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Chocolate: Episode 6

Our neurosurgeon’s angry resentment towards the chef has given way to worrying about her wellbeing. What he learns about her painful past causes him to see her in a new light, and as they cross paths while working with patients, he starts to appreciate her unique talents. While our chef does her best to help others through her cooking, it’s time for someone to help her deal with the tragedy in her past.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

On his drive to the hospice, Kang recalls leaving the jjajangmyeon restaurant with Cha-young in the rain. The restaurant owner handed Kang an old umbrella which he offered to Cha-young. When she refused it, Kang grabbed Cha-young’s wrist before she could walk away to argue that neither of them should get wet in an acid rain. They ended up leaving together, awkwardly close thanks to the shared umbrella.

Near the hospice, Kang sees a familiar looking boy waiting at the bus stop. When Kang returns, Ji-yong grabs a gift bag and runs away but Kang grabs him by his too-large shirt, a birthday gift from his mother. Ji-yong protests that he’s on his way to visit his mom on her birthday but when Kang sees the address, he argues that Ji-yong’s mom should be the one visiting him.

Ji-yong whines all the way back to the hospice and when Kang suggests that he can visit his mother once he recovers, he shouts, “I’m never going to get better.” After parking at the hospice and witnessing Ji-yong’s tears, Kang decides to make the three hour drive to Gongju Province and promises to wake the boy when they arrive.

At the restaurant, Cha-young prepares fresh porridge for Tae-hyun and when she brings a tray to his room, she finds him still in bed. When he barks that he wants to be left alone, Cha-young guesses that he’s upset about Mr. Kim and suggests that the old man wanted to enjoy jjajangmyeon in heaven.

Tae-hyun takes out his phone as he shouts at Cha-young about her naive outlook. When he disappears back under the covers, we see that Tae-hyun posted a photo of a bowl of jjajangmyeon with the comment, “I’m sorry. When you’re having jjajangmyeon in heaven, ask them to put an egg on top.”

After she manages to shake off Tae-hyun’s harsh words on the bike ride to the hospice, Cha-young makes cherry blossom kimbap for Joon’s friend, Kim Hee-joo. When she delivers the beautiful dish on the plate that Joon made, Cha-young learns that the woman is blind because of her illness.

Cha-young offers to prepare any dish that Hee-joo craves and promises to serve it on the beautiful plate that Joon made. Hee-joo feels the plate’s edges and chuckles, “I thought he had smashed everything, but I guess he had saved one.” In his office, Joon stares at a photo of Hee-joo holding up his plate and texts Cha-young, “Thank you, chef.”

As Cha-young carefully washes Joon’s plate, she thinks back to what he had to say about Kang’s transfer, “…he’s a surgeon who no longer can perform surgery.” When she asked for details, Joon had urged Cha-young to ask Kang herself.

When Kang parks at the address that Ji-yong provided, he picks up the boy’s gift bag from the floor and the envelope that fell out. Kang takes a peek at Ji-yong’s letter and sees that it was written by Min-yong’s friend, Ye-sol, who explains that she’s helping Ji-yong because he never learned how to write.

After returning the letter to the envelope, Kang wakes up Ji-yong. As they head inside, Kang gets a call about a former patient and Ji-yong runs into the restaurant where his mother works.

At Geosung Hospital, Cha-young picks up a prescription and explains to her nurse friend that she wants her medicine handy, “…just in case.” Before Cha-young leaves, the nurse mentions that she and Kang now work at the same hospice.

When Kang finally follows Ji-yong into the restaurant, he can’t find the boy anywhere. Kang has to call Director Kwon to inform him that their patient is missing and that he notified the police.

On her walk back to the hospice, Cha-young thinks about what the nurse told her about Kang, “…his hand started shaking during surgery, so he was taken out before he could even finish it.”

When she reaches the hospice, Cha-young finds Min-yong sobbing and assumes that Ji-yong died. She’s actually relieved when she learns that Ji-yong is only missing.

Cha-young and Min-yong arrive by bus in Gongju Province just as Kang returns to the restaurant to look for Ji-yong. An employee remembers that Ji-yong left with the dishwasher and directs Kang to the woman’s neighborhood.

Kang finds the neighborhood at the same time that Cha-young and Min-yong get there by taxi. When Kang catches up to them, Cha-young shows him the address that Min-young has as he mumbles that he promised to never visit his mother again.

Min-yong goes weak with relief when Cha-young sees Ji-yong at a food stall across the street. When asked if he saw his mother, Ji-yong holds out some money, “She told me to get something nice to eat and never visit her again.” Ji-yong starts to cry when he confesses that his mother’s new man hits her and Kang notices that the boy still has his mother’s gift.

