I’m going to say this now: I’m in awe of those of you who post everyday. I’m having a hard time of it. So I decided to move Pasta recaps to Thursdays so I have Wednesdays free to work on it. I want to deliver quality to my faithful readers and to those who just happen to stumble upon my blog.
That said, my alter ego reared its ugly head for this recap. Her name is the Princess. She is no princess as you will discover. More like a snarky troll. I heard that.
And now for Pasta.
“You’re Cute“ – Kim Jung-ah (from the Pasta OST)
episode 14 recap
Hyun-wook is in a great mood after spending some quality time with Yoo-kyung the night before. He enters his office, prepared to start the day and spies Sae-young’s notebook on her desk. While he is perusing it, she comes in and wonders why he doesn’t want to share his recipes. When he gets snippy, she hopefully says that they’ll get used to each other. He, however, is skeptical.
They are interrupted by Ho-nam who wants to be moved to the pasta line. Because he wants to open an Italian restaurant to support a family in the future, he wants to learn to make good pasta. Chef is skeptical of this reasoning.
Kim Kang, San’s cougar sister, is setting up a colorful exhibit at her gallery when brother dearest comes to see her with his love woes. With many rolls of her eyes (I fear they will fall back into her head), she tells him she’s shocked he hasn’t yet revealed himself to Yoo-kyung. He asks his noona if she prefers a protector or a bad boy and she tells him, “I like both. One makes me feel safe. One excites me.” Thanks. That was helpful.
San also reveals that he didn’t meet Yoo-kyung that night because he didn’t want the three-year relationship to be over, even if it was only one-sided. Cougar noona tells him that he’s foolish because a man who watches over a woman should do so hoping that he can make the girl’s heart quiver in the future. Duh.
(Jung Da-hye as Ho-name’s girlfriend Park Mi-hee, Ha Jae-sook as Chef Lee Hee-joo and Son Sung-yoon as Park Chan-hee.)
We find Yoo-kyung in a shop buying chocolates for her honey. It’s a lover’s holiday and the waste-of-space-trio are wasting space when they spot Yoo-kyung buying chocolates. They’re immediately curious and conspicuously run to hide and even more conspicuously continue to watch her.
They are shocked when Choi Hyun-wook enters and Yoo-kyung calls him over, bashfully handing him a card and delicious chocolates. (Imma head out right now to buy me some. They look tasty.) Hyun-wook tries to hide how pleased he is with the chocolates and with how adorable his woman is. As he is about to try some yummy-looking chocolate, the three witches come over to waste space near our couple. They’re royally peeved.
The trio tries to pry the truth from an amused Hyun-wook and a terrified Yoo-kyung. Hyun-wook replies to all of the trio’s questions by repeating, “Think what you want.” This effectively drives them insane and wedges doubt into their minds. Yoo-kyung adamently explains that it is a one-sided love on her part and that the chef has nothing to do with it. He still has a smirk on his face. He finally drags Yoo-kyung off leaving the trio to waste space and bounce from anger to confusion and back again.
Mi-hee immediately gets on the phone and spills the news to her boyfriend, Ho-nam, who in turn looks like he’s birthing a full-grown cow, complete with groaning, haggard breathing and pains in his stomach. Both Team Korea and Team Italy are shocked by the news Ho-nam imparts when the first wave of contractions passes.
Meanwhile, Yoo-kyung and the Chef have a chat on the roof. Yoo-kyung is beside herself with worry while Hyun-wook just wants to eat his chocolates and enjoy the moment. He tells her that they haven’t done anything so there isn’t anything to see. Besides, are all men and women who exchange chocolates dating? Cue Eun-soo who barges into the conversation to tell them that they’ve been made.
In the parking lot, the kitchen staff plus the head waiter, Ne Mo (Choi Min-sung) gang up on a very scared Yoo-kyung. They demand to know what’s going on and with all eyes on her she manages to clarify that it only a one-sided love on her part. Sun Woo-duk (Kim Tae-ho) of Team Italy gently explains that its hopeless to like the Chef. He isn’t the type to date in the kitchen. She should give up before she gets hurt. Eun-soo snorts. Thank you, Captain Obvious. Yoo-kyung asks them to just let her feel what she feels. The chef has nothing to do with it. She leaves and everyone stares after her, completely incredulous.
The kitchen is a tense mess. Everyone’s heads are swinging from the Chef to Yoo-kyung and back, waiting to see something to prove the rumors true or false. The Chef brazenly walks over to Yoo-kyung, barks that she’s doing it incorrectly and then guides her in the correct motions, hand-over-hand. Yoo-kyung, understandably, is mortified. The kitchen staff is gaping. The Chef is pretending that nothing is going on. Hand me one of those knifes to cut through this tension.
