Greasy Melo: Episodes 9-12
This show isn’t called “melo” for nothing, as our characters face some difficult truths and struggle through the confusing and depressing feelings those truths evoke. Despite the heaviness, there’s still loads of the cute and wacky moments that make this drama so delightful. It’s an odd balance, to be sure. But then again, you sometimes need a little acidity to balance all the grease.
EPISODES 9-12 WEECAP
Poong tells Sae-woo that she should come by the restaurant tomorrow and be his first customer. He promises that he’ll cook her anything she wants. In the morning, he hunts around for his precious recipe book filled with notes he’s made over the years. Except that book was stolen by his ex-friend who became the new sous chef at Giant Hotel.
While Poong rummages through his bookcases, he finds an old medical textbook that belongs to Dal-hee. He doesn’t notice the ultrasound photo that falls out of it. Uh-oh.
The Giant Hotel staff have been trying in vain to remove a knife that Poong embedded in Seung-ryong’s door, back when Poong first discovered Dal-hee was cheating on him. It’s stuck like the sword in the stone, and no amount of strength will remove this culinary Excalibur.
Sae-woo calls Chil-sung to invite him to have breakfast with her at his restaurant. Even though Chil-sung was sound asleep when she called, he happily hurries around to get ready for his “date.”
Meanwhile, Poong with his new staff, Seol-ja and Geok-jung, prepare for their first day of business. There’s also Dong-shik, the one gangster Poong didn’t fire. Tthe rest of the gangsters glower at Dong-shik because he’s still working for Poong, but Chil-sung promises that he’ll make sure all the boys will get their jobs back soon.
First, though, he has to adorably wait for Sae-woo to arrive. Poong also anxiously waits for her. Sae-woo arrives, looking like a Spring bride as she carries a bouquet of flowers. Chil-sung practically blushes, thinking they’re for him, but instead she shoves them at Poong: “Congratulations! I hope your business flourishes!”
She then tells Chil-sung that she won’t be the general manager, and that he shouldn’t use his connections to help her again. Aw, poor sad Chil-sung, who retreats to his apartment and slowly picks up all the discarded clothes that he had deemed not perfect enough for a date with Sae-woo. The heart, it breaks.
Poong hands Sae-woo a menu and asks what she wants to order. She chirps that he promised to make her “anything,” so that’s what she wants — she trusts Poong to serve her what he thinks is best. As she cheerfully babbles about how great it would be to officially add an “anything” chef’s special option to the menu, you can almost see the little hearts growing in Poong’s eyes as he looks at her.
Poong decides to make seafood jajangmyun for Sae-woo — which means she finally gets to eat her jajangmyun! Whew!
It’s the first jajangmyun she’s had all year, and she eagerly gobbles up the bowl, much to the delight of Poong and his staff. Even perpetually-grumpy Dong-shik flashes a smile to see her joyfully slurping down his noodles.
The rest of the boys have bugged the private dining room and cooked up an excuse for Sae-woo and Chil-sung to be there alone, so that they can know exactly what’s going between Sae-woo and their boss. Sae-woo shows Chil-sung a photo of her with her husband. Hahahaha, of course her horse is in the middle of the photo, too.
Pffft, Chil-sung tries to avoid looking at it, and an exasperated Sae-woo demands to know why Chil-sung likes her, even though he knows it’s a one-sided love. She tries to tell him all her faults — she even farts in front of him. Repeatedly. OMG.
She finally admits that she’s starting to feel sorry for him, which makes her worried because then she might want to try and understand him. Sae-woo makes him pinky promise that he won’t fall in love with her. The boys listen to their secret recording of the meeting, feeling sorry for what their boss must be going through.
Later that night, JIN JUNG-HYE (Lee Mi-sook) arrives at the restaurant to apply for a job as waitstaff. She’s the kind of delicate, pampered woman who’s never worked hard a day of her life, and her claim to fame is winning a minor beauty pageant. She explains to Poong that the restaurant could use a former “Miss Onion” as a hostess since people will want to look at a beautiful face while they eat.
Poong points out that a restaurant is only as good as its food. However, he does offer the role as dishwasher, assuming she’ll refuse. Instead, with tears in her eyes, she accepts and says she’ll do her best.
Ohhhhh, apparently Seol-ja was the one who told Jung-hye about the job, and she and Geok-jung are happy Jung-hye got the job. It seems like they both used to work Jung-hye, based on the way they refer to her. They all promise to keep their connection to each other a secret from Poong.
Sae-woo is on her way to check on her horse (who is still going through chemo), when she gets a call from a mysterious woman who wants to meet her. The woman requests that Sae-woo get a divorce so that she can marry Oh-jik, Sae-woo’s missing husband (who still hasn’t talked to Sae-woo since the failed wedding, although he’s apparently been in contact with this new woman).
