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Let’s Eat 3: Episode 8

Ji-woo’s worked so hard to push Dae-young away, but now that she knows the truth, will she be able to save their friendship? Or has she completely ruined the possibility of rekindling any sort of relationship between the two of them? If only the present day could be filled with the simple cotton-candy dreams of the past.

 
EPISODE 8: “Do You Like Me?”

We start off in 2004 for a change, and the four boys lament the fact that they’re now the only active members of their soccer club. Dae-young’s confident that they’ll recruit more members at the school festival, where they plan to host a bar tent to raise money for a welcome party. He boasts about Ji-woo’s culinary skill, insisting it will make people want to eat at their bar tent.

Ji-woo offers to make some kimchi dishes since her family’s kimchi is the best and she has more than she knows what to do with, thanks to her mother’s generosity. Except Ji-woo has to plead with Mom to send more, lying that she’s been eating more of it than usual. Ha!

Seo-yeon snatches the phone from Ji-woo to chat with Mom. Seo-yeon’s sick, and pouts that she would feel instantly better if she could have Mom’s kimchi sujebi. Seo-yeon isn’t happy that all their kimchi is being used by Ji-woo for the festival, and warns Ji-woo that the boys just think of her as a cook and nothing more.

The school festival begins, and all the various clubs set up their booths and carts. Dae-young, Sung-joo, and Ji-woo are busy prepping the food. Meanwhile, Byung-sam and Jin-seok were roped into participating in a high-heel race — while dressed in full drag. Pffft.

Jung-soo and Ji-woo are shocked by how much food Dae-young purchased to serve at their tent bar, but Dae-young’s confident they’ll be able to sell it all. There’s no one at their tent, though, although nearby tents are busy.

Dae-young and Ji-woo decide to walk around and scope out the competition (and festival). They stop to buy some cotton candy to share, but both freeze when they lean in to take a bite at the same time.

They’re definitely both aware how close their faces are, but Dae-young just awkwardly says Ji-woo can have the rest of the cotton candy.

Suddenly a bunch of girls start screaming because they caught a glimpse of Se7en, one of guest k-pop stars at the festival. Ji-woo also freaks out because he’s her favorite idol, but she’s too short to see anything from the back of the crowd.

Dae-young suddenly lifts her up so she can see. Ji-woo is more focused on Dae-young holding her than seeing Se7en — but is no less happy about it.

They return to their tent, but there still aren’t any customers. Dae-young decides to call some of his friends from high school to come over, and Jin-seok sighs that Seo-yeon should be here since she’d immediately attract customers — at least male ones who want to be near her beauty.

Ji-woo calls Seo-yeon, but Seo-yeon’s cold is worse. She only agrees to stop by if Ji-woo makes her kimchi sujebi, which Ji-woo eagerly does. It’s not quite the way Mom makes it, but it’s close enough to satisfy Seo-yeon.

As predicted, suddenly a group of guys decide to sit at the soccer club’s tent to be near Seo-yeon. But they’re freeloaders who only order the cheapest dish, since they still have drinks leftover from the bar tent they just came from.

Annoyed, Seo-yeon yells at them to scram, since they’re not genuine customers. She warns the soccer club that trying to use her to bring in customers will only bring in the unsavory kind — if they want to attract customers who will actually spend money, they need to focus on appealing to women, not men.

Seo-yeon puts her marketing knowledge to work by telling them the four P’s: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. They can’t do too much about the first two, but they can at least focus on the latter. She orders Jin-seok to adjust the menu so it ends in 99 cents (instead of a round number) so people think it’s cheaper.

For “promotion,” she has Dae-young show off his soccer skills to draw attention, and Byung-sam set up a table so he can use his mechanical engineering skills and repair customer’s belongings for a fee (since it’s not like he’ll be able to talk to their predominately female customers, anyway). Finally, she makes Sung-joo the waiter because he’s the prettiest.

