Dal-li and Gamjatang: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
On the heels of a burglary, much is revealed this week, and the wider plot against the gallery’s very existence comes to light. Will the truth drive our curator and restaurateur apart? Or will they trust each other despite the evidence, and join forces?
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Won-tak’s house is being burgled, and Dal-li is terrified in the dark apartment with the assailant. Luckily our gamjatang hero is close at hand to comfort her and give her a safe place to sleep. Because really, Dal-li in Moo-hak’s apartment is one of the best things ever. Whenever these two get domestic together I get the warm fuzzies: Dal-li silently inspecting Moo-hak’s “art,” Moo-hak’s “simple” meal so elaborate it covers the entire table, and of course, the fun with bubbles (and undeniable chemistry) when Dal-li can’t manage to do a sink of dishes without disaster.
When Dal-li has a nightmare later that night, and Moo-hak is there for her again to comfort her (while looking good in his pjs, natch). The two also come to an understanding around the heartbreak Dal-li is still trying to heal from.
The next morning Won-tak gets the wrong idea, but pretty soon he’s leading the investigation. Or is he? It’s Moo-hak that has assessed the situation the best, and he points out that the thief was searching for something particular, since not only was nothing stolen, but his own apartment was left untouched.
A stray earring (and a whole lot of show-long suspicion) soon leads us to confirm that the invader was none other than NA GONG-JOO (Song Ji-won), the prickly and disrespectful curator that has thus been 99% unlikeable.
She’s still working against Dal-li at the behest of Dal-li’s cousin Shi-hyung. He’s desperate to get something back from Dal-li and will use Gong-joo’s dirty past as leverage. That something is packets of drugs — Dal-li finally opens the storage tube that’s been hanging on her coat rack for ages and finds the drugs amongst her lollipops. Smartly, she goes right to Won-tak, and the investigation of Gong-joo as well as Shi-hyung is amped up.
Moo-hak gets more appealing by the second in this show, and this week he shone as the hero. He’s clearly head over heels and doesn’t try to hide it, but at the same time he’s respectful of, and protective towards, Dal-li.
It’s clear she’s beginning to trust him the most of everyone around her, but there’s a spanner in the works first: Tae-jin arrives to plant the seed of doubt against Moo-hak, knowing he’s a romantic threat.
Tae-jin takes Dal-li out to eat (at a Dondon location, on purpose) and then shares with her the plot that’s been unfolding behind her back: Dondon has been purchasing the land around the gallery and playing her. They want her to default, forfeit the gallery, and then take over the land — just in time for the ban on redevelopment in that area to be reversed (thanks to the corrupt Assemblyman Ahn).
Dal-li is shaken, but you can see a piece of her that wants to trust Moo-hak, and still does, despite the “evidence.” Then Tae-jin shows his ugly side. Moo-hak just so happens to be on location at the restaurant and wants to give the two special treatment. Instead, he’s mocked by Tae-jin for everything from his company to his new fortune to his appearance. But Moo-hak keeps his cool. And then he proves he can give it back just as well — and he’s also not above petty revenge like kicking Tae-jin’s shoe down the hall (yesss).
After confronting his family and getting to the bottom of the plot, Moo-hak is ready to share it with Dal-li. It’s convenient that she lives right above him — they have a confrontation over Moo-hak’s motives and the fate of the gallery, but the fight quickly turns hot. Yes, that kind of hot. Moo-hak catches Dal-li’s wrist when she goes to slap him a second and third time, and that somehow turns into a press-against-the-wall kiss. A little awkward, and a little awkwardly shot, but I’m more than happy to see Dal-li admitting her true feelings for him. Yay, kisses and coupledom!
I’m grateful the drama didn’t extend the tension and misunderstanding between the two — because after the kissing we see that Moo-hak shared all his info with Dal-li. The two of them begin to piece together the puzzle: how after her father’s death gallery’s business relationships changed radically.
With a little insight into the matter they’re soon able to see the massive plot that’s been working against Dal-li and the gallery, as well as the fact that Moo-hak’s family and Assemblyman Ahn are leading the charge. But who is masterminding it all? It seems like there are more powerful players working against her, maybe even right under her nose.
While that plot is unfolding, we also get some insight into Gong-joo and her backstory, which I thought added a lot of color to her storyline. We learn how she was basically working off her debt at a hostess bar and was near suicide — until Dal-li’s father took pity on her and hired her for the curator job.
While Gong-joo’s role and motive is pretty clear, and the police soon have enough info to locate and arrest Shi-young, we’re left with the question of who is truly the mastermind behind the green belt redevelopment. Who has been pulling strings, influencing legislation, banking, business decisions, and more?
The drama then does its reveal of this nefarious character. Assemblyman Ahn slips into the backseat of a car to talk to his contact… and it’s Tae-jin. Nooooo! I thought his renewed interest in Dal-li was genuine. Wow, I was played by his charm even more than Dal-li was. While I guess there’s a chance he’s a double agent or had a change of heart, it does make more sense narratively for him to be our bad guy.
As predicted, Dal-li + Moo-hak make the best team ever, and I’m looking forward to seeing them fight against all the backstabbing and getting to the bottom of the plot in episodes to come.
But in the meantime, we also have pure cuteness, too. This is where Kim Min-jae really shines. I particularly like him with Park Kyu-young here, but he’s just objectively good at that slightly embarrassed grin of pure happiness when he’s with the woman he loves (no matter the drama).
Dal-li and Moo-hak make the perfect pair, sitting out on the roof drinking champagne and pairing it with uncooked ramyun noodles. I loved everything about this scene — from the opposites-attract goodness, to the trust and affection between them, to Moo-hak’s “secret” fist pump when he learns that Won-tak is out of town.
Taking his cue, Moo-hak invites Dal-li to stay over his place… but then insists he won’t even touch her. Dal-li lets him fumble for a bit, but soon they’re hilariously preparing for their first real night together. This is, of course, interrupted — a bruised Chak-hee arrives on Moo-hak’s doorstep. Leave it to this girl to get in the middle of our OTP at the worst possible moment. Can they just kick her out and continue as planned?
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