Temperature of Love: Episodes 9-10
After time apart and with so many hurt feelings between them, Jung-sun and Hyun-soo have a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, they’re still at wildly varying temperatures when it comes to love, so it’s a good thing that neither of them is afraid to be honest. But even with both of them having realized their professional dreams, will they be able to agree on how they should conduct their personal lives?
EPISODE 9 RECAP
We backtrack to five years ago, right after Hyun-soo tells Hong-ah that she won the scriptwriting contest. Hong-ah dutifully congratulates her, but when they hang up, she calls Won-joon to come visit because she needs someone to take her anger out on.
He easily agrees, but she calls right back to yell at him for being too easy. Hong-ah changes her mind and says she wants to be alone because she lost the contest, and Won-joon says all the right supportive things, admitting that he’s trying to impress her.
Hong-ah goes to a club to dance out her frustration. Won-joon arrives to pick her up, and on their way out, he tells her that it’s no big deal to lose a writing contest because becoming a writer is difficult.
Hong-ah confesses that she’s more bothered by Hyun-soo winning than the fact that she herself lost. She says knowing that about herself makes her feel worse, and that makes her miserable.
As promised, Hyun-soo treats Hong-ah to lunch at Jung-sun’s former restaurant to celebrate becoming a real writer. Jung-woo arrives for lunch with CP Yoo and they stop to say hello to the ladies.
CP Yoo tells Hyun-soo that he liked her drama, and bids Jung-woo to treat her well when he learns that she signed with his agency. Jung-woo insists on paying for Hyun-soo’s table, so Hyun-soo promises to treat Hong-ah another time.
Hong-ah expresses envy that Hyun-soo is dating such a rich, powerful man, calling him the perfect prince. But Hyun-soo says she’s no Cinderella, and explains that Jung-woo isn’t her boyfriend—he’s just the first person to acknowledge her skills. She says she had no choice but to sign with him, but Hong-ah says that love often starts that way.
The mention of love reminds her of her trip to France to visit Jung-sun, when he’d told her that he was in love with Hyun-soo. She’d told him that Hyun-soo was dating a rich big-shot, but he’d taken the news in stride, assuming that someone as pretty and nice as Hyun-soo wouldn’t stay single for long.
Hong-ah had disagreed, thinking Hyun-soo plain and modest compared to herself. Jung-sun had teased her for her arrogance, saying that he’d never thought of her as pretty, and she’d surprised him by asking him to date her.
Jung-sun had told Hong-ah kindly that they have nothing in common and that he’s not the one for her, advising her to find someone who makes her heart race. Hong-ah had asked if he was turning her down because of Hyun-soo, even after learning she had a boyfriend, and Jung-sun had answered that just because Hyun-soo was dating didn’t mean that he should too.
Hong-ah had objected to how easily he’d rejected her without even thinking about it. Won-joon arrived back in the middle of this to announce that he’d decided to become a chef, and Hong-ah had snapped that making your dreams come true isn’t that easy.
As Hong-ah watches Hyun-soo’s first drama, Hyun-soo narrates in voiceover that she and Hong-ah shared a lot of time and feelings together, with the shared goal of becoming drama writers: “I loved Hong-ah. Why Hong-ah became hostile towards me, I don’t want to know. But even if I don’t want to know, there are things that reveal themselves when it is time.”
We pick up where we left off, with Hyun-soo and Jung-sun speaking to each other for the first time in five years outside Good Soup, Jung-sun’s new restaurant. When he reminds her that she didn’t pick up his last call, she says that she regretted it, and that it hurt. Jung-sun asks why, when she has a fancy boyfriend and a successful writing career.
Before Hyun-soo can formulate an answer, Jung-woo rejoins them and notes that they look like they’re having a lovers’ quarrel. He throws his arms around them, declaring that they’re his favorite man and favorite woman, and leads them into the restaurant.
Jung-woo and Hyun-soo sit to eat, and in the kitchen, the guys gossip about the CEO being here with a different woman. Maknae Min-ho asks who Jung-woo is, which just opens him up to more teasing from Won-joon and the other chefs. Jung-sun arrives, and Won-joon asks for a private word on the roof.
He’s curious about Jung-sun and Hyun-soo’s first conversation in years, and how she knows Jung-woo. Jung-sun assumes they have a working relationship, much like he does with Jung-woo. Jung-sun reminds him that she’s happy with a serious boyfriend and is probably getting married soon, and he needs to respect that.
