Chocolate: Episode 4
Our neurosurgeon and chef are tied together even more after another tragic event but instead of becoming closer, they’re careful to stay out of one another’s lives. Finally ready to return to her life in Greece, painful memories from our protagonist’s past resurface, proving that her connection to her first love is stronger than she ever suspected. When he reenters her life in the most unexpected way, what does it mean for our plagued pair?
EPISODE 4 RECAP
After paying her respects to Min-sung, Cha-young boards a bus with her suitcase. In her seat, Cha-young pulls out a letter that Min-sung’s fiancé handed her at the funeral hall, “Min-sung… asked me to make sure to give this to whoever brought the dumpling stew.”
With a deep breath, Cha-young opens the letter at the same time that we see Kang fishing in the spot where Min-sung waited for him in vain. As rain clouds gather overhead, Cha-young reads, “You went to Greece because of Kang, didn’t you? The Peter Pan from your childhood you always talked about. Kang is that boy, isn’t he?”
In a flashback to the night that she and Kang watched the movie, Cha-young ran out during dinner with Min-sung, convinced that she left her wallet in the theater. Min-sung found the missing wallet on the floor and pulled out a blurry photo of the two of them with a clear shot of a smiling Kang in the background.
In his letter, Min-sung confesses that he found that photo and Cha-young finds it in the envelope. Cha-young cries as she reads on, “Kang and I are going fishing today. I’m going to tell him…That you remembered and waited for him for many years.”
Min-sung’s letter closes with his apology, “I’m sorry. You couldn’t be with him because of me. This time, don’t let him go anywhere.” Tears fall down Cha-young’s face when she reads Min-sung’s final words, “Take good care of Kang.”
When a taxi pulls up to the lake, Cha-young gets out in the pouring rain. She walks out to the spot where Kang sits to let him know that she did make dumpling stew for Min-sung. Her message delivered, Cha-young walks away but she has to stop when her grief overwhelms her and as she sobs, Kang weeps silently.
From the funeral hall, Min-sung’s father texts Kang that he shouldn’t keep his friend waiting. It’s dark by the time Kang returns to his car, a black suit waiting for him in the back seat.
As he drives away, Kang sees Cha-young walking on the side of the road so he stops. He gets out and loads Cha-young’s suitcase into his trunk after explaining that she won’t be able to find a taxi out there.
While Kang drives, Cha-young asks him to drop her off wherever she can get a taxi. Kang asks if she’s returning to Greece and when Cha-young confirms that she is, he confesses, “I hope we never meet again.”
Unable to stay awake and after swerving more than once, Kang pulls over at a rest stop and turns on his emergency lights, explaining, “Let’s stop here for a moment.” When he falls asleep, Cha-young stares at Kang and remembers drunkenly confessing to Min-sung, “I call him Peter Pan…my first love. I met him again when I got older…and he made my heart flutter. Although he didn’t even recognize me.”
Tears escape Kang’s eyes even as he sleeps and when Cha-young reaches out to wipe them away, he wakes up. While Kang and Cha-young stare at each other, his car is hit from behind. As the car spins, Cha-young flashes back to finding herself half-buried in the rubble of the department store collapse. When she wondered out loud if she was dead, a woman nearby assured her, “…you’re alive.”
Kang’s car comes to a stop as we hear that the woman urged the young Cha-young, “Let’s get out of here alive, okay?” When the driver of the truck that hit Kang’s car sees that no one is around, he drives away. Kang eventually opens his eyes and after seeing Cha-young’s injuries, he starts his car and speeds away.
In spite of his own injuries, Kang carries Cha-young into the closest hospital and recognizes the doctor on duty. When they study Cha-young’s X-rays together, Kang asks why neurosurgery hasn’t shown up yet and is told that there hasn’t been a neurosurgeon on staff for a year.
With the closest neurosurgery department an hour away, Kang decides to operate on Cha-young himself. Ignoring his own head injury, Kang locks himself in a treatment room to staple closed the gash in his side while the on-duty doctor calls Joon.
Kang limps into the OR where Cha-young is already on the table. In another flashback to the building collapse, after Cha-young learned that the woman talking to her was named Jung Su-hui (Kang’s mother), she admitted that she was feeling sleepy. Su-hui ignored her own pain to reach as far as she could to pass the girl a piece of chocolate.
As Kang operates, we see that Su-hui told Cha-young that she bought the chocolate for her son before admitting, “I don’t think I’ll make it.” Su-hui encouraged Cha-young, “…you must hold out until help arrives. Eat the chocolate and get out of here alive…” When Cha-young tried to get a look at Su-hui, more of the building collapsed.
After Kang successfully completes the surgery on Cha-young’s head injury, he steps out of the OR and finds that his side is bleeding heavily. Joon shows up just as Kang loses consciousness and collapses.
When Joon steps into the OR and sees Kang on the table, he remembers the time that Kang took over his surgery because Joon didn’t prioritize saving his patient’s life. Joon glances over at the CT scan of Kang’s brain and even from a distance, he can see a huge blood clot.