Then Chef orders Yoo-kyung into the freezer for a scolding but it isn’t seen that way by the kitchen. Yoo-kyung is nervous. (Picture a shaking Chihuaha. That is Yoo-kyung for the past 15 minutes of the episode). Again, Eun-soo comes to warn them. The Chef gets fed up. He tells them to sit on the floor and get their arms up, punshing them like school children for treating him like a friend and not their boss.
Yoo-kyung beams, ecstatic to be punished. Now the staff won’t think there is anything going on. Hyun-wook finds her adorable and can’t help but smile and Eun-soon’s face is plastered with a goofy grin.
The Chef calls the pasta line to his office and he tells them that Jung Ho-nam is in the pasta line now and that they have to decide who gets to take his place. Team Italy insists that they must stay together, effectively black-balling a shocked and hurt Yoo-kyung. The Chef sends everyone away and tells Yoo-kyung that he wants her to become a well-rounded chef. She wonders why he’s telling her to move when she hasn’t mastered pasta yet. If he’s trying to protect her, she says, she’ll accept the protection. He says that is not what he is doing.
Ho-nam and Seung-jae come skipping down the hall to rub Yoo-kyung’s misfortune in her face. Presentation suits you, they sing-song. You’re a woman. (This is the point where Raine jumps through the screen and gives them a good ol’ fashioned beating with a frying pan.) Yoo-kyung meekly agrees. What happened to feminist Yoo-kyung from the early days, hmm?
Mr. PICK-UL, er, Former Manager Seol hears about the Chef and Yoo-kyung from the waste-of-space trio. (Ah-ha, so this is why they are still around. They are plot fodder.) The four of them plan to kick the Chef out of the kitchen and make things as they were before the reign of terror. Seol’s glee looks like a mix of the Grinch and Tim Curry.
San and Sae-young are meeting in San’s office when Mr. PICK-UL barges in, happy-as-you-please, and informs them about the kitchen romance. Both of our seconds leads deflate. At the same time, Hyun-wook tells Yoo-kyung that in the kitchen, he isn’t Hyun-wook the man, but Choi Chef. There is no Hyun-wook in the kitchen. He puts his arms on her shoulders, pinches her nose and they both jump apart at a random knocking noise. Ah, secrets. They sure do make life complicated.
Back in the kitchen, Ho-nam is sporting a huge grin while Yoo-kyung wears a frown just as large. The Chef won’t tolerate mistakes just because their in a new position. Their dishes must be excellent right away. My spidey senses are tingling: disaster is afoot.
There are some delectable food shots as well as shots of Ho-nam smiling and Yoo-kyung looking as though she is comtemplating jumping into the frying pan with the veggies. Philip tersely advises Ho-nam to add the oil slowly to the pasta; Ho-nam gives him some ‘tude in return.
(Poor puppy. And is that guilt I see on his face? I think it’s constipation.)
Turns out that Ho-nam should’ve listened. When he first, then Yoo-kyung present their dishes, they are rejected. The dishes are reassigned to Ji-hoon and Seung-jae. While the chef lets Ho-nam get back to work, he reams Yoo-kyung who is humiliated. The kitchen stares in shock. Moments later, Yoo-kyung makes another mistake and incurs more of the Chef’s wrath. As she walks away completely dejected, a twinge of guilt flashes across the Chef’s face. Do you know that you’re going about this all wrong, Choi Chep?
Team Korea is confused about the truth of the dating rumors. Only Ho-nam seems certain that they are true. Team Italy is also confused, but they think the rumors may be true. The scoldings that the Chef has been giving Yoo-kyung aren’t his typical fare.
Mr. PICK-UL has been lurking about the kitchen and in Choi Chef’s office, looking for evidence of a romantic relationship. I’m still feeling the Grinch.
At the end of the day, Yoo-kyung sits on the steps and Hyun-wook goes to find her. He tells her she’s doing worse than he expected so he gets mad. (Ah-ha. Now, I’m waiting for your apology Wookie. Your twice kicked puppy needs some love.) Puppy wants to know if he’s the Choi Hyun-wook the man or the chef and he replies that it isn’t clock out time yet. He asks her who she is, chef or woman, and she replies woman. “Then why are you sitting by the wall instead of by me?” he asks, which makes her melt. However, reality reminds her that they are in public and their secret is on the verge of exposure.
