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Average user rating 4.4
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Greasy Melo: Episodes 31-34

Now that the battle of hearts is won, it’s time to focus on the battle of the kitchens. The honor of Hungry Wok is put on the line as it faces its final showdown with Giant Hotel. Will David finally beat Goliath, once and for all, leading to sweet victory? Or will there only be salty tears of defeat?

 
EPISODES 31-34 WEECAP

Poong reveals that he knows all about Sae-woo’s family working for him. But Seol-ja comes out of hiding (along with the stunned Maeng-dal, who has only heard of the familial connection just now) and is more determined to confront Poong and Sae-woo for secretly dating. Seol-ja insists that the couple should break up, especially since she knows how Jung-hye would react if she found out.

But Sae-woo and Poong have no desire to stop dating. Seol-ja remains loyal to Jung-hye, for whom she’s worked the past twenty years, and tells Poong that if he won’t break up with Sae-woo, then he’ll have to find a new kitchen staff since she and Geok-jung won’t be returning to Happy Wok.

In the morning, Chil-sung and his boys set up camp in Giant hotel, exercising their right to protest. They only take up the space allotted to them, and they’re quiet and respectful, so the security team has no real excuse to call the police or kick them out. But they’re still a hindrance as the spectacle causes guests to think twice about staying there.

Chil-sung receives word that Seung-ryong is planning to sell the hotel restaurant to someone else and use that money to pay off the loan that currently gives the gangster’s the right to protest. But the hotel is useless without its restaurant, so Chil-sung makes an offer to Seung-ryong: Poong and Master Wang have a cooking battle, and the winner gets the hotel (including the restaurant).

Seung-ryong agrees, but only if Chil-sung closes Hungry Wok if Poong loses. Chil-sung is confident that Poong will win so he accepts the conditions. The protesting gangsters leave the hotel under a temporary truce until the cooking competition.

Ha, Poong’s been nervously sitting in his car outside Sae-woo’s house all night. The family are just waking up and getting ready for the day when Poong rings the doorbell, and they’re all astonished to see him walk in. But Jung-hye is even more shocked when he greets her politely and calls her “mother.”

Jung-hye’s surprises keep coming when Poong calmly states that he’s dating Sae-woo, and that he’ll continue to date her no matter how much Jung-hye tries to forbid it. He asks for her blessing and tells them all not to be late to work. Then he leaves as they all stare wide-eyed at him (and Sae-woo tries to hide her smile).

Jung-hye is determined that her family will have nothing to do with Poong, and warns them that if they go to work at Hungry Wok, then they’re no longer a part of her household. Sae-woo tries to talk sense into her mother, reminding her that they’re currently broke with no idea of when Dad will be released from jail, and considering their situation, Jung-hye should be happy her daughter is able to find a decent guy who loves her.

Despite being short-staffed, Hungry Wok is hopping during the lunch rush. Poong has to simplify the menu so that the gangster-chefs can handle the demand, but it’s still as delicious as ever.

One of the customers is none other than Ms. Veterinarian, and as Chil-sung rushes around taking orders and serving tables, she greets him cheerfully. He’s polite but doesn’t remember who she is, which irritates her ’cause she’s clearly got a crush on him. She tells him her name and warns him not to forget it.

Finally the day is over and Poong can relax. He and Chil-sung sit on the patio with their beers and Chil-sung tells him about the bet over the hotel. Poong immediately worries about what will happen if he loses, but Chil-sung is confident that Poong will win. Besides, if they lose, then they can go to some small country town and make a new life there, and Chil-sung will live happily-ever-after eating Poong’s food. It sounds like an adorable (and hilariously romantic) dream.

Poong panics due to the pressure and insists that he can’t do it. If he loses, then Chil-sung loses everything, too, which means that their friendship would be destroyed as well. Poong couldn’t handle being alienated from his hyung. So it’s better to not try than face the risk of losing.

Chil-sung asks how Poong is able to make Sae-woo happy with that kind of attitude, which stops Poong in his tracks. Chil-sung says he knows all about the two of them, and Poong suddenly agrees to do the competition. Not for Sae-woo, who will love him no matter what, but for Chil-sung. Aw, is it because he realizes that he’s already taken away one thing Chil-sung loves, so he can’t do it again to Chil-sung’s building?

As Poong and Master Wang decide on the details of the competition, Chil-sung tells Sae-woo that he met with her father. Chil-sung has also been able to find witnesses who will testify that her father was framed, so Dad should be released from jail soon. Sae-woo is overwhelmed with joy and hugs Chil-sung, who so clearly wants to hug her back but manages to keep his arms at his side. Aw.

Sae-woo promises to keep it a secret from her family until the release is official, but she’s so overjoyed that she can’t hide it when she sees Poong at the restaurant.

He’s in the middle of practicing his competition dish, but he doesn’t complain about a little exuberant make-out session.

