Will You Have Dinner With Me: Episodes 9-10
There’s nothing better than having a friend on your side when you’re having a hard time. Even a semi-contract friendship can be healthy, giving you someone to talk to with no judgment or consequences. But it can only work if feelings are kept out of it, and that’s where our “dinner mates” are starting to lose control over the situation.
Instead of meeting their exes at the steak restaurant, Do-hee and Hae-kyung wander around Noryangjin until they run into each other on the roof where they once shared rice bowls. Do-hee asks hesitantly if this is just a coincidence, but Hae-kyung replies, “No, it’s destiny.”
It sounds pretty swoony, until he clarifies that “destiny” refers to their both being confused by a first love who wants them back. Do-hee wilts a little, then she suggests they be “dinner mates.” Hae-kyung agrees, and even though they decided to just be friends moments ago, they both get shy when their high-five goes on a little long. This is so doomed to fail.
Meanwhile, Jae-hyuk realizes that Do-hee isn’t coming back. He runs into No-eul on his way out, and it’s obvious they’ve both been stood up. No-eul says that at least Jae-hyuk’s date came to the restaurant, which means she was at least considering reconciliation. She’s surprised that Jae-hyuk expected Do-hee to take him back so easily, but she also says that the fact that their exes can’t easily forgive them just means they care about them a lot (wow, those are some serious mental gymnastics).
Hae-kyung and Do-hee set up rules for their new dinner mate relationship, like only using text to contact each other, taking turns choosing what to eat, no lending or borrowing money, and no dating. That last is Hae-kyung’s idea, and Do-hee scoffs that she’s not interested anyway. Riiight. Hae-kyung adds that they shouldn’t share meals they don’t enjoy, and Do-hee suddenly remembers telling him how she had to force herself to enjoy meals with Young-dong.
Ah-young is at a restaurant enjoying a plate of mandoo when she spots the homeless ajusshi standing just outside the window. He’s watching a family laughing and being silly over their meal, and though he’s smiling, his eyes well up with tears. His expression saddens Ah-young, and she loses her appetite.
Do-hee and Hae-kyung are getting ready to part for the evening when Do-hee remembers that she left her phone and purse at the steak place, so Hae-kyung gives her a ride home. He asks why she went to the restaurant if she’s not interested in taking back Jae-hyuk. She says weakly that she just ended up there without realizing it, and Hae-kyung muses that our hearts are often a step behind our brains.
Ah-young gives the homeless ajusshi a takeaway order of mandoo, saying, “Hang in there. Good days are coming. I’ve been there, too.” Touched, he follows her. Ah-young gets scared and calls him a stalker, but Ajusshi claims that he’s following her because he’s scared of the dark alley. She warily lets him trail behind her, and by the time she gets to the 2N Box building, he’s gone.
Do-hee feels like she’s already broken their pact by letting Hae-kyung see where she lives, but he says he could probably hang around the neighborhood all day and never run into her. She heads into her building, and Hae-kyung notices that she dropped a gold ring in his car, but he decides to hang onto it for now.
Geon-woo is with a date when No-eul barges in and rudely tells his date to go because she needs to talk to Geon-woo. Then No-eul tells Geon-woo that that guy isn’t right for him because he didn’t reassure Geon-woo before leaving, and when Geon-woo tries to say that was her fault, she launches into her complaint about being stood up.
She sighs that she’s being too mean, but Geon-woo says she’s not mean to him… she’s mean to Hae-kyung. He says she got stood up once, but when she and Hae-kyung were dating, he got stood up numerous times. He points out that Hae-kyung always forgave her, and No-eul starts to cry.
Meanwhile, Jae-hyuk takes Do-hee’s purse and phone to the 2N Box office and leaves them on her desk. He tells Ah-young that Do-hee didn’t show, and she offers him a birthday beer. She tells Jae-hyuk that she always liked him and Do-hee together, especially the way Do-hee loved him more than herself and Jae-hyuk always took good care of her.
