Dinner Mate: Episode 4 Recap

There is always potential for new beginnings, new love, new relationships. Hae-kyung and Do-hee continue to navigate their complicated relationship with each other while also dealing with their complicated past that has come back to haunt them. With the two envisioning a new beginning in their life, will things move forward for both Do-hee and Hae-kyung or will they fall into the trap that has been set up by their past?

Dinner Mate/Would You Like to Have Dinner Together?: Episode 4 Recap

After watching a hungry Do-hee walk out of the restaurant he’s sitting in, Hae-kyung decides to change his dinner plans and he chases after Do-hee. He turns her around by clinging onto her arm and nervously asks if she would like to get dinner with him. Do-hee reacts with a small smile on her face and she accepts. She hasn’t eaten dinner yet so this is the perfect opportunity. Together, the two go out to a fancy restaurant and order some steak for the night. When the steak finally arrives and Do-hee feels as if she will finally get her growling stomach to calm down, Hae-kyung stops her just right before she is about to take that first bite. He pauses everything to conduct a mini-therapy session with Do-hee. She’ll enjoy her food much more if she smells the steak first. But smelling isn’t enough; she should also try to imagine what the steak will taste like. Do-hee isn’t enjoying Hae-kyung’s sudden suggestions too much; she’s starving and she digs into her steak. Haha.

And so the two feast on their delicious steak. While eating, Hae-kyung notices a man (Kim Won-hae) sitting with two plates of steak at his table. He’s not eating the food nor is he moving; he’s sitting still quietly while crying at the table. Hae-kyung evaluates the man and feels as if he is suffering from a mild case of depression. He’s seen the man at the restaurant a few times before and the man has done the same thing every time: sit at the restaurant with two plates of steak and cry. Hae-kyung worries for the man, but he also places his attention on Do-hee and the two rant to each other about the crazy jerks who they’ve met online (AKA, each other LOL). Eventually, the man exits the restaurant which Hae-kyung also takes notice of. When Do-hee returns from a restroom break, Hae-kyung is no where to be seen. He’s gone. Where did he go and what is taking him so long? A few minutes later, he re-enters the restaurant in a frenzy with his hair all over the place. He doesn’t go into details about where he went or what he did and the two resume to eating.

No-eul and Jae-hyuk have a conversation with each other at a bar restaurant. There, the two chat with each other over their first love’s, respectively, and how they want to rekindle the relationship they had with them. No-eul isn’t going to let go of Hae-kyung now that she’s back in his life and Jae-hyuk feels the same way about Do-hee. Jae-hyuk sends No-eul off after they finish meeting up. Meanwhile, Hae-kyung and Do-hee also discuss about their first love’s with each other during their dinner date. Do-hee is still in disbelief that Jae-hyuk returned to her as if she was waiting for him or wanted him to come back. That’s when Hae-kyung opens up to her and shares the news that his first love (No-eul) also re-entered his life. While she stayed in her bedroom for two months after her break-up with Jae-hyuk, Hae-kyung drank heavily to get over his break-up with No-eul. Though the two had different coping mechanisms, they were both struggling with their break-ups.

Jae-hyuk pays a visit to CEO Nam’s office later on that night. She pitches him with the idea to do a show with Do-hee. She’s well aware Do-hee will reject it, but CEO Nam needs creators to help them do shows anyways. This perfectly aligns with Jae-hyuk who had plans of doing a show where he could provide medical information content as a medical journalist. He’s excited for the opportunity, especially since it would allow for him to work closely with Do-hee. Hae-kyung and Do-hee’s dinner date comes to an end with the two deciding never to meet up again and to avoid each other the next time they do happen to cross paths. All their encounters so far have been purely coincidental and they’re just in an ill-fated relationship that has been masked as “destiny.” They are not destined to be together so they should just cut off all ties. But as much as the two want to deny that everything has been purely coincidental so far, they have trouble denying that they felt comfortable with each other during their dinner dates. That, they are honest about.

Do-hee ends up waking up late again the next morning for work. She panics upon waking up, but remembers that she can get away with things since CEO Nam is aware of her most recent break-up. Lol. On the way to work, she encounters the homeless man outside of the convenience store once again just like last time. He’s eating some leftovers that Do-hee’s Mom had thrown away from a few days back when she was at Do-hee’s apartment. Do-hee isn’t the most accepting of the idea and she walks away as the man munches away on his meal. When Do-hee arrives to work, she’s instructed to pepper up for a meeting with CEO Nam afterwards. So-ra is close to spilling the news about Jae-hyuk’s visit to 2N Box to Do-hee, but she keeps things a secret and waits for Do-hee to find out herself. It doesn’t take long for Do-hee to understand the reason as to why CEO Nam wanted her to meet in her office.