Sae-woo worries about how he’s managing without Seol-ja and Geok-jung, and Poong says he’ll find a way, but he really needs her and Seol-ja for the competition. They realize that they could convince Seol-ja to sneak out by using Maeng-dal as bait. Seol-ja totally falls for it, thinking she’s going to be having a drink with Maeng-dal, but really Poong is there to ask her to come back.

He shows her the lobster dish he’s created for the competition, and most of the technique relies on her skills of de-shelling. Without her, Poong won’t be able to finish in time. Despite being drawn in by the complexity of the dish, Seol-ja knows that if she agrees, she might not ever see Jung-hye again. It’s a tough decision for her.

The morning of the cooking competition arrives and Jung-hye refuses to let Seol-ja or Sae-woo leave. But Poong is still confident his staff will arrive, even though they’re not there when the timer begins for the first dish.

The competition is an Iron Chef style battle, where there are two rounds that focus on an ingredient each chef has selected (Poong chooses lobster for the first round and Master Wang chooses pork belly for the second). 100 guests will taste the dishes and then choose which one they like best. The winner is declared by who gets the most total votes.

Poong does his best to hurry through his lobster shucking, even though he’s fully aware that it’s next-to impossible for him to cook and shell all the lobsters by himself. Master Wang is not surprised that Poong’s support crew isn’t with him, and for good reason — even if Jung-hye weren’t being stubborn, the “Crooked” gangster and his guys are lying in wait to prevent Seol-ja from getting to the competition.

Thankfully, Maeng-dal and Sae-woo manage to convince Seol-ja to hurry to the hotel, but once they park, they’re boxed in by the gangsters and they can’t get out of the car. Poong has no one to help him, much to Master Wang’s smirking satisfaction.

With help from Geok-jung, Seol-ja and Sae-woo are able to escape and run to the banquet room, where they’re too late to help Poong, but he’s somehow managed to put out enough dishes. Whew. Unfortunately, his haste means that the lobster isn’t as delicious as it could have been, and so 75 out of the 100 votes go to Maser Wang. Boo.

But Seol-ja and Sae-woo are ready to assist for the pork belly challenge. How hard can it be to convince 76 out of 100 people to vote for Poong’s second dish?

Master Wang realizes that they’re running out of time and decides to minimize a few steps, but that comes back to haunt him when his dish turns out to be inedible (despite his flashy showmanship, something he once threatened to fire Poong for).

Which means Poong is the clear winner! Yay!

This also means that exactly one year after he walked out of the hotel, Poong’s revenge is complete. As he and Sae-woo celebrate the victory, Poong worries that his new responsibility as head chef at Giant Hotel will make it difficult for them to see each other. But Sae-woo says that she plans to follow him to the hotel kitchen.

She still wants to cook by his side, even though with her father being released from prison, she will no longer need to work to make money. Poong is worried that Sae-woo will start to hate him, since running a huge hotel kitchen means he’ll be even tougher than before.

As Poong settles into his new kitchen, the sneaky sous chef Sam-sun submits his letter of resignation. He won’t work for Poong, but Poong points out that since everyone knows that Sam-sun stole Poong’s recipe book, Sam-sun will have a hard time finding another job. Besides, Poong knows that Sam-sun is skilled so he’s content to keep Sam-sun as his sous chef.

Meanwhile, Chil-sung has been worried that he hasn’t seen his mother for awhile. He goes to her house, but she’s not there, and finds a note that she went away on a trip and that Chil-sung shouldn’t go looking for her. Even so, Chil-sung thinks it strange that she’s suddenly disappeared, and ultimately discovers that she’s in the hospital. Gum Granny has cancer.

The gangsters and Sae-woo are thrilled to be working in the hotel kitchen, even though they’re all low in the pecking order. Geok-jung and Seol-ja, alas, aren’t there, but that’s because they’re still trying to convince Jung-hye and her husband to let them work at the hotel.

Sae-woo is Sam-sun’s assistant, so her tasks are to mostly run around fetching ingredients for him, but she keeps making mistakes and Sam-sun yells at her. He doesn’t tell her what she did wrong, just that she’s wrong. He’s a total ass about it, and Sae-woo’s near tears, despite her best efforts to hold it all in and remain professional.

Poong’s watching his new staff carefully and is fully aware of how Sae-woo is struggling, and finally steps in to tell her exactly what she’s doing wrong and what she should do to fix it. Poong sounds gruff, but it’s actually compassionate so that Sae-woo can learn how to fix her mistakes. It’s also a warning to Sae-woo to let her know that it won’t be easy working for him.

But it’s difficult for Poong to remain neutral when watching Sam-sun being purposefully obnoxious to Sae-woo. It doesn’t help when he gets a call from Sae-woo’s father, who asks Poong to fire Sae-woo.

