Let’s Eat 3: Episode 6
Seo-yeon may seem foot-loose and fancy-free, but she finally comes face-to-face with the realities of her situation and has to make some difficult decisions. Ji-woo also struggles to reconcile how she feels versus what she perceives to be the truth, while Sun realizes that he may have met his foodie match. Sigh. If only adult life could be as carefree as those college days.
EPISODE 6 RECAP: “Yang Jang Pi”
Seo-yeon steps out of her bedroom and walks over “the line” without thinking, but one look from Sun reminds her of his warning that he could cross it, too, and she immediately steps back behind it. But after Sun leaves for work, she hops over “the line” and petulantly stops on the forbidden side of the floor.
She gets a call from a friend saying her missing business partner, Yeon-ah, was seen at the hospital. Seo-yeon races over and practically tackles Yeon-ah as she tries to run away. Seo-yeon demands her money back, but Yeon-ah apologizes: she can’t give it to Seo-yeon because she doesn’t have the money anymore.
It turns out that Yeon-ah is a single mother with a sick child (which explains why she was at the hospital). Yeon-ah had left her child with her mother and had gone to America for a fresh start, but when she heard her son had cancer and that the treatments were expensive, she felt like she had no choice but to take the money to care for her child.
Seo-yeon angrily accuses Yeon-ah of turning Seo-yeon into the evil, fraudulent one when Seo-yeon did nothing wrong. But she can’t really fight a woman whose hair is turning grey and falling out due to the stress of her sick child, so instead Seo-yeon just walks away.
Dae-young’s boss is thrilled that he’s in better spirits lately and pursuing new clients. He’s like the old Dae-young again! But Dae-young ducks out of work when he gets a call from Seo-yeon, who’s drunk at a local restaurant.
She had to call him because she didn’t have any money, so she’s cashing in Dae-young’s promise to buy her a meal. Concerned, Dae-young asks how her headhunting business is going, and Seo-yeon confesses she wasn’t a headhunter. She tells him that her business flopped and she came back to Korea without a cent.
She wryly says that he’s right: she’s just the same as she was in college — more impressed with appearances than what’s on the inside. She’s still living off other people even now. Seo-yeon tries to hide her tears as she wonders why her life is miserably complicated, then warns Dae-young not to tell Ji-woo anything, not wanting to give her sister the satisfaction.
Seo-yeon reaches over for another bottle of soju and, in doing so, drags her hair in the pan of broth. Dae-young gets some tissues to clean her hair as Seo-yeon drunkenly leans against him. Just at that time, Sun and Ji-woo walk into the restaurant.
They’re surprised to see Dae-young and Seo-yeon there, especially looking so cozy, and Ji-woo decides to leave. Sun’s astonished that Dae-young and Seo-yeon know each other, wondering if they’re dating. He asks if Ji-woo knows Seo-yeon, too, but Ji-woo says she doesn’t know Seo-yeon and that they’re not dating because Dae-young already has a girlfriend.
Later that night when Dae-young returns home, he wonders why Ji-woo left the restaurant earlier, and Ji-woo says it would have been too awkward to stay. Then she bluntly asks if he’s dating Seo-yeon, using Sun’s curiosity as an excuse to find out the truth.
Dae-young says that he was just being considerate since Seo-yeon’s going through some difficulties, and Ji-woo mutters that it’s no surprise since Seo-yeon seems to always have had issues that required Dae-young’s help.
Dae-young gets a text and tells Ji-woo that it’s a serious problem: Sung-joo is getting married! She’s thrilled to discover that Dae-young’s kept in touch with his friends from college and Dae-young admits that he lost contact with Byung-sam after graduation, but he knows Jin-seok got a job and moved to another city.
Dae-young invites her to the wedding as his date so the college friends can reunite. On the drive to the wedding, Dae-young reveals that Sung-joo is marrying the noona he used to date in college. Does this mean we’ll finally get to see who she is?
Sun relaxes in his apartment, but becomes worried because Seo-yeon is way too quiet in her room. He’s convinced she must be cooking up some new scheme, so he’s surprised when she reveals she found her business partner. Seo-yeon won’t be able to pay Sun’s cousin back, though, so she’s planning to return to America and take full responsibility.
Seo-yeon reassures him she’s not leaving right away, though. First, she needs to visit her father. But “visiting her father” means going to see his urn at the columbarium.
Sung-joo is thrilled to see Dae-young and Ji-woo again. Unfortunately, Jin-seok can’t make the wedding (boo!), and Sung-joo says that maybe everyone can get together at the next wedding. He points out that he always thought Dae-young and Ji-woo would’ve made a cute couple in college, and teases that the two of them can get married.
