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Will You Have Dinner With Me: Episodes 23-24

With our dinner mates’ feelings for each other growing stronger, they’re finding the opposition has noticed and is stepping up its game. It’s a mystery why anyone would want someone who’s obviously in love with someone else, but nobody ever accused the exes of thinking logically. Unfortunately, one of them seems on the verge of a serious break, and someone needs to get them real help before something truly terrible happens.

 
EPISODE 23

After being dropped off by Hae-kyung, Do-hee finds her home ransacked. She picks up a pan and wields it like a weapon, slowly approaching the intruder hiding behind her bedroom curtains.

It’s Jae-hyuk, who’s sitting huddled on the floor, sobbing and bleeding badly from a gash on his hand. He crawls to Do-hee, begging her to save him and saying that he’s dying, but she backs away in horror. He wails that he can’t find the pictures of the two of them that she used to have, and that he feels like he’s going crazy.

Hae-kyung pounds on the front door, having gotten a terrified call from Do-hee when she first got home. She warns Jae-hyuk not to make a sound, then she goes to the door and tells Hae-kyung that it was only her mother at her house earlier. She has trouble looking him in the eye and he senses that something is off, but Do-hee keeps insisting that everything is fine so he reluctantly goes.

Do-hee goes back to Jae-hyuk and demands to know what he’s doing here and how he got in. He says that she has the same passcode as her old place, so he came inside to wait for her like he used to do. He grows confused and distraught again, sniffling that there’s nothing here that shows their love.

Do-hee tells Jae-hyuk firmly that this is a crime, screaming, “How could you do this to me?!” Jae-hyuk whines that it feels like they’re really over. Do-hee orders him to get out: “Go back to the States as soon as you can. Stay here quietly as if nothing happened and go back there. I can’t tell anyone about your actions tonight for my sake, not yours. If you do something like this again, I will really kill you then.”

After Jae-hyuk leaves, Do-hee goes to her parents’ house to spend the night. She doesn’t give her mother an explanation, but Mom guesses that this might be about Jae-hyuk and confesses that she fed him so that he’d be nicer to Do-hee. Do-hee tells her that she and Jae-hyuk are over, adding that everything is just getting messy and that it makes her feel pathetic.

She says that Jae-hyuk is scary and that she’s afraid he’ll find out — “he” as in Hae-kyung? She starts to cry and asks her mother what she did wrong, but Mom can only hug her.

Meanwhile, Hae-kyung gets all the way home, but he can’t shake how off strange Do-hee sounded when she claimed that everything was fine. He goes back to her building but stays outside, just watching and waiting, unaware that she’s not even there. Eventually Do-hee texts him and says she’s at her mother’s house, and they agree to talk tomorrow.

Mom calls her husband and says she doesn’t care what he’s doing or who he’s with, but that he needs to come home for breakfast. In the morning, Dad acts like everything is normal, until Mom announces that this is their last breakfast together as a family. Do-hee tells Dad that he’s a good father but a horrible husband, so she fully supports Mom’s decisions.

Do-hee stops by her place before work, taking care to change her passcode. On the bus, she listens to some teenage girls advising their friend not to take back her cheating boyfriend, and she thinks to herself, My life and my relationship are ridiculous. We love and break up, we fight and resent each other. That’s what every couple does. That’s what life is.

I thought my pain wasn’t that special and I was doing okay, but it was a delusion. My relationship was a mess. She stops when she sees Hae-kyung waiting for her, and she smiles… That’s why I’m too ashamed to see him, but seeing him makes me happy again. I’m really such a mess.

Hae-kyung asks if Do-hee has time for coffee before work, and she notices that he’s speaking in banmal. He gets all awkward, and Do-hee teases him just to watch him keep it up while obviously uncomfortable. Hae-kyung confesses that he encourages his patients to be courageous, but he can’t even speak banmal easily, hee.

He says that he’s worried that speaking jondaemal keeps them at a distance from one another, and that speaking banmal is scientifically proven to make people feel closer. But he finally gives it up and goes back to jondae, though Do-hee sincerely thanks him for the effort.

After So-ra’s flirting on their trip, Jin-kyu has developed a wicked crush on her and brings her coffee at work. HA, she’s worried that he spit in it and gets wigged out by the way he’s smiling at her.

Jae-hyuk made it home last night and drank himself to sleep. Geon-woo calls Do-hee, worried that something is wrong with Jae-hyuk, so she tells him that Jae-hyuk is sick and asks Geon-woo to take him to the hospital, and she asks him not to call her about Jae-hyuk anymore.

Do-hee’s mother hands her father a suitcase and divorce papers. She says that she was hanging in there because she thought having divorced parents would harm Do-hee’s chances at marriage, until she realized that she didn’t even know about Do-hee’s pain. Now she wants to show her daughter that her mom is doing okay.

Ah-young is playing hooky from work for an “important matter,” which mean she’s waiting for Keanu at his table at the convenience store. She nods off in his comfy chair, and when she wakes up, he’s standing over her. It startles her and she nearly topples right out of the chair, but Keanu catches her hand.

She asks where he’s been, and he says she shouldn’t wait for him here in case he never comes back. But Ah-young says this is the only place she knows to find him and that she only waited five hours (ha). They agree to meet daily at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Ah-young: “We can be dinner mates!”).

Hae-kyung meets with his mother’s doctor, who tells him that she’s scheduled for surgery soon. The doctor prepares Hae-kyung that her prognosis isn’t good, even with the surgery.