Won-joon points out that that information came from Hong-ah, who said she rarely sees Hyun-soo anymore, so he urges Jung-sun to ask Hyun-soo himself. Jung-sun reminds his friend that Hyun-soo rejected him, and that they’re just each other’s pasts now, but he doesn’t deny it when Won-joon says he still has feelings for her.
Jung-sun says that his responsibility is to Good Soup and its employees, especially when they’re still performing at a deficit after eight months. Won-joon worries that Jung-woo will fire some employees if they still aren’t making money after a year. He thinks Jung-sun should go on TV to stir up interest, but Jung-sun doesn’t want attention for anything but his cooking.
Won-joon asks cheekily if Hyun-soo knows that Jung-sun agreed to be in her drama even though he feels this way. Jung-sun cuts him off and says that he only did it to be supportive, nothing more. Suuure.
Jung-sun sends Won-joon to his place to pick up some spices, and while Won-joon is there he sees a script for Unruly Detectives, Hyun-soo’s drama in progress. He flips through it and is surprised to see Hong-ah listed as an assistant writer.
Hong-ah is working late with fellow assistant writer Kyung, who offers her ramyun. Kyung complains that Hong-ah never cooks, calling her rich and spoiled, but Hong-ah sighs that in the end, they’re both lowly assistant writers, thinking herself more pathetic since she had more advantages to begin with. Won-joon calls and asks if she’s Hyun-soo’s assistant writer, and says they need to talk.
The first course is served at Good Soup, and Hyun-soo stiffens when Jung-woo asks the waitress to send out Jung-sun. As they eat, Jung-woo says that in the five years he’s known her, Hyun-soo hasn’t changed—she’s always happy even at rock bottom. She points out that she has to live.
She looks uncomfortable again when Jung-sun joins them, carefully avoiding looking at him while he and Jung-woo talk. She does say the food is delicious, then she grumbles when he responds in jondae, prompting him to quip, “You started it,” exactly the way he did when she first objected to his using banmal.
Once Jung-sun goes back to the kitchen, Jung-woo tries to talk to Hyun-soo about work, but she politely refuses to discuss anything other than her script. Jung-woo reminds her that there’s more to writing than just writing, but he adds that if she signs a lifetime contract with him, she won’t need to learn the business side of things because he’ll take care of all that.
Hong-ah meets with Won-joon on the roof where he shows her Hyun-soo’s script listing her as an assistant writer, and she begs him not to tell Jung-sun. Won-joon wants to know why she acted as if she never sees Hyun-soo, and why she made it sound as if Hyun-soo is getting married.
Hong-ah insists defensively that she didn’t hurt anyone, but Won-joon says he’s going to tell Jung-sun, out of respect for the way he and Hyun-soo used to feel for each other. Desperate, Hong-ah yells, “I was embarrassed!”
She tears up as she says that she failed at every writing contest she entered, so Hyun-soo offered her the assistant job, hoping that it would help if Hong-ah saw the process of making a drama. She asks tearfully how she was supposed to tell the man she wants that she’s a servant for the woman he used to love.
Won-joon looks crushed at that. Deeply disappointed, he turns and walks away from Hong-ah. She asks him to please pretend he doesn’t know, shamelessly reminding him, “You’re a fool for me.”
During dinner, Jung-woo gets a call from Joon-ha, who’s with Kyung. He tells Jung-woo that Director Min asked him to join the crew of Hyun-soo’s drama, which Jung-woo sees as a good thing since she could use the support. But then Joon-ha reveals that Director Min has brought on another writer, and he asks Jung-woo not to tell Hyun-soo yet.
At the end of the night, one of the cooks, Kyung-soo, wins a bet with the other cook, Ha-sung, when maknae Min-ho finishes off the work week without quitting. HA. Min-ho snags the money and tries to run, crashing into Hong-ah on her way into the kitchen with food for the whole crew.
Won-joon watches Hong-ah warily as she passes out the food and fails to flirt with Jung-sun. He doesn’t say anything though, as she asks Jung-sun for a favor.
Jung-woo offers Hyun-soo a ride home, but she says she’d rather walk. He trails her in his car, asking her to be less formal and call him oppa. She aegyos it at him, making him grin and tell her never to do that again, hee.
