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Chocolate: Episode 12

After years of suppressing the happy memories of his hometown, our neurosurgeon returns to attend the funeral of an old friend. Having driven through the night to get him there, our chef eventually joins him for his bittersweet homecoming and is reminded of their first meeting as kids. With our doctor far from home, a family crisis leads to a brazen power play and it’s time for his cousin to decide whose side he’s on.

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

As Cha-young follows the highway signs to Wando Island, Kang thanks her for driving. When they take the long bridge that leads to the island, Kang remembers teasing Dong-gu about his feelings for Kang’s mother.

Summer, 1992. Dong-gu was at work on a boat when a bandaged Kang confronted him, “Did you cry all night because we’re moving?” Dong-gu had insisted that his swollen eyes were the result of a centipede bite that he got while sleeping.

At Geosung Hospital, a sobbing Seung-hoon holds his mother’s hand as Hye-mi hovers nearby. Seo-hoon arrives with her mascara running down her face as Seung-hoon begs their mother not to die. Hye-mi tries to assure the siblings that Grandma will recover but that doesn’t stop their wailing.

Unable to bear the scene any longer, Hye-mi leaves and her feigned distress immediately leaves her face. She’s surprised to see Joon in the hallway and when she tries to report that Grandma should be fine, he stops her. After speaking with her doctor, Joon knows that his grandmother may not survive and urges his mother to call Kang.

When Hye-mi insists on waiting until Grandma wakes up, Joon argues, “What if she doesn’t?” Joon thinks it would be unfortunate for his grandmother to make her final wishes known without Kang present, since he’s the only legitimate Geosung heir. After Hye-mi pretends that she doesn’t know what he’s talking about, Joon explains himself, “It means Kang and I may have the same grandmother, but we don’t have the same grandfather.”

On Wando Island, Cha-young parks near the funeral hall and announces, “We’re here.” When Kang gets out of the car, Cha-young informs him that she’ll be taking the express bus home. While Dong-gu’s niece welcomes him (cameo by Yubin), Kang watches Cha-young walk away.

On her way to the bus station, Cha-young realizes that she doesn’t have her phone or wallet but she does have Kang’s car key. As she runs back to the funeral hall, Kang pays his respects to his old friend.

Kang studies an older Dong-gu in the funeral portrait and the memories come flooding back. Kang had promised to return to Wando Island as soon as possible but Dong-gu urged him to forget about the place and live happily with his grandmother and mother in Seoul.

Kang told Dong-gu, “I want to live here with you until the day I die,” and he grabbed the man’s hand to pinkie promise, “I give you my word as a man. I’ll come back…” Unable to contain his sorrow any longer, Dong-gu had thrown his arms around Kang and sobbed. In the present, Kang silently apologizes, “I’m sorry I took so long to come back, Mr. Ha.

Cha-young returns just as the niece carries a box to the funeral hall. She hands it to Kang and explains, “Uncle Dong-gu wanted to give this to you when you returned to Wando.” Kang finds it filled with chocolate and he smiles at his friend’s portrait while Cha-young watches his tears fall into the box.

Ye-sol’s grandfather is surprised when he arrives at his shop and finds Seon-ae serving steamed buns to some customers. After they leave, Seon-ae points out that he should have locked up while he was gone.

When Seon-ae points out that the weak daughter-in-law that he rejected managed to give birth to the sweet Ye-sol and that his son is devoted to her, he shouts at her to get out. Seon-ae warns, “…you should just accept your son and daughter-in-law. Otherwise, you’ll end up regretting it like me.”

After she returns to the hospice, Seon-ae serves the grandfather’s steamed buns to Ye-sol and when asked if he’s coming to the wedding, Seon-ae urges her to try delivering the invitation again.

Joon sits in his car in the hospice parking lot and recalls asking his mother, “Does Dad also know?” After admitting that Seong-hoon knew nothing, Hye-mi coldly suggested that Joon could be the one to tell him the truth. Still reeling from his mother’s accusation that Grandma used him to strengthen Kang, Joon remembers that Kang’s mother confessed how much Kang hated competing with him.

Joon finds Kang’s office but Nurse Na-ra informs him that he’s on Wando Island for a funeral. When Tae-hyun shows up, Na-ra hands him Cha-young’s backpack and phone and grumbles about the fact that his sister is with Kang.

The phone rings with a call from Cha-young and when Tae-hyun answers, she asks for a favor. When Tae-hyun tries to remind her that she’s not well, Cha-young hangs up. Tae-hyun explains to a curious Joon and Na-ra that Cha-young needs him to text Kang that she’s waiting for him at a park near the funeral hall.

When Na-ra is full of questions, Tae-hyun guesses that she likes Kang. Joon overhears Tae-hyun tell her that Kang and Cha-young are one another’s first loves, “Their love started in Wando when they were kids. Then they met at Geosung Hospital, and they met again in Greece…They might just be meant for each other.”

Back on Wando Island, a tired Cha-young finds an empty bench on the beach and sits down to wait for Kang. The burial over, Kang stands alone in front of Dong-gu’s headstone with a final wish, “Mr. Ha. Once you get to heaven, make sure to propose to my mom…”

At the hospice, Seon-ae barges into Director Kwon’s office and drags him to the kitchen. She sits him down in front of a table loaded with food and explains that even though they lived together for a year, she has no idea what he likes. When Director Kwon refuses to eat, a desperate Seon-ae grasps his hands, “You said you wanted to eat my cooking. If you don’t eat it today, you will never have a chance.”

Director Kwon frees himself and tells Seon-ae that he remarried after their divorce. His wife died after giving birth to a son, who he sent to live with his grandparents in the States for over ten years. Director Kwon confesses that he never asked his son to come home because he held out hope that Seon-ae would someday return.

Seon-ae’s eyes fill with tears when the guilt laden Director Kwon begs her to stay out of his life. Director Kwon returns to his office and takes out a picture of Min-sung and sobs, “I’m sorry.”

After getting Tae-hyun’s text, Kang searches the park where Cha-young said she would wait. He finds her dozing off while sitting on the bench, his car key clutched in her hand. When Kang kneels in front of Cha-young to throw his jacket over her shoulders, her head falls onto his shoulder.

Kang looks down at Cha-young as he thinks about the rest of Tae-hyun’s text, “…she’s very ill now. She bumped her head and…lost her senses of smell and taste. You’re a doctor, so I want you to take good care of her.” Kang steadies Cha-young and doesn’t move as we learn that he asked Tae-hyun to send him copies of her medical records and MRI.

A distracted Joon aims a hose at a flower bed as two men exit the hospice shouting at one another. When their fight gets physical, Young-sil grabs the hose and turns it on them. Joon tries to stop Young-sil when she hits them and yells that they can’t cause a scene at the hospice, unaware that the men are her relatives. Young-sil explains that her father’s cousin is now a patient at the hospice but his sons only care about his money.

As the brothers resume their fight, Young-sil tells Joon that after toiling all of his life to help them, their father has nothing left but his deposit money. Young-sil hates them for fighting over such a meager amount and guesses, “If there was a thousand times more money involved things would be a lot more cruel and heartless, right?”

Young-sil visits her father’s cousin and tells the unconscious man, “In your next life…Please live for yourself.” Young-sil wipes away her tears when Na-ra summons her to the kitchen.

