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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.

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MooHak stepped up this episode and so proud of him. It was indeed satisfying to see that he has more going to him that all the bluster about money. He is more of a man than his father, brother, SiHyung and TJ will ever be.

Dali is smart and accomplished. I am happy that she has a man like MH on her side amidst everything the world is throwing at her. I hope she will not be blindsided by TJ's tactics and promise of a solution to a problem he created.

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Why is Dal Li surronded by so many trashy ad shameless people?(with Tae Jin and Uncle up there)
U can actually count on one hand the good people in this show…
Curious if Tae Jin does all this things to force Dal Li to marry him no matter what...
Kim Min Jae really is amazing in emotional scenes,like the one with Dal Li in episode 11,the ending one and with his father in episode 12...He truly shines in this type of scenes...Also the last scene in ep 11 filmed looks so great...

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Money and Power has a way of showing a person's real character. Despite the veneer of wealth and status, these people are just human with their own wants and desires.

I think that getting Dali back is not the main goal but more of a bonus. But if the end goal is to really get Dali back, Dali should run the other way fast. TJ is more controlling than I wouldve expected him to be.

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I've read it from somewhere that money and power don't change a person's character; they just magnify all the characteristics the person has already had.

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I’m really confused about Tae-jin’s motives at this point.
Why did he tell the uncle to try to convince Dal-li to get back together with him if he’s trying to ruin her?
Why did he want to stop the news from coming out about her adoption if (again) he’s trying to ruin her?
He broke up with her because she is adopted. What changed between then and now for him to want to get back together?
What am I missing to make this make sense?

also, that scene with Moo-hak's stepmother slapping Dal-li was too much for me. I like this show, I love the two leads, but I don’t like seeing Dal-li in these violent scenes over and over.

on the positive side, Moo-hak comforting Dal-li at the end of ep. 11 was great not only because he helps her to see the normalcy of messed up familial relationships, but because these two are just so natural together. His joke that made her laugh while she was crying, and her slight head movement toward him before she reaches for the hug—oh my heart.

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He doesn’t want to ruin her. What He wants to do arrange things so she will be so alone, emotionally and emotionally drained that when he offers to fix everything she will be forced to turn to him. Beating that upstart Low class commoner new money Moo Hak is also an obsession.

He

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Alone mento and emotionally. Sorry.

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My take on TJ is that he’s sort of person that thinks first before he acts. He wanted to date Darli that was the true heir and daughter of the gallery’s owner who was also a member of the most respected family in SK. That was the Darli he had in mind before letting his feelings develop for her. That was why he rejected her when things weren’t the way he thought they were. Now, I don’t think he was after her for money during the time: he wanted to be in a relationship that also benefited him somehow. That’s why he turns to her now: because he wants the redevelopment plan to go forward and Darli is the person holding the key. I agree with bothers that Darli is a bonus for him at first. But upon seeing this bonus is about to slip away from his grip to someone whom he considers being in a lower class than his, it makes him angry because everything TJ wants he gets it. And I don’t believe he lives here sincerely, too; this is because every action he took benefited him financially in some way.

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*loves her*

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Yes I am also confused about TJ's motives. If he dumped her because she was adopted, why is that now ok? I hope they explain this backstory.

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Tae-jin does not want to ruin Da-li per se, but to isolate her so she has no one to turn to but him. Ruining Da-li (i.e. closing down the museum that is so important and meaningful to her) is just a collateral when he gets her and everything else that he wants - like redevelopment.

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Thanks! That resolves most of my question. But then why does he not care about her being adopted anymore?

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I don't think he does care about her being adopted, I think his family did. That's why they forced him to break it off and marry somebody else. Now that he's divorced and is older with more autonomy he wants to try again.

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Ah, this made me like him for one second as he became Anne and Dali his Wentworth. And now I'm over it and back to disliking him.

This is what I think happened too.

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It's interesting you compared this to Dickens because I was hoping it was more like Oscar Wilde.