The first person Do-hee sees when she enters CEO Nam’s office is Jae-hyuk who’s calmly sitting on the couch. Do-hee isn’t so happy at the sight and inquires CEO Nam for answers. What is he doing there? CEO Nam announces her plans to enhance the company’s reputation: they’re going to cut out all their B-class shows and invest in high-quality broadcasts. Therefore, Do-hee will have to work with Jae-hyuk on creating a new show together. In order to combat the idea of working with Jae-hyuk, Do-hee guarantees that she’ll be able to recruit Hae-kyung onto her show. CEO Nam accepts the challenge, but Do-hee only has two days to do so. If not, she’ll have to work with Jae-hyuk on their new medical show.

And so, with the help of Gun-woo, Do-hee gets a complete makeover session to win over Hae-kyung’s heart once she swings by his clinic. She’ll capture his attention with her looks and he’ll be so head over heels for her he’ll participate in her show. There’s only one caveat when Do-hee does stop by Hae-kyung’s clinic again: just like all the other times, Hae-kyung isn’t there. It’s only Byung-jin. LOL. Do-hee assumes she can wait a few more hours for Hae-kyung to return to his clinic, but Hae-kyung quickly shuts down the idea once Byung-jin informs him about it. Byung-jin is to get Do-hee out of the clinic or else there will be severe consequences. So with that, Do-hee fails in her third attempt to bait and capture Hae-kyung. Maybe third time is not the charm after all.

After getting Do-hee to leave, Byung-jin is presented with another mission by his boss, Hae-kyung. There’s an emergency and Hae-kyung needs his help. Hae-kyung meets up with the same man who he saw at the steak restaurant and conducts a counseling session with him after rescuing him from a suicide attempt. It turns out Hae-kyung had rescued the man during his dinner date with Do-hee which could explain for the messy hair and heavy panting that Hae-kyung emitted upon returning to the restaurant. The man had tried to jump off the top of a building, but Hae-kyung caught him in time and managed to persuade him from jumping. Fast forward a few days later and the man opens up to Hae-kyung about the passing of his wife which he believed was his fault. Three years ago, the man rushed his wife to their dinner date, but she got involved in an accident along the way and passed away. Ever since, the man has felt guilty for what he did and had never been able to take a bite of the steak which he and his wife was supposed to eat the night she died. Hae-kyung encourages the man to forgive himself; his wife would know just how important eating dinner together was for the both of them and she wouldn’t want him to feel guilty. At that moment, Byung-jin enters the room as a cook and presents the man with his own plate of steak. The man takes a bite of the steak and learns to slowly overcome his guilt and struggle. Everything will turn out alright.

CEO Nam attempts to persuade Do-hee to do the show with Jae-hyuk. There’s no chance she’ll be able to get Hae-kyung onto her show so she should just consider working with her first love. Plus, she could use this opportunity to get back with him, do everything she wants to do with him, and then be the one to break his heart this time. However, Do-hee stays opposed to the idea. There’s no way she’s going to give in to this ridiculous idea or go back to Jae-hyuk. Hae-kyung receives a phone call from Gun-woo who wants to meet up for dinner that night. He’s currently occupied with No-eul’s photoshoot at the moment, but he’s available to meet afterwards. Hae-kyung agrees to the dinner plans.

After work, Hae-kyung heads to the restaurant where Gun-woo wants to meet up. However, Hae-kyung isn’t a big fan of the restaurant so he changes their location to Gun-woo’s studio to eat some delivery food. While walking back to his car, Hae-kyung comes across Do-hee who is just as surprised as he is when they lay eyes on each other. Instead of greeting each other, they simply ignore each other and go their own separate ways. That was an agreement they had made together during their last dinner date. Do-hee heads to the restaurant she visited with Hae-kyung last time to pay for her tab. However, as she will learn from the Mom/owner of the restaurant, Jae-hyuk had paid her tab for her.

Hae-kyung shares with Gun-woo his stories of meeting a crazy woman who drives him nuts. He feels exactly the same way about PD Do-hee who’s trying to recruit him onto her show. Whereas Gun-woo likes PD Do-hee (because his job is dependent on her), Hae-kyung is glad her show is getting cut. Just then, the two guys’s conversation is cut short by No-eul who suddenly shows up to Gun-woo’s studio. After some back and forth bickering, Gun-woo leaves the two behind and the exes have a fight with each other. Hae-kyung still hasn’t forgiven No-eul and he doesn’t plan on to. His pride is more important to him than she is and he doesn’t have anything to say to her. Hae-kyung walks away from No-eul, but she’s soon joined by Gun-woo afterwards. She downs a few sips of the beer bottle in front of her, stressed and frustrated at the situation.

Meanwhile, Do-hee and Jae-hyuk spend some time together at the restaurant they used to frequent back when they were still a couple (more like Jae-hyuk invited himself to her table, but you get it). Jae-hyuk reminisces the old times and appreciates how the restaurant is still the same as it was back then. Things haven’t changed, but Do-hee has. She’s changed and she makes her dislike towards Jae-hyuk clear. The next day, Do-hee sets out to find Hae-kyung once again. This is her last attempt and chance at recruiting the psychiatrist onto her show, but just like all the other times, she merely misses Hae-kyung by just a few seconds. Hae-kyung stepped out of his clinic to visit his patient in Jeju Island who he saw just a few weeks back.

