Strongest Deliveryman: Episode 7
Kang-soo’s arrest throws the usual delivery routine into chaos as the Deliverymen Army attempt to free their leader. Unfortunately, the only one with the power to free Kang-soo is Jin-gyu, and some grudges are not easily forgiven or forgotten. Our main quartet also have to deal with some new and unusual emotions — so new and unusual, in fact, that some aren’t sure exactly what they’re feeling.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Kang-soo is arrested for the attack on Jin-gyu, and while he’s led away in handcuffs, Dan-ah desperately asks if Kang-soo really did it. Kang-soo says nothing, and as the door on the police van closes between them, Dan-ah pounds on it, calling after Kang-soo. She then gives Jin-gyu a disappointed look as the van drives away.
At the police station, the detective shows Kang-soo the CCTV footage of him throwing down the pipe. The detective says that they’ll continue searching for CCTV footage of the actual attack, but Kang-soo urgently asks them to stop investigating — he’s the culprit, they don’t need to find more evidence. (Which would, presumably, lead them to Sung-jae.)
Dan-ah stubbornly refuses to believe that Kang-soo would attack someone with a pipe. Jin-gyu says that Kang-soo must have wanted to give him special treatment, then. He tells Dan-ah that no one is purely good — everyone has a dark side. He also tells her to get some rest since she’ll have to be doing all the deliveries tomorrow.
As Jin-gyu leaves the restaurant, he sees Ji-yoon and asks where she’s going. She sweetly tells Jin-gyu that she was forced to spend the day with someone she hates (that is, him) so now she wants to see her ajusshi’s face. She continues to mockingly ignore Jin-gyu until he shouts after her that Kang-soo is at the police station.
Yeon-ji tries to creep into the apartment after her supposed late-night “secret classes,” but she’s surprised by Dan-ah, who’s sitting outside. Dan-ah tells her about Kang-soo and his arrest, and Yeon-ji muses that Dan-ah has the worst luck since everyone who tries to help her ends up in jail.
But Yeon-ji notes that Dan-ah seems particularly concerned about Kang-soo, but Dan-ah wasn’t worried when Jin-gyu was arrested. Yeon-ji starts to ask if Dan-ah likes Kang-soo, but Dan-ah just orders her roommate to go to bed.
Ji-yoon mobilizes the Deliverymen Army, asking for help. As she bawls her eyes out in front of the police station, Gong-gi and his boys reassure her there must have been a mistake. Just then, Sung-jae arrives, but he brushes past them to go inside and confess to the attack.
Sung-jae tells the detective that he was the one who attacked Jin-gyu, and Kang-soo only arrived afterward. The detective asks if Sung-jae has evidence, then irritatedly tells Sung-jae that he’s already had a bunch of guys confess to the crime.
Sung-jae looks around and sees some deliverymen who are willing to confess and protect Kang-soo out of gratitude for the way Kang-soo had helped them previously. It’s totally a “No, I am Spartacus!” moment.
Ji-yoon is desperate to see Kang-soo, but only family members are allowed to visit him, so she pretends to vomit as though she’s pregnant with Kang-soo’s child. Classic!
The cops kick them all out, and Gong-gi’s ready to figure out a new plan. Sung-jae storms off, and the other guys just dismiss Sung-jae’s extreme reaction as concern for his hometown friend.
Kang-soo is transferred from the police station to prison. Along the way, Dan-ah passes the police van. She seems to have a sixth sense that Kang-soo is in the van, and turns around to follow it.
When they’re stopped at a red light, Dan-ah tries to peer in the darkened window. She can’t see anything, but Kang-soo reaches out and acts like he’s brushing flour off her cheek. The light turns green, and Kang-soo and Dan-ah are separated again.
Thanks to Jin-gyu, we learn exactly how someone is processed into jail, including the very detailed cavity search. Aw, but Kang-soo smiles brightly for his mug shot, and cheerfully greets his cellmates, who are amused at the newbie’s bright attitude.
Ji-yoon’s sobbing in Jin-gyu’s office, having asked him what it’s like in prison, since, y’know, he has firsthand experience. She pleads with Jin-gyu to save Kang-soo. Jin-gyu bristles, pointing out that Kang-soo tried to kill him with that pipe, and when he was caught, Kang-soo didn’t even apologize.
Desperate to save Kang-soo, Ji-yoon promises to not be mean to Jin-gyu when they go on their dates. She’ll even make a point of being cute and saying “I love you,” if that will make Jin-gyu happy. Hahaha, then she sobs as she apologizes to her “ajusshi” that he’s the one she really loves, and Jin-gyu actually looks around as though she’s talking to someone in the room and not just talking to Kang-soo “in spirit.”
