Let’s Eat 3: Episode 14 (Final)
Thanks to the unexpected cut to fourteen episodes from the originally scheduled sixteen, it’s a scramble in the last hour to tie up all the loose ends and unpack everyone’s emotional baggage. Will the show manage to end on a deliciously sweet final note, or will we be left begging for yet another season with our favorite foodie?
FINAL EPISODE: “From Now On I Also Want To Be Happy”
Seo-yeon gets fed up with Sun’s polite-yet-persistent request to date, and tells him that they should just sleep together and get it over with, since that’s the end game, anyway. But she’s surprised when Sun actually grabs her arm and drags her out of the office, much to Dae-young’s continued bafflement at their actions.
Dae-young returns home and finds Ji-woo walking Kongali. Aw, he uses the old nickname for both Ji-woo and the dog. She asks him where Seo-yeon is, wondering if she’ll return home drunk again. Dae-young evades the issue but reassures Ji-woo that she probably won’t be bothered by Seo-yeon coming in late tonight — or at all, really.
Their lunch is braised short rib stew — but in a style that Ji-woo has never had before. Dae-young’s delighted to introduce her to something new, and she says they should invite Sun. Dae-young stutters out that Sun is probably too busy right now, but he can’t stop her in time and the call goes through.
Dae-young cringes as Ji-woo asks why Sun is panting, thinking that Ji-woo called during a moment of intimacy between Sun and Seo-yeon. But Sun says he’s just out jogging and will happily join them for lunch. Dae-young’s suspicious, wondering if Sun is really jogging — but he actually is!
As Sun returns to his car after his jog along the river, he sees one of Seo-yeon’s earrings that was left behind in the car.
Sun had dragged Seo-yeon to a hotel room and pushed her down on the bed. She began to defiantly unbutton her blouse, but instead Sun wrapped her up in the bed covers and told her to get some rest.
He figured that since she’s been sleeping on Ji-woo’s floor, she probably hasn’t been sleeping well, and her exhaustion made her say such ridiculous things to him. Aw, Sun’s really taking Ji-woo’s warning to heart about how hurt and traumatized Seo-yeon has been.
Sun joins Ji-woo and Dae-young at the restaurant just in time for their stew to start cooking. Dae-young eyes him warily, but when Sun complains that he prefers his meat grilled instead of boiled, Dae-young launches into the reasons the braised rib stew is so delicious. Ji-woo also jumps in, adding her own two cents on the best way to cook it — and eat it, shamelessly enjoying the meat on the bones.
The three foodies slurp down their stew. They wrap up their meal with Ji-woo and Dae-young’s traditional fried rice (and some noodles), making sure to enjoy every last morsel. Sun marvels at how well-matched Dae-young and Ji-woo are in their foodie ways, and says that they’re like an old married couple.
Ji-woo laughs and says that it’s just because they’ve been friends for so long, then excuses herself to use the restroom. As soon as she leaves, Dae-young raises his eyebrows at Sun. Sighing, Sun tells him to just ask what happened between him and Seo-yeon.
Dae-young says that he just wants to ask if Sun really won’t work with him. Dae-young insists he’s not the type to interfere in personal matters, especially since the two of them are adults. But he does wonder if Sun wants to ask him any questions, y’know, as a younger brother to his hyung.
For starters, Dae-young tells Sun not to just barge into a hotel. Ji-woo returns to catch the end of this, wondering why they’re talking about a hotel, and Sun awkwardly laughs and says that Dae-young is thinking about adding hotel restaurants to his delivery line-up.
Sun winks at Dae-young to drop the matter, but Dae-young just continues to tease Sun, wondering if he has something in his eye and offering to blow it out for him. Aw, I love that their bromance is still going strong.
Seo-yeon snores away in the hotel room. When she wakes up, she panics that it’s already after midnight. She hurries downstairs, surprised when Sun calls out her name. He’s been waiting for her, for who knows how many hours, since he figured she’d wake up late at night and would need a ride home.
She insists she can get home alone just fine, but Sun says he still feels responsible since it’s because of him that she’s awake so late. Then he returns the earring to her.
When Seo-yeon returns home, she stares at the earring, thinking back on all the small ways that Sun has shown he cares — from tracking her down when he was worried she’d commit suicide, to bringing her kimchi sujebi when she was sick, to confessing he liked her and was willing to wait for her, to finally making sure she got a good night’s rest.
