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Chocolate: Episode 11

Despite our hero’s growing feelings, he’s been pushing the woman he likes further and further away, while our second lead has been pulling her closer. This unlikely friendship has been sparking changes in our second lead, changes that, perhaps, were already waiting to happen. If we’re lucky, one revelation could help guide him to the good side, where he truly belongs.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Kang hurries over to Director Kwon’s office, having heard that his uncle Seung-hoon is there. He finds the two arguing as Kwon pricks Seung-hoon’s finger to relieve his indigestion. Once Kwon heads out — tired of Seung-hoon’s whining — Seung-hoon looks up at Kang (who’s hiding a smile).

“Who do you take after?” Seung-hoon asks him. Does he take after his father, who didn’t care for power, or his mother? Seung-hoon keeps getting this feeling that Kang isn’t his real nephew, but the paternity tests Grandma had done years ago say otherwise. Ignoring the question, Kang leaves as well.

Up on the roof, Joon’s concern for Cha-young is distracting him from work. He snaps out of it when his dad comes from out of nowhere and kicks him in the shin. Seung-hoon can’t stand the sight of Joon doing laundry when he should be doing surgery.

But the real reason Seung-hoon is upset is because of what Grandma told him. He reveals that Grandma wants Joon to take over the silver town once it’s developed. Meaning, he shouts, that Joon will be stuck with the silver town while Kang gets Geosung.

At Geosung, Joon’s mom Hye-mi is fuming as Seo-hoon rambles on about Kang being Grandma’s new favorite. Seo-hoon suggests Hye-mi just sweet talk Kang into giving her what she wants, since he’s kind-hearted, and Hye-mi answers, “Do you think I’m a beggar?”

While eating lunch, Min-yong offers Kang his sandwich to make him happier. Kang asks if he looks unhappy, and like Ji-yong did before, Min-yong says, “Yes, a little.” Min-yong then tells him he got in big trouble for revealing Nurse Na-ra’s crush, making Kang’s eyes go wide.

Kang has a total oh, crap moment as he realizes that he misunderstood Na-ra’s crush as Cha-young’s. He thinks back to his big speech to Cha-young, about being Min-sung’s friend, and groans with embarrassment.

After lunch, Kang sneaks over to the kitchen and peeks through the door. He sees a smiling Cha-young guide Michael’s adoptive mom Susan in cooking seaweed soup.

Young-shil joins him at the door, making him jump, and he lies that he’s just checking in since the patient in room 303 has food allergies. Young-shil reminds him that that patient passed away a few days ago, and he’s embarrassed yet again.

Kang walks away, bumping into none other than Na-ra. He sighs at the sight of her and keeps walking, haha. Young-shil goes into the kitchen and, seeing the seaweed soup, asks if it’s Michael’s birthday.

Susan just smiles and says that the soup is for someone else. Cha-young’s smile, however, falters as she looks at the food. She asks Young-shil to taste test it, having no answer when Young-shil asks why.

As Seon-ae walks over to the hospice, she struggles to figure out what it is she’s forgetting. Ye-sol sees her and runs over crying, saying she left her all alone at her grandfather’s restaurant.

Ye-sol says that she waited and waited because Seon-ae promised to do all the talking. Her grandfather completely ignored her, and she was so scared that she couldn’t give him the wedding invitation she made. She stalks off, leaving Seon-ae in a daze. “What do I do?” she says to herself. “I don’t remember any of that.”

In the kitchen, Cha-young tries to smell and taste various sauces and seasonings — but still, nothing. Seon-ae then bursts in, talking on the phone about her replacement; she asks that the new chef come in earlier than planned. Once she hangs up, she encourages Cha-young to quit too, saying she’s too talented a chef to stay.

We then cut to Young-shil and Susan trudge up a hilly neighborhood carrying food containers and flowers. They stop to take a rest, when some random guy with a guitar case passes by.

Romantic music swells as Young-shil and the man turn and stare, clearly recognizing each other. But before Young-shil can say anything, the man freaks and runs away, arms flailing. O…kay, weird.

Young-shil and Susan get to walking again, eventually arriving to their destination — Michael’s mother’s house. They smile at her and explain that they brought food because they heard she was sick. Though Mom isn’t all that pleased to see them, she lets them set up all the food on a table outside.

Susan tells Mom (with Young-shil translating) that she read Michael’s adoption papers and that she understands it was a difficult time for Mom. Susan figured that after Mom gave birth to the twins, Mom wasn’t able to fulfill the Korean tradition of eating seaweed soup.

Susan also thanks Mom for giving birth to Michael, and Mom scoffs that she shouldn’t feel grateful. Mom continues that the boys’ father ran off after she got pregnant, and she only had the boys because she had no choice. Smiling awkwardly, Young-shil sugarcoats her translations to Susan.

Both moms tear up, and Susan embraces Mom. But Mom pulls away and cries that they shouldn’t be acting friendly considering she abandoned her own son. “You should grab my hair and yell at me,” she says. “Why make seaweed soup for me? I don’t deserve it!”

As Mom cries, Michael’s twin comes sauntering in and asks what they’re doing. He scowls at the food, saying Susan should just leave them the money meant for Michael — he’s going to die anyway. At that, Mom starts smacking him and crying that they have no right to ask for anything.

Back at the hospice, Michael tells Kang that he once went to a Korean restaurant in LA with Susan. At that restaurant, they had a dish that Michael says “was sujebi but not exactly sujebi.” Since Susan really loved that dish, Michael hopes to see her enjoy it one last time before he passes. Aww.

That night, as Joon gets into his car, he gets a text from his mom saying she’ll make sure he gets Geosung. Before he can call her, he sees Kang rushing to his car (after Grandma called him over for dinner). The two lock eyes for a tense moment, and then Kang drives off.

Just as he’s about to take off too, Joon sees a disheartened Cha-young walk out of the hospice. He remembers her saying that she wouldn’t let her condition break her, but looking at her now, he seems doubtful. He follows her as she wanders off to a nearby market filled with all kinds of street food.

Even in that environment, Cha-young is unable to smell anything. So she heads into a restaurant and asks for several dishes. Joon watches from afar as she stuffs her face until she nearly chokes. When Cha-young heads into a chocolate shop next, Joon finally makes his presence known. He admits that he was following her, saying, “Because I was worried.”

They sit down with some sweet treats, and Cha-young mentions that even now, she’d still know the taste of chocolate. She reveals that she’d been trapped after a department store collapsed and that the woman trapped with her had given her chocolate. Thanks to that chocolate, she was able to hold out and come out alive. And then it clicks for Joon; he leans forward and asks what happened to the woman.

When Cha-young says that the woman died, Joon flashes back to that day. Kang’s mom had told the young Joon to relay to Kang that she’d be going out to buy chocolate for him. And that after that, they’d be returning to Wando Island. Oh man…

Meanwhile, Grandma and Kang have dinner alone, eating Kang’s dad’s favorite dish. Hye-mi comes over and eavesdrops just as Kang tells Grandma, “I’d like it if you didn’t shut down the hospice.” Grandma is clearly peeved, but she pretends she didn’t hear him. She just places food on his spoon and tells him to eat.

Afterwards, Kang comes out to the driveway at the same time that Joon pulls in. At first, Joon asks what he’s doing there in that petty tone of his, only to pull back and gently ask if his mom would be proud of him right now. After all, Joon reveals, his mom wanted to buy chocolate for him and take him back to Wando Island.

With that, Joon passes Kang and heads inside. We see the rest of his memory from that day, with Kang’s mom asking Joon not to hate her son so much. After all, she said, Kang hated competing with Joon. She then apologized for all the adults giving them a hard time, taking his hand lovingly. Outside, Kang sits in his car, letting this new information sink in. He lets out a sigh before driving off.

Joon stops just outside the living room, hearing his mom talking to Grandma. Hye-mi has this sly smile on her face, saying she knew Grandma had already picked Kang as Geosung’s successor the day she dragged him from the island. And the only reason Grandma didn’t outright say it was because she wanted Joon to be the pacemaker that provoked Kang.

On top of that, Hye-mi knows that Seung-hoon isn’t actually Grandma’s husband’s son. (WHAT.) Grandma starts hyperventilating, but Hye-mi continues, “Father-in-law didn’t die because he was shocked by his siblings’ betrayal. It was because he was shocked and betrayed by the fact that his eldest son wasn’t actually his.”

Grandma clutches her chest, as does Joon, who’s so shocked he looks like he might pass out. Hye-mi then gets to her point, getting on her knees and reassuring Grandma that she will keep all of this a secret as long as she makes Joon the successor. Grandma tries to stand but collapses back on the couch, unconscious.

Kang returns to the hospice for some late night work and finds Cha-young there waiting for him. She gives him a sad smile and says that she waited for him because she wanted to say goodbye. The chefs’ replacement will be coming tomorrow, she explains, and both she and Seon-ae will be quitting.

Kang’s surprise is taken over by hurt, especially when Cha-young wishes him good health. Desperate, he stops her from walking away and asks, “What do you call sujebi that isn’t exactly sujebi?” Cha-young blinks as Kang tells her Michael’s story. Hesitant, she lists three different dishes that it could be, and he asks that she make them. “One last time,” he adds, his eyes pleading.

Cha-young leads Kang over to the kitchen and gets to work on some dough. Kang offers to help out but ends up getting flour all over his pants. So Cha-young grabs an apron and puts it over his head. Tying the apron’s straps, Cha-young has to lean in awfully close. She’s more careful than necessary, which Kang seems to notice. Once he’s all set, she looks away and gets back to work, and he follows suit.

Meanwhile, Grandma is wheeled into the ER, with Joon left in the waiting room. His dad comes running in moments later demanding what happened, but all he can do is mutter that he doesn’t know. He plops down on a nearby bench and leans against the wall, emotionally exhausted.

Back in the hospice kitchen, Kang is so out of it that he bumps into a bunch of pots and scares them both. Cringing at himself, Kang asks if he can steal one of the kitchen’s soju bottles. He takes a shot and then pours another one, asking if she’s returning to Greece.

When she doesn’t answer, he sets his glass down and turns to face her. “I’m sorry,” he tells her, his head low. “I misunderstood you.” She asks what he misunderstood, and now it’s his turn to remain silent. Getting frustrated, she asks for him to leave so she can concentrate on cooking.