Sae-woo’s exhausted after a full day of being the put-upon kitchen maknae and is too tired to stand. Poong reminds her that kitchen life is tough, but then offers to give her a piggyback ride. She thinks his offer to let her stay overnight at the hotel means there’s a night duty room for the crew to crash in, but it’s actually Poong’s private room that he gets as part of his head chef perks.

Poong deposits her on the bed and starts to leave, but then returns and helps her brush her teeth and tuck her in. He clearly doesn’t want to leave her, but she’s already half-asleep. As he carefully tries taking off her chef’s jacket, she sleepily asks if this a dream. Unlike at the hospital, this time Poong tells her it’s very, very real. Then he adds, “Sleep with me.”

 
COMMENTS

Oh, Poong-ah, what are you doing? I realize that you are in love and want some sexy fun times, especially after refusing Sae-woo’s advances for so long, but Sae-woo’s barely conscious! Leave the exhausted woman alone! C’mon Poong, be the quality gentleman that Chil-sung believes you to be.

While I appreciate that the show isn’t afraid to make it clear that Sae-woo and her family were being disingenuous with their lies, I’m really tired of Jung-hye’s hate for Poong. I was particularly baffled when she visited him after the competition to continue her endless complaint that he should break up with Sae-woo because he’s not good enough for their family. I could reasonably understand her fear before the competition because she’s the kind of person who believes that money is everything. I may not agree with her, but I can at least understand where she’s coming from.

But once Poong became the head chef of a Michelin-star restaurant, you’d think she’d realize that money is no longer going to be an issue. It made her argument sound even more vapid and annoying, and made me even less receptive in my attempt to appreciate her worry about losing her staff to Poong.

I’m still irritated that Seol-ja and Geok-jung are currently accepting their fate. Sure, maybe it’s hard to abandon someone you’ve been loyal to for twenty years and who took you in when no one else did, but c’mon Seol-ja, you could be helping run the top restaurant in the city! Master Wang should be begging you for a job! I’m hoping everyone will come to their senses next week because Poong’s kitchen just isn’t the same without all of the Hungry Wok family being a part of it.

I love you show, but stop awkwardly trying to create conflict! Especially with the new threat of Dad wanting to please his wife by making sure his daughter isn’t working for Poong. Sae-woo’s father may love his wife, but he seems like too much of a teddy bear. Sae-woo’s got him wrapped around her finger and I’m hoping she convinces Dad that Mom is acting ridiculous and needs to seriously chill, get over the petty hate for Poong, let Seol-ja and Geok-jung work at the hotel while still being a part of the family, and everyone will be happy.

Well, almost everyone. I’m still unsure about Chil-sung’s fate. He just found his mother but now he might be losing to her cancer. No hotel, however Giant, can possibly fill the hole that would leave. Not even one shaped like Ms. Veterinarian (who is trying way too hard to fit into the narrative, but maybe I’m just being overly protective of my favorite squishy gangster-with-a-heart-of-gold). Hopefully, despite having “melo” in the title, there can be a happy ending for everyone. Hey, if Buster can be successfully treated for cancer, then surely Gum Granny can be, too.

 
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I could nitpick these episodes (and will no doubt do so at some point) but I really love Poong and Sae-woo and I love their relationship and I think I swooned about 15 times.

Regardless of some things*, this show still makes me smile.

*Nearly nitpicked, stopped myself.

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It makes me happy as I watch, so I'll forgive the some things*.

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Agree 100%! They both make me smile brighter than VP & SK oops!😝

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Am I the only one who didn't feel as enthusiastic about Poong and his crew working at Finishing Touch? What I really love about Hungry Wok is that it's always more than just a mere workplace for all the crew. It feels like a second home, and there's something so welcoming in its atmosphere. While from Finishing Touch, all I get is a sense of accomplishment and success, and that's not enough for me. That restaurant is certainly Poong's kitchen now, but it didn't feel like one. And is that really a bad idea if Poong choose to continue working at Hungry Work and growing it into a big restaurant instead of taking his prize? I really miss that little chinese restaurant with all its shenanigans and band of misfit crew.

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No, you are not the only one. Was sad coz even with Poong winning, Hungry Wok is pretty much closed anyway. Kinda thought Poong might be running two kitchens but is it even possible..?
That restaurant in the middle of country sounds like a good option now...

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why not they let maeng dal and seol ja run hungry wok as a branch of finishing touch that specializes in jangjangmyun

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Me too. The hotel kitchen is too big and sterile and the dining room is ugly, really. I'll miss those two nutty red figures inside the front door of Hungry Wok, the ones that are always facing in different directions and wearing hats and stuff. But I guess it will be ok if Chil Sung is running the whole hotel. *Giggle* what a ridiculous idea.
And anyway, like he could even do that without the rest of the gangsters! They have to come out of the kitchen!

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Poong taking over Finishing Touch was not what I thought his end-goal was. I was a bit surprised and confused the show suddenly opted for Conquest over Fusion as a fulfilment of his journey from the Shadows into the Light.

