We’re back and the truth is out. Chinjung is in dire need of a superhero and our leads are finally forced to take matters into their own hands. It’s time to suit up and roll your sleeves ’cause this is going to take a lot of work. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me, drama. For everyone’s sanity, including mine, let’s brush the previous episode under the rug.
SONG OF THE DAY
Yoon Do-hyun Band (YB), Lee Seung-gi – “I will forget” [ Download ]
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Dad mulls over the newspaper as Chinjung Kimchi finds itself in the midst of tax evasion scandals. He barely notices Kang-jae until he asks if Dad sent his minions to promote the merger with Chinjung (we presume the news headlines now). He held a crucial card hidden and sarcastically awes that he has much to learn from the business mastermind.
Kang-jae desperately holds onto that last thread of truth – he still wants to know the reason behind Dad’s handiwork. Does he have to go to such lengths to steal the dreams of his former business partner?
Dad gets up in his son’s face asking if he doesn’t trust him. But Kang-jae doesn’t know what to believe anymore. He shouts, “What should I believe?!” Unfortunately for him, Dad steps away from the argument.
Director Park yells over the phone that matters have become serious – what are they going to do? Ooh,ooh I know! DON’T transfer your company to your rival! Pick me!
Mom is amazingly levelheaded and tells him not to make a big deal. Nice. She consults Gun-hee for advice explaining that she’s not interested in managing the company anymore. Gun-hee shifts in her seat which Mom then drops, “You do it.”
She won’t interfere with whatever Gun-hee does with the company and Gun-hee stammers in response.
Maknae Min-ji skips in like the 8 year-old she is and pouts about Mom’s health since she has to come make kimchi when she gets married. She rambles on, painting a picturesque picture as Gun-hee slightly frowns at her sister’s idealism.
Talk about marriage jogs Min-ji’s memory about the news about their eldest sister. Soon, Sun-hee’s sitting across from her excited mother who wants to know all the details. Which is when Jang-won joins them and glances at Sun-hee to check if they know about his past.
Sun-hee shakes her head in response, so he musters up the courage to deliver the truth about his past marriage. Mom’s face shifts from excitement to shock.
Kang-jae broods alone with a glass in his hand when the general manager walks in and drops to his knees, claiming responsibility for everything – the attempt to take the merger into his own hands, the false headlines. Dad was the one who refused to go through with it.
Dad calls in the next moment to see if his minion disclosed the truth from his own lips. Explaining that he made his son Director and refused to overtake Chinjung, he asks what it all must mean. The answer – Kang-jae now has full control of everything kimchi-related.
Gun-hee’s jaw drops, finding it absurd that Sun-hee’s man of choice cannot have a painted past. Everyone has baggage nowadays, she argues. Thank you. They sit and recall the last time they conversed over drinks (when Sun-hee chose not to attend university), admitting that it was their first drinking experience.
They share a sweet moment when Gun-hee realizes that she never thanked her unni for all the sacrifices she’s made. They toast to their future and to love. Aww, so sweet.
Kang-jae rouses awake when the taxi driver announces that they’ve arrived at their destination. Once he orients himself, we see that he’s outside the boardinghouse.
He mumbles that they’ve come to the wrong place, and in that same moment, Gun-hee pops outside to buy more drinks. They share a glance but Kang-jae’s taxi drives off before Gun-hee can catch him.
After the general manager finds Gun-hee lingering outside of Kang-jae’s office with a resignation letter in hand, he begs her to reconsider. Kang-jae interrupts and Gun-hee delivers it herself, nearly affronted when he plucks the letter right out of her hands without a moment’s hesitation.
Kang-jae checks in with the Kimchi Team to compile all the information on the project.
Gun-hee sits down with Director Park who comes clean that he thought going ahead with the merger would be the best way to save Chinjung. Gun-hee coolly accepts his apology, acknowledging she chose that path once as well. Nothing is decided in terms of whether she’ll take over the company but he tells her that doing so will preserve her father’s dream.
He continues to fill her in about how President Lee and her father built the company together to introduce kimchi to the global market. We’re finally clued in on what went down that fateful night: Gun-hee father died trying to save younger President Lee who was drowning. After his death, the parents split ways to fulfill that same dream.
Unbeknownst to Mom, President Lee did everything in his power to support Chinjung as a way to ease his survivor’s guilt.
Now aware of the entire story, Gun-hee wonders if this is why Kang-jae mentioned they should split up. Both Min-jung and Sun-hee stop by asking what Gun-hee plans to do next – will she go ahead with the merger?
But Gun-hee disagrees and reads up on the company while Mom continues to receive treatment and Kang-jae broods.