Dae-young marvels that Seo-yeon’s marketing skills are top-notch, and Jin-seok says that Seo-yeon will be an amazing businesswoman — she’ll never go bankrupt or into debt! Pffft.

Ji-woo realizes that she needs more flour, so Sung-joo runs out to buy more. As he’s walking back to the festival, he sees k-pop legend Rain leave his van (or the backside of someone who looks like Rain). But Sung-joo is the only one around to see it, and breathlessly tells of the encounter to his friends.

Soon they’re all seeing rain — the kind that falls from the sky, as the heavens open and everyone runs around to pack everything up under their tent. The boys stop and stare at Ji-woo as the rain starts to soak through her white shirt.

Irritated by his ogling friends, Dae-young quickly grabs his sweatshirt for Ji-woo to wear. Clueless as to why Dae-young is offering it to her, Ji-woo is just happy to be in his sweatshirt which is warm and smells like him.

Despite the rain, they continue their food prep. Byung-sam’s cutting onions, but his eyes start stinging. He tries to wash them in the rain, but because his hands are still coated in onion juice, he asks one of the guys to wipe his eyes.

Ji-woo’s the closest so she does it for him, and Byung-sam stares in surprise when he realizes a woman touched him. She asks if he’s okay now, and he says he is. Everyone — including Byung-sam — is shocked that Byung-sam actually spoke to Ji-woo.

They’re all happy for him, but Ji-woo is a little annoyed when Dae-young says it must be because Byung-sam is so comfortable with Ji-woo that he doesn’t see her as a woman.

The rain finally lets up at the same time Dae-young’s old high school friends arrive to help boost sales. One of his friends asks what kind of kimchi they use, and Ji-woo’s satoori confuses him until she makes an effort to explain in a Seoul dialect.

But the friend is charmed by her and later asks Dae-young to set him up on a date with her. Dae-young agrees to ask Ji-woo, but returns to tell his friend that she’s not interested, which his friend already figured out when Ji-woo shook her head.

Byung-sam knows the truth, though — Dae-young actually asked Ji-woo if she needed any help cooking and that’s really what she said “no” to. Dae-young says he lied because he knows what kind of playboy his friend is, and Ji-woo deserves someone better, especially since she’s so naive and innocent that she hasn’t even had her first kiss. (Hey, Seo-yeon would have something to say about that!)

After the festival, Dae-young and Ji-woo walk home, disappointed that after all their effort, they barely made 6,000 won. When Ji-woo talks to him in her usual satoori, Dae-young remembers his playboy friend’s comment about how cute she sounds.

Dae-young says he thinks it’s interesting that she hasn’t tried to lose her accent and dialect like all his other non-Seoul friends. Ji-woo thinks Dae-young is making fun of her, and when she gets home, she vows to never use satoori again. Haha, she can’t stop her instinctive use of it, though, especially when arguing with her sister.

Seo-yeon’s cold continues to worsen and she calls Mom, wishing she could have her magical kimchi sujebi. But she hangs up when she notices the fancy car parked in front of the apartment. Seo-yeon’s real mother has come to visit.

Seo-yeon’s distant and angry attitude is completely understandable once her real Mom begins to belittle Seo-yeon for every little thing she’s wearing and how her skin isn’t pretty enough and she’s not sporting the latest designer bag.

The other Mom also badmouths Dad, spitefully saying that there’s no way he can be happy with such a simple woman like Ji-woo’s mother and that they’ll be divorcing soon, too. Seo-yeon finally screams that she’s had enough — she’s not Other Mom’s friend and refuses to be her dumping ground.

Seo-yeon storms out, and Other Mom sighs that Seo-yeon’s temper will get her in trouble one day.

Seo-yeon deals with the stress by drinking soju at a playground. Aw, baby Sun is there, too! He’s trying to protect his box of porn from some high school bullies. Sun desperately insists that his customers will be angry if they don’t receive their package.

When one of the bullies raises his arm to hit Sun, Seo-yeon barges in and stops them. She grabs a stick and starts waving it at them, acting like a crazy lady until the high schoolers run off. Sun is grateful, and Seo-yeon says if he’s really thankful, he’ll give her enough money for another bottle of soju.

