Rating:
Average user rating 4.7
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Chocolate: Episode 13

Time away from the city is doing wonders for our characters. It’s opening some doors they never wanted to open, releasing emotions they never wanted to feel, which is exactly what they needed. It could be enough to end a twenty-something-year feud — or enough to start a love from a twenty-something-year crush.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

Kang confirms with Cha-young that she was the girl who visited the restaurant all those years ago. When he asks if she remembers him, she slowly nods, and his eyes grow wide. Flustered, she gets up and scurries into the kitchen to wash the dishes. He comes in to take the dishes from her, and the close proximity makes them pause. He then moves past and leans against the sink, his back to hers.

“Why didn’t you come that day?” Kang asks. The question reminds Cha-young of the time she did come back, when Dong-gu told her that Kang had waited for her. She turns to face him and admits that something came up. And seeing his sad expression, she apologizes for not being able to keep her promise. They lock eyes (ah, the tension!), only to turn away again when someone barges in.

It’s Dong-gu’s niece Jung-bok, dressed all pretty for her oppa. She, of course, has to make sure Cha-young isn’t Kang’s girlfriend, and then announces that she had a crush on him growing up. She held back since her uncle liked his mom, but now, she’s starting to get butterflies again. Cha-young turns to walk out, only to freeze when Kang says, “There’s someone I like.”

Jung-bok, though a little pouty, is okay with being rejected. Still, she suggests that before he leave, he visit Bada — his dog San’s grandpup. She takes them over to her home, where Kang meets the very old and sick Bada. Looking at the poor pup, Kang remembers San and how much he wanted to stay with her. Bada, Jung-bok explains, hasn’t left Dong-gu’s blanket or drinken any water since Dong-gu passed. Overhearing this, Cha-young sneaks off to the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Joon tries to get ahold of Kang, to no avail. He decides to drive over to Wando, and somewhere along the way, he gets a call from his mom. She asks where he is, confused to hear that he’s going to see Kang. When she asks why, Joon merely states, “Because I miss him.”

Kang calls Director Kwon to ask for a few more days off. After hanging up, he’s surprised to find Bada happily slurping some water while Cha-young watches. She tells him that it’s dried pollack broth, something she used to give her family dog when it lost its appetite.

Hearts in his eyes, he watches as she coos praises to Bada. He says he’ll be staying for a while, unable to leave Bada when he’s suffering, and she reassures him that she can take the bus home the following day. He asks, almost to himself, if it would be selfish of him to ask her to stay a little longer.

Cha-young fixes Bada a proper meal, and Kang interrupts to apologize for his request. He tells her to take his car instead of the bus, but she just answers, “I’ll keep my promise of going back with you. Since I couldn’t keep my promise for the chocolate truffles.” She repeats what he said, that she can’t leave someone when they’re suffering.

They finally get Bada eating, and they’re able to smile again. Later, Kang thanks her for staying; he would’ve cried if she left. There’s a beat of awkward silence, which is then interrupted by Kang’s phone ringing.

It’s a video call from Tae-hyun, who would like to know why his sister isn’t home yet. He starts pounding them with questions, like why they’re not in a hotel, and Cha-young hilariously grabs the phone and yells at him to leave them alone. Even Kang can’t help laughing as she regains composure and politely hands his phone back.

That night, Kang lies with Bada and tells him to have sweet dreams. He promises to see him in the morning with Cha-young. In the next room, Cha-young sees a framed photo of young Kang with his mom and Dong-gu. She smiles at the photo and says, “I’m glad we got to meet again, kiddo.”

The next day, at the hospice, the nurses put up a bulletin board labeled “Bits and Pieces of Our Memories.” On it are pictures of past patients, like Ji-yong and the jjajangmyeon grandpa, with loving notes from the staff. And oh no… there’s a picture of Michael with his moms, as well as a picture of Ye-sol’s parents’ wedding.

But, aw, in the wedding picture, we see that Ye-sol’s prickly grandfather actually came. Young-shil smiles up at the bulletin board and says farewell to Ye-sol’s mom. Young-shil then heads over to Michael’s room, where Susan is packing up. She puts on a smile and tells Susan that Kang left her with a quiz.

Young-shil leads Susan over to the kitchen, telling her Michael’s story about the sujebi-like dish. Someone prepared four contenders for Susan to try, which just touches her heart. She immediately recognizes it as dish number four — the ongsimi — and smiles through tears as she eats it.

Afterwards, Young-shil calls the mystery chef, who happens to be Michael’s mom, and tells her that Susan enjoyed the meal. And as always, Mom scoffs over Susan’s kindness and goes about her business.

Back at Wando, Kang goes into Bada’s room to take him on a morning walk. But his smile falls to see that Bada is no longer breathing. (Nooo! Not the puppy!) He wraps Bada in his favorite blanket and takes him outside, just as Cha-young comes out. Saddened, she puts a hand over the dog.

Cha-young quietly says goodbye to Bada, grateful to have met him, and Kang watches, looking like he might pass out from grief and exhaustion.

We catch up with Joon, who’s sleeping in his car just outside of Kang’s mom’s restaurant. He’s jolted awake when Jung-bok comes ’round and knocks on his window, gesturing for him to get out. He explains that he’s looking for Kang, so she directs him to her house.

Kang and Cha-young are already gone, so Jung-bok assumes that they took Bada out on a walk. Jung-bok and Joon sit down to wait, when Joon gets a call from his dad. Seung-hoon demands to know why Joon suddenly wanted to see Kang, but Joon doesn’t know either.

“Maybe I’ve gone crazy,” Joon says. He hangs up and turns to Jung-bok, asking her if he looks crazy. He doesn’t understand why he’s acting this way when he’d been fine before. Jung-bok is confused by the question, so Joon gets up and decides to go exploring. She watches him leave, muttering that he’s totally her type, heh.

Seung-hoon, already upset from his phone call with Joon, is annoyed when Director Kwon is late to their meetup. He leaves Kwon’s office and makes a beeline to his car, only to stop when he notices Seon-ae picking flowers.

Recognizing her as Kwon’s ex-wife, he goes up to her and asks if she remembers him. Ignoring her silence, he then asks how her siblings are doing after she used Kwon’s money for their education. He goes on and on about her failed marriage, making her super uncomfortable, until Kwon shows up and grabs him by his lapels.

Seung-hoon struggles to get free, calling Kwon a pushover. “That’s why tramps like her — ” Before Seung-hoon can finish the sentence, Kwon punches him to the ground. Seung-hoon jumps right back up and punches Kwon, and Seon-ae screams.

Seon-ae holds Kwon back, not wanting a full out fight. She cries, “It’s all my fault! I’ll disappear right away, so please don’t do this.” Now thoroughly pissed off, Seung-hoon threatens to tell his mommy on Kwon and stalks off.

As Seon-ae sobs, Kwon relaxes in her arms. He gently releases her hold on him and, neither of them uttering another word, coolly walks back inside. It’s only when he reaches his office that he allows his emotions to flood out.

Kang and Cha-young are at Dong-gu’s grave, burying Bada in a smaller grave next to it. Cha-young reassures Kang that Dong-gu won’t be lonely anymore, but he seems too out of it to hear her. She asks if he’s okay, and he shuts his eyes, saying, “I just keep feeling sleepy. What’s wrong with me?”

Having nowhere else to go, Seung-hoon visits Grandma (who’s still unconscious) in the hospital. And instead of tattling on Kwon, he decides to tell her a secret — that he was genuinely sad when brother Jae-hoon passed away. But at the same time, he was relieved, because it took a weight off his shoulders.

Seung-hoon starts to say that he’s feeling that same sadness these days, when Seo-hoon walks in. Seo-hoon begs Grandma to let her control the hospital instead of Hye-mi, causing a fight between her and Seung-hoon. As the siblings go at it, Grandma opens her eyes and silently watches them.

And speak of the devil. Hye-mi is taking charge at Geosung, clearly enjoying every minute of it. She’s frustrated, however, to see that Joon isn’t answering any of her calls. We see that Joon is back at Jung-bok’s house, still waiting on Kang.

After some time, Kang and Cha-young finally arrive. Kang is too tired to greet Joon, much less talk to him, so he trudges past and escapes to his room to lie down. Cha-young notes that Kang must’ve been feeling tired since leaving Wando Island as a child.

Still, Joon can’t just leave Kang alone. He enters Kang’s room, looking tired himself, and tells Kang to go back to Seoul with him. When Kang is unresponsive, Joon pulls him up and continues that he shouldn’t be sleeping — not yet.

Kang slowly turns to face him, and Joon is taken aback by his tears. “You should’ve left us alone,” Kang says, his voice shaking. “So that we could live here. I just wanted to live a happy life with Mom, [Dong-gu], and San.”

Joon retreats, letting Kang fall back to the floor. He wanders over to the ocean, where he opens his phone to a text: his mom has officially been appointed as chairwoman. He sighs, even more conflicted.

