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Start-Up: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread

With our team assembled at Sandbox for the hackathon, it’s time to see what they’re made of — and how they stack up against the competition. Our band of wonderful misfits have to face some hurdles this week, and while they’re not always graceful about it, their hearts are in the right place. And they’re going to need all the trust in each other that they can muster, because there are start-up mountains (and a big bug) ahead!

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

So much goodness to unpack this in this week’s episodes! We ended on a great high note last week, with the Do-san, CHUL-SAN (Yoo Soo-bin), and YONG-SAN (Kim Do-wan) agreeing to recruit Dal-mi as their CEO. We celebrate this high with the team, and it’s as if we step onto the start-up rollercoaster with them as well.

With 48 hours to put together a team, and then create a business model, a working prototype, and convincing pitch — well, let’s just say there’s not a lot of sleeping at the Sandbox hackathon. The team decides to go with Dal-mi’s idea of leveraging a bank’s handwriting data set, and the flannel trio quickly put their programming skills to work.

At the neighboring table, In-jae’s got her top-class team of fashionista AI programmers that are infamous to our flannel trio for their “dine and dash” approach to their work. We know our team is different, and that there are more blood, sweat, and tears in Samsan Tech than anyone can count — and they’ve only just begun.

The competition is tight, but it also pushes them to succeed. But, outside competition isn’t all they have to deal with, and during the hackathon we see the beginnings of dissatisfaction in the team — namely, why Dal-mi is the CEO when she can barely define machine learning. It sets up the internal struggles our team will face later, but in a way I’m glad to see them getting all this out of the way now.

Dal-mi’s pitch at the close of the Hackathon is fabulous, and I’ll admit I was just as nervous as she was as I watched her walk out on the stage. What fun to see her overcome her nerves and nail the presentation. It all but guarantees them a spot in the Sandbox residency program… until In-jae and her “Injae Company” (puh-lease) rock the boat for Samsan by “outsmarting” Do-san’s algo.

It’s a humiliating moment, but our team still makes it into the program thanks to their sheer talent, and a mysterious Korean-American investor ALEX KWON (Cho Tae-kwan) that we’ve been seeing glimpses of. Trust him or mistrust him, the dude rides around on an electric unicycle, champions Samsan Tech, and is not shy about his interest in Do-san’s genius skills.

Samsan as a part of Sandbox means a whole lot of geeking out, rejoicing, snack-snatching, air-bound hugs, and all sorts of delightful things. While the team is going through their emotional high, though, we’ve got Ji-pyeong.

He’s been lurking (quite literally) during the entire hackathon, and his level of emotional investment in Samsan and its players is probably my favorite thing about this drama. I love everyone, but there’s something about Ji-pyeong and his outsider stance that grabs me. He’s so curt and rough with our little newbies, but you can see how much he cares about them, their success, and of course about Dal-mi and her happiness. Gahhh.

With a successful hackathon under their belts, now it’s time to focus on a bit of business strategy — viz., Samsan’s need for a majority-holding “key man” — and Ji-pyeong plays his hardass role here again. He puts them through the ringer, but I was so glad when Dal-mi chose him as their mentor. They need this sherpa guide.

Our team has only been at Sandbox a few days and already we’ve seen them undergo a lot of growth — and growing pains. Setting up their business plan turns into a major disaster when no one wants to give up their shares for the benefit of the company, and it turns into a huge fight for the flannel trio, and a dose of introspection for Dal-mi (and 461 text messages to Ji-pyeong) around what it means to be a leader.

With a little bit of guidance from Ji-pyeong, and a lot of courage, Dal-mi does what it takes to make a firm decision for the business. And for the flannel trio, they might have been squabbling like school boys, but they reconcile in the end, after crying over some spilled milk. Lots of spilled milk, actually.

We watch Dal-mi take charge this week and fill in the CEO shoes for real, so it’s interesting that what we learn about Do-san is less about his abilities and more about his earnest and kind heart. We hear from his parents how much Do-san gives up so others don’t have to lose, and it was such a nice way to show how his actions are always led by empathy.

We’ve seen how sensitive he is, and how the criticism he’s endured hit him quite hard. We also get a close look at how the lie he’s continuing to spin is weighing him down. Do-san might knit out his feelings into adorable scrubbies, but I wish he didn’t have so much internal conflict getting in the way of him enjoying all his recent success.

Do-san is anxious to tell the truth about Dal-mi’s penpal and thus get rid of the potential danger, or “bug,” in their company (I love that these boys think in code). However, our drama finds a convincing way to keep the thing perpetuated, even though we were this close to it getting out.

While at the eye doctor with the boys, Do-san witnessed halmoni’s secret visit to the doctor, and it creates just enough of a reason for him to keep his mouth shut. While I wanted the truth out in the open, I also like the total believability of this: there’s no way Do-san would step on someone else just for his own peace of mind. And so, he takes halmoni’s cue and says nothing.

Every conflict in this drama is so rich, you wouldn’t think we’d need more, but we also have In-jae cementing herself as Dal-mi’s swing-stealing nemesis. Not only is In-jae willing to hit below the belt and position herself as a direct competitor during the hackathon, but we find out how she’s even willing to steal her father’s legacy to be successful. Yeesh.

The confusion around which little girl Dal-mi’s father was talking about — who was playing on the swing and became the metaphor for Sandbox — well, that was intentional. It’s confirmed that it was indeed Dal-mi… and then we see In-jae stealing that story, and all of its meaning, for an in with Director Yoon (A.K.A. neck pillow CEO).

Finally, a further wrinkle emerges in our tale when we see Director Yoon having witnessed a suicide, and then see that the writer of the infamous “I want revenge” message on the Sandbox wall is closely connected to the suicide… and to Samsan Tech. I have no idea where this is going, or why we even need it, but I’m game to see where it takes us. There’s a lot of story here, that’s for sure.

As ever, each episode of Start-Up has a million details and touches that make it a joy to watch. Whether it was Dal-mi grabbing snacks with the boys instead of ridiculing them, or Dal-mi putting Jung Sa-ha in her place, or my favorite moment of all — Ji-pyeong opening the water bottle for a shaky Dal-mi — I’m here for the bigger story as much as I am for the wonderful moments this drama delivers.

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Dear halmoni, haven’t I sobbed enough for your scenes with JP? Why am I crying for DS’s too?

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Halmoni brings all the sobs. Her character truly restores my faith in humanity

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Part of me wants to think that, "Vision loss is probably just a part of ageing, right?"

But most of me fears that this is a terminal disease. Halmeoni noooo... 😭

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My utmost fear... Like, please Noooooo

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I am also leaning to this though! Not some brain tumor or else. Just don't take away our Halmoni yet, show. Jebal. 🙏

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Halmoeni is Dal-mi and Ji-Pyeong's sandbox. Ours too! Don't do anything to Halmoeni, writer-nim! :'((((

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I sobbed so much at her scene with JP and even with her ex daughter in law.

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Thanks for the recap! I found myself annoyed with Do San this episode. His inferiority complex around Ji Pyeong is irritating, because even though the latter could stand to be kinder in his approach, he tells them the truth. Do San dislikes Ji Pyeong because of his scathing appraisals and sees him as competition for Dal Mi’s affections, but Ji Pyeong has only served to motivate him and the other San’s to actually move forward with their business endeavours. He even protected them from being taken advantage of and their ideas stolen.

Ji Pyeong doesn’t sugar coat things and gives it to them straight instead of sparing their feelings, which catalyzes the group’s progress if nothing else but to prove him wrong. I think the problem is that Ji Pyeong gives a blunt assessment of things. If they hadn’t won the Sandbox competition, Do San would have essentially wasted 2 years of his and his friend’s lives on a failed endeavour; FACT. Thankfully, things worked out, but this doesn’t change how close the prediction came to being true. I’d rather he be totally forthcoming with his professional opinion instead of needlessly complimentary and fail to help them progress. He’s harsh, sure, but that seems to be exactly what the Samsan’s need.

