Temperature of Love: Episodes 17-18
I’ve been on pins and needles, anticipating the fallout from what happened last week. At first life seems to be business as usual, but although the clouds may look innocent for now, they’re definitely rumbling a warning, and I just hope our couple is ready to run for cover when the storm breaks.
EPISODE 17 RECAP
After Hyun-soo confesses her love to Jung-sun, they head back to their hotel hand-in-hand. Hyun-soo breaks contact when they reach their hallway, wary about being seen by the surveillance cameras, sheepishly calling it an occupational hazard.
Jung-sun thinks for a second, then he takes her hand again and waves it at the camera with a big fat grin on his face. He jokes that he’s leaving evidence, and Hyun-soo laughs and goes along with him.
Meanwhile, Jung-woo drives himself home, after seeing Jung-sun and Hyun-soo together and obviously in love. He thinks about how both Jung-sun and Hyun-soo had each confided in him about the person they loved. It never occurred to Jung-woo that they were speaking of each other.
At Hyun-soo’s door, Jung-sun asks if she wants to sleep together. She agrees, but adorably, they each go to their own hotel rooms and simply go to bed at the same time. Kyung whines at Hyun-soo for not spending any time with her today, and Hyun-soo begs her to let her sleep right now, calling today the best day of her life.
Back home, Kyung and Hyun-soo have a lazy day together, sitting around watching movies in their pajamas. Hyun-soo gets a surprise text from Jung-sun asking her to come outside, so she scrambles to get pretty while Kyung quickly cleans up. But Jung-sun just leaves after dropping off a lunchbox, which is full of Hyun-soo’s favorite spicy ddukbokki and handmade teddy bear caramels to give her energy.
Jung-sun bikes back to Good Soup, where Hyun-soo pops out and surprises him, having taken a taxi there. She pouts at him for not staying so that she could see him, and he offers her a ride home on his bike. Hyun-soo shyly declines, but he just says, “Okay bye,” so she grabs onto his bike to stop him and accuses him of playing hard to get.
Hyun-soo hops on for that ride, and on the way home she tells Jung-sun that she’s meeting with Jung-woo today. She holds on tight, making them both smile as they remember their first bike ride together, and how they’d hit a bump and she’d been forced to grab him.
Later that day at Good Soup, a customer orders her meal without nuts due to an allergy. Jung-sun and cook Ha-sung take particular care to keep her plate separate, but maknae Min-ho accidentally moves the plate before the course is served and the customer is given the wrong dish.
When Hyun-soo arrives at Jung-woo’s office, he gives no obvious indication that anything is wrong, though he does seem quieter than usual. He says that he wants to produce her first script, Nice Soup Does Not Answer The Phone, and Hyun-soo is pleased and honored.
She’s taken aback for a moment when Jung-woo tells her that Hong-ah will be using her old studio, but she quickly recovers and says that she can write at home until they get organized. The news that Hong-ah will be writing for Unruly Detectives is harder to swallow, but Hyun-soo remains professional and says that Hong-ah will be a great help to the writing team.
Jung-woo can see that Hyun-soo is rattled, and he justifies his decision to hire Hong-ah by saying that they can’t let Unruly Detectives fail. Hyun-soo asks him not to let Hong-ah use her original storyline for the remaining episodes, and when Jung-woo says that’s up to Hong-ah, Hyun-soo decides to talk to her personally.
Hyun-soo thanks Jung-woo for continuing to work hard while she was taking time off, promising to repay him by writing a great script. She runs into Hong-ah on her way out of the building, and Hong-ah chirps that she’s here to sign her contract.
Jung-sun’s customer begins to react to the nuts in her meal, scratching red welts on her skin and gasping for air. Her husband calls for help, and when Jung-sun runs out to see what’s wrong, the husband grabs him and accuses him of trying to kill his wife. Jung-sun stays calm and drives the woman to the hospital himself.