Sighing, he digs into his pockets for change. Ha, she was mooching off him even back then. As Seo-yeon walks away, Sun stares in awe after her, wondering who his savior is.

In 2018, Sun delights in reminding Seo-yeon that she has to wake up at the crack of dawn to run errands for him. Seo-yeon throws a fit in her room, annoyed that all the men in her life care more about Ji-woo than her.

In the morning, she gives Ji-woo the money for her father’s urn and spills the beans about Dae-young’s girlfriend. Seo-yeon can’t stay to watch the emotional fallout of this truth bomb because Sun sends her on an errand, so Ji-woo just stands in a daze for what seems like forever.

Dae-young has to go the police station to deal with the official complaint from the man he attacked. He sees Ji-woo standing there, but remembering the way she told him to butt out of her life, he just gets in his car and drives off without saying anything.

Seo-yeon delivers the paperwork Sun asked for, but lingers to eavesdrop when she hears one of the creative team members mention Dae-young. The employee wonders how Dae-young could have visited so many restaurants, and Seo-yeon pipes up, explaining Dae-young always loved to eat, and got to easily travel and meet people because of his insurance job.

The other employees are impressed that Seo-yeon is so familiar with Dae-young, and Sun, annoyed, reminds Seo-yeon that not to “cross the line” by overstaying her welcome at their meeting. Haha, the other employees have to hide their amusement when Seo-yeon makes a “line” pun with Sun’s name as she politely excuses herself.

Dae-young visits the hospital to apologize to the man he’d hurt, back when thought the man was doing harm to Ji-woo. The man says he’s willing to settle and not go to court — but Dae-young’s shocked when the man asks for 10,000,000 won.

Ji-woo is also there to visit the man and overhears this request. She lingers outside until Dae-young leaves the room, then pleads with the man to drop his complaint against Dae-young. The man asks Ji-woo to help him sit up — and he gets a little handsy in the process.

He then wants a massage on his legs, making it seem like he’ll be more likely to settle if she does this for him. Ji-woo starts down on his calf, but nervously moves higher up his leg per the man’s orders.

Dae-young suddenly barges into the room, ready to punch the man. Ji-woo stops him. The man goads Dae-young — an extra punch would just mean more money for him, anyway. Angry, Dae-young tells the man that he won’t settle. Dae-young drags Ji-woo out of the room and tells her that she should stay out of his business like he’s staying out of hers.

Ji-woo decides to cancel her new apartment contract — she needs the down payment back since she’s decided to pay for Dae-young’s settlement. She does tell the realtor to keep looking for a new place, though.

Seo-yeon heads out on a food errand for Sun that takes her to a small town hours from the city. She packs the food into the cooler as best she can and immediately heads back out to wait for the bus. But she spots a restaurant that offers kimchi sujebi, and realizing that she hasn’t eaten all day, decides to check it out.

She ends up missing the bus and returning home late, but she’s over-the-moon she’s finally found kimchi sujebi that tastes like Mom’s. She’s eager to tell Sun all about it, but all he cares is that she’s late and will deduct that time from her paycheck. He points out that she might have caught the bus if she hadn’t wasted time taking photos.

Later that night, Seo-yeon hears strange noises from the bathroom. It’s Sun — he’s sick, and grumpily blames her since the food must have gone bad since she arrived so late.

Dae-young arrives at work only to see the man he attacked in a wheelchair outside the insurance office building. The man holds a sign that says “Insurance King” Goo Dae-young is really the “Assault King.” Oooh, that’s not good for business.

The man sends Dae-young a message that the cost of settlement is now 20,000,000 won. Dae-young’s boss definitely wants Dae-young to handle things before word gets out to their clients. As a salesman, Dae-young’s reputation is everything.

