Yay! My first project seen through to the end. My next goal is to recap a whole series. This was fun and really taught me a lot. I thank all my readers for sticking with me! Drop me a comment! I LOVE comments. 😀
We have dotted all our I’s and crossed all our T’s just as we expected. So read on for some cute and smiles and more cute.
“Gold Fish” – Every Single Day (from the Pasta OST)
episode 20 (final) recap
It’s a beautiful day, the sun in shining, Yoo-kyung is smiling and the goldfish in a wine glass are back. (w00t for symbolism.)
The kitchen is busy and the Chef is pushing them harder than ever, but there are smiles all around. Finally, the mood in the kitchen is something other than tense and awkward. All of the dishes are passed by the chef and even uri serious sous chef flashes a rather radiant grin.
Outside, a disappointed Ho-nam with his arm in a sling reads the sign which informs the public that La Sfera has won the New Chef Competition. He ambles into the chefs’ office – he’ll need two months rest. The Chef will hold his place until he heals, but surprisingly, Ho-nam doesn’t want it.
He wants to marry Mi-hee, open a small pasta place and sell 5,000 won ($5) pasta – but that doesn’t make him a 5,000 won chef. Needless-to-say, Hyun-wook is shocked.
Oh Sae-young is moving in with her parents and decides to have a heart-to-heart with Seo Yoo-kyung. Sae-young congratulates her and hopes she’ll come back a great chef so that she can be envious of her mad skillz.
At a pojangmacha, Yoo-kyung and Hyun-wook are discussing her decision to train in Italy. Hyun-wook the man doesn’t want her to go, but Choi Chef wants her to learn. Quietly, she decides to go and he comforts her, but it doesn’t do much good. They decide to treat each other well until she leaves.
Then, he flip flops while literally flopping on his chaise lounge: How quickly she decided to go! Is it that easy to leave?
In her apartment, Yoo-kyung wonders if it is that easy for him to let her go.
Teenagers in adults’ bodies, the both of them.
The next morning, Hyun-wook makes Yoo-kyung breakfast in his attempt to “treat her well.” He turns to leave when Yoo-kyung drops a bomb: Sae-young is moving out, so you wanna move in together?
She wants to stay ’cause she can’t bear to separate from him. He shrewdly deduces that she’s weighing her options, him or Italy, and it doesn’t make him very happy.
San tells Sae-young not to move out. Go have a gaggle of children already.
Jump to a real estate office where Yoo-kyung and Hyun-wook are looking for a cheap place to live. Afterwards, Yoo-kyung suggests that she go to Italy, because there she gets free room and board. Tee-hee. Hyun-wook chases angrily after her as she grins.
She sure knows how to push his buttons. ❤
On the stairs at La Sfera, Eun-soo is enjoying yet another lollipop when Seol comes and asks for one. Eun-soo refuses, saying there aren’t anymore and they tiff. Then, he leaves and Seol grumbles until he sees that Eun-soo left him a lolly.
This is an odd-couple romance I would’ve LOVED to have seen more of throughout the show. Dining hall maknae and kitchen maknae.
Hyun-wook is perusing the competition winners’ resumes and shoves Yoo-kyung’s in a drawer. Oh you. Just come out and say that you want her to stay.
San and Hyun-wook strike a man deal: They will make decisions involving the restaurant together. But Hyun-wook wants to know why San is so interested in the kitchen. Because people are more important than money and that flies with Hyun-wook
Team Korea has a jolly ol’ time taking pictures for…something? Don’t they already have their resumes? Ho-nam apologizes and they forgive them.
The Waste-of-space-trio is wasting space and air and time because they have no customers. HA! That is, they don’t until Hyun-wook walks in and orders them to remake his pasta dish. By the bajillionth remake, Lee Hee-joo, blows her lid and screams in banmal for him to get out. He calmly returns that he’ll be back again tomorrow. Oh, you enjoy this, don’t you?
Yoo-kyung and Hyun-wook have a heart-to-heart at the coffee bar. Although it seems like they are dating on his terms, she does whatever she wants, he notes. But she disagrees. She’s been trying to meet him on his terms since the moment they met on the crosswalk. He helped her save her goldfish – it was love at first sight. Hyun-wook is uber pleased to hear that.
Then a saucy San enters and plops himself right between them and asks Yoo-kyung if there is anything he can do to help her prepare for Italy. Hyun-wook notes San’s smug tone.
San: “You don’t like [that she’s going]?”
Hyun-wook: “Do whatever you want.” He walks away with his panties in a twist.