Meanwhile, Sun-hee worries what will happen should Mom oppose their union to the end and Jang-won assures her that they’ll wait until she gives them her blessing. He offers his shoulder to lean on as comfort.
Soon-dol and Min-jung take matters into their own hands, literally. They end up cleaning dishes to butter up the sullungtang chain, much to Min-jung’s discontent. Aw, does Princess not like getting her hands soapy?
Good ol’ Soon-dol steps up that he can do the rest but Min-jung smiles that she has to work harder since it involves her family. She asks why Soon-dol ended up at Chinjung if he’s from the States.
He explains that he fell in love with Chinjung and wanted to learn its secret. Mom was the one who took him under her wing, he mentions, and returns to scrub the bowls.
HA – a single sweatdrop captures her attention and she slams her dish down. She yells that he can’t spread rumors about this and doesn’t understand why she feels this way since he’s not a chaebol. Before Soon-dol can mutter anything to the contrary, she presses her lips against hers.
She breaks and scolds: “If you go around saying that I kissed you first, then I’m not calling you my boyfriend.” Soon-dol floats on Cloud Nine over the term “boyfriend.” He agrees with a cute wink and they resume kissing.
Kang-jae watches nearby as Gun-hee heads out the next morning. It’s remarkable how you get anything done with that amount of brooding.
He greets Mom inside, who barely tolerates his presence to pick up his toy. He’s come for another purpose of course and falls on his knees. He admits that he came into the boardinghouse for his own gain but now wants to protect Chinjung.
Kang-jae shares that the truth about Gun-hee’s father tore him apart and already parted ways with Gun-hee. But he doesn’t want to make things difficult for her anymore so he’d like to suggest a specialist for her illness…
…which is when Gun-hee enters, having backtracked to pick up her wallet. She gasps asking if Mom has a life-threatening disease and Kang-jae discloses that Mom’s in the late stages of pancreatic cancer. Jeez, way to blow the air out of that balloon.
She’s enraged that Mom has left her out of the loop again and Mom orders that they don’t tell the others. She can’t bear to see her children suffer because of her and if they make a peep, she’ll be the one packing her bags.
Gun-hee storms out, unable to handle it any longer. She swipes at Kang-jae telling him to stop to. She knows everything now – why he had to leave her and what happened between their parents.
Kang-jae texts her to meet him so they can talk but it’s no surprise that he waits and waits, and she never comes.
Chinjung is a mess when Gun-hee arrives, the employees up in arms that their suppliers and consumers have been pulling out. Furthermore, they can’t trust Director Park’s word since they’ve heard that he tried to trade out the company.
Naturally Gun-hee steps in and the workers drill her with the third degree that they’ve heard she’s worked with Sangcharim. One employee prides himself that the one thing he’s done right for his family is to feed them Chinjung kimchi. Gun-hee defends that no decisions have been made but once it’s set in stone, it will be for the good of the company.
Things continue to go downhill until her sisters rush in with good news. The sullungtang chain is willing to wait a month, signatures of Chinjung’s supporters, and a campaign in Jang-won’s film. How much do I love that Soon-dol touches his lips to remind himself of the previous kiss?
The employees as well as the family are ecstatic but Gun-hee buckles under the stress of being pegged into the position of taking over Chinjung.
She roams the streets, dogged with questions of what her family expects of her. But the employee’s words and the image of a family happily eating together stops her tracks. Happy memories with her father flood her mind and something finally clicks.
As she races home, Kang-jae recounts in voiceover about a tale of a young girl who couldn’t eat kimchi for fear that it would bring back memories of her father. The sadder truth was that the person who made her that way was the father of the man she loved.
We see Gun-hee contemplate the kimchi-topped spoon as she brings it towards her mouth. As she chews, the flashback teaches us that she loved kimchi so much that she’d have a second helping when her father came home.
Tears fill her eyes as she continues to eat, thinking of how delicious it is, “It was good. It was what I loved.” She helps herself as she cries and eats. I feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Gun-hee slips into her mother’s room to find Mom fast asleep. Softly she says, “Mom, the kimchi’s really delicious. I just remembered. How much I loved kimchi, how I came to stop eating it. I was scared that I might miss Dad. That I would miss the past. That I would mistake that I’m a part of this family when I’m not.”
Mom mumbles her name, clearly not asleep. Taking her daughter’s hand in hers, she adds that there was never a time she didn’t consider Gun-hee as one of her own: “Rather, I was sorry that I never gave birth to you. Such a beautiful daughter, so much like me.”
…*sniff*… Don’t make me CRY, drama.