Seo-yeon checks on Sun in the morning, who still feels terrible and is taking a sick day. Seo-yeon apologizes and willingly caters to every tiny, petty, ridiculous demand Sun has. But she quickly loses her patience and has to summon her all inner strength — and professionalism as an assistant — when nothing she does satisfies him.

Dae-young decides to sell his car to get money for the settlement. But as he’s talking to the dealer, he gets a call from the police station — the charges were dropped. He knows Ji-woo’s behind it and waits for her to come home so he can thank her in person.

It turns out, instead of paying for the settlement (which Ji-woo couldn’t afford), Ji-woo took Yoon-ji’s suggestion to see if there was evidence that the man had tried to attack other women. Yoon-ji suggested posting about it online to raise notice about the case.

Ji-woo received enough responses from other women who had been afraid to come forward originally, and along with CCTV footage, was able to prove that the man was a predator. Him being at Ji-woo’s apartment was no accident, so now Dae-young is a hero for catching a criminal. Ah, the fickle arm of the law.

Dae-young offers to treat Ji-woo to dinner as a “thank you.” Ji-woo hesitates at first, then smiles and accepts his offer, wondering what they’ll eat. Dae-young says it’ll be the dish she introduced him to, one that started him down this foodie path.

Ji-woo wonders what it could be, since they had so many meals together, but Dae-young takes her to a place that serves raw eel. They mix it together like bibimbap and Dae-young particularly points out the Busan-style seaweed side dish that wasn’t like any other seaweed he’d tasted.

They enjoy their meal just like old times, and as they finish up, Dae-young sighs — if they hadn’t lost touch while he was in the military, then they could have continued to travel and eat delicious food together.

Ji-woo apologizes for putting him in the middle of her and Seo-yeon’s issues. Remembering what Seo-yeon said about Dae-young’s girlfriend, Ji-woo admits that it’s true there’s always something people don’t want to talk about. But Ji-woo gently says that it’s better to let it out than keep it bottled up inside. Even if it doesn’t solve the problem, it might start to heal the wound.

Ji-woo warns him that if he keeps it bottled up, the wound will fester and get worse. Dae-young assumes that’s her professional opinion as a nurse, and Ji-woo agrees, adding that if Dae-young needs any help, he can talk to her.

Sun — still sick — calls out for Seo-yeon, but she doesn’t answer. He stumbles out of bed to check on her, surprised that she’s not there.

That’s because she’s meeting with her mother. Man, if I thought Seo-yeon hadn’t changed over the years, then Other Mom certainly hasn’t, either, because she has the exact same complaints as she did fourteen years ago.

Furious, Seo-yeon says that Other Mom only ever contacts her to be her stress reliever. Seo-yeon is determined to no longer be Other Mom’s emotional trash can. Other Mom says that Seo-yeon’s temper is as nasty as ever and Seo-yeon won’t have a good life if this is the way she treats her mother.

But Seo-yeon remembers the way she spoke to Ji-woo and realizes that she’s just like her mother — she can’t stand seeing other people happy. She has to try and ruin it, just like Other Mom does. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Sun paces in worry, waiting for Seo-yeon to return home, but as soon as he hears the door, he throws himself on the bed and puts on his sick act. Annoyed that she doesn’t come to his room right away, he goes to yell at her but finds her puking into the toilet.

She’s suuuuuper drunk and yells at him to leave her alone. She wishes she knew why he’s made it his personal mission to make her life miserable.

In the morning, Ji-woo’s landlady stops by, worried because the tenant they’d lined up decided to cancel once she heard about the pervert in the neighborhood. The landlady asks Ji-woo to at least stay through the month until the landlady can find another tenant, which works out well enough since Ji-woo is still looking for a new place. Even if she didn’t need the settlement money for Dae-young, that new apartment contract is still cancelled.

Sun checks on Seo-yeon, offering her some soup, but Seo-yeon just wants to be left alone and ultimately stays in bed all day. That evening, Sun tells Seo-yeon to come out because he has a task for her to do that can’t wait. She’s annoyed because she’s obviously not feeling well, but stumbles into the kitchen, anyway, where she sees a bowl of kimchi sujebi.