In the morning, Ji-woo visits her mother. She apologizes for being late and starts to get Mom ready so Ji-woo can wash her hair. Except Mom’s hair is already clean, although Mom doesn’t know who helped her wash it. Ji-woo also notices a new pair of slippers and the magazine Mom’s reading. Mom has no idea where they came from — they were just there when she woke up.
Seo-yeon happily bounces into Mom’s room with some tea, but her smile turns apologetic when Ji-woo glares at her. Ji-woo drags her outside, reminding Seo-yeon that Ji-woo told her never to come here again.
Seo-yeon grumbles that she just wanted to see Mom — she’s missed her for so long. Ji-woo glares at Seo-yeon, and Seo-yeon says that if Ji-woo doesn’t believe her, then she’ll just leave. Seo-yeon returns to Mom’s room to grab her purse, and Mom asks Ji-woo who is the stranger.
Seo-yeon starts to politely explain that she was just passing by, but Ji-woo interrupts and tells Mom that Seo-yeon is her sister. Mom is surprised, but says that if Seo-yeon is Ji-woo’s “dongsaeng” then she must also be Mom’s “dongsaeng.” Mom offers to cook something for their new visitor, asking what she wants. Seo-yeon tears up as she chokes out, “Kimchi sujebi.”
Mom thinks the tears must be from hunger, and offers to cook it right away, but Ji-woo gently guides Mom to go outside for walk. But as the mother and daughter exit the room, Ji-woo turns around and tells Seo-yeon to hurry up. Aw, Seo-yeon looks so happy to be included.
Later, Sun stops by Ji-woo’s home and gives her a bouquet of flowers, apologiing for being empty-handed his first visit. As she makes him a cup of coffee, he explores her place, mentally taking measurements of everything and asking her questions about the AC and ventilation.
As Sun bombards Ji-woo with concerned questions about her living arrangements, Ji-woo just laughs and says she knows he’s really here because he’s worried about Seo-yeon. Since all the cards on the table, Sun says he might as well cross the line — and hauls out a tape measure to figure out if another bed will fit.
Ji-woo jokes that Sun can just buy them bunk beds, but he takes her seriously, warning Ji-woo that Seo-yeon should sleep in the lower bunk. Ha! Ji-woo can’t believe he’s so concerned, and says he should just let the sisters move into his apartment and he can live here. OMG, he actually seriously considers it.
Ji-woo realizes that Sun must really like Seo-yeon, and asks him if it’s difficult since Seo-yeon isn’t very receptive to him. But Sun insists that it was harder trying to hide his feelings and keep his distance from Seo-yeon. It’s much easier — and even enjoyable — being honest and wearing his heart on his sleeve, even if Seo-yeon hasn’t reciprocated.
He goes on to explain that a bell isn’t a bell until someone rings it, and a song isn’t a song until someone sings it. Love is the same way — it’s not love until you give it away. Hiding it deep inside isn’t really love.
That night, Ji-woo sits outside and contemplates the moon while drinking beer. Seo-yeon and Dae-young arrive with fried chicken. Yum, beer and chicken, the perfect pairing! The three of them eat outside, and Ji-woo asks how their day went.
Dae-young’s still having difficulty getting the kimchi sujebi restaurant to agree to work with them, but he’s refusing to give up. He’s planning to go there in the morning and talk to the owner in person. He invites Ji-woo to join them, since she might have some ideas on how to persuade the owner.
In the morning, Seo-yeon insists on driving since she knows Dae-young has hardly had a chance to sleep. Seo-yeon starts to push the driver’s seat back (’cause of her long legs, y’know), but Ji-woo insists that Seo-yeon should leave plenty of room in the backseat to make it more comfortable for Dae-young, and tells her to keep scooting up until Seo-yeon’s practically hugging the steering wheel. Haha!
Ji-woo’s just as concerned during the drive, as she tries to make sure the sleeping Dae-young is comfortable and has enough air. She even tries to order Seo-yeon to drive only in the shade, but Seo-yeon retorts that they’re on the highway. Pffft.
At the restaurant, Ji-woo is shocked to discover that the kimchi sujebi really does taste like Mom’s. Ji-woo wonders if the owner knows her mother, and the trio troop into the kitchen to ask. But instead of the owner, they find Sun making kimchi.
They’re surprised to see him there, especially since he used to belittle Dae-young for trying to persuade the owners by helping them in various tasks. Sun awkwardly insists that he’s not doing this for Seo-yeon, but as repayment for having to fire Dae-young.