Kang calls Director Kwon from the local hospital to report that Min-yong collapsed after they found Ji-yong. A sorry Ji-yong climbs into his older brother’s hospital bed and promises that he’ll never disappear again. When Kang shows up to check on them, he asks about Cha-young and learns that she went to deliver Ji-yong’s gift to his mother.

When Cha-young finds the woman who abandoned her sons, she remembers trying to call her own mother from a phone booth after waiting in the department store for three hours. After Cha-young left a message that she’d be waiting on the first floor, she walked back inside.

When Cha-young murmurs, “Mom,” the boys’ mother looks up and it’s obvious that she has a black eye. Setting down the bag, Cha-yong asks the woman to see to it that Yang Seung-hui gets the birthday present from her son. Cha-young can’t help but cry when she asks, “Can you please ask her if she knows that today is Ji-yong’s last birthday?”

As the boys leave the hospital with Kang, Ji-yong complains that he’s hungry. When Cha-young returns, Ji-yong reminds her that it’s his birthday so she promises to get him whatever he wants to eat.

The brothers rattle off a list foods and soon they’re watching happily as Cha-young and Kang buy everything that they asked for at a convenience store. Kang looks impressed when Cha-young uses the convenience store food to prepare a feast and he even claps along to “Happy Birthday”.

While Ji-yong closes his eyes to make a wish, his mother takes a Quizno’s sandwich out of the gift bag and reads in his letter how happy he is to share her birthday. Ji-yong’s letter explains that her gift is a “happy sandwich” like the ones his late father bought when he wasn’t feeling well, “It’s really delicious. It makes me happy every time I eat it.” Ji-yong’s mother sobs after reading her son’s final message, “I really love you, Mom.”

Jealous because Min-yong can eat spicy noodles, Ji-young complains that he’s unlucky to have a brother like him. Cha-young brings up Tae-hyun which triggers a discussion about which of them is more unlucky. When Ji-yong complains that he can’t spend his birthday with his mom, Cha-young admits, “I spent my birthday without my mom, too.”

Ji-yong mentions that he spent his last birthday in the hospital but Cha-young goes to the hospital on every birthday because she needs an IV. Kang listens as Cha-young explains, “I never had birthday parties like you ever since that day.” When asked for details, all Cha-young will say is that it was a horrible day that she doesn’t want to remember, even in her dreams.

During the drive back to the hospice, Min-yong and Ji-yong sleep in the back seat while Cha-young stares out of the window. After Cha-young’s confession, Kang realizes that there’s more to the terrified plea for help that she made when he found her in his closet.

At Geosung Hospital, Joon operates again on Chairman Jo but he suffers a heart attack during surgery and dies. When Joon informs the family, Chairman Jo’s son hits him in the face and throws him against a wall.

Joon’s parents arrive and his father reminds the son that Joon took the chairman’s case when no one else would. When the son continues to malign Joon, Seung-hoon slaps him and brings up the rumor that he was in the States doing drugs while his father was dying.

Suddenly, Seung-hoon is about to fight with the chairman’s son until Hye-mi bites his hand to bring him to his senses. Later in his office, Seung-hoon kneels before his mother who motions for Hye-mi to kneel as well. Grandma reminds Hye-mi that she paid off her father’s debts so that she would protect Seung-hoon from being kicked around by others.

Hye-mi promises, “I’ll…try my best so that it never happens again.” Seung-hoon’s sister, Seon-hoon, certain that Chairman Jo’s wife will retaliate, warns Seung-hoon, “…you’ve just awakened a sleeping lion.”

When Hye-mi accuses her sister-in-law of relishing their predicament, everyone starts yelling until Grandma restores order with a tap of her cane. Grandma complains, “I can’t believe you’re my children. How do you expect me to trust you at all?”

Out in the hallway, Joon overhears his grandmother’s warning that the newspaper run by Chairman Jo’s family is sure to come after them. Joon walks away and runs into Kang who mentions Chairman Jo, causing Joon to accuse his cousin of visiting the hospital to gloat.

Kang informs his cousin that he’s at the hospital on personal business but Joon doesn’t believe him. Joon accuses Kang of having a spy at the hospital who reports back to him but Kang explains that he learned about Chairman Jo on the internet.

When Cha-young’s nurse interrupts, Joon walks away but he pauses long enough to hear Kang explain, “I’m here to ask you something.”

At the hospice, Nurse Young-shil sees Hee-joo with her husband and confesses to Seon-ae, “I’d love to have a husband like him for at least one day.” Seon-ae admits, “I once had an amazing husband as well. But I ended up leaving him because I was out of my mind.”