Back at 2N Box, Do-hee catches Ah-young having a PPL moment with her massage chair. Ah-young asks Do-hee what kind of man problems she’s having today, wondering if it’s Jae-hyuk or Hae-kyung this time. Do-hee says it’s her dad — she thinks her parents are getting divorced. She starts to talk about what Jae-hyuk did last night, but changes her mind.

Geon-woo goes to Jae-hyuk’s place and tries to talk him into going to the hospital. Jae-hyuk declines until Geon-woo says it was Do-hee’s idea, and when he remembers how Do-hee didn’t tell Hae-kyung about him last night, he smiles and says he feels like he’s already healed.

EPISODE 24

Hae-kyung brings food for Writer Lee to keep up her strength, and he tries to be encouraging about her surgery, but she quips that she doesn’t feel better even though he’s a doctor. She starts, “If I die…” and Hae-kyung stops her with a reflexive, “Mom!” which makes her happy since she was going to say she’d be sad if she died without hearing him call her that again.

She asks him to say it one more time, but Hae-kyung fusses at her for talking about dying. Writer Lee promises to make friends with Do-hee if she doesn’t die, and Hae-kyung says that’s fine because Do-hee likes her, too.

During So-ra’s show, Do-hee’s mom calls her to complain of being bored. Do-hee tells her to get some counseling, and Mom calls her a name and hangs up. PFFT.

Hae-kyung’s teenage patient is busy watching So-ra’s show on his phone during his session, and Hae-kyung gets flustered when the kid keeps using slang that he doesn’t understand. He finally ends the session, then complains to Byung-jin that he doesn’t want to take any more patients under age 19 (“I think it will be good for my mental health!” HAHA).

Apparently Do-hee got through to her mom, because she shows up at the clinic asking to see the doctor (by coincidence — she doesn’t know who he is). While she waits, two more women come in, but Byung-jin realizes that they’re actually journalists wanting to interview Hae-kyung about his relationship with No-eul. Mom tsks that Hae-kyung is obviously a playboy.

Geon-woo goes looking for No-eul at her gym, and she admits that she’s been exercising nonstop since morning. He makes her stop and talk to him, and when he figures out that she hasn’t eaten all day, he sighs over her and Jae-hyuk. Join the club, buddy.

Jae-hyuk is lurking at the convenience store in case Do-hee comes by, and it makes his day when he calls her and she picks up. She asks if he went to the doctor, and he tells her that he did and he’s fine, but she clarifies that she means counseling. Over the moon at her “concern,” Jae-hyuk promises to see someone, and Do-hee says she’ll be checking with Geon-woo to make sure.

That evening, Do-hee takes Hae-kyung to dinner, and awww, he picked spicy food because it’s her favorite. He goes into doctor mode and tells her that women in their 20s and 30 eat spicy food because it relieves stress, but that as a doctor, he doesn’t recommend it because it upsets the stomach.

He tells Do-hee that Doctor Hae-kyung is worried about her stomach, and Boyfriend Hae-kyung is worried about her heart. But then he laughs and says it was a tough day for both of them. We see that he’d talked to Do-hee’s mom about her confusing feelings about divorce, and she’d been impressed by him.

She had asked if he’s dating anyone, because a girlfriend would be distressed by the way women fall all over him. She’d joked that she’d try to change her daughter’s mind if she brought him home, and he’d told her not to worry, because he’s already taken.

Do-hee thinks this story is hilarious, unaware that the woman in the story is her mother. Hae-kyung tries to further impress her with the new slang he learned today, but she already knows the terms and their origins. He sheepishly apologizes for calling her shows “low” before, and Do-hee mocks his serious demeanor and says it’s nothing she hasn’t heard before, then she makes Hae-kyung giggle by speaking banmal.

In the morning, Ah-young shows up at the convenience store ten minutes late, but Keanu says she doesn’t need to be so exact because he has plenty of time.

When Do-hee gets to work, So-ra practically tackles her in her eagerness to gossip about No-eul. She’s brought a reporter to 2N Box for an article, and So-ra says the reporter is asking weird questions. Do-hee admits that being around No-eul makes her feel guilty, but when So-ra speculates that she’ll probably let No-eul have Hae-kyung, Do-hee flips her hair and growls that it will never happen.

No-eul waves Do-hee over to meet Reporter Kim, who asks for an interview. No-eul has told him that Do-hee cast Hae-kyung on No-eul’s show on purpose because they used to date. When No-eul chirps that Do-hee has been instrumental in helping them get back together, then mentions the recent “incident,” Do-hee pulls her aside to speak privately.

She asks why No-eul is doing this, and No-eul practically admits that she told Hae-kyung about the article but misled him about the content (“He knows what I’m like.”). Do-hee tells No-eul that her relationship with Hae-kyung is serious, but No-eul just says that she’s also seriously in love with him, and that she loved him first.

Do-hee snaps that Hae-kyung will have to date and marry someone eventually, and that No-eul can’t just stick to him constantly. No-eul sneers that Do-hee’s ex is doing the same thing, and Do-hee marvels that they just leave and return as they like. No-eul challenges Do-hee to stake her own claim and protect her heart, but Do-hee only warns her to be careful about her article because it involves 2N Box.

Ah-young takes Keanu shopping and gets angry when the shopkeeper jumps to conclusions about Keanu based on his appearance. He says it’s like this everywhere (“It’s easier to judge a book by its cover than its contents”) and offers to wait outside, but she makes him stay and has him try on a snazzy suit. Hubba hubba!

They do the full makeover scene, with Keanu trying on different outfits and Ah-young nixing each one, until she finally perks up at a classic pair of khaki pants with a black shirt. She purchases everything he tried on, but not before giving the shopkeeper a lecture about not judging a person by how they look.

