up at a time when she needed her boyfriend the most. If he can’t stay to support her, then what’s the point of dating?
Kang-jae apologizes, saying that he’ll explain everything later. Thankfully she’s only joking about her earlier statement and sends him off to help lonely Dad at the banchan store. Ugh, wait until you hear how BIG that banchan shop is, hon.
Gun-hee adds before he leaves that if it’s finances he’s worried about, she can lend him the money. She’s saved up and he shouldn’t feel burdened about asking her. But that would hurt his pride as a man and Kang-jae jokes that she better not back out on her word.
She sees him off, but it’s too late for him to exit the cab when he grabs the car handle.
Kang-jae heads straight for Dad’s office and asks to be promoted to Director. Dad clearly doesn’t see him as qualified for such a position, given that he can’t speak interest and has no interest in working, let alone at Sangcharim. But Kang-jae bites back that it’ll be tough for Dad to find anyone who’s driven to advance his career such as himself. He’s doing it to make Dad proud.
It’s totally serious on Kang-jae’s end but I can’t help but laugh at Dad’s cringing facial expressions.
He drops to his knees citing that he’s not one to resort to this kind of action. It gives him the creepy crawlies to ask Dad in this manner. In exchange for the promotion, he’ll do anything that Dad asks. That’s a tall bargain, Kang-jae.
But Dad bites on the bait and raises an eyebrow wondering if his request is because of Chinjung.
Mom ignores her daughters’ insistence that it’s too early for her to be discharged. She reluctantly allows Gun-hee to take her home though she nags that her daughter should eat rice instead of bread.
Surprisingly, Gun-hee doesn’t put up a fight and takes Mom to go eat rice – er, rice porridge. Gun-hee’s mouth gapes as she watches Mom spoons in heaping amounts of salt after she comments that the food tastes bland. Which is strange since her own dish tastes fine to her and she dips in her spoon to check…and reels from the saltiness.
She wonders what’s wrong with Mom’s taste buds. I would think that this is a time as good as any to make the link between Mom’s extreme saltiness to her cooking to Chinjung Kimchi… but Gun-hee says nothing.
Once they’re home, Mom wonders why Gun-hee is lingering and making an effort to make sure that she’s resting. Gun-hee sweetly reminds her that it prevents making advances on the merger. With a worried look, she tells Mom, “So don’t get sick. You have to live a long life so that you protect Chinjung Kimchi for a long time.”
What Gun-hee doesn’t see, however, is that Mom doubles over in pain again.
If things couldn’t get any worse for Chinjung, they just did – now their top buyer, a sullungtang (oxtail soup) restaurant has pulled out. Director Park sighs that it’s certain that the kimchi taste has changed and Mom is aware of the situation. Should word get out that Mom’s sensitive taste buds have turned it would mean the end of Chinjung as they know it.
Gun-hee shakes her head that she can’t stand by and watch and says they’ll have to do everything they can.
Duk-pal is not pleased at Mom’s request to keep the test results from her family. It’ll get worse, he says, it will be more painful and dangerous. She’s not keen to become a frightened patient who waits for her impending death.
On the other hand, Dad has a concerned(?) face and picks up the phone to ask where the general manager is. He’s currently busy walking Kang-jae out of the office. He relates Kang-jae’s dejection as a cow headed to the slaughterhouse or an abused puppy. He’s not amused but muses aloud that the analogy isn’t too farfetched since a dog guards a house while he’ll guard Chinjung.
He asks after how Dad is and the manager replies that he’s been going back and forth lately – between constipation and diarrhea. He flipflops between these two extremes he says, and Kang-jae cringes.
Just when you thought that it would be a metaphorical constipation, we cut to Dad actually on the toilet, constipated, asking about Chinjung’s current situation. AHAHA. Okay, that’s pretty funny.
Dad wonders aloud if it’s the “right time” to move, and explains that Chinjung’s unstable condition might work to his advantage. The general manager thinks for a moment (with his fingers plugging his nose) and vows that he’ll take action himself.
Gun-hee visits the sullungtang chain herself to investigate the reason behind the restaurant’s sudden cut. She’s brushed off by an ajumma employee once she gets there. So it’s a good thing that Gun-hee is sharp enough to deduce that she may be the owner and politely insists.
The owner confirms that the Chinjung taste they’ve known has changed and encourages them to find it’s “original taste.” They’ll cover in the meantime with other types of kimchi. It’s both sweet and speaks to the kind of reputation Chinjung has built with the community.
Meanwhile, Mom calls in that she won’t be able to go into the office herself. For the interim, Director Park will take over control of the company. A lightbulb goes off in his head as he looks at Mom’s empty office chair and puts in a call. Uh-oh, is this going where I think it’s going?
Breakfast at the boardinghouse is a crackup. Min-jung is wide-eyed as she watches Soon-dol eat, puzzled why her attention is being drawn towards him. Min-ji gives a sideways scowl towards Jang-won.
