Dae Jang-geum is Watching: Episode 2 Recap

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Seung-ah learns to navigate her new professional career and finds that there are more bumps and hiccups along the way than she expected. Meanwhile, our three siblings still share at least one meal a day with one another to uphold family traditions, but what they’re not aware of (yet) are the secrets they’re withholding from one another.

Note: I didn’t include it in the first episode because I wasn’t so sure if it was a recurring theme or one-time thing, but there are ending statements at the end of every episode. I’ll start including the statements starting this episode. Sorry about that!

Dae Jang-geum is Watching: Episode 2 Recap

It’s October 2011. Our three siblings are eating at a restaurant that Jin-mi had suggested thanks to good online reviews. Right when the clock hits 7PM, the family digs in to their food. San-hae notices Jin-mi’s stuffed nostrils and asks her about it. Why did she stuff her nostrils with tissues? Is it bleeding? Jin-mi explains that her nose bleeds whenever she encounters a man she likes. She might have the greatest sense of smell out of the 3 siblings, but there’s a side effect to that.

After tasting some of the side dish, San-hae immediately throws the food back out onto a napkin. He might have the best sense of taste, but his tongue goes into paralysis every time he tastes someone else’s saliva (ewww). The siblings eventually decide to leave the restaurant after the incident. Jung-sik is assigned to pay for the food so he approaches the cashier with his special power.

Taking off the gloves on his hands, he cups his warm hands around the cashier’s face and tricks the cashier into thinking that he’s suffering from a fever. As we will learn, Jung-sik’s special power is that he can control food ingredients with his hands, but his hands leave a mark when interacting with human skin. It was ever since this restaurant incident that our three siblings eventually just decided to eat Jung-sik’s home-made food. Aww.

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San-hae and Jung-sik worry for Jin-mi who they overhear crying in her bedroom. They assume she must be still sad over not debuting, but it’s an entirely different situation in Jin-mi’s bedroom. Unlike what they assume, Jin-mi’s crying and screaming over waxing her legs. Lol. Since her dreams of debuting in a girl group didn’t work out, Jin-mi’s preparing to debut as an actress instead. She continues to wax her entire body while Jung-sik and San-hae listens from outside of her bedroom. San-hae heads off to work while Jung-sik stays with Jin-mi.

Seung-ah panics as she attempts to catch a taxi to work. Thankfully, San-hae sees her along the way and stops to pick her up. However, there is no room or time for small talk. He quickly gets to the point and lists all the assignments he wants Seung-ah to finish for that day. San-hae drops Seung-ah off afterwards as he’s working outside of the office that day.

Jung-sik cooks Jin-mi’s favorite dish for her. However, she’s too busy reciting lines from different movies in preparation for her auditions. Jin-mi suddenly considers another option: live streaming. There’s plenty of other celebrities who use live streaming services to promote themselves. Maybe she can do the same thing.

Seung-ah is scolded by Manager Lee for her poor report and is ordered to bring her some iced coffee afterwards. In the kitchen, Seung-ah is approached by Won Bin who offers himself as a source of support for Seung-ah. He also seems romantically interested in her and suggests that he and Seung-ah spend some time together at her apartment over the weekend so he can help her with work.

The two are then interrupted by Manager Lee herself who opposes Won Bin’s advances towards Seung-ah. However, she quickly changes her mind when she learns that San-hae lives in Seung-ah’s neighborhood and will be invited to a potential housewarming party held at Seung-ah’s house. Though Seung-ah is reluctant, Manager Lee urges her to hold one. Seung-ah is to invite everyone for her housewarming party that weekend.

Back at the house, Jin-mi attempts to do a live stream of her dancing to different K-Pop songs, but she finds it difficult with no audience. However, things start to get better when she receives one viewer. Excited, she goes right back to dancing and showing off different charms and talents. A curious Jung-sik interrupts his sister’s live stream and witnesses Jin-mi dancing as well as performing aegyo from ‘Fight For My Way.’ Embarrassed, she runs out of the house and to the convenience store. The one viewer who was enjoying Jin-mi’s live stream was none other than Min-hyuk (Lee Min-hyuk from BTOB), the same guy who noticed Jin-mi eating her cup of ramen noodles deliciously at the convenience store in the first episode.

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Jin-mi immediately notices that everyone in the convenience store is eating the same exact recipe that she ate the day before. The store cashier then approaches her and offers her a deal: Jin-mi can work part-time at the store if she creates more recipes like she did with the ramen noodles. Jin-mi is opened to the idea and accepts the offer.