Retrospectively, Fusion is hardly a Nietzchian so I probably shouldn't be surprised???

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@smaltwalt and I have been having a conversation about Nietzsche versus fusion in this show for the last few days if anyone's interested.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/leetennant/activity/544908/?nid=1044966&nidwpc=548560#acomment-548560

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Same! I miss Hungry Wok, and SP's mission to make really good food at an affordable price was really admirable and it's too bad that he'll be dropping that. I doubt they could maintain those prices at the hotel kitchen. Also, is it just me or does being head chef at the hotel kitchen seem awfully boring? You just stand around all day and don't even get to cook! I suppose he can develop his menus but he could do that at Hungry Wok too... >.>

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Honestly I hope by the end of the show Poong realises that being head chef at the hotel isn't what he wants and that he's much happier being the head chef at some small establishment where he could experiment to his heart's content. He's a chef not a manager, and it looks a lot like being Head Chef at Finishing Touch is more about managing, which is understandable considering the scale of their restaurant, but will he truly be happy not creating? SW's parents can suck it lmao, she'll be much happier cooking next to him anyway.

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I was hoping Poong would win the contest and then say "Thanks but no thanks" and stay at Hungry Wok. He's talented and determined, but he still has some things to learn, and I liked the idea of him building something of his own. I get that career and money-wise the Finishing Touch is the better move, but darn it, I wanted it to be about food, family and serving people from all walks of life.

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I think it can be explained that Poong's loyalty to CS, who risked everything for P's revenge. CS needs Poong to run the hotel kitchen and get luxury customers to pay for his $3 million investment.

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I agree and wonder if at some point he won't like being there and instead chooses to open a small restaurant and take the gangster family with him. To me, that would be the best option.
But it just doesn't seem right to be back in that big kitchen and Poong is going to realize it soon as well.

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I'm pretty sure he meant literally sleep with him lol, but the show framed it ambiguously on purpose just to create a cliffhanger. Since his initial plan was to piggyback her to her car, but meh. We'll see how it goes next week.

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Noooooo let me live with the fantasy 😜!

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If he meant 'sleep', he would hardly have been begging her not to fall asleep. He did not mean 'sleep'. At least in the literal meaning of the word.

I hope this makes you feel better.

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😘 gosh, I love logic! Thank you very kamsa!

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Hahaha plus that fire in his eyes was pretty unmistakable... as much as I swooned when he asked her (seriously, THAT VOICE) I agree with the recap, I wish the writer hadn't chosen to make this happen when SW is clearly so exhausted. At least he did ask for her consent and she looks like she nodded yes...?

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I was super conflicted by this too. She could barely keep her eyes open but I did swoon when he asked her to “sleep” with him. I liked that he was conflicted about it too and I liked that he asked her. I’m so done with sudden kisses or forced kisses nowadays. I like how adult Saewoo and Poong’s relationship is.

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The gangsters proudly showing off their positions even though they're all clearly at the bottom of the food chain was adorable as heck lol. I miss Hungry Wok too, but it's really cute too see them so proud at finally having real jobs with name tags and everything. Seopoong and Saewoo's chemistry continues to be wonderful, I may have swooned a couple of times. I love Junho's ability to be romantic without making things cheesy as hell, so instead of making me cringe I end up swooning lol. Ryeowon is also such a natural partner and says her lines so nonchalantly, it really makes me want to see them partner up again in another drama that has more meat than this one lol.

The conflicts in this drama are contrived, especially Saewoo's parents but I've accepted that the writer's not even trying to attempt some whip smart writing. She's just trying to make a makjang comedy and contrived conflicts are the backbone of makjang after all. Chilpoong has my heart in here, especially this week. That they both decided on this challenge with each other in mind is truly the most romantic thing about WOL lol. Chilsung wants to make sure his dongsaeng gets the revenge he deserves, and Poong laid everything on the line just bc he didn't want to let his hyung down. Such sappy romantics the both of them lol. Junho and Janghyuk don't get many scenes together, but they definitely slay them. Also, the way Junho stared at Janghyuk when he realised he won was romance worthy lol.

I'm glad the show got more enjoyable as it went on, and the episodes this week were a lot of fun. Here's to hoping that the show can keep the momentum until the end.

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But makjang was what this show was specifically not. I wonder if the hiatus created a problem with some people's contracts or the sets (but then they lost an episode?) because this felt like it was written by somebody else or that something happened to make them radically course-correct.

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Idk, I always thought comedic makjang was what the show was aiming for, hence the ridiculous plotlines and tangled relationships. They've definitely revamped somewhat tho, but I feel like that actually made the storyline tighter. I'm pretty sure they cut an episode because of schedule. Junho's in the middle of his summer tour, and this week alone he has 4 shows, so I don't think he could accommodate another episode after the World Cup changes.