At his core, Ji Pyeong is an analyst, and this trait helps him be fairly objective. With the exception of who really wrote the letters and his true identity, he’s brutally honest, even with Dal Mi. He let her know where she was underperforming as CEO and spurred her on to do more research, helping her arrive at a solution. Ji Pyeong is an important part of the team because of his outlook and willingness to go without taking credit.

Notice that Do San wants Dal Mi to know how great he is, but Ji Pyeong isn’t comfortable with that attention and even shies away from Halmoni calling him “good boy.” Do San’s dad says that he’s selfless, but I think up until now, he has been careless. He never cared about any of the things he gave up, so they can’t really be called sacrifices if they did not matter much to him. Do San was content to blend in because that suited him at the time, but once this role is no longer convenient, he turns competitive and almost aggressive. He tells Dal Mi a lie about his connection to Ji Pyeong and tries to establish barriers between Ji Pyeong and Dal Mi so that all communication between the two will essentially go through him. He will not back down easily or give up on Dal Mi, even though their bond is born of deception and they don’t share as much in common.

She has a similar outlook as Ji Pyeong and they share a kinship that’s unmistakeable. Dal Mi notices Ji Pyeong, even when he tries to blend in or hang around the sidelines. If she were truly smitten with Do San, no one else would matter, but Ji Pyeong seems to give her pause, which Do San notices and is bothered by. Honestly, Do San isn’t some great martyr to me, but a sloth who seems slow and harmless, but has razor sharp claws. He...

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...He wants Dal Mi, so he’s determined to make a relationship happen. He almost feels entitled to it. This vibe rubs me the wrong way and though I was mostly ambivalent at first, I’m throwing my support fully behind Ji Pyeong. At the end of the day, he’s the right choice for Dal Mi who he supports and is helping become a better person by offering necessary criticism, instead of just blindly going along with her. Do San has his family and friends for support, but Halmoni and Dal Mi are Ji Pyeong’s family, even if he has yet to realize this.

I’m tired of him feeling indebted to Halmoni and bad for Dal Mi because he went to university and she didn’t. Gratitude is a bad thing if it prevents you from seeing things as they truly are and Ji Pyeong’s true feelings are obscured, tangled up in a sense of duty and gratitude. I have no doubt that he likes Dal Mi, it’s obvious in his sense of care, concern and eventual jealousy, but I think deep down, he doesn’t feel worthy. As though some part of him will always be the kid with holes in his shoes and nowhere to sleep. I hope he gets over this soon and sees how deserving he is!

FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked seeing the backstory of the Samsan Trio because I’ve begun to appreciate their friendship more. I hate Chul San’s tendency to look down on Dal Mi and others but felt better when he ate humble pie at the end; maybe Sa-Ha’s poor treatment of him is deserved. Also, In Jae is the absolute worst. Is there even a place for someone so shameless? I am unable to sympathize with her on the basis of her having felt abandoned by her dad and Dal Mi knowing what an opportunistic, calculating person she is. What a bad sister! I think she should end up making it big but have no one to share it with.

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I love your comments because that is exactly how I feel/see things.

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Agree! Do-san was really irritating... and I'm annoyed at how Ji-Pyeong keeps getting sidelined, and how Dal-mi might end up with Do-san... :(

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All we can do is keep the faith and cheer him on! The show is amazing and well written, so at least we have that. I think the show just might surprise us :)

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I don't think he's being sidelined. I think things are progressing rather quickly, so much so that I'm convinced Dal Mi will not pick Do San. He seems like the obvious choice, but at episode 6, the progression of feelings and emotion seem premature. How does he know that they will never argue/disagree? On what basis does he like Dal Mi, beyond her pretty face and ability to finesse their way into Sandbox? Do San is engaging in second lead behavior, I think, and trying to strong-arm his way into things, but that is not how relationships work.

Dal Mi will probably date Do San, but ultimately choose Ji Pyeong.

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Thankful for your comment, I appreciate you <3

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Well, kinda hope that the writer redeems dosan's character just how she cemented jipyeong's character into a strong lead one (especially in episode 1, were i felt dosan's character was just a cameo). Loving jipyeong character, except for him still being so harsh to others (except now for dalmi and halmonie) is a no no. Writer nim its been 6 episodes already please don't turn the "genius" but naive, low self esteemed dosan into a head over heels, jealous, "taking advantage of lying" success driven guy. Writer nim we are waiting for dosan's strong points as well, please don't disappoint. Team jipyeong and dosan here may the best man and woman (dalmi/injae) wins!

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@Rachel I feel it going in that direction for Do San! He totally felt like a cameo the first episode and so far he hasn't impressed me. So weird that Ji Pyeong feels more and more like the main male lead! Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for the Samsan's to succeed career-wise, but not on board with Do San as the true male lead. I want our girl Dal Mi to crush it as CEO, but I'm positive Ji Pyeong is the right choice for her.

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Very well said. It's completely how I feel watching this drama. I'm really enjoying the interactions between Halmoni and Ji Pyeong. The childhood story of Halmoni helping him and Ji Pyeong becoming someone successful despite being an orphan is very touching. Although Han Ji Pyeong is the second lead, I enjoy watching his story unfold and his character development way more. I think he's like a porcupine that may be a bit spikey emotionally but is actually a softie on the inside. He really needs friends and family and not to be alone. Of everyone's story, his story is actually most interesting to me.

I want to see Dal Mi and Do San succeed together but also grow out of their superficial interest in each other. Do San is actually a frustrating character for me. I have a hard time watching Do San and Dal Mi together. Ji Pyeong is just so much better for Dal Mi.

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I find your analysis of Ji Pyeong interesting and compelling. I agree that his struggles with guilt and indebtedness blinds him to his true feelings for Dal Mi. But I also believe that his harshness has always been a crutch that he uses to keep people away and he has never matured past that even with Halmoni's care. This lack of maturity rubs me the wrong way. For example Do San's reason for not telling Dal Mi about the letters is valid, what is Ji Pyeong's? The company? The truth is going to come out at some point. As their mentor, shouldn't he want to minimize the emotional and possible financial fallout? As he said if they quibble about this small start up money then they will not be able to deal with larger growth. Why not let the fall out happen when they are small enough not to suffer from it? Another example is when Do San confronts him about his feelings for Dal Mi. His reaction is so immature. He is honest to the point of harshness when it comes to criticism. I wish that brute honesty would extend to his emotions towards people he is supposed to care about.

As for your assessment of Do San, I can't agree. They only ring true if many aspects of the story are ignored. 1. You said he dislikes Ji Pyeong because of his honest criticisms that have acted as motivation for the group. But they havent really. They were criticisms with very little guidance on how to do better. Ji Pyeong saves those only for Dal Mi. His care or interest in the company all stems from his care for Halmoni and Dal Mi. 2. If they hadn’t won the Sandbox competition, Do San would have essentially wasted 2 years of his and his friend’s lives on a failed endeavour; FACT. This can only be seen this way if we completely ignore how his two friends came to work with him to begin with. Do San saved his friend from having to spend the rest of his life paying back a company where he no longer had a job. Two years worth of work would not have been enough to have earned back that money. So even if his friend had lost two years of pay, no he wouldn't have wasted his friends life. 3. Do San was content to blend in because that suited him at the time, but once this role is no longer convenient, he turns competitive and almost aggressive. Again I disagree, notice his reaction when Ji Pyeong explains the issue with the distribution of shares. Before it is even suggested or brought up he volunteers to give up his shares. Or look at his choice to continue with the lie that Ji Pyeong built along with Halmoni. It would be in his best interest (of winning Dal Mi) to come clean now, but he agrees to live with his chronic guilt so that Halmoni can see Dal Mi happy for a little while longer.

