Temperature of Love: Episodes 23-24
As strong as their feelings are for each other, our couple is still getting to know one another, and Hyun-soo especially is discovering that Jung-sun has a lot of closely guarded secrets. As Jung-woo begins to wield his money and power to shake them up, they’ll have to open up to each other lot more if they have any hope of surviving Jung-woo’s machinations with their relationship intact.
EPISODE 23 RECAP
Jung-sun and Hyun-soo enter the Good Soup dining room to find themselves unexpectedly facing down both Hyun-soo’s parents and Jung-sun’s mother. Although unaware that the two moms were just giving each other some pretty intense side-eye, they can feel the tension in the room.
Hyun-soo rushes to greet Jung-sun’s mother, while Kyung rescues Jung-sun by beckoning him over to meet Hyun-soo’s parents. He introduces himself, only for Hyun-soo to run over and nervously introduce him all over again, hee. Hyun-soo’s father is charmed, while her mother still looks uncomfortable.
Hyun-soo stage-whispers to her parents to go say hello to Jung-sun’s mother, but there’s a bit of confusion over who should greet the other first, so her dad takes the initiative. The moms look horribly awkward throughout the introductions, and Hyun-soo’s mother makes her disapproval pretty obvious, but they all manage to live through it.
Joon-ha visits Jung-woo to ask if it’s true that he’s going to hire Director Min to direct Hong-ah’s drama. Jung-woo says that Director Min only failed with Unruly Detectives because he overextended himself trying to raise his status and his paycheck, and his failure means he can be hired for cheap. He adds that he didn’t lose money on Unruly Detectives despite it getting an episode cut, making Joon-ha marvel that he has good luck with everything but love. Oops.
Jung-woo just asks how the scripts are going for Hyun-soo’s new drama. Joon-ha says that the story is much brighter now that the ending changed, which he approves of, but Jung-woo isn’t happy.
Back at Good Soup, Hyun-soo’s parents love Jung-sun’s food, and he comes out of the kitchen to ask them to visit again after the menu changes. They stop to say goodbye to Jung-sun’s mom and Daniel on their way out, which is again terribly uncomfortable because Hyun-soo’s mom stops her husband from giving Daniel a handshake.
Jung-sun offers to comp their meal, but Dad says that he paid in advance because he guessed Jung-sun would do that. Jung-sun motions to Hyun-soo that he’ll call her later, and after they all go, he breathes for the first time all afternoon.
Jung-woo goes over a proposal to improve the business at Good Soup, as it’s looking like Jung-sun won’t be able to do it himself by the deadline. He shows the proposal to Jung-sun, who objects, since this is against their agreement to let him run the restaurant as he sees fit.
But in honor of their friendship, Jung-sun reluctantly agrees to let Jung-woo get involved. He reminds Jung-woo that he’s always been sincere with him, looking frustrated.
After their talk, Jung-woo tours the kitchen, stopping to watch each chef as they work. They’re nervous and work in uncharacteristic silence until he finally leaves.
Back at Hyun-soo’s place, her parents say that they liked Jung-sun. Her mom mentions that his mother looked rich, then she’s disappointed that Hyun-soo doesn’t know what Jung-sun’s father does. Dad says supportively that they have time to learn about each other.
Mom doesn’t drop the subject, asking if Jung-sun’s mother lives with Daniel even though they’re not married. When she asks when Jung-sun’s mother got divorced, Hyun-soo tells her to say what she really wants to say. Mom declines to air her true thoughts, since it’s not like Hyun-soo and Jung-sun are getting married.
Jung-sun’s mother is more direct—she just says that Jung-sun and Hyun-soo won’t marry, and tells her son to make his intentions clear. He calmly tells her to stay out of his love life like he stays out of hers, but he falters when his mother says that her parents will likely object, based on the way her mother was glaring today.
Jung-sun asks her to try to see the world from a perspective other than her own, and think about how her words make him feel. He also informs her that as adults, he and Hyun-soo don’t need their parents’ permission to get married or break up. He makes it clear that nothing their parents do will influence their relationship.
Joon-ha reports to Hyun-soo and Kyung that Jung-woo hasn’t read the revised script yet, but that he wants to meet with Hyun-soo. Kyung asks why he didn’t just call her, and Joon-ha says that Jung-woo’s pride is too strong for that.
He tells Hyun-soo that he likes the new script, so if Jung-woo approves of it, he’ll pitch it to his network. She’s worried that quitting her last drama will count against her, but Joon-ha thinks it’s good that she did, since it was taken off the air early.