Ji-woo’s about to tell Sung-joo that Dae-young has a girlfriend, but Dae-young smoothly interrupts and pleasantly says that he and Ji-woo can be each other’s “backups” if they’re still single when they’re forty.
Sung-joo waves over his bride to meet his old friends — annnnnnnd we don’t get to see her face! Boo. But we do get to see the super cute young boy who runs up, calling her “Momma.” Haha, Sung-joo explains that they had a kid first and then planned the wedding.
The wedding commences, and we gradually fade back to 2004 when the college friends marvel at Sung-joo being picked up by his mysterious noona girlfriend with the fancy car. The other boys decide to have a BBQ dinner on the roof, but Ji-woo has to head to her part-time job.
She’s still trying to hide the fact that Seo-yeon is living with her because she can barely afford expenses as they are now, so there’s no way she can afford officially adding Seo-yeon to the lease. Aw, as she walks away, Dae-young notices the keychain he got her in Busan hanging from her backpack.
The boys prep for their BBQ dinner, and Dae-young starts washing the lettuce. With soap. OMG. Jin-seok yells at him for washing the lettuce improperly, and tells Dae-young that he can’t just wash the lettuce like he’s doing laundry, instead Dae-young should watch each leaf individually. WITH SOAP. Oh, Ji-woo, where are you? I need you to save these boys from themselves!
Even so, they enjoy their grilled thin-sliced pork belly, even if they can’t figure out why it feels like their insides are being cleaned. ‘Cause of the soap, y’know. The soap you should never use when washing produce.
Jin-seok gets a call from Seo-yeon and he scrambles to finish polishing her shoes, since the date she needs them for was moved up by a couple of hours. The other two boys tell him he’s being an idiot, doing so much for a girl who’s dating someone else. They break out into a rousing chorus of “Love Fool” a song made popular in 2004 by indie rock group, The Nuts (which drama fans should know about since Ji Hyun-woo was once the lead guitarist).
Meanwhile, Ji-woo waltzes home. Or at least she tries to, since she’s practicing for her final exam in “Waltz 101.” Seo-yeon says that Ji-woo should have taken an easier class — that’s how Seo-yeon manages to have top grades in all her classes. Ji-woo blusters that college isn’t just about getting good grades, but having experiences.
Except Seo-yeon knows that Ji-woo only signed up for the class because of how much she loved the waltz scene in Lovers in Paris. Ha!
Ji-woo grumpily says that she told Seo-yeon not to come home until after 9pm, and Seo-yeon pleads with Ji-woo to just tell the landlord that Seo-yeon’s living there so they don’t have to sneak around any longer. Except Seo-yeon can’t afford to pay for extra rent, either.
They continue to bicker all the way home, and are shocked when the landlady immediately barges in before they’ve even had time to take their shoes off. The landlady is triumphant that she’s found proof that Seo-yeon is living there, and Ji-woo bluffs that Seo-yeon is actually Dae-young’s friend who only came by to borrow — Ji-woo scans the kitchen and grabs the nearest item — cooking oil.
The landlady is still unconvinced, so they troop over to Dae-young’s apartment. He’s surprised to see them, and Ji-woo pointedly tells Dae-young to explain to the landlady that “his friend” Seo-yeon was just next door to borrow cooking oil. Bewildered but affable, plus knowing Ji-woo’s financial predicament and wanting to help her out, Dae-young affirms that Seo-yeon is his friend.
The landlady says that must mean Seo-yeon is really his girlfriend, and Seo-yeon chirps that the landlady is right: she and Dae-young are dating.
Ji-woo’s annoyed, but Seo-yeon says it’s the simplest explanation and this way it’ll be easier for them all. Then Seo-yeon shrewdly eyes Ji-woo, asking if she has a problem with her pretending to be Dae-young’s girlfriend.
Ji-woo sputters that she’s just concerned about Dae-young having to keep up the pretense and then stomps to her room, much to Seo-yeon’s knowing amusement.
In the morning, as the girls leave the apartment, Seo-yeon stops by Dae-young’s apartment to ask him to escort her to the front gate so they can keep up the appearance of boyfriend-and-girlfriend. Ji-woo’s disgusted by the way Seo-yeon sidles up to the obliging but still half-asleep Dae-young in her attempt to “keep up appearances.”
You’d think Jin-seok would have a heart attack to see Seo-yeon pretend to date Dae-young, but he gallantly insists that he doesn’t mind since it means Seo-yeon can still live next door and hang out with them.