But all of that comes to a screeching halt when Gun-hee sits down, asking for rice as well. Bewildered faces around the table look back at her.
There’s more shocking news waiting for her at the office, however, as Gun-hee peeks over at the office bulletin. Looks like Dad pulled through with Kang-jae’s request as it announces his recent promotion to Director.
The truth really hits when she’s called into the Director’s office and there sits Kang-jae. He calls her out about failing to knock and remarks on her unprofessionalism. But Gun-hee is confused more than anything at his transformation back to being a jackass. She fumes when she exits – how can he betray her like this?
She gets called back in again and he rips apart the Kimchi Project for its lack of progress and excessive funds. Gun-hee reminds him that it’s also at fault as well as a former team member but he plays dumb, much to her annoyance.
He continues to dump work on her and gives into a tiny release of concern once she’s gone. Not like his actions reflect it since he keeps requesting her presence for the rest of the morning.
Things are still awkward between Jang-won and Min-ji and he bumbles if he should buy her a bite to eat. Min-ji discloses that she liked Jang-won because he reminded her of a father she only saw in pictures.
He shares that he’s a flawed man but thankful that Min-ji was so nice to him. She cuts him off that she knows he loves Sun-hee to whom he’s grateful for, he misses, and sorry for.
Min-ji lightheartedly asks whatever could be so bad and her eyes widen at the news that he’s a divorced man. The way that he says it, you would think that being divorced was an plague or something.
Min-jung runs into Soon-dol at a nearby café and if her heart hadn’t fallen for him yet, she watches him drink a glass of water…his Adam apple rises and falls… And she’s gone. Hook, line, and sinker.
As if she’d let Soon-dol know and brushes it off as she wipes off the drool from the corner of her mouth. She asks if he knows why one’s heart would skip a beat for someone who isn’t one’s type. He gives a big goofy smile in return and scratches his head, totally clueless.
Gun-hee scoffs in her office, now finding her earlier statement to help Kang-jae out laughable. Meanwhile, the other two busily text each other, wondering if Kang-jae moved up to exact petty revenge. Like the time when Hanna forgot to collect data, or refusing a lunch date.
She slaps both her hands on her desk and marches straight into the Director’s office. Gun-hee requests 10 minutes to speak freely which he grants. She confronts him about the “family matters” he had to attend to, if this promotion was the bad situation.
Kang-jae doesn’t excuse himself since it’s certainly not good – unable to run away and now he’s stuck doing Daddy’s bidding. Speaking of Dads, Gun-hee finally makes the connection that President Lee is his father and he repeats his words that you can’t choose who your parents are.
So Gun-hee digs in if he had fun playing with her, pretending like he hailed from a poor background. It must have taken all of his willpower to stop from laughing in her face when she offered to step in to help with his finances, not like he needed it.
She bites why she’s stuck with the worst luck and thinks aloud why she still doesn’t hate him. Her back turned to him now; she feels insignificant and hates herself for it.
Kang-jae looks up almost as if to reach out to her, but she leaves saying her time’s up.
The sisters talk over beer at home and Gun-hee blames herself for being a wicked person by caring more about Kang-jae than for Mom’s well-being. Sun-hee offers her own two cents that the issue is easy: their feelings towards one another haven’t changed so there’s no need to run from them.
She asks if the fact that Kang-jae is Sangcharim’s chaebol heir but points out that it’s probably that she didn’t like that Kang-jae kept that truth from her. Wow Sherlock, thanks for those amazing deduction skills.
Sun-hee adds that they can be honest to each other now that the truth’s out in the open, so what’s the problem?
While roaming the streets alone, Kang-jae peers in to see the world’s worst secretive business deals between the general manager and Director Park. Inside, the manager brightens over the legal documents that would transfer control of Chinjung over to Sangcharim.
Kang-jae emerges from the corner, having heard enough of the exchange and broods in his office over what to do next.
The manager presents the documents like a proud puppy bringing a bone to his master as Director Park solemnly sits nearby. Dad approaches with caution, asking if Mom has signed off on this and Director Park agrees as her proxy.
The manager assures him that there’s no problem whatsoever in the merger which is when Dad finally flares up, tearing the contract to pieces. He yells that a merger is pointless without Mom.
Then he rips both men a new one for missing the point of a merger and working without consulting Mom.
Inside the house, Jang-won notices Sun-hee’s worried expression and astutely points out that she doesn’t want to cause Mom more pain than she’s already in. Does she want to end things now? He comforts her that he’ll treat the pain from now on.
Taking her hand, he apologizes that she had to handle things on her own but he’s confident that he can make her happy now as well as Mom. He asks her to trust him because, “I think I love you more than you love me.”
Gun-hee drunkenly looks up at the light pole and notices that it’s fixed. She mumbles, “You’re fixed but why am I not?” She doesn’t see Kang-jae until he’s right up in her face, telling her in banmal that he has something to say.