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I guess I see makjang as ridiculous pointless elements designed solely to cover a lack of plot with drama. And I felt that everything that happened before this episode had a narrative and character point.
If it makes sense, I felt its purposeful use of melodramatic elements made it subvert makjang.

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"I love you show, but stop awkwardly trying to create conflict!" >>> Agree so much! I'm so tired of undeserving idiots given power over other people's life instead of the spanking they should get. Whiny mom is super annoying and dad is apparently no better. And the thiefing chef, omg, why does he even get a second chance? He was unrepentant and if he has to steal to cook and fail at the simple task of ridding the smell off the pork, is he even a good chef to learn from? I almost rage-quit watching this drama but realise there's only a week left so might as well just finish it...
At least Chil-seong is still awesome as always. His total trust in Poong is amazing, and loved his getup for the competition ^^

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I so hoped the thiefing chef would get his ass kicked by Dong Shik now that they're working in the same kitchen. Would he really just be fine working with the guy who slept with his wife? Yet another indication this writer is phoning it in

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O_O have really forgotten about Dong-shik's wife and her affair! Spouses (and horses) in this drama sure disappear conveniently...
There's still time, Dong-shik really shud get his revenge as well.

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Now that Dad is home and going to object to Poong, let's just take him and Mom, knock their two heads together and leave them in a walk-in cooler until Dad wakes up and makes Mom see sense.

Ridiculous! When Dad was in jail, he was ready to fix Sae Woo up with a stranger who he only knew was a loan shark, hello?

And furthermore, because Dad is out of jail now, Sae Woo doesn't need to have a(ny) job, wth? (She has a Masters degree from the States for why, exactly?) *stomps off indignantly on behalf of all girls*

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I mean, what was her Master's in? Equestrian?

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We never did find that out, maybe Mom even made it up.
Future MRS.?

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It was probably in French or something. I think Korean and Chinese parents often buy their children expensive foreign degrees because it reflects well upon their family. Hell, she probably lists it and English fluency as a skill in her daughter's Marriage Date Profile.

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Did not mean to imply that French is a useless degree! Ergh, sometimes I should think before I type.

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Yes! Why did she have to work in the kitchen in the first place??? Not that I am saying people who work in the kitchen are not worthy. But couldn’t she have utilised her degree for a job that she COULD do??

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I think Saewoo wants to work in the kitchen because she finally found something she’s passionate about and was getting good at. Working in Hungry Wok gave the gangsters, Saewoo, SeolJa and GeolJung purpose. They allude to this in several places. SJ and GJ when they ask SW’s parents permission to leave, the gangsters showing off their positions, etc.
SW and Poong’s conversation about how hard it is at a giant hotel and how difficult it is for a woman to be a FirePart also showed how determined Saewoo is to be in the kitchen (and not just Poong’s kitchen).

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This really upset me, too. A) because we were supposed to feel bad when Sae-woo was dumped by a husband whose parents thought she wasn't good enough, but now her parents are doing the same to someone else; and B) because Sae-woo is in her thirties, but her parents are acting like she is 15; and C) her dad hasn't even met Poong, and he's seriously indebted to Poong's hyung for his freedom. He could still be sitting in jail, and his family could have lost their house and be living on the streets if not for Chil-sung and Poong. This whole storyline is just disgusting.

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Right! Rich Korean parents live in a time warp? If Dad is this stupid, he deserves to have gone to jail for being swindled 😤

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Lol! Couldn’t agree more!!!

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The dude is a head chef of a top restaurant, parents! Just shut up and sit down! This is becoming too stupid! Ugh! I hate how this show has gone downhill.

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Maybe because I’ve have similar experience with parents being unreasonable and interfering in the lives of adult children the plot line doesn’t seem to unrealistic or unreasonable to me.

In fact, I like how Saewoo and Poong are still going strong. Yes they make sacrifices and small adjustments (Poong apologizing Saewoo lying and hiding things) but I understand the motivation. But they really haven’t been noble idiots. They are still dating and Saewoo is still working in the kitchen. I really appreciate that SW and Poong are honest with each other for the most part and live their lives while deciding how best to keep their (annoying and childish) parents happy.

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True. But in this instance it truly doesn’t make sense. He is not some peddler that her parents should dislike. He is the head chef of a successful restaurant. AND she is 33 years old!!! No parent should interfere in divorced adult children’s lives! What are they planning to find for her this time? It is just unreasonable that all!

All I want now is to see Chil Soong be happy. That’s the only reason why I am watching the show! Sorry rant over 😋

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Thanks for your perspective. It's hard for me to see that Sae Woo doesn't just say BACK OFF MOM, let's take a realistic look at your world, review reality, and then have things fall into place. But in my family we just would do that until someone caves in 😉

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When the show started, it was a little offbeat, with the talking horse, and the gangster, bride, and groom meeting in a hair salon -- and then they changed writers, and now we seem to be going down the safe and predictable path. No more horse, but a cute kitten who doesn't talk, and our team wins the fights, and outdated parents oppose the love match.... The bad guys are still around, but no one's in danger. Safe and boring.