Young-sil finds Michael’s mother in the kitchen and is shown the ingredient that’s been missing from the stew. Mom explains that when her boys were young, she found some pine mushrooms on the mountain and put them into Michael’s stew, but not his brother’s. Young-sil realizes that Mom did that because Michael was sick.

Later, Young-sil and Michael’s mom wait outside of his room as he tastes her latest recipe. Susan is overjoyed when Michael confirms that this stew is the one that he’s been waiting for.

His wish fulfilled, Michael thanks Susan for bringing him back to Korea. He tearfully promises, “If we’re born again, I’ll be a better son,” and they hug after saying, “I love you.” Out in the hallway, Michael’s mother is relieved when Young-sil confirms that her recipe was what Michael remembered. After looking at Michael one last time through the window, Mom turns to leave.

She pauses when Young-sil tells her, “He’s grateful that you gave birth to him.” After some grumbling, Mom asks Young-sil to thank Susan for the seaweed soup but complains that someone must have helped her since it was exceptional. She asks Young-sil not to share that part before walking away for the last time.

As the sun sets on Wando Island, Cha-young opens her eyes and jumps to her feet when Kang asks, “Did you have a good sleep?” Cha-young asks how long she slept on his shoulder, shocked when Kang tells her, “…about four hours?”

Kang sits Cha-young down and assures her that she didn’t snore or drool. When Cha-young insists that she doesn’t do either of those things, Kang explains, “I was trying to say that it’s okay even if you snore or drool.”

After she calms down, Cha-young asks to borrow some money to take the bus home. Kang suggests that she can go back with him and when she refuses, he informs her that she won’t make it to the last bus in time.

Announcing that he’s hungry, Kang promises that they’ll leave after they eat and when he limps away, a worried Cha-young chases after him. After buying fresh fish at the fish market, Kang announces that he’s taking Cha-young to a restaurant that he knows.

When Joon gets home, he finds his dad with an old family photo. Seung-hoon whines to his father about how hard it was after he passed away and begs him not to take his mother. Joon reaches out to comfort his father but stops himself.

Joon gets a call from Hye-mi that Grandma has regained consciousness and when Seung-hoon hears the news, they head for the hospital. In her room, Grandma looks very afraid when Hye-mi approaches her bed.

Kang and Cha-young stop in front of his mother’s old restaurant. Kang explains that Dong-gu took it over and he smiles when he finds the key in the usual spot. When Kang walks through the door, he’s transported to a happier time as he remembers his mother.

When Cha-young enters, Kang tells her, “My mom was also an amazing cook, just like you.” Kang announces his plan to cook dinner and warns that it may not go well but Cha-young watches happily as he chops, boils and grills.

Seo-hoon returns to the hospital at the same time as Seung-hoon and Joon. When they find Grandma with her eyes closed, Hye-mi explains that she’s been sedated. Seo-hoon notices the two board members in the room and they explain that Grandma summoned them as soon as she woke up.

Seo-hoon and Seung-hoon are shocked when they’re told that Grandma named Hye-mi as the acting chairwoman. When Seo-hoon objects, Seung-hoon comes to his wife’s defense, “…she sacrificed sleep and ran around to grow Geosung to what it is today.”

After instructing the men to leave, Hye-mi pushes Seung-hoon and Seo-hoon out of the room, leaving Joon alone with his grandmother. When he looks down at her, Joon notices that his grandmother is crying.

Cha-young smiles as she surveys Kang’s dishes and when he sits down, she thanks him for the meal and begins to eat. She stops when Kang confesses that he’s seen her MRI and knows that she can’t smell or taste anything, “That’s why I didn’t want to take you to just any restaurant.”

When Kang gently suggests that Cha-young doesn’t have to eat if she doesn’t want to, she starts to cry. Kang hands her some tissue just like he did when they were kids and Cha-young remembers how he gently wiped away her tears. Cha-young utters the same words that she said that day, “I’m just so happy. This food is so delicious, it’s making me unbelievably happy.”

Her words trigger Kang’s memory and he sees himself making the promised chocolate truffles for the girl that he caught eating food meant for the cows (and he’s wearing a Peter Pan t-shirt). Remembering that the girl cried from happiness, Kang asks, “By any chance, did you visit Wando when you were little?” Cha-young hesitates and then nods silently.

Kang’s eyes widen in surprise and he asks Cha-young another question, “By any chance, have you ever been here to Bada Restaurant, back when you were young?” Kang is stunned when Cha-young nods again and his eyes fill with tears as he continues, “Then, do you remember me?” Tears spill from Cha-young’s eyes when she looks up at Kang and nods.

 
COMMENTS

Finally! Kang knows what Tae-hyun and Joon both already know, that he met Cha-young on Wando Island when they were kids. After what’s been a very emotional day, Kang learns that the woman that he’s been trying to avoid for so long is the girl that he made those chocolate truffles for all those years ago. I feel like an idiot because I didn’t notice until this episode that Kang was wearing that Peter Pan t-shirt. It explains why Cha-young called her first love Peter Pan when she confided in Min-sung back when they were together. The tiniest details in this drama end up becoming significant and I’m sure we’re in for more revelations like that before the end.

As lovely as Kang’s deepening feelings for Cha-young are to witness, I’m most anxious to see how Joon is going to handle his mother’s betrayal. Learning that he’s not a legitimate Geosung heir is bad enough, but now Joon has to decide if he’s going to expose that secret to prevent his mother from taking the hospital away from his grandmother. Joon may be devastated by the fact that his grandmother only used him to push Kang, but even more upsetting is the fact that Hye-mi has been using him to get her hands on Geosung Hospital and that she’s willing to sacrifice his grandmother in the process.

Joon may not be as talented at Kang, but he’s definitely smart thanks to his mother. While Hye-mi can get away with misleading the gullible Seung-hoon, Joon is another matter. In an interesting parallel, Joon is faced with a similar situation that Kang confronted when he uncovered the murder plot against Hee-joo. Of course, Kang didn’t have to turn his mother in to the police, but if Joon doesn’t do something, Hye-mi is going to see to it that his grandmother is drugged for the rest of what’s left of her life.

Joon’s time at the hospice has had a profound effect on him, just as it’s had on Kang. Joon has actually warmed up to Young-sil, whose own family issues serve as an uncomfortable reminder about how immature he and Kang have been in their fight for the hospital. In the midst of his father’s distress that he may lose his mother, Joon hesitates to hurt him by revealing that he’s not a legitimate Geosung heir, but his grandmother is in terrible danger.

As awful as their grandmother has been, her rejection of Kang’s mother makes a tiny bit of sense in light of recent developments. Desperate to hand Geosung over to her husband’s legitimate son and then grandchild, Grandma needed to prevent any perceived weakness from hurting either one of them. That’s why she never accepted Kang’s mother and did her best to erase her memory. What I’m wondering is when exactly did Hye-mi learn that her husband wasn’t her father-in-law’s biological son? And if his suicide was precipitated by that revelation, who told him? Why did Kang’s father marry the maid’s daughter and throw away his birthright? I suspect that Hye-mi has been working behind the scenes for years to position herself to take over Geosung, supposedly for Joon’s benefit.