Seo-yeon continues to play up her part of the girlfriend even at school, much to Ji-woo’s annoyance. Seo-yeon points out that she needs to stay in character. She points out where her “boyfriend” is sitting in the cafeteria, but Dae-young’s actually waving at Ji-woo.
Seo-yeon snags the seat next to him, anyway, and even eats off his plate (using his chopsticks!). Haha, the girls have a kicking war under the table. They can’t be civil anywhere, can they?
Ji-woo continues to seethe as Seo-yeon says pretending to be Dae-young’s girlfriend is making her realize how great a “real” boyfriend he would be. When Seo-yeon slips her arm through Dae-young’s so they can walk arm-and-arm on the way home, Ji-woo finally loses her cool as Sung-joo points out a lot of famous actors started dating after pretending to be in love.
But before Ji-woo can tear the fake couple apart, Jin-seok runs up and punches Dae-young. Turns out, Jin-seok wasn’t as cool as he looked about the fake dating.
Ha, their fighting style isn’t much different from the step-sister’s hair-pulling, and as the boys roll around on the ground (including Sung-joo and Byung-sam, who leap to intervent), Seo-yeon rolls her eyes at them and turns to her sister — but Ji-woo’s gone.
That’s because she’s informing the landlady that Seo-yeon is actually living with her and isn’t Dae-young’s girlfriend. I guess matters of the heart are more important than what’s in her wallet.
Dae-young finds Ji-woo trying to practice waltzing with Seo-yeon, but it’s a disaster. He offers to help out, since he already took that class and got an A in it. With his expertise, he and Ji-woo waltz without stepping on any toes.
That brings us back to 2018, where Dae-young and Ji-woo dance at the Sung-joo’s wedding reception. Hey, “Waltz 101” actually came in handy!
As Ji-woo watches Sung-joo dance with his bride, she imagines what it would be like to dance with Dae-young at their wedding. She’s still lost in that dream as Dae-young drives them home. When she steps out of the car to head upstairs, Seo-yeon marches up and slaps Ji-woo in the face.
Seo-yeon furiously asks how Ji-woo had the nerve to move Seo-yeon’s father’s ashes. Ji-woo slaps Seo-yeon back, angrily pointing out that she wouldn’t have had to if she knew how to contact Seo-yeon.
Seo-yeon’s ready to slap Ji-woo back but Dae-young stops her, trying to talk reason into the estranged sisters. He points out that they can’t keep avoiding each other, so the two of them should sit down and discuss what’s going on.
Ji-woo says that says that the contracted space at the columbarium expired, so that’s she had the ashes moved to a different place. If Seo-yeon really wanted to act like the doting daughter, she should have tried to stay in touch. Ji-woo gripes that Seo-yeon was always too busy drinking with boys to care about her father.
Ji-woo warns Seo-yeon to stay away from Dae-young — she doesn’t care what Seo-yeon does with other guys, but Dae-young has a girlfriend, so he’s off limits. Amused, Seo-yeon wonders if Ji-woo still likes Dae-young after all these years. Ji-woo denies it, and Seo-yeon defends herself, saying that she asked Dae-young out for a drink not knowing he was dating anyone else.
As she stands to leave, Seo-yeon tells Ji-woo to not call her “cheap” or “low class,” since it’s clear that Ji-woo also enjoyed her time with Dae-young despite fully knowing he has a girlfriend. Pot, meet kettle.
Sun returns home to find Seo-yeon with her suitcase all packed. He’s annoyed because she told him she wouldn’t be running away, but finds out that she’s actually trying to sell off all her designer goods at a luxury second-hand store.
She gives him the money she made from selling her personal items. It’s not much, but it’s enough to help cover the bathroom cleaning fee and his injury expenses. Sun tries to avoid taking it, but Seo-yeon tells him it won’t do her any good. It’s not like she has much use for designer purses and shoes in jail.
Sun pretends not to care what Seo-yeon is doing so quietly in her room, but finally he knocks and checks in on her. She’s busy writing apology notes to all of her regular customers, informing them that her online business will be closed for good. Seo-yeon admits it feels weird to realize that this is the end.
At work, Ji-woo’s lost in thought as she wrestles with her feelings for Dae-young and the fact that he has a girlfriend. She gets a message from Yoon-ji asking to meet, but it’s really just a way for Yoon-ji to try her hand at matchmaking as she offers a couple of musical tickets to Dae-young as a way to thank him for being such a great insurance agent.