They still can’t find the owner, and Dae-young assumes she’s avoiding him. He sighs as he admits Sun was right — instead of the small gestures, sometimes money is the only answer. So Sun helping to make kimchi won’t do them any good. Sun groans that they should have told him earlier before he spent all day hunched over the kimchi bowl.
The four decide to return to Seoul, and Seo-yeon says she’ll go with Sun. She slides into the driver’s seat, telling Sun she could tell he’s exhausted after making kimchi all day so she’ll drive so he can rest. He’s got the cutest smile, realizing that she cares about him, but scurries to the passenger seat when Seo-yeon threatens to ride back with Dae-young.
That leaves Dae-young and Ji-woo to drive back alone. They’re both amused that Seo-yeon might not be as resistant to Sun as they once thought. Ji-woo says that she admires Sun for having the courage to put himself out there like that, and Dae-young says that Ji-woo should date, too.
He asks if there’s anyone she likes, and Ji-woo hesitates as she remembers Sun telling her that love isn’t love if you just keep it hidden deep inside. Finally, Ji-woo says that she has something to tell Dae-young.
But he suddenly swerves and stops the car on the side of the road. Dae-young panics as he realizes that he’s somehow lost his couples ring since it’s no longer on his finger. He worries that he might have left it at the restaurant, and leaves Ji-woo on the side of the road to be picked up by Seo-yeon and Sun while Dae-young drives back to find the ring.
Ji-woo watches him drive away, tears filling her eyes. When Seo-yeon arrives to pick her up, annoyed that Dae-young would do such a thing, Ji-woo excuses Dae-young’s actions, saying he lost something important. Sun’s concerned, since Ji-woo doesn’t look well, but she insists that she just needs some rest.
Dae-young frantically looks all over the restaurant for the missing ring, but it’s nowhere to be found. He even paws through the trash, worried that it might have been accidentally thrown away. Dae-young berates himself, wondering how he could have lost the ring so easily.
In the morning, Ji-woo is actually sick. Seo-yeon calls into work for her, getting someone to cover Ji-woo’s shift. Seo-yeon also makes porridge and leaves medicine for Ji-woo, reassuring her that all she needs to do is rest. Aw, what a good sister.
At the office, Dae-young is lost in thought — and still ringless. Seo-yeon’s surprised to see him there that early, and asks him if he found what he was looking for. But Dae-young wonders why she’s at the office so early, and Seo-yeon tells him that Ji-woo’s home sick with a fever.
Shocked to hear that Ji-woo’s sick, Dae-young realizes it’s his fault since he left her on the side of the road last night. Damn straight it is.
But Seo-yeon continues to happily chatter at him, showing off the new business cards she got him. Aw, his company’s name is “Let’s Eat.” She’s disappointed that he’s not as enthused as she thought he’d be, wondering if it’s because of the kimchi sujebi restaurant. She tells him there’s a lot of restaurants out there — they’ll find a new one.
When Seo-yeon returns home, she’s surprised to find Ji-woo out of bed and organizing her clothes. Sun stops by with a bouquet of lowers. Seo-yeon assumes they’re for her, but they’re actually a “get well” present for Ji-woo. Ha!
Next door, Dae-young grabs a towel from his cabinet — and the ring falls out. He recalls setting it down while he was washing up, but the phone rang and he was distracted as he took the call. Dae-young stares at the ring.
Sun leaves Ji-woo’s place and Seo-yeon hurries after him, demanding to know if he’s playing hard to get by acting indifferent now that Seo-yeon’s started to open up to him. Sun has the biggest smile as he asks if Seo-yeon’s really opening up to him, then says if that’s so, he’ll cross the line for a moment. He leans in and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek.
He’s so cute as he giddily walks away, and Seo-yeon scoffs that he made a big deal about “crossing the line” just give her a tiny peck on the cheek. But she smiles as she watches him skip down the road.
Sun’s surprised to see Dae-young drinking alone in one of the local bars and goes to investigate, since Dae-young has many bottles of soju but isn’t touching the food — something is definitely wrong.
Sun assumes it’s because business is tough, but Dae-young says that he never thought he’d forget someone who was precious to him. He tells Sun about Soo-ji and that wearing the ring was like keeping her memory alive. But he eventually took the ring off and forgot about it — even forgot where he put it — only a couple of years after he lost Soo-ji.