Seon-ae warns Nurse Young-shil, “You should never let go of that amazing guy like I did.” When Seon-ae returns to the kitchen, Nurse Young-shil tries to figure out who this “amazing guy” could be just as we see Director Kwon bathed in a halo of light.

While Seon-ae finishes cooking the gomtang, the young nurse pops in to ask for kimchi. She wants instant noodles after seeing Director Kwon eating some and needs kimchi. Seon-ae decides to take a bowl of the fresh gomtang to Director Kwon and is about to leave it in his office when he returns.

Kwon doesn’t appreciate Seon-ae’s gesture and insists, “I don’t want it. You can take it back.” Seon-ae added glass noodles just for him and asks Kwon to eat the gomtang so that it doesn’t go to waste. When Kwon won’t change his mind, Seon-ae picks up the tray and shuffles out of the office.

Seon-ae watches as Tae-hyun gobbles up Director Kwon’s gomtang while looking around suspiciously. He explains the reason for his haste, “…there were always people chasing us. So I had to eat quickly.” When Seon-ae doesn’t understand, Tae-hyun explains, “My mom always ran away after she borrowed money. She abandoned my sister and kept me…but they’d always chase us down. We always had to be ready to run.”

Tae-hyun realizes that he hasn’t had gomtang since the unfortunate incident in Greece involving Lee Kang. Tae-hyun wonders why that name sounds so familiar and scares Seon-ae when he shouts, “The name of Cha-young’s first love. It’s Lee Kang!”

On the way back to the hospice after picking up groceries, Cha-young hears a report about a shopping mall collapse on the taxi’s radio. At the same time, Kang asks the nurse why Cha-young has been under the care of psychiatrist at the hospital since 2006.

In the taxi, Cha-young can’t control the flood of traumatic memories and when she curls up and hits the back window, the driver assumes that she’s carsick.

As Kang drives back to the hospice, he thinks about the nurse’s answer, “She was buried underneath the collapsed department store that day. She was only 12 years old.” Realizing that Cha-young was buried in the same collapse that killed his mother, Kang understands how scared she must have been.

Out of the corner of his eye, Kang sees Cha-young being sick on the side of the road but he doesn’t recognize her. He parks at the hospice and hops out of his car to help Seon-ae unload the groceries from the taxi.

When the driver hands over Cha-young’s backpack and phone, Seon-ae explains to Kang that Cha-young got carsick on the way back. They’re interrupted by the young nurse with news that Suk-ja collapsed. While Kang examines Suk-ja, her guardian suddenly faints.

As the sun begins to set, Cha-young manages to get to her feet and slowly makes her way back to the hospice. A worried Suk-ja, who’s now in a wheelchair, insists on staying with her guardian, who went into shock when Suk-ja collapsed. Sobbing, Suk-ja urges the woman to wake up, distressed that her guardian allowed herself to became so upset over someone who’s not even a blood relation.

When Kang finally returns to his office, he remembers Cha-young and calls the cafeteria. After learning that she’s not back, Kang drives around looking for Cha-young but it’s Joon’s car that stops to give her a ride.

Holding a bag of bungeo-ppang (a fish-shaped pastry), Cha-young guesses that they’re for Hee-joo. Joon explains that he bought them after a terrible day and when they reminded him of Hee-joo, he found himself driving to the hospice.

At the hospice, Joon stares at Hee-joo’s room as Cha-young promises to serve the bungeo-ppang on his plate. When Cha-young asks Joon again about Kang’s injury, he asks her, “By any chance, does Kang like you?”

Kang stops to look for Cha-young in the very spot where she was sick earlier. When he finally returns to the hospice, he calls to see if Cha-young returned but hangs up before getting an answer. On his way inside, Kang sees Cha-young turning some food set out to dry and walks away without a word even though he’s visibly relieved.

Later, Kang sits near the water to observe his mother’s memorial. Apologizing for the meager offerings, Kang fills a paper cup with soju for his mother just as Cha-young finds him. After Cha-young explains that she heard that he was looking for her, Kang tells her, “I wanted to ask if you’d like to drink with me after work.”

When Cha-young starts to sit down, Kang tells her, “That’s my mom’s seat. You can sit here.” Kang fills Cha-young’s cup with water since she’s not feeling well and wishes her, “Happy birthday.” Cha-young’s eyes fill with tears when Kang adds, “I hope you’re never sick again. Especially on your birthdays.”