Back at the house, Cha-young finds Kang asleep and drapes a blanket over him. She lies next to him, staring at his face with a small smile. Then, she closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep too. The day goes on, and Kang opens his eyes, seeing Cha-young, only to shut them again.

At the hospice, a young girl, who I’m guessing is the new chef, enters the kitchen with film equipment. She goes live and introduces herself as Hee-na (cameo by Yoon Bo-ra) before munching on snacks for her ASMR audience.

Tae-hyun sneaks in from the back and, him being him, has to wave and dance to the camera. He startles Hee-na but keeps dancing for the viewers. All righty then…

Cha-young joins Joon out by the water and asks him if he thinks it’s possible to climb a mountain with one leg. She says that Kang has been doing that all this time, so she’d like to try as well. Joon glances at her and says matter-of-factly, “Thank goodness Kang has you by his side.”

I second Joon’s thoughts, as Cha-young heads over to the restaurant and prepares a meal for Kang. Remembering her time as a chef in Greece, she looks down at her cooking. She tries to take in the scent, and though she still can’t, she smiles. “I know what you taste and smell like,” she tells her food. “I can imagine it.”

Meanwhile, Joon finally comes to a decision and calls his dad. Kang’s tearfilled eyes in mind, he tells his dad that they need to talk about the family when he gets back.

It’s almost dark by the time Kang wakes up. Once he’s showered and looking a lot better, he finds Cha-young sitting on a dock and joins her. Cha-young thinks aloud that they’ve done more than enough sleeping while on the island, and Kang agrees. So she smiles at him and suggests they go eat.

Something settles in Kang; he narrates to Min-sung that he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Cha-young since she re-entered his life. And now, after he’s tried his best, he’s tired of pushing her away.

Though Kang feels sorry toward his friend, he narrates that he’s going to follow his heart from now on. With that, he takes Cha-young’s arm to stop her from walking away. “Can you not go to Greece?” he asks, surprising her.

“Can I… like you?”

  
COMMENTS

YES. YES, LEE KANG, YOU CAN LIKE HER. Oh my lord, I’ve been waiting forever for this to happen. Don’t get me wrong — I was doing fine with the slow burn romance. But the last few episodes, the tension between our couple was just driving me crazy. This episode really heightened that tension, with Cha-young’s identity finally out and Kang’s feelings hinted here and there. So to hear the words “I like you” come out of his mouth was as satisfying as a box of Godiva chocolates. That alone was enough to make this my favorite hour of the series. Still, there was plenty more goodness that I can’t wait to discuss.

With the romance picking up, so is the corporate tension. Hye-mi has full control now, and I’m not sure if it that’s worse than Grandma being in control. I’m gonna say a big fat yes, because Hye-mi has more reason to hurt Kang. Now that Joon knows what’s going on — now that he’s finally opened his eyes — he seems to be showing fear for his cousin, and for good reason. I hope that the next time his family tries to break Kang down, he doesn’t sit back and watch like he did when they were kids. He’s better than that, better than them. While I’m glad that Kang acted on his feelings, I’m ten times more ecstatic that Joon is starting to act on his.

The moment between Kang and Joon was truly heartbreaking. Joon has always been pushing for Kang to do his best so that Joon can win at a fair fight. But it’s only now starting to sink in that Kang never wanted to fight. He never wanted this life. And it’s taken him a long time to realize this, but Joon doesn’t want to fight either. When you really think about it, no one in this drama does. Even Seung-hoon, who was the biggest prick to most all of our characters, admitted to his mother that the whole family feud is wearing him down. If he and Hye-mi weren’t so close-minded, they could find the kind of peace that Joon is looking to get.

Exhaustion was a major theme in this episode, and really, in the entire drama so far. And I never realized until now, but the theme pours out of the hospice too. All the patients we came to know and love were probably exhausted fighting for their lives on a daily basis. Cha-young has been tired of all the things trying to break her down, and Director Kwon and Seon-ae have been tired of what’s turned into an ambiguous relationship. But everyone keeps fighting against their sleepiness, Kang included. After what happened with the dog Bada (curse you, Show, for exploiting my weakness), I wanted to lie down and sleep myself. Kang has had quite the journey, and returning to his hometown helped him see all the things he left behind along the way. He lost almost everything from his Wando roots, from Mom to Dong-gu to the pups. It sucks, but it’s also making him pause for the first time since Mom’s death.

The last scene is a total game changer, because Kang is finally fighting — for something he wants. He still feels guilty towards Min-sung, and he may feel that way for a while, which is understandable. If that feeling comes to be a problem, I’d like to see Cha-young give him the note Min-sung left her. Kang and Min-sung loved each other so much, and I wouldn’t want Kang thinking he betrayed his best friend when that wasn’t at all what he was doing. As he was asking Cha-young if he could like her, it was like he was also asking if he could be happy. That brought me back to Ji-yong and Min-yong telling Kang to eat the Quiznos sandwiches to find happiness, when Kang himself didn’t get what was standing in the way of that. Perhaps Cha-young was Kang’s Quiznos sandwich all along. (God, that’s the weirdest sentence I’ve ever written.) And perhaps, after re-introducing happiness into his life, he’ll eventually re-introduce chocolate into his diet.

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Ok Show FINALLY!!! I've been waiting for this moment when Kang finally realizing and confessing his feelings to Cha Young, and dang, it took many years in the drama and 13 hours in reality for this to happen. I know it's not fair to compare but it took "Crash landing on you" like 7 episodes to come to the first real kiss (the first "fake" kiss was in episode 2) and here we have to wait for like double the time. Anyway I can't complain since Yoon Kye Sang, Ha Hi Won and even Jang Seung Jo are killing it for me. The acting is so great it's as a treat as a box of Godiva chocolate. Love this show and hope there would be a Happy Ending for all of the characters we came to care so much about!

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And thank you @sailorjumun for the quick recap! Can't wait to see the reviews from other Beanies!

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Thank you, SailorJumun, for the recap... must be irresistible to recap eps 13 and 14 as soon as possible, these two eps were really emotional and were delivered so good... my fave scene for 13 was starting from the time Kang said to Cha Young that he was sleepy at Bada’s funeral, (an idiom that he’s been tired so far living a life that was formed by his grandma, but only realizing this after he came back to Wando, his truly home and life he wants) and the time he finally can sleep peacefully because when he woke up he could find Cha Young by his side, accompanying him. Really really love this drama...

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I commend the actors here for doing so great! I was so impressed on how relatable all of these characters are - frustrations, loneliness and what-ifs moments were there. This is not your common kdrama we've seen a thousand times but I guess, this story possibly happens in real life; The struggle to impress your parents, the fear of rejection from someone you love and the pain of losing someone. I esp felt the pain between Kang and Jun; did they really had to fight over everything? I was glad it was Jun who've known the truth first; it was sweet how he tries to console Kang when even he himself is struggling on how he would take the new information. I am so looking forward to next week's finale!
Ps. Thank you show for not making it a love triangle between Jun, Kang and ChaYoung, cheers! 🍻

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Ditto on NOT making a dreaded love triangle! Yes, a good-looking gal and a good-looking guy can have a friendly, non-romantic relationship. I like how Cha Young isn't used as a character who butts into Jun and Kang's relationship and forces the two guys to hug it out. She would drop a comment or two and move along. Jun and Kang are responsible for making their relationship better.

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I must admit in the beginning I thought there would be that triangle--they hinted at it several times. But like you, hazelnuts, I'm glad they didn't do it.

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This show never fail to make me cry each episodes. I'm glad that the romance FINALLY come up and I'm happy that it started with Kang confession.

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Awwwwww...I am still loving this drama. what a wonderful drama

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Ohhhhh thank you @sailorjumun for the timely recap! Episode 13 is on par if not surpasses ep.12 for me! It’s just that good: it contains my favorite scenes in this drama.

I love the way they are together in Wando: both Kang and CY do things feeling like themselves. Everything goes on so smoothly, even if there are heart-breaking scenes in between. I love the implied message of being physically sleepy and being tired of living the life one doesn’t really want. I love how CY stayed with Kang almost all the time when they are together in Wando. They complete one another and this is something of the ‘star-crossed’ lovers thing.

My first favorite scene in this episode, and one among many in the series, is the cousins’ scene. How Kang broke down and the facial reactions of Jun are priceless. That moment when Kang turned to face him and tears running down his face and those honest words were just heart-breaking. Everyone let alone Jun would find that equally heart-breaking. ML is just doing a great job in that scene and the scene really captured my heart.

The second scene I love the most is the scene when Kang slept and CY slept beside him. The way he opened up his eyes, saw CY sleeping and closed his eyes and returned to sleep again is so deep with meanings. I LOVE this scenes to bits: it doesn’t have to be so dramatic and all but it’s so powerful. He saw CY sleeping beside him, cared for him (as can be seen from the blacker and pillow), and that he instinctively felt secured that was why he went back to sleep right away. ☺️☺️☺️☺️❤️

The ‘Can I like you?’ scene is also romantic. And YES to @sailorjumun’s comment that now Kang has finally decided to do something FOR himself. I squealed with delight! It’s so satisfying to see our OTP has finally begun to be true to themselves and that made us viewers sigh with relief. 😌 This is especially the case when the drama has so stoic ML and FL and when the tension was so high before. Good job CY and LK!