Hong-ah rejoins Hyun-soo at a coffee shop in a bright mood, and Hyun-soo calls Hong-ah strange because she only remembers the things she wants to remember. Hong-ah says that she’ll understand if Hyun-soo’s seeing things in a negative light because of her situation, but Hyun-soo counters that her perspective is just fine.
She tells Hong-ah not to borrow anything from her finished scripts for Unruly Detectives, and Hong-ah argues that Hyun-soo isn’t the only one who could think of those plot points. But Hyun-soo warns her that it’s all copyrighted, and she has evidence that she sent Hong-ah her scripts, so she’d win in court if it came to that.
Hong-ah hits where it hurts, saying that Jung-woo will be affected if Unruly Detectives doesn’t do well, and it almost works on Hyun-soo. But she says that thinking of Hong-ah makes her even more determined, because of the way Hong-ah treated her on the day she quit.
She brings up the lies Hong-ah said about Jung-sun, and when Hong-ah seems not to remember, Hyun-soo reminds her that she called him a playboy who was romancing all the ladies in France, and that he’d flirted with Hong-ah when they first met. Hong-ah has the nerve to claim that she doesn’t remember saying those things.
Hyun-soo says softly that she used to like and value Hong-ah, so much that she believed what she said about Jung-sun and took him lightly even though she loved him, but even then she wanted to be understanding, because Hong-ah kept losing writing competitions. Hong-ah admits she was jealous, and that her hatred of her jealousy turned into hatred of herself, then she hated Hyun-soo even more for making her hate herself.
Incredulous, Hyun-soo says that Hong-ah could have just avoided seeing her, but Hong-ah says that staying away only made her more curious. She adds that she won’t have such conflicts now that things are better for her, as if she expects Hyun-soo to just forget everything that’s happened, but Hyun-soo is too aghast to respond.
Joon-ha is loitering around Kyung again, lazing on Hyun-soo’s couch and complaining that he’s hungry and demanding boiled eggs. Kyung gets up to get him some food while he tells her that his mother made him a dozen boiled eggs before she left him. She asks why he’d tell her something like that, and he admits that pity is great for picking up women, and Kyung gapes at him.
When Hyun-soo finally gets home, Joon-ha begs her to let him direct her next drama. In private, Kyung argues that Joon-ha’s style is all wrong for her drama, saying that her melodrama will become a thriller and everyone’s faces will be lit in green, hee. Joon-ha pouts but doesn’t take no for an answer.
Over ramyun and Jung-sun’s ddukbokki leftovers, Joon-ha continues to tease Kyung, and Hyun-soo giggles that he does it because her reactions are funny. She asks Joon-ha why he wants to direct this drama, and he says it’s because it’s unique with a sad ending. He protests when Hyun-soo tells him she’s going to change it to a happy ending.
Jung-sun is still in the hospital with his customer, and he’s relieved when the doctor says she’ll make a full recovery. Her husband blames this oversight on Jung-sun’s success from being on television, and he says that they liked the restaurant better before.
During the kitchen team’s meal break, Ha-sung insists that he kept the allergic customer’s plate separate, as he was told. Jung-sun says that as the chef, everything that happens in the kitchen is ultimately his fault. But he also says that they need to figure out what happened so that it never occurs again.
Min-ho sheepishly confesses that he unknowingly moved the plate, and Jung-sun pinpoints this as a communication problem. He tells the team to look each other in the eyes when communicating, no matter how busy they are.
Jung-sun is scheduled to appear on the cooking show again, as the winner of the previous episode. But, taking to heart the husband’s comment that they liked the restaurant better before he got famous, he calls the show and asks to be removed as a contestant.
Hyun-soo is disappointed again when Jung-sun doesn’t answer her text right away, asking what he’s up to. When he finally does, she says she needs to tell him something, and goes to his place to talk in person. She brings a gift, a nice pair of running shoes, and says that even though there’s a belief that giving someone a pair of shoes will make them run from you, she bought these for him to run to her.