Hae-kyung does a little research on Keanu, who used to be his mentor. He learns that after the scandal, Keanu sent his family abroad and sold his house rather than stand up and prove he did nothing wrong. Hae-kyung calls Do-hee to ask about the guy from the convenience store, and she offers to ask Ah-young how to reach Keanu.

Later, Geon-woo brings up Jae-hyuk to Do-hee again, to tell her about Jae-hyuk’s past. Jae-hyuk’s father was a chaebol who left his family for Jae-hyuk’s mother, but after they had Jae-hyuk he went back to his family. Eventually he took in Jae-hyuk because he was his only son, but later he kicked him out again.

Geon-woo believes that Jae-hyuk is traumatized and is having a harder time since he returned, but Do-hee is done listening. Geon-woo reveals that Jae-hyuk agreed to see a doctor and went to Hae-kyung, which sends Do-hee into an immediate state of alarm.

Meanwhile, Byung-jin leads Jae-hyuk into Hae-kyung’s office, and Jae-hyuk says he’s here for counseling because Do-hee says he needs to see a doctor. He vows that he never wants to be like his father, which means taking care of Do-hee until the end. Hae-kyung says that he can’t help Jae-hyuk and offers to find him a different doctor, but Jae-hyuk insists that it has to be Hae-kyung.

Suddenly, Jae-hyuk comes careening out of Hae-kyung’s office, with a furious Hae-kyung right on his heels. He grabs Jae-hyuk and yells, “Tell me what you want!” He orders Jae-hyuk never to show himself to Do-hee again, but Jae-hyuk’s gaze is fixed over Hae-kyung’s shoulder.

Hae-kyung turns, and to his horror, Do-hee is standing there witnessing everything.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, what happened in there?! Hae-kyung was keeping cool even though he knew Jae-hyuk was trying to manipulate him, then all of a sudden he’s completely lost his temper and is physically shoving Jae-hyuk all over the office in front of his patients. Obviously Jae-hyuk said something to trigger Hae-kyung, and it must have involved Do-hee somehow. It’s the only thing that could have sent Hae-kyung over the edge that way. I’m not too worried about Do-hee’s reaction, because she knows both of these men and I’m pretty confident she’ll believe Hae-kyung’s side of the story. But this isn’t going to go well for Hae-kyung’s career, not at all.

For weeks now I’ve been scared of Jae-hyuk, but this episode was the first time I’ve been scared for him. He was obviously having some sort of psychotic break in Do-hee’s home — he knew where he was and that she was there, but otherwise he appeared completely out of touch with reality (props to Lee Ji-hoon for his performance in that scene, it was both terrifying and moving. He’s doing a great job portraying Jae-hyuk’s slow, terrifying decline). It’s possible that Jae-hyuk was acting that way to try and pull Do-hee in again, like his failed attempt to poison himself with strawberries, but I do think that when he got to her place and realized how different it was and how there was nothing there to reflect him in her life, he had a minor break. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was his first, and it certainly won’t be his last.

I haven’t been so proud of Do-hee as I was when she didn’t cave to Jae-hyuk’s fit. On the contrary, she stood up for herself even more strongly in a situation where a lot of people would have been tempted to try and help him. I was so worried when it became obvious that he was having a breakdown, because Do-hee has taken pity on him in the past, and I thought this would be where she gave in. But instead, she took control of her own safety and told him in no uncertain terms to stay away from her, refusing to take any responsibility for his condition or for getting him help. That’s not her job, and no matter how hard Jae-hyuk tries to manipulate her, Do-hee is only growing stronger and stronger against him.

Speaking of strength, I hadn’t understood Do-hee’s mother’s place in the story until this episode, and found her merely an annoying distraction despite my appreciation for actress Yoon Bok-in. She seemed like a doormat, letting her husband openly cheat on her for years and just putting up with it. But when she asked her husband for a divorce, standing there so stoically and saying that she’s been staying for Do-hee but now she wants something for herself, I saw it — the steel that she passed on to her daughter. I don’t agree with bad couple staying together “for the kids,” but I admire the heart that can withstand years of pain for someone else’s sake, and that’s exactly what Do-hee’s mother has been doing. It’s clear where Do-hee got her own strength from, though now I hope we get to see Mom take a lesson from her daughter and learn to take the respect and life that she’s due.

But aside from all the serious issues, the best part of Will You Have Dinner With Me is still the relationship between Do-hee and Hae-kyung. We got some super cute moments with them in this episode, especially the whole banmal issue. Hae-kyung doesn’t speak banmal with anyone, so it was precious when he tried it with Do-hee, because the poor guy just looked miserable. I don’t think that Do-hee declined because she didn’t want to (she speaks banmal with plenty of people), but because as she said, he looked so uncomfortable with it so she was letting him off the hook. Hae-kyung is just so sweet and thoughtful, yet awkward at the same time because this is all pretty new territory for him, so I love when he powers through his own weirdness in an attempt to grow. It’s no wonder that Do-hee (and lets’ face it, all of us as well) is so utterly charmed by him.

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Me me! I am utterly charmed by Hae-kyung! That's a big reason why I keep watching this show. 🙋
And yes, I have admired Doo hee's steadiness in regard to Jae hyuk's manipulations. I also like the way they are getting closer and closer with each other, until the point of saying the words: "I love you"....