Out comes San who plops himself between the two. He is there to protect the kitchen’s maknae from anymore verbal abuse and offers to leave with her. Yoo-kyung is torn as to whether she should stay or go and the Chef tells her that the decision is up to her, Seo Yoo-kyung (the woman, not the chef). Hrm, are you asking her to choose between two men, you turd? San asks the Chef if its okay to date as long as its not between two people in the kitchen, or is that forbidden too? Methinks San is fishing for a date with Ms. Cook.
Hyun-wook asks Yoo-kyung to give them a moment and Hyun-wook calls San on being the secret Mr. Cactus. San counters with the fact that he won’t love her in a cowardly fashion and then hurt her badly – he’s also going to let her know how he feels. (Boo-yah, Wookie! I’m starting to second lead ship right about now.) San joins Yoo-kyung inside who wants to know what they were talking about and San replies with surprising ease that he likes her. It’s nice to see a confident San. He should’ve come out sooner. Better let than never.
Yoo-kyung rejoins Hyun-wook who tells her that San will be treating her even better in the future. He sighs. “But in the kitchen I’m going to have to keep scolding you…aish!” Well, then do it more gently, you buttwipe! You don’t have to wear out your vocal cords over some asparagus. Come on, now.
The next morning, Yoo-kyung heads into the kitchen early to get in some practice. She fills the water in the goldfishs’ glass and San comes in – he’s hungry. Yoo-kyung offers to make him breakfast. Surprise, surprise. It’s pasta. Only a day has passed since she was kicked out of the pasta line but she feels as though its been forever. Her spirit makes San smile fondly at her. My heart breaks for you San, you sad, pathetic little second lead.
They begin to chat; they have a real camaraderie that is pleasant to see, especially after two bouts of intense verbal abuse. When she serves San her pasta, Yoo-kyung nervously anticipates his verdict on its taste.
He loves it. Eating with her makes everything taste good. She doesn’t believe him and they go back and forth in an adorable manner. Alex and Gong Hyo-jin have amazing chemistry. Kiss please?
It’s lunch time and the Chef sets Yoo-kyung on some scallops. When she offers him a sample, he, of course, spits it out and declares unfit for consumption. Then he bellows. Lee Seon-kyun, you poor, poor, actor. You won’t be the Voice if you keep up all this yelling.
Chef reassigns Yoo-kyung’s scallops to Seung-jae and the prosciutto to Sang-shik. The lovely pair bitches about how she’s inconviencing them.
Weren’t you two just cheering for the switch in roles?
Hypocrisy at its best.
Chef looks like he ate something nasty.
He did. His tongue.
Does he talk to his mother with that tongue?
In the locker room, kicked puppy Yoo-kyung is ready to go home. The Chef reads his card, happy as a clam. Then he wonders if the unnis threatened her. The fact is that we are hiding the truth, she replies and turns to leave. The Chef does IT. (*cough* arm/wrist grab *cough*) As if three verbal beatings wasn’t enough, you had to pull that?
He wants to know what they should do and she retorts that he doesn’t have to courage to tell anyone about their relationship. “What do you want me to do? I’ll do anything!” What a dull, desperate boy. In tears, Yoo-kyung replies,
“Then tomorrow, when lunch starts say, “I also like Seo Yoo-kyung.” Okay, today’s first order. Since Seo Yoo-kyung is new to the overall courses department and is struggling, even though we’re busy, if she doesn’t know something, then slowly teach her. Share your experiences and know how. And if she does something wrong, then help her. Instead of just screaming all the time, instead of putting her down just because she’s a woman. Think of her as a partner who works with you.”
She can’t seem to separate work and love. They feel the same to her and she doesn’t know how he does it. Hyun-wook is floored by her words and doesn’t go after her as she leaves. Apparently he’s not as good at separating work and love as she thinks he is.
Now for some brooding time. Hyun-wook flips through pages of a recipe book he had in school. Sae-young walks in and asks the inevitable, “What’s in your heart?” “I’m in love with Seo Yoo-kyung.” For real? If you are, then come out with it…to everyone…yesterday.
Hyun-wook leaves to find Yoo-kyung and Former Manager Seol slinks after him, hoping to procure evidence on his nemesis.
The guilty chef joins Yoo-kyung on the bus stop bench and tells her she can have her spot back. I don’t want it handed back to me, she says. I want to earn it back.
The chef is goo at her feet. He loves her inner strength. He sees that even after all that she’s suffered at his hands, she’s retained her spunk. “I’m in trouble. I keep liking you more and more.”
His words, as they always do, soften Yoo-kyung who then falls for the oldest trick in the book. “Look at the moon!” She turned to look and he gives her a peck on the cheek. Okay. That was cute. One point, chep.