Jung-sun grants Hong-ah’s wish for some of his special tea blend to help her sleep, and she follows him into his apartment uninvited. She complains that Jung-sun isn’t nice to her, making him laugh as he hands over the tea.
He mentions that he saw Hyun-soo and asks why Hong-ah never talks about her anymore, wondering if they’re no longer close. Hong-ah says they don’t have the kind of relationship where things like “close” or “not close” matter, because they’re on the same path.
Jung-woo follows Hyun-soo on foot as she walks, and she takes him to the corner where she once discovered a pretty flower growing out of the wall. It’s still there now, and she’s just as captivated by it as before.
She tells Jung-woo that the flower is a fighter, saying that she sees it here every year, asking her, “Are you living well just like me?” She tells it, “Yes, I’m alive.” She makes the distinction between “living” and “alive,” preferring the latter.
Jung-woo leans one hand on the wall as he asks if that’s how she’s stayed so positive, reminding her of the time when Jung-sun did the exact same thing. Jung-woo snaps her out of her memories when he asks if he isn’t pretty awesome, staying so nice in front of the woman he confessed to five years ago.
She thanks him, and he asks if she’s thanking him for giving up his feelings, saying that it’s too soon for that. Hyun-soo says she’s thanking him for seeing her talent and trusting her, but Jung-woo complains that she’s drawing a line between them again. He asks when she’s going to stop, saying that he likes her as a woman, not a writer.
He jokes that all writers are crazy, and Hyun-soo jokes back that she’s crazy too. Jung-woo leans in very close and says he didn’t know that, but when she leans away, he just grins and backs up again.
Hyun-soo asks him what Joon-ha said, so Jung-woo reluctantly tells her that the director brought in another writer. When her face falls, he asks her to stay lively like her flower, but Hyun-soo responds, “It’s too difficult.”
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Before leaving work, Min-ho stops to tell Jung-sun that even though he’s working at Good Soup because he’s a fan of the chef, he can’t stay if he doesn’t earn a living because he has family to support. Jung-sun reassures him that he won’t let his restaurant fail.
At the same time, Kyung-soo finds Ha-sung in the kitchen practicing his knife skills. Kyung-soo offers to teach him, but Ha-sung tells him grumpily that he’s not all that just because he’s good with a knife. They’re such cute frenemies.
Jung-sun comes in next, and Ha-sung mentions that the Michelin Guide comes out in a month, which rates fine dining restaurants. He says that he came to work for Jung-sun because he believed the restaurant would receive a Michelin star. But he adds that if it doesn’t, then he won’t feel guilty about quitting.
Hyun-soo’s parents hang out in the park near her building, and Dad considers calling to get her lock code so they can wait inside, but Mom argues that they raised her to be independent, so they shouldn’t invade her privacy now. They hang back when they see Jung-woo dropping Hyun-soo off, then surprise her once he’s gone. She’s glad to see them, and they share a three-way hug.
Worried after two of his employees mentioned leaving, Jung-sun calls Jung-woo, who comes back to talk. When Jung-sun tells him of his concerns, Jung-woo agrees that they have four months before they have to make some hard decisions. He can tell that Jung-sun is considering going on the TV show he’s been offered, which would get the word out about Good Soup.
Hyun-soo’s parents tell her they read about her crashing her drama set. Her dad gets worked up thinking that if the normally calm, polite Hyun-soo made a fuss, then the director must have been really horrible.
Seeing her parents being so supportive makes Hyun-soo tear up, which makes Mom cry. Even Dad gets choked up as he tells Hyun-soo that she can cry as much as she wants in front of them, because that’s what family is for. They insist on staying the night with her and surround her as she has a good cry. Hyun-soo narrates that even though she was crying about work, all she could think of was a certain man.
In the morning, she jogs near Good Soup and sees Jung-sun driving past. She yells until he stops, and asks if he has time to talk. She follows him to the kitchen and right into the walk-in cooler, deliberately closing the door behind her.
As Jung-sun puts away the seafood he brought, Hyun-soo repeats his question of why she was hurting and regretful when she has such a great job and boyfriend. She clarifies that there’s no boyfriend, and Jung-sun seems relieved, though he doesn’t reveal where he heard it.
