Dae Jang-geum is Watching: Episode 12 Recap

I know I know.. it’s been a VERY long while since I’ve written anything on this blog or have recapped anything, but I am back (FINALLY). Now that the Holidays is right around the corner, that means a little more time for me to just sit down, relax, and do what I want to do. It’s been a while since I’ve recapped (or written anything on this blog) so I wanted to finish my recap of Korean drama ‘Dae Jang-geum is Watching’ since that’s the last drama I’ve been working on for this blog. Hopefully opportunities to recap other dramas will follow after I finish this one 🙂

Dae Jang-geum is Watching Episode 12: The 12th Meal, Half-hearted and Neglected

Seung-ah rushes to the hospital after being notified of Jung-sik’s recent car accident. Thankfully Jung-sik is fine and wakes up to find Seung-ah frantically worrying next to him. Jung-sik assumes that Seung-ah has developed feelings for him considering that she’s with him at the hospital and eventually confesses his own feelings for her.

Jung-sik’s brother, San-hae, is not too far from them and hides while listening in on their conversation. He immediately leaves after hearing Jung-sik’s confession and unfortunately misses out on Seung-ah’s response to Jung-sik’s confession: she doesn’t like him as he thought she does. She rather has feelings for someone else. However, Jung-sik doesn’t give up and pleads for Seung-ah to give him one week for him to win over her heart. For just one week, he’ll try to impress her and if she isn’t impressed in the end, he’ll give up. Seung-ah agrees to the request.

Jin-mi is finally able to relax once she finds both of her brothers home safely. Jung-sik is thankful to Seung-ah for being there as his guardian at the hospital; thanks to her, everything turned out alright. Speaking of Seung-ah, Jung-sik shares with San-hae about his agreement with Seung-ah. Furthermore, his light eyes up at the thought of how his powers doesn’t seem to work on Seung-ah. As their Mom once said, when you find the one you were destined for, your powers don’t seem to work on them. Jung-sik is persuaded that Seung-ah might be the one for him and gallops away to his bedroom. San-hae only becomes more concerned that Jung-sik and Seung-ah are in a serious relationship.

The next morning, Jung-sik wakes up early to cook his siblings some breakfast and to drive Seung-ah to her workplace. It’s the first day out of the week for their agreement and he’s taking everything seriously. After dropping her off at her workplace, Jung-sik hands Seung-ah some food for her to share with her colleagues. San-hae arrives just in time to witness the entire exchange and grows worried. However, San-hae is not the only person to have observed the entire situation. Not too far away, Manager Lee watches Jung-sik and Seung-ah share a sweet moment together and assumes they’re a couple. Won Bin too finds himself slowly falling in love with Manager Lee after exchanging a few words with her, but denies his feelings.

In the office, Won Bin and Manager Lee test out their assumption about Seung-ah being in a relationship with someone else. She purposely brings attention to Jung-sik’s food to the entire office in an effort to make San-hae jealous. San-hae is jealous, but pretends to not be affected. Not only does he refuse to eat the food his brother cooked, but he even requests to change his schedule for the upcoming year. Manager Lee grants his request and Seung-ah is to be Won Bin’s partner for work starting in the new year.

Meanwhile, Jin-mi is busy experimenting a theory of her own. She was informed by San-hae that their powers won’t work on the person that they were destined to be with. However, her nose bleeds when she’s with her boyfriend Min-hyuk which causes her to doubt their relationship. While on a date with Min-hyuk, she decides to hold his hand to see if her nose would bleed. When her nose doesn’t bleed, she ponders if she should do something bigger to confirm her theory.

It’s lunch time for the office. Seung-ah wants to make up with San-hae after noticing a strange change in behavior from him, but San-hae isn’t ready just quite yet. He accepts Manager Lee’s request for lunch together and the two of them head to a restaurant for some food. However, they end up reuniting with Won Bin and Seung-ah who too visit the same exact restaurant. The two couples end up sitting at two different tables right next to each other. Yay for bonding time outside of the office!

While eating the delicious chicken bulgogi, the two couples can’t help but notice and pick up on strange things about each other. Won Bin eerily notices how similar Seung-ah’s eating habits and quirks are to San-hae’s while Seung-ah and San-hae notice how much Won Bin and Manager Lee have in common with each other. It’s as if they should switch eating partners or something! Though the food was delicious, the four colleagues feels as if something about lunch wasn’t appetizing enough and leaves the restaurant feeling a little worse than when they had originally entered.

Jin-mi continues to test out her powers on Min-hyuk. While enjoying their usual lunch date together, Jin-mi gives Min-hyuk a back hug in hopes that it might prove something to her. However, her nose doesn’t bleed so she goes even stronger on Min-hyuk. The couple finds themselves in an empty practice room and locks lips passionately. Jin-mi’s nose eventually bleeds, but that’s not the thing that stands out to her: Min-hyuk’s nose also begins to bleed once they finish kissing. Did her powers transfer over to him as well?

Manager Lee and Won Bin reunite at a street food vendor after lunch since lunch didn’t seem to stuff them just yet. The two continue their great chemistry with each other over some delicious snacks. Meanwhile, Jung-sik’s meal of the day is some spicy marinated crab! Though he focuses on cooking for his viewers, he can’t help but think about Seung-ah and how much she would enjoy the dish.

Jung-sik checks in with Seung-ah via text and asks for an update regarding the lunch boxes he had packed for her and her colleagues. However, Seung-ah isn’t feeling too well. She can’t help but notice how easily San-hae is brushing her off and doesn’t react well to the cold, silent treatment. Later on that evening after work, Seung-ah reunites with Jung-sik who picks her up from work. Though Jung-sik wants to desperately impress her by offering her various things, Seung-ah is quick to refuse. She feels a bit uncomfortable with how much Jung-sik is doing for her and asks for him to tone it down. Additionally, she worries if San-hae is aware of Jung-sik’s feelings for her to which Jung-sik lies that San-hae isn’t when really he is.

