Dal-li and Gamjatang: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
As our curator determines to stay in Seoul, she is forced to take stock of her situation, confronting not only the massive debt that she’s been left in, but grieving the loss of her father. Two figures emerge that seem willing to offer her support, and while one is complicated by romantic history, the other is complicated by finances.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
Poor Dal-li is in quite a pickle. She might be the heiress of a well-respected family, but she hasn’t a cent to her name, and word is spreading fast. It seems like every day more debt is revealed, and Dal-li has barely managed to quell one problem when another arises. Her naiveté was a bit more transparent in this week’s episodes than last; now we see how helpless she is without the wealth she’s so used to having. I have no doubt Dal-li can run a gallery with wealthy donors anxious to be involved, but what about save one that’s gone belly-up? It’s a good thing her new acquaintance has a knack for making money.
First, though, they have to get on the same page. We left off last week with Moo-hak and his gamjatang-makers-turned-gangsters invading the gallery. Moo-hak is horrified to see that his debtor is actually Dal-li, but he’s about as good at saving face as he is at acting refined.
Moo-hak pressures Dal-li to pay back her loan, and while he’s rough and severe when everyone else is around, the second they’re not, the facade breaks. He waits outside for her that evening and catches her from a fall, and they not only have romantic toppling #2, but he accompanies her to a luxury mall where she’s off to replace her shoes that just broke.
I love Moo-hak’s penny-pinching ways. He acts like money has no meaning for his incredible wealth, and yet simultaneously his world revolves around making money — and keeping it. He uses (or tries to use) coupons for everything from energy drinks to designer shoes, and we even find out later that he buys all of his flashy designer goods second-hand. He might not know that he doesn’t fit into the world of the upper crust, but everyone around him knows it. Even his assistant YEO MI-RI (Hwang Bora) tells him that Da-li “has something you lack.”
But right now, Dal-li is very much at the end of her rope. She’s sold her family home, but their debt is still sky high. Her employees are barely holding on, her older cousin is basically a waste, and everyone is pushing her to ask for help from Segi Group, who’s their last hope. We learn that Dal-li was once engaged (and seemingly much in love) to the Segi Group heir, JANG TAE-JIN (Kwon Yul). In flashbacks we see a painful breakup scene — and we understand straight away why Dal-li can’t bring herself to beg the man who abandoned her in the past to help her in the present.
But of course there’s more to that story than meets the eye. Tae-jin seems cold as ice, but we see glimmers of his heart. I particularly liked him fussing in the back of his car with his tie, complaining about the event he was going to, only to ditch it the second Dal-li called him. His nonchalance towards her is a facade; we can tell that he still cares for her deeply. To Dal-li, though, to go to him would crush her pride.
The Dal-li/Tae-jin dynamic unfolds for us a bit more this week, but unfortunately that means less of Dal-li’s cop friend and almost-brother JOO WON-TAK (Hwang Hee).
Last week we met him as the perfect foil for Tae-jin. Tae-jin is icy and expressionless; Won-tak, on the other hand, is warm and real and emotional. We got a great peek at him and how he treats Dal-li last week, so I’m anxious to see more of his character (sans any impending heartbreak, of course. Our OTP is a delight, but I’m not going to pretend I won’t also feel serious SLS if Won-tak reveals any romantic feelings for Dal-li).
With Dal-li unable or unwilling to ask for help from Tae-jin, she’s left without anyone to help her… until Moo-hak turns up. The fates keep pulling these two together, whether it’s over shoes at a shopping mall, or over soju at a local restaurant. While there’s certainly attraction between them, one is too hot-headed, and the other too innocent, to understand that just yet.
So in the meantime, we learn how well they actually complement each other. Dal-li has the demeanor, grace, and disposition, and Moo-hak has the business sense. When they join forces, I imagine they’ll be unstoppable, and lucky for them (and us) at the end of our episodes this week, we start to see the beginnings of that alliance.
We also see a little more of Moo-hak’s family this week, from the increasingly shady stepbrother, to his gaudy stepmother (played by Seo Jung-yeon in a great Brahms reunion — they are both playing such polar opposite characters!). Moo-hak’s stepmother pretends to be on his side, when in fact she is trying to get her son more influence, using every technique she can to block Moo-hak’s strong energy.
Ducky painting or no ducky painting, I don’t think Moo-hak will be stoppable. He’s a force to be reckoned with, and though he has his flaws and falsehoods, he has a good heart, and a serious weak spot for our soft-spoken curator.
While this week’s episodes were a little lighter on plot, we built more necessary background, and set the stage for Dal-li and the difficult situations she will encounter. But this drama’s strength is really its comedy — those Caw! sound effects, the excellent comedic timing of the actors, and just some of the silly, harebrained moments we get. Kim Min-jae, in particular, is just delightful here, from the delivery of his lines, to his emphatic facial expressions. I can’t wait to see Moo-hak’s bombasticism and misnomers come into play in new, unexpected circumstances.
- 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