Kang quietly agrees and starts to head out, when he gets a phone call. The caller introduces herself as his old neighbor from Wando Island, fisherman Dong-gu’s niece. She says that she’d been going crazy trying to get Kang’s number — to tell him that Dong-gu passed away in an accident.

The niece cries that the burial is tomorrow and that Dong-gu waited so long for Kang’s return. Without another word, Kang hangs up and rushes over to the parking lot. Cha-young chases after him, concerned, and gives him the car keys he left behind. Before he gets into his car, she reminds him that he just drank alcohol.

He numbly says that he has to get to Wando Island by tomorrow for a burial, and she notes that all public transportation will be done for tonight. Making up her mind, she gets in the driver’s seat and says that if they go now, they can make it in six hours. She urges him to climb in, but he stays where he is, eyes locked on her.

  
COMMENTS

And the hits just keep on comin’. I can’t say it’s not needed, though. I’ve enjoyed the past few episodes — the slow burn romance and the poignant patient stories — but it’s crunch time. We’re over halfway done with the series and our heroes are still afraid to move forward. My heart breaks for Cha-young, Kang, and Joon (hell, everybody) and their respective issues, and I can tell that despite those issues, they are concerned for each other. Whether they want to admit it or not. Now, with tragedy striking yet again, they’ll have no choice but to come together somehow and deal with it. I’m sure that all three are tired of having solo pity parties.

Kang, especially, has to be tired of pushing Cha-young away when that’s the last thing that he wants. His realization of the whole Na-ra misunderstanding was pretty funny, but it was also a much needed wakeup call. He’s always acting like he knows everything and that he’s the one who has to set everyone else straight. He’s constantly doing this with Cha-young, yet he still hangs onto her like a puppy. I felt so bad for him when she was trying to say goodbye, because I could see that he just wanted to keep her there as long as possible. If he wants to keep that up, if he really wants to be with her, he’s gonna have to learn how to own up to his mistakes.

Because of Seung-hoon’s comments about his brother at the beginning of the episode, I thought that was foreshadowing to them actually being true. But having that trope thrown at Seung-hoon himself was an interesting twist. I still think that Grandma is the absolute worst, but this big family secret helps me understand so much about her and about a lot that’s happened so far. She didn’t recruit Kang for fair competition; she recruited him to, essentially, set things right. At least in her mind. I find it even more hypocritical that she was so harsh on Kang and his parents when she was hiding something this big. I’m guessing she’s carrying shame on top of some serious denial.

I don’t know how Joon is going to respond to this. He’s been changing, sure, but this is a big blow to his side of the family. So he could fall back, right into the petty trap that is his parents, or he could embrace the maturity he’s been nurturing all this time. Besides that one scene where he and his mom pretty much stood there while Grandma collapsed (seriously?), Joon was a wonderful surprise this episode. I loved that he followed Cha-young just to make sure she was okay, and I loved that he was trying his best to be a friend. He’s especially gentle with her, but like @teriyaki, I don’t see it as romantic. She’s simply a good person who’s bringing the good out of him.

The birth secret was the big twist this episode, but it was an earlier twist that really got me in the feels. The fact that Kang’s mom had been planning to take them back to the island, only to die in that terrible accident — it’s soul crushing. I do wonder, however, why Joon kept that from Kang all these years. If he’d revealed Mom’s true wishes, he potentially could’ve gotten his competition out of the picture. So why keep it to himself? Why keep Kang there? Heck, why tell Kang now? While I don’t know the answers to these questions, one thing’s for sure: Joon is tired of the family drama. If only he’d realize that he’s the only one who can pull him out of it.

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Woohoo, have been waiting for this. Thank you @SailorJumun, can't wait to read it. Looking forward to read other Beanies who share their awesome insight too.

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this was a much much better episode than last week's disappointment.. i love stories are back to being emotional and heart warming...each story today had an impact that would surely remember for some days....
Lee Jun.. feels like a bomb in sleeping and am sure the day it will blast it will leave one big giant hole on my screen cause he has so much emotional trauma (and i really feel bad for his emotional health).
Kitchen scene is the best one in this episode.. Lee Kang is so flustered and intimidated by CY's closeness and her overly cautiousness and I absolutely adored the camera work there.. all extreme closeups, slomos,...aaahhhh am soooo in love with this episode....

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and yes thanks for the recap....

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Yes, thanks @sailorjumun for your insightful recap for episode 11. That was an interesting twist on the illegitimate birth of Seung-Hoon and explains on the hypocritical actions of the Grandmother. It is great that there is marked progress in the relationship between Kang, Chae-Young and Joon. An hour of this KDrama passes by so quickly and I am waiting impatiently till this weekend for the forthcoming episodes. I am looking forward to the comments and discussions among the fellow Beanies on this episode 11 cum the recap of episode 12. Kudos to @sailorjumun and @teriyaki for all the timely and in-depth recaps.

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When I started this drama romance was never a priority for me. But now, considering all the slow and subtle romance, I'm fallen over.

From the start, Cha-young has been careful, even though she yearned for Kang she kept herself away wary at every meeting repeating to herself that it will hurt them both if she falters in ways even for a minute and say. It seems Kang has fallen to the same trap.

Quoting from Strong woman Do bong Soon, All it takes is a one-step towards each other from either of them. Based on the apron scene, all the carefulness and flustering, and the next episode preview hopefully one of them take it in the next episode. I can't wait!!!

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Thanks for the speedy recap and appreciate your insights! @sailorjumun The family dynamics are getting interesting with the latest reveal. So that was the reason why Heartless Halmoni went all the way to Wando in order to seek her legitimate heir. Suddenly Halmoni doesn’t seem like a villain to me anymore compared to Joon’s mom showing her claws. She’s still heartless but Joon’s mom is scarier to me. She’s shrewd and has the potential to be very malicious. I don’t like her the most.

I’m very pleased with the development surrounding Joon’s character as he shows more depth and empathy instead of the anger issues he seemed to be projecting earlier. As most viewers predicted, his transfer to the hospice and his growing friendship with Cha Young that started with their link thru HuiJu seemed to have a positive effect on him. Which reminds me, what has happened to HuiJu? Was her operation successful and will she still return to the story? It didn’t seem like she and Joon had a proper closure when they parted.

Anyway, finally, the scene in the Kitchen. Never thought tying an apron can be so heart fluttering. Whew. I like that Kang starts to feel some desperation when Cha Young announces her intention to leave. I guess this situation and how to deal with it might be unknown territory for Kang. But I really like that in this episode his actions are giving away his real feelings.

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Oh almost forgot.. this popped up in my notif..
OST Part 9 “I Gotta Go First “

https://youtu.be/jVKTzYjdFfY

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Just heard this, like 10 minutes back!
When does this play in the drama?
I am wondering who is planning to leave without telling...

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It was on Episode 10 when Kang was in his office thinking about what MinSung told him and his conversation with Cha Young just moments earlier.

I had been waiting for this song. I really like the strings and piano as the instruments giving it a very mellow feel. It gives somewhat of a 40’s era vibe, I think. Can’t quite name the singers that the composition reminds me of... it’s sort of Gershwin? Or Nat King Cole?

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Like the mellow feel and the song but am longing for episode 12 music. I want the music from the sleeping CY near the ocean scene. then one when My darling Ajumma cook cries as though there is no tomorrow.

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Yup! We have two more songs to add to the playlist! 🙂

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@mei123db Mei Geu-Rei,

Thank you for the link. The opening strings in "I Gotta Go First" remind me of something from the 1930s-1940s. Lovely and poignant. Like Marlene Dietrich's German version of Cole Porter's "Miss Otis Regrets," which was released by the Office of Strategic Services to undermine enemy morale during WWII.

Ha ha! I just looked down and saw your comment -- we're reading each other's minds. ;-)

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It is lovely, isn’t it? Very poignant.
Kindred souls think alike 😊

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I'm curious if Joon didn't tell the fact Kang's mother wanted to go back to Wando because she was in the mall to buy chocolate for her son. Kang could have felt guilty for her death.

Ha Ji-won and Yoon Kye-sang have a great chemistry. Their scene together contain so much tension.

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I also think Joon was considerate. I would guess he didn't tell Kang because he saw nothing good can come out of that. That's why he's kept this all these years: Kang might feel guilty, and if he decided to go back to Wando, who was gonna take care of him let's say financially? Even I don't think the grandmother was gonna do this.

The reason why I think Joon decided to tell Kang now may be because he now sees the long-standing, though unaware at the moment by Kang, bond between FL and ML. He thinks that now Kang has Cha-young, and they kinda need one another. And perhaps because he just hates his family himself, so he just wants Kang out of this.

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Agree. I still think to the flashback when they were eating dinner and Kang was begging his Grandmother to do something for his Mom with tears in his eyes. Jun wanted to put his hand out to his cousin and comfort him. Knowing something like that all these years can take a toll.

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Jun is considerate isn't he? I mean who can tolerate being with that kind of parents if he's not considerate.. (rolling eyes.)

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I agree that he probably thought nothing good could have come out of telling him. He was a kid back then, so he probably didn't realize what Kang's mom's decision to go back to Wando meant for what her dream for Kang was. Now that Joon's older and both guys are away from the daily competition at the hospital, he's fully realizing how messed up his family is and how Kang has driven himself into unhappiness thinking that his goal in life was to take over the hospital and being this uber successful person for his mother, when what she had died wanting was for her son to live a happier, more positive life. I think he's worried that Kang - who has been very principled- would throw away his principles and even shame his dead mother in pursuit of a dream that no one except the grandma had wanted.

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Totally agree with you. His talk with Cha-young reminds him of Kang's kind mother. I'd like to think that he wants Kang out of this horrendous loop and decides that now it's the time for him to know what his mother really wanted for him.

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Thanks SailorJumun for your recap I really liked your comment about how all three are tired of having solo pity parties..so does we. All they need is spend some time together and talk. Can't wait to see their reaction when all the secrets will come out.
In Chocolate press conference Joon talked about his favourite scene where he and Kang drink soju with fried kimichi in front of a bonfire. Can't wait to see that scene...what they gonna talk..
Joon: Sorry I beat you
Kang: It's Ok I did beat you more
Joon: No way I beat you more
Kang: No I did and my punches were strong 😀
Joon:😀

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(1) Ahh show I am so glad you have found your way! Ep 11 gives me a huge relief that Chocolate is back doing its things again, and it gives me all the right feels.