When Jin-gyu’s secretary says that Hye-ran is there to see him, Ji-yoon dives behind the couch to hide. Jin-gyu’s bewildered by her actions, but he goes along with it. Hye-ran knows that he has a guest, and at her amused “What, did she jump out the window?”, Hye-ran tells her daughter to stop hiding.
Ji-yoon sheepishly crawls out from behind the sofa and quickly excuses herself. Hye-ran seems to believe the two of them were getting a bit closer, since that’s the only reason Hye-ran can think of as to why Ji-yoon would try hiding from her.
At the Jung Family restaurant, Grandma asks to meet with Hye-ran to discuss her business tactics. Grandma is not impressed that the Jung Family moved in right next to her soup restaurant and is pricing their food cheaper, and therefore stealing her customers. Grandma doesn’t consider that to be fair, but Hye-ran points out that it’s just smart business.
Hye-ran tells Grandma that if Grandma really took her restaurant seriously, then Grandma would have purchased her own building instead of paying rent for over thirty years. Now the Jung Family owns the building Grandma’s restaurant is in, and Hye-ran tells Grandma that when her lease expires at the end of the month, she expects Grandma to leave.
If Grandma refuses, then the Jung Family will forcibly remove Grandma and her restaurant. Grandma protests, refusing to move. She won’t continue to be taken advantage of by rich snobs like Hye-ran. But Hye-ran just tells her to try staying and see what happens.
The delivery guys arrive at Grandma’s for their off-the-record shift, and Grandma notes that Kang-soo isn’t there. Gong-gi awkwardly lies that Kang-soo had to take care of something back in his hometown. Grandma assumes that means Kang-soo must be visiting his parents, but as we all know, Kang-soo doesn’t have any family back home.
Kang-soo keeps his bright and optimistic outlook even in jail as he works out and plays soccer with his fellow inmates. Ha, he’s forced to do 200 pushups as punishment when they find out how terrible he is at soccer, and as he flops on his back, exhausted, he stares up the sky. Kang-soo remembers Dan-ah peering into the van’s window, and is thankful that someone seems concerned about him.
Dan-ah broods about Kang-soo. She still can’t believe that he’s the kind of guy who would attack Jin-gyu like that, especially after all the ways Kang-soo’s showed himself to be good and kind. Yeon-ji cuts to the heart of the matter, asking if Dan-ah likes Kang-soo.
Dan-ah firmly denies it, although she can’t stop thinking about the way they worked together, or the way he caught her when she slipped. Yeon-ji matter-of-factly tells Dan-ah that, since she’s the kind of person who can cut her family out of her life, then it should be easy to stop thinking about Kang-soo, who doesn’t mean anything to her.
The next day, Dan-ah makes a delivery to the police station and overhears the detectives talking about all the delivery guys who stubbornly insisted they were responsible for the attack on Jin-gyu. Thanks to another tip from the delivery guys, she drives off to find Sung-jae, who was the most adamant.
Soon-ae decides to close the restaurant, since she knows Dan-ah won’t be able to focus on work while her “boyfriend” is in jail. Chef Jang grumbles that Dan-ah should have found a boyfriend who wasn’t jailbound. That seems to hit a nerve with Soon-ae, and she glowers at Chef Jang as he insists that he wasn’t talking about them. Innnnteresting.
Dan-ah finds Sung-jae, who tells her to mind her own business. He even warns her that he’ll fight her if she keeps pestering him, but she grabs him by the collar and demands to know who was really behind the attack: Sung-jae, or Kang-soo.
Sung-jae tells her that he was the one who attacked Jin-gyu, but Kang-soo is taking the blame because Kang-soo feels responsible for everything that led up to Hyun-soo’s accident.
When Dan-ah returns to the restaurant that night, she continues to fret over Kang-soo. Jin-gyu stops by, adorably proud to have received the first honest-to-goodness paycheck in his life. He offers to take her out for dinner or drinks, but Dan-ah is in no mood to deal with his nonsense, and orders him to leave.
Jin-gyu sets down an envelope of cash, telling her that he took out some for living expenses, but every month he’ll give her the balance of his paycheck. He’s trying to fulfill his original promise. Annoyed, Dan-ah tells him that’s in the past — she’ll take care of her savings on her own. Jin-gyu doesn’t need to concern himself with it.
But Jin-gyu says how can he not, when it was her face he last saw before he almost died, and her face that he first saw when he was revived. He tries to hide the emotions flickering across his face as he lightheartedly tells her to just take the money.
Instead, Dan-ah kicks him out of the restaurant and throws the money at him. She doesn’t want his help, and she doesn’t want to see him again. Jin-gyu shouts after her that he’s the only help she’ll have, since Kang-soo will still be in jail until she’s earned enough to go overseas. Jin-gyu doesn’t care what Dan-ah says, and says that he’ll continue to save his earnings and then give it to her in one lump sum.