"She has a similar outlook as Ji Pyeong and they share a kinship that’s unmistakeable." I dont agree with this either. As you said: At his core, Ji Pyeong is an analyst. Ji Pyeong is very analytical and bases his decisions on reason. Probably why he is rejecting his feelings for...

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her now. Dal Mi is not. In fact the whole premise of her familial relationship is that she places loyalty and emotion over logic when making decisions. The whole reason she is doing this is so that she can prove that her emotional decision to stay with her father wasn't wrong. (at the same time Ji Pyeong made the logical decision to leave with his money and go get rich). She didnt go to college so that she can purchase a food truck for her grandmother. Ji Pyeong is not so self-sacrificing, he probably would have made the logical but kind decision to finish college and then save up money to buy back the Halmoni's store. I mean it is hard to ignore the parallel to his leaving and not contacting Halmoni for 15 years and In Jae's leaving Dal Mi. I mean he is doing all of this now to pay back his debt, but what was he doing for 15 years? It never occurred to him to look back? I mean she did say dont contact her if he's well, but he didnt even check up on her without her knowledge. Like he just dipped out. This is a stark contrast to Dal Mi's fierce loyalty and consistency. At their core, they don't match. I very much like Ji Pyeong as a character. I think he is written with interesting complexities and quirks. I would have been happy watching a show just about him, growing up as an orphan and his eventual success, as the main lead without the other characters. I look forward to seeing his continued development, but at no point do I believe that he is a strong romantic match for Dal Mi.

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@lynnb At least we agree that Halmoni and Ji Pyeong's relationship is a pure beacon in this show. The bow scene and fake introductions had me cracking up, they're both crooks lol

With regards to Do San, I think he's learned more about how to open up to experiences like love and exploration. I recall that his words to Ji Pyeong regarding sailing off without a map were that the writer of the letters sounded "eccentric." Later episodes show that he's even willing to pretend he believes in blood typing influencing personality for the sake of appeasing Dal Mi. Yet, we know he's inherently a very rational person, hence his tragic dating history.

I personally don't like Dal Mi and Do San together because it feels like such an unstimulating romantic relationship. I see them being successful in business and great partners for SamSan tech, but he's such a yes man when it comes to her that a real-life relationship between them doesn't seem plausible. He's arguably morphed into a worse version of himself and detours from the gentle giant of earlier episodes into someone more aggressively inclined. This does not bode well. Relationships should make you better, and while he does open up and finally confronts issues of his past, I'm not easily convinced that him being with Dal Mi is what's best. You can disagree, but I do think Dal Mi and Ji Pyeong are more complimentary. Do San and Dal Mi read like new, puppy dog infatuation, but in my heart I believe Ji Pyeong and Dal Mi can build a future together.

Again, while I'm biased towards Ji Pyeong, I hope "Start-Up" manages to surprise me in a good way 😄

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@lynnb I appreciate the way you put your argument forth, thank you for sharing your thoughts. You brought up some interesting points, for instance Ji Pyeong not contacting Halmoni for 15 years being a parallel to In Jae. With that, I think your earlier comment was correct regarding the irony in his lack of brutal honesty when it comes to his personal feelings. It could be that he got wrapped up in business and setting up his life, making that sweet baby cash flow, and never looked back. Or maybe was ashamed to call. I mean he did wrongfully accuse Halmoni of stealing his money and left shortly thereafter, maybe the rational choice to him was staying away. Seeing her at the corndog stall brought back memories and he jumped back into her life, but it would have been nice if he called before then.

Drawing back to how the show has handled the separation between In Jae, her grandmother, and Dal Mi and her mother, I don’t know what to think. It’s as though they lost each other’s numbers, the will to call or the ability to write all at once. These are fundamental relationships that just evaporated once distance was factored in. Nobody called, and I can’t help feeling like if neither of them kept in contact, how was he supposed to? Younger Ji Pyeong didn’t even take Halmoni’s number. I find this especially disheartening since she appears to be the closest thing to a mother figure for him. Again, maybe you’re right and it’s a show of dishonesty with regards to his feelings, but I think he needed to keep in contact with them and should have. Had this happened, I doubt there would be as much conflict today, and at the very least, he would not be so lonely.

Coming to your point about their difference in personalities. I do think it is possible to share kinship without agreeing with everything a person does. For instance, looking back at the scenes where Dal Mi gave Do San the plant and Ji Pyeong nurtured it, and the “sail off without a map” statement, I see evidence of an understanding. The comment went clear over Do San’s head, but Ji Pyeong understood the metaphor right away. The plant ended up being an analogy to his feelings about Dal Mi. Initially he didn’t want to face them and thought they could be discarded away like garbage, (ridiculous, I know). However, they demanded attention and he began caring for the plant, which I think was when he finally allowed himself to give into those feelings that he once childishly denied. Dal Mi gave the gift to Do San, but Ji Pyeong was the one to treasure it.

Although I may not be a fan of Do San, I will commend him for owning his feelings. I could argue that being an orphan shaped Ji Pyeong into someone closed off emotionally, but it doesn’t change the fact that quickly admitting what he felt would have served him greatly. He had the strong connection with Halmoni and Dal Mi through the letters, so he would have easily gained her support and had a better chance of winning Dal Mi’s affections. He...

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@lynnb ... should have opened himself to love.

Moreover, I see the way they handled telling her the truth in the end. I don’t know how far you’ve watched, but their approaches are starkly different, and while Do San ignores her request for space, Ji Pyeong makes his case and backs off, even clearing up her misunderstanding about Do San. This calls back to earlier episodes where Dal Mi says she prefers a guy who listens and does not make decisions for her or insists on having his own way.

I have to say, Do San really didn’t have that much to gain from telling the truth early on. He was a stranger, hence why he keeps asking Dal Mi what she likes about him, trying to establish a connection that isn’t there right away. She replies that she likes what he did for her via the letters and his hands, which becomes important because they are the hands she sees supporting her. I could talk about how Ji Pyeong also leant his support, silently helping out, but the fact is he did the work behind the scenes. The person Dal Mi saw was Do San, his hands and physicality, not the spectre Ji Pyeong opted to be. But Do San keeps going with the lie because he liked her and did not want their interactions to end, which would have surely happened. She would not be as forgiving as in later episodes and he’d lose out on his chance of being with her.

Also, I know it sounds awful to say, but Ji Pyeong did not owe the Samsan’s advice. It’s clear that he’s only interested on a personal level if Dal Mi and Halmoni are involved, but in real life he wouldn’t be indebted to giving them a leg-up in the business world just because they asked. They didn’t even have a proper profit-business model, lacked a strong CEO and leadership, but expected him to get them into Sandbox. How? He couldn’t even get Dal Mi into Sandbox and she had to make it on her own merit.

I don’t think Ji Pyeong is without faults, but it is absurd that they first tried getting into Sandbox through his connections, and when that failed, asked for a large sum of money to lie. He was a stranger to them and in the same way that Do San did not have to show up at the event that night, Ji Pyeong didn’t have to become their mentor just because they admired him. Again, he was harsh with putting down the offer, but it’s easier to be mean than kind or open when the world has given you very little of the latter and more of the former.

Finally, I don’t know why he did not just tell her the truth. I think he was trying to minimize complications but ended up making way for a bigger mess. It is my belief that he didn’t take the Samsan’s seriously and probably thought they wouldn’t succeed or would give up before their time at Sandbox was over. If he did consider them a viable business, he probably wouldn’t have involved them to the extent he did, hence the lies. He just didn’t take them seriously. However, by the time he comes around to telling the truth, he is interrupted from doing so by Do San whose...

