Temperature of Love: Episodes 25-26
This week’s episodes have felt like a lot of talk and very little action, so I can only hope that the show is building up to something, and that the pre-emption a few weeks ago is the reason that the timing feels off. At least the talking is productive, as is usual for this show, with battle lines being drawn and declarations of intent being issued. I only worry that not everyone is talking about the right things, and I hope that that doesn’t lead to more problems down the road.
EPISODE 25 RECAP
Jung-woo taunts Jung-sun, saying that Jung-sun can’t do anything for Hyun-soo while he can give her everything she wants. He sees Jung-sun’s clenched fist and pushes harder, urging him to punch him if he’s so angry. Against his better judgment, Jung-sun does exactly that.
The punch seems to upset Jung-sun more than Jung-woo, who says that Jung-sun finally seems human after acting so noble until now. Jung-woo leaves, and Jung-sun can’t hold back his angry tears.
When Jung-sun doesn’t come over after talking to Jung-woo, Hyun-soo grows worried. She calls him, sighing in relief when he says he’s at home, and asks if she can come to his place to talk. He’s gotten control of his emotions by the time she arrives, and he teases her for being in such a hurry.
He starts prepping to make soup as Hyun-soo tells him that she and Jung-woo were coming back from a meeting. Jung-sun mentions tightly that she smelled like alcohol, and she starts to explain that Joon-ha didn’t tell her that Jung-woo would be there. But she stops, muttering that she’s just trying to justify it.
In a deceptively casual voice, Jung-sun asks why Hyun-soo came home with Jung-woo if she went there with Joon-ha. He doesn’t answer when Hyun-soo asks if he’s jealous, giving himself away, but Hyun-soo just thinks it’s cute. She says there’s really nothing to tell, and asks what Jung-sun talked to Jung-woo about.
Jung-sun says it was nothing, then he accidentally slices his finger open, making Hyun-soo forget all about her question. She tries to fuss over him, but he pulls away from her and offers to make something simpler to eat. He’s smiling, but Hyun-soo can tell something is wrong.
We see that Jung-woo was bothered by tonight’s confrontation, as he thinks about Jung-sun’s previous faith in their friendship, and how he asked Jung-woo tonight if he even holds any affection for him. He stumbles home alone, remembering his desire to possess Hyun-soo’s faithful heart and her statement today that she doesn’t know if they should work together anymore.
Jung-sun’s behavior is still bothering Hyun-soo the following morning, as she goes for a jog. She ends up in Jung-woo’s office looking for answers, but he snaps that she must not be very smart if she doesn’t know what he and Jung-sun discussed. Hyun-soo replies that his tough attitude is attractive, just not to her.
He muses that she must be nervous if he’s already able to sway them so easily. Hyun-soo says that even if he sways her, she’ll find her way back, but that Jung-sun is different, and asks him to leave Jung-sun alone. Jung-woo calls Jung-sun weak and unstable, wondering out loud why Hyun-soo would fall for a man like that.
Keeping calm, Hyun-soo tells him that she did fall for Jung-sun, not just his appearance, but his spirit. Jung-woo accuses her of being mean, but she points out that being on good terms with both men would make things more difficult. Jung-woo says that she sounds like she thinks she has control over their relationships, but that would only work if he and Jung-sun were strangers.
He dismisses her to go home and work, and that finally makes Hyun-soo’s temper flare. She asks why he’s not trying to make money from her drama, because it’s wrong if he’s only working with her because of his feelings. She states that she won’t leave On Entertainment until she makes money for the company as she promised, so her drama will have a happy ending.
On her way out, Hyun-soo runs into Jung-sun’s mother, who just now learns that Hyun-soo also works for Jung-woo. She goes up to see Jung-woo, and even though she’s told that he’s busy, she barges into his office to ask why he’s letting Good Soup flounder.
He politely refuses to discuss it with her, but he does confirm it when she asks if Hyun-soo also works for him. She asks if there’s something going on between them, but he only smiles placidly and leaves for a meeting.
The Good Soup employees are feeling the pinch, wondering if they should start looking for other jobs. Soo-jung fields a scouting offer, which Min-ho overhears and passes along to the chefs. They in turn tell Won-joon, who looks alarmed.