Thanks @sailormunju for a great recap and comments. I think the same regarding the family secret. What a twist with the paternity issue of the uncle. Although it seems to be a typical pattern the writer uses in Chocolate.

Right in the early part of the Ep11, in the fashion of the Quiznos zika virus scene at end of Ep 9 (while Kang uses head movements to express what he couldn’t say with a mouth full of sandwich to MY), the writer quickly resolved the misunderstanding she created to fill Ep 10, and just like that we are fast back on track with Kang’s feelings, that of the now positively smitten romantic hero. Wasting no time, he was back at the door of the cafeteria where the misunderstanding started in Ep 10, a sign he was ready to move on with his feelings. Although can he repair the damage he did in Ep 10? Is he too late?

The only interaction between the Kang and CY in Ep 11 started when he got back to the hospice to see her waiting for him, to say good bye to him after she has quit. “Thank you for everything … Take care of you health. Good bye!” This achingly reminded me of what CY said in Ep 4.

In Ep 4, after her one year check up since the car accident where Kang operated on her, we heard CY narrated on the pavement as she was helping a fellow pedestrian picking up some papers: “Sometimes later, when my ardent feelings for you are all gone, I will come back with a non challant face and make sure to give my thanks to you. Don’t fall sick, don’t get hurt, please stay happy”.

So does that suggests that she has no ardent feelings left for him now when she says thank you and good bye?

Despite the suggestively heart warming apron scene, to me, the feelings in the kitchen sequence are very much one sided and it’s not CY”s side for a change.

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(2) This kitchen sequence mirrors the one in Greece when a angst filled Kang used all tricks to make CY do a take away dumpling soup for him, then entered the kitchen when she was cooking to intimidate her and eventually say hurtful things to her “I don’t want my friend’s last meal to be made by a woman like you, he deserves better”.

Here, we see him also trying hard to get her to make the soup (similar to dumpling soup), then deliberately follows her into the kitchen, obviously desperately to spend time with her. We see the camera follows him and his gaze. His eyes follow her and her movement. He got flour on his pants because he was kneading the dough while looking at her. The apron scene is heart fluttering, but it is very much Kang’s heart that feels it. The slo mo is to reflect his infatuation, we see his eyes and what his eyes see, her eyes, her face, her cheek, her shoulder, her lips. After this slo mo, we see a CY quickly ties up the apron, and turns around decisively and swiftly. She occupies with making sure the dough is right and doesn’t say a word to him. Then we see him staring intensely at her folding the wontons. She then suggests him to leave by telling him to wait in his office, then turns her back to him so he can’t see what she’s doing (somehow I found this so funny). He then steps back and still looking at her, bumps into the pots and pants. He obviously feels the tension and is so relieved to see the soju. While he drinks, he tries to pick up a conversation with her without success. That’s when he knows what he has to do. He apologises to her for misunderstanding her, when she said “for what?” he couldn’t answer. What do his eyes say? For Greece? For the last 5 years? Then at his last attempt to normalise the situation, she asks him straight out to leave, basically saying she doesn’t want to be alone with him.

Of course, after this she offers to drive him to Wando (again she definitely has huge doubt about his ability to drive at night 😅, especially after a drink). But it really is not different than when he saved her after the car accident, it is just consistent with her personality. I won’t spoil anything for Ep 12 if I say the 6 hours in the car is not different than in the kitchen.

But it’s all inevitable. At this stage, the hero must win back the heroine. It is how he does it that shows how good the writer is and that brings us to Ep 12…😊

Btw, I love Kassy's song at the end of this Ep and is listening to it right now as I type 😍

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Don’t you think saying goodbye to him was hard for her? I felt more emotions from her side in the scene when she is saying that’s i am quitting.
To be honest, kang feels for her and as an audience I know that but he hasn’t don’t anything positive towards the heroine, or at least nothing where she can take it as a gesture of love and not of compassion or his being good generally. She has had her hands burnt too many times...

And @Sunset125 I love how you connect because that is what the storyteller wants us to do.

Btw when she said thanks, I did wonder if she is over her feelings for him so she is thanking him for the operation. But then I realized, she might also be thanking him for Rescuing her while she was the hospice. Also, I still want to know (I might never) why did Kang go all out to save her when he operated on her. We have never had his point of view of that night or of when she was trying to wipe his tears.

Also, because he rejected her cooking at the cooking competition she doesn’t ever think of cooking for him (this is a random thought given all my comments about wanting her to cook for him — but I was pleasantly surprised when the characters surprise me in ep 12)

Oh and I wrote a long comment but it disappeared so please bear with my not very explanatory comment :)

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Ruckus, I feel more emotion from his side. She was very proper. And she said thank you for everything, which includes the operation, the mountain incident and other things (like fainting in closet 😊). YKS was very good at this scene. Just like @sailorjumun said in the recap, he was surprised then pained and YKS shows all that with his eyes (he s very good in sad scenes).

Regarding your second paragraph, that s what the hero must do in Ep 12 😊. Do you think he does a good job? 😊

As for why he saved her after the car accident? I think the writer might reveal more in the next 4 episodes. But for me it seems he just did what doctors are trained to do, to save lives when they can. I commented in details my view about this in Ep 4 recap 😊.

Let’s talk more about cooking in Ep 12 recap 😊.

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@Sunset125 I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts ep 12 recap is out as you see this as a set :)

Ohh I love how the actor has done wonders in his persona as Kang. To be honest, I cant take my eyes off him during his interactions because I keep feeling that I might miss his slight reactions. Also, I so avoid any video/clip with him being anything but Kang, right now, as I just want to be immersed in the Chocolate characters until the end.

But I cant forget the context and everything that brought CY to that scene and those dialogues. I saw his surprise and then the moment when he realizes that he wont have the time to undo what his "sorry- I am MS's bf speech" did. Though looking at him, taking off his specs and getting off the car, I could see no softness in his eyes when he sees CY waiting.

And @sailorjumun sums up some of his character succinctly: "He’s always acting like he knows everything and that he’s the one who has to set everyone else straight. He’s constantly doing this with Cha-young"
Thus, I love seeing the two interact but I also feel for her more (yes, I am biased). :D

And I am proud of her composure. Any other character would have just left but no she wants to see him one last time before going off and wish him, unlike last time.

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I think he did not know she was waiting for him when he was in the car. She might be waiting for her brother to pick her up. After she told him she was waiting for him you can see the surprise in his eyes.

I think the reason she wanted to say goodbye was to have some closure on her part. She has been running away for a long time (in her own words) so now after that MS speech where she knows absolutely no chance things will happen, she wanted to just thank him and move on?

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With regard to this: "As for why he saved her after the car accident? I think the writer might reveal more in the next 4 episodes. But for me it seems he just did what doctors are trained to do, to save lives when they can. I commented in details my view about this in Ep 4 recap 😊."

You did, I remember reading it but... you save people but at cost of your own life?

Joon also assumes that Kang liked her which is why he operated on her (ep 6 end right?)
Evil Grandma also says you missed your golden period for a girl.
Also, Joon doesn't tell CY about Kang's hand because he feels that she might blame herself and she could be Kang's love interest (maybe I read too much into that situation but it is my take!)
When Kang brings her into the hospital he keeps switching between her name and that woman (youja).

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I understand what you say Ruckus. For a while I actually entertained a theory that Kang was actually subconsciously in love with CY. But due to what MS told him about swallowing his feelings if he develops any for CY, he couldn't bring himself to face them. That is why he was so devastated she left MS. It feels like he was betrayed himself. This would totally explain why he operated the car accident 😊 ( I notice the way he refers to her too). But so far the writer hasn’t given me anything further to support this theory yet. May be she will in the next 4 eps? Although I suspect another more likely situation is Kang might admit CY is his first love too. Not because he loved her when they met as kids but because he s been too busy to actually have a gf 😃. There are many scenarios the writer might go for. It is fun to see what she chooses to do. But the way ep 12 goes, I am happy to sit back and leave my heart in her hands 😀.

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I had the feeling that he felt he had to operate for several reasons: no other doctor as qualified was available, and he still thought of her as his best friend’s great love, and he would be damned if he would let his memory down. A fair amount of ego involved imo.

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I agree Pat. I commented the same earlier. At the moment, that is the most likely explanation.

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I think Cha Young's feelings have only grown deeper. I think her admiration for him has made her more committed to hiding any feelings that might make him uncomfortable. She has a lot of practice pushing away her feelings, especially the romantic ones. She knows to send Kang away from the kitchen to break the tension. Kang, on the other hand, is catching feelings for the first time and it has caught him off-guard. He doesn't know how to stay cool yet.

Right after her 1 year checkup after the truck of doom, Cha Young had no expectation of seeing him again. She had planned to go back to Greece and let time and distance undo her feelings. And then boom! They now work together and see each other almost every day. Thank you, drama fates!

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I like your interpretation @ar :).

The truck of doom seems to be a blessing in disguise isn't it? :) Otherwise CY wouldn't owe the Ahjuma a favour (taking care of her when sick) and stayed around to help her; Kang wouldn't have the hand tremor and got transfer to the hospice. They wouldn't meet had not been for the truck of doom! :) She would have gone to Greece and as he wished they would never see each other again. Then boom! Truck of doom! Thank you drama fates indeed :)

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Thank you for the recap @sailorjumun!

As I tend to already forgot what I've seen in ep.11 when I've already finished ep.12, I'll have to go back and read your recap again in order to contribute some thoughts on this thread.

First, I do REALLY think that Quiznoz has kinda nailed it in this drama. First and foremost, it beat Subway. Second, it always presents itself as the food you eat to make you happy, or linked with happy memories or anything happy. I praised their strategy as portrayed in this drama while watching it.

Second, I once commented that I didn't know why they had to add the Michael's story into the plot, but I guess I kinda know the reason now. I don't know if it's in this episode or ep.12, but the way he expressed his love for his adoptive mother. I felt like there is a real mother-son bond there. Despite them not related by blood, their souls intertwined and shows us viewers that such bond can exist just between any people of any race in the world. It was so genuine it touched my heart.