He tells them that Jung-woo didn’t even lose any money on it, half-joking that Hyun-soo should marry him and that love is useless. Kyung objects, saying that life is hard enough, and that people need what happiness they can get from love. Joon-ha smiles at her like she just said something surprising, but they immediately begin bickering again, as Hyun-soo watches in amusement.
Curious about why Jung-woo wants to see her, Hyun-soo calls him. He says he’s reading her revised script now, and asks her to meet with him this evening. He makes a point to tell her to eat first, since he can’t have dinner with her.
Hong-ah eats with CP Yoo at Good Soup that night. She defends her script against his mediocre enthusiasm, saying that she based it on her real life. He says that it will be easier to have it approved for a time slot if it’s already got a director, and he recommends Joon-ha, since he’s due to have his next project picked up for broadcast.
When Hyun-soo arrives at Jung-woo’s office, he tells her that he liked her script better when it had a sad ending, and asks if she’s projecting herself into the story.
He suddenly mentions the night of his intended proposal. He asks if he appeared pitiful to her, and tells her that he waited all those years because he was sure she would come to him eventually.
Hyun-soo tells Jung-woo that after surviving five years of pain without Jung-sun, she can’t change. Jung-woo counters that he’s gone through the same time and pain over her, and that he can’t change, either. He suggests that they go their own ways, thinking that their paths will eventually converge.
Hyun-soo asks if he can keep his personal feelings out of it, and he says he can. He wants to go back to the original sad ending for the drama, but Hyun-soo argues that a romance with a sad ending will get low ratings.
Jung-woo replies that he’s not looking to make money with this project, but wants to make a unique drama that’s loved by a small audience. He backs down for now, but he tells her one last time that this story should have a sad ending, and it’s why he liked it in the first place.
Hyun-soo heads to Good Soup, running into Hong-ah and CP Yoo on their way out. She excuses herself and goes to Jung-sun’s apartment, where she asks what he thought of her parents. He says her dad is nice, and she says that her parents liked him.
Jung-sun looks thoughtful as Hyun-soo says that her sister is in a happy marriage, as are her parents. She asks Jung-sun what his father is like, and it doesn’t escape her that Jung-sun only says he’s a dentist and then changes the subject immediately.
When he asks, Hyun-soo says that Jung-woo doesn’t like her revised script. Jung-sun asks what she plans to do, and she says that she’ll talk it over with Joon-ha. She asks if he’s upset that work won’t let her avoid Jung-woo, and Jung-sun takes her hand as he says he’s not happy about it, but that there’s nothing he can do about it.
After seeing CP Yoo out, Hong-ah goes back to confront sommelier Soo-jung about getting between her and Won-joon. Won-joon comes out to ask Soo-jung for a wine list, and he completely ignores Hong-ah, making her screech indignantly at him.
She follows Won-joon into the kitchen, asking if he’s stopped liking her. He says that liking her is his problem to worry about, not hers. Hong-ah asks if he’s dating Soo-jung, saying that it’s wrong to date someone while liking someone else.
Won-joon says that liking her is just a habit now, and that he’s been thinking it’s time to break bad habits. Hong-ah tells him not to do that, but he fires back that Soo-jung’s confession made him see how pathetic he looks to other people.
Soo-jung brings him the wine list, and in front of Hong-ah, he thanks her for her confession. He apologizes for pretending they were together because he was angry with Hong-ah, and Soo-jung graciously says she’s sorry for interfering in his life without permission.
After she goes, Won-joon says that there are a lot of good women in the world. He decides to figure out how to love a good woman. Hooray!
On her way out, Hong-ah runs into Hyun-soo just leaving Jung-sun’s place. She demands Hyun-soo’s attention, so they go to the park, where Hong-ah complains that Won-joon has changed. Amused, Hyun-soo says it’s about time, and advises Hong-ah to treat him better because she’ll regret it when he finally gives up on her.
Hong-ah pouts that Hyun-soo has luck in everything, work and love. Hyun-soo tells her not to compare them, leaving Hong-ah standing in the cold.
Meanwhile, Jung-sun tells Won-joon about Jung-woo’s insistence on changing Good Soup’s operations. Won-joon perceptively figures out that it’s about Hyun-soo, and he confesses that he always wondered why Hyun-soo never fell for Jung-woo.
Jung-sun asks if Won-joon will be able to stop liking Hong-ah, and admits that Hong-ah reminds him of his mother. He tells Won-joon that it’s no wonder Soo-jung confessed, since he’s such an attractive guy. Won-joon thanks him, then suggests that the person Hyun-soo really wants a proposal from is Jung-sun, but Jung-sun just says that she knows how much he loves her.
