Greasy Melo: Episodes 27-30

Just as things start to settle into cute happiness forever ‘n’ ever, someone from Sae-woo’s past rears his ugly head (spoiler alert: it’s not Buster, that poor forgotten talking horse). The connections between everyone are slowly discovered and they all relate back to Sae-woo, which makes sense because she is the bright sun around which the Happy Wok universe revolves.

 
EPISODES 27-30 WEECAP

Chil-sung sees Sae-woo and Poong kissing, but they don’t see him, so they don’t see his poor heart breaking into a million pieces. Poong offers to drive Sae-woo home, and to keep him from finding out the hoity-toity neighborhood she really lives in, she directs him to her old apartment building where she used to live with Oh-jik. Thankfully she still remembers the code to get in the front door because Poong refuses to drive away until he sees her enter.

After she makes sure Poong has gone, Sae-woo sighs in relief and starts to leave the apartment building to go to her real home. However, in some incredibly serendipitous timing, Oh-jik walks through the front door, having just arrived back in Seoul. He looks like a sad puppy as he apologizes for running away and not preventing his parents from steamrolling her.

Sae-woo refuses to accept his apology, and demands to know why he couldn’t contact her at least once when he was in hiding, or why he made his parents bring her the divorce papers. She doesn’t want him to say he’s sorry — she wants him to explain why he abandoned her. Was he too scared to come back and deal with her now-penniless family?

Oh-jik weakly says that he’s just following his parent’s wishes to be with someone that is appropriate for their status. Sae-woo storms out, telling him she’ll see him at the courthouse so they can finalize the divorce. She cries as she walks home, but tells herself she’s not crying because of him, but because she’s mad at herself for ever loving him.

Meanwhile, Chil-sung takes Dim-sum to the vet, concerned that the kitty appears to be sick. The local vet is none other than the pretty woman who was also a patient at the hospital at the same time as Chil-sung, and she says it doesn’t seem to be anything, but hurriedly says Dim-sum should stay at the vet so she can run some tests.

It’s all an obvious ploy to stay in contact with Chil-sung, but Chil-sung’s too oblivious (and still broken-hearted over Sae-woo) to notice that fate has brought him a new love interest.

Later, Chil-sung drunkly stumbles home and finds Poong asleep. Despite his best attempt, Chil-sung can’t be mad at Poong for long (even though he can still be a little jealous).

Poong wakes up to Chil-sung’s drunken ramblings and attempts to help his stubborn hyung get ready for bed. Poong’s adorably attentive as Chil-sung bitterly laughs at the fact that he’s forever alone.

Chil-sung tells Poong that he’s always felt alone ever since his family abandoned him as a child. Chil-sung wishes that instead of becoming a champion fighter, his father could have stayed by his side a little longer. He sighs as he says he wishes everyone he likes was by his side for just one day.

Poong hesitatingly starts to bring up the fact that he and Sae-woo are now dating, but Chil-sung, knowing what Poong will say, interrupts and simply asks him to stay be his side today.

It’s a new day! The kitchen is hopping, mostly with hospital workers thanks to the word-of-mouth from the VIP guest who told everyone that Poong’s food was better than the hotel’s, so now everyone wants to try it. Even the hospital director has returned to enjoy a full meal, much to Poong’s satisfaction.

Conversely, Giant Hotel’s restaurant is barely half full. Seung-ryong is furious that they’re losing their regulars to Happy Wok, especially since the restaurant is the hotel’s only money-maker and they have a lot of bills to pay.

Sae-woo slips out of the kitchen early to finalize the divorce papers. Jung-hye hears about it and scurries after her daughter. Jung-hye pleads with Sae-woo and Oh-jik not to get divorced, but Oh-jik is still under his parent’s controlling thumb and Sae-woo is still determined.

Gum Granny brings her husband’s championship trophy and poster to Chil-sung. She’s kept it this long with the intention of eventually giving it to him. She doesn’t need it any more, anyway, because Chil-sung is her trophy. Aw.

Later, Sae-woo returns to the restaurant. Poong wonders if the meeting was successful, then cautiously asks why she wanted to get a divorce. He describes his own terrible break-up from his first love Dal-hee. Sae-woo cautiously admits that her once very rich family went bankrupt and Oh-jik was a no-show at the wedding.

Sae-woo wonders if Poong is disappointed to learn she’s poor now, but Poong is thankful. After all, if her family hadn’t gone bankrupt, she’d be happily married to Oh-jik right now, which means she and Poong would have never met on the bridge that night. Poong cautiously asks if Sae-woo plans to get married again. She’s not sure, and Poong says he isn’t, either.

