Strongest Deliveryman: Episode 4
Everything seems to be going well for our four leads, but the promise of happiness this soon in a show never bodes well — especially not when Kang-soo is so close to figuring out what really happened the night of Hyun-soo’s accident. Things may look shaky for the burgeoning bromance because of it, but at least Jin-gyu has figured out how to protect his shins from Dan-ah’s kicks.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Now that Kang-soo knows the road was illegally blocked off the night of Hyun-soo’s accident, he goes to the police station to file a report. The detective agrees that blocking off the road was indeed illegal, but points out that the racers can’t be charged for Hyun-soo’s injuries since they didn’t actually cause them.
At Kang-soo’s pleading, the cop agrees to open an investigation, but he doesn’t seem too enthusiastic about getting results since that stretch of road doesn’t have any CCTV cameras nearby. Kang-soo hits the streets, asking anyone in the neighborhood if they saw anything, but no one was either awake or in the area at that time of night.
Jin-gyu’s mother orders him to text Ji-yoon goodnight. Even though he doesn’t want to, he obeys and sends Ji-yoon a sweet message telling her that he had a good time earlier and he hopes she sleeps well. In return, Ji-yoon responds that she’s blocking him. Pfffft.
Ji-yoon then decides that to “block” Jin-gyu in real life and plans to show Jin-gyu how close she and her “ajusshi” are, which she hopes will finally make Jin-gyu give up his pursuit of her.
Yeon-ji visits Dan-ah at the hospital, where Dan-ah marvels that in just one day, she’s been able to get the money that would take her half a year to save. When Dan-ah expresses hesitation about accepting Jin-gyu’s money, Yeon-ji reminds her that Dan-ah risked her life. Yeon-ji also adds that that amount of money means nothing to those kind of rich people.
Dan-ah decides to stop worrying and just accept the money. Yeon-ji congratulates her for finally escaping “Hell Joseon,” but then she starts to tear up as she hugs Dan-ah, since this means Dan-ah will soon be moving away. Dan-ah tells her to sleep over in the hospital room, pointing out that it’s much nicer than their apartment.
But Yeon-ji says she needs to start practicing letting Dan-ah go. Dan-ah looks sad to be left alone in the hospital room, and Yeon-ji cries as she walks home. Aw.
Kang-soo and Sung-jae haven’t been able to find any information about the illegal racers, so they decide to call off their investigation for the night and start again tomorrow. As Kang-soo heads back home, he sees Dan-ah on her scooter, which is odd, since she should still be recovering at the hospital.
He follows her to the English learning center. Dan-ah is surprised to see him, but he chides her for working when she’s sick. She explains that if she doesn’t show up even for one day, she’ll be fired.
Kang-soo automatically grabs a stack of textbooks to deliver them to the classrooms for her, and not even the independent Dan-ah can argue that she could use the help in her current condition. Kang-soo works tirelessly and efficiently, helping clean and taking over the most strenuous tasks.
Their work finally done as morning comes, they enjoy a cup of coffee on the rooftop. Dan-ah explains to Kang-soo that she cleans the center every day before dawn, and in payment, she gets to take classes for free. He wonders why she’s bothering to learn English when she’s already graduated from school, but she tells him she has her reasons and he’ll find out soon enough.
Dan-ah then asks him what he was doing out-and-about at that hour of the morning, and he tells her he has another job as a detective. She scoffs at that, telling him in English that it’s a waste of time trying to talk to him. Kang-soo bristles, insisting that he understood her insult, although I’m not sure if he actually understood or just assumed she’d say something mean.
As a “thank you” for his help, Dan-ah decides to discount 10,000 won from her “secret keeping” fee. Her usual “You’re the best, oppa!” actually seems somewhat sincere, although Kang-soo grumbles that she shouldn’t try to act cute.
The knucklehead trio go to Yeon-ji’s yoga studio, worried that they can’t find her. They wonder if the fact she was crying is because she’ll be leaving the neighborhood, but then suddenly Yeon-ji appears, wondering if they’re there to sign up for classes. The guys readily agree, and as she goes through the poses in her class, the trio don’t even pretend to try, instead just goggle at the pretty.