Jung-sik brings up the concern to San-hae and asks for San-hae to pretend as if he doesn’t know that Jung-sik has feelings for Seung-ah. San-hae reluctantly agrees to his brother’s request and gives up on eating dinner that evening. Seung-ah finally accepts the fact that she feels frustrated about the entire situation and fortunately receives advice from a little kid at the convenience store who advises her to just take chances in life and do what she believes is right. Seung-ah takes in the wise words from the adorable little kid and contacts San-hae to meet up with him. Back at the house, Jin-mi questions Jung-sik whether their powers can be contagious and transferred over to someone else, but Jung-sik is unsure of the situation. Is Jin-mi meant to be with Min-hyuk or not?

Seung-ah gathers up her courage to convey to San-hae what she had been thinking and feeling all along: she confesses her true feelings to San-hae. She likes him for him. He’s the one she has liked all along. However, San-hae doesn’t respond well to the confession and he coldly rejects her. Anything he has done for her has been purely out of the kindness of his heart that he would have done for anybody else, not just for Seung-ah. Tears form in Seung-ah’s eyes as she struggles to accept San-hae’s harsh words. Meanwhile, back at the house, Jung-sik discovers the suit that Seung-ah was seen with a few weeks ago. He at first grows confused to see the suit in San-hae’s bedroom, but quickly realizes that the suit must have been a gift from Seung-ah to San-hae. That must only mean one thing: San-hae is the man that Seung-ah likes.

The ending poem for the episode recites:

I told myself over and over again / And made up my mind a hundred times / Then my confession turned into waste / And became practically useless / But my sincere heart towards you will still not fade

My Thoughts:

T________________T SOOOOOOOO SAD. So many thoughts, so many emotions, so many feels, so many things to talk about!

We know San-hae is rejecting Seung-ah only to protect his younger brother from getting hurt and not because he didn’t have any actual feelings for Seung-ah. The old San-hae – the San-hae who wasn’t aware that his brother also had feelings for the same woman he did, the cold and reserved San-hae who slowly found himself falling for Seung-ah – would have responded differently and totally give Seung-ah a similar response as she gave him: that yes, he likes her too. But he didn’t, and he didn’t because he wanted to protect his brother so he gave up his own happiness for Jung-sik. I think that’s what pains me the most – along with the fact that San-hae does truly like Seung-ah, he’s only doing it because he can’t brush off the fact that it’s his brother who wants to be with Seung-ah. That only makes it that much more difficult for San-hae to reciprocate the same feelings for Seung-ah.

Of course, a part of the rejection has to do with the fact that San-hae is largely misunderstanding Seung-ah’s relationship with Jung-sik. He missed out on the most important details between their relationship such as how Seung-ah already has someone else she likes (aka San-hae himself) or that she feels uncomfortable with the nice deeds by Jung-sik or that she wishes that San-hae doesn’t know about Jung-sik’s crush towards her. Frustration was one of the themes touched upon in this episode and San-hae’s frustration, anger, and ultimately his rejection of Seung-ah is largely fueled by his misunderstanding of Seung-ah’s relationship with Jung-sik. Even then, Seung-ah boldly confessed her love towards San-hae and he still rejected her in the end. Maybe a part of him walked away coldheartedly in an effort to protect his relationship with his brother, but maybe because he did start to lose feelings for Seung-ah along the way as he discovered more and more about Seung-ah and Jung-sik’s relationship.

I think this episode was clearcut in the themes and messages it was trying to convey throughout: you can’t force something that isn’t there. Jung-sik can’t force and wiggle his way into Seung-ah’s heart.. he was never there to begin with and he especially can’t do it now. Seung-ah has always had feelings for San-hae and I think Jung-sik’s efforts only reinforced and made her feelings for San-hae grow stronger if anything. She realized that it was San-hae who she truly liked although she had another guy (aka San-hae’s brother but nonetheless another guy) pining after her. Seung-ah doesn’t want anyone else so no matter what Jung-sik does for her, she can’t force herself to create feelings for someone who she has no intentions of being with. I think that’s why as frustrating and heartbreaking as this episode was, I also enjoyed it to quite an extent because it was honest with us. Seung-ah is honest with herself and understands where she truly lies in all of this mess chaos: she wants to be with San-hae and San-hae only.

As someone who supports and always supports Seung-ah with San-hae, the ending of this episode did kill me, but I remain hopeful that the two will return to each other and to happier times like how they were before. Now that Jung-sik has come to his own realization that it’s his brother who Seung-ah likes, maybe he too will push himself away from Seung-ah in an effort to protect his relationship with his brother. They definitely wouldn’t want their relationship to be damaged so maybe the two will come to terms with their reality and find a solution for the awful love triangle. As heart-breaking and sad as the ending was, I did find it to be one of the more beautiful scenes yet from the drama (yes, I still remember the drama although it’s been about a year since I’ve last recapped it LOL). It was effortless and clean and simple, but rough and scary. It’s uncertain as to what is to come of Seung-ah and the two brothers, but I hope things will turn out okay for the three of them. I especially hope that San-hae will give Seung-ah another chance — a chance for him to revive his relationship with Seung-ah who he found himself tearing down his walls for and who he did things for that he has never done for anyone else. I hope San-hae will give himself another chance to be honest with Seung-ah, Jung-sik, and most of all — himself.

Extra screenshots from the episode~

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