Either way, I found this week weirdly dated with tired Makjang tropes: screeching stepmothers and evil scheming Chaebols. It gives the whole thing a vibe of being weirdly dated.

This week in particular highlighted the show's serious tonal problems: one minute romcom, then Makjang, then some earnest Melo about The Meaning of Family. And while I find the discussion about family to be quite interesting, that wasn't what the show was about surely. It was about the relationship between money and art, between the basics of life such as food and the financial space to create. The show is literally called Dali (art) and Gamjatang (food).

Yes I said most of this already in WWW but you can probably tell my disappointment is palpable.

Suddenly it's all about marrying for status and who is and isn't a part of your family. Don't get me wrong, that makes a great theme for a drama. But why is it in this drama?

@miso2019 in WWW referred to its potential as a comedy of manners and I do wish it had embraced the Hepburnesque two-worlds-colliding romcom it was shooting for.

But it is what it is, I guess.

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I'm still curious who tiped off Dad about the drugs,was it Tae Jin himself or was someone else who knew about it?
Seeing that it was filmed and all looks more of Tae Jin involvment as i'm also sure by now it's clear Tae Jin was there the night Dad died...

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This makes me wonder, was it Tae-jin at the door the night Dad died?

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My guess it's him and that's how Loser Big Bro found out and tried to blackmail his way in...
It's just too perfect of a set -up,him having the footage of Dad finding the drugs in the paintings after he was tiped off ...Cremating Dad after right away to hide evidence or add in the lack of one(that he is the one doing drugs),paying the funaral after...At first looked as a gesture for Dal Li but now if it's true it would be beyong low...

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Thanks @missvictrix for planting the Dickens parallels in my brain. While raking leaves I thought about which novel Dali and her prince might emulate.
If it's Bleak House there will be an interminable lawsuit that is won and lost several times but ends with a happy OTP. If it's Little Dorritt then Dali will have lots more smack downs to endure before she unites with her (much older) true love.
Man, Dickens sure put the mak in Victorian makjang. He has tropes and twists enough to put Penthouse to shame.

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This week had been difficult, with 2 painful episodes as the makjang came full force, that I had to FF some scenes. What I choose to remember though are the 3 delightful scenes, all of which KMJ shone. The sleeping together hijinks with won-tak, the confrontation with his father, and lastly that sweet ep 11 ending with Darli. Being able to make her laugh at that moment..wow. there was no kiss but it was still a melting moment. Now, i remember someone was asking what could possibly make Darli fall in love with a loud character like Moohak? I'd say its because he made her laugh. You always fall in love with someone who can make you laugh, and come to think of it, from the very first day they met, he had been doing just that.

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I agree MH being able to make her laugh was the first thing Dali liked about him. And the rest she liked his personality as she got to know MH better.

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You are so right in saying that we love people who can make us laugh..

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I’m incredibly impressed with the way KMJ is shading the Moo Hak character, especially since he’s got these loud, bombastic scenes that pull so much attention at first. Loud is saved for business, and sometimes it makes it kind of flashily into other moments, but it really never gets loud when he’s dealing with emotions that have nothing to do with business. It just won’t happen. He doesn’t do that.

Case in point: when he’s grilling his stepmother about what she’s done to Dali, at absolutely no point was I worried he would hit her. Other loud characters I might, but not Moo Hak. There were plenty of elements there to cause a character choice to make him shouty and get in her space, but he goes right to the other end of the spectrum and is just laser-focused and muted. If anything, Moo Hak going quiet is a sign to the people around him that things are serious.

I didn’t want the episode to end where it did, because after weeks of being Dali’s source of stability, man he could use some sympathy and quiet support right now. He just cut off his family and his business in one night.

That scene was heartbreaking too. That Moo Hak this entire time was not just gritting his teeth to get through his home life, but actually trying to embrace it and forgive as much as possible, and it seems like his father was blind to that effort this whole time. He’s poured twenty years into being the economic engine of that family and it looks like absolutely everyone took him for granted. Starting from the bottom again wouldn’t be easy, but it looks like his dad understands that this was Moo Hak’s tipping point. There’s really no putting the pieces back together now. Moo Hak is out.