But Yeon-ji assumes they just need a little extra help and tries to contort their bodies into the proper positions. When the other two see Byung-soo’s expressions of pain as Yeon-ji manhandles him, they quickly try to get themselves into the poses. Pffft.
Jin-gyu cheerfully bounces into the Lively Noodle restaurant, ready to start his shift. Despite not having slept at all the night before, Kang-soo readies Jin-gyu for their morning task: peeling onions.
As they go through a giant vat of onions, Jin-gyu can’t help the tears streaming down his cheeks. When he asks why Kang-soo isn’t crying even though they’re both peeling onions, Kang-soo wryly says it’s because he doesn’t rub his eyes with the same hand that’s peeling onions. Jin-gyu sniffles as he says Kang-soo should tell him these kinds of tips sooner.
The recently moved-in loan sharks walk around the neighborhood, leaving their cards in the doors of all the restaurants. Even though this is a busy street for business and therefore the restaurant owners shouldn’t have need for loans, the loan shark has had a tip and anticipates he’ll get some business soon enough — that’s why he came to this neighborhood in the first place.
The loan shark sees Chef Jang walking to the noodle restaurant and immediately bows and greets Chef Jang with respect. He apparently recognizes Chef Jang from when the loan shark worked under a gangster in another town. Chef Jang coldly tells him that he must be mistaken, but the loan shark is convinced he knows Chef Jang.
When Chef Jang gets to the restaurant, Soon-ae asks him why he looks so worried. That’s because Chef Jang did, indeed, recognize the loan sharks. Which means he knows that something bad must be going on if those guys have moved into the neighborhood.
That “something bad” is undoubtedly Hye-ran’s determination to open up her nearby “Jung Family” restaurants within the next month. She also decides to meet with the bank that the local restaurant owners use. She smiles to herself as she tells her assistant that she’s found someone to run the expansion project. This can’t be good.
Jin-gyu goes to the snobby woman whose vase Dan-ah accidentally broke when she fainted. The woman insists that it’s an expensive vase, but Jin-gyu out-snobs her by calling her apartment tiny and the vase cheap. Hahaha, the shocked look on her face is priceless, and Jin-gyu walks away with a satisfied grin as he tells the woman that he’ll handle it and for her to leave Dan-ah alone.
Jin-gyu’s out doing deliveries when he has to skid to a stop to keep from colliding with Ji-yoon when she slowly steps out into a crosswalk. They bicker at each other until Ji-yoon notices that he’s driving a delivery scooter. She mockingly assumes that Ohsung Group must have gone bankrupt to have him working such a job.
Jin-gyu points out that Ji-yoon is one to talk, since she comes from a wealthy family but works part-time at the cafe. Ji-yoon smugly informs him that she hates getting hand-outs from her family, so she’s working to be independent, unlike some people who just play around all day at his family’s expense.
Annoyed, Jin-gyu tells her to move aside so he can finish his deliveries. As she does, Ji-yoon notices the name of the restaurant on the delivery bike, realizing it’s the same place as where her “ajusshi” works. She worriedly asks Jin-gyu if he’s told Kang-soo anything about their blind date, and Jin-gyu grumbles that dating her isn’t exactly something he’s about to brag about.
That kind of statement is just the thing to convince Ji-yoon’s mother that Jin-gyu will never fall for her. But when Ji-yoon pulls out her phone to have him repeat it, Jin-gyu sweetly says dating her is a blessing, then he leans in to kiss the phone. Ha! Annoyed, she throws her kimbap at him, but he closes his helmet visor to block it and then smugly drives away. Hahahaha!
Gong-gi and his boys invite Kang-soo to a “welcome to the club” dinner, but Kang-soo breaks the news to them that their beloved ox bone soup grandmother probably won’t be opening up shop any time soon. They’re all stunned to hear what happened to Hyun-soo, and the guys create a plan of attack to get the word out in order to find someone who will help them identify the illegal racers.
All the neighborhood delivery guys come together to post information online, create flyers and signs, and spend their nights after work asking people in the area if they’ve heard anything about the race.
Jin-gyu’s passed out asleep on the sofa in Dan-ah’s hospital room, and Dan-ah yells at him to wake up. He groggily tries to get up, sighing that he’s never worked so hard in his life before. Dan-ah warns him not to say things like that or else he’ll get beat up, since there are so many people who work that hard every single day.