 
COMMENTS

Rather than another death at the hospice to deal with this hour, it’s the death at the hospital that wreaks havoc. With Kang sent to the hospice, Joon is feeling the pressure as the heir-apparent and when he loses a high profile and powerful patient like Chairman Jo, there are serious consequences to worry about. For once, Kang isn’t in the hot seat, which allows him to interact more with the people around him, especially Cha-young and Ji-yong.

Kang may look stern and serious, but he’s no match for a ten year old who wants to spend what will probably be his last birthday with the mother who abandoned him. Kang knows something about what it feels like to miss your mother, so he completely caves when Ji-young calls him a “meanie” and succumbs to tears. Unfortunately, things don’t go so well after Ji-yong goes missing and he ends up rejected again by his mother. His is a memorable birthday for all of the wrong reasons until Cha-young saves the day.

As Cha-young prepared a birthday feast from convenience store foods, Kang couldn’t help but respect what she was able to accomplish and the happiness that her efforts produced in two abandoned brothers. Even though her face-to-face confrontation with Ji-yong’s mother stirred up painful memories, Cha-young ignored her own pain to salvage Ji-yong’s birthday and Kang learned some tidbits about her in the process. That led to a bit of investigating and now that Kang knows that Cha-young was a victim of the department store collapse that killed his mother, they share a special bond that he can’t ignore.

Kang isn’t the only doctor who’s revealing a softer side. Joon continues to grieve for the dying Hee-joo from afar which is especially devastating in the aftermath of Chairman Jo’s death. While Joon’s family members turn on each other, Kang offers his cousin some rare comfort but Joon isn’t willing to accept that he’s not enjoying the show. When are these two grown men going to realize that they have more in common that the fact that they’re both neurosurgeons? Joon has obviously had to give up what he loves, his pottery, to fulfill his family’s expectations. But like his father and Kang’s father, as a doctor, Joon isn’t as talented as his cousin. Joon has only moved ahead of Kang because of Kang’s brain injury but while that’s an advantage in the board room, it’s of no consequence in the operating room.

With Kang at the hospice, he’s the only member of his family who won’t be damaged by the war that’s about to be fought with Chairman Jo’s family. Kang may be the only one who can head the hospital after all is said and done, but will he even want to anymore? Losing the hospital may be the best thing that could ever happen to Kang and Joon.

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Thanks @teriyaki for the recap. I have enjoyed these two episodes very much.

Finally in Ep 5-6, Chocolate has realised the potential that I had a glimpse of in Episode 1 and 2 and that made me persevere through Ep 3-4. With its melancholy tone, beautiful cinematography, great acting and directing, and a very thoughtful script, it manages to explore, in a very understated but heartfelt way, in these two episodes, the complicated issues of human attachment (and the lack thereof) to each other and to food.

Abandonment by blood related family is a big theme in Ep 5-6. It started with a frustrated CY, herself abandoned by her own mother, wondering how she could “abandon” her useless brother, even saying that to his face. It then continued with LK being abandoned by his own Grandma as she deems him now useless for not being able to use his hand to operate. It then developed this theme much further with the Grandpa’s and Mi Yong and Ji Yong’s stories, the earlier completely abandoned by his son and the latter by their mother. Does one abandon one’s family members once they become useless and burdensome? Or does one carry them, support them and shield them from all the canes of the world even when ones shouts at them to disappear? I love how the writer answers this question through CY’s complicated relationship with her brother. She does not hold back from telling him exactly what she thinks of him, not only to his face but to other people, how desperately she wants her life free of him, repeatedly since Episode 1 (by the way, anyone caught an Empress Ki’s reference when TH was telling CY about her debt to him in a previous life? I thought it was hilarious). Yet she continues to support him, feed him, protect him when he needs her. This theme is then further highlighted and contrasted with the two Grandmas’ story at the end of Ep 6, when the terminal disease one asked her guardian “Why did you go in to shock because of me? You’re not my daughter or sister, we’re not even related by blood”.

Like most viewers, I love the cooking scenes in Chocolate. When CY cooks, it is serene, caring and beautiful. They are scenes that set the tone of this drama. Yet, the series does not just present food, it explores the relationship of people to food, the space in between and it does exactly that, beautifully in these last 2 episodes. Food is not itself but what it represents to and was imprinted in people. Early in Ep 5, CY wondered why the Grandpa would like to eat the black bean noodles so much even though it is not that good. But to him, it is not just noodles, it represents the hope of being reunited with his son. Later on, she goes to the Quiznos PPL (to buy Ji Yong a sandwich at his request , as it is revealed later). The salesgirl makes a comment that CY would make much better sandwich, obviously knowing who she is, and CY replies that Ji Yong apparently does not think so. Later on, in Ep 6, we learnt that Ji Yong’s father used to buy him this...