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Miranda, you put it so well.

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The story is becoming disapointing...

The adoption : How the father could hide she was adopted when she wasn't a baby... But overall, why? By hidding it, he made the adoption looking bad! Like it was shameful to be adopted. She felt like this...

More the story goes, more I think the father was really stupid! The adoption, the fact he got down on his knees making Dali looking pathetic, the way he handled the galery... It's good to be nice but be smart too.

I knew that TJ said something during the break-up! U guess his family put pressure on him. His character is really not very clear... We know that he loves her, but why he acts like that with the galery is not very clear, it looks like it's his decisions.

Why the police took the pieces of art for their investigation? I mean if they have a warrant for specfic ones connected to drugs... but everything?

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I agree that TJ's character is not clear. Maybe he's just a bad person who wants everything he can't have but it doesn't seem very well motivated.

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I think Tae-jin is a narcissist who wants to possess Da-li and does not care if she loves him or how miserable she would be. He cannot bear her being happy with someone else. It was mentioned that he was divorced, so I guess he just swapped Da-li for someone who suited his business interests at that moment. In the beginning I thought that he must have been under family pressure, but his family is nowhere to be seen. Now I’m more inclined to think it was all him and his cold calculation.

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First of all, let me say how happy I am now that Darli is wearing colorful clothes once again. It was a bit boring to have to watch her wearing black clothes all the time.

Second, the more I watch, the more I despise TJ. That's not what love is about. He just wants her as his possession; no one in their right mind can intentionally hurt someone they love. If they can, that probably means they misunderstand the concept. Seeing how TJ could resort to make Darli's life miserable just because he saw her in love with someone else is just mind-blowing. This man is beyond redemption: he is a complete manipulator and I don't think he is capable of loving another person.

The scenes of Mu-hak telling Darli that he doesn't think of her perceived "flawed" of being adopted anything bad; the way he earnestly said it was so heartwarming to say the very least. I think I began to really like this character at that moment. Sometimes, we judged ourselves too harshly. To hear someone saying that what we deemed inappropriate about ourselves is not an issue in their eyes is definitely a wonderful thing.

I don't think any character is perfect here; but the truth is that there will be some that tug at our heartstrings more than the others. I'm glad that one of these turned out to be the ML for me. So, yes to haraboji @marcusnyc20, I think I'm falling for KMJ... well.. despite his look. :P

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Well @mmmmm, it took 11 episodes but it seems that the KMJ charm has worked its magic 😇. I am kidding of course. KMJ’s portrayal of Moo-hak is not based on charm (in many ways it is the opposite.)
I mentioned in WWW that the D&G writers have given Moo-hak some wonderful dialogue/scenes and KMJ is nailing them.
The final ‘consolation’ scene of episode 11 and the father ‘confrontation’ scene in episode 12 are totally different but through them we really get to see who Moo-hak is.
He has Dali’s back (as does ‘our’ Won-tak) so
TJ will not be the victor here.
On the subject if clothing. My opinion. From the beginning to now MH’s outfits have changed (or toned down) from quite ‘flashy’ to more reserved. Stylish as all get go and as always MH looks great in everything he wears but more professional if you will him without wearing a suit. We will leave the suits to the evil TJ.

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Costume designers chose quite ill fitting suits for Tae-jin, though. I'm sure it's not a coincidence.

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This was such a good set of episodes, emotionally tugging, but still hilarious. My two favorite scenes from both episodes were the end of episode 10, Moo hak and Dal-Li hugging in that beautiffuly shot scene especially that conversation that preceded the hug. It was really nice. I also liked Moo Hak's moment of truth with his Dad, because we've finally been able to see on a deeper level the relationship with the two, and I sincerely felt bad for Moo Hak, especially when thinking abt the bits of background we've been shown. The step-mother was sooo rude to do what she did. She truly is selfish. I couldn't believe when we finally saw the reason Tae Jin gave for giving up on the marriage. How lowly of him! And from this, I think Dal-Li has shown an incredible sense of tolerance toward him since her return! Now, I am confused as why he wants her back 😳, isnt' she still adopted?? Anyways, I cant believe we are only 4 episodes to the end. This is truly my only weekly happy pill at the moment; I think I am in a slump ☹. Hopefully, something else we come out that will make me come bck!

