Dae Jang-geum is Watching: Episode 9 Recap

Seung-ah begins to doubt and question her feelings for San-hae, and she ponders over whether she’s even worthy of being a potential match for the team leader. Meanwhile, San-hae is unexpectedly forced to reminisce about his past during one of his many lunch adventures with Seung-ah. What was just supposed to be a fun and simple lunch date turns into something more.

Dae Jang-geum is Watching Episode 9: A Sincere Heart can always Overcome Destiny

The next day at work, Seung-ah reminisces about the incident that occurred the night before between her and San-hae. She feels relieved and happy knowing that there are men who prefer women like her just as San-hae himself stated. During a meeting with Manager Lee and the rest of the team, they all commend Seung-ah for her surprising accomplishment in finishing the report. Though Seung-ah claims that she did all the work herself, she of course couldn’t have done it without the support of San-hae. The two also feign ignorance when they accidentally mention about their sprained ankles at the same time. Thankfully though, Manager Lee is more concerned about San-hae than about how both San-hae and Seung-ah have sprained ankles. Phew.

At home, Jung-sik lays in bed in pain after climbing about 17 floors of stairs the night before to visit Seung-ah at work. Just when he was so close to finally reaching her, Seung-ah had already left for home. Jung-sik suffers the aftereffects of all the stair-climbing and has to place relief patches all over his legs. Since he can’t cook for a starving Jin-mi, he instructs her on how to cook an omelette for her to eat for breakfast.

So as Jung-sik instructs Jin-mi on how to cook the omelette in a wheelchair, Jin-mi carelessly cooks however she likes. It’s not easy for Jung-sik to watch Jin-mi cook, but she successfully finishes making the omelette. And she quite enjoys her version of the dish as well. Lol.

At work, Seung-ah contemplates on which restaurants she can invite San-hae to for lunch. She wishes to express her gratitude and appreciation for all the help he gave her with the report. Shortly before lunch time, Seung-ah researches on a food blogger’s website for possible restaurants to visit and grows enlightened by the food blogger’s similar eating habits to San-hae. When lunch time arrives, Seung-ah takes the initiative to bring up the topic of lunch to San-hae. She even goes as far as to imitating him to decide on the restaurant.

The two co-workers leave shortly afterwards to the restaurant. On the way there, Seung-ah and San-hae walk arm in arm to the restaurant since Seung-ah’s sprained ankle is still weak. When they eventually arrive at the restaurant, Seung-ah enters first excitedly while San-hae stays behind in nervousness. The restaurant’s always been on his bucket list and it’s been ten years since he’s gone there. Though hesitant, San-hae enters the restaurant with Seung-ah.

Of course, there’s a reason why San-hae was reluctant in entering the restaurant. There, he reunites with his college friend, ex-girlfriend, and the food blogger, Hong Jin-young (literally played by the trot singer Hong Jin-young). The two catch up with each other and even order the same dish. San-hae also introduces Seung-ah and Jin-young to each other. Jin-young finds it a bit strange that San-hae is out eating with a female co-worker when he’s never done that back in college.

Speaking of college, San-hae and Jin-young recall memories from back in college of how they met. They first started off as strangers who would encounter each other at the same restaurants and notice each other for their oddly similar eating habits. Eventually, the two decided to becoming eating partners because of their similar eating habits and individualist mindsets. The two would go on to date and eventually break up at the restaurant they’re currently eating at with Seung-ah.

In the present, San-hae and Jin-young still practice the same eating habits with each other as they did in the past. They still drink lemon water and they compete with each other to describe the taste of the dishes that they’re eating. Meanwhile, Seung-ah can only sit in confusion and watch them compete with each other. She even grows a bit jealous to see the two have so much fun and chemistry with each other while she’s excluded from their conversation. When San-hae leaves to use the restroom, Seung-ah digs for more information between Jin-young’s relationship with San-hae.

After asking questions about their relationship, Seung-ah eventually concludes that Jin-young must be San-hae’s first love. When San-hae returns from the restroom, Seung-ah excuses herself to also use the restroom. With Seung-ah gone, Jin-young shows San-hae her support regarding his relationship with Seung-ah. Though he denies the claims, Jin-young can tell that he has feelings for Seung-ah and hopes that things will work out this time.

At the parking garage of the work building, Won Bin and Manager Lee hide inside her car. She apologizes to him for merely brushing him off earlier that day at work. However, Won Bin has other things he needs to talk to Manager Lee about. As the two hide in her car, San-hae and Seung-ah return from lunch together. They watch as San-hae and Seung-ah exit the car together and walk back to the office. San-hae can sense that something’s wrong with Seung-ah, but she feigns ignorance. Won Bin proves to Manager Lee that the dating ban she instilled within the company has now been disobeyed.

Later on that evening, Min-hyuk and his friend, Shownu (Shownu from Monsta X), meet with Jin-mi. Just when Jin-mi arrives, she confronts two young ladies not too far away about their smoking habits. After scolding the two girls for smoking, she catches up with Min-hyuk and Shownu. The two are introduced to each other, but are unable to talk much as Jin-mi has to return to training. For the short few minutes that he was with Jin-mi, Shownu grows interested in her and asks for Min-hyuk to set him up on a blind date with Jin-mi. Oh ho ho.