Seung-ah worries about what to cook for her housewarming party. However, do not fear for Jung-sik is here! He uses the same live streaming service as Jin-mi to record himself cooking. Seung-ah watches the live stream, but falls asleep shortly afterwards.

The next day, San-hae prepares to head out. He, Jin-mi, and Jung-sik all have a brief conversation with one another before they separate and go their own ways. Jin-mi is still embarrassed about her live stream the day before so she prohibits Jung-sik from spilling any details about it to San-hae. San-hae checks in on Jin-mi, but she ensures him that she’s doing fine. She’s already found another part-time job. Of course, she doesn’t tell either brothers where exactly this job is so they assume she’s training at another entertainment company. Jin-mi quickly leaves for her part-time job shortly after.

Jung-sik returns to doing another live stream. His show is called ‘Fun Cooking Robot’ and today’s recipe is braised spicy chicken. Seung-ah tunes in to his live stream and watches as he teaches viewers how to prepare for the dish. He lists the different ingredients that’ll be needed for the recipe and then turns off his live stream to give viewers enough time to go grocery shopping. He’ll return an hour later to cook the dish.

Jin-mi anxiously waits for customers at the convenience store. A few seconds later, Min-hyuk appears at the store to buy himself a small snack. Jin-mi’s nose almost starts to bleed as she and Min-hyuk make eye contact, but it’s not enough so she’s safe for now. LOL. She volunteers to help him pick which snack to eat, but is interrupted when one of the tables outside of the store falls down. As Jin-mi rushes out to pick it back up, she encounters Jung-sik walking towards her. Shocked, she throws away her yellow uniform on the ground and talks to Jung-sik afterwards.

He’s a bit confused as to why Jin-mi is at the store when she claimed she would be at her new entertainment agency. At that moment, Min-hyuk intervenes and asks for Jin-mi’s assistance in picking out the perfect snack. Jung-sik can sense that something is up so he asks Jin-mi about Min-hyuk. Who is this man? Jin-mi confidently answers that Min-hyuk is her boyfriend. Min-hyuk’s reaction says otherwise though and he’s just as confused and shocked as Jung-sik is. LOL.

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Jin-mi introduces Min-hyuk as Ui-jeom. Jung-sik has a difficult time believing that he’s her boyfriend, but Jin-mi convinces him. Plus, he has errands to run so he should probably leave. When Jung-sik exits the store, Jin-mi apologizes to Min-hyuk and offers to make it up to him. She surprises him with a new recipe using snacks and ingredients from the store. Min-hyuk enjoys the snack created for him and the two come to an agreement with each other: Min-hyuk will act as Ui-jeom every time Jin-mi introduces to him a new recipe. Jin-mi agrees and the two form an alliance. Hehe.

Seung-ah and Jung-sik shop at the same grocery store for the ingredients to the braised spicy chicken. After discovering that Seung-ah watches his live stream, Jung-sik follows Seung-ah around the store to ensure that she buys the right ingredients. However, she ends up picking the exact opposite of ingredients so Jung-sik devises a plan to switch his grocery cart with hers. Thankfully, he manages to switch carts and even exchanges greetings with Seung-ah in the process. She grows delighted at having met Jung-sik himself before returning back home for the live stream.

Jung-sik resumes his live stream so Seung-ah watches carefully. She performs the same exact steps as him and watches him carefully cook the simple dish. Everything seems to be going well until the very last step when she sprinkles her dish with sesame seeds. She ends up pouring more than half of the entire cup of sesame seeds onto her dish. However, there’s no time to fix the dish as Manager Lee and everyone else have arrived at her apartment. Ahhh!

Everyone gathers around the table to eat the dishes that Seung-ah’s prepared, but they find it inedible. As a result, San-hae heads to a restaurant to order them some fried chicken (San-hae to the rescue!). Thankfully, the busy and popular restaurant has enough chicken left to feed San-hae and his co-workers. He brings the food back to Seung-ah’s place and they all dig into the chicken and side dishes.

San-hae enjoys every single bite and brilliantly describes the taste, smell, and appearance of it all. The chicken and kimchi is so delicious everyone finishes everything within just a few minutes. Of course, San-hae has to return home by 7PM to eat with his siblings so he rushes back home even if it means not having his cellphone with him.

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When San-hae gets home, he and his siblings dig in to the proper braised spicy chicken that Seung-ah failed to cook properly. However, dinner with his siblings doesn’t last too long as San-hae is called back to join the housewarming party shortly afterwards. Everyone at the party has had a little too much to drink, but they continue with the alcohol celebration. With San-hae, they all play some drinking games. Though he is reluctant, San-hae joins them in playing the games just to get things over with.