Gun-hee does her best to hold back tears and vows to protect Chinjung. “Because it’s your dream, my father’s dream, and our family’s dream. Now it’s become my dream. Because I’m a part of this family.”
Mom thanks her for becoming a part of this team but her eyes slightly widen when Gun-hee promises to forget about Kang-jae. She won’t make things hard on Mom anymore and repeatedly apologizes.
Sun-hee asks if everything was okay given Gun-hee’s sudden exit yesterday. Gun-hee assures her that she’s fine and comments that it’s nice that she can leave for work whenever she wants now that she’s Chinjung’s president.
She reminds her sister that it’s a double-edged sword: Gun-hee may not have to clock in but she can’t clock out either. However, Gun-hee frowns that Mom’s already out.
Mom’s made a visit to President Lee and asks if he’ll hear her out. He nods since he’ll always be waiting but she’s here to tell him that no matter what happens in the future she won’t ever forgive him. She reiterates herself several times to make herself perfectly clear and I’m here thinking, Lady, it’s been clear for the entire series.
Kang-jae consults the Kimchi Team that they’re new project is Operation: Revive Chinjung Kimchi. They’ll need to keep it under wraps, and Kang-jae assures them that they’ll move towards the merger after they stabilize Chinjung.
He gets an urgent call from Mom to meet with her but when he arrives at a nearby coffeeshop, both he and Gun-hee are surprised to see the other.
Gun-hee asks what brings him here unable to believe that Mom called him out herself. She points out that everything from the start has been a lie. Kang-jae steps towards her and she lifts her glass in defense, threatening to chuck it in his face.
Her hands shake and Kang-jae calls her bluff, approaching closer. “Do it. Why can’t you do it? The Gun-hee I once knew would have done it. Chuck it.”
She throws his words back at him, “Then why won’t you avoid it? The Lee Kang-jae I once knew would have already gone nuts and ran away!”
The tears begin to glaze over his eyes, “I can’t do it anymore. I can’t flip out on you anymore.” Gun-hee gives up as well, setting down the water glass since he won’t avoid it.
“Let’s fight.” Kang-jae says, “Let’s fight, Gun-hee ya. Let’s fight like old times.” She calls him an idiot – they can’t fight anymore. He asks why and Gun-hee digs, “Because your father killed mine.”
She continues, “So we can’t fight, we can’t laugh, and can’t see each other.” She storms off and Kang-jae calls out, “But I want to fight, so what am I to do?”
His lips begin to quiver and Kang-jae uses all of his willpower to hold back his tears, “I miss you, so what am I to do? I want to laugh with you and I want to talk to you, so what am I to do? I love you so I’m asking, what am I to do?”
Gun-hee closes her eyes, trying her all to cut off her emotions and he calls after her if she’s really fine with it.
He bursts, “Is not fighting with me really okay with you?!”
Well, it looks like we’re back on track. This is what should have happened on Monday, drama. But you toyed with our emotions instead. Shame on you. Go to your corner.
Despite Monday’s episode, I still think that Kang-jae and Gun-hee are great to watch as their relationship gets tested to the max. There’s an imbalance of seeing Kang-jae far more invested to save the relationship by any means possible, his emotions betraying his actions. It’s a pity that we don’t see that same struggle with Gun-hee. Perhaps it’s because Kang-jae is just better written or because Gun-hee keeps a tight lid on her emotions for self-preservation.
The other pairings in this drama feel rushed and we’ve still yet to see a match for Min-ji, if four weddings is what this drama is aiming for. And then there’s Su-ho and Se-won… remember them? Me neither.
Gun-hee really takes the kimchi in this episode. I loved the progression from the beginning of the episode where she was forced to step up because no one else would, then hit the wall of helplessness, and finally rose to lead Chinjung because it was always a part of her. The new position fits her like a glove.
I think the show handled the plot point about Gun-hee as the adopted daughter wonderfully. For the longest time, Gun-hee never felt as a part of the family, fixated on the idea that family meant that you had to be related by blood. Yet the family’s words and actions say everything to the contrary: her sisters’ willingness to help and trust in her leadership as well as Mom’s loving assurance that she deeply cares for Gun-hee regardless of their blood relation. The family showed that they work as a team through thick and thin and seeing that in play is so heartwarming.
I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Gun-hee ate Chinjung kimchi; the pieces finally falling into place that she kept what she loved at bay for so long. She finally released the fear that the love for it would cripple her, and embracing it enables her to tackle the work it will take to bring back Chinjung from the cellar and onto the table.
- Marriage Plot: Episode 13
- 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