A few days later, Jung-woo calls Jung-sun to his office to discuss the restaurant. He says that he wants the menu changed, because while the food is great, it’s too culturally different, the ingredients are too expensive, and the portions are too small. Jung-sun takes offense at the suggestion that he use cheaper ingredients and charge the same price, and Jung-woo tells him it’s only temporary.
Jung-sun argues that that’s the same as lying to his customers, worried that he’ll lose their trust. So Jung-woo offers a second option to fire three employees: two waiters and Min-ho, the maknae chef. Jung-sun says that he can’t fire anyone when they have the minimum staff for a fine-dining restaurant, and they’re finally exhibiting great teamwork.
Jung-woo asks, “Was the allergy incident the result of great teamwork?” He says that it’s the ingredients or the employees, and if Jung-sun refuses to do either, then he’ll withdraw his investment.
Frustrated, Jung-sun asks if this is that immature fight for love that Jung-woo mentioned, accusing Jung-woo of using their jobs to sway him and Hyun-soo. Unruffled, Jung-woo asks if Jung-sun is already tired, because this is just the beginning. He says that Jung-sun can give up now, and he’ll stop trying to sway him to get Hyun-soo.
Jung-sun asks, “Don’t you have any affection for me?” Jung-woo answers, “I do. But if I have to choose between the two of you, it’s Hyun-soo.”
EPISODE 24 RECAP
Jung-sun’s mom is startled when she shows up at Jung-woo’s office to learn that her son is there. She hides behind the receptionist desk until he’s gone, only to find herself facing Hong-ah when she stands up.
She asks Hong-ah to wait while she goes in first, and when Hong-ah rolls her eyes in irritation, Jung-sun’s mom says that they’re very alike in wearing all their emotions on their faces. Mom asks what Hong-ah does for a living, and exclaims that her son’s girlfriend is a writer, too. It’s not until she’s gone inside that Hong-ah learns that she’s Jung-sun’s mother. Mom gives the flowers to Jung-woo, saying that they’re for being such a good friend to Jung-sun, then quickly leaves.
Joon-ha is back to arguing that Hyun-soo’s drama should have a sad ending, but Kyung complains that people her age spend so much energy working, they only experience love through dramas. He changes his mind on the spot, agreeing to the happy ending so that young people will be encouraged to love, making Hyun-soo give them both the hairy eyeball.
She asks Joon-ha why he wants to direct her drama, and he says tellingly, “I like coming here.” Hyun-soo pretends to be angry, and Kyung jumps to his defense, saying that he probably means he likes coming here to talk about the drama. But Hyun-soo narrows her eyes and asks him, “Isn’t it because of Kyung’s ramyun?” Got it in one.
Hong-ah asks Jung-woo about hiring Joon-ha to direct her drama, but he says that Joon-ha is already working with Hyun-soo. She’s horrified when he says he’s lined up Director Min for her drama, knowing that he rewrites scripts while shooting. Jung-woo reassures her that he won’t this time since it caused his last drama to fail, plus he thinks that Hong-ah can handle him.
Hyun-soo and Jung-sun meet up at the park, holding hands as they sit on the swings. They catch up after not having seen each other for several days, and Hyun-soo tells Jung-sun that she’s decided her drama will have a happy ending. Jung-sun says there was an incident today, referring to his almost-fight with Jung-woo. He doesn’t want to talk about it, so Hyun-soo settles for a push on the swing.
In the morning, Joon-ha learns that tomorrow is Jung-woo’s birthday. He offers to celebrate with him, but Jung-woo says he’ll just stay home, warning Joon-ha not to pity him. Joon-ha reports that he and Hyun-soo decided to give her drama a happy ending, but Jung-woo clearly expects Joon-ha to change her mind.
Hong-ah decides to approach Joon-ha herself, and she tries to undermine his confidence about working with Hyun-soo by criticizing their last dramas. It doesn’t work, so she just asks him to direct her drama, only to have him completely ignore her question.
She finds Jung-sun on the roof and whines that she’s having a bad day. She tells Jung-sun that she met his mother at Jung-woo’s office, and jokes that for the first time, she was happy she wasn’t his girlfriend. HAHA, she’s got a point.
Angry at the mention that his mom was at Jung-woo’s office, Jung-sun rushes off to call her about it. She vehemently denies any ulterior motive, and Jung-sun warns her to leave Jung-woo alone before hanging up on her.