Of course, Kang knows nothing of the life and death drama at home, so he’s free to explore his early memories and his feelings for Cha-young, especially now that he knows that they met when they were young. Kang gave up chocolate after his mother died, fearful that he would return to Wando Island if he ever tasted it again. That promise that he made to Dong-du explains why. Kang really loved Dong-gu, he even wanted him as a stepfather, and the taste of chocolate would have reminded him of the kind man and a happier place. His connection to the young Cha-young will only reinforce how special Wando Island is. It may be that Hye-mi risked everything for no reason because I’m not sure that Kang is in any hurry to go back home.

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Those last 3-4 min (when Kang finally realizes who Cha Young is) were literally EVERYTHING I wanted from this show. Despite the cheesy and tropey writing (the writing sometimes feels cheap and ignorant), I just LOVED that scene. The OST, the build-up, the acting was all perfect. If anyone just wants to watch ONE scene from the WHOLE show, it'd be that one.
But also, episode 12 was just all together better than most episodes or maybe the best episode yet. We got to see Kang returning to his old self and Jun being the good guy he really is. Cha young's dongseng has also calmed down.

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I've been on the verge of quitting this drama for weeks, but Kang in the last minutes of episode 12 has saved it from the drop pile.

Please drama control yourself now and give us what we want. Good storytelling, more cooking, and actual development in the relationship between the leads.

Also, grandma can die.

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sorry grandma but you're toxic and you just gotta go. Also mom needs to calm down and go back to speaking french so her hubby can freak out.

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Mom is equally toxic and dad is stuck in adolescence.

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Perhaps Grandma and the gang needs a taste of Kang’s choco shasha.

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And after they eat chocolate truffles made by Kang, boom! they become better human beings. // or can they ever?

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Me too. I honestly thought she would like and their would be no movement, so when she nodded I screamed PROGRESS, and started singing Etta James's At last.

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She would lie and there

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You spoke my mind regarding the three last minutes of the ep. I mean those were MAGICAL (cried my happy tears.) I replayed those nodding scenes like 3-4 times. At last, I said to myself. I love that, for whatever reason, CY began to be true to herself and her feelings, and Kang's facial expression including those teary eyes made me want to possess CY right at that moment. (smirky face)

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Yes, episode 12 is my favorite so far!

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I was already happy with the beach scene! I was ecstatic with the last 3-4 minutes. And the preview where he asks "Can I love you CY?" with the scene of him grabbing her hand (I think) - I have no words to describe my level of happiness. This episode just delivered on what I wanted and expected! LOL. Can't wait for episode 13

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Why would she be crying eating his food if she has lost her sense of taste and smell? ^_^

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Because sometimes food tastes good not because of of its physical properties but because it was prepared with thoughtfulness and love. Food is not good because of itself but because of the context it is consumed. This has been a strong message of this drama.

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Oh and I saw the peter pan tshirt too (first by replaying an earlier episode and then in this one) thanks to your observation @sunset125 :)

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Clothes have a language in this drama, just like food 😊. I suspect I'll have more to comment on this topic later but I'll let the next ep confirms my theory first.

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You are absolutely right sunset125,plus she was super hungry and if you look closely the menu is somewhat same that Cha young ate years ago.
My eyes were teary only twice in this drama and that also when Cha young was eating as a kid and now. ..weird ha I mean so many tragic death happened in this drama...felt sad but didn't cried once. I remembered somewhat same scene from the drama called LAST..where main lead was hungry for couple of days and finally he gets his meal in some old tiny inn, the food was simple but way he ate and felt.... He was teary, almost burns his mouth and after finishing the meal the satisfaction ,joy he felt were so real that.my eyes were teary.
Watching hungry people eating makes me cry not dying them..weird
Do I need therapy?
Kang also slept on Cha young's shoulder in theater...does he remember that?

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@vijaya *grasp* Is that the same "LAST" drama that stars YKS as the main lead? I saw some parts of it and the end he mentioned a meal and how hungry he was.

Yes, the menu is somewhat the same you are right. That makes the memory even stronger.

I haven't cried once in this drama despite all the tragic deaths, so you're not weird and no therapy is needed 🙂. Some people cry in sadness some cry at joy and food brings joy in this drama, especially to our FL 😊

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Good point. But I was somehow expecting them to expound on that scene.. curious if her mind overcame her physical inability (i know it sounds impossible). Or maybe I just wanna be privy to Cha young's thoughts--did she say those exact words on purpose to remind kang? Was she expecting him to remember or was it her subconscious unable to hide anymore the need to reveal herself to him..I am curious about a lot of things.

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@audrey11 please see my comment bellow 😊

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I dont think it was deliberate. She is an emotional person and she really is free with her tears. Kang does do something super nice - he takes her home where his mom's spirit/memory lives and cooks and then explains why no other place was good enough for her (that dialogue is so sensitive!).
So she just says what comes to her mind. @sunset125 says it beautifully... what the food tastes like is all about the context and feelings it is served with.

Oh and I am not sure if she realizes that she is copying herself. I guess the storyteller is just hinting at how she, a person who appreciates good food and kind gestures often feels happy when she is faced with food served with feeling. CY has said that she has been an object of pity many times so think,if someone she loves shares love and not pity would the taste matter? She is crying out of happiness and she says that.

Btw in this drama they dont show Kang's home near the hospice and i guess that is because figuratively and literally his home is the restaurant in Wando.

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And i am forever curious about CY, Kang and Jun's thoughts :)

In solidarity!

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My thought was that she was kind of pretending because she saw the care and effort that he put into making it. She didn't know that he knew she had lost her sense of taste and smell, and she was doing her best to both honor the meal, and she was also remembering the first meal he made her.

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Hi...
He thinks that she might just be pretending and forcing herself for his sake, which is why he tells her that he knows. But she tears up because I think this food is like chocolate to her... her sense of taste might not work but she remembers the feel from that day years ago...

Also, given their context... he thinks she is coming for the first time but she has been to the restaurant before... before her mom abandonement and building collapse trauma... she is also super emotional as she has come to a place of happy memories with her "peter pan"!

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This.

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She cried because it brought back memories and even without her smell and taste his food consoled her in her darkest moment just like when she was a child(and was abandoned and hungry)...It wasn't the taste of the food but the gesture and what it meant for her...

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I think it was the memories finally repeating in itself at present. She being back with his first love, being able to finally reminisce childhood with his first love. 💙

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Because she remembered how it tasted when she was young.

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Finally the build up from the last 12 episodes has come to a satisfying revelation. All the little details the writer took to show how Kang unknowingly longs for the life he once had from his childhood were put together very well. And he finally has the chance to express his feelings for the present Cha Young in the same way that he did for the past Cha Young in a way he does best and something that’s probably closer to his heart than being a surgeon. They still have some hurdles to overcome and more importantly, he still needs to verbally express how he feels just so that there aren’t more misunderstanding between them.

I have no more words left for the Grandmother except to say she is loathsome and her daughter-in-law is equally so. Would it be too surprising to hope that Joon rises to the occasion to save and heal them all?

And way to go to brother Tae Hyun! He’s coming through for big sister big time this episode. Both he and the nurse who’s crushing on Kang actually make a more suitable couple.

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I love how Taehyun was sort of like bitchily going "you better not put your paws on my sister's man!" to that nurse and then followed it up with a respectful please.

