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[2010] Vua bánh mì - Bread, Love and Dreams - Yoon Shi Yoon, Kim Yoon Jin, Lee Young Ah, Joo Won

Vua Bánh Mì

Vua Bánh Mì

King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo (2010)


Vua bánh mì hay còn có tên gọi khác là Bread, Love and Dreams (tiếng ViệtBánh mì,tình yêu và những giấc mơ) là bộ phim truyền hình do hãng KBS Hàn Quốc sản xuất dài 30 tập.Với sự tham gia của các diễn viên như Yoon Shi Yoon, Kim Yoon Jin, Lee Young Ah, Joo Won.
Kim Tak Goo là con trai ngoài giá thú của chủ tịch của tập đoàn Geo Seong, Goo Il Joong và người tình của mình, anh đã được làm người thừa kế vì tài năng tột bậc của mình trong nướng bánh. Tuy nhiên, quyền thừa kế của Tak Goo đã bị tước đi do âm mưu của người vợ hợp pháp của cha và người em là con trai của bà chủ tịch cùng người tình của bà cũng là người được chủ tịch Goo Il Joong tin tưởng nhất. Với quyết tâm lớn để thành công và trở thành vua làm bánh số một trong ngành công nghiệp làm bánh, Tak Goo đã tự mình xây dựng lại sự nghiệp từ đầu.
Nhiều khó khăn và đau đớn đã cản trở anh trên bước đường cố gắng để đạt được mục đích cuối cùng khi anh bị vướng vào giữa 2 người phụ nữ. Tình yêu đầu tiên, người đã phản bội anh vì mối quan tâm riêng của mình và một người phụ nữ khác, người đã cùng anh trải qua tất cả những khó khăn đau thương.

Giải thưởng

  Giải thưởng Trao cho Kết quả
 2010 KBS Drama Awards Nam diễn viên chính xuất sắc nhất Yoon Si Yoon Đoạt giải
  Nữ diễn viên xuất sắc nhất Eugene Đoạt giải
  Cặp đôi đẹp nhất Yoon Si Yoon-Lee Young Ah Đề cử
  Nam diễn viên đóng vai phản diện xuất sắc nhất Jung Sung Mo Đề cử
  Diễn viên xuất sắc nhất Jeon Gwang Ryeol Đoạt giải
  Nữ diễn viên đóng vai phản diện xuất sắc nhất Joon In Hwa Đề cử
  Ca sĩ hát nhạc phim hay nhất Joo Won Đề cử
  Nữ diễn viên xuất sắc nhất Lee Young Ah Gold
  Nữ diễn viên xuất sắc nhất Eugene Đề cử

Vua Bánh Mì - King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo 2010 

Vua bánh mì là Bộ phim truyền hình từng tạo nên cơn sốt trên màn ảnh nhỏ Hàn Quốc, nay hứa hẹn cũng sẽ mang đến những cảm xúc mạnh mẽ, đầy lôi cuốn cho khán giả Việt Nam. Mặc dù không được đầu tư tiền tỷ cũng như thiếu vắng những ngôi sao nổi tiếng, nhưng Vua bánh mì với kịch bản xuất sắc, giàu ý nghĩa cùng dàn diễn viên hợp vai đầy tâm huyết, đã trở thành bộ phim tình cảm gia đình thành công nhất của truyền hình Hàn Quốc trong năm 2010. Không chỉ đạt mức rating “vàng rồng” – gần 50% cho tập phim cuối cùng, Vua bánh mì còn giữ kỷ lục về tỷ suất người xem cao nhất kể từ năm 2008 đến nay.

Tại Lễ trao giải truyền hình KBS 2010, Vua bánh mì cũng đã chiến thắng vang dội với 7 giải thưởng quan trọng dành cho đạo diễn Lee Jung Sub - giải nghệ thuật Baeksang, biên kịch xuất sắc nhất Kang Eun Kyung, nam diễn viên xuất sắc nhất Yoon Shi Yoon, nữ diễn viên xuất sắc nhất Eugene và Jun In Hwa, diễn viên nhí xuất sắc nhất Oh Jae Moo và bộ đôi ăn ý nhất Yoon Shi Yoon – Lee Young Ah.

Synopsis

Kim Takgu is the eldest son of Gu Il Jong, the chairman of Geosung Foods Enterprise, and Kim Misun, his mistress. The Chairman’s wife, Insok, is furious with her husband and shuns Takgu. When his mother is kidnapped, Takgu runs away from home and spends the next 12 years looking for her. In his journey, he enters a baking school owned by Pal Bong who is a legend in the baking industry. Coincidentally, he was also Takgu's father's teacher. In said school, Takgu also finds Jo Jingu, the man who kidnapped his mother. Jo Jingu tells Takgu that she accidentally fell off a cliff. Takgu decides to stay at the bakery and learn the art of making bread, like his father did before him. Majun, Takgu’s half-brother, is also at the school, hoping to learn about baking to win his father’s approval and take over the family business. He lives under an assumed name and never reveals his true identity. Majun still nurses a hatred for Takgu from their childhood. It is later revealed that Takgu’s mom is not dead and that she is looking for him. The Chairman, who also spent the past 14 years looking for Takgu, eventually finds out that he is at the bakery and is furious at Majun for not telling him. The Chairman wants Takgu, his eldest son, to take over the family business instead of Majun. Rejected, Majun plots to steal Takgu’s childhood friend, Shin Yukyeong, and embarrass his family in the process. Takgu eventually finds his mother, but Insok and her lover( the Chairman’s assistant), Han, plot to rob Takgu of his inheritance to let Majun take the Chairman’s position. When the Chairman finds out, Han attempts to murder Takgu, but Takgu is saved by Jo Jingu. Meanwhile, Majun’s plan to embarrass his family works, but it doesn’t give him the satisfaction he expects. He reaches a truce with Takgu and the two agree to let their older sister, Gu Jakyung, run the company. The show ends with Takgu continuing to work at the bakery with his girlfriend, Yang Misun, while Majun decides to travel around the world with his new bride, Shin Yukyeong. Manager Han is imprisoned and the Chairman is happy that at last, his loved ones found happiness.

Cast

Main

Supporting

Gu family
  • Ha Seung-ri as teenage Gu Ja-kyung
  • Kang Ye-seo as young Gu Ja-Kyung
Yang family
  • Jang Hang-sun as Pal-bong (Yang Mi-sun's grandfather)
  • Park Sang-myun as Yang In-mok (Yang Mi-sun's father)
  • Hwang Mi-sun as Oh Young-ja (Yang Mi-sun's mother)
Others

Awards

2010 3rd Korea Drama Awards

2010 18th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards

2010 KBS Drama Awards

2011 47th Baeksang Arts Awards

  • Best TV Director (Lee Jung-sub)

King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 1

Posted on October 6, 2010 by Cute Duck

Hi, I realize that Baker King, Kim Tak Gu has been out for a while, and you may have watched it. I wasn’t interested but I am curious as to why the ratings are so high. Since there are no detailed recaps of the drama, I’m trying my hand at it. I don’t know if I will last all 30 episodes, but I’m filing this in case anyone finds it useful.


A woman is screaming in the surgery room. She’s giving birth to a baby. Outside, an old lady prays at a temple while a younger woman and a little girl stands by. The old lady’s rosary breaks, dropping beads. Things do not look good. The baby comes out and the woman asks the doctor whether it’s a boy. I guess this show is set in the recent past before they had ultrasound scans. The doctor is reluctant to reply and the woman looks bitterly disappointed.

A man, the husband, is informed by his assistant that the baby is a girl. He looks disappointed. He decides to change the topic to a meeting instead of his wife. He seems to be an important person of the Geo Seung company. His name is Il Jong. His assistant is Manager Han.

Grandma, accompanied by Manager Han, shows up in the hospital to visit the new mother, and she laments that the heavens are not blessing them with a grandson and blames the woman. Naturally the woman is unhappy to see the Grandma. The other two younger girls have also come with her.

The woman asks for her husband, but Grandma tells her that he is at a meeting and is too busy for such things. The woman seems disappointed by the fact. Grandma tells her to leave the hospital as soon as she stops bleeding, which seems kinda harsh on top of all the not-so-nice words about how girls are trivial.

Manager Han gives a look of regret and sympathy and follows Grandma out of the room. The nanny and the little girl stay behind, but the woman has no patience to entertain the daughter who misses her. We find out that the little girl is Ja Kyung, and the much older girl is the nanny, called Mi Sun.  After the girls leave, the woman stares at the baby for a while, shedding a bitter tear.

The woman goes to some potterymaker/fortune teller/miracle man to ask how she can get a son. One wonders why she is so desperate to get a son — besides the disapproving mother-in-law, and usual disappointed husband. He tells her that she is trying too hard, that she is being greedy, and that greed will only bring her ruin. She even attempts to bribe the miracle man.

He tells her that some things are just not meant to be, especially between her and her husband, all the while smashing pots with a hammer. The only way a son will appear is if she had another man. And by the way, the husband will have a son by another woman before she gets her son.

It is a dark and rainy night. A somewhat stressed out looking Il Jong comes home, accompanied by the usual Manager Han. Mi Sun sees him and greets him, only to be ignored. The house is quiet. Mi Sun double duties as maid and serves tea, and then switches to nurse mode and checks Il Jong’s blood pressure.

Cue moody music as Il Jong’s gaze is drawn to Mi Sun. His stressed out face softens looking at Mi Sun. He asks whether his wife is back, and she says no. He asks how old she is, and she says 24.

There is something in their interaction that suggests some active decision making on Il Jong’s part as he evaluates Mi Sun, a longing like he wished that his wife was the one saying all those caring words. For her part, she seems to slightly be embarrassed talking to him in a way that suggests that she likes him. The tension in the room increase. It’s a dark and stormy night. He strokes her hair, and things proceed in slow-mo. She tries to resist, but not in a convincing way — in a way that again suggests some attraction to Il Jong.

Of course, the little girl has to wake up to look for her nanny. She goes down the stairs of the mansion, and is drawn to the slightly open door where the two adults are. Thankfully she only sees a PG13 hug, and a kiss, but you can guess how traumatized the four year-old might be. Grandma somehow stumbles upon this scene and closes the door, leading the girl away. Grandma will be kind tonight and let Ja Kyung sleep with her.

Greedy Woman finally returns home one day. She sees little Ja Kyung, and senses that something is wrong in the house. She rushes around looking for Mi Sun, and finally finds her in her room, throwing up. That puts the estimate at about two months or so. Really woman, the miracle man tells you that a son will be conceived without you, and you don’t bother to rush home to check that things are in place? I could be wrong, but Il Jong didn’t seem like the kind of guy who goes around with multiple women on the side (I could be so wrong).

The Greedy Woman proceeds to drag Mi Sun out and beats, demanding to know who the father of the child is. Grandma arrives and tells her off: you only have yourself to blame if you go away for so long, leaving your man at home. Implicit backing of Mi Sun. Grandma proceeds to explicitly take Mi Sun’s side, and asks the other servant, Mrs Gong, to feed her well. After Grandma leaves, Greedy Woman asks Mi Sun to abort the baby, otherwise she will kill her.

Mi Sun is driven to the hospital for the abortion, accompanied by Manager Han. She sees the pregnant women at the door, and she looks clearly hesitant about the abortion. In the meantime, Grandma learns through Ja Kyung that Mi Sun has disappeared and frantically tries to find her. Manager Han pretty much leaves Mi Sun at the doorstep of the hospital, and sighs with relief that he did not meet any resistance from her.

Inside the hospital, pregnant women were strolling around left right and center. Mi San was already having doubts about the abortion, and with all the pregnant women walking around her, it is pretty much impossible for her to abort the baby.  Mi Sun looks lost and asks a nurse where she should go. But where does she want to go? She finally makes her decision and asks for the backdoor.

The sympathetic nurse escorts Mi San to the backdoor, and even gives her some money, and off Mi San goes.

The Greedy Woman drinks in frustration at the news of the failed abortion, and Manager Han tries to console her. He’s sent men to search for Mi Sun, and have ensured that she cannot contact Grandma and Il Jong. Greedy Woman recalls the miracle man’s words and is still upset.

She stumbles, and Manager Han reaches out to steady her, grabbing her hand. She then recalls the next part of the prophecy, that she too can get a son if she used another man. She continues to flail around and he tries to get her to snap out of it. Finally, he addresses her by name, “Don’t be like this, In Sook.” It seems like they may know each other from before.

In Sook looks defeated, but tries to hurt him: “Don’t call me by name. I am your boss’ wife.” Maybe she is trying to taunt him. In Sook brings up the past, that Jo Seung and Manager Han grew up like brothers, but Han gave way in love to Il Jong. Is Han content to live under Il Jong and suffer his wounded pride? Can he bear to see In Sook living in fear? Her taunts seem to fail.

Han responds that he was an orphan taken in by the family so he is indebted to them. He apologizes for his lack of ability to do more. In Sook then uses the classic back hug, and her feminine wiles to win Han over to her side, throwing herself at him. It works brilliantly.

Cut to a short scene where Il Jong strokes the blood pressure pump thing and thinks of Mi Sun. I guess it was not just a fling.

Grandma is frustrated about the lack of progress in finding Mi Sun and calls Manager Han in. She refers to Mi Sun as a child, which suggests that grandma liked Mi Sun as a person. Manager Han looks strangely vacant and non-chalant (compared to his usual intensity), trying to look innocent. I guess he sold his soul.

Grandma discerns possible disloyalty from Manager Han, and tries to re-affirm his loyalty. He says that he is loyal to the company, and in a flashback, we see In Sook telling him about her pregnancy, and promising that the company will be theirs through their son. Both Grandma and In Sook ask him to take care (in both senses) of Mi Sun. They trust him.

We shift scenes to see a very pregnant Mi San working in a doctor’s office. I am surprised that she managed to find a job being pregnant and all, but the doctor seems to like her.

In comes Manager Han and assistants to do something about Mi San. With the doctor’s help, Mi San escapes once again through the backdoor, but how is a pregnant woman supposed to run?

By some brilliant timing or lack of luck, she seems to be going into labor. She might have gotten away, but the labor pains begin and Manager Han finds her groaning in pain in an abandoned house. Being a semi-decent man (before he was corrupted by In Sook), he takes her back to the doctor for birth. Right after birth, Mi San runs away again through the backdoor, unwilling to give her son up. You can’t pull the same trick three times — Manager Han is waiting for her on the street.

In his second decent move, Manager Han relents and allows Mi San to keep the baby, under the condition that she disappears and never approaches the family or the company. Mi San runs away and takes the train to somewhere. We now learn that the baby will be called Tak Gu. His father managed to name him a while ago. Baby High (Tak) Saving (Gu, uncertain if it means wealth or heroism).

In the midst of all of Mi San’s suffering, we see In Sook contentedly enjoying her life, certain that she has a boy, and promising in a rather evil way that everything will one day belong to her son.

The kids grow up slightly. Tak Gu is now a cheeky 12-year-old and still wetting his bed. He is healthy otherwise, and talks back and gets into fights like boys do. They are living with another family with a son of a similar age. While she is willing to discipline her son, Mi San is highly protective of him and they are very close.

In a somewhat hilarious scene, we see Mi San taking a broom to discipline Tak Gu, but somehow pointing at the landlady who was beating her son. She swings, frightening the landlady into releasing Tak Gu. He runs and she gives chase, only to eventually hug him and check him for injuries.

In Sook’s son, on the other hand, is a spoilt 12-year-old with a tantrum problem, probably thanks to his mom who bribes him with money and toys. Grandma is harsher on him, and thinks he needs to be disciplined. Ma Jun hates his grandma. The girls have also grown up and seem sensible. Because he is a boy, Ma Jun gets to follow his dad to the company on Saturdays. Jo Kyung wished that she could too, but she is a girl and she knows her place.

There is a scene where Manager Han tries to tuck in Ma Jun’s collar, only to be rudely pushed aside. But he only looked proud of his son. Il Jong does not seem very comfortable with Ma Jun.

Tak Gu seems to have a highly developed sense of smell. He can smell stuff coming out of the village bakery before his friends. But because they are poor, they can’t afford to buy anything. We see that Tak Gu is quite the talker; he tries to talk the baker into letting him have crumbs, “You’ll be blessed.” He is at least somewhat bold. He might also have a developed sense of taste, “Crumbs from sweet bread are the best”.

The landlord’s fat son offers to get Tak Gu and friends bread if they play with him. Tak Gu reluctantly agrees and they troop off to the bread factory where the landlord works at. Fat kid must have done this before — he claims to be the son of the manager, and walks into the factory with Tak Gu following as a friend. Tak Gu is mesmerized at the sight of a bread production line , but the fat kid reminds him that they have to move on.

Fat kid tells Tak Gu that it is okay to take the bread because his dad is the manager and Tak Gu believes him. On the way out, fat kid’s dad spots them, and gives chase.

The kids make it out of the building, but the fat kid falls. The factory owner’s car almost runs into him, but Tak Gu, displaying a flash of loyalty (possibly misplaced), runs back and protects the bigger kid with his body.  The car brakes in time, and the kids are safe. But now they have to answer the question of what they are doing there, and with the bread on the floor, it seems quite obvious that they are thieves.

Tak Gu acknowledges that they were taking the bread, and Il Jong wants to call the police. Ma Jun gives a delighted sneer. By the way, this is the first time the father and son are meeting.

Comments:
The story is fleshing out rather rapidly. In some dramas, the backstory is given several flashbacks and is alluded to in conversations. The PD has decided to give the backstory more screentime for reasons that are currently unclear. Given the possible meeting of the father and son, it makes some sense since the first encounter is much earlier than I thought it would be. And I like the use of music so far — all instrumental, and very good for setting the mood.

For someone who was supposed to disappear, Mi San managed to pick a village where the mighty Geo Seong company has a factory. Are we supposed to understand that the company is too big to avoid, even in a rural part of South Korea? It really looks to me that there are just enough factories to drive to and visit in a day.

The characters so far are revealing bits of their personality in a way that I think suggests that there will be character development. We see different sides of the Grandma as a loving mother who dislikes her daughter-in-law, is perceptive and is maybe not really evil. She does badly want a grandson though.

In Sook is about plotting and greed. I wonder how the couple met, and whether she loves her husband. Certainly she never thought of betraying him, except she got greedy. I wonder to what extent she really cares about Manager Han. So far, I think she’s just exploiting him.

Jo Kyung may grow up to be an interesting character. She seems smart and has ambition. Currently her ambition is thwarted by the fact that she is a girl.

Young as he may be, Ma Jun is already annoying. He throws tantrum, but is weak against his grandmother and father. It doesn’t help that his mother bribes him with money and toys. More decay of personality to come I bet. The child actor is excelling at sneering.

And Tak Gu has the makings of a hero — somewhat glib, loyal, brave, optimistic and with some inherited(?) smell and taste talent that I did not sense in his dad or mom.

The drama is well-made, and I look forward to the 2nd episode.

Episode rating: 15.7% (source: Dramawiki)

Read Episode 2 recaps


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 2

Father and son meet…reunion time?

Episode 2 recap

The show retraces the last few minutes of Episode 1: the kids are caught, and Tak Gu  confesses. Il Jong (the president) tells his subordinates to call the police, and walks away.

Tak Gu hesitates a little, and then runs after Il Jong. He collapses on the ground kneeling, asking for forgiveness. It doesn’t work with the Il Jong who demands to know why he should forgive them. Tak Gu is stumped for a while, but puts on his best smile and tries to come up with excuses. The president doesn’t buy any of them, and calls Tak Gu’s bluff. “You’re brave enough to steal, but not to take responsibility.”

In the meantime, Mi Sun is handing over needlework to a woman (tearoom owner) to earn some money for rent. The woman offered her half the usual price, which is insufficient. The woman’s daughter walks in, and she is the girl from episode 1 that Tak Gu was looking embarassed at (I didn’t mention her since it was not clear whether she would be important). Mi Sun notices that the girl is hurt, but is distracted when the girl’s mom offered more money. Mi Sun takes the money and leaves.

When she reaches home, Mi Sun sees fat boy’s mom huffing out of the door. Something big has happened! The two ladies hurry off to the police station.

After the initial relief at seeing their sons, Fat Boy’s mom demands to know what they were doing, stealing from her husband’s workplace. You probably saw this coming — Fat Boy blames Tak Gu for making him steal. Mi Sun has to intervene, and turns towards Tak Gu. “How could you?” It looks more like a show for Fat Boy’s mom if it’s anything like the previous incidents. Tak Gu does not deny. He says he just wanted to eat bread.

Mi Sun tries to bring the situation to a close by offering to pay for the bread that both boys stole. The policeman says it’s not a matter of money because the president handed the boys over. Mi Sun is shocked at the mention of the president. She decides to go see the president.

At the factory, Mi Sun sees Il Jong and his entourage. Suddenly, her sense of purpose disappears, and she looks longingly at him while hiding. She manages to remember her purpose for coming and prepares to approach them when she catches sight of Manager Han. She stops and hides as the men get into the car and drive off. Il Jong does not notice her, but Manager Han seemed to have noticed the suspicious character.

Much later in the day with no news from the president, the police decide to let the boys go. Mi Sun takes Tak Gu to the village bakery, and buys him not one, but a whole plate of bread. Tak Gu looks wide-eyed at the bread. Looking sad, Mi Sun apologizes for not being able to buy Tak Gu what he wants, and tells him how precious he is to her. Tak Gu tears up, and eats his bread while his mother watches. There was something incredibly touching about the scene, and I had to hold back tears. It’s a melodrama alright.

At the same time, Ma Jun is getting the punishment that Grandma promised him earlier in the day. Punishment is different in the rich house. Grandma lays a cane down, and starts by preaching, telling Ma Jun a story of how Il Jong at his age was waking up early to carry water. He cut trees for wood after school, and studied at night, and he was always top of his class.

Ma Jun interrupts Grandma, saying that he’s heard this story a million times. “But you didn’t learn.” Grandma continues that Ma Jun cannot get anything truly unless he works for it. Prelude now over, Grandma asks how many times Ma Jun wants to get hit.

To her despair, Ma Jun says “as many times as you want.” He continues, “Honestly I don’t want to get hit, but you’re not going to do that, so do what you want.” In that case, Grandma will hit him until he is sorry. Surprisingly Ma Jun is not immediately sorry, and endures the caning on the back of his legs.

Outside, In Sook is in a frenzy hearing the sound of the cane. Manager Han holds her back, and offers to go inside instead.

Inside the room, Ma Jun is bleeding and trying to hold his tears back. Grandma is out of breath from hitting him. Manager Han suggests that Grandma end the punishment to let her body rest. Grandma doesn’t look like she agrees and Ma Jun chooses this moment to break into loud sobbing cries, which naturally draws his mother into the room.

In Sook commands Ma Jun to go to his room. Her son safely out of the room, In Sook demands to know why Grandma is mean to the grandson she has been wanting. Grandma says that it is not enough to give birth to a son; it is also necessary to teach him well. Annoyed In Sook accuses Grandma of leftover remorse from Mi Sun. Grandma looks confused.

Not reading the situation, In Sook keeps going on about how Grandma would prefer Mi Sun’s son instead. Now Grandma gets really upset and shouts for In Sook to get out. Manager Han looks disapprovingly at the situation but is helpless as In Sook keeps going crazy.

In Ma Jun’s room, Manager Han applies some cream on his son’s legs. Ma Jun asks why Grandma hates only him. Manager Han tells him to ignore it. His Grandma won’t be able to touch him when he becomes an adult, so he should focus on the big things. In fact, Ma Jun will become bigger than his dad (Il Jong), and Manager Han promises to make it happen.

Ma Jun asks, “How can a secretary do that?” Manager Han replies that he is someone who would die for Ma Jun. Surprised, Ma Jun suddenly stops crying and looks back at Manager Han with wide eyes, like he might have understood something. Manager Han is getting to be really sinister.

That same night, Tak Gu is having problems sleeping. He is recalling what the president said about taking responsibility.

The next morning, Fat Boy and Tak Gu leave for school. With the kids barely out of the gate, the landlady immediately asks Mi Sun to move out. Mi Sun realizes that she forgot about the rent, but the landlady says that it is more than that. Mi Sun apologizes, but to no avail, so she diverts attention to the landlady’s laundry and offers to take them to the creek to wash. The landlady refuses, but Mi Sun grabs the laundry and says it is not inconvenient. The landlady lets Mi Sun go, and chokes in a smile. We see where Tak Gu got that from.

Unfortunately, Tak Gu and Fat Boy were outside and they heard everything. Tak Gu is, of course, unhappy. They walk by the recycling man on the way to school, and Tak Gu gets an idea. He asks whether he can get paid for the recyclables, and the man says yes. Thus, Tak Gu proceeds to spend his free time picking stuff from around. He works so hard that he starts to fall asleep in class.

His friends and Fat Boy offer to help Tak Gu, and he accepts. Finally he collects enough money to redeem his and Mi Sun’s dignity, and the boys celebrate.

We interrupt the celebration with a third appearance of Yu Kyung, whom we now confirm as Tak Gu’s crush. Her parents are wine sellers, and thus she is not socially accepted. Not that it matters to Tak Gu.

Money in hand, Tak Gu marches into the bread factory, and approaches Il Jong who was making his rounds. The entourage tries to shoo him off, but Tak Gu stands firm and declares that he has business with the president. Il Jong looks impressed by the show of bravado, and demands to know what business Tak Gu has.

Tak Gu explains that he could not sleep because of his embarrassment. Thus he sold recyclables to get the bread money, and hands the money ceremoniously over. Il Jong does not react for a while. Suddenly, he bursts out in laughter, and tells Tak Gu that he is funny. Tak Gu looks confused, and explain that he is not trying to be funny.

Trying to make things more serious and formal, Tak Gu identifies his name, school and class. “Tak Gu?” Il Jong notices the name. As Tak Gu explains his name, Il Jong remembers Mi Sun. He accepts the bread money.

Mission accomplished, Tak Gu proudly marches through the entourage to the back, where his friends were witnessing the exchange. While the boys high-five each other in delight, Manager Han and Ma Jun look displeased. The president asks for a box of cream bread to be sent to Tak Gu’s school, and after a pause, to Tak Gu’s dad as well. (wait…did something just happen?)

The bread goes to the school, and everyone is happy. The teacher announces that the bread was due to Tak Gu’s courageous act. The girl crush looks impressed, and Tak Gu looks super pleased.

Manager Han checks in with Ma Jun to find out why he is looking upset. Ma Jun explains that it’s because Il Jong sent Tak Gu a box of bread. Moreover, the look on Il Jong’s face is one that Ma Jun has never seen since birth.

Back in Tak Gu’s home, Mi Sun is upset that Tak Gu went to see the president. Tak Gu explains that he had to, and his mom is quiet. She ventures to ask what Il Jong said, and Tak Gu proudly replied that the president called him a courageous kid.

Tak Gu retrieves the two cream bread he saved from earlier, wanting to share his reward with Mi Sun. She has other issues in mind, and asks him for more details about the encounter, trying to hold back her excitement and tears.

Tak Gu replies that the president is like a tiger on the outside, but is really nice in reality. Trying to hide her emotions, Mi Sun turns her back and tells Tak Gu to eat without her. She tells him that he shouldn’t go back to the bread factory because the president is busy.

Tak Gu doesn’t pick up on her tone. He says that he wants to be like the president when he grows up. Turning her back to hide her face is now insufficient. Mi Sun talks about the forgotten laundry outside, and exits the room. Outside, she tries hard to compose herself and collects the laundry.

Unfortunately, Manager Han is hiding in the shadows, and he recognizes her, somewhat shocked. He goes back to report to the president, and lies that it was not Mi Sun. Il Jong looks disappointed.

Tak Gu runs into his crush by the river. Her sleeves are rolled up and she is cleaning up a nose bleed. Going closer, Tak Gu notices the bruises on her arms. He demands to know who did it to her. Not replying, Yu Kyung walks away, leaving her bag behind. Tak Gu picks up her bag and runs after her. However, he refuses to return it unless she tells him who hurt her.

She demands to know what Tak Gu would do if he knew who. He said he would hit the person. She says she wants him to kill the person — can he do it? Tak Gu looks shocked, and she jerks her bag out of his grasp. “Stupid.”

Tak Gu apologizes, but he doesn’t know how to kill a person. He offers to make her laugh instead. He does the little chant that he and his friends like, and she is unresponsive. Tak Gu apologizes for failing, and leaves. But as he leaves, he farts, and she giggles. He turns back and notes that she laughed. He repeats his leg-lifting, fart-inducing move and keeps her giggling as he continues to walk away.

Yu Kyung’s father comes along and catches her talking to Tak Gu. He accuses her of trying to seduce boys and hits her. Her cries reach Tak Gu, who turns around and sees the scene. He runs over and asks her dad to stop hitting her. Her dad switches his target to Tak Gu, and they have a little chase scene that ends up circling around a construction scaffold. Being drunk and clumsy, the dad knocks over the scaffold and a ton of heavy things fall on him. He lies motionless as the kids look on in horror. Yu Kyung may have gotten what she wished for.

Tak Gu runs over to see if the man is fine, and wants to call for an ambulance. Yu Kyung thinks that they should run away and that he’s dead. Tak Gu tries to wake the drunk dad by calling him a few more times. Just when he was about to give up, drunk dad grabs Tak Gu. The kids run away in fear.

While all the excitement is happening, Mi Sun receives an unwelcomed visitor — Manager Han. They go to a quiet place to talk. He accuses her of plotting — living near the Geo Seung factory, and with the manager of the factory? Manager Han threatens her and a fearful Mi Sun promises to disappear. Worried about her son’s safety, Mi Sun frantically runs around looking for Tak Gu who hasn’t gone home yet.

Nightfall, and the kids are still hanging out. Tak Gu unsuccessfully tries to hide his hunger, and they realize that they can’t hang out forever. Yu Kyung says they should head home. Tak Gu offers to have her stay with him and his mom but Yu Kyung declines. Her dad will be passed out from drinking, so she’ll be fine. Tak Gu promises not to tell others about her dad.

Tak Gu runs into his mom in the marketplace, and she frantically looks him over to make sure that he’s not hurt.

Yu Kyung lingers outside the police station, where her dad finds her and drags her home. He demands to know who the boy was, but Yu Kyung says that she doesn’t know him.

Back home, Mi Sun starts packing. A confused Tak Gu asks what is going on. Mi Sun says that she will tell him when he gets older. Apparently, Tak Gu has heard this before and he is now sick of it. He tells his mom that he’s sick of having to move just when he’s made some friends. He wants to stay. This may be the first time Tak Gu has expressed his feelings about the constant moving. Mi Sun cries miserably to herself in the room, while Tak Gu hangs outside the house tries to cheer up, chanting his usual chant.

Yu Kyung is at home, and is miserable too. She chants Tak Gu’s chant, trying to cheer herself up.

“Off the Incheon shores,
You may find soda.
But if you have no cup,
You can’t drink it at all.”

Back in the rich house, they are having dinner. Grandma excuses herself because she is not feeling well. The family discusses excitedly about Il Jong’s birthday party which is happening the next day. Il Jong excuses himself, and tells his wife to care more for his mother than the party.

That night, Mi Sun can’t sleep, and thinks about what Tak Gu said. The next morning, she dresses herself, and wakes Tak Gu up. They have a place to visit.

The place is the rich house, where the garden party is underway. Tak Gu is overwhelmed and asks who lives there. “Your dad.”

They are stopped at the security post. They don’t have an invitation, but her name is Kim Mi Sun. If the guards tell that to the president, he will understand. The guards convey the message, but to Manager Han. He is the one who goes to the gate, and asks her to leave. Unlike the previous day, Mi Sun stands her ground, “Is this not allowed?”

Manager Han orders the guards to drag her out, and they comply. They ignore Tak Gu who is standing by the side. Sizing up the situation, he runs towards the house and shouts for help. People at the party turn their heads…and it’s a cliffhanger.

Comments:

I guess I am still wondering where all this is going. 2 episodes on the childhood part, and more to come. But we know it all eventually gets to the part when the kids grow up. Sure, we are seeing character development as the kids grow up, and it’s interesting. But where are we heading with this information?

Grandma seemed somewhat unfriendly the first episode, and she is not friendly towards In Sook and Ma Jun, but I think she judges people on their own merits. She’s been through hard times, which makes her different from the type of mother-in-law who was rich from the start. That was an interesting revelation, that Il Jong had to build his own empire.

We also learn a little more about Mi Sun and Tak Gu’s lives so far. I did not realize that they have been moving around constantly, in fear of being found, which really makes me wonder what Mi Sun was thinking, choosing a town that had a Geo Seung factory. South Korea is kinda big, and there is no reason for her to choose a place within driving distance to Geo Seung.

I was also wondering why Tak Gu has Mi Sun’s accent, unlike his friends. One possibility is that his only constant companion is Mi Sun. They could also have been staying somewhere south.

In any case, the gloves are off. Mi Sun has chosen to face the problems head on (which maybe she should have years ago) instead of running away. I doubt things will go well (given the trailers at the end), and maybe it will add to the story. We were coasting along before, but now we have slightly upped the stakes.

Episode Rating: 16.9% (DramaWiki)

Read Episode 3 recaps


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 3

Spoiler alert! Food porn ahead! But first, the tears…

Episode 3 recaps

We start off with the end of episode 2, but with more details. Mi Sun brings Tak Gu to the rich house to see Il Jong, only to be greeted by Manager Han. While the guards drag Mi Sun away, Tak Gu takes the opportunity to run towards the house. It took a while for this to register, but Manager Han runs after him.

Tak Gu shouts for help while running, but there was no one on the way in. He reaches the house and hesitates, but runs in. He reaches the other end of the house and opens the door to the garden and shouts for help. Sort of. His voice dies as he is greeted by an ongoing party. He stares at the party in awe, embarrassed to interrupt, and Manager Han catches up to drag him off. Il Jong interrupts to ask what is going on.

Manager Han looks unfazed, and says that it is nothing and he will deal with the situation. Tak Gu finally finds his tongue and asks Il Jong to save his mom.

Followed by his family (no Grandma), he heads out to the gate to meet Tak Gu’s mom. Despite the initial shock of seeing In Sook, Mi Sun remains composed and greets everyone politely. She tells Tak Gu to greet his dad.

They head back to the house, where everyone was left to sit awkwardly in the living room and Il Jong and Manager Han are conspicuously missing. Informed by the servant, Mrs Gong, Grandma joins the adults in the living room. Grandma immediately warms up to Tak Gu, noting how much he resembles a young version of his dad.

In his private room, Il Jong has a go at Manager Han. He specifically asked Han to check on Tak Gu’s mom. Clearly Manager Han lied. Why did he lie? When did he start lying? Manager Han says something about keeping the peace in the house, and Il Jong shouts at him. Since he’s been quiet the whole time, it’s rather surprising. He tells Manager Han that he only requires loyalty, not thinking.

The Gu kids are sent upstairs while the adults talk.

Il Jong coldly asks what Mi Sun wants. Is she here for money? Despite his words, his face does not really look that cold towards Mi Sun. Actually, he looks like he feels betrayed.

Mi Sun wants to leave Tak Gu with the family. She doesn’t want anything else. Grandma is delighted, while In Sook is vehemently against it. Grandma says either they take the kid, or Il Jong will have two families. Il Jong says they will do as Grandma wants. (But what does he want?)

It is awkward all round in the house. Il Jong excuses himself to go attend to his guests. In Sook goes to get a drink to calm herself down. Grandma asks to talk to Mi Sun privately, leaving Tak Gu alone.

The Gu kids come over to check Tak Gu out. Mrs Gong serves food to Tak Gu, and stops to exclaim how much he resembles his father, which irritates Ja Kyung and Ma Jun. Ja Rim, on the other hand, seems friendly and asks his age, declaring that he’s older that Ma Jun so Ma Jun should call him hyung. Ma Jun resents it, calling him a beggar and a fly, and tells him to leave.

In Grandma’s chambers, Mi Sun breaks down and says that it has really hard and she’s no longer able to raise Tak Gu. Grandma says that she understands. Grandma tries to give Mi Sun some money to live better, but Mi Sun says she only wants the right to visit Tak Gu once or twice a year. Besides, if she took the money, that will open her to gossip that she kept her son for money. Grandma approves of Mi Sun’s decision.

Downstairs, Tak Gu does not seem to quite understand what is happening. Mi Sun avoids eye contact with her son, and apologizes to In Sook through the door. She cannot bear to tell Tak Gu directly what is happening, so she tells In Sook that she is leaving Tak Gu to the family.

Tak Gu is alarmed, and asks his mom if she’s gone mad. He repeats that he wants to go home, but Mi Sun says no. He will stay and benefit from his father’s house. Mi Sun leaves and Tak Gu starts bawling.

Manager Han catches Mi Sun as she heads out. Does she really think that her son will be safer in the rich house? Mi Sun steels herself, and threatens to retaliate if Tak Gu is harmed. Once outside, she loses all that steel, and pretty much collapses.

Annoyed by Tak Gu’s crying, In Sook comes out and slaps him. She challenges Grandma — if he’s staying here, she’s free to do what she wants to the kid. In Sook then drunkenly heads out back to the party. She tells Il Jong that she will have to accept things, but she has a condition. Tak Gu cannot be added to the family register. She orders Manager Han to ready the car to take her to Cheongpyong (she keeps going there, vacation home?).

Back in the house, Tak Gu is sitting in a corner. Il Jong walks by and asks him what he’s up to. Tak Gu says he’s thinking. He needs to figure out how he is going to survive. Il Jong is pleased at Tak Gu’s thoughtfulness. He tells Tak Gu not to worry, and to make full use of the resources the house has to offer.

Ma Jun arrives to call Il Jong to dinner. Il Jong leaves the boys alone, and they have a talk. Ma Jun warns him that he is not welcomed and to get out. The boys are interrupted by the call to dinner.

At dinner, Tak Gu is too upset to eat. But he remembers his mom words to never go hungry, and starts to eat with gusto while fighting tears. This causes the kids to stare at him, before they were told off by their grandma.

Somehow, Mi Sun manages to make it back to Cheongsan. She runs into Yu Kyung, who tries to greet Mi Sun, but was too distraught to notice. The kids in school were wondering where Tak Gu was. Yu Kyung follows Mi Sun home, and witnesses Mi Sun telling her landlady that she left Tak Gu with his dad. The landlady is surprisingly sympathetic.

Outside the house, Yu Kyung runs into her dad, who demands to know if the boy who injured him lived here. Yu Kyung says no, and runs off. Yu Kyung’s dad gives the house a look over. Something bad is probably going to happen.

In Sook meets up private with Manager Han. She demands to know how Mi Sun managed to bear Tak Gu and bring him up when Han was supposed to get rid of them. Manager Han apologizes that he could not clean up the situation previously, but promises to do better in the future. In Sook nearly hits Manager Han in anger, but stops herself. Instead, she collapses into his arms, and says that things are difficult for her and that he is the only person who can understand.

Tak Gu’s life in the new house does not proceed well. He’s not getting on in school with the other kids, the Gu kids ignore him, and he lives in constant fear of In Sook. However in a letter to his mom, he lies and says that everything is going well.

Not satisfied with just ignoring Tak Gu, Ma Jun tries to stir up trouble. Ja Kyung’s mechanical pencil disappears, and the Gu kids march over to Tak Gu’s room demanding to search. Ma Jun was the accuser — he saw Tak Gu loitering outside Ja Kyung’s room. Tak Gu says he wanted to ask for homework help, but Ja Kyung looked busy and he did not want to disturb her. Moreover, Tak Gu has no idea what a mechanical pencil is, and Ja Rim helpfully explains that it looks like a pen.

In any case, Ja Kyung does a quick search but doesn’t find anything. Ma Jun offers to help, and almost immediately finds the missing mechanical pencil in a drawer. Ja Kyung gives him a suspicious look, and Ma Jun proudly parades his evidence. Tak Gu denies stealing, and the two boys almost come to fists, except Grandma appears to check in on what the fuss is.

Everyone gathers in Grandma’s chambers, and the boys kneel while explaining the situation. Ma Jun explains that Ja Kyung’s mechanical pencil was missing, and they found it in Tak Gu’s room thus Tak Gu must have stolen it. Grandma asks Ja Kyung if she agrees. Ja Kyung cautiously states that the pencil was found in Tak Gu’s room, but mentions nothing about stealing.

Grandma orders the Gu kids out of the room. Outside, Ja Kyung tells Ma Jun that as much as she dislikes Tak gu, he should never do something like that again, or she will deal with him personally.

Inside the room, Grandma gives Tak Gu five lashes. She also explains that she believes that he is innocent, but she cannot appear to take sides. This will not be an isolated incident; He will continue to meet other similar incidences, and fists will not solve the problem. Tak Gu asks what he can do, and Grandma says he will just have to bear it until the truth is revealed.

Ja Rim finds Tak Gu after his punishment and gives him some ointment for his legs. She helpfully explains the family dynamics to him: Grandma and Il Jong are on one side, In Sook and Ma Jun are another side, Ja Kyung is her own faction and Ja Rim just tries to stay out of everything. She advises him to stay clear of the factions if he wants to survive.

Tak Gu doesn’t understand why the family has so many sides. There should only be one side in a family. Ja Rim offers no explanations. There is no love in the family, just a power struggle. She also cautions him against visiting the small separate house where Il Jong stays.

Tak Gu is woken up in the middle of the night by a smell. He follows it out of his room, out of the house and realizes that it is bread. And it is coming from the small house that Ja Rim told him to avoid. This makes him pause for about a second, before his nose led the way and he continues on towards the small house.

He found the door unlocked, and let himself in. It’s dark inside, except for a kitchen lit with warm glowly lights. There’s a lot of flour in the air too, and a whole bunch of ingredients on the large wooden table.

Il Jong suddenly appears, still in his formal shirt , but now with an apron and protective sleeves over his arms. He inhales and exhales, moving his arms along like doing tai-chi, and suddenly gets to work making dough. What follows is a 2 minute segment of food porn, that seems somewhat inaccurate. Tak Gu is enthralled by the performance and keeps watching for hours.

Suddenly a hand reaches over Tak Gu’s mouth and someone drags him away. It is Manager Han, but it is not clear that Tak Gu realizes this. Tak Gu struggles, but to no avail. He’s taken outside, and he keeps struggling as he is dragged further away. At last he breaks free, and starts running towards the small house. He enters, and rushes towards the kitchen where Il Jong was. In his haste, he knocks over a tray of bread, and Il Jong looks at him.


Comments:
The last scene could have been a scene out of a fairy tale. I think the bread making part was inaccurate, but the soft lighting and warm colors, and with Tak Gu just emerging from his sleep, all serve to make it look rather beautiful and surreal. And then it changes into a nightmare, like a giant chasing Tak Gu from the top of the beanstalk or something.

But about the story — I think this episode was a little slow. We devote a lot of time to settling the problems and showing how there were conflicts, but these are all details. A really succinct summary would be, Tak Gu is sent to his father, and he doesn’t get along with the family. One night, he sees his father making bread.

I really don’t see why Mi Sun gave Tak Gu to his dad, and didn’t say a word about how Manager Han has been threatening her. As Manager Han pointed out, having Tak Gu over doesn’t ensure his safety. I think it was a really bad move on her part. For all that has happened to her, she is really still very naive.

It was interesting seeing the Gu kids react to Tak Gu. We knew how Ma Jun would react, but I wasn’t expecting the initial coldness from Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. I mean, Mi Sun pretty much abandoned Tak Gu, and I (being sexist) expected the girls to react with more sympathy. I guess the illegitimate son part, and the fact that their dad had an affair was more important to them.

We see more of Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. The part where Ja Rim sat down with Tak Gu and explained the family dynamics to me was particularly informative. It could have turned out very cynical, but Ja Rim made it sound like it’s just all facts. I have been siding with Grandma and Il Jong, but this speech made me change my mind. Just because In Sook seems evil does not mean that Grandma and dad are the good guys. The fact that Ja Kyung has her own mind makes me think that she’s going to be a wildcard.

I liked how the writers are capable of making very complex characters. I am particularly noticing this with Grandma. The other characters still seem rather simple to me. I started out disliking Grandma in Ep 1, then liking her in Ep 2, and here I have mixed feelings. I mean, it looked really selfish when she was happy that Tak Gu was sent to the house. She cares about Mi Sun, but not quite enough, and maybe because she was Tak Gu’s mother.

I was disappointed by Il Jong’s lack of emotions. He really holds himself back. He clearly likes Tak Gu, but does not seem to spend time with his son. I realize that it would infuriate In Sook, but he should feel free to spend time with Tak Gu if he wants to. I was also sad that he didn’t make time to speak with Mi Sun in private. He liked her to some extent, but he’s not showing any sort of affection. He took care of things in a very minimal and superficial way. The side of baker Il Jong was kind of surprising. He looked like the kind of guy who didn’t like to get his hands dirty.

We have moved some important chess pieces, but the consequences are not apparent yet. I’m beginning to appreciate devoting so much time to the backstory; it’s a lot richer than usual. But now I am expecting more from the adult part when things have to resolve.


PS. Anyone noticed that Tak Gu sleeps beside his bed?

Episode Ratings: 28.5% (Dramawiki)

Read Episode 4 recaps


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 4

OMG OMG OMG!! I know this is bad manners, but this drama upped its act even more. No wonder the ratings were skyhigh! And it’s only episode 4! I’ll expect to be disappointed in the coming episodes, but hopefully not.

Episode 4 recap

Il Jong finds Tak Gu on the ground, the tray of bread that that he had set down strewn on the ground too. The two guys look at each other in silence. Tak Gu clearly has an “oh s*** what have I done” look. Il Jong is harder to read.

Il Jong demands an explanation. Tak Gu doesn’t really have much to say. Manager Han finally catches up with Tak Gu, and apologizes. He found Tak Gu at the window peeking, and wanted to take him away silently, but must have frightened Tak Gu in the process. He will take Tak Gu out now.

But not yet. Il Jong is insistent and demands to know what Tak Gu was doing peeking in. Tak Gu says he was asleep. Somehow, he smelled something delicious, and by the time he was awake, he was looking at Il Jong wave his arms and make bread. Hmm…sleepwalking eh?

Manager Han tries to take Tak Gu away again, and Tak Gu does not resist, but Il Jong says to leave Tak Gu. Manager Han is so surprised that he confirms twice that he is supposed to leave Tak Gu

Il Jong tells Tak Gu that he can’t see properly from so far away, so he should stand in front of the table and watch the bread making process. Well, not that near. Tak Gu is delighted, and stands quietly watching Il Jung mix a bunch of things (that do not really belong in bread). Manager Han looks at the father and son, face impassive but he’s probably not happy. We hear echoes of Ma Jun sighing that he has never seen that side of his father.

The breadmaking takes hours, and at some point it is bright outside the windows. Tak Gu tries to say something, but Il Jong tells him that he doesn’t want to talk while making bread. Tak Gu obeys, but his stomach does not, emitting a loud growl. And another loud growl. Il Jong looks slightly amused, and decides that they should eat.

Enter another glowy father and son scene, and some clarifications. Tak Gu exclaims that fresh bread is delicious, and Il Jong is pleased. The cream bun that Tak Gu bit into was Il Jong’s first and favorite bread. Sadly, the reality of selling bread is that you have to spend more time drinking than making bread. Il Jong cannot make bread every morning anymore.

Il Jong asks Tak Gu how he was able to smell the bread before it was baked. Ah! So it wasn’t a mistake in the previous episode that Tak Gu entered the room, and there was no bread.

Tak Gu says he smelled something that reminded him of other bakeries — the sweetness of white sugar, and the sourness of something that is like rice wine. Il Jong accepts his explanation.

Tak Gu urges Il Jong to eat too, and like a little boy, Il Jong eats messily, smearing the cream all over his mouth. Just one word: adorable! Man, I never thought Il Jong had it in him!

Tak Gu brings the rest of the bread back to the main house and sets it down on the dining table. Grandma asks how Tak Gu brought the bread from the workshop, and Tak Gu explains it’s fresh from the oven so Il Jung told him to deliver it. The Gu kids can’t believe their ears — straight from the workshop? Grandma tells Tak Gu to sit down for breakfast, but he declines. He has already eaten in the workshop, so he excuses himself. Grandma looks pleased.

Il Jong comes in next, and Grandma tells him to take a seat. But Il Jong has also eaten breakfast, so he’ll go get ready to start his day. As he gets dressed, Il Jong thinks about what Tak Gu said about the sweet smell of sugar, and the sourness of rice wine. Someone told him about that smell before: it’s the smell of fermentation.

Back when Il Jung was a baker apprentice, his master was a bearded old man, with a distinct scar on his right hand. And Il Jong was a dashing young man. The master said that you can tell whether dough is ready by pressing on it. But some people have the ability to use smell to check whether the bread dough is ready.

The other young apprentices are in disbelief, but Il Jong was quiet and stoic even as a young man. Annoyed, the master repeated himself “I’ve only met one such person my entire life, and he was a genius.” I guess we know who else is a genius.

After breakfast, Ma Jun shows up in Tak Gu’s room to ask whether he had breakfast with Il Jong that morning. Tak Gu says yes, and Ma Jun says it’s not allowed. Tak Gu replies that Il Jung did not stop him from entering the workshop. In fact, he was invited to join Il Jung for baking every Wednesday and Sunday if he wants.

Ma Jun can’t believe it, and calls him a liar. No one has ever been allowed into the workshop, not even Grandma. Tak Gu asks if it’s for real. In any case, since he was invited to join Il Jong, Ma Jun can come along.

And instead of accepting it, Ma Jun unleashes his fury. “I hate bread!” He hates it a lot, and he doesn’t want to make it. Which is just fine because as Ma Jun turns to leave, they see Il Jong right outside the room. Il Jong doesn’t say anything about Ma Jun’s tirade. Instead he tells the boys to get dressed because they are heading to the factory. Tak Gu is delighted to be included. And nothing gets Ma Jun ready more quickly than competition.

The boys and Il Jong arrive at the Cheongsan factory, and are greeted by the workers. Tak Gu greets them back, especially his previous landlord. Unsurprisingly, the landlord is surprised. They do a walk around the factory. Finally, they stop to check the supplies.

Il Jong opens a fresh bag of flour, and runs a handful of flour through his hands. Tak Gu asks Ma Jun what is going on. To my absolute surprise, Ma Jun knows his stuff. Il Jong is checking the moisture content of the flour. Flour that is too wet and sticks to the hands cannot be used to make bread. Tak Gu feels the same way as I do, and tells Ma Jun that he never thought that Ma Jun knew much.

Finally, the inspection party ends up in front of a table with four bowls of dough. Il Jong says that only one of the dough is good enough to make bread, and he wants the boys to identify which one.

Ma Jun steps forward like an expert, and pushes his finger on each dough. He makes a quick decision: number 3 is correct. The workers look impressed. Now Tak Gu takes his turn.

Untrained, Tak Gu does what he does best — smell. He sniffs at each bowl of dough, and then backtracks to sniff bowl 3 again. Finally he answers that he has no answer. None of the dough smells like Il Jong’s bread. Bowl 1’s dough was not sweet, bowls 2 and 3 were sweeter, but bowl 4 had a bit more of a sour smell.

Il Jung looks more and more pleased with each word that Tak Gu says. He pronounced Ma Jun’s answer to be correct. However, Tak Gu was also right. None of the dough was like the one he made that morning. In the factory, they use dry yeast, but the dough he made at home used live yeast. The two types of yeast behave differently. (I’m not sure about this.)

On the way out, Tak Gu asks Il Jong all kinds of questions. Like why are some of the boxes a different color? The factory gives 10% to orphanages and the poor. Il Jong explains that his motivation for building a bread factory is to feed people. He has lost a friend to hunger, and it’s worse than losing people through war. Making bread is an act of patriotism too if it’s to feed everyone.

In the meantime at home, In Sook notices that Il Jong is not around, and asks Mrs Gong where he is. Mrs Gong replies that Il Jong took the boys to the factory. “Boys?” In Sook doesn’t like the sound of it.

A yellow (and fugly) car arrives at the factory, and it is none other than darling In Sook. She goes in, and overhears Il Jong asking the boys whether they would like to formally learn bread making from him. Her answer is no way, and over her dead body would she allow her precious Ma Jun to be at the same rank as someone like Tak Gu. Tak Gu can learn bread making; her son is not touching that flour thing.

And I’m like “What?” I Thought she wanted Tak Gu out. I didn’t realize she meant that her son should be out.She doesn’t understand how important it is for her son to learn breadmaking from his father and compete with Tak Gu…

So Ma Jun has to leave with his mother. Outside the factory, a sulky Ma Jun gets mad at his mom. How could she embarrass Il Jong in front of the factory workers? I can’t believe that I actually like Ma Jun after 3 episodes of disliking him.

Under orders from Il Jong, Manager Han catches up with In Sook. He tells her that she should just leave things be. Learning bread making from his father is something that Ma Jun wants. Well, no one is getting through to this lady.

Back home, Grandma chastises In Sook for embarrassing Il Jong in front of his employees. Clearly she was not thinking as usual. In Sook disagrees. She has warned Grandma that things will happen if they took Tak Gu in. Self righteous b*****!

After Grandma leaves, Ja Kyung speaks up. She’ll have to agree with Grandma on this one. In Sook was being too selfish and thoughtless. In fact, In Sook might have just pushed Il Jong towards Tak Gu AND Mi Sun. *smack* Everyone: 4 In Sook: 0.

In Sook is left frantically wondering when Il Jong will come home.

And Il Jong would have. They probably left the factory around lunchtime. On the way back in the car, Tak Gu apologizes for being the reason for the fight. Il Jong says it’s not his fault. To change the topic, he suggested finding some place to eat noodles. Tak Gu should know of a good place since he lived in Cheongsan. And Tak Gu knows a good place…

…it’s home. From inside the house, Mi Sun hears Tak Gu shouting for her. She can’t believe her ears, but she goes outside and there he is!

Tak Gu explains that Il Jung wanted to have noodles, so Tak Gu brought him home. Mi Sun hurries into the kitchen, and realizes that she has nothing. Landlady is in a frenzy too — is that the president? Mi Sun can use the landlady’s cucumbers, so she just needs to get noodles from the market.

While they wait for the noodles to be cooked, Tak Gu’s friends stop by. News sure travel quickly. Il Jong gives Tak Gu permission to leave.

The boys catch up on important things, like are the girls in Seoul prettier? Tak Gu asks about Yu Kyung. It seems that her mom ran away with another man a couple of weeks ago.

Tak Gu finds Yu Kyung, who was fetching wine for her dad (I was wondering why she keeps running around with a kettle). They exchange polite greetings, and Yu Kyung asks Tak Gu what that Incheon shore chant was again. He is delighted to perform it for her twice.

Even though she’s nervously looking around for her dad, Yu Kyung enjoys Tak Gu’s little dance. Of course, they did not see Yu Kyung’s dad approaching them. Tak Gu runs, and the dad gives chase.

Yu Kyung runs to Tak Gu’s house for help. She interrupts a little conversation between Mi Sun and Il Jong. Everyone runs out, looking for Tak Gu.

Tak Gu was hiding in a construction site, but is easily found by the drunk dad. The next time we see him, there is blood on his face. But Tak Gu is not afraid. He puts on a calm face and tells Yu Kyung’s dad that he’s scum for beating his daughter, and doing nothing but be drunk all day. No wonder his wife ran away.

In return, Yu Kyung’s dad makes fun of him for not having a dad, and pretty much calls Mi Sun trash. You don’t insult a boy’s mother! Tak Gu shoves at the dad, but he is easily caught and Yu Kyung’s dad beats him up…except Il Jong stops him.

Yu Kyung’s dad doesn’t care that Il Jong is Tak Gu’s dad. All men deserve a fair beating. So Il Jong goes for it, and knocks the drunk dad down in one punch. Mi Sun rushes over to Tak Gu, and Il Jong goes over as well. The happy family scene does not sit well with Manager Han.

Back at Mi Sun’s place, she tends to Il Jong’s cut knuckle while Tak Gu sleeps. Il Jong congratulates her for bringing up her son so well, under such difficult conditions. He hugs her, and Mi Sun accepts it. Probably with joy and relief, she sobs silently into his shoulder.

In the meantime, Manager Han is in the police station, dealing with the report and Yu Kyung’s dad. But he realizes that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Yu Kyung’s dad seems ready to get back at Tak Gu despite being in cuffs. I foresee Yu Kyung’s dad doing something very evil.

By the time Il Jong gets home, it’s almost 9pm, 6 hours past his usual time. In Sook demands to know whether he was at Mi Sun’s house. Il Jong explains that Tak Gu was hurt, so there was no choice. Even then, she can’t believe that they talked the whole time. Insinuations insinuations.

Does this mean Il Jong will visit every week? Il Jong says that he will do what he wants. Unlike In Sook who embarrassed him in public, Mi Sun brought up a child for him. He needs to compensate her. It’s not about getting even. She’s nowhere near his level.

Later that night, it rains. Always a bad sign. Ma Jun and Grandma are awokened by a loud sound (sure has to be freaking loud for such a big house).Grandma looks out of the balcony and sees In Sook and Manager Han walking outside. She follows them.

In Sook and Manager Han end up in the workshop. She is mad about what happened today, and she couldn’t wait till Cheongpyong to meet with him. This time, Manager Han challenges her. Why is she so shakened by the fact that Il Jong met Mi Sun? Il Jong doesn’t care about In Sook, so why should she care about him? And who does she think Manager Han is?

She calls him Seung Jae-sshi. He’s her man, and Ma Jun is their son. She only wants to ensure that their son inherits the fortune, after that, she’ll leave Il Jung and go to him. It’s for their son. Encouraged, he tries to kiss her, but she resists. Not in the workshop. And realizing she’s pushed him away a little too much, she draws him close again.

All these are witnessed by Grandma, who for some reasons stays for the entire show until In Sook and Manager Han run into her while leaving. Grandma can’t believe that Seung Jae is betraying the family, after all they have done for him. She’s really upset, and she’s old, and Manager Han looks much younger and stronger…I’m just saying.

From outside in the rain, Ma Jun is listening and seeing everything through the window.

Comments
Whew! That was a whirlwind that blew me over. The previous episodes were well-made, but this one blew me away!

I was really pleased with the food porn. Not just visual porn, but mental porn. The somewhat plausible stuff, like a genius nose that is finely tuned. The little details, like you can feel if the bread is ready, or if the flour is too wet, or that dry yeast and live yeast give different results. Like a blind test to see if you can recognize different doughs.

Added bonus, they clarified that the timing mismatch in baking and smelling bread was deliberate.

I also liked that I saw a different side of Ma Jun in this episode. I adored having everyone tell In Sook off. For a brief moment I thought Manager Han saw through her, but love blinds.

I’m impressed that the Baker King writers have been able to squeeze way more stuff into 4 episodes than the 6 episodes Cinderella’s Sister used for their extended backstory. Plus this is a 30-ep drama, and CS was only 20. If this keeps up, it’ll be a jampacked 26 more episodes.

Episode ratings: 25.3% (down, but episode was affected by World Cup 2010)

Read Episode 5 recaps.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 5

I’ll cut to the chase since it was pretty obvious from the end of last episode what was probably going to happen. Yes, Grandma died. How they killed her was slightly unexpected for me. I guess I didn’t have much faith in the goodness of In Sook and Manager Han.

Episode 5 recaps

Grandma goes on a tirade and turns to leave. In Sook stops her and tries to explain…actually she denies everything. Ma Jun is Il Jung’s son. (You should see the look on Manager Han’s face.) Grandma doesn’t buy it. So In Sook turns things around and blames it on Grandma. Grandma wanted a son, no matter what, so In Sook had to do it. You can probably guess — Grandma doesn’t buy that either. She exits the workhouse, and In Sook makes a last desperate attempt to apologize. She grabs onto Grandma begging her for forgiveness, to not tell Il Jung.