She orders him to go home and sleep, and Jin-gyu asks if he can just stay there because he’s sooooooooo tired. When Dan-ah threateningly offers to re-energize him (using her Hapkido skills, no doubt), he suddenly scrambles to his feet and wishes her a good night as he speeds out the door. Aw, even though she still yells at him, there’s a an element of casual friendliness in their banter.
The pouring rain means a day of hell for the delivery drivers, since everyone wants to order in instead of going out for lunch. Jin-gyu miserably whines that he’s going to throw up from working so hard, but Kang-soo just says that he should wait to throw up until after their shift’s over since there’s no time to stop right now.
Kang-soo arrives at a large office building, and a Gong-gi and a bunch of the other delivery guys there, too. They update each other on their search for the illegal racers, but so far there are no leads. Kang-soo says they’ll hold off the search for tonight so the guys can get some sleep.
Gong-gi, trying to hide his jealousy, asks about Jin-gyu. Gong-gi figures that a guy who drives a nice car would be involved with underground racing world. But Kang-soo vouches for Jin-gyu based on the few days he’s worked with him. Kang-soo doesn’t believe that Jin-gyu would do something so foolish like race illegally or block off the road, but Gong-gi warns him the culprit is always closer than you think.
After their shift, Jin-gyu convinces Kang-soo to let him leave early instead of cleaning up, promising to come back tomorrow and work twice as hard. Jin-gyu goes to the hospital, and when Dan-ah finds out he left Kang-soo to do all the clean up work by himself, she kicks him the shins — but by now Jin-gyu has learned how to avoid her punishments. Their relationship seems to grow more comfortable by the day, and Dan-ah offers to walk him to hospital lobby.
They find Gong-gi just outside, writing in his own name as Dan-ah’s guardian after crossing out Jin-gyu’s name. Dan-ah has no time for Gong-gi’s nonsense, and at the first threat, he scurries out of the hospital — but tries to give Jin-gyu one last theatrical warning that he has no right to be Dan-ah’s guardian.
Kang-soo is surprised to find Ji-yoon waiting for him in his room. She pouts that he’s never tried to call her, then tells him that she’s looking for a cheap goshiwon. He’s stunned that she could live in such cheap, cramped quarters, but Ji-yoon points out that she once lived in his tiny room. Ha!
Ji-yoon tries to get Kang-soo to confess that he missed her, but he refuses to answer. She suddenly leans in for a kiss — perfectly in frame for the hidden camera that’s recording everything. But Kang-soo calmly pushes her back. Despite her best efforts, her attempt to kiss him is denied. He still sees her as the high school runaway, even knowing the truth about her age and circumstances.
Annoyed, she takes her camera and flounces out into the pouring rain. Sighing, Kang-soo runs after her to give her an umbrella. Ji-yoon stubbornly tries to avoid it at first, complaining that he’s only treating her like a kid. She finally relents when he tells her that’s true, but he still doesn’t want her to catch a cold.
As Kang-soo runs back to the noodle restaurant, he sees the lights on at Hyun-soo’s grandmother’s soup restaurant. He stops in to see her busy prepping to open up for business tomorrow. She sadly explains that since Hyun-soo will likely be in a coma for awhile, they’ve moved him to the nearby hospital. But she tells herself that he’ll wake up eventually — they just need to have faith.
Kang-soo gets a call from someone who saw the illegal racers, and offers to give him a copy of his car’s blackbox recording. However the blackbox is damaged, so it’ll take some time to recover the data.
Meanwhile, the delivery guys keep busy working overnights, pounding the pavement to find anyone who might have seen anything that night. They’re barely being able to stay awake during their shifts. Kang-soo and Jin-gyu continue to have fun as they work together. Ooooof.
Ji-yoon’s found a cheap room and moved in, excited to spend her first night in her own place. Her perpetual optimism refuses to be dampened by the cramped space or the thin walls. But a big bug sends her running out of the room, screaming.
Kang-soo is surprised to find Ji-yoon asleep in his room when he returns after another all-night investigation into the illegal racing. He prods her awake, and she sleepily tells him that she can’t stay at her new room but will instead stay in his room.