He tries one on at her request, thanking her for the shoes and for making him feel better on a difficult day. He says he can’t tell her what happened yet, so Hyun-soo tells him her news first. She shows him the script for Nice Soup Does Not Answer The Phone, and he recognizes Nice Soup as himself. Jung-sun says that he doesn’t like the title because it feels like it will have a sad ending.
The doorbell gets their attention, and Jung-sun tells Hyun-soo that it’s his mother. She gasps in horror, and when he asks why, she says she wants his mom to like her. Jung-sun says that she doesn’t have to act a certain way to force someone to like her, not even his mother.
He unlocks the door, and his mom walks in without even noticing Hyun-soo. When she finally sees her, and the fact that Jung-sun is wearing two different shoes, she immediately guesses that Hyun-soo gave him a gift. Hyun-soo tries to leave, but Jung-sun’s mom demands an introduction, apparently forgetting that they met five years ago.
Both women stare at Jung-sun when he introduces Hyun-soo as his girlfriend. Hyun-soo says hello, and when his mother comments that she already said that, Jung-sun says, “Mom, you know my personality, right?” It makes his mother behave and she invites Hyun-soo to have a cup of tea while Jung-sun goes back to work.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
Jung-woo gets the news from the TV station that Jung-sun is trying to quit the cooking show. He promises to look into it, and he’s told in no uncertain terms to make sure Jung-sun does the show. His secretary reminds him that he’s having dinner at Good Soup with CP Yoo, and he tells her to invite Hong-ah and Director Min, as well.
Over tea, Jung-sun’s mother says Hyun-soo looks familiar, and Hyun-soo reminds her that they met five years ago. Just like last time, Jung-sun’s mother zeroes in on the fact that Hyun-soo is older than her son (making sure to comment that she looks far older than her age), though this time she seems to approve, saying that she only dates younger men herself.
She even likes Hyun-soo’s honesty about her unstable career, and the fact that her parents are both grade school teachers. She suggests that they be friends, then she drags Hyun-soo to Good Soup to meet her boyfriend, Daniel, who also takes a shine to her.
Hyun-soo runs into Jung-woo on her way out, who offers to walk her home. But the walk is silent and awkward as Jung-woo thinks about seeing Hyun-soo with Jung-sun. Hyun-soo can sense something is off, and when they reach her home, she says she has something to tell Jung-woo.
He asks if it’s personal or business, and Hyun-soo says it’s personal. Jung-woo says suddenly, “Don’t say it,” and he turns and walks away.
He goes back to Good Soup, where Jung-sun joins him on the roof for a beer. Jung-woo thinks about how he thought Jung-sun’s family name, Ohn, was a sign that they were meant to work together, but out loud he simply mentions Jung-sun’s attempt to leave the cooking show.
He knows about the woman’s allergic reaction, guessing the two events are related, but he tells Jung-sun to do the show anyway. Jung-sun says that while he was driving that woman to the hospital, he kept thinking to himself that this isn’t how it’s supposed to be, and he refuses to do the show.
Jung-woo tells him it’s too soon to rest on his laurels and that he needs the show, but Jung-sun asserts that that’s why he won’t do it—because going slowly is the right way. Jung-woo grumbles that Jung-sun will do whatever he wants in the end, asking, “Then why do you need me?” He reminds Jung-sun that he may be the owner of Good Soup, but that he can still remove him from that place.
Unafraid, Jung-sun says that that’s why he’s making these changes, and asks Jung-woo to trust him like he did in the beginning. Jung-woo grows thoughtful and doesn’t give a definite answer.
Jung-sun spends the next morning at the gym, while Jung-woo takes his frustrations out at the batting cage. The moment Hyun-soo wakes she texts Jung-sun, and later Kyung finds her frowning at her phone, since he hasn’t responded.