When Jung-sun gets to work, Soo-jung pulls him aside to ask if he’d rather hire a regular waiter to do her job, and he tells her to take the other offer if it’s better. She says it’s not about going to a better restaurant, and heads back to work. Won-joon tells Jung-sun that she’s probably trying to lower their costs, but Jung-sun sighs that it would be worse to lose her.
Hyun-soo surprises her mother at work to discuss Jung-sun, saying that he’s in love with her. Her mother says that she could tell, but she warns Hyun-soo not to get married just because of her age. Hyun-soo giggles that they won’t get married right now, but she wants Jung-sun to feel assured that her family approves of him.
Mom asks if their relationship is so weak that it needs that, and if Jung-sun’s mother overpowers him. Mom says that Jung-woo likes Hyun-soo too, and that she likes him because he’s stable. She chides Hyun-soo for lacking practicality.
Jung-sun’s mother calls Hyun-soo right then to invite her to tea. Hyun-soo’s mom doesn’t like the way Jung-sun’s mom calls Hyun-soo when she and Jung-sun aren’t even married, but she doesn’t seem truly upset, and Hyun-soo just says that’s his mother’s charm.
Jung-sun’s mother is in a terrible mood, asking Hyun-soo grouchily about her relationship with Jung-woo and how long she’s known him. Hyun-soo says honestly that they’re close, though she admits that she only learned recently that he and Jung-sun are friends. Jung-sun’s mom asks if she’s aware that the guys’ recent fighting is because of her, and she can tell by Hyun-soo’s face that she knows.
Mom says that she feels backstabbed, then she suddenly begins talking about her marriage to Jung-sun’s father. She reveals that his family opposed them because she was two years older, and her husband was only 25. She says they were very much in love, but that he became violent after they were married.
She says that she was lonely and made some new friends, and lost money because of those relationships. Her husband lost trust in her and began having affairs. She calls Jung-sun a flower that bloomed in garbage, and says that she feels bad for him, but she’s too scared to live alone.
She asks if Hyun-soo can handle all that, and she’s surprised when Hyun-soo says that she can, because she loves Jung-sun with the kind of love that only comes once in a lifetime.
The Good Soup team is quiet during their break, so Jung-sun asks lightly if they’re worried about the restaurant. He tells them that worrying is his job, jokingly warning them not to overstep their bounds to lighten the mood a bit.
He meets with Jung-woo later, on a rooftop because Jung-woo likes high places. Jung-sun apologizes for hitting him, saying that the apology is for himself as well, since he’s spent his life suppressing his aggressive side because he didn’t want to live like his father. He blames Jung-woo for shaking up that part of himself.
But he also tells Jung-woo that he respects him and cares, and that he knows Jung-woo being angry at him is really Jung-woo being angry at himself. He says that their friendship is on trial, and that he wants to see it through to the end so that he knows the true nature of those he loves. Jung-woo never says a word, and they part ways in the elevator with one last look.
Hyun-soo returns home to find Joon-ha making ramyun, and he says sheepishly that he feels like this is his home, too. He tells Hyun-soo that Kyung is still asleep, and she asks if Joon-ha likes Kyung, earning a guilty grin.
Joon-ha lets Hyun-soo know that he sent their script to his station, but adds that he’s confused because Jung-woo sent Hong-ah’s script as well, knowing that they can only choose one. He asks her, seriously this time, why she can’t choose to be with Jung-woo and live a comfortable life. He says he loved like her once, but it didn’t last long.
She says she’s still going to try with Jung-sun and see it through to the end before deciding for herself. When Kyung finally wakes, Joon-ha offers her ramyun, but she says primly that she’s going to Good Soup for an interview, where handsome chefs will serve her fine food.
Jung-woo signs a contract with Director Min to work for his company and direct Hong-ah’s drama, and Director Min immediately says that her script needs changes. Ugh, not again. Hong-ah shows up and does exactly as Jung-woo predicted, putting Director Min in his place and informing him that she’ll kill him if he changes her script.
Later at Good Soup, Hong-ah finds Won-joon folding napkins with Soo-jung. Soo-jung stomps off when Hong-ah joins them, and Won-joon also gets up to leave. Hong-ah says that she knows he has a girlfriend now, but objects to his treatment of her after their years of friendship. He just blames his distracted mood on the restaurant’s difficulties. Hong-ah complains that Won-joon, Hyun-soo, Jung-sun, and Kyung are her only friends, but none of them is being supportive right now.