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@lynnB ...feelings are more obviously involved. I don’t know what to say, it’s a bit of a tangled mess, but I look forward to seeing how it resolves and enjoyed talking about it with you.

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@mewcrazy Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. I haven't seen past the 7th episode. I take long breaks in between each one. Honestly I enjoy the way Ji-Pyeong's character is written so much that I feel that adding the romantic interest in Dal Mi is a fault produced by a lack of editing. It was one too many aspects added to his character arch. It is so unnecessary that it seems questionable. I believe that the most compelling emotional interactions in this show have been between Halmoni and Ji-Pyeong. Every time they are on screen together they manage to simultaneously break and mend my heart. Even the scene where they pretend to meet for the first time, the little awkward bows were somehow moving. I want more of that. I want more moments between them where she, by sheer force of character, compels him to open up to others. I want more flashbacks. I want an explanation for why he never thought to check on her for fifteen years. I want him to find out about her blindness. I believe he would be the only person who would not react in pity, because of his personality. Instead I can see the loss of her eyesight being a catalyst for his emotional development. I want to see him grow into a maturity that allows him to be open about his emotions.
A romantic tone to his relationship with Dal Mi is in my opinion so unnecessary. Please note that is his romantic interest not his general interest in her. It would have made more sense if he saw her as a little sister.

As for the metaphor that is something I noted, but I came to a different conclusion. At first it went over Do San's head and Ji-Pyeong had to explain it was a metaphor, but later you will recall that Do San explains to Ji-Pyeong that he wants to live wandering without a map and Ji-Pyeong discourages the idea saying that it was just a metaphor. While he understood the idea, it is not the way he lives. Also, note how both MLs dealt with her approaching her mother's husband for a project. Ji-Pyeong worried about the financial consequence to their fledgling company (of course because he cares about her) but Do San worried about her emotional reaction to having to interact with a man she hates.

I almost wish this was two separate shows so that Ji-Pyeong could get his full story, because I don't think he will here.

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This I hope would create a great character development for Do San and which is why I think Ji Pyeong would serve as the anchor for this budding biz kids. Ji Pyeong has had his shares of pain and sufferings that makes him understandably blunt, no nonesense person. I really, really hope JP won't be tied down merely as the "second" lead but the better one who motivates and encourages the 2 leads in this show. 🙏

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Agree. Cause it would be such a shame to reduce Ji Pyeong into "the guy who didn't get the girl" because we already know he won't.

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😭 yes!

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Yap agree. Let's face it, Show pretty much has decided on Dal Mi and Do San pairing from the beginning. Just have a look at the trailer and the promo material. So please don't trap Ji Pyeong in a cheap attempt of love triangle. He has so much more interesting relationship angles to explore:
- the cutest friendship ever with halmoni
- the reluctant bromance with Do San
- the mentor-mentee with Dal Mi and our SamSan boys
- anyone shipping Ji-Pyeong bickering with his AI/Siri-alike- thingy at his home?

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I definitely ship JP with his AI :)
And I want more of the bromance because JP grew up ALONE! He needs this squad 🙈

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I love Seon-ho here!! He's blunt yes, but he's a softie in the inside. His words to both Seo Da-mi and Nam Do-san was great and inspiring. He said some sure harsh words but necessary words to both of them.

Kim Seon-ho is super dashing here. I really hope he goes the route of the writer's 2nd ML in I Can Hear Your Voice, and plays someone who likes our FL but sees through the greater good of it all, and instead helps bolster our FL and ML. That is what I'm hoping for.

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Same! I’d rather cheer him as the best guy here!

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I really think adding him as their mentor was a great idea! It's giving him a family that he has never had :( That aspect is very heartwarming so I hope they don't go that route.

But honestly, isn't the writer known for 2nd ML's that know their worth and aren't the pushy/annoying types? From what I've seen, they're smart/mature and don't overstep their boundaries. I just hope its handled in a mature way that doesn't interfere with Samsan tech.

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I really want to see peoples reaction on this. DS lying and then compare with IJ(the sister) lying saying she was the girl. Both were lies to get what they wanted, but from some comments on another site, IJ got more hate for it.

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I think the two main differences would be that with Dosan you can clearly see he feels bad for it and wants to come clean while Injae doesn't seem very apologetical so far. Also, Injae made up the lie herself but the other lie was started and maintaned for years by Jipyeong and halmeoni, so really if someone should come clean about it I feel it should be these two. Halmeoni is an amazing person but she spent years by Dalmi's side hearing about "Dosan" all the time and yet she hasn't cleared that misunderstanding, and Jipyeong helped look for Dosan instead of just coming clean that it was him and then kept helping them to maintain the lie so I feel I can't really fault Dosan for all of this. I actually find it hard to reconcile that ALL of the characters I love are deceiving Dalmi.

That said, I sort of agree with a lot of the points in the main comment about Dosan, especially the way he feels threatened by Jipyeong. Honestly, I think it's just sad that both him and Injae thought they couldn't achieve what they want without having to lie about it so I mostly just feel bad for them.

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it's hilarious how people are bending over backwards to justify jipyeong being an asshole to dosan. good intentions do not excuse bad behavior. bc he's right doesn't mean he can trample on people below him.

we have no idea what would've happened to samsan tech if jipyeong hadn't come along, but they certainly would not be closing their doors as you suggest. alex's interest in dosan shows that there were good things in store for them. but this takes away from the "jipyeong!savior" angle, so no one wants to acknowledge it.

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I disagree. It was obvious that aside from making some killer code stuff, they had no plan beyond that, to the point where they did not even have a clue as to how to market it.

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if alex was out of the picture, i would agree with you. but he came to meet samsan tech with intent. you think a top venture capitalist wouldn't be able to find a capable core team for this clueless engineer?

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If HJP had not arrived in time, Samsan Tech would have given away the ideas along with the code. Alex would have arrived too late.

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They might have lost their brightest idea before Alex came along. Remember the scene where Jipyeong stopped them from giving everything to the fake investors? Had he not done that, it was bye bye SamSan right on that day.

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Definitely from his childhood trauma having grown up as an unloved orphan whom no one even wanted to adopt, and was just released into society by the time he hit legal age. So cut him some slack. He has a lot of psychological traumas to overcome. He didn't grow up in the same loving environment as Dal-mi or Do-san.

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Am glad someone other than me also notice do San competitive and on the borderline aggressive side

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@Rose, It is not attractive to me, if anything this attitude makes him stick out all the more. He's an imposter.

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Just picked up on the drama this week (mostly out of curiosity of all the videos of their meme scenes lol) and boy what a pleasant surprise to have found such a gem.

I've always attributed this writer as the writer that converted me to kdrama (WYWS was my first deliberate kdrama pick-up) and I was in awe how coherent and intentional the writing was to bring about the plotlines and I see it here again in Start Up. The story was wonderfully laid down and is progressing in a way where the decisions made by our protagonists are in-tune with their character and backstories that it makes sense.

What a beautiful, heartfelt drama and I'm so excited to finally have something to look forward to every week from here on.

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Thank you for the weecap and insights, @missvictrix!

Each episode is just packed with moving parts, but I wonder if that handwriting AI recognition tech will ever be used to reveal who is or isn't Dal-mi's childhood penpal?

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OOOHHH. I've also noticed how much the show focuses on hands, you're probably right.

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And now that Do-san had improved the algorithm to detect even the handwriting fonts from Injae Company, I'm excited how it will turn out!

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I hope so!

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It's either the AI could discover that Do-san's handwriting doesn't match that of "Do-san" or to prove that Ji-pyeong is actually "Do-san." Either way would be cool!