Jung-sik cooks dinner for him and his siblings that evening with the halibut that Mom sent him. After preparing and cooking the dishes, the three siblings all convene to have dinner together. San-hae ponders over why Seung-ah seemed upset after lunch that day while Jung-sik wonders if Seung-ah’s ever tried the meal that he cooked for dinner. Jung-sik eventually receives a text from Seung-ah herself to join her for some drinks so he hurries out of the house with some fancy clothes.

They eventually meet at a street bar to have some soju. Seung-ah still seems dejected and down from lunch that day so she shares with Jung-sik about what happened. Seung-ah can’t deny that San-hae and Jin-young were a total match for each other and still seemed a bit affectionate towards the other. However, Jung-sik clears Seung-ah of any doubts and concerns she has about their relationship. Jin-young is married and has been married for about five years now. Seung-ah’s face and mood lightens up at the news and she immediately cheers up. She and Jung-sik also make plans to meet up at the same street bar whenever they’re available.

When Seung-ah gets home, she receives a text from San-hae inviting her for a movie date that weekend. She happily accepts the request. Back in his room, Jung-sik joins San-hae and follows up on the event that Seung-ah told him about back at the street bar. It was a good thing San-hae and Jin-young eventually broke up with each other as their love for each other and food was doing them more damage than harm. The two eventually broke up because they were eating too much within too little of a timeframe and it was hurting their bodies.

San-hae once again recalls his break-up with Jin-young upon being reminded of it by Jung-sik, but there’s something else he’s more curious about. How did Jung-sik know that he met Jin-young that day? Jung-sik at first merely claims that he had heard from Seung-ah since they grabbed drinks with each other. However, he eventually gives in and confesses that he has a crush on Seung-ah. San-hae reacts in utter shock and disbelief. Just like him, his brother also has feelings for the same woman.

The ending poem for the episode recites,

What does my heart want me to do? What does my love want me to do? Just like how halibut is cooked in the warm pasta, my heart becomes ripe more and more. What does my love want me to do? What am I supposed to do? 

My Thoughts:

GAAAAH, I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate this love triangle! I hate it so much. LOL. I mean, the love triangle hasn’t done much harm to our two brothers yet and to the relationships involved in it so there’s nothing much to hate about the love triangle (yet).. but still, I hate it! Lol.

This drama could have done well without the love triangle and would have been perfectly fine without it. As I’ve mentioned in my earlier recaps, the drama would have sufficed and maybe even been better, funner, and funnier if Jung-sik was Seung-ah’s sidekick who helped her find ways to win his brother’s heart over. That would have been cute, funny, and entertaining to watch Seung-ah attempt these strategies in an effort to win San-hae over. This love triangle was not necessary and while I’m glad that the drama hasn’t done much with it so far, I still dislike it knowing that the drama had other options to go about using Jung-sik’s character as well as presenting to us Seung-ah and San-hae’s relationship.

I guess I’m just glad that the cat is out of the bag and that Jung-sik is honest with his brother about his feelings. I’m afraid that there’s going to be some kind of noble idiocy where San-hae pushes Seung-ah away to protect his brother’s feelings and pride. I’m afraid that San-hae’s going to distance himself from Seung-ah and reject her feelings just so his brother can have the opportunity to pursue Seung-ah and be with her. He will probably feel guilty for liking the same woman so he’ll suck it up as the older brother and give up his feelings for Seung-ah. I’m not so sure how the drama plans on concluding the love triangle and how the two brothers plan to both confront each other about having feelings for the same woman as well as make up after everything ends, but I’m hoping that the drama will be able to wrap everything up just fine. I don’t want San-hae and Jung-sik’s brotherhood to go sour, but I also want Seung-ah and San-hae to be together. Hopefully the two brothers will understand each other and learn to forgive each other after everything happens. The drama has been really good so far at balancing things out and quickly wrapping up the short storylines in each episode so I’m hoping the drama will be able to do that with the love triangle as well.

This episode was primarily focused on San-hae’s first love and his relationship with former ex-girlfriend, Jin-young. I can’t really pinpoint why, but I felt as if this episode felt a little empty. Maybe not so much in terms of content, but in terms of progress for all of our characters. Not a lot happened because the episode was so focused on showing us San-hae and Jin-young’s relationship. I’m honestly not quite so sure why the episode felt the need to show us so much of their history with each other. I can see the argument that it was needed to test Seung-ah and San-hae’s feelings for each other and to make Seung-ah jealous and to cause San-hae to reflect on Seung-ah’s gloomy behavior, but I don’t know. It could also be the San-hae and Seung-ah follower in me, but I generally didn’t enjoy the scenes of Jin-young and San-hae. They were adorable as a couple and it was definitely interesting to see the evolution of their relationship over time, but I also felt like it didn’t serve much purpose or didn’t really contribute much to anything. It felt like the episode needed a way to fill up its hour run so it placed in many scenes of Jin-young and San-hae’s past relationship to do so. I liked that it was through their interactions that San-hae and Seung-ah were able to acknowledge their feelings for each other, but I don’t know. This episode felt a little bit empty and you didn’t see much of Jung-sik or Jin-mi which was a shame.

This drama has always been a fun and enjoyable watch though so even if this episode might have been a bit disappointing compared to episodes before, I still heavily enjoy this drama. It remains effortlessly fun, simple, and entertaining to watch, and I love watching all the different relationships in this drama unfold. Things remain mellow and laid-back so even if we’ve reached the climax of the drama where Jung-sik and San-hae learn about the love triangle with Seung-ah, I have faith that the drama will eventually wrap up the storyline just fine.

Bonus: Extra screenshots from the episode~

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