Dal-li and Gamjatang: Episodes 13-14 Open Thread
Our heroine, though caught in the middle of a well-conceived plot, makes a decision about which side she’s on — and which man she wants on her side. They’re stronger together than apart, and they’re going to need each other as they face off against both family and foe.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
It’s taking a long while for our baddies, and the baddies behind them, to finally get caught, but I’m actually pleased with the pacing of the drama. Instead of dropping off into a lull, our story is coming full circle thanks to new information and important flashbacks.
Tae-jin’s stranglehold on the situation at the gallery (and Dal-li) continues, and Dal-li looks and acts as though she’s actually being suffocated. Will she really go through with this to save her father’s and family’s good name? She seems a little more spunky than that, right? But we’re left to doubt for a bit, and she’s surprisingly cold towards Moo-hak, which is not much fun to watch.
I’m getting tired of Tae-jin, and wondering why he’s given up charm for force (he was better at the former) when it comes to marrying Dal-li. “You’ll have to marry me”? That could have been played much more fun; instead it was more of a threat than anything.
But the tides start to turn. Our lovely and loyal curators — who looked like they were finally cracking under the temptation of their bribes — actually go secretly and simultaneously to the police station… to tell the truth. Yay, how satisfying! Won-tak learns about the bribes and is slowly getting to the bottom of things, despite the chaebol power that’s lurking behind the curtain. The statement from Gong-joo is also a big help, and thus the truth behind the drug smuggling comes to light.
Moo-hak spends most of Episode 13 dejected because of Dal-li, and horrified over his family and their behavior. He even wants to split up the company, and take the restaurant, just so that he’s not associated with the (quickly decaying) plot his father and stepbrother are entangled in.
It’s not till the end of Episode 13 that we learn what’s really going on in Dal-li’s heart. With a little help from their colleagues, Moo-hak goes out to “rescue” Dal-li, who’s stranded at a bus stop on her way to visit an artist. It’s Moo-hak who puts his feelings out there first, but it’s Dal-li who makes the first move and kisses him. She tells him she doesn’t want their relationship to be that of creditor and debtor, but that they should love each other as equals. Gah!
He drives her home, but in the courtyard the two have a wordless conversation (probably my favorite moment of the episode) where he wordlessly invites her to spend the night with him, and she wordlessly consents. Their romance is so cute and deep at the same time — I was loving everything about it, until the drama sent Moo-hak into full buffoon mode.
Granted, he’s a little bit of a buffoon already, but he suddenly became the comedy of the episode, becoming a lovestruck stooge. I prefer him as his usual sweet, blustery self — less stooge and more Dickensian befuddlement, so I’m hoping we get real Moo-hak back in our final episodes.
One lovely moment that Moo-hak and Dal-li share this week, though, is around her father. We see an extended flashback and learn that Moo-hak had a visit with her father during the time Dondon was planning to give him the loan. Turns out Dal-li’s father liked Moo-hak’s no-nonsense approach to business (and his personality) so much that he wanted to set him up with his daughter. (He recognized in that moment that Dal-li’s book smarts needed to be balanced with someone’s street smarts.)
Moo-hak turns down the connection, and doesn’t get to see who that daughter is (hilariously, he imagines a barely-female version of her father). Even though much of this is played for comedy, the deeper connection it built between our OTP was also very sweet. Not necessary, but sweet.
Another favorite moment was when Won-tak finally found out — via Dal-li’s blurted-out admission — that she is dating Moo-hak. Won-tak goes into full big brother mode, and despite how their relationship has always been played for a comedy, I love the character moment here too.
Won-tak comically threatens Moo-hak if he so much as makes Dal-li cry (never mind break her heart), and basically, everyone needs an oppa like Won-tak. Also, kudos to the drama for taking this twist on the second (ish) lead, instead of making us endure let another love triangle.
As we must, we end this week’s penultimate episodes with a drop of new and vital information. Shi-hyung (still on the run) meets up with his father. I liked this exchange much more than I was expecting. Shi-hyung is still a pain in the butt character, but for all his frenetic screaming and running around, he actually seems somewhat stricken by what he’s done. His father urges him to turn himself in and make a fresh start, but Shi-hyung admits (gasp!) that he was involved in his uncle’s death.
As for Tae-jin, he’s putting the nail in the coffin of his plan, and his next move is to demolish Dondon. This turns out to be surprisingly easy, as he leaks the information about the redevelopment corruption, and Dondon goes from thriving business to under government investigation with the mere snap of his fingers.
It dons’t look good for Moo-hak, but luckily he has Dal-li by his side, and she’s ready to confront Tae-jin for being the master behind all these puppets. He gives her the cool-headed denial we expect, but when he accidentally plays a video and she catches the sound of her father’s voice — well, I’m pretty sure Tae-jin is heading for a crash. And the final takedown should be very satisfying.
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