She says it always seemed to be a given that they would get married, and Jae-hyuk promises that it will still happen. Ah-young asks why he hurt Do-hee that way, and she says he didn’t go abroad to study. Jae-hyuk’s expression goes hard for a moment before he yells that it was just a mistake. He leaves, and Ah-young says to his retreating back, “You’re not the type to make mistakes.”
Jae-hyuk makes a cool exit, but once he’s outside, he clutches at his throat and shakily downs some kind of pill. He gradually calms down, but it’s a struggle.
The next day, Hae-kyung and Do-hee both stare at their new “Dinner Mate Chat Room,” wanting to send a message but not wanting to appear too eager. So-ra accused Do-hee of dating someone because she’s spending so much time hovering over her phone, but Do-hee says it’s just the guy from Jeju, and that they’re just friends who eat together.
Byung-jin catches Hae-kyung looking up restaurants, when he usually goes to the same few places, and also assumes Hae-kyung is dating. Hae-kyung says it’s only a friend, so Byung-jin tells him to just have samgyupsal and soju. Hae-kyung finally texts Do-hee inviting her to have samgyupsal tomorrow night.
So-ra teases Do-hee about her dinner date, but Jae-hyuk approaches them and ruins the mood. In private, Do-hee apologizes to Jae-hyuk for making him think there might be a chance. She says she wants to keep their interactions work-related, but Jae-hyuk presses the issue, saying that he really thinks they should start over.
Do-hee snaps that he’s doing things in the wrong order — he should have explained why he left and apologized first. Jae-hyuk mumbles that he had his reasons, but Do-hee says coldly, “I’m sorry, but I’m not even curious what those reasons were anymore.”
Jae-hyuk calls someone and tells them that this isn’t working, and that he wants to tell Do-hee the truth. He says he can’t live without her, so he wants to confess everything and ask forgiveness, and he promises to visit the person on the other line soon. Hmmm, strange.
Hae-kyung’s mother walks into his clinic, saying that she’s there as a patient. Hae-kyung reminds her that it’s unethical for psychologists to counsel their family, but Mom just takes that to mean that he considers her family. He goes to yell at Byung-jin for letting her in, and she leaves a copy of her book on his desk, which is dedicated to him, before she leaves.
Geon-woo meets with Jae-hyuk for lunch — it turns out that they’re cousins. Jae-hyuk asks Geon-woo how things are going with his family, and Geon-woo says nothing has changed… they still don’t accept that he’s gay.
Jae-hyuk watches Geon-woo flipping through his social media posts and sees one of Geon-woo and Hae-kyung together. He asks if Hae-kyung is Geon-woo’s boyfriend, but Geon-woo says that tragically, his first love is straight.
While Do-hee’s mother takes pictures of her husband with his girlfriend, vowing to leave him as soon as she gets Do-hee married off, Do-hee and Ah-young talk about Jae-hyuk. Ah-young gives Do-hee advice about choosing a man — make sure he’s the same inside and out. HA, Do-hee points out that Ah-young has never actually dated anyone.
Later, Do-hee’s mother shows up at her place unannounced, and with Jae-hyuk in tow. He says he was just making sure that Mom got here safely and he goes, leaving Do-hee to deal with her mother’s continued complaints about cheating men. Mom says that Jae-hyuk would never do that, and she tells Do-hee to marry him, so Do-hee bites her head off and goes for a walk.
Just as she’s realizing she has no money, she spots Ajusshi camped out on the sidewalk. She asks to borrow money, and HAHA, he has to remind her that he’s homeless. Do-hee takes Ajusshi to Jjigae House, where he confesses over drinks that he used to be a con man.
Do-hee insists that he seems like a good person, but Ajusshi calls her immature for judging people by her gut feelings. She asks what else she’s supposed to judge people by, when even jerks can have good jobs or backgrounds. She says there are some people you want to be friends with even if you know nothing about them, admitting that there’s someone specific she’s thinking about.
HA, Do-hee has to call Ah-young to come pay the bill she and Ajusshi have racked up. Ah-young and Ajusshi are shocked to see each other again, Ajusshi a little more happy about it than Ah-young, but he quickly feels awkward and takes his leave. Ah-young asks Do-hee if she’s dating a homeless guy now, but Do-hee says they’re just friends and that Ajusshi is actually pretty cool.