The housewarming party finally ends. Thanks to the drinking games, San-hae’s tongue becomes paralyzed, but that’s not all that he is worried about. After sending all his co-workers home, Seung-ah and San-hae walk back to their respective apartments. On the way there, Seung-ah drunkenly rambles to San-hae. She thought being an athlete was the hardest thing in the world, but this job has proven her wrong. However, she’ll continue to work hard and when she does, she wants San-hae to commend her.

To exemplify how Seung-ah would like San-hae to commend her, she grabs his hand out of his pocket and uses his hand to pet her on the head repeatedly. Seung-ah will do the same to San-hae too when he performs exceptionally at work and she repeats the same gesture on San-hae’s head.

San-hae reacts with only smiles and love stares, but it’s not enough for Seung-ah. She wants words from him. When he continues to stay silent, Seung-ah grabs him by the back of his neck and pulls him in towards her. The two end up unexpectedly locking lips.

The ending statement for the episode recites:

Before he ever called your name, you were nothing but a mere chicken. When he called your name, you finally became a golden fried chicken. I’d like to go to him and become his chicken as well.

My Thoughts:

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EEEEEEEK, I was not expecting that kiss at all! It was such a pleasant surprise. Totally not necessary and so spontaneous and out-of-nowhere, but hey, I’m not complaining!

This episode was so so so charming in so many different ways and I liked it a lot better than I liked episode one (which I already felt greatly about). This episode was also very very fun and it was probably due to the fact that we settled down in this episode. Whereas the first episode was more introductory and foundational to our characters, the premise, and the sub-plots, this episode simply continued the storyline and sub-plots in entertaining and exciting ways. I love that Jin-mi is digging herself into a deeper and deeper hole every time, I like that we finally saw more of Jung-sik today, and I like that San-hae still rushed home to join his siblings for dinner even though he had other obligations. Granted, a part of that might be because it’s the family rule to share at least one meal together everyday, but another part of it is also because San-hae wants to spend time with his family. This episode was great, loving, and warm at all once and in separate ways.

Out of the siblings, I find Jin-mi to be by far the most charming, entertaining, and heart-warming. We got a little bit more of her backstory compared to Jung-sik and San-hae so we learned more about her, but she’s also just super cute and endearing. She tries her best in all the one hundred new things she attempts and I like that she’s not afraid to step out of her comfort zone and to try new things. She might be afraid and embarrassed to tell her brothers right now, but I like that she was willing to work part-time at a convenience store even if it might not bring her the glory and fame that she was yearning for as a former idol trainee. She went from being a decade-long trainee to a part-time convenience store worker which are two totally different things, but she gave it a shot and I like that. I like Jin-mi’s willingness to explore her options since the one thing she’s tried so far (anything related to entertainment) has failed. Since her part-time job allows her to interact with food which she loves and is an expert at, why not take advantage of that anyways right?

This episode showed us a little bit more of Jung-sik which I was glad about. In episode one, we simply learned that he was the cook of the family and was a talented chef. Though he was still essentially doing the same thing in this episode, we also saw him outside of the kitchen so that was a nice sight to see. I do wonder if there’ll be more to his backstory though than just simply being the chef of the family who teaches viewers how to cook different recipes. As much as I enjoy watching him prepare and cook various dishes, I also wanna know more about him.

I like that food plays a big role in this drama in multiple ways. First being that it’s what binds our three siblings to one another and allows them to spend the end of their days with one another as a family. I like that aspect of it. I also like that we’re shown how each recipe and dish is made and not just simply what our characters eat. I guess you can say that’s where this drama differs from ‘Let’s Eat’: both dramas still has all the food porn aspects and the great attention to details for each dish and recipe, but this show teaches us how to prepare and cook the dish. It’s actually refreshing to watch how Jung-sik cooks the food. I might even give the recipes a try myself one of these days.

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Seung-ah remains relatable as the new, clumsy, quirky, and optimistic recruit on the sales team. I especially could relate to her when she messed up while cooking her dish because I have done that plenty of times myself. She’s your typical kind and adorable female lead so there’s nothing different about her that we haven’t seen before. However, I think it’s her positive outlook on everything and her quick willingness to adapt to her new lifestyle that I like. Her athletic career differed heavily from this new professional career so she’s learning how to adjust and adapt to it all. The transition is rocky and rough so far, but with San-hae’s help, she should be able to learn and adjust quickly. Though San-hae’s tongue might have to suffer a few more times, a few more kisses wouldn’t hurt as well 😉

Bonus: Extra screenshots from this episode :). Also, being the fangirl that I am, I looked up which girl group posters were the ones hung up on Jin-mi’s bedroom wall. As expected, they were photos of Red Velvet and TWICE 🙂

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