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***end of episode 11! Not 10!

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I had to come and comment because it's been a while since I hated a character so much (Tae Jin) and loved a ML so much (Moo Hak). Tae Jin is so despicable, a typical manipulator with shades of abuse (making it so that someone can only rely on you is a form of abuse). He's truly the worst, and if the story goes where the preview makes it seem it will, I'm going to have to drop this show because I really can't stand to see Dali with him, even if it is a 'strategic business move' or to appease her uncle.

Which brings me to Moo Hak. He's not perfect, but damn is he close to being perfect for Dali. He's so earnest, and you can tell he really cares about her. He deserves better than what the preview insinuated.

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The second half of the season flew by; are we already at episode 12?

I love both episodes except the part Dal Li’s uncle nagging about her being adopted (episode 11) & Chak Hee meeting Moo Hak (episode 12). Both scenes are unnecessary.

It's cute watching Moo Hak trying to console Dal Li regarding the adoption thing. Like, hey its not a big thing, I love you just as who you are, not because you're supposed to be a rich man's daughter.

Dal Li must've felt trauma when she was dumped by Tae Jin 5 years ago, just because she was adopted. How could he asked her to be reborn... The scene was so heartbreaking, I cried with Dal Li in the pouring rain.

I can imagine that Dal Li must've had trauma to fall in love after that. She must've thought that, "Can I find a person who love me despite of my family background?"

I can feel how relieved Dal Li felt when Moo Hak don't mind if she's adopted or an orphan. Moo Hak, you're so sweet!

It also breaks my heart when we learn that Moo Hak's father cheats while his mother was sick. I thought he was a good father. 😢

This scene, I'm speechless. I have a close person who experience the similar situation.. We can't say that Moo Hak should leave his father, but we also can't say Moo Hak should stay with his father.. It must be so hard for Moo Hak...

The fighting during the meeting between Moo Hak & Ms. Son is hilarious! I'm glad Dal Li didn't pick a side while they were fighting. It's cute to watch!

And the reconciliation afterward was super sweet!!

This week ends with Dal Li facing a heavier burden, ottoke… Even Moo Hak can’t do anything about it this time…

It seems like we’ll be entering the heartbreak phase next week; I’m already sobbing watching the preview ㅠㅠ

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Kim.Min.Jae!!

Those emotional scenes, such great acting! From the delivery, tone of his voice, his eyes— you can totally feel the emotions. Totally loved those parts.

I’m still annoyed how 2D our villains are and not really a fan of how cousin and step bro are being played 😅 I’ve been wanting to skip their parts since the beginning.

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It makes me sad to think Dal-li would sacrifice everything to save her father's gallery, including herself and Moo-hak. I'm sorry to see the story heading in that direction, especially after the lovely moments she has had with Moo-hak, and especially after Moo-hak has left everyone else in his life.

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Will Mu-hak have anyone left? 😢

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The OTP in this drama is delightful and I'm loving KMJ and his MH, but everything else bores me to death.
I really can't stand all the slapping; I know they are showing it as something bad, but so many scenes with people slapping/trying to slap women somewhat normalize the thing.

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I just really enjoy the otp together. Their hugs are one of my favorite things about them. So I'm incredibly upset that we seem to be heading into a tropey breakup next week. Can we just keep our leads together?

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I continue to love this show, am so eager for the new episodes, agonize over the wait for subtitles and am also fascinated by all the comments from folks who are disappointed in it.

The comparison to Dickens is great and I am here for all the high drama, the crushing setbacks and the crazy humor. And the turn towards the melodrama works just fine for me. The more crushing the setback, the more satisfying the resolution (or so I hope). I do miss the atmosphere of the museum that permeated the earlier episodes. But I felt like I got a big old dose of "why art is great" with the scene with young Dali and her soon-to-be adoptive dad. What a wonderful moment.