Ah-young tells her never to see Ajusshi again, and she shushes Do-hee for saying that Ah-young almost became homeless herself. Ah-young argues that for all they know, he killed someone and hid the body, so Do-hee asks cheekily why Ah-young bought him mandoo and let him walk with her. HAH, busted. Ah-young mumbles that Ajusshi was scared, but Do-hee corrects her — he was protecting her.
On her way home, Do-hee finds Hae-kyung waiting outside her building to return her gold ring. She asks why he didn’t just give it to her at dinner tomorrow, and she teases him when he says he was in the neighborhood. Hae-kyung notices that she’s been drinking and shyly offers to see her home, but Do-hee steps in veeeery close and whispers that they banned sharing personal information.
In the morning, Ah-young sits down with Do-hee and Jae-hyuk to discuss their new show. Jae-hyuk’s idea is for it to be a health show where No-eul gives exercise and diet tips for people with illnesses, but Do-hee thinks that’s boring. She wants to make it a B-class comedy show, which earns her a spanking with a rolled-up newspaper. Ah-young says they can just have Jin-kyu produce the show, but Jae-hyuk refuses to work with anyone but Do-hee, which gets him a spanking, too.
After work, Do-hee meets Hae-kyung for their pre-arranged only-friends dinner. The samgyupsal place is new, and HA, Hae-kyung spots a banner from Byung-jin congratulating his aunt and uncle on their restaurant opening. His aunt calls Byung-jin to report that Hae-kyung just showed up with a pretty woman, so Byung-jin hurries to the restaurant to get a good look at the lady. Oh noooo, he knows who she is!
Hae-kyung doesn’t seem to know what to do with the samgyupsal, so he just makes his wrap exactly the way Do-hee makes hers. He even shoves the whole thing in his mouth like she does, which looks both painful and adorable. Do-hee finishes off her meal with some spicy noodles, and though he can’t help negatively analyzing her based on her eating habits, Hae-kyung looks more than a little smitten.
Byung-jin is literally about to walk in and see Hae-kyung and Do-hee together when he gets a call from a friend who wants to set him up on a blind date tonight. He waffles for a moment, then hurries off to meet the date, whew.
Inside, the restaurant starts up a contest. Hae-kyung and Do-hee get ready to leave, but the prize is a huge stuffed penguin, and Do-hee pouts that she loves penguins. They stay and Do-hee enters the contest, which requires getting the highest score on a punching machine.
Her score is pretty good, but a giant beast of a man goes next and beats Do-hee’s score. A loud voice calls out, and the crowd parts to reveal Hae-kyung standing there looking like a hero, all backlit and sexy. He approaches the machine, shooting Do-hee a cocky wink on the way, then warms up and gives it his best punch…. and beats the beast’s score by one point.
Hae-kyung and Do-hee leap into each other’s arms and bounce around happily for a minute before remembering that they’re only friends and breaking apart guiltily. The MC tries to start up a chant for them to kiss, but they protest that they don’t have that kind of relationship.
Meanwhile, No-eul is filming a video for her channel when a crowd of people barge into her gym and demand to know where her mother is. No-eul says she hasn’t spoken to her mother in two years, and she tells them that they shouldn’t have lent money to a con artist.
While Do-hee collects her penguin, Hae-kyung gets a call from Geon-woo, who tells him that No-eul’s mother’s creditors are at her gym right now and are physically attacking her. Hae-kyung rushes off with barely a word to Do-hee, and he makes it to the gym, pulls the creditors off No-eul, and leads her away.
They get to a safe spot, and when Geon-woo arrives, No-eul tells them they can both leave. Hae-kyung advises her not to go home so Geon-woo says she can stay with him, and No-eul just keeps silent.
Do-hee waits at the restaurant to hear from Hae-kyung and ends up getting drunk with Penguin. She tells Penguin all about her disastrous first love and her failed second love, and that she thought the third guy might be her destiny but he turned out to be a jerk, too.