A year later, Cha-young opens her eyes in the waiting room at Geosung Hospital and insists that she doesn’t recognize Tae-hyun. When she claims that she doesn’t have any family, Tae-hyun reminds Cha-young that he’s her younger brother and that there’s also their mother.
Cha-young manages to escape her brother when she’s called in to see Joon. Seeing no medical reason for Cha-young’s selective amnesia, Joon refers her to psychiatry and is surprised when she blurts out that her brother didn’t contact her for 10 months.
Cha-young explains that her mother took Tae-hyun when she ran away from creditors but abandoned her 12 year-old daughter at a department store. Even though Cha-young never heard from her mother again, Tae-hyun reentered her life 15 years later.
Hoping never to see her brother again, Cha-young begs Joon to help with her ruse. Suddenly embarrassed, Cha-young gets up to leave but Joon stops her to ask why she’s never inquired about Kang, “Is it because you want nothing to do with him until you die? Like your brother?”
We find a fully recovered Kang with a room full of interns, explaining that a steady hand is needed in order to properly draw arterial blood. As he points a syringe at an intern’s arm, Kang experiences a slight tremor in his right hand. When the tremor passes, Kang is able to successfully obtain a bright red blood sample.
Cha-young walks to Kang’s office while narrating that he returned to work that very day. Aware that a thank you is long overdue, Cha-young raises her hand to knock on Kang’s door. Cha-young changes her mind and walks away while confessing that she can’t face Kang while she still has feelings for him.
On the walk from the hospital, Cha-young stops to help a woman knocked down by a bicyclist. Kang’s car stops at that same corner but all he can see is Cha-young’s back.
In a voiceover, Cha-young announces that she’s returning to Greece in a month. Remembering Kang’s wish that they never meet again, Cha-young promises to thank Kang when her feelings for him are gone. Kang’s car drives away as Cha-young begs, “Don’t fall sick. Don’t get hurt. Please stay happy.”
At the hospital, Joon’s mother finds her husband and informs him that Kang is on his way to the hospital with the wife of Chairman Seo. Even though Kang found the woman when she collapsed, Hye-mi wants Joon to perform her surgery to better his chances of becoming the chairman’s son-in-law.
At the Ajumma’s restaurant, King’s Table, Cha-young records a video explaining that she just booked her flight to Greece. Cha-young proceeds to record herself making one of the restaurant’s signature dishes in case Ajumma forgets the recipe.
Just as Cha-young finishes the video, two brothers argue over Ajumma’s promise to make banana rice cakes. Ajumma has no idea what they’re talking about and Cha-young watches sadly as she escapes to the kitchen while one of the boys wails loudly. Cha-young finds Ajumma and gently reminds her that she made banana rice cakes during Cha-young’s recovery.
Joon and his parents sit with the chairman and his daughter in the gallery as Kang prepares to operate. Joon looks worried when the chairman asks for assurances that Kang is up to the task but he says nothing as his father insists that Kang is their best doctor.
Kang’s tremor returns in the middle of the surgery, more severe than before. After Joon’s father sends Joon into the OR to replace Kang, he does his best to calm the upset chairman. A shaken Kang leaves the OR, alarmed by the sustained tremor in his hand.
The young boy who’d begged for banana rice cake, Ji-yong, arrives at the hospital by ambulance as his older brother cries for him to wake up. After hearing about Ji-yong’s emergency, Cha-young arrives at Geosung Hospital and is immediately blamed by his grandmother for causing the boy’s crisis by feeding him banana rice cakes.
Joon’s parents can hardly contain their joy as Joon successfully completes the surgery on the chairman’s wife. Meanwhile, Cha-young is cursed at and knocked to the floor for making an already very sick Ji-yong worse, just as Kang witnesses the commotion.
As Kang restrains the out-of-control grandmother while calling for security, Cha-young sees him and remains on the floor, her hair hiding her face. Kang returns the shoe that Cha-young lost during the scuffle and when she doesn’t move, he walks away. In a voiceover, Cha-young confesses, “I’d like to change my wish. I hope we never meet until the day we die.”
At Ajumma’s restaurant, an angry Cha-young throws Tae-hyun against a wall after learning about his latest scheme. Cha-young runs to stop Ajumma from taking any of the fake Alzheimer’s drug that Tae-hyun sold her, promising to pay her back.
In his office, Kang sees the CT scans of his brain and makes a beeline for Joon’s office. After he accuses Joon of trying to kill him, Kang learns that he missed his own “golden time” when he chose to save Cha-young.
By the time that Joon was able to operate on Kang, the best that he could do was save his cousin’s life. Kang argues that all he had to do was remove the hematoma but Joon shouts his insistence that he made the right call. When Kang leaves Joon’s office, he gets a text informing him that he’s just been transferred to Geosung Hospice.
In the hospice kitchen, Cha-young smiles as she makes banana rice cakes, unaware that Tae-hyun is cheating Ajumma and some of the hospice patients out of their money while playing cards.