I have to say that I don’t quite get Jun front the very beginning. But somehow when I got to know more about him, especially from the flashbacks of his past and what people around him is doing to him, I feel pity for him. He seems like a very decent guy, and he would have led a very happy life if he hadn’t had such overly-ambitious mother and grandmother and a pushover dad. I love all the conflicts surrounding him. Not a lot of people are decent enough to feel for Kang if he/she was in Jun’s position. So, pls Jun, stay strong and do what’s right. That way you’ll be happy and that’s the life you totally deserve.

Now, there are some scenes which I think are so out of the place. I don’t know why there had to be Hye-na’s scene in the show. It just felt so random and didn’t give anything to the story. Totally out of place (unless her appearance has anything more to do with the story, and they way she just showed viewers how she ate sea grapes and shrimps?)

Also I felt how the show showed how...

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Also, I felt how the show showed the passing of Michael and Ye-Soo’s mom was quite rush. Though I kinda understand that the show might not want to go into so much detail because we also had heart-breaking passings in previous episodes, I would also love to spend a little more time with lovely Michael and Ye-Soo’s mother. You know, I just grew to love them (him, especially) through the time.

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Thanks for the really nice thought mmmmm!
I also feel the same way about michael and yesol mom story. it seems too rushing , but i also relieved because there are other side story that still havent got any closure in this drama (lee family problem, kang shaking hand, chayoung inability to smell and taste, will geosing hospice shut down, director kwon , New patient bora, nurse youngsil and her younger lover ) Adding michael and yesol epilog will be too jam packed.

I wonder how the writer handle this in the last 2 episode

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Now that you’ve mentioned all the things that haven’t had proper closure, I can see why they didn’t do more scenes with my dear Michael and Ye-sol’s mother.

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I would have loved seeing yesol's parent's wedding, but I thought the bulletin board was a nice way to bid goodbye to them (wow, both of them died in the past 24 hours in drama-time?). And the drama had done such a great job teaching us that it's really about the patients living rather than dying, and I'm glad we could see the pictures that immortalize a time when they were living with everything they've still got. If they had done this earlier in the drama, I would have been like why and what the heck. But here, I feel like we're in sync enough about the storytelling that it makes sense to me.

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@ar You are sure right. It’s indeed a good way to remember those who have left this world before us. It is indeed beautiful. I sometimes wonder if the patients who knew that they did have so little time left can manage to overcome all sorts of bad feelings and can deal with it so well as what we’ve been shown in this show.

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Hi...

If I might add to the mix: me thinks Kang's hand and CY's senses will not be resolved. If they are then the drama wont be what it is. This drama is not afraid to do things which cause us pain. No one gets divine intervention in terms of extension of life (iron ranger 3) or to find things lost. We only get divine intervention in terms of a truck of doom and the wind blowing away the bedsheet which should fall on our ML and FL.
The drama heals in other ways.

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🥺 oh.

But first thing first, I was going to tag @noone because I missed your comments. But here you are! Glad to see familiar names you know.

Regarding the CY’s loss of tasting and smelling abilities, I’m afraid she won’t recover from them either. It would be nice though if she ever would. But hearing from TH that she made even better food in ep.14 (sorry, spoiler!), I am quite sure that she will continue to be like this and, who knows? Kang might end up being a chef as he might have liked.

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@mmmmm
Awww... i was hoping to see the update soon but didnt have internet :D

In some ways... i feel so full of emotions with this weekend that I just feel like savouring the feeling and feeling some more.

but I confess... i also feel that the storytellers are forgetting that they only have 16 hours. I want more stories...i dont mind new characters but the main pair and Jun satisfy me so much that right now I would just be happy to see 40 minutes of them instead of 20 minutes of them and 40 minutes of others. I did say somewhere that the misunderstanding about the nurse was not well established for me.
Different hospice patients work for different audience so...

Oh and i remember someone saying: patience pays and lord, I learnt that with this series. So am ready to wait and am sure after the 16th episode i will still want more of kang and CY's cuteness or broromance between jun and kang or TH being funny but someone who earns such that his noona is not as worried.

And yes, I am not ready to say goodbye.

As for CY's senses... i will be a practical spoilsport again... i am just worried about her not being able to recognize ingredients or including someghing which is stale. In some story I had read the person got food poisoning because he/she had something outside which was spoilt
:(

However, being a good chef is possible as she has cooked for so many years... just small things or making new dishes that she hasnt tasted might be a challenge.
Kand really inspires her... first to be a cook and then to continue despite the challenges :)

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And @mmmmm
My personal wishlist... i dont want Kang to be a chef. He needs to cook for CY only but use his skills to be a small town GP or maybe even a lecturer. I mean there is a world outside that foundation, boy!

But TH being a social media celebrity I support.

And that conversation on video call was funny. I understood the innuendos much later but those three were awesome!

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@noone I agree that those three were just adorable in that video call scene. Adorbbbbsssss

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My journey through life has taught me that learning to deal with the traumas fate deals you can make one even stronger, and happier. Many times the distance between the things others want us to do, and the things we want to do, would not be resolved any other way. It would be just perfect if CY and Kang's disabilities allowed them to compliment each other in the most perfect way of all--collaboration.

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somehow i agree with your comment. CY already overcome her inability to smell and taste by not losing her sense to cook, so its okay if they didnt resolve it.
But i would be dissapointed if they didnt resolve kang's hand because, eventhought he didn't want to be a neurosurgeon in the first place, Kang is a great doctor. In the beginning of episode he mostly cold to his patient but he treat the patients with his heart. Like he did to CY in episode 4. So it will be much better for the drama to solve this problem. (Althought Kang maybe didn't care about his Hand anymore because he already has CY by his side lol)

YES I also want 40 minutes for our main couple + Jun and 20 minutes for others not the other way around!

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@kdnomore Kwan, I get what you mean. People including me don’t like trouble or problems. I don’t know about others, but I normally chose to avoid problems as much as possible. Perhaps, subconsciously I thought that if I avoided problems, then there would be no problem. And I guess everyone can see that that is so illogical. And yes, I somehow managed to learn just like what you’ve suggested. The only way to deal with the problems effectively, and eventually grow from them, is to face them head on. And that, though frustratingly scary, can be very rewarding.

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And @mmmmm
I got this thought last night... If you see the photo of the wedding Kang and CY are not there. I think they want to also show the passage of time as in how we (the audience) might have been busy with CY/Kang/Jun, but patients at the hospice are coming and going, life at the hospice is continuing. Also, that the main couple's interactions are happening over a period of time. Jun's hours (200 is a lot) at the hospice are over. The sweater on Kang denotes autumn or the advent of the winter...so our couple has been together at the hospice for more than a season.
Interestingly, this drama loves moving the wheel of time a lot even though it only feels like a few hours or days.

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And your comment reminds me a Beanie's comment about how their 'love' is similar to what normally happens in reality. Time passes, people grow fond of one another or grow apart. It's romantic for me because I like the relationship that takes some time to grow.

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I think Hye na is there for TH's storyline. She is a patient of the hospice and obviously a famous youtube "star" who eats for viewers to see. May be that will open up a romance story for TH or may be he will become the social medial star he s been trying hard to be (eating his sister's food?) 😂😂

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Ohh I didn’t even notice that she wore a hospice’s patient clothes. Now there is this new character being introduced to the story at ep.13. With only 2 episodes left (as she didn’t appear in ep.14) I really wonder what the show will do with her and all those issues that have been introduced into the story.

Well, I do care about the whole show. But ofc my main attention is normally directed towards our lovey-dovey OTP. 😘

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I know what u mean but nothing in this show is random. I wish there was more of the main pair and Jun but I guess, the storytellers have their own preferences.
Oh and as we learn TH also needs healing.

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As always, I’m waiting for insightful perspectives from our dear @sunset125. ☺️

And I should add that from the rewatch, I saw a parallel pattern again when Kang told CH he couldn’t leave San (aka Bada) when he was suffering. The later scene showed Cha-young cooking for Bada telling Kang also she would stay because she also could not leave a person who was suffering aka Kang.

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And then she sleeps next to him exactly as bada had. Guarding him and being his talisman.

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One more pattern for you @mmmmm

First time the cousins fought over san and this time the cousins came together on san's grandson's death.

More like a full circle than a pattern but still...

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That’s a good observation. I wonder if the writer was intentional with the names for San (mountain) and the offspring is called Bada (Sea). Someone described Kang as an immovable mountain. And now, he’s awakened and renewed at Wando Island.