Hong-ah stomps downstairs to join Hyun-soo and Kyung as they interview Won-joon. She glares at Won-joon, saying that she came to talk to her friend Jung-sun but avoided Won-joon because he doesn’t seem happy to see her, and he wonders when she started caring what he thinks.
Hong-ah tells them that she had lunch with Joon-ha, who said he’s working on Hyun-soo drama, though Hyun-soo says it’s not set in stone. Hong-ah claims that she wouldn’t have met with Joon-ha if she’d known they were working with him (even though she just tried to convince him to direct her drama—the nerve!).
Soo-jung arrives to offer them something to drink, and Hong-ah glowers at the serenely professional sommelier. She mutters that she hates Soo-jung, and Won-joon perks up with interest when Hyun-soo asks why.
Hyun-soo heads upstairs to find Jung-sun designing some new menu items. She jokes that when she first met him, she thought he was a thug because of his scar and tattoo. Jung-sun says that he doesn’t like violence because it’s one of the reasons his parents divorced. It’s the first time he’s mentioned anything of the sort and Hyun-soo falls quiet, then covers up by playfully hitting him.
Jung-sun visits Jung-woo again, finding him drinking and reading Hong-ah’s script (it still cracks me up that it’s High Society). He gulps down the drink Jung-woo pours for him, then announces that he refuses to either cut his staff or use inferior ingredients. Instead, he says that he’ll forfeit his own paycheck.
Jung-woo predicted this, and he confesses that he gave Jung-sun the ultimatum to shake him up. Jung-sun says that it won’t work, but Jung-woo asks how long he can last without being paid.
Jung-sun goes for a jog, growing more and more distraught as he thinks back on how much he trusted in Jung-woo’s friendship. Jung-woo’s words that this is only the beginning echo in his mind, scaring him despite his brave claims to the contrary.
The next day, Jung-woo finds his relaxing birthday at home disturbed when Joon-ha shows up for an unannounced meeting, Hyun-soo and Kyung in tow. They didn’t know where he was taking them, and Hyun-soo is taken aback when she sees Jung-woo in the doorway.
Jung-sun’s mother confronts her son, positive that something is wrong between him and Jung-woo. He refuses to talk about it, saying that it’s difficult enough to deal with without her meddling, and tells her to mind her own business.
The tension at Jung-woo’s place is palpable as Joon-ha admits that there’s no meeting, saying cheerfully that they should just agree on a happy ending for the drama. Kyung storms out, with Joon-ha right behind her when Hyun-soo tells him that Kyung hates liars.
Joon-ha asks why Kyung is so upset when she’s the one who’s lying, pretending that she doesn’t know he likes her. She avoids eye contact as she stammers that she can’t acknowledge it or they’d have to start dating, and she can’t date until she becomes a real writer. Joon-ha sighs that they’ll never date, then… uh, he needed to stop talking one sentence sooner.
Inside, Jung-woo watches as Hyun-soo texts with Jung-sun, a big goofy smile on her face. Kyung says she wants to go home now, so Jung-woo tells Joon-ha to give her a ride, saying that he needs to talk to Hyun-soo, promising to take her home later.
As Jung-woo builds a fire, Hyun-soo tells him she was texting with Jung-sun, and he says that she needn’t reject him again because she’s done it plenty. Hyun-soo warns that he’s flirting with obsession, but Jung-woo says that obsession is just another word for passion.
Hyun-soo asks what he wants with a woman who’s given her heart to another man, but Jung-woo doesn’t miss a beat, saying that he loves that heart. He tells Hyun-soo that most people would have forgotten the person they loved after years apart, but she never did: “I want that heart to come to me.”
Shaking her head wearily, Hyun-soo tells him that she can’t change her heart. Jung-woo argues that she did once, after initially rejecting Jung-sun. He refuses to be dissuaded, saying that it was always the three of them from the start… “It’s nothing new. If I give up on you, that can’t be the reason for me.”
Hyun-soo says that she doesn’t know if it’s right for them to work together anymore, but Jung-woo just says he’ll take her home now. The ride is completely silent, both of them locked in thought. When they arrive at Hyun-soo’s place, they don’t see Jung-sun waiting on the steps for Hyun-soo.
But Jung-sun calls out to them, and Hyun-soo rushes over to his side and takes his hand tentatively, asking if he’s upset. Jung-sun admits that he’s not happy, and he asks Hyun-soo to wait while he talks to Jung-woo.
The men go to the park across the street, and Jung-sun finally lets his anger show as he orders Jung-woo to stop pushing himself on a woman who isn’t interested. Jung-woo says that Hyun-soo hasn’t said that she doesn’t want him, only that she doesn’t love him.