Kang-soo marches her down the stairs, insisting that she leave. But just then Jin-gyu arrives for his shift, and Ji-yoon takes the opportunity to try and convince Jin-gyu that she and Kang-soo spent the night together. Kang-soo has no idea what she’s talking about, much to Jin-gyu’s amusement, and Ji-yoon and Jin-gyu continue to bicker until she leaves.
The data on the blackbox has been restored, and Kang-soo and Gong-gi watch the footage of the fancy race cars drive by. Kang-soo recognizes the car as the one belonging to Jin-gyu. Uh-oh. Gong-gi is ready to immediately track down Jin-gyu, but Kang-soo says he’ll handle it.
It’s Jin-gyu’s last shift at the noodle restaurant because Dan-ah will soon be released from the hospital. The guys sit down to share a drink together as Jin-gyu happily chatters at Kang-soo, telling him that even though it was hard work, it was still fun.
Kang-soo calmly and casually brings up the subject of Jin-gyu’s fancy car. Jin-gyu’s face lights up with delight as he unwittingly answers Kang-soo’s questions about racing, telling him that in order to have a race, they have to temporarily block off roads. Jin-gyu joyfully describes the thrill he gets from racing, specifically mentioning his most recent race. Oh no.
When Jin-gyu asks if Kang-soo wants to try racing sometime, a stone-faced Kang-soo bluntly tells him “no.”
Kang-soo tells Jin-gyu that one of his good friends is in the ICU due to racing, and Kang-soo thought up until just a few minutes ago, even despite evidence to the contrary, there was no way Jin-gyu could be involved. After all, Kang-soo had originally determined Jin-gyu wasn’t a bad guy. But now Kang-soo knows for sure that Jin-gyu is the reason Hyun-soo is in a coma.
Kang-soo says they should go to the police so Jin-gyu can confess. Jin-gyu desperately pleads with Kang-soo that he’ll do anything to take responsibility — he’ll pay for all of Hyun-soo’s medical bills — but he can’t go the cops. If Jin-gyu gets in trouble one more time, he’s done for.
Angry, Kang-soo asks if Jin-gyu’s sincerity only amounts to money in the end. Jin-gyu drops to his knees, begging not to go to the police, but Kang-soo drags him out of the restaurant anyway.
At the police station, Kang-soo shows the detective the blackbox video of the race cars driving by, insisting it’s evidence that Jin-gyu was involved with the illegal racing. Then Kang-soo orders Jin-gyu to give his statement, and after a moment’s hesitation, Jin-gyu says that he and his friends just went for a drive and he has no idea what Kang-soo is talking about.
Kang-soo is outraged by this apparent betrayal as Jin-gyu plays up the “is driving a nice car a crime?” angle. The detective brings in the taxi driver who witnessed the payment to construction worker blocking off the entrance to the highway, but the taxi driver can’t be sure if it was Jin-gyu or not. That means Jin-gyu is free to go.
Kang-soo confronts Jin-gyu in front of the police station. Kang-soo looks like he’s ready to punch Jin-gyu in the face, and Jin-gyu tells him it wouldn’t be wise to hit him when there are so many cops around. Jin-gyu angrily adds that he’s been trying to live like a human being ever since he had another chance at life, and refuses to let Kang-soo stand in his way.
Kang-soo spits out that he actually started to believe Jin-gyu was a decent guy, but now he knows that Jin-gyu is even an even worse person than he first thought. As Jin-gyu turns to leave, Kang-soo warns him that he’ll catch Jin-gyu soon and make him pay. Jin-gyu points out it’s difficult to punish a man with a lot of money, but Kang-soo says that they’ll see who wins in the end.
At the hospital, Kang-soo apologizes to the comatose Hyun-soo for being a fool. But he promises that Jin-gyu will pay for his crimes, no matter what. Dan-ah sees Kang-soo leaving the ICU, but he doesn’t hear her calling out to him.
Back in his room, Kang-soo tells Ji-yoon what he found out about Jin-gyu. She wonders how Kang-soo will be able to find the evidence to build a case against Jin-gyu. But Kang-soo is confident he will, since he has one thing that Jin-gyu doesn’t: friends.
The next morning, Ji-yoon stares in awe as over three hundred delivery drivers arrive on their scooters. As he waves at his friends, Kang-soo mutters that it’s over for Jin-gyu.