But man, the worse in this drama is the sole and absurd presence of these two exes. So... absurd that I am not sure it could match with the reality, although hello, sometimes very often we hear about passional crimes (don't know if it's the right way to say it in English), and it is mostly men who kill their girlfriends, wives or ex girlfriends, or even girls they were interested in just because they rejected them, or in general because they couldn't control their jealousy or whatever other psychotic reasons, showing us these things exist, so... sadly, yes, there are lots of Jae-hyuks out there. 😡

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i agree, i think you mean crimes of passion. It is something that happens IRL. I too am tired of the exes and still do not care for the show wasting screen time on them. There are other more interesting side characters that should fill in those precious minutes for this 16 episode drama.

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Agree totally. It is such a waste! 😩

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You are so right about what you say. I'm also in love with our OTP and I don't like how they are getting less time together because screentime goes to the exes and we are all tired of saying we are tired of them.

And also regarding the passional crimes (it works for me, literal translation from Spanish also), you are right. It's generally men who commit them because they think women belong to them. But here we have both exes being almost psycho because they think their exes belong to them. They keep saying "I want you back now because I love you" and they never listen to both DH and HK saying again and again and again "I'm over you". Both NoEul and JaeHyunk need serious counseling. And JH probably something more.

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Exactly, I am tired of saying I am tired of them. This is all so tiring, while the OTP keeps me wide awake at the same time! Weird rollercoaster of emotions watching this show.

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I third this. I started FF through quite a bit of the ex stuff, especially No-eul. At least with JH they're FINALLY showing his downward spiral, though for quite a few episodes it all just felt like a broken record. I'm holding my breath and waiting for JH's "bad break" - bracing for some violence/kidnapping/serious threatening behavior - and confess I didn't expect this show to get this dark from the initial premise.

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Thank you, @lollypip, for the recap! I agree that Jae-hyuk is getting worse (also that Lee Ji-hoon is doing the best job for it). I think he is planning on making a scene so that Hae-kyung will get in trouble, just like what he did to his previous psychiatrist since there are reporters outside to witness the event. I didn't like it that Do-hee lied about Jae-hyuk being in her apartment, what if JH did something violent? And since JH hasn't been listening to her pronouncements that they're done, wouldn't it be a police matter?

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I really hated that DH lied to HK. JH was unstable and any sane person would not have wanted to go back in the apartment. JH trespassed and stalked her, he should be in jail.

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I love it that Hae Kyung really looked so awkward talking in banmal. We have to give him props for trying. He is just adorable. I do want more scenes wherein HK and DH are exploring their new relationship and love of food.😁

Do Hee's actions in dealing with Jae Hyuk is too lenient. I know you are a decent person Do Hee but you have to be tougher with that emotional vampire you call an ex. Cut loose and send him to jail. She should've called the cops on him. It sends a very bad message to people. Trespassing and stalking is NOT okay.🤬
I am so frustated with DH in this episode. I just hope she will stick with her decision and stick with HK. I like that she told GW to not to talk to her about JH ever. But the dense GW made JH think that DH still cares.

I love AY standing up for Keanu with that shopkeeper. I just like it whenever they are both onscreen. And ofcourse that makeover scene. ☺

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It's so true that both our OTP are decent people, and I think part of what makes the exes are so frustrating is because they keep using this decency to their advantages. Plus after so many episodes, we're rarely shown any comeuppance they deserve. I mean, can't we just have oooone scene where No-eul is bitchslapped, instead of merely crying petty tears prettily..?
Ah-young & Keanu is a delight, love how they set the 8am & 8pm rules on being the second dinner mates. Am crossing fingers show will reveal him as a rich man that will shower her with diamonds or something at the end ><

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Oh she deserves a bitch slap and he should spend time in jail. Its the exes, particularly, JH's lack of repercussions for his atrocious behavior is what grates me the most. The man does not deserve a free pass. Yes he needs help but his actions are already criminal and should've been stopped sooner.

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Idk... I don't like DH much in this episode. Is it really ok for DH not to tell at least AY abt the break-in? I prefer that DH stay away from JH or help in a way that he doesn't know so as not give him something to misinterpret or use as an excuse to hold on to her. I say let the professionals deal with JH. HK is but it's conflict of interest because of his relationship with DH so his advice to look for another doctor is right on. DH knows what she wants, JH is not in the right mind to understand that. One should always be careful around unhinged (or almost) people especially if they're not mental health professionals, they might be doing more harm than good to the other person who should've been undergoing proper treatment by now...

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She should have told AY. AY has vested interest in JH since she hired him so she would need ro know if JH is displaying erratic behavior. DH is not being a good friend, employee and gf for hiding it. She is just protecting a criminal which is plain wrong.

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Soooo right you are!

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Is it just me who is a tiny bit annoyed by Geon Woo? Don’t get me wrong, he is a nice and sweet guy, but sometimes he is just too nice and sweet! He puts up with the horrible attitudes of NE and JH. Also he keeps calling DH and HK whenever something happens to their exes, they are not their guardians!

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I was lurking on the s**mpi thread for Dinner Mates where I saw @Kvothe's brilliant theory that Geon-woo is "actually Loki, the trickster god, in disguise."

I initially thought GW fulfilled the Magical Queer trope, dispensing words of wisdom to his foolish straight friends. He's certainly had one of the best lines ("Unwanted love isn’t real love, it’s violence." Ep. 19-20/hr. 10). But so far, he's more often an over-involved friend who ends up adding more fuel to the fire.

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As much as I love Geon-woo for his loyalty and pure-heartedness, his misguided over-involvement is wreaking further havoc. The problem, I would guess, is that he may be wise enough to dispense the words, but not strong enough to enforce. He refuses to take sides as they are all his friends.

My guess is that the show is also highlighting the concept of the people-pleaser. Geon-woo tries to please everyone by having a "can't we all just get along" approach and fails miserably in the process.

