Raine‘s back to recap after a bit of a hiatus. Life has a way of confiscating k-drama crack and leaving the k-drama junkie to suffer severe withdrawal. But I have bested real life and I’m back on crack…er, track.
And boy was I right about the cute. The smiles, the veiled endearments, and yes, even the fighting, were all flippin’ cute. It was even cute how they tried to hide cute from the rest of the kitchen.
“Forever“ – SNSD/Girls’ Generation (from the Pasta OST)
episode 13 recap
Hyun-wook drives them home from Eun-soo’s apartment. Before he wakes her, he pauses to watch her sleep. This is the moment, of course, when Oh Sae-young emerges for her morning jog and proceeds to look like a sad, wilted flower. (The look she’s had for the past few episodes. Come on, Honey Lee. We need a new expression now.)
Hyun-wook wakes Yoo-kyung and they discuss morning routines before he decides that she should make him breakfast. This pleases her immensely.
In their respective apartments, the OTP prepare to have breakfast together, but Yoo-kyung is stopped by Oh Sae-young who wants to have a little chat. Yoo-kyung looks properly anxious as Sae-young explains that she and Hyun-wook were more than friends in Italy.
The oblivious topic of conversation is preparing breakfast as Sae-young describes her kitchen romance with him. The only person she wants to be recognized by is Chef Choi Hyun-wook.Sae-young oversteps her bounds and asks about Yoo-kyung’s feelings for the Chef, which sends Yoo-kyung running. Meanwhile, Hyun-wook has prepared a lovely breakfast and waits for his secret lady friend who sadly has left the building.
As Team Korea and Team Italy are changing and wondering about their assistant problem, Eun-soo walks in uttering an apology. Everyone is shocked but cheery Ji-hoon breaks the silence and both teams gather around Eun-soo, throwing him in the air and then dropping him to the floor and beating him. Eun-woo looks happier than a pig in poo. I seriously don’t understand men.
Chef Choi smiles as he listens to his reinvigorated troops horse around, but the smile quickly fades into annoyance when he sees Yoo-kyung. She looked like a kicked puppy and as it turns out she DID get hit by somebody. “By who?” Hyun-wook asks. “By you.”
Wookie is shocked by her answer. She decides that he needs to take a hit as well and lightly punches him in the face. Nothing like physical vengeance to atone for emotional scarring. Hyun-wook stares after her, stunned by the entire exchange.
(Eun-soo, you are so cute!)
In the locker room, adorable Eun-soo proudly buffs his name tag and clips it on before heading into the kitchen to embarrass Chef Choi with an exaggerated, conspiratorial wink. Way to be subtle, oori Eun-soo!
There will be several big parties at La Sfera and Chef warns the pasta line that they will be busy. Yoo-kyung avoids Hyun-wook’s gaze as he tries to inconspicuously catch hers. Eventually, the pasta line gets swamped with orders so he delegates some of Yoo-Kyung’s vongoles to Chef Oh. Hurt, Yoo-kyung is unable to focus on her vongole and Chef Choi yells at her and tells the entire pasta line to start their dishes again. They have to go out at the same time. No one is pleased, but Yoo-kyung is especially depressed.
Manager Seol hands out his old manager’s card to several guests and gets caught by San’s cougar sister. She is about to rip Seol a new one but he manages to quiet her until they get inside. As she storms up the stairs, Seol hangs onto her leg but she jerks away from him, giving him a stern warning before stomping off. The head waiter comes to fix Seol’s tie and gives him a slap of encouragement before leaving the poor guy to cry.
Chef Choi Hyun-wook and President Kim San have a tête-à-tête in San’s office because San wants Hyun-wook to share the chef’s office with Sae-young. Wookie gets snarky and tells San to share HIS office with Sae-young and rises to stalk out. San coolly replies, “Then I’ll take it that you’ll share sharing that office tomorrow.” Do I see San finally growing a pair?
After watching Sae-young diligently work on her recipe for the broth in the kitchen, Hyun-wook calls Team Italy to his office. They need to decide what to do about the broth. Team Kiss-ass, er, I mean, Team Italy, argues that Chef Oh’s broth isn’t that good. Relying on their honed taste buds, Chef Choi agrees they should stick to their guns.
The next scene finds sad-puppy Yoo-kyung sulking on the stairs up to La Sfera. Hyun-wook sits a few steps higher than her and asks if she’s upset because he yelled at her. She’s upset because her boyfriend hurt her pride in the kitchen and she doesn’t like being compared to Sae-young. Hyun-wook wisely replies that she should let her pride be hurt. Only by letting that happen can she grow to Sae-young’s level. Therefore, he’s going to be even harder on her.
He slides down one step closer to her. “Even if you hurt your pride, don’t get discouraged and upset.”
He slides down another step and is finally beside her. She nervously tells him to move away because they’re in public, but he says that’s exactly why he can sit so closely to her. Manager Seol watches them in confusion. Methinks me smells trouble brewing.