Jung-sun’s mother comes in looking for her son, and Won-joon is surprised when she greets Hong-ah, unaware that they knew each other. Jung-sun’s mother tells Hong-ah out of the blue that on second meeting, she seems like a complicated person and she doesn’t have the energy to talk to her right now.
Jung-sun comes home to find his mother waiting for him in his apartment, and he refuses to acknowledge her questions regarding Jung-woo. He doesn’t speak until she asks if he’s keeping quiet because of Hyun-soo, when he tells his mother that she works for Jung-woo and not to get the wrong idea.
When Hyun-soo arrives, Mom pointedly calls Hyun-soo quite diligent, but with a negative edge. Jung-sun asks his mom to leave, and she yells at him for treating her badly in front of Hyun-soo.
She informs Hyun-soo that she no longer likes her, then grows even more irritated when Hyun-soo maintains her manners. After she leaves, Jung-sun apologizes to Hyun-soo, but she says his mom’s mood changes are honest and cute. Seriously?
At a suggestion from the consultant that they bring in another chef to collaborate on new menu items for Good Soup, Jung-woo has his secretary make a reservation for himself and Chef Song, a three-star Michelin chef. Won-joon gets excited, but Jung-sun feels like something is up.
EPISODE 26 RECAP
The guys do their best to impress Chef Song, and Jung-sun waits nervously for the verdict. Chef Song loves the food, so he makes an offer to work on a menu with Jung-sun, which Jung-woo accepts. Won-joon sees Chef Song’s clean plate from a distance and he tells the kitchen that the food was a hit.
Jung-sun is called to the table, but instead of the expected compliments, Chef Song’s mention of helping with the menu has Jung-sun glaring at Jung-woo angrily. In private, Jung-sun objects to letting another chef create part of his menu, since he thinks their differing styles will clash on the plate. He tells Jung-woo firmly that he won’t agree to this.
Jung-woo pushes, saying that the restaurant is losing money because Jung-sun is too emotional. He tells Jung-sun to compromise and launch the menu Chef Song creates, and that the publicity will help. But Jung-sun says that he’ll buy out Jung-woo’s shares instead. Jung-woo reminds Jung-sun that he hasn’t been able to keep the restaurant open on his own, but Jung-sun fires back that Jung-woo hasn’t exactly been that much help.
That night, Jung-sun stands in the dining room of Good Soup, thinking, and the next day he goes to the bank. Despite his father forbidding him to sell the land he inherited from his grandparents, he applies for a loan using the land as collateral.
Joon-ha is called in to see CP Yoo, who tells him to direct Hong-ah’s drama, High Society, because he doesn’t like the idea of Director Min doing a new project so soon. Joon-ha objects, since he’s planning to direct Hyun-soo’s drama, but CP Yoo just says they’ll produce that one at a later time.
Upset, Joon-ha goes straight to Jung-woo, who surprises him by agreeing with CP Yoo’s plan. Joon-ha asks about Hyun-soo’s drama, but we don’t hear Jung-woo’s answer.
Unaware of the change in plans, Hong-ah and Director Min meet up to discuss her drama. But a call from CP Yoo alerts Hong-ah that she’s getting her wish to have Joon-ha direct her show, so she changes tack and tells Director Min that she just wants to get to know him better.
Jung-woo goes to CP Yoo, warning him that Hong-ah and Joon-ha won’t make a good team. CP Yoo suddenly asks if Jung-woo is dating Hyun-soo, but Jung-woo denies the rumor. He looks thoughtful when CP Yoo seems relieved that Jung-woo isn’t mixing business with personal feelings.
As she works on her script, Hong-ah is haunted by Soo-jung’s line, “Let me have this man.” She tells herself to stop changing her mind and snooping around, so she heads to the park, trying to convince herself that she’s happy alone. At one point she weakens and nearly calls Won-joon, but she stops herself.
He’s still at work, and when Hyun-soo and Kyung show up, he tells them sadly that Soo-jung quit. Soo-jung arrives to pick up her things, and Kyung is taken aback at how pretty she looks in her own clothes. She tells Hyun-soo that she didn’t accept another job, then takes her things and leaves.