I did find it sort of embarrassing to claim that Cha Young was Kang's first love too since I don't think Kang ever fell for Cha Young until the present timeline. He was just being that guy who is so nice to everyone.

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TaeHyun was funny, he’s annoyingly funny to that nurse. They’re really cute together I want to see their ship set sail haha

I thought the drama was clever in showing how both young and old Kang have the same feelings because both of them did the same thing in expressing what they felt for Cha Young— which is cooking. In that way, little Cha Young was Kang’s first love except that he didn’t know it was the same person until that moment. And from the expression on his face, I would assume he was astonished but happy that they are both the same person.

From Kang’s perspective, I don’t think he could forget the little girl, how she was so happy when she was served the meal and later how excitedly he made the choco truffle for her. The scar on his hand would be a constant reminder of it for him too. But like most of his happy memories from that Island, his memory of it was suppressed, possibly because it hurts too much for him to think that he could never go back or have those moments again.

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I’m a bit confused from what TaeHyun said though.. how did he know that Cha Young was Kang’s first love? Did he know about the choco truffle? I remember a scene back when his family were leaving the island and Cha Young wanted to step out...

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TH is just baiting the nurse and Joon. I think in his own way he wants to help CY so he is telling the nurse back off. He doesnt know that CY is Kang's first love which is why he begins by saying CY liked Kang since she was young and then changes the statement.
I liked the polite and caring way he framed his sms-es to Kang. I mean if i got sms-es like those I might help out too even if I am not in love. But then Kang's response is unique.
Though what i found confusing was why didnt CY refer to him when she says she doesnt have her wallet or phone. Also, knowing her bro doesnt she know if she asks him to contact Kang he might add things which she might want to keep as a secret!

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Part 2:

But am not complaining. Like everything else characters like surprising us. So, be it. If they like not being detailed in their dialogue, so be it :D

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@noone Ruckus,
Thanks. That makes sense. I’m relieved TH kept that secret from Kang though. I think maybe ChaYoung knows and trusts her brother more than we give him credit. And yes, for a loud and annoying brother, he was very thoughtful with the sms. Two more points for little bro!

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I also think that TH didn't really know if CY is Kang's first love. He knew that Kang is CY's first love, and if I try to make sense of all the things that happened, I'd say that TH is actually very considerate toward his bigger sister. We saw from some earlier episodes that he tried to match CY with good-in-his-opinion-or-rich guys. He once teased CY with Kang too. After that, he tried to match Jun with CY but stopped that somewhere in the middle. Now when he knew that Kang is really CY's first love and how their lives seem to orbit around one another, I'd say that he is very considerate both when he said that both of them is one another's first love despite not knowing whether CY is Kang's, and when he texted Kang about CY's conditions without saying anything more than that. He knew that the nurse was hitting on Kang, and perhaps Jun was having a crush on his sister so he stopped them both by doing the mentioned things.

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I think Cha Young may have said something to Tae Hyun even before that, because in the earlier episode (not sure if it was the 2nd episode) both siblings had conversation regarding "first love".

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I think (hope) Tae Hyun is maturing as we watch.

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I like to think of him as greek chorus :D

Someone used that analogy in the comments section of one of the previous recaps.

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I think TH and Jun both are catalysts as well. Personally I've become quite fond of TH's character and Jun's eyes 🤭 and I hope Jun gets back with his crush.

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Other that one sequence with shoes, I have enjoyed TH too. He is funny, a leech but not a bad person. He just likes eaY money, I guess.

Jun's eyes seem to be a hit. I was just browsing twitter where lots of people have mentioned his eyes.

Actually even I hope the crush comes back. Poor guy needs some love. By the way stills released of Kang and Jun are promising :)

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The daughter-in-law is scary, but grandma created her. Perhaps the unintended consequence of wanting to train Kang. The thing is there are so many elements of their story that are missing. What is the context of that segment of society? What is the context within which they own the business? Was her husband’s family waiting to get their paws on the business [I think one of the episodes hinted at that]. Why did Kang’s dad leave and what did she perceive to be the reason for that? That might explain why she thought she needed to give Kang the “training” she did. I think she was short-sighted in not taking into account the impact her training would have on her eldest son, his wife and her grandson.

This segment in society is for me difficult to understand and sympathize with. I am, for instance, reading a book “The Enchantress of Florence” where Akbar the Great, a Mughal emperor is one of the characters in the book. One of the thoughts the author gives him in the book is “I love my sons, but I can’t trust them” [for fear they would dethrone and kill him]. Can you imagine having to live that way and what kind of person that turns you into? There is another drama I saw [I just can’t remember the name] where a father explained to his son that he needed to be the way he was and raise them the way he did because otherwise, his brothers would take over the company. Power and wanting to maintain it seems to be so important for them [I wonder if they are really like this, it is just hard for me to grasp].

I honestly think Jun will rise to the occasion. I think he already started to. He wanted to tell Kang of their grandmother’s condition [that’s where he encountered Tae Hyun and the nurse]. I think he wanted to tell his father too of what his mother did but was prevented by his father’s sobbing and the phone call.

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Yeah, I don't think Hye mi drugged Grandma. I really think she was sedated by the doctors because Hye mi reminded her of what she knows and what she wants (the hospital) to keep it quiet. Hye mi is a lot of things but that woman is far from stupid and would not do anything like that to jeopardize her end game.

Grandma was straight up crying because she has no control and at this point no real and competent ally and that is the rub for Jun. Grandma overplayed her hand and not she has to pay the pot.

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I agree that Granny overplayed her hand.

I'm not sure if Joon feels sorry or anything about Granny's state. But looking at her in that state is a reminder of his family and how they're tearing each other apart. It's a miracle no one has ended up dead yet - though not for lack of trying. And when will it end?

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Uhm, for the record, Grandma's husband died out of shock after discovering the birth secret already. Poor Kang and Joon were probably dying inside living there. It's interesting that the hospice, the place where people go to die, is in fact becomes the place that breathes life into our characters again. Maybe they would all be happier if Joon becomes a doctor and Kang a chef working at the hospice instead of living in their luxurious household.

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I think that will actually benefit both of them, though I also think that Kang and CY should better live in Wando. That place holds much treasured memories for both of them. Jun should be welcome anytime, but better let them spend most of the time together.

It's interesting that the hospice, the place where people go to die, is in fact becomes the place that breathes life into our characters again. How can a message communicated be more beautiful than this?

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I also hope Kang opens up Bada Restaurant again with CY and run it together and live there...I think he would truly feel alive and happy far away from his toxic family...I don't feel sad for Grandma at all,maybe pity but this was the outcome and karma biting her back for all her deeds and how he treated Kang all his life and his Mother as well,in life and after as well(still can't forget how he ripped Kang of the right to visit his Mother remains,horrible deed) ...Might be cruel but i hope Kang doesn't return to save her precious hospital...

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Thanks for the reminder! I was only thinking of Kang, Jun, and the terrible parents. I wonder if Joon even wanted to become a doctor too or did he become of a doctor because of what his family wanted.

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@asianromance ar,
I got the distinct impression that Joon would rather have been a potter than a surgeon -- but he never had the option. He had been programmed from a young age to study hard and give Joon a run for the money.