Meanwhile, Poong has found the ultrasound photo that fell out of Dal-hee’s book. He barges into Giant Hotel, angry and intent on finding out why Dal-hee had an abortion without discussing it with him. He yanks out the impossible-to-remove knife and then throws it towards Seung-ryong and Dal-hee (at least he warns them not to move so they don’t get hurt).
Poong wipes away his tears as he demands Dal-hee apologize. Seung-ryong has no idea what’s going on, but Dal-hee sees the crumpled ultrasound photo in Poong’s hand. Seung-ryong’s goonies drag Poong away and beat him up. Downstairs in the hotel lobby, Sae-woo cries over her own crumpled photograph — the one of her and Oh-jik (and the horse!).
The two of them dazedly make their way out of the hotel, and Sae-woo is shocked to see the bloodied Poong. Sae-woo starts to cry when she tells Poong that her husband isn’t answering any of her calls. Poong says they should go drink beer on the bridge, but Sae-soo blurts out that they should drink alcohol and have a fling instead.
That stops Poong in his tracks. He wonders if she likes him, but she points out that’s not important to have a fling. He agrees, but balks at the skinship, saying they could just enjoy each other’s presence instead. Suuuuure.
They both resolutely throw away their respective crumpled photographs, and head out of the hotel to start their “casual affair.” Sae-woo says they should go somewhere where they can get drunk first, and makes Poong promise that it’s just a one-night-stand, and that they’ll forget it ever happened.
As Sae-woo marvels that she’s “not that kind of woman,” they argue over the fact that they haven’t done anything yet. Poong suddenly leans in and kisses her just to prove that they have. She starts to cry, much to Poong’s consternation, and he backpedals. But she’s distracted by how beat-up his face is and starts inspecting him, telling him that his eyes look like her favorite treat: almonds.
He promises to make her an almond dish, which causes her eyes light up much more than the kiss did. That also seems to wake her up from the desire to have an affair. All she really wants right now is Poong’s almonds (no innuendo intended).
Embarrassed that she asked a married man to sleep with her, she slaps Poong, disappointed that he actually agreed to do it.
Poong demands to know what made Sae-woo go from giving wedding invitations to strangers, to suddenly wanting to jump of a bridge. Sae-woo tearfully explains that she must still love her husband, considering how much he’s made her cry. Poong admits that he must still love his wife, considering how much she’s made him angry.
It’s a rough night for everyone, apparently, because Sae-woo’s horse is sad that she forgot to visit him (since she got distracted by the mystery woman). But at least he has a pretty neighbor mare to keep him distracted — although his horsey heart forever belongs to Sae-woo. (Whose heart doesn’t, though?)
Chil-sung’s boys are doing their best to cheer their boss up (without letting on that they know that he just had his heart broken by Sae-woo). He’s still moping over Sae-woo, and Gum Granny (who has somehow joined their party), literally slaps some sense into him, reminding him he’s crazy to fall for a married woman.
Sae-woo is delighted to see her in-laws waiting for her when she gets home, until she realizes that they’re there to demand she sign divorce papers. They blame her for being the reason her son can’t return to Korea, but Oh-jik told them that if she signed the papers, she could keep the house. She signs the divorce papers, but refuses to stay in the house another night.
A drunken Chil-sung staggers out of the karaoke rooms and runs into Poong on his way home. Chil-sung’s happy to see Poong, and orders the younger man to drink with him. Chil-sung challenges Poong to an arm-wrestling contest, and the loser has to grant the wish of the winner. Chil-sung wins and makes Poong promise to use his boys as deliverymen.
They’re shocked to discover that Sae-woo at the table next to them — and also drunk. Hahaha, I love how Chil-sung does his I’m-attracted-to-you “Sneeze!” every time she drunkenly winks at him.
She has all of her suitcases with her because she’s now homeless. Poong’s the only sober one and tries corral the two stumbling drunks. They end up dragging Sae-woo — inside her suitcase — back to Chil-sung’s place.
Hahaha, they all fall asleep in Chil-sung’s bed. Aw, Chil-sung looks so happy to wake up with a smiling Sae-woo next to him. He even tries to stifle his “Sneeze!” to keep her from waking up. He’s still determined to give up his crush on her, though.
Later, Chil-sung runs into Seung-ryong at a car wash. Knowing Seung-ryong had Poong beaten up, Chil-sung warns Seung-ryong not to hurt Poong any more. You mess his chef, you mess with him. Chil-sung then beats up Seung-ryong as the car goes through the wash. At least he buys Seung-ryong ice cream afterwards.