Third, I second that I had absolutely no idea that tying an apron for another person can be this sexy.. (heeee//swooning) Their chemistry is just so good: it's subtle and enormous at the same time.

Lastly, I almost jumped from my couch when FL offered to give him a ride to Wando (You got this girl!) Thank God he drank soju while he was in the kitchen (now when I look back, it was quite strange why he had to drink soju in that kitchen, but who cares if its result led to this lol.)

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My dear @mmmmm he drank soju to get courage to confess and to somehow undo the sorry-I am MS’s best friend speech from episode 10. And I love how every small action in this drama is accounted for... she doesn’t drink because of her injury and as she is working... thus logically she can be a driver.

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Ruckus--you are so right. I'm constantly struck that the script writer is very "fate" oriented, and like you say once the scene plays out it is evident that every action has a reaction that leads to more closeness between Kang and CY. Does this mean that in the end they will be fated to be together?

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Hello Kwan...
Just one point... i do see fate playing a role but for me characters lead the story in this drama. This drama is all about characters and character development.

In my post which disappeared, i brought that up. At times storytellers get so lost in their process of creation that for them characters come to life, then events planned for the story are the storytellers technique ñf just getting these characters to react and grow. Characters react like they want and not like the storyteller wants them to(Extraordinary you ref. The story generally and Also, Remember the german philosopher mentioned in the last episode?).

I might be wrong but that is how I see it.

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I think he reached for the soju so that he could have an excuse to stay but it did give him the courage at least to start a confession of sorts. Of course that didn't last long.
;)

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It was quite funny the way I see it. But I can't say I wasn't enjoying this out-of-character action. It's always satisfying to see some progress in the romance for these two.

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@mmmmm isn it great she could drive like that. So fresh to see in K drama. I didnt think I could love her more but I did after that scene.

I love what you say about Michael’s story 😊. It is also another Korean story on the international stage, like the Vietnamese Korean couple’s story. As a lot of Korean children were adopted internationally, mainly to the US and Australia.

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Yes, it's always refreshing to see law-abiding and rational characters in TV shows, especially in Kdramas :)

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Ah and Michael's plot: it has served so many purposes. I also think, for me, it makes me think how we are no longer a homogeneous mix of people but individuals who might associate with more than one nation.
I would have liked Michael's twin to get a good beating because of how he manhandled CY, I mean he should be jailed just for that! but then again I am guessing that this is one of the secrets that will remain buried (and director wants to imitate life: not everything that happens in our lives is observed by others!).
I wonder why CY wasn't more angry with the brother...
her character is too forgiving!

And yes, after ep 12 I forgot everything about episode 11. I mean I saw the last 12 minutes of ep 11 (barring grandma collapse) like n number of times and since ep 12, I cant stop replaying the sweetness :D

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Typo:

And yes, after ep 12 I forgot everything about episode 11. I mean I saw the last 12 minutes of ep 11 (barring grandma collapse) like n number of times before Saturday night and since ep 12, I cant stop replaying the sweetness of ep 12 :D

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same here

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I don't normally replay scenes that I saw earlier, but somehow I just replayed the whole ep.12 (while also dozing off), and woke up completely just in time to see the romantic scenes in ep.12.

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Ditto re: Quiznos. It was incredibly and poignantly well-integrated into the story. I agree that it is presented as the food linked to happy memories. I like how it started off with it being Jin Yong's favorite thing to eat because he used to eat it with his father. It's easy to see kids really enjoying something like Quiznos rather than some fancier eatery. They don't try to make it look extra delicious. It's more like a comfort food.

The drinking soju in the kitchen thing was weird. I had brushed it off as Kang being a complete noob at this whole having-a-crush thing. Second-hand embarrassment watching him.

Michael, his mom, and his birth mom - I had some doubts about this mini-arc, but it's been shaping up beautifully.

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I also felt the same while watching him drinking like that. I was also second-hand embarrassed. But I can't say I don't like it: I think when men do something like that it really means that they do really like the girl. The fact that they're embarrassed and can't do anything properly indicates how infatuated they are or now lacking they are with regard to their ability to express their 'love' feeling.

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PROGRESS, finally, I'll write this again for episode 12. Lol

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That twist involving that douchecanoe Seung-hoon, in my opinion, was well deserved. I was always wondering why he and Hye mi were together to begin with and why Grandma pushed for their relationship. Hye mi is not only well educated, she is also extremely smart, worldly and extremely competent. That is where Jun get's all of his traits from because his Dad brings absolutely nothing and I mean nothing to the table. And shame on Grandma for allowing that man to continue on with a education and career in medicine as he is the last person that should be doing it.

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I thought that birth secret reveal was pretty hilarious. The grandma deserved it. She was the one who picked out this clever, scheming lady to prop up her loser son and then was completely ungrateful to this lady for all her work in managing the loser. Then that lady turns it around and gives terrible granny that verbal smackdown! You asked for it, granny!

The dad is a terrible and immature dumbass, but I think Jun does get a bit of the sweet side of him from his Dad (who defended Jun when Jun was unable to save that patient). The Dad seems to genuinely love his mom, his wife, and his kid.

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So one of my long comments disappeared and I am sad that it did :(

I will try to regroup my thoughts again :)

@SailorJumun I love your insights in the comments and the intro blurb section.

I didn't want there to be a romantic angle between CY and Joon but personally I find him a bit difficult to interpret. In Episode 9 he is fooling around CY and is a changed person. He is more friendly than he had been. I really thought that he hadn't closed the door on his noona story as that was a long drawn crush but he is so different from the robotic zombie listening to his dad and then just listening to the noona in episode 9. He is teasing Kang (aggressively -- the drive) and is playful with CY. Episode ten begins with him being playful (onion in the mouth-- asking CY about Kang as though they are best friends and I still dont know if he told CY why Kang cant operate) and then he is a caring/compassionate doctor but in this episode his thinking about CY and following her for me goes beyond just caring/compassion.
It has to do with the shots of him observing CY too. They were beautiful shots but evoked more than friendship for me. I don't know if the storyteller wasn't sure or if it was the producer's demand or if we want to go into a relationship that isn't a friendship or love but more (this is super literary as a concept). Now specially cause of the scene where he listens in on the TH and Nurse conversation (ep 12). I am inquisitive with regard to CY-Joon specially because it hasn't been nurtured as a friendship for me (there are shades but...)

Oh and I missed the greek chorus (TH) in ep 11 (ok, not that much!).

Going back to Joon: He has always been the observer and only a participant when it comes to competing with Kang. Again, @sailorjumun thanks for raising these questions: "why Joon kept that from Kang all these years. If he’d revealed Mom’s true wishes, he potentially could’ve gotten his competition out of the picture. So why keep it to himself? Why keep Kang there? Heck, why tell Kang now?"

Why did he tell Kang now and exactly at that moment is a question that even I had. Also, I would have liked to see how Kang processed it...because this was BIG NEWS!

I did feel miffed at him for not stepping in when he sees the grandma collapse but then that is his character (reminds me of a comment that I refer to again later).

He and Kang are so passive and in places passively aggressive. Both cant deal with their love interests and do things which reminds one of tragic heroes who really believe that they can't have a happy ending.

This drama!! I mean they deliver big blows so softly and everything is understated such that the audience fills in that space to react to the fullest!

I am remembering a beanie's comment in some previous recap: the characters do what they want to and not what I, the audience wants them to.
And that is why they surprise me. And I confess, I love how this is about characters and their...

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Part 2:
development (I have no idea what did I type last time and why did it disappear).

Joon might have wanted to be kind to Kang and he is a character who appears to be friendless, he was always studying (scene with the noona when he is young) but which child would not want to have another child figure around. It might be difficult for a child to interpret why he wants and yet doesn't want someone around. Also, we do not know what Kang's attitude towards him was, was Kang always fighting with him? Kang tends to not fight with him unless provoked.
It can be fun to have someone intelligent to spar with and Joon might not have considered the option (or even thought about it) that Kang should leave after his mom passes away because that is how dysfunctional families can be. You dont always question the presence of the people you don't like but resent it nonetheless. Then, Joon is nice. Because he struggled to get every inch of what he got (evil grandma's plan), so he has a sense of entitlement but... not one that spoils you rotten but one where you enjoy privileges and fight to continue having them.

A part of me feels with the kind of character development his character is getting, he might as well get his own chocolate series to show us where does he go and his romantic pursuit.

He is intriguing, silent and observant. He is intelligent though maybe not as skilled as Kang when it comes to neuroscience (the storytellers want us to believe that!). He has a heart and a damaged soul. He wants to know everything about Kang and he makes it a point to find things.
I do wonder why doesn't he tell CY that it was Kang's mother in the collapse and why only CY brings out the playful side of him.

Ohh and why did the nurse have that incomplete dialogue when Kang makes that "oh crap" face and leaves her and she checks the mirror?

(and I should just change my screen name to Ruckus likes Chocolate [the drama] >big smile< )

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Ohh and I have been giving a link to the chocolate 7 minute trailer which is why two of my comments disappeared! :(
Cant type again... but I would have liked to get views about that.

>sigh< I guess, I should go and get some work done instead of being a chocolate troll.

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Wait, is Jang Seungjo in this? Been watching Encounter/Boyfriend and he sure makes an impression! I'm not going to watch this (I've had my share of hospital settings irl, no need to go back), but now I'm curious! I'll keep an eye on YouTube for the drama's highlights

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Hi @FlyColours
The highlights don't do this one justice because too many tracks for people to choose from with regard to what you might like or dislike. Also, without context this one might not fun as @sunset125 points out often too many patterns and circles and parallels that one needs to make to truly enjoy this story. Though you are lucky...as you won't have to wait a lot to enjoy the series in its entirety while the wait is killing people like me who made the (bittersweet) mistake of starting this show while it has been running live.

And yes the ex-husband from Encounter is in this and he is Joon and does an excellent job. This series has a brooding actors combo :D
Be ready to cry but like @lilith says: it is one of the most life-affirming dramas. And I personally think, it is a masterclass in storytelling.

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Oh and it was @Lilium and not @Lilith. Sorry.