Hyun-wook’s nearness has a calming affect on Yoo-kyung. He tells her that some guy likes her and she informs him about a woman who likes him. They’re smiley and cute now. He says that jealousy is better than being discouraged and her happy smile charms him. She promises to stand beside him as a chef who has nothing to be afraid of. “Hwaiting!”
The guilt of lying to Chef Choi about Chef Oh’s broth is weighing heavily on Team Italy’s shoulders. Woo-duk tastes the broth and Team Kiss-ass quickly whips up six different dishes of pasta with it, hoping that their lie was correct and that Chef Choi’s broth tastes better. It does taste better in the white sauce.
But they discover that the popular red pasta sauce is better with Chef Oh’s broth as Team Korea discovers that the kitchen is not free for them to practice for the competition. Uh-oh. Both teams wonder what in the world they are going to do now.
We have another delightful bout of cuteness with Yoo-kyung and Hyun-wook. He says he’s going to really going to scold her in the kitchen from now on but assures her that she shouldn’t be alarmed. That is how he shows his affection. Even when he’s being plain ol’ nice he’s showing affection.
“So you’re showing affection all the time!” They grin like silly teenagers in love. Then he says, “If I show you affection all day every day and your skills don’t improve, then you’re dead.” “Yae chep!” Silly grins all around.
They plan to meet in the morning so that he can teach her how to really handle the pans for the vongole.
Sae-young greets Yoo-kyung as she walks in the door. Sae-young flashes an eerily vacant, Barbie-doll smile (or maybe that was Honey Lee missing the mark?) and asks Yoo-kyung if talking about her relationship with Hyun-wook was the right thing to do.
Barbie-doll thinks it was and declares that they should each do things their own way. She says she has to be sincere in working for her love and work goals or else success would hold no meaning for her this time around. “Is that okay?” she asks Yoo-kyung who meekly replies, “Yes.” Sounds like a challenge to me. Step up, Yoo-kyung.
Team Korea is thwarted again, this time by Yoo-kyung and Hyun-woo. They are angry and disappointed, but leave in order to protect their secret.
Yoo-kyung’s father’s wrists are hurting and her brother, Yoo-shik (Kim Dong-hee), hands him a tennis ball so that he can do wrist exercises. Yoo-shik accidentally let’s it slip that his noona took one of the tennis balls, which greatly worries his father.
(Gong Hyo-jin, that is an amazing and pathetically sad face.)
We cut to Yoo-kyung who is having trouble because of the weight of the pans. (Was dad’s pain foreshadowing anything?) Chef Choi gets angry and yells at her inability. He grabs keys from the maitre d’s station and hauls her up onto the roof where they remove the coin box from the coffee machine.
They put 50 coins in each pan, which is roughly equal to the weight of the vongole. She jokes, “King Sae-jung, come out!” He replies that it’s “General Lee Soon-shin.” They argue and he tells her that ingredients are money and she’d better not drop a single coin. She needs to see 100 won and then Lee Soon-shin. 100 won, Lee Soon-shin. She begins to flip the coins, replacing Lee Soon-shin with King Sae-jung as she repeats the mantra. He gets pissed and she starts in again even louder as she practices. She’s becoming a regular ol’ rebel.
The waste-of-space-trio is setting up their store and they are stoked to receive flowers from Manager Seol and President Kim.
Two waiters move Sae-young’s desk into Hyun-wook’s office. Angry, Hyun-wook storms off to find San who wonders why the Chef is being so small minded. Mr. PICK-UL tries to pipe up but he is shut down by both the Chef and San; albeit rather weakly on San’s part, but it’s an improvement.
Sae-young sets her broth out and when Team Italy complain about space, she says that they need to choose a broth soon.
Hyun-wook scolds Yoo-kyung who smiles at his “affection”. In contrast, Team Italy is nervous around the Chef so when he tells Philip to use more broth, Philip spills the last of the vegetable broth. Chef is forced to use Sae-young’s broth. Team Italy looks ridiculously guilty so a suspicious Hyun-wook taste tests each of their dishes with his chopsticks as they cower.
In the freezer, Yoo-kyung tries the new broth and admires Sae-young for persisting. Sae-young is especially pleased when Yoo-kyung says that the Chef has to acknowledge her now.
Hyun-wook rails on Team Italy for lying and picking fights and on poor Eun-soo who didn’t have enough broth prepared.
Now here comes the GOOD part: Hyun-wook orders them to strip, even though it’s snowing, and do squats. Hee. Hee. Hee. If they pull a stunt like this again, they’ll permanently have to take their chef’s garb off.
Team Korean espies their opponents being punished and gloat. Ho-wan then suggests Chef Oh Sae-young as their executive chef.
Daddy long legs San tapes another cactus photo onto Yoo-kyung’s locker along with a note. The poor guy is hopeless.
At the same time, Sae-young meets with Hyun-wook in his office. He acknowledges that her broth is good and offers to share the office. He grudgingly respects her for holding her own against all off the obstacles Team Italy put her through. She grins like she won the Olympic gold for broth-making.