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Ha, that is a great theory! I will try to see him in that light in the next episode, perhaps that will help me with my rollercoaster emotions and I won't be yelling at the screen so much.

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I did comment on this exact point in another comment. Second to this!

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Show, can we please please please just bring back more doses of heartwarming dinner conversations? Talking about a "show about exes", ugh! They both have baggage to work out and taking the journey with them should be a pleasure. Maybe this sort of baptism of fire makes them tighter as a couple, but the despicability level of the two limpets makes it such an insufferable watch! *beats chest in frustration*

Am really happy Hae-kyung voiced his worry about the distance growing between them compared to the times when they were dinner mates. Feels like Do-hee is going back to her old relationship MO, by keeping her issues to herself and trying to be a sort of a person who is "good enough" for her boyfriend. She keeps saying that she's a mess and she is ashamed, it's heartbreaking that she can't see that none of that is her fault. Maybe talk it out with your super-competent psychiatrist boyfriend..?

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the despicability level of the two limpets makes it such an insufferable watch

If I could, I would shower you with Subway sandwiches right now for using limpets this way.

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Am watching 3 Meals A Day: Fishing Village simultaneously with this show, LOL. Wish we could pry No-eul and Jae-hyuk away and throw them into boiling water like Chajumma does to limpets he found!

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I love the OTP.
I hate the exes.
I didn't understand why DoHee didn't call the police, although I understand why she is a mess.
I'm really impressed by Lee Ji Hoon acting. He's doing an amazing job.

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I second your praise of Lee Ji-hoon's acting. I love the actor and hate the character. He was wonderful in Rookie Historian and I look forward to future roles were he's not a pointless irritant.

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Pesonally, I wasn't proud at all of Dohee... She messed up with her reaction, she should have called the Police or at least threating him to call the Police. She lied to HK in the face about a subject that affects the both of them and their relationship.

Beside, the altercation at the end happended when there was a journalist there by chance...

This drama is boring now, it's always the evil exes preparing something against our lovely couple who becomes boring too.

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I agree with you about DoHee, I'm not proud of her at all. She put herself in danger and when help came in the form of HK she lied to him. She could have stepped outside, tell HK what happened and then together call the Police. But no. I can excuse her behaviour because she's a mess. She said it later. Too many things have happened to her in the last weeks. I get it. But her life was really at risk.

And yes to the show becoming boring. We are going round and round and round and getting nowhere, and there are four more episodes with exes drama... too much for me, seriuosly.

Another show that would have benefited from 12 episodes. If you're not showing us cute dinner mates, don't show us stupid exes.

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I agree. The show runners and writer shouldve cut the episodes instead of filled it up with horrible exes, who no one cares about.

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Okayy.... what the potato chips just happened here? One moment, I'm rolling in pink fluttery things, and then I'm suddenly plunked down the stinky drainpipe with the despicable exes. I can understand that Do-hee was avoiding a major smackdown between an emotionally deranged Jae-Hyuk and a pissed-off Hae-kyong in full defender mode, but Do-hee's lie just didn't sit well so soon after they have promised to be completely honest with each other. Jae-Hyuk should have been hauled off to jail, at the very least.

Hae-kyong most likely knew that something was wrong, but true to his word, he will wait for her to speak up. While it's true that Jae-Hyuk's behaviour deserves some sympathy, I have a really bad feeling about the danger he truly poses to both himself and to the people around him. And I have a really bad feeling that Do-hee's cover up is what causes Hae-kyong to finally snap during that closing scene.

I was a little disappointed in Do-hee for not trusting Hae-kyong in this moment of crisis, but I do get it that she instinctively runs to her mother for comfort, instead. Her question, "What did I do wrong?" was heart-wrenching. We all know she's the victim, yet she has that doubt in her heart that she was the one who was somehow lacking. At the very least, her pain triggered something in her mother to finally stop being the doormat and take control of her life. Now THAT is a positive message that should come with bells and whistles.

It's also rather touching that the first thing Do-hee checks on when she returns home is Penguin. Her energy drains as soon as she sees the stuffed fella is ok. The damage, though, is done, it's very difficult to rest or move around in a house that's been violated.

As for Despicable Ex No. 2, I'm with Sora on this one, let's pull hair and tell her to keep her grubby, hands off someone else's boyfriend. Better yet, I'll toss my negative adjectives in the rubbish bin and just whack her over the rooftop balcony. There! (*huff* *huff*)

All that negativity aside, Hae-kyong is just pouring on the charm and the adorableness. Amidst his struggle with banmal/informal speech, the awkward discussion with Do-hee's mom, the dimwitted teenage patient, he's solidly and dependably just being there for Do-hee. I noticed that he didn't ask about what happened the night before, which was probably deliberate.

And what can I say? I'm getting another CLOY vibe with our second leads (yes, the real ones!), with Ah-Young playing Yoon Se-ri to Keanu's Ri Jeong Hyeok. It's not really as impactful, since we've already seen Keanu looking spiffy, but I must admit that fixing a man's necktie as an excuse to get close never gets old, heh!

I'm still sticking with this series as I really love our two couples, and our angel sidekicks, but what started out as a sweet and sexy ode to the healing power of good food and good company is starting to devolve into psychotic exes melo mayhem. (*heavy sigh*)

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Am gratified to see mom instantly taking Do-hee's side and be a comforting ally, I guess she wasn't as bad as I thought. Crossing fingers she won't meddle with her daughter's new boyfriend!
Am 100% behind you on the hair-pulling and would like to have a share of few whacks too!