At this point, Manager Han’s had enough. He pries In Sook away from Grandma, but in the process Grandma loses her balance. I don’t think he pushed her; he actually reached for her. She was taken by surprise and was wobbling on her feet before she fell, her head striking the ground directly.

The two of them look at Grandma in horror. In Sook immediately tries to go help Grandma up but Manager Han pulls her back and tells her to do nothing. In Sook’s priority is to head back to the house and pretend that she was never there and that he was never there. Manager Han will clean up, and things will resolve themselves in the morning. He’ll bear all responsibility because he needs to protect In Sook and Ma Jun.

After he escorts a shivering In Sook back to her room, Manager Han goes back to clean up the wet footprints. He notices that the door to Grandma’s room is open, and her lights were left on. He turns the lights off and closes the door, and goes back to the workhouse to clean up. As he leaves the workhouse, the camera picks up on a glittering piece of jewelry lying next to Grandma that Manager Han missed. It is still a dark and rainy night.

Il Jung is sitting in his room. He is disturbed/awoken by a knocking on his door. He calls out, but there is no reply, so he walks to the door to see who is outside. But there is nobody. However, he notices that Grandma’s door is open, and her lights were on.

Il Jung goes to Grandma’s room to see if everything is alright, only to find it empty. Worried, he looks frantically for her. He finally finds her lying in front of the workhouse in the rain.

Mi Sun and Tak Gu arrive at the hospital, and hurry up to the second floor where the rest of the family is assembled. No one looks particularly friendly. Mi Sun leaves Tak Gu since she has no place there. In Sook self consciously hides the bruise on her wrist.

The doctor arrives, breaking the awkwardness of the moment, and the news is bad as expected. Grandma sustained some internal injuries (to the head maybe?), and was left out in the rain for too long for her elderly body to cope. He advises Il Jung to prepare for the worst.

Il Jung and the kids enter Grandma’s room. Il Jung is clearly devastated, and keeps calling for her, “Mother can you hear me? I’m Il Jung.” He asks her to please open her eyes to see him for the last time. Somehow, she manages to ruse herself for a minute, sending Il Jung some hope before dashing it.

She opens her eyes, and looks briefly at the girls, Ma Jun, and settles her eyes on Tak Gu with a gasp. Feebly, she reaches her hand out to him and calls for him. “My child…my child.” And she closes her eyes. Il Jung is overwhelmed; he looked confused that his mother passed him over, and now he’s lost her.

Outside the room, Manager Han and In Sook look either terrified or sad. They can hear everything and were frantic with worry when Grandma opened her eyes. Upon hearing the loud weeping from Il Jung, they breathed a sigh of relief. In Sook picks herself up and heads downstairs where Mi Sun is. She tells Mi Sun that the heavens are on her (In Sook’s) side.

They hold the funeral at home. Il Jung is dressed in traditional mourning clothes, and he is accompanied by In Sook and the kids dressed in black. Ma Jun doesn’t look like he’s feeling well, and he goes outside, where he overhears a conversation.

woman 1: Why did she go out on such a rainy night?
woman 2: Who knows? She wasn’t senile or anything.
woman 1: But how did they discover her?
woman 2: That’s another strange thing. They said that there was a knock on the president’s door late that night. When he went out, there was no one.
woman 2: Oh my goodness…she must have wanted to let the president know as she passed away.

This causes Ma Jun to recall what he saw that night.

Ma Jun was hiding behind the bushes, and he overheard his mother and Manager Han’s conversation as they left Grandma to die. When it was safe, he ran over to Grandma to check the situation. He notices the bracelet that In Sook had dropped on the ground and picks it up. At that point, Grandma is still alive, making sounds. This spooks Ma Jun a little, who initially thought to run away but stopped.

He goes back to ask Grandma if she could stand up. She can’t reply but Ma Jun decides that he will save her if she promises to forgive his mother, even though he understands that his mother was in the wrong. He doesn’t wait for the unconscious Grandma to reply, and tries to lift her but to no avail. Giving up, he goes back to the house.

Initially, he doesn’t know how to inform anybody, but he quickly decides to open Grandma’s door and turn on the lights. Then he goes over to Il Jung’s door, and knocks loudly. When he heard Il Jung’s voice, Ma Jun rushes upstairs, and waits to see what happens.

It is frustrating — Il Jung takes a while to check out the interior of the house. Then he calls for the housekeeper, Mrs Gong. Ja Kyung is woken up by the commotion, and stumbles upon the wet Ma Jun, who was fiddling with the bracelet. Ja Kyung asks Ma Jun what is going on, but he runs back to his room.

Il Jung notices Ja Kyung and asks whether Grandma was upstairs. Ja Kyung doesn’t betray Ma Jun’s presence and says “no.” Il Jung tells her to check the rooms upstairs, while he continues his search.

Back to the funeral — Ja Kyung finds Ma Jun, and asks him what he saw that night. Ma Jun refuses to say anything. Instead, he tries to change the subject — you didn’t like Grandma, so aren’t you glad that she’s passed away. She demands again to know what happened the night Grandma died, because she knows he saw something. Something that made him scared. Ma Jun walks away.

Tak Gu finds Ma Jun throwing up and asks him if he’s okay. As usual, Ma Jun tells him to go away. Tak Gu tells Ma Jun that he thought that Ma Jun and Grandma didn’t get along, but Ma Jun seemed really devastated. He tells Ma Jun not to cry, because Grandma wouldn’t want that.

Ma Jun asks Tak Gu what does he know. Who does he think he is. Tak Gu says that he’s the hyung (older brother). Tak Gu’s responsibility is to take care of his younger brother. Even if the gap is only 3 months, they share the same father and thus the same blood. Unfortunately this only gets Ma Jun more upset. They are not the same…except this time, we know he’s not looking down on Tak Gu as usual. His true identity is weighing on him. Ja Kyung witnesses the entire scene.

Walking back to the house, Ja Kyung sees Mi Sun, who tries to start a conversation and explain that she came to pay her final respects. Ja Kyung ignores Mi Sun’s friendly attempts, and tells her to go away. No one left is on her side anymore. Moreover, Mi Sun and Tak Gu are walking symbols of the family’s shame. Il Jung happens to come out for fresh air, and witnesses the scene. He invites Mi Sun in.

Under oppressive stares, Mi Sun pays her final respect to Grandma. Overwhelmed by emotions, Mi Sun breaks into tears to the women’s disgust. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim walk off. We are interrupted by the arrival of Tak Gu, who has Ma Jun on his back. This alarms In Sook, who demands to know what Tak Gu did to Ma Jun.

Tak Gu explains that Ma Jun feels feverish, and was throwing up. It doesn’t calm In Sook down, so Il Jung has to tell In Sook to be quiet and respectful since they are at the funeral. Il Jung orders Manager Han to take care of the situation. For Mi Sun, it is a painful glimpse into the reality of her son’s life. Realizing this, Tak Gu smiles for her.

Tak Gu and Mi Sun have a brief chat before he sends her off. She tells him to bear with things, that everything will work out for the good guys in the end (does anyone else think it’s kinda cruel of her to dump him there, and tell him to bear with it?). He tentatively asks Mi Sun if he can go back to Cheongsan with her, but he answers his own question — it’s a no isn’t it? Mi Sun tells Tak Gu that if he wants to live with her again, he’ll have to grow up and become someone important. Only then can he bring her to his home.

Back in Ma Jun’s room, his fever has subsided and he is sleeping, or at least that’s what Manager Han thinks. The grown ups discuss the situation and In Sook says that maybe they should run away. Her guilt is driving her crazy…but if things didn’t happen that way, Tak Gu and Mi Sun will drive her crazy anyway. Maybe it’s better if they just left.

Manager Han says no, because In Sook won’t be able to live in peace anyway. He reminds her that she needs to be strong for Ma Jun’s sake, and promises to fix the situation.

Keeping Manager Han’s words in mind, In Sook try to tie her own loose ends — namely the missing bracelet. She walks around the garden, looking for her bracelet. Ja Kyung chances upon In Sook in the garden, and she pretty much jumped out of her skin. This arouses Ja Kyung suspicions.

In Sook tries to play it cool and ask Ja Kyung what she is up to. Ja Kyung just wanted some air…so did In Sook. But body language…Freudian slip…In Sook keeps rubbing her wrist. And if anyone has been noticing, her wrist was scratched from the struggle. Ja Kyung is the smart, impartial one in this story, so she’s put two and two together.

On his end, Manager Han is getting around to his solution to In Sook’s problems. As expected, his solution is going to involve Yu Kyung’s drunk dad. Released from police custody, the drunk dad is met by Manager Han. Carrying a package, Yu Kyung sees the men talk and follows them as they go somewhere quiet to talk.

Manager Han throws down a pack of money. Drunk dad is not dumb — he knows that he’s expected to do something in return. Manager Han tells him that he needs to get rid of a woman, and Drunk dad says outright that he’s not killing a person for so little money.  Manager Han explains he was hoping for a different method, and talks about how fine Mi Sun looks…

Drunk dad steps on a pack of tofu wrapped in newspapers on his way out. Yu Kyung was there.


Yu Kyung rushes home and frantically searches for her box of savings. Grabbing everything, she runs to the post office to send a telegram. The man behind the counter tells her that she doesn’t have enough money for a telegram to Seoul. She tells him that it’s really urgent, so he offers a solution — keep it shorter than 7 words. Mother in crisis, Ulmokjae.

Tak Gu receives the telegram and goes straight to Il Jung. Il Jung is a little wary — who is this Shin Yu Kyung who sent the telegram? A friend? He remembers that the violent man shares her last name. Is she related to him?

Tak Gu defends Yu Kyung. She is different from her father.

Il Jung will look into the matter, so Tak Gu should stay put and not leave for Cheongsan. Tak Gu protests, to no avail. Il Jung has a second matter he wants to inform Tak Gu (no, not discuss, inform). After the mourning period, he will officially take Tak Gu into the household. When that happens, Tak Gu will change his name and be known as Gu Hyung Jun, and he will have to forget his mother. Tak Gu does not want that, but what do the adults care?

Outside, Ma Jun has witnessed and overheard everything, and his face is unreadable to me.

Il Jung does make good on his promise, and gets his factory manager to check on Mi Sun. But Mi Sun is fine. The telegram must be a prank.

As the manager leaves his home for the factory, we see the drunk dad lurking outside. Something will happen. But when?

Some time in the evening, carrying his backpack, Tak Gu tries to escape from the house. He is stuck because he doesn’t know how to avoid the guards. Ma Jun to the rescue!

Did I say Ma Jun? Yes. Ma Jun has his eyes and ears on everything these days, and he’s found Tak Gu. But this Ma Jun is not a tatter tale. This Ma Jun also has a backpack, and offers to show Tak Gu a way out without being detected.

Once outside, Tak Gu thanks Ma Jun for his help and asks whether he’s really coming along to Cheongsan. Ma Jun says yes, and Tak Gu tells him that he can’t because his parents will get worried. Ma Jun doesn’t want stay at home anymore. He doesn’t have a dad or mom anymore; his dad and mom died when Grandma died. Since he can’t do anything about Ma Jun, Tak Gu agrees to take him along under the promise that they will return together.

Not willing to just agree, Ma Jun asks why Tak Gu cares. He can monopolize Il Jung if Ma Jun is gone. Tak Gu asks Ma Jun is he knows what it means to be a man. Being a man means not worrying your parents. Tak Gu tries again to confirm that Ma Jun will return together. You should hear Tak Gu right now, sounding all grown up and responsible.

The housekeeper, Mrs Gong, discovers Tak Gu’s runaway letter and hands it to Il Jung. But that is not the only problem — Ma Jun seems to have gone along too.

oh, hold on…In Sook has one more problem — someone broke into her safe and the cash and jewelry are missing. It’s got to be Tak Gu! The housekeeper says that Tak Gu is not in the house. Needlessly, she also says that Ma Jun is also gone. In Sook goes crazy and Il Jung tells her to shut it. All that disgrace over two cents. The kids will be fine. I don’t think that will calm In Sook down. Il Jung will dispatch his men to find the kids.

Meantime back in Mi Sun’s house, she is still safe. She’s tired from sewing in the dim light. Taking a break, she reaches for a silk pouch that contained 2 jade rings and a booklet and a stamp. We go back in her memories.

Grandma visited Mi Sun sometime ago. Since Mi Sun did not accept any money the first time, Grandma will give Mi Sun her precious rings, which are incidentally her Good Fortune rings. It is her way of apologizing for everything. And everything means more than just the affair and Tak Gu.

If not for the death of her parents, Mi Sun should have married Il Jung. Mi Sun looks surprised. After her parents died, Grandma took Mi Sun in, and helped her obtain a nurse aide’s licence. Grandma was the one who insisted on having In Sook as a daughter-in-law, much to her present regret.

There are some sounds outside, and Mi Sun puts the precious rings away, into her pocket. All the better in case she needs to flee.

The sounds are from the kitchen, and Mi Sun thinks it’s a cat. She checks the kitchen for the cat, but the lights go out, and drunk dad has her. But won’t her screams bring her neighbors? Well, not if she’s gagged and blindfolded, as we see her being carried away from her home.

The boys safely reach the destination of the telegram. It’s dark, but I think it’s the bridge where Yu Kyung and Tak Gu often meet. They wait a while, but there is no sign of anything. Ma Jun asks if they are in the right place, and Tak Gu says they should keep waiting. Yu Kyung comes running, and she’s in a panic. She saw Mi Sun being kidnapped by the drunk dad. “my father…my father….”

The kids run through the wilderness, and across some stream. In the mean time, drunk dad has ungagged Mi Sun, and she is begging to be released. Just as things get heated, a man comes along and knocks the drunk dad out. Mi Sun asks who it is, but there is no reply. We see a tatoo on the man’s arm, and he’s taking out a switchblade…

…back at the house, Il Jung is staring at his phone. Manager Han is at his desk and his phone rings. In Sook was in bed, but she wakes suddenly like she had a nightmare…

Comments:
I’ve learned that the endings shouldn’t be taken literally. Guy with switchblade? I like how we think he’s saved Mi Sun, but he’s all silent and suspicious and he gets out a switchblade. Things could still change. He could be trying to release her, or he’s part 2 of Manager Han’s grand plans.

While I saw Grandma’s death coming, I could not have predicted Ma Jun’s response. I was surprised and pleased about everything — his acknowledgement that his mother was wrong, how he still tried to protect his mother, how he tried to save his grandmother, how he suffered alone, and his budding friendship and bonding with Tak Gu. I couldn’t imagine such depth in the 12-year-old character, especially one that has been shallow thus far. The child actor did a good job portraying everything.

I don’t think Ma Jun is going to break, so it’s probably up to Ja Kyung to make something of Ma Jun’s observations for now. And seeing how everything is coming along, there will probably be one more unpredictable twist on top of the million things that are happening. And this is only episode 5?

Also, am I the only person who was expecting In Sook to be the instigator of Grandma’s death, not Manager Han? I felt that she has been the mastermind the entire time, and this may mark a turning point for Manager Han in their relationship.

Completely aside, since I am taking screenshots, I’ve also noticed that there is a very limited range of camera angles. I wonder how other dramas compare.

Episode Rating: 28.5%


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 6

We finally end the childhood scenes with this episode. It’s been a pleasant ride so far, with the child actors doing wonderfully. It’s a whole new world after today.

Episode 6 recap

The kids make it to the abandoned hut a step too late — the only person there is Yu Kyung’s passed out dad. Not understanding what is going on and completely frustrated, Tak Gu shouts for his mother, who surprisingly calls back.

Tak Gu runs off in search of his mother, and finds her, but he’s a little too late. She is bundled up at the back of a car, unable to escape. She sees Tak Gu for the last time as the car drives off. Tak Gu keeps running, trying to catch up, but it’s futile.

He stops running, allowing Ma Jun and Yu Kyung catch up. Ma Jun assesses the situation and says that the only thing to do is to go to the police. Tak Gu ignores him. Instead, he tells Yu Kyung to take her dad home. Tak Gu won’t report her dad. Ma Jun protests — they should go to the police and tell them everything, otherwise the probability of finding Mi Sun will be even lower. Tak Gu says he’ll do it anyway. He tells Ma Jun to go home without him. He’ll keep looking for his mom.

Yu Kyung somehow manages to bring her dad home, and Ma Jun follows her. She tells him that he can sleep in the restaurant, and informs him of the bus schedule. Ma Jun asks whether there are restaurants around, his stomach growling loudly. Yu Kyung makes him some food. Ma Jun takes one look at the food, and pretty much shouts at her. “How can I eat this?” *awkward*

He lowers his voice, and asks whether there are other restaurants around. Yu Kyung doesn’t reply. She takes the food aside and starts to head out. Ma Jun is surprised by her, and demands (in a slightly panicky way) to know where she’s going.

Yu Kyung is heading out to find Tak Gu’s mom. Ma Jun says that if she’s for real, she should just report her dad to the police. She doesn’t look happy. Ma Jun follows by asking whether there are hotels around where he can stay instead. He can’t sleep in a place like the restaurant. He really doesn’t seem to understand how offensive he’s been.

Yu Kyung doesn’t lose her temper outright. She tells him that there is no hotel, and there is a Chinese restaurant but it’s closed. He can either stay and eat, or starve and stay outside. Unwilling to hang out alone, Ma Jun tags along.

I guess the road the car took led to the village center, because the next time we see Tak Gu, he’s there. Tak Gu walks around the marketplace, asking whether anyone has seen his mother, or anyone suspicious. Because it’s a drama, he stands right next to the man with the windmill tattoo, asking a vendor if she’s seen anyone suspicious, while she serves the man soondae. I have no idea why the man would stop to get soondae, when he could be driving off into the night. But oh well.

Yu Kyung and Ma Jun are also looking around town. They pass by a bakery, and Ma Jun stops to buy some bread, neglecting to inform Yu Kyung that he’s going elsewhere. Being completely oblivious, he also takes his money from a huge stack of cash in plain sight, which is further recipe for trouble. I think the three guys in the bakery noticed his wad of bills. Coming out of the bakery, he realizes that Yu Kyung is not where he left her, and starts walking around, calling for no one in particular “ya…ya…”

Windmill man hands the soondae to Mi Sun. She seems to have built up some anger while he was gone. She demands to know whether Manager Han or In Sook is involved in this. No replying, he tells her to eat up because they have a long way to go. Mi Sun, of course, asks to be released so that she can go back to her son. The man has a mother too, so surely he can understand what she’s feeling. The lady’s seriously naive, but that’s something we will just have to believe.

The guy tells her no and she will never see her son again, and they drive off, passing Tak Gu on the way of course, since this is a drama. I wonder if Mi Sun regrets insisting on letting Ma Jun go to his dad.

Predictably, Ma Jun comes to a quiet alley (everything is closed after curfew). Realizing it’s a deadend, he turns around, but comes face to face with the three guys from the bakery. They guessed that he’s run away from home, and of course, they won’t let him leave.

Being the smartass he is, he decides to inform the guys that his dad is an important man with powerful friends. The guys take the information in their stride — you just ran away from home, and now that you’re in trouble, you’re using your dad to threaten us?

After a lot of crying, Mi Sun pulls herself together and realizes that she should try to escape. Her kidnapper is focused on driving, leaving her unwatched in the backseat. After a little trying, she manages to free her hands from the rope. The car comes to a stop as they face a farmer going in the other direction on the mudtrack. Seizing her chance, Mi Sun runs for it.

She runs into the forest, and her kidnapper follows. She trips, but she keeps going. She is unwilling to die just like that. Finally she is stopped by a cliff. Although she turns to run back, she loses her balance and falls, fortunately into the pond below. Her kidnapper looks dismayed by her fall.

After some time, Yu Kyung finally comes around and finds Ma Jun. She tries to see if he’s okay, but he tells her to leave, so she does just that. Ma Jun starts to call her names…did she think that he’ll be scared if she left? That was completely unprovoked.

Yu Kyung sees him for what he is, a coward, and tells him just that. He acts mean to hide his fears. Sure he was treated roughly by the three hooligans, but the little bit of rough-handling he’s suffered is nothing compared to what other people have to face (namely herself). Since it’s curfew time*, he can either follow her, or get arrested for being on the streets.

Ma Jun follows her home, and eats the food that he rejected previously. He tries to start a conversation, and asks her what her relation to Tak Gu is. Not getting much of a response, he asks more directly whether she likes him. Instead of replying, Yu Kyung asks him why he’s here. Ma Jun can’t really reply immediately, so she tells him it’s because Tak Gu has moved his heart. Tak Gu’s earnestness and sincerity made Ma Jun follow him, just like how Yu Kyung is drawn to Tak Gu.

Yu Kyung launches her own line of tactful conversation: Ma Jun is the same age as Tak Gu right? Yet Ma Jun is a child compared to him. Ma Jun says she’s got it wrong; he’s stronger, faster, smarter and taller (I thought he was shorter). Yu Kyung tells him that given how he just put Tak Gu down, he’s lost to Tak Gu. He’s just a coward.

In the meantime, Tak Gu has given up because of the curfew, and has gone back to his old home. He looks sadly at the picture of him and his mother.

The girls notice the missing boys during breakfast. Ja Rim worries about them, but Ja Kyung says that the adults will take care of it. She goes back to studying. Ja Rim asks why she studies so much, and Ja Kyung admits that it’s not because she likes studying. She wants to become a manager, and take over the company. The only thing she can do right now is to study.

Their conversation is overheard by In Sook, who tells her to face the reality that she is a girl. She should know her place; she can’t be a working girl. This gets Ja Kyung upset, and she retaliates, telling In Sook that they are different. She never wants to be like her, trapped in a loveless marriage, with a disappointment of a son. She thinks that In Sook is taking her disappointment at Ma Jun out on the girls.

In Sook bristles at the idea of her making her children unhappy, but Ja Kyung counters that it’s not only the girls. Does she even know why Ma Jun ran away? It’s because of her! That night Ma Jun was outside…Ja Kyung stops herself but it’s too late.

In Sook demands to know exactly what Ja Kyung wants to say. Ja Kyung checks herself, and says that she doesn’t know the truth but Ma Jun thinks that In Sook is responsible for Grandma’s death. No details, but it’s enough for In Sook to worry.

Although Manager Han arrived at Cheongsan the night before with orders from Il Jung to find both kids and bring them home, the night passed with nothing accomplished. The next morning, he checks Tak Gu’s home, and finds him there. But where is Ma Jun?

Ma Jun is witnessing for himself how cruel life can be. Yu Kyung is getting beaten by her dad, who accuses her of taking the money. Drunk dad doesn’t know that Ma Jun is outside. Ma Jun looks at her scared face and doesn’t know what to do. He takes a step back, and another, and another and he turns to run, only to run into Manager Han entering the shop. Ma Jun is now safe from the real world. While he is happy to be rescued, he has mixed feelings about seeing Manager Han.

The talking outside interrupts the child-beating fest in the room, and drunk dad comes out to see what is happening. He’s surprised to see Manager Han, who doesn’t betray that they know each other. Politely, he thanks them for putting Ma Jun up for the night, and promises that they will be rewarded for it. While Ma Jun is happy to be rescued, he has mixed feelings about seeing Manager Han.

Ma Jun gets into the car, but Tak Gu is unwilling to leave. He tells Manager Han that his mother’s gone missing, and he wants to stay. Manager Han tells him not to make things difficult and to take the issue up with Il Jung when he gets back to Seoul.

The boys finally arrive home and In Sook is delighted to see her son back. She fusses over his bruises, but turns icy cold when she sees Tak Gu. She accuses him of stealing the money and giving it to his mom, and says that they should call the cops. Tak Gu denies stealing, and tells her not to make wrongful accusations. Il Jung arrives, wondering what the commotion was about.

Once again, Tak Gu denies stealing. Ma Jun who has been kind of strange since the entire runaway episode looks like he wants to admit to the crime, to rid himself of the coward label. Finally, he owns up to the crime.

In Sook doesn’t miss a beat, and says that there must be a reason for her son to do such a thing. Ma Jun says Tak Gu needed money. With two accusations against him, Tak Gu is summoned into Il Jung’s room.

Once inside, Il Jung does nothing. He asks whether Tak Gu managed to see his mother. Tak Gu gets to tell his story, and Il Jung says he will find Mi Sun. He tells Tak Gu to never leave home without permission, and sends him up to wash up. Tak Gu asks about his punishment. Il Jung says that he can tell when his son is lying…and Tak Gu has always spoken the truth.

Il Jung is actually troubled by Tak Gu’s request. The thing is, he was the one who hired the windmill man. *flashback* Windmill man saying that they can’t find her.

Coming out, Tak Gu faces Ma Jun, who is quite sure that Tak Gu was not punished. Tak Gu in turn demands to know why Ma Jun lied. Ma Jun turns the hyung thing around, and says that as an older brother, Tak Gu should cover for him sometimes.

As soon as he returns to his room, Ma Jun’s flippant facade drops. Instead, he broods over how Il Jung (might have) ignored him, and how Yu Kyung calls him a coward. He knows that he can’t be like Tak Gu and he’s not happy about it.

Back in Cheongsan, we see the last sad pieces of Yu Kyung’s life in the village. She stumbles into the police station, and collapses. Seeing her multiple bruises and her broken arm, the policemen have no doubt that her father is responsible. Yu Kyung is referred to a social worker, who tells her that she will have to move to an orphanage. There is no sadness here. She looks content to begin her new life.

Yu Kyung writes a letter to Tak Gu before she leaves. To pay for the postage, she removes a bill from a stack of money in an envelope. Yes, she did steal the money from her father.

Tak Gu receives the letter, which is more of a goodbye letter. She’s leaving the village, and maybe they will see each other when they grow up. She gives him a couple of pieces of information as a goodbye present.
1. the man who kidnapped her mother had a windmill tattoo on his right wrist.
2. the man who instigated the kidnapping is Manager Han

Somehow Manager Han knows just when people are talking about him, because he grabs the letter from Tak Gu, glances at it and tears it up. Tak Gu confronts Manager Han, and he uses the situation to his advantage. He informs Tak Gu that Il Jung will not be able to find Mi Sun. Tak Gu buys it and offers to do anything to see his mom again. Manager Han tells him to leave the household, or he’ll kill Mi Sun.

Later that night, Tak Gu lingers outside the workshop. Il Jung sees him and tells him that he should go to bed early so that they can start baking lessons on time the next morning. Tak Gu checks in again about his mother, knowing that Il Jung can’t find her.

To prolong the moment, Tak Gu asks Il Jung if there is any reason for the tai-chi handwaving he saw the other day before he started baking. Il Jung says it’s to check the humidity. The question pleases him, and Il Jung tells Tak Gu that he is special to him, and pretty much gives him the closest thing to an embrace I have seen (except for Mi Sun), which is holding him by the shoulders and stroking his hair. Ma Jun would be seething if he saw it.

Il Jung leaves Tak Gu outside the workshop. Tak Gu takes a last look at the workshop where his father is, and apologizes for leaving. He uses the word “father”, instead of the usual “president” that he’s always called his dad.

In Sook comes in to see her son. Trying to look casual, she says they should have a talk and immediately asks whether Ma Jun thinks that she was responsible for Grandma’s death like Ja Kyung said. Ma Jun doesn’t betray any emotion. He simply responds that Ja Kyung was mistakened. Hmm..Ma Jun is way better at this casual thing than his mom.

Ma Jun has some other thing on mind. He asks his mom whether he’s a coward. Of course, In Sook says he’s the best. Touched by his mom’s belief in him, Ma Jun tells his mother that he will get stronger and work hard to take over the company. In Sook is surprised by the sudden change in attitude. Overwhelmed, she’s almost crying as she thanks her son again and again.

Manager Han and a traitor guard are at the driveway with a car to take Tak Gu away. Tak Gu confirms with Manager Han that he will see his mother. He politely bids Manager Han farewell and gets into the car. We know that Manager Han doesn’t know where Tak Gu’s mom is, so where is the car heading to?

That same night, another man was up and about. It’s 2am, and he wants his cheese. After waking the supplier up and getting what he wanted, the old man walks off, and past the warehouse where he sees Tak Gu getting out of the car. He thinks it looks suspicious.

The car takes Tak Gu to a warehouse compound by the sea. Tak Gu gets out of the car, and waits aside while the traitor guard gives three men some money and told them to never let Tak Gu step foot in Korea. He then tells Tak Gu to follow the men to find his mother. The men approach Tak Gu, who asks whether they were going to bring him to his mother. The men know nothing about the mother. They tell him that he’s too naive to believe that.

The men grab Tak Gu, who struggles and bites his way free and starts running. The warehouse compound is big, and Tak Gu is able to evade his pursuers. He tries door after door, trying to find somewhere to hide, but to no avail. Suddenly a hand shoots out and grabs him. No surprises, it’s the old man. Tak Gu is safe, but disappointed.

In the meantime, Il Jung is just realizing that Tak Gu is not at his baking lesson. Instead, Ma Jun, whom he was not expecting, showed up.

The old man asks him why he’s crying, and Tak Gu tells him that he can’t find his mother. The old man offers him a tiny bread, and Tak Gu accepts it. He tells the old man that he could tell that he’s a baker from the way he smells. He also complains about the cheese, which smells like poop.

The old man is amazed that Tak Gu can smell the cheese through all the layers of packaging. Tak Gu finishes the bread, which he proclaims delicious, and looks somewhat cheered up. He’s ready to leave. Tak Gu asks the old man whether it is true that kindness will triumph in the end. His mom had told him that, but the old man is probably wiser and more experienced.

The old man asks what kind of world Tak Gu hopes for. Tak Gu likes the world his mom believes in, and the old man tells him that that is the world. Tak Gu bids the old man farewell, and walks off into the night.

Suddenly, it’s 12 years later…

It’s a busy street market with women selling vegetables. A gang of men are trashing the place, while the women begged them to stop. A young man comes to the rescue. Besides expertly beating the gangsters up, he also rolls up each man’s sleeve to check for something before throwing them aside. A crowd gathers and congratulates the hero.

The gangsters kneel in a line, begging for forgiveness. The young man tells them to be kind, because kindness will triumph in the end. Oh by the way, if they see a man with a windmill tattoo on his arm, they are to leave a message with a certain coffee seller. The young man starts to take off, but the gangsters have a question: what is his name?

His name is Kim. Tak. Gu.

Yoon Shi Yoon

Comments:

A lot of things happening this episode, but nothing particularly surprising. I would actually say that I am bored. Also, I really dislike the “12 years later” thing because it was so abrupt. I realize that the show will probably backpedal next episode to show what happened after that night or something, but the flow was just really bad. It was like they had to squeeze in one last scene before the end of the episode but couldn’t, and they jammed it in anyway.

This episode sets the stage for Ma Jun’s character. He gets a lot of new stimuli by going into the real world, getting beaten up by hooligans, and being told by someone who didn’t care for his status that he’s a coward. He sees for the first time the suffering of someone like Yu Kyung, and I bet it made a huge impression.

We saw a little backstory, which I didn’t recap coz it didn’t fit anywhere. Il Jung recalls a time when he was younger, and he told his mother that he could not marry someone he didn’t love. His mom told him that it’s a choice by both parties: she wants him, and he wants to fulfill his dreams. Flashback to “present”, we see that he has little affection for his children. Let’s say he’s gender-biased. He’s still not close to Ma Jun. Perhaps he suspects that Ma Jun is not his son?

It’s that line where he says “I can tell when my son is lying”, which is ambiguous. But I think he clarifies it when he follows up with “You have always told the truth” to Tak Gu. No mention of Ma Jun.

The episode is also littered with other innuendos — like when he tells In Sook that she should stay put. When he finds the kids, Manager Han can call him *pregnant pause* or her. (Sorry, again a little scene that didn’t fit into the flow of the recap). I feel annoyed thinking that he knows that there are traitors in his household, and he is unwilling to actively remove them.

I wonder if it means anything that both Yu Kyung and Ma Jun have both stolen money from their parents.

Maybe it’s a little premature, but I feel like Tak Gu’s adult character seems a little wrong for now. Sure, we haven’t seen a lot of him, but he seems a little cocky and arrogant. He’s lost his accent too, and he’s stopped being super polite. I’ll probably think about this again in the next episode.

* Since the Korean war, South Korea imposed curfew hours. This ended in 1982 (which means the story happened before 1982).


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 7

There are so many problems with a “12 years later” thing that I don’t even know where to begin. See, a lot can happen in 12 years, especially if you’re a child. You gain experiences, change your personality…all that good stuff. But there is a second problem: you have to change the actors. Although it was only 6 episodes on the childhood, the child actors have made a huge impression on me. The adult cast…I’m not so excited about. Maybe they (the characters) changed in 12 years. Maybe the scriptwriter wanted different personalities. Maybe the adult actors can’t convey the same emotions. I mean, how do you get to 12 years later?

Episode 7 recap

As expected, we revisited some scenes from the childhood days, as some sort of a summary. We go back to that fateful morning when Il Jung was expecting Tak Gu, and only Ma Jun turned up instead. Il Jung goes to Tak Gu’s room, and finds it neat and empty. On the desk, there is a short letter, apologizing but he has to leave. He wants to be Kim Tak Gu. While Il Jung despairs, In Sook celebrates.

We revisit the parting scene between Tak Gu and Grandpa Baker. As he watches Tak Gu leave, Grandpa predicts that fate will let them meet again.

In case there was any doubt, we see that Mi Sun washed up on shore.

And a voice over helps fill in the blanks about Tak Gu’s life. Tak Gu has been fighting his way around South Korea, trying to locate the man with the windmill tattoo, and earning himself a reputation along the way. Under orders, the recent batch of hooligans from the market place left Tak Gu a message at the coffee shop bulletin board. Thus Tak Gu shows up at a warehouse, greeted by a bunch of thugs who try to beat him up. Not exactly my idea of a warm welcome.

Inside the warehouse, we see the hooligans, and the boss. Since it’s 12 years later, we don’t know if the man has changed, but when we finally see it, the windmill tattoo is different. Wrong guy. But it’s not like Tak Gu actually knows what the windmill should look like. Seeing the tattoo, he thinks that he’s confirmed his prey. But the boss tells him that he doesn’t know anything. He does have the tattoo, but he’s the wrong guy. He had other reasons for inviting him. Thinking to beat the truth from him, Tak Gu confronts the boss with pro-wrestling fight moves, which are returned in kind. And I thought the boss was too old to fight.

Tak Gu finally pins the boss down, and asks him where his mom is. The boss repeats that he doesn’t know anything. He only got the tattoo recently. He met a man in prison 7 years ago, who made an impression on him. He decided that he wanted a similar tattoo, but his tattoo is different. Disappointed, Tak Gu asks where he can find the man from 7 years ago. It seems that he is now working in famous Pal Bong Bakery in Incheon.

There is something unique about how Tak Gu is so furious and badass looking, yet crying at the same time. He’s gotten arrogant, and rough. He doesn’t notice the boss moving to hit him, and the fight continues. Eventually, Tak Gu staggers out completely covered in blood. Despite his injuries, his only thoughts are about his mom, and he will go to Pal Bong Bakery.

We get introduced to new characters at the Pal Bong Bakery. It’s filled with middle-aged men, who seem to have worked together for a while. They have a certain rythm and trust each other. They appear to be shorthanded, and there is a missing young person. That young person turns out to be Yang Mi Sun, not really a baker, but an aspiring patissiere (she is passionate about cakes). They find her in the cold room, tasting a cake.

It turns out she made a cake last night, and wanted to taste it before resuming work. The head baker is not impressed. During working hours, she should be working. She insists that he tries her new cake, but he dismisses it as being all showy and decorated with cream and no substance. He pushes it aside, but he pushes too hard and it falls on the floor. Everyone looks awkwardly at the cake. The head baker tries to brush it off, but Mi Sun declares she has no mood to work and storms out.

Once outside, Mi Sun finds a bloody and unconscious Tak Gu, and screams. Her screams bring the bakers out, and they check that he’s still alive. I can’t believe that he came straight to Incheon in the same messy state that he was in.

Our first glimpse of the Gu family 12 years later is In Sook. She’s just landed at the airport, and is being picked up by one of the drivers, not Manager Han. She demands to know where he is, and whether he knew of her arrival. She is not pleased.

At the company, Il Jung is talking to a young woman, finalizing the anniversary party, and she addresses him as father. It seems that a certain Senator Kim won’t be arriving, which the young woman thinks is a good thing. He’s fallen out of favor within politics. Il Jung disagrees. Senator Kim has always been a supporter, and there is no reason to turn their backs on him now. Given one of two possibilities, we are unsurprised that the young woman is Ja Kyung. She is now the Head of Public Relations.

Il Jung complains to Manager Han about how young people have no business mixing politics with business. He walks into his office, and is surprised to see In Sook. In Sook warmly embraces him, which causes Manager Han to look away. She throws a look at Manager Han. In Sook tells Il Jung that she shortened her trip to be back in time for the anniversary party. She also saw Ma Jun in Japan. Il Jung is uninterested in the details. In Sook presses him — is he not interested in finding out how Ma Jun is doing?

Il Jung obliges and asks if Ma Jun is well. In Sook says that everything is well with Ma Jun. Il Jung informs her that he won’t be able to have dinner at home, which gets In Sook upset. She hides it, but can’t help asking him for some sort of acknowledgment since she has been gone for 2 months. Il Jung says that he has a meeting in 10 minutes. I think this was the longest perfunctory conversation I’ve seen between them and they are finally admitting that it’s an unhappy marriage.

In Sook heads out, and Manager Han has a word with her. He apologizes for being too busy to pick up her up from the airport, and noted that she looks fine. He was worried because the trip took longer than expected. Ah…the very words she wanted from Il Jung. She confesses to him that things are not well. ma Jun is missing and she’s tried looking for with no luck. Apparently, he has quit school and left. She thinks that he’s in Seoul, and they have to find him in time for the anniversary party. Manager Han tells her to go home to rest. He’ll take care of it.

Manager Han had actually received a call from Ma Jun before he went missing. He told Manager Han not to look for him. He’s going to somewhere for a holiday, somewhere where even Manager Han can’t find him.

So what in the world is Ma Jun up to? We see him packing his bag and heading somewhere. That somewhere is (coincidentally I believe) Pal Bong Bakery. He’s there to take an exam. This is quite different from what I was expecting. He’s actually pretty serious about this baking thing, even though he may not like bread. He looks pretty serious too.

An unconscious Tak Gu is being tended to by Mi Sun. (From now, Yang Mi Sun is Mi Sun, while Tak Gu’s mom will be referred to as Tak Gu’s mom.) It seems that they decided to keep him at home instead of handing him over to a hospital. He is dreaming, and in his dream he is young again and his mom is with him. He tells his mom that he had a terrible dream, that she had been abducted and he never found her again. The dream makes him cry, and Mi Sun wipes the tears off his face.

Opening his eyes, Tak Gu gets a huge shock — where is he? Who is she? What’s going on? Mi Sun explains that they found him unconscious on the street. She asks him if he’s okay, but But instead of being thankful, Tak Gu tells her that it’s none of her business. He proceeds to get into a shouting match with Mi Sun over how she shouldn’t have presumed to wash his clothes. In a huff, she leaves, leaving him stranded in only his boxers.

Tak Gu is left to explore the house in the blanket while trying to find clothes. He is drawn by the smell of bread towards a window and looking out, he sees that he is across from Pal Bong Bakery, and more. The bakers are helping unload the day’s deliveries, and he notices that one of the bakers had a windmill tattoo on the wrist.

He runs downstairs, finds some clothes hanging around, and rushes out of the house. On the way out, he bumps into Ma Jun, who is currently using a pseudo name Seo Tae Jo. By the time he reaches the delivery truck, the bakers are gone. Tak Gu demands to know where the men in white went, and he was directed to the bakery.

He barges into the bakery, and demands to know who has a windmill tattoo. He grabs the guy nearest to him to check his wrist, and pushes him aside when he sees nothing. The head baker is annoyed by the very rude sudden visitor and seeing Tak Gu head for the right guy stops him. The head baker is built like a bouncer, and easily throws Tak Gu out. The bakers know who the windmill tattoo guy is, but they are not letting their friend get attacked by this weird punk. Tak Gu tries the front door of the bakery, and the head baker is there to pre-empt him.

He tells Tak Gu that the guy he is looking for is not there. But Tak Gu saw the man with his own eyes, and he’s unwilling to give up. The head baker threatens to call the cops. Realizing that being a brute doesn’t work, Tak Gu tries begging. He goes on his knees and explains that only the man with a windmill tattoo knows where his mom is, and all he wants to talk, not cause trouble. The head baker looks sympathetic, but no, he’s not budging. Mi Sun witnesses the scene, and she looks sympathetic but is unable to help.

Tak Gu decides to keep kneeling outside the bakery until they show him the man with the windmill tattoo. Night falls, and he’s still there. Windmill guy is perturbed by Tak Gu’s presence and thinks to go out, but the head baker tells him not to. He’s got a new life now. If he meets with Tak Gu, he might end up in prison all over again, and lose his family.

The next morning, In Sook is greeted by Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. Ja Rim actually gives In Sook a hug. Ja Kyung asks how her trip went. It seems that the girls were out late last night, so this is the first time In Sook is seeing them. She nags the girls about staying out late. In particular she doesn’t see why Ja Kyung is working so hard.

She brings up that Ja Kyung has a matchmaking meeting the next day with the second son of a construction company. Ja Kyung looks unhappy about it, but In Sook tells her it’s for the good of the company. Politics is what has kept the company doing well. Although Ja Kyung cares a lot about the company, she isn’t about to let herself marry for money like In Sook. She storms off.

Ja Rim tells In Sook to leave Ja Kyung be. They know that she doesn’t want to get married. In Sook changes the subject to Ja Rim. She’s next after Ja Kyung gets married. In the meantime, she should focus on graduating college.

Ja Rim has a piece of news for In Sook. According to her school, they have a brother called Gu Hyung Jun. Ja Rim pulls out a piece of paper as evidence. I have no idea why the school has the family register but there it is and listed there is Gu Hyung Jun. In Sook is absolutely livid, and looks for Il Jung for an explanation.

She reminds him that he was not supposed to add Tak Gu on the family register, even under a different name. Does this mean he’s finally found the boy? Il Jung looks sadly at her and says he wished he did. But if she blocks it, he will fight her. He has already waited 12 years to try get her to agree. In Sook demands to know what Ma Jun means to him. Ma Jun is pursuing baking in Japan despite disliking bread, trying to please his father.

At Pal Bong Bakery, the head baker’s wife returns from her grave-cleaning trip, and see Ma Jun in the kitchen. She immediately sizes him up, and is smitten. She asks his name and his age. Hearing that he’s 24,  she says that her daughter is 24 as well, so they will be suitable for each other. The head baker is embarrassed by the fuss. He tells Ma Jun to head upstairs, and tells his wife off. Changing the topic, the wife asks who the young man kneeling outside the bakery is.

The other person returning from that trip that day is the owner of the bakery, Mi Sun’s grandfather. No surprise, he’s the same old man who saved Tak Gu that night 12 years ago. Grandpa Baker asks Tak Gu what he’s up to kneeling there. A delirious Tak Gu explains about the man with the windmill tattoo. Grandpa immediately remembers him, and asks if that’s the only thing he’s done the past ten years.

Chuckling, he tells Tak Gu that it’s a bakery so there are two ways to enter. One, as a customer buying bread and two, as a baker’s apprentice. Tak Gu has found a friend now.

Tak Gu and Grandpa head into the bakery kitchen. The head baker asks to know why Tak Gu is there. Grandpa explains that he needed help with his bags. The bakers relieve Tak Gu of the bag, and asks him to leave. But Grandpa made another promise outside — he will let Tak Gu take the exam. The bakers think it’s an insult to allow any random person to take the exam, but Grandpa insists on it.

It seems that Il Jung hasn’t given up looking for Tak Gu. He leaves the company early that day, without informing Manager Han. It turns out that he’s received information about Tak Gu, and he’s heading to meet the informant, who turns out to be the boss that Tak Gu beat up earlier. He leaves the driver outside, and walks into the warehouse alone. I don’t think it’s a good idea, but nothing happens for now.

That night, Ma Jun and Tak Gu are seated at the table, watched by all the bakers. It looks really serious. Mi Sun brings in the test subject, and it’s a giant loaf of bread.

Comments:
It’s been 12 years, and we have changed all the child actors for adult ones. The writers have also updated the adult personalities. Looking at the words alone,  I can imagine the child actors doing it right, so I think my problem is with the adult actors and how they are choosing to portray the adult characters:

Tak Gu: He’s become a fist-first, talk later kind of guy, which is something that Grandma told him not to do. He’s always held himself back as a boy, but now he’s just completely let himself go. I didn’t like how he’s become all showy and arrogant, as seen from the scene where Grandpa Baker says that he’s on Tak Gu’s side. The young Tak Gu would have been able to portray that confidence without coming across as arrogant.

Ja Kyung: The teenage actor had really cold, pensive eyes. I noticed that even in I am Legend where she did a small role. It fit well with her cold personality. Now, the adult actress has these sparkly bright eyes that look like they are smiling even when she’s being rude to her mom. I am not an actress, so I don’t know how hard it is to act “dull eyes”.

Ja Rim: Never saw much of her, and didn’t see much of her this time, but I thought she was too friendly and happy to be with her mom. The child actor would have said the same words grudgingly.

Ma Jun: We didn’t see much of him, but so far everything is consistent with his child character. He is probably my favorite crossover character from the previous episodes for now.

I think Mi Sun and Tak Gu are very similar and compatible from the way they talk (or argue). Given the previous parallel between Ma Jun and Yu Kyung stealing money from parents, I wonder if this is a hint of the pairings to come.

I noticed the car phone in one of the scenes, which means we’re not at 2010 yet. I’m guessing we are at late 80’s early 90’s before cellphone were popular, and when fashion was kinda weird. I wonder if we’ll be seeing another time skip at some point.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 8

I feel like this episode was a turning point for me..that there is some kind of a commitment. Without giving away too much, I feel like I want to see Tak Gu become the person he was. I guess this solves all the complaining I had about the adult characters.

Episode 8 recap

Tak Gu asks why he needs to take the exam. All he wanted was to find the man with the windmill tattoo. Grandpa Baker repeated that there are two ways to get into the house. Either be a customer, or be an apprentice. To be an apprentice, he needs to take the exam, and pass to qualify.

The exam is this: taste the bread, and figure out which dough was used to make it. It’s a little deja vu (episode 4). Ma Jun/Tae Jo systematically starts off by tasting the bread, then tasting the dough carefully. Tak Gu looks confused, and finally starts sniffing at the dough.

Ma Jun/Tae Jo turns in his answer on a slip of paper. Mi Sun then bugs Tak Gu for his answer. He doesn’t seem ready, and Mi Sun threatens to disqualify him if he has no reply in 5 seconds. Tak Gu scribbles something, and submits it.

Grandpa Baker reads both slips of paper. Someone wrote a 4? Ma Jun/Tae Jo says it’s him. He explained that the bread had a unique after-taste that is only generated after prolonged fermentation. Dough #4 had the same after-taste. Seeing the looks on the other bakers, you know that Ma Jun was right.

But since Tak Gu did not put down the correct answer, what did he put down? He wrote a 5, but he explains that he did not choose dough #5. He meant that all five doughs were correct. He couldn’t tell the difference between the compositions, although the sweetness and sourness were of varying degrees. Seeing everyone’s faces, he figures he’s probably wrong.

Finally it’s Grandpa Baker’s turn to speak, and he proclaims Ma Jun/ Tae Jo the winner. He should join them in the bakery the next morning. But wait, Tak Gu should also join them. Tak Gu is confused: he got the wrong answer, so he failed right? He passed? Grandpa Baker says that he passed. The doughs were all the same, but at different stages of fermenting. I feel like that is stretching it a little, and so do the other bakers.

Grandpa asks Tak Gu what his name is, and Tak Gu announces that his name is Kim Tak Gu! Seriously, I should be so proud of my name too. Ma Jun’s mood immediately darkens. Really dark. Scary dark. Actually, Grandpa looks disturbed as well.

At the gangsters’ lair, Il Jung is talking to the fake windmill tattoo boss. The boss says that Tak Gu caused him serious injuries. Il Jung understands, and promises to compensate him. The boss pushes it. He doesn’t want money. He wants an arm or a leg. Il Jung says he will give him everything after he finds Tak Gu. The moment is interrupted by another group of men barging into the warehouse. I feel like the timing is too good. They could be hired by Manager Han, and kill Il Jung in the situation and call it a gangfight…just saying.

Anyway, the next thing we know Manager Han is arriving at the hospital. He’s come to pick Il Jung up. Il Jung is slightly hurt, but well enough to go home. Han asks Il Jung what he was doing in such a dangerous place, and Il Jung said he was looking for Tak Gu. Manager Han doesn’t like that reply. He says that Il Jung should have just told him. Il Jung asks if Manager Han would really find Tak Gu if he asked.

It’s a little uncomfortable, but Manager Han says that he’s been loyal for 30 years. Il Jung says he was just curious. *awkward*

Manager Han is capable of locating Tak Gu. He goes back to the warehouse and demands to know where Tak Gu is. The boss asks him what reward he is willing to part with. Unlike Il Jung, Manager Han says there is no reward. Either tell him, or suffer. Now that’s the way to do it.

The other bakers ask Grandpa to reconsider, but his decision is final. He does not choose apprentices by skill, but also for other reasons. In the meantime, Mi Sun takes the boys to their room, and tell them that they have to share it. Tak Gu looks delighted, probably because it’s his first real home in years.

Mi Sun shows them the bathroom, and tells them about the hours and other details. Actually, she’s only talking to Ma Jun, even though Tak Gu is the one asking questions. Tak Gu notices her attitude, and ask her why she’s ignoring him. He also asks about the family tree is like.

It turns out that Mi Sun’s mom is Grandpa’s daughter, and Head Baker married her. She then introduces herself as the daughter of the house, Yang Mi Sun. Tak Gu sort of makes fun of Mi Sun..like she doesn’t deserve to be called Mi Sun. They’ll call her fallen soybean or something. It felt sort of mean, but we know where it’s coming from. Mi Sun takes off, leaving the boys.

Tak Gu is actually really curious about Ma Jun/Tae Jo. Is he really from Japan? Do girls all wear kimonos there? How was flying in an airplane? Are clouds really soft like cotton? Ma Jun replies that the girls in Korea do not all wear hanbok, and how can clouds be like cotton? Didn’t he learn in school that clouds are made of moisture? Didn’t he go to school?

Tak Gu feels exposed — can Ma Jun really tell that he’s uneducated? But he confesses that he’s an elementary school dropout because he had to look for his mother. Ma Jun tells him that he doesn’t want to hear his personal stories. Actually, since they are talking, Ma Jun will lay down some rules. 1..2..3..

Tak Gu tells him to cool it. He’s only here to find the windmill tattoo guy, not to learn baking. So he’s not a rival. Oh…if only Tak Gu could imagine what Ma Jun is feeling.

The next morning, everyone assembles in the kitchen. They get handed assignments, except Tak Gu who is ordered to move 32 bags of flour down to the backyard. Even though the music is cheery, I don’t have a good feeling about this. Sure enough, after all 32 bags are downstairs, Head Baker asks Tak Gu to shift them back to their original location.

Tak Gu gets mad, but restrains himself. Mi Sun witnesses the situation, and tells him that there are two ways to leave the bakery. Punch someone, or just leave. Tak Gu replies that he’s not leaving after coming so far. He’s getting the windmill tattoo guy, which means he’s taking all those bags of flour upstairs. He does not realize that someone outside of the bakery is watching him.

That someone is an underling of Manager Han. They confirm that he is Kim Tak Gu, and Manager Han orders them to take care of the guy. It doesn’t feel like the best day to be lifting those bags of flour up and down the stairs.

We cut to the marriage meeting. In Sook is waiting in a restaurant with the prospective groom and his mother. Ja Kyung is running late, and I have doubts whether she’ll come. In Sook explains that Ja Kyung is busy with preparing for the anniversary party next week. She adds that kids these days are so different from the previous generation. The mother cuts Ja Kyung down: she is only a woman. I don’t think Ja Kyung will like her.

There is a knock on the door. Ja Kyung actually arrives. In Sook mentions that they were discussing about her work, and the groom asks her if she was having fun. Ja Kyung says she doesn’t have enough of a career for work to be fun. In Sook explains that Ja Kyung is working for the experience. She’ll quit when she gets married.

The mother makes some remark about the finances of Geo Seung being so bad that they had to work their daughter. She thinks it’s shameful. Ja Kyung says the company’s finances are not bad. She’s working to learn. The mother remarks that Ja Kyung should not be talking back.

In Sook jumps to Ja Kyung’s defense, actually attacking the other party. Geo Seung has survived 30 years of ups and downs, and they will survive this current down. She knew the other party were nouveau rich, but she was under the impression that the other lady was someone with good character. Well, it seems like no one can really help the nouveau rich. She is ashamed that she even thought of marriage between the two families. I was blown away by In Sook, how strongly she defended their family, and how poised and convincing she was.

But leaving the restaurant, In Sook turns on Ja Kyung. This is why she needs to quit her work. In Sook is tired of everyone stressing her out. Ja Kyung points out that In Sook was the one who set up the meeting, and she was the one who ended it. In Sook does not appreciate that.

She says she doesn’t like the way everything is going — Ja Kyung, Il Jung, the company — and she is going to correct things. Judging from the way she’s been making calls to the lawyer throughout the episode, inquiring about shares and buying them, I shudder to think what she’s plotting. I mean, she seems really smart, but all her energies are channeled into the wrong things.

Everyone else in the bakery is watching Tak Gu as he attempts to transport the bags for the fourth time that day. Tak Gu finally reaches the limit of his endurance, and collapses for a while in the kitchen. The Head Baker taunts him: if he’s so weak, how can he stand in the kitchen all day?

Tak Gu jumps up, and performs the Incheon soda chant. Everyone looks at him in surprise. Tak Gu proclaims that he’s completely healthy. See, he can even dance. Everyone, except Ma Jun, is amused and smiles. You can feel the attitude towards him soften, but no one wants to be the first one to say so.

Windmill guy is feeling the weight of his conscience on him. He brings Tak Gu a bottle of water and tries to encourage him: he had to transport 36 bags when he first started. It’s a small gesture, but immediately establishes some camaraderie.

Tak Gu says it’s not so bad. Actually, it’s refreshing to have no thoughts of his mother, just one task to throw himself into. Tak Gu muses that since the windmill man was nice to him, he can’t be the one with the windmill tattoo. He wonders if it’s the Head Baker, whom he’s decided to call Stone Face or the other guy, Axe Eyes. Windmill man shifts around uncomfortably.

As expected, the gangsters arrive at the bakery. In the kitchen, we see the Head Baker being called away by the presence of guests. But it’s a different guest. Il Jung unexpectedly pays the bakery a visit.

Mi Sun asks what the gangsters want. She refuses to confirm Tak Gu’s whereabouts and they start trashing things. And Tak Gu comes around and starts to fight them. However, he is in poor shape, given how he has been carrying heavy bags all day.

Il Jung’s visit reveals an interesting bit of history. We see Mi Sun’s mother calling him “oppa”, while the Head Baker looks on uncomfortably. They were probably all apprentices at the same time, and Il Jung was probably the favorite. Axe Eyes makes some remark about Il Jung, I mean President Gu, visiting them.

Back at the bakery, windmill man hears the commotion returning from his walk, and joins in the fight. The two guys take on the gangsters, until by accident the tattoo is revealed. Tak Gu stares at it in shock, and windmill man freezes in shock. This allows the gangsters to pick themselves up and pound away at the guys.

Back at the house, Head Baker excuses himself. Just in time,  the junior baker comes to get him. He goes back to the bakery, and sees what is happening. The Head Baker orders the windmill man to take Tak Gu upstairs, and proceeds to throw the gangsters out one by one. Man, he is an excellent bouncer.

Grandpa Baker realizes that Il Jung was visiting not because he wanted to personally deliver the invitation to the baker. His mind is unsettled. Grandpa Baker says that he cannot help Il Jung with his business problems. He can only give him one piece of advice, and that is to rest.

In the bakery, the other bakers and the wife ask Head Baker to let Tak Gu go. Surprisingly, the Head Baker doesn’t want to pursue it. He seems to have a lot of sympathy for people needing a shelter. He switches subject and tells Mi Sun to bring the guys some ice. Mi Sun is on his side.

Upstairs, neither guy speaks for a while. Tak Gu breaks the silence. He has been looking forward to this day for 12 years. He thought that he would beat the windmill guy up, but he can’t. All he wants to know is where his mother is. The windmill man is silent for a long time. This worries Tak Gu who gets more frantic — where is his mother?

Finally windmill man breaks, and incoherently the story comes out. He didn’t know there was a cliff. He should have ran faster and caught his mom. Tak Gu resists the idea, but he is finally unable to escape the truth. Mi Sun witnesses everything.

Il Jung was just going to take off in his car when he hears Tak Gu’s wailing. He doesn’t bother to investigate, but the pause allows time for him to see Ma Jun taking out the trash. They look at each other silently. The moment is broken by Axe Eyes who has a second bag of trash for Ma Jun. Il Jung asks about the unfamiliar baker. Axe Eyes explains that he’s new.

Later that night, windmill man is contemplative, looking at a picture of a woman. Tak Gu is sitting outside. He hasn’t eaten all day. Grandpa Baker beckons him into the kitchen, and makes him some bread. Tak Gu watches Grandpa making bread silently. Finally he speaks: what should he do with his life now?

Grandpa says he should wait, so that the bread bakes deliciously (a metaphor of sort I believe). Tak Gu tells Grandpa that he doesn’t like bread, that they only hold bad memories for him. Grandpa Baker says that means he’s a bad person. Someone good would not hate bread. Someone good has no hates, dislikes or anger.

He reminds Tak Gu that his mother said that it is important to be a good person. That means learning to forgive and to move on. Tak Gu asks how Grandpa knew what his mom said. Grandpa reveals that they met 12 years ago. Back then, he had no fear. But the Tak Gu now is full of hate.

Grandpa takes the freshly baked bread out of the oven, and arranges them on a plate. He tells Tak Gu to make his peace with bread. It’s a plate of bread like we’ve seen so many times in the show — when his mom bought him bread for the first time, and when his father shared his bread-making time with him for the first time. Grandpa even hands him a cup of tea, like his mom did. The memories flood his mind, and he breaks down again.

In the background, a creepy Ma Jun spies on the two in the kitchen. If the past is anything to go by, Ma Jun is again jealous of Tak Gu being close to Grandpa Baker.

Ma Jun heads out to meet Manager Han in a cafe somewhere. Manager Han asks him how he thought to work for his father’s teacher. Ma Jun says that there is no need for details. He asks Manager Han whether he was responsible for the gangsters at the bakery.

Manager Han admits that there was a flaw to the plan. Ma Jun tells him that his plans have always been flawed. He’s not god, so he shouldn’t try to change fate. That means he should leave Tak Gu alone. Tak Gu is Ma Jun’s enemy, so he will take care of Tak Gu on his own.

Ma Jun gets up to leave and Manager Han reminds him to turn up for the anniversary party. Ma Jun agrees to think about it, but only if In Sook is not told about everything. It’s an interesting balance of power here.

On his way out, Ma Jun bumps into a girl. As he helps her pick up her papers, he knocks over her hat, revealing a beautiful face (or something). He is smitten, but the girl walks off. She approaches her friends, who call her Yu Kyung.