Jung-hye is still determined that Sae-woo find a nice rich guy, one that’s “on their level,” since she believes that everything will return to normal after her husband is released from jail. Jung-hye is unashamed to admit she married him because he was rich and successful. She believes it was the best decision she ever made, and therefore wants the same for Sae-woo.

But it’s all the more reason for Sae-woo to keep her relationship with Poong a secret, since she worries about how her family would react. Especially considering how much her mother hates Poong.

Then again, Jung-hye continues to make mistakes which back everything up in the kitchen, so it’s no wonder that Poong is at his wit’s end and berates her, pointing out that everyone else is improving but she’s still as terrible as ever. Jung-hye quits and Poong doesn’t try to stop her.

Poong finds Sae-woo’s old wedding invitation, and, piecing together some odd things he’s noticed about the way Geok-jung, Seol-ja, and Sae-woo act around Jung-hye, he discovers they’re all related. He even goes to the address listed on the wedding invitation and sees the four of them leave the house, further confirming his suspicions when Sae-woo calls Jung-hye, “Mom.”

Things are extra awkward at work now that Poong knows the truth, although he keeps the discovery to himself. Sae-woo tries to stand up for her mother by telling Poong he shouldn’t be so harsh with the staff, but Poong wants to know if she’s on his side or on the rest of the kitchen staff’s side.

Later, when Sae-woo says she needs to leave to do something, Poong asks what it’s for, and Sae-woo says it’s a secret. Poong irritably says she sure likes to keep secrets, then demands to know if the reason she doesn’t want to tell anyone about their relationship is if she’s ashamed of him.

Sae-woo wonders if she should tell the truth, then has an imaginary argument between Poong and Jung-hye where Jung-hye makes it clear just how much she would hate Poong as a son-in-law since he doesn’t meet her criteria for an ideal husband. Distressed, Sae-woo concludes that keeping the relationship a secret is still the best option.

But maybe Sae-woo should cut her imaginary relationships a little slack, since Poong takes it upon himself to meet with Jung-hye and politely ask her to return to the restaurant. Jung-hye asks him if he likes Sae-woo, and Poong lies that he doesn’t. Jung-hye says that she’ll think over his offer.

On the flip side, Seol-ja is ready to defect to Giant Hotel and bring Geok-jung along with her. But Master Wang only wants Seol-ja — not the guy who helped Poong mess up the hotel’s kitchen. Seol-ja won’t go anywhere without Geok-jung, though. It’s all or nothing.

Even Oh-jik tries to convince Sae-woo to quit working at the restaurant since he thinks it’s beneath her, offering her some money to help her out. But Sae-woo refuses to give him the satisfaction, especially since she knows her working at Happy Wok hurts his status and image. Yes!

An anonymous benefactor has bought out the entire Happy Wok for the evening for a private dinner, leaving the menu choice up to Poong. That “benefactor” turns out to be none other than Seung-ryong and Master Wang, the latter who looks like he’d rather be anywhere else.

Even though he’s cooking for his greatest enemies, Poong is still the consummate chef — although he refuses to listen to any of Seung-ryon’s compliments.

Meanwhile, Chil-sung and his boys have discovered that Seung-ryong bribed someone at Dad’s bank to cover up a multi-million loan fraud and made it look like Dad was embezzling. Chil-sung visits him at the prison, and Dad meets with him primarily because he remembers the name when Sae-woo visited and told her father she got a loan to pay for Buster’s operation.

Dad promises to help Chil-sung get the protestors to agree to sign over their right to protest, provided Chil-sung takes care of his family until Dad gets out of prison. Chil-sung agrees, hiding his surprise when he discovers that Sae-woo is “President Dan’s” daughter. Dad asks if Chil-sung likes Sae-woo (aw, is he trying a little matchmaking?). Chil-sung says he’s no longer allowed to like her, sighing as he says that agrees with that now.

Seung-ryong’s dinner at Hungry Wok is apparently to check out Poong’s skills, and he offers Poong the head chef position at Giant Hotel (much to Master Wang’s surprise and dismay). In order to keep Giant Hotel’s regular customers and be able to start offering banquet meals again, Seung-ryong needs Poong (and his inventive dishes).

Poong refuses to leave Hungry Wok, and Seung-ryong says he’ll break up with Dal-hee if that’s the problem. Poong angrily grabs Seung-ryong’s collar and insists there’s no way he’ll ever work for Giant Hotel again. But Seung-ryong is confident that Poong is ambitious enough to jump ship.

Sae-woo panics when she gets a call from Poong telling her that he needs to see her and he’s on his way to her place. That means she has to scramble to sneak out of her home since she told Poong she lives at her old apartment. Of course, Poong knows where she really lives, so he’s amused to watch Sae-woo frantically scramble out of a taxi and try to pretend she just stepped out the apartment building’s front door.