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I was really excited for this show because I thought the premise was interesting and plus I was just so happy to see Seo Ji-hye in a lead role (or even just in a role that is something other than "spurned/evil woman"), and I think she has really risen to the challenge - strong acting and a really great laugh! I also really liked that the OTP are older than a lot of typical k-dramas (which was something I also liked about CLOY). But I just don't know where this show wants to take us sometimes! In the beginning, I could really relate to DH and her life experience: the doubts, the scars, the hopes. I really enjoy how firm she generally is in standing up for herself - while she definitely shows JH too much sympathy/pity (see: these episodes), she's never been truly swayed by him enough to doubt her decision to not get back together. I'm glad that's true with HK, too - and maybe that's why the exes annoy us so much? Because the stereotypical plot device of "will the OTP's wavering over their exes break them up?" is not even remotely present, since it's clear pretty much early on that neither DH or HK is interested in that. At least JH (finally) has some character movement as he continues his descent, but NE? Seriously, she's been a one-note song since the very beginning - she's no threat, she's not even offensive anymore. She's just a whiny mosquito that keeps getting batted away.

I just want to see more of the OTP and their relationship, full stop. As so many of you have said, I want to see those interesting convos over food which have been lovely vignettes that allow us to watch them grow but as people and as a couple.

I feel like every show has that one episode that just lands like a dud, kind of like an awkward transition episode. I hope that this was just that episode, and now we have a strong finish (and more OTP time), because I really, really want to cheer for this show through to the end.

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I'm with you on the initial premise and a show where Seo Ji-hye and her brilliance can finally take centre stage. The show started sweet and sexy, a story of two people moving forward with such positivity from painful pasts. It was fun and beautiful to watch them grow closer, enjoy meals together, and adjust to each other. A second couple going through a similar journey was a nice addition.

But the last few episodes were becoming annoying, and the humour that was at the heart of their relationship is beginning to sound forced. Too many people interfering unnecessarily at this late stage, like Do-hee's mother and even Jin-kyu with the senseless comments.

Seems the next episode brings more darkness, so I'm not sure how the show will take us back to that beautiful beginning.

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Aigoo, it took me a couple days to finish this episode. Jae-hyuk’s B&E—and Do-hee’s apparent leniency—was deeply frustrating. But let me clarify—I was frustrated by her being all too human, and not because she somehow f*cked up.

When all I want is a sweet, fluffy story, I'm frustrated the inevitable emergence of han. Han is infused throughout Korean culture—there's no escape.

There's no question that her reaction appears bizarre when viewed from outside of her bubble with Jae-hyuk. She's quite traumatized by his reappearance and the continual deterioration of her memories of their time together. Do-hee is not protecting Jae-hyuk; she's struggling to protecting herself. She wants to him to just f*ing go away without exposing her to more shame in front of the people she loves.

I’ve witnessed first hand several women traumatized by the men they love. The only one I’ll mention here is my mother, who died six years ago. As an immigrant, she was perhaps unusual for immediately divorcing my doctor step-father after I saw him drunkenly beat her one night. I never asked her why she never called the cops but I think I knew her well enough to guess that she wanted to cut him away, like a diseased limb. (She was a Registered Nurse and often had a clinical view of life.) Dealing with police can sometimes be retraumatizing too. Mom was good at protecting herself and me but she also hated being weak in front of others.

All that said, can you believe how achingly cute our OTP is together? Once I overcame my anger, I revisited the banmal conversations and savored the awkwardness, the affection and the eventual acceptance that they were going informal. I can’t get enough of these two and find the BTS is essential viewing, especially since the exes are taking up too much screen time. @dinner_couple’s Instagram translated some of the BTS from their dinner date. Such cute!

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"Do-hee is not protecting Jae-hyuk; she's struggling to protecting herself. She wants to him to just f*ing go away without exposing her to more shame in front of the people she loves." Thank you for articulating this so well!

I like how they did come back to the banmal at the restaurant later, with DH gently leading the way. I thought that was a lovely turn.

And I'm so sorry for what you and your mother suffered.

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Thx. Mom was amazing. Thanks to her, I've got a low ACE* score.

*Adverse Childhood Experiences

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I do love those BTS clips, and just how SSH is taking care of SJH. Particularly for that kiss scene, SJH looks slightly uncomfortable, so SSH seems to be joking around to put her at ease. Cute!🥰

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I kinda thought he was all jokey because he's the one feeling nervous ><
Those BTS are balms to our shipper soul!

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My God, I've never watched so much BTS clips. I agree with @meowingme—I think Seo Ji-hye makes Song Seong-neon nervous too. What isthis, dude? He's got a reputation for being jolly and playful on set but, honestly, his antics throughout all seem to add up to a work crush. The more intimate the scene, the more silly and handsy SSH gets.😜

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*Song Seong-heon. Thumbs.

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Well, he is lighting up our screens like neon! ><

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@meowingme, @tsutsuloo I'd say he's a 2,700 lumen torchlight when paired with SJH, It burns...! :)

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@tsutsuloo I'm sorry about what you and your mom had to go through. If I may also share a personal story, a family member is clinical bipolar and has traumatised us for most of our lives. We have a sort of don't-ask-don't-tell-don't-think rule about it. If you're caught in the crossfire, just walk away, yet you remain responsible if something does happen. So yeah, it's exactly what you said - sometimes you're forced to protect yourself rather than do what's right.

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"the continual deterioration of her memories of their time together" - This! I felt when she said her 20s suddenly lost the meaning for her or started looking like a fake once she started realizing true nature of Jae-Hyuk's "Love".

Being on a receiving end of a con (emotional con in this case), can be pretty devastating too. It takes away your confidence in yourself. You start feeling (and most of the people who surround you make you feel that) someone who "probably deserved this".