Comments:

There is something loveable about Tak Gu that makes not only the other characters like him, but also the audience (me) want to know how he does. For this reason, I want to watch on to see how he regains his goodness.

After learning the history behind the Head Baker, Grandpa Baker and Il Jung, Head Baker seems a little more human to me. He is no one’s favorite (not even his wife’s), but he works on and does well. His insistence on looking after his people (windmill guy, then Tak Gu) also makes me like him. I guess it’s like cheering for the underdog.

I will also be watching out for Mi Sun to see what happens. We know that she has a strong personality, but she’s probably extra gentle with Tak Gu since she’s seen him at his weakest. I’m guessing she’ll develop feelings for him, but will be ignored because of Yu Kyung. I hope to be proven wrong. But Mi Sun has more than love going on for her. I want to see her succeed in her baking career.

Although Yu Kyung re-enters the story, I am not actually excited about her character. You could sympathize with her childhood character, but there was nothing endearing about her. I think it’s because there was little depth in her childhood character. Ma Jun and Tak Gu were more interesting.

PS. Confirmed that we’re in the 1990’s. Manager Han was using a pager.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 9

My guess was a little off…it’s not the 1990’s yet. The year is 1987.



Episode 9 recap

I wasn’t expecting this: we start with the windmill guy’s backstory.

Head Baker, In Mok, first met him when he was teaching a prison class on baking. He’s trying to teach the prisoners skills so that they can do something useful when they leave prison. Unlike the other guys, windmill guy did not get busy making dough. Instead, he stares lifelessly at nothing. Head Baker notices this, and asks him what he’s doing. Windmill guy says he doesn’t want to learn. Head Baker asks his name, but windmill guy says that he has no name.

Fast forward some time, Head Baker is introducing windmill guy to Grandpa Baker, hoping to give him a job at Pal Bong Bakery. Grandpa Baker asks him why he wants to bake. Windmill guy says bread gives him hope to live. Grandpa Baker catches sight of the windmill tattoo, and looks disturbed, remembering Tak Gu. He accepts the windmill guy.

Flash back to present, the windmill guy asks Grandpa whether he accepted him knowing that Tak Gu will find him. He asks Grandpa whether he will ever be forgiven. Grandpa tells him to wait, because the day will come. I’m a little confused about where in the timeline we are. One moment Tak Gu is in the bakery, the next moment we see guards at a gate.

It seems that Tak Gu is not in the bakery anymore. He has made his way to the Gu residence, armed with a stick, intent on getting revenge. He enters the house, and with luck, In Sook is there to greet him. He identifies himself, and asks her what she did to Kim Mi Sun. Just as Tak Gu is about the raise the stick at her, Manager Han comes and asks him what he’s doing.

More specifically, he was supposed to have left and never come back. Tak Gu replies that it doesn’t hold anymore now that his mother is dead. He’s here for vengeance.

Tak Gu smashes the glass ornaments and windows in the house. In Sook responds by telling him off, in the way that only she can. Tak Gu turns to face her, and he looks like he’s going to attack her, but he remembers what Grandpa said about forgiveness and hate and living as a good person. He freezes there.

Then we see Tak Gu outside the house again. The entire sequence from before was in his head, which is good. Everyone in the house is oblivious of his presence. I think it would have been silly to smash the house for revenge, because nothing will come out of it. Now without a purpose, Tak Gu looks slightly lost. He heads to Il Jung’s bakery house.

Hiding behind the bushes, Tak Gu sees Il Jung waving his arms around to check the humidity. Il Jung speaks as he moves, explaining about the importance of checking the humidity so that he can correct the moisture content of the dough. He’s re-enacting the last time he saw Tak Gu, and Tak Gu recognizes it. I think there were tears in Il Jung’s eyes.

Moisture checking over, Il Jung heads inside to prepare the bread. Tak Gu follows, stick in hand, and he hides in the same place where he first saw Il Jung make bread. Il Jung goes through the same motions, and we see flashes of the scenes from 12 years ago. It’s like nothing has changed, but everything is different.

Mesmerized by the bread making, Tak Gu forgets about the stick, and it falls, making a loud sound. Il Jung looks up and goes to investigate, but no one is there.

The bakers line up for their assignment at the bakery, and Head Baker hands out a slip to everyone. At the end of the line, he is left with an extra slip for Tak Gu who is not there. No matter, the work will proceed. The other bakers notice Tak Gu’s absence silently.

Mi Sun has a word with her grandfather after the morning’s work about Tak Gu’s absence. Maybe he killed himself out of despair? Should they go to the police? Grandpa says no. He asks if she’s worried about Tak Gu. Mi Sun denies it.

Tak Gu ended up spending the night sleeping in a subway station. He managed to sleep though the hundreds of people walking by, and is finally woken up by a girl begging for forgiveness. A man is shouting at his daughter for not begging enough money to buy him soju. It’s all very familiar, and reminiscent of what Yu Kyung had to go through as a kid. Begging for forgiveness even though it’s not her fault, getting beaten up.

It takes Tak Gu a while to rouse from his sleep state, and he shouts at the father. It’s overshadowed by a woman who steps in to stop the abuse. It’s Yu Kyung, and she tells the man that it’s a crime to abuse children. He says he’s the father, and Yu Kyung says a father wouldn’t let his child beg.

Unable to win the fight, the man raises his hand at Yu Kyung, and Tak Gu steps in. He repeats what Yu Kyung said, and tells the man to leave it. The father does not comply, asking Tak Gu who he is to be bothering about someone else’s business. Tak Gu says he’s someone who doesn’t mind dying, and the man headbutts him.

Tak Gu is taken by surprise, and lands on the ground. Not content to let it be, Yu Kyung attacks the man with her bag.  He retaliates, and the contents of the bag are strewn out. At first it looks like a stack of papers, but upon closer inspection, they are anti-government propaganda. Seizing the chance, the father announces that Yu Kyung is a political dissident, and she has to flee as the cops come chasing.

Tak Gu grabs Yu Kyung’s bag, and runs after her. He catches up with her, and drags her to a safe corner. After the cops have gone by, they speak. Tak Gu returns her bag. Yu Kyung looks suspiciously at him, worried that he is a cop, but Tak Gu says he’s just a homeless man. He commends her for being brave.

Tak Gu notices blood on her face. It’s from the guy just now right? Yu Kyung replies, asking so what if it was. Would he go back and kill the man? This is all too familiar, something a younger Yu Kyung once said to Tak Gu.

Yu Kyung leaves, and Tak Gu is frozen in shock. When he finally rushes out, she’s nowhere to be seen. He does find her cap on the floor. Under the cap, her name and university address is written. She is indeed Shin Yu Kyung.

With a new sense of purpose, Tak Gu runs around looking for Yu Kyung, and finally sees her entering the train. He chases after her, but it’s too late. No matter, he knows where to find her.

Yu Kyung makes it back safely to campus, and heads to the operations room of her dissident club. She takes a seat next to Ja Rim (yes, it was Ja Rim at the cafe in the previous episode), who notices that her good luck hat is missing. In turn, Yu Kyung asks what she’s doing there. In Sook doesn’t allow Ja Rim to participate in club activities, but Ja Rim wanted to give an invitation to Yu Kyung. She tells Yu Kyung to keep it well, since it wouldn’t be good for the other students to find it.

Ja Rim complains that everyone will have to attend, even though she doesn’t want to. She mentions that her brother is probably coming back from Japan for this, and Yu Kyung perks up at the information. But we know that the brother she is referring to is Ma Jun. Interestingly, according to the invitation, we are currently in year 1987.

Ma Jun notices Axe Eyes, and maknae (I realize that Ma Jun and Tak Gu are even lower on the ladder, but let’s just call him maknae) eavesdropping outside the Head Baker’s room. Mi Sun’s mom wants to go to the anniversary party, but Head Baker refuses. She talks about her past days of glory, and mentioned that she should have tried for Il Jung. Head Baker asks if she’s telling the truth, and she taunts him. Yes, so? Head Baker picks up his pillow, and tells her that he’s sleeping elsewhere.

Mi Sun’s mom immediately decides that it’s too embarrassing if others see the Head Baker sleeping outside, so she gives up on the party. But Axe Eyes and maknae have already heard everything. It seems that Mi Sun’s mom has lost the argument as usual. Maknae doesn’t understand why Head Baker doesn’t want to attend the party, so Axe Eyes explains that Mi Sun’s mom is secretly in love with Il Jung. Ma Jun absorbs the information, and excuses himself.

He chances upon Mi Sun in the kitchen, working on her cake again. Mi Sun provides her own commentary, pretending she’s in a competition. She mentions that she needs to solve the problem of the fruit on the cake. Ma Jun steps in and tells her to use syrup (on the fruit). Apparently, she has done so to no avail. This is already cake #4. (I have to agree that the Head Baker is right…this is a superficial problem.)

Ma Jun helps himself to the cream on the cake and says that it’s obvious. Mi Sun tastes the cream (this should not be the first time she’s tasting the cream), and doesn’t look like she understands. Ma Jun tells her that the cream is too greasy (oil-based), and she needs to use something else. Also, she needs to bake the cake at a lower temperature.

[Complete aside: cream on cake is an alternative to frosting, which is popular in the US. Outside of the US, I haven’t seen frosting very much. I personally like cream because it is much lighter without being overwhelmingly sweet.]

Ma Jun apparently knows about cream because it’s popular in Japan. Mi Sun asks why he chose Pal Bong Bakery despite his pedigree. Ma Jun mentions that his father likes bread so he collects bread. At Pal Bong Bakery, he’s looking for the Bong bread, which Mi Sun says her grandfather no longer makes. Ma Jun is disappointed, but he says there are other things at Pal Bong Bakery, like the people. Even the guy who took the exam with him and…

Ma Jun notices that Mi Sun has cream on her lips, which presents him with the opportunity to wipe her lips with his thumb. Of course, he needs to eat the cream off his thumb too.

It’s all done in a matter of factly manner, but Mi Sun is highly disturbed. Desperately, she cleans her lips. Fortunately for us, she thinks he’s creepy, not that he’s attracted to her. Ma Jun draws her close, finger on her chin like he’s going to kiss her, and offers to taste cake #4 anytime. It looks like seduction. I thought that there were no signs of Ma Jun being attracted to Mi Sun. Is he doing this because he learned about his father and Mi Sun’s mom?

In Sook is trying on dresses for the party as she talks to Manager Han about Ma Jun. Is he coming to the party? Manager Han reveals that he saw Ma Jun recently, and says that he can’t say more. In Sook asks if he’s playing somewhere, or in trouble again, like stuck with a girl that he seduced. Manager Han assures her that it’s okay. Ma Jun is working hard to win Il Jung’s approval. But I guess it’s also a way of letting us know that Ma Jun has some experience with the ladies.

In Sook says it doesn’t matter if Il Jung doesn’t change his mind. She has other means of making him do so.

We fast forward to the party, which is probably the next day. They set up the food. The guests arrive at the hotel in their fancy cars. One of them, Director Choi, is shepherded to a meeting with Il Jung.

Director Choi expresses his interest in retiring, meaning giving up all his shares to finance golf playing for the rest of his life. Il Jung says the decision is sudden. Director Choi says it’s because he was approached. Il Jung’s mood darkens. He reminds Director Choi that Geo Seung should have the first dibs on the shares. But Director Choi has already sold his shares. Il Jung is surprised, but Director Choi says that he respected the rules, which means In Sook bought them.

Il Jung heads to the lounge to look for In Sook. He finds Ja Rim there, and asks to be left alone with her mother. He confirms that she bought the shares off Director Choi and asks her why. She explains that she wants to be respected, and to do that means power, which also means shares. Which also means that if Il Jung wants his shares, he should strike Tak Gu off the family register.

Ja Kyung arrives at this point to inform Il Jung that it’s time for him to make an entrance. In Sook tries to take his arm so that they can go out together, but Il Jung brushes her off. Ja Kyung sees everything with what looks like a tinge of hurt. Hmm… is it so hard for the kids to accept that their parents don’t love each other after seeing them coldly together for more than 20 years?

Meantime on campus, Yu Kyung has decided that she will attend the party, if only to see Tak Gu. We see from her memories that she has been thinking about him, and hearing news about the brother from Ja Rim.

Tak Gu has also decided that he needs to look for Yu Kyung. He asks around on campus, and just misses Yu Kyung as she brushes by him. He realizes this a few seconds later, and gives chase. Once again, they end up in the subway station, but he manages to get on the train this time. From a distance, he looks at her admiringly, hoping that it’s really her.

He loses sight of her for a second as she gets off the train, but he finds her again quickly. He follows her to the hotel, and she is starting to notice him. After some hesitation, Yu Kyung goes into the ballroom, where she finds Ja Rim and explains the situation: she thinks she’s being followed. Ja Rim says she’ll take care of it, and tells Manager Han that there is someone suspicious around. Yu Kyung recognizes Manager Han, and tries to hide her face.

Tak Gu walked by a notice, and doubles back. If he entered, he’ll be going into Geo Seung territory. He’s uncertain what he should do, and sits around trying to decide. When he finally decides to walk into the ballroom, it’s too late. The Han minions have found him, and they escort him downstairs to some dark dingy basement.

Manager Han tells him that he should never have come back. Tak Gu replies that he followed Manager Han’s orders years ago and never found his mother. Manager Han ignores all that. The bottom line is if Tak Gu comes back, he must be strong enough to defeat Manager Han or to die. The lackeys proceed to beat the hell out of Tak Gu.

While safe from Tak Gu in the ballroom, Yu Kyung is not safe from In Sook. Ja Rim introduces Yu Kyung, explaining that she’s a friend, and In Sook says that anyone coming to a party should be prepared to dress properly. She offers to hold a private reception for Ja Rim and friend in another room.

Ma Jun turns up at the party, and heads straight to Il Jung. Il Jung doesn’t look happy to see him. Instead, he asks where the others from the bakery are, and Ma Jun explains that they are not coming. Il Jung looks disappointed. But he is curious about Ma Jun being at Pal Bong bakery and asks him what is going on.

In Sook is delighted to see her son, and approaches the men. Il Jung says he needs to greet the guests with Ma Jun, and they walk away.

In the meantime, Yu Kyung and Ja Rim are still in the main ballroom. Ja Rim points out her brother, introducing him as Gu Ma Jun. Ma Jun notices the girls looking at him and he holds Yu Kyung’s stare for a while. Yu Kyung asks whether there is another brother. Ja Rim says no, and Yu Kyung knows better than to press on the issue.

In Sook notices Yu Kyung looking at Ma Jun, and it annoys her. Yu Kyung decides to leave, but knocks into some rich lady who emits a squeal of horror as she spills wine onto her own hideous dress. In Sook comes over to deal with the situation in a calm manner. She promises to get the same dress over to the lady’s house and offers the lady a change of dress.

With the lady gone, In Sook turns on Ja Rim for disobeying her. Yu Kyung apologizes, but In Sook ignores her. After Yu Kyung leaves, In Sook scolds Ja Rim for mingling with people below her.

Outside, Ma Jun is waiting for Yu Kyung. He reads her anger and knows that she wanted to get even. He doesn’t recognize her, but he knows that they know each other. Yu Kyung says they know each other from a long time ago, and even spent a night together.

Ma Jun thinks that she came to see him, but she says no. She was looking for Tak Gu. Kim Tak Gu, that Ma Jun could never beat, whom no one seems to know. Ma Jun is hit with a shock of recognition.

On her way out, Yu Kyung doesn’t notice Tak Gu, who is being removed to somewhere in a van. Ever resourceful, Tak Gu eventually manages to use a wrench left in the van and fights his way out of the van.

When she reaches campus that night, Yu Kyung heads straight to the clubroom. She senses someone there, and finds a bloody Tak Gu. He hands her her cap, and is half delirious with the blood loss and injuries. He starts to recite the Incheon soda chant, and she knows that it’s him.

Comments:

For a moment, I thought we were going to delve into every character’s background, starting with windmill man. But thinking about it, I think it was an elegant way of retelling Tak Gu’s story (a summary) without being an obvious summary. I think that was nicely done.

It’s interesting to see the dual-nature of Ja Rim. On one hand she is a regular college girl, on the other hand, she acts all sweet with her mom. I wonder if she’ll now play a larger role, besides as the person to introduce Yu Kyung to the family. I think she might just be the girl who keeps Yu Kyung close to the Gu family.

This episode feels like a transition episode. We’ve introduced the last major character, and now it’s showtime. Tak Gu has found another ally, but I don’t know what will come of it. They are both powerless.

Lastly, please don’t let Mi Sun fall for Ma Jun’s seduction. She’s too innocent so it’s too cruel.

Just had to insert them somewhere.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 10

You know how most dramas are set either in present day or 500 years ago? I’m still puzzling over why this drama is set in 1987. I think it’s trying to tap into emotions that today’s 40-year-olds (yes, Kim Tak Gu would be 40 years old if he were real) experienced during their college times. For me, it’s interesting examining a recent point in Korean history that no one talks about very much anymore.

Episode 10 recaps

Yu Kyung’s lucky hat

When Yu Kyung arrived at the orphanage 12 years ago, she had with her the pack of money that she stole from her father. She had no use for it, and it was probably hard to keep it, so she decided to give it away.

She walked past a Salvation Army-type of guy, and decided not to give him the money. The next people she was were a family sitting on the steps of a shop begging. They had young children with them. Yu Kyung decided to give them the money, and dropped it.

Checking the pack, the child discovered that there was a lot of money. This prompted the father to run after Yu Kyung, asking if she had made a mistake. Yu Kyung said no. The man thanked her profusely, and gave her his cap. He told her to become successful so that she can help the poor in the future. This inspired Yu Kyung, and gave her motivation for life.

She goes on to become the top student in the top university. She is well-known for her good grades, and her cap is iconic. While searching for her missing cap (she seems to have a habit of dropping it), she meets Ja Rim who picked up her cap. Ja Rim has written Yu Kyung’s name and department on her cap so that she will never lose it again. Ja Rim asks if she could join Yu Kyung’s club.

Yu Kyung knows who Ja Rim is — daughter of the Geo Seung Food company. As a result of that meeting, Yu Kyung becomes friends with Ja Rim, and this provides her with news of the Gu brother that she thought was Tak Gu. Finally, her lucky cap brought the real Kim Tak Gu to her.

Yu Kyung takes the unconscious Tak Gu home with her. As he lies resting, she prepares food. Tak Gu wakes up shortly after, and finds Yu Kyung in the kitchen. Wondering if it’s all a dream, he asks again if she is that Shin u Kyug and reaches out to touch her. He feels her shoulder, and her hair, and realizing it’s true, he hugs her in joy. Yu Kyung does not resist.

Tak Gu holds on to her for a while, until his growling stomach interupts. Tak Gu steps back, apologizing for his exuberant hug, and explains that he hasn’t eaten in 2 days. Yu Kyung was expecting that much.

Over dinner, Tak Gu notices that Yu Kyung has English books in her room. Add that to the fact that she goes to a top university, Tak Gu realizes that she’s done well, and congratulates her.

Yu Kyung tries to ask Tak Gu what his life was like. She reveals that she found out that he left the Gu family. Not wanting to reveal how sad his life has been, Tak Gu tells her that he’s working in a famous bakery in Incheon. He says that it was really hard getting in; even with qualifications from Japan, his other colleague had to take the same test as him. They managed to get through at first try.

Yu Kyung asks if he’s had any luck finding his mother. Tak Gu says no, but he’s going to keep trying. Yu Kyung asks whether Tak Gu has taken out a newspaper ad to find his mother. He has not, and he likes the idea. She apologizes for the past, but Tak Gu says it’s not her fault. To make her smile, he tells her that she is prettiest when she smiles.

Tak Gu leaves after dinner. Yu Kyung says “see you next time”, a common greeting, but it gets Tak Gu all excited. He checks if she meant it and asks when. Yu Kyung says she will look for him at the bakery. Tak Gu offers to get her phone number or find her on campus, but Yu Kyung says that things are a mess in school right now. So Tak Gu will have to go back to the bakery.

After they part, both Yu Kyung and Tak Gu have happy smiles on them, like they had a successful date.

After talking to Yu Kyung, Ma Jun heads to Ja Rim to find out who the girl was. Ja Rim says she’s a friend from school. She assumes that Ma Jun is interested in her, and tells him to lay off Yu Kyung. I think Ma Jun is actually more concerned about other things, like if she is trying to get close to the family to spy on them.

The entire Gu family reaches home. Il Jung excuses himself to his workhouse, and asks Manager Han to come long. In Sook immediately heads into the house, leaving the kids to talk. Ja Kyung tells Ja Rim to apologize to their mother for disturbing the party. Ja Rim asks Ma Jun to come along to help shield her.

Ma Jun says he’s leaving. Ja Kyung tells him to greet their mother properly before leaving, but he refuses. It’ll be the same old routine: she’ll ask him what he’s doing, and he’ll tell her she doesn’t have to know. Ja Kyung doesn’t press him, but reminds him that the company is in trouble and he should not add to their father’s burden.

Ma Jun says he understands. Wistfully, he says that he wished that Ja Kyung was born a son. Everyone would be happier. Ja Rim agrees, but Ja Kyung tells them it’s useless talk. Ma Jun tells them not to worry. Il Jung has asked him to work hard too. Ja Rim wonders what he’s up to.

In the work house, Il Jung demands to know why Manager Han did not inform him about In Sook buying over Director Choi’s shares. Manager Han apologizes, but he did not know. He will get to work on a report. Il Jung says it’s too late. What they need to know is where In Sook got the money from, and how they can get the shares back to Il Jung.

As usual, Ma Jun is everywhere, and overhears the conversation.

Leaving the bakery that night after cake #4 was completed, Mi Sun sees Ma Jun as he returns from Seoul. She tries to sneak away without him noticing, but he sees her anyway. She tries to flee after greeting him, but he keeps talking.

He gets really close to her, and asks whether cake #4 was completed. If so, he would like to try it. Mi Sun agrees, says it’s really hot, and she’s got to go. She pretty much runs off.

Ma Jun looks after her and smirks. He thinks that Mi Sun is too simple.

Tak Gu gets back to the bakery. Predictably, Head Baker is not keen on letting him back in, particularly since Tak Gu left without notice. Tak Gu says it’s no matter, he’ll keep trying.

Windmill man tries to persuade Head Baker, but to no avail. Head Baker explains that it’s got nothing to do with Windmill Guy now. It is a problem of values. Head Baker thinks of bread as something that is as important as life. Tak Gu clearly has no respect for bread. I’m with him on this one, particularly since I know Tak Gu is doing this to meet a girl.

All these close encounters with Ma Jun is getting to be too much. The alarm goes off, and Mi Sun barely rouses to turn it off, but someone beats her to it. She groggily opens her eyes and see Ma Jun reaching over her.

She asks him what he’s doing in her room. He asks her what she thinks he’s doing in her room. For whom does she think he’s in the room for. He bends over and gets closer to her face. Mi Sun doesn’t resist, but scrunches her face up and hides her lips, bracing herself for it.

But it’s all a dream. The person in the room is her mom, who tells her that she’s running late.

No one notices that Mi Sun is late at the bakery. Rather, everyone is taking in the excellent cleaning job that Tak Gu has done.Tak Gu proudly claims credit for cleaning the kitchen. Head Baker does not look impressed.

Tak Gu joins the line, and Head Baker hands out the day’s assignments. He has nothing for Tak Gu (even though he had an extra slip of paper). Tak Gu persists and tries to help as Head Baker takes the dough out of the fridge. But instead of helping, Tak Gu ends up spilling the dough onto the floor.

He realizes that he’s not going to get anywhere, and cleans up and leaves. Once outside though, he plays with the dough, and starts getting inspired.

Manager Han asks In Sook where she got the money to buy the shares. She refuses to let him know because he has similarly refused to let her know what Ma Jun is up to. However Manager Han is not there to stop her. On the contrary, he tells her to hurry up. In Sook realizes that something is up, and asks him what has happened. Manager Han tells her that Tak Gu is back. She tells him that he needs to stop Tak Gu, even if it means his life.

In Sook has her own set of plans. She heads over to the company to talk to Il Jung. Specifically, he will let Ma Jun work in the company. Otherwise she will vote against the new plans at the upcoming meeting. Il Jung doesn’t reply, and she gives him until the meeting to think about it.

When Grandpa Baker walks by some time later, he notices shaped dough on the floor. Tak Gu had shaped the dough like it was useable. Tak Gu comes along with a broom and dustpan, apologies for the mess. He starts to explain that he made a mess in the morning, but Grandpa is not interested in that. He wants to see Tak Gu shape the dough.

They head indoors, and Tak Gu starts with breathing, then raising his hands to check the humidity like Il Jung. This surprises Grandpa, who mutters “interesting”. I thought it was all a show, but Tak Gu follows by bringing out a spray bottle, and spraying water into the air. He explains that he was checking the humidity, and thought it was too dry.

He had a job 5 years back in a dumpling shop, and his job was to make the dough everyday. He held the job for 2.5 years, so he’s had a lot of experience with dough.

He proceeds to cut the dough up and announces that he is holding about 500g, and he will proceed to divide them into five portions of 100g equally. Grandpa asks how he is so sure. It turns out that he held a different job years back as a meat packer. His job was to cut and weigh the meat, so it was advantagous to him if he could accurately guess the weight.

We see the finished products on the table, and Grandpa Baker looks impressed. He’s managed to learn some things about baking the past 12 years. This means that Tak Gu doesn’t hate bread. Tak Gu says it wasn’t making bread. It was making memories of her.

Heading back to the bakery, Tak Gu see Jae Bok (I saw their lineup again, and maknae is actually more senior than windmill guy) and Axe Eyes strapping up the bike for a delivery. Tak Gu is bothered by a bad smell, but he can’t figure out what it is.

He sniffs around and complains to Axe Eyes, who thinks that Tak Gu is saying that he smells. Angry, he goes back upstairs to the kitchen. Tak Gu follows him, still trying to figure out the smell.

In the kitchen, Tak Gu zooms in on the empty bowl of red bean paste, which was used to fill the bread that Jae Bok is delivering. He says it’s gone bad, which makes Head Baker worried. Head Baker tastes the remaining bean paste, and gets a second opinion from Mi Sun. Mi Sun says there is a slight difference. It’ll get worse if the bread is exposed to the sun while being transported.

Head Baker asks windmill man to call the children’s hospital to tell them that the order is canceled and to return the bread. Tak Gu says it’s not enough. The kids were looking forward to their bread. Head Baker then orders 200 pieces of bread meant for the store to be sent to the hospital at no extra charge. They will just have to make more bread today.

Head Baker tells Tak Gu and Mi Sun to make the trip to the children’s hospital. Tak Gu is delighted — really? Head Baker tells him that after he gets back, he needs to carry bags of flour. Tak Gu confirms that this means he gets to stay.

Ja Rim finds Yu Kyung in the clubroom. She checks that Yu Kyung survived the incident with her mother. She apologizes for her mother’s behavior; she can’t choose her birth parents so it’s not her fault.

They are interupted by bad news: several of the seniors have been arrested by the police. The bearer of bad news tells Yu Kyung that she needs to leave Seoul immediately without going home. Everyone is advised to leave.

Ja Rim panicks listening to the news. What should she do? Yu Kyung points out that she should have been prepared for the possiblity of being arrested from the moment she joined the club. It doesn’t hep Ja Rim. Yu Kyung tells her to go home and stay home. Given how important her family is, Ja Rim should be well protected at home.

Ja Rim asks Yu Kyung if she has a place to hide. Yu Kyung says maybe.

After finishing their delivery, Mi Sun and Tak Gu have a little chat while heading back. Mi Sun asks about his nose — is it really so sensitive? Tak Gu says that he once nearly died from eating bad read bean paste, so he remembers the spoiled smell well. Mi Sun was sure that Tak Gu was not coming back after he was done with the windmill guy. What changed his mind?

Tak Gu says that he’s decided to disregard windmill man’s words. He has a plan, and that is to save money and take out a newspaper ad to find his mom. Mi Sun is bothered by his refusal to face reality.

He says he will not believe that his mother is dead unless he confirms it personally. Through believing and perservering for 12 years, he was able to find the windmill man. Moreover, he recently found a childhood friend that he missed a lot. He believes that he will find his mother some day.

As she nears her house, Ja Rim sees a car in front of the gate. Seeing her, the men get out of the car, and try to confirm that she is Gu Ja Rim. They say that she is a good friend of Shin Yu Kyung and a member of the club, so they need her to go with them. Ja Rim tries to escape by running away, and the men give chase.

A car is approaching on the narrow road that leads to the Gu residence, and it narrowly avoids knocking over Ja Rim. However, this gives the cops the chance to catch up and arrest her.

The passenger in the car is In Sook, who is horrified to see her daughter arrested through the windscreen. She steps out and demands to know what they are doing to her daughter. The cops tell her that besides studying, Ja Rim joined a bad club in school.

In Sook demands that they stop the arrest. She identifies herself as first lady of Geo Seung. The cops say that they are just carrying out their duty, and take Ja Rim away. In Sook tells the driver to call Ja Kyung and Manager Han.

Ja Kyung arrives home to check on In Sook, who is panicking. Manager Han has gone to speak to the lawyer to find out what can be done. In Sook asks whether Il Jung was informed, and Ja Kyung says yes. In Sook demands to know where Il Jung is. Ja Kyung says he’s in a meeting, and he will be back as soon as possible.

In Sook gets really upset: his rightful place in such a time is beside her. Ja Kyung tells her to stay calm.

Il Jung is indeed in a meeting. However, he cannot concentrate, and decides he should leave. He tells another director to take over as chair. Outside, he asks the PA about the situation and what the others are doing, and decides that his first priority is to find out where Ja Rim is being held. They will use any contact they can find, at any price.

Ja Rim is being questioned by the police. The interrogating cop treats her respectfully, but finally get annoyed when she repeats that she doesn’t know where Yu Kyung is hiding. He raises his voice and looks menancingly at Ja Rim, sending her into tears.

It is night at the bakery. The work day has ended, and Head Baker has assigned the cleaning duties to Ma Jun and Tak Gu. Tak Gu is exhausted, but labors on. He asks Ma Jun whether he thinks that they are being tricked into working. Maybe the bakery won’t actually teach them anything.

Ma Jun asks Tak Gu why he is back. He has previously said that he was only there for the windmill man, not to learn baking. Tak Gu says that circumstances have changed, and he now has new reasons. Mi Sun arrives just at this moment to annouce that Tak Gu has a guest. It’s a woman by the name of Shin Yu Kyung. Tak Gu immediately gets energetic, and runs out to see his guest.

After the last chores are done (I assume), Yu Kyung and Tak Gu eat dinner at a little stand across from the bakery. Mi Sun checks them out briefly as she walks by, and she wonders what’s so good about Yu Kyung. Ah…jealousy.

From a window, Ma Jun also looks at Yu Kyung and Tak Gu, looking close and comfortable to each other. He recalls how she has said many times that he can never beat Tak Gu.

Yu Kyung and Tak Gu are having a rather honest conversation. She mentions that when she saw him in Seoul, he looked like the world had deserted him. But now, he looks lively again. He tells her it’s because he met her.Yu Kyung was uncertain that Tak Gu would actually be at the bakery if she showed up. The entire encounter in Seoul felt like a dream.

She talks about how fate is so unpredictable. He says he sure wasn’t expecting to see her again so soon. Yu Kyung confesses that she wasn’t thinking of visiting so soon, but something came up in school. Her classmates were arrested, and she’s actually running away from Seoul. She wonders if she could stay for a while. Tak Gu says it’s no problem at all since he’s on great terms with the family.

The reality is that he had to beg them to let her in. Head Baker is agnostic. Since Mi Sun is the one who has to share the room, she can decide. Mi Sun intially refuses, but Tak Gu promises to do anything. Upon hearing that, Mi Sun decides that she will help Yu Kyung out. Mischievously, she says Tak Gu won’t be happy for long.

Back at the police station, it looks like they got a confession out of Ja Rim.

As Mi Sun and Tak Gu show Yu Kyung to her new room, they run into Ma Jun. Yu Kyung recognizes him, but Tak Gu calls him by a different name.

Comments:

I wonder if the show is trying to contrast Il Jung with Head Baker In Mok. It’s that scene where In Mok says that bread is like life to him. For someone of such sentiment, he probably doesn’t like the idea of mass manufacturing bread, prefering the more artisanal approach. Il Jung may be a good guy, but in some ways he gave up some principles to have his factory — like marrying In Sook for money.

The reason for Tak Gu going back to Pal Bong bakery and cheering up seemed clear to me — it’s where Yu Kyung can find him, and because he saw u Kyung again. I wonder if the show really needs to pretend that it still goes back to finding his mother. I feel like it’s a lie he told Yu Kyung to cover up, and he started to believe in it.

I’m still waiting for Tak Gu to show off his prodigy bread making skills. Making playdoh shapes, however perfect they may be, is making playdoh shapes.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 11

Sorry for the delay. I feel like this episode completes the entire introduction to adulthood arc, which makes me wonder what happens next.

Episode 11 recaps

Mi Sun and Tak Gu are showing Yu Kyung to her new room when Ma Jun comes out of his room. Tak Gu introduces him as Seo Tae Jo, to Yu Kyung’s puzzlement, and then introduces Yu Kyung to Tae Jo/Ma Jun. He tells Tae Jo/Ma Jun to treat her well. Tae Jo/Ma Jun refuses.

He asks why he should be nice to her. He is not close with Tak Gu, so there is no need to pretend. Tak Gu tells him it’s just an introduction, but Ma Jun refuses. At the back, Mi Sun looks confused at the sudden change in Tae Jo.

Tak Gu gets upset and tries to fight Ma Jun, but Mi Sun stops them. She reminds Tak Gu that any thrown fists will mean that person is thrown out of the house. Tak Gu doesn’t respond. Yu Kyung pleads with Tak Gu as well: don’t make things difficult for Mi Sun. Finally Tak Gu lets go.

Ma Jun leaves, and Mi Sun tells Yu Kyung to rest. She has something to discuss with Tak Gu. Without giving him a chance to slip, Mi Sun pulls Tak Gu by the ear into the other room. That ear-pulling thing is familiar…it should remind you of Tak Gu’s mother, Kim Mi Sun.

Inside the room, Mi Sun reminds Tak Gu that he is supposed to obey her because of their agreement. Tak Gu explains that he was pissed and needed to stand up for himself.

Mi Sun tells him fine, live like a thug forever. However, if Tak Gu breaks the agreement, she breaks it as well, which means Yu Kyung gets kicked out. Tak Gu apologizes immediately; mistakes happen. He tells Mi Sun to let it slide this time.

To test her power over him, Mi Sun tells Tak Gu to sit. He sits. She tells him to stand, and he stands. Finally she tells him to kneel. Reluctantly, Tak Gu kneels.

Mi Sun tells him that fists are only to be used as a last resort for a true man. If he uses his fists too often, it might become a bad habit. This reminded me of Grandma, but it reminds Tak Gu of his mother. He stares at Mi Sun for a while in shock.

Yu Kyung finds Ma Jun in the kitchen later that evening. She points out that Tak Gu doesn’t know his true identity, and asks him what his ulterior motives for hiding his identity were. He says he currently has none.

He then demands to know why she followed him to the bakery. Yu Kyung tells him that he’s still the same, a coward. Angered by her remark, Ma Jun grabs her roughly. Unflinching, Yu Kyung tells him that she’s decided that Ma Jun can be of no threat, which is pretty much taunting him.

Ma Jun tells her to stop messing around with him and asks whether this was some deliberate plan to attract his attention. Yu Kyung corrects him: she came for Tak Gu, not Ma Jun.

Back at the police station, Ja Rim has confessed and betrayed Yu Kyung’s hiding place. The cops move out to get here.

In the meantime, everyone in the Gu family is trying to find Ja Rim. Il Jung and Manager Han meet with faceless men in rooms, handing over suitcases of probably bribes. At home, In Sook is making calls to everyone she knows for favors.

After the last “meeting”, Il Jung calls it a day and heads home. He finds In Sook clutching onto the phone. He tells her to let go and to relax. She asks if he has news. He does: he has located Ja Rim. It’s the first bit of progress they have made.

In Sook recounts how she saw the cops arrest Ja Rim and take her away. She breaks down when telling the story. Il Jung is aware of her sincere grief, and is emphatic. Instinctively he moves his hand to comfort her, but stops. After a little hesitation, he lets his hand rest on her shoulder and tells that that everything will be okay.

In Sook is surprised by Il Jung’s concern (me too), and accepts it. She holds on to his hand, and weeps. Manager Han registers the scene with some concern.

In the middle of the night, Tak Gu leaves his room. The next thing we know, someone is throwing everything in the kitchen onto the floor. Spatula, bowls, trays, the dough from the fermenter. Who is it?

The attacker accidentally cuts his pinkie on something sharp, and whips out a handkerchief to blot the blood.

Grandpa Baker is not yet asleep, and hears noises. He goes to investigate. Heading out of the gate, he doesn’t see lights in the bakery.

The next morning, Head Baker is in a rage. Who did this? No one answers. He tries a different question: who was the last one in the bakery? Tae Jo/Ma Jun steps up. He was the last one because he was in charge of cleaning. But who else was in the bakery last night? Tae Jo offers that Tak Gu was missing from his room last night around 10pm.

Head Baker questions Tak Gu: where was he last night? Tak Gu says it wasn’t him, but does not divulge where he was the previous night. Windmill man offers an alibi — he called Tak Gu out because he had something to discuss last night. Head Baker tells him not to cover for Tak Gu. He asks Tak Gu if the Windmill guy was telling the truth. All Tak Gu would say is that it was not him.

Mi Sun notices the bandaid on Tae Jo’s pinkie, and stares at him with suspicion.

They call a meeting with Grandpa, who declares that the bakery will have to close for a day. Mi Sun’s mom is concerned about the store’s revenues. Axe Eyes say that they can make a batch of bread in time for the afternoon. Grandpa says no. If the bread isn’t fermented sufficiently, it will not be as good, and we can’t serve that to customers can we?

He tells Head Baker to put up a polite sign apologizing for the sudden closure.

Everyone presumably goes back to the kitchen to clean. Tak Gu is cleaning the small backroom, and Windmill man comes in to help. Tak Gu tells him to leave it.  Windmill man tells Tak Gu that he needs to learn to accept help. Tak Gu retorts that he doesn’t need to cover for Tak Gu by lying.

Windmill man takes a different approach. He tells Tak Gu not to forget that he’s the sunbae (senior), so he has a responsibility to take care of those below him. He orders Tak Gu to gather the spilled grains and sun them.

Tak Gu takes the grains out to sun, and hears an unfamiliar music. He goes to check on the source, and finds that it’s Yu Kyung. He sits down with her and listens to the end of the song. He asks who sings it, and mangles the name, Edith Piaf. It’s a song by Edith Piaf, and it’s her favorite song. Tak Gu asks her what it means, and she translates the lyrics for him.

“I don’t regret anything.
The good and the bad that has been done to me, it doesn’t matter to me.
It is paid, wiped away, forgotten.
I am not concerned with the past.
I’m going to start from the beginning…”

Tak Gu says it’s a good song. At this point, he notices that Yu Kyung’s fingers are brushing against his hand on the table, and she inserts her hand into his. Accepting the encouragement, he holds her hand. They smile at each other across from the table. Ma Jun, who is spying on them, fumes.

Their moment is interrupted by the arrival of the cops. The men enter the bakery, and it takes the lovebirds a while to register their presence. Tak Gu finally stands up to greet the officers and tell them that the bakery is closed. The cops say that they are here for Shin Yu Kyung, and they check that the girl with Tak Gu is her.

Handcuffed, Yu Kyung is taken to the cops’ car. Tak Gu tries to stop them, asking them what she did wrong. He grabs Yu Kyung from the cops, but they push back at him. One cop gets orders to take Yu Kyung, and the other cop tries to stop Tak Gu by throwing him. Undeterred, Tak Gu grabs the guy from behind and is just landing a blow on him when someone calls his name out.

Mi Sun and the other bakers have heard that the cops were in their shop, and came down to check on things. Mi Sun tells Tak Gu to remember not to use his fists. Tak Gu hesitates, confused. Finally he swings and knocks the cop out. Unsurprisingly, they lock him up.

Ma Jun looks pleased at the turn of events, and Grandpa notices it. Well, about time someone noticed all that smirking going around.

Ja Rim is finally released, and Manager Han is there to pick her up. Because the timing is usually impecable in a drama, the cops escorting Yu Kyung enter at this very moment. Yu Kyung calls out to Ja Rim, who widens her eyes in shock. She doesn’t respond, and hangs her head.

Yu Kyung calls out again and again, but Ja Rim walks on with Manager Han.

Ja Rim is brought home by Manager Han to a delighted and relieved In Sook. Her lips looking dark and parched, Ja Rim collapses into her mother’s arms. Oh the drama.

They take Ja Rim to her bed, and the doctor puts her on an IV. He tells In Sook that Ja Rim is dehydrated and sensitive from the lack of sleep. In Sook asks Ja Rim why she joined such a club. The pro-democracy stuff is for poor kids. The doctor tells In Sook not to agitate Ja Rim.

The doctor turns around, and we see his face. He had a 5 minute role earlier in the show, but it’s not hard to remember him. He is the doctor who was Kim Mi Sun’s boss and he had helped deliver Tak Gu. Manager Han feels uneasy looking at the doctor.

Manager Han follows the doctor out and asks him for a moment. He notices that he is not the usual doctor but he looks familiar. The doctor explains that he has been assigned to the company, and he’s been with the hospital for 5 years. Manager Han asks for a name, and he says that he can be called Dr. Yun. Doctor Yun’s eyes glitter dangerously, aided by the weird lenses in his glasses.

Manager Han tells In Sook that he’s returning to the company. She tells him to ask Il Jung to come back early. She wants to have a party for two to celebrate Ja Rim’s safe return. Manager Han looks betrayed, but In Sook does not notice.

Back at the bakery, Ma Jun is putting the fresh dough into the fermenter. Grandpa walks into the kitchen, and asks what he’s doing. Grandpa then turns to the dough on the table and ask what it is. Ma Jun says it’s the spoiled dough from earlier that day. He wanted to use it for practice. Sounds very familiar.

Grandpa takes a seat and tells Ma Jun to go ahead while he watches. Ma Jun hesitates for a second, and Grandpa tells him again. Ma Jun cuts and shapes the dough and completes his task.

Grandpa remarks that Ma Jun has very nimble and quick hands, so he is indeed skilled. However, he needs to remember that bread is used to feed people. Ma Jun says yes, but Grandpa continues to ask why Ma Jun holds a knife in his heart. Ma Jun says that he doesn’t understand. Grandpa demands to know whether the dough is alive or dead. Ma Jun does not answer. Grandpa gets upset and shouts the question again.

Ma Jun does not reply, and Grandpa tells him that he is not fit to be a baker. To others, the dough is just flour and water, but to bakers, it’s a living thing. So how could Tae Jo/Ma Jun as a baker kill all those living things last night? Ma Jun denies it.

Grandpa has evidence, and throws the bloodstained handkerchief on the table. He had found it outside the gate the night before when he went out to check on the noise. The only person who uses luxury handkerchiefs in the house is Ma Jun.

Ma Jun does not deny now, but he asks so what if he did those things last night. Grandpa realizes that Ma Jun is at the bakery to earn his recognition. That recognition is 3 tests, and Grandpa will now only allow Ma Jun to take the test after 2 years.

Ma Jun protests: Grandpa promised the tests within the year. Well, it’s punishment. He can leave if he wants. Ma Jun bitterly recalls his father asking him whether he was confident that he could earn Baker Pal Bong’s recognition. He can’t believe that he will have to spend 2 years in the tiny place.

Il Jung calls In Sook up to check on Ja Rim. She takes the opportunity to ask him about dinner, but he turns her down. It’s a meeting as usual. In Sook is disappointed, and tells Mrs Gong to cancel the French meal.

Mrs Gong takes the opportunity to bring up that Grandma’s memorial is the next week, and maybe In Sook would like to be in charge of the food for once. In Sook refuses — she was never treated like a daughter-in-law when Grandma was alive, so there is no need for her to be a daughter-in-law now.

In Sook heads to her room to rest, and notices the pile of mail. She is struck by one particular envelope, and tears it open. She is shocked by the contents, and immediately calls for Mrs Gong. She asks the housekeeper if her mail has been tampered with and comes up with a negative. After Mrs Gong leaves, we finally see what was in the envelope: the piece of paper inside states “murderer”.

Manager Han is getting ready to leave the office, and notices that Il Jung’s phone is ringing, but he is not picking up. He picks the phone up. Without confirming that it’s Il Jung, the caller identifies himself as the Windmill man and says that Tak Gu is in trouble. Manager Han is very interested in the information.

Manager Han goes to see Windmill man. Windmill man is surprised to see Manager Han instead, and is understandably guarded. He walks away, but Manager Han reveals that he had checked him up. Trying to be friendly, he talks about Windmill man’s sister and how he knows about his tragic past. He just wanted to get on good terms with the Windmill man.

In the meantime, Yu Kyung is being questioned by the police. They review her file, and notices that she is from a foster home but managed to make good through hard work and brains. Why did she do it? She says that she wanted to show that someone like her can change the world.

The cop tells her that what she is doing is futile. She can’t change the world but she can change herself. She needs to have power behind her. He cites Ja Rim, how easily she got out of prison. Yu Kyung is better off making good friends. It’s a terrible blow to Yu Kyung.

Tak Gu gets released from jail. Mi Sun is there to pick him up — the bail was posted by Grandpa. It was a hefty sum and with all the effort that Grandpa has spent on Tak Gu, Head Baker asks Grandpa whether Tak Gu is really worth that much? Grandpa says he doesn’t know, but it’ll be interesting to find out. As usual, Ma Jun overhears it, and doesn’t like Grandpa’s interest in Tak Gu.

When they arrive back at the bakery, Mi Sun presents Tak Gu with a lump of tofu, the ritalistic get-out-of-jail food. Tak Gu tells her that it’s the last time he will ever use his fists. He confesses that he went out to pick up his belongings from a coffee house the night before. He takes out the only picture of him and his mother and shows it to Mi Sun.

He tells her that that is his mother. He wanted Mi Sun to know that Mi Sun is a special name to him because his mother is called Kim Mi Sun. His mother also told him the same thing, to only use fists as a last resort. He’s forgotten that all these years, but he will live properly now. He swears that on his mother’s name.

All that said, Tak Gu eats the tofu. Mi Sun tells him not to worry about Yu Kyung. He says that if Yu Kyung were to be freed, he could really do anything. Not knowing what to say, Mi Sun tells him to eat the tofu slowly and offers him a drink, just like his mother did many years ago. The moment reminds Tak Gu of his mother when she was lecturing him, and it brings tears to his eyes.

Ma Jun interrupts the moment to call Tak Gu out. He tells Tak Gu that he could free Yu Kyung but he won’t help Tak Gu for free. The catch is that Tak Gu needs to devote the next two years of his life to studying baking, and eventually compete with him. He cannot see Yu Kyung during these two years.

Tak Gu thinks that Ma Jun is ridiculous, and walks away. Ma Jun reminds him that he said that he was willing to do anything for Yu Kyung. Mi Sun overhears the entire conversation, but she doesn’t let on.

The conversation weighs on Tak Gu. He thinks about it the next day. He recalls all the horror stories that the other bakers told him and seriously consideres Ma Jun’s proposition. Unable to make up his mind, he goes to find Yu Kyung.

Tak Gu has a vague idea of where Yu Kyung is being held, but can’t see her. He gets an idea — he will play her favorite song so that she knows that he’s there. Yup, he will blast the radio from a taxi. From her cell, Yu Kyung hears her favorite French song playing aloud, and gains a little faith.

The visit to the police station helps Tak Gu make up his mind. He decides that he will take up Ma Jun’s offer. Smarter this time, he tells Ma Jun he will only honor his end of the deal after seeing Yu Kyung leave prison safely. Ma Jun agrees, and phones Manager Han to arrange things.

Yu Kyung is surprised by the sudden release, and seeing Ma Jun. He leads her out of the police station where she sees Tak Gu. Elated, she runs to Tak Gu and hugs him. Tak Gu looks happy to see her, but before he can say anything, Ma Jun breaks the moment. He reminds Tak Gu of their promise.

Tak Gu tells Yu Kyung that he can’t see her for a while. He needs to devote himself to baking for the next two years. They were separated for 12 years, so they can survive another two years apart, right?

Yu Kyung demands to know what kind of promise he has made Ma Jun. Tak Gu doesn’t reply. He tells her that she’s his reason for living. He turns and walks away.

Surprised by the turn of events, Yu Kyung calls out to Tak Gu. Tak Gu tries to ignore her, but it’s too much. He turns back and runs towards her and draws her into a kiss. Ma Jun looks furiously on.

Comments:
I have always enjoyed Seo In Sook’s acting, and this episode was no different. It never occured to me that she could love her daughters, but seeing her get all worked up over Ja Rim “saved” her in my eyes. Yes, she’s evil to Tak Gu and Mi Sun, but she’s only a protective mother.

I don’t know about this little Mi Sun to replace mother Mi Sun thing. I mean, they could be similar. Why bother with the name thing? It just makes it feel wrong. I mean, Tak Gu doesn’t have an Oedipus complex so why give him one?

I’m surprised by how quickly things moved between Yu Kyung and Tak Gu. Two episodes later, it’s over? Yu Kyung is smart, and has already figured out what happened. I’d like to see her and Mi Sun deal with Ma Jun.

On the other story arc, I was not expecting the doctor to make a comeback. I like how things are inter-weaved with the past. I don’t know if Tak Gu or the doctor is behind the “murderer” message. It could even be Mi Sun herself, since the doctor probably doesn’t know of her “death”.

That said, I don’t know what to make of the doctor’s return. Sure he loved Mi Sun, but it’s been many years, and she left him. It could be a coincidence that presents the doctor with a chance to seek out a past that he was not looking for.  Or maybe he actually found the missing Mi Sun.

11 episodes and still going strong.

PS. If anyone is interested, the name of the French song by Edith Piaf is “Non, Je ne regrette rien”. IMO, if you go around saying I regret nothing, it’s because you’re secretly regretting something. What do you think?


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 12

Argh…if I didn’t recap the show, I could be marathoning this and getting to the end. It’s a good idea to have a recap to write…stops me from being too obsessed.

I apologize that this recap is extra long. Either the show is getting more detailed, or I’m not doing a good job of picking out the important parts.

Episode 12 recaps

In case you forgot what happened last episode, Tak Gu got Yu Kyung out of jail, and they kissed. But it’s the last time that they will see each other for two years, so nothing else can come out of it.

Tak Gu heads back to the bakery, and pretty much spaces out in despair. Mi Sun notices him as she locks up for the night. She goes over, but he doesn’t notice her. She tries stomping around him, but he pretty much keeps staring ahead. She clears her throat furiously, no response. She waves her hand in front of him. He doesn’t blink. She even tries talking to him with no results.

Yu Kyung is reacting in pretty much the same way as Tak Gu. She is still outside the police station, sitting on the curb and staring blankly ahead. Ma Jun is there waiting with her. He decides that he’s had enough, and she needs to go home. He will give her a ride.

Yu Kyung stands up, and Ma Jun thinks that she is finally going home. Instead, she turns the other way and walks slowly away. Ma Jun is annoyed, and he grabs her. Angrily, Yu Kyung tosses his hand aside and continues walking.

Ma Jun gets into the cab and tells the driver to go. The taxi drives past Yu Kyung, and then it stops. Ma Jun drags Yu Kyung into the cab, and says that they will go home.

Although she didn’t invite him in, Ma Jun steps into Yu Kyung’s apartment. Immediately, he is put off by some smell. He can’t believe that she’s living in such desolate conditions. He says they should leave and offers to buy her dinner.

Yu Kyung ignores his offers, and asks him why he made a deal with Tak Gu. Ma Jun ignores her, and repeats that they should go out to eat. Yu Kyung carries on with her line of questioning.

She notes that Ma Jun owns a lot of things, more than Tak Gu. She asks him if it’s fun for someone rich to bully someone weak. She continues reminding Ma Jun that Tak Gu doesn’t even have family.

Ma Jun finally replies — he knows that all. He wants to know why Yu Kyung insists on staying with someone who has nothing. Ma Jun doesn’t understand why Tak Gu is important to her.

Yu Kyung says that Tak Gu is the only thing that she has. She tells him that Tak Gu was there for her, fulfilling the duties that her father never did. He was the only person who laughed with her. Tak Gu means nothing to a person who has it all, but he is everything to Yu Kyung. How could someone who have it all ever understand?

She tells him to leave.

Ma Jun tells her that he will give her things that Tak Gu can’t give her, clothes, money, a new place. She should be his woman.

Mi Sun was somehow able to get Tak Gu to respond, and they end up at the little food stand near the bakery. Tak Gu confides that he’s not sure what he’s done. He was only concerned about saving Yu Kyung, but he’s going crazy now at the idea of not seeing her for two years.

Mi Sun asks him why he did it. It was the only thing that he could do to save Yu Kyung. So what are his plans now? He can only study and win against Seo Tae Jo. He can get a certificate of recognition in two years if he works very hard right?

Mi Sun tells him that it’s not possible. Yes, she understands that he’s talented and that is enough to make bread. But there is no way he can make bread of that kind of quality or catch up with Ma Jun. She can’t help him even if she wanted to. There won’t be a miracle.

Yu Kyung is thinking about Ma Jun’s offer, and what the cop said about the easier path in life is to change yourself not the world. I think she is tempted.

Back at the Gu’s residence, In Sook shows the “murderer” letter to Manager Han. Of all times, it has to be just before Grandma’s memorial. It has to be Tak Gu. Who else would do such a thing? Actually scratch that..it had better be Tak Gu because they don’t want to entertain the possibility that anyone else knows about it. It would be best if it were just a blackmail threat from Tak Gu. They can fix it with money.

Manager Han tells In Sook that he is already in the process of taking care of Tak Gu.

They are interrupted by some noise. In Sook has already taken precautions by sending the housekeeper out, but Manager Han goes to check just in case. He doesn’t see anyone, but suddenly the creepy Dr. Yun appears. His presence unnerves Manager Han, but In Sook is unperturbed. She tells him to please proceed to Ja Rim’s room.

Perhaps she notices that Manager Han looks uneasy. She tells him that Dr. Yun comes recommended by some Chairman, so it’s fine. In any case, she needs him to trace the origin of the letter, and reminds him that he needs to stop Tak Gu even if it means his life.

I don’t know whether Dr. Yun heard the earlier part of the conversation, but he is definitely hiding and listening in to part two.

Windmill man is thinking about what Manager Han said to him. If he works with Manager Han, his sister will receive better treatment. He is interrupted by the other two bakers who are complaining about Tak Gu overstepping his boundaries again.

Unwilling to quit, Tak Gu had gone to Grandpa and Head Baker to let them know that he intends to obtain a certificate of recognition in 2 years. The Head Baker shuts him down — does he even know what he’s talking about? Grandpa is a little more sympathetic. He asks Tak Gu for his reasons.

Tak Gu admits that he is competing against Tae Jo. Not only does he want a certificate at the end of two years, he wants to beat Tae Jo. Head Baker throws him out.

Privately, the two older men discuss the situation. Head Baker’s instincts are to reject Tak Gu, but Grandpa thinks they should let Tak Gu try. Tak Gu’s had a hard life, and for the first time he has something else to work towards.

He asks Head Baker why he let Tak Gu back in after he chased him out. Head Baker thinks back to the spoiled bean paste incident, and his expression softens. Grandpa tells him to retain the thought, the impression that he had of Tak Gu. He will leave the final decision to Head Baker. They have clearly defined their roles: Head Baker is the whip, while Grandpa is the carrot.

The next morning, Tak Gu gets assigned a task. He gets to clean the baking trays. Head Baker gets all picky about the trays, and makes Tak Gu wash and dry them again and again. Tak Gu accepts the task, and strives towards perfection.

Seeing Tak Gu fervently cleaning trays in the kitchen, Ma Jun reminds him that however perfect his tray-cleaning techniques, Tak Gu is ultimately competing in bread-making. To date, he hasn’t learned anything useful towards that goal. I think it was mean-spirited, but it’s definitely good advice. Ma Jun tells Tak Gu to use whatever means he has to fight on, and there is no need to play clean.

They are interrupted by Mi Sun’s mother who announces that Tak Gu has a guest. A guest? It’s a man in a suit. Unsurprisingly, it’s Manager Han.

They head to a quiet spot to talk, and Ma Jun watches them from a distance. Manager Han demands to know what Tak Gu is up to, sending threatening letters.

Tak Gu is insulted that Manager Han thinks he sent a cowardly letter. He denies it, and tells Manager Han not to ever bother him again. He does not need money to separate from the Gu’s. He left on his own 12 years ago. If Manager Han bothers him again, he’ll go straight to the President, not write some cowardly letter. He leaves in a huff.

Manager Han believes Tak Gu’s denial, and is thus left with the unpleasant scenario of having to find an unknown culprit.

Ma Jun steps in to talk to Manager Han. He had clearly told Han that Tak Gu is his to deal with, so why is he appearing now? Manager Han changes the topic and notices that Ma Jun looks thinner. Ma Jun said those are inappropriate words — is Manager Han his dad? Ouch.

Manager Han asks Ma Jun what his plans are. He has kept his side of the bargain and has not told In Sook about what it happening. It would be nice if Ma Jun could call his mother more often since she keeps asking. Ma Jun says he’ll be there for the next two years. He needs to get that certificate. Now that Manager Han knows his plans, he should stop coming to the bakery.

Manager Han reminds him to call his mother. He tells Manager Han to stop acting like he is close to the family, mentioning his mother like that. He needs to keep his distance.

Irritated by his encounter with Manager Han, Ma Jun is restless.

Yu Kyung is having nightmares. The recent beatings by the police have stirred up memories of her abusive dad. She begs for forgiveness in her sleep, and then dreams of Tak Gu, who saves her from her dad, and tries to save her from the police. She wakes in a start and decides to go find Tak Gu.

She runs into Ma Jun who was just entering her building. He demands to know where she is going, and she declares that she needs to go find Tak Gu. Ma Jun looks annoyed but he doesn’t have to stop her. Yu Kyung faints.

Ma Jun takes her to the family hospital and has Dr. Yun look her over. Besides suffering from injuries, Yu Kyung is also malnourished. The doctor tells Ma Jun that she should stay for a while, and Ma Jun agrees to pay for it.

Ma Jun looks at the sleeping Yu Kyung and muses to himself. Top student in her department for four years, yet she’s unable to feed herself. Her life has been hard enough, yet she puts on a front. He lets his hand brush against her hand. This is more than just taking Tak Gu’s girl away.

Ja Kyung goes to see her father to hand him the marketing plans for their entry into the French market. Il Jung asks why she didn’t hand it to him in the office. Ja Kyung admits that she has a request — she wants to accompany him to visit Grandma’s grave. Il Jung says it’s fine, he can go alone.

Ja Kyung protests that it’s fitting for her to go along, seeing as she is the eldest daughter. I think there is some undertone with regards to succession in the family and company riding here. Anyway, Il Jung changes the topic to some other work matter, and Ja Kyung’s face falls. She takes her orders, and turns to leave. Then Il Jung tells her to be ready to leave before 7am. Ja Kyung stops for a while, and it takes another while for the information to sink in. She is happy to be accepted.

Il Jung is somehow disturbed by the discussion of Grandma’s memorial, and heads to his workhouse. He stands at the spot where Tak Gu once stood to watch him bake, and he quietly calls for Tak Gu. Where is his son?