Does anyone else think that maybe Dali knows what she's doing if she heads back with Taejin? Maybe she is there to get evidence and expose him? Moo-hak has certainly been beating the drum about our villain and Dali suspects herself. That is my hope.

And for the trope-y breakup - it's all part of the necessary story beats when the setup has been so broad and brash since the beginning (mistaken identity at the Amsterdam airport, the treatise on the pig painting - I could go on and on). I kept thinking about Romance is a Bonus Book often this week - a much gentler tale, with less high drama moments. There was still conflict between our leads but not like this. I also thought about Search: WWW - good conflict but not quite as melo. I don't think this show ever intended to be something gentler.

About all the slapping - I need to think a little deeper about the physical violence so often directed at Dali. As a Midwesterner, I come from a culture that is ever so nice all the time, and have often found that I long for an loud explosion of feeling in family discussions. The minute it happens, everyone is like "oh s&*t, better clamp that down." So I love all the fighting in kdramas, it gives me an experience and release that I sometimes long for. And having it happen in another language somehow blunts the impact for me.

But the slapping. Hmmm. I agree that it would be great if the writers did not have her get hit again - or have someone try and she stops them. More agency for Dali. The stepmom attack came when she was at her weakest and most demoralized so maybe it made sense she just cowered. I didn't mind the cousin getting slapped, however. That mealy grin on his face. I can't wait for his comedown. And Taejin's comedown.

Well, I'll stop the meandering. Waiting for heartbreak next week.

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I really loved that scene with young Dali crying over the cyclops painting. One of the things I enjoy about this drama in general is that I laugh out loud at least once per episode (this doesn't happen all that often as I think that even with dramas I find amusing, the humor can get lost in the subtitles) and this time, I also cried. The writers packed so much poignancy in that one scene and used art (both the book and painting) as the catalysts so effectively, too.

For me, slapping is almost always unwelcome. Growing up with American soap operas, on which slapping was a staple, I think I was de-sensitized to it. But as an adult, I find it deeply unsettling, whether it's between two young woman, or a woman slapping a man, or an older person slapping a younger relative. I'm not sure if it's fair to say that dramas rely too much on the slap as a device to alert us to the fact that there's a villain in the scene, but do think verbal slapdowns would be more effective than an actual slap. Regardless, slapping is definitely one thing I wouldn't miss if it disappeared from this drama, and dramas in general.

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Sigh, these last two episodes made my skin itch. As someone stated you can literally count on your hand the good people in this drama. The reaction to her being adopted was disgusting to say the least. It really made me dislike everyone except our OTP and Woo Tak.

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I'm a little concerned that this show has stuffed nearly all its plot into the back half, and is suddenly way more makjang than it started out with. But that's a relatively minor complaint, because there's still so much to enjoy here. The chemistry between Moo-hak and Dali is so effervescent that it makes up for everything else, IMO.

I'm a tiny bit confused about something, and I think it's because I read too much into an earlier scene. Several episodes ago, at the museum gala, Moo-hak's dad picks up on the fact that his son is into Dali, although nobody else notices. I thought this was a small sign that the father understood the son, and had some hidden affection for him. But in this episode, with Moo-hak calling his dad out for all he's suffered over the years, it feels like Moo-hak's dad is just greedy and was hoping to exploit Moo-hak's relationship with Dali because she is (or at least he thought of her as) a blueblood. IDK why, but I was so disappointed that we didn't get a better explanation for Moo-hak's dad's behavior, both past and present.

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That's a really good point. I like this show a lot, but I, too, was a little confused over Moo-hak's dad's motives. Even though I don't have a lot of sympathy for the greedy adoptive brother, I was shocked that his father would say that should he be wrong about this latest deal he would completely cut him off from his life. That seemed unduly cruel. And Moo-hak's flashback to his father flirting with the woman he later married was hardly flattering, either. Previously, I had the impression that Moo-hak's dad was crass, greedy, and rude at times, but still largely affable and good-hearted. But these episodes definitely challenged that assessment. He just seemed like a jerk throughout.