She next meets with San who says that her relationship with Chef Choi will probably improve with the close proximity. In turn, Sae-young encourages San to come out of hiding and he surprisingly asks if he should. He wonders who Yoo-kyung likes and by Sae-young’s reactions, he guesses that its a person they all know.
Yoo-kyung sees the cactus in the locker room. The post-it asks her to meet Mr. Cactus at 10:30. She rushes out to meet him and Hyun-wook wrist grabs her and tells her not to go. (Can’t have a K-drama without a wrist grab.)
At the convenience store, Yoo-kyung expectantly watches every man who walks in and looks more and more dejected as time passes. Mr. Cactus watches her from outside, too nervous to reveal himself to her.
Just as she is about to leave, Hyun-wook shows up, teases her with a soda, and then gulps down He decides to give her physical payback for his emotional injury. He punches her lightly in the jaw and she laughs at the role reversal. He offers her the soda as a peace offering. We are treated to some more smiley cuteness.
The next morning Yoo-kyung gets into an elevator with a broody San. She smiles and shoulder bumps him to cheer him up, but his gloom will not be abated. If she ever develops a signature pasta dish, she says Mr. Customer will be the first to try it. Not even that manages to pierce the melancholy.
Finally, San asks her if she wants to be first in the kitchen and have love; catch both rabbits. She replies that its not two rabbits, but merely one rabbit who works and is in love. Isn’t that how it is?
He does NOT like that answer so she tries to cheer him up again with a shoulder bump. Her infectious smile draws a dinky smile out of him. San, dude, you brought it upon yourself.
At work, Yoo-kyung is in the kitchen and lovingly running her fingers along the counters. She imagines herself in Chef Choi’s place, tough and unyielding, calling out orders in a gruff, barking yell and looking mighty please with herself. We see that the cook she is ordering around is none other than Hyun-wook, who is scrambling to fulfill her wishes. Her imitation of him is spot on from the phrasing to his displeased facial expressions to the abuse of the cooking chopsticks.
Then she offers the chopsticks back to him. It turns out they were playing a game. Now the Chef orders one order of Seo Yoo-kyung’s ignorant, rebellious pasta that can be eaten during a break or delivered. The request recycles all of their past issues and puts them in a positive light. He now respects her for all the crazy stunts she pulled when they first met.
He yells at her, smiling all the while, showering her with his special kind of affection and comparing her food to rat’s poop. Seriously, what is the deal with this show and comparing food to poop? Ick.
Anyway, he tells her that after she makes La Sfera’s pasta her own, she is to create her own recipe. But first, she needs to get a handle on the basics. “I, as your chef, will be responsible for your foundation.”
Then she opens her eyes and it turns out the entire thing was imagined. I thought that was an awful lot of smiling by the Chef…
We are left with a frame of the two goldfish in the foreground, swimming happily together in their water glass.
Phew. The process for my second recap was almost as intense as the first, but I have better screencapping software and I was able to make it 1,000 words less than episode twelve’s recap! And, I loved screencapping the half-nude boys. ㅋㅋㅋ
This episode was all about the cute. (Notice how many times I used the word in the recap.) It was just as light-hearted as the last and I’m both happy and perturbed by that. I’m happy because I love watching Lee Seon-kyun and Gong Hyo-jin together. They have a good report as actors and excellent chemistry.
However, I’m perturbed because it’s episode thirteen and nothing has happened yet. We had the issues with Manager Seol and the battle between Yoo-kyun and Chef Choi, but even those were merely character development more than actual plot propagators.
There were a few planted seeds for potential plot action such as Yoo-kyung’s aching wrists and the quiet battle between Yoo-kyung and Sae-young.
Now I have a bone to pick with Sae-young’s character and Honey Lee’s acting. I don’t get what the writer is doing with Sae-young. First she’s vindictive, then she’s a total wimp, then she’s subtly challenging Yoo-kyung for Hyun-wook’s acknowledgement and affections. I’m not sure if they want her to be bitchy or sweet.
If the challenge was in the first half of the drama, I’d assume she was being malicious. However, because she’s been rather passive since she became a chef at La Sfera, I’m inclined to think the challenge is more for herself than to trump Yoo-kyung.
The inconsistency of Oh Sae-young’s character can be attributed to unclear writing, but also lousy acting. Honey Lee always looks like a Barbie with a smile plastered on her face. The second she’s on screen I start getting bored. Her intentions with her character are ambiguous.
In episode twelve, we had a lot of character development with Hyun-wook and I was hoping for some more on Yoo-kyung’s part. She still seems to be an insecure woman who needs the chef to tell her exactly how to feel. She’s incredibly influenced by him and that kind of pisses me off. I think the lack of character development is an affront to Gong Hyo-jin’s talent. The woman is such a versatile actress and the PD and writer mostly ask for her adorable smile and her pitiful puppy look. Give me more, guys. give me more.
The end of the episode was definitely very feel-good but again, when’s the action coming? I expected a cliffhanger and was sorely disappointed. I’m actually unsure of where this drama is going and there are seven more episodes left. I love the feeling that the ending of the episode has, but where’s the conflict? Where’s the tension?
Hopefully, it’s in episode fourteen.