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@mei123db and the name of Kang’s mother restaurant they first met is also Bada’s restaurant: the first time they got to know one another and there Kang waited for her to come back as she had promised. The Bada dog also brought them together and here CY came back and stayed with the man when she was asked to. She said she would fulfill the promise she made a long time ago despite not being able to make it re: chocolate shasha. :)

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@mmmmm
That’s right! There’s just so many happy memories surrounding Bada, both in the past and in the present.

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@sunset125 i am waiting for your post on how the writer/director have used dresses/costumes in the show :)
Am happy to be patient but it is difficult. :D

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Something about her scene with TH tells me she's not a random filler. That's the case for almost everyone in this show. They just show up today and we get confused but then we later find out their story. That's how this writer introduces her characters--characters that we all felt for. Like grandpa, Jiyong, Michael, to name a few. I think Bora will have a bittersweet story with TH (I hope). Because that would help him grow up. Her pyjamas look like that of a patient. Something about her makeup and wig feels off. You know, how someone like her (youtube star) would want to hide losing weight due to a terminal illness.. I'm sure she has a story to tell. Everyone does. And that's what this show has been telling us all along-- everyone has a story. Everyone is fighting his/her own battle. Some are just trying to get by in life. Some are doing their best to be happy in their numbered days. Some choose to live life to the fullest.

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I LOVE it when you pointed to the fact that the show shows that every single person comes with their own personal stories/battles. I was too focused on the OTP, especially in the special episodes 12 13 and 14, sometimes I forgot that. Perhaps that was why I came to the conclusion right away that Hye-na introduction to the story was so out of place.

And yes, it’s so true that some just try to get by with their lives (me too, sometimes) while some try to live them to the fullest. 🥺

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♥️💙♥️

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I have a feeling that TH will get a crush on her, but how sad will that be? She is lying to her subscribers about the reasons for her weight loss; trying to keep her world normal and not cause upset. 🙁

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And then TH may finally be growing up I guess. First, he has to face a loss, and that might be just his wake-up call.

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I had a train of thought that TH couldn’t grow up well because his mother rejected him while he was still emotionally dependent on her. This made me wonder if she would end up at the hospice, which then made me wonder if Kang’s gran would end up there. Imagine the fuss if they were both there! Also, not enough time left, so any resolution, humour or drama about that will have to remain in my head.

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If only the story could be extended to 18 or even 20 episode story, I would guess that the writer can give appropriate explanations and endings for all the subplots she has introduced. However, as that seems not to be the case, I’m waiting to see how this story concludes. Better be good, writer-nim and Director-nim! 😂

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You picked out all my favorite scenes! I thought the scene between Jun and Uncle Dong-Gu's niece was funny too.

I wonder if the Hee-na character is a patient rather than the chef since the comments on her livestream said she lost weight. I did love seeing Tae-hyun being silly in the background.

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Hehe.. nice to learn that others do enjoy the same scenes I enjoy. I just finished rewatching ep.13 a moment ago and let me just add the scene when TH called Kang to ask where his sister was and why she was not at the hotel. That was so hilarious and Kang’s facial expressions were priceless. Love the shy version of CY too.

And the rewatch allowed me to pay close attention to Hui-na’s pants. And yes, it looks like the hospice’s patient pants, so she is indeed a patient just like what other Beanies have suggested.

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I thought I would cry less this week with the confession and all. WRONG! This show gets me every time. That scene with photos of the recently deceased residents and San dying... and the actual confession. Geez I was a bubblering mess.

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I was also full of tears when Kang cried. I cried even when I saw Susan teared up! 😥

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Do you know what's so good about this drama? It process, they are not dragging it and there are no meaningless cliffhangers, it goes on and it's sweet. I never leave this drama feeling frustrated or unfinished, yet I want to know what happens next.

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Thanks for the recap @sailorjumun !
Hello fellow beanie, this is my first post after being just a silent reader of all of your comment from episode 1 until episode 13.

I really love this episode , like mmmmm said, this episode is on par with episode 12! I cannot believe after the superb revelation in the end of episode 12, episode 13 wreck my heart even more. I cannot do anything for about 2 hours after i watch this episode because im too obsessed with kang’s question (not confession lol). I keep replaying the last scene (Same things happen with episode 12) because its just so good !

The one that stood up for me is the way chayoung approach of kang’s exhaustion. She didnt say anything to kang , she just let him sleep and be there for him. She accompanied him even in his sleep. When he woke up, he feel relieved that someone is still there for him.

The adrenalin rush of his heart and the exhaustion lead us to the final scene, kang cant hold his feeling anymore . I really like the way Lee kyung hee write about Kang’s narration in the last scene . Kang didnt know that Min seong already blessed his relationship with chayoung, so he ask permission first from min seong to love the girl that he can not avoid . At the same time it is giving closure to Kang’s struggle about chaeyoung is minseong ex arc story .

There are still 2 episode left (and 3 recaps) be still my heart!

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I cannot do anything for about 2 hours after i watch this episode because im too obsessed with kang’s question (not confession lol). I keep replaying the last scene (Same things happen with episode 12) because its just so good !

I know! Been there, done that. 😌 In addition time replaying my favorite scenes, I also played osts of Chocolate on YouTube (Special, Right Time Right Place, to name a few). Been listening to these songs while folding clothes yesterday. Ah, life can be so good.

I love that scene too when Kang asked CY if he could like her. I mean, that’s so Kang! Hehe, stoic man needs to learn first if he’s allowed to love her. That was so true to his character and kudo to the writer!

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This show has been giving us best ending scenes that leave us breathless..and hungry for more. As you said, I also liked the slow burn romance that the show chose for these two. It's closer to what we experience irl rather than a whirlwind romance..they turned the childhood first love trope into something more meaningful. What I mean by this is that Kang has been very guilty of liking CY because of Minseong. This is because he was unaware of their childhood connection. I like that he didn't fall in love with her because of that connection, rather it was what he needed to know to finally accept his feelings for her. And CY--she's been very consistent. She didn't throw herself at him just because she found him first but has loved him in silence ever since. She has kept her boundaries--they both did as a sign of respect to MS. However, they've done enough hiding. I hope they stay true to their hearts and allow themselves to be happy. To treasure the time they have. To not just get by in this life but to really live...and find happiness together.

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Totally with you, Ohduhree!!
The process Kang goes thru to finally confess to Cha Young and the fact that Cha Young loves him in silence are really really amazing...
Though sometimes we want to shout, “omg Kang, you definitely like her, admit it!” - yet we enjoy the slow burn romance to the bit..

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I just wanted to note that Ha Ji Won is 41 yrs old and looks half her age, literally, like she is in her twenties. That is all.

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Did you watch them in the last The Swoon's video? They're really cute decorating the cake and trying to success their missions.

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@Kurama I have not, but will check it out.

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Sometimes I hate watching The Swoons video because I feel a false hope for real life romance between YKS and HJW. Lol.

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You should be aware of Honey Lee :p

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@kurama
I only see Kang and Cha Young 😂

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Exactly. That's why I said false hope. It's just that their chemistry on and off screen is so palpable. This fanheart of mine is aching. Hahaha

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to use a reference @girlfriday once used on a different actress, "it's like she eats unicorn hooves" in order to look like she never ages!

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41???? OMGGGGGG

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I looked up Jang Seung Jo since he looks like he could be a 2nd gen kpop idol, and he's already 38.

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38 and me 32, such a romantic gap. Don’t kill me Beanies! 🤣🤣🤣

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We only have one life... live it fully, so @mmmmm do what you must do 😎

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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Must wake up I guess.

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Your synopsis is excellent. Thank you for sharing.

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Ha Ji-Won and Yoon Kye-Sang's chemistry takes all the tragedies away now. It was worth the wait.

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Thank you for your perceptive recap, @SailorJumun.

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Thanks for the recap and highlighting the Joon+Kang scene and the theme of exhaustion. When Kang cried how all he wanted was to live with his mom, Mr.Ha, and San, it had really hit me that everything he loved in his childhood was gone. Except for cooking for Cha Young at Bada restaurant, he didn't even have that. He gave it up to study medicine in order to compete with Joon, and he was always so busy as a doctor that he couldn't even meet up with Minsung for fishing. It also felt like this is the first time ever that Kang had acknowledged it or realized it. He may have felt thoroughly exhausted and ready to sleep, but that was a moment of heartwrenching clarity.

I loved the "may i like you" scene. It was simple, undramatic, and completely romantic with the perfect backdrop.

Love the slow burn. I really like how his drama retains the old-school feel featuring lead actors who've been in the industry for quite some time while aligning some things up with how kdrama storytelling has evolved.

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Sharing The Swoon clip of that scene...
“Can I Like You?”

https://youtu.be/rNHEltj4_MA

Read2friends’ comment is quite apt.
“The symbolism of this scene is poignant and rich with meaning. All refreshed, all ready to begin a new epoch in his life. He’d finally woken up from a long stupor only to find that she was always there waiting and longing for him.”