Since no one is teaching him, Tak Gu is trying to teach himself bread baking by reading a pile of books. Mi Sun notices him trying to study on his own in the kitchen, and goes over to check things out. Tak Gu is having problems understanding all that pH and whatever else the books are talking about. It doesn’t help that Mi Sun is looking at him, trying to see what he is doing.

Tak Gu tries reading another book to no avail. Mi Sun tells him that there are too many types of bread in the world and it’s hard learning on one’s own. He’s doing it wrong. He admits that he dropped out of elementary school, so studying is hard for him. He is personally ashamed of his lack of education and skills, and he would find it hard to look either his dad or his mom proudly in the eye. He doesn’t have confidence, but he’s trying and doing his best.

Mi Sun wasn’t there to put him down, but she is touched by his desire to better himself. As Tak Gu packs up his books to leave, Mi Sun tells him to stick to the basics. Bread is made of four ingredients: flour, water, salt, yeast. Start from there, where it is the easiest. At least that is how Grandpa says it.

They start Tak Gu on actual bread making. He mixes flour, water, salt and yeast, and makes what Mi Sun thinks is dumpling dough. Tak Gu doesn’t give up though. He carries out all his tasks with enthusiasm. Although they don’t say so, his colleagues are impressed.

With Mi Sun’s help, he keeps trying to make the right dough. He mixes batch after batch, failing every time. Although they are not formally teaching him at the bakery, Tak Gu hangs around when the others are having bread lessons, and takes notes. He doesn’t understand all the technical or English-derived terms, but he consults with Mi Sun at the end of the day. “oh-ba-mi-sing?” It’s really just “overmixing” with a Korean accent. Head Baker notices Tak Gu’s efforts.

Again, Tak Gu tries a whole variety of combinations to make dough, all of which fail. Finally, he gets it right, and gets to move on to the fermenter. Head Baker secretly notes his progress with quiet delight.

Ja Kyung and Il Jung visit Grandma’s grave with Manager Han in tow. Il Jung notices that like before, someone has already been there and left Grandma her favorite flowers. Who is it? He doesn’t know who it is, but it has been going on for 12 years. He thinks it’s a good friend of his mother when she was alive.

Hanging behind further from the grave, Manager Han watches Ja Kyung and Il Jung do their thing. He looks uneasy, like he would like to be somewhere else. He hears Grandma’s last words to him, the words that asked how could he and why did he betray the family. Seriously freaked but unable to run away, he turns around to change the scene.

A black car is parked slightly hidden, possibly observing the Gu party. There is a woman in the back seat (she has a hat). Curious, Manager Han tries to see who it is.

The person in the car notices that Manager Han is staring at her, and winds up her window. The lady is wearing two jade rings that look like they could be the very ones that Grandma passed to Mi Sun. Could it be her? The car moves off.

Il Jung calls Manager Han. He doesn’t respond. Seeing that Manager Han was looking intently at the car, Il Jung asks if it was someone he knew. Manager Han says no.

Dr. Yun tells Ja Rim that she is now fine. She immediately asks if she can go out now. He tells her that she can go shopping and such, but should avoid parties for the time being.

In Sook catches Dr. Yun on his way out. He tells her that this is his last visit now that Ja Rim is well. He casually mentions that Ma Jun’s girlfriend is pretty. I can’t tell if he’s honestly trying to make small talk, or trying to leak information. He’s awkward, and I don’t know if it’s deliberate. I don’t think he actually knows who Shin Yu Kyung is.

At the hospital, the nurse is chatting with Yu Kyung. Isn’t she lucky to have a rich and caring boyfriend? Yu Kyung doesn’t reply. The phone rings, and it is Ma Jun. He asks whether she is feeling better. She asks why he brought her to there. She would prefer to be discharged or get a less fancy room. Ma Jun is amused that she can’t seem to just say thank you.

He tells her that he will visit later that day because he has the day off for family reasons. There is a knock on the door and In Sook enters the room. Yu Kyung freezes. Ma Jun wonders why Yu Kyung doesn’t reply, and is surprised when he suddenly finds himself talking to his mother.

In Sook confirms that it is Ma Jun, and asks whether Yu Kyung is the latest girlfriend. Without hearing his complete reply, she says that they will discuss the issue at a later time. (Slightly off topic, her voice seemed really weird in this scene, like she had a cough or something.)

After hanging up the phone, she addresses Yu Kyung. She tells Yu Kyung that she doesn’t like that Yu Kyung was responsible for luring her daughter into activism, and is now clinging onto her son. How deep is the relationship? Can it be resolved by money?

In Sook explains that she’s had to deal with previous girlfriends before, and she usually used money. She asks Yu Kyung to name a price.

Yu Kyung says she gets the point, and that she will leave. She tears off her IV, to In Sook’s surprise, and changes out of her hospital garb. She tries to hide her frustration, but it’s not working. Despite getting what she wants, In Sook doesn’t seem that pleased.

Ma Jun quickly cabs to the hospital but it is too late. No one is there.

Yu Kyung’s anger doesn’t last for as long as her hurt pride. She is looking downtrodden as she walks home. Ja Rim happens to just be leaving Yu Kyung’s apartment when they meet outside.

Ja Rim is happy to see Yu Kyung and asks how she is doing. Looking sheepish, she apologizes for outing Yu Kyung’s hideout to the police. Yu Kyung tells her that it’s okay. Rich people are like that anyway. She never thought she could rely on rich spoiled kids anyway. Ja Rim is surprised by Yu Kyung’s tone.

To drive the message home, Yu Kyung says that she knew that Ja Rim was never really interested in the ideals of the movement; she just wanted to have fun. And Yu Kyung played along just to see what Ja Rim would do. The game is now over, so they should part their ways from now.

Yu Kyung manages to make it into the building before she allowing herself to cry.

Ma Jun returns home to a delighted housekeeper Gong. Funny, I never thought of her in that way. Ma Jun seems happy enough to see her. He asks where his mother is, and she appears as if on demand.

Ma Jun tells In Sook that Yu Kyung was very sick. In Sook thinks it’s the perfect excuse for a girl to get close to a guy. She tells him to never see Yu Kyung again, and walks away.

Ma Jun follows In Sook and tells her to stop interfering. He’s old enough. She replies that he has bad taste in women, so she’ll have to interfere. She’ll pick his future wife anyway. Ma Jun tries to protest, but doesn’t get anywhere.

In Sook changes the topic and asks Ma Jun what he is up to. She threatens to follow him around. He tells her that he’ll hide. She lets him live outside of the house because she trusts him, but she has no idea what he is up to. She deserves at least a hint of what he’s up to.

Ma Jun gives up — he tells his mother that he is working at Pal Bong’s bakery. In Sook registers Pal Bong bakery as where Il Jung learned to bake. Ma Jun says that he intends to earn Pal Bong’s certificate of recognition as a quick way of making his father acknowledge him. This is about as much as he is willing to tell In Sook.

In Sook considers the plan and approves of it. She is willing to let him be now. She was intending to forcefully place him to work in the company, but this plan is a good alternative. She thanks her son and hugs him. It’s not the first time she’s thanked her son, and it somehow gets to me. I’m not sure why.

Tak Gu has finally made dough that he thinks is suitable for baking. However, he has a hurdle towards his goal of making bread — he needs to bake it, and the ovens are Windmill guy’s responsibility. He resists Mi Sun’s suggestion to ask for permission, saying he’ll do it later. He comes back that night when everyone is out of the kitchen. Taking the tray of dough out, Tak Gu notices a strange smell in the kitchen.

Unfortunately for Tak Gu, Windmill guy is still there, possibly having anticipated that he will be back that night. He takes the tray of dough and tells Tak Gu that he’ll help him because he’s a sunbae. He is not going to use this as a reason to let himself be forgiven. Tak Gu finally identifies the smell in the air, and tries to stop Windmill guy from lighting the gas oven, but it’s too late. There is an explosion.

The bakers in the house hear the explosion, and rush over. The kitchen is surprisingly not on fire, but it’s dark with smoke and soot. Tak Gu and Windmill guy are lying unconscious on the ground.

The kids and Il Jung gather in Grandma’s room for the inhouse memorial. As the son, Ma Jun gets to assist his father with the rites, and he performs them perfectly practiced.

In Sook hangs around outside the room, feeling irritated. She seeks her usual solace in drink, and Manager Han joins her. She complains that the entire family gives Grandma so much respect even though she’s been gone for so long.

She asks Manager Han how the investigations on the letter are coming along. He tells her that it’s not Tak Gu. He’s traced the postmark, and it’s from Cheongsan. She is highly disturbed by the information.

After Il Jung, it’s Ma Jun’s turn to pay his respects. He takes his bows, and suddenly without any knocking, Grandma’s picture falls off the table and the glass shatters. This brings In Sook and Manager Han running into the room to see what happened.

Ma Jun is staring at the broken picture of his grandma, looking very perturbed. Upon registering the broken picture, In Sook faints and Manager Han manages to catch her.

Dr. Yun is once again called for a house visit. He gives In Sook a sedative and tells Manager Han that she’ll be fine. On his way out, he notices Mrs Gong behaving suspiciously.

Ma Jun heads to his room, and fishes the bracelet (that In Sook dropped where Grandma died) out from its hiding place. He stares at it, contemplating.

Il Jung cleans up the broken glass, and notices that the picture frame had been tampered with.

Dr. Yun enters his car parked outside the house. The woman with two jade rings is sitting at the back of the car. He asks if they should leave and if she’s okay. From the driver’s mirror, we see that the lady with the two jade rings is indeed Kim Mi Sun.

Comments:
Wow, what was that about? Everything came rushing in at the last moment. The next episode will be really exciting.

Alright..backtrack to cover a few points.

1. Kim Mi Sun is back! I expected her to come back, but I was expecting something different. I thought they’ll find her much later in the show (past episode 20 maybe), and she might have lost her memory and they have to work to get it back. But no. She’s been well for the last 12 years, and has gotten back in touch with Dr. Yun.

Possibly with some scheming, Dr. Yun has maneuvered his way into the Gu family with Kim Mi Sun’s knowledge. What does this mean? Are they responsible for the letter? But this is out of character for Mi Sun..she’s supposed to be naive and nice. Or did she finally snap?

2. Also, if Mi Sun has been well and alive for the last 12 years, why didn’t she try to look for Tak Gu?

In any case, a rich and potentially powerful Kim Mi Sun, possibly with vengeful motives, is certainly going to stir things up a little. I think the housekeeper is doing something on her own as well, but probably as a reaction to In Sook not treating Grandma with respect.

With all that is happening on the revenge front, I’m not too excited about what is happening between Ma Jun and Yu Kyung. I think Tak Gu’s story is probably going to be predictable as well. Of course, with the way this drama is going, I could be completely wrong about how predictable the romantic plot and the baking plot pan out.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu episode 13

This is the episode where the hat makes an appearance. After the rush of episode 12, it’s not surprising that episode 13 didn’t quite keep up.

episode 13 recap

Il Jung asks Mrs Gong whether she had placed Grandma’s picture on the memorial table. She says yes, and asks if she did something wrong. Il Jung says that it’s fine, and turns away. Mrs Gong’s innocent face changes.

Tak Gu gets rushed to the hospital, on Windmill man’s back accompanied by Head Baker and Mi Sun. I’m surprised that Windmill man is okay. They hand Tak Gu over to the doctor, and nervously wait outside.

Back in the bakery, the others clean up. Grandpa investigates the ovens, and notices that the gas tubing (it’s not metal, shocking) was slightly cut. It was not an accident.

The doctor emerges from the room, and tells the three that Tak Gu is okay except for his eyes. For now, he can’t see. He can’t tell whether it’ll be a permanent problem. They will need to head to a bigger hospital in Seoul for further diagnosis and treatment.

The three enter the room where Tak Gu is waiting. Tak Gu was expecting the doctor, and asks how long he needs to keep the bandages around his eyes. Tak Gu talks on for a while, not receiving a response from the sullen trio. Finally Tak Gu realizes that it’s not the doctor, but Mi Sun. He tells her not to worry.

Mi Sun tells Tak Gu that they will need to head to a bigger hospital in Seoul the next day to ascertain the actual damages. Tak Gu says that there is no need for that. He wants to leave, and asks why they are not removing the bandage around his eyes. He says he’s fine, and tries to show them by tearing off his bandages.

Tak Gu tears off his IV and then the bandages, despite a lot of protests by Mi Sun and Head Baker. Tak Gu can barely open his eyes, and screams in pain, or agony. I’m not sure whether it’s physical pain or mental. He asks why he can’t see.

Head Baker calls for the doctor, who rushes in, restrains Tak Gu and re-bandages him up. The moment is overwhelming for everyone. Windmill man looks especially affected.

Someone calls Manager Han. We can’t hear the other party, but Manager Han promises payment and thanks him for the job. It’s probably related to the gas explosion.

Manager Han recalls what In Sook said about risking his life to stop Tak Gu. He muses that he’s given up everything for Ma Jun and In Sook. He definitely had something to do with the gas explosion.

At home, In Sook has finally made her version of peace with Grandma. She marches into Grandma’s room and speaks to her picture, declaring that she will not be cowed by the happenings of earlier that day. She has come so far, and she will continue to do whatever it takes to make Ma Jun the successor.

Ma Jun watches his mother, seething with a lot of anger.

Yu Kyung gets a visit from her landlady. She hasn’t paid the month’s rent, making it the 3rd month that she has not paid rent. Under pressure from her landlady, Yu Kyung promises payment by the end of the week. Satisfied, the landlady opens the door to leave, revealing Ma Jun, who was probably there the entire time overhearing everything.

Ma Jun doesn’t mention anything. Instead, he asks if she wants to go grab a drink.

Because he is Ma Jun, they end up in some bar/jazz club where everyone knows him. They order a couple of beers. Ma Jun wants to talk about his mother’s visit to the hospital. Yu Kyung asks if everything is handled with money in their family. Surprisingly, this leads to Yu Kyung asking Ma Jun how he will take care of her. Exactly what will he do and what does she need to do in return? She has a strange way of venting her anger.

Ma Jun coolly replies that it depends on what she does for him, whether it’s kissing him or sleeping with him. Yu Kyung mocks him: is it that easy to be his woman? If that is the case, sure they can spend the night together and all that. Just don’t expect her to look only at him, and to think only of him.

The sudden change in attitude displeases Ma Jun. He thought she was more interesting than this. He leaves, and Yu Kyung heaves a sigh of relief. It’s pre-mature. Ma Jun changes his mind and grabs Yu Kyung into a kiss. She struggles to free herself, and punishes Ma Jun with the obligatory slap. Why is she struggling when this is supposed to be easy for her?

He calls her bluff, and tells her that she needs to try harder and put on a more convincing act the next time she tries to break up. Yu Kyung leaves.

She passes a hat shop, and watches the seller hand a child a new hat. She seems to really have a thing for hats.

Head Baker and Grandpa convene. Grandpa tells Head Baker that it was not an accident. They have no idea what the motive is, but realize that it is better to start by finding out who the culprit is. For now, the best they can do is to focus on helping Tak Gu heal. Although it was a secret discussion, someone is always on hand to listen in. Axe Eyes spreads the news.

Mi Sun is trying to persuade Tak Gu to go to the hospital over a meal. Tak Gu ignores her comments about the hospital and tries to leave, bumping into everything on the way. She persists, and Tak Gu explains that it might be a waste of money, and that he doesn’t have the money for treatment.

Head Baker overhears this, and tells him that money is not an issue. Tak Gu explains that he’s been able to heal himself in the past, when he broke his legs, had stomach pains, so this should be no different. Head Baker dismisses his arguments, but Tak Gu asks what will happen if there is no cure. At least now, he can hope. Until he can believe that he will be fine, Tak Gu can’t bring himself to see the doctor.

Ma Jun has found out about what happened, and he’s heard Tak Gu refuse treatment. His method is to taunt Tak Gu — is he going to give up on the competition without trying? Even this fails to motivate Tak Gu.

Manager Han is still trying to locate the person behind the “murderer” letter. His subordinate tells him that the postmark is insufficient clue. Are there suspects? Manager Han considers the fact that the letter was addressed to “Little Madam”.

Pressed for time, Manager Han quickly decides that Kim Mi Sun is a suspect, and they should start by checking whether she’s dead or alive.

Kim Mi Sun is on the move, entering a building.

Il Jung is concluding a meeting with an investor, and things end well. They head out and Manager Han ushers them to their second meeting in the same building. They get into the elevator, and as the doors close, Kim Mi Sun walks by. Il Jung sees her, and rushes out of the elevator, but she’s gone.

Il Jung stands, traumatized, and lets out a weird loud choking wailing sound. Manager Han asks if he’s okay. Desperately, Il Jung asks if anyone saw it. Even sharp-eyed Manager Han missed whatever it was that Il Jung saw.

Realizing he is in a public situation, and no one knows who he’s talking about, Il Jung composes himself quickly. It’s fine. And they head on to the next meeting.

Il Jung’s investor, President Na, has a second meeting as well, reporting on the successful deal with Geo Seung. They will be able to get shares like they wanted. The man he is reporting to is Dr. Yun and Kim Mi Sun is sitting nearby, within hearing distance.

Dr. Yun asks how long it will take to actually receive the shares. It’ll be at least a year, probably 2-3 years. President Na takes off, and Kim Mi Sun tells Dr. Yun that it’s taking too long. She’s not sure that her eyes will hold out.

It turns out that In Sook was unhappy about Yu Kyung. While checking in with Ja Rim about her health, In Sook asks about Yu Kyung as well. Thinking it’s about the student activism incident, Ja Rim says it’s over. In Sook says that it’s not only Ja Rim. Ma Jun is involved as well.

Ja Rim doesn’t get the connection immediately, but when she finally does, she dismisses it. Ma Jun is not Yu Kyung’s type. In Sook has met Yu Kyung and has determined that the girl is serious business. She tells Ja Rim that there is no type when it comes to rich guys. Given Ja Rim’s track record, I guess she will give her mother Yu Kyung’s address.

In the middle of the night, Tak Gu wakes up and feels his way around to find his bag. He opens it to check that his picture is still in there, takes his bag and leaves. Although Tak Gu is quiet, Ma Jun ends up waking up. Actually, everyone seems to have woken up.

They look silently on as Tak Gu makes his way down the stairs, stumbling, and then follow him down. By now, Head Baker is awake too. Instead of heading straight out of the door, they follow Tak Gu into the kitchen.

He feels his way around, and locates his tray of unbaked dough. Placing the tray on the table, he locates the flour. He sprinkles the flour on the workbench, and gets to shaping his dough. The rest of the bakers have followed him into the kitchen and are looking on.

Done with shaping his dough, Tak Gu takes a moment before getting his bag, collecting his feelings. He bows to the dough, but also to all the absent bakers, and say that it’s time to leave now that it’s done.

Head Baker steps in: nothing’s done. The dough looks a mess. Did Tak Gu sneak into the bakery to play around? Tak Gu has not recovered fully from his moment, and is stung by the harsh words. He apologizes, tears trickling. Head Baker orders Windmill man to fire up the ovens. To make bread, the dough needs to be baked.

Mi Sun gets orders to place the dough back in the fermenter, and Axe Eyes takes the cue to relieve Tak Gu of his bag, saying that it’s heavy.

When the bread is ready, the bakers gather round. Since it is Tak Gu’s first bread, they must all sample and critique it. Everyone takes a bite, and harshly criticize the bread. It’s too sticky, overmixed, not flavorful, the shape is weird. Although slightly disappointed, Tak Gu takes it all in. Finally, the Head Baker declares that there is still a long way to go for Tak Gu to be able to compete in 2 years.

There is a palpable pause, and everyone is taken aback. Axe Eyes and Mi Sun clarify: Head Baker is allowing Tak Gu to compete in 2 years? Yes, Head Baker means just that. He will allow Tak Gu to compete in 2 years. However, he’s going to need his eyes to properly learn bread making, so he’d better go to that hospital in Seoul. They’ll work things out together if the treatment doesn’t go well.

Yu Kyung happens to pick that very night to visit Tak Gu. She lingers, unable to actually see him, and would have left but the light in the bakery turns on. She sees everyone head to the kitchen and follows along. She makes her way up, in time to see the bakers surrounding Tak Gu and telling him that he gets to compete in 2 years.

She decides to leave, but Mi Sun notices her and catches up. She offers to inform bring Tak Gu over secretly. Yu Kyung declines.

Mi Sun explains that things are not well with Tak Gu, so he would really appreciate a visit from her. Yu Kyung says Tak Gu will be fine, because it would be too unfair if it wasn’t. Sounds like excellent drama logic there.

She hands Mi Sun the bag she brought with her, telling her to give it to Tak Gu when his eyes are healed. She’ll be in touch again when Tak Gu is out of the hospital.

Because there is no actual limit to how cruel you’re allowed to be in drama-land, Yu Kyung finds her furniture outside in the rain when she gets back. The landlady is still moving her stuff out, and Yu Kyung confronts her. The landlady apologizes, insincerely of course, but someone else offered her money for her room so she took it.

That same person also left Yu Kyung something so that she will understand. Yu Kyung looks at the envelope in her hand. It carries the Geo Seung header. With nowhere to go, Yu Kyung sits out in the rain all night.

Tak Gu heads to the hospital with Head Baker and Mi Sun. It turns out that he hasn’t completely lost his eyesight; it’s just blurred. After the consultation, they leave him in the waiting area as they deal with some administrative issues. Since he can’t see, Tak Gu doesn’t see Kim Mi Sun heading towards him with Dr. Yun in arm. The doctor leaves her in the waiting area, while he goes deal with the check in procedure.

And finally the mother and son meet, both unable to see each other, but it looks like they sense each other’s presence.. Well, Mi Sun can sort of see, but she doesn’t know what grown up Tak Gu looks like. And just like that, the moment passes, and Dr. Yun comes back to collect Kim Mi Sun.

The day for Tak Gu to remove his bandages finally arrives. It takes a while for his eyes to adjust, but he can see clearly now. Yeah, I expected the blindness drama to last for more than one episode.

Now that he can see, Mi Sun hands Tak Gu the bag that Yu Kyung brought. Inside is a white hat, with his name embroidered “King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu”. She encloses a note, saying that the hat will bring him good luck.

Ja Rim goes to the bakery to visit Ma Jun. She’s there to ask him about him dating Yu Kyung. There are no secrets in the family when In Sook learns about something. Ja Rim reveals that In Sook wanted Yu Kyung’s address. Ma Jun hopes that she didn’t give it over, but Ja Rim says that there was no helping it. Ma Jun is frustrated, and runs off.

He finds Yu Kyung’s room empty, and asks the landlady where Yu Kyung moved to. She doesn’t know.

Ma Jun tries looking for her at the university, but she has applied for a leave of absence. No one knows how to contact her. Deadends.

Ma Jun goes home to confront his mother. He protests that she is just a normal student, but In Sook disagrees. The fact that he is challenging his mother for the first time means that Yu Kyung is more important to him than the other girls so far.

Ma Jun tells his mother that he has his own thoughts and plans, so she should leave him alone. In Sook informs him that being successor to the company means his life is no longer his own.

In case anyone is interested in where exactly Yu Kyung is, she is alive and well, and seems to have some business at the Geo Seung building.

Comments:
This episode could almost have been a filler episode, what’s with Tak Gu losing and regaining his eyesight in one episode. I don’t think the event changed anything in the whole plot; it was more to illustrate Manager Han’s power, and to dramatically re-introduce Kim Mi Sun to Tak Gu. The only exciting part was when Il Jung saw Kim Mi Sun. The “Tak Gu and Mi Sun sitting across from each other” scene was just too cliche. And they didn’t even bother with a cliffhanger.

So I expected Kim Mi Sun to be unwell due to the fall, but I have no idea how she could have damaged her eyes. I’m interested in how she got in touch with Dr. Yun again, and what exactly her plans are. I didn’t think that she would go the In Sook route and try to buy shares in the company. Clearly, she’s not doing things aggressively enough, having to wait 2-3 years for what would have taken In Sook a month.

I wonder if the story will really stretch out to 2 more years, which is the current end date for the baking exam. Kim Mi Sun has already said that she can’t wait that long. I, for one, don’t really want 2 years’ worth of filler episodes.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 14

Stuck home coz of the blizzard, I have a little extra time with the holiday weekend, so here’s an extra recap for this week.

episode 14 recap

As usual, we have to revisit a scene where they left something out. The scene in question is where Head Baker and Grandpa convene to talk about the explosion being more than an accident. Grandpa tells Head Baker to carry on with things as usual. He has a plan of his own to catch the culprit.

Disturbed, Head Baker strolls around, looking in on each member of his baking team, wondering who it was. Axe Eyes and Curly (I’ve decided that his curly hair is distinct enough) are being annoying as usual. Windmill Man is not in his room. Where is he?

He’s gone to the hospital where his sister is receiving treatment. She’s hooked up to a dialysis machine. He heads to the counter to deal with the monthly bills, which is how we find out that his sister is called Choi Mi Sun. I know, how many Mi Sun’s can you get in a show?

He’s a little short of the full amount, but he tells the cashier that he’ll be back next month with more money. The cashier tells him that the bill has already been paid by the gentleman over there. Windmill man turns around and sure enough, Manager Han is there.

Windmill man is not happy. He has already rejected Manager Han (hmm…so who is responsible for the gas thing?). Manager Han says to take it as a greeting gift. He reminds Windmill man that if he worked for Manager Han, his sister could get treatment in the US or Japan. He just needs to do it once.

Back to the strolling Head Baker. He walks out of the house, and notices that the lights in the bakery are turned on. He heads over, and sees Tak Gu hard at work and wearing his hat. He asks Tak Gu what that hat is, and Tak Gu shows him the “King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu” embroidered in it. He says it’s become one of his goals in life.

Head Baker tells Tak Gu that making bread is not easy, and there is no such thing as a best baker. There is only the most famous baker. Tak Gu explains that as long as he puts in his best efforts and performs to his best abilities, he will be the best. Head Baker decides that he will teach Tak Gu to bake. He tells Tak Gu that baking is all about the dough. Together, they make different batches of dough, and he teaches Tak Gu about the smell and texture of doughs.

Mi Sun sees Tak Gu hard at work with the dough. However, she has a different take on the entire baking thing. To her, it’s all about the appearance. If the bread tastes good but looks unpresentable, no one will eat it. She sets him to work rolling an egg with his fingers. Tak Gu tries once, and breaks the egg. Undeterred, he picks up another egg and tries again.

He constantly practices, at dinner, while eating fruit and relaxing with the bakers over tv, while studying. Ma Jun notices this. Head baker notices this too. And like that, time passes. Major events in the world happen, which means a lot of time passed. I have no idea where we are now. But Tak Gu has gotten better at this baking thing.

Tak Gu and Ma Jun are filling red bean into bread, and Ma Jun quickly completes the task ahead of Tak Gu. The next time, Tak Gu rushes and finishes first, but the red bean paste is spilling out of the dough. The competition is still alive! Tak Gu is also steadily saving money, on his way to being a proper grown-up. He still thinks of his mother, but he is happy.

So what is going on with Kim Mi Sun? It seems that one of her retina is no longer functioning, and the other one is going bad as well. They can only continue with her treatment until they get a replacement cornea. (In other words, there is hope.)

We finally see where Kim Mi Sun is staying at. It’s an old style Korean house that looks like it was used in Cinderella’s Sister. She is sewing a hanbok. Dr. Yun informs her that Manager Han has been sending men around Cheongsan looking for her. She is defiant — let them search. It’s not so easy to find a person. She should know. She’s been searching for Tak Gu for years with no luck.

Dr. Yun changes the topic and tries to get her to stop sewing since it strains her eyes. Sadly, she remembers that it is the season where she used to go to the river with Tak Gu to have water fights, bathe, and chill watermelons. She tears up at the memory of her scrubbing her son’s back.

Dr. Yun tries to change the topic again. He informs her that the business with some company’s president is going well.

Head Baker is happy to report to Grandpa that Tak Gu is making good progress. Grandpa decides that it’s time for the certificate exam. Head baker doesn’t think that Tak Gu is that ready though…

The thing is, Tak Gu still has not used an oven. He’s afraid of it. When someone opens the oven when he walks by, he crouches down in fear. Head Baker tries to get Tak Gu to face the problem. He asks Tak Gu to open the oven. Tak Gu grips the handle of the oven, but can’t open it.

Thus even if Tak Gu overcame his fear immediately, it’ll still take him time to learn to bake.

Later that night, Tak Gu tries on his own again, but the memories of the blast haunts him. He fails to open the oven.

Ma Jun is still wondering about the Bong Bread that Il Jung once tried. On the surface, it looked like just ordinary bread. However upon breaking the bread, you can smell that something is different. It’s not just red bean bread. It’s got a new unique flavor, the flavor of Grandpa’s favorite food. Ma Jun decides to ask Mi Sun about it.

He catches her doing radio exercises outside. Upon seeing him, Mi Sun gets self conscious, turns off the radio and explains that she was bored. Ma Jun says they can go get a drink if she’s bored. Mi Sun declines since her nose is sensitive. She avoids stimulants.

How about stimulating kisses? Ma Jun does his usual trick of leaning too closely, like he’s going to kiss her, and Mi Sun covers her mouth.

Ma Jun remembers that Mi Sun has superior taste too, so she should remember the taste of the Bong Bread. What did it taste like? Mi Sun has tasted it as a kid, so her memories are vague. Ma Jun asks what Grandpa’s favorite food is, and she tells him to ask Grandpa directly.

At the Gu residence, In Sook is still plotting. The latest plan is to gather enough support among board members to let Ma Jun join the company. Manager Han reports that they are still short of the required amount of support, but they should meet their target in the next month. In Sook asks if there has been progress with regards to the letter. Manager Han says no. Man..it’s been two years.

In Sook gets upset. She gets really worried every year near the memorial day. How can Manager Han allow her to worry like that? Manager Han asks if In Sook can’t say nice things to him. He tries so hard everyday for her and Ma Jun, so why can’t she understand?

Instead of apologizing, In Sook says that if the letter is discovered, they are both in trouble. Manager Han says that he is not the same man he used to be, so she should stop underestimating him.

The mail for the day arrives, and Mrs Gong sorts them into his and her piles. She leaves In Sook her mail, and places Il Jung’s mail in his room. We see that a letter meant for Little Madam has been misplaced into Il Jung’s pile. Oh the coincidences.

Grandpa announces that the exam will be held in a week. Anyone who wants to can participate. This draws some protest from Axe Eyes — what if this compromises on the quality of the exam? There will be stages, so disqualified people will be kicked out.

Ma Jun is clearly delighted to hear that the exam will be held soon. However besides the certificate, he wants one more thing from Grandpa: the recipe for the Bong Bread. Head Baker starts to decline, but Grandpa stops him. It is awkward all around.

Tak Gu asks Mi Sun what the Bong Bread is. Mi Sun tells him that the bakery used to be very famous, and the Bong Bread was the most famous bread. Suddenly, Grandpa stopped making it for reasons unknown. There have been many speculations.

Mi Sun reminds him that he has a lot of work to do. He can’t even use the oven. Tak Gu changes the topic and asks her why she cares about him so much. Could it be that she likes him? However, Tak Gu already has someone.

Mi Sun protests that it’s nothing like that. She has someone too — Seo Tae Jo/ Ma Jun. Tak Gu looks at her in disbelief, and laughs. Mi Sun says it’s true. He has touched her lips, and leans closely towards her, and helps her with stuff.

Tak Gu tells her to become a better judge of character, and warns her that Seo Tae Jo is not the kind of guy she should go for. He’s not reliable. She needs to find someone who can’t live without her. She is, afterall, the third most important woman in his life.

Mi Sun runs off into the house to get chilled water to cool herself down. She fumes as she thinks back at what Tak Gu said. The third most important woman? Her mother comes into the kitchen, and asks her what she’s talking about. Mi Sun asks her mother how she ranks in terms of her dad’s important women. Mi Sun’s mom says she’s number one of course. They’ve known each other since they were 13.

Mom complains about the exam creating a bad atmosphere in the house. We see that Curly is thinking of taking the test. Axe Eyes thinks it’s ridiculous. So what even if he gets a certificate? What will he do? Open a bakery? Curly says who knows. They look strangely at him.

Head Baker approaches Ma Jun to tell him that his request for the Bong Bread recipe will be ignored. He can’t say why. Ma Jun has decided that unless Grandpa says no, there is still a chance.

Indeed, Grandpa does seem to be undecided for now.

Il Jung arrives home, and tells Mrs Gong that he’ll be gone on a business trip the next day. In Sook arrives a second later, and Mrs Gong informs her about the business trip. In Sook looks for Il Jung in his room, where he is just going through the mail. She complains that he is never home and too frequently on business trip.

Il Jung explains it’s because of the new system that has been installed all over. He hands her the misplaced letter to change the discussion. Seeing the envelope, In Sook immediately looks unsettled. Il Jung says it was probably misplaced.

In Sook gets very annoyed at Mrs Gong for the mistake. Il Jung says it is not an unlikely mistake, and casually asks why she’s so angry while observing her intently. In Sook insists that there have been other mistakes.

Il Jung comments that someone is still calling her Little Madam after so many years. Composing herself, In Sook says it’s been so many years, and she still can’t shake off Grandma’s shadow. She leaves to prepare dinner.

In Sook goes to look for Mrs Gong, and threatens to fire her if any other mistake happens.

Back in the safety of her own room, In Sook tears open the letter. This time, it says “Luck in no longer on your side”.

That night, Tak Gu tries to open the oven door again. He looks to his hat for encouragement. He cheers himself on, but can’t bring himself to do it. He lets go of the handle, but a hand grabs his arm to stop it. It’s the Windmill man.

Tak Gu tells him to let go, but Windmill man tells Tak Gu that dough needs to be baked before it is bread. He can’t live with the guilt of ruining his life for much longer. Tak Gu tells him that he hates him, but Windmill man brings up the explosion: why did Tak Gu save him?

Tak Gu somehow lets Windmilll Man put his hand back on the oven door. Windmill man promises to never let him get hurt again.

Slowly, Tak Gu opens the oven door. Once it’s open, Tak Gu relaxes. Windmill man sticks his hand into the oven to Tak Gu’s alarm. Windmill man says the heat won’t hurt him, and tells Tak Gu to do the same. He needs to feel that great warmth that bakes bread. Tak Gu feels the warm air in the oven and enjoys it for a while. Windmill man tells him that he needs to start baking.

Tak Gu inserts his first tray into the oven, and Windmill man tells him that he did well. Tak Gu is overwhelmed by the experience and (I think) the release of his hatred.

New employees are being added to the department that Manager Han oversees. There is a man, and a woman. We know that woman — she is Shin Yu Kyung. Manager Han doesn’t seem to notice this. Yu Kyung has apparently been working in the company for a year, and has done very well. Being moved to the secretariat department is probably a promotion.

The new employees are briefly introduced to Il Jung as he is getting out of the office. This is Yu Kyung’s first glimpse of Tak Gu’s dad.

Now that he can use the oven, Tak Gu is making use of every opportunity to practice. And he needs a lot of practice. As usual, Mi Sun is there to make fun of him.

Ma Jun checks in with Tak Gu on whether he’s ready for the test the next day. Tak Gu pretends that he is, but realizing that it is pretty hopeless, he goes to Grandpa to see if they can postpone the test. It’s a no. Head baker says Tak Gu should pull out if he can’t do it.

Grandpa is a little more encouraging and tells Tak Gu that he can do it. He just doesn’t realize his own potential yet.

Yu Kyung gets to go to the Gu’s residence with the senior secretary to deliver documents. Yu Kyung looks uncertain about what to do but goes along. As she steps into the house, she is overwhelmed by how large and all it is, and can’t help staring.

In Sook is informed of the arrival of the secretaries, and puts away the blackmail letter that she can’t help obsessing over. She receives the documents, and notices Yu Kyung, and gets very upset. She tells them to get out.

Immediately she calls Manager Han. How could he let that girl be a secretary? It’s the girl who got Ja Rim into trouble, and tried to trick Ma Jun. Manager Han happens to be in the car with Il Jung, and tells In Sook that he’ll talk to her again. In Sook demands her dismissal.

Manager Han tries to explain to Il Jung that In Sook is upset with the new secretary. Il Jung tells Manager Han that he’s never discussed In Sook’s problems before and has always taken care of them. There is no need to suddenly act differently.

Il Jung decides to turn the car around and head to Incheon. Manager Han is surprised by the request, but he can’t stop Il Jung from visiting his teacher’s house.

It’s dark when they arrive. Il Jung tells Manager Han to wait outside while he heads in. The bakery is empty except for Mi Sun’s mom who is cleaning up. She greets Il Jung, and tells him that because the exam is being held tomorrow, Grandpa has gone out for a walk to think. However, she will go get Head Baker.

Attracted by the smell of bread, Il Jung goes up to the kitchen. Tak Gu is there, still learning to bake. He is scooping out flour in the backroom to prepare a new batch of dough. As a result, Il Jung doesn’t see anyone in the kitchen and starts to leave.

Tak Gu smells the bread burning, and rushes to take things out of the oven without gloves. He drops the tray in pain, and it’s a big mess as the bowl of flour descends upon him. Il Jung sees the mess, and asks Tak Gu if he’s okay. Tak Gu sees Il Jung and freezes.

Outside, Ma Jun sees the car, and Manager Han and gets upset. Why is he back? Manager Han explains that it was Il Jung who wanted to come, and he’s in the bakery right now.

Head Baker is back with his wife, and they can’t find Il Jung. Ma Jun enters the bakery at this moment, and they ask him if he saw a man in a suit. Ma Jun says no. Head Baker surmises that Il Jung is probably upstairs in the kitchen.

Il Jung checks that Tak Gu is okay, but Tak Gu doesn’t reply Il Jung. Tears welling up, he turns around to hide his face.

Comments:

So we skip another 2 years. I guess the writer agrees with me about not creating filler episodes.

It looks like both Ma Jun and Tak Gu did not see Yu Kyung for two years, for different reasons. I can’t believe that Ma Jun actually stayed 2 years at the bakery.

So if Windmill man did not cut the gas pipe, who did? Curly? That might explain why he is suddenly rich enough to open his own bakery. Grandpa promised an investigation of his own, but I don’t see any results.

With regards to the blackmail letter, I don’t think Kim Mi Sun is the person who sent it. It’s a form of emotional warfare, but it looks like she has no interest in being discovered prematurely by Manager Han before her revenge plans are set. The frequency of the letters seem a little erratic. That said, the housekeeper is still a suspect.

I have no idea what Yu Kyung was thinking when she started working with Geo Seung. She’s going to get fired and then what?

I’m looking forward to the revenge plans unfolding, and the reunification of Il Jung with Tak Gu, and eventually Kim Mi Sun. 15 more episodes is plenty of time for a good showdown, maybe too much. We’ll see. I don’t know why but I don’t think the father and son are going to be reunited yet.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 15

One last recap on New Year’s Eve. See you next year!

episode 15 recaps

Since it’s completely rude to turn your back on someone who is talking to you, Tak Gu bends down to clean up the spilled flour. Il Jung approaches and tries to help. He asks if Tak Gu is an apprentice. Tak Gu says yes.

Il Jung reminisces about how he used to burn bread all the time when he was starting out. Either the bread was burned, or cooked at the wrong temperature, resulting in a bread that collapses out of the oven. Tak Gu listens intently, and asks if Il Jung ever had problems with bread that is too dry and flaky.

Il Jung says that the solution is to add back the moisture that was lost in the baking process. Exactly how to do that he will leave Tak Gu to figure out, because you only keep what you discovered on your own.

Il Jung hands Tak Gu his handkerchief and tells him to clean up his face. And then the inevitable question comes: what is your name? Tak Gu struggles for a second, and tells Il Jung that his last name is Kim. Il Jung looks Tak Gu in the eye, and tells him that he likes his gaze. He wonders what kind of bread Tak Gu will eventually make. Il Jung turns to leave.

Tak Gu is speechless for a while, but just before Il Jung disappears, he manages to shout out “What you taught me today, I’ll never forget. You’ll be blessed, Mr President.” Il Jung smiles. Did anyone just notice that Tak Gu called him Mr. President?

Head Baker enters at this moment to greet Il Jung, and they head down. Once Il Jung is out of the kitchen, Tak Gu lets his tears fall freely.

Downstairs, Ma Jun paces anxiously. Head Baker and Il Jung make it down, and Head Baker introduces Ma Jun as Seo Tae Jo. Il Jung tells Head Baker that he heard about the competition happening tomorrow, and shouldn’t get in their way. He turns to Ma Jun and asks whether he’s taking part in the competition. Ma Jun says yes.

Il Jung stretches out his hand to hold Ma Jun’s shoulder, and wishes him the best. It’s a small gesture, but it is a big deal to Ma Jun who savors the touch even after Il Jung leaves. On his way out, Il Jung wonders why apprentice Kim knew to call him President.

Both guys prepare for bed that night, the happy afterglow of meeting Il Jung still shining. Ma Jun asks Tak Gu what he talked about with the president of Geo Seung Foods. Tak Gu said that they didn’t say very much; he burned his bread and was a bumbling mess. This reassures Ma Jun.

Tak Gu offers his view of Il Jung: he is a great man, warm and caring, words probably alien to Ma Jun’s description of his dad. Tak Gu adds that whoever has such a man for a father is really lucky.

Ma Jun asks Tak Gu whether he has a father, and Tak Gu says yes. However, they were separated years ago. Why didn’t Tak Gu look for him? Tak Gu says he will one day when he makes something of himself. His father’s last words to him were that he was a special son, but look at Tak Gu now.

By now, Ma Jun’s mood is completely changed. Tak Gu tries to ask Ma Jun about his father, and Ma Jun says he wants to sleep. They have a competition tomorrow.

It is the night before the exam, and Head Baker is concerned about Tak Gu’s ability to perform. Windmill man says that he believes in Tak Gu. Isn’t Head Baker curious about what Tak Gu can achieve? Head Baker realizes that Windmill man and Grandpa share the same views on Tak Gu.

When Ma Jun wakes up the next morning, Tak Gu is already gone. Tak Gu is in the kitchen, trying to bake batch after batch of dough with no success.

In the morning, everyone assembles in the kitchen. Grandpa tells whoever wants to participate in the certificate exam to step forward. Ma Jun steps forward, and so does Curly. Is that all?

Mi Sun steps forward too. She wants to be recognized as a patissier even though they are at a bakery. If she passes, she wants to the right to sell her cakes in the store. Head baker doesn’t look happy at the proposal, but Grandpa allows Mi Sun to go on. He likes her spunk.

Everyone looks expectantly at Tak Gu who is having second thoughts about participating. He thinks about how Axe Eyes, Curly, Head Baker, even Mi Sun, have told him that he’s not ready to bake bread. Grandpa gets ready to close the call for participants. Tak Gu remembers the words of encouragement from Grandpa and Il Jung, and gingerly steps forward just as Grandpa says that this is the final lineup.

Immediately, the ever socially-inept Axe Eyes declares that it’s preposterous that Tak Gu is joining the competition when he can’t bake. Tak Gu takes the criticism in his stride — if he can’t do it, he will just be eliminated in the first round like Grandpa said.

Head Baker gets the okay to reveal the first part of the exam: the most filling bread in the world. They will have 15 days to come up with their submission.

In Sook appears unannounced at the Geo Seung office. Ja Kyung happens to see her and asks her if she has an appointment with Il Jung. In Sook tells her it’s something else and tells her to run along. She heads up to the secretariat office, where Miss Yoon informs her that Il Jung is currently away. It’s no matter to In Sook, who asks Yu Kyung to serve her coffee inside Il Jung’s office.

Yu Kyung sets a cup of coffee down for In Sook. In Sook complains that Yu Kyung set the cup down too noisily. Yu Kyung apologizes and tries to leave, but In Sook tells her to sit.

In Sook asks how Yu Kyung made it to the secretariat office. Is she secretly seeing Ma Jun? Yu Kyung tells her that it’s through her own efforts that she obtained her current position. But that doesn’t explain why Geo Seung Foods of all places. Yu Kyung says that she needed to be in Geo Seung to show In Sook what kind of person she is.

Done with her piece, Yu Kyung stands up to leave. In Sook stops her, and tells her that she’s rude. Yu Kyung says she has work to do, which earns her a slap in the face with a pile of papers from In Sook. She tells Yu Kyung to stay away from Ma Jun. In Sook opens the door to leave, revealing Il Jung. It looks like he was probably listening in to everything.

In Sook leaves in a huff, and heads to Manager Han’s office. Manager Han happens to be away, and In Sook waits for him at his desk. She knocks over some files, revealing the same blackmail letter that she recently received. She looks at it in shock, and hearing noises outside the door, quickly stuffs it away in her bag. That’s not so smooth.

Manager Han asks her why she dropped by, but In Sook says she had no actual business. She hurries away home to brood over the letter. Manager Han notices the missing piece of paper.

Tak Gu is having troubles understanding what the most filling bread is. Is it the biggest bread? Mi Sun doesn’t help him: he’s supposed to think it through on his own.

The participants are given additional information about the competition. They will be given money to purchase materials. Mi Sun asks whether they can supplement the allowance with their own money, and is turned down. If they attempt to take materials from the bakery’s kitchen, they will be disqualified.

Head Baker issues a final statement — they have to carry out their full work duties during the 15 days of round one. If they slack off to work on their submission, they will also be disqualified.

The participants gather outside the bakery. Tak Gu is the only person looking upbeat. The other three complain about the limited amount of money, and the fact that they don’t get the full 15 days to work on their submission. No wonder few people have ever passed the exam. Curly asks if Axe Eyes has a certificate, and it’s a negative.

Tak Gu thinks it’s all good: he has a chance to surpass Axe Eyes now. Ma Jun leaves to prepare dough. Curly leaves to purchase materials. Tak Gu stops Mi Sun as she is leaving. He has questions: like how much flour does he need for 15 days? And how much materials can one get for 50,000 won? In 1990, 50,000 won converted to about USD70.

Mi Sun sighs that Tak Gu has a long way to go.

Clueless, Tak Gu tries to hoover around discreetly as the other participants get their purchases checked in. He pretends to practice along with the other three, but he ends up making dough with funny shapes. Mi Sun shakes her head at him.

Tak Gu has no inspiration for his bread, and goes to bed early. Mi Sun and Curly take it easy, and chill with the rest after dinner. Ma Jun is hard at work till late. Mi Sun’s mom notices that Tak Gu hasn’t been working as hard on his bread, and wonders if he’ll make it.

Il Jung gets Yu Kyung to escort him down for a change. In the elevator, he asks Yu Kyung whether she is Ma Jun’s friend. Yu Kyung denies it. She hasn’t seen him since college. Il Jung tells Yu Kyung not to take his wife’s words to heart, which is probably the closest thing to an apology. He tells her that his wife treats their son very specially.

Manager Han witnesses the entire exchange. We see a flashback: it turns out that Manager Han had a talk with Yu Kyung, probably after In Sook threw her public tantrum (it’s the same green tie). He deduces that she was the one he saved from jail. He tells her that if her goal is Ma Jun, it’s not happening. Yu Kyung says it’s not her goal. Manager Han offers to compensate her if she resigns, and Yu Kyung declines. Manager Han gives her a month to reconsider.

Ja Kyung catches a glimpse of Yu Kyung walking with Il Jung, and decides to have a talk with Ja Rim. She tells Ja Rim that In Sook threw a fuss in the office earlier that day over Yu Kyung. She asks whether Ja Rim has been in touch with Yu Kyung. Ja Rim says no. Ja Kyung finds it suspicious that Yu Kyung suddenly showed up. She warns Ja Rim to keep quiet about Yu Kyung to Ma Jun. I wonder if that will work.

When Ma Jun wakes up the next morning, Tak Gu is already out of the room. Ma Jun feels uneasy not knowing what his competition is doing, and goes to look for him.

Someone is adding baking soda to the participants’ flour. Tak Gu enters the kitchen right at this moment, causing the culprit to panick. Hearing noises, Tak Gu goes to check the backroom where the flour is stored but sees no one. In the meantime, the culprit has escaped.

Tak Gu notices the bag of baking soda and picks it up. This is how Ma Jun finds him a second later. Ma Jun asks Tak Gu what he’s up to, and Tak Gu replies that he heard a noise and found this half-empty bag of baking soda. They don’t know what to make of it for now.

However later that day, Curly discovers that his latest batch of dough has failed to rise. He is not the only affected person — Ma Jun’s and Mi Sun’s doughs failed to rise too. They bring it up to Head Baker, who tries to diagnose the problem.

Axe Eyes tastes the flour, and comments that the contaminant is odorless and tasteless, so it could only be one thing: baking soda. It was common practice for disgruntled apprentices who have been fired to spike the flour to cause the firing bakeries problems.

Grandpa hears about the spiked flour, but he decides not to give additional money to buy replacement flour, which means that everyone, except Tak Gu, can’t participate. Infuriated, Ma Jun rushes upstairs to confront Tak Gu.

He accuses Tak Gu of contaminating the flour. Sure, he once said use whatever means, but he didn’t realize that Tak Gu would go that far. Tak Gu has no idea what Ma Jun is talking about. Ma Jun is furious because he’s wasted two years waiting for a competition that is now impossible. He calls Tak Gu names, which angers Tak Gu and they get into a fight.

Hearing the commotion upstairs, the others in the house gather. Windmill man rushes upstairs in time to see Ma Jun on top of Tak Gu and punching him. He restrains Ma Jun to stop him from throwing further punches.

The two guys are brought before Grandpa. It takes two to fight, so Grandpa will ban them both from working in the bakery for a week. Although the evidence against Tak Gu are circumstantial, the flour contaminant also means that there is no way for the other three participants to go on in the competition. Grandpa suggests that Tak Gu use his allowance to buy flour for the other three.

Tak Gu protests that he will be almost broke, but it’s the only way forward for everyone.

In the meantime, Windmill man goes to the bakery to do his own investigation. He finds the bag of baking soda, and notices that it costs 150 won. This matches the amount on the receipt that Curly dropped.

Manager Han notices that he hasn’t been able to contact In Sook since that day in the office, and decides to check on her. In Sook asks him how he dealt with Shin Yu Kyung. She is not satisfied that Manager Han only had a talk with Yu Kyung, and brings up how he previously allowed trouble (Tak Gu) to happen because he tried to be sympathetic.

But this isn’t really what he came for. Manager Han asks In Sook if she took a letter from his desk that day. In Sook denies it. She insinuates her suspicions about him: was there a letter she was not supposed to see? And why can’t he solve the mystery of the blackmail letter — because he doesn’t want to? If he wanted to scare her, it’s not working. She hopes that it’s not him.

Manager Han notices the housekeeper observing them, and gets suspicious.

In Sook has other matters on her plate as well. President Na, who is a front person for Dr. Yun and Kim Mi Sun, tells In Sook that he needs to collect the money she used for purchasing Geo Seung shares two years ago. She protests that she was not given warning, and tries to remind President Na that she had already informed him that she has no intention of repaying in two years.

President Na says he needs the money for business. If she can’t give him cash, he’d be willing to accept shares.

Against Ja Kyung’s warning, Ja Rim looks Ma Jun up. She asks him if he’s been in touch with Yu Kyung, and he says no. He hasn’t even thought of her. Curious, he asks her what she has to tell. Without any pressure, Ja Rim confides that Yu Kyung is now working at Geo Seung. Ma Jun hears this news with surprise, and goes to Geo Seung to check things out for himself.

He happens to enter the building just as Yu Kyung and her colleagues are walking to the elevator. Yu Kyung notices him, but walks on. Troubled, Ma Jun waits in the lobby.

Armed with evidence, Windmill man goes to confront Curly. He surprises Curly in his room, and Curly quickly tries to hide something under the cupboard. Windmill man tosses him aside to check what he was hiding, and finds a bank book. He looks inside and finds that large amounts of money have been transfered to Curly. Case solved, Windmill man drags Curly out.

He tells Tak Gu that he’s caught the perpertrator behind the gas explosion and the flour spiking. It’s Curly, and he was acting under orders from Manager Han. He hands Tak Gu the bank book as evidence. Windmill man tells Tak Gu to do whatever he wants to Curly. They can kill him or hand him over to the Pal Bong family.

Tak Gu is enraged by the revelation. How could Curly have done all these and almost blinded him? Curly begs for forgiveness, and says that he was blinded by the money.

Tak Gu drags Curly, Windmill man in tow, and heads for the Geo Seung building. His plan? Probably to confront Manager Han.

Yu Kyung goes about her work, but feels disturbed. She heads downstairs to check and surely enough, Ma Jun is there.

With Tak Gu heading towards the building, it’ll be an interesting meet up.

Comments:

Finally more real progress: they solve the mystery of the gas leak, and Tak Gu gets to confront Manager Han.

For some reason, I started out being very excited about the baking parts, but I’m now more interested in the other parts of the plot. While they still try to throw in the occassional baking scene, it doesn’t matter so much to me now.

With In Sook suspicious of Manager Han, the shares transferring to Kim Mi Sun, and Tak Gu’s barging into Geo Seung, it feels as though we’re preparing for the end. Many loose ends, but we have more than enough time to clear things up. Too much time actually. I wonder what other party tricks they are going to have to pull out to make this work.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 16

Posted on January 6, 2011 by Cute Duck

Bromance is in the air!

episode 16 recaps

Tak Gu drags Curly into the Geo Seung Building and tells the receptionist that he’s here to see Manager Han. Manager Han can’t believe that Tak Gu is there to see him, and tells the receptionist to bring them to an empty conference room. On his way down, Manager Han runs into Il Jung who was just going to ask him along to a meeting. He tells Il Jung that he has an important matter to handle, but will join him later. Il Jung says that he’ll take Ja Kyung along instead.

Ja Kyung notices Tak Gu and Curly walking by her, accompanied by security, followed by Windmill man and looks curiously at them. She meets up with Il Jung and Manager Han at the evelator lobby. Her approach makes the men look her way, and Il Jung catches sight of Tak Gu and Windmill Man. He registers their presence with shock, but dismisses it when Ja Kyung asks if he’s okay.

Manager Han alone enters the conference room where the three men are waiting for him. He asks Tak Gu what his business is, and Tak Gu throws the bank book down, and asks him what they should do — go to the police or go to Il Jung to reveal that his missing son is alive and well? The revelation surprises Curly. Manager Han laughs at him: Il Jung doesn’t care about Tak Gu.

Tak Gu doesn’t believe Manager Han. If he’s not important anymore, why did Manager Han get someone to cause the gas leak two years ago, and disrupt the competition this time? Manager Han denies knowing Curly, and tells them that if they pursue things, he’ll sue them for defamation. Tak Gu is furious, but is held back by Windmill man, who tells him that it’s time to go. Although he has handled the issue for now, Manager Han is uneasy about the turn of events.

Ma Jun and Yu Kyung head to a cafe, so they miss seeing Tak Gu and friends. Ma Jun asks her why she is working in his father’s office. She doesn’t give a direct answer. He asks her why she disappeared two years ago; Ma Jun searched everywhere for her. Yu Kyung is surprised that Ma Jun was looking for her, which causes him to deny looking for her.

Yu Kyung asks how Tak Gu is doing. This angers Ma Jun who tells her that Tak Gu had tried hard for two years, but ultimately amounted to nothing. He’s a lowlife who resorted to despicable means to win at the competition, spiking the flour of the other contestants. Yu Kyung doesn’t believe Ma Jun. Tak Gu is the type who will stop what he’s doing what he doesn’t like instead of sabotaging things. She knows, because she just knows. No one really changes.

Exasperated, Ma Jun gets up and leaves. However halfway out, he changes his mind and turns back. He grabs Yu Kyung and tells her to never leave him or hide from him ever again. Why not? Just because.

In Sook is still at the meeting with President Na. She doesn’t like the way he is doing things, and threatens to expose his underhanded business dealings. President Na proposes to settle things with Il Jung instead. In Sook is stuck with nowhere to run.

Tak Gu, Curly and Windmill man head back to the bakery. Curly says he’s felt bad the past two years, but Tak Gu says that he’s eaten Curly’s bread, and he wonders how a person with such a mind make such tasty bread. Tak Gu leaves in a huff.

Windmill man warns Curly not to reveal any of the things that have happened today to anyone else at the bakery. Otherwise, he’ll have lots of explaining to do about how things came about.

Tak Gu accuses Windmill man of having planned everything — he knew that nothing would happen to Curly if he gets taken to Tak Gu instead of Grandpa. Windmill man admits that he knows that Tak Gu is not capable of hating anyone. Tak Gu doesn’t like being exposed like that. He reminds Windmill man that he’s still under suspicion and is not allowed ot enter the bakery. Windmill man tells him that things have not yet ended.

After some reflection, Tak Gu realizes that Grandpa is right about how he needs to replace the flour for the other participants otherwise there is no moving on. He purchases three sacks of flour and hands them over.

Mi Sun and the other bakers are happy with Tak Gu’s decision. Curly is surprised that Tak Gu didn’t leave him out. However, Mi Sun points out that Tak Gu is now left with 17,000 won. Tak Gu says it’s better to have 17,000 won suspicion-free, than to have to deal with the suspicion that comes with holding onto his 50,000 won.

Mi Sun comes across Curly (who is sniffing extra hard) unpacking the flour, and asks him what he’s doing. He’s decided to split his sack to two, and save the half for Tak Gu for when he gets to re-enter the kitchen. He sounds like he’s been crying. Mi Sun notes that Tak Gu has won over yet another heart.

Ma Jun is not appeased by the gift of flour. He asks Tak Gu what schemes he has in mind, spiking flour, then giving flour. Tak Gu tells Ma Jun to lighten up. Ma Jun taunts Tak Gu: having 17,000 won is as good as giving up. Does he still want to see Yu Kyung? Or should he say does Yu Kyung want to see this failure of a Tak Gu? Tak Gu restrains himself.

In Sook is asleep when Il Jung gets home that night. He looks at the half empty glasses on the coffee table and realizes that she’s been drinking. He needs a drink too.

His mind is unsettled. He’s thinking about his recent encounters with Mi Sun and the glimpse of Windmill man. He thinks back about how he’d told Windmill man to protect Kim Mi Sun, and gave him the address of a safe house. Next thing he knew, Windmill man was calling him up and telling him that something went wrong. Yet it was Kim Mi Sun he saw the other day.

He notices that In Sook is not sleeping well. He approaches her, just as In Sook starts to sleep talk: No, Mother! Please don’t tell him. She awakes suddenly, and is shocked to see Il Jung. Il Jung tells her to worry less so that she won’t have nightmares. He’s looking nonchalent, but you know he’s just acting.

That same night, housekeeper Gong lets herself out of the house and heads to a cafe. Manager Han lies in wait in his car, and follows her.

Mrs Gong meets with a woman in a cafe, but we can’t see who the woman is. Mrs Gong talks briefly with the woman, and hands her a piece of paper and takes off. Manager Han quickly enters the cafe to try catch the face of the mystery woman, but he’s too late.

He does notice that she’s just left the cafe, and follows her. The woman has a head start, but Manager Han catches up quickly. He grabs her arm (or something, it’s not clear) and she turns around. Lightening strikes at this right moment (oh drama) and Manager Han is taken aback at the sight of Kim Mi Sun’s face. Actually scratch that — it’s not Kim Mi Sun. It was his imagination getting the better of him.

The woman demands to know what he wants, and Manager Han apologizes for mistaking her for someone else. She walks away, and Manager Han breathes a sigh of relief. The woman gets into a car and hands the paper over to Dr. Yun.

Not the type to sit back and let things happen, Tak Gu decides to ask Grandpa to let them re-enter the kitchen. He brings a glass of a cold black plum drink and Grandpa asks him what he wants. Tak Gu makes his request and Grandpa tells Tak Gu that he’s not going to be bribed. However after he hears from Head Baker, Mrs Head Baker and Mi Sun that the two guys are not getting along, Grandpa decides to let them re-enter the kitchen early, if they meet his conditions.