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Later on, in Ep 6, we learnt that Ji Yong’s father used to buy him this sandwich when he was alive. To Ji Yong the Quiznos sandwich represents the parental warm care that he now lost completely. Eating that particular sandwich is the only thing he could do to get close to that feeling, that’s why it tastes better to him than anything else.

To CY, whose childhood was starved of food due to her mother’s ambition and lack of love to her, food represents love, that’s why her first love was a boy who fed her well. This imprint was so deep, she preserves it through many hardships of life and cooks food to people when she wants to comfort them. Her food is usually very thoughtful and may be that’s why we love watching her cook so much. Among all her cooking, I particularly love what she did for Kim He Joo. She did not just gave HJ the plate Jun made her, she plates the present up (pun intended 😀) with cherry blossom (K drama notorious symbol of love!) gimbap to subtly tell HJ about Jun’s unspoken love for her. Heartbreakingly, HJ literally can’t see the plate as well as the gimbap just as in the past she was not able to “see” Jun’s love for her. She could only “feel” by smelling and touching, the blossoms coming from the tea and the food. The look on HJW’s face at the realisation is fantastic acting. One can see deep empathetic pain in her eyes. The thoughtfulness and subtlety in this scene is immense, and it will be one of my most favourite cinematic moments.

This brings us to the titled sweet: Chocolate. To CY, who was given chocolate while buried under the collapsed building hopeless and exhausted, it represents comfort and rescue. That’s why when she was engulfed with pain, she eats chocolate. While to Kang, who used to love chocolate and now has stopped eating it, what does chocolate mean? So far there has been no clear answer, but I suspected that perhaps he knew the reason his Mum was in the department store that day was to buy him chocolate (she told CY she was there to buy chocolate for her son) so to him, chocolate now represents loss/pain and tragedy, perhaps even guilt. Would CY ever be able to change this imprint in him? From the intro scene, with him handing her the box of chocolate sanshas, it seems she would.

Amid two episodes of abandonment stories runs the main story of growing attachment of our main leads with each other and with people around them, alive or deceased. This is not a fantasy drama but one can see fantastical figures on CY and Lk’s dates which weaves an element of magics and melancholy to their love story. Episodes 5 and 6 have almost parallel structures in which our main couple interact with a patient, gain some truth about each other then stumble on each other for a meal or a drink, but with a third party present.

At the end of Ep 6, without a word, together they did a memorial service for the deceased Grandpa by Kang buying him a plate of noodles and CY a drink. It was impressive to me the scene when...

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At the end of Ep 6, without a word, together they did a memorial service for the deceased Grandpa by Kang buying him a plate of noodles and CY a drink. It was impressive to me the scene when CY ordered the drinks, Kang looked at her slightly surprised (she wants to drink?). When he saw her looking at the Grandpa’s hat, his surprised look changed into understanding. When they look at the rain they both think of Grandpa and then he appears to them. That one minute scene conveys how perfectly they are suited to each other, at their psychological core, since both possess immense ability to empathise with people. That is great love story telling on from the PD and writer. Kudos to YKS and HJW for acting that out flawlessly.

If I have learnt something from the story telling style of writer Lee in Chocolate, it is that she tends to parallel an incident or a scene but elevate and expand the later to a new level with a new meaning. She did that again here with the end scene of Ep 6 which echoes one of Ep 5. CY found Kang preparing his Mum’s memorial service on the walk bridge. He said he looked for her earlier to ask if she wanted
to drink with him after work (did he just indirectly ask her out?). She agreed silently then prepared to sit down when he said “That is my Mum’s seat. You can sit here”. He pointed to his other side. She then sat down. Then he said “Happy Birthday” which then verifies that it is the day of the tragic accident that took his Mum and left her with a permanent emotional scar. The camera then zooms out at the two of them sitting on the bridge or should I say 3, because Kang’s Mum of course was there too, on the seat her son had saved for her. That one image conjures up the long passage of time, of the past they shared but not fully aware of and of a future they will share that they are still not aware of either. The healing process starts on the memorial day of the accident that caused their deepest wounds. The scene depicts beautifully the human attachment that transcends time and death. A meaningful end scene to these 2 cohesive episodes that feels like a movie.

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Thoughtfully written insights 👏👏👏

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Loved your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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I cried watching the last two episodes, and I dropped some tears reading your thoughtful comments. I didn't know the messages conveyed through the television series could be this deep. My applause to you. Great comments. Just great.

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@teriyaki and @Sunset 125, thanks for your respective beautiful recap and well curated thoughts - heightening the nuanced appreciation of what this story brings.