Won-joon follows her out, upset that she quit without another job lined up, just to lower their labor costs at Good Soup. Soo-jung smiles to see how forlorn he looks, and he asks her to stay. She thinks for a moment, then she hands her things back to him, and they grin at each other happily. So cute.
Over coffee, Kyung tells Hyun-soo what she heard from the other chefs—that Good Soup is struggling financially, and that Jung-woo is threatening to withdraw his investment because Jung-sun won’t let him make any changes. Hyun-soo confronts Won-joon, who caves and tells her that Jung-sun is at the bank looking into a loan.
She’s still there when Jung-sun returns, but he’s too busy to talk. She asks if Jung-woo is being unfair, but Jung-sun admits that business-wise, Jung-woo is doing what’s right. He tells her not to worry, that he and Jung-woo have a relationship apart from her, and she relaxes.
Later, Jung-woo calls Hyun-soo and Joon-ha to his office, where Joon-ha vehemently objects to working on Hong-ah’s drama. Hyun-soo upsets him further by agreeing to do whatever the higher-ups decide, even if it means her drama doesn’t air for a while.
Jung-woo says that in that case, he’ll put Joon-ha on Hong-ah’s show, causing Joon-ha to storm out angrily. On her way out, Hyun-soo starts to ask Jung-woo about Good Soup, but she stops herself.
Jung-sun uses the excuse that Hyun-soo hasn’t interviewed him yet to talk her into going grocery shopping with him. He sets her loose in the store, buying her everything she wants, and Hyun-soo is thrilled to be doing something so mundane and normal together.
As they leave, they each try to carry the heaviest bag, dropping it in the process. Jung-sun snaps at Hyun-soo, momentarily showing the frustration he’s been trying to hide, but he quickly apologizes.
On another day, Jung-sun receives his land appraisal, and Won-joon asks if he truly intends to break his contract with Jung-woo. He asks what they’ll do if Jung-woo refuses, but Jung-sun believes that as a businessman, Jung-woo will see the wisdom in letting them buy him out.
But Won-joon reminds Jung-sun that Jung-woo has one very compelling reason not to agree: Hyun-soo. He says that if Jung-woo lets Jung-sun go, he can no longer control him, but Jung-sun doesn’t think Jung-woo will go that far. He adds that if Jung-woo turns out to be that kind of person, it’ll actually make things easier.
When Jung-sun goes to Jung-woo about breaking their contract, Jung-woo says that at Jung-sun’s age, all he thought about was making money. Jung-sun says that they just have different values, but Jung-woo says with some judgment in his voice that he’s just not desperate enough.
He asks how long Jung-sun thinks he’ll last, and Jung-sun says that regardless, he won’t be coming to Jung-woo for money again. With a heavy sigh, Jung-woo says that he hopes he never has to, because it’s going to hurt Jung-sun’s pride immensely.
He tells Jung-sun that like him, he also didn’t want to live like his father. But he adds that he loved his father, while Jung-sun doesn’t love his. Jung-woo says that Jung-sun doesn’t understand the difference, which is the thing that determines success and failure for a man. Jung-sun counters that he has the love that Jung-woo can’t have, and Jung-woo tells him to leave.
As he turns away, he says something that confuses Jung-sun: “You’ll be back. We don’t want this to drag on and embarrass you.”
Jung-sun finds Daniel and his mother having lunch at Good Soup, but he just bows shortly to Daniel and leaves without a word. Daniel pouts that Jung-sun looks down on him, and that he’s never even invited him to see his home when it’s right upstairs, not that he wants to see it anyway.
Jung-sun’s mother decides to rectify that and takes Daniel upstairs to Jung-sun’s place, unannounced. Daniel asks Jung-sun gently if things are hard at the restaurant, but Jung-sun just says it’s fine. When Daniel mentions that Jung-woo can help, Jung-sun says that he’s no longer connected to Good Soup.
Daniel is surprised, since Jung-woo always helped him with his exhibits. Jung-sun’s mom suddenly looks nervous, and when Jung-sun asks what exactly Jung-woo helped with, she says it’s nothing. Daniel agrees it’s not much… compared to how much he supported him when he was in France. Oh no.