She’s asking God why her life is such a train wreck when Hae-kyung returns, and she slurs that she can get herself home thankyouverymuchsir. But when she stands, she trips and falls into his arms. Still very close, she whines, “I waited, you know. I waited for you to ask me to wait for you.”
There’s a pretty good chance that Do-hee thinks she’s talking to Jae-hyuk right now, but I don’t care. No matter how much these two claim to be just friends, there’s nothing simply friendly about what’s going on between them. They flirt like crazy, their chemistry is off the freaking charts, and I’m honestly surprised that nobody’s been tackle-kissed yet. And I’m even on board with the fact that they still don’t know each other’s names, because it makes a cute sort of sense within their little friendship pact. (By the way, is it me or does Seo Ji-hye have chemistry with pretty much everyone?? I’m already super invested in her new friendship with Homeless Ajusshi, which totally should not work but really really does. It makes me wonder why it took her this long to get a good romantic lead role.)
I know it’s Hae-kyung’s job to be observant, and in fact he was probably drawn to his career because he notices the little things and understands their importance. But it’s still incredibly swoony when he remembers some throwaway comment Do-hee made, and does things like make sure she has some soup before a rich meal so she doesn’t upset her stomach or wins her a penguin just because she likes penguins. It’s also sweet how he goes along with Do-hee’s ideas about not getting too close or sharing personal information, but I don’t think he’s as committed to it as she is. He keeps doing things that indicate more than just friendly interest, like contacting her first to have dinner and keeping the ring she dropped in case he needs an excuse to see her. They’re both obviously catching feelings for each other, but I think Hae-kyung is a little further along in the process, mostly because Do-hee tries so hard to convince everyone else that she’s chill that she’s even tricking herself into believing it’s true.
I’ve decided that I pretty much just hate No-eul. I still can’t tell how much of that is Sohn Na-eun’s egregious miscasting and how much is just the fact that No-eul is a selfish, tone-deaf twit (at least Lee Ji-hoon gives Jae-hyuk’s character some nuance, but No-eul is like a really self-centered sledgehammer to the face), but I’ll focus on No-eul herself for now. I want to say that No-eul is badly written, but all the other characters in the show are pretty solid, so I think she’s just intentionally that awful. It’s like she has no sense of self-awareness whatsoever, like when she made fun of Jae-hyuk for thinking Do-hee would take him back without even an apology, yet that’s exactly what she expects from Hae-kyung. Even little things like ordering Geon-woo’s date to leave, then telling Geon-woo that the guy is a bad person for leaving… I mean, does she seriously not realize that her actions have consequences?
I was actually beginning to get a bit bored, as the show was starting to repeat the same set-ups over and over again, but this episode introduced some new information that rekindled my interest. It seems important that Hae-kyung is Geon-woo’s first love — or at least I hope it’s important, K-dramas need more plot-relevant gay lovelines if you ask me — since this whole show is centered around first loves versus new loves. Ah-young and Homeless Ajusshi’s meeting was fun, as it came with the revelation that Ah-young was close to being homeless herself once, and there’s a lot more to him than what we see on the surface (also, I totally ship it).
And what’s going on with Jae-hyuk? Obviously he’s not just a guy who wants his ex back — Ah-young doesn’t believe his “went abroad to study” story, and and after the strange way he’s been acting, neither do I. I give Jae-hyuk partial credit for wanting to come clean to Do-hee (only partial for now, because we still don’t know what his secret is), but there’s someone else involved who seems to be stopping him. I’m scared that whenever Do-hee finds out his secret, she’ll be tempted to take him back, and that would be a very bad idea. I can’t think of anything that would justify ghosting someone you’re planning to marry then going no-contact for five years, but I’m sure that whatever it is, Jae-hyuk is going to play it for the most sympathy he can get.
- Premiere Watch: Will You Have Dinner With Me, Sweet Munchies
- Song Seung-heon, Seo Ji-hye enjoy dinner together in new MBC drama
- New stills from healing romance Will You Have Dinner With Me
- Lee Ji-hoon, Seo Ji-hye, Sohn Na-eun join cast of Will You Have Dinner With Me
- Song Seung-heon turns into a food psychologist in MBC’s Will You Have Dinner With Me