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I think he was perfectly content with Dali and Moo Hak dating. He told him that get your money and still date her. However he changed his mind after he found out Dali was adopted. I guess he has a problem with other people's kids, even his step-son. I think he figured Dali would be like his current wife, all about the money. He doesn't realize Dali connects the gallery with her father, for him it is all about the Benjamins or whoever is on won, ha.

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Dad’s opinion changed when he knew Dali was adopted and much more knowing that she was an orphan. I guess there’s a negative aspect about being an orphan in Dad’s eyes.

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I'm also confused about Tai-Jin's motives. When he saw Dal-li in Moo-hak's arms at the end of Episode 11, was that a jealous rage that made him make that telephone call to implement his nefarious plans, or was it concern about control of the gallery, so necessary for his building scheme, and so much easier to get if he's married to Dal-li?
He's definitely a psychopath, either way. Also, did I miss something.........where is the hugely vulgar gold watch Moo-hak gave Da-Li in Paris?

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Ending of episode 11 was so touching... and I loved the reflection of the water on the gallery walls... so beautiful.

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I loved that after the “search and seizure” when MooHak came to Dali, she reached for him for comfort and he just held her. It was a small moment but it showed that she felt comfortable with him and trusted him at her lowest.

I hope that she remembers that and all the hints that she saw that TaeJin is a bad guy and not have a lobotomy in the last 4 episodes so we can have “noble idiocy”. The show has done a good job of skirting the edge of being tropey without being too tropey especially when it comes to the main couple communicating and working together. My hope is that it stays that way. Dali thanking TaeJin and being polite to him gives me pause and makes me think that I might be disappointed!

On a different note, the drama made me think about family and loyalty. It was when Curator Song and Han that made me think about this more than anything else but it’s an underlying theme in these two episodes. These folks have spent years working at the museum with the previous director and all it takes is one event for them to start doubting him. Also, their actions are framed as loyalty to family but I’m not convinced that it excuses their doubts or actions. I’m hoping that these are red herrings and folks have more integrity.

MooHak and WonTak are similar. They seem to have inherent integrity and are clear about their values. I liked that WonTak didn’t call Dali about the search (and I hope it stays that way). MooHak of course has repeatedly demonstrated that while he is money-oriented he won’t engage in shady tactics. No wonder I like these two characters a lot. Loud, impulsive characters are never to my liking, especially male characters but MooHak and WonTak are becoming the favorite exceptions.

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His dad or rather his whole family is Exactly what TJ keeps saying Moo Hak is:some fancied up trash they can put all sorts of seasoning and sauce as a disguise But will always be low class crass users who have out laughably of their league aspirations… A woman like Kim Dali namely.

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Wow, someone else who sees the Dickens parallels as well. Nice. *High five*

One of my favourite things about this show which puts it a cut above the rest is how it sets up characters who give the appearance of having high-minded ideals who operate under the veneer of cultured respectability while later dexterously positioning the leads to unmask the hypocrisies or double standards of said characters. It's a very Dickensian move in my view as well as the impulse to mock everyone and everything. The uncle was especially dreadful with his invective against the adoptee only to later turn around beg her to prostitute herself for the family name. The irony reverberates all through that scene. There are also the two curators who jump ship when financial benefits are waved under their noses after pontificating about art for art's sake. It is its own kind of dark humour.

Moo-hak has undoubtedly been given the best lines in this show. The Moo-hak Monologues are some of the most delectable morsels I've seen this year from K dramaland and I can subsist on them for days.

There's really so much to like about this show.

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I should also add that Dickens had a soft spot for adoptees in his most popular novels.

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Maybe I got this wrong, but did MH state that his dad ran off with another woman while his wife was dying *and with a baby in her arms*? Does this mean we have MH's little sibling to locate as well?