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Finally we get here when they give comfort to each other after all tragic things happenned in earlier episode. I hope Jun will join them too sooner or later and escaping from toxic family and work environment.
I'm curious about what happened between Director Kwon and Soon-ae in the past. So they're used to be married but Minseong isn't her son?

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I'm curious about this point too.

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Will the bro play cupid now?

Thanks for the recap, it helps specially when one is impatiently waiting for the next episode.

To more bitter sweet moments... cheers.

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After that ending, I just can smile :)

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I sobbed again this episode. Again the romance is still super tangential, but those boys😭😭😭😭.

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The writer is weaving little happy moments in a mine field of sadness.

This year's great performances by child actors continues with Ji-yong.

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good job to the team and i watch it over and over again god bless,

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2019 is the year that child actors have just taken over.

They are our future.

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Saw all the episodes ..rewind favourite scenes
listening the OST everyday
saw behind the scene...hilarious
Rewatched all trailers
Changed profile picture
Read recaps...commenting too
Now what
why Friday is not coming sooner?

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*hands you chocolates*

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I'm 2-3 episodes late but consider this my re mourning post about Yoo Teo. He'd have lived for Kang away from the toxic hospital & family business.

I wasn't sure I'd like this show, but the unexpected aegyeo in ep 2 & Jung Jin Woo's ost cemented my like. Ailee's ost was used too soon & too liberally, "I love you, I miss you I need you" ? This applied even in ep 2, & even now. She still doesn't know him enough to have those ost lines playing in the background. Anyways careful placement of osts is an art & most dramas don't do it well.

I keep expecting this show to have Joon as the SML at some point & it still hasn't happened, I'm pleasantly surprised. This drama passed the curse of ep 6.... Now I wouldn't actually be opposed to Joon building a friendship with Cha Young.... Just not the ulterior motive fuelled relationship please. It'd do CY wonders to have sm1 she doesn't work with as a friend.... Or just know that she's desired. I came for chocolate & romance.

BTW I don't think the drama showed enough for me to say pottery was his passion or dream... Maybe we all watch with different eyes.
Let Joon get the character growth he was sorta robbed off in Encounter.

Thanks for the recap.

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The pottery thing as I see it is a diversion and relief from family toxicity.

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I'd love to shatter some pottery at the end of each day.

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Me too. An outlet of pent up feelings, during which he probably experienced his first love.
I reckon he dated before & after too, but she was his unrequited love.

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I thought the same thing about the pottery thing, but then they showed why he's into it. There's a girl that he has feelings for and she's not aware of it and they used to do pottery together and she ends up in Hospice.

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Yes when they first showed it, I thought he might have wanted to be a Potter, but then the next scene they showed him smashing them & I was convinced it was more of an outlet & activity of solace rather than his primary interest.
_ I don't think he's ever been free enough to think about what he wanted to do in life.

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Honestly, we haven't learned much about Joon and he seems pretty interesting. He's been brainwashed to want to be the heir his entire life that he's probably never thought of doing anything else. But through the interaction with this woman he loves and Cha-young, we got to see the better side of him. The side I would love to see more of.

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Agreed. Even as a child he was fuelled by insecurity, which made him lash out at ML.
I'd love to see who he is outside the shadows of his family. I think there's a semi decent man there.

Also remember during the first episode the nurse told CY that Dr Joon was affected by the same tragedy she was? That he's touchy about it because he lost someone? At that point I thought the event occurred when they were grown ups so maybe he lost his beloved, but now we know the collapse happened when they were kids.
I wonder if he had a warm relationship with Kangs mom? Why otherwise would the show mention it? I hope it's not a plot hole.

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Wow, I didn't even think Joon may have had a storyline with Kang's mother. I just assumed the nurse was indicting Kang and Cha-young got mixed up with the two doctors because they had the same last names. I'm going to go rewatch that scene because if Joon got to know Kang's mom that can also be the reason Joon seems to care about Kang.

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It could be why he cares about Kang. He was sad & against sending Kang to war trodden country, & pleaded his parents to let him go & let it be a fair competition.

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I haven't come across more pathetic kdrama!! Most worthless writing I must say! Just check out the list of disasters included in the story and its just till episode 5!!! ==
orphan woman marries a chaebol
Her husband dies leaving behind a boy child
Boy meets little girl, get infatuated
burns his arm making sweet for girl
One day cruel mother-in-law shows up
Accident involving boy and his cousin
Girl involved in accident losing her parents and getting phobia
Orphan mother dies, cruel mother-in-law doesn’t allow funeral
Boy grows up to be a doctor
Cruel mother-in-law keeps both boy and his cousin hanging about ownership of hospital; of course, why can’t the boy just drop it all and join some other hospital is not understood
He is sent to middle east war zone!! He goes willingly as civilian doctor???
Lands in coma!!!
Comes out of coma!!!!
Comes back to practice surgery
Meet the girl
Girl meet the closest friend and becomes his girl friend??!!
Then she runs away to Italy!!!!
girl has worthless brother?!!
His closest friend has terminal cancer
He goes searching for girl???
friend dies
boy and girl have accident!!
he operates while being injured on the head???
He loses nerve function
boy and girl land up in same hospice to work!!!

ludicrous!!!!!!!