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Exactly! Where is the horse??? That scene of her wearing the mask and walking her horse along in the city was one of the reasons I got excited about the show! Ugh so disappointed!

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Did they change writers? I said it felt like a different writer but I didn't know they had actually changed.

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They did. Sorry no one told you, you were right!

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Oh, that explains everything. So the first writer was Jealousy Incarnate right? Who's this one?

This writer can't cope with the chaotic elements and that's why they've streamlined it using standard kdrama plotlines.

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@leetennant
Why, NO! It appears not, at least I haven't been able to find where I thought the writer change was discussed. Guessing I confused it with the writer change on Sec Kim? But maybe @lindag has the details.

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Oh, maybe I'm confused too. But it sure feels like a different writer. Maybe they just clamped down on the writer and made her rewrite the script in a more conventional way after the first few episodes. Otherwise, why would she forget the horse? And what about those cute little vignettes they had at the beginning of each episode? Also gone.

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@lindag
Even the best writer can't fight against network interference. So maybe this is just a case of them being overriden. I find it hard to believe this was their original plan for the show.

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It's 2 am and I finally caught up on this show. Ughgg, I must admit Sae Woo and Poong are disgustingly adorable. I hate that I love them, but my goodness, they have good chemistry. Spoiled mom has got to go and I'll hold judgement on dad. She is the worst especially because she thinks she is above Poong somehow, meanwhile the rich guy she set Sae Woo up with wasn't up to par. That being said Sae Woo seems to want to be a chef, I say let her regardless of her Master's degree. Show up those boys and Poong frankly, Fighting Unni.

As for Chil-Seong, it is like we are watching two different dramas. I am here for the vet crushing hard on him, because he needs the most loving in this drama.

Back to spoiled mom, I refuse to say her name. She better let Seoul-ja and Geok-jung be great. How rude that she won't let them work in the kitchen when she doesn't actually need them. So selfish. Ughgh

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I nearly screenshot that awful monologue of hers for the fan wall with the caption "Mum Being the F'ing Worst" but didn't want to watch it more than once. That whole self-centred, narcissistic, martyrdom schtick drove me bananas.

"Oh, don't worry about me. I'll just go and live in a hovel by myself."

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Right. To be fair all the people around her have enabled her. However, hopefully they break free and she grows the hell up. Usually, I get annoyed when Poong is rude to the staff, but she was the only one not improving or even trying to improve. Annoying.

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I wonder how much of it is cultural. Korean culture seems to be very hierarchical. I was annoyed with the way Mom was reacting to SeolJa and GeokJung’s request but Dad enabling mom was even worse.
The enablers are the worst in my opinion and Dad calling Poong and asking him to fire Saewoo mad me see red. Interfering with your adult daughter’s life but still looking like the good guy is just bad form! Unfortunately I do know people like that in real life who make other do their dirty work!

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Unless Mom went through, basically, the worst parts of the Korean War (or The Holocaust) little can justify the way she's coddled. And she's not old enough for that. What, she just never got over not making it to Miss Korea? You'd think she had lived a hard life like Gum Granny!

Although it's still fishy that she and Gum Granny look identical, maybe there's still more story there. Mom will finally have to cave in when she's exposed as having been born poor as Granny's sister, something like that?

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I agree that Chil Seong need all the love and I appreciate the writer's attempt to get him someone, I am just not feeling the vet for some reason.

Maybe because it's so obvious she is there for that purpose. I don't know, it feels a bit forced.

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This is fair. But I want him to have love regardless, even if the character is 2-dimensional.

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Same. :D Chil Seong deserves all the love.

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Best line : "No hotel, however Giant, can possibly fill the hole that would leave. "

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Chil Sung is just tragic. Every episode I think, how much can this sweet man take? I know he wanted stable, normal jobs for the gangsters but now they'll be in the hotel kitchen all day and out of his constant orbit, he'll be so lonely. They better get Gum Granny well, step up the Vet and make CS a natural at hotelier-ing, that's all I'm saying 😒
Because he has the heart of an ox and he needs some ❤️ back.