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And I get where your Mom was coming from. She had her strength to do what she did. But she probably tried to keep the dignity which sadly society associates with maintaining a silence while suffering.

I feel she did her best.

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You're right, @jillofalltrades. There's a cost to keeping dignity.

This all happened when I was six and it wasn't until college that I started to unpack what happened. Her leaving was an early lesson in how not to put up with abuse. But she did this in a very ninja way—she surgically excised toxic people out of our lives while avoiding confrontation.

I was nearly thirty when I finally grasped how Mom (and American culture) trained me not to make waves.

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Until this series, I had never thought about how betrayal or a decaying relationship can make you question your past (Was it all fake? Did I waste my 20s?)

Have you ever tried to help a friend declutter? It's sooo much easier to toss someone else's stuff. "Do I care that Nana made you that sweater 30 years ago? No. Out it gooooes!"

Same goes for men. Here I've been saying, "Oh my God, just dump him!" and I hadn't considered how even horrible men can represent the "best" years of one's life.

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Thank you for your wonderful insights and sharing your brave mother's story. I was deeply puzzled when DH claimed she was saving herself by not exposing JH when she was the clear victim but your comments really made me think and it all tie-ins with what DH has been expressing in the previous episodes...

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I think it's an interesting point that the brunt of han falls on women.
It's also an important observation that Dohee doesn't report Jaehyuk to the police out of self-preservation, and not for his sake. It's probably because in Korea, women who publicly out their male perpetrators are still given a scarlet letter, and are stigmatized as 'tainted', for how ugly of a depiction that is. We see how Dohee feels ashamed in front of Haekyung, no matter how much the emotion is misguided.

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My guess is that whether Do-hee realizes it or not, she's pretty much like her mother, where shame guides her decisions. It's rather sad that she even feels ashamed to rely on Hae-kyong, the very person who would understand her the most.

Women bear the brunt of han, because society, not just in Korea, tends to blame the victim, and Do-hee is well ahead in doing that to herself. She blames herself for her failed relationships and tries to avoid drastic actions that would further highlight her perceived failures.

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Word! I need to revisit Brené Brown's Daring Greatly, her book on shame and how to embrace vulnerability. I don't know how cross-culturally applicable the themes are but her 2012 TED talk hit a nerve.

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Woah! Thanks for the link and reference. Will look into those!

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Thank you for the link to the lecture, this was very illuminating. And thank you for sharing your Mom's story ♥.

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I think the premise of the drama deceived us all.. this drama is in fact not a rom-com about dinner mates, more like unwelcome life lessons/warnings.

* this charade of having casual and vulnerable dinner with an attractive stranger lasts as long as it does in the drama (3 eps)
* run away from your ex as far as you possibly can. don't open the door even a little. if that doesn't work, call the cops pronto
* crazy exes are not redeemable, exhibit A: jang jae-hyuk
* people who come out of long-term relationships may come with a lot of baggage. No, not emotional baggage but a 50-70kg ex. Be prepared to pay surcharge!
* crummy things happen to nice, decent people. there's no point pushing other nice people away because said crummy things happen to them too.

I have a rant that I am withholding until ep 14 recap. c u guys there

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LOL at the 50-70kg baggage!

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Ah, this list is grimly funny. Also, back to Korean han. I look forward to your rant.😉

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I am looking forward to your rant!

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Excellent list..Dang it, now I have to watch those two episodes to appreciate your rant😅
*Getting deep meditation playlist ready for the EPs and popcorn churning for the comment section.I've a feeling one of those is gonna be wildly insightful and entertaining than the other😉*

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I am tired of Geon-woo being enabler to not one, but two people who are are manipulating the lives of their Ex's. It is like he understands that what they are doing is wrong ("That famous dialogue about Jae-hyuk's so called love being violence), but he ends of being the tool they use to keep a tab on their respective Exes.

His words and his actions are not in accordance.

At least Mom (hopefully) stopped pushing her insecurities on her daughter (I am still partly worried that her experience with cheating spouse will make her think "Loyal" Jae-Hyuk is better than "Charming" Hay-kyong.)

People are at least calling out Jae-Hyuk on occasion but No-eul keeps on getting a free pass from all.

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The cuteness has been reduced to 5 minutes of the drama and we are are stuck with almost an hour of the ex's shenanigans. I must echo everyone here, never have I disliked ex's so much in a drama. How can you be both annoying and trash, you should never be both. Do Hee's reaction was inexplicable, initially we can chock it up to shock, but afterward she should have called the authorities. That was dangerous behavior. Yikes

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Update on my murderous intentions:
I loudly suggested Do Hee to swing the pan effectively when she discovered him in her flat. Just get it over with.
I wished Jae Hyuk's hand would get infected and cheered that he didn't go to the doctor. I was actually trying to see if there was a black line starting at the wound winding up his forearm.
I was hoping that he would just lie on the couch and stop eating or drinking altogether.
When Jae Kyung threw a punch I cheered as well and hoped for some lethal punches in the next episode.
What have I become? What has this show done to me?

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Ha, I just saw that I have leveled up to become a Noble Idiot! Well, at least there is a positive outcome to all the ranting. Goodbye, Water Maid, hello, one of my most hated tropes (how fitting)!