Like many others, this isn’t one of my favorite tropes either. But it was the best use of *that* trope if I ever saw one. It wasn’t meant to be aggressive nor dominant. It was simply so much urgency in one swift action. A desperation that needed to be expressed. His internal struggle evident with thoughts for his best friend. He asks her a question, NOT making a demand or imposing himself, that conveys so much respect for another.

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This reminds me of how lovely HJW looks in that scene. Smiling ever so radiantly.

It makes me wonder if we're meant to see this particular shot from Kang's perspective. Perhaps for him she'd never looked more beautiful than at that moment, at the height of her newfound optimism.

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I felt the same way. She looked so beautiful and radiated so much warmth just by the way she was looking at Kang. I think that’s the reason why Kang was so drawn to her and in that moment so overwhelmed with his emotions. He probably thought in that instant he couldn’t hide anymore. He couldn’t afford to lose her again without expressing what he felt. I love that he did it in such a way that was still very respectful and considerate of her feelings.

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There are so many things to dissect in this scene. But one thing I pick up was CY using the term “woori” for the first time in this drama - swoony!

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It was from her invitation to share a meal, wasn’t it? There was a significant meaning behind it that possibly gave Kang the last bit of courage he needed.

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❤️

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Joining the party a bit late with just one point to add:
Kang has an accent (i think from Wando) when he is being playful on phone with TH: first thing we are at ajushi's place...

That accent is even stronger in the Jun scene.

Ohhh and I loved his conversation with Bada. Reminds me of all the plans I make before i go to sleep and then life happens :(

And i because of the way the story is told, i didnt realize how heavy a toll it had taken on Kang. I mean, i realized after the first watch that poor guy... his beloved dog's grandson passing away really broke his back.

I wanted to ask the writer/director what would the couple say if they werent interupted by the niece in the clean utencils scene or by TH's call when Kang says if you would have left, i would have cried and there is a pregnant silence.
I also like the pose and placement of CY and Kang when he says i waited for you...that 1 minute scene before the niece comes...facing each other and on interuption they both turn the other way. Even the niece senses the tension.

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And that’s why being honest with the right person at the right time is priceless. Kang should do that more often now.

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U do love the song a lot :D
Like @lilium had said... people like Kang, dilly dally but once they make up their mind then they push and act.

Yup, am too influenced by you guys, who I have been reading and conversing with, when it comes to how I read this drama.

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I think this must be the highest compliment I've ever been paid.

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@sailorjumun
I still need to read the recap properly but I loved your (insightful) comments section so much that I need sometime to reflect on that.
Thank you.

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(1) “Noone is an island”

After so many years of dealing with their problems on their own, our main leads, consciously or unconsciously, finally reach out for each other during their darkest hour.

“If I asked you s to stay here with me a little longer, would it be too selfish of me?” “I am sorry for asking, you probably have plans” “I would have cried if you left”. Still struggling to express his emotional need, but finally verbalising it, our proud and stoic hero finally turns to the most nurturing person he knows for support before he was about to collapse from the burden of the realising much happiness he had lost from his life.

“I would like to be like Dr.Kang, trying to climb the mountain with one leg”. Our heroine finds inspiration to reinvent herself from the one person she had been trying to hide her problem from.

“I miss Kang ... but I dont know why”, at his worst crisis Jun instinctively runs towards the only two good people he knows in his life, even when he doesn’t know why.

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(2) Everyone finds something on the island

Wando has been a place of recuperating and reinventing for our characters and in this episode, we finally see some healing taking place. Everyone comes out of this episode being stronger and slightly happier.

Kang finds out he needs to grasp happiness before the chance is gone. CY finds her courage to rise up from her disability and Jun finds out there might be a way of being both a good son and doing the right thing by his cousin.

It is probably not an understatement to say it is a relief to see Kang’s change finally happens. Not only him, but the viewers has also becomes so tired of seeing him trying to push CY away. The way it happens is beautiful. Despite his own hesitation he called out for help from the one person whose kindness he had been so drawn to, he had seen even more kindness from her to the things beloved to him, then he allows himself to lower all his own guards guards to collapse and rest in her guard then waking up from it a changed man. It is perhaps symbolic than he showered and changed clothes in Wando. Like everyone said he has finally allowed himself a chance of happiness. (I will comment on the last scene on Ep 14 recaps.)

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(3)
It is obvious Kang would be the person who transforms the most in Wando but I had had a suspicion CY will also come to some realisation in this episode as well from the cue of her clothes. She had received her diagnosis of losing her smell and taste senses in this outfit, struggling how to term with it and finally found a way at the end. It i not a coincidence that she drove to Wando in her apron and holding on to it the whole time she is there. Witnessing how Kang had been trying to deal with his life, our strongest character draws even more strength from the one man the loves to become stronger. The way CY does this is impressive. She learnt how to climb out her crisis all by herself, by observing and absorbing the coping pattern of people around her. As I mentioned in previous comment on Ep 10, I suspected the reason the writer introduces this crisis to CY so she and Kang can reinvent themselves together and it happens this episode. Seeing how Kang lost his surgical skills but still can be a doctor, how under the surface of a stone cold man is a boy trying hard to deal with what life hands him, CY realises there might be ways she can still be a chef even when she lost her taste and smell.

The best scene to me in this episode is when CY gracefully put back on her apron in the bright light of Kang’s Mum kitchen and serenely cooks for the man she loves. The first complete meal she cooks for him (@noone) is in his Mum’s kitchen, with inspiration from him.
We know it will not be easy for her but we are relieved that at least she has found the way and courage and determination to follow the path. “I won’t let you down. It will be delicious. “ She happily and smilingly tells him as he grabs her wrist asking for a chance at love. And in this way we see how much these two characters positively influence and improve each other’s life. It is the making of true love ❤️.

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My biggest regret is we dont see him eating it in Wando...

He says, "yes i am hungry" but i guess satisfying his soul's hunger is more important. Wondered why we had the shower ref and now that small detail makes sense!
Ahhh apron is synonymous to her identity...

@sunset125 here i was too busy smiling to even think!

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LOVE your analysis of the whole story! The experience of being able to hear Beanies’ and guests’ thoughts on each episode is rewarding and makes this Chocolate even richer in taste. I don’t have anything else to add. Your analysis made this episode even more beautiful for me. ❤️

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Thank you @noone and @mmmmm! 💕

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@sunset125. Thanks so much as always for sharing your wonderful analysis with us. Your writing and thoughts just heighten our appreciation of this amazing drama.

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I miss Kang ... but I dont know why”, at his worst crisis Jun instinctively runs towards the only two good people he knows in his life, even when he doesn’t know why.

And i loved this.
I miss him and the smile when he is at the rest stop...is just too much to handle :D

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(4)
There are a few scenes I really like in this Ep.

- One is how CY said goodbye to San. Again this shows how special HJW as an actress. There’ s deep compassion and grace when CY does this. Let s remember that of all the human deaths that happened so far in this drama CY has never comes in direct contact with one. But the way she came up to San, her hand on blanket, the way she said “I wish you could have waited for me, I heard you like chicken breast so I just went to the market to buy some. It has been great knowing you” with a tear falling down her cheek, suddenly transported me back to the hospice and reminded me of how she was with all those patients. (She was going to make San his favourite meal too). To have such deep respect to all living souls however short time you come to know them and can articulate it in a simple but profound terms is admirable. It reminds me of why I like Chocolate, it is because of CY’s character.

- The memory board, perhaps because it is very close to home for me. It is very lovely that the hospice remembers their patients this way. And that’s why it needs to stay open, that’s why Kang made it his mission to protect it instead of fighting for the Foundation. This is something I’d like to see him succeed at. The hospice needs a protector and noone is more worthy or more capable than Kang.

- The video calls between CY, Kang and TH. This sequence actually made me laugh outloud and never fails to make me smile when I rewatch it. It is hilarious in many ways. It gives comedic relief to otherwise a very grim show and it lightens up our couple. TH’s mission in life is to find a rich husband for his sister but his fear in life is that the guy will be cheap to her. So that’s hilarious when he asked “Why did you take her to a motel instead of a hotel when you’re rich?” This seems like an in joke of YKS’ scene in The Good Wife, a love story oh so different from Chocolate. There’s a key scene at the end of Eps 12 where YKS’ character finally won over the FL and they decided to get a hotel room but oh unfortunately only the royal suite is available at $4500 a night but he still gets it. Is the writer mocking that incidence in here? It’s not the first time TH had voiced references of the leads’ previous works. In Ep 1 he cited Empress Ki. In Ep 9, he cited Closer to Heaven (thanks my K drama buddy D. for the research!). I’m sure there are more that I am not aware of. Anyway, it really cracked me up especially in light of Ep 14.

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I did wonder why she didn't cook Bada's favourite food after he passed away, given that she has done it for everyone else.

With regard to this: In Ep 1 he cited Empress Ki. In Ep 9, he cited Closer to Heaven (thanks my K drama buddy D. for the research!).