Hyun-wook tells her he hasn’t been scolding her to hide their relationship, but because she deserved it. She feels better to have that distinction made and she smiles. Huh?
During the entire conversation she’s pretty much only replied, “Yae, chep.” It’s what tickles his pickle because he declares that he loves to hear it more than anything else in the world. When she says it again, he kisses her. Mr. PICK-UL scrapes his jaw off of the floor. Chef decides to proclaim their love to the world and Yoo-kyung agrees. For that, she gets another kiss.
The Grinch looks pleased.
Technically speaking, this week’s episode was less of a chore to recap and I’d like to thank MadDino for that. She suggested screen-capping software for me to use and even has a post explaining how to use it for techie idiots like me. I kow-tow to her knowledge. Deeno-yah, you rock.
I’ve enjoyed this drama because it is a light, easy watch. But at some point, problems that are so easily resolved and don’t contribute to any plot movement or character development become less entertaining and more baffling. I’ve also begun to notice cinematography and PD choices that add to the extremely slow pacing – Pasta sometimes feeling its stopped going anywhere all together.
The PD spends too long on some scenes. When San and Yoo-kyung are hanging in the kitchen and San is eating his pasta breakfast, the camera watching them smile and exchange glances at each other a beat too long. Then the next scene is of the dining hall where nothing is happening except for serving. It’s a good establishment of the restaurant theme, but not after a scene that was drawn out too long.
Camera angles also become repetitive, especially as this show is very dialogue and monologue heavy. Back and forth and back and forth and so and and so forth.
But, its saving grace is what it has always been – the cute. There was lots of cute in this episode. And lots of funny.
I had hoped that the waste-of-space trio’s longer screen time this episode would’ve added more to the tension building. It was completely countermanded by the Cute. When Seol discovered the kitchen romance, I’d wanted there to be more, “Uh-oh, what’s going to happen?” but I was more preoccupied with the hollering chef and his woman kissing and being cute. Thus far, save for the money incident in earlier episodes, Mr. PICK-UL has been relatively harmless. The threat he poses is not very large so I’m not anticipating a huge plot twist. I bet he reveals them and the Chef has to leave somehow. Show, please surprise me.
I’d also hoped that the Chef’s terrible treatment of Yoo-kyung would make her fight back and put their relationship on the line. Or perhaps, that she’d develop some romantic feelings for San. (Or maybe that’s just Raine shipping the second lead.)
My standout for this episode was San. He has grown from a pubescent teen to a man. When he planted himself between Hyun-wook and Yoo-kyung, I fist pumped. I punched Hyun-wook in the face. He stood his ground and finally made his intentions clear. No more Mr. Passive. He is openly offering his protection to the verbally abused Yoo-kyung who is actually torn between accepting it and staying with the man she loves. I’m so glad for this character development. But even this bit of character development I attribute to the inner strength of the character and less to any kind of plot device spurring him forward. It’s true that he doesn’t like to see the abuse, but that’s been the only minor catalyst.
And now for the chep. Oh, the chep. I absolutely adore how much he adores Yoo-kyung. I really, really do. He is so surprised by her resilience that he begins to worship her even more. Too bad that doesn’t come with a behavior change. He allows his nervousness about the possible exposure of their relationship to influence his treatment of her in the kitchen. Then when he sees how much he’s hurt her, the guilt fuels even more yelling. When she messes up in the kitchen, his hurt causes even more yelling. It’s a vicious cycle that he blames on the fact that she deserves the be scolded. I agree that she deserves to be scolded. But I don’t think she needs to be verbally decimated; no one does. He doesn’t do it to anyone else – how does that not indicate personal feelings becoming involved in the kitchen?
But Yoo-kyung the former strong woman who managed to change the obstinate Chef’s mind about women in the kitchen, becomes completely passive. Even when she’s telling him to treat her better, the words become moot when she later forgives him. He hasn’t agreed to change his behavior. In fact, he defends it and says its completely separate from how he feels about her as a woman. He may think that, but verbal abuse is still abuse. I don’t like to see an abuser get his girl. He needs to change his attitude in a hurry. Or I’ll beat him with a crowbar. I’d like to see what feminist K-drama blogger DaheeFanel says about this.
And Oh Sae-young. Honey Lee finally made a different face today.
(That first one looks a little different from the second, right?)
I never thought I’d say this. But please, please, pretty please, become a bitchy second lead again! I still have my crowbar handy just in case she needs incentive.
I’m disappointed with this episode, but I still have hope! They have Gong Hyo-jin and Lee Seon-kyun at the helm. I know that actors can’t always redeem a faltering show, but I’m holding out. Come on, Pasta!