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Thanks for your insight! I'm not sure if I can handle it, but for me this drama changed from being a definite No-no to a Maybe

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The three of them(Kang, Chae young and Joon) has so much emotions and feelings stored in their hearts , all close and locked out,but i hope soon they would pour their heart our on the things which keeps holding them and reaching their dreams and finding peace.

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The birth secret suddenly turned this show into Money Flower-lite, which is appropriate because, Jang Seungjo. And speaking of Money Flower-lite, the interior of the rich house is the same as Graceful Family, isn't it? Certainly the dining room.

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Cha Young is a magnet.
Her annoying brother already dreaming about living with his brother in law 😀
Alzheimer Ajuma wants to leave with CY
Alien brothers 🌯
Joon curious and worried about her🤔
Kang trying so hard to confirm where is she going 🙄why she is not telling me 😣

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Thanks for the awesome @sailorjumun!

I am loving this show no matter how much it makes me cry. My one little niggle is the depiction of Susan as someone who wouldn't be able to read emotion because of the language barrier. In the scene where she gives the seaweed soup, the birth mother is visibly upset and angry... yet Susan seemed to be clueless and asks brightly if she likes the soup. There were other examples of this in this scene and it was a little annoying. People are able to read visible cues or emotions even though they don't speak the same language. There seems to be a school of thought that this is unable to take place but this is wrong. Sigh.

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I had the same issue with that scene. Well, with the character of Susan overall. It may be a an issue of acting in addition to two dimensional writing for this character, but she is too often seen to be just smiling uncomfortably and inappropriately when it's very obvious that the conversation around her is not a happy one. That said, I do think this storyline is interesting, in that it shows the complexities of adoption, in particular international adoption.

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Agreed! And that was definitely not natural... the translation done was inappropriate and that part felt almost disrespectful towards a foreigner.

For me,this plot line did not get as much attention/senstivity as it should have given the screentime given to it.

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I agree- It does show the complexity of international adoption. I think I don't like the way Susan has been depicted because it is creating a stereotype on how foreigners or people who don't speak the language communicate/interact. People may think that using words is the only means to communicate and this isn't true.

All in all, it is a great storyline and a good show.

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I thought they were trying to show Susan as this wealthy woman who does not give a damn about the norms and social cues in Korea when everything she has done has been the opposite. The show failed in thinking that all Americans are like that when they visit another country and that is just not true.

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See, I don't think they are trying to depict her that way. That is the way the brother sees her. She is trying to give her Korean born son the taste and cultural experience of his young childhood. Where I think the show has failed is in the execution of the writing and acting of this character, which to be honest, American shows have done all too often for multitudes of non-English speaking foreign characters since the beginning of film and television. Heck, even in print.

Susan is written and acted in a very flat manner. However, she does convey the awkward uncomfortableness of her situation. Not only is she in a foreign country where she does not know the language, but her son is dying, and she is being subjected to the anger and bitterness of his twin brother, and the anger and guilt of his birth mother. I just think this scenario is beyond the acting capacity of this actor. I do think though, that the son is doing a really nice job, and his English is quite good. I wonder if he is from the US or Canada.

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@egads,

Michael's actor was born in Korea, but sure has a North American accent. He doesn't sound Canadian to me, at least not from the Maritimes or Ontario.

http://asianwiki.com/Noh_Kwang-Tae

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How can I put this? I'll say I like Susan as a person.. I mean she sure seems to be a very nice lady and obviously very kind. I was very scared while I was watching that scene of her being spoken to so rudely like that. Even people cannot understand each other's words, gestures are the universal language and I'm sure that in reality people will be so uncomfortable if they're spoken to in such manner. I didn't think much while I was watching it besides thinking that she sure seems to be a super super kind lady. Michael is so lucky in this respect.

But I mean, come one, nobody should be treated as such. I feel sorry for Susan. I don't feel sorry a bit for Michael's real mother tbh: her complex emotions cannot justify doing something like that to other people.

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Yes, I think it was supposed to be funny that Susan was misunderstanding the situation, but it was just unbelievable.
But some elements of that storyline were well done. The idea that Michael wanted to have that dish from his childhood that was a good memory for him though it was a time of struggle for his mother. That his adopted mother was just trying to do the best she could for her children. I also like that I think they tried to show that Michael was a blessing in his adopted mothers life and that last scene was just between the two of them. But, yes, some of the writing was confusing and Susan's acting not up to par.

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To this point, Kang is just not the type of man I care about. He and Jun both are absolutely emotionless, sphinxes that deserve to live together for the rest of their lives, so they don't ruin the lives of others. I really like CLOY much better than this drama.

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You are right with your observation. That’s what the drama is trying to show - how these two are both emotionally stunted from growing up in that family. Kang is the most obvious one since we see him as a cheerful kid back in his hometown. But he has become withdrawn and aloof except for when the time he was with his best friend. But then, unfortunately MinSung is struck with a terminal illness and dies.

Joon has been guarded too and mostly keeps his thoughts to himself. I presume he thinks his silence is much better than the noisy and thoughtless chatter from his family.

Both of them undergoes changes as they spend time at the hospice, albeit probably not as much as we’d like to see. Joon has developed a friendship with Cha Young and becomes genuinely concerned for her. Kang goes through his own transformation as well but as far as expressing his feelings for Cha Young he is still having trouble with it. As we can see in this episode, he doesn’t want her to leave but instead of telling her upfront, he requests for her to make dumpling soup. He tries to open up and apologize in the kitchen but ends up not saying anything. Even with his conversation with MinYoung, he doesn’t know how to express himself either and mostly ends up nearly choking on his Quiznos sandwich.

Anyway, these are my observations and others may have different takes on it too. I’m actually connecting more with the characters in this drama than I am with CLOY. So I suppose maybe it’s a matter of preference and perspective.

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Dear @Mei Geu-Rae,

Your observations are meaningful and I concur with them :)

Thanks for sharing.

(Havent seen CLOY but will, some other time during 2020. And this drama (chocolate) is occupying my brain too much to fully appreciate anything else, so I guess I like the characters too. By the way, on the sidelines am watching Deckalog by the guy who made double life of veronique so... am appreciating characters and interesting storytelling from two worlds!)

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@Ruckus Thanks. As you can see I may be too invested with the characters here. Although there are flaws in the drama that have already been mentioned. I think its strength is in the character-driven arcs and the way it’s built up that makes it interesting for me. I’ll probably watch CLOY when it’s all done. I’m waiting to see further how the story and the characters develop as I do like the leads.

I forgot to mention one thing that I notice that’s probably characteristic of Kang is his medium of communication is not with words (verbal) but with his actions. I think that’s how he expresses himself best. It becomes clear in Episode 12 where we will get to see a parallel scene so we will have to wait until the next recap to avoid spoilers.

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If being like Kang is called stoic, I guess I have a soft spot for stoic men. I mean I love people who show his feelings through his actions. For me, it's good to say I love you upfront, but somehow I'd prefer that people tell me that through their actions. That's why I'm enjoying small moments in this show as they portray care and love so beautifully. Love here is not only in the sense of love between men and women, but also other deep, heartfelt feelings people share: perhaps through CY's cookings, by taking another girl to her grandfather, by making the last moment of a person as peaceful and loved as possible, etc.

And yes, while I put CLOY on hold since the first half of ep.2 because I didn't feel connected to the story as I found the story so unbelievable (and why I don't have any problem watching this is beyond my understanding), I feel connected to Chocolate. Perhaps because of the original soundtracks? perhaps because of cinematography? Have absolutely no idea. Perhaps everything?

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@mmmmm daadooo (korean style in iron ranger III’s tone!)

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I find Kang very much like So Ji Sub's character in "Something Happened in Bali." Very quiet, never says more than five words at a time, loves deeply, but is slow to express it. These stoic males are just not my cup of tea. Korean dramas in my opinion tend to have too many missed opportunities. The door never opened, the words never spoken, the hug never given. I tend to find myself yelling at the screen--"give them a hug--they just need a hug!"

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I see what you mean and these kind of characters can be frustrating. I think it’s a different case for Kang though. How he expressed his emotions by cooking/preparing meals when he was a kid will be significant whether he has the same tendency as an adult. And I think it’s an important part of his psyche and the relationship he has with Cha Young.

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I don't know why you bring another drama in discussion, this thread is about Chocolate, please just provide your opinion on Chocolate, your likes or dislikes, there's no need for comparison 🤨 not to mention that these two are different genres, Chocolate is a romantic melo - slice of life drama while the other is a romantic comedy, if I'm not mistaken 🙄 If you want to share your love for some other dramas would be better if you could write to the designated forum, but not in the style "this is better than Chocolate". Just my opinion, no ofense, sorry if I upset anyone.
Ohh and kudos to the writers, actors and all the staff involved in this BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, GORGEOUS, EXTRAORDINARY drama that is CHOCOLATE, together with its fabulous OST ♥️♥️♥️, I have been through a tornado of emotions while watching and I haven't felt this way about a drama in a long time, I can say that it makes my top 5 favourite dramas list🤩🥰.
Enjoy the show everyone, I know I am from the bottom of my heart 😍🍫🍫

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I'm really glad that Joon is just a friend to CY and CY is just a friend to Joon. They have good chemistry and it would have been easy to make a love triangle, and I love that there isn't a love triangle. I am curious about Hee Joo though. I hope they can reunite at the end. Both cousins marrying women that I'm guessing old granny wouldn't approve of. I hope both of them throw big weddings. A double one and make it to the front-page news!

Cha Young's description of how she would always remember the smell and taste of chocolate and how chocolate gave her the strength to hold out really hit me in the heart. Chocolate was the one, good steady thing in her life. Then there was the flashback to the Fisherman Uncle. He was only in the first episode for 5 minutes and then here I was in episode 11, crying because he has died and that he had been waiting for Kang's return to Wando. *BAWLS*

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CY and Kang get married, CY and Joon become good friends and cousins in law, Kang became the hospice director, CY the chef in chief, Kang and Jun run the hospital. Together they make a lovely family they have always deserved and live happily ever after. Too much to hope for? :))

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Haha!

Given what We have seen of the storyteller’s tendencies in this drama, I think it is :D

Each episode has one death so... 4 more to go.

Am sure a happily ever after is there somewhere but ... there can be different interpretations and definitions of it. It will be interesting to see where the characters take us depending upon how they develop. >just my take<

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Ruckus, my question was a rhetorical one 😀.