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I want the soothing music that plays when he covers her in his jacket. I had a good laugh at myself as realistically that position of sleeping would be uncomfortable yet I couldn't stop reqatching that 3 minute sequence n number of times this week.
I didnt see the BTS clip but it seems that they tried many positions yet only this one worked.
I like the song that plays when the cook ajumha cries after she tries to feed Dir. Kwon.
Kang was funny and so him when after such gentle+sombre expressions while she was asleep he is all dry and like: did u sleep well?
He doesnt look at her when he does all the shopping (high handed and all) and explains his reason for not taking her to "just any restaurant" only over a meal that he cooks.

So despite my cheering on the sidelines for CY to cook for him, the situation is such that he cooks for her and i really cant complain. >the sweetest thingHa!<.

And though Kang is emotionally drained after the long ride to the funeral... but he should be super touched as in this friendless world someone literally dropped everything to drive him.
I love CY's quiet and soothing approach when she gives him all the space to grieve while she drives quietly while the neice is jarring after CY's quiet presence.

More later...

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Oh and @teriyaki thanks for the recap.

Now I am so looking forward to Friday since last saturday :D

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I made a mess of the english but hopefully the emotions behind the faulty expression are still visible :)

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That sleeping position also made me laugh. And Kang kept that position for 4 hours. I felt like it would have been more comfortable for her to have him wake her up and have her sleep in the car on the drive back. But then we wouldn't have gotten that beautiful moment at Bada Restaurant.

And I side-eyed the whole no-drooling part. I feel like that would be the optimal position for drool to come out!

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No, you can't let drool come out of FL's mouth at any cost! lol

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But you must! for relatability to the audience! It's already enough that her hair and bangs look beautiful.

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Blimey, my first thought was about knee pain.

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@patricia PatLaFougere,
My patellas ached just from seeing Kang kneeling / crouching on that shingle beach. Ouch!

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I thought that was a clever visual tell just how deeply he has fallen that he would endure to be in that position for hours. And how poignant at the same time that she could “lean” on him.

From their behind the scene rehearsals, it turned out to be the best option.

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@mei123db he has fallen on to his knees 😂. Yes the pose is so meaningful/symbolic in many ways. It is such a great scene!

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It is his atonement for being mean to her for so long 😂.

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Awww..😢

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To be honest, am glad! I really felt bad for CY as he did his best to crush her! I still think of him saying: why are you crying, did you fall down another mountain or please don’t create trouble for the short time that’s i am here!

I am so happy with his transformation but she has pined for ages! So 4 hours on his knees on a rocky beach... physical pain is easier to endure than emotional, dear Kang!

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@noone Ruckus
Do you think with Cha Young’s personality that she would allow him to suffer as she did? I don’t think she will want to. And I think that will have the bigger emotional impact for him than his guilt.

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@mei123db

She is too good and I am vindictive :D

I can just admire these three for being who they are and I wish I could imbibe some of the nice lessons to lead a fuller life!

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@mei123db Oh Oh! I sound too philosophical or something :D

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@noone Ruckus,
Just like what everyone here has gathered, this show is a treasure trove of life lessons for all of us ❤️

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@noone, the sunset scene (btw how beautiful was that pink sunset, I was in love 😀), if you turn off the sound and focus on Kang's face when he asks CY if she had a good sleep, you'll see genuine concern in his eyes. The first few times I also thought it was a bit brisk, but then I watched without sound and it was so different, he was very concerned if she truly slept well.

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@sunset125
I should, without sound too. Right now i watched it so many times that if it were a cassette, the head would need to be changed.

Also, his expression when she runs to the side of the bench.

I keep thinking is it the director who was so nuanced or the actors immersed themselves completely. Those 4 sequences: his eyes following her while the neice speaks, him finding her on the beach, the waking up and then the three nods...
I cant stop thinking about them, so much so that everything else in ep12 gets sidelined. I am just scared that unlike the trailer if ep 13 has less of them (all 3: Jun/CY/Kang and more of family) then I will cry out of frustration.
The makers sure know how to make the audience long! I can now write an essay on yearning and I keep wondering how did CY manage to be so patient :D

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@noone please read my comments bellow regarding the beach scene 😊

Btw, I was expecting she will say no to his question "Can I love you?" 😃 just to prepare myself for this writer's penchant for heart break.

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I am wondering is the question even spoken aloud? Does he address her?

The niece is a new spoke in the wheel... CY stops the first time she hears her say Oppa.

@sunset125 :)

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Yes, he said Can I love you, Cha Young? 😃 But teaser is usually misleading so I don't bank much on that.

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Oh and i was waiting for those.
I will need to reread everything to clear my brain but right now am smiling like a fool!

I haven't read the 6 volumes and I am not a big food lit fan. So am glad u summed it for me. I like magic and escapism and reality which is magical but not real :D
So give me interpretations and I am glued.

Did i thank u for taking the time to share? Am glad u did, @sunset125

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@noone, In Search of Lost Time is not food lit, it is a novel, very long but beautiful. The author narrated his childhood and youth' memories. These memories came to him after he tasted a madeleine offered to him by his Mum, he dipped it in the cup of tea and tasted it and the taste transported him back to his childhood town of Combray where he used to have madeleine dipped in tea with his aunt. So he started a journey back in time and analyse every memory to great length to find out what they really mean to him. "Proust's madeleine" has become a famous literature phrase that refers to something evoking memories so powerfully that it transmits the person to the time they experienced that something for the first time.

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OMG I can't imagine if she says anything apart from YES. Like BIG YES.

Oh.. come on CY, stop torturing yourself and that person in front of you. Listen to me and look at my mouth, just say Y-E-S ok?

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@mmmmm a bis yes please! Ok, we’ll settle for a nod as well 🤣

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CY has a great inner calmness and peace. That's how she manages it. She might meditate in her spare time 😀.

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Something I should learn :D

Someone said in a comment that this drama thru its characters holds the mirror to the audience and that is so true for me.

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I kinda think that cooking is like meditation for her. There she looks so comfortable and is totally in tune with the universe.

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Ok... you make it sound so nice @sunset125 will try to read it in 2020 :)

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@sunset125's comment made me want to read that book too! Now I have another book in my to-read list "Search of Lost Time."

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That book is/was also known as Remembrance of Things Past, but I'm probably behind the times. Had to read it for French Lit.

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Yes Pat. It is the same book, that is the first translation out of three different ones. It is actually very beautiful translation, a little harder to read than the other ones, but quite critically acclaimed . I bought an antique version of the first volume in Shakespeare and Co in Paris last year and it is one of my treasures 😊

“ The smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.”

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@sunset125
Ok am sold to the idea. Sounds like night train to lisbon / zaffon kind of writing without the suspense aspect.

Oh and reminder: greek god reference was?
I really am curious :)

And it is almost Friday yay.

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@noone oh the ref is really nothing. When mentioning he was holding her while on his knees, I just thought of an worshipping act then of course the Greek Gods popped into mind, cause you know, Greece 😂.

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Yes and yes! Thank you. What a powerful quote. This drama is saturated with those words.
I stayed at Shakespeare and Co for a while when I was 19 but that's another story.

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@patricia that is amazing! You are in the company of Hemingway and Co 😊😮👏! I would love to hear that story 😊!

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Dear @patricia ,

Just seconding @sunset125 ‘s opinion. Would love to hear the story of your stay.