San calls Yoo-kyung close and puts an elbow on her shoulder. He’s decided to take it upon himself to enlighten the dense Yoo-kyung: Hyun-wook is having a snit because he doesn’t want her to go.
While the Chef calls the office of the New Chef Competition, Yoo-kyung reads the La Sfera board that is advertising four open cooks’ positions.
It’s time to tie another neat bow as Team Italy invites Sae-young for a drink. They decide to get along and Team Italy admits that they really admire her cooking and she thinks they are a very capable staff.
And we’re off to meet the parents. Well, we’re off to meet daddy-o who cooks the expensive abalone for Hyun-wook. Hopeful son-in-law is sweating bullets and fumbles to show the greatest amount of respect he possibly can.
Daddy asks Hyun-wook if he should do it again. HAHAHA! But no, it’s just fine.
Let the drinking begin. And no folks, the substance of choice is NOT soju. It’s the rice wine Makgeolli. Soon Yoo-kyung’s father and boyfriend are quite inebriated. Dad wonders how Hyun-wook is better than his daughter besides as a chef. Hyun-wook replies that just because she goes to Italy doesn’t mean she’ll come back a chef.
Then they both pass out, leaving Yoo-kyung baffled. A bit later, dad wakes up and Yoo-kyung demands why he made Hyun-wook drink so much.
Why are you going to Italy? he asks. You might lose your guy. What’s so great about you? When I die, there has to be a guy to look after you and he’s probably the only one who would look after you.
Yoo-kyung watches him pass out again and sits mulling over his words.
More odd-couple loving as Eun-soo falls asleep while peeling shrimp. Seol catches him, carries him to the chef’s table and finishing peeling the shrimp for him.
After Yoo-kyung’s boys (sounds like a boy band) wake up, the worried couple bids her father adieu and walks away hand-in-hand. Daddy comes out to watch them leave.
In her apartment, Yoo-kyung speaks sadly to a photograph of her mother. She tells her mother about winning the competition and going to Italy. With a laugh she mentions that she is pretty good at making “Olive Olio” now. It was the dish that inspired her love for making pasta.
She frets over what to do about Italy because she’s really happy with Hyun-wook and dad likes him, too. As she cries, Yoo-kyung wishes her mom was there.
The kitchen sends out it’s last official order and then Hyun-wook gives a pep talk -lots of insults and backhanded compliments. Then he orders the last orders that this kitchen team will ever cook together. These dishes better be the best they have ever made because they are for VIPs.
They fire up their stations and start getting creative with their dishes. Choi chef even pulls up a pan and cooks beside the sous.
When they are through, melancholy spreads throughout the kitchen, as does a slow clap started by Eun-soo. Hugs, handshakes and kind words are exchanged. Adorable, adorable Eun-soo is teary-eyed.
The sous chef is in the locker room, staring wistfully at his locker when Woo-duk comes in. Don’t just study, Woo-duk advises. Have fun. Try not only the big restaurants, but the small, grandmother-run places on the small village roads. It’s delicious food and he can learn a lot.
A touched sous chef hands him his blue “sous chef’s scarf”. It is up to the Chef to choose a sous, but he thinks that Woo-duk should be the next sous chef. (That bow was tied via the bunny ear method.)
And it’s time to par-tay. Everyone is gathered in the dining hall, the VIPs. There is a toast by Hyun-woo, some teasing (and defending) of Seol’s awkward toast and an announcement.
The waste-of-space trio are going to fill three of the vacancies! SHOCKER…or not. The decision was made in conjunction with the chef who raises his glass to them. They are completely stoked.
Ho-nam gets called into the chefs’ office. The Chef wants him to re-interview for Italy – he’s more qualified than Yoo-kyung to go. Surprised, Ho-nam asked when this was decided. Hyun-wook had planned on it from the beginning.
Hyun-wook: From the beginning I didn’t what to let her go.
Ho-nam: Does she know?
Ho-nam: She might kill you.
Hyun-wook: I’m fine with being killed. I feel like I’ll die if I’m apart from my maknae for now.
Ho-nam wonders how a chef who banned women from his kitchen became like this. Apparently, it’s just the rules of the love game and those rules are top secret. Ho-nam leaves with a hearty “thank you”.
San, Sae-young and Cougar drink wine (as always) and discuss Sae-young’s problems (as always). Then Cougar suggests and San and Sae-young fall in love but they laugh her off. That ship has sailed.
This has to be my favorite moment in all the series because of how frickin’ adorable Gong Hyo-jin is.