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VIKi says ”Not even see his starving young son” Which makes more sense in context of him cheating on his wife and paying no attention to his little boy while cheating with the cheap trash heifer.

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Am I confusing this with another drama or did the dying mom say something like "Jin is not your real name." ..cough cough... your real name is,..... cough cough - lights out.
Maybe I dreamed it?

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Yes missvictrix!!! Dickens! orphans, class, evil, and good, so apt!

Best scenes: Dali teasing Moo-hak about spending the night, and Moo-hak worrying about all the real reasons Dali might be upset and not at all her heritage.

My only frustration is that Dali is so capable yet she is being rescued by 3 guys. I would like to see her successfully pulling the strings and strategy more.

And I dread the upcoming noble idiocy part. But as someone said, perhaps this will be strategy also.

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Da-li and Mu-hak are definitely my favourite k-drama couple of this year. I love their relationship, so sweet and gentle. Mu-hak’s reaction at the end of episode 11 is perfection. Both Park Gyu Young and Kim Min Jae are wonderful.

I am not a fan of a jerk-to-nice-guy trope, as in RL even if people change while being in love, they just bounce back to their default after the first infatuation is gone. The reason it is working here is that Da-li and Mu-hak are not actually changing, it’s rather that as they get to know each other, we also get to know them better, and as layers and nuance are added to their characters, we realise how good they are together.

I know this is not the most subtle drama but all of Mu-hak’s family is so selfish, and his step mother and adoptive brother are beyond redemption. What’s with K-dramas, that people so easily disown children, but never divorce villainous spouses?

One of my favourite scenes was when Won-tak asked Mu-hak to take care of Da-li, although I feel that Won-tak’s character did not get enough time to develop beyond the promise of early episodes. For now he is protective and short fused, but I hope we see more action and development from him in the remaining episodes.

I’ve been cringing in my seat through these episodes, with the uncle, Si-hyung, Tae-jin, Mu-hak’s family all turning against Da-li, but now I have to pause watching for at least an episode or two and save them up, so I can slide through the heartache that is coming and binge when there is a happy conclusion already waiting on Viki.

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Good plan on the pause. I tried but couldn't resist just checking in to see if the subs were up yet. Once I hit play, all plans went south. You are made of stronger stuff!!

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The reason it is working here is that Da-li and Mu-hak are not actually changing, it’s rather that as they get to know each other, we also get to know them better, and as layers and nuance are added to their characters, we realise how good they are together. I like this description of them. I liked the scene in episode eleven where MH goes off on how small their celebrated success was, monetary wise. It was welcomed comedy but it also shows how this is just inherently a part of who MH is. He's a businessman and he still goes on a tangent whenever he doesn't understand or make any sense of a situation that doesn't make a big profit. He was so caught up in his argument that he didn't follow DL immediately until his secretary told him to lol.

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TJ is the personification of selfish and cruel. When it suited him and he found out Dali was adopted he crushed her in an unbelievably cruel way. Then later he wants her back and does every manner of evil to force her to be with him. He thinks he is her guardian but the only thing he is guarding her from is Moo-hak and probably only doing that because he feels emasculated that she would choose him over her. He is like a kid with a toy. When someone else wants it he wants it back even though it was him who threw it away before. When he gets it the thrill is gone and he throws it away again. Truly evil. His character deserves to get killed of in as slow and painful way as possible with the entire world finding out how evil he is and becoming humiliated and penniless.

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I was late to get into this drama because the first episode had a lot of shouting and I always find that such a turn off. But I came back to it and now it is my favorite of 2021. Great character growth for Moo Hak, slippery and clever villain and a wonderful heroine in Dali. That poor girl, my heart breaks for her. She has been a punching bag from the very beginning of the show. But now she's getting strength from those around her to add to her own pretty impressive strength and I can't wait for the downfall of the enemies.

Completely happy to have a brother figure who is not a love interest, that's a nice change. Adore seeing the blood tie prejudice being shown and dealt with.

Now if they could just stop with those weirdly edited scene cuts...

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