She tells Kyung that they’re going to begin working on the new drama today, so Kyung makes herself some breakfast. Hyun-soo notices that she’s eating boiled eggs, and reminds Kyung that she’s always hated them before. Hee.
Hyun-soo grumbles at Jung-sun’s text when he finally responds (he always gives literal answers when she asks what he’s doing, like saying he’s drinking water or getting changed, lol). Kyung teases Hyun-soo for being so obvious about how much she likes Jung-sun, and Hyun-soo can’t deny it.
She says that Kyung should date, but Kyung laments the fact that there’s a distinct lack of men like Jung-sun. Hyun-soo tells her to back off her man, and they both gasp dramatically that Hyun-soo is so far gone on him.
The doorbell rings and Kyung jumps up, hoping that it’s Jung-sun, but she wilts when she sees Joon-ha waving at her over the intercom. She asks Hyun-soo if he’s homeless or something, and Hyun-soo says he has no one waiting for him at his place.
Jung-woo is waiting when Jung-sun arrives back home, and he demands breakfast. Jung-sun makes soup up in his apartment, saying that he likes making soup because someone he knows likes it, so he’s gotten a lot of practice. Jung-woo knows exactly who he’s talking about, remembering that Hyun-soo couldn’t eat soup because it made her so emotional.
Over breakfast, he asks if Jung-sun has ever learned something new, and suddenly felt like all the pieces of a puzzle were coming together. Jung-sun knows what he means, so Jung-woo continues, asking if he would give up if he found out that the woman he liked, liked another man.
Jung-sun says that he would give it his all to the end. Jung-woo asks what he’d do if he were the other man, and Jung-sun says his answer wouldn’t change. He asks if it wouldn’t be the same for Jung-woo, and after a long, searching look, Jung-woo says he’s the same.
He announces that he’s proposing next week, and to Jung-sun, it sounds like good news. Jung-sun says that he’ll prepare everything well so that even if the lady likes someone else, Jung-woo will be the star on that night.
Hyun-soo texts Jung-sun to ask for an interview, as research for her drama. But he doesn’t answer quickly, and instead she gets a text from Jung-woo asking what she’s doing. She says she’s researching, and he consoles himself that at least she’s not with her boyfriend. When Jung-sun finally responds, she and Kyung leap up and head to Good Soup.
After seeing what Director Min’s writing team has done with Unruly Detectives, Hong-ah tells Jung-woo that she’s changed her mind about being involved. He easily agrees to get her off the project. When she says she’s glad she decided to work with him, he comments that he’d like to feel the same about her, and asks her to make that happen.
Out of nowhere, Hong-ah tells Jung-woo that she knows he likes Hyun-soo. She asks why he hasn’t made a move in five years, asking if he even knows who his rival is, but Jung-woo warns that she’s pushing him too far and advises her to keep this kind of drama confined to her writing.
That evening, Jung-woo cooks for himself in the fully stocked kitchen in his office. He broods over Hong-ah’s questioning why he hasn’t made a move on Hyun-soo, then suddenly storms out.
After the restaurant closes, Hyun-soo meets with Jung-sun on the roof. She asks if her frequent texting annoys him, and he grins, aware that she waits anxiously for his replies. She tells him that when she texts, “What are you doing,” what she really means is, “I miss you.”
She asks why he never asks what she’s doing, admitting that she constantly wonders about him. Jung-sun wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her in close, saying that she should’ve told him sooner that that’s what her texts meant and that he would’ve asked too.
Hyun-soo notices the long scar on Jung-sun’s arm and the tattoo next to it, which seems to echo the scar but also spells out “salt.” She asks permission to touch his scar, asking if it hurt and how it happened.
Jung-sun tells her that it hurt a lot, but that he got it while training to be a chef. She asks about the tattoo, and in answer Jung-sun says that salt helps you taste other flavors as well. She calls salt a good flavor, if it brings other tastes to life instead of trying to live on its own.