Sae-woo drags her suitcases into her parents’ home and starts calling out: “Auntie! Oppa! Mom!” Who should come running out to greet her but Seol-ja, Geok-jung, and Jung-hye. They’re surprised that Sae-woo has returned home, but she just says she feels lonely without Oh-jik.
Sae-woo is shocked that her other got a job as a dishwasher at the restaurant. Seol-ja apologetically explains that they all wanted to find a way to stay in the house they’ve grown used to living in (Seol-ja as the cook, Geuk-jeong as the chauffeur, Jung-hye as the lady of the house), so they all got jobs and pooled their money to pay a few month’s rent.
Giant Hotel kitchen is busy as always, but the “Happy Wok” is totally empty. Perhaps it’s a good thing, because Poong can’t hold a wok with his broken hand, a fact he tries to hide from his staff.
Dal-hee stops by the restaurant to talk to Poong, and once she sees how hurt he is, she tells him he should go to a hospital. He ignores her, and she blurts out that she’s sorry for getting an abortion and not telling him about it.
She just didn’t think she could handle having a child, starting a new clinic, and getting married all at the same time. She’s also sorry she married Poong even though she no longer loved him. Poong says it’s over between them and Dal-hee shouldn’t come back to the restaurant
Sae-woo, who arrived at the restaurant in time to hear all this, later tells Poong they should go to the doctor to get his wrist checked. He distracts her by complaining about her winking habit when she’s drunk, which leads her to ask that they forget about the kiss and pretend last night never happened. She then asks if he’ll hire her as wait staff, but Poong dismisses her.
Poong finally accepts the fact that his wrist needs medical attention. It starts to pour buckets on his way home from the hospital, and Poong runs to the restaurant to awkwardly change out of his wet shirt. I’m assuming this scene is to show how it’s impossible for him to do simple tasks with his arm in a cast. Mmm-hmm.
Due to the rain, the restaurant is suddenly filled with a bunch of customers in the middle of a work outing who needed to find a last-minute place to relocate. Poong stares at the full restaurant in a panic, since he’s the only one there.
He sprints upstairs to find Chil-sung. Chil-sung’s also taken aback to see how many people are in the restaurant, but they didn’t need to worry about who was going to take orders because Sae-woo is there, proving that maybe Poong misjudged her as she effortlessly waits on the unexpected guests.
Poong sees this challenge as an opportunity to show off his amazing chef skills, and vows that he’ll fulfill every single order. Chil-sung is annoyed that he’s obviously still attracted to Sae-woo. Those “Sneeze!” outbursts don’t lie!
Poong flies into action, but he’s limited by how much he can do because of his cast. He tries to fulfill the complicated orders with some help from Sae-woo, while Chil-sung continues to take orders and serve alcohol.
Finally Poong realizes that it’s impossible to do everything the way he wants, and decides to make the menu simple instead. He tries to teach Sae-woo how to use the ladle while he controls the wok, but she accidentally spills oil on him, which catches on fire.
Poong yells for her to get away, but she suddenly runs at him to smother the flames with her body. As soon as their bodies touch, lighting flashes and thunder crashes outside. Sae-woo is worried that Poong is hurt because of her clumsy mistake, but he just stares at her. Poong: “What do I do now?”
Aw, I actually really like that Sae-woo is literally becoming Poong’s right-hand woman (’cause, y’know, his right hand is broken). Although I’m not sure if I’m ready to believe that she’s supposedly his “one true love,” if only because they both need some time to get over their failed marriages and rebound relationships seemed forever doomed. But I’m all for everyone working together and helping each other become the best that they can be.
I love that we’re finding out how everyone’s connected. No wonder Sae-woo loves food so much, if she’s had Seol-ja as her personal chef for the past decade. I’m such a sucker for people supporting each other as chosen families, so Seol-ja and Geok-jeun coming together to make sure Jin-hye still has a place to live makes me so happy. Now I want everyone to live at Jin-hye’s home and help her save it, while they all work at the restaurant (and save that, too!).
There’s surely enough room in that big house to fit not just Poong (because he won’t want to live in a place where he keeps thinking of Dal-hee, right?), but all the gangster boys. And Gum Granny, who must somehow be related to Jin-hye — perhaps a long-lost mother? Aunt? Sister? Chil-sung can come, too, but only if he brings his horse statue. Sae-woo’s horse could use a new neighbor!
My heart breaks a little for Chil-sung, though, because his crush is so real and pure and adorable, but you just know it’s going nowhere. He knows it, too, despite the fact he can’t seem to shake it. Sigh. Is there a way for the trio to live happily-ever-after together? Because that’s the solution I really want. Everyone together, forever, being happy in their quirky ways as they run the best jajangmyun shop in the country while forgetting all their emotional baggage.