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.
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.
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.
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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