Tak Gu and Ma Jun get summoned to the living room, and Grandpa tells them both to tie one of their wrists to one end of a cloth band. The boys comply and Grandpa tells them that they can’t take it off. If they last three days tied together, Grandpa will let them into the kitchen. Their wrists must always be tied, regardless of whether they are using the bathroom, showering or changing clothes. Both Ma Jun and Tak Gu are opposed to the idea.

Before he leaves, Grandpa tells Tak Gu that the drink yesterday was delicious. This prompts Ma Jun to ask Tak Gu what exactly he did. Tak Gu explains that he tried to ask Grandpa to let them back into the kitchen, but he didn’t know that things were going to work out this way.

Wrists tied together, the boys don’t get along any better. If anything, it’s worse. Life has become a constant tug of war, whether it’s serving customers or cleaning up, using the bathroom, or sleeping at night. Everyone notes their lack of progress.

The next day, they follow Mi Sun to get supplies. They end up fighting over who gets to carry the lighter bag, and spill the walnuts inside. As they are picking the spilled walnuts up, Tak Gu sees Ma Jun’s nose bleeding and reacts quickly. He tilts Ma Jun’s head back, pinches his nose bridge and asks the store owner for tissue to clean up.

Ma Jun protests that he’s fine, but Tak Gu is firm. He tells Ma Jun to listen to his older brother (any older guy is an older brother, not that Tak Gu knows that he’s Ma Jun). Ma Jun is surprised by the brother reference, and remembers how Tak Gu also tried to take care of him when he was a kid. He no longer protests, and suddenly they start to get along well.

They’ve figured out how to work together, how to shower at the same time (that’s a huge bathroom!), and at night they even sleep on each other.

In Sook tells Manager Han that they will have to hold an emergency meeting within the month to vote on creating a position for Ma Jun. Manager Han doesn’t understand the reason for such haste; they can do it at the regularly scheduled meeting. She admits that she may not be able to hold on to her shares anymore if she can’t come up with money.

Manager Han asks her how much money she needs, but she doesn’t reply. How can she know if he’s on her side? He needs to give her proof. Manager Han is disurbed by her lack of trust. He realizes it’s probably related to the letter, and tries to explain it, but they are interrupted by Mrs Gong.

On the third day, they go out with Mi Sun to the market, and have lunch. Tak Gu and Mi Sun enjoy their meal, while Ma Jun can’t bear the sight of the exotic foods in front of him. Seeing that Ma Jun didn’t touch any of his share, Tak Gu takes his bowl.

A little boy stares at Tak Gu as he is eating his noodles, and Tak Gu notices him. He sees the little boy eyeing the steamed bread, and offers it to him. The boy happily accepts, but his mother comes over to slap it out of his hand. She tells the little boy (also directing it to Tak Gu of course) that they are not beggars, and drags him back to their makeshift vegetable store.

Before he can go back to eating his noodles, Tak Gu gets interrupted by a second person. Actually, make that a group of people: it’s the imitation windmill boss and friends, which explains the inexplicable suited man who ran away at the sight of Tak Gu and Ma Jun the other day. The boss wants to settle their issues from two years ago, seeing how he was badly hurt by men looking for Tak Gu.

Tak Gu tries to apologize anyway. The boss is spoiling for a fight, and throws Tak Gu on the ground, with Ma Jun along for the ride.

Mi Sun calls the bakery to look for her father or Windmill man for help.

Tak Gu lands on the makeshift stand of the woman he’d just offended. He doesn’t want to make things worse, and whispers to Ma Jun that they will run at the count of three. At three, the two guys run off in different directions, and their cloth sash pulls them back together. Exasperated, they try again and escape into the alleys of the market, stumbling and tangling at each obstacle. Boss and gang give chase, getting close but not catching up.

Ma Jun knocks into a pedestrian, falls and sprains his ankle, so they can’t go on for much longer. They try to hide, but the boss and his men are closing in. Tak Gu looks at the band around his wrist, contemplating. Finally, he tells Ma Jun that he will give himself up so that one of them is safe. Ma Jun tells him not to, but Tak Gu releases himself. At least one of them can make the competition this way.

He gives himself up to the boss, and they beat him up. Ma Jun looks at Tak Gu helplessly (which reminds me of how he witnessed Yu Kyung get beaten and couldn’t do anything). Tak Gu refuses to fight back, and the men take him away.

Now safe, Ma Jun stumbles out and into the market, where he runs into Head Baker, Windmill man and Mi Sun. They notice that the other side of the band is hanging loose.

The boss is fed up with beating up a Tak Gu who refuses to fight back. He demands to know what Tak Gu’s relationship with Gu Il Jung is, because he went through so much trouble to look for Tak Gu. Tak Gu can’t believe what he’s hearing.

In the meantime, Il Jung is still making phones calls, looking for news of Tak Gu. He tells his contact that on top of searching for Kim Tak Gu, he would like to also add another person to the list: the Windmill tattoo man from Cheongsan.

Tak Gu walks back to the market place, and sees the mother and son that he met earlier in the day. Thinking that it’s hopeless now that he’s taken off the band, he spends his last 17,000 won buying up the woman’s leftover corn for the day. She refuses, but he grabs it anyway. He invites them to visit him at Pal Bong Bakery fo bread. As he turns to leave, the little boy hands him a rice ball with barley and corn.

Tak Gu takes a bite of the grain ball, and is surprised by how tasty it is. Head Baker sees Tak Gu as he is finishing up the last bites of the ball, and asks him what he’s up to. Tak Gu says nothing. Ma Jun walks towards Tak Gu and puts his wrist back into the loop. Head Baker says that they need to go back now.

Tak Gu is surprised by the turn of events, but Ma Jun tells him that he needs help walking.

When they get back, Head Baker tells Grandpa that the band never fell off, so the 3-day requirement was fulfilled. He asks whether Tak Gu and Ma Jun can return to the kitchen immediately. Grandpa looks doubtful, but says they will do as Head Baker says.

When they gets back to their room, Tak Gu tells Ma Jun to ice his ankle. Ma Jun needs to listen to him because he is the older brother. Ma Jun looks on as Tak Gu unwraps his bandages and ices his ankle. Tak Gu tells Ma Jun that they are officially friends now.

Everyone stands around as Tak Gu unloads his supplies from the market. He tells them that he spent all his money 17,000 won on the corn and barley, and Axe Eyes exclaims that he’s been ripped off. How is he going to make bread without other ingrediants?

Curly brings his half a sack of flour for Tak Gu. Mi Sun produces some yeast and butter that she had leftover. They look expectantly at Ma Jun, who reluctantly pulls out eggs and some chocolate. Tak Gu is touched by their actions, although it looks like he teared up when Ma Jun took his offering out.

After work, Ma Jun heads out of the bakery, and is astonished to find In Sook outside. He has told her not to look for him, so why is she here? In Sook says that it’s time for him to go home and take up a position in the company.

Ma Jun tells her that no one in the bakery knows his real name. He’s barely finished the first round of the competition. In Sook says that this is all unnecessary. Ma Jun turns her down: he will finish the competition.

Mi Sun notices that Ma Jun has left his walkman in the kitchen. Tak Gu offers to take it down to him, and hears Ma Jun calling In Sook mother. In shock, Tak Gu asks him what is going on, repeatedly calling him Seo Tae Jo.

Comments:

I never understood all that fangirling over “bromance”, but I think I finally understood. I really like the scenes where Ma Jun and Tak Gu bond, but it never happened when they were kids coz Tak Gu disappeared, and now it looks like it is once again disrupted.

I really think Ma Jun could have become a much happier person if he had Tak Gu with him. He gets along fine with his sisters, but Ja Rim is incompetent, and Ja Kyung is too engrossed with taking over the world. You can see him opening up to Tak Gu right there, and right when you see the crack, it closes up again.

Here’s to hoping that the brothers bond for real this time. They could both do with some love.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 17

the episode of the emotional Mi Sun’s.

episode 17 recap

In Sook asks who Tak Gu is, and gets no reply from either guy. She tries again and asks whether he works with Ma Jun. Again, silence. Ma Jun tells In Sook to go home for today, but she says she has more to say. Ma Jun gets really upset and shouts at his mom, telling her to go home. He’ll talk to her when he visits during the weekend.

In Sook doesn’t look ready to go, but she starts to leave. She tells him to go home this weekend so that they can talk.

Mi Sun comes out of the bakery, and asks Tak Gu why he’s not going in. Ma Jun frowns, not liking what is happening. Upon hearing the name “Tak Gu”, In Sook turns back. Not getting a reply, Mi Sun addresses both guys by name again, this time saying Tak Gu’s full name. In Sook walks up to Mi Sun and asks if she just said Kim Tak Gu. Mi Sun said she was calling to Tak Gu, and points him out. Ma Jun’s frown-o-meter goes even higher.

In Sook turns to Tak Gu and asks him “Are you really Kim Tak Gu?” There is another pause before Tak Gu quietly greets her “Long time no see, Little Madam.” In Sook is too shocked for words, and just stares at Tak Gu for a long time.

Dr. Yun tells Kim Mi Sun that he has a lead on Tak Gu. He found a man who saw Tak Gu 14 years ago. He brings Mi Sun to a tiny restaurant, and points out a man sitting alone at a table. Mi Sun asks if the man has met her son. The man looks confused at Kim Mi Sun. Dr. Yun steps in to introduce himself as the man from yesterday. He tells the man to repeat what he said yesterday.

The man complains that it’s a hassle to keep repeating himself, prompting Mi Sun to pass him an envelope. The man accepts it, and says about 13 or 14 years ago, a wealthy man asked him to sell a boy to a deep sea fishing vessel. We see a flashback (episode 6 if you want to read back) of what happened that night when Tak Gu resisted and ran away.

Mi Sun asks what happened to Tak Gu. The man replies that he doesn’t know. It would be very lucky if Tak Gu didn’t starve to death on the streets. This greatly agitates Mi Sun, who suddenly finds the strength to grab the man by his collar and shake him. How could he do this to a young boy? Doesn’t he have children?

Thankfully, the man doesn’t respond (by hitting her), and Dr. Yun pries the man loose from Mi Sun. The man leaves, and Mi Sun collapses into a pile on the ground, sobbing.

In Sook is finally home and alone, thinking about the unexpected discovery of Tak Gu. She decides to get the dirt on Pal Bong’s bakery, probably looking for a way to deal with Tak Gu.

The guys retreat to the privacy of their shared room, leaving Mi Sun outside wondering what is going on. Tak Gu speaks first. He confesses that Seo Tae Jo reminded him of Ma Jun. He asks Ma Jun how long he had planned on hiding. Did he not want to acknowledge Tak Gu? Ma Jun says that he was planning to just be Seo Tae Jo for the duration of his stay at the bakery.

Tak Gu bitterly remarks that for two whole years, they’ve lived and done everything together, and not once did the thought of introducing himself ever occurred to Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks him what he was expecting. That he’ll be happy and say “Hi, I’m Ma Jun. Why did you suddenly disappear from the house?” Why would he do that?

Tak Gu now understands why Tae Jo insisted on competing, and why he tried to separate him and Yu Kyung. But what does being Kim Tak Gu have to do with it? Tak Gu has never done anything wrong towards Ma Jun.

Ma Jun confesses that he just hates Tak Gu. It’s not something he can explain; he just feels that way. Tak Gu says he can understand that, and he leaves.


Tak Gu goes over to Yu Kyung’s old apartment, and finds out that she’s moved without leaving contact information. He thinks back to how Ma Jun asked whether Yu Kyung would really want to see him if he failed, and feels dejected.

Yu Kyung enters Manager Han’s office to hand him some files. He praises her work, but reminds her that she has to leave. He has found two other suitable positions in other companies for her. Yu Kyung refuses, but Manager Han tells her to leave when he’s asking nicely.

The exchange with Manager Han gets to Yu Kyung but she cheers up when she sees her calendar. The 25th is circled. Her colleague asks if it’s a special day, and she says that she’ll be meeting a friend that she hasn’t seen in two years.

In the meantime, the mail has arrived for the day. A piece drops from the stack, and it’s addressed to Tak Gu, from Yu Kyung.

Tak Gu is practicing for the competition, and this time the bread isn’t burned. However, the inside of the bread is dry. Tak Gu sees that his supply of flour is running low, and decides that he’ll have to break out the barley and corn.

Head Baker is conferring with Grandpa about Tak Gu’s situation: he lacks the materials and time to make something suitable for the competition. Grandpa asks if Head Baker is worried about Tak Gu, but Head Baker denies it. Oh the useless pride. Grandpa says it’s fine if Head Baker is not worried. They can just start Tak Gu from scratch again.

Besides Tak Gu, there is another problem. Head Baker is opposed to giving out the Bong Bread recipe. It’ll tarnish Grandpa’s reputation. Grandpa says that reputations are too hard to keep. He will hand his recipes to the rightful heir.

Mi Sun comes by and sees Tak Gu in the kitchen looking at the barley. She asks if things are not going well, and mentions that Windmill man is worried about him. In addition, he’s been acting strange since the other day when that woman visited. Who was that woman?

Tak Gu refuses to comment, and leaves. He sees Ma Jun on the way out, but they do not greet each other.

Mi Sun takes a break at the cashier’s counter, and sees the letter that fell on the ground. She sees that it’s for Tak Gu from Yu Kyung, and picks it up and keeps it.

In Sook decides that she will need to handle the situation differently with the pressure from President Na, and the discovery of Tak Gu. She looks for Il Jung in the office, and gives Yu Kyung the eye while she’s entering. She cuts Il Jung a deal: bring Ma Jun back to the company early, and she’ll give him the shares and never meddle in company affairs again. Of course, Tak Gu should be deleted from the family register.

Some time later that day, the other 3 competitors are working on their entries. They do not see Tak Gu, and Curly worriedly wonders whether Tak Gu will be practicing at all that day.

Mi Sun takes out Yu Kyung’s letter to look at it. Glancing down as she tucks the letter away, she notices that Tak Gu has a bunch of bread hidden under his workbench. She grabs a bread, and sniffs at it. She then tears a bite off one to try, and pronounces it tough. She brings the bread with her to look for Tak Gu.

Tak Gu is outside the bakery, fiddling with his bread, probably worrying about how tough it is. Unannounced, the mother and son from the market stop by to take Tak Gu up on his offer of bread. Tak Gu invites them in and brings over a variety of bread for the kid. The mother protests it’s too much, but Tak Gu says that they can bring it home.

The kid tells Ta Gu that he wants to eat the bread that Tak Gu made. Which one is that? Tak Gu admits that he didn’t personally make anything, and the kid looks disappointed. His mom explains that the kid came specifically to eat Tak Gu’s bread. Mi Sun overhears the conversation and brings out Tak Gu’s prototype bread. The kid cheers up, but Tak Gu looks dismayed — it’s not fit for eating.

The kid bites into a piece anyway, and pronounces it delicious. Mi Sun makes a face, and tells the kid that he has a good heart. The mom takes a bite and says that the barley is too dry. The mother tells Tak Gu that he needs to boil the barley with more water before using it. Since the corn is already moist, it requires less water, although some salt will improve the flavor. Mi Sun offers the kid water, and he accepts it, alternating between eating and drinking.

Mi Sun whispers to Tak Gu, telling him to remember this moment because they are his first customers. Seeing the boy drink from the cup, Tak Gu thinks back to what Il Jung said about adding water back to bread that is dry, and hits upon an idea.

He goes into the kitchen to make a new batch. He washes the barley in lots of water, and boils it, and works on separating the corn kernels. He mixes the barley and corn into the dough. When the dough is ready for baking, Tak Gu checks the temperature, remembering Windmill man’s words about the temperature, inserts the tray, and then two cups of water into the oven and prays. Mi Sun and Windmill man watch Tak Gu silently.

Windmill man heads down, and runs into a customer who recognizes him. He hands Windmill man a card, telling him that this person is looking for him. The card belongs to Il Jung.

Mi Sun is contemplating the letter from Yu Kyung. She wonders if it’ll be better to hand the letter to Tak Gu before or after the competition, but can’t decide. She brings it with her and goes to the kitchen to find Tak Gu.

Tak Gu has been baking all night and is now on batch 5 or so. He takes a bite and savors it slowly. Mi Sun enters the kitchen to hand him the letter, and notices that the smell is good. Tak Gu offers her the bread to try.

She sniffs at it, breaks it, and tastes it. She also savors the taste slowly, closing her eyes to concentrate. Tak Gu asks how it is. She takes a second bite, and finally pronounces it soft. The bread and the grains melt together. It’s delicious. Tak Gu can’t believe what he’s hearing. Mi Sun repeats that it’s delicious. Tak Gu breaks into a dance around the kitchen in joy. He grabs Mi Sun into a hug, which surprises and confuses her. I guess he’s not getting the letter today.

Tak Gu picks up the loaves and runs over to the market in time to find the mother and son. He offers the bread to the kid, who pronounces it delicious with more gusto this time. Delighted, Tak Gu picks up the kid and swings him.

When he gets back, Tak Gu asks to see Ma Jun and offers him a loaf of bread. Ma Jun tastes the bread, and tries to hide his surprise (isn’t it strange that you can see someone pretending not to be surprised?). He asks Tak Gu if he’s showing off now that he can finally make edible bread. Happily, Tak Gu says yes. Ma Jun asks what the secret was, and Tak Gu shares that the secret was putting a cup of water in the oven.

Ma Jun tells Tak Gu that he shouldn’t be sharing his bread with a competitor.Tak Gu replies that until the competition is over, he’ll continue to be Seo Tae Jo and they are friends. Ma Jun asks if they can’t be friends if he’s Ma Jun. Tak Gu doesn’t reply.

Windmill man meets Il Jung in a cafe. Il Jung is surprised to learn that Windmill man works in his teacher’s bakery. He wants to know whether it was Windmill man at his company the other day, and Windmill man says yes. Il Jung asks what his purpose was, and Windmill man tells him to answer his question first: is Il Jung still looking for his missing son? If he meets his son, what will he do? His son has been looking for his mother all these years. What will happen when he finds out that the person who separated him and his mother is his father?

Il Jung is surprised by the question and asks Windmill man what he means. Windmill man says that the kid is finally able to smile, and he doesn’t want to see that smile go. Who is he talking about? Windmill man says Kim Tak Gu.

Il Jung asks if he’s met Tak Gu. Windmill man says that Tak Gu found him two years ago. He had spent his entire life looking for his mother, and was in terrible shape. Thus, he’s asking Il Jung how he will explain what happened 14 years ago. Il Jung asks where Tak Gu is, and Windmill man says he will reveal Tak Gu’s location if Il Jung gives him a reply.

As Il Jung contemplates his decision, Manager Han is getting information from someone hired to get the dirt on President Na. He’s going through a stack of photos of people that President Na has met, and one of them is Dr. Yun. Manager Han looks suspiciously at the picture, and the subordinate explains that the men ran into each other in a hotel parking lot, and he wasn’t sure if the man was important.

Finally the day of the competition dawns, and the competitors get to making their bread. Curly is making a braid, and Mi Sun has made a huge bread. Ma Jun is mashing sweet potato into pastry dough.

They explain the rationale behind their creations. Curly thinks that a filling meal is rice with dishes, and he’s squirted on some savory cheese mix as a side dish on his bread. Mi Sun is making a cake/bread hybrid, cutting the bread and filling it with cream, fruit and cake. She thinks that a shared meal is the most filling.

Ma Jun’s complicated creation looks the most polished. Besides the sweet potato in the pastry dough, he’s made his own mix of nuts and such to supplement the bread. Axe Eyes asks Tak Gu to explain his bread. Tak Gu says it contains barley and corn, and he tried to incorporate everyone’s contribution (heart) into this creation.

Finally they start judging. Grandpa sniffs then takes a bite of each bread, and contemplates them silently.

Grandpa comments on Mi Sun’s creation first. The bread is very soft, and works well with a cake filling. He also likes the idea that sharing a meal makes it feel fuller. Thus she passes round one.

Curly’s idea was good too. However, his topping didn’t blend well with the flavor of the bread. Thus he does not make it to the next round.

Ma Jun’s creation is easily the most impressive and skilled one of the four. Grandpa has reservations about the creation though, because it feels cold. He’s not certain whether he should pass Ma Jun, but decides to give him a chance. If the bread retains the cold aura the next time round, he’s out. Ma Jun doesn’t look happy about passing this way.

Tak Gu’s bread is the plainest of all four and obviously lacks skill. The idea behind the bread was haphazard. However barley and corn are indeed food that poor people of the past ate, so it satisfies the fullness requirement. Tak Gu’s bread also had the best smell of all four. Lastly, he was able to take rough ingredients and turn them into something soft and palatable. Thus he passes. Tak Gu is overjoyed, and everyone looks happy for him except Ma Jun.

Grandpa declares round one over, and leaves. Axe Eyes takes Tak Gu’s bread to try. Ma Jun dumps his bread into the trash. In his room, Grandpa enjoys Tak Gu’s bread.

Curly, Mi Sun and Tak Gu celebrate the end of round one. Although Curly didn’t pass, he doesn’t look upset. He tells Tak Gu that he tried the barley bread, and was very impressed. Mi Sun decides that it’s time to hand Yu Kyung’s letter over to Tak Gu. She admits that she’s had it for a few days because she didn’t know if his mood would be affected if she gave it to him before the competition.

Mi Sun gets no reply. Tak Gu grabs the letter and tears it open. Inside, Yu Kyung has asked to meet at Nam Soon’s clock tower at 6pm on the 25th, which is today. Tak Gu takes off, grabbing his tray of bread with him. Mi Sun objects — how can he leave their celebration early?

Tak Gu doesn’t notice Mi Sun throwing a hissy fit, and runs off. In anger, Mi Sun grabs the bottle of soju and takes a big swig. Curly is surprised and concerned.

Yu Kyung is getting ready to go meet Tak Gu when the phone rings. She gets called back to the office where Miss Yoon tells her to go to the Gu residence. Miss Yoon would have gone herself, but In Sook specifically requested Yu Kyung.

When she gets to the Gu residence, In Sook is entertaining guests (a mother and her grown up daughter) with Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. She tells the housekeeper to tell Yu Kyung to wait because In Sook has guests who arrived earlier. Yu Kyung agrees to wait. Ja Rim looks uneasy.

Ma Jun comes home to find Yu Kyung waiting while In Sook chats with her guests. He asks Yu Kyung why she is there. She explains that In Sook called her. He asks In Sook why someone from the company is here on a Sunday. In Sook says she needs Yu Kyung and tells him to come over and greet her guests. She tells Yu Kyung to wait a little longer.

They proceed to dinner, and Ja Kyung tells Ma Jun not to help Yu Kyung or he’ll provoke In Sook into worse behavior. Throughout dinner, Ma Jun keeps looking at Yu Kyung who is still waiting. Ja Rim is bothered as well.

Tak Gu makes it to the Nam Soon clocktower with time to spare. He’s excited to be seeing Yu Kyung again. Time passes, and he still waits on cheerily. It’s almost 9pm.

In the middle of fruit and more polite chit-chat, Ma Jun finally loses it. He slams his drink on the coffee table and tells him mom that he’s had enough. He came back because she said that she had something to say. Instead, here they are just entertaining guests. Ma Jun apologizes to the guests and leaves, and as he walks by Yu Kyung, he tells her that she should leave too.

Yu Kyung refuses, saying that she’s here because of In Sook so she’ll leave when In Sook says so. Exasperated, Ma Jun drags Yu Kyung out forcefully to In Sook’s dismay.

In the meantime, Il Jung has finally decided on his answer and looks for the Windmill man at the bakery. He tells Windmill man that he’ll do whatever he says. He’ll suffer the consequences of revealing the truth as long as he gets to meet his son. So where is his son?

Comments:

I can’t wait for round 2 and 3 of the competition, just because I want to see what Tak Gu and the rest will come up with. Honestly though, except for Ma Jun’s pastry, the other breads didn’t look that delicious to me. There was a brief bonding scene between Ma Jun and Tak Gu in this episode, but I don’t know how things will turn out with Tak Gu performing better and Ma Jun getting jealous. I’m still hoping that the brothers will make up.

From the previews, it is certain that Il Jung and Tak Gu will meet in the next episode, and Kim Mi Sun’s turn is probably coming really soon.

I still can’t figure out what Yu Kyung is up to. With regards to the romance, there are two possibilities: either Ma Jun and Tak Gu will fight over Yu Kyung first, or Mi Sun and Yu Kyung will fight over Tak Gu, freeing the 3rd party. Mi Sun is becoming more obvious (I thought her little hissy fit was adorable), so it’s a matter of time before the others find out. But she probably doesn’t want to come in between Tak Gu and Yu Kyung. I have my money on Yu Kyung choosing first.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 18

A Korean friend once told me that if you walk around hand in hand with another person, it’s as good as declaring your intention to marry. Yes, this friend of mine is a little older, but we have to keep in mind that this show is situated in 1989. There is something really sweet (and cliched I guess) in experiencing a sincere and real first love.

Oh, and not having a cellphone to say that you’re running really late…it’s been a really long time since that happened.

episode 18 recaps

Ma Jun drags Yu Kyung out of the house. He demands to know if she has no pride. Isn’t she supposed to be smart? She should quit. If she needs a job, he can find her one. Yu Kyung says that he doesn’t understand. It’s not her style to just give up. Besides, she will have to deal with mistreatment anywhere else she goes. She tells Ma Jun that he is privileged, so he won’t understand. I don’t understand her either.

Yu Kyung goes back into the house.

Inside, the guests are excusing themselves. In Sook apologizes for the incident and says that Ma Jun is stressed out from studying. They are interrupted by Yu Kyung’s silent entrance. Yu Kyung walks up to In Sook to apologize and says she will continue waiting. The mood turns bad again; it’s like Yu Kyung picked off a scab and the wound is bleeding again.

In the meantime, Tak Gu is still waiting at the clock tower. And someone else is waiting for him at home.

Back at the bakery, Mi Sun is pacing in the hallway. She stares at his door and wonders why he is so late. Windmill man sees her and asks if she’s waiting for Tak Gu. Mi Sun says she’s unable to sleep because she’s anxious about round two of the competition. I’m sure he bought that.

Windmill man thinks back to his conversation with Il Jung.

Il Jung told Windmill man that he’s willing to do whatever the latter thinks is appropriate with regards to Tak Gu. Windmill man doesn’t like that reply; he doesn’t know what is best for Tak Gu either. For instance, Tak Gu might not want to see Il Jung. He tells Il Jung to wait until the competition is over before coming back so that Tak Gu doesn’t get affected.

Competition? Tak Gu is at the bakery? Windmill man refuses to reply and leaves. Was that slip an accident?

Il Jung is overwhelmed by the news. He thinks back to all the clues he’s had: that Tak Gu found Windmill man, that Mi Sun’s mom was complaining about how Grandpa is letting kids who’ve barely been around for 2 years to take the test, and that new apprentice who was covered in flour that day, who acted a little strangely, whose last name is Kim.

At some point later that night, Yu Kyung makes her way to the clocktower looking exhausted. The events of the night weigh on her mind.

Her compliance didn’t sit well with In Sook, who thinks that this is a declaration of war. Who told her to come back? Yu Kyung replies that she doesn’t know what she has done wrong. She’s done everything that In Sook wanted. If she’s not needed, Yu Kyung is happy to leave. In Sook snaps and slaps Yu Kyung, to the horror of her daughters. They rush up to restrain In Sook.

In Sook accuses Yu Kyung of trying to fight her using Ma Jun. Ja Kyung interrupts and tells Yu Kyung to leave. In Sook says Yu Kyung will stay. She’s not done talking. Yu Kyung does not react. Ja Kyung looks urgently at Yu Kyung, and Ja Rim shakes her head to tell Yu Kyung to stop fighting with her mom.

In Sook keeps talking. How dare she covet Ma Jun? Yu Kyung corrects her: she’s got no interest in Ma Jun. It’s him who has been approaching her. If she doesn’t want them to end up together, In Sook will have to teach her son better. This is completely rude, and takes things up a notch. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim both look like they can’t believe Yu Kyung said that. Her piece said, Yu Kyung finally leaves, which is why she is finally able to head to the clocktower.

It’s midnight. Initially, she doesn’t notice anyone there, but someone approaches her from the side and it is Tak Gu. Yu Kyung’s spirits are lifted at the sight of Tak Gu, and she runs over to hug him. She allows herself to cry and tells him that he’s dumb for waiting so long. Tak Gu says that she said to come, so he did. He’s relieved to finally see her.

In the meantime, Ma Jun has gotten back to the bakery, and he notices the family car. He sees Il Jung sitting outside the bakery and approaches. He asks why Il Jung didn’t go in to see Grandpa. Il Jung asks why Ma Jun did not inform him. Ma Jun doesn’t know what Il Jung is referring to. Il Jung says that he was with Ma Jun at the bakery for 2 years, yet Ma Jun never said a thing. Il Jung demands to know why.

Ma Jun pretends that he still doesn’t understand. What did he hide from Il Jung? Il Jung explodes. His brother, that’s what he’s been hiding. He was so close, yet Il Jung never realized it. Ma Jun tries to say something, but he gets as far as “Dad…” before Il Jung cuts him off. Ma Jun has called him “dad” a million times, but Tak Gu never got the chance to say it. Il Jung doesn’t know how to forgive Ma Jun.

Il Jung walks to his car, and Ma Jun gives chase. He explains that he wasn’t going to hide it forever. He was going to inform Il Jung as soon as he beats Tak Gu in the bake-off. He referred to Tak Gu as a punk, and Il Jung corrects him: Tak Gu is his older brother.

Il Jung heads to his desk as soon as he gets home. He thinks back to how Windmill man mentioned the possibility that Tak Gu doesn’t want to see him. He takes out the letter that 12-year-old Tak Gu left him where Tak Gu had said that he wanted to be Kim Tak Gu, so please don’t try to find him.

Tak Gu walks Yu Kyung home, hand in hand. What is he going to do now that it’s so late? Tak Gu says that it’ll be fine if he goes back to the bakery. Yoon Shi Yoon is an excellent actor — you can totally hear his voice change when he’s talking to Yu Kyung. Yu Kyung apologizes for making him wait so long. Tak Gu says that she waited 2 years for him, so it’s nothing if he waits a few hours. When the competition is over, they should go on a trip to the ocean.

He tells Yu Kyung to leave first, so that he can see her go safely. However instead of releasing her hand, Tak Gu tugs at it. Yu Kyung stops and Tak Gu leans forward slowly and after all that suspense, he plants a kiss on her cheek. Oh my goodness.

After she leaves, Tak Gu realizes that he’s forgotten to give her the bread, but it’s fine. There will be other chances. He’ll make her bread for the rest of his life.

Yu Kyung gets into her apartment and touches her cheek thinking about Tak Gu’s kiss. Her mood darkens — the cheek that Tak Gu kissed is the same cheek that In Sook had slapped earlier.

In the morning, the bakers assemble in the kitchen to start the day. Tak Gu is conspicuously missing. Head Baker asks where he is, and Ma Jun says he didn’t see Tak Gu last night. Axe Eyes is scandalized: Tak Gu stayed out all night? Curly offers that he took off yesterday after receiving a letter, and Mi Sun was the one who handed it to him. Head Baker asks Mi Sun who the letter is from, and she says that she doesn’t know.

Tak Gu appears right at this moment, looking extra cheery. Giggling a little, he explains that he wasn’t out all night, just a little later than usual. He came straight to the kitchen and has already checked the equipment, made the dough and cleaned up, and it looks like he is still overflowing with energy.

Axe Eyes notices his cheerfulness and asks if something good happened. Tak Gu says he’s allowed to have good days. On top of the usual “hai hai hai” reply, Tak Gu pumps his fist with gusto too. Mi Sun notes his cheerfulness with sadness, and Ma Jun looks even more annoyed.

Things are not well for Yu Kyung though. She arrives in the office to find her belongings packed in a tray. She has been reassigned to the Maintenance department. Yu Kyung asks what the reason is, but Ms Yoon doesn’t know. It’s just manager’s orders. She asks if something happened with In Sook the day before.

Yu Kyung tries to talk to Manager Han to get a proper reason, but he tells her there is none. There are just lines that she can’t cross, and she crossed one last night. This is a tug-of-war that she can’t win.

Resigned to the change, Yu Kyung goes to her new office, which is a dump. She is expectedly upset about the change.

In the meantime, Manager Han has to deal with his other problems, like Dr. Yun. He’s getting information about the doctor and finally realizes where they have met before.

Manager Han pays an unannounced visit to Dr. Yun. Surprised, Dr. Yun still manages to remain calm as he closes the side door. Manager Han said that he checked that there are no patients in the afternoon. Dr. Yun explains that it’s a special patient.

Manager Han tells the doctor that he hasn’t been feeling well in the chest, and Dr. Yun decides to take his blood pressure. As he is getting his pressure checked, Manager Han casually asks how Kim Mi Sun is doing. Dr. Yun freezes, unable to reply. Manager Han tells Dr. Yun that he now remembers that they met 26 years ago. He asks where Mi Sun is.

The doctor tries to say that he doesn’t know what Manager Han is talking about. Manager Han tells him that whether it’s the blackmail letters, or the photo falling over, he’s unafraid. Is Dr. Yun behind them? Or Kim Mi Sun? Dr. Yun tells him to leave, but Manager Han insists on asking where Mi Sun is.

Nervously, Dr. Yun glances towards the side door, and Manager Han notices it. He gets up to check and Dr. Yun tries to stop him. Manager Han ultimately wins, and he opens the door, revealing yet another door. Manager Han senses that his prey is near, and gives chase. Kim Mi Sun tries to calmly walk towards the exit. At a turn, she briefly loses Manager Han and makes it to safety.

In the safety of her home, Kim Mi Sun calls the doctor to tell him that they should contact President Na by phone in the future. It’s getting too dangerous, and she wants him to be safe. She’ll operate on her own from now.

Later that afternoon, they gather for the unveiling of the second question. A tray with 4 bowls is set in front of each contestant. The bowls contain flour, yeast, salt and water, the four essential ingredients for bread-making. Grandpa wants them to pick what they think is the most important ingredient.

Mi Sun chooses first, and she chooses the flour. Tak Gu and Ma Jun take a while to think, and simultaneously choose the yeast. The topic for the second round is this: the most interesting bread in the world. They can help themselves to anything in the bakery, except for the ingredient that they just picked. Thus Mi Sun can’t use flour, and Tak Gu and Ma Jun can’t use yeast. They have 15 days to come up with something.

Grandpa retires to his room to think of question 3. Head Baker asks whether it is premature, but realizes that Grandpa actually expects at least one participant to get through round two.

The participants gather outside the bakery, and Mi Sun and Ma Jun both look displeased while Tak Gu looks upbeat. It’s not so hard is it? Mi Sun can substitute wheat flour with rice flour, or potato flour. Mi Sun counters that using rice flour, the result is a rice cake, while potato flour will make potato cakes.

Mi Sun asks about the guys’ problem: how will they make bread without yeast. Tak Gu answers that any leavening agent should do…like baking powder. Mi Sun immediately shoots the idea down. Grandpa doesn’t like using chemicals in his bread. Tak Gu will get kicked out of the competition immediately if he uses baking powder.

Tak Gu finally realizes how hard the question is. Ma Jun looks increasingly frustrated at the seemingly incompetent Tak Gu, and walks off in a huff.

Left alone, Mi Sun gets to ask Tak Gu how the meeting with Yu Kyung went. Tak Gu says it went very well, and that Yu Kyung has gotten even prettier. Tak Gu adds that when the competition is over, he and Yu Kyung are going to take a train ride to see the ocean. That pushed Mi Sun over, and she too suddenly leaves in a huff.

Inside the bakery, Mi Sun lets loose: she wants to take a train ride to the ocean too!

Ma Jun is being haunted by memories of the unpleasant conversation with Il Jung and decides to deal with it. He heads to the company unannounced, surprising Manager Han who catches sight of him. Ma Jun heads up to Il Jung’s office, and checks that he’s in. He notices that there is an empty desk.

Il Jung tells Ma Jun to enter. He notes that it’s an unusual time of the day for Ma Jun to visit. Ma Jun tries to talk to Il Jung, but Il Jung says that there is nothing to say. Ma Jun bitterly asks why Il Jung never hears what he has to say.

Il Jung doesn’t want to hear excuses. Ma Jun asks why a boy who spent a few months with them is more important than him who has spent his whole life beside Il Jung, following the path that Il Jung wanted him to. Il Jung says that Ma Jun isn’t understanding it in the right way:Tak Gu has suffered all his life, and Ma Jun has enjoyed his entire life.

Desperate, Ma Jun kneels and begs for forgiveness. All he wanted was this one chance to beat the brother he was always second to. Il Jung coldly tells him to get out of the way, and goes to the door. He opens it, revealing Manager Han who has probably heard everything. (Given the number of incidences in Il Jung’s office, he really needs better sound proofing.) Il Jung leaves anyway.

Manager Han goes up to Ma Jun, and tells him to get up. He reaches out to touch Ma Jun on his shoulder, but Ma Jun recoils and tells Manager Han to never touch him. Ma Jun gets up and leaves the room, leaving a hurt Manager Han.

Yu Kyung is in the basement office, thinking about resigning when Ma Jun enters. He looks slightly cheered up to see her. He notes that she’s gone down a long way. He pulls her into a hug and tells her to never forgive those people. Yu Kyung’s first reaction is to resist, but she quickly notices that Ma Jun may just be talking to himself: he is very upset and crying. She decides to let him hold her.

It’s much later in the day, and Ma Jun is still hanging out in the basement office with Yu Kyung. She tells him that he should go, but he declines. They should stay together. He asks her to stay the night with him. Yu Kyung refuses. Hasn’t he brought her down enough? Ma Jun tells her that through him, she’ll get revenge, and all the luxuries that she could never have earned. He’ll let her use him.

Yu Kyung asks what he gets out of it. Ma Jun is also getting revenge. She doesn’t look sold by the idea.

Because he forgot to hand her his first bread creation, Tak Gu decides to look Yu Kyung up again that evening. He scolds himself for not asking her which apartment she’s in, and has to shout her name instead. Realizing he’s annoyed the neighbors, Tak Gu runs to the side of the building and waits there for Yu Kyung.

A cab comes by, and Yu Kyung gets out of it. Tak Gu prepares to approach her, but stops when he sees Ma Jun following out of the cab. Ma Jun is only sending Yu Kyung home, and she tells him that he can leave. Ma Jun surveys his surroundings and notices Tak Gu looking at them. He decides to put on a show.

He pulls Yu Kyung towards him and leans in to her, which looks like a kiss from where Tak Gu is. Tak Gu is furious. In reality, Ma Jun is only telling Yu Kyung to seriously consider his offer. Yu Kyung walks off, and Ma Jun looks after her. He wipes his mouth with his hand, like wiping off a kiss that is too wet.

At home, Yu Kyung tells herself not to be tempted by the deal, which I take to mean that she is tempted.

With Yu Kyung out of the way, Tak Gu approaches Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks Tak Gu how he knew about this place. Tak Gu says that it was the two year anniversary the day before, so he met with Yu Kyung. He demands to know what Ma Jun is doing there.

Ma Jun laughs and says that he’s been meeting Yu Kyung the past two years. She knew him as Gu Ma Jun, not Seo Tae Jo, and they met before the encounter at Pal Bong bakery. In fact, Yu Kyung is working for Geo Seung Foods. Tak Gu is shakened by this revelation.

Going for the kill, Ma Jun asks Tak Gu why Yu Kyung, or even their dad would want him back. He’s just trash. Tak Gu doesn’t take Ma Jun’s taunting well. Ma Jun takes off in the cab, leaving a stunned Tak Gu. It starts to rain.

Il Jung is sitting in his car outside the bakery. The driver asks if they should leave soon since it’s midnight. Il Jung snaps out of his trance, and says that they can go. Their car passes a wet and listless Tak Gu walking back to the bakery and stops. Il Jung emerges with an umbrella and heads towards Tak Gu.

Windmill man notices something outside of the window, and so does Ma Jun.

Tak Gu and Il Jung dry off in the bakery. Tak Gu hands the cloth to Il Jung, but Il Jung tells Tak Gu to go ahead. Il Jung notices the bread in the bag that Tak Gu was holding. Tak Gu says that it’s the bread he passed round one with, and Il Jung is happy to hear that Tak Gu succeeded. Il Jung says that he’s curious about what it tastes like.

Tak Gu asks Il Jung if he has time, and they head up to the kitchen. At first I thought they were going to make bread from scratch (which would take hours), but thankfully Tak Gu has pre-made dough. Il Jung sits and watches Tak Gu as he checks the humidity and rolls the dough into baking shape. Finally the tray goes into the oven and comes out.

Tak Gu serves the bread to Il Jung, and the act brings tears into Il Jung’s eyes. He breaks the bread and eats it, and can’t hold back his tears anymore. Tak Gu looks worriedly at Il Jung, and asks if there is something wrong with the bread. Il Jung says that it’s delicious.

He addresses Tak Gu by name. Tak Gu is in shock. Il Jung approaches Tak Gu and draws him into a hug. He apologizes for not recognizing Tak Gu even though he was so close. He calls Tak Gu his son. Tak Gu hugs him back, and we hear a second loud sob. Tak Gu is crying furiously too now.

Downstairs, Windmill man hears both men crying. As he turns to leave, he notices Ma Jun standing outside.

Comments:

My goodness…that scene took so long to happen I thought the preview was leading me on. Even as we edged towards the reunion scene, there were so many ways it could have not worked (which adds to the suspense). Like the car could have driven off in the wrong direction and missed Tak Gu. Or Il Jung decides to hold himself back.

Il Jung is coming across as a really selfish character in this episode. Windmill man talks about not wanting to affect Tak Gu’s performance in the competition. He even asks whether they are sure that Tak Gu wants to see his father. I guess I get that it’s something urgent for Il Jung, and he pressed ahead anyway.

But what I don’t like is how immature he acted with Ma Jun. He just refused to listen. I get that he’s upset and all, but he could say something like “let’s talk about this another day”, instead of “don’t even try explaining”.

The other character that I am not liking is Yu Kyung. I really don’t get why she needs to work for Geo Seung, and I don’t get why she wants to. She’s supposed to be smart, but her thoughts on this are totally twisted. I guess it’s her little dent; this terrible obsession seems like a pride issue. She doesn’t know when things are not worth fighting. I have to take Manager Han’s side on this. She really has nothing to win.

I am totally lapping up the cute angsty Yang Mi Sun scenes. Not to be mean, but I hope she continues this one-sided love for a while coz it’s so cute when she throws a fit.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 19

I’ve been addicted to High Kick Through the Roof recently, but I managed to get this recap done on schedule. I’ll try to be more disciplined about this. (‘_’)

episode 19 recap

Il Jung asks Tak Gu how he has been living, and why he didn’t reveal himself earlier. Tak Gu can only say sorry.

In Sook is there to greet Il Jung when he gets home. She notes that he’s late. Il Jung tells In Sook that he has a reply to her ultimatum, and it’s a no. He will not give Tak Gu up for the shares.

In the privacy of his own room, Il Jung thinks back to his reunion with Tak Gu. Il Jung had told Tak Gu to go back with him, but Tak Gu refused. He has so much more to learn about baking at the bakery. Moreover, he needs to be Kim Tak Gu so that his mother can find him. Despite his refusal, Il Jung is determined to hand Geo Seung to Tak Gu.

When Tak Gu gets back to his room, Ma Jun is there waiting for him. Somehow he manages to ask about the teary reunion in the meanest possible way. Was Father happy that Tak Gu was learning from Pal Bong seungseng? Was he proud? Tak Gu tells Ma Jun to leave it. Ma Jun takes offense to being called Ma Jun.

Tak Gu says that he doesn’t want to fight. Ma Jun asks what’s with suddenly acting like he’s the older brother. Tak Gu is the older brother but Ma Jun refuses to acknowledge him. Tak Gu asks what it will take for him to get acknowledged.

The guys make up a new agreement: if Tak Gu finishes the competition, or beats Ma Jun, Ma Jun will acknowledge him. If Ma Jun beats Tak Gu instead, Tak Gu will have to get out of Ma Jun’s sight and leave the bakery. Tak Gu says that he won’t lose. He’s not ready to leave the bakery yet, and he wants to be acknowledged.

Tak Gu tells Mi Sun about the new agreement and she gets really upset. Why are they making all sorts of crazy deals with each other? Tak Gu says that there are stories that she doesn’t know about and if she doesn’t want to see him leave, she needs to help him with his topic. He sweetens the deal by offering to do her cleaning duties for the next weeks. Mi Sun agrees, and she gives a clue, “fermentation”.

That’s it? Yes, that’s it. Tak Gu can figure things out on his own. Ma Jun happens to enter at that moment and overhears the clue. He doesn’t seem to be able to make sense of the clue either.

Tak Gu hits the market and buys all sorts of fermented foods. Ma Jun hits the library and looks up all sorts of references. We are shown a page on the fermentation of poisonous plants. A particular plant is able to numb the senses of taste and smell. It might become important later.

Tak Gu works diligently on his experiments, but they all fail. Ma Jun doesn’t play fair: he heads to Geo Seung’s labs and asks the scientists in there to help him ferment without yeast. Even then, the scientists fail as well.

Grandpa checks in with Mi Sun to ask about the guys’ progress. She says that Tak Gu keeps failing and Ma Jun os never around. Grandpa confirms that she has given the correct hints to Tak Gu and Ma Jun. She says that she told them “fermentation”. Mi Sun asks Grandpa why he’s being unfair, since he only gave the guys a clue but not her. Grandpa says that she already knows the answer.

He knows that her sense of taste is superior, and she never forgets the taste of something that she’s eaten. She last ate the Bong Bread when she was 12. Surely she was old enough to remember it?

On his third visit to the lab, Ma Jun runs into Il Jung. Il Jung sees him ordering the scientist around and realizes immediately what is happening. He tells Ma Jun to never step into the lab again. He is not approaching the competition in the right way. He should win on his own merits, or lose with his own strength as well.

In Sook is heading into the Geo Seung building to find Manager Han when she sees Yu Kyung with a mop and bucket. Yu Kyung heads into her office where she finds Ma Jun waiting for her. She ignores him, and cleans an empty metal cabinet. Ma Jun asks pointedly if she’s going to ignore him.

Yu Kyung says he should be busy with the competition. She tells him that she’s not going to hear him whine about it, and gets back to cleaning. Seeing files hoovering dangerously above her, Ma Jun reaches over her to catch the files.

Ma Jun looks at Yu Kyung, and tells her that he wants to kiss her. He leans in and she turns her head. Ma Jun smiles to himself, expecting her refusal. He tells her not to make him wait too long. She asks why her, and he tells her it’s because he can’t get her.

Outside, In Sook overhears everything. Well, she should now be very sure that it’s not Yu Kyung but Ma Jun that’s the problem.

Mi Sun checks in on Tak Gu’s progress and also asks him why he hasn’t mentioned Yu Kyung in a while. Did something happen? Tak Gu says nothing happened and walks away. The truth is (as we all expected) that he’s bothered by what Ma Jun said about having met with Yu Kyung regularly for the past 2 years. He also remembers that Ma Jun said that he can confirm the facts with Yu Kyung.

He turns up at the Geo Seung building as everyone is leaving work, and sees Yu Kyung. She’s surprised to see him and looks sheepish. He doesn’t look too happy either, but he forces himself smile and asks if she wants to go get dinner. She agrees.

When he gets home, Ma Jun notices that no one is around and that Grandpa’s door is left ajar. He approaches, calling Grandpa’s name, and finds no one in the room. He lets himself in, and is immediately drawn to the fermentation diary. He flips the book open and finds a chapter on alcohols. Thinking back on what he knows about the Bong Bread being extracted from Grandpa’s favorite thing, Ma Jun finally understands.

Grandpa gets back from his walk at this moment and clears his throat. Ma Jun springs up. Grandpa asks Ma Jun what business he has. Ma Jun says that he was looking for Grandpa. Grandpa walks in and tells Ma Jun to take a seat. So what exactly is Ma Jun’s business? He never got a reply about the Bong bread recipe.

Grandpa asks if he’s seen the inside of the book. Before Ma Jun can reply, Grandpa says it’s true that the Bong Bread is made from alcohol. Ma Jun is uncomfortable with Grandpa’s casual attitude, and tries to apologize. But it doesn’t matter to Grandpa. Even with the additional clue, Ma Jun won’t be able to figure out in the remaining 12 days what took Grandpa seven years of experiments. Unless, of course, he has a genius nose like Tak Gu.

Over dinner, Tak Gu continues to put on a cheerful front, while Yu Kyung sits silently. Finally she tells him that it’s fine to ask her the obvious question. Tak Gu says that if there is a need for him to know, he’s sure that Yu Kyung will tell him. This makes Yu Kyung feel even worse, and she tears up. She admits that she’s an idiot but she can’t help it…she just gets so angry. Really? Is that it? I thought she was supposed to be smart. It’s worth nothing if she can’t control herself.

Tak Gu tells her that they can leave and go have a nice date. They go shopping and he does his best to cheer her up. After a wihle, Yu Kyung starts to look cheerier. They take pictures in a photobooth. At the end of the night, Tak Gu walks her home.

Before he leaves her, Tak Gu apologizes for being lacking, and promises he will work hard and be someone she can rely on. Yu Kyung tells him to be sure to pass the second round and hugs him.

At home, Yu Kyung decides that she will turn in her resignation letter. There is a knock on the door, and she opens it. A bunch of men push their way in, and grab her. The leader takes out a resignation letter and tells her to put her thumbprint on it. Yu Kyung refuses so the men grab her hand and force her to print.

As the leader holds the paper up to check the print, Yu Kyung bites the hand over her mouth and breaks free. She makes a desperate lunge and grabs it. Immediately, she tears it up. Angered, the men hold her and the leader delivers a blow to her face. He gives her a blank piece of paper and tells her to write a resignation letter. Crying, Yu Kyung complies. Mission accomplished, the men leave.

Yu Kyung is left with Ma Jun’s words ringing in her ears. “Don’t forgive them.”

In Sook receives Yu Kyung’s resignation letter the next day and is pleased. However, Manager Han now has to deal with the disappearing Dr. Yun. Since they seem to have gone into hiding, Manager Han will have to lure them out.

Actually, Kim Mi Sun is already planning to escalate things on her own. She’s got something up her sleeve. Dr. Yun informs her that Il Jung seems to be pursuing some decision about his heir.

Manager Han is getting news from Il Jung that he will try to settle the issue of his heir soon. He intends for both Ma Jun and Tak Gu to inherit. He takes the opportunity to confront Manager Han about why he’s hiding Tak Gu and gives him a last warning.

In Sook is shopping with Ja Rim and Ja Kyung when they are interrupted by an uninvited guest. Yu Kyung shows up, demanding an apology from In Sook. In Sook asks whether Yu Kyung thinks that people are equal. Well, they are not, which is why there are people who feel wronged and angry. It’s reality.

Yu Kyung takes the news in a controled manner, but tells In Sook to prepare to have her convictions overturned.

Head Baker is concerned that Tak Gu is not making any progress with the second round. Grandpa asks him if he felt anything after eating Tak Gu’s bread. Head Baker expresses surprise at how soft and tasty it was. Grandpa says that none of that was calculated. Tak Gu makes bread from intuition, learning through smell.

Does this mean that Grandpa thinks that Tak Gu will beat Ma Jun? Grandpa doesn’t disagree, and outside, Ma Jun overhears the conversation with great displeasure. He thinks back to what Grandpa told him, that Tak Gu’s thoughts are full of bread, but Ma Jun’s thoughts are full of Tak Gu. Put in that way, it’s clear that Ma Jun can never win.

Ma Jun and Tak Gu both try various starter doughs with no success. In frustration, Ma Jun smashes his fermentation jars, and stares at the book on the fermentation of poisonous plants. He seems to have come to some sort of a decision. He looks for a medicine man and hands him the book, asking for the herb.

Next, Ma Jun purchases a lot of rice wine, and heads to the kitchen to find Tak Gu. He tells Tak Gu that they should work together so that they can both pass round two. They’ll go their separate ways for round three. Ma Jun will give him the conditions, and Tak Gu’s job is to figure out when the dough ferments. Tak Gu agrees.

The guys work together, trying different ratios, and Tak Gu is left to check on the fermentation. Since fermentation is time sensitive, he works till late, checking the different starters. Mi Sun finds him sleeping in the backroom, and sits down beside him. She lifts his head off the sack that he’s leaning on, and lets it land on her shoulder. For a while, she enjoys having him close to her.

In the meantime, Ma Jun collects his poisonous herb. The man warns him that using the entire vial will cause permanent damage to the tongue and nose.

In Sook heads to Manager Han’s office to discuss how to bring Ma Jun into the company. She is planning to make the bakery close for three months so that Ma Jun will be willing to go back for the company meeting. Manager Han tells her to leave it be. Il Jung already has plans to bring Ma Jun into the company. However, it won’t be Ma Jun alone. He’s also bringing Tak Gu in. In Sook doesn’t take the news well, and demands to know how Manager Han is doing his job.

Manager Han says he’s done everything possible to stop Tak Gu, but Tak Gu won’t give up. She tells him to do whatever it takes to make Tak Gu disappear and stop him from inheriting. Anything? Anything.

Il Jung gets a phone number from his secretary. He asks who it’s from, and she doesn’t know. However, if he wants to find out about the person who lives in Cheongsan, he should call that number. Glancing outside, we see that it’s Kim Mi Sun’s assistant who has delivered the number.

Tak Gu finally finds a suitable fermentation condition, and proceeds with trying out the new dough.

Ma Jun gets a call at the bakery from Yu Kyung, asking to meet. She asks him to find her outside the bakery. When they see each other, Yu Kyung asks if his offer is still valid. Ma Jun senses that something is not right, and asks her what is wrong. Not replying, Yu Kyung asks him how she should start being his woman. They will have revenge.

Yang Mi Sun happened to walk by and saw Yu Kyung meeting with Ma Jun. Thinking it’s strange, she hangs around for a while and catches them hugging.

After a lot of hesitation, Il Jung finally calls the number, and Kim Mi Sun picks up the phone.

Comments:

I still don’t like Yu Kyung’s character. Now that we finally have an explanation for her weird actions, we find out that it’s because she was angry. I guess it makes a good moral tale: being smart is not enough. One should also not be crazy to succeed in life.

And maybe I take back what I said about Yang Mi Sun being cute about Tak Gu. This last act of leaning his sleeping head on her shoulder was a little too stalkerish for my taste, even though I did go aww…. inside.

I have a bad feeling that Tak Gu is going to get the poison, whether deliberately or by accident.

I can’t wait for Kim Mi Sun and Il Jung to get in touch with each other. I wonder how things will go differently from here.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 20

I still can’t help but marvel at how consistent Ma Jun has been as a character. It’s almost like it’s the same person playing him as a kid and as an adult even though it’s not. Perhaps it’s the way the dialogue was written. I think the actors are somehow well synchronized in their portrayal of Ma Jun.

Things happen in this episode, but they don’t seem particularly compelling to me. I think the drama has lost a bit of steam, but it’s not unusual in a series. I usually get bored at around episode 8 of a 16 episode drama anyways.

episode 20 recap

Kim Mi Sun picks up the phone and Il Jung asks if she is the one who gave him the number. If so, who she is. She tells him that she’s Kim Mi Sun.

Il Jung calls for his car, and Manager Han tries to dissuade him from going off on his own. Il Jung ignores Manager Han, and drives off. Manager Han asks the driver if he did what he was told, and the driver said yes. A second car turns on its headlights, and follows Il Jung’s car. It’s Dr. Yun.

Yu Kyung tells Ma Jun that she’s willing to work with him to get revenge on his mother. Ma Jun is pleased to hear that and tells her to trust him and things will be fine. He draws her into a kiss, and Yu Kyung doesn’t refuse although her fists are clenched. Mi Sun can’t believe what she’s seeing.

Mi Sun doesn’t know how to deal with the situation. Tak Gu emerges from the kitchen to the store, looking for someone to taste his latest creation. Seeing Mi Sun, he offers her a piece, and asks her for feedback. Mi Sun hurriedly accepts the bread. She tells him that it’s hard to describe, and grabs another piece. Tak Gu says that he wants to let Ma Jun try the new bread. Mi Sun runs over to the door and barricades it.

Mi Sun pushes Tak Gu back up into the kitchen. She tries to lead into the conversation by talking about how things happen in life, and how relationships don’t always work out, and it’s better to let go at times. Tak Gu is confused by the talk, and concludes that Mi Sun has been dumped by “Seo Tae Jo”. He feels bad for her, but it’s better this way since it never could have worked out.

Mi Sun says that is not it, but Tak Gu insists on his version of what he understands. Exasperated, Mi Sun tells Tak Gu that he needs to work on his bread because it reeks of burned flour.

Ma Jun tells Yu Kyung that he’ll send her home, and Yu Kyung looks longingly at the bakery for a while. Ma Jun’s good mood turns bad. He follows through with seeing her home anyway.

They both get out of the cab, and the cab leaves. I was wondering if they were going to spend the night together to seal the deal.

Instead, Ma Jun asks Yu Kyung if she’s sure that she wants to go ahead with this. He doesn’t want her to regret it. Yu Kyung asks if he’s the one who’s scared. If he is, he should tell her to quit it.

Ma Jun hands her a credit card and tells her that she should head to a certain department store and looks for a Manager Jung who will help her select clothes that In Sook will approve of. She should also learn to play golf. Lastly, she should never meet with Tak Gu again, not because he’s jealous, but because it makes her look bad. From now on, she should never say that she regrets anything because she’s had the chance to back out.

Yu Kyung taunts him. He’s really just scared of Kim Tak Gu and everything. Can she trust him to see things through? Ma Jun keeps his cool. He tells her that he will pick her up and bring her to a family gathering on Sunday.

When he gets back to his room, Ma Jun reveals how annoyed he is about Yu Kyung saying that he is scared. He takes the vial of poison from his pocket and contemplates it.

Il Jung drives out of the city, and Dr. Yun follows him closely. Suddenly, the car behind Dr. Yun accelerates and passes him. It’s Manager Han’s  boys, the ones who were recently forcing Yu Kyung to sign the resignation letter. They chase Il Jung’s car. Feeling uncomfortable, Il Jung speeds up.

The guys ram into Il Jung’s car from the side, hoping to run him off the road. Il Jung struggles to remain in control as he ends up on the wrong side of the road. He tries to slow his car down and realizes that his brakes are not working. He looks up and sees that a truck is coming towards him. He swerves and his car rolls down the slope, and crashes.

Il Jung is bleeding and unconscious. The bad guys pull over to check on him. Satisfied that he’s properly injured, they leave.

In Sook checks Il Jung’s home office bright and early the next morning and finds that it’s empty. She asks the housekeeper whether Il Jung left early. The housekeeper admits that it is possible that he didn’t go home at all. In Sook is not pleased with the news.

Ja Kyung and Ja Rim head downstairs for breakfast and are surprised to see their mother up so early. They notice that she’s in a bad mood, and the housekeeper whispers that it’s because Il Jung wasn’t home last night.

The phone rings and Ja Kyung picks it up. It’s Manager Han, calling from the car phone. It seems that Il Jung was involved in an accident, and Manager Han is on his way to the scene. He tells Ja Kyung not to tell her mother to keep her from being alarmed. Ja Kyung agrees, and tells Manager Han to reach her at the office. She tells Ja Rim to not leave In Sook alone today, and heads to work.