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I did not understand the logic of these episodes as far as Chil -sung vs Giant Hotel- The bet made no sense because you lose even if you win: You may own the Restaurant but you do not own the hotel. Restaurant and Hotel depend upon each other- which means you now have an interest in your enemy succeeding. Didn’t you want to take Seung-ryong down, not build them up. If Chil-sung had lost the bet then he would have also lost the contractor’s lien- which is his real weapon. It is mis-represented as a ‘right to protest’, but that is actually backwards- because such a lien is a possessory one the protest is how you prove that you have not abandoned your lien. But that is not how it becomes a weapon for Chil-sung. That kind of lien has an extremely high priority- which means that if the property is being sold in an insolvency proceeding Chil-sung is standing first in line ahead of the other creditors. If you want to take down the current ownership of Giant Hotel you do not do it through a cooking contest. Instead you immediately file a lawsuit seeking to recover the construction costs from Giant Hotel- and asserting your lien, requesting that Giant Hotel be put into a receivership so that you can recover your money. Of course, Chil-sung would be legally required to give notice of his legal action to Giant Hotel’s other creditors- who would be forced to take immediate action. This would not take months or years- it would take about 24hours before insolvency proceedings were in place- and teams of forensic auditors would be combing Giant Hotels books and other records. Seug-ryong, his father and their nefarious minions would immediately be wiped out financially. To actually take control Chil-sung would have to convince the other creditors- but something like that was always going to be true because he does not have the funds to buy Giant Hotel outright. We have already seen an example of an involuntary insolvency n this story- this is exactly what happened (financially) to Sae-woo’s father in the first episodes.
On the other hand, I loved the re-appearance of Beautiful Patient-Ms Veterinarian. Chil-sung may say that he doesn’t remember her but she remembers him and he is who she wants- and so he is a marked man. When he refused to remember she was remarkably forceful (but not rude or impolite) in telling him to remember her name- and she makes darn sure that he knows it. She has just shown us that she is the strong woman that Chil-sung really needs. Sae-woo could never have been a good match for him- this lady is. Chil-sung may not know it yet, but he is one lucky man, whether he likes it or not.

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Re the lien: I can only assume they had to find a way to wrap things up because they lost an episode. I'm sure the plot wasn't supposed to be that rushed or to wrap up so many threads in such an anti-climax.

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That may explain a number of things

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you, my friend, deserve a slow clap.

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I am here for the bromance between Junho and Jang Hyuk. That stare and that hug after winning the competition. *swoon*

Also swoony is the leads' relationship. Can I say how much I appreciate finally watching a real grown-up relationship in a kdrama? All other rom-com kdramas portray their leads as 30s virgins falling in love for the first time and we are somehow supposed to believe that. And while there is some anxiety and nervousness due to any new relationship, Poong and Sae Woo are still comfortable flirting, touching each other and making out on kitchen counters (and sleeping together - maybe/possibly).

Call me heartless, but I want Sae Woo's parents to end up alone at the end of the serie with no one to blame but themselves.

"You can't leave. Who is going to take care of my meals?" - Sae Woo's mom. My eyes rolled so far back, I caught a glimpse of my brain.

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The writer of this drama always tend to have mature relationships between her OTPs. My most favorite among her OTPs is from her drama, Miss Korea. I lovelovelove the character development and the maturity of both leads so this drama crawled its way to one of my top 10 favorite dramas of all time (the only romcom in my list). Also my favorite female lead because Miss Korea really represents girl power. Lol. And having Lee Sun Gyun play the male lead is a bigbig plus for me. So I was really hyped knowing that she wrote this drama and Jang Hyuk and Jun Ho was in it.

But I hate to say this...this drama is her worst writing.. The cliche of having parents disagree to their relationship is so childish that I wanted to drop it. But I'm still here for Jang Hyuk and Jun Ho so I must persevere into finishing this. Hahaha

Regardless of all my complaints with this drama, I still find it enjoyable to watch because of Jang Hyuk and the bromance. I hope Doo Chil Sung will have a happy ending. Because he is the character who is most deserving of happiness.

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The writing in this show is definitely its weakest link, which is surprising considering that the writer seems to have made quite a good name for herself. I swear half the time it doesn't even feel like she's trying to make a good drama lol. It makes me feel bad for the actors because they're all acting so well but the material is so flimsy. The performances are truly what's holding this show together. I sincerely wish this isn't Junho's last drama before enlisting, it's such a waste of his capabilities lol.

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I still can't believe how shallow the conflict is for the drama's OTP. It's so shallow and childish that I roll my eyes everytime it's brought up. I mean, how immature and annoying can they make DSW's parents? The reason of disagreeing to their relationship is so...... Oh my god. Im just gonna stop.. haha. It's starting to irritate me again. Lol..

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You'd think the dad had learned a thing or two from his stint in prison lol, but apparently he still only sees status and money like his wife. It's a miracle their daughter turned out a decent person, even if she was a little vapid at the beginning of the drama. But the worst is how they treat SJ and GJ, like they clearly only see them as the help, which made me feel a little bad for them since they feel like they're part of the family. Wake up and smell the coffee dudes, the delusional rich couple will never see you as their equal smh.

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Show, I love your main leads ( kitten and horse included) but your story- not so much.

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Sae Woo looked pretty pissed and done with the whole parents against boyfriend conflict in the preview, I have a feeling she's going to finally show her parents just how much of an independent adult she is by now. I hope she gives them the same look she gave Poong when she was warning him to look at her only, and speaks to them in the same tone.