Dae-young says he’s deeply sorry, but Sun says there’s no reason for Dae-young to feel guilty. Sun explains that it’s natural to gradually forget — the brain can only hold so many memories at once. Sun compares the brain to a computer data disk, pointing out that to store new data, old data must be deleted.
Sun continues his awkward best to console Dae-young, pointing out that Dae-young didn’t purposefully try to forget Soo-ji — it just happened naturally as time went by. He gently tells Dae-young not to blame himself so harshly.
In the morning, as Dae-young groggily wakes up (with an epic hangover, no doubt), he sees the ring sitting on his dresser. He studies it for a moment, then echoes his own advice by telling himself that he can’t go back in time — he can only go forward. He puts the ring in the dresser drawer, shoves it closed, and walks away.
Ji-woo’s feeling better as she returns home that evening. She sees Dae-young’s shirts hanging outside, drying on the line. Ji-woo takes them and irons them for Dae-young, explaining to Seo-yeon she’s noticed they’d been hanging up for a few days and she knows Dae-young is busy.
Knowing full well that Ji-woo isn’t just ironing the shirts out of the sheer neighborly goodness, Seo-yeon encourages Ji-woo to confess her feelings to Dae-young. She thinks Ji-woo even has a good chance, since Seo-yeon’s noticed that Dae-young hasn’t been wearing his ring lately.
Ji-woo says that’s just because Dae-young’s lost the ring, not because he’s chosen to not wear it. When Seo-yeon realizes the ring is the reason Ji-woo was left on the side of the road, she snatches the shirts out of Ji-woo’s hands, insisting that Dae-young doesn’t deserve such devotion.
Seo-yeon further insists that Ji-woo should forget about her crush, then, if Dae-young is so determined to live in the past. Seo-yeon vows to find Ji-woo a better guy, but Ji-woo says that she’s fine. Besides, even if it’s not perfect, her life has already improved since Dae-young came back into it. But Seo-yeon stubbornly says Ji-woo’s suffered enough due to Mom and Seo-yeon — Ji-woo deserves to be happy now.
Later, Ji-woo gives Dae-young’s shirts to him when he returns home late from the office. He tells her that she shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble, and offers to buy her dinner. Ji-woo laughs that he’s always treating her to meals. Dae-young then asks if there’s anything she needs or if she has any burdens, offering to take care of them for her.
Smiling, Ji-woo tells him that he shouldn’t make such rash promises, because he’ll regret it. But Dae-young wants to know if she’s going through something. Ji-woo suddenly says that her burden is the fact that she likes him.
Dae-young’s shocked, but Ji-woo goes on to explain that he’s been her first love since she was in college. She adds that she knows he has a girlfriend, so it’s not that she expects anything from him — she just wanted to tell him how she felt. She jokes that she’d warned him he’d regret offering to help her with her troubles.
Still stunned, Dae-young asks if things were really that hard for her, and Ji-woo tells him she just needed to get at least one thing off her chest. She reassures him that she won’t be a burden to him — she won’t pine like she did when she was twenty.
At home, Dae-young stares at the ironed shirts, thinking over his friendship with Ji-woo.
Next door, Ji-woo huddles in bed, crying. Seo-yeon’s worried she’s sick again, but Ji-woo says that she thought, at age thirty-four, it wouldn’t hurt to get rejected like it did when she was twenty. But it still hurts as much as ever. When Seo-yeon realizes Ji-woo confessed to Dae-young, Seo-yeon reassures her that that’s the first step to getting over him. Seo-yeon gently comforts Ji-woo by rubbing Ji-woo’s back as she cries.
Seo-yeon sits outside, lost in thought. Haha, Kongali still chews on her shoes, even all these years later. When Dae-young steps outside, Seo-yeon confronts him, telling him that she already told Ji-woo the truth about Soo-ji.
Dae-young asks Ji-woo to meet him in the park, where he offers her a beer. He asks why, if she knew what happened to Soo-ji, Ji-woo kept acting like Dae-young’s girlfriend was still alive. Ji-woo hesitantly explains that she didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, and Dae-young thanks her for pretending not to know.
He also apologizes for not telling her the truth, admitting he felt like he was frozen in time after Soo-ji died. But when he met Ji-woo again, he felt the courage to move forward, little by little. That’s why he started the new business.