Gun-hee tries to wriggle out his grip but he hoists her over his shoulder plops her in his car. All the while, she curses at him that he’s gone nuts.
HA – This is by far my favorite moment as Gun-hee tugs on his ear and punches him. There’s something so oddly satisfying as he cries out in pain as if she’s pulling out the ass out of him.
So then they’re all lovey-dovey when they’re taken around to look at suites. Gun-hee leers at him when he comments that what married couple uses a double bed room. He jokes that his “wifey” is still peeved from their tiff in the car.
Gun-hee asks why he referred to them as married and he retorts, “What should I have said then? That we were boss and subordinate then to team leader and manager and finally to Director to team leader?”
Kang-jae sits on the bed, acting all cutesy, calling Gun-hee “Honey~” and then pats the bed next to him as if saying, c’mere. She sits and he apologizes, knowing all too well about his recent actions.
She tells him not to live like that then if he’s so aware. He agrees and suddenly shouts his declaration that he won’t live like that.
He pulls her in for a hug and they stroll outside, hand in hand and light fireworks into the sky. Uh, what am I watching, how did this happen, and why is it happening?!
Gun-hee sits and admits that she doesn’t want to cause Mom any more pain and realizes that she’s made things harder on Mom. Kang-jae answers that it’s not like Gun-hee was ever easy to figure out and wonders aloud if that’s why he keeps being reeled back in.
Looking at the sand, he wonders how much the sand needed to be tossed around the seas to become so soft. Life is but a moment, Kang-jae comments, and Gun-hee breaks in the philosophical atmosphere.
He sours that this is the Gun-hee he knows and they have a mock sword fight with their firecrackers. Kang-jae puts his hand out and she takes it.
Back at the room, Kang-jae tiptoes towards a sleeping Gun-hee and calls out her name. She opens her eyes and drowsily says that she needs to clean up too but he tells her to sleep just as she is.
He gives her a quick peck and teases her that she’s ugly. He watches her as she sleeps and his figure slowly fades away.
Early in the morning, Kang-jae sits at the same bench from last night, contemplating. We flashback to an earlier conversation with Dad where Kang-jae accused him for playing dirty just to get his merger with Chinjung.
Dad barely blinked an eye when Kang-jae told him that Director Park was abusing his new power. He explained to his son that there’s a give and take in business. So if Dad doesn’t merge with Chinjung, what will Kang-jae do in return?
We don’t hear his answer but we cut back to the room where Gun-hee’s phone rings. Still half-asleep, she calls out to Kang-jae but picks it up when she finds the room empty.
And what do you know – it’s Kang-jae from the car telling her that he’s on his way to Seoul. All we see is the back of his head as he blames himself for getting himself caught up with Gun-hee even up to last night. He’s finally got his head on straight and they should return to how things were.
Gun-hee laughs, telling him to stop joking around. So he tells her that there’s another thing they need to settle, “Let’s break up.” Oh, no you didn’t.
She holds her breath at the bomb and we finally see Kang-jae’s face as the tears in his eyes betray the gruff tone in his voice. He hangs up and grips the wheel tighter, as the tears now continuously stream from his eyes.
I wish I could tell you that my heart stopped because I was in pain that our main couple was being ripped apart. But since this is the exact kind of Noble Idiocy I thought Kang-jae would pull, I’m more annoyed than anything else.
It feels like the writers ran out of material and created these drama conflicts for the sake of adding conflict. For instance, I fail to see how Kang-jae being promoted to Director actually did anything since Director Park went ahead to hand Chinjung over to Sangcharim anyway and Gun-hee was running around doing her best to save Chinjung. Was it really worth it to be under Dad’s thumb to be promoted to Director? I scratch my head to see how the business politics will be resolved if Kang-jae is powerless. What’s the point of being Superman if there’s kryptonite hanging over your head?
Is anyone getting emotional whiplash from our main couple? Kang-jae returned to being an ass, to “giving in” to his connection with Gun-hee only to decide that he has to break up with her anyway. Uh, I feel cheated out of this ridiculous back and forth.
The only way I can foresee this playing out in the following three episodes is if Gun-hee pulls away from Sangcharim, steps in as the new head of Chinjung, and kicks out Director Park. And honestly, she might be able to do it without Kang-jae’s help. Or maybe their companies will be rivals again in this last sprint. Is that too confusing? I just sat through 50 minutes of confusion.
- Marriage Plot: Episode 12
- Marriage Plot: Episode 11
- Marriage Plot: Episode 10
- Marriage Plot: Episode 9
- Marriage Plot: Episode 8
- Marriage Plot: Episode 7
- Marriage Plot: Episode 6
- Marriage Plot: Episode 5
- Marriage Plot: Episode 4
- Marriage Plot: Episode 3
- Marriage Plot: Episode 2
- Marriage Plot: Episode 1