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I got mindblown by this thought. You're right, since they are writing letters, what better AI tech they should do than a handwriting detection. That's bloddy brilliant!

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Whooooa, saaaame! *picks pieces of brain off floor*

Good eye, @lszj09!

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Mind-blowing. That would be cool!!

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With so much going on and stories to explore, I do wonder if the revenge plot is necessary. So long as it ties in well with the main plot then maybe it ain't that bad.

I knew halmoni won't have a smooth sail. Do they have to add that she's losing her sight?? TT__TT Ji-pyeong will be so heartbroken when he discovers this... maybe this is the 13hrs of crying Kim Seon-ho mentioned in 1N2D......wait, let that not be her death because Show, I'M GONNA FLIP TABLES and weapons will be taken out!!

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Agree to this, it'll be war if show take away our Halmoniii

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It's one of the charms of the show so I won't stand still if something happens to her.

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Yes, she is!

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Sign me up for the flipping tables and war if anything happens to our precious halmeoni!

#ProtectHalmeoni #SaveHalmeoni

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I agree that the revenge plot seems like a filler, why? Don't we have enough with what we want? Could we focus on our sisters and make them communicate and solve their problems? Have them talked to their mum and grandma?

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Right??? And more Halmoni&Ji-pyeong scenes!!

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I love everything about this drama except the love triangle, is it seriously necessary since we all know Dal-mi is going to end up with Do-san anyway? It was seriously hard to watch the ending scene of episode 5 because on one hand I was trying to enjoy Do-san and Dal-mi's squeal worthy hug, but on the other hand seeing Ji-pyeong's fallen face made my heart break for him. When I first started watching kdramas I would vehemently avoid dramas with love triangles for this very reason but now I can't avoid them due to my love for the actors in it, but I hate love triangles and watching this drama made me realise how much I hate it,

I was holding my breath when Do-san made the decision to reveal everything to Dal-mi but I should've known it wouldn't come to fruition, also I'm so sad that Halmoni is sick, her relationship with Ji-pyeong is so pure and I love their scenes together so I really hope she's not seriously ill :(

I really hope Dal-mi is not kept in the dark about the letters for way too long, this situation is so icky and the longer they keep it from her the bigger the 'bug' is going to get, it also makes it hard for me to root for the main couple because, like Do-san, I can't tell whether Dal-mi likes him or the person in the letters, and when she finds out it's Ji-pyeong I don't know how she'll react (ahh this situation is so messy)

Also I have a theory that the person looking for revenge might be one of the developers that work for In-jae, the male twin, since he came up to the same floor where In-jae's office is. During the scene where Do-san goes to look for Dal-mi (episode 5 i think?) he greeted him but Do-san didn't notice him and I don't know I found the relevancy of that scene weird so there might be more to it but yeah I don't know maybe I'm getting ahead of myself

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I'm with you on the male twin and yes, I too think that scene has some relevance

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Thirding this, as I had the same vibe.

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the male twin HYEON is a HUGE suspect cause that scene WAS weird.

so i did an AI image recognition analysis on scary hoodie one's jeans and hyeon's jeans here:

https://twitter.com/ltung23/status/1323319283536039940?s=19

results are saying that hyeon is NOT the hoodie one cause the hoodie one was wearing more of a bootcut slimmer jean while hyeon was wearing more of a relaxed fit jean. but alas, hyeon may enjoy different jean styles?

... and i'm a nerd. 😆🤓

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This is some badass analysis!!! You rock!

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Yes, way to go.

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hahaha i sense some sarcasm here hahaha @hazelnuts @oldawyer 🤣 love it

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@ltung23 noooo sarcasm here, I am impressed!

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Oh my gosh I love the 3 Sans. The milk scene had me dying.

I get distracted when Jipyeong is spouting knowledge because I'm thinking of Seonho on 1N2D, haha.

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Don't worry, I feel you! Haha! Even when JP is laughing, its so natural because I see it all the time in 2D1N!! Hahaha

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my friend who is an avid fan of 2D1N said she cant concentrate watching genius investor jipyeong
lmao

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Hahaha! Count me in! Seriously though, what a big break for him, this show is!! He deserve the love he’s receiving RN 🥰🥰🥰

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So excited for him. 😁

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Hahaha when I see JP being cool & smart i keep thinking of SH blur face in 2D1N

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The blank face he has for almost a year now!! Hahahaha

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I'm so glad I don't follow 1N2D but i feel you. I have the same issue watching Seung Gi and Sang Yoon in drama after following Masters in the House.

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Hahaha... I'm taken aback whenever Jipyeong shouts and being the straightforward person that he is, because that is not how Seon Ho is in 1N2D. But he really is believable as JP.

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It suits him, JP is SH 🤗

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right? he such a good actor

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Actor's variety personas usually don't affect how I see them in their roles, but I admit, after seeing Kim Sun Ho on 1N2D I can't help laughing at him playing a genius.

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On the other hand the milk scene shows one of the basic flaws about why they have been stuck in a basement for so long - "you can't tell me what to do" WOMP!

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Aaaah. I think I'm under Ji-Pyong's spell and my brain is trying to remind me in every scene with him that he's only the second lead. Note to my brain : Work harder!

I was disapointed they made In-Jae stealing the story of Sandbox. I think she needs to love herself and accepted the choice she did in the past. A connection with her father could have helped her to do that.

Do-San is funny with his buddies, cute with Dal-Mi but frustrating with Ji-Pyeong. His anger is not really fair. Ji-Pyeong is very cash when he's giving advices and they're very objective and lack some empathy, but he's not totally wrong. Without him, the trio wouldn't be there and Do-San wouldn't have this relationship with Dal-Mi because his friends would have destroyed her selfconfidence...

Grandma's new health's issues weren't expected. At least, she has Good Boy to help her :p

The revenge plot was surprising. I like the CEO, I hope it's a misunderstanding and she didn't play an active role in this suicide.

I didn't recognize Alex as the cute canadian doctor in DOTS.

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Oh! I was trying to think why Alex felt so familiar! Thanks!

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You're welcome! I saw a post on Instagram with 2 pictures of him, one in DOTS and in in this drama.

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Oh that's who he is?! 👏👏

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I am still not convinced that In-Jae stole the story. From what I can gather, both sisters were a part of it. And that BOTH part is what is missing from her story.

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But even if she's a part of it, she used it with the purpose to "seduce" the CEO of Sandbox.

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i'm turning into a HUUUGE injae (kang hanna) stan cause i heart boss bishes, but i sadly admit that i think she lied on her sandbox app. cause when asked by neck pillow CEO if IJ's the girl on the swing, IJ doesn't respond directly and answers, "you know my father right?" screencaps here:

https://twitter.com/ltung23/status/1323140505656610816?s=19

my prediction is that injae jealously saw dad pad the sandbox from afar, which played in injae's choice for momma. cause they flashed the faraway view when IJ overheard the sandbox story. screencaps here:

https://twitter.com/ltung23/status/1323140488015347712?s=19

how this lie will play out for injae company (which unlike missvictrix i like haha) and DM will be INTERESTING!!

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Episode 5 (Hackathon)
During this episode, I knew that Alex Kwon came from San Francisco so I loved this one of Start-Up minor characters.
In epilogue, Do-san's parent got drunk when his father called him a drunk! Another part of this episode's epilogue, that Do-san called him a "living buddha" when he lose while he used as a stepping stone.