Although never say never. So far all those deaths were to bring our OTP closer. If they are to continue to work and lead the hospice, there will be deaths everyday but they can have their own happy ending, and spread their happiness and kindness to those that are leaving this world to make their journey less painful. One of my theories anyway 😊. Let ‘s see what awaits us.

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In a way they will be what Director Kwon and his first wife can not be. Another parallel story line. Too much to hope? 😊

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@Sunset125 that was a very sunrise kind of a view/theory :)

An aside: remember the hide and seek game when CY hides in the closet and the song that JY sings for people to hide. Was it prophetic? Will we see it play out... it was simple but cute.

Ohhh this story and parallels. I just wish they write a book with this story in English to satisfy my cravings.

Last... I might repeat this again but strange: two important funerals in Kang’s life and CY is with him for both of them. Does he realize?

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@noone thank you for the pun . It made me laugh 😀.

Yes JY’s is definitely there for prophecy. It is a strange song for a 10 year old to sing, no? Besides he is Cupid Iron Ranger No 3 so very likely he is prophetic too 😄.

Also another parallel is that Kang’s father, a doctor, married his Mum, a cook and his family never acknowledged her. So Kang might marry a cook too and this time it will be different 😊. Another of my sunrise theories 😄.

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@sunset125
I found this too cute, discovered it a few weeks back when I did some um... research? 🙈

https://youtu.be/F3SCJ61xr1U

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Oh @mei, that is the cutest thing! I love it! Thanks much for sharing 🤗

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Actually since Kang had dreamt of being a cook when he was a kid, I'd want Kang and CY to run his mother's restaurant. For Jun, I can't decide between having him leave medicine behind for a bohemian artist life or oversee the hospice.

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I must have missed the part when Kang said he dreamt of being a cook. I only remember him saying to CY he was also a chef.

So far the drama depicted him as a competent doctor, not only having surgical skills but expert diagnosis skills. The way he dealt with conflicts in hospital also shows he is a good leader. He only was unhappy there because of family conflict and hospital politics. Once the toxic elder is gone and he has CY, he will be happy. I feel it is too much of a waste of talents for him to run a commercial kitchen now.

Besides he has to be in charge of the Foundation to make sure the hospice stays open and survive. From his conversation with Evil Grandma, it seems he now understands why his grandfather established the hospice in the first place and respects the rationale of it instead of looking down on it like he did in the beginning. (I think at that moment Grandma decided he is the true heir when he mentioned Granpa, not just blood line. Her giving him the kimchi radish to eat with the soup while complaining about the soup is symbolic of this. That's why Jun's Mum realised she had to deal Grandma the final blow now). Anyway, from what he experienced so far, he will be in a better position than Jun to run it. He will do much more good being leader of the 2 entities. He can use his culinary skills at home cooking for his wife :).

In addition, and this is my guess so far, the writer seems to want to "marry" (pun intended) medicine and culinary in this drama, as they both "heal" people, they are both things that keep us alive, or try to. So I would be suprised if she let the two men quit medicine.

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The mention was in a flashback. It was after his mom died and he was throwing away her recipe book and saying something to the effect of how he won't become a chef anymore and will be a better doctor than Joon instead. You're right that it really would be sort of a waste for him to go into cooking now. He likes it, but has not honed and developed his skills over the years like Cha Young has.

I do sort of want him to move back to Wando. Maybe he can work remotely?

Great point about the foundation and the kimchi radish!

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The kimchi radish: Thanks for pointing that out.
I on the other hand was like the high-handed way she puts it on his spoon didn’t make me think of a pleased grandma or a random caring gesture but of someone forcing her will on someone. Also. She didn’t look pleased to me with Kang’s take and thus when Kang is reluctant to have the spoon of radish and soup... I was like poor him. He is ignored irrespective of what he says.

But your logic makes sense. Jun’s mom was planning something this her sms to Joon but maybe that conversation pushed her.

I have no idea how you guys understand so much while I keep getting lost in expressions!! >wonder<

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Adding to @ar
I also think it is in the flashback scene when his mom is like lets go tl seoul and he is like i want to stay here, be a chef and make people happy.
For some reason I thought this very reason was why a young CY gets inspired to be a chef.

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I share the same sentiment regarding the love triangle between the three. Please don't do so, and I'm loving this show partly because they didn't do so.

Regarding Hee-ju, my guess is that she'll come back, and Jun will be able to forgive her and start with her anew. She knows now that her husband was evil, she should be able to start again.

As a comment has mentioned somewhere in this thread: I'd love to see both Kang and Jun left that awful family. Kang now has all the rights to claim the throne, but he won't. Jun, having no right, won't go back to his family and instead will start doing something he deeply cares about: pottery and being with Hee-ju. That should drive that whole family crazy. I'll say that serves the granny right.

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I think chocolate might be symbolic of having feelings/emoting/love. When his mother dies, Kang asks that the chocolates he has are put away. This also seems to coincide with when he buries his emotions. It seems as if through CY he starts feeling again and that the first part of his journey was about unburying the chocolate (his feelings). In my opinion, he has had feelings for CY for some time now. I think even before Greece, but he was not capable of recognizing his feelings. It is his behavior and impulses at times that are so strange that make him reflect on what his feelings are (and make us reflect on what his feelings are). At first, he explains his behavior as justified because he perceived CY to be a despicable woman for leaving Min-Sung for another man. But in my opinion his behavior was a bit too extreme to be purely protective of his friend. Next, he explains his behavior as just being concerned for her well-being. I think Joon made him realize the nature of his feelings in ep 10 and that it is more than concern for her well-being. His behavior in ep 9/10 made him realize that his feelings for her were more than concern, he was feeling and acting out of jealousy. And if he is jealous then that must mean that he loves her. Now that he has recognized the emotion, he is fumbling with how to express it. There is another reference to chocolate and love in ep 12 (in my opinion) which is interesting.

There are other examples of chocolate that show love/feelings/emotions, like the Korean husband who gives his Vietnamese wife chocolate cake (among others) for their anniversary. CY and the chocolate sasha young Kang was determined to make for her even when he burned himself. Kang’s mother passing on chocolate to CY before dying. It is almost as if she is passing on her love for him to/through her. Food and loving tender emotions play an important role in this drama, but chocolate might take the first place.

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I also have the theory that Kang has been in love with CY subconsciously since a long time ago, since his hatred towards her for leaving MS is too much for just friends. Let's see if the writer gives more support of this theory in the coming eps.

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Hello again @Sunset125 !
Interestingly they haven’t used any memory insert from the time when they first meet at the hospital as adults.
I only see memory inserts from hospice adventures till ep11.
Ep 12 gets episode 1 memory inserts so... I am waiting for other stuff to come up.

Yay! I am excited.

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I did too also!

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Hi @vlinder!
Would love to hear the reference in ep 12 recap comments section. I think I know it but...
Thanks for more “food for thought” :)

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LOL. Will do!

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Chocolate has so many meanings in this drama. In addition to what you said, chocolate, bitter and sweet, could be a metaphor of life, there's bitterness that is death, sickness, tragedies, disasters (earthquakes), war, human vices but there's also sweetness: love, empathy, kindness, human connections, the human spirit that says to the face of tragedies "I won't let myself fall apart now, or I'll never rise again, for good". It is bittersweet, but everyone wants to come back for more. Everyone talks about coming back in the next life, to enjoy more sweetness.

Chocolate could be this very drama, very bitter in the sad parts but oh so sweet in the happy parts. And we all want more of it 😊 .

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And that's because Godiva is the main sponsor for the show! hehe

Isn't the show doing a great job of promoting this good? I mean I am not being sarcastic: I love chocolate and I think chocolate plays the very important role as you stated. But when I think about Godiva, I cannot help thinking that they've done a good job at prompting us to go out and buy a bar from Godiva. If it wasn't so expensive where I live, I would have bought so much by now.

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Do you think the writer wrote the script first about Chocolate then the drama sought for sponsor and Godiva just happenned to win the bid? Or Godiva commissioned the writer to write a drama with chocolate as a theme? I'm not sure how these things work in K drama industry.

Either way Godiva certainly stumbled on a gold mine here by way of spreading their names around. I did not notice them until the drama though there are shops where I live too. I don't eat chocolate as much so so far I only had a chocolate drink at the shop, coincidentally the same one CY had with Jun :).

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Me thinks, they write the script, team is created and then marketing team brainstorms potential areas where brands could be approached and then multiple brands are approached. Bargaining begins and then the one who wins the bid pays the creative team who then work on integration.

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@sunset125 Have absolutely no idea!

I LOVE hot chocolate. I recently got a cup of it at Paul where I live. Godiva is even more expensive than Paul, but because of this show I might really give it a try. Anyway, chocolate is really my thing :)

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@mmmmm The chocolate drink I had was very good. I think you will like the Godiva hot chocolate 😊.

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I love chocolate as well and Godiva happens to be my favorite chocolate brand! I am happy they used "Chocolate" as the title instead of "Sandwiches" (from Quiznos Sandwiches)! I wonder though how successful brands are in penetrating the South Korean market through dramas.

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Ha ha @carolliev I think you just gave the Quiznos marketing theme a great idea there. May be next year we will see a drama like that 😃.
It must be hard work for Subway and Quiznos to penetrate the SK market. They would have to start with the kids generation to infuse into their subconscious, just like JY and MY so Quiznos has the right strategy there. As I myself personally would prefer a bowl of soup over a sandwich anyday and there are so many delicious soups in SK.

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A couple of points to add to the mix:

As far as the romance is concerned, the elephant in the room, I think, is Min Seong. Well... his ghost at least. ;) The dithering in large part does fall on his shoulders. As I've noted elsewhere, his presence/intrusion in their journey made it that much more difficult for them to be upfront about their feelings. To some degree his death rectified things by putting them together in a common space and allowing them to explore new possibilities on top of old ones. But I'm not ready to let him off the hook quite so easily. ;) Not only did he rush CY into a relationship, he also came to know that she was crushing on his friend. In the end it was she that did the difficult thing, played the role of the bad guy and left. It could have potentially destroyed their friendship and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that she was the one who helped preserve it.