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I agree with you 100%. I wanted so badly to like this drama because of the actors. Sad to say I couldn’t even finish the 6th episode. This drama is so over the top, what a mess, way too much reaching, just silly. :(

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Yups with bit of imaginative writing this drama could have been amazing. They could have just twisted the storyline that the girl buys that sea side restaurant and starts running it. Boy disgusted with his uncle wanting him to go to war zone, drops everything and returns to the fishing village !!

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Why is that more imaginative than the hospice?

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They reached hospice now; they should have in episode 2 itself!

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Not sure how long have you watched kdrama? But it’s tragedy epics like this that shot kdrama into an international sensation and most Hallyu hits 15-20 years ago fall into this category while romcoms rarely achieved high ratings.

This drama with famed writer and director from that era brings out the old school feel. It is however not Makjang, and I and some other beanies really enjoy the nostalgia it brings - not to mention the acting and directing are top notch.

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Well, I couldn't care for the fame of writer or director, the storyline is pathetic.

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I checked the writer Lee Kyung-hee's earlier drama was 'uncontrollably fond' !!! another crazily twisted storyline making no sense!! :) :D I guess that's her formula for writing dramas, weird tragedy and coincidences. Now I know writer to avoid!

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Direction and acting are top notch indeed. Sparce use of dialogue and speaking with expressions is an art that not many dramas use well (or at all).

I also think this drama is dedicated to celebrating death and learning to cope with loss. I somehow feel as though the director or writer are paying tribute to people they have lost...

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Sure it's tragedy stacked on tragedy, but no one's forcing you to watch. As @epyc2010 said, this type of storytelling has long kdrama roots, and while it isn't my usual thing, the quality of the acting and the beautiful visuals are making this melo something I want to continue to watch. Usually being emotionally manipulated and put through the wringer leaves me cold, but for whatever reason, Chocolate's ridiculous amount of tragic events and coincidences is not making me press stop.

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LOL its free internet, nobody stops me from watching same as I have all rights to comment on the pathetic story line!! :) Amused that you have nothing to defend the ludicrous story line but questioning my critic!! I'd say nobody is forcing you to comment when you have nothing to say!

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The cynic in me thought I'd start making bets about who would die in each episode or drop it, but as @egads and @epyc2010 said, the acting, directing and cinematography are well done. I'm hooked by the heart it's found already as well as the strong found family vibe.

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I mean, I'm still making those bets....

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To be honest, I am too.

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Me3. I was like eenie meenie miney mo.... Which character is going to die in this drama & go?
But even with its tragedy stacked upon tragedy, I can't call it ludicrous. Because people do far more ridiculous things to fight for their place, for acknowledgement, for family.
I myself ask this many times, why doesn't X character just leave their family, espe when they're educated, financially secure or highly qualified? Because as much as I'd like them to, breaking ties with your relatives isn't that easy for someone whose been deprived of familial warmth.

Also if they just broke ties & moved on to live their life outside of chaebol control, we wouldn't have drama would we?

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This whole ep hit that found family vibe so hard. Loved it.
I would love if Joon and Cha-young develop that type of relationship too. I'd love to see a slow build to a close friendship.

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I'm a bit worried that we might get a love triangle (what a disaster), but at the same time, I don't think it'll happen because of what we're learning about Joon. But please, please, please no love triangle!!

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Amen to that wish!

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Underneath the rubble (pun intended) is actually a treasure within. It’s a story of two characters in the process of finding healing and solace in one another and in the comfort of food amidst the backdrop of a hospice.

Sunset125’s posts above give a very good analysis of the tragic events that have an impact on the psychological issues experienced by the characters.

This is a melodrama, emphasis on melodrama, with heart tugging narrative. There may be some suspension of belief needed in some circumstance. But if you could look past that, this drama is actually a treasure. I understand if this is not your cup of tea (or chocolate) and of course you can always stop watching if you wish.

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i think the storyline is really ridiculous too. Too much is happening and all very shallow. too much, too fast, and some scenes are really not important at all i think, it's just like they made it just to fill in. Ha Ji Won doesnt do much, acting wise..the main actors are really dull compared to the child actors! i can't seem to enjoy this drama, except for the musics, and cinematography.