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Heh, I wanted Do-hee to swing that pan with purpose than dash out of the house into Hae-kyong's waiting arms. Then Hae-kyong delivers a well-aimed 913-score punch on the psychotic ex and calls game over! I also wanted to toss another unwanted ex and her self-entitlement over the rooftop balcony, and a handbag whack or two against a well-meaning but overly-involved friend. Sigh, methinks frustration breeds violent tendencies 😤

I don't know why, but the show is tossing too many of these idiocy tropes into the mix - noble idiot, almighty idiot, bumbling fat idiot, enraged by idiocy... *heavy sigh*

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I feel ya on the violent tendencies, the reason for choosing FF button is largely for the safety of my screen!

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*then* dash out of the house. Seems I can't type properly, either!

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No shame in that, I am trying to just overlook the fact that I wrote Jae Kyung instead of Hae Kyung... I am sure he understands and is true to his character and a noble gentleman regarding all typos.

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I was actually trying to see if there was a black line starting at the wound winding up his forearm.

You've got me roaring with laughter. My family is in another room; they probably think I've gone mad.

This drama has made me both mushy and stone cold. To our OTP: I wuv wuv!!! To No-eul: "Wrap it up, girlie. I don't have time for your stupid tears."

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This series has got my moods swinging like a pendulum depending on who's onscreen. My ears are ringing from all the bells jn my head.

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Thank you for the recaps. I'm currently watching this drama on iQIYI and I love it! Your recaps help me to understand the drama even more because I'm not Korean, I don't understand some of the details. The recaps help fill in the gaps. Thanks again! Now back to the drama. It is so good and I'm sad that it's underrated. It's ending soon but I wish there would be an extension of this drama or a season 2.

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Sorry to be pushy but more recaps please!!! I need recaps to fill in the cultural etiquette that I'm not familiar with. Also, episode 14 (27 & 28) ended so tragically. I hope oppa is okay.

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Fellow Beanies are also quite helpful in explaining stuff so do feel free to ask. Cultural nuances that are notable in this episode is Hae-kyong's use of banmal/informal speech. In Korean culture, informal speech is reserved for close relationships, otherwise it's rude. Hae-kyong initially addresses Do-hee as "Woo Do-hee-ssi" (Ms. Woo Do-hee), then it became "Do-hee-ssi" (Ms. Do-hee, first-name basis bit still polite). In this episode he tries addressing her as "Do-hee-ya" dropping the honorific and almost an endearment. (Note that this is how Jae-hyuk calls Do-hee). This change in the name also signifies that Hae-kyong and Do-hee's relationship is becoming more intimate. Considering that Hae-kyong is normally reserved and polite, his awkwardness is really cute. Do-hee also uses "noh" the informal form of "you" when talking to Hae-kyong.

Also in Episode 9, Hae-kyong says "johayo" or "I like you," to Do-hee which is already a love confession. In Episode 11, he says "saranghaeyo" or "I love you," a deeper and more intimate expression. 😊😊😊

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Thank you the insight. I really appreciate it!❤👍

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Thank you for recapping this drama. I always visit Dramabeans whenever I'm watching a drama coz oftentimes, there are some things lost in translation with the subs.

I share the sentiments of others here who find our OTP adorable and Kim Hae-kyung devastatingly charming. What's nice about his character is that he's so decent and such an old-fashioned gentleman with his manners. And it's so sweet how he cherishes Do-hee so much, even from the time they first met and he still didn't know her name. He's kind of like Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice. SSH is killing it as Hae-kyung! I've only ever watched him in "My Princess" and "When A Man Loves". He has always been eye-candy even then, but he didn't do anything for me. But in this drama, I find him very charismatic. And his acting here seems more natural and instinctive compare to his earlier dramas.

Seo Ji Hye's Woo Do-hee is wonderful and a far cry from her Seo Dan in CLOY. What actually made me watch this was seeing her as the female lead because I loved her portrayal of that North Korean socialite. But her character here is nothing like Seo Dan and that makes me admire her acting skills and like her all the more. Woo Do-hee is quirky and lovable, flawed but with good intentions. And she hides a vulnerability underneath her tough demeanor.

This drama isn't exactly a magnum opus but I love it for what it is, although I can't help but wish its execution were better. The story potential is excellent and most of the actors are really good, but in the hands of a more adept writer, this drama would have been truly wonderful.

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I have to say, watching this series, the biggest found for me was Jae hyuk. Gosh this actor!!!! Where has he been or why did I not know him earlier!!! Omg the way he portrayed Jae hyuk. His emotions, his expressions, his breakdown, his realization, his everything! HE IS SUCH A GOOD ACTOR!!!

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Lee Ji-hoon was superb in Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung. He's not a exactly a romantic figure (though he has sweet flashback scenes with his wife and he's got great chemi with the FL) . He shows tremendous emotional range as he strives to uphold his principles, support of his colleagues, and fights with his father. Available on Netflix.

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I watched up til ep 6 or something for Rookie Historian but I am not a fan of the drama itself so I dropped it. Haha! Didn't pay attention to his character back then but I do remember his face after seeing the pictures. I am really really looking forward to his next project! (Also he was on the variety show I watch this last week "Searching for Houses" lol His personality surprised me haha!)

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Where do you watch that variety show?

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It is in Chinese subs tho. But I see Eng sub on the typical sites (I dont know the rules here regarding not official licensed sites but if you search the name of the show and "eng sub" on google you should be able to see it.) He was on ep 67 on 20.07.19. This is the show's name. mydramalist.com/33242-where-is-my-home

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Reading the comments here, I am glad I am not the only one disappointed with the tropes here.. sigh. But, my biggest peeve of all, why not change your door passcode for 5 years?

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Can someone explain to me why Do-hee didn't tell Hae-hyung about Jae-hyuk breaking into her house when he came to check on her because she sounded weird?? I still don't understand this and it's hindering my enjoyment of the drama.

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