I don't disagree that Kang has become a highly repressed creature after years of being conditioned to focus on one thing. He hasn't even been allowed to mourn his mother properly. But in relation to CY, it's exacerbated because of all the terrible things he said to her and the thoughts about her. In a situation like this, he needed to be the observer first... to witness firsthand the way she conducts herself in her interactions. Soon he notes a disconnect between what he believed to be the truth of her person and the undeniable reality in front of him. This is a decent caring human being who treats dying people with respect even while using her culinary. She bends over backwards, goes beyond the call of duty and sticks her neck out for them. From her he also learns how to treat the patients, to find some kind of acceptance/peace in death. That's why those relationships with the patience and their families are so key... not just to the overall storyline but to the romance. On some level without them, Kang would never have to face CY's authentic self. He would always labour under the impression that she was just his friend's ex who left him for another. The moments of observations/ eavesdropping allowed him to make that shift from barely tolerating her presence to civil collegiality and gradually to liking her as a woman.

Once those two become a couple, I think we will see a different Kang... more like the boy that he was all those years in Wando. We're already beginning to anyway. Not only with regard to the romance but also in defiance of his noisy, power-crazed relatives.

There's been a spate of K dramas... at least among those I've been watching... that's been challenging the old adage... "blood is thicker than water." In this drama, it relates not just to Michael's adoption to an overseas family or the head nurse's bickering relatives but also to Kang and Jun's context. It's a purposeful contrast. Blood is certainly no guarantee of a harmonious and considerate co-existence of those related to each other. The Lee family...

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The Lee family have been fighting tooth and nail amongst themselves because of bloodline-inheritance issues. Their relationship is purely adversarial like a Joseon grab for the throne and the one who isn't directly of the bloodline is basically training wheels for the "true heir".

I imagine what is being said about all of this is that blood isn't what makes people family but love. ;)

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@lilium,

Their relationship is purely adversarial like a Joseon grab for the throne and the one who isn't directly of the bloodline is basically training wheels for the "true heir".

What a great turn of phrase. It neatly sums up the whole kit and caboodle.

I've been trying to decide whether Evil Grandma is Yi Seong-gye or Yi Bang-won as portrayed in MY COUNTRY. ;-)

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If I had known that Hyukkie was playing Yi Bang-won in it, I would have given it a go.

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I imagine what is being said about all of this is that blood isn't what makes people family but love. ;)

This.

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@Lilium
And the mix becomes richer.

:)

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I agree with your view about Kang. I also think he is going back to the person he once was through CY, her personality, and the memory they shared. It is very symbolic that she was the one who drives him to Wando, bringing him back to who he was.

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It is very symbolic that she was the one who drives him to Wando, bringing him back to who he was.

Super like

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@lilium,
Thank you for bringing up Min-sung's obstruction of Cha-young's interest in Kang. This has been in the back of my mind all along. She did indeed take the high road and play the heavy when she broke off with Min-sung -- and held her peace as to her true reason for leaving. Kang has no idea what the score is. Or maybe he does, and has never brought it up lest it shatter their friendship. He only had one friend, and couldn't afford to lose him.

I'm betting the ranch that Cha-young will allow Min-sung's own words to speak for him by showing Kang the letter he wrote to the person who cooked for him.

In Min-sung's defense, ep. 12 sheds some light on his family situation. I can understand why he latched onto Cha-young. What I really want to know is how much Kang and Min-sung have both known about Dr. Kwon's family issues. If Kang were privy to them, he may have cut Min-sung a lot of slack.

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Yes. Reading the comments reminds me of CY's accusation of leaving Min-sung for another man. I haven't seen Kang brought this up. I guess the issue will be resolved one way or another soon. I'd also be great if CY can just show Kang the letter. Then, everything will be crystal clear.

I used to think that many things in this show are quite strangely mixed up. I hope everything is resolved, reasonably, in the end, as that will surely make a good lasting impression.

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Part 1 of 2

Thank you for your recap and comments, @sailorjumun. This episode is full of surprises. I never suspected Grandma’s birth secret or Kang’s mother’s intention to return to Wando. Color me gobsmacked.

Like you, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Joon sees his way clear to being a good fairy to Kang in the same way that he has been supportive of Cha-young. Now that he has gotten an earful of family history from out of left field, I hope that he can bring himself to do the right thing this time. More than that, I hope that Joon can find his own happiness. Given the viper’s nest he grew up in, that’s a tall order. If I had a magic wand, he’d chuck medicine, bury the hatchet with Kang, and run off to Wando with him. There Kang and Cha-young would operate the Bada Restaurant, and Joon would make the dinnerware on which the food is served. The sea air would do all of them a world of good.

I can’t help but wonder if scheming Aunt Hye-mi really has the inside scoop on that birth secret, or whether it is something she cooked up on her own. It wouldn’t be the first time that paternity test results were tampered with in a Kdrama. It sounds as if Grandpa died of shock at the revelation – which makes me suspect that Hye-mi may have done it deliberately. Do I detect a modus operandi that she has deployed a second time? She’s such a thoroughly conniving snake in the grass that I wouldn’t put it past her. In comparison, her husband is a dumb cluck, and has only gone along with the evil ploys she has masterminded because he’s too dense to concoct them himself. Seung-hoon is such a mama’s boy it’s not funny. When he finds out what his wife has been up to, he may end up keeling over, too.

Michael’s quest for “sujebi but not quite sujebi” for his American mom is very touching. Birth Mom comes through with bells on when she remembers he liked pine mushrooms. And it’s a good thing, too – because Cha-young and Kang drop everything and leave the kitchen a mess when he gets the call from Wando and they set out for Ha Dong-gu’s funeral at the drop of a hat.

I cringed through the whole scene of Susan’s well-meaning attempt to thank Michael’s birth mother for bringing him into the world. Although I understand that she genuinely means it as an expression of thanks and solidarity from one mother to another, it leaves me with an ugly American vibe that I have to agree with. It graphically highlights the cultural chasm that exists between the women who are both so dear to the dying young man. (Did Susan run her idea past Michael first? I doubt that Young-shil would have leveled with her even if she had asked point-blank if it would be appropriate.) Maybe I’m just being paranoid, and sincerity truly can transcend language and custom.

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

Yum Hye-ran gives a lovely performance as nurse Young-shil diplomatically tiptoeing through a minefield as she interprets between the two mothers. Kudos to Noh Kwang-tae and Alison Rock for their touching portrayal of Michael and Susan, and Kim Mi-hwa (Marinated Crab Matron Kim Jae-young in WHEN THE CAMELLIA BLOOMS) and Yoo In-soo as his down-on-their-luck birth mom and twin. Keep an eye on Noh Kwang-tae. His English is excellent, and so is his eye acting.

I sprained my brain trying to recognize the fraidy-cat guitarist Young-shil sees as she and Susan trek up the long steep hill to Michael’s birth mother’s house. That’s because he’s not wearing his Joseon magistrate robes. Who knew Cho Beom-pal moonlights as an indie musician when he’s not fleeing in terror from KINGDOM’s zombies? Jun Suk-ho lightened up the impending angst with his random weirdness. Is he nurse Young-shil’s old flame – or yet another third cousin?!

Uncle Seung-hoon’s idle speculation as to the origin of Kang’s temperament instantly made me think of fisherman Ha Dong-gu. Kang spent his formative years on Wando with his late father’s friend. All along I’ve been thinking of what could have been had Dong-gu only mustered up the courage to marry Mom and add Kang to his family register before Grandma found out the kid even existed. On the other hand, maybe it would have been even more traumatic for all concerned when Lee family private investigators inevitably tracked him down and dragged him off to Seoul.

I agree with @sailorjumun re: Evil Grandma’s emerging back story and probable shame. There may be a perfectly rational explanation for the paternity issue: her true love died suddenly and she married his best friend when she realized she was pregnant. That would give us grounds to further wallow in contemplate Kang and Min-sung’s unacknowledged romantic rivalry. Be that as it may, right up until she hyperventilated herself into unconsciousness after Hye-mi lowered the boom, Grandma has continued to selfishly impose her will on Kang. Even now, she refuses to hear what he has to say. If she really has considered him to be the heir apparent all along, her harshly inhumane treatment of him and Joon is hard to fathom. At the moment, I loathe her. But maybe I’ll become more understanding as her family and corporate circumstances are revealed.

-30-

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Your comment made me see Kang's mother in a whole different light. Let's say that if the evil granny was pregnant and then married Kang's grandfather, then her action is completely opposite to Kang's mother action. Kang's mother lost her husband, she had a baby boy and decided not to remarry though someone out there was waiting for her.

I guess the writer of this show really loves parallels.

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Hi @PakalanaPikake

The links and the paper were super interesting. I liked the interpretation of Woori. Still chewing it.

Just wanted to thank you for sharing.

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@Ruckus likes Drama,
I'm so glad you're finding that post on kishotenketsu literary/drama structure without conflict to be useful in understanding how CHOCOLATE is unfolding. Thanks for letting me know. ;-)

The psychology article comes in really handy when observing the scenes between Michael's two moms -- and in ep. 12 with Dr. Kwon.

For anyone interested, I've compiled articles and videos on kishotenketsu here, along with a cross-cultural piece on Korean psychology:
Kishotenketsu and Jeong
http://www.dramabeans.com/2020/01/chocolate-episode-10/#comment-3598524
18 PakalanaPikake January 3, 2020 at 6:23 PM

Enjoy!

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Hi @PakalanaPikake

I have done some reading on drama structures without conflict after watching some Japanese shows (also, am an anime/manga fan). I had a random thought while watching the 3rd episode of the series, does this even have a plot? Why am I watching it as it needs patience and sometimes my short attention span cant handle this slow moving thing. I can't put it well but I really thought that barring the romance (and MY induced conflict which kept CY and Kang away -- my simplistic view) it was a free flowing stream of characters who are living their own lives. I still want to sit with myself after this ends and think about it beyond and without Kang-CY romance. I am keeping all that I have read for then.

The psychology article comes in handy for me everywhere. So, I know of a word in a local language that is similar to woori and reading everything it denotes makes me want to explain the concept to people who complain about the usage of that word.

But let me put that (paper's) lens and check Director Kwon's story. It is just that I like his first wife too much and I really think she must have had a reason. Dr. Kwon himself is not a sorted character and thanks to @Lilium I understood that his eating rameon was a token of protest. And there my rant begins, sorry.