He grows thoughtful and tells Hyun-soo that when his parents divorced, he moved to France with his mother. He admits that it was hard and he was lonely, but he didn’t let it break him. He stops, noticing the tears welling in Hyun-soo’s eyes.
She denies crying, and Jung-sun leans forward to kiss the tears away. Hyun-soo admits that she wants to kiss him, and she says that he can dodge her kiss if he’s not interested, mimicking his words from when he first kissed her. She leans in, and he leans to meet her… then turns his head away at the last second.
They both laugh, and Jung-sun says that back then, he was really scared she would dodge him and happy that she didn’t. He says they can kiss now, asking if she wants the teenage version, the 20s version, or the 30s version. Hyun-soo says she wants all three, and a refrigerator kiss as well.
Wrapped in each other’s arms, they stumble their way into the kitchen, starting with the innocent teenage kisses. They work their way through the 20s kisses pretty quickly, moving on to the serious 30s kisses as Jung-sun lowers Hyun-soo backwards onto the counter.
Later, they sit in the walk-in fridge with a warm cup of tea, sharing a blanket and even more kisses.
Awww, I’ve been hoping for some more kisses between Hyun-soo and Jung-sun, and boy, did they deliver! But it feels like the calm before the storm, and that something is about to blow up in their faces—something named Jung-woo. You know he’s not going to let Hyun-soo just get away like that, not after basically considering her his for the last five years, and I found his too-calm demeanor unsettling throughout this entire episode. He was just a bit too composed, and it worries me even more than if he’d blown up and gone off the deep end right after seeing Hyun-soo and Jung-sun together.
It would have been bad enough if Jung-woo had lost his temper, but his going about his business like normal, and even drinking with Jung-sun and walking Hyun-soo home yet keeping his emotional distance felt ominous to me. Then when he warned Jung-sun that he has the power to remove him from his position, it felt like he wasn’t just talking about the restaurant anymore. I’m scared that Jung-woo is about to start making demands and threatening consequences if Hyun-soo and Jung-sun don’t break up so he can have Hyun-soo, and unfortunately he’s in a position to ruin both of them professionally. I can only hope that Jung-woo’s affection for Jung-sun has him playing fair, but the way he’s maneuvered Jung-sun into saying that he’d fight for his love, I have a feeling that he won’t.
I really appreciate that this drama makes an effort to avoid common tropes, or if they must be used, then they’re used in an unusual way. The broken friendship between Hyun-soo and Hong-ah is a good example, because it’s not just two friends fighting over a man. Yes, it is about Jung-sun, and Hong-ah’s jealousy that he loves Hyun-soo and not her. But it’s equally about Hong-ah’s jealousy of Hyun-soo’s professional success, and how she feels that she deserves the same recognition as Hyun-soo because she’s worked just as hard.
I actually respect Hong-ah’s work ethic, and I have no doubt that she’s put in as much blood, sweat, and tears into writing her scripts as Hyun-soo has hers. But what Hong-ah doesn’t seem to understand is that success isn’t just about hours logged in front of the keyboard. It’s also about talent and creative ability, and what the audience wants at that point in time. Right now, Hyun-soo is producing creative stories that interest the audience, while Hong-ah took a bit longer to write something production-worthy. But even though Hong-ah finally won a contest, she’s so entrenched in her jealousy by now that she’s not capable of friendship with Hyun-soo anymore, even though she claims that’s what she wants.
I’m a little worried about all the mentions of Hyun-soo’s drama, Nice Soup Does Not Answer The Phone, having a sad ending. Temperature of Love doesn’t feel like a show that will end sadly, but every time someone mentions that Hyun-soo’s new drama may end sadly, I get scared. I’m taking heart from Hyun-soo’s assertion that she plans to change the ending to a happy one, so I’m going to hold her to that. Don’t make me go through all this just to watch Hyun-soo and Jung-sun break up in the end!
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