Episode 6 (Key Man)
At the beginning of this episode, after an another victory, Dal-mi looked for Ji-pyeong, who made jealousy after she and Do-san hugged each other... but unfortunately, Ji-pyeong was gone while he's busy as a key man (and mentor). That scene made me hilarious.
Meanwhile, the next day at Sandbox, I felt incredibly shocked that Dal-mi and Do-san both wearing the same clothes, same color, whatever. Hahahaha... that kind of style while working at Sandbox? Okay, fine for them.
Dong-chun got 100 million won investment where the four main players are: Ji-pyeong, Alex Kwon, Sun-hak and Doo-jung (In-jae's father-in-law). In-jae disappointed with Doo-jung and chose not to pick him after he declined during her interview and she chose Sun-hak instead.
Ji-pyeong woke up another day by he got 450 Dal-mi messages... so he rushed to bookstore to answer her.
Chul-san got a milk scare and I still shocked that he might get blind soon so the boys moved into the next level.
I loved that mysterious epilogue brought us to close this week's episodes. A hooded person threatened to revenge for Sun-hak (hopefully, I didn't know that Sun-hak will be a loser for a while?) when this mysterious person puts a flower in the bridge and looking from parts of someone's past when the snow fell down (it's winter already, right?). At the present day, this similar hooded person standed outside Samsan's office.

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For some reason, rather than being interested in the Hackathon and what Sandbox could give to/make of our new entrepreneurs, I’m rather interested in Han Ji Pyeong and his numerous hilarious facial expressions. He is such a relatable character than Seo Dal Mi, which is surprising, giving the fact that Dal Mi is expected to be more grounded. But the thing is, nobody in this world is perfect and Dal Mi being generous of the profit sharing makes me think that she’s either a saint or her character is written too poorly. Obviously the latter is the problem. Dal Mi could be grounded if she could use her brains and solve the main lie, but she’s too busy living in the clouds, trying to outsmart her big sister and prove to everyone that she’s more than a pretty face. While Ji Pyeong is rightly selfish and thinks a whole deal before he does something practical, except maybe drink water. Was it like the 9426146848th time he spit out water?

In Jae is the only person who is so far proving that. Her rivalry with not only Dal Mi, but also with her step father is turning out to be (surprise surprise) something I’m looking forward to every week. I’m normally someone who is more interested in the main actors’ love stories and whether they have chemistry, but so far if you remove the pink shades, you can see that Dal Mi and Do San doesn’t have chemistry as much as you want them to have. Rather Dal Mi is in love with the person who wrote those letters to her, not the owner of the name. Of course, Do San comes off as a pushover, ignoring his friends and focusing on his career only because he has something to prove to Ji Pyeong and because of Dal Mi. The three idiots storyline this episode proved that they are indeed human, because that fight as childish as it is, showed how much the three of them have grown together as individuals and as a team without a girl coming in between them.

Ji Pyeong is still my favorite character even if In Jae and San Ha are close seconds. Alex also seems like a paper cut out. That actor was better in Descendants of the Sun, I wonder what happened to him. He’s acting like a baby with the mooning over Do San and Samsan Tech. Speaking of mooning over Do San, why do I get the feeling that the boy twin has a crush on Do San? I have a feeling that the twins are going to give Samsan Tech quite a ride.
Honestly to me, the best relationship this drama yet has is with Ji Pyeong and Yong Shil. They are adorable together and of course Yong Shil is the only person who knows Ji Pyeong entirely.

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Ji and In-Jae are still my favorite characters. But the girls mother is not far behind. Still not sure about the step dad. So many moving parts that might all change next episode...

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To be fair, Dal Mi allowed Do San to have majority of the shares because remember that she just came into the picture. She was hired as the CEO of Samsan Tech. I wouldn't say that her character is poorly written because her fighting for the biggest share would actually be out of character since she knew all along that she was just a newbie in the company that was long formed before she even decided to pursue her goal. She also isn't after the money after all, she is after the success of the company (which she knew was in the hand of Do San) in order to prove to her sister that she isn't a loser for choosing her father and that she's still bound to be successful and have a good life despite living the life that her father and grandma could best provide for her. I think the writer also wanted to show that she is just like her father. Her father wasn't always after the profit. He prioritized the growth of his company over profit which the director of Sandbox was iffy about but also trusted in.

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What I loved about Dal-mi's decision to have do-san be majority stockholder is that it proves that she has learned to think objectively about the company and her part in it. And that she did it after receiving cryptic advice from Ji-pyeong: The CEO is the bug. She took a hard look and realized that the true "key man" was in fact Do-san- now properly named as the CTO (Chief Technology Officer). In a Tech company like Sam-san the CTO is actually more important than the CEO- but yes you still need a CEO. Dal-mi figured this out in a few hours- proving that she thinks on her feet (important in a CEO) and is taking her new role very seriously. In some ways she is already a better CEO than her sister.

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Thanks for the recap!
Its getting interesting right beanies?
I just hope the lying game be over so we can focus on really, starting up! Haha. Its painful to see them (almost all of the characters are now involved) lying and being caught up with this big fabricated story!
I love all the comic side of the show so please, don't turn this into a bucket-full of tears for Halmonii (Dad's passing and JP/Halmoni separation already did it for me, enough show) 🤧
And again. I want my own Jang Yong Shil 🥰

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I liked these episodes more, it was more focus on the business, but how many new story lines were introduced in episode 6? 4 or 5 by my count. We dont need that. There is already enough to cover. I guess thats why the episodes are so long, so we can get all the answers in the last episode.

They are all supposed to be these smart, with lots of knowledge in their field, but still have so much to work on and overcome, I like this message. I can sympathize with all characters, they all have something to overcome, a hustle... except... Dal Mi. There is something missing there, I dont know what it is.

No to the lets cover a lie with another lie. Thats is gonna hurt.

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For sure we could have done without the revenge thing. And that lie cannot last much longer.

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I'm not interested in a love triangle so I hope they don't delve deeper into that. Also, I don't think it's necessary. Ji Pyeong is more than a lovesick second lead. No need to reduce him to one.

What I want, however, is a deeper exploration of what's going on with Injae because right now she's coming across as too one-dimensional. Injae and Dal Mi kept on saying they never regretted their decisions, and I honestly think that both never truly fully recovered from what happened to them when they were kids. Everyone's lying in this show. With Injae and Dal Mi lying to themselves.

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Totally agree with you about InJae.
I need less revenge and more sisters, tbh.

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Got caught up on Start Up last week and am beginning to love it, mainly because of Halmoeni and Han Ji Pyeong. Love, love, love their scenes even though I was crying about the gimbap in school trips and scolding bullies parents. 🥺❤️

Also love the -san brothers. What a hoot with the spoiled milk! 😂😂😂 And them spazzing over their office is so cute and funny. Btw, I want a desker.

I find it a little hard to believe that Dal-mi forgave the lie Do-san told her that easily. Was it because they were penpals for a year? I’m not totally for any loveline yet because of all the lies, but my heart is soft for Ji Pyeong.... and his dimples. 😅

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Yes, yes, yes! Halmoeni's speech to JP about how she wished she'd met him sooner had me bawling like a baby. What a brilliant act of pure love - to hear someone's underlying fear that they had been a huge burden to you and to counter it with a comment that rather than less of you, I wish I'd had more. Precious. Absolutely precious. JP's reaction was perfect - that single tear (how could you *not* be moved by that?) but then a desperate attempt to save face and keep it together, which was totally in character. This was a perfect 2 mins of drama for me.

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We’re caught up with another dimple dude heeeere chinguya!! Hahahaha

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Yes we are, @hazelnuts 😆 But I’m not complaining! Hahaha! So are we team HJP? Me thinks the ship may not sail though 🥺

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Yes we are in team HJP! 🙆🏻‍♀️🙆🏻‍♀️🙆🏻‍♀️
But our ship with him as Captain, Halmoniii and his AI as his crew team is already enough for me! 😂
Show just don’t break his heart too much 🙅🏻‍♀️

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add me to team HJP as well. i’m so in love with Kim Sun Ho and his dimples.