Hyun-soo asks why he didn’t just call and ask her directly, and he fires back that she wasn’t answering his calls. She says that there was something happening when he’d called her from the airport, but Jung-sun says that people still answer even when things are happening, “Because trust is more important.”
He walks to Hyun-soo and stands just inches away, asking if she’s not cold. She tells him not to be nice because it makes her feel good, then asks hopefully if they’re locked in since the door is closed, saying that it happens all the time in dramas. Jung-sun leans in close… closer… then reaches behind her and opens the door. Heh.
Neither of them moves, and Jung-sun notes that Hyun-soo seems disappointed that they aren’t locked in. She says again that there’s no boyfriend and asks if Jung-sun has a girlfriend, and he says he doesn’t.
Still only inches apart, Hyun-soo asks if Jung-sun was mad that she didn’t answer his final call, but he says he’s never once been mad at her. He asks if they can leave now, so Hyun-soo steps aside to let him step past her.
They head up to the roof, where Jung-sun asks why she has time to be in his neighborhood when her show isn’t doing well. She says that she thought that things would change when she achieved her dreams, but that her life is exactly the same before and after. She repeats that she was hurt and felt regret because she gave up so much for that dream.
She tells Jung-sun that she actually lives in this neighborhood, and that she was hoping to run into him so she could apologize. Jung-sun’s face grows hard, and he tells her that he understood her then, and he still understands her now.
He tells Hyun-soo firmly that he became the chef he wanted to be, and that Good Soup is all he thinks about now. He says she shouldn’t worry about the past anymore, and that they should be faithful to their own lives. Oh, ouch.
Incredulous, Hyun-soo asks if he understands what she meant when she said she regretted not answering his call. Jung-sun says he does, then turns the question on her, asking if she understands when he says that he only wants to think of his restaurant.
When she asks if this is a rejection, Jung-sun says yes, he’s rejecting her. He seems amused at her shock, but he makes it clear that one apology can’t erase the years of hurt he felt. She accuses him of holding a grudge, and he bites back that she’s beating dead horse, leaving her gaping at him.
Jung-sun tells her that he’s a real man, not a fantasy who will accept anything she does. Hyun-soo has to admit that he’s right but grumbles at his attitude, and Jung-sun says a bit sadly that that’s why she should have accepted him when he loved her and confessed.
He offers to make her breakfast, but Hyun-soo tells him that if he’s going to reject her, to do it cleanly. He asks if that’s what she really wants, and she squeaks out a tiny, “No.”
Kyung calls to tell Hyun-soo that the next script has been posted online, even though they haven’t sent it in yet, proving that a new writer has been hired. As Hyun-soo trots off, Jung-sun calls out that she looks excited when she hops like that, and she turns to say that she is excited, because he hasn’t rejected her for good.
She runs into Won-joon downstairs, and she’s glad to hear that he’s following his real dream of being a chef. She asks him to send her Jung-sun’s number before leaving, promising to get together later.
Jung-sun’s mother goes to see Jung-woo, bringing him a brochure of her boyfriend Daniel’s new gallery show in the hopes that he’ll purchase a painting. He’s not interested, but offers to send a gift for the art show instead. She’s shameless about asking for his support, and then asks him not to tell Jung-sun about it.
Hyun-soo learns from Kyung that not only is the new writer on her show Writer Park’s assistant, Soo-young, but that Writer Park will be “proofreading.” She calls the director to meet, and he lies that the uploaded script was a mistake.
She’s a step ahead of him, and she shows up at Writer Park’s studio unannounced, scaring all three of them half to death. Writer Park is particularly freaked out, and puts on a big show of telling Director Min that she’s uncomfortable and won’t help him under these circumstances.
He calls her script worthless anyway and storms out. Writer Park tries to slither out of talking to Hyun-soo, but Hyun-soo coolly reminds her that Writer Park once called her evil. She says that she was upset back then because she was good and hardworking and sincerely wished Writer Park well, but now she says that she was right—she is evil—and sweetly promises to badmouth Writer Park as much as possible from now on.
Jung-sun is embarrassed when his restaurant starts to attract women interested in the handsome young chef. But they love the food and even send back their plates with messages written in the sauces, which Won-joon and the cooks find hilarious and take pictures of for posterity.