Hahaha, Dae-young admits he likes musicals and even has two musical stars, Yang Yo-seob and Son Dong-woon, as his clients. Um, I think you “as fellow members of Highlight who recently starred in musicals,” Doo-joon, but I’ll take whatever meta jokes I can get.
Anyway, Yoon-ji does her matchmaking best to make it so Dae-young and Ji-woo attend the musical together, but Ji-woo gives her ticket to Dae-young, saying she doesn’t like musicals. Later, she tells Yoon-ji that Dae-young has a girlfriend, so she has to give up any budding hope she feels when she thinks about dating him.
Yoon-ji is also surprised that Ji-woo is still thinking of moving out, since Ji-woo no longer needs a ground floor apartment now that Mom is at the nursing home. Yoon-ji pouts that Ji-woo is denying the romantic fate of her old college crush moving in next door, but Ji-woo wonders if moving out would be the new start she needs.
The CQ Foods creative time is delighted by Dae-young’s thoughtful drink selection (that they like more than Sun’s offering) and his ability to notice the small interests each of them have. Sun is determined to keep the meeting focused on business, but that even backfires because the team is even more thrilled by the list of obscure restaurants Dae-young presents to them.
Sun’s barely able to hide his irritation as he walks by Dae-young chatting with the receptionists, letting them know about a good nearby restaurant. Sun tells Dae-young that he’s worried Dae-young’s overly friendly manner with the women in the office — and to Seo-yeon at the restaurant — will cause problems.
Dae-young cheerfully tells Sun that he’s affectionately friendly with everyone, women and men, which is why he’s so good at being an insurance salesman. Haha, he stops speaking formally to Sun as soon as they walk out of the office building. Not only that, he asks about Sun’s tummy-burn.
Sun is both shocked by Dae-young’s informality (which Dae-young says is only reserved outside of the office) and bewildered by the term, “tummy-burn.” Ha, that’s what Dae-young calls the strip of hair on Sun’s stomach (y’know, the “happy trail”), and with a twinkle in his eye, Dae-young reminds Sun that he saw it when Sun slept over at his house that night.
Sun scrambles to get away from Dae-young, attempting to keep his dignity, much to Dae-young’s amusement. He reminds Dae-young that they’re not close enough to cross “the line” of being casual with each other. Haha, Dae-young thinks Sun’s uptight reaction to his teasing is super cute.
Sun’s on a scouting mission to try a popular Chinese-fusion restaurant. He finally makes it to the head of the line and is seated, but just as he orders, Dae-young slips in and joins him at the table. Sun tries to order him out (after all, Dae-young cut “the line”), but Dae-young points out that yang jang pi (a Chinese-Korean noodle dish) is a dish for more than just one person.
The men face-off as they recite all the amazing qualities of yang jang pi, proving they’re on equal footing with their foodie knowledge. But Sun stops Dae-young from taking a bite until Sun can take a photo of the food.
Sighing in annoyance, Dae-young says this is why he only takes pictures of the empty bowls — everyone takes photos of the food, so it’s easy to find those pictures online if someone really wants to see it. Sun looks around and sees that, indeed, all the customers at the nearby are taking pictures of their food.
The men enjoy their dish, though, and as they finish it, they surprise each other by simultaneously requesting some spicy seafood soup. Dae-young’s delighted by how in-synch their tastebuds are, although Sun seems annoyed. They’re again surprised to discover that they even mix the dishes in the same way, and they learn that they both were once Ji-woo’s students in all things gourmet.
Dae-young returns home with his bounty of to-go items that he and Sun picked out just for Ji-woo, but he’s surprised to see that Ji-woo is meeting with a potential new tenant for her apartment. He wonders if there’s a way she can still stay, since he’s enjoyed spending time with her again.
Ji-woo says that her life hasn’t exactly improved with him moving in next door, but she makes it sound more joking than it really is by pointing out he moved next door and then immediately Seo-yeon came back into her life. Ji-woo adds that she wants to find that same zest for life that Dae-young did, and since he did that by moving, maybe it’ll work for her, too.
She offers to leave him her outdoor bench so Dae-young can enjoy drinking on the porch with his girlfriend. Dae-young simply says that if she needs any help packing, to let him know. They’re both a little sad, though, as they return to their respective apartments.
Sun returns home and is surprised that Seo-yeon isn’t there. He finds a note in the trash can that says, “Thank you for everything. I’m sorry that this is how I have to say goodbye.”
Sun tries calling Seo-yeon, but she doesn’t answer. He checks her Instagram, and the most recent photo is of a lake with the message, “It’s all so futile. I should just give up.”