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Yey! My dimple-loving-chingus!! @123gog45 @shichybot 🥰

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Where do I sign up for the dimple squad?

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Dimple squad, here we go! 🤣 let’s just root for our HJP’s happiness 👍 @hazelnuts @123gog45

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Lets go! HJP cheering squad!! 🥳

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i have a feeling the other dimpled boy you love is Kim Min Jae? if so, i’m aboard that ship too. he’s currently my favorite actor right now.

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Oh no!
I’d have said not again but hehehehe, any guy with dimples already got me 😃 I’ll be waiting on the sidelines for now because... cry in heartbreak😢

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1) shichy-ssi is calling us all to root for ... wait for it, wait for it ... A NOONA ROMANCE BETWEEN JP AND GRANNY!!! and what's crazy is ... none of you are that grossed out by it! the power of tying shoe laces and saying "good boy."

2) shichy-ssi, did you not catch why dalmi forgave dosan? cause she lied to in trying to impress queen injae. so she understands why dosan lied a bit. oh, and the big monster hulk hands. 😆

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HAHAHA OMG, Dalmi with her hand fetish! 🙈🤣 I find her line "I never regret my choices" very bull-headed so I guess she's gonna stick it out no matter what. Time will tell. ☺

Don't blame us for the halmoeni love. Writer nim gave her the most heart-fluttering lines:

"Don't call me when you're happy... instead, call me when you're having a rough patch, when you have nowhere to go..don't just stand in the rain". 😭😭😭

"I wish I had met you sooner". 😭😭😭

HALMOENIIIII....❤❤❤

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DANG, those lines are CRAZY romantic!!! more romantic than "something in the rain" and "my lovely sam soon" combined!!! 🤣🤣 (which is what it's going to take to meet the age gap but i digress)

i wanna watch the show with all the jipyeong x halmoeni stans here and scream, "HALMOENIIIIIIIII!!!!" ♥️♥️♥️

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Yes, I agree. For someone who is madly in love, I think Do San pretending to be a hotshot CEO is easily forgivable, especially that Dal Mi herself was also lying to her sister about being successful. She understood it well since they both had the same "objective" of proving themselves.

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Do San needs to get it together because right now he just feels like an opportunist to me. But I think we will be able to witness his growth in the upcoming episodes so I'll be looking forward to that.

Also I do not like the idea of Do San being the one to reveal the truth? I don't know. I feel like Grandma and Ji Pyung themselves should be the ones to tell the truth because they are the only ones who could explain the motivations behind it and they have the right to reveal it themselves. In a way, it felt like Do San does not have the right to? If you get what I mean. lol. Which was why I personally don't like the scene where he told Dal Mi that she could ask him instead of Ji Pyung for whatever she's curious about. Because Ji Pyung has the right to converse with Dal Mi and has the right to be frank with her when he's ready to. But I guess it's a scene to highlight his insecurity. We've seen glimpses of it here and there. Which is why I can't wait for him to actually win Dal Mi over by his own means. Because right now, one of the reasons why Dal Mi likes him in the first place was because of the letters which she believed was written by him but was actually written by Ji Pyung using Do San's name. So in a way, he was taking advantage of that which was why I had to call him an opportunist 😂

I do enjoy how the relationship between Dal Mi and Do San feels like a blooming friendship as of right now. It doesn't necessarily feel romantic yet maybe due to the lies that surround it and also because they literally only got to know each other over only a few days. Even though Dal Mi might think that it was a friendship that have spanned over the years.

I also can't wait to see how the dynamics would change once Dal Mi finds out that Ji Pyung was her childhood penpal all along.

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While Ji Pyung is my favourite character, I do like the idea that Do San is a character that has a lot of growing up to do and we will be on this journey with him throughout the series. As of right now, he's a bit too naive and too trusting. He has a 'go with the flow' type of personality and lacks organizational skills. I mean who opens a company without proper planning and research? He also lacks autonomy and is easily controlled and influenced by what others do and think. Which can be seen by him constantly agreeing with whatever Dal Mi's decisions are without much thought about his own opinions. While it is nice that he puts his full trust on her but it is also quite naive of him to be so trusting of her when he barely knew her and he's also disregarding his position of having a say in the decision making. I think I get where Ji Pyung's frustrations came from and he is right that Do San do not have qualities that befits a CEO if he continues to be this way. Our boy needs a wake up call and that can only be done by Ji Pyung. Ji Pyung's word may be harsh but in this case where a character like Do San (whose head is too far in the clouds) needs a taste of reality, it can be extremely helpful.

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Yes, his naive insistence that he and Dal-mi will never argue or disagree seems to be a clear indicator that this is *exactly* what will happen down the line. And at that point he will be utterly crushed before learning from it - which is something he desperately needs to do.

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I think that Dosan getting 63% and the CEO getting so little shares was a HUGE mistake. In-Jae did it right - and she learned that lesson the hard way.

As far as Dal-Mi's naïve assertion that they will always think the same way, she has a lot to learn, and I think that when the Big Lie gets found out that will be the trigger. There are many good reasons why the CEO of a start up has at least 51% of the shares - Bill Gates was one of the very few entrepreneurs to also be a successful CEO.

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as JP said, a "key man" only has to be the most important person at the company, not necessarily the CEO. and that's DS. even DM knows that if she gets into a fight with DM and DS leaves her with 60%+, there'd be no company to keep.

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Do-san's character makes so much sense to me, having spent my life around engineers. He tends to think of things in terms of black and white, on/off, he is naive when it comes to people's motivations and assumes outward behavior is a reflection of inner truth. It is also a truism that very few engineers make good CEOs - people forget that with Apple, Wozniak was the tech geek, Jobs was a marketer. Bill Gates quit college to take other people's ideas and sell them for top dollar. I'm not knocking their skills, I'm just saying that Ji Pyung is spot on when he is saying that for all Do San's epic skills he does not have the chops to be CEO.

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I've "seen" all of the episodes to date; I did a lot of fast-forwarding through scenes I didn't want to sit through, but I've found plenty of moments to enjoy.

I fell head over heels in love with Nam Joo-hyuk in "Weightlifting Fairy," but haven't been moved to check out any of his later work, until now. I watched "Start-up" because of Suzy, whom I like seeing because I think she's so pretty and I don't mind her acting, but really, mostly because it was on Netflix. I did NOT know that Kim Seon-ho was in this. I was utterly charmed by him in "Strongest Deliveryman," but haven't seen anything else he was in since. He has blown me away here.

I have two LOVE moments from previous episodes. First, the scene where Do-san read Dal-mi's old letter out loud in the car as Ji-pyeong was driving, I thought that was weird and would be cringy and awkward (I don't know a single man who would willingly sit through that situation, let alone two), but Ji-pyeong's reaction shot, showing that he totally understood Dal-mi (AND with his mouth quirked gently to one side, thank heaven for you, Kim Seon-ho), made it all worth it.

Second, the scene where Do-san explained that he had never received a text from a girl before, and Ji-pyeong snarked that his family must be so proud, and Do-san responded with a heartfelt thank-you – I laughed SO hard. For me, it was even better than the national-anthem scene, because it was totally a throwaway moment, but so well-done. I love them together. If only the writers hadn't decided to turn Do-san into someone who's suddenly hostile now that he's jealous!

In this latest pair of episodes, my favorite scene was Ji-pyeong's with Grandma, when the tear escaped Ji-pyeong's eye and he flounced off before he lost his dignity altogether. The gruff affection between those two prideful characters, always trying to out-pride (and out-gruff) each other, gets me every time, but this was the moment I knew (not that I had any doubt) that Kim Seon-ho would be an actor to watch out for, not just to squee over. It was also poignant that Grandma understood that, no matter how far Ji-pyeong has come, he's still deprived, in some significant ways.