Dejected, Jin-gyu returns to his apartment. He gets a call from Ji-yoon, who wants to know all the details of how to visit people in prison. Jin-gyu sighs that she can find all this out online, so she should stop asking him for details of prison life. Ji-yoon then tells him that she has to cancel their date on Sunday because she’ll be visiting Kang-soo.
When Jin-gyu tells her that inmates aren’t allowed visitors on Sundays, Ji-yoon starts to wail that she’s stuck going on a date with the guy who put “her ajusshi” in jail. Jin-gyu mutters that it feels more like he’s in prison right now instead of Kang-soo.
Gong-gi and one of his guys visit Kang-soo, who’s adorably delighted to see them, probably because he never expected anyone to visit. They tell him how Dan-ah’s worried about him, which pleases Kang-soo. Gong-gi also vows that the guys will take good care of Grandma and her restaurant, and they’ll watch over Hyun-soo, too.
But Gong-gi hesitates when Kang-soo asks how Hyun-soo is doing. Even though Hyun-soo’s condition hasn’t changed, the doctors said Hyun-soo’s pulse has become unstable.
Hyun-soo’s mother runs a corner shop, where an adorable little boy buys a toy dinosaur. Mom stares at a picture of young Hyun-soo, reminded of how much he liked dinosaurs, too. Just then the phone rings — it’s the hospital, and Mom’s hands tremble as she answers it.
Jin-gyu works late at the restaurant, going through paperwork, when Sung-jae arrives with his mask and pipe. Jin-gyu scrambles backwards as Sung-jae advances, but he’s pinned against the stairs with no escape.
Sung-jae purposefully removes his mask and orders Jin-gyu to memorize his face so that Jin-gyu can tell the police who the real culprit is so Kang-soo can be released.
If Jin-gyu doesn’t get Kang-soo out of jail and have Sung-jae arrested in his place within three days, then Sung-jae really will kill Jin-gyu. Sung-jae smashes a flower pot near Jin-gyu’s head for good measure.
But Jin-gyu stands up and says that Sung-jae might as well kill him now, since he has no intention to free Kang-soo. Instead, he’ll have Sung-jae join Kang-soo in jail. Jin-gyu angrily says it’s punishment for them looking down on him and treating him like trash. His life was ruined thanks to them, and now everyone treats him like a criminal.
Jin-gyu furiously says he’s gone through more than enough — it’s their turn now. Sung-jae swings the pipe up to hit Jin-gyu, but Grandma suddenly arrives and yells at him to stop. She’s there with the other delivery guys, and she tells Sung-jae that Hyun-soo is awake. Yay!
Grandma then introduces herself to Jin-gyu, realizing that he was the one who caused her grandson’s coma. But instead of blaming him, she gently takes Jin-gyu’s hand and tells him that she knows it was an accident. She apologizes for the way he’s been treated, and promises that he’ll no longer be seen as a criminal.
Jin-gyu, at first terrified of how Grandma would react, is unable to hold back his tears as Grandma sweetly pats his hand. Per Grandma’s request — and sweet forgiveness — Jin-gyu is able to let go of his anger.
In the morning, Jin-gyu visits Prosecutor Kim, telling the prosecutor that he exaggerated the attack and that Kang-soo didn’t do anything to him after all. Prosecutor Kim is frustrated that Jin-gyu is changing his story so easily, but Jin-gyu stands firm in his request to drop the case.
The delivery guys all line up at the prison gate as Kang-soo is released (and the guards can’t even get mad at them, since they guys all brought them some free food). They applaud as Kang-soo steps out into freedom, but Kang-soo is most surprised to see Hyun-soo standing there.
Hyun-soo hands over the traditional tofu, and then cringes when Kang-soo lifts up a hand like he’s going to hit Hyun-soo. But instead Kang-soo pulls the younger man into a tight hug, happy that Hyun-soo’s alive and well.
Things have been extra busy for Dan-ah and Lively Noodles since the neighborhood’s delivery guys all mysteriously disappeared at the same time. Ha. Soon-ae worries about Dan-ah, but Dan-ah cheerfully continues cleaning up the restaurant by herself after Soon-ae and Chef Jang leave.
Dan-ah keeps imagining Kang-soo nearby, helping out. She yells at him to disappear, and each time, the happy-but-imaginary Kang-soo disappears. Once her work is done, Dan-ah drowns her sorrows in soju.
She’s totally drunk when Kang-soo returns to the restaurant, and she assumes it’s another one of her daydreams. Except this time, it doesn’t disappear when she orders it to.
Dan-ah assumes she’s fallen asleep after drinking too much, and the piggy-back ride home Kang-soo gives her is all a dream. He’s quietly patient and amused by her drunken chatter. But he stops in his tracks when she suddenly asks if they should date.