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This was a really good episode. I like where this is going. I just hope it doesn't disappoint.

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Have you watched Just Between Lovers yet? If this one does wind up disappointing you or making you too sad, try that one instead.

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JBLs is so good.

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I loved that hero and heroine so much. Especially loved how much the hero was a complete marshmallow for those he loved and how much he respects and likes the women who come into his life.

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Manipulate away. As long as this continues to be a healing, found family drama with tons of heart, I'll continue to watch, cry, repeat.

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My initial feeling while watching Ep.5 was something like.. OMG that is ridiculous, or something like this show is all over the place..

But I couldn't stop watching and denying that this is not my favorite show at the moment. At one minute, a tragedy happened. The next minute we saw Min-sung's father radiating gold aura. I mean the show continues to swing my emotions, and I don't know how I should feel about it. When I was about to hit Cha-young in the head for helping her just disgusting brother, her brother shouted things that made me see him in a new light. (he thought Cha-young was too naive saying something like she still believed that pearls are mermaid's tears and black pearls are from their mascara.) Or when a terminally-ill grandma told the second wife why she got into a shock because of someone not her cousin like her. There are lessons here and there and with every beautiful thing about Chocolate, I'm still here wanting more of it.

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Lol when I saw Minsungs dad moment I was like this is the year of supporting male characters & their halo moment, from shampoo ad worthy shots to this 😂😂😂

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Yay! I'm so excited that Kang and Cha-young will finally be interacting more!! I loved Kang's quiet admiration of Cha-young when she took the convenience store food and made a feast and the last scene with them drinking together. I don't know if it was ok for him to go to the hospital and ask about her medical history, but I'll let it go since Kang is starting to understand her a bit more.

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I did not like that bit either. It's invasion of privacy, especially since he's not her guardian or doctor consultant on record. The nurse just blabbed a patients history to sm1 she knew, who as far as she knows doesn't have any significant relationship with that patient.

I'm very particular about patients privacy, especially in my country where I don't think patients are treated with respect or given the chance to maintain their dignity by medical professionals so I REALLY hated that part.

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Episode 6 was overall a very strong episode, but Kang going to the hospital to ask about her medical history and then that nurse actually divulging that information really took me out of it. It also felt icky because I wonder if Kang being a doctor there and it being his family's hospital is part of the reason why the nurse divulged. That part could have been written to have Kang overhear Cha Young's history.

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That fact is in fact not necessary at all. Being a doctor at that hospital and the hospice which are linked, Kang should have access to whoever patients’ files in both. That is why he knows CY has been coming to the hospital and under the care of a psychiatrist’s since 2006. I dont know why they have to show him asking a nurse for that. I would assume they have digital records which he should be easily access since he would have login authority and password to the hospital patients’ database. I think the whole situation was an excuse for him to run into Jun and Jun saw that he was there to meet someone and not to gloat on him. Having said that from other Kdramas that I watched, it seems privacy laws are not that strict in Korea compared to countries like say Australia or US.

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Actually another reason for the conversation with the nurse could be for Kang to say his Mum was in the store that day too. Somehow, the nurse might tell CY this later in the series and may be she will find out about the identity of the lady who gave her chocolate that way.

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I am really enjoying this drama. It is really all about execution. You can have a story with a bajillion tropes and kdrama cliches, but if you can execute it just right, it can become a riveting watch.

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Agree totally. It is all about context, structure and execution.

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Like someone said in an earlier comment:

This is not everyone's cup of chocolate.

It has evoked some strong emotions but am glad that there are other people who think that the execution of this series is awesome.

Having said that: liked some small bits of episode 7, episode 8 was solid and the preview of episode 9 is already making me want to Fast forward time. Looking forward to reading the recaps of ep 7 and 8 as I want to understand the nuances.

Also, i dont know what to expect of the series or the end but am crossing my fingers and hoping that they continue creating some good art.

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That little man Ji-Yong I want to know his name. I like him in this series he really play his part. He was better than some of the grown up. He is a special little guy I love him. I am american but I love korean series and movies. They make you feel the movies and series.

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I want to know the kid name who play Ji-yong in chocolate I think he is cute. I love that kid he is sweet. I really want to know his name please.

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His name is Woo Sung Min.

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Thank you I am very happy to know his name. I will look for him other series and movies.

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Chocolate is the best series I have seen so far. I love all the series to it. The main one was with the little spaceman I would love to see more movies with him in them. I cry when he pass away it really hurt me and it was only a movie. But it make you feel something I love movies that can make me feel.

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