Ji-woo says she gets it — Dae-young doesn’t need to give her a long explanation of why he’s rejecting her. Dae-young: “I’m not rejecting you. But can you give me a little more time?”
Stunned, Ji-woo can only nod, and Dae-young apologetically says it might take longer than she wants. Ji-woo says that she doesn’t mind, jokingly adding that she might find someone better in the meantime. After all, she mostly confessed to him so she wouldn’t have to hold it in anymore.
They smile at each other, not talking but enjoying the company as they drink their beers.
Some time later, Dae-young treats Sun to a meal as a way to thank him for helping the “Let’s Eat” business. Dae-young explains the health benefits of the fish they’re about to consume, and Sun and Ji-woo chime in with their own little foodie tidbits. Seo-yeon — the non-foodie of the group — grumbles that they should just eat already and cut out the commentary.
The four happily enjoy their meal. Sun accidentally drops some food on his shirt and Seo-yeon hands him a tissue. He then debones some of the fish for her. Aw, they’re so cute. Of course, no meal can be complete without rice to mix in the last little bites. They all delightedly eat together as Ji-woo says that gizzard shard bibimbap is the best finale.
Well, I guess it’s a finale. In my estimation, the best finale wouldn’t involve fish, but instead lots of kisses! Sigh. I know I shouldn’t complain because they had to scramble to squeeze four episodes into two, but I’m going to, anyway. After all, the show has worked so very hard to gradually build up the will-they-won’t-they romantic tension between Dae-young and Ji-woo, and to not have that resolved even in a quick, hand-wavey time jump makes me grumpy. I don’t generally mind open-ended finales, either. But the resolution was just… nothing.
Again, I shouldn’t complain, because they undoubtedly had to do some massive edits and figure out how to come to some kind of conclusion two episodes sooner than planned. It was amusing watching Sun suddenly become the voice of reason for everyone. When did he get to be so wise? Not to mention all the exposition just so we could check off the other emotional beats. I just wish the show had cut out some of the ring nonsense so that we could have focused on the repercussions of Ji-woo finally confessing how she feels. I mean, he left her on the side of the road. Was that already in the script? Because it feels like a very un-Dae-young kind of thing to do. Not that he wouldn’t necessarily panic about realizing the ring is gone, but the guy who gave Ji-woo his sweatshirt, who fought off a potential attacker, who helped her find a new nursing home for her mother, and who has been in general excruciatingly considerate of Ji-woo all this time — even before he realized how he felt about her — wouldn’t leave her on the side of the highway in the middle of the night.
That was just lazy and sloppy and I want to be angry, but I also keep reminding myself the production team only had a week to figure out how to suddenly end things. So I’m conflicted about this final episode, since I’m happy that everyone seems happy, now that they’re really, genuinely, honest with each other. But… I want more! I need more! It’s funny — I originally started watching this season almost begrudgingly. I didn’t understand why we had to have yet another season (and another love interest), but I love Dae-young too much to not watch. And now here I am, desperately pleading for even more seasons because there’s so much more I need to know. Not just if Ji-woo and Dae-young eventually become a couple and live happily ever after, having little foodie babies of their own, but also if Dae-young’s business is successful, and if Seo-yeon convinces Sun to work for them, and how long Kongali lives.
I also need to know what happened to Byung-sam and Jin-seok. I hadn’t realized until the end just how much I enjoyed all those flashbacks, so when this episode didn’t have any, it felt even more incomplete. I’d like to think in the original script we might have met the 2018 Byung-sam and Jin-seok, finding out what happened to them after all these years. I’ve already created an elaborate story where Coffee Girl becomes Byung-sam’s new crush and they get married (because she doesn’t turn down his drunken confessions), have lots of babies, and Jin-seok becomes their nanny. (Hey, Let’s Eat production team, I’m totally available if you need someone to write Season 4.) I keep telling myself that it’s more realistic for an ending not to be neatly tied up, but this is dramaland, and I want to know for sure — and see for myself — that everyone is happy and in love and doing well in life.
So maybe the finale was disappointing, but overall this season still remains my favorite of the three. I appreciated getting to know Dae-young a little more and discovering how he became the foodie we know and love; I totally fell head-over-heels for Ji-woo and Seo-yeon and adored watching their sisterly friendship grow despite all obstacles; and I enjoyed learning about even more delicious food that made me drool each week. So, in that way, it was a successful season that I will remember fondly — while eagerly waiting to hear when the next season will begin.