Dal-li and Gamjatang: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
The plot around the gallery and redevelopment might be uncovered, but it goes far deeper than we expected. When a well-kept secret about our heroine is revealed, it shakes up many areas of her life, and opens up the doors to an even more manipulative plot.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Dal-li and Moo-hak’s sexy times get interrupted by Chak-hee’s arrival on his doorstep, and poor Moo-hak is soon kicked to the curb. The girls stay in his apartment while he’s forced to sleep upstairs on the floor with Won-tak, with a roll of toilet paper as a pillow lol.
As much as I want to focus on the cuteness and how much I love these characters, unfortunately I spent much of Episode 11 suffering from Forest PTSD when Lee Do-kyung appeared in our drama as Dal-li’s horrible uncle. He’s the nastiest of men, insults Dal-li to her face in every way possible, and tries to erode the lovely relationship she had with her father. Because the secret is out: Dal-li was adopted.
I don’t think anyone that knows Dal-li (in the drama or in the audience) could think that she was ever heartless and/or thoughtless towards her father, and perhaps that’s the worst part of her uncle’s attack. Her inheritance is under threat, but it’s so much more than that to Dal-li — her whole world is again tugged out from under her feet. And slowly but surely, bits and pieces that I didn’t think too much of come together around the idea of her adoption.
To start, it seems like that’s where she first met Won-tak, which while tropey and sweet, also changes his adoration for that family a little in my head. Also, Dal-li’s intrinsic understanding of art is something that already existed in her as a little girl, and we see a great example of that. But to top it all, we learn that Dal-li’s “illegitimacy” as Cheongsong daughter is the reason why Tae-jin broke off their engagement. And yet, the plot thickens…
I’m glad I didn’t let the stress of Dal-li’s uncle get to me too much because the ending of Episode 11 was so delightful, it’s surely one of my favorite K-drama scenes of the year. Dal-li has been hiding from the world and no one can contact her. She’s shattered by her secret being revealed, and she believes she’s going to lose everyone the way she once lost Tae-jin.
Moo-hak heads to the museum to look for her, but misses her in her office. But this scenario is ripe for a beautiful moment between them, and the drama knows it. So, when they do meet, they have this wonderful exchange where she’s upset about everything, and Moo-hak reassures her, not even mentioning the adoption ordeal — not because he’s sweeping it under the rug, but because it’s a total non-event for him.
Both Dal-li and Moo-hak shine in this scene. She’s all weepy and worried what he will think of her, and he’s such a gentleman, injecting just the right amount of humor into his comfort of her to make this the best scene ever. And then it gets even better; Dal-li reaches out to him tentatively, and then wraps her arms around him. Moo-hak comforts her, remarking that she’s still a little kid. It’s precious.
While the mayhem unfolds around Dal-li at a troubling pace, the joy of this week’s episodes is seeing it pull Dal-li and Moo-hak closer together. Dal-li needs the support, and Moo-hak is at the ready. Moo-hak is also rising to the challenge, and showing lots of nice character development.
When we first met him, money was all, but now it’s clear his priorities were actually quite straight. He knows how to value people, and even integrity, above making a return, and I have to say, seeing him lay into his awful father was quite satisfying. I enjoyed getting a bit more backstory on Moo-hak’s early years as much as I liked to see him hold his father accountable for his behavior.
We hit a lot of plot points with our baddies this week as well, whether it was learning that Assemblyman Ahn abuses Chak-hee (never thought I would feel for her), or that he ostensibly stabbed Moo-hak’s stepbrother in the back, breaking off their connection with the redevelopment deal.
Then there’s the utter bedlam that Shi-hyung has created, going to extensive measures to hide his drug use and lay all the blame on Dal-li’s father. It seems like the final straw in this massive agenda to tear down Dal-li, the gallery, the family name, and her father’s image.
The worst part of this plot is that it becomes clear that Tae-jin is pulling all the strings. He has fooled me so many times! When he’s with Dal-li he seems so sincerely taken by her — and maybe that’s true, but it’s also true that all his money and social class can’t hide the fact that he’s Not a Nice Man.
It’s Tae-jin that’s pulling the strings of Dal-li’s uncle, eventually having him withdraw the inheritance suit and instead beg Dal-li to get back together with Tae-jin. It’s also Tae-jin who’s suppressing all possible leads around Shi-hyung and the truth about the gallery’s ties to drugs. Won-tak is surely a force to be reckoned with, so I hope he will be enough to overpower the political advantage that Tae-jin has in the investigation.
In the middle of the chaos of the plot this week were so many more tender moments between our couple, and no shortage of silly hijinks. But what I love the most, and what is finally crystallizing for me, is why this drama as a whole is so fun, and that’s the collection of characters.
The more I watch it the more I’m convinced this is a Dickens novel that’s been rejigged for dramaland. The story uses so many of the same elements, from the colorful scene-stealing side characters, to the lore around the families, scoundrels scheming for inheritances, spurned hearts, and heroes and heroines fighting against all odds.
Faithfulness, love, goodness, greed, desperation, misery. Dickens always gave very strong attributes and motives to his characters, and we’re seeing the same thing here as the driving forces of our story — especially with the Tae-jin plot. The thought that he’s been manipulating circumstances to strong-arm Dal-li into marrying him is just as terrible to think of as it is wonderful as a crazy plot line. And barring a penultimate week break-up for our OTP, I’m very much looking forward to how they will come together and find their happy ending.
- Premiere Watch: Dal-li and Gamjatang, Hometown
- New poster and stills for upcoming rom-com Dal-li and Gamjatang
- Scams and burgeoning romance in Dal-li and Gamjatang
- Opposites attract in teaser for Dal-li and Gamjatang
- First script reading for Dal-li and Gamjatang with Kim Min-jae, Park Kyu-young
- Opposites attract in new Park Kyu-young, Lee Jae-wook KBS drama