Sun says he wants to get her opinion to see if it’ll make a good hangover soup for his business, but Seo-yeon realizes it’s the same kimchi sujebi from the tiny place in the country she had told him about. Delighted, she asks if he went all the way there just to get her this because he knew it would make her feel better.

Sun bluffs that he “just happened” to be in the area checking on other restaurants, but you know he totally did drive all that way just for her. Seo-yeon starts to cry as she admits she needed this, the taste of Mom’s kimchi sujebi, the only thing that could ever cure all her ailments.

Sun watches in concern and then suddenly leans down, kissing her. Startled, Seo-yeon backs away and accidentally spills the soup on Sun’s hand. She worries that it burnt him, but he seems just as surprised by his actions when he puts a hand on his heart: “My heart is burning more.” Sun kisses Seo-yeon again.

COMMENTS

Oooooh, I didn’t see that kiss coming! I’ve been enjoying Seo-yeon and Sun’s bickering, teasing relationship, but I didn’t think we’d reached the skinship part just yet — or that Sun would be the one to make the first move. I’m a little torn because I’m generally not a fan of sudden kisses that make a girl immediately want to back away. But I’m also a bit giggly because it’s about time someone threw Seo-yeon off her game — and I love knowing that Sun feels this way even having seen her at her worse, and not merely the fake side she so often presents to get guys to do what she wants. This relationship is still going to be a mess, though, but I’ll be here (with my popcorn) watching in eager anticipation as these two unwilling roomies figure out what the heck they mean to each other.

I’m also going to continue to cackle over 2004 Dae-young being completely blind to his affection for Ji-woo. C’mon, you totally cock-blocked your old high school buddy just out of concern for a friend and not out of jealousy? Mmmm-hmmm, sure, keep telling yourself that. I also really hope Ji-woo has Dae-young’s sweatshirt still stashed away somewhere because lemme tell ya, boy hoodies are seriously the best and if it were me (and the boy I had a crush on) I might have “forgotten” to return it to him. Is it weird that I totally understood Ji-woo’s thrill when she realized it smelled like Dae-young? Ji-woo might be painfully awkward at times with her crush on him, but it’s also painfully relatable. Been there, done that, wish I still had the hoodie even if the boy is long gone by now.

At least we now have a clue about how they lost contact. Dae-young probably had to take a break from college once he got his enlistment notice, and I bet whatever horrible thing between the sisters happened then, too. I find it hard to believe that Ji-woo wouldn’t be trying to visit Dae-young as often as possible during his enlistment (and bringing him lots of delicious non-military food!), except for some other huge personal issue that would totally distract her. As happy as I am that the romance side of things seems to be chugging along, I think I’m more eager now to see the sisters reunited. That’s the relationship I find myself caring about the most.

I loved Seo-yeon’s realization that she’s not that much different from her mother. Seo-yeon’s become the character I’ve become most interested in, just because I feel like we’ve had lots of interesting glimpses of character growth (which is a mild surprise, because at first she felt like the character who had grown the least). But we’re slowly peeling back the layers and revealing that she’s so much more than she first seemed. Even though she may be horrified to discover she’s just as selfish as her mother by wanting to destroy other’s happiness, at least she has the awareness to be horrified. It also drives home the point that Seo-yeon genuinely loves Ji-woo’s mother as her own mother, since Mom was probably the only person in her life that made her feel like a real daughter. No wonder she craves Mom’s kimchi sujebi — it’s because she craves the TLC that went into making it.

It will break my heart whenever Seo-yeon eventually discovers Mom’s dementia — especially if Mom doesn’t recognize her — but I hope Seo-yeon learns the truth soon so she can deal with the grief of essentially losing another parent. Perhaps then Ji-woo and Seo-yeon can begin to repair their relationship by leaning on each other instead of tying their identities to the parents who have ultimately failed them, whether by choice or the vagaries of life.

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