Even though I knew it was coming, I’m still sad that Kang-soo and Jin-gyu’s bromance is officially over and they’re back to being enemies again. It’s even more disheartening because I can see both sides of the story. Yes, Jin-gyu was being irresponsible by closing off the road so he could enjoy his racing, but for Jin-gyu, racing was the only thing that made him feel alive. He also knows that if it’s found out that he was arrested for illegally racing, it will drag his family’s company into the news and he’ll earn even more wrath from his father (if that were even possible). Jin-gyu probably thinks his chances of surviving Kang-soo’s threats are higher than surviving Chairman Oh’s threats — I get the feeling something more serious than a golf club would be involved if it was publicly revealed that Jin-gyu’s illegal racing put another person in a coma.
As for Kang-soo, well, we already know from the first episode exactly what he thinks of people who try to weasel their way out of a situation by throwing money around. In fact, I wonder if some of Kang-soo’s anger comes from the realization that Jin-gyu is no better than that hit-and-run driver. Kang-soo’s strongest attribute is his sense of honor, and it must be extra humiliating to think he was bamboozled by another rich jerk just because the two of them worked together so well for a week.
There’s really so much bundled up in both Kang-soo and Jin-gyu’s reactions in those last few minutes. I appreciate that both actors are able to play off each other so well, with subtle little cues that made my stomach sink with each neutral-sounding question Kang-soo asked of Jin-gyu, because it was like watching the Titanic and knowing it’s going to hit that iceberg. Kim Sun-ho is definitely incredible to watch, as he masters those little micro-expressions which show the cracks in Jin-gyu’s playful, cheerful façade. No matter how much chaebol swagger Jin-gyu may have, those glimpses of vulnerability and childlike desperation have been evident since the beginning. I have to wonder if I’d be as sympathetic to Jin-gyu if he were played by a different actor (I might be less dazzled by the dimples, that’s for sure).
I think it’s interesting that the show seems to be setting up an alliance between Kang-soo and Ji-yoon, and another between Dan-ah and Jin-gyu. Dan-ah definitely seems to be mellowing out a little — maybe it’s the realization that her dreams are so close to coming true, or maybe it’s the fact that she might actually be getting enough sleep while in the hospital. Whatever it is, I’m enjoying the playful way that she and Jin-gyu interact, especially the way he now makes her smile. Even though she gives him grief about his namby-pamby ways, I think she has to have some respect for the fact that he willingly took over her shift with only minor complaining. Well, as “minor” complaining as I think we’ll get from him.
Now I’m dreading the moment when Dan-ah and Kang-soo will go against each other, especially that moment at the English learning center made it seem like she was willing to relax around him, too. Whyyyyyyyyyy can’t everyone just be friends and playfully tease each other and be happy all the time? Why must the show continue putting up barriers between the leads? Sigh, yes, I know why — it’s because of “drama” and the need for a story, and it would probably be boring watching a bunch of friends banter as they go about their lives each day. (I say “probably” to hide the fact that’s all I really want right now.) I’m also nervous about what will happen when Kang-soo and the rest of the neighborhood realize that Ji-yoon is the daughter of the “Jung Family” CEO. No matter how adorable and sassy Ji-yoon may be in her pursuit of independence, I don’t know if she can distance herself enough from her mother’s business to where it won’t feel like yet another chaebol betrayal.
It does make me wonder if the reason Dan-ah will end up staying behind in Korea (because there’s no way she’s going to disappear overseas this early into a show) is because she’ll eventually end up using her money to help out the restaurant — either Lively Noodles or Hyun-soo’s grandmother’s place. The loan sharks are there to remind us that these business owners are going to get desperate for money soon, and I’m sure no good will come from Hye-ran’s meeting at the bank. I almost hope that’s the case, since a sacrifice like that would show a strength of character that Dan-ah seems to be lacking. Not that Dan-ah doesn’t have character (or strength), and I don’t blame her for her laser-like focus on achieving her goal to get enough money to escape what seems like a hopeless situation. But the idealist in me wants her to believe in something more than just the number in her bank account, and for her to become a part of a community where she, too, could easily call up three hundred friends at a moment’s notice.
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