Yoo-kyung is in the kitchen, sitting on the Chef’s table and eating pasta when Hyun-wook comes in. She wants to know where her stove will be. He asks her why she wants to know. She should cook well regardless of where she cooks.
At each of his suggestions, she interrupts with a “Pasta!” Finally, unable to take his teasing, she hollers “PASTA!!!” and storms out.
Yoo-kyung is annoying with how seriously she takes him, but Hyo-jin was so adorable in her line delivery!!!
Then we are back to the crosswalk of fate where the couple first met, come full circle from episode one. They face each other from either side of the street, scowling as the pedestrian lights shine red.
When it changes to green, they stalk to the middle off the crosswalk. You’re not going to give me a pasta station even after I won first prize at a competition? she demands? How much do I have to do before you give me pasta?
He tells her she’s scary and that she’ll find out when she comes to work tomorrow. She whines, “Pasta.”
Leaning close he says, “You’ve never dated right? Let’s not care what others think and let’s date!” This almost exactly what he said to her at the end of episode one when they met in the crosswalk for their first “date”.
He’s come a long way since then, firing people because of his own biases, ordering around his staff with blatant disregard for their humanity, and utter disrespect for Yoo-kyung as a female chef. She knows it, too. When he teased her thus before, he had no intentions of giving her anything she wanted – but he’s changed.
Knowing this, she grabs him for a kiss. He’s surprised, but enjoys her playfulness.
With more adorable kissing and giggling, Pasta comes to an end.
And there you have it folks. The saga of cuteness come to an end.
At the end of the day, this drama really isn’t something to write home about. But if you’re in the mood for light entertainment and easy watching, I’d highly recomment it.
As a recapper, I understand why Dramabeans did not continue to recap it. It wasn’t full of much substance and dropped a lot of the issues and potential plot threads they proposed to address in the earlier episodes: misogyny in the work place, Yoo-kyung’s cooking education independence, restaurant politics, Sae-young’s efforts to win back her man. It all sort of fell by the wayside and was only brought in rather haphazardly. It centered around a slice-of-life, episodic format with very little tension so it was difficult to keep such issues afloat.
Pet peeve: Hyun-wook decides that Yoo-kyung won’t go FOR her and then nothing else is said about the issue? WTF?! What happened to the feminist of yesteryear? There is NO WAY Yoo-kyung should’ve let something like that happen. Actually, as the drama progressed, she became more dependent on the chef and lost that fiery streak that I really enjoyed in the beginning. Her defiance flared over easily resolved misunderstandings rather than the meaty issues she fought for earlier: workplace equality, better treatment of employees.
One bit I really enjoyed was the odd-couple romance between Seol and Eun-soo. I would’ve killed for more screen time and an earlier introduction. It would’ve been a nice little road of redemption for Seol to tread.
Worst acting: Oh Honey Lee. You tried…you really did. And you failed. But that’s okay, you had your moment of glory back in episode 18 as you cried pitifully into Cougar’s arms. Along with worst acting, I really would like to take a moment and grieve the early death of a potentially fun, spiteful second female lead. She passed away somewhere before episode 10 and left a pathetic ghost of a woman. The lack of a substantive role may have caused Honey Lee’s utter lack of appeal on screen. At least she looked pretty.
Chemistry: I loved Lee Seon-kyun and Gong Hyo-jin together. They were so remarkable. With so little for them to work with, they made so much. They are 90% of the reason I enjoyed this drama so much. Alex and Honey Lee had chemistry with each other and should’ve been romantically paired. I really enjoyed Alex with Gong Hyo-jin…but I think she brings out the best in everyone. And we can’t forget Chae Jae-hwan as Eun-soo. Man, he was flippin’ adorable and rocked scenes with whoever he was put with. (An aside: I’m watching Best Love and when Jae-hwan made his cameo, I did a happy dance!!!)
OST: So I really enjoyed “Lucky Day” and the individual tracks are appealing. But I seriously have a problem with upbeat, major tonality (happy-sounding), lack of rhythmic drive tracks being used to convey tension. It was completely uninsightful. They did well with the pensive moments, but hot damn, a better planned OST would’ve spiced it up a bit more. An OST of good songs doesn’t make a good OST. It has to function as PART of a story, not just in conjunction with a story.
With ALL of that said, I really enjoyed watching it. If I hadn’t been recapping, I probably would’ve rated it higher. But the recapping bit was a little tougher for me. It was good experience though.
Rating (How much I enjoyed it/Overall quality) – 8/6