On the one hand, in these latest episodes, Do-san is finally becoming more attractive to me, probably because he's also getting more alpha. On the other hand, I don't enjoy seeing his antagonism to Ji-pyeong. It's totally just because he's jealous, and to me, possessiveness is a sign of entitlement, which, NO. Therefore, I am still firmly on the second-lead train.

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Can I say that I like Jipyeong no nonsense fact bomb approach? and he did it with Dalmi too. Pls dont turn him into bitter jealous 2nd lead later, show.

and Seonho said he filmed 13 hrs (!!) crying scenes so I think we need to be prepared beanies. heartbreak and tears are coming...

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i forgot.

i hope when the truth is out later, it come from halmoni or jipyeong cause hearing that from a 3rd party (dosan), that will hurt dalmi even more imo
i hope they have chance to explain to her directly

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yes preach! preferably from halmoni! (but not on her deathbed 🙏)

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I’ve already said I’m conflicted about the show. As much as I love the SamSan trio, JiPyenog and Halmoni, I’m not invested at all with both FL as they only seem to be plot devices for the boys to shine. It can be just a metaphor of how women are shadowed in this industry or as CEO (I’m remembering again the scene in which InJae realises her stepdad has just been using her).

I want to see more of InJae and DalMi, but not related to others but about their growth and their relation. I don’t like the way the show tries to “sell” us InJae as the evil sister. DalMi has been as mean to her and yet show is making her the good one. I don’t like this trope, sincerely.

And the revenge plot just makes me roll my eyes. Really? The plot was interesting enough not to introduce a revenge... about what? Boring. I guess this one is Alex, I don’t trust a man who never stops smiling.

My favourite thing is JiPyeong. And my second favourite thing si DoSan. But right now I don’t know if this is enough.

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I just dont understand why this show doesn't let Dal Mi shine when there are so many moments. The ending of episode 6, her talking to her grandma with the broken leg, her decision to not go to college for her grandmother. It's the fact that they dont focus on this which makes me think that they're using Dal Mi just as a plot device

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We've already talked about this on your wall. I just can't understand it either.
The sisters relation and their relation with mum and grandma could be so interesting, and they are just looking aside. Makes no sense.

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My eyes were teary during that conversation between DM and Grandma. So touching.

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You said what I think makes me continue to root for Injae still. In fact Dalmi is so mean to her too, and she always starts the fight whenever they see each other so I am disappointed that the writers are portraying her as just a meanie. Seriously, Dalmi does not need a meanie sister to overcome. She already had a lot of immaturity to grow out from.

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To me, it makes no sense that In-jae suddenly turned "evil" and after finally reuniting with her sister, all she wants to do is belabor the point that she made the right choice. Like seriously? And no hugs?
And now that In-jae is pretending to be the inspiration for Sandbox, we can pretty much say bye to any hope for some sisterly love before ep 16.
Also, I rolled my eyes at the revenge and halmeoni illness subplots but I guess there's a lot of space to fill in 80 min episodes (but apparently not enough for more character depth).

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I can’t agree more with you, while wishing we were wrong 😕

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I like that the show is taking time to build the relationship between Ji-pyeong and Do-san. I think that it really got to Ji-pyeong when Do-san declared that they are now brothers.

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I really dont like the separated family sub plot. There's so many plot holes that bother me and they do take away the shine from both female characters. The stupid 'my-choice-is-better- than- yours' fighting make both sisters look petty and immature. More fitting to high schoolers rather than two mature capable women. It makes it harder to fully invest in Dal Mi and In Jae.

This show has about the same amount of makjang as weekend dramas. Maybe the writer is doing it in purpose? Playing off the juxtaposition between the high tech industry with old fashion tropes? Whatever it is i wish she dials down the tropes way down.

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"This show has about the same amount of makjang as weekend dramas."

If I am being 100% honest, Start Up feels like the B side to Weekend Dramas plots involving the younger stars. Not staying that's good nor bad, but as you mentioned I thought about this a few days ago too lol. It has the same vibes we seen in Weekend Dramas with the younger actors there as in typical underdog tale of them rising up from the bottom to the top like Start Up but with the added budget of tvN and more focus on the younger cast (90% younger/10% older) vs. a weekender where its mostly 60/40 with younger/older cast.

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I totally agree with you!
It looks like a KBS weekend makjang drama in a new cute tvN package to me.

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FLs as plot devices??? ummm do you not remember the hackathon in which the two FLs absolutely crushed it? and how DM saved samsan tech with her strength and strategies in ep6?

this is still a great FEMALE POWER in tech show, about the reunion of two sisters. haha, samsan bros gets an extra 20 minutes of focus in ep6 and the FLs become plot devices hahaha.

sincerely, guy who-is-way-too-obsessed-with-show, sounding like a street preacher at the corner hahaha. i apologize; i'll exit stage right. 🤭

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I agree with you! 🙋‍♀️ I'm holding your plackards and streetsigns as you preach, ahjussi! Show made sure each (main) character shined in the last 6 eps. I hope it stays that way!

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thank you my kind and witty pal. but i feel bad for sorta snapping. my lunatic stan self should be locked up in a cell ... otherwise know as injae stan twitter. 🤭

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I caught up with all six episodes of the show in two days, and basically I love it. It makes me laugh out loud constantly, which I haven't had in a while (unless we're talking about More Than Friends, which is essentially a tragicomedy), and the emotional moments stake me through the heart. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I even like Suzy! I never thought that would happen! This is exactly what I hoped Park Hye-ryun's comeback would be.

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This show makes me teary eyed at least once a week and I'm not complaining. Also am I the only one who's not feeling the SLS yet. I dont feel anything very strong between JP and Dal Mi to give me SLS. Also the Samsan trio have my heart. This bromance is adorable. I loved how at thr end of episode 5, Do San's drunk parents ( lol that scene though) told Alex about Do San giving up things for others. The poor guy doesn't mind losing so that others can stand up. And I get his mom when she said that he lacks ambition. Do San is the kind of guy who is naturally blessed in a way that he doesn't lack material things and doesn't want anything from life either. He could easily get a job as a coder and earn well. Ge wanted to build something but he was only interested I building it. Do San needs both Ji Pyeong and Dal Mi, one to tell him things as they are and teh other to give him the necessary push. I sobbed when I saw why Dal Mi quit college and her dad's quote is something I'll keep with me for life. I am praying to god that grandma's eyesight isn't a symptom of some terminal illness. I live that lady to the core. I hope the show focuses on Dal Mi and In Jae jn the upcoming episodes. Also Dal Mi stepping up and making the decision about the shares while putting Sa Ha in her place was amazing. I was really proud of her.

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Chulsan's reservations against Dalmi are warranted. Who would trust completely a person they just met weeks before? This conflict has led us to identify that it's Dolsan who's the key man for Samsan Tech. We also see so much growth for our main couple - Dosan on how it is to be ambitious, Dalmi on what a CEO entails.

I'm glad that we are shown how deep the Samsan guys' friendship is. 💗

Injae's is being poised to be the contrast to Dalmi. I'm hoping they'll collaborate later and beat Stepdad.

Oh Han Jipyeong. I cannot imagine how Grandma's diagnosis will devastate him. 😢

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Chul San was in the right with his reservations. It's just that the guy is chaotic in general. I too loved

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He can be annoyingly realistic but an important member of the team. We are viewing Dalmi with trust because we know as viewers her motivations and that rose tinted filter on who she is because she's the ML. Admittedly, I'll also ask the same questions as Chulsan given the situation. The person who is too naive and trusting is Dosan.

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"chaotic" is the perfect descriptor for chulsan lolllll

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