Never been to Paris (and not that fond of it either — maybe because French is too tough for me :D ) but I love good stories :)

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Dir. Kwon's attitudes are a real puzzle to me. He cries over the hospice patients that die, yet he doesn't have a bit of compassion for his ex-wife.

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His story is still unfolding. I am sure we will know more at the end.

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@kwan Director Kwon has his atonement issue, having neglected his family and sent his son MS to live with the grandparents in the hope of the ex-wife return. In the end, the second wife passed away at given birth and MS died young. It really echoes the main theme of this drama, to treasure the moment while life is short rather than to be drowned in regret later on.

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I also loved the song that played when cook ajumma tried to feed dr kwon. What is the title of that song?

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I don’t know the title but someone shared a link here or on soomphi! If I find it will tag you @dramagurllovee :)
I hope you are enjoying chocolate! It is an experience.

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Also, I just want to clarify something about losing «taste and smell». Your sense of taste is 80-90% (or was it 70%?) from smell. So if you lose your sense of smell, you lose most of the food taste but you can still taste a bit. Needless to say, the drama over dramatized it but she can still taste a bit. Memory also plays a role in what food tastes. So even if she can't taste, she should technically still can to a certain extent thanks to her brain. The brain is magical sometimes.

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JustMe--you are so right about taste and memory, also smells. When I cook something I mentally judge it in my mind compared to the time that I remembered the same dish tasted the absolute best. That's when I say to myself, this effort was good, or not so good.

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I also didn't notice the Peter Pan shirt until this episode. I always thought she referred to him as Peter Pan because he was the last good thing she experienced in her childhood.

Loved this episode.

The whole Dong-gu funeral - omg that pinkie promise that Kang took 25 years to fulfill- and that box of chocolates made me cry so much. How sad Dong-gu must have been when his crush was killed in the collapse and Kang pretty much disappeared.

LOL at the cringey fighting brothers scene. Yes, Joon, that is how dumb you and Kang look. Save yourselves!

How Birth Mom refers to Susan as Michael's mom and didn't intrude on their moment.

All the OTP scenes! I replayed the last scene with the beautifully done flashbacks like 5 times. I love how the flashback scenes were out of order. I don't think Kang has thought about Cha Young since then so it took awhile for the memories to come together.

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Re: Kang hasn't thought about CY since then, I kind of agree with you. I think Kang has buried everything associated with his time in Wando and his mother to become an emotionless human being who has only one dream: to fulfill his assumed mother's wish to take over that hospital. A little girl who he made food and chocolate truffles for is one of those memories that needed gone. It had to take a while for him to gather all of those memories back. This explains well why he never had any suspicion whether CY could be the same person, the little girl he met in Wando.

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To me the reference to Peter Pan is a tie to her knowing Kang when they were young--Peter Pan never grew up. My first love happened when I was about 10-12 years old. I haven't seen that love since then, but in my mind, he always looks the same. Never grows old, never loses his luster. However, I know that if I met him today that lovely memory would immediately vanish--because he did grow up.

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The beach scene is one of the loveliest in a K drama that I've seen. The set-up seems absurd on some level... the lactic acid build-up must be something else... but it really shows how far Kang has come in being free with his emotions towards CY. I don't think he even noticed how long he was kneeling because finally... after all the clumsy efforts from before, he has been given a great excuse to hold her, up close and personal. He's no longer the observer, watching longingly from a distance. One of my favourite moments of Kang some time before this comes up when the childhood friend prattles on in the background totally unaware that he is looking wistfully as CY strolls further away from him.

What I also liked about Kang in this episode is this newfound confidence to keep CY by his side. Maybe it's the Wando sea air but he was on a roll with his little scheme. Afterall, Heaven was on his side dropping her right into his lap. Why not seize the moment?

At the heart of the episode is perhaps the biggest lesson of all: Life is much too short to waste on the non-essentials like fighting over money, holding grudges and worrying about past missteps. Like I've said elsewhere, when Kang said to Uncle Ha that he should propose to mum in heaven and not worry about dad, he was giving himself permission to woo CY despite their checkered past and the spectre of MS hovering over them.

I don't think it's immaturity that drives this ridiculous existential battle between Kang and Jun but a lifetime of brainwashing by manipulative relatives. This is the 21st century and yet we have people fighting over legitimacy of succession as if we've been transported to Goryeo or Joseon time warp. There's nothing wrong if either of the men have the ambition and competence to run a medical empire but right now all the enthusiasm for that comes from two unpleasant relatives who are outdoing each other in the "who is the bigger villain" soap opera.

I'm fond of Director Kwon and his life seems to be filled with tragedy and sadness. Cooking ajumma broke his heart into a thousand pieces and he has never recovered from it. But I wonder if he's punishing her or himself in the long run. He should really take his own advice. The one he gave to Kang after his almighty biffo with Jun... about learning the lesson from those in the hospice. The reality there is that it is so much easier to see the fault in others and much harder to see your own flaws.

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Ooh now that you brought up the scene of Kang speaking out to Uncle DongGu, I just want to say that he spoke in the native island accent, which just reveals how much he has turned into someone else back in Seoul, but being in the Island just brought everything back. I really loved that little detail.

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Thank you for that nice little tit bit. Confirms a lot of my thinking re: the episode.

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Thank you for pointing that out. If you didn't, it would be impossible for me to know that he spoke a different accent.

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@mei123db MeiDramaDreams,
I noticed Kang spoke satoori, too. My ears did a double take.

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Beautifully said, @lilium!

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His eyes following her was something...

In the scene when he takes of the jacket and then we have closeups, i kept wondering (when they show hand movements) whether he is trying to hug her or adjust her position such that she is more comfortable.

I for one kept thinking where did his sombre thoughts take him during those 4 hours... did he plan how he would keep her in Wando then? Did he connect the dots of why she has quit?

His confidence was so at odds with his clumsy self in the kitchen just the night before. Was it because she drove him without a second thought with just her apron? Ohhh whatever... his moves just made me happy.
Thanks for putting it all so beautifully.
@Lilium and @sunset125 i often wonder if I like ur explanations more than the drama or do I like the drama because of your descriptions :)

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last bus is gone..that's a cute little lie.

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I know, yet I couldn't help smiling a very big smile. Just as a Beanie here has pointed out: Kang had a scheme of his own and I, for once, am more than happy with this scheme.

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Well, I think it was being at Uncle Ha's wake that most likely spurred him on. The theme of missed opportunities must have been playing on his mind as he thought about how he never got to go back to Wando to pick up the yummy choccies before Uncle Ha's sudden death. Kang had not returned as promised and the regret must have been weighing on him. Moreover, he was thinking too of how Uncle Ha missed the boat in confessing to Mum -- another missed opportunity.

With all of those examples churning in his mind, I can believe that Kang must have resolved to keep CY as close to him for as long as possible because there might not be another opportunity.

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Dear @lilium, again, thanks for putting this so beautifully. Because of your comment, one of the most important messages the show tries to tell us is highlighted again: Life is too short to waste on things that do not matter. I love this. Thank you for pointing this out.