Did you mention the Empress Ki reference in some comment? Can I go back and check it?
Could you share the two references again?

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@sunset125 in case you missed my question because i forgot to tag.

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Excellent comments @sailorjumun. They seem particularly inspired for some reason. ;) I thought I had nothing left to say but apparently not. :D

Reading your comments took me to the Dune 1984 film where the protagonist Paul Atreides calls out, "Father, father... the sleeper has awakened." It's an old imagery that has powerful biblical resonances: "Awake O sleeper, and rise from the dead..." Sleep too is a recurring biblical euphemism for death... which fits in beautifully with the other themes of this drama.

I too had been thinking about the symbolism of the final scene not so much along the lines of exhaustion but of sleeping and waking. I especially love the sleeping scene in particular whereby Kang opens his eyes momentarily to see CY sleeping next to him and then closes them again. That scene alone richly encapsulates the journey of the leads' romance. Kang had been metaphorically asleep all this time to who she is but gradually he is "waking up" to the fact that she is someone he needs beside him... that he's always needed but only now understanding the ramifications. Much more importantly is the fact that she's been there the entire time waiting in the wings for him to "wake up" and "remember" her.

I keep wondering also about the Korean patient and his Vietnamese wife. The bun cha couple. I keep wondering about CY's reaction to their declarations of love. I wonder if she was grieving for herself in that moment that she would never be able to experience that kind of love because the man she always loved was so aloof to her.

It had to be Wando I think, where this confession was made. It all started in Wando and it "has to be" where Kang rediscovers CY as a woman of substance that he has fallen for. It is the place where first love was made so it becomes the place where first love would be renewed.

Kang may have been busy with his doctoring but he was dead inside. Now he is awake from his slumber and is alive to new possibilities.

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"I keep wondering also about the Korean patient and his Vietnamese wife. The bun cha couple. I keep wondering about CY's reaction to their declarations of love. I wonder... the man she always loved was so aloof to her."

Dear @lilium ,
I was thinking about this paragraph of your comment as I had raised the question on this forum about the significance of her devastated look after the vietnamese-korean couple interaction and someone (I think @sunset125 ) had given me a response very similar to the conclusion that you have come to.
I just wanted to add that this would also make sense given their next interaction (on screen in the next episode), CY tells Kang about how she is leaving and says all the things you would when you truly say goodbye to someone (Thank you for all that you have done, good health and goodbye) because maybe she has did give up.
Maybe I am repeating what has already been said or thought but still...had to get it off my chest :D

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This show keeps on delivering so many emotiones...It was sooo painful seeing poor Kang crumble like that,the pain,the loss,the way he was treated all his life that he endured that came bubbling up after all this years...No wonder he felt so tired after loosing sooo much...I actually hoped he would decide to somehow remain in Wondo and detach himself from that family and finally live a happy life...That confession was just perfect,Cha Young being like the chocolate he truly nedeed to revitalize his life after being in such a dark place since his Mother died...Not to mention the chemistry between Ha Ji Won&Yoo Kye Sang is fire!

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I think someone mentioned many episodes ago that they were reminded of circles with this drama. I think that's the whole key, and now I can see that the opening scene will probably be the closing scene, creating a great big circle. What a difference episode 13 an 14 made when it comes to Kang's personality change. Episodes 13 & 14 made this drama worthwhile--I hope the last two are as rewarding.

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I have a bone to pick with the Show regarding the big revelation scene in the beginning. How could you end it just like that? They just started eating, surely they must have talked. I've been waiting for 13 eps, so can't you give me a little bit more? I wanna know everything about what they were talking about. I want moaarrr 😭

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My friend... the less you have of something, the more you want of it ( some economics law -- only exception being money).

Me thinks the director applied this law when it comes to showing a happy and lovey-dovey couple :D i wanted a sugar high but i guess, they are thinking of my health by moderating the sweetness. Thus, some sequences on loop is what i am left with.

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I feel you, but the writer already paid their sin (for not giving us the conversation of them after the revelation) by the end of episode 14. So im not complaining anymore lol.

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In the beginning of watching this drama, i also felt the same way... why some scenes are not further explained... but after several episodes, i found the beauty of it, that not all of the scenes have to be explained further as we can see bigger / more important revelation in the next scene...

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Less is more...

But i am a human and humans are greedy by nature...

My brain keeps imagining the what ifs :D

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One question for anyone who could answer this:

Cha-young joins Joon out by the water and asks him if he thinks it’s possible to climb a mountain with one leg. She says that Kang has been doing that all this time, so she’d like to try as well. Joon glances at her and says matter-of-factly, “Thank goodness Kang has you by his side.”

Does CY say that Kang is trying his level best to climb the mountain in front of him or that Kang has been climbing a mountain on a single leg all this time?
If it is the first option then is she referring to the losses that he has suffered (the ajushi and bada and lost childhood) or more (his hand and lord knows what not). I wish someone at netflix did better translation and not bare basic transliteration of some dramas, at least :D

Maybe i am being too nasty and picking up weird details!

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I don’t actually understand that conversation. Not sure what is meant by climbing a mountain with one leg. Any clarification is appreciated.

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It's a metaphor for working towards a goal with a huge disadvantage. Kang doesn't have the love and support of his family, and neither does Cha-young, but they are still struggling to to find their own success and maybe happiness. Joon is saying that he's glad that Kang and Cha-young will be able to support each other now.

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Hello @egads !

Thanks for that.
What I didn't get was the timeline for the metaphor as CY doesn't really know much about Kang, just bits and pieces.

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My take on the on the "climbing a mountain with one leg" metaphor denotes their respective handicaps. Kang with his emotional struggles on returning to Wando and the overwhelming exhaustion that he consequently feels. CY with her olfactory deficits. The mountain refers to the challenges that they're presently facing individually.
That interpretation seems to be supported by the fact that she follows that statement by relying on her memory to make the meal instead of taste and smell.

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Ok, one or two points on the comments section:

Exhaustion as a theme for the show, I am not sure.

However, this line covers it for me: But everyone keeps fighting against their sleepiness, Kang included.
In this case, I take sleepiness to mean death, change, rejuvenation, reorientation, reinvention of one's self :)

And the weirdest line was my favourite:
Perhaps Cha-young was Kang’s Quiznos sandwich all along. (God, that’s the weirdest sentence I’ve ever written.)
Some cheesiness is welcome :)

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Make that a toasted cheese on whole wheat sourdough, please. ;-)

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Oh.. I just realized after rewatch.. the house was Uncle Dong-Gu’s. The clothes left to dry are men’s clothes, the yard has fishing implements.. and of course the dog was there. Silly me, during my first watch I frowned upon the picture seen by CY.., why would the niece have it? This is why I love dramas that takes care of the details...

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Have to admit that I wasn’t paying attention to whose house that house belonged to. But this explains quite well why men clothes were hanging outside, and why CY just took something called fried pollack in the house and used that to make a dried pollack soup for Bada without having to ask for anyone’s permission.

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Part 1 of 2

Thank you for your recap and comments, @sailorjumun. It has been worth the wait for Kang to finally learn that he had met Cha-young many years earlier at Mom's Bada [Sea] Restaurant. (It seems that Dong-gu named San's [Mountain's?] grandpup in honor of Mom and her eatery.) I truly think such a revelation could only have happened back on Wando – and during the liminal time of the funeral of his almost-stepfather. I thought it was especially telling that Ha Dong-gu never married. That says a lot about how much Mom and Kang meant to him. They were irreplaceable. When Kang tells Joon that he only ever wanted to live a happy life on Wando with Mom, the ajusshi who just died, and his pooch San, it carries that much more weight.

I agree with you about exhaustion being a major theme of the show, but I think there's more to it than that. Everyone in Kdramas seems to be monumentally sleep-deprived for years on end, especially students and medical personnel. I think there's something else going on with Kang.

Sleepiness can be a hallmark of depression. Nearly everyone in CHOCOLATE is depressed to some degree, although Cha-young made peace with the distressing realities of her life long ago. Chocolate’s characteristic bitter alkaloid, theobromine, derives its name from the cacao plant’s genus Theobroma – which means “food of the gods.” What is ironic as heck to me is the fact that chocolate is a natural antidepressant. Cha-young continues to enjoy it from time to time, but Kang has been depriving himself of one of life’s great pleasures. On the other hand, without the artificial boost to mood conferred by the bittersweet confection, he is in a position to finally hit bottom – in exactly the environment and company he needs to make a long-overdue breakthrough.