Sun frantically drives to the lake in the photo, worried about how Seo-yeon kept talking about a “final goodbye.” He runs throughout the area, desperately calling for Seo-yeon. So he’s shocked when he hears her voice, asking him why he’s there.
She’s there in this out-of-the-way place because this tiny restaurant supposedly has the best kimchi sujebi, but she’s disappointed that it isn’t very good. Amused that Sun was worried she was going to kill herself, Seo-yeon explains that she was “giving up” looking for a good kimchi sujebi restaurant.
Sun sputters he was just worried about Seo-yeon because of his cousin, and Seo-yeon wonders why his cousin holds so much sway with him. Sun says it’s because he lived with her when he moved to America as a kid, back when his parents were too busy working to take care of him.
Seo-yeon can relate, since she felt lonely as a kid when her parents divorced. She adds that she can still remember the delivery phone number where she used to order food all the time. Sun lights up as he tells Seo-yeon that he used to order delivery all the time, and actually his door code is his favorite delivery restaurant’s phone number.
They’re delighted to find something in common until Seo-yeon realizes that she’s leaving Korea soon to face the music of her fraudulent actions.
Sun decides to make Seo-yeon a proposal. His cousin is only worried about getting her money back, so Seo-yeon can just get a job and pay her back. Sun offers to hire her as his personal assistant. Ooooh, and he says it when he’s on “her” side of the line. He’s actually crossed a line!
His cousin is delighted to get her money back, and Sun is happy to let his cousin think Seo-yeon got the money from her business partner instead of from him. His cousin also reassures him that now he never has to deal with Seo-yeon again! Mmm-hmmm, sure.
Epilogue. Dae-young stands in front of Soo-ji’s urn and places the musical tickets next to the photo of them. Sob. He turns around when he hears a voice — it’s Seo-yeon, realizing that this must be his girlfriend.
Ugh. Dae-young, I love you, but you not talking about the fact that your girlfriend has passed away is killing me. Wait, that probably wasn’t the best turn of phrase. But the point still stands! I get that it’s hard to talk about difficult, emotional, and deeply private matters, but considering how easy it is for him to insert himself in other’s lives, maybe it’s time for him to allow someone to insert themselves in his. Especially someone like Ji-woo — not only do they have history together, he’s already seen her try to deal with her own crushing burden with her mother. Wouldn’t that be a convenient segue to confess that his own burden is dealing with the pain of losing someone he loved? Then again, I suppose he wouldn’t want to scare off Ji-woo by admitting she’s the one who helped shake him out of his depression, especially when he always seems like the happy-go-lucky cheerful chatterbox who’s so strong for everyone else.
That does make him feel a little selfish, though, since he wants the breezy friendship with Ji-woo while still seemingly aware that she’s being extra careful to not cross that “line,” as Sun would say. My heart aches for him as he’s figuring out how to really let Soo-ji go, but my heart aches even more for Ji-woo who keeps fighting to continue on each day despite being continually slapped in the face that her life isn’t the happily-ever-after she dreamed about while in college. And that dream seems like it could have actually once been a reality. At first, I thought college Dae-young enjoyed Ji-woo because he’s just a friendly guy who likes everyone and particularly enjoys learning all about Ji-woo’s food knowledge. But I’m super excited that we’re finally getting hints he might have liked Ji-woo back then, too.
I mean, just consider the thoughtful look on his face when he saw the keychain on her backpack, or how happy he was to wave her over to join him for lunch (and conversely be mildly annoyed when Seo-yeon stole the seat next to him instead, although of course he couldn’t show it in his perpetually-affable Dae-young way). Actually, that might be his problem — he’s a little too nice and a little too friendly. Maybe Sun has a point. I love Dae-young for his effortless charm with people, but thinking back on it, it does seem like everyone else did all the hard work when it came to having a relationship with him. He just seemed to fall into it, look around, and go, “Hey, this seems nice, I think I’ll date this person who’s clearly into me, and oh wow, it turns out I like them, too! How convenient! Now let’s go get some dinner.”
Maybe I exaggerate a little, but it does feel like Dae-young’s a little too effortless when it comes to relationships. I want to see him sweat! I want to see him work for it! I want to see him lose his cool over something that isn’t food! I want him to fight for Ji-woo and be painfully honest with her! Heck, I want everyone to start being honest with each other (and with themselves)!
Most of all, though, I want to know who I have to bribe to get footage of 2004 Dae-young taking “Waltz 101” in college. Because I need it. For reasons.