It's quite strange why I find myself do not like Director Kwon's actions towards his first wife. I considered his actions as some time immature, vengeful and not-being-able-to-let-go. The funny thing is that when I look back at myself, I did exactly like the thing he did in the series: I unknowingly tortured myself because I want to atone for the wrong decisions I've made in the past, so I always kept myself away from happiness because I felt like I didn't deserve it. How funny is that? The line that brought me this wisdom is when you posted a question whether the Director's actions are the ones to torture his wife or the ones to torture himself? Director Kwon did nothing wrong in the first place, but he blamed himself for his reactions to those situations. I did the same. And now I see that this unreasonable atonement does no one any good, I hope both the Director and I can finally come to terms with ourselves: we can let go of emotional burden and lead a truly happy life.

And in this sense, watching this show is like looking into a mirror like a Beanie has suggested.

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Thank you for your candour dear. It must have brought back some painful memories.

I too struggle with Director Kwon's attitude towards Cooking AJumma because I (quite frankly) find it meaningless because the time she has left is very short. She is right to communicate her sense of urgency because her Alzheimer's is deteriorating fast.
However I do understand his pain and anger. I've been there. But I came to the realisation that forgiveness meant freedom and I'm grateful for the fact that I can move on without resentment.

I don't think Director Kwon is punishing himself intentionally. What I meant was that by trapping himself in this state of mind and allowing the wound to fester, he is hurting himself as much as he is hurting her. His so-called act of vengeance is a kind of mental imprisonment.

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" after all the clumsy efforts from before, he has been given a great excuse to hold her, up close and personal. " Thank you for this beautiful observation, @Lilium.

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At end, my only thought was : Don't lie, tell him the truth!
So when she nodded, I was really relieved. I think I couldn't have born another lie or misunderstanding.

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Yes, the moment between his question and her answer may have been the most dramatic pause this drama has had.

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I agree, and I think I held my breath during those seconds too.

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I confess to being rather nervous that entire scene that she would lie and prolong the agony.
But she didn't... and we're all happy viewers.

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CY likes surprising us :D

We all were expecting her to lie (ok, I wasnt sure what would she do but I definitely did not expect the nods!) but dramagods were like why? She has been waiting for this moment for 7 years...

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Been bawling practically every episode in this series, but Episode 12 is something else. As someone who adores childhood friend lover stories, the end of Ep 12 just absolutely rekt me. Couldn't even see the subs properly through my tears so I had to watch the final scene again, and doing so had me crying for a good couple hours straight. I haven't cried this much since my first 'nakige' a couple decades ago, so that's a very good thing this series is doing so far.

I really don't think the series can top this episode, but I don't really care. This seems to be more in the vein of early 2000's Kdrama stories where they really tug your heartstrings to make you cry, and those type of stories usually end with one or both the leads dead, or suffering from a terminal affliction. The series making a point to showcase Cha-young banging her head reminds me a lot of "Autumn Tale" when the female lead started to have a nose bleed, and I have a feeling that she will run away to Greece again because she doesn't want Kang to feel guilty about her dying (which may or may not be because of the surgery he performed on her wasn't done correctly). Hence why we are shown Kang finding Cha-young in that little secluded place in Greece back in Ep 1.

So yeah, I think we're heading to a bittersweet ending, and maybe I should just quit while I'm ahead and pretend the end of Ep 12 is the end of the series. XD

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Anything can happen, I guess.

I am so at the adge of my seat to see what happens in ep13 that I cant quit now irrespective of the end :)

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I suspect the next couple of episodes will surpass what we got in 12, judging from the previews I've seen.
I'm excited to be honest.

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Daadooo

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I actually felt the same when she banged her head in the kitchen. But truth be told, I don't want to go through any more emotional dramas. Can we just have the awful family fight between themselves, and CY and Kang and Jun live happily ever after anyway and anyhow they like for themselves for just once? I, too, feel that this drama brings all those feelings we felt when we watched Kdramas 10-20 years ago, I just have my little hope that the ending wouldn't be the same. It's supposed to be a healing drama, and this generation happy drama needs a happy ending!

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*this generation's healing drama

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the last 3 minutes' scene made me SQUEEEDD
*HEARTS EYES*

Ok, let that out first, haha..

thank you Show! all my patience for 11,5 hours has just been rewarded with that scene ;D

what i mean about patience:
yes, the writing that sometime feel choppy and cheap :(
yes, also about how the characters sometime existed without any development, not purposeful, coz you know we're in the two-third part of the drama but some chars are just there without even bothered to be revisited (hello cha young parents!),
so i was a bit upset on how this drama that i want to like so much can be lazy like that, Huft!

anyway,,I just want to say that even with all those 'nit picking', this drama is my favourite in this current offering, and watching it with beanies is just wonderful! :D

hang in there to the last ep, beanies!

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And I'm just gonna say Yoon Kye Sang can act!!!! My first drama of him actually. And I appreciate the fact that he doesnt wear lip products like some actors do.
This is my absolute fav drama thus far 😊

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he cried oh so beautifully..

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Oh! He makes Kang what Kang is!
His eyes and those small nuances in his expressions that I keep asking about...

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If you're interested, you can check out my shameless promotion of YKS in ep 11's recap. 😁

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Yey to no lip products. I appreciate that too 😊.

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I have to say I like Kang's make up through out the series...
Jun's at times was a bit much and am not sure if it was intentional.
CY's make in the second episode was a bit much for me and I even commented about it in the recap. Oh and now her fringe which keeps getting into her eyes... if I were CY i would keep running my eyes because of the unruly fringe in my eye! In some places the fringe's styling makes her look nice... when he asks her if she can wait and go with him and the side cut where eyes wide open she looks at him!

Ohh and since we are at looks... i love the old fashioned cuts : CY and Kang walking in the evening when CY runs to catch up while he is carrying the black plastic bags in both hands. Or the cut in the first episode when Kang first gets out of the room wearing his coat in prep for mom's memorial service... such a 90s feel. The light, the clothes, camera treatment and the behaviour of the people. Am sure there are more moments like those but... these are playing in my head right now.

CY is such a mix...feminine yet strong. When she stops him from driving, they remind me of an old cute couple having a conversation. Alpha male who thinks he rules the roost but the female who always has her way with or without him knowing. She takes the back seat but only if she wants to. >thinking too much :D <

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So many typos! Sorry.

Rubbing and not running.

Continuation of the last para:
Also, when he apologizes in the kitchen and she is like for what... the way she asks is such a coy move putting him on the spot and so old world! You know she is miffed but our girl is never aggressive...aahh feminine grace of the character.

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You need to watch Road No. 1, he's is soooo good in that one, as is the entire cast. In fact I think the whole cast should have been given an award for 'best acting ensemble.'

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Finallyyyyyyyy..sorry, need to get that out of my chest..haha..it feels like I've been waiting for years for this progress on their relationship. 😭

I am just so happy with this episode. Kang telling Uncle Dong-gu (in native accent!) to propose to his mom and to not be intimidated by his dad was so bittersweet. They could have been one happy family.

- now I can see why Tae-hyun (or his big mouth 😆) is needed in the story.

- poor Joon, but I believe he'll make the right decision. Can we have Hui-joo back by the way? I feel like it will be too much for Joon to face everything all by himself. Or at least have him reconcile with Kang.

Please tell me there will be a happy ending. This is a healing drama right? If there's one thing this drama has taught me, it's that life is short and you should really treasure your loved ones. I just want Kang, Cha-Young, Joon, Director Kwon, everyone to be happy and live their life to the fullest.