He says that love can change, and when Jung-sun says it won’t, Jung-woo counters that Jung-sun will be the one who changes. He tells Jung-sun that when he and Hyun-soo first reconnected in front of Good Soup, he never suspected anything because how could it have been Jung-sun, when he was so young and unstable?
Jung-woo notices Jung-sun’s hand curling into a fist, and he sees an opportunity. He accuses Jung-sun of not caring about Hyun-soo’s future when he can’t do anything for her, but Jung-woo can give her anything she wants. He sneers that Jung-sun has no mettle, and gets in his face, spitting that he should get mad when he says he’s going to steal his woman.
On the inside, Jung-sun thinks that he’s lived his whole life trying to prove that he’s different from his father: “But ironically, on that day, I became free.” He hauls back and slams his fist into Jung-woo’s face.
I can see where this is going, and I don’t like it one bit. I’m afraid that Jung-sun is now going to think that punching Jung-woo means that his relationship with Hyun-soo is turning him into a violent man like his father, and he’ll try to end things on those grounds. Which will mean that Jung-woo won, at least in his pursuit to break up Jung-sun and Hyun-soo, not that I think Hyun-soo would ever date him in a million years at this point. I just want to tell Jung-sun that one punch doesn’t make you the same as an abuser, not in these circumstances.
Of course violence is awful, but Jung-woo was goading him into it—he wanted Jung-sun to hit him. It’s not wrong to pop one good one to the guy who’s trying to ruin your whole life. But Jung-sun won’t see it that way—his tendency is to turn everything around on himself, and blame himself for the situation. He’s going to think that love made him into a violent man, therefore he doesn’t deserve love.
And the more Jung-woo explains his actions, the less I understand him. I said before that I was hoping that it could be chalked up to his character, but now I’m starting to feel like the writer just maybe can’t think of a good reason why someone would try to break up his two best friends and ruin their professional lives, while still claiming to love them both, which is why Jung-woo’s explanations make no sense. As I said before, I can understand why he would watch Hyun-soo hold steady in her love for a man for five years, and wish he had that same devotion. And I can understand why he would feel hurt and resentful to find out that not only is that man back in her life, but it’s his best friend.
But I don’t know why a man who is as intelligent as Jung-woo doesn’t see that if he could convince Hyun-soo to drop Jung-sun and be with him instead, that would completely negate that loyalty he says he covets so much. Yes, it sucks for Jung-woo that he waited for years hoping that Hyun-soo’s love would fade and she would look at him. But that’s not what happened, and a man who truly loved her would be able to see that he lost and let her go be happy.
Because that’s the thing that really gets to me… Jung-woo claims to want Hyun-soo, but I can’t remember him ever saying he loves her. He’s said that he wants her devotion for himself, and that he admires her. But he’s never acted like he loves her, and they’ve kept their relationship mostly professional with occasional bouts of friendly behavior, but no more than that. So even though he promised he would respect her request not to pursue her, it seems like in five years, he never even tried. Not until he suddenly had competition and apparently lost his mind for fear of losing something he never even had.
I think that Hyun-soo’s mother is being pretty judgmental about Jung-sun’s mom, and I’m going to be very disappointed in her if she makes trouble for Hyun-soo and Jung-sun. I’m not defending Jung-sun’s mother, because I still think she’s a manipulator who will lie even to her own son to get what she wants. But Hyun-soo’s mother doesn’t know any of that—she made a snap judgment based on nothing but the woman’s appearance, and the fact that she’s dating a younger man (something her own daughter is doing, by the way!). I think it’s really closed-minded of Hyun-soo’s mother to imply that she would object to Hyun-soo and Jung-sun’s relationship if they got engaged, when she knows two, maybe three incomplete pieces of information about his mother.
And speaking of hypocrites, Hong-ah again. How dare she get on Won-joon’s case about being with one person and liking another, with all the things she’s done in the name of her own unrequited “love” for Jung-sun? And while I’m glad that Won-joon is standing up to her, I was really disappointed that he didn’t even give Soo-jung a chance before letting her down, and in front of Hong-ah! Then at lunch, I didn’t like the chirpy music that went along with Hong-ah’s continued spoiled-brat behavior, as if we’re supposed to think it’s cute when she’s doing it to a guy who likes her. No, it’s not cute. And she doesn’t deserve to get a great guy just because she doesn’t like seeing him with someone else, when she’s taken him for granted and used him shamelessly for nearly a decade. That’s not how love works.