Manager Han arrives at the accident site, and talk to the cops. They have the car, but the driver was missing. They have checked the nearby hospitals, but there have been no records of a car accident victim. Manager Han is highly perplexed.

Ma Jun is in the kitchen looking for his walkman. Tak Gu says that he hasn’t seen it, and starts to discuss the fermentation results. He has two candidates that seem almost similar. Ma Jun tries to smell, then taste the liquid starters. Tak Gu shows his notebook to Ma Jun, and the picture that he took with Yu Kyung falls out.

Tak Gu picks the picture up and keeps it in his pocket, and continues with the report. Ma Jun’s mood seems to have suddenly changed. He marvels at how Tak Gu can work as though nothing happened. Is Tak Gu really that nice, or is he harboring a deepset grudge inside? Tak Gu doesn’t get the mood change. He reminds Ma Jun that Ma Jun was the one who wanted to cooperate. Ma Jun asks if it’s ever crossed his mind that he was just out to screw Tak Gu over.

Tak Gu says no. He admits that he didn’t always like Ma Jun, and has thought of hitting him. However he remembers how Ma Jun tied to rope back on his wrist, and thinks that he and Ma Jun could actually be friends. Ma Jun disagrees.

Taj Gu says that he likes working in the bakery with Ma Jun. He asks if they can set aside the differences that their parents were unable to set aside. Ma Jun gets very annoyed, snaps at Tak Gu and leaves.

Downstairs, Ma Jun stares at the vial of poison, once again contemplating it. Windmill man catches him staring at the vial, and he looks concerned.

After Ma Jun is gone, Tak Gu realizes that he’s set a fermentation jar on the walkman, and it’s now damaged. He heads to the repair shop with the broken walkman. The repair guy tells him that it’s cheaper to buy a replacement than to fix it.

Tak Gu heads home and gets his savings book out. Mi Sun tells him that it’s not worth replacing. Spending a month’s salary on replacing the walkman is not worth it, especially since the owner is filthy rich anyway. It’s money he will use to find his mother. He should just tell Ma Jun that it’s broken and apologize. Tak Gu says that it’s the wrong way to live.

Mi Sun loses her temper and tells Tak Gu that Ma Jun has already taken something away from him. Yu Kyung and Ma Jun have been seeing each other. Tak Gu is stunned for a second, but refuses to believe it. Ma Jun may like Yu Kyung, but he can trust Yu Kyung to not betray him. He takes his bank book and goes shopping for a replacement. Truthfully though, he is slightly bothered by Mi Sun’s news.

Yu Kyung follows Ma Jun’s orders, and heads to the department store to look for Manager Jung. The moment she mentions that Gu Ma Jun of Geo Seung sent her, Ms Jung’s attitude completely changes (she wasn’t mean to begin with, just not too smiley). They rope off an area of the store, and sit Yu Kyung down and serve her tea. They bring out clothes for her to try.

Yu Kyung recalls the words of the cop who told her that it’s easier to change oneself than to change the world. She’s witnessing it for herself.

Manager Han is calling his men to find out what exactly happened. Ja Kyung looks for Manager Han at the office to get more news. He tells her that he hasn’t made any progress. Ja Kyung says that In Sook has been calling the office every half hour, trying to get in touch with Il Jung. She has told the secretaries to say that Il Jung is away on a business trip to buy them time. Manager Han says that he’ll explain things to In Sook.

He heads over to the Gu residence, and tells In Sook that Il Jung is away on a sudden business trip. In Sook looks skeptical, and tells him that she’ll buy it for now. Il Jung had better not be late for the family gathering later that day.

In case there is any doubt, we see an unconscious Il Jung lying in Kim Mi Sun’s house. I don’t think they needed to show us that. I assumed it was that way.

Ma Jun is in the room, holding Tak Gu’s water bottle in one hand, and the vial of poison in the other. After staring at the items in his hands for a long time, he starts to open the vial, but gets interrupted by Windmill man. Windmill asks Ma Jun whether there is a problem between him and Tak Gu. Ma Jun says that there is no problem, but Windmill man says that he’s noticed a change. Ma Jun tries to leave, but Windmill man grabs hold of him.

He tells Ma Jun to not let the competition get the better of him. Tak Gu is in a different league. This naturally gets Ma Jun upset. So he can’t beat Tak Gu ever? Well, that’s what they think. He’ll let the results of the competition speak for themselves. Ma Jun leaves in a huff, and Windmill man looks worriedly at the bottle of water.

He takes it to the kitchen and sniffs at it. He can’t detect anything, but he decides not to take a risk and pours the water away.

Tak Gu reluctantly parts with his money, purchases the new walkman and heads back. Outside the bakery, he notices a man acting strangely and asks if he wants to buy something from the bakery. The man walks off.

Ma Jun is headed out to meet Yu Kyung. He runs into Tak Gu on the way out and hands him a slip of paper, telling him to be there by 2pm. He would like to have lunch with Tak Gu. Surprised, Tak Gu is pleased to be invited to lunch. He heads up stairs and leaves the walkman on Ma Jun’s desk.

Ma Jun goes to pick Yu Kyung up, and he’s astonished by her transformation (me too…does anyone think she looks about 40 now?). He hides it and they take off to the restaurant.

In Sook, Ja Rim and Ja Kyung arrive at the restaurant first. Ja Rim wonders if Il Jung is going to be late. In Sook changes the topic and asks about Ma Jun instead.  Ja Kyung confirms that she has spoken to him, but he might be busy.

The waiter announces the arrival of some guests. Ma Jun enters the room, and In Sook is happy to see him. Ma Jun asks where Il Jung is. In Sook says he might not make it.

Ma Jun announces that he’s brought someone with him. Yu Kyung steps in, and the mood in the room changes. Ma Jun says that she’s his girlfriend. In Sook demands to know what is going on. Ma Jun says again that he’s brought Yu Kyung to introduce her to the family.

In Sook demands that Yu Kyung leaves before she gets further humiliated. Yu Kyung replies that she’s no longer an employee and will not be ordered around.

Ja Kyung tells Ma Jun to take Yu Kyung and leave. Ma Jun looks like he’s enjoying himself, and asks if they should at least eat since they are here. In Sook swallows her anger, and says that they should serve the food.

Ma Jun says they need to wait for one more person. The waiter knocks again and announces another visitor. Tak Gu walks in, and everyone is shocked.

In Sook demands to know what Ma Jun is up to. Ma Jun says that since it’s a family gathering, he’s invited their other brother, Kim Tak Gu. It’s no problem since Tak Gu has already met Il Jung. He makes a point to introduce Yu Kyung as well.

Furious, In Sook gets up to leave. She will talk to Ma Jun at home. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim leave with their mother. On her way out, Ja Rim greets Tak Gu.

Tak Gu is in shock seeing Yu Kyung at the family gathering. Silently, he stands, trying to make sense of things.

In Sook is still upset on her way out, and wants to go back to give Ma Jun a scolding. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim stop her. In Sook says it’s a good thing that Il Jung wasn’t there to witness the fiasco. How could Il Jung even think of bringing Tak Gu into the company? Ja Kyung looks surprised at the news.

In Sook finally explodes: she can’t believe that Il Jung stayed out all night. Ja Kyung looks at her mother and starts to say something about Il Jung. In Sook realizes that something is wrong.

She heads to Manager Han’s office and demands to know what exactly happened. She heard that Il Jung was in an accident, and has disappeared. Manager Han confirms that it’s all true. It dawns upon In Sook that Manager Han might be responsible…but it couldn’t be. Manager Han tells her that he did as she told him to, and did his best.

In Sook flies into a rage and slaps him. She never gave such orders. How dare he harm Il Jung? He’d better find Il Jung and hope that he’s okay, or else she’ll never forgive him.

In the comfort of her own room, In Sook breaks down, calling for Il Jung. Manager Han looks grim in his office. He might have expected In Sook’s reaction.

Il Jung is finally waking up from his sleep. He recalls Dr. Yun helping him out of the car, and being sent to a hospital. He opens his eyes and finds himself in an unfamiliar room. He’s still hurting but he walks out to explore the compound. There is a warm cup of tea in the room next door, so someone else is around.

He gets outside of the building, and notices a woman under a tree. He approaches, and Kim Mi Sun turns around. Il Jung is overwhelmed to see Kim Mi Sun well and alive. He draws her into a hug. Kim Mi Sun looks somewhat less happy to see him, although there is a tear in her eye.

Tired of waiting in a silent room, Ma Jun tells Yu Kyung that they should leave. Yu Kyung gets up. Tak Gu finally finds his tongue, and asks her if this is all a lie. Yu Kyung can only manage a “sorry” and she leaves.

Ma Jun takes the opportunity to tell Tak Gu that he’s tried to warn him, but Tak Gu wouldn’t listen. Since Tak Gu is the older brother, it’s okay if he lets his little brother have the girl right? He also walks off, leaving behind a stunned Tak Gu. Tak Gu starts to cry uncontrollably, telling himself that it’s all a lie.

Ma Jun catches up with Yu Kyung and tells her that she can still back out. Yu Kyung turns to Ma Jun and asks him if he finally feels better now that he’s beaten Tak Gu. She hopes he’s happy now.

Ma Jun heads back to the bakery. The others are gathered around the table and Mi Sun’s mom presents them with random things she found in their pockets while doing laundry. They look curiously at the vial that Ma Jun has, and wonder if it’s a tonic. Ma Jun hurriedly snatches the vial away, and tells them that it’s cold medicine. He excuses himself and heads up.

He finds the walkman on his table, and Mi Sun comes by. She tells him that it’s from Tak Gu, and that Ma Jun should know very well what the money means to someone poor like Tak Gu. She lets on that she knows that he doesn’t deserve it. Ma Jun thinks back to how he’s treated Tak Gu, despite the latter’s willingness to start anew with him. He stares at the vial of poison and the walkman, and puts them away into the drawer.

Tak Gu gets back and heads to the backroom where the fermentation jars are, but he is not in the mood to work.

The next morning, Tak Gu is missing from the baker’s line. Head Baker asks if Tak Gu was back last night, and Ma Jun says no. He tells Curly to look in the side room, in case Tak Gu got there early. Mi Sun notices a hand on the floor and they discover an unconscious Tak Gu on the ground, burning up with a fever. Head Baker tells Windmill man to take Tak Gu back to the house.

Mi Sun and her mother place a wet towel on Tak Gu and wait for Windmill man to get back from the pharmacy. Mi Sun wonders if they should have sent Tak Gu to a hospital, and her mother remembers the cold medicine that Ma Jun had. They could use that in the meantime.

Back at the bakery, the guys are worrying about Tak Gu. It’s probably too early for the shops to be open. Head Baker remembers Ma Jun’s cold medicine and Axe Eyes asks if they can use it. Curly thinks that Mrs Head Baker has probably already given it to Tak Gu. Ma Jun hears the speculations in horror, and runs over to the house.

As he opens the door, Mi Sun is feeding a spoonful of the medicine/poison to Tak Gu. Ma Jun is horrified but unable to do anything.

Comments:

I don’t get this standing still, and not shouting “stop” thing that Ma Jun did. There was clearly time to stop Mi Sun from feeding Tak Gu the poison, but no, Ma Jun had to be petrified. Well, at least it’s only a spoonful, and we know that a spoonful won’t completely ruin Tak Gu’s sense of taste.

No offense to Eugene’s fans, but I’ve been thinking from day one that she looks a little older than the other 3 people in her supposed age group (and she is, by the way). Her makeover is one of the worst ones ever. Yes, she looks more elegant now, but she also looks 40.

I wonder if Ja Kyung and Ja Rim will have bigger roles to play this late in the story. Ja Kyung’s look of dismay at the news that Tak Gu is going to work at the company is intriguing. What if she finally got entangled in everything? Honestly the way they are just following In Sook around right now is somewhat annoying and pointless. That said, both actresses have been giving a noticeably weaker performance than the rest of the main cast, so it may be a bad idea.

Il Jung has to confess his crime to Kim Mi Sun. I don’t know what to make of her lack of emotions at seeing him again. Did she know? Are they going to be allies now? Still so much mystery on Kim Mi Sun’s end.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 21

This is the episode where Ma Jun crosses the line. And it is officially over between Yu Kyung and Tak Gu.

episode 21 recaps

We saw Ma Jun look on helplessly as Mi Sun fed the “cold medicine” to Tak Gu. Even after that Ma Jun said nothing. Inside, he acknowledges that he didn’t want this to happen. But he’s decided that it’s fate that made this happen. Way to shift responsibility. I think Tak Gu would be fine if you made him throw up.

Il Jung and Kim Mi Sun finally have a talk. Il Jung asks her how she’s coped the past 14 years, and she reveals that Grandma left her a lot of money. Over time, that sum of money has even grown.

Mi Sun asks how Tak Gu is doing, and Il Jung says that he’s fine. Mi Sun doesn’t look convinced, but she goes along with the conversation. We know that she is not certain that Tak Gu is alive. Il Jung admits that he didn’t fulfill all his promises to her, but he will right things. He’s being deliberately vague about this, and I don’t like it.

Mi Sun asks if In Sook has been doing well since Grandma’s death. Il Jung asks what she means. Mi Sun notes that Il Jung hasn’t heard the rumors that were flying around the house when Grandma died. The morning after Grandma was found lying in the rain, Housekeeper Gong found a pile of completely soaked clothes in In Sook’s room. Moreover, someone else had seen In Sook and Manager Han heading to the lower house that night.

Il Jung heads home and looks at his house with new eyes. Suddenly, the camera picks up all the servants. Previously, we’ve never seen anyone besides Mrs Gong and the driver. He recalls what Kim Mi Sun said about how the servants know the house better than the owners.

Inside the house, Ja Kyung and Manager Han are updating In Sook about the latest efforts, but there is really no news. Ja Kyung tries to get In Sook to rest. In Sook tells them to put more effort into looking for Il Jung instead of being concerned about her. Il Jung announces his presence, to everyone’s surprise.

In Sook immediately goes to greet him, and hugs him, telling him how worried they were. Manager Han doesn’t look too comfortable. Now even more than before, Il Jung is unable to reciprocate In Sook’s feelings. He pushes her hands off him, and says that he’s tired and needs to rest. However, as Ja Rim points out, why is Il Jung heading to Grandma’s room instead of his room?

Il Jung enters Grandma’s room, and stares at her picture. In Sook looks on from behind, worried. From a voiceover, we see that this move against In Sook is part of Kim Mi Sun’s plan.

Some time later in the day, Mi Sun comes along with a bowl of rice porridge for Tak Gu. She notes that his fever has gone down, and asks if he can sit up. Tak Gu doesn’t seem to remember what happened. Mi Sun tells him that he passed out in the kitchen. She tries to feed him, but he refuses. She tells him that he should eat to regain his strength.

Mi Sun tells him that if he feels like dying because he lost her, he should have tried harder to keep Yu Kyung. Tak Gu looks at Mi Sun, feeling exposed. Mi Sun explains that in his feverish state, he kept begging Yu Kyung not to leave him. He needs to get up and move on. He has so much left to do: he needs to find his mom and learn to bake.

Tak Gu relents and takes a spoonful of the porridge. He takes a second spoonful, and starts to look puzzled. He asks Mi Sun what the flavor of the porridge is, because it doesn’t taste like anything to him. She tells him that it’s pine nut. In fact, the entire place smells strongly of the porridge. Tak Gu looks worried, grabs the entire bowl of porridge, and tries to smell it. Nothing. He tries eating it, and still can’t taste it.

He rushes downstairs to the fridge, and brings out the banchan. They are usually pretty strong smelling if they are kimchi, but he can’t smell or taste any of them.

Tak Gu heads to the doctor to check things out. The doctor tells him that it’s probably not a side effect of the fever/cold that he had since Tak Gu recovered quickly. He speculates that it’s due to a drug. Tak Gu doesn’t remember eating any such drug. He tells the doctor that he has a competition coming up, and asks if the doctor can cure him. The doctor prescribes something, and tells Tak Gu to come back in a week if he’s not better.

Outside, Mi Sun is waiting for Tak Gu. He tells her that the doctor said that it’s due to the fever/cold, and it will correct itself in a day. Mi Sun looks relieved. Tak Gu tells Mi Sun to keep this a secret from everyone.

Ma Jun decides to get rid of the vial of poison. Being really careful, he dumps it in the trashcan in the store. Windmill man is watching, and the moment Ma Jun steps out, he swoops in to retrieve the vial.

Tak Gu tries to work on his dough, but gets frustrated: he can’t smell or taste anything. Ma Jun comes along, and notices Tak Gu’s frustration. Instead of being concerned, Ma Jun taunts Tak Gu.

He didn’t know that Yu Kyung was so important to Tak Gu, or that Tak Gu was so tenderhearted, falling sick just because he lost Yu Kyung. He thinks that Tak Gu should give up, espcially since he can’t taste or smell.

Tak Gu looks up in surprise. How did Ma Jun know about his loss of taste and smell? Ma Jun reminds him that he’s once said to use all possible methods to win. The same applies to Ma Jun; he will do what it takes to win. He wasn’t planning on actually poisoning Tak Gu, but fate helped him. However, Tak Gu shouldn’t run off to tell others what happened because the very person who gave him the drug is Yang Mi Sun. Imagine how bad Mi Sun would feel if she were to realize the truth.

Of course, Mi Sun is hiding in a corner of the kitchen and she’s heard everything.

Windmill man brings the vial to Grandpa. Grandpa dabs a little of the liquid on his finger, and sniffs and tastes it. Windmill man says that Tak Gu drank some of it, thinking that it’s cold medicine, but he doesn’t know what it is. Grandpa identifies it as a poisonous herb, Seol Bing Cho, that numbs the sense of taste, and with it the sense of smell. Tak Gu won’t be able to bake for a while.

Windmill man asks what happens to the competition. Grandpa says that they should keep this between the two of them, and wait and see what happens. It’s hard to deal with the situation since they are both his students. He’ll give them time to right the wrong.

Il Jung is getting more unhappy with Manager Han. He is suspicious that Manager Han said that the car checked out fine and that there was no problem with the brakes. The police and insurance company have both concluded that the accident was caused by driver’s error. He also remembers how Manager Han was seen near the small house the night Grandma fainted. He decides to take some action, and calls someone up.

That someone is Windmill man. Il Jung admits that he has a hard request to make. He knows that Windmill man has decided to live a new life, but he would like WIndmill man to work for him again. Windmill man turns him down. Il Jung tries to persuade Windmill man. He explains that he has no one else that he can trust and that it’s about Tak Gu.

In Sook and Manager Han discuss how Il Jung has been acting strangely since he got back. She wonders what happened the three days he was gone. Manager Han has a hunch that Kim Mi Sun is back. In Sook is shocked to hear that Kim Mi Sun is alive. He is certain that she is behind the blackmail letters that they have both been getting.

In Sook asks Manager Han why he is only telling her about the blackmail letters now. He says that he didn’t want to earn her trust that way. Manager Han tells her that Kim Mi Sun is keeping a low profile, but he has a plan to lure her out if In Sook agrees to participate.

In Sook asks the housekeeper for water, and then engages her in a little small talk. She dismisses the housekeeper, and picks up the phone to talk to Manager Han. She tells him that she’s decided to meet with Kim Tak Gu, and tells him to arrange the meeting for Saturday at 2pm at Unamjung. Mrs Gong overhears everything.

Kim Mi Sun gets very agitated upon learning that In Sook is going to meet with Tak Gu. She can’t believe that he is actually alive. She decides to turn up personally as well, despite Dr. Yun’s caution that it might be a trap.

Despite his sensory issues, Tak Gu proceeds with baking and preparing for the competition. However, he can’t smell or taste the resulting bread. In frustration, he throws the tray onto the ground. Mi Sun comes over and picks up the tray and the bread. She dusts off one of the bread, and bites into it. Tak Gu reacts with alarm. Mi Sun tells him that the bread still has the burnt flour taste.

Being the reliable Mi Sun, she tells him that he’s worked harder than anyone else in the bakery, and his muscles have memory. It’ll be harder but she’s sure that he’ll be able to learn to use his sense of touch to continue making bread.

Mi Sun tells him that she’ll be his sense of taste and smell until he gets them back. It’s the least that she can do since she’s the one directly responsible for giving him the drug. Tak Gu is alarmed by the sight of Mi Sun crying. He tells her that he’s fine. But she knows that he’s frustrated. Tak Gu looks at her crying, and draws her into a hug to comfort her. Mi Sun finally breaks down and cries even harder.

The strange man from the previous episode is back, hanging outside the bakery with a rock in hand. This time, Ma Jun is the one who sees him. The man throws the rock at the store’s glass door and runs away. Mrs Head Baker is shocked by the attack and screams, bringing the other bakers downstairs. Ma Jun witnesses everything, and lets the strange man escape.

Curly and Axe Eyes run out of the store, trying to find the culprit, but they have no idea where he went. Ma Jun doesn’t offer any help.

A piece of paper is wrapped around the rock. It reads “he who left will return”. Grandpa frowns and Head Baker asks if it is the work of Elder Chun Bae. Grandpa stares at the fermentation diary.

Ma Jun runs into Tak Gu in the hallway, and Tak Gu says that they should both do their best for the competition. Does that mean that Tak Gu is still in the competition? Tak Gu says he can’t give up because that means Ma Jun will win. He needs to show Ma Jun that his ways can never win, so that he will never try the same underhanded methods again. Ma Jun doesn’t take well to Tak Gu’s words. Tak Gu admits that he doesn’t know as much as Ma Jun, but he knows enough to judge that Ma Jun’s way of life is wrong.

Tak Gu works on his sense of touch. With Mi Sun, he practices for the competition, and Tak Gu works hard. As he gets more into bread making, he gradually overcomes his sadness and anger. On the other hand, Ma Jun gets more frustrated as he keeps failing in his attempts to make bread without yeast.

Ma Jun heads out of the kitchen for fresh air, and tries to clear his head. He crumples a piece of paper with some info and tosses it on the ground. The strange rock-throwing man from earlier in the day picks up the crumpled piece of paper. Ma Jun grabs the piece of paper out of his hand, and starts to walk away. The man says that he’s heard that there is a competition going on, and asks if Ma Jun is one of the participants. He asks what the topic is, whether it’s “the most filling bread in the world” or “the most interesting bread in the world”?

Ma Jun recognizes the topics, and realizes that the man could be someone. He asks the man who he is, and the man asks him whether he’s heard of the Bong bread. He is the creator of the Bong bread, and with that recipe, Ma Jun could pass the second round of the competition. In return, he has a request.

We finally see on the third page that the book is co-authored by Pal Bong and Chun Bae.

When Yu Kyung gets home that night, she finds Tak Gu waiting in front of her apartment complex. The competition is the next day, and Tak Gu thought it was a good time to see Yu Kyung. He asks her to go for a walk with him. She looks hesitant, but agrees.

They go back to the Nam San clocktower where they had arranged to meet. Tak Gu tells Yu Kyung not to feel sorry for him. Yu Kyung is smarter than him, and he has decided that she is capable of making the best decision for herself. She has made the right decision for her right? Yu Kyung nods. Tak Gu is satisfied, and tells her not to look back and to be happy.

Yu Kyung sheds a tear, and looks down. Tak Gu starts to wipe her tears, and stops himself. He pats her on the head instead. He tells her that she has to become the happiest person in the world, and then leaves.

Yu Kyung watches Tak Gu leave. Finally she runs after Tak Gu and backhugs him. She calls his name, and starts to cry harder. Tak Gu can’t help it but cry as well.

Besides the competition, the next day is also Saturday. In Sook is looking forward to meeting with Kim Mi Sun.

The next morning, the participants line up. They don’t seem too enthusiastic, but they get to work.

Yang Mi Sun is assembling her cake. Tak Gu seems to have five or six different doughs, and we don’t really see what Ma Jun is working on but we can probably guess. Finally they are done, and Grandpa starts the judging.

First he tries Mi Sun’s cake. She explains that she used rice flour. To make up for the lack of gluten compared to wheat flour, she’s added more eggs. It’s fluffy and light and Grandpa easily passes her. Head Baker and Axe Eyes look really proud of Mi Sun.

Since Tak Gu and Ma Jun picked the same ingredient, Grandpa will judge them together. Tak Gu present them with a basket of bread, and Grandpa asks what they are. He’s tried to make bread from kimchi, yogurt, rice wine, and fermented soybean paste. The bakers look impressed that he’s tried so many possibilities, but what is the result? Tak Gu cheerfully reports that they all failed. They spoil if they get fermented for too long, and they don’t taste good if they don’t get enough fermentation time.

However, he did learn a lot from the experience, and is generally positive. Head Baker and Windmill man don’t look unhappy with Tak Gu’s findings. Grandpa notes that Tak Gu actually looks happy despite failing.

Grandpa asks Tae Jo/Ma Jun what he has. Ma Jun says that he’s succeeded in making bread without yeast. He is greeted by silence. He reports that he used rice wine, and Head Baker and Axe Eyes look concerned. Ma Jun say that he complemented the bread with red bean paste. Grandpa takes a bite of the bread. The taste is distinct; it’s Choon Bae’s way of telling Grandpa that he’s back. Grandpa asks Ma Jun if he came up with the recipe on his own, and Ma Jun says yes.

Kim Mi Sun and In Sook prepare for their meeting. In Sook’s car is followed by Manager Han’s, and Dr. Yun accompanies Kim Mi Sun in a separate car. Mi Sun arrives early and sees In Sook arrive at the restaurant. A taxi follows and a young man alights. We can only see his back, but it’s enough to get Mi Sun excited. She gets out of her car and follows.

She follows the young man to a quiet part of the compound, and loses him. She sees a waitress, and asks her where the young man went. The waitress guides her to the room. Through the rice paper door, we can see his shadow.

Mi Sun quietly slides open the door and sees the young man’s back. She calls him Tak Gu, but he doesn’t reply. She touches his shoulder, and his face turns in surprise. In Sook arrives behind Kim Mi Sun and takes over the situation now that her prey is in the trap. She thanks the young man, who is an employee of Geo Seung. Kim Mi Sun realizes she’s been had and steels herself for the meeting. In Sook greets Kim Mi Sun. It’s been a while.

Grandpa announces that only one of the guys gets to the third round. Without much fanfare (where is the cliffhanger?), he tells Ma Jun that he’s eliminated. Both guys are shocked.


Comments:
I am annoyed by a couple of points in the plot. Grandpa is doing his usual wait-and-see with Ma Jun and the poison and I don’t like it. I agree that the culprit needs a chance to make things right, but that time for Ma Jun is long past. He could have stopped Tak Gu from taking the poison, or performed the Heimleich maneuver, or apologized after the fact (instead of rubbing it in Tak Gu’s face). Even with Curly, things were only resolved after he was caught by Windmill man and forced to admit to his mistakes. What hope do we have for Ma Jun?

And while I am fine with Mi Sun being an excellent baker, I don’t see how her cake makes it through a competition asking for the most interesting bread. But it makes more sense to me now why she chose flour, instead of yeast like the other two.

I don’t like how they are inserting this Chun Bae person into the story right now. It’s different, but I can’t explain how. It’s different from the mother and son that was randomly inserted into the first round of competition. That flowed better than this Choon Bae guy coming in suddenly. I know something happened previously in the store, but there are other ways of creating a scandal without suddenly bringing in someone who is very important.

I am not a fan of the method, but circumstances are forcing Tak Gu to really become a good baker. First he couldn’t see, and now he can’t taste or smell. They are depriving him of his senses and challenging him to hone each sense for bread making. It’s a good concept. The execution is just a little cruel.

The writer is pretty into details, so I’m wondering if she’ll make something of the fact that Yang Mi Sun probably overheard Tak Gu calling Tae Jo “Ma Jun”. But I can’t think of a good way to work it into the plot.

Okay, I’m complaining a lot but I still want to know what happens next. I’m rooting right now for Yang Mi Sun to finally confess to Kim Tak Gu. I don’t think he’s ready for it yet though. I wonder what Ma Jun will do now that he’s been kicked out out the competition.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu episode 22

Ma Jun is falling deeper and deeper. He’s really starting to mirror Shin Yu Kyung — he keeps going with the momentum even though it’s clearly the wrong decision. Making one bad decision doesn’t mean that you have to keep making more bad ones. Just saying.

episode 22 recaps

Tak Gu, Mi Sun, then Head Baker react first to Grandpa’s announcement. Ma Jun is in disbelief: is he sure that Tae Jo/Ma Jun is eliminated? Grandpa says yes. Ma Jun remains calm, and demands a reason. He has clearly fulfilled the competition’s requirement of making bread without yeast. Grandpa asks if Ma Jun insists that no yeast has gone into the bread. Ma Jun says that there is no yeast. Grandpa challenges him to make the bread again before him. We hear a voiceover from Chun Bae.

Chun Bae says that there is no such thing as a delicious bread made without yeast. The trick is to use a very minimal, untraceable amount of yeast and enhance the yeast’s effect using starch. He leaves the decision to use yeast to Ma Jun. Fastforward to Ma Jun weighing out the ingredients. He hesitates, and finally decides to use the yeast-starch trick.

Grandpa tells Ma Jun that the point of the most filling bread in the world was to think of others, but he failed. The point of the most interesting bread in the world was to promote creativity. The only thing that Ma Jun cared about was winning, which is why he tried to pass off someone else’s bread as his own. Grandpa says that he is deeply disappointed.

Grandpa leaves, and Axe Eyes and Head Baker follow. Ma Jun storms out, leaving Mi Sun, Tak Gu, Windmill man and Curly. Mi Sun takes a piece of Ma Jun’s bread and takes a bite. Her expression changes. She recognizes it as the Bong bread. Not the exact recipe but very close.

Curly takes a piece of Ma Jun’s bread to try. Isn’t Grandpa the only person who knows the Bong Bread recipe? They still have no idea why Grandpa is upset.

Head Baker talks to Grandpa and asks him if it’s okay to leave things that way with Tae Jo. Axe Eyes asks what Grandpa tasted in the bread that got him so angry. Grandpa remains silent.

Ma Jun finds Chun Bae in a little restaurant, and confronts him. Who is he to cause Ma Jun to get eliminated from the competition? Chun Bae reminds him that the decision was his to make. He laughs at Ma Jun for being too greedy.

Ma Jun gets really upset. He has spent so much time and effort trying to get the certificate. Chun Bae tells Ma Jun that very soon, the certificate will mean nothing. Now, Ma Jun needs to fulfill his end of the bargain, and his task is to steal the fermentation diary. With the fermentation diary, they can strip Grandpa Pal Bong of his Master Artisan title.

Ma Jun doesn’t understand what Chun Bae is saying. Chun Bae explains that the fermentation diary belonged to him, but Grandpa stole it and used it to become a master artisan.

In Sook and Kim Mi Sun are left in the room, and they sit at the table. In Sook marvels that Kim Mi Sun was living perfectly fine the entire time. Mi Sun says that she has unfinished business. In Sook asks if sending threatening letters is part of that unfinished business. Mi Sun remarks that those letters were threatening after all. In Sook comments that Mi Sun has learned to talk back.

In Sook demands to know what Mi Sun wants. Mi Sun gives a long non-reply, telling In Sook that she’ll reap what she sowed. Mi Sun brings up how In Sook cruelly treated a young boy without qualms. In Sook says that Mi Sun should have taken care of her own son, instead of leaving her with the trauma and humiliation.

At this point, In Sook can guess what this is about. She warns Mi Sun that she’s nobody to go against In Sook. Mi Sun should stop messing around. With that, In Sook leaves.

There is a man waiting outside the room, and it turns out to be Dr. Yun. Thank goodness for that. I expected the confrontation to be a lot uglier. It was really understated and civilized.

Outside, In Sook meets with Manager Han. He asks if the meeting went as expected. In Sook is bothered by the fact that she has no idea what Kim Mi Sun is after. Manager Han says that it’s a lot easier now that they have drawn Mi Sun out. In Sook apologizes for not trusting Manager Han earlier. She tells him that the deadline with President Na is the next day at 6pm. He needs to keep their shares.

Kim Mi Sun is sobbing when Dr. Yun comes in, but she regains her composure quickly. She tells Dr. Yun that they need to ensure that things with President Na go well the next day.

Tak Gu closes up the bakery for the day. Before he leaves, he collects the scroll. As he is locking up, Il Jung’s car comes by, and the men have a talk.

Ma Jun is still thinking about what Chun Bae said about getting revenge on Grandpa. He tries to talk to Grandpa to ask for one more chance to make the bread without yeast. He’s probably hoping not to go over to the dark side. Grandpa says no to the second chance. Ma Jun has not only harmed a friend, he has also tried to deceive his teacher. Ma Jun looks surprised that he was discovered.

Grandpa says that it’s human to have bad thoughts, but it is also human to regret these mistakes. Ma Jun has failed to show remorse time and again. Ma Jun points out that he waited and endured two years for the competition. I don’t see how this is even an argument.

Grandpa says that there was a reason he made Ma Jun wait two years for the competition, but he’s failed to teach Ma Jun anything. He tells Ma Jun that he won’t kick him out yet, and he’s willing to let Ma Jun try again in another two years.

Il Jung asks Tak Gu to come help him in the company. Tak Gu reminds him that he has Ma Jun, who is more skilled and suitable. Il Jung explains that he has no one that he can trust. Tak Gu once again refuses. Il Jung asks whether things will change if he finds Kim Mi Sun. Tak Gu replies that there is even less reason for him to join Geo Seung if that happens. Il Jung’s conscience weighs on him for not telling either party the truth.

Ma Jun happens to walk out of the house at that moment, and witnesses Il Jung patting Tak Gu on the shoulder before leaving. Ma Jun seethes, but he doesn’t confront Tak Gu immediately. He continues walking to the kitchen.

Ma Jun runs his fingers across the tabletops, like he is saying goodbye. He recalls his confrontations with Grandpa in the bakery and firms his resolute. He smashes the fermentation jars and takes a lighter to the trashcan.

Tak Gu is putting the scroll away into a box when the alarms go off across the street. He rushes out, and so do the other bakers. Quickly, they head across, with Windmill man in the lead, and start to throw water on the fire.

With a bag in hand, Ma Jun heads into Grandpa’s room. (I should have seen that coming, but I wasn’t thinking.) He rummages through Grandpa’s desk and drawers, and finally goes through the wardrobe. He finds the fermentation diary in a piece of cloth and takes it.

Ma Jun hears Grandpa’s voice, and turns around. It’s part of his imagination. He puts the book in his bag, and heads out. As he walks by the dining area, he hears the voices of the other bakers and remembers when they were nice to him. “Come have something to eat, Tae Jo.” If you think about it, he’s never been that close even with his family.

Ma Jun hesitates for a few seconds, but leaves.

The fire truck has come and gone, and the fire has been put out. Windmill man gives Grandpa a report: the fire was largely contained to the trashcan, where it started. It’s mainly smoke, and that will clear off on its own. The bakery should be operational the next day.

Tak Gu looks at the broken fermentation jars on the ground and realizes something. He heads back to his room to check. Ma Jun is not there. He looks in the bathroom, and wanders downstairs to the kitchen. Mrs Head Baker asks if he needs anything, and Tak Gu wanders off again. The other bakers call out to him, asking him why he’s been wandering around the house.

Tak Gu doesn’t have a reply, but Mi Sun notices that Tae Jo is missing. This sets off a bit of chatter and confused looks. Grandpa goes to his room and sees the books strewn all over, and checks his wardrobe’s shelf. Sure enough, the fermentation diary is missing. Grandpa feels weak.

Yu Kyung is getting ready for bed when she hears a knock on her door. She goes to the door and asks who it is. After a pause, Ma Jun announces his presence. She opens the door, and he asks if he can go in. He has nowhere else to go. Yu Kyung lets him in, and Ma Jun heads to the bed and curls up in a fetal position.

It’s late in the day, past 5pm, and In Sook asks Manager Han whether he’s found President Na. Their deadline is 6pm. Manager Han hangs up, and they receive another call on the car phone. They have discovered President Na’s whereabouts. Kim Mi Sun also arrives at the same hotel.

President Na gets into the elevator. At the very last moment, a group of men in black suits rush in. He looks nervously at them. Sure enough, they take him to Manager Han in the basement and grab the suitcase out of his hands. President Na demands to know what they are doing.

Manager Han checks the briefcase and it’s empty. He looks to President Na who tells him that the shares are not going to In Sook.

Kim Mi Sun and Dr. Yun are in a hotel room going through the share certificates. Mi Sun asks Dr. Yun if they have enough shares to rival Seo In Sook, and he says they have sufficient. She tells him that she will proceed with the plan, and tells him that he shouldn’t get further involved. Dr. Yun disagrees. He’s been all in since day one when she looked for him after falling from the cliff.

They head out, but Manager Han’s men rush in as soon as the door opens. Dr. Yun steps in front of Mi Sun to protect her, but the men grab him. Manager Han tells Mi Sun to hand over the certificates to save the two men. Dr. Yun tells her not to, but Mi Sun hands the certificates over. However, she keeps her composure. She comments that this is typical of Manager Han, roughing up people to get what he wants.

Manager Han said that he is the type of person to achieve his goals regardless of methods. Even dealing with little boys like Tak Gu? Manager Han says that he had warned her when she left Tak Gu at the Gu residence. Mi Sun reminds him that she had said that she will go all out to protect her son. It’s not over. She leaves, and Dr. Yun follows.

Tak Gu spent some time the night before staring at Ma Jun’s empty wardrobe sadly. Now, he is looking listless at work. Being his usual insensitive self, Axe Eyes talks about how Tae Jo was ungrateful, setting fire to the bakery and harming his friends. The other bakers shush Axe Eyes up, and Head Baker sends Tak Gu down with the bread. They take the opportunity to ask Mi Sun if Tak Gu’s smell and taste are back, but she shakes her head.

A couple of men dressed in suits enter the bakery. They are looking for Master Artisan Pal Bong. A meeting is convened.

The men inform Grandpa that there has been a petition challenging his identity as the creator of the Bong Bread. The petitioner is Park Chun Bae. If it goes through, Grandpa will be stripped of his title as Master Artisan.

Tak Gu gets upset. Why are they talking about stripping titles before hearing the other side of the story? Grandpa tells Tak Gu to stop it. He tells the men that he understands the situation, and tells them to leave. The men tell Grandpa that he has a week to dispute the claim. Part of the process will involve re-creating the Bong bread at an evaluation panel.

The bakers, except Grandpa, gather as Head Baker and Axe Eyes fills them in on what is happening. Park Chun Bae is a childhood friend and rival of Grandpa, and he is the one with the genius nose like Tak Gu. They baked together, and the topics of the competition, the world’s most filling bread, and the world’s most interesting bread, were themes they came up with for fun to challenge each other.

Grandpa had always been interested in creating an alcohol-based bread, and was working on it for a long time. Finally, it was Chun Bae who helped solve it, so the Bong Bread actually has two creators.

The bread made them famous and rich. However one day, Grandpa realized that Chun Bae was compromising on the bread’s quality by adding yeast. Chun Bae explained that to keep up with sales, they can’t afford to have a bread with such a long fermentation time. Adding a little yeast won’t hurt, especially since the customers can’t tell the difference.

Later however, Grandpa found out that Chun Bae was adding chemical preservatives to the bread. This time, Grandpa was unrelenting, and chased Chun Bae out. Chun Bae set up his own bakery but gradually lost his customers as they found out that he added chemical preservatives to his bread, and his bakery closed down. Grandpa stuck to his original recipe and his business survived.

There is a thud then a scream from outside, and everyone rushes out to find Grandpa lying on the floor.

The doctor visits, and checks Grandpa. He says that Grandpa is a little weak because of his age, but should be fine when he wakes up. They takes turns to take care of Grandpa. Tak Gu kneels by the side, looking strickened, while Mi Sun cleans Grandpa.

Windmill man and Head Baker talk between themselves about the situation. Windmill man suggests talking to Chun Bae, but Head Baker says that they don’t have his contact information. Windmill man asks him what he intends to do about the petition now that Grandpa is lying unconscious. Head Baker says that they can’t do anything. Windmill man doesn’t look happy with the decision, but he doesn’t press on.

Mi Sun is asleep, and Tak Gu moves over to take care of Grandpa. He begs Grandpa to wake up, and promises to protect his title. Mi Sun is awoken by Tak Gu talking, and hears his promise to Grandpa. She is somewhat comforted by Tak Gu’s words.

Tak Gu announces that he’s filed a response to the petition. Head Baker gets upset. What was Tak Gu thinking, doing this on his own? Grandpa can’t do anything right now. Tak Gu says that they can. All they have to do is re-create the Bong bread. Head Baker and Axe Eyes say it’s not easy. Mi Sun says that they can refer to the fermentation diary, and Head Baker finally reveals that it went missing the same night that Tae Jo left. Everyone gets upset again for a while.

Head Baker says that even with the fermentation diary, they won’t be able to make the Bong bread consistently within a week. Tak Gu says that he will protect Grandpa’s reputation on his own if he doesn’t get help and leaves. Mi Sun excuses herself.  Curly walks out, and so does Axe Eyes. Windmill man tells Head Baker that he thinks they should try. They have already submitted the dispute claim anyway.

Axe Eyes tells Tak Gu that he has a drug to help him recover his sense of taste and smell. Mi Sun doubts the drug is for real, and they argue a little about whether it will work. Not listening to anything, Tak Gu grabs the drug and drinks it. Axe Eyes denies any responsibility if the drug doesn’t work.

Tak Gu asks Axe Eyes for the ingredients and ratios for the Bong bread. Axe Eyes says that he roughly remembers the ratios of the starter dough and produces a piece of paper. They can start from there. Tak Gu notes that it looks like his makgeolli #6 starter.

Head Baker walks over and grabs the sheet of paper out of his hand. He exclaims loudly that all the ratios are wrong. He corrects the sheet and hands it over to Tak Gu. Everyone gets to work. They also keeps asking Mi Sun if Tak Gu has his sense of smell back.

Over at Elder Chun Bae’s side, he’s recruited Ma Jun to represent him at the demonstration after seeing that Tak Gu has named himself Pal Bong’s representative.

Back at the bakery, they try various combinations, but everything fails. As usual, Tak Gu is the last one left in the kitchen, exhausted. He is surprised by Grandpa’s voice, and quickly rises to greet the old man.

Grandpa asks if his sense of smell is back, and tells him that it’s all in his mind. He won’t be able to start smelling until he believes that he can do it. Tak Gu thanks Grandpa for the advice, and Grandpa pats him on the shoulder encouragingly. Suddenly, Grandpa disappears. Tak Gu wakes up. It may have all been a dream, but Tak Gu feels encouraged anyway. He is starting to recognize the sound of fermentation as well.

The day of the demonstration arrives. Everyone gathers in a kitchen. Tak Gu represents Pal Bong bakery. Elder Chun Bae is all cleaned up for the occasion. He reveals that he will be represented by an apprentice, who is none other than Ma Jun. And the fight is on!

A side arc that I don’t know how to fit in:
In Sook dismisses Mrs Gong. Mrs Gong goes over to Kim Mi Sun’s place, where Mi Sun offers her a position.

Il Jung notices her absence. In Sook says it was an issue of trust, and this makes Il Jung think back to the discovery that Mrs Gong made. He directly asks In Sook where she was the night Grandma fell in the rain, and In Sook says that she was asleep. Il Jung tells her that she needs to tell the truth. In Sook insists on her innocence and says that Mrs Gong lied.

Comments:
This episode felt a little strange. It’s like a revenge makjang interlaced with a baking drama. I know that’s what the show is, but the scenes contrast more starkly than usual.

I don’t get how the demonstration will prove the true creator of the Bong bread, but okay. It’s just another baking competition that is Ma Jun vs Tak Gu. It makes up for the immediate lack of a third round topic, and is a nice follow up to the Bong bread arc. I like how Tak Gu is providing leadership at the bakery in this arc.

But given the way the story is going, my guess on what happened is this: after Chun Bae left and his business collapsed, Pal Bong was awarded the Master Artisan title, and he never got around to correcting the organization. I initially thought that Grandpa stopped making the Bong bread after the Chun Bae incident, but it doesn’t sound like he stopped. The timeline is still slightly strange though.

I also don’t get how shares and stocks work. Does seizing the documents mean that In Sook and Manager Han are rightful owners of the stocks? If I were Kim Mi Sun, I would give up the documents and call the cops. I’m lacking the necessary knowledge here.

I’m surprised that Tak Gu still hasn’t gotten his senses back. It’ll probably happen pretty soon, like next episode soon.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 23

It feels like the close of another chapter. I feel us being propelled towards the final stretch.

episode 23 recaps

We may have fastforwarded to the evaluation competition in the last episode, but there are still a couple of backstories to tell. Like for instance, how did Tak Gu end up being the representative for Pal Bong bakery?

Tak Gu had volunteered himself. Head Baker tells him that there is no need for him to put himself out there just because he was the one who signed the dispute petition. Tak Gu tells him that it’s not that. Tak Gu has identified the best starter culture. Does that mean…? Yes, Tak Gu has his smell and taste back.

And when he got his senses back, Tak Gu immediately realized that he’s eaten the Bong bread previously. Recall when he met Grandpa 14 years ago, Grandpa had given Tak Gu some bread to eat? That was the Bong bread. Tak Gu remembers the smell and taste well, and he is confident that he is the best person to demonstrate the making of the Bong bread.

The evaluation panel begins with the checking of the starter culture. Each side hands over a sample of their starter (it’s thick, unlike the thin runny thing that we saw in previous episodes), and the panel of seven judges take turns to sniff at it. And the baking kicks off.

Tak Gu and Ma Jun work at the same pace, mixing the dough and placing it in the fermenter at the same time. They must be using some special fermenting chamber because the dough proofs in an hour even though it’s a slow fermenting bread. Ma Jun takes his dough out of the fermenter and proceeds with shaping. Tak Gu takes his dough out and sniffs it, and decides to put it back into the fermenter for a while longer. This deviation from the protocol gets the other bakers nervous, and gets the judges talking.

Ma Jun notices Tak Gu taking extra time with his dough, but ignores it, working quickly. The truth is, he doesn’t care if Tak Gu makes better bread. He’s told Manager Han to take care of things. Elder Chun Bae, on the other hand, looks disturbed by Tak Gu’s change of plans. And we know he’s got a good nose too.

Tak Gu lets the dough ferment for an extra 15 minutes, and he’s ready to move on. Tak Gu is just taking his time to get everything right. He’s not there to beat anyone, but to repay the kindness that the Pal Bong family has shown him. From where he sits, Chun Bae can smell Tak Gu’s dough and he looks really afraid now.

The guys fill the dough with red bean, put on the finishing touches and put the trays in to bake. 15 minutes later, the competition enters the judging phase. The judges are given two plates, each with one bread, and they get to push forward the one they think is the real Bong bread.

The first few judges choose Tak Gu’s bread, but the next few judges pick Ma Jun’s bread. From flashbacks, we see that the ones who pick Ma Jun’s bread have all received envelopes of money. The score is a tie, and the last judge needs to cast the deciding vote. We see from the flashback that he was also approached by one of Manager Han’s men, but he seems to have been a little slower about picking up the envelope. He chooses Tak Gu’s bread.

Ma Jun looks furious. Chun Bae looks defeated. The bakery gang spring up in joy, and everyone takes turns to hug Tak Gu. As we saw in the flashbacks, it is really a team victory even though Tak Gu was representative. Chun Bae helps himself to one of Tak Gu’s bread.

Ma Jun confronts the last judge on his way out, demanding to know what is going on. The judge says that he did accept the money, but the bread made him change his mind; As a baker, he can’t deny the true Bong bread. He returns the envelope to Ma Jun.

Everyone heads back to the bakery to report the good news to Grandpa. Tak Gu notices Elder Chun Bae lingering outside the bakery and invites him in. Chun Bae asks if Tak Gu wants him to apologize to Grandpa. Tak Gu says that Grandpa is actually very sick and asks if they could make up. Chun Bae doesn’t answer the question. Instead, he asks Tak Gu what he put in the bread. He admits to Tak Gu that the moment Tak Gu took the bread out of the fermenter, he knew that he’d lost. There is something more to Grandpa’s bread. What is it?

Tak Gu tells him that it’s rice flour. We see a flashback — Grandpa actually woke up while they were busy preparing the Bong bread, and had told Tak Gu that he uses rice flour. Chun Bae finally understands why Grandpa’s bread always took extra long. He laments that the slowly-moving Pal Bong eventually won, while he with the genius nose and greed raced ahead and lost. He’ll take having eaten Grandpa’s Bong Bread earlier as his final farewell.

Going back to the bakery, Tak Gu bumps into a man carrying a lot of bags of bread. He apologizes, but the guy still seems annoyed. Furthermore, the man is acting strangely, glancing behind him as he walks. Tak Gu doesn’t know what to make of it.

Ma Jun shows up at home with his bag without warning. In Sook happily rushes to greet him, and asks if he’s staying for good. Ma Jun nods. In Sook tells him to go greet his father. Ma Jun looks slightly hesitant, but enters Il Jung’s study.

He announces that he’s back, and Il Jung asks if it’s for good. Ma Jun apologizes for failing in the competition, and Il Jung doesn’t look too disturbed. Ma Jun offers as amends the Bong bread recipe. He says he got the recipe from one of Grandpa’s friends. He also has the fermentation journal, which he offers for use for the company. I know…I went “what?” as well. What is he now? An industrial spy?

Il Jung says that if the recipe is from Elder Chun Bae, he has no need for it. He won’t make such bread in his factory. Ma Jun looks up in surprise. Il Jung takes it a step further — he never told Ma Jun to get a certificate. He wishes that Ma Jun would hurry up and realize that.

He heads up to his room, looking very frustrated. In Sook comes to look for him, and tells him that he doesn’t need to worry about anything. He just needs to be ready to enter the company quickly. Also, he should get ready for marriage, and break things off with Yu Kyung. Ma Jun doesn’t like the sound of that. He reminds In Sook that he is sincere and serious about Yu Kyung.

In Sook tells him that marriage is about politics and business. He needs a strong family to back him so that Ma Jun will be untouchable if Il Jung gets Tak Gu into the company. Ma Jun is surprised by the news of Tak Gu potentially joining the company.

Not so long later, a crowd of angry people are blocking the bakery’s entrance, demanding compensation for what they claim is bad bread. In the center of the crowd is the man from before. They claim that there is iron powder in the bread, and demand compensation at 100,000 won a person. The bakery doesn’t have the kind of money to pay all ten of them off. Head Baker tells everyone to keep the news from Grandpa.

Tak Gu is suspicious, having recognized the man from before, but he doesn’t say anything. He trails the man to the market, and catches him talking to someone in a black car. Tak Gu approaches them, calling out, and the man and the car hurry off. That was silly on Tak Gu’s part, and he looks frustrated that his leads have run off.

Windmill man catches up with Tak Gu and tells him not to bother chasing the car. He’s memorized the licence plate number, and he’ll get the car traced through a friend who works in the police station.

In Sook and Manager Han have a quick chat as he delivers her to a shopping date. She tells him that they should install Ma Jun during the board meeting the following week. A young lady greets In Sook as she approaches. Manager Han asks In Sook if that’s the girl she’s picked out for Ma Jun. In Sook says yes. She’s the only daughter of a big produce company worth a lot of money, so she’ll make a suitable match.

Na Jin and In Sook barely exchange words before they are approached by Kim Mi Sun. In Sook’s mood immediately darkens as Mi Sun casually greets them. In Sook excuses herself, saying that she’s run into a friend. Na Jin looks curiously at Mi Sun.

In Sook goes over to Kim Mi Sun and asks her what she wants. Mi Sun says she’s just shopping. She asks who the girl is, and notes it doesn’t look like Ja Kyung or Ja Rim. Could it be a prospective daughter-in-law for Ma Jun? She remembers that there is a son the same age as Tak Gu.

In Sook gets upset but Mi Sun changes the topic. She hands In Sook the tie that Il Jung left behind, flaunting the fact that he spent two nights at her place after the accident. She just wanted to return it. As expected, In Sook gets upset about Mi Sun meeting Il Jung. Upset enough that when she gets back to Na Jin, it’s to say that she’s not feeling well and needs to leave.

Over dinner, In Sook asks Il Jung when he’ll place Ma Jun in the company. The mood goes from bad to worse. Deliberately oblivious, In Sook suggests the programming department. Il Jung tells her that company matters will be decided in the company. Rebuffed, she asks what Tak Gu’s position will be.

Changing the subject, she tells everyone that they are meeting with the produce conglomerate family that weekend. Ma Jun says that he has other plans. In Sook tells him to cancel them, but he says he won’t cancel a date with Yu Kyung. Il Jung looks curious — is this the Shin Yu Kyung who was in the assistants’ office?

Ma Jun says yes. He also tells Il Jung that if he has to marry someone, that someone will be Yu Kyung. Il Jung looks at Ma Jun intently. In Sook tells Ma Jun that it’s not going to happen and looks to Il Jung for support. However, Il Jung tells him to introduce Yu Kyung some time. In Sook gets annoyed, and Il Jung excuses himself from the table.

In Sook gets upset, and follows Il Jung to the room, demanding to know what to do about the plans with the produce company. Il Jung says that Ma Jun doesn’t want the marriage and tells In Sook to let him be. For the first time since he was twelve, Ma Jun has finally decided on something for himself. As his father, Il Jung cannot ignore it. He won’t force Ma Jun into a marriage that he will regret.

That hits a sore spot for In Sook. She demands to know if he’s unhappy with his marriage. In fact, has he decided to go back to Mi Sun? She finally confronts him about his meeting with Mi Sun.

Il Jung asks In Sook what she is so afraid of. In Sook admits that she’s afraid that he will leave her.

Things escalate quickly and the bakery gets suspended. News reports are all over, and other bakers are gossiping about Pal Bong bringing their trade down. The bakers bang on doors, probably trying to talk to the people who complained.

It took forever, but Windmill man finally gets the information on the car. He hands the piece of paper to Tak Gu, who gets upset when he sees that the car is owned by Geo Seung. Does this mean that everyone’s suffering is because of him? Windmill man tells him that it probably is.

Il Jung meets with Yu Kyung. He tells her that he’s heard from Ma Jun, and Yu Kyung apologizes for the trouble that she’s caused. Il Jung tells her that he’s happy. He assumes that things are sincere from both sides. Yu Kyung says that she’s trying to be sincere. Il Jung asks Yu Kyung to take care of Ma Jun. He tells her that Ma Jun is a lonely person. He confesses that he’s been lacking as a father, and says he’ll be happy if she could give Ma Jun what he couldn’t.

Yu Kyung apologizes for her poor family background, and tells him that she’ll try her best. Il Jung tells her that he only needs her to be sincere. Il Jung hands her an envelope, and tells her that she can return to her old job in the assistant’s office if she wants.

Downstairs, Ma Jun is pacing, waiting for the meeting between Yu Kyung and Il Jung to end. When she finally comes down, Ma Jun asks how it went. Yu Kyung says that Il Jung is going to come down shortly to join them for dinner. Ma Jun is pleased with the development.

Tak Gu is heading to Geo Seung at this very moment, and sees Ma Jun and Yu Kyung in the building lobby. It’s awkward as Yu Kyung averts her eyes, and Tak Gu tries to ignore them. Ma Jun however meets the awkwardness face on. He asks Tak Gu what brings him to Geo Seung. Tak Gu says it’s not to meet Ma Jun, but Il Jung. Ma Jun asks if it’s something urgent, in a taunting way, and Tak Gu says that the bakery’s business has been suspended.

Ma Jun laughs and says he’s seen the news. What does the bakery have to do with Geo Seung? Tak Gu says it’s none of his business. Ma Jun tells him not to bother Il Jung over little things. Tak Gu reminds Ma Jun that he used to live at the bakery, and that Grandpa is his teacher. Ma Jun says it’s all in the past for him. Yu Kyung looks pained at Ma Jun’s petty behavior.

Tak Gu asks if Ma Jun is behind everything. Ma Jun asks what if he is. Tak Gu gets enraged, and clenches his fist in anger. He can’t hold himself back this time, and he has a go at Ma Jun. The moment the first punch lands, the security at Geo Seung are all over Tak Gu. Ma Jun screams at the men to let them be, and the guys get a real fist fight. Actually, it’s mostly Tak Gu beating the crap out of Ma Jun.

Yu Kyung tries to separate the guys, and she screams at Tak Gu to stop hitting Ma Jun. The drama ends when Il Jung shouts for them to stop. He asks what is going on, and demands an explanation from Tak Gu.

Tak Gu gives him the facts and nothing more. There have been problems at Pal Bong and Tak Gu has traced the source of the problems to the person who drives a Geo Seung car. He would like Il Jung to investigate the matter. Il Jung looks gravely at the piece of paper.

When Tak Gu gets back to Incheon, Mi Sun and Windmill man are waiting outside the house for him. Mi Sun runs up to him when she sees him coming, and asks him where he’s been. She starts to tell him that they were worried, but stops when she notices his bloodied knuckles. Tak Gu tells her that he’s sorry, but he couldn’t hold back this time. Mi Sun doesn’t shout at him. Tak gu apologizes for getting everyone into trouble. Mi Sun holds his hand, leans against him, and cries. Does this mean she guesses where he went and what he did?

Manager Han is returning to his office. Il Jung and the driver of the car are already there. Il Jung asks Manager Han if he did it, and Manager Han says there’s been a misunderstanding. Is it because of Tak Gu? Il Jung berates him for harming first his son, and now his teacher. He gives Manager Han a week to clear out. Il Jung also decides to make a trip to Incheon.

Later that night, Grandpa wakes up and works on his calligraphy. Is he writing the topic for the third round of the competition? Tak Gu is asleep, but Grandpa wakes him up and tells him to get into his baking clothes. The men head over to the kitchen, and Grandpa asks for the dough. He is itching to make some bread.

For the first time, Tak Gu gets to observe Grandpa make bread and is awed by the sight of the old man working the dough. Grandpa asks Tak Gu why he likes bread, and Tak Gu says it’s because it’s warm. Grandpa says for him, it’s because it feeds people. When it’s all done, Tak Gu pulls a chair for Grandpa.

Grandpa notices the bandage covering Tak Gu’s knuckles, and tells Tak Gu that life is for experiencing everything, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. He tells Tak Gu that he needs to take care of his younger brother, Tae Jo/Ma Jun. He has heard everything from Il Jung. He regrets having chased his friend, Chun Bae, out so cruelly years ago, and it is his only regret. This is why he doesn’t make the Bong bread anymore. He doesn’t want Tak Gu to feel that way.

He asks Tak Gu if he knows what to do, and Tak Gu says yes. Tak Gu inserts the trays into the oven, and waits for the bread to be ready. He’ll wait for the bread to bake. (A reference to an episode from a long time ago.) Grandpa breathes slowly in his chair, and thinks about how Tak Gu has finally become an adult. Grandpa’s eyes seem a little teary, then closes.

The bread is done, and Tak Gu takes them out and places everything in a basket. He takes the bread to Grandpa, but Grandpa doesn’t respond. Tak Gu touches Grandpa’s arm to wake up, but the arm drops lifelessly to the side. Realizing what is happening, Tak Gu takes hold of Grandpa’s hand and kneels.

In the house, Mi Sun has noticed that Grandpa is not in his room. The other bakers report that Tak Gu is not in his room either, and they head over to the most probable place to find them.

Outside, they run into Il Jung who has just pulled in. Head Baker greets him, and explains that Grandpa has been very ill, and is not in his room. They are heading to the bakery’s kitchen to see if he is there with Tak Gu.

Everyone heads to the kitchen, and upon entering, they are greeted by the sight of Tak Gu kneeling in front of a seated Grandpa. Everyone stands silently for a while, and Mi Sun finally breaks the silence. Tak Gu tells her to keep quiet because Grandpa is sleeping.