Dark Chocolate for Depression
by Chris Aiken, MD - September 5, 2019
https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/depression/dark-chocolate-depression

Chocolate has metaphoric significance as well. Just look at all the stages of processing that cocoa beans are subjected to: roasting, winnowing, treatment with alkali, maceration, pulverization, beating, blending with additional ingredients, tempering via heating and cooling. The physical processes are violent, and completely transform the fatty seeds. They remind me of the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that have transformed Cha-young and Kang (and Joon, too) from their younger selves.

https://www.icco.org/about-cocoa/processing-cocoa.html

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

Joon has been making gratifying progress as a human being, especially for someone raised in such a viper’s den. I would like nothing better than to see him really take Cha-young’s and Kang’s – and even Tae-hyun’s – words to heart, and decide for himself how he wants to live his life. He’s a ceramic artist, and has been harshly abused by his parents and grandmother since he was a child, even if they didn’t send him to practice medicine in a war zone. They made him grow up in one. Fie upon them! I hope he decides to chuck medicine and become a full-time potter on Wando, far away from his horrid kin. Let dippy Dad and aunt fight it out with Eeeevil Mom over who gets the damn hospital.

-30-

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I am a new kdrama junkie, and have been a lurker on DB so far. I find all your comments and insights fascinating, adding a whole new layer to the viewing experience. I wanted to say thank you for everything.

I was also tempted to add one comment here on the storytelling which I thought was interesting: This episode is the first time that the leads are taken out of a professional setting to a "domestic" setting, and some symbolism to emphasize this (shoes outside the door; pillow and blanket scene; cooking in a home kitchen; taking clothes off the clothes line), etc. That seems to mark a sort of transition for the story as well, i.e., they are moving into another chapter in their lives, etc. This is all, of course, besides the fact that they are in Wando, which has brought them full circle, as a previous comment said.

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@ pd,
Welcome aboard! Thanks for sharing your own two cents' worth. The comments and insights contributed by fellow Beanies have added immeasurably to my enjoyment of Kdramas, too. It's great to have a place to dissect plots, examine characters and their arcs, squee over the actors who bring them to life, and cheer on the writers, PDs, and crews who transmute words to moving pictures. I appreciate the company. ;-)

You bring up an excellent point about the domestic setting on Wando. We've never seen Kang's residence. He practically lives at the hospice, and really doesn't seem to have any life outside of work, aside from the occasions when he is summoned to his grandmother's house. I assume that Cha-young still resides at King's Table with Seon-ae and Tae-hyun. I'm kind of hoping that Ha Dong-gu has left his house and/or Bada Restaurant to Kang. The house is neat and ship-shape -- and likely where Kang would have grown up had Dong-gu had the nerve to propose to Mom. Every square inch of it says "refuge."

It remains to be seen whether Kang ends up there. Will he want to continue to work at the hospice, which has also been a transformatively nurturing place for him, even if he wasn't aware of it at the time? If so, then Wando will have to be a vacation home. Or maybe it will be a place where he stays for a spell to consider his future, along with Cha-young. He has asked her to not return to Greece. But what does she want?

I don't know whether you are also watching CRASH LANDING ON YOU, but North Korean Capt. Ri's house, especially his kitchen, is one of the warmest, most welcoming interiors I can recall in all of my Kdrama watching. It is truly a reflection of the man, and has a calm ambience much like Dong-gu's place.

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Regarding the point you made about Kang asking CY not to go back to Greece. I remember that there are scenes in the trailer/teaser showing that they both are in Greece (or the picture at the top of this Chocolate page.) In the picture, CY also wears her white double-breasted jacket, so I'm guessing she somehow ends up being a chef there. But how the story will unfold I have absolutely no idea. With only 2 episodes left, everything can happen. Crossing my fingers that there is no more heartache as I'm all for a happy ending.

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@mmmmm,
Maybe we'll get another look at that scene and we'll get to hear the rest of what he says: "Please don't go back to Greece... without me." I can envision a scenario in which she returns there -- with the understanding that he will eventually follow, after he gets his head together the way she had to after the building collapse. She is way ahead of him when it comes to personal growth. He has a lot of inner work to do, and embarking on a relationship with her at this time would be akin to dating her on the rebound, even though he hasn't dated anyone else. He needs to get to know himself far better first. And heal his many emotional wounds.

I really can't see how we'll get to that image above. But that's one reason why I keep tuning in. I don't know what to expect. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake
Everyone keeps bringing up the letter. It might be lost by now given that the heroine got drenched that day and then of course the accident :D

On a more serious note, I think that issue gets resolved in episode 14 coz episode 15 preview hints at other things! Let us discuss the letter in the next recap comment section :D

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Hello... @mmmmm , @pakalanapikake and @pd

I think the context of when he says can you not go to greece is important :) He is trying to stop her from leaving and at that point he is not thinking beyond that. He is trying to buy time as after that he says can I like you and he can only get her to reciprocate if she stays. He speaks of Greece in the kitchen too and Kang has no idea then that she is quitting coz of her missing senses. Now he knows of her missing senses but he also knows that her talent is not dependent on them (unlike CY, he is so confident about her skills -- remember episode 4 beginning when the Director's ex-wife tells him that CY is not a patient but a chef and Kang's eyebrow says it all (what! why!)). Again this is what I thought.

Also, I do agree that wando can be a refuge but home is where the heart is, so CY is refuge now. As for inheriting the restaurant or the house: practical matters that I don't think the director will bother about unless it adds to the story.

I also think one needs to remember the words of the uncle who passed away: he told a young Kang: why would a bright child like you come back to this small village. Villages are not where people earn or grow, one needs a govt job in such places and then they can live comfortably. >neo liberal world that we live in! And I was digressing! that is why I was like why did the director not show more devastation on Kang's self after that revelation but then the director loves surprising me and doing his own thingcouldn't resist writing some random thoughts<

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sorry... had typed more between thing and couldn't... I have no idea where that part went.

And one mistake:

As for inheriting the restaurant or the house are practical matters that I don't think the director will bother about unless it adds to the story.

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@noone Ruckus Likes Drama,
It may be that Ha Dong-gu told Kang to leave the backwater of Wando because he had no hope that Mom would ever (be able to) return. Kang's role model couldn't find it in himself to propose to the woman he loved because of his dead friend, and Kang has been doing the exact same thing. It seems to me that it took Dong-gu's sudden accidental death to shake Kang out of his fugue state, and consider going for broke with Cha-young.

Sure, Dong-gu said that there are no opportunities for a bright child like Kang in a place like Wando, but there are other intangibles that make for a more satisfactory life than the one he has lived so far. On paper it looks like Seoul is a better place for him, but we know that it has been hell on earth. Even if he had a decent family, I get the feeling that proximity to the sea and a slower pace of life is what feeds his soul. (Which I guess is one reason why Greece was attractive to Cha-young, too. That and a nice sunny year-round climate.)

You bring up a good point about Kang's trying to buy time by asking Cha-young not to leave. If she leaves Korea, he'll never get to find out why he is increasingly attracted to her.

Ka-thunk! I just remembered that Cha-young does not know why Kang quit being a surgeon. It will be interesting to see how that conversation plays out.

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So, I had to respond @pakalanapikake :)
I just don't know how much sense will this make, because I really thought I had typed all I wanted about chocolate. Anyway... this goes a little philosophical so bear with me:

Good part is that almost everything about this drama is open to interpretation because other than specific acts, we are generally left with a lot of emotions and nuances. If words were in plenty then our imagination would be restricted.
With regard to what the uncle told Kang: I have heard so many people say that to children in small towns and villages. It resonates with me. Also, when parents love (he is a father figure) then they want their young ones to achieve what they couldn't.
I would like to believe he said that for multiple reasons (and as we don't really know the uncle's aspirations --- so my limited imagination makes him like the people I have seen in my life).
Also, I never thought of him as a role-model for Kang but yes, these things cant be segregated, so makes sense.
Btw I am not sure if Kang's dad was Uncle's friend or not as we have no context there and I don't think that is important. That is open for interpretation :D

Last bit, which is philosophical: Are all good things in life for free? As a child, my teacher would make us write an essay on this question twice every year. I would often write that they are not and if one needs to survive, they need food and food has to be bought. However, my teacher always spoke about the intangible.
This drama is all about the intangible and how the tangible in the form of money is evil.
I remember someone commented in a recap that it is interesting how CY always has the ingredients of the dishes that she wants to make (and some of those ingredients can be expensive) but the director doesn't want to focus on that.
And am glad that he doesn't because in the game of life, when death is hovering so near who in the world cares about money except when treatments are too expensive >there the cynic in me speaks<.
I digressed and digressed some more. But my point being you are right: sea and a slow life are welcome and seoul on paper looks great but it is the intangibles that bring us happiness because good things in life are for free.
I had written some more but it sounded too cynical and chocolate is too romantic a space for that.

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@noone

Re: the question: Are good things in life free of charge? That's quite an interesting question. I understand that different people may have different takes on this one, but for me, the answer below is something I can articulate.

My initial answer would be: Yes, they are. But the person needs to have peace with him/herself. That surely requires some work internally. But then I also thought what if a person doesn't have anything to eat, or any shelter to live in? What if the person lacks some basic things in life which surely affect them in some profound way? It's strange isn't it.

I'm glad that you brought up this question, that allowed me to reflect something. So my final question is, no, nothing good in life comes for free. Nothing tangible or intangible in life comes free of charge. The charge might be in terms of money or something else such as bravery to deal with one's own past or bravery to deal with one's own future.