To celebrate his decision to go on the TV show, Jung-sun takes them all out for a run as a team exercise after work. He makes them all run barefoot in the cold, and he cheats terribly, but they all have a great time anyway.
Hyun-soo lingers nearby as Director Min and CP Yoo argue about which script to use. Director Min doesn’t like the new one, but he dislikes Hyun-soo in general, and he grumbles that he should just write it himself. CP Yoo accuses Director Min of being difficult to make himself seem more valuable, begging him to work with Hyun-soo, who is a good writer.
Fed up with listening to Director Min’s negative comments about her, Hyun-soo calmly walks over to where the men are fighting about her. She tells CP Yoo that she has something to say to him in front of Director Min: “Please find me a new director.”
Director Min roars at her, but she just says serenely, “At least I don’t backstab people, like you.”
I really love the dynamic between Hyun-soo and Jung-sun now that we’re in the present time; it’s everything I hoped it would be.The age difference is much less prominent, leveling out the power imbalance and giving Jung-sun a bit more of a leg to stand on. Neither of them is shying away from their feelings, and they’ve both gone out of their way to let the other know that there’s still something there. But Jung-sun is wary now… he’s not the open-hearted boy he was five years ago, and he’s not about to make this easy for Hyun-soo. She’s going to have to work for it, which is only fair, since she made him work for it when they first met and she still rejected him multiple times.
It’s not that I think Hyun-soo deserves to suffer, it’s just that I think she took Jung-sun’s feelings too lightly when they originally met. She considered him too young to know what he was feeling, so she didn’t see him as someone who would stick around. Plus, she had her own very serious problems to focus on, so I don’t blame her for the choice she made. I do think she’s regretted it for five years, and that now she knows the value of what she let go. But I also think that if Jung-sun lets her back in too quickly, Hyun-soo might see him as too “easy” again, and we know she doesn’t value things that come too easily. So his reticence to open himself up to her again is actually a good thing, because Hyun-soo needs to see Jung-sun’s love as something to work for, not something to be handed to her without any difficulty.
My favorite thing about all of these characters is their constant, brutal honesty with each other. I love that Jung-sun basically told Hyun-soo that he’s been miserable, and he’s resentful, and he doesn’t want to get hurt like that again. But his vehemence also shows how much he still cares and fears that he’s still in love with her (not to mention his insistence on not dating, even when he thought she was). Jung-woo is just as honest with Hyun-soo—he doesn’t overwhelm her with his feelings but he lets her know that he hasn’t given up on her yet. And Hyun-soo tells them both how she feels without sugarcoating it, even when it’s hard to say and harder to hear.
And that’s what makes Hong-ah so frustrating, because she’s on the opposite side of the spectrum—no matter how honest anyone is with her, she never seems to hear what they’re saying. Even when Jung-sun says straight out that he doesn’t like her and he never will, she just keeps trying. It’s toddler logic, to think that all she has to do is say it enough times and he’ll change his mind.
Her conversation with Won-joon on the roof was so typical—he was upset and hurt that she’s been lying about her relationship with Hyun-soo and spreading rumors about her in the attempt to keep Jung-sun away from her, but Hong-ah just kept talking about wanting to be a writer, missing the point entirely even when Won-joon spelled it out for her. She’s so caught up in her own re-written narrative that makes her into the poor, maligned heroine that she doesn’t listen to him at all when he tries to explain that it’s not about her humble job as an assistant writer, but the constant lying. And speaking of Won-joon, I was so proud of him, because as much as he likes Hong-ah, he’s not blind to her faults. When she let him down, he told her so and walked away from her. He’s much too good for her.
I like the way this drama plays with time, now that we’ve caught up to the present. Each episode begins by going back to flesh out a few scenes from the previous episode, giving us a bit more insight before moving forward again. And I even like how this is done with scenes from the past that we’ve already seen, such as that conversation in Paris between Jung-sun and Hong-ah—seeing her reaction to his reaction to Hyun-soo having a boyfriend tells us that her resentment for Hyun-soo goes back further than we thought. Somehow the show manages to weave the past and the present in a way that’s more clever than just a flashback to what we’ve already seen. The flashbacks actually give us more to work with, more knowledge about the characters and why they’re behaving as they are in the present. It’s not that it’s a particularly innovative approach, but it’s very refreshing in a genre that often overplays flashbacks without adding anything new.
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