They all stand quietly for a while, and one by one, everyone realizes that Grandpa is not sleeping. From in his dreams, Grandpa waves goodbye to Tak Gu, and goes on a long walk with his signature umbrella and traditional robe.

Comments:
So many comments…let’s take them one at a time in no particular order.

1. I still don’t buy that the evaluation proved that Grandpa’s Bong bread is the real thing. It proved that Grandpa’s version is better. After all, we know that Chun Bae is the “bad guy” here.

2. If there are seven judges, the minimum number of judges you have to bribe is four. Yes, Manager Han got that right. But if money is not a problem, why don’t you just bribe them all? Saves a lot of accidents from happening.

3. Elder Chun Bae is the cautionary tale of a genius nose gone wrong because he was greedy. He could have been someone, but because he was greedy, he never went anywhere. This drama is like a children’s story, very precise about what is good and bad, and what is sufficient. I like the balance.

4. I get that Il Jung follows in the footsteps of Grandpa and Grandma (grand people not related) in believing in having people reflect and learn through mistakes. Grandma’s version didn’t work for Ma Jun, and we can all say something about how she preached too much. Grandpa didn’t preach at all, and didn’t punish either, but Ma Jun didn’t learn anyway. Il Jung just lets Ma Jun be, hoping he’ll figure out what he wants in life. If a guy did not get the message the first 12 years, maybe it would be more effective if you just told him what you want from him.

Are we supposed to make something of the fact that Ma Jun has strayed even though his sisters and Tak Gu turned out fine?

5. I don’t get what Kim Mi Sun is playing at. It seems to me that she’s just trying to irritate In Sook at this point. Kinda pointless. It’s been a long time, and I am still waiting for her big revenge move. All the preparation, the threatening letters and all, mean nothing until we see what the big plan is. I hope I get blown away, coz I don’t see myself being blown away.

6. Why was Grandpa focused on only Tak Gu at his last moments? I feel like Mi Sun, Head Baker and his daughter deserved some attention too.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 24

Posted on March 2, 2011 by Cute Duck

It’s game over for Kim Mi Sun…except we haven’t even started playing. Tsk.

episode 24 recap

A black car rolls up to the bakery, and Ma Jun gets out of the car. He’s dressed in a black suit, and he heads towards the house. There is a lantern on the door.

Things are quiet in the house. The guys are seated, and Mi Sun and her mother are in the kitchen preparing food for the guests. Mrs Head Baker is not very happy about the turnout at the funeral. Where did all the people who used to visit go?

The first person who sees Ma Jun walking in is Tak Gu, whose only reaction is to hide his bruised fist. Axe Eyes sees Ma Jun coming in, and rushes up to confront him. He demands to know why Ma Jun is even here since he’s the one who caused problems that led to Grandpa’s death. The other guys pull Axe Eyes aside, but they are unable to silence him. Finally, Head Baker interrupts Axe Eyes’ outburst, and tells Ma Jun to go in to pay his respects to Grandpa.

Ma Jun freezes for a moment when he sees Grandpa’s picture, but is jolted back to life when Il Jung tells him to pay his respects. Ma Jun takes his bows, and in the middle of the second bow, he thinks he hears Grandpa’s voice call his name, saying “come on in”.

The next morning, Head Baker and Il Jung chat. Head Baker expresses disappointment that few people turned up at the funeral. It makes him despair at humanity. Il Jung says that it might have been too sudden, and no one was able to make it at such short notice. I don’t know if it sounded convincing. Head Baker regrets that Grandpa had to lose his honor in his final days. Il Jung thinks that people who knew Grandpa would never believe those lies.

Windmill man enters the room, announcing that it’s time for the funeral procession. Ma Jun is actually one of the pallbearers, and it’s a small party with only the bakers. Mrs Head Baker and Mi Sun following behind. As they exit the house, Head Baker sees something and stops. Is it trouble…?

Marching towards the house on the road is a contingent of bakers wearing white shirts and hats. Leading them is the last judge from the evaluation panel (I think). He apologizes to Head Baker for being late. They have only just heard the news and have rushed all the way from all over Korea to pay their last respects. However, they are too late. They would like to pay their respects anyway.

The bakers all take off their hats, and bow. They part in the middle, opening the way for the funeral procession to proceed.

Il Jung returns to the office after the funeral. His secretary hands him a folder with his schedule. Just as he opens the folder, his arm started to cramp up badly and he drops it. The spasm goes away, and Il Jung dismisses it. As they approach the elevator, Manager Han comes by with a group of men in suits. They notice Il Jung, and greet him before moving on.

The secretary offers information on the situation. Manager Han has been meeting with the board of directors since Il Jung left for the funeral three days ago. This gets Il Jung worried. In case you needed confirmation, Manager Han is trying to get support to remove Il Jung, saying that he’s not as focused as he used to be.

Ma Jun doesn’t feel well after the funeral. He’s brooding a little, and he takes out the fermentation journal to look at it. After opening the book, he throws it to the ground in frustration, and a piece of paper falls out. Curious, he picks it up and reads it. It’s from Grandpa. If Ma Jun is reading the letter, he must have taken the book.

Head Baker calls Tak Gu to his room. He asks if Tak Gu is feeling better, and Tak Gu says that he is. Head Baker tells Tak Gu that Grandpa left something for him, and hands him a scroll. Tak Gu takes the scroll to the kitchen to open it. It’s the topic for the third round of the competition, and it’s to make “the happiest bread in the world”.

It turns out that Grandpa left the same message in his letter to Ma Jun. As Ma Jun reads the letter, he starts to cry.

The effect of the scroll on Tak Gu is similar. He tears up and lets out his grief. Tak Gu goes back to the kitchen, and stares at the place where Grandpa was last at, and grieves. Windmill man is standing in the corner, looking at him.

Windmill man shows up at Il Jung’s office, and asks if the offer still stands. Il Jung expresses surprise at he changed his mind. Windmill man explains that it is as Il Jung had said, that he should do it for Tak Gu. It is also as revenge for the people at the bakery. Il Jung warns him that things could get dangerous.

Manager Han tells In Sook that he’s unable to get the last 8% of shares that they need. She asks him what she can do to help. Manager Han says that she could work on ensuring that Ma Jun’s marriage happens soon. With the support of another big company, the directors will have more confidence in Ma Jun. In Sook promises to expedite the marriage.

In Sook arranges a lunch date with Ma Jun, and Na Jin and her mother. In Sook asks when Na Jin is returning to the US for her studies, and she says next week. In a straightforward manner, In Sook says that she was hoping to announce their engagement in the fall. Na Jin is looks happy at the news, and says that she can come back in the middle of the semester briefly for the event. Her mother doesn’t disagree.

Ma Jun says that he’s unwilling to go along with the marriage. He apologizes to Na Jin.

When they get home, In Sook has a go at Ma Jun for ruining what she has prepared for him. He tells her plainly that he is in love with Yu Kyung, and she is the only person he’ll marry. I didn’t count on Ma Jun being that deep in. Strangely, he says something about not having anyone left, and Yu Kyung is the last one. Did he have someone? Is he referring to the people at the bakery that he threw away?

In Sook doesn’t take well to his proclamation that he doesn’t have anyone else. Doesn’t Ma Jun have In Sook? And the company? She tells him that he’s betraying her. It doesn’t move Ma Jun who wants to be left alone with regards to the marriage. He doesn’t want to hurt her. Hmm… She threatens him with more harm to Yu Kyung.

When he gets back to his room, Ma Jun retrieves the book that contains the bracelet that In Sook lost the night Grandma fell in the rain, and stares at it.

Ma Jun takes a car out, and goes for a fast ride on the highway. Is he venting, or is he in a hurry? A passing police car notice that Ma Jun’s car is going too fast, and gives chase, signaling for him to pull over. Ma Jun just speeds on. When we see him again, Ma Jun is in the police station. Yu Kyung is there to pick him up.

After they get out of the police station, Ma Jun offers to take Yu Kyung home. She declines. He asks her how he can be happy. Will he be happy if he lives with her? Yu Kyung tells him that people like them cannot be happy. She reminds him that they are together for revenge. Ma Jun seems resigned, and doesn’t argue otherwise.

He takes out In Sook’s bracelet and puts it on Yu Kyung’s wrist.  He tells her to wear it when she goes over to his house that weekend. She asks him what the bracelet means. Ma Jun says it means that he’s going to marry her. If she’s committed to the end, he will be committed too. Ah…I see what you did there, Ma Jun.

Tak Gu goes to visit Grandpa’s room, and finds Mi Sun sitting in there. Seeing Tak Gu come in, she talks to him and starts crying, telling him that she misses her Grandpa. She didn’t realize before how great his presence was. Tak Gu consoles Mi Sun.

Tak Gu brings the scroll that Grandpa left him to the kitchen and hangs it. He puts on his lucky hat, and starts baking. He seems to be making the same kind of bread that Grandpa last made.

Over at the house, Curly notices the smell of bread from the bakery. But isn’t it closed? They hear Tak Gu shouting from downstairs, telling everyone to come down for breakfast. He’s made them bread.

Tak Gu explains that it’s the same bread that Grandpa made before he passed away. Head Baker takes a piece, and Mi Sun joins him, and everyone crowds around the dining table. They comment that the bread is tasty, and properly made. It’s almost as good as the bread that Grandpa made. Such a difference from the evaluation they had of Tak Gu’s first bread. However, Windmill man seems to be behaving strangely.

Surely enough, Mi Sun comes along to tell Tak Gu that Windmill man suddenly left the bakery. He didn’t say goodbye to anyone except for Head Baker, and didn’t give any reason for his departure. Tak Gu is puzzled.

We next see where Windmill man went: he is reporting to Manager Han. He’s become a mole.

In Sook heads to the office to look for Il Jung, but is told that he’s left for a dinner meeting. Her detector goes off, and she calls Il Jung’s driver to check where he’s at.

The In Sook detector was right. Il Jung is meeting with Kim Mi Sun. He takes a seat, and asks her why she called him out. She says that she doesn’t have a reason. She just wanted to see him and have dinner. Right.

Il Jung pours Mi Sun a glass of wine. She reaches out to get her drink, but misses. Il Jung notices it right away. What just happened?

She admits that she was injured during an accident 14 years ago. Il Jung apologizes for it. Kim Mi Sun bitterly says that she wishes that the apology would ease some of the pain she’s suffered the past 14 years. Il Jung asks what he could do to help her. Mi Sun asks if he’s willing to do her a favor. Il Jung says he can’t help her with what she wants.

Il Jung, as we know, is not dumb. He tells her frankly that he’s wondered about why she told him about Grandma’s death and all, and has come to his own conclusions. He tells her that seeking revenge is not the answer. She tells him that it’s too late. She’s spent the last 14 years dreaming of revenge. Her opponents are evil — why else would they sell a 12-year-old boy to a deep sea fishing vessel. Il Jung looks surprised. He did not know that.

Kim Mi Sun tells Il Jung that she can’t forgive the evil that has happened. She gets up to leave, but Il Jung grabs her. He asks her what he’s supposed to do if she leaves. This causes Mi Sun to hesitate a moment, but she shakes her arm free and leaves. On her way out, she notices that In Sook is outside the restaurant. She gets into her car and drives off, and In Sook tells her driver to follow.

Il Jung is left in the restaurant, and he remains seated for a while. He raises his glass of water to take a drink, but his hand cramps up and he drops the glass. His driver rushes in to check on him. Il Jung says that he’s fine, but the driver has other news. He tells Il Jung that In Sook was there, and she saw him meeting with Kim Mi Sun. She has taken off, following Mi Sun’s car. Il Jung looks worried.

Mi Sun’s secretary asks her what she wants to do about In Sook following her. Mi Sun says that they should go to that place. I think I know where she’s heading to.

In Sook gets a call in her car, and the driver answers. He reports that they are headed towards Cheongsan before In Sook yanks the phone out of his hand and hangs up.

Mi Sun’s car turns into a parking lot, and In Sook’s car follows suite. Getting out of her car, Mi Sun apologizes for the long drive. In Sook tells her that she wants to talk. Mi Sun says that she has something to say as well, and offers to show In Sook a place that they can talk. The two women leave on their own, In Sook stumbling behind Kim Mi Sun.

Il Jung reaches the same parking lot, and gets an update from the drivers — Kim Mi Sun has headed towards the cliff. Il Jung hurries after them.

In Sook asks Mi Sun where they are heading, and is informed that they are almost there. There refers to the cliff that Mi Sun fell off 14 years ago. In Sook is spooked by the place and Mi Sun’s tone, but she tries to appear confident. She asks Mi Sun if they came all the way so that she can complain.

Mi Sun asks what she can do to make In Sook’s life uncomfortable. In Sook says that she has succeeded and demands to know what she has in mind, since she seems intent on crossing the line with Il Jung. Mi Sun wants to end everything, and she’s figured the way to resolve the issues is for both of them to step off the cliff. With that, Mi Sun grabs In Sook and tries to pull her to the edge.

While they are struggling, Il Jung finally catches up and tells them to stop it. Kim Mi Sun keeps her grip on In Sook. Il Jung tries to get Mi Sun to release In Sook. The truth is, the falling off the cliff thing is his fault. He wanted to be the sole parent to Tak Gu, so he gave orders to separate them. Mi Sun is surprised by the truth. In Sook looks more angry than surprised.

Il Jung tells Mi Sun to let go, for a variety of reasons, but especially for Tak Gu. Upon hearing that Tak Gu is alive, Mi Sun finally releases In Sook. Il Jung tells her that Tak Gu has grown up to be a fine young man, which brings tears to Mi Sun’s eyes and she collapses crying. In Sook decides that it’s time to leave.

Il Jung goes over to help Mi Sun up from the ground. However, his arm starts hurting again, and he groans in agony. Alarmed, In Sook turns back and sees Il Jung collapsed on Mi Sun.

The phone at the Gu residence rings, and Ma Jun picks up the phone. It’s In Sook sounding frantic. The family rushes to the hospital where Il Jung is unconscious.

In Sook asks the doctor when he’ll wake up, and he tells her that he can’t promise anything. Even if Il Jung wakes up, he may be paralysed on one side. Devastated, In Sook demands that the doctor bring him to consciousness. The doctor can’t. Il Jung has a brain haemorrage, and they can only wait for him to wake up. In Sook’s outburst gets Manager Han looking grim.

Outside, Kim Mi Sun is repenting. Has she done the wrong thing?

Ma Jun is left at the hospital to look after Il Jung. Taking a break, he goes out of the room, and see Yu Kyung there.

He asks her how she knew, and she tells him that she was at the office to prepare to return to her job. Ma Jun asks if she really needs to work. Yu Kyung changes the topic and asks if Il Jung is doing well. Ma Jun gives her an update. She then asks if Ma Jun is doing well, which surprises him.

He asks if she’s asking out of politeness or genuine concern. Yu Kyung says she needs to leave, but Ma Jun tells her to stay another five minutes, and he leans on her and closes his eyes.

In the middle of the night, Manager Han goes to Il Jung’s office and opens the safe. He rummages through the papers, probably looking for the stock certificates. He’s surely a man with a one track mind. He doesn’t find what he’s looking for.

In Sook is resting at home when she hears some noise outside her room. She goes out and sees that the door to Il Jung’s study is open. Walking in, she sees Manager Han rummaging through Il Jung’s desk. In Sook closes the door, and demands to know what he’s up to. Manager Han says he is looking for the stock certificates. In Sook is shocked that he is thinking about the stocks at this point, but gets jolted into action when Manager Han reminds her that the eldest son in the family register is Tak Gu, not Ma Jun.

The next morning, Ja Kyung finds In Sook in Il Jung’s study. She is shocked by the state of the room, and asks what is going on. In Sook just keeps saying that it’s not here.

Tak Gu gets a visit from a man in a suit. He identifies himself as a lawyer working for Geo Seung. A month ago, Il Jung handed him some documents, saying that they should go to Tak Gu if anything happens. Tak Gu realizes that it means that something happened, and asks the lawyer what is going on. He gets the news about Il Jung being in the hospital.

Back in his room, Tak Gu opens the envelope. Il Jung writes that he’s asking Tak Gu to take over while he’s unable to because there is no one that he trusts. He’s transfering his shares to Tak Gu. Sure enough in the big packet, we find a stack of stock certificates.

It’s a few days later, and In Sook and the family have arrived at the hospital. The doctor reports that Il Jung’s condition is stable. In Sook requests that Il Jung be shifted back home, because he hates hospitals. Ma Jun looks strangely at In Sook, but doesn’t say a thing.

The bakers are gathered for a meal. Axe Eyes brings up the fact that he read in the papers that Il Jung is in critical condition. Mi Sun notices that Tak Gu looks distracted and is not eating. Tak Gu says that he ate some bread before, so he’s not hungry. He excuses himself from the table, and heads upstairs.

He recalls how Il Jung came to him, saying that there was no one that he could trust. He remembers Mi Sun saying that she never noticed how great Grandpa’s presence was until he was gone. He probably worries that he’ll feel the same way about Il Jung.

Dressed in his only black suit, Tak Gu heads to the Gu’s residence. He pauses outside the security gates and re-lives his first memory of going to the house. Finally, he steps up to the guards and tells them that he’s Kim Tak Gu, the eldest son of Gu Il Jung.

Back in the house, there seems to be a ton of people in suits. Ma Jun picks up the call and tells the guards to let Tak Gu in. And thus, Tak Gu marches in, and he and Ma Jun meet again.

Comments:
Tagging on to the last comment I made about Grandpa being unfair to his family, we now see that he’s left both Tak Gu and Ma Jun something and nothing to Mi Sun, I think. I know we’ve rationalized how he’s taken care of Mi Sun for so long, and Tak Gu is more pressing, but I am disappointed that he didn’t seem to have left her anything.

Speaking about Mi Sun, I’m disappointed in Kim Mi Sun. I realize we can’t expect her to come up with a good revenge plan, since she’s supposed to be the good one. Still, that was lame.

It doesn’t surprise me that Grandpa predicted that Ma Jun would steal the fermentation journal. I wonder if this is when Ma Jun will start to change. He seems to have taken an interest in his own happiness. I just don’t like the kind of relationship he has with Yu Kyung. I know he loves her, but she doesn’t seem to feel quite exactly the same way.

I’m looking forward to the action in the next episode. Introducing Tak Gu as the eldest son of Gu Il Jung. What will he do now? It’ll be an action-packed ending at the rate we’re going.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 25

Posted on March 8, 2011 by Cute Duck

As you can expect after the previous episode, this episode mainly happens in Geo Seung. The momentum is building.

episode 25 recaps

Ja Rim gets the task of calling In Sook out of the room. She doesn’t tell In Sook immediately what is going on, but In Sook realizes quickly that something is up.

In Sook is shocked to see Tak Gu. She demands to know how he got in and how dare he step foot into the house. Tak Gu says he’s there to see Il Jung, to see how sick he really is. This makes In Sook ask him what right he has to be there. Tak Gu announces that he has the right to be there because he’s Il Jung’s son. Because they are talking loudly, everyone can hear the conversation.

In Sook raises her hand to Tak Gu but before she can hit him, Tak Gu grabs her wrist. He doesn’t back down, and demands to see Il Jung.

Ja Kyung steps in and tells Tak Gu to let go, and In Sook to back off. In Sook refuses, and Ja Kyung reminds her that the directors are looking at them, so she shouldn’t make a fuss. In Sook has to take a step back, and give in.

Tak Gu goes into Il Jung’s room, and sees him lying in his bed unconscious. From a flashback, we see that the conversation with Lawyer Park went on for a bit longer. He told Tak Gu that Il Jung was in a car accident two weeks ago, and that he has felt unsafe since. This is why he approached and gave Lawyer Park the documents to give to Tak Gu.

Tak Gu asks Il Jung if he’s too late. He doesn’t know how to protect Il Jung, but he will do his best. It’s bad enough that he’s lost his teacher (Grandpa) recently. He doesn’t want to lose Il Jung as well, so he’ll stay and protect him. Tak Gu finally calls Il Jung “father”.

When Tak Gu emerges from the room, the family is gathered. Ja Kyung asks him to stay and talk a while. The directors seem to have left while Tak Gu was in the room.

As Tak Gu approaches, Ja Rim gets up to give him her seat. A sign of goodwill. Ja Kyung asks him why he came. Before he can say anything, In Sook laughs that he’s probably read from the newspapers that Il Jung is not well, and came to see if he gets any part of the inheritance. Ja Rim tries to stop In Sook from continuing.

Tak Gu coolly takes out a letter, and says that it’s a mandate. He has already gained possession of all of Il Jung’s shares in the company. In Sook grabs it to read. She can’t believe what she’s seeing. Tak Gu explains that Lawyer Park gave him the documents the day after Il Jung collapsed.

Ma Jun doesn’t want to believe Tak Gu’s story. So Il Jung thought he was in danger, and left Lawyer Park to hand the shares to Tak Gu to protect? Tak Gu doesn’t give a straight reply. He is also curious about why Il Jung would be so worried to have to protect himself in this way. Why did he leave everything to Tak Gu, and nothing to the family? He announces his intent to obey Il Jung’s orders.

Manager Han interrupts. What gives Tak gu the ability to manage the company? He’s got no skills. Tak Gu agrees that he’s not qualified, but he has been appointed Il Jung’s proxy. Clearly, Il Jung believed that Tak Gu is up to the job. In Sook dares him to take up his role, and Tak Gu challenges her to get rid of him again. He tells them that he’s going to move into the house to take care of Il Jung until he regains consciousness.

In Sook can’t believe that Tak Gu is thinking of moving in. Tak Gu tells her that Lawyer Park has confirmed that he has every right to do so.

With that, Tak Gu takes his leave. In Sook immediately tells Manager Han to call Lawyer Park for the full story. Ma Jun takes off after Tak Gu, and catches up with him outside. He warns Tak Gu not to interfere with family business. He should go back to the bakery. Tak Gu tells him that he would do that, but the bakery has been suspended for 3 months. He thinks he’ll make bread at Geo Seung in the meantime.

Ma Jun tells him that a bakery and an office are different. Tak Gu disagrees. Both companies make bread to feed people. Ma Jun warns Tak Gu that he’ll get hurt, and Tak Gu says he’ll try to watch out.

Ja Kyung enters Il Jung’s room, and looks disturbed.

In Sook and Manager Han meet to discuss the turn of events. In Sook estimates that Tak Gu has at least 38% of the shares. How could Il Jung not leave Ma Jun a single share? Manager Han asks if Il Jung suspects Ma Jun’s true parentage. In Sook says no. Ma Jun is Il Jung’s son. Manager Han looks grim.

The news travels quickly. Dr. Yun tells Kim Mi Sun that Il Jung has been discharged. Moreover, a young man claiming to be Il Jung’s eldest son showed up at the residence, witnessed by the directors. Mi Sun is excited by the news, and asks Dr. Yun to gather more information.

Despite his confidence at the Gu’s residence, it’s a heavyhearted Tak Gu that walks back slowly to the bakery. Mi Sun is outside the store. She perks up when he greets her, but grows hesitant. Tak Gu says that they should head in, but Mi Sun spaces out for a while. Head Baker had spoken to Mi Sun sometime earlier, and had revealed that Tak Gu is Il Jung’s eldest son. Given the circumstances, he expects that Tak Gu might need to leave the bakery.

Tak Gu asks Mi Sun if everything is okay. She says that she’s fine. She cautiously asks Tak Gu if he met his father. Tak Gu surprisingly doesn’t look surprised. Mi Sun tells him that Head Baker told her about everything, and said that he might leave. She expresses disappointment that he hid the truth from her. After all, she tells him everything.

Tak Gu says that he’s not leaving for good. Did Mi Sun think that he was going to do that? She admits that she did. Tak Gu tells her that she’s dumb for thinking that. Pal Bong bakery is his home now. Mi Sun cries tears of relief.

Tak Gu thanks her for being sad when she thought that he is leaving. Mi Sun says of course she’d be sad…she likes him a lot. Did he know that? That she likes him a lot?

Tak Gu greets her confession with a big smile. He likes her a lot too, and he ruffles her hair. But for now, they should get back into the house. It’s late. Mi Sun’s face falls at Tak Gu’s response. Affirmative: she meant it as a confession. With any other guy, I would have thought he was acting dense, but we know that Tak Gu is truly dense.

Mi Sun gets really annoyed and catches up after Tak Gu and hits him. She’s not a puppy so he shouldn’t pat her head like that. Mi Sun storms into the house, leaving Tak Gu to wonder why she’s so mad.

Tak Gu bids farewell to Grandpa before he leaves, and promises that he’ll be back soon.

Yu Kyung reports back for her first day of work. At the same time, a car rolls up to the Geo Seung building, and we see that Tak Gu is being driven in by Lawyer Park. They get out of the car, and Tak Gu admits that he’s not feeling so good. Lawyer Park tells Tak Gu that there is no turning back after he enters the building. It’ll be war.

Tak Gu tells the lawyer that he is not confident, but there are things that one must do even without confidence. And they march in.

The secretaries are at the lobby waiting to greet the acting president. Lawyer Park introduces Tak Gu to the secretaries, and then it’s Tak Gu’s turn to introduce himself. His voice suddenly gets a lot louder, and Tak Gu introduces himself as Kim Tak Gu, complete with an explanation of his name. His energetic introduction gets the secretaries giggling. Lawyer Park cringes a little, and tells Tak Gu not to be overly respectful. It will make his subordinates uncomfortable.

As Tak Gu prepares to enter the elevator, In Sook and Manager Han get out of the other one. In Sook exclaims that she can’t believe he actually dare show up. Lawyer Park states that there are no legal issues with Tak Gu being the legal proxy. In Sook doesn’t have the right to challenge it, although she may bring up the issue at the director’s meeting on Friday.

Up in the office, Yu Kyung is slightly surprised to see an empty office. The chief secretary enters, and welcomes her back. She says that the should catch up later because the president’s proxy is coming in.

Tak Gu walks in with Lawyer Park. Both Yu Kyung and Tak Gu are surprised to see each other, and they freeze for a moment. Naturally, someone asks if everything is okay, and Tak Gu proceeds on to his office.

Ma Jun enters Il Jung room, and talks to him. He is angry that Il Jung gave everything to Tak Gu, and he swears to show Il Jung how he’s going to crush Tak Gu, not once, but repeatedly. After Ma Jun leaves, Il Jung’s finger twitches.

In the meantime, In Sook and Manager Han are meeting with the board of directors. She tells them that they need to come together to set things right come the director’s meeting on Friday before the useless proxy messes things up further. A couple of directors agree with her. What’s with the sudden appointment of a random young man as the president pro tem? On the other side of the table, the directors think that Il Jung chose this young man for a reason. They are willing to see what he can do, and think that there is no point in staying at the meeting for longer.

As they get up to leave, Ma Jun walks in. Are the directors who are standing the ones who are against him? He coldly tells the directors that the young man they are backing dropped out of elementary school, and lived on the streets for years before learning to bake the last couple of years. Is this who they want to trust? The directors look like they are still going to leave, and Ma Jun warns them that whoever steps out will become his enemy. Given the uncertainty of Il Jung’s recovery, shouldn’t they stay on his good side?

In Sook can’t help smiling proudly at Ma Jun’s actions. The directors take their seats. Manager Han quietly betrays his pride at Ma Jun’s handling of the incident.

Lawyer Park orders for many huge binders to be delivered to Tak Gu. He needs to get up to speed with the company’s affairs so that he can attend the director’s meeting on Friday. I assume it’s Monday. They’ll start with something simple, like ordinary profit. Tak Gu stumbles at the English word and picks up a random file.

Lawyer Park hands him the right file and repeats ordinary profit in Korean. Tak Gu understands that a little better. Ordinary profit is the quickest way of seeing the health of the company. Isn’t this a bread company? Tak Gu says he doesn’t really understand the numbers. Lawyer Park tells him that they manage the company, not make bread directly. He reminds Tak Gu that he was told not to enter if he can’t deal with what’s coming. This shuts Tak Gu up, and he tries his best to read the documents.

Tak Gu pokes his head out of his office and ask the secretaries for some colored pens. Tak Gu then gets pulled into meetings all day, and he looks uncomfortable. Back in his office, he pokes his head out again and asks for dictionaries. A while later, he self consciously sticks his head out of the room, and asks for a glass of water. The secretaries are somewhat frustrated. Is he going to be thanking them all day?

Yu Kyung gets to deliver the glass of water to Tak Gu. In his hurry to respond, Tak Gu knocks over some files. Yu Kyung closes the door, sets the water down, and helps him pick up the files. Tak Gu apologizes and tells her that he can do it. Yu Kyung tells him to pick up the phone and dial 0. Tak Gu is surprised by the sudden change of topic, but complies.

Secretary Yoon’s voice greets him and asks if he needed something. Tak Gu confusedly greets her and asks how she’s doing and to keep up the good work before hanging up. Yu Kyung tells him to do that the next time he needs something.

She carries on with some advice. The secretaries are there to work for him. They don’t need to be thanked everytime. Instead, they would appreciate it more if they knew that their work is contributing in some way. Yu Kyung turns to leave.

Tak Gu calls out to Yu Kyung and apologizes for making her uncomfortable. He asks her if she’s doing well. Yu Kyung says that his job shouldn’t leave him time to enquire after little things like that. She tells him that since he’s taken up the job, he should do it well. If he slips up and makes a mistake, everyone will be ready to pounce on him.

Yu Kyung heads up to the rooftop to relax. Ma Jun finds her there a while later. He asks her if she regrets her decision now that Tak Gu has returned. Yu Kyung is annoyed but Ma Jun doesn’t allow her to get a word in. Even if she regrets it, it’s too bad. He’s never going to let her be. Ma Jun notes that she’s wearing the bracelet and tells her that they will have dinner together.

Mi Sun excitedly runs towards Tak Gu’s room, thinking that he’s back. Instead, it’s her mother and one of the assistants. Her mom explains that the assistant has come to pick up Tak Gu’s things. The assistant explains that Tak Gu will be staying at Geo Seung for a while. Mi Sun looks deeply disappointed, but she isn’t ready to go away.

Sure enough, Mi Sun goes along with the assistant back to Geo Seung. As she enters the cafe area where Tak Gu is waiting, she overhears some men talking about how Tak Gu didn’t even finish elementary school, and how he embarassed himself at a meeting earlier. In a loud voice, Mi Sun calls out to Tak Gu. Alarmed, the men quickly leave their seats.

Tak Gu seems really happy to see Mi Sun. She has brought him his belongings, and also a lunchbox. Somehow, they end up sitting on the stairs, while the secretary stands awkwardly above them.

Mi Sun unpacks the food, and tries to feed Tak Gu. He opens his mouth, but realizes that it is making the secretary uncomfortable. She tells him that he needs to eat, and insists on seeing him eat. She wins.

As he chews the food, Tak Gu relaxes for a while. Mi Sun invites the secretary to eat with them. He refuses, but she insists, and forces him to sit. He takes a bite. Because the food is delicious, he takes another bite, and they all relax, eating happily on the ground. Mi Sun takes the opportunity to ask the assistant to take care of Tak Gu and tells stories about how awesome Tak Gu is.

In Sook is bringing out the wine and clinking glasses with Manager Han and some directors, celebrating the successful meeting. Ja Kyung asks what happened to make her so happy. In Sook tells her that it’s a pity she didn’t see Ma Jun handle the situation earlier. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim look uncomfortable.

Ma Jun announces that he’s home, and In Sook heads out to greet him. The happiness fades from her face when she sees that Yu Kyung is there. She asks why Yu Kyung is in their house. Ma Jun tells her to be nicer. Yu Kyung is going to be her daughter-in-law.

Outside, the assistant is driving Tak Gu home. Mi Sun is also in the car. Tak Gu tells the assistant to drive Mi Sun home. Mi Sun asks when Tak Gu will go visit, and he promises to drop by after the director’s meeting. Before she leaves, Mi Sun tells Tak Gu to be confident, and to eat well so that he will have the strength to go on. Most of all, he has to remember to be himself, to be Kim Tak Gu. It really reminds me of what his mother said when she dropped him off many years ago.

As the car leaves, Tak Gu repeats the part about being himself, musing.

The women gather, and In Sook asks Yu Kyung if she’s really going to marry Ma Jun. Yu Kyung says yes. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim don’t seem happy about it. Yu Kyung reminds In Sook that she said that she will show her how far she can go. In Sook says she’s lost, so now will Yu Kyung break up with Ma Jun?

Yu Kyung says that they have come too far. Moreover, they have Il Jung’s blessings. In Sook starts to lose her temper, and Ma Jun emerges from behind a wall. He says that the discussion has gone far enough, and they will leave now. In Sook turns and scolds him for picking a bad time to dabble in unimportant things. Ma Jun tells her that he’s marrying Yu Kyung, so she’ll have to give in this time.

In Sook asks if he wants her to die, and Ma Jun says that he’s the one who will die instead if the marriage doesn’t happen. He walks over to Yu Kyng and pulls her hand up, as if to drag her out, but leaves her hand suspended, exposing the bracelet. In Sook is quiet from the shock, her face revealing her horror. Ma Jun tells her that he’s warned her that he didn’t want to hurt her. He begs her to let things end here.

I don’t know if Ja Kyung noticed the situation, but Yu Kyung realizes that there is something about the bracelet.

Ma Jun and Yu Kyung run into Tak Gu on the way out, and it’s awkward. Ma Jun walks out, holding on to Yu Kyung tightly. When they reach the garden, he finally relaxes. Yu Kyung asks if he’s okay, and Ma Jun draws her in and holds on to her, saying he’ll never let her go.

Tak Gu’s first stop is Il Jung’s room. He puts his things down, and massages Il Jung’s legs, telling him about his day. He didn’t realize that being president was so difficult, but he will persevere. Ja Kyung enters the room looking for Tak Gu. She asks him if he’s really moving in, and tells him that he’s making everyone uncomfortable.

Tak Gu says that he’s only staying until Il Jung wakes up. If they are uncomfortable, he’s happy to move into the smaller house. His only request is that he gets to visit Il Jung every morning and every night. Ja Kyung looks at Tak Gu with new eyes.

Tak Gu moves into the house where Il Jung has his kitchen. As he unpacks and gets things in order, he’s able to relax for a while. He gains confidence, and promises himself that he’ll remain Kim Tak Gu.

The next morning, a confident and fresh looking Tak Gu enters the office with a loud “good morning”. He opens the door to his office wide, and tells the secretaries to take all the accounting files out. He wants them to bring him every single Geo Seung product, and also make charts to show him which are the best selling breads, and which ones do not sell. He wants to know why the popular items are popular and where the unpopular items are lacking.

The secretaries get to work, looking happy at the change of direction.

They gather in Tak Gu’s office to taste the different breads and present him with charts. He decides to make his secretaries fresh bread, which they enjoy. In the meantime, Ma Jun is meeting with people in the company, and a business consultant. It’s like they are preparing for a battle, except they are not making bread this time.

Dr. Yun tells Kim Mi Sun that the young man has become president pro tem. This means he must truly be Kim Tak Gu. Mi Sun is delighted at the news.

Back at home, In Sook is talking to Il Jung. She tells him that today is the day where things will be decided between Ma Jun and Tak Gu, and she is certain that Ma Jun will prevail.

Tak Gu is sleeping in his office when Yu Kyung enters to bring him a change of clothes. She wakes him up, and for a moment he looks relaxed until she reminds him that it’s the day of the director’s meeting. He immediately sobers up and asks if he’s late. He has plenty of time. It’s rare that they have time alone. Tak Gu takes the opportunity to ask if she is doing well. Yu Kyung says that she doesn’t like to mix personal stuff with work, but replies that she’s doing just fine. She chose her path, and she’ll make it work.

In Sook’s party march into the building looking confident. As Tak Gu leaves his office, he tells everyone to work with a happy heart and says Hai! like how Head Baker always says it. The secretaries stay silent, confused. Tak Gu responds to himself, hai hai hai!, and marches out. He enters the meeting room right after In Sook. The directors were greeting In Sook as she arrived, but they ignore Tak Gu.

Tak Gu looks around the room, observing everyone, possiby making eye contact. Most of the directors look unwelcoming, although a couple look friendly. Finally Tak Gu declares the meeting starts.

Outside, Kim Mim Sun is arriving at Geo Seung to attend the director’s meeting.

Back in the Gu’s residence, Lawyer Park is reporting to Il Jung that things are going as planned. Il Jung doesn’t respond, but Lawyer Park goes over to wake him up. Il Jung’s eyes open.

Comments:

Wait…how can Lawyer Park be in two places at the same time? Is the scene in Il Jung’s room before or after the meeting?

I was expecting quite a change of pace given the firestorm the last episode promised. Things are calmer than I expected, but still exciting. I wasn’t expecting another Ma Jun vs Tak Gu battle so soon, much less a corporate battle, but it flows well with the story.

The next episode will be eventful. There will be the results of the corporate battle, and also Kim Mi Sun will finally meet Tak Gu (unless something happens). Anyone notices that the shares are kinda even? Tak Gu 38%, Kim Mi Sun ~3%, compared to the 42% that In Sook has on her side. It’s a really close call.

We’ll probably find out the details next episode, but Il Jung has not been unconscious the entire time. I just can’t tell when the act started. I don’t think he was faking the muscle spasms, but everything else after is uncertain. Is this his way of speeding things up and forcing Tak Gu to join Geo Seung? It doesn’t sound like him. I mean, why force Tak Gu to work in Geo Seung, when you’re happy to let Ma Jun figure out what he wants to do? I know he’s trying to make things right, but his logic is really inconsistent.

I’m a little annoyed about how Ja Rim and Ja Kyung don’t have the opportunities to contribute to the story. It looks like Ja Kyung has some ideas of her own, and Ja Rim is not the doormat I thought she was. But what are they thinking? Can they do anything?


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 26

Posted on March 18, 2011 by Cute Duck

Apologies, but I’m really busy these days. I’ll finish recapping the series, but I won’t be posting as regularly.

episode 26 recaps

Tak Gu tries to start the meeting, but ends up dropping his files on the floor. He loses his cool and desperately tries to gather his papers. In Sook and Ma Jun smirk from their seats. Ja Kyung betrays no emotion.

Ma Jun takes the opportunity to make his presentation. He directs everyone’s attention to the folders that he has placed in front of them. It’s his business plan for the next 10 years. He talks about how Geo Seung’s product line is dated, and he plans to focus on small batch production of high quality bread. The directors nod approvingly at the business proposal.

Finally, it’s Tak Gu’s turn. In Sook leads the attack, asking why he should be allowed to remain as acting president. Tak Gu is nervous after his first false start. He stands up, and takes a deep breath, and remembers Mi Sun’s words: Be yourself, be Kim Tak Gu.

Tak Gu starts off with admitting that he’s not qualified to be there. He doesn’t even know how to conduct a meeting. However, he has prepared in the way that he only knows. The assistants roll in trays of bread and distribute them. Tak Gu encourages the directors to try the bread. The directors taste the bread, and recognize it as Geo Seung’s bread.

Tak Gu says that the bread is not from the factory. He made them himself this morning. He continues on, explaining that he’s a baker, and he has no idea what ordinary profits are. He can only make bread. Tak Gu says that he believes that this is Il Jung’s reason to appoint him as acting president — he is a baker. Tak Gu gets approving nods from both sides of the table. The directors appreciate Tak Gu’s interpretation of Il Jung’s vision.

Ma Jun interrupts to ask if all Tak Gu is planning is to sell the bread that Il Jung created. Tak Gu explains that they can make their own signature flavor. Before they are a company, they are really just people who make bread.

In the background, Lawyer Park looks approvingly. He recalls what Il Jung said to him about Tak Gu, that Tak Gu will be able to convince anyone because he has truth in him. He has now seen it for himself.

Yu Kyung nervously gets the results of the meeting from the other assistants who got to attend the meeting. Ma Jun gets to head the Product Development group. Tak Gu’s fate will be decided again in a month.

Tak Gu meets Lawyer Park on the roof after the meeting has ended. He’s being sent to the Cheongsan factory.

Manager Han reports the decision to In Sook. Manager Han knows that the situation in the Cheongsan factory is bad. He thinks it’s a death sentence, a way to push Tak Gu out.

Tak Gu doesn’t like the decision. He asks if Manager Han is responsible for it. Lawyer Park admits that it’s his doing. Tak Gu asks if he’s being tested. The lawyer admits that Tak Gu needs to earn his position.

Yu Kyung gets to serve Tak Gu water again. Curious, she asks him if he’s going to Cheongsan. Tak Gu says it’s the directors’ orders, so he’ll have to. He seems somewhat happy about it, and says that he will do his best. Wistfully, he adds that it would be nice if they could both go back to their hometown. This spoils the mood. Tak Gu calls for his assistant so that they can head over to Cheongsan immediately.

Kim Mi Sun is in the Geo Seung lobby. It seems that her plan to meet Tak Gu had nothing to do with showing up at the director’s meeting. Indeed, she is having troubles even getting into the elevator. She wonders if they should head back, seeing how Tak Gu survived without her. The elevator arrives and Mi Sun slowly approaches. She takes a step, but suddenly feels dizzy.

In the meantime, Tak Gu is getting ready to head out. He takes the elevator down, which means that the mother and son could miss each other if Mi Sun had decided to head up. When Tak Gu reaches the ground level, Mi Sun is still outside the elevator trying to get over her dizziness. Tak Gu and his assistant walk past them, but he notices that Mi Sun is not feeling well and stops and asks if everything is okay. Mi Sun keeps her face turned away from Tak Gu, and her secretary rejects his offer of help.

“Kim Tak Gu!” Someone calls out to Tak Gu, and Tak Gu turns. It’s the directors, and Tak Gu turns to talk to them. They tell him that they enjoyed his bread and his vision, and look forward to good things from him. Mi Sun hears the directors and realize that she had just spoken to her son. She turns and looks at him for the first time.

Mi Sun watches Tak Gu from a distance, marveling at the young man that he’s become. Her vision starts to blur, and she blinks but the blurry vision doesn’t go away. Her assistant notices that something is wrong, and tries to ask if Mi Sun is okay. Mi Sun collapses, and her assistant catches her. As she falls, Mi Sun mentally calls out Tak Gu’s name.

Tak Gu thanks the last director, and lets out a whoop of joy at his relative success. He stops and asks his assistant if he hears someone calling his name. But there is no one in the lobby, so he must have misheard. They head off to Cheongsan.

Lawyer Park is reporting on the board meeting to Il Jung. Il Jung doesn’t repond, and Lawyer Park calls him again. Finally, Il Jung opens his eyes. Lawyer Park asks if the decision to send Tak Gu to the Cheongsan factory is right. The factory is in bad shape. It’ll be hard to reform it, especially in a month.

Ma Jun is in his new office when In Sook drops by to talk. She asks if he likes his office. He says it’s fine. She tells him to stay there for 6 months, and promises to make him an executive director early next year. She tells him not to make any mistakes in the meantime, and prepares to leave.

Before In Sook can leave, Ma Jun tells her that he would like to proceed with his wedding as soon as possible. In Sook tells him not to spoil the mood, but Ma Jun tells her that it’s time he got to do what he wants.

In Sook tries to fight back. Why should she listen to him? Ma Jun tells her it’s because of the place he picked up the bracelet. In Sook demands to know what he knows about the bracelet. He says that it was found at the place where Grandma died. In Sook looks slightly shocked, but asks what he heard or saw. Ma Jun refuses to divulge anything.

Yu Kyung shows up at the Gu’s house. Apparently, In Sook called her. To her surprise, In Sook tells Yu Kyung to kneel. Yu Kyung is unwilling but she complies. In Sook tells her that she can guess the feeling of humiliation and shame, and says that this is how Yu Kyung will live for the rest of her life in the house.

There won’t be a glorious wedding showered with blessings. Moreover, she will not be added to the family register until she bears a son. She warns Yu Kyung that it’s not certain that she can hold on to Ma Jun for long. A man loses at least half of his feelings after marriage. That’s harsh. Was Grandma even this harsh on In Sook?

It is dark by the time they reach Cheongsan. Tak Gu gets out of the car, and is reminded of all the things that happened in the past. He smiles, and his assistant asks why he’s smiling. Tak Gu recounts how he first met Il Jung at the factory 14 years ago when he was stealing bread.

Tak Gu’s expression suddenly changes as he picks up a smell and gets curious about it. He follows the smell to the source, and heads into the factory. His assistant tries to stop him since the factory manager hasn’t shown up to meet them yet. Failing, he follows Tak Gu in. Someone has noticed their presence.

It is dark in the factory. Tak Gu notices that the temperature and humidity in the factory are wrong for making bread. He notices a moving figure and calls out to see if that person will respond. There is no reply. He wanders around looking for a light switch, and finds a flashlight instead. He finally sees the shadowy figure running and gives chase.

Tak Gu follows the figure down a hallway where there is a door. Thinking he’s gotten the guy for good, Tak Gu opens the door, and the guy hits Tak Gu and they struggle. The lights suddenly turn on, and Tak Gu finally sees the face of the man, and it’s Yu Kyung’s dad.

The factory manager comes over to check what is happening. Assistant Cha explains that they came from the main office. He introduces Tak Gu, and Yu Kyung’s father looks like he recognizes the name.

Yu Kyung looks for Ma Jun in his office, and tells him that she has met with In Sook, and she has given her permission for the wedding. Ma Jun is pleased with the development. Yu Kyung asks Ma Jun what the story behind the bracelet is, and his mood darkens. He tells her that there is no story, and tells her never to ask again.

Tak Gu and Assistant Cha head to the manager’s office to have a talk. Tak Gu asks who the man he encountered earlier was and the manager tells him that his name is Shin Shin Ho, and he was homeless and jobless. They took him in as a security guard 5-6 years ago out of pity. The manager asks if Tak Gu know the man, and Tak Gu denies it.

The manager asks why Tak Gu is suddenly visiting. Tak Gu explains that he’s heard that the situation in the factory is not good, and came to check it out. The manager reports that the workers are quitting because they think the factory will shut down soon, and orders are down by a third. He doesn’t think that Tak Gu should bother with the Cheongsan factory. Tak Gu looks slightly discouraged, but he tells the manager that he has to stay there for a month, under the orders of the board. Honestly, I can’t describe why, but the manager is acting suspiciously.

Tak Gu takes a quick look around the factory. Yu Kyung’s dad is watching him as he checks the flour. Tak Gu catches sight of Yu Kyung’s dad, who reacts by trying to leave nonchalently. Tak Gu follows him out.

Tak Gu approaches him, and asks if he’s Yu Kyung’s father. Yu Kyung’s dad doesn’t reply. He doesn’t look happy about being recognized and approached. Tak Gu asks if he has news of Yu Kyung, and her dad says that he’d kill her if he saw her.  He is bitter about how she got him thrown into jail many years ago. Tak Gu realizes that Yu Kyung’s dad has not changed despite all the years. Yu Kyung’s dad tells him to go back to Seoul, and threatens to kill him if he does anything wrong.

The manager sees Tak Gu’s exchange with Yu Kyung’s dad, and he calls someone to report the discovery.

Manager Han finally has an assignment for Windmill man. He hands him as sheet, and tells him that he needs to bring the mysterious holder of 3.8% of company shares. Windmill man doesn’t seem to want the assignment. He asks Manager Han if he was hired to deal with Tak Gu. Manager Han tells him that it is related, and he’ll find out how.

Kim Mi Sun is lying in bed in a hospital. Dr. Yun tells her that she needs a cornea transplant soon. If nothing comes up in the next month, they will leave the country to seek other sources. Mrs Gong says that Mi Sun needs to get better before the surgery. She chides Mi Sun for not following through with her mission to see Tak Gu.

Mi Sun says that she was too ashamed to meet Tak Gu. She can’t believe that her son has grown up to be a handsome and decent young man. Dr. Yun offers to bring Tak Gu to her. Mi Sun refuses. Having finally seen him with her own eyes, she feels like she could die without regrets.

In Sook is having tea with Manager Han at his office. He asks her if she’s really going to let the marriage happen. In Sook hands him a slip of paper and tells him to track down Yu Kyung’s biological parents. She’s gotten information about the orphanage. Yu Kyung only entered at age 12. Moreover, she was badly injured when she was admitted. If Ma Jun refuses to give up on the wedding, they’ll have to make Yu Kyung give it up. Finally understanding In Sook’s plan, Manager Han relaxes.

There is a knock on the door, and it’s Yu Kyung. In Sook wants her to go out. They end up going to a jewelry store.

Tak Gu drops by the office in the morning to look for Yu Kyung, but she’s not there. Ma Jun happens to come by and overhears Tak Gu asking for Yu Kyung. He is unhappy about it, and asks Tak Gu what he has to say to Yu Kyung. He informs Tak Gu that Yu Kyung will soon be a married woman. Tak Gu is upset by the news, but he tries to hide it. He makes Ma Jun promise that he’ll make Yu Kyung happy.

With the news of her marriage, Tak Gu decides that he doesn’t need to tell Yu Kyung about her father. Tak Gu meets Assistant Cha in front of the building. Are they headed to Cheongsan now? Tak Gu tells him to head to Incheon instead. He promised to visit the Pal Bong bakery.

Everyone comes out to greet Tak Gu as he gets out of the car. Tak Gu asks the bakers for a favor, and brings out a box of packaged bread. Axe Eyes takes a bite, and makes a face. This prompts everyone else to try some, and Mi Sun asks what is wrong with the taste. Tak Gu tells them that these are bread made at the Cheongsan factory. Axe Eyes thinks the factory should be closed down. Tak Gu says that he would like to get their help to diagnose the problem.

Tak Gu tells them that to remain as president pro tem, he was given the task of developing a new bread at the factory. Mi Sun thinks it’s a way of forcing him out. Nonetheless, Tak Gu needs to put up a fight, and he asks the bakers for their help. He wants them to infiltrate the factory, and gather information about it.

Head Baker, Axe Eyes, and Curly turn up in the manager’s office. The manager asks if they have experience. Head Baker says he’s always worked with dough, and Axe Eyes says he’s knows a little about shaping. Curly says he’ll do whatever odd jobs are available. The manager asks them why they are looking for work in such a badly run factory, and they say something about needing to get whatever work they can get.

They get hired, and the plan goes into action. Head Baker’s task is to report on the bread making process. Axe Eyes needs to check on employees’ morale, and Curly gets to check the inventory. The four men work in the factory, pretending not to know each other.

They gather in Tak Gu’s office to deliver their report. Curly says that the inventory doesn’t agree with the sheets that Tak Gu gave him. Moreover, any bags of flour are older than a year. Head Baker says that the fermentation room is in such a mess that it’s amazing that they are even making bread. Axe Eyes reports that employee morale is low — they have more work because of the number of people who quit, and they are not getting more pay.

Tak Gu realizes that this could mean billions of won of mismanaged money. Such a sum probably wasn’t embezzled by the factory manager alone. It’s a tricky situation. Tak Gu asks for their continued help in monitering the situation.

Yu Kyung joins the family for dinner that evening. It’s quiet and awkward at the dinner table. Ma Jun breaks the silence, asking when they can hold the wedding. Everyone looks a little upset. Deliberately oblivious, Ma Jun says he would like to have the wedding soon. Ja Kyung reminds him that Il Jung is still ill. Ma Jun says he is being filial by marrying soon so that Il Jung can see it before he passes on.

In Sook interrupts to say that it’s a crucial time for Il Jung. She tells Ma Jun that they can start preparing for the wedding. Disgusted by Ma Jun and In Sook, Ja Kyung and Ja Rim walk away from the table.

Ma Jun and Yu Kyung leave the house after dinner, probably to send her home. Yu Kyung tells Ma Jun to stop making things difficult for her. How could he be so insensitive given his father’s condition? Ma Jun tells her that he’s worried that the wedding can’t proceed if they don’t hurry. He draws her into an embrace, but Yu Kyung finds herself reluctant to hold him

Tak Gu is just arriving home as Ma Jun and Yu Kyung are making up. He sees them but walks on.

Tak Gu heads straight to Il Jung’s room. Ja Kyung is there. Tak Gu sets down his box, and greets her. He proceeds to sit next to Il Jung on his bed, and talk to him. He tells Il Jung that he’s back from work, and asks if he’s been bored. Tak Gu massages his legs as well. Ja Kyung looks surprised to see how comfortable Tak Gu is with her father.

Kim Mi Sun is not getting better. Mrs Gong asks Dr. Yun to try get Tak Gu over. He agrees to pay Tak Gu a visit. As he leaves, Dr. Yun walks by the Windmill man.

Manager Han shows up at the factory to see Yu Kyung’s dad. Yu Kyung’s dad recognizes him, and doesn’t look happy to see him.

Tak Gu shows up at the factory in time to see Yu Kyung’s father leaving with Manager Han. Realizing what is going to happen, he runs over to Yu Kyung’s dad to confirm his suspicions, and begs him to behave like a real father for once. Yu Kyung’s dad is unrepentent. He is going to see his daughter. Tak Gu gets into his car and heads back to Seoul as well.

Tak Gu ends up rushing back to the office to look for Yu Kyung. Yu Kyung has gone out with In Sook again, but they have no idea where. The head secretary offers to call and find out.

In the meantime, Yu Kyung is looking at wedding dresses with In Sook and Ma Jun. She picks one to try out. Ma Jun is enthralled by how lovely Yu Kyung looks, and In Sook notes it, annoyed. She looks at her watch, and glances outside.

Dr. Yun had actually arrived a step after Tak Gu. As the timing works out, Dr. Yun’s elevator takes him up to Tak Gu’s office just as Tak Gu is rushing out. He exits the elevator while Tak Gu rushes in. As the door closes, Dr. Yun turns back and stops the door. He asks if Tak Gu is Kim Tak Gu. Tak Gu doesn’t reply. Dr. Yun asks if he knows Kim Mi Sun who lives in Cheongsan. Tak Gu is surprised beyond words.

Windmill man is at the hospital. He’s taken the opportunity while Mrs Gong is out to enter the room. He has a wheelchair. Kim Mi Sun realizes that someone is in the room, and calls out to ask who it it.

Seeing Manager Han finally approach the store, In Sook looks delighted. Manager Han heads in, and Yu Kyung’s father follows. He doesn’t notice her immediately, until Manager Han tells him to go greet his daughter.

Comments:

I can’t believe they did the almost-meeting scene between Tak Gu and Kim Mi Sun. I thought it might happen, but figured it was too cheap a trick. I guess not. And now, we have to deal with Kim Mi Sun lying around being pitiful. Vengeful Mi Sun is so much more interesting than lying down Mi Sun. I’m glad that Dr. Yun is doing something about it.

Tak Gu’s performance at the director’s meeting was disappointing. It’s hard to believe that the directors were won over by his little spiel about being a baker, and the tiny offering of a piece of bread. It’s unrealistic. However, the fact that the directors gave him a chance to develop a new bread (even under Il Jung’s suggestion) seems reasonable. What else can a baker do?

Il Jung is being such a puppet master. First, he guilt-trips Tak Gu into working in the company. Now, he’s trying to make his sons work and show their worth before handing them the company. To avoid showing favoritism, he’s decided to act unconscious and let the directors do the dirty work for him. I think it’s fair, but I also think it’s cowardly of him. I feel like he could arrange for tasks for his sons, and get the directors to judge independently of him.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t see more of Yang Mi Sun in this episode. However, I did like it that it was her words that gave Tak Gu the courage to proceed with the director’s meeting when he floundered.

I also thought it was hilarious how the Pal Bong bakers were roped back into the story as industrial spies. It actually makes sense, and makes for a few laughs, which is rare in this serious episode. I like how Tak Gu is able to fall back on trusted friends to help him out. So different from Il Jung and Ma Jun.

I had almost forgotten about Yu Kyung’s father. Initially when we transitioned to adulthood, I wondered if he was coming back into the show. After so many episodes, I happily forgot about him. Actually, I didn’t want him to show up. Something about his character makes me really uncomfortable. The fact that he’s hopeless and unrepentent..I don’t really want to deal with him. I hope they resolve the issue and he goes away soon.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 27

Posted on April 1, 2011 by Cute Duck

Sorry for the wait. I wrote up the recap a while ago, but never got around to formatting the article.

I was thankful that they resolved the situation with Yu Kyung’s dad in the simplest and cleanest possible way. The rest of the script is pretty predictable since there are many loose ends and the solutions are obvious. Endings are pretty predictable aren’t they? The one thing I can’t imagine right now is how Yang Mi Sun will finally get together with Tak Gu. There are many possible intermediaries. I hope it happens soon so that we can have some cute moments, but it’s likely they will just show them getting together and end the story that way.

episode 27 recaps

Tak Gu asks Dr. Yun who is he. Dr. Yun introduces himself, and says that he’s an old friend of Kim Mi Sun. Tak Gu asks where she is right now, and if she is well. Dr. Yun says that Mi Sun is slightly sick, and offers to take Tak Gu to her.

Back at the bridal dress store, the first person to say anything is Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks who the man that Manager Han brought is. Manager Han says that he’s Yu Kyung’s father. No one says anything. In Sook asks if it’s true. She says it’s disgusting how Yu Kyung lied about her foster home and being an orphan when she had a father all along. Yu Kyung’s father looks uncomfortable. Ma Jun asks if it’s real. Yu Kyung decides to take control of the situation.

She asks him who he is. Her father doesn’t reply. Yu Kyung declares that he is not her father. Her father is a man who is loud and who always swears at her and beats her. Her father is not the silent man who is standing before her. Manager Han should have picked a more suitable man if he wanted her to give up on the marriage. She excuses herself and heads to the dressing room to change.

Ma Jun asks what just happened. Manager Han insists that the man is Yu Kyung’s true father. In Sook tells Ma Jun to see what kind of person Yu Kyung is. She’s a liar who would forsake her father. Also, Ma Jun would be stuck with having to care for him after the wedding.

As soon as Yu Kyung is hidden behind the curtains of the dressing room, her confident composure cracks and she starts to hyperventilate and tear. Yu Kyung sways a little, but she holds herself up. She looks faint as the attendants are helping her with the dress, as she recalls the words of abuse her dad had said to her. Finally, she collapses. The attendants shriek in surprise and horror, and Ma Jun hurriedly opens the curtains, revealing Yu Kyung on the floor.

Tak Gu follows Dr. Yun to the hospital. As they approach Mi Sun’s room, Tak Gu slows down as he gets nervous. Hand trembling, he opens the door to her room. It is empty. Puzzled, he turns to Dr. Yun who is equally surprised. A nurse enters, and Dr. Yun asks where the patient is. She informs him that the patient was discharged and she left a note. She hands the note to Dr. Yun, but Tak Gu grabs it before the doctor could read it.

Mi Sun’s note says that she’s going on vacation. Tak Gu is unwilling to give up, and asks the nurse when Mi Sun left. The nurse reports that it was 5 or 10 minutes ago. Hearing that, Tak Gu rushes out. Of course, he narrowly misses catching Mi Sun, who is being driven away by Windmill man.

In Sook and Manager Han are talking in Il Jung’s room. She tells him that he did a good job with Yu Kyung’s dad. Manager Han asks if it is possible to get back the marriage alliance with the produce company. In Sook says it’s not a problem — they have actually asked if Ma Jun would change his mind about marrying their daughter.

As for the shares, they need another 5.8% to guarantee Ma Jun’s position in the company. Manager Han says that he’s found someone with 3.8% and is currently working on it.

Manager Han asks how Il Jung is doing, and In Sook says that he’s not regaining consciousness. Manager Han takes her hand, and tells her to remember that he’s there for her. In Sook yanks her hand away and changes the topic.

Yu Kyung is lying in her apartment, and Ma Jun is watching her. In her sleep, Yu Kyung begs her father for forgiveness, and begs him not to beat her.