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Thanks @teriyaki for the recap! I was checking in every few hours anxiously awaiting its release!

Although I was thrilled by the progress Kang and Cha Young made during this episode, and events that unfolded, I was felt that the side stories with Joon and Director Kwon were especially powerful.

First, it is interesting that Joon got to know all of the big secrets of people around him. He seemed to be around at the right place at the right time to hear crucial bits of information. So I think as @teriyaki indicated, he may be the linchpin to "what happens next", for example, with respect to Kang and the hospital, his parents and even his grandmother.

Honestly, Director Kwon's situation broke my heart 💔! Although there might be a sense that on a point of pride he cannot be welcoming to Soon Ae because she had dumped him so many years ago, I think in his own way he is also trying to atone dead wife and son for still loving for Soon Ae well after they were in his life... So now, although they are dead, he is trying to honour their memory, and live an "honourable life"...

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Of course he is. Dir. Kwon feels guilty for loving someone who left him and not loving those who were around enough, when they were around him.
I somehow have a soft corner for his pretty first wife. Her taking care of CY, allowing CY to be there, constantly trying to appease the Dir, helping people just like CY and being a little jealous of the nurse and of course, forgetting things when she doesnt want to. Ohhh... i wamt her story! Where did go after she left him, did she have dementia then and does CY remind her of someone which is why she loves CY as much as she does?

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Talking about Soon Ae, my question is what does she mean when she told the little girl's grandfather not to repeat the same mistake she did in the past. The mistake the grandfather has made is to have not accepted his daughter-in-law. I couldn't really comprehend this.

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I couldnt either so for now I was not planning to take it literally and wait for the series to explain in the next few episodes.
She intrigues me and since have been hearing dementia related stories so I feel for her more than I ordinaryily would.

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I'm sure there is more to her story since it was never revealed why she left. I'm guessing she was an immature young bride and got mad about something that wasn't worth getting mad about. Then left Director Kwon. I'm guessing they weren't married long either since he never got to eat her cooking. Seon-ae did tell Head Nurse that she had great husband, but left him because she was out of her mind and that the Nurse should hold onto him. The grandfather got mad at his son for marrying someone he didn't think was good enough for him and basically abandoned his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. I think part of him staying away for so long was because he is angry at himself and feels shame and regret about his reaction to the marriage.

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Oh and kill me.

I like Jun and I want to understand him but somehow his character unfolding through family matters (is important) but doesnt appeal to me. I see it coz it is a part of the story but ... yes poor Jun. His character development depends on how he makes peace with what his family members are like and no one will come to his rescue or provide a soothing balm to his soul.
I have a weakness for scenes when any of the two leads (CY-Jun, jun-Kang, Kang-CY, or all three together or two with other characters) are together in a scene or hospice scenes. The minute the toxic family comes, I cant help but laugh as they are caricatures of what people become when they are blinded with ambition, privilege or money. It then feels like a different drama. I think I basically dont care enough about them, even to see Jun's development.

Jun's father makes me laugh (if shown in small doses), the grandma is just too unfeeling, i liked the interaction between jun-fathr-mom in french but mom alone makes me grit my teeth. The aunt is an irritating character who I would avoid if she were my family!

Basically, they are important for the conflict in the storyline but not my cup of tea. So Jun, my boy I apologize for ignoring your developments.

I wanted to say this somewhere thus using this opportunity. And yes, i was also looking "high and low" for the recap of ep12... now i cant remember why as tomorrow we see ep 13

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@luminus18
I can’t wait to see how these two particular subplots (Joon and SeonAe/Director Kwon) unfold. Seeing how they have been woven into the story for the longest time, I am sensing this will have the most substantial impact. There is a reason the writer saved their stories for the last half. Thank you for pointing it out.

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Wando Island Behind The Scenes 🐙 🐠
https://youtu.be/KfQG2OEHgHs

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(1)
Ahhh, how beautiful is Ep 12? I had a smile on my face the whole day after I watched it. It made me so happy to see what I expected in ways I did not expect.

Like everyone, I love the beach scene. It has got to be one of the most romantic scenes I have seen, and one of the reasons I like K drama love stories, when they got the romance right, it is the best. And Chocolate had not disappointed me. The few minutes scene is fusion of best directing, acting, filming and editing. The music especially highlights the mood of the whole scene. At first, it is the musical version of the visuals of the sparkling waves, then it sounds like Kang’s emotion. When TH’s narrates CY’s condition, YKS’s facial muscles move suggesting the pain Kang felt at the new knowledge about CY, then he lets it sink in the few seconds afterwards, here we could almost feel all his misunderstandings fall away, that for the first time he sees her so clearly and closely, and realising how stoic, how strong, how wonderful she is, then he closes his eyes and looked down at her, gently squeezes her arm, and very subtly pullsher close to him in what I call a hug (yes, @noone, it is a hug 🙂). I had expected a hug somewhere in this episode but this is more beautiful than I ever expected. In that gentle gesture, there’s pain, regret, apology, admiration and love. It is a crucial development in Kang’s emotion and shines a light to what to come next in the ep.

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(2)
“How do I love thee?“

MS told Kang “When you tastes CY’s food, you will fall in love with her”. That’s how MS fell in love with CY, he ate at her restaurant, he mesmerised for hours looking at her going about doing her job through the restaurant’ s windows, before he died, he craved for her dumpling soup. There’s a truth in what he said, that he did not get fed well growing up, so if cooking is all CY good at (as she told him so), he was fine with it too. And it’s a no coincidence that we learnt about his family situation in this episode. We are reminded that MS, growing up without parental love, craved for a mother figure. He found that in CY’s cooking. That’s the way he loved her.

So the writer has deliberately kept Kang from eating CY’s food (surely he must have eaten at the hospice’s cafeteria but that’s generic, not personal). She wants to draw a difference between how the two men saw her and fell in love with her. Kang has misunderstood and understood CY as a person. It had taken him a long time, but sometimes it takes that long to fully understand someone. In the end, what made him fall in love is her personality, her stoicism, resilience, empathy, selflessness. In that beach scene, he was holding her for that long, on his knees, like one holding something precious one worships and cherishes.

The next sequence empathised that by showing him cooking for her. There are so many meanings in this scene it is brilliant of the writer (or may be I read to much into it, but here goes). What is the best way you can tell a chef who has lost the ability to truly cook that you love her? What is the best way you can make someone who is in an identity crisis believe that they haven’t lost their identity? What is the best way you can tell a girl you love her? First you tell her you think she’s an amazing cook (so much that my Mum is as good as you). But then you cook for her, to tell her that it doesn’t really matter if you can’t cook, I’ll do it for you. I’ll take care of you with the dishes I learnt from my Mum.

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OmG!
It is almost as though am reading a romantic novel. I felt so much but didnt think that far @sunset125

Now I will be smiling for the rest of my day :)

By the way, u offer food and first bite to the gods. So if he revered her on his knees, he indeed offered her a spiritual offering on the table with food he cooked. And he actually picks the chopsticks but doesnt eat. I am so dead in love.

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Very good point @noone. Did you notice too that when they sit, he was stooping his back so his eye level is lower that hers and he looks up at her, not down?

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I almost used a reference of a Greek god in my original comment but afraid I was going overboard with my analysis 😃

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