Dan-ah tells him they should date for exactly 230 days (which is, presumably, how many days are left until she has enough money to leave the country). Kang-soo asks if she likes him, and she admits she’s not sure. Dan-ah knows that she worries about him, that she’s curious about him, and that she misses him. She once again asks him if they should date.
Kang-soo gulps but doesn’t answer as he continues carrying her home. Yeon-ji helps get Dan-ah settled into bed, trying to stop her roommate’s drunken ramblings as Dan-ah tells Kang-soo that she’s actually really pretty, especially when she wears lipstick. Aw, Kang-soo looks back thoughtfully before he walks away from her apartment building.
In the morning, Dan-ah freaks out when she realizes that Kang-soo really did carry her home and it wasn’t a dream — he heard all her drunken ramblings. She also overslept and is late for work, and when she pulls up to the restaurant, Dan-ah tells herself to pretend that she doesn’t remember what happened last night.
She enters the restaurant, apologizing for being late, but Soon-ae and Chef Jang tell her that it’s okay because Kang-soo is already there. Kang-soo smiles at Dan-ah as he greets her, but Dan-ah can barely bring herself to look at him.
Soon-ae isn’t satisfied with their greeting, and orders them to hug. Even Chef Jang points out that Kang-soo will have yearned for the warm touch of another human being (after being in prison), and they shove Kang-soo and Dan-ah together, forcing them to hug.
Soon-ae gets choked up, and Chef Jang goes to comfort her as she hurries out of the restaurant. Dan-ah immediately tries to break the hug when their bosses are no longer around, but Kang-soo holds onto her, asking her to stay for just ten more seconds.
He starts to count, but at “five,” Dana-ah breaks free and says they should get to work. Kang-soo pulls her back, pointing out that there’s still five seconds left, and he hugs her tightly.
I’ve said it before (and I’ll probably say it again), but Kim Sun-oh is an incredible actor. I love how he’s able to say so much with just a few glances, and watching him try to persevere and hide his anguish all throughout this episode made his reaction during Grandma’s forgiveness all that more powerful. He’s been bottling up his emotions, trying to go with the flow and live as newly an honorable life as he can (because I do believe he’s doing his best within the limitations that have been provided for him), but his anger got the better of him.
While I’m generally not a fan of the “poor little rich boy” trope, somehow Jin-gyu is completely working for me (and again, I think that’s largely due to the humanizing touches of Kim Sun-oh’s multi-layered acting). He feels more than just a chaebol caricature — there’s a depth to him that makes me root for his growth as a decent human being, even when he makes two steps back for every one step forward. Maybe it’s because I can’t forget the utter look of shock and confusion on his face when Grandma forgave him.
Jin-gyu understands pain and punishment — you do something wrong, you get a beating. That’s how his life has been. So to have someone who has been personally affected by Jin-gyu’s careless actions tell him that she forgives him, no strings attached, is utterly mind-blowing. That’s not a reality he’s known, and it’s why I continue to hope that he’ll realize how important this neighborhood is. It’s not just about a location for making money, it’s about the people.
I also think I’m supposed to be cheering on Dan-ah and Kang-soo’s relationship, which… maybe? I dunno. I’ve been enjoying their camaraderie as they work together side-by-side, but I’m just not feeling that spark of chemistry that makes me go “Annnnnnnnnd kiss!” when they’re thrown together. I want to anticipate their budding romance (since clearly the show is insisting that they’re falling for each other), but somehow it’s not working for me.
I can’t decide if this is somehow a fault in the writing, editing, acting, or if I’ve somehow missed something. Maybe if we had a few more scenes of them working together and becoming more aware of their growing attraction to each other, before having both of them going, “Oh wow this person is no longer around and I guess I miss them; weird.” Not that deciding to date someone because you’re not sure how you feel and want to know more isn’t a perfectly good reason, compared, say, to Ji-yoon’s “No one else has claimed you so you’re mine.” Dating is all about getting to know another person and finding out if you’re compatible. But I also think there should be some kind of spark, and I’m just not feeling it between Kang-soo and Dan-ah — although I’m willing to let the show try and convince me otherwise.
I still love Ji-yoon, but she actually started to grate on me this episode. As much as I enjoy her tormenting Jin-gyu, I like it best when she’s being purposefully mean and not just crying to get her way. When she does that, I’m reminded that, yep, she’s a chaebol, and even though I respect her determination to be independent, I wish she’d start solving problems without being so dramatic about it. But that just proves how perfect Ji-yoon and Jin-gyu really are for each other, since they both need to learn to grow up and realize the world won’t always bend to their will just because they have money or know how to turn on the waterworks.
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