Tak Gu returns to the Cheongsan factory. It’s dark, and he’s exhausted by the day’s events. He thinks back to what Dr. Yun said about his mother avoiding him so that she doesn’t get in his way, and realizes that his mother hasn’t changed at all.

A bunch of guys come out of the factory. It’s Yu Kyung’s father, and he’s getting beaten by a group of men. Tak Gu tries to stop them, and they tell him that Yu Kyung’s dad stole their money. Tak Gu offers to pay them back if they stop beating Yu Kyung’s dad.

With help from Assistant Cha, Tak Gu pays the men, and they go off. Tak Gu brings over a first aid box, and proceeds to clean his wounds up. Yu Kyung’s dad kicks up a fuss and tells Tak Gu to leave him alone. Tak Gu tells him that he’s doing this for Yu Kyung, not because he likes the guy. Yu Kyung’s dad quietens down.

Tak Gu asks if he saw Yu Kyung, and how he felt. Was he happy? Or was he dying to hit her again? Yu Kyung’s dad doesn’t take well to the questions. Tak Gu reminds him that he’s a father, and asks if his heart feels bad for treating his daughter in that manner. Doesn’t he feel ashamed?

Yu Kyung’s dad tells him that he’s not going to sit around and listen to Tak Gu preach. As he gets up to leave, Tak Gu hands Yu Kyung’s father a bunch of money. He tells him to stop stealing. If he needs money, he can come to Tak Gu. His friend’s dad is like his dad. Yu Kyung’s dad looks surprised, but accepts the money and goes off.

Once he’s alone, Yu Kyung’s dad recalls how his daughter denied knowing him earlier that day, and cries.

It’s night when Yu Kyung finally wakes up. She finds herself being cradled by a sleeping Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks if she’s okay. He tells her that she should forget what has happened today, and forget that she has such a terrible father. Yu Kyung replies that parent-child relationships are impossible to deny. Ma Jun tells her that they don’t need people who hurt them.

Ma Jun asks her to take time off on Sunday. Yu Kyung asks what is happening on that day. Ma Jun says he would like to marry her. It won’t be a fancy wedding, and they will probably have no guests. He asks if she’s willing. Yu Kyung asks if he’s for real. He says yes, and they finally kiss. Yu Kyung is finally able to bring herself to touch Ma Jun.

Mi Sun is walking to her bedroom when she notices that the door to Tak Gu’s room is open. She goes in and finds Tak Gu lying on the floor, sleeping. She says his name, and Tak Gu replies, eyes still closed. Mi Sun asks what he’s doing there, and Tak Gu says he’s very tired, and needs to sleep. He’ll be fine after he sleeps. Mi Sun doesn’t question him, and gets out his blanket and covers him. She tells him to sleep well and he thanks her.

Over at Dr. Yun’s, he’s really believing that Mi Sun has decided to hide somewhere with Mrs Gong. However, someone is struggling inside a janitor’s closet.

Ma Jun arrives home the next morning, and heads straight to Il Jung’s room. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim also enter. In Sook is already there. Ma Jun says that he has something to tell Il Jung, and announces that he will marry Yu Kyung on Sunday. He apologizes to Il Jung for not waiting, but it doesn’t seem to be working out.

In Sook is livid at the announcement, and asks him exactly what he’s doing. Ma Jun tells her that it’s better if she didn’t turn up at the wedding since she’ll make a fuss. Turning to his sisters, Ma Jun says that he would understand it if no one turned up at his wedding. He needed to at least inform everyone.

Dr. Yun receives a call from Tak Gu, who is calling from the factory. He asks if Mi Sun has called. Dr. Yun tells Tak Gu to be patient. He will call the moment he hears news of Mi Sun. Disappointed, Tak Gu puts down the phone and turns to his next task. He puts on his baking hat, and gets to work. Today, he will start work on making the new bread.

Despite Dr. Yun’s promise to call, Tak Gu takes every opportunity to check in with him for news.

The new bread doesn’t taste good. Head Baker, Axe Eyes and Curly are there for the tasting, and in the presence of the factory manager, they can only give each other looks. Talking privately, Head Baker thinks that the flour is the problem. But how are they going to deal with the problem of the suspicious inventory? Head Baker says that the only thing to do is to change the supplier. The factory manager is spying on Tak Gu and Head Baker, and reports what he overheard.

Surely enough, Manager Han confronts Tak Gu about changing suppliers. They’ve been doing business with the same supplier for over 10 years. How can Tak Gu suddenly decide to switch? Tak Gu counters that the supplier gives them low quality flour for exorbitant prices. There will be a penalty for breaking the contract? Since they broke their end of the contract, Geo Seung should be able to get out without having to pay penalties.

Tak Gu asks Manager Han if there is some reason that Manager Han is unwilling to change suppliers. Receiving poor quality goods for high prices means that someone is embezzling in the factory. Tak Gu asks if Manager Han has a hand in it, which would explain his insistence on the supplier. Manager Han tells Tak Gu to obey the authority in the company.

Tak Gu reminds Manager Han that as the President Pro Tem, he is ranks higher than Manager Han. He’s been studying what his rights as President pro tem are, and human resources fall within his scope of responsibilities. This means that he has the right to switch Manager Han out of his current position. Manager Han doesn’t take to Tak Gu’s words well, and storms out.

On the other side of the door, the assistants are listening in. They pretend to be working when Manager Han opens the door. Tak Gu goes out and asks his assistants how he did. He did everything as they had practiced the day before, but was he too harsh on Manager Han? Assistant Cha assures him that he did everything perfectly.

One of the assistants is not joining in on the congratulations. He reports to Manager Han that the Assistant’s Office has completely taken Tak Gu’s side. Ah yes, it would be too easy if everyone was on Tak Gu’s side.

Manager Han checks in on the progress with Kim Mi Sun. Windmill man reports that she is still refusing. Windmill man and Kim Mi Sun seem to be in a fancy house. She looks more energetic compared to when she was in the hospital. She remarks that she thought that Windmill man was working for Il Jung, but is wrong. Windmill man doesn’t reply, and tells her to rest. He goes outside, where we see several guards in the compound.

The janitor is getting her cleaning supplies when she hears some noises coming from the closet. She walks over, and notices that it’s been shut. She opens it and finds Mrs Gong inside, gagged and bound.

Dr. Yun and the secretary rush to the hospital. Mrs Gong tells them that she has no idea what happened, only that she was tied up and left in the closet.

Yu Kyung’s dad shows up at Geo Seong, neatly dressed for once. Yu Kyung happens to see him, but he doesn’t acknowledge her. Ma Jun is called down and he meets with Yu Kyung’s dad while she eavesdrop from behind a pillar. To Ma Jun’s surprise, Yu Kyung’s dad came to deny that he has any relationship with Yu Kyung. He admits that Manager Han paid him, but he’s now giving the money back. He apologizes for the furor he caused, and wishes Ma Jun and Yu Kyung a happy marriage.

Yu Kyung follows her dad as he makes his way out of the Geo Seong building. She calls out to him, and he turns around. She asks him why he just did what he did, and he said it’s because of Tak Gu. He tells her to hurry away, in case someone saw them talking.

Ma Jun goes to Manager Han’s office to return the money that Yu Kyung’s dad handed him. He tells Manager Han that he’s getting married on Sunday, and that he shouldn’t try to stop him. Manager Han tells him to reconsider, but Ma Jun tells him that he doesn’t want to live looking at a woman he can’t have. Even Yu Kyung’s dad had the decency to do the right thing in the end. He threatens to sever ties with the family if they try to stop the marriage.

Ma Jun leaves Manager Han’s office, but stops when he reaches the hallway.

Tak Gu is in his office. Someone knocks on the door, and Tak Gu says to enter. Yu Kyung comes in, and she notes that Tak Gu is eating bread. He says it’s to get ideas for new breads. He is happy that she’s speaking informally with him. Yu Kyung sets down a resignation letter in front of him. She tells him that she’s getting married. Despite earlier warning, Tak Gu is slightly surprised.

Yu Kyung thanks him for everything, and says that she’ll always remember and hold him dear in her heart. She approaches and gives Tak Gu a hug. We see the door to Tak Gu’s office was left open, which was unprofessional. The door leading to the assistant’s office was also left open, and just outside, Ma Jun is standing and looking in. He looks really angry.

It’s Sunday. Yu Kyung is in the church early, waiting for everyone else to arrive.

Tak Gu is getting dressed for the wedding when he gets a call. He rushes over to the hospital, where Dr. Yun is looking over CCTV footage. They find a video showing Windmill man pushing Mi Sun out on a wheelchair. Tak Gu can’t believe his eyes. He rushes off to Pal Bong bakery, and asks Head Baker where Windmill man went.

Tak Gu explains that he thinks that Windmill man is with his mother. He needs to get to them before the police find them. Reluctantly, Head Baker says that all he knows is that a man called Han Seung Jae paid for Windmill man’s sister’s surgery. It’s enough to send Tak Gu rushing off again.

Ma Jun arrives at the church. He still looks bothered by the hug, and is a little hesitant. Eventually, he makes his way into the church, and hands Yu Kyung her flowers.

A couple of cars arrive, bringing Ja Kyung, Ja Rim and Manager Han. A couple of the secretaries have also arrived. In Sook has stayed home. The guests enter just as Ma Jun and Yu Kyung walk down the aisle. Tak Gu is unable to attend the ceremony after all.

Ma Jun says his vows, but Yu Kyung is silent, thinking about Tak Gu. The priest prompts her again, and she finally replies. Ma Jun is not happy about it.

The vows over, Manager Han heads out.

Tak Gu is waiting at Pal Bong bakery. His assistant pulls up in the car and reports that Manager Han is leaving the wedding for Cheongpyong. Yang Mi Sun overhears their conversation.

Manager Han hands the papers to Mi Sun to sign, threatening her with harm. Mi Sun picks the papers up and tears them up. This is her reply. She wants to see what Manager Han will do.  He orders his men to take her out. Just as two men start to drag Mi Sun away, Windmill man intervenes. Let him finish the job he didn’t complete 14 years ago.

Tak Gu arrives at the Cheongpyong house. He takes off his jacket in anticipation of a fight. He goes to the men at the door and says that he’s looking for his mother. The men laugh at him, and try to chase him away. Tak Gu shouts for his mother, and surprisingly, she replies, calling his name.

Tak Gu pushes his way through the men, and runs towards the voice. He’s just in time to see Mi Sun being shoved into the backseat of a black Jeep, and runs desperately after the car. Oh, the deja vu.

Comments:
A lot of little incidents in this episode. The seeds were sowed a few episodes before, and it’s just following through with the conclusions for now.

I like it that they wrapped up the problem with Yu Kyung’s father simply and quickly. I like it that Ma Jun is doing what he wants for once, although with a vengeful heart. My favorite part is when they re-created the scene of Tak Gu running after his mother. I like it when they round back to the start, especially when I wasn’t expecting it.

I’m looking forward to seeing more ends being tied next episode.

The one thing I really hated was how In Sook found Yu Kyung’s dad and said that she lied about being an orphan. Could she imagine other situations where parents can’t take care of their children, like poverty or abuse? Sympathy points for Yu Kyung there. Also, Yu Kyung looked great in the wedding scenes.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 28

Posted on April 14, 2011 by Cute Duck

I find the recent more evil Yu Kyung much more attractive than the innocent one from before. Not sure when it happened. What do you think? It’s like she finally became comfortable in her own skin, more honest.

episode 28

It turns out that it wasn’t just Windmill man and Kim Mi Sun in the car. One of Manager Han’s men is in the front seat. Thus even if he was tempted to, Windmill man couldn’t do anything to help Tak Gu.

Tak Gu gives up chasing on foot, and runs towards his car. He jumps into the front seat and takes the steering wheel and drives off, leaving his assistant behind. Wait…since when did Tak Gu learn to drive? The other Manager Han thugs give chase as well.

Initially they are driving on the roads, but Windmill man decides to take a mud track to try shake his pursuers off. Surely enough, Tak Gu’s car gets stuck in the mud. He abandons his car and continues his chase on foot, running. Windmill man doesn’t get that far either — he meets a farmer driving a tractor. It’s really deja vu isn’t it?

Manager Han’s thug gets out and shouts for the farmer to back off. Windmill man takes the opportunity to unlock the door for Mi Sun. He looks back at her to make sure she understands, and Mi Sun seizes the chance to run off. She gets a bit of a headstart, but the thug notices her running away and gives chase. Windmill man catches up with him and knocks him out.

With her bad eyesight, Mi Sun can’t run confidently. She encounters the second group of thugs (who were after Tak Gu) who grab her. Tak Gu finally catches up with them, and tells them to move aside so that he can see his mother. The head thug beats Tak Gu up while Mi Sun keeps pleading for him to stop. Tak Gu doesn’t retaliate. After he throws Tak Gu aside, Tak Gu gets back up and demands that the head thug allow him to see his mother again. And again, the head thug beats him up and tries to toss him aside.

The rest of the thugs start to look uncomfortable at the situation. Finally, head thug himself hesitates, giving Tak Gu a chance to ask how much more he needs to be beatened before the thug will let him see his mother. Tak Gu explains that he’s been separated from his mother for 14 years. He’s willing to endure anything so that he can see his mother again. He tells head thug to beat him up till he’s satisfied. Head thug gives up and lets Tak Gu through.

Mi Sun and Tak Gu are finally reunited. Of course, there are tears. The thugs hang around for a while, and decide to leave, saving Windmill man from throwing a few more punches. Finally, Tak Gu tells Mi Sun that they should head home. There is plenty of time to talk.

In Sook is sitting at home when Ja Kyung and Ja Rim get back from the wedding.  In Sook sort of implies that they are late, and Ja Kyung explains that they took the newly weds out to dinner. Ja Rim asks if she was waiting for them. In Sook denies it angrily.

Ja Kyung tells In Sook that the wedding ceremony was simple and serious. In Sook says that she doesn’t care. Indeed, she seems to be more upset about being betrayed.

Ma Jun and Yu Kyung are spending their first night in what looks like a hotel. Ma Jun asks how she feels about finally being the daughter-in-law of Geo Seung.  Yu Kyung tries to avoid Ma Jun’s unpleasant tone, and says that she is tired. Ma Jun asks why Yu Kyung likes Tak Gu so much. He has deduced that she was thinking of Tak Gu when she hesitated during the ceremony. Yu Kyung doesn’t answer.

Ma Jun tells her that she’s gotten what she wanted, now it’s his turn. Yu Kyung looks perturbed.

Ma Jun says that he will tell her a secret, and it has to do with the bracelet. He’s carried the secret alone since he was twelve. He leans over and whispers into her ear. We can’t hear what he is saying, but we know the story. Ma Jun’s face is one of detached amusement. Did a switch flip in him? Yu Kyung looks stunned at the story. Ma Jun tells her to rest well, and heads down to a party.

The party consists of a group of young partiers, who congratulate him on his marriage. He has his arms around a couple of girls. One of them ask where his wife is, and he says she’s resting. Ma Jun proceeds to kiss the girl.

It’s the next morning and Yang Mi Sun is outside the house, sweeping up the leaves, when Tak Gu and Mi Sun arrive, driven by Assistant Cha. She looks curiously at the woman cradling a sleeping Tak Gu. Tak Gu wakes up, and smiles at her, and Yang Mi Sun smiles back, knowing that this is the mother he’s been desperately seeking.

They proceed into the house, and Tak Gu introduces his mother to the family. He promises Kim Mi Sun that he’ll be back as soon as Il Jung regains consciousness. He will visit her often, and they can get their own place someday.

When Yang Mi Sun goes to call Tak Gu and his mother for breakfast, she finds them asleep together.

Manager Han can’t believe that his men let Mi Sun and Tak Gu get away. Head thug explains that they may be thugs, but they have the ability to sympathize. Representing his men, he tells Manager Han that they will no longer work for him. I find this a little hard to swallow, but I get the point: Manager Han is losing support, and the tide is turning.

Windmill man tells Manager Han to give him independent assignments from now on, seeing that he can’t trust the other men. Manager Han looks doubtful. The other man who was in the car with Windmill man reports that it was Windmill man who knocked him out.

Il Jung is out of his bed, getting a phone report from Windmill man. They talk about some document that Il Jung is trying to locate. He warns Windmill man to be cautious because Manager Han is naturally suspicious. Indeed, Windmill man is being watched as he makes the call from a public phone.

While he looked normal talking on the phone, we see that Il Jung is not all well. The arm that was giving him troubles is permanently cramping, and he’s hobbling with a walking stick. Despite his best efforts, Il Jung falls as he tries to get back into bed, and his inadvertent cry draws Ja Kyung into the room.

Ja Kyung is completely taken aback at the sight of her father on the floor. She checks if he’s okay, but Il Jung tells her to shut the door. Ja Kyung obeys, and then helps Il Jung up. Il Jung tells her to keep the secret from everyone. Ja Kyung looked perplexed, and agrees on the condition that he explains why he’s faking his coma. Il Jung tells her that he’s looking for the truth.

Yu Kyung is woken up by a phone call the next morning. The first thing she notices is that Ma Jun didn’t go back to the room last night. It’s In Sook on the phone, and she wants to meet to talk. They meet in the hotel lobby.

Seeing Yu Kyung alone, In Sook asks whether Ma Jun is still sleeping. Yu Kyung lies and says yes. In Sook tells Yu Kyung that they should move back into the Gu house. It looks bad if their only son moved out of the family home after marriage. In Sook has remodeled Ma Jun’s room so that they can stay there. She reminds Yu Kyung that she needs to bear a son before she will be acknowledged.

In Sook gets up to leave and suddenly freezes in displeasure. Yu Kyung looks, and sees Ma Jun with his arms around a girl, who gives him a kiss before she leaves. Ma Jun notices the women looking at him, and he heads over casually. He asks why In Sook is visiting. She is more interested in the girl he was with. Yu Kyung looks upset, and Ma Jun notes it with delight.

Ma Jun excuses himself, saying that he’s late for work.

Yu Kyung follows In Sook home, suitcase in tow. In Sook barely acknowledges her, and leaves it to Ja Rim to show Yu Kyung to Ma Jun’s room. In the privacy of the room, Ja Rim finally addresses Yu Kyung. She knows that Yu Kyung didn’t marry Ma Jun because she loves him, and asks what Yu Kyung’s aim is. Ja Rim hopes that Yu Kyung can find happiness although she doubts it.

Tak Gu arrives at Geo Seung in a good mood. At the lobby he runs into Manager Han, and Tak Gu thanks him for the reunion with his mother. Manager Han denies any knowledge of what Tak Gu is talking about. Tak Gu tells him to drop the act and to act like an adult. Manager Han tells Tak Gu that it’s not right to rely on his father’s backing to get to where he is. I like how Tak Gu is directly confronting Manager Han these days.

The other assistant meets Tak Gu in the lobby to give him bad news. The Cheongsan factory has failed to ship goods.

A group of customers are complaining that they have not received their orders, and they are demanding compensation. Tak Gu tries to plead with them since it’s the first time they have failed to ship. First time? The customers get upset. It’s been many times. Tak Gu looks to the factory manager, who doesn’t acknowledge responsibility and only says “I told you so”.

Back at the office, Tak Gu gets a visit from Ja Kyung who is furious about the situation since her job is to handle the press. Tak Gu promises to try resolve the issue, and Ja Kyung doesn’t accept it. Does he have a plan? He needs to do better than try. A whole company’s worth of employees and their families are relying on him to keep them fed.

Tak Gu tells Ja Kyung that he’s willing to learn if she teaches him. She is taken aback by his humble approach, but asks him why she should. Ja Kyung had to work from bottom up to reach where she is in the company, while Ma Jun and Tak Gu were given high positions from the get-go because they are sons. Tak Gu acknowledges that her situation was difficult, but he also can tell that she’s worried about Geo Seung. He’s her little brother, and she should teach him what is right. He can tell that she cares about the company, so she wouldn’t let it go like this.

Yu Kyung asks Ma Jun out in the middle of the day to have a talk. She is willing to tell him why she likes Tak Gu. She likes him because he makes her feel like a good person. However, she’s afraid to stay around for too long because he will find out that she is not who he thought she was. On the other hand, she and Ma Jun are the same. They are people who can’t forgive and seek the painful route. Ma Jun asks if she married him out of pity.

Yu Kyung tells Ma Jun that a tiny part of her hoped that Ma Jun had true feelings for her, and that they will be happy. Yu Kyung says that she realizes that she was being naive. I like how without referring to the girl from that morning, Yu Kyung manages to convey her disappointment.

Yu Kyung dresses up that night. She hangs around the house like she’s waiting and runs into In Sook. Ma Jun is partying away with some girls like the night before. I think she’s waiting for Ma Jun. Unlike the previous night, Ma Jun is feeling guilty being in another girl’s arms.

Kim Mi Sun is walking in the hallway, squinting. I think she might be worried about her eyes, but she’s not letting on. Yang Mi Sun comes along and asks her if she’s waiting for Tak Gu. Kim Mi Sun says she can’t sleep and Yang Mi Sun says she can’t sleep either. Yang Mi Sun introduces the flowers in the garden to Kim Mi Sun, and as they are talking, Tak Gu appears.

They head downstairs and Yang Mi Sun brings out her newest cake. It’s a cheesecake, and she’s made it with Tak Gu in mind. Tak Gu takes a forkful, and declares the cake delicious. However, he doesn’t have the appetite for much. Yang Mi Sun asks if his work has been hard, and Tak Gu changes the topic so that Kim Mi Sun doesn’t worry. He notes that Yang Mi Sun has improved, and calls her by her nickname.

Yang Mi Sun protests the use of her nickname. She tells Kim Mi Sun that because they have the same name, Tak Gu refuses to call her by name, preferring to call her Fallen Soybeans. Given how terrible it has been trying to describe these two scenes, I’m tempted to call her Fallen Soybeans as well.

K. Mi Sun tells Tak Gu to stop it, since it’s not nice. Tak Gu defends himself, saying that he can call Y. Mi Sun Fallen Soybeans because she is pretty. He would only be cruel if she wasn’t pretty, and he called her that. Tak Gu offers Y. Mi Sun some cake, and she directs the fork into his mouth. They play a little, and end up feeding each other with the same fork while K. Mi Sun watches on. They look very natural and comfortable with each other, but it feels awkward (to me) to have his mom looking at them. Kim Mi Sun seems a little surprised herself.

Breakfast time at the Gu house is a women only affair. In Sook asks if Ma Jun stayed out again. She remarks that Ma Jun is acting very differently from when he was dying to get married. Yu Kyung changes the topic and raises her wrist, showing the bracelet. She tells In Sook that she didn’t realize that the bracelet was hers. She heard from Ma Jun that he picked it up at the lower garden a rainy night 14 years ago.

In Sook pales and Ja Kyung tells Yu Kyung to speak clearly instead of speaking in code. Yu Kyung says that In Sook understands her perfectly well. In Sook gets very worried.

Ja Kyung looks like she might have started to piece things together. She thinks back to the time when Ma Jun raised Yu Kyung’s arm to show the bracelet and told In Sook that he didn’t want to hurt her. She remembers the night when she found a cold and frightened Ma Jun holding onto a piece of jewelry, and how In Sook was rubbing her right wrist. Finally, we see the flashback when Il Jung said that he’s seeking the truth. He didn’t say much after that revelation, only saying that he can’t say anymore. His other words were to ask Ja Kyung to take care of Tak Gu.

Ja Kyung makes a decision. She picks up the phone and calls someone to ask where Tak Gu is.

Tak Gu is at the office of one of the angry customers to try talk to him. Tak Gu acknowledges his mistake, but pleads for leniency. The customer tells Tak Gu that the missing shipment is not the real problem. The real problem is that the quality of the bread has gone down. He laments the fact that Il Jung no longer takes care of the Cheongsan factory.

Tak Gu eventually heads back to the factory, despondent, and Ja Kyung finds him there.

Manager Han looks up In Sook in Il Jung’s room. She tells him that they need to talk, and that they should head to the study. A car arrives at the Gu’s house. Ma Jun has finally decided to come home.

In Sook tells Manager Han that the bracelet has resurfaced, and that Yu Kyung was able to furnish details about the rainy night. She thinks that Ma Jun saw something that night, and he’s told Yu Kyung. He’s had the bracelet the entire 14 years and has managed to hide everything. Manager Han doesn’t want to believe it, and says he will go upstairs to talk to Yu Kyung to check. As he turns to the door, Manager Han sees Il Jung standing outside with his walking stick. Did I mention that there was lightning that night?

Il Jung takes a step into the study with aid from his walking stick, in a way that completely reminds me of how Grandma was walking. He starts to speak, demanding to know where they were the night his mother died. He tells Manager Han and In Sook that he will never forgive them. Deja vu again.

Outside the study, Ma Jun witnesses the entire encounter.

Comments:
I love this deja vu thing that the drama writer has set up not once, but twice. It makes for really good story telling. And we know this time, things will end differently. I like how we didn’t have to repeat cycles before getting to the solution.

I like this episode for the increased screentime and importance of Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. Finally we get to hear what else they have to say besides publicly agreeing with their mother. Ja Kyung will probably have a larger role to play in the next 2 episodes, but I can’t see where Ja Rim can fit in. However at least now, we can see that adult Ja Rim does have her own opinions, even though she’s not as mature as Ja Kyung. They made adult Ja Rim such a ditz, I don’t know if it’s possible to redeem her fully. I thought she was cynical and wise when she was a kid.

The part where the gangsters quit working for Manager Han was just unbelievable. I wasn’t expecting Tak Gu to stand and get beatened, although he’s been good about it for a long time. I don’t think it would have spoiled the story for me if he fought for one last time to save his mother. Maybe he can show mercy or something. The non-retaliation strategy really wasn’t that convincing.


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 29

Posted on April 30, 2011 by Cute Duck

Sorry for the long wait. Here’s another picture of wannabe-evil Yu Kyung.


Black is really good for setting the mood.

episode 29 recaps

As usual, the ending of the previous episode was a truncated version of what happened. In Sook’s first reaction was to ask when Il Jung woke up. Il Jung is more interested in the details of what happened 14 years ago. He confronts Manager Han and In Sook, and asks how they could have done such terrible things to his mother. Manager Han denies doing anything. It was an accident.

Il Jung reminds Manager Han that he was treated like a son. Manager Han disputes it: he was given material benefits, but he was never treated as an equal. Il Jung tells him that he would have kicked Manager Han out a long time ago if he didn’t treat him as a friend. He knows that he is not Ma Jun’s real dad, but he had to pretend that he didn’t know. However, he cannot do that with regards to his mother’s death.

Manager Han and In Sook are only slightly stunned. Manager Han challenges Il Jung and asks what he’s going to do about it. Call the cops? Manager Han tells Il Jung that he’s in no shape to deal with him and shoves Il Jung to the floor. In Sook stays behind, and tearfully approaches Il Jung. Il Jung tells In Sook that he didn’t want to believe it, and she tells him that everything is not as he thinks. Il Jung is the only one for her. She tries to help him up, but he refuses her.

Ma Jun steps into the room, and asks Il Jung if he’s able to grab his shoulder. Il Jung takes Ma Jun’s shoulder, and stands up. The men exit the room, leaving In Sook on the floor. Yu Kyung approaches the room slowly, and In Sook notices her presence. Yu Kyung gives In Sook a look, and walks away. Somehow it feels like In Sook has lost.

Ma Jun delivers Il Jung back to his room, and Il Jung tells him that he can leave. Ma Jun tells Il Jung that he’s sorry. He wasn’t strong enough or smart enough to help Grandma 14 years ago. Il Jung looks disturbed, and asks Ma Jun what he’s refering to. Ma Jun said that all he could do was to knock on Il Jung’s door that night. Il Jung finally understands. Ma Jun apologizes for not telling Il Jung sooner, and apologizes for being born. He is in tears at this point.

Leaving Il Jung’s room, Ma Jun pauses a while to shed his tears. He realizes that Yu Kyung is around, and immediately his tears dry up. She asks him if he’s satisfied. If he is, it’s all good. Ma Jun looks as though he’s seeing the monster he’s created for the first time.

In the meantime, Ja Kyung finds Tak Gu at the Cheongsan factory. She hands him a stack of papers, and tell him that it’s research material. Il Jung had once indicated interest in creating a bread with rice. Ja Kyung is now handing the project to Tak Gu. She tells him that the factory has a special place in Il Jung’s heart — it was his first factory. Tak Gu is delighted by Ja Kyung’s olive branch. Ja Kyung reminds him that she will not hesitate to remove him if he doesn’t do his work well.

However, when he announces the latest project to the bakers to ask for help, Tak Gu meets with pessimism. Rice flour won’t behave like wheat flour. Axe Eyes says that it’s clear that the Gu family and the people in Geo Seung are out to get him. Tak Gu looks for support, and Yang Mi Sun says that it’s not impossible. She begins to list a few things to try, and the others are persuaded that they can at least try and help Tak Gu out.

Head Baker, Axe Eyes, and Yang Mi Sun help Tak Gu in the kitchen. In the meantime, Tak Gu keeps trying to talk to the buyers, asking for time to develop a new product that they will definitely like. However, all their efforts are met with failure.

Eventually in the middle of one meeting, Tak Gu hits upon an idea about fermentation. He exclaims aloud, and Ja Kyung and everyone else looks surprised at his outburst. Ja Kyung reminds him that he’s at a meeting, and Tak Gu says he’s just had an idea. He asks Ja Kyung to take over chairing the meeting, and runs off. Ja Kyung looks surprised, but happy to indulge.

She reports Tak Gu’s actions to Il Jung , and says that she understands why Il Jung was so drawn to Tak Gu. They are completely alike in the way they live with bread as their foremost passion.

Tak Gu’s newest bread looks strangely pale. Axe Eyes asks if that’s how it’s supposed to be. However, they all take a bite and pronounce it a delicious success. The next step is to try sell the bread.

Tak Gu calls for a meeting with the bread buyers, and introduces the new bread. He tells them to try the bread. If they like it, he will distribute the first batch exclusively through them. He hopes that in return they will forget about the previous incident and the damages. He will honor the payment of the damages if the bread doesn’t sell.

The buyers try the bread. They look at each other meaningfully, and taking his cue from the factory manager, one of the buyers declares that the bread is not worth eating. Following his example, the other buyers discard their bread. However, on their way out, the leader of the group looks like he’s tempted by Tak Gu’s bread.

Tak Gu heads back to his office, defeated. Yang Mi Sun and her mother hear the news about the bread being rejected from the men, and are incredulous. Axe Eyes deduces that it’s all a conspiracy. From behind a pillar, Kim Mi Sun hears everything.

The factory manager reports to Manager Han that he was successful in preventing the buyers from striking a deal with Tak Gu. Manager Han says he will meet with the presidents of the other companies (I call them buyers). The factory manager tries to say something about Tak Gu’s bread, but changes his mind. After he puts down the phone, he looks at the remaining bread in the bread basket, and takes one to taste. He makes a thoughtful face as he chews, and smiles. What amazing bread.

As expected, Kim Mi Sun tries to help Tak Gu in her own way. She calls Dr. Yoon and her assistant, and meets them in a cafe. They are happy to see that she is safe, but Mi Sun’s first priority is to gain more shares or support to ensure that Tak Gu will not get kicked out at the next board meeting. Dr. Yoon looks disapprovingly at her. Her first priority should be her eyes. Kim Mi Sun refuses to be persuaded. She will show Tak Gu that good and innocent people will prevail over evil plotters.

In Sook and Yu Kyung have a talk. In Sook wants to know what Yu Kyung’s plans are. Yu Kyung asks if In Sook is blaming her for what happened the night that Il Jung found out the truth. She points out that In Sook was the one who created the problem in the first place.

Yu Kyung reminds In Sook that she knows a lot of other dirty little secrets. She can’t prove them, but she doesn’t have to. It’s enough to have people talking. In Sook asks what Yu Kyung wants, and Yu Kyung says she will be the first lady of Geo Seung.

Manager Han is checking in with the product development lab, and finds out that Ma Jun has not been there since he assumed the position as Head of Product Development. He heads to Ma Jun’s office to ask him what is going on. He can try his best for Ma Jun, but Ma Jun needs to take some responsibility to inherit the company. Ma Jun asks why Manager Han is working so hard to make him the president of Geo Seung. Manager Han tries to give some logical reasons, but Ma Jun tells him that he just wants Geo Seung for himself.

Manager Han insists that he just wants Ma Jun to do well. Ma Jun demands to know why Manager Han cares. But he doesn’t want to hear what Manager Han has to say. Who is Manager Han to him anyway? Ma Jun declares that he’s Gu Ma Jun, and his dad is Gu Il Jung. Since Manager Han betrayed his father, he has also betrayed Ma Jun. He storms out of the office, leaving Manager Han looking stunned.

Tak Gu bumps into Ma Jun in the building lobby, and Ma Jun walks by angrily. Tak Gu stops him to ask if the wedding went well. Seeing the tears in Ma Jun’s eyes, Tak Gu asks if everything is well. Ma Jun walks away. Assistant Cha tells Tak Gu that there have been rumors about Ma Jun, that he’s been going out to party all night and how he smells of alcohol the next morning at work. Tak Gu looks concerned.

Later that evening, Tak Gu talks to Ja Rim to find out what is going on. Ja Rim says she doesn’t know.

In the meantime in her room, Yu Kyung is listening to Edith Piaf, and fiddling with the bracelet. She’s not taking things too well. In Sook is brooding over her loss of power over Yu Kyung. Il Jung is on the phone, and plotting. He reveals to the other party that In Sook has discovered that he’s conscious and says something about seizing the opportunity. I can’t tell what is happening. This is a dysfunctional family.

Tak Gu decides to take matters into his own hands. Ma Jun is on the verge of getting beatened up for bumping into another guy at the club. Tak Gu appears just in time to apologize and extract him from the situation. He takes Ma Jun back to Pal Bong bakery.

Ma Jun asks why they are there. Tak Gu asks why he’s living so pathetically. Ma Jun says he can’t bear it otherwise; he doesn’t have anything. Tak Gu points out that he has a family, the company and even Yu Kyung. Ma Jun says it’s all a lie. Tak Gu points to the scroll that Grandpa had left behind. They are not done with their final task yet. Tak Gu tells Ma Jun that Grandpa’s last words were for him to take care of Tae Jo. Surprised, Ma Jun breaks down completely.

The shift of power in the Gu household is obvious the next morning at breakfast. Yu Kyung notices that In Sook has a few appointments with the other first ladies of the big companies, and proposes that she takes over In Sook’s place. After all with Il Jung sick, In Sook probably needs to spend more time with him. In Sook doesn’t reply. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim look curiously on.

Yu Kyung mentions that a new maid will arrive in the afternoon. She’s noticed that In Sook has no interest in housework, so she’s figured that she can step up. She will eventually be taking on the responsibilities anyway. Ja Kyung tells Yu Kyung not to be rude. Yu Kyung looks to In Sook and asks if she thought that it was rude of her. In Sook tells her to go ahead with what she wants to do. Saying that she doesn’t have much of an appetite, In Sook excuses herself.

The next morning, Ma Jun wakes up in his old room, and Tak Gu is sleeping next to him. Ma Jun thinks back to their conversation from the night before. He asked Tak Gu how he manages to be so happy when he has nothing. Can he not feel? Or is he really okay with everything? Tak Gu tells him that happiness and sadness are both transient. Ma Jun doesn’t think he can understand that.

The Windmill man looks for Manager Han in his office. Manager Han puts some books into a safe, and Windmill man looks on with interest. Manager Han has asked Windmill man over to find out about his progress with finding Kim Mi Sun. Windmill man reports that he’s had no success. Manager Han tells him that Dr. Yoon and President Na have been approaching the shareholders. He wants to locate Kim Mi Sun soon.

Ma Jun comes looking for Manager Han, and is surprised to see Windmill man. However, he refrains from acting too surprised. He asks Manager Han why Windmill man was there, and Manager Han says that they have some work together.

Ma Jun tells Manager Han that he wants to start developing new products. He would like an advance from Manager Han since it would take weeks for funds to come in from the proper channels. Manager Han is delighted by Ma Jun’s change of heart, and agrees to help. There is something strange about this scene, like Ma Jun is asking for money but he may have other plans for Manager Han.

When he gets to the office, Tak Gu sees one of the buyers lurking in the lobby. It’s not hard to see what he’s after. Tak Gu calls out to the buyer, and asks what brings him to the office. The buyer has come to ask when the new bread will be made. He says he’d like to try selling it for a week, and see how the response is. If it fails, he wants the promised compensation. Tak Gu happily thanks him.

Upstairs in the office, Tak Gu is informed that other distribution companies have called to ask about the new bread.

Tak Gu has one last task, which is to persuade the factory manager to cooperate. He tells the factory manager to prepare the factory to make the new bread. In addition, he’s promoted Head Baker and Axe Eyes to higher positions in the factory to help out, which really means to ensure that things go well.

He notes that the manager has been in charge for the last 20 years. Yes, the factory is falling apart, but they can rebuild it. Surely he wants to the factory to do well? The factory manager doesn’t quite reply immediately. However, he is eventually won over. Furthermore, Tak Gu promises better pay and benefits to the employees, and raises morale. The first breads go into production successfully.

Time passes, and Tak Gu’s bread sells well. The Cheongsan factory’s situation is improving rapidly. Manager Han gets nervous and checks in with Ma Jun on his progress. Ma Jun reports that he hasn’t been successful and tells Manager Han that he needs to be paitent. However, Ma Jun is lying.

Manager Han meets up with In Sook to discuss measures since Tak Gu is doing well. In Sook looks pale and listless. Manager Han asks if everything is fine. She replies that she hasn’t seen Il Jung since that day. Manager Han doesn’t like the sound of it. Il Jung is not the most important thing right now. In Sook suggests that they stop their plan. Manager Han says that they are almost at their goal. Ma Jun will get the company and then she can finally leave Il Jung and come to him.

In Sook looks at Manager Han in horror, asking if he did everything just for this. He tells her that this is all that he is living for. She finally realizes that he’s serious. She apologizes but she can’t keep her promise. Manager Han gets really upset but tells her that they will talk again. He’ll pick her up for the director’s meeting.

Now that Windmill Man knows the location of Manager Han’s safe, he’s trying to break into it. However, just when he cracks it open, Manager Han’s men walk in and capture him. Manager Han asks if this is how he should be repaid for paying his sister’s surgery bills. Windmill man reveals that he has another boss. Manager Han tells his men to take Windmill man away.

Manager Han checks his safe to make sure that the contents are intact, but it is empty. In a panic, he searches his office. The phone rings, and it’s Il Jung, who wants him to go over to his office. Manager Han goes out and sees that his men have been held captive. Windmill man is free, and he tells Manager Han that Il Jung is waiting.

In the meantime, the shady assistant is telling Tak Gu that Il Jung is conscious, and offers to drive him to see the president. Happily, Tak Gu gets into the car. He realizes that the car doesn’t seem to be going to Seoul, but the assistant admits to having a bad sense of direction. Appeased, Tak Gu looks forward to seeing Il Jung.

Manager Han asks Il Jung if this is all part of his plan. Did he fake being unconscious? Il Jung says he was unconscious, but he woke up immediately. He needed to find out the truth and investigate how much of Geo Seung Manager Han had touched.

Il Jung tells him that his game is up. Manager Han has two options: to get sent to the police, or to leave the country forever. Manager Han seems more angry than flustered. Il Jung says that he needs to protect his two sons. Confidently, Manager Han tells Il Jung that he will give him the options instead: one, the company, or two, Kim Tak Gu.

Comments:

And Tak Gu saves the day again and again! He sorts out the issue with Ja Kyung and the factory, and then Ma Jun. In a sense, he has fulfilled what the audience expects of him, and he will get his happy ending (not that happy ending). I really like how Tak Gu is the first person to pay Ja Kyung any attention and shares his position, and she’s playing fair and acknowledging his efforts. Ja Kyung is a good character, even though she’s not openly warm and fuzzy.

I don’t really get why Yu Kyung is descending into the abyss that she seems to have created out of nowhere. I swear her character is suffering without reason, maybe just to make it dramatic. I find her hotter, and kinda scary, but still not sympathetic. I see that she’s got a job to torment In Sook, and she’s going with the flow. Unfortunately, she’s letting things get to her. She’s not really doing anything bad (IMO), just keeping In Sook in check so that she doesn’t go around terrorizing other people. I don’t know why it’s so hard on her emotionally.

Onward to the last episode!


King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 30

Posted on May 11, 2011 by Cute Duck

Thanks for putting up with the recent slow uploads of recaps. Real life is taking over.

It’s actually really hard to recap 30 episodes of one drama. I wonder if it is easier to recap 30 episodes of two different dramas. I have no idea how dramabeans does it. It takes a lot of time to write recaps. At some point, you’re happy to ignore what happens next instead of plowing through writing the recap so that you can watch the next episode. I resisted the easy way out, which is to stop the recap and just watch the show. After 25 episodes, quitting at the last moment wasn’t an option.

Here you have it, my contribution to the internet archives of Korean drama.

Last Episode!

Il Jung calls the Cheongsan factory up to check on Tak Gu. Assistant Cha picks up the phone. Seeing Tak Gu’s jacket on the sofa, Assistant Cha assumes that Tak Gu is in the factory. Il Jung tells Manager Han that he doesn’t have a hold over him, so Manager Han should make his decision. The prosecuter’s office, or the airport? Manager Han gets packed into a car, and sent off.

After putting down the phone, Assistant Cha goes around the factory to actually find Tak Gu.

Il Jung asks Windmill man if he found the ledgers, and finds out that the safe was empty when Windmill man arrived. Oh well.

Ma Jun happens to be in his office that evening. He has some books on his desk, which I assume are the missing ledgers. I knew he was being weird about asking Manager Han for money, but I have no idea that he knew that Manager Han was embezzling. Ma Jun seems uneasy about possessing the books. He leaves the books in Il Jung’s office. Just as he is about to leave Il Jung’s office, the phone rings.

Manager Han asks if he can go back to Geo Seung to pick up something important. The men in the car initially deny his request, but turn around.

Ma Jun picks up the phone. It’s Assistant Cha calling from the Cheongsan factory. He is looking for Il Jung, and Ma Jun tells him that Il Jung is not in the office. Ma Jun asks what the issue is. Assistant Cha reports that he can’t find Tak Gu anywhere in the factory. A security guard (Yu Kyung’s dad) might have some leads, but we don’t hear what Assistant Cha says. Ma Jun realizes that something is wrong.

Tak Gu is asleep in the car when the shady assistant pulls in to their destination. The door opens, and some guys in black suits drag Tak Gu out. It looks like the Geo Seung building.

Windmill man is just walking out of the Geo Seung lobby area when the car with Manager Han heads back in. Curious, he turns around too.

The shady assistant enters the office and heads for his desk, looking worried about what he’d just did. He is startled by Ma Jun’s entrance. From a flashback (why do we need a flashback?), we see that Yu Kyung’s dad recognized the shady assistant who came to look for Tak Gu before Tak Gu’s disappearance.

The shady assistant asks why Ma Jun is there, and Ma Jun repeats the question in a more menacing manner. Cutting to the chase, Ma Jun asks directly where Tak Gu is. Receiving no reply, Ma Jun gets aggressive.

Manager Han is accompanied into the building by a bodyguard, but as they enter the elevator, men in black suits follow and they beat the guy up. Manager Han is escorted to the roof, where Tak Gu was left. Manager Han removes his jacket, tie and glasses, and says he’ll take care of things. I don’t know if Manager Han can really take on Tak Gu.

Tak Gu demands to know why they lied to him to bring him there. Manager Han says that he should have gotten rid of Tak Gu when he had the chance. He’ll finish the job today and accompany Tak Gu to hell. Manager Han grabs Tak Gu and tries to throw him off the building, and Tak Gu fights back. Surprisingly, Tak Gu can’t shake Manager Han off. Maybe he’s not trying hard enough…I mean he used to be a pretty strong fighter.

Windmill man finds some of Manager Han’s men entering the parking garage, and knocks out them out, rescuing the captured bodyguard. He asks where Manager Han is and is directed to the roof. Windmill man tells the injured bodyguard to call the cops. At the elevator landing of the roof, he is greeted by a strong fighter, and they have a go at it for a while before Windmill man finally prevails.

The cops arrive just as the injured guard is picking up the phone to dial. It turns out that Ma Jun has already called the police.

Tak Gu tells Manager Han that they don’t have to all suffer, but Manager Han says that the world that Tak Gu believes in doesn’t exist. Someone’s got to lose, and it’s either him or Ma Jun. Manager Han would give his life for Ma Jun’s future. With a final battle cry, Manager Han charges at Tak Gu, and we hear a cry like Tak Gu has fallen off the building.

When Windmill man finally gets to the roof,  he sees only Manager Han, and shouts for Tak Gu. He beats Manager Han up. There is a cry from the side of the building. Tak Gu is hanging on with one arm.

Windmill man offers his arm, and tells Tak Gu to hold on to him. He’s promised that he won’t let Tak Gu be harmed, and he’ll fulfill that promise. With much effort, Windmill man gets Tak Gu up to the roof, and they collapse exhausted. The cops rush onto the roof, and Windmill man points them to Manager Han.

On their way out of the building, they run into Ma Jun. Manager Han is surprised to see Ma Jun there and doesn’t know how to face him. Ma Jun walks towards them, then past Manager Han, and asks Tak Gu how he’s doing. Tak Gu says that he’s fine. Ma Jun walks off, but he slows and holds the rails for support, momentarily overwhelmed by emotions. The Yu Kyung parallel is now complete — he has turned in his biological father to the cops, and it’s not even to save his own life.

In Sook gets a phone call, informing her that Manager Han is in jail. She is shakened by the news. Il Jung comes home a moment later, and In Sook doesn’t mention Manager Han’s arrest. Il Jung tells In Sook that he’s moving into his mother’s room.

In Sook pleads with him to talk to her. He tells her that he doesn’t care if she chooses to continue to live in the Gu house, or to move out, but they won’t be talking again. In Sook insists that Ma Jun is his son, and Il Jung looks at her unbelieving. He pities her for continuing to lie to herself.

Yu Kyung witnesses the entire scene from the second floor, and she tells In Sook not to worry — she won’t be telling on her.

Il Jung heads to his mother’s room, and kneels in front of her picture. He tells her that he’s come as far as he wants to go, and it’s up to the next generation to pick things up and go forward.

Tak Gu and Windmill man head back to the bakery. Everyone is happy to see them. Windmill man finally has a chance to properly apologize to Kim Mi Sun, and she forgives him.

Tak Gu has more good news: the suspension on the bakery has been lifted. One of Manager Han’s men admitted spiking the bread with metal bits. They will be able to resume business by the next week.

Manager Han has a visitor. It’s Ma Jun. Ma Jun has come to say a final goodbye. Ma Jun tells him that he’s turned over the accounting books, and Manager Han says that he doesn’t blame Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks Manager Han why he didn’t try to live a better life, knowing that Ma Jun was watching him at every moment. If he had done even one good deed, Ma Jun would have found things easier to bear. Manager Han cries, knowing that he has lost everything and any possibility of being acknowledged as Ma Jun’s father.

In Sook is drinking in her room, and there are some really loud women laughing outside. Frustrated, she goes out to shut them up, saying that Il Jung is not well, so they shouldn’t be making so much noise.

Yu Kyung tells In Sook that she’s just in time. She was just going to show the women the bracelet. In Sook doesn’t reply, and Yu Kyung takes the oportunity to point out that In Sook seems to have been drinking. Feigning concern, Yu Kyung asks if anything is bothering In Sook, like Manager Han’s imprisonment. That earns her a slap from In Sook.

Ja Kyung and Ja Rim step in as the other two exchange words. In Sook demands to know how Yu Kyung dares to be insolent, and Yu Kyung tells her that it’s just the beginning. Ja Kyung takes charge of the situation and tell the women to leave. Ma Jun runs into the leaving women on his way into the house. He hears the women arguing upstairs.

Ja Rim asks Yu Kyung why she’s doing such things. Yu Kyung says that she had done nothing to provoke the family, yet she’s been mistreated the entire time. In Sook won’t let Yu Kyung use Ma Jun to get revenge. Yu Kyung sneers at her — Il Jung doesn’t acknowledge her, and Manager Han is in jail. In Sook has no more power.

In Sook raises her hand to strike Yu Kyung again, and Ja Rim and Ja Kyung step in to stop things before they escalate. Yu Kyung agrees to step back for the time being. We see that Ma Jun has witnessed the entire confrontation. He tries to talk to Yu Kyung but she leaves. In Sook collapses crying. Ma Jun doesn’t want to deal with In Sook, and goes to look for Yu Kyung instead.

Ma Jun heads downstairs to look for Yu Kyung. He sees Tak Gu and asks if he’s seen Yu Kyung. Tak Gu says no. He’s been with Il Jung the entire time. Also attracted by In Sook’s wailing, Tak Gu heads upstairs to find Ja Kyung and Ja Rim unsuccessfully telling In Sook to rest and stop crying.

Tak Gu drops to his knee and offers his back to In Sook. In Sook demands to know what he’s trying to do. Tak Gu says that she has no one to support her, but he is willing to help her out. In Sook refuses, but the girls helps In Sook onto Tak Gu’s back.

After they drop In Sook into her bed, Tak Gu takes his leave. Ja Rim asks if he wants to stay for dinner, but he says that he has dinner plans with his mother. In Sook pretends to sleep until Tak Gu leaves the room. She opens her eyes and starts crying.

Mi Sun brings cake up to Kim Mi Sun, and Axe Eyes sees her entering the room. He parks himself outside the door to eavesdrop. Yang Mi Sun is bringing homemade cake to Kim Mi Sun to try thinking that the latter might be bored. Y. Mi Sun offers K. Mi Sun a fork, but K. Mi Sun doesn’t receive it properly. Y. Mi Sun asks K. Mi Sun if she has problems with her eyes. K. Mi Sun lies and says that she’s just getting old, and asks Y. Mi Sun not to tell Tak Gu. Y. Mi Sun tells her to take care of herself, or else Tak Gu will worry.

K. Mi Sun thanks Y. Mi Sun for beng considerate of Tak Gu. Could it be that she likes Tak Gu? Y. Mi Sun quickly denies it loudly before pausing to ask if it’s that obvious. K. Mi Sun tells her that she’s always concerned about Tak Gu, so it would be hard to not notice it.

Y. Mi Sun wonders why Tak Gu isn’t able to see it. She’s even told Tak Gu directly to his face. Kim Mi Sun tells her that guys are a little dense. With the scoop of his life, Axe Eyes runs downstairs to report the news to the others.

Mr and Mrs Head Baker are surprised that their daughter likes Tak Gu. The Mrs can’t believe that her daughter actualy confessed to Tak Gu. Windmill man smiles knowingly. Head Baker asks what Tak Gu said in reply. Axe Eyes reports that Tak Gu totally didn’t get it. He think that they should intervene and help Y. Mi Sun. Tak Gu arrives home at this moment with Assistant Cha. Tak Gu has brought home meat and beer so they can have a barbecue to celebrate.

Over dinner, Axe Eyes tries to subtly introduce the issue of Yang Mi Sun as a potential partner for Tak Gu. Now that things are going well for Tak Gu, wouldn’t it be a good time to start thinking about marriage? Tak Gu looks a little uncomfortable, and shoots a quick look sideways at Mi Sun. Mi Sun stuffs her mouth with lettuce in surprise. Axe Eyes asks if Tak Gu’s had marriage offers. Tak Gu says no.

Axe Eyes notes that it’s a matter of staking claim on Tak Gu, and Mi Sun chokes on her food. Delighting in the awkwardness, Axe Eyes continues on, saying that very often, one’s mate is never too far away, and encourages Tak Gu to look around him. Assistant Cha jumps in and agrees. They can start by looking within the company. Tak Gu is apparently very popular at work.

The sudden turn of topic annoys everyone, and Axe Eyes tells Assistant Cha to eat more and stop talking. He says he’s full, so Mrs Head Baker tells him to keep grilling. Head Baker proposes a toast to Tak Gu and his mother. Y. Mi Sun excuses herself and runs out. Tak Gu follows.

Thinking that she’s alone, Mi Sun vents her frustrations. She can’t believe that after all her efforts, Tak Gu is going to pick some girl from the company, and calls him a jerk. Tak Gu overhears her rant, and asks if she just called him a jerk. He pretend-storms over and takes a seat beside her. Mi Sun denies it, and says she called him a busy man.

Changing the subject, Mi Sun asks Tak Gu why he’s out, and if he’s done eating. Tak Gu gives a non-reply, and asks her why she’s out. Tak Gu takes Mi Sun’s hand, surprising her. He wonders why her hand is so cold. Mi Sun tries to take her hand back, but Tak Gu holds on to it. He tells her that he’s aware of her feelings, but he’s an old fashioned kind of guy. He doesn’t want to approach her before forgetting the other girl in his heart. However, he knows that they will make many more memories in the future.

Mi Sun asks if this means that he likes her. I like a girl who cuts to the chase, and Tak Gu says he was trying to convey that sentiment. Tak Gu offers his shoulder to her, and Mi Sun leans on him.

Ma Jun finds Yu Kyung drinking in a pub. He tries to get her to stop, but she refuses. Ma Jun tells her that they should stop now. Yu Kyung is not happy with his request: she’s just getting started. Ma Jun tells her to stop anyway. Yu Kyung demands to know what she’ll do now that she’s come so far. They shouldn’t have even started. Ma Jun apologizes to Yu Kyung for making her into the monster that she is. He draws her into a hug, and she resists. He says that he did all that because he does love her.

Kim Mi Sun takes Tak Gu aside and tells him that she’s giving him her 3.8% of the Geo Seung shares. He should do what he wants with it. She has also gotten pledges of support from 2 other board members so he should be able to retain his position at Geo Seung easily.

Tak Gu tells his mother that he doesn’t need her to help him in this way. If he’s not good enough, he should be removed. Kim Mi Sun should focus on taking care of her eyes. He’s heard the truth from Dr. Yoon, and persuades Mi Sun to get treatment. She’s more important to him than being President of Geo Seung.

Ma Jun takes care of matters with In Sook. He tells her that he’s sent Yu Kyung to a friend’s place, and he’s going down to stay there with her after the Board of Directors’ meeting. In Sook tells him to break up with Yu Kyung or something will happen. Ma Jun tells In Sook to let it go. As long as she stays as she is, she will never be happy. He’s lived for Il Jung, and for In Sook. Now, he wants to live for himself. He returns her bracelet, and takes off.

In Sook doesn’t attend the shareholder’s meeting. Tak Gu and Ma Jun smile to each other from across the room. Tak Gu starts the meeting. The lawyer tells him that there is only one issue on the agenda, that is the vote for the president. The shareholders are very pleased with Tak Gu’s results at the Cheongsan factory, and are ready to keep him on as president. However, Tak Gu has other plans.

He would like to recommend someone else for the position. Tak Gu thinks that he’s better suited as a baker. Management and baking are very different. In the past month, he’s received a lot of help from Ja Kyung the last month in terms of managing the company. Since the president is a management position, he thinks that Ja Kyung should be the next president. The shareholders do not like the sound of it, and start to protest.

The lawyer reminds everyone that this is a vote. Tak Gu controls 38% of shares from Il Jung, and another 3.8% from Kim Mi Sun. He only needs another 9% to pass the vote. Ma Jun raises his hand. He agrees that Ja Kyung deserves to be president. Tak Gu asks him how much voting power he holds, and Ma Jun reveals that he has control over 15.6%. With that, the vote is over. They have the necessary shares to choose Ja Kyung as the next president.

The shareholders start to protest again but Tak Gu quietens them. He knows that the biggest problem is that Ja Kyung is a woman. But she also has the skills and experience to be president. He tells the shareholders to give her a year, and to decide again after they see Ja Kyung’s abilities for themselves. With that, Tak Gu declares the meeting over, and walks out. Ma Jun walks out as well, leaving Ja Kyung awkwardly in her seat as the directors shift their focus to her.

Tak Gu and Ma Jun wait at the Assistant’s office for Ja Kyung. When she arrives, she calls them into the president’s office. The doors safely closed, she asks Ma Jun and Tak Gu what they think they are doing. They tell her that they are giving her what she deserves. She doesn’t want their help, but Ma Jun points out that she needs their help. Between them, they control 57% of the company. She has always wanted to be president, and they know that she can do the job. In fact, the assistants have already prepared her name plate for her.

Ja Kyung asks what the guys are planning, leaving everything with her. Tak Gu says that he’s going back to Pal Bong bakery. Ma Jun tells Ja Kyung that he’ll be traveling, but he’ll leave her a contact number. He promises to come back to help if she has issues with the bread. Unable to refuse, Ja Kyung embraces them both, thanking them for the opportunity.

On the way out of Geo Seung, Tak Gu asks Ma Jun about his plans. Ma Jun tells him that while traveling, he wants to seriously think about what he wants to do with his life.

Ma Jun tells Tak Gu that he has one last confession to make: they are not really brothers. Tak Gu says that they are brothers. Ma Jun doesn’t press the issue and thanks him for everything. Tak Gu sends his best wishes to Yu Kyung.

Ma Jun drives out to meet Yu Kyung, and they have a picnic. Ma Jun unveils his newest bread, and asks Yu Kyung to taste it. He wanted her to be the first. She says it’s delicious. He presents her with the air tickets, and asks her to go to Europe with him. She agrees. They seem to have finally settled down.

Everyone else has their happy endings. Dr. Yoon goes back to being a doctor, the people at the Cheongsan factory do well, Ja Kyung does well as president. Even Ja Rim is inspired to find something for herself to do. Tak Gu goes back to Pal Bong bakery where the two Mi Sun’s in his life are waiting. The only person without a happy ending is In Sook. She wanders around the empty house, proclaiming herself Seo In Sook of Geo Seung.

On the first day of the bakery’s re-opening, everyone stands in the morning line up. There is an addition to the line-up: Assistant Cha has decided to quit his job and join Tak Gu as a baker. They are all fulfilling their destinies, like their teacher, Pal Bong, had hoped.

Comments:
I like how there are parallels and second chances in the show. In this episode, Ma Jun completes his parallel with Yu Kyung by turning Manager Han over to the cops. I like how Windmill man gets a second chance to save Tak Gu/Kim Mi Sun from falling from a tall place.

I love the scenes dealing with Yang Mi Sun and Tak Gu’s relationship. How Mi Sun looks so clueless…how Head Baker keeps looking to the floor while Axe Eyes goes on and on…how Mi Sun is choking on her food…

However, I thought the conclusion of the romance was awkward. I found it completely believeable that Tak Gu was oblivious to Yang Mi Sun’s feelings. The fact that he would choose to hide it for so long doesn’t seem quite his character. The fact that they were acting kinda close to each other (like feeding each other) in recent episodes was cute enough for me. The sudden confession from Tak Gu seemed a little off.

So this is my version of their happy ending: a playful scene, and then an accidental fall and thus a kiss. Except instead of acting awkward, Mi Sun would look secretly pleased, and Tak Gu would look surprised, like he’s realized something. Something cute and light is more inline with their relationship with each other. Instead of confessing to Kim Mi Sun, and having Axe Eyes broadcast it to everyone else, we’ll have Axe Eyes stumble upon Tak Gu and Mi Sun in that kiss. I mean, the show is cliched enough that this is not out of character.

That said, I did like seeing the reaction of the rest of the cast.

The one other weird thing was the roof scene. Why was Tak Gu only hanging on with one arm? If he can hang off with one arm, he can probably pull himself up with two. Just saying.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with my slow recaps. It’s been a fun ride. I’ll finish up the High Kick summaries like I promised, and then take a break. Do continue to leave me comments though.


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