There’s a long silence, then Jung-sun suddenly roars, “MOM!!” She tries to leave, but he grabs her arm, squeezing it painfully as he orders her to tell him if she asked Jung-woo for money. Daniel slinks out like a coward, but Jung-sun doesn’t even notice.
Shaking, he reminds his mother that he said the worst thing she could do to him would be to borrow money from people close to him. She actually blames Jung-sun for her having to go to Jung-woo for money, whining that she wouldn’t have done it if he’d given her money instead. Jung-sun screams, asking what kind of mother ruins her child’s life, but she just wails that this is what she’s like. She tries to calm him down, but he pushes her away and tells her to leave.
Once alone, Jung-sun shakes with rage as tears stream down his cheeks. He finally understands what Jung-woo meant when he said he would be back.
He’s calmer but still stunned when Hyun-soo calls him. Just seeing her name on his phone starts Jung-sun’s tears all over again, and hearing her voice reduces him to wracking sobs. Hyun-soo is horrified to hear him in so much pain, and she rushes to his place as fast as she can.
But when she gets there, he says that everything is fine, no sign of his tears as he goes to the kitchen to make tea. Hyun-soo can tell that something is terribly wrong, and she goes to him and wraps her arms around him, laying her cheek on his back.
“Let’s live together,” she says.
I can fully understand why Jung-sun was crying, and why he blew up at his mother that way. Just when he finally got free of Jung-woo and finally extricated himself from the control that Jung-woo keeps trying to exert over him using his money, he discovers that his mother has made it impossible for him to break free. It’s not bad enough that she stole his inheritance money, or that she’s a constant embarrassment to him, but now she’s locked him into a situation where he can never shake loose of Jung-woo’s clutches. Jung-sun just put up everything he owns as collateral to buy Jung-woo out of his restaurant, so there’s nothing left to pay Jung-woo back the money he gave his mother and Daniel for what sounds like years. The only thing Jung-sun can do is to make Good Soup successful and pay Jung-woo back, but that won’t be easy (not without compromising his standards) or he would have already done it. And even if that somehow magically happens, Jung-woo can still hold his power over his head until Jung-sun pays him back.
I can’t say I’m surprised that Jung-sun is pulling away from Hyun-soo recently, though it’s not for the exact reason I anticipated. I’m really very frustrated with him right now for letting Jung-woo get under his skin in regards to Hyun-soo and his relationship, when he knows that Jung-woo is doing it on purpose. Why is Jung-sun giving Jung-woo exactly what he wants? The problem with a character like Jung-sun is that we don’t easily know what he’s thinking, because he rarely tells us and he’s hard to read. After everything he and Hyun-soo went through to find each other again, and after waiting for so many years, I’m going to be furious if Jung-sun doesn’t put up more of a fight.
I don’t blame him for being afraid of his own anger, not after seeing the sort of father he grew up with and how it damaged his mother (she’s a whackjob all on her own, but being abused for years probably didn’t help). I can understand why Jung-sun does his best to clamp down on his temper when it flares, because he doesn’t want to be like his father. But I’m scared by the way he broke down so thoroughly, then a few minutes later he was back to pretending everything was fine. That’s not healthy, not for Jung-sun or for his relationship with Hyun-soo. He’s going to have to accept that anger is a part of being human, and that it’s not a lack of anger that makes him a better man than his father, but how he directs his anger. Like any weapon, anger can be a very useful tool if you know how to use it.
As for Hyun-soo, I worry that she’s being too naive about the situation, and going about trying to fix things in the wrong way. I think that she’s feeling Jung-sun pulling away and suggested living together as a way to bring them back together, but living together won’t solve the problem of Jung-woo trying to get between them, nor will it fix Jung-sun’s feelings of insecurity or the fact that he’s still under Jung-woo’s financial thumb. I believe that her wanting to move in together could even have the opposite effect, and push Jung-sun even further away by expecting more commitment than he’s ready to give to Hyun-soo right now—not that he doesn’t love her and isn’t committed to her and their relationship, but he’s very literally watching every part of his life fall apart right now. He’s not the type to jump into something like living together lightly even in the best of circumstances, so pushing for it now could get Hyun-soo the exact opposite result from what she’s hoping for as Jung-sun could very well retreat into his previously safe, comfortable isolation.
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