Poong tells Sae-woo that he apologized to Jung-hye and asked her to return, but he isn’t sure if she will. He asks Sae-woo how to reconcile with Jung-hye, and Sae-woo says that he doesn’t need to do anything special — it’s Jung-hye who’s unfairly biased against him and who is, indeed, a disaster in the kitchen. Aw, Poong listens to Sae-woo’s babbling with the most tender look in his eye since he knows that Sae-woo isn’t just talking about a random fellow coworker, but her mother.

Master Wang and Maeng-dal are eating at the same tent restaurant and Seol-ja realizes that she’s going to have to deal with both of the men in her lives sooner or later, so she starts with Master Wang. Master Wang is furious at the way Seol-ja has humiliated him because she kept choosing Hungry Wok, but Maeng-dal gets over-protective and warns Master Wang to speak nicer to Seol-ja. Or else.

Maeng-dal’s ready to fight, but Seol-ja grabs his arm and they make a run for it before the situation gets out of hand. As they stop to catch their breath, Maeng-dal kisses Seol-ja. Then he asks that they date “greasily” — as in, just follow their hearts and go with the flow.

Chil-sung’s gathered the funds to pay off the protesting construction workers and lay claim to their right to protest (since technically the banquet hall is now “his”). The “Crooked” gangster who attacked Chil-sung previously tries to prevent him from handing over the payment but only gets beat up for his efforts. The construction workers are thrilled that they can now leave their posts and go home to their families. Chil-sung’s satisfied that he’s one step closer to taking over Giant Hotel.

Maeng-dal and Seol-ja enjoy some late-night ramen in the Hungry Wok kitchen, but hurry to hide in the cooler when they hear someone come in. It’s Poong and Sae-woo, who are surprised to see a burner and bottle of soju on the counter. But hey, they were planning to make ramen too, so it’s super convenient! As they eavesdrop from their hiding place, Seol-ja and Maeng-dal are shocked to realize that Poong and Sae-woo are dating.

Soon Poong and Sae-woo are also hiding in the cooler when they hear the other gangsters come in. Pffft, it’s a good thing that this is such a big walk-in cooler. Sae-woo happily tells Poong that she loves him — she doesn’t care that all the kitchen staff hates him.

Sighing, Poong tells Sae-woo that he knows the truth — that she, Jung-hye, Seol-ja, and Geok-jung all live together and originally deceived him about their relationship so they could work at Hungry Wok.

 
COMMENTS

It feels weird to confess that one of my favorite parts of this show is how well the characters communicate and are honest with each other when the entire theme this week has been secrets and lies, but honestly (heh) I love that people pretty much wear their hearts on their sleeves. I love the sweet vulnerability between Chil-sung and Poong as Chil-sung talked about his childhood. Normally dramas try to pit the leads against each other when it comes to love triangles, so I’m thrilled the show is able to convincingly create one where everyone acts like adults and genuinely likes each other and wants the best for each other. I’ll never stop squeeing over Chil-sung and Poong’s bromance.

I feel like a broken record declaring my love for Chil-sung each week, but each week I continue to fall in love with him just a little bit more. How can I not love the graceful way he’s distancing himself from Sae-woo in order to support her relationship with Poong (while not letting on that he knows the truth)? Ugh, my heart broke a little bit when he gently insisted that Dim-sum’s new “mother” would be Poong, since Poong is a “good guy.” Chil-sung’s given his blessing to the happy couple, even if they don’t know it yet.

I know I wanted this “fairy godfather” character since the beginning, the kind who will do anything to make miracles come true. But why does it gotta hurt this much to see Chil-sung resign himself to being forever alone? (Which we know is a lie because the show is shoving Ms. Veterinarian in our faces, making it clear she’s his pity prize. Okay, okay, she may be an awesome woman completely worthy of Chil-sung, but right now she’s just some random person who’s popped up in a few awkwardly shoe-horned scenes and doesn’t feel at all connected to Happy Wok, and I’m just not ready to accept her into my little restaurant family, okay?)

At least all the secrets are being revealed. Not that I expected Sae-woo to be able to hide her relationship or parentage forever, but I do appreciate that it looks like (once again) everyone is acting like adults and not taking it too personally. I hope. I mean, Poong may be demanding and brutal in the kitchen (’cause he’s got standards, y’know), but I think he can appreciate Sae-woo’s difficult position and realize how hard this has been for her. At least I hope he can. I don’t expect him to completely change his ways if Jung-hye returns to Hungry Wok, but I think he’ll at least reconsider the best way to communicate with her. After all, that’s a major part of being a leader — figuring out the best way to get through to your team (especially if one of them might potentially become your mother-in-law).

 
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