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@mmmmm interesting take :)

See that weird question can take u anywhere. And me thinks this drama is based on that question (in some ways!).

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Thank you for the warm welcome, @PakalanaPikake :) I agree with you about everything. Sadly, I'm not that sort of a PD, although in another life, I'd love to be one :D I'm relegating myself to being a spectator in this avatar.

Understanding how homes and interior decor add nuance to characterisation should make for an interesting thread, and I'm sure someone on DB has done this already. (I'm still wading through the treasure trove of discussions here!) Credit here should go to the set designers who add that extra dimension to the actors, their costumes and their dialogues. (Yes, I'm live watching CLOY too, and that's a great observation about Ri Jeong-Hyuk's home!)

My take on Wando, the restaurant. the home, etc., is this: It had a purpose to serve, as you have all described in multiple comments, to resurface Kang's memories, to close out chapters, to come to terms with his future, etc. But that's it. Unless Kang has inherited Bada Restaurant, as you suggest, I don't see him returning. He has lost all the "material" connections he had with Wando - his mother, ahjusshi Ha, and San/Bada. He can take his memories (which is all he has left) with him where he wants to go. Instead, he would want to be with Cha-young, wherever she is. I like your use of the word "refuge", but I think the refuge that the physical space of ahjusshi Ha's home offered is now substituted by the refuge promised by the relationship with Cha-young, and that's what he is now chasing after.

He may have asked her not to go to Greece, but he also always seems to qualify his questions (albeit belatedly) with an "I'm sorry, I should not have imposed myself", or "It's your decision after all" (words to that effect). So, he may certain things, but does not expect that they will always work out his way. As a character, this facet - of respecting the other person's decisions, and admitting as much - is a huge positive. It's a welcome change from the patriarchal/aggressive characters that seem to be otherwise represented in other kdramas. 

As to how it will end, @mmmmm no idea either. But there's definitely one more round of misunderstanding to be resolved, with separation and angst in the interim, until that last/first scene everyone is anticipating. It would have been interesting to see Jun play a more proactive role in the coming together of the leads, beyond the occasional prods, primarily to the FL. But that doesn't seem to be coming. 

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Oh and the best part about the three main leads is that they are super polite people (except when the cousins are dealing with each other)!
Kang in love is definitely super considerate and not about you must but "can you"!
His asking for permission from her to love her took the trophy! He really believed that he didn't have the right to like her (for whatever reasons!) and he was being a feminist >yay!<.

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@noone Ruckus Likes Drama,

Not only are the 3 leads polite to a fault, but they're decent human beings, which is more than I can say for the Grandma and her odious family and Cha-young's mother.

Kang's reticence and asking permission of Cha-young to love her stems from his recognition that he has misjudged and treated her badly, along with the need to address the elephant in the room, Min-sung. He has come to a place within himself where he can give himself permission to plight his troth to hyung's girl, but he doesn't know how she will react. I hope she still has his letter from after she cooked for him. It is the only alternative to the Conversation That Never Happened at the fishing hole, but since it is in Min-sung's own handwriting, it will suffice.

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@noone Ruckus Likes Drama,
Thank you for mentioning the Brazilian film CENTRAL STATION. It sounds interesting.

FYI for other Beanies:
https://variety.com/1998/film/reviews/central-station-1200452950/.

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@pakalanapikake
It is my favourite! See it on a day when you just want to immersed in some brilliant cinema. Slow, old-worldly, romantic but not in the conventional way -- a beautiful experience. Once done with that then maybe go to a sea town and watch Dear Frankie (not as great as the first but beautiful nonetheless).

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@ pd, cc: @mmmmm,
Much as I would like to see Kang back on Wando, I think you hit the nail on the head with your observation that his boyhood there with Mom, Ha Dong-gu, and San is all in the past, and that his future lies elsewhere. Wando is a touchstone imbued with the feelings and relationships of that happier time in his life, as well as a place of sacred memory, one that is trapped in amber. Those days are past, and while he can revisit them in his mind, he truly cannot go home again. The people who mattered most are no longer there. Sheesh, Wando is really now a place of ghosts.

Aside: Whatever happened with Kang's mom's remains? Were they unceremoniously dumped somewhere? Grandmother was pure evil, and I'm kind of glad that she's getting a taste of her own medicine from the dastardly daughter-in-law she personally selected for her useless son. I could imagine Kang wanting to inter Mom's ashes on Wando if he had access to them -- especially when he hears from Joon that it was her intention to return there after fetching chocolate for him that ill-fated day. I don't think he's actually heard that part of the story yet, has he? And he doesn't know that Cha-young was with Mom when she died in the rubble. But Joon has put 2+2 together. Will he keep this a secret, too -- or clue in Cha-young to the identity of the woman whose gift of chocolate helped her survive?

I agree with you that Kang's relationship with Cha-young is itself a refuge for him. As such, it is portable. Time and space are immaterial. On the other hand, for people like them who have lived such emotionally circumscribed lives, a long-distance relationship would only be more of the same privation they've individually endured for years. If they hadn't happened to work at the hospice at the same time, who knows whether either of them would have started to move on.

Re: Kang's humble requests -- His self-effacing requests strike me as those of someone who learned long ago that his wishes are of no consequence, and that his very existence is at the whim of people who don't give a fig about him as anything other than a corporate chess piece. By nature he is quiet and non-combative except when attacked or goaded beyond the breaking point. But when he was a kid on Wando, I didn't see him as so totally self-effacing. He was self-confident, but not aggressive or obnoxious. It will be interesting to see how he changes the way he expresses himself now that the inner logjam is beginning to break up. But first he has to let go of the idea that he does not deserve to have needs and desires of his own.

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I wholeheartedly agree with you and it struck right into my heart when you said that Kang's own desires seemed to have no importance at all: When whether his wants and needs will be reciprocated are at the whim of others aka his 'relatives.' Kang has lived a very unfortunate life. He has been pursuing something out of sheer misunderstanding that it was his mother's desire. Regarding this point, I can't help but blame Jun for not telling Kang sooner. If Kang had heard about this, he wouldn't have had to endure all these things. But then, our hero might not have a chance to meet our heroine. So everything boils down to fate/destiny? People will find ways to help them cope with what life has thrown at them, but to what extent we really understand the facts surrounding our situations are out of our hands.

Re: Kang and the way he coped with everything, I just want to talk about this in a little bit more detail in the recap of next ep. Can't quite believe that this lovely little community of Chocolate lovers will go our separate ways soon. : ) It has been very lovely hearing different opinions/thoughts on many points in the story.

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Lol... I really should stop thinking chocolate now or obsessing so much with it :D

But here we go:

With regard to building collapse secrets: ep15 preview hints on things. When will friday be here?

With regard to this:
Aside: Whatever happened with Kang's mom's remains? Were they unceremoniously dumped somewhere?

Episode 11 opening sequence is about Kang watching the building collapse and the grandmom saying we don't want any publicity around having a relative in the collapse. That scene has most of the answers with regard to the remains and the first episode, of course :)

With regard to his wishes are of no consequence: that is so sad. I mean, really.

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And @mmmmm

I would urge you to be more forgiving towards Jun. He is nice. :)
I still dont get why he had picked on San as a child, which started the fight and then severe consequences followed.

But I also know that this drama/story is all about the context. The storytellers took 2 episodes and more to lay the ground with regard to why our characters are the way they are. They really believed that the history was as important as the present.

I personally think that they did a good job. I do understand the characters and love the loops/parallels. The explanations here by different people helped.

And somehow I am thinking of that sequence in Benjamin Button when the heroine gets into an accident and is thinking if only...It is a beautiful sequence and makes one realize that everything is a chain reaction.

This drama builds on that thought and also, I believe in destiny and fate. So I find this tale beautiful, also coz it tickles my romantic senses when it comes to dealing with death and beauty of the human spirit.

If you ever get a chance then do watch central station (it is an old brazillian film) and it shows how humans can love and that love need not be romantic. Some of the interactions in this drama (the little girl thanking Kang, iron ranger III) remind me of the letter writer there. That film and this series are very different, except for some weird emotions that both don't fail to evoke. And both are about calm storytelling. >did i just go off topic? sorry.<

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@pakalanapikake
Very much appreciate these insights as they have given pause for introspection. What has been shown regarding Kang and his emotional journey that takes place in Wando where only fragments of his memory remain to remind him of things that made him whole and in particular this thought.. “there are other intangibles that make for a more satisfactory life than the one he has lived so far” resonate so much with me.

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When Jun said that how lucky was Kang to have Cha Young, that was so refreshing! Every time these two interact, I always wish that Jun would not fall for her because I don't want to see a typical love triangle. Kept telling myself that Jun is just a kind and curious kid that he wants to know what's Cha Young's relation to his dear cousin.

Finally, Kang, oh dearest Kang, he has finally let go of everything that had tied him down.

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