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Early in the series I thought the best relationship resolution would be that Poong, SW and CS becoming best friends instead of a conflicted rebound love triangle; like a Crosby & Hope movie called "The Road to Jajanmyeon." SW outwardly expressed more affection to her husband during their marital bliss than with Poong. Likewise, Poong was more swept away with his wife during his marriage than currently with SW. Poong and SW's romance can be filed under "misery loves company." They needed companionship in order to ease the pains of their divorces. But Poong's main focus was always on the hotel. Now that Poong's revenge is complete, why would he subject SW to more hardship and abuse in the hotel kitchen? He should have had the backbone to tell her "no" when she wanted to be in his new kitchen ( just like her ex-husband should have had the balls to defy his parents and stay with SW during her family troubles.) CS is more what SW is looking for: a man who stands up to authority, willing to fight for what he believes, has the independent ability to follow through to his goals; protects faithfully the people he cares about, and is willing to sacrifice part of himself for others.

CS entire plan was to have his crew learn cooking skills to lead ordinary, happy lives. Closing Hungry Wok does not meet that goal of training his crew to run their own restaurants. If SW truly wanted it, she could learn the fire quicker at Hungry Wok with CS's men cooking comfort Chinese food instead of hanging around Poong 's hotel staff as created his own upscale Chinese fusion cuisine.

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Why shd Poong tell SW to stop working in the kitchen when it's something she wants? She's starting at the bottom just as she should, it's not like he's giving her any favours but he's giving her the chance to prove herself and to make her own independent choices. Which is what makes their relationship work anyway. Neither of them are trying to change the other and they're both supportive and respectful of each other's decisions.

Besides which, I don't think 'misery loves company' applies to them at all since they're both very much happier with each other than they were with their exes because they're in a supportive and loving relationship for one, and unlike SW's ex who was a doormat Poong is a man with a mind of his own who makes his own decisions while still respecting hers as an equal. They actually have quite a functional adult relationship, something that's sorely lacking in kdrama where the women often starts out independent but ends up as some prize winning trophy for the man. One thing this show is actually doing right is by giving our spoiled, useless female lead, in the beginning, and actual opportunity at a real career and allowing her to grow.

Why should she settle for a small Chinese restaurant that, let's face it, would utterly fail without Poong at the helm? Why should all of them settle for that when they can go to the hotel and really hone their abilities and make something of themselves? They can leave once they've learned enough. This way CS is getting more than what he wanted, his men get new lives and a real opportunity at a better future.

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Are we watching the same show? SW expresses loads of affection towards SP... and he's obviously completely into her. As for SP's previous marriage, the show made it pretty evident that much of the foundation for their relationship was out of SP's feeling obligated to her father for taking care of him when his parents died, and they clearly had no trust or communication in their relationship. Whereas, as the comment above points out, SP and SW have a strong adult relationship based on mutual respect and love. And while SW would have probably remained stagnant in her rich heiress life with her ex, she's now able to seek more fulfillment in her life, challenge herself, and grow, which is great to see in a kdrama.

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I find the notion that Poong should have ignored her expressed wishes hugely paternalistic and vaguely abusive. I also find it hard to believe that Chil-sung would have overridden her wishes either.

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This week felt really predictable: Been there, done that.
Poong and Master Wang face off in competition. Check.
The Giant Hotel attempts to cheat. Check.
Poong wins in the end. Check.
Seo-woo's mom is a giant baby. Check.
More heartache for Chil Sung. Check.

Question about this part of the recap: This also means that exactly one year after he walked out of the hotel, Poong’s revenge is complete.

Has it been a year? I thought SW mentioned in this episode her dad spent two months in jail. It stood out to me because I was thinking how only in dramas could two people get married, divorced, and fall in love with new people in two months.

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I was also surprised to read that a year of time had passed as I would have guessed a few months at most.

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How come I've never seen a samgyupsal pyramid in a Chinese restaurant? I want one!

BTW, happy happy birthday to our lovely recapper, odilettante (um, no, I'm not stalking you on Twitter, nope). Hope you get a samgyupsal pyramid birthday cake. 🎂

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Or, if you're more a fan of the cuisine on Secretary Kim, a Steak Cake 🎉

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Or both? Both is good.

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Hope it was a great day!

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Aw, thank you! I didn't get a samgyupsal birthday cake but now I definitely want one! 😄

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I thought it unrealistic that Seo-woo family was suddenly rich again. However, I will miss this show when it completes it's run on Tuesday.

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Maybe their fortune was frozen by the bank while her dad was in jail, and they unfroze it when he was released?

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Thank you for your recap and comments, odilettante! Sae-woo's mother continues to be a 24-karat ass, and now dear olde dad is following suit. Despite honorably vanquishing Chef Wang, why does it somehow feel as if Poong lost the kitchen battle?

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