Oh and Michael's story didnt hit the mark for me. I get its symbolism but somehow the treatment of it didn't work for me (given how much they use it for furthering the plot) so no, not interested in the moms. I forwarded that scene with Susan taking the soup as I was super bugged. I just know it happened.
Oxymoronically, I loved the 5 minute sequence of the vietnam-korea couple as well as its placement. Just the right time, place and space.

Again, thanks for sharing. I will be referring to the stuff for a long time.

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Part 1 of 2

@Ruckus likes Drama,
Again, you're most welcome. I'm glad someone else is finding the information useful. I was an English literature major in the Lower Devonian, when there was precious little Asian literature in translation available in my neck of the woods, let alone mangas and Kdramas. It is fascinating to me to see such an ancient East Asian literary tradition being used in combination with comic strips that were first brought to Japan in the 19th century. What a hybrid.

Re: “...does this even have a plot?”

I believe CHOCOLATE does, if you loosely define plot as something along the lines of "the direction the writer wants the action and characters to progress towards." As an English-speaking American, I understand plot to be the means by which action towards a goal, or changes in characters' awareness, occur over the course of three (or less commonly, four or five) acts, usually prompted by a central conflict. I expect plot to unfold in some kind of (Western) logical fashion, and usually in chronological order, with a discernible beginning, middle, and end. (English is a Germanic language, and logic, order / placement, and hierarchy are inherent in its structure. You can’t just put words in random order and expect them make sense.) I can’t speak for the logic or mindset of other European languages.

Some authors (e.g., Jack Kerouac, Marcel Proust) write in a non-logical manner called “stream of consciousness,” which emulates the simultaneous flow of multiple threads of ideas in a person’s mind over the course of time. Logic isn’t necessarily involved, but free association might be. One other aspect of logic comes into play: emotions are feelings, not thoughts, and thus are non-rational and non-logical. Nonetheless, they can have their own kind of “logic.”

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

Re: “Why am I watching it as it needs patience and sometimes my short attention span cant handle this slow moving thing.”

I’m glad you asked. Patience is the operative word here. For me, CHOCOLATE – and the equally deliberate LOVE AFFAIRS IN THE AFTERNOON / WEEKDAY AFTERNOON LOVERS – are meditative. They invite the viewer to slow down and smell the flowers while the characters’ lives unfold. In the words of Yogi Berra, “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

The pace of both shows is slow as molasses flowing uphill in January. That’s because the characters are experiencing psychic / spiritual growth rather than the outwardly-visible materialistic kind. From a ringside seat, the viewer watches flawed characters come to grips with their human foibles. If one takes the time to let the story and its characters follow their arcs, an opportunity arises to examine those growth processes, and maybe even try one on for size. In a drama such as CHOCOLATE, the characters hold up a mirror for the viewers, and give them the opportunity to reflect on Life and their own lives.

Re: Dr. Kwon’s story

I no sooner commented on Dr. Kwon’s curmudgeonly personality in ep. 11 than his issues popped up in ep. 12. I’m stifling myself to avoid spoilers until the recap is out. I agree with you that his first wife may have had a good reason for vamoosing. Given how erratic her memory has become, she may no longer even be able to recall why she left him. I like @lilium’s idea that Doc Kwon is protesting her (working at the hospice?) by refusing to eat the food she cooks, and insists on eating instant ramyun. How dumb can you get? The only person he’s hurting is himself. I’m sure that little Ji-yong would have told him flat out that he’s silly to refuse delicious food cooked with great care and consideration for the eater. My sense is that Doc Kwon is actually punishing himself. Sure, he could hurt his ex’s feelings, but soon she won’t be able to remember his insults. Then he’ll be left holding the bag of bile he has vented at her.

Yes, the wedding anniversary dinner Cha-young prepares for the Korean-Vietnamese couple is a wonderful interlude. It is fun to see her and the husband wracking their brains to recall the name of the dish and the restaurant famous for it – and finally succeeding in remembering. The meal stands in stark contrast to the food that Seon-ae has repeatedly cooked for Doc Kwon against his wishes. On another level, it is reminiscent of the sumptuous spread that Kang whipped up for Cha-young all those years ago at the Bada Restaurant on Wando.

See you for further discussion in the ep. 12 recaps. ;-)

-30-

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Dear @pakalanapikake
So I won't pick Director Kwon as that would be a spoiler but I had to respond to the first paragraph in the part 1 of your comment.
With regard to move at ease kind of dramas: I have only started appreciating them as an adult because of european cinema. I often wonder if these dramas were influences by Europeans or were Europeans influenced by the old traditions of the East. For eg: I was listening to a friend on character studies about 2 years back and his lecture had drawn from Eastern european directors who believe in smelling the roses kind of storytelling -- they have some events and then characters are allowed to move towards them in their own way! And today am studying characters (or similar techniques) but in eastern traditions.
Not now but maybe sometime this year, I will pick classics from the east and Wong Kar Woi is on my list (in the mood for love)

It is only in 2018/19 that I have developed this new love for East Asian culture (namely anime, manga, drama and philosophy). I had some brushes with them earlier (I hadnt watched television or dramas for 9 years before 2018 -- Maybe I was protesting like Dir. Kwon >hahagreedy me!<

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I'm fine with Susan and I was fine with the cultural gap because she comes across as being authentic. She's one of the few people in this drama that reminds me of people I actually know. I don't think the lady is a professional actress but she feels like my neighbour and a member of my local community.

Despite birth mother's apparently boisterous chastisement, I think she did appreciate the gesture... enough to bring it up. I just don't think she's really used to people being kind to her.
From her, it was a backhanded way of saying "thank you".

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Ooops... just realised that I'm getting ahead of myself. My apologies.

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I agree with you @lilium. I have seen a "Susan" in real life, many times. It's not that she couldn't read the body language and gestures. She understood Michael's birth mum totally but chose to not see the negative behaviour but a woman hardened by a hard life.

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I don't care about Joon's family. They just irritate me especially Joon's father with his crying. I don't like the grandmother (and want her to die) but wow the way Joon's mother just stood there, so cold.
It's the way Joon reacts when it comes to Cha Young that I am not quite convinced his feelings for her are just of friendship and not more. Sorry I can't explain it, not really good at that. (It took me so long to write a comment exactly because of this but I gave up).
I can't make much of the scenes with Michael's birth mother and Susan especially after reading the comments here.
Anyway good thing Kang and CY are going to back to Wando. Things are finally progressing on the romance front.
I can't seem to agree with some of comments here though some of the others are making me think and look at things differently. Anyway I hope my confusion will cleared up in the last four episodes.

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@amy1009

We will all make our way, some happy and some not so happy, some with more questions and others with satisfaction. I guess we will all taste our different versions of chocolate :)

Some thoughts confuse me and some i love. In the end i think it is an interesting cinema watching experience.

I guess, i am thanking everyone for sharing their thoughts. The rich thoughts have made chocolate extrA special for me.

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Oh and I said this in a comment earlier and will say it again:

The way Joon and CY's relation is shown, it makes me think of something more than friendship. I am with you on that.

I do think the storyteller is spreading themselves thin and might not do justice to everything (the misunderstanding that was done clumsily because footage that should have been used to help build that was not used because other things got screentime (7minute trailer has an event at 5:41, which I dont think will come in in the next 4 episodes), now the nurse's lovestory with the guitarist, not very great treatment of michael's story -- Just my view!)

And ur explanation or thoughts were explanatory for me (if that counts) :)

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Yes that counts. :) And I saw your comment. Yeah that's kind of how I felt. I wanted to respond but wasn't sure how and couldn't tag you either, so sorry about that.

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Please don't be, @amy1009 :)

I am a bit over-enthusiastic with regard to this drama and have lots of time till this series ends, so I keep leaving comments and checking the page more often than I should :D

I will register soon as chances of missing responses is increasing, specially cos life is starting to pull me out of the chocolate zone.

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Am I mistaken? Are my eyes fooling me? You're visible now. Does that mean you're registered.

@noone And the fact that I can tag you means just that. Congratulations and welcome to DB's community!

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@mmmmm I did it. Thank you so much for the warm welcome.

I now have the power of a like :D

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@noone Ruckus Likes Drama,

Congratulations! Now it's easier to read black text! ;-)

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Welcome to DB :) @noone

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I'd agree that there's some ambiguity regarding how Jun views CY. It isn't clear to me either that he isn't attracted to her as a woman. I think that's in part to do with what Jang Seung-jo brings to the table as an actor and in part the way his scenes in the hospice are often framed around her. For him, CY is a bit of a fighter. She has plenty to complain about but she doesn't. I'm sure he didn't want to do community service at the hospice but her presence has made things tolerable for him.

For me it doesn't really matter either way because the crucial thing is CY's effect on him. She provides him food for thought. ;) By being with her in the hospice, he will reconceptualize the world... his nutty world... with a different set of lenses.

At the end of the day, what does matter is who CY really wants to be with. Jun isn't it. ;)

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Dear @Lilium,

Don't you think the scenes where he follows her are also tinted with some romance. It is in the way it is shot. I don't know much about the actor who plays Joon so I cant say, but the treatment of Joon has too many hints. Until noona was there, Joon had no romantic connotations but after Joon came to the hospice, there are hints. I so want some drama to show a beautiful friendship between a man and a woman without any romantic tints except at a basic human level. (my wishlist!)

I would also add that he doesn't clarify for CY that it is not his direct relative who was in the collapse during that conversation over the chocolate drink. >This i could still attribute to his being passive but... Jun (or Joon... I have no idea how to spell him) is an enigma that way!<

You are right: end of the day what matters is who Cy wants to be with, but if one were to look at all three of them as individuals that we were analysing and understanding (and because their arcs at times are more important for this story to be complete in some ways) then understanding Jun's stance on CY becomes necessary.

And I do think he admires CY quite a bit. That scene where he listens in while TH and CY talk is inspiring for anyone with a heart so him being touched is not a surprise for me.

Again I have to say it... I love how you put your thoughts
so eloquently and in a structured manner. The bit about love being the thread that connects people and not blood was a beautiful thought. I would love to be a student in your class if you pick on such life lessons and interpreting culture :) .

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