When Cha-young serves her rice cakes, she catches Tae-hyun switching a card with one hidden up his sleeve. Cha-young informs his victims that Tae-hyun’s been cheating and she stops him before he can escape with his winnings. As the women deal with Tae-hyun, a smiling Ji-yong, who’s now a patient at the hospice, runs in to ask Cha-young, “Did you forget mine?”
Cha-yong sits outside with Ji-yong as he eats his banana rice cakes. When asked about his brother, Ji-yong explains that both Min-yong and his grandmother are embarrassed since it wasn’t the banana rice cakes that made him sick.
The brave boy promises Cha-young, “I’m not going to die early. I’m going to live until I’m ten years old.” Oh no. Cha-young urges him to aim for 100 just as a girl runs up and reminds Ji-yong that their friends are waiting. As he runs off to play, Ji-young asks if Cha-young can be included in their game.
Cha-young and the kids run through the hospital looking for places to hide as Ji-yong counts down with a song about love, “One…two…three…four, I love you, five, I’m going to tell you today, six, the fact that we met among the six billion people on earth, seven, shows that we’re really lucky.”
Cha-young hides in a closet in an office as Ji-yong sings, “I love you. Don’t go around flirting with others. Just focus only on me.” She smiles in anticipation as Ji-yong finds the others but he ends up forgetting all about Cha-young.
When Kang arrives at the hospice, he’s greeted warmly by Min-sung’s father and a couple of nurses. As the sun sets, Cha-young is still in the closet after falling asleep. When some workers nearby use a jackhammer, the sound triggers a nightmare. Kang opens the door to his new office just as Cha-young wakes up and is flooded with memories of the building collapse.
When Kang opens the closet, Cha-young can’t see him clearly. She wraps her arms around Kang and murmurs, “Someone is alive down there. Help,” before going limp.
So Min-sung learned about Cha-young’s feelings for Kang way sooner that I expected, thanks to her habit of losing her wallet. Even though he knew, Min-sung still hoped that Cha-young would stay with him and after they broke up and she escaped to Greece, he couldn’t bring himself to tell Kang about their childhood connection. As he approached the end of his life, Min-sung wanted to make up for his unknowing interference by bringing Kang and Cha-young together but in another of countless missed opportunities, Kang didn’t show up and Min-sung ran out of time.
Even though Min-sung’s poignant letter proves that he wanted his ex-girlfriend and best friend to be together, Cha-young has accepted that a relationship with Kang must not be meant to be. She says nothing when Kang tells her that he hopes that they never meet again, only allowing herself a brief unguarded moment with her sleeping first love just before they’re hit by the truck of doom. And just like that, Cha-young becomes indebted to the one man that she can’t bear to face again and Kang’s life is shattered for the umpteenth time.
All of the tragedy that befell Kang and Cha-young in this hour was pretty extreme, but it succeeded in finally bringing them together at the hospice. After a year of no contact, Cha-young literally falls into Kang’s arms after suffering an episode of PTSD connected to the building collapse that killed Kang’s mother. Enduring such a traumatic accident at such a young age is bad enough, but we learned that Cha-young was abandoned at that department store by her mother. At this point, I don’t know who I feel more sorry for, the injured and abandoned Cha-young or the orphaned Kang who was raised by the grandmother who openly hated his kind mother.
Because Jung Su-hui was unbelievably kind, doing her best to instill a ferocious will to live in a young girl in spite of her own serious injuries and fears that she wasn’t going to survive. Her final hours were spent consoling Cha-young and even feeding her by enduring incredible pain to pass her the chocolate that she’d picked up for Kang. As terribly as the world has treated both Kang and Cha-young, they have Su-hui and Min-sung cheering them on from the great beyond. And perhaps someone much closer?
I’m talking about Joon, who perceptively picked up that Cha-young has been intentionally avoiding the cousin who curiously sacrificed his “golden hour” to save her. Kang can’t sense it, but Joon cares a great deal for him because so far, he’s traveled to Libya to say goodbye and came running when he got the call that his cousin was seriously injured. I’m tired of seeing these two shove each other around. I want them to finally be honest with each other so that they can be reconciled and have an honest to goodness healthy relationship, in spite of their hateful grandmother and Joon’s greedy parents.
With Kang now assigned to the hospice, it’s time to get to know the patients, especially that cute Ji-yong. His song was prophetic and I have a feeling that he’s going to be instrumental in breaking down the walls between Kang and Cha-young. I just hope that he doesn’t have to die but Chocolate hasn’t hesitated to pile on one tragedy after another so I’m steeling myself for whatever lies ahead.
- Premiere Watch: People With Flaws, Chocolate
- Yoon Kye-sang and Ha Ji-won begin a romantic journey in Greece for JTBC’s Chocolate
- First teaser for JTBC’s Chocolate with Ha Ji-won, Yoon Kye-sang
- Jang Seung-jo confirms JTBC drama Chocolate with Ha Ji-won, Yoon Kye-sang
- Ha Ji-won, Yoon Kye-sang up for JTBC melo Chocolate