When he meets up with his patient, she still seems the same. She doesn’t feel like living and she still hasn’t gotten over her break-up. However, she’s more blunt and straight-forward this time and instead of focusing on Hae-kyung’s counseling, she focuses on the doctor herself. She directly asks him if he’s married and if he would like to eat some “ramen” with her. She’ll even add eggs to the ramen. LOL. With Do-hee’s unsuccessful attempt to recruit Hae-kyung onto her show, she returns to 2N Box empty-handed. She’s forced to make the grand announcement in front of the whole team, but she remains hopeful and vigilant that her B-class show will return in the future. This is not the end. At the end of her dramatic speech, staff members cheer for Do-hee while she’s getting dragged out by CEO Nam. Lol. Jae-hyuk watches as Do-hee is dragged away by CEO Nam. He’s recruited No-eul to appear as a guest on his show so he feels confident about things.

Do-hee goes out to drink with So-ra and a few of her other co-workers. She has a difficult time accepting that her show has been cancelled and that she’ll have to work with her first love. Speaking of her first love, Do-hee encounters Jae-hyuk while walking back home. He hands her a bowl of her favorite ice cream and sits with her as she eats the dessert. He wants to celebrate his birthday the next day with her. They haven’t celebrated it together the past three years, but he wants that to change. Jae-hyuk never wants to be alone without Do-hee ever again. He’ll make a reservation at a steak restaurant the next day at 7pm and he hopes to see her there.

Hae-kyung’s Mom stops by his apartment early the next morning to eat some breakfast with him. However, Hae-kyung has no desire to do so and he turns his mom away harshly. He reminds her that she abandoned him when he was younger and that he never wants her to come back to visit him. When Hae-kyung arrives to his clinic, he’s greeted with another sudden visit: this time by No-eul. She’s made him his favorite sandwich that he used to like back when they were together. She also wants to grab dinner with him and will make a reservation. Hae-kyung gives her invitation and the sandwich some thought.

No-eul heads to 2N Box next for a meeting with CEO Nam, Do-hee, and Jae-hyuk. Do-hee turns down the show and suggests that they can loop in another staff member to help host it. Do-hee walks out of the meeting and is followed by Jae-hyuk who attempts to calm her down and recruit her to do the show with him. He believes that they were destined to be. What else can it be if it’s not destiny? However, Do-hee refutes his statement and claims they’re not destined. He doesn’t have a clue what destiny means or consists of. Holding onto both of her arms, Jae-hyuk pleads Do-hee for one last chance. He begs her for her forgiveness.

Hae-kyung receives a message from No-eul regarding the dinner reservation she made for them at a steak restaurant. It’s the same steak restaurant where Do-hee and Jae-hyuk are at as well, but she’s seated on the second level of the restaurant instead. While in the restroom at the restaurant, Do-hee is reminded of her last dinner date with Hae-kyung. He gently and kindly praised her for doing whatever she could to get over her break-up with Jae-hyuk knowing fully well it must have not been easy at all. With this reminder, she exits the restaurant and cancels her plans of celebrating Jae-hyuk’s birthday with him. Hae-kyung arrives at the steak restaurant, but he’s hesitant to enter. He too is reminded of his last dinner date with Do-hee and changes his mind on joining No-eul for dinner.

Do-hee searches around for Hae-kyung. She swings by all the places they visited together on their last dinner date, but is unsuccessful in finding him. Just when all hope is lost and Do-hee walks around with her head down, she suddenly finds herself in front of the person she was looking for. Standing across from her on the bridge also staring back at her is her man is none other than Hae-kyung. He also seems just as relieved and excited to see her and the two make their way closer to each other on the bridge. Just when they’re close enough to talk, Do-hee assumes they should avoid each other according to their agreement. However, Hae-kyung forbids her from leaving and he holds her behind. It turns out he was also looking for Do-hee like how she was searching for him. He also visited the same exact spots as she did except they missed each other by just a few seconds every time. However, despite the many missed opportunities, they eventually found their ways back to each other. Both Do-hee and Hae-kyung are aware that their encounter this time is different. It’s not a coincidence. It must be fate.

My Thoughts:

Pheewwww, I’ll just start by saying this: recap burnout is real. It is reeeeeal. There’s work burn-out and then there’s also recap burnout. I’ve been feeling it the past week or so, especially with all that has been going on around the world as well as with work in itself. I want to do better and I want my recaps to be better, but I also want to put out recaps while the episodes are out. Who knew blogging could be so challenging? T___T

With that off my chest, the ending to this episode definitely made me feel things. Our two leads are obviously meant to be in each other’s lives and their destinies are tied together. Whereas before their encounters or interactions might have been purely coincidental, Hae-kyung and Do-hee actively went out to search for each other this time. I think this is the part that gets to me the most. This time, things aren’t coincidental. Just like Hae-kyung mentioned, the two are fated to be with each other or at least to be affiliated in some sort of way. The fact that they wanted to see each other and went around searching for each other speaks volumes about the way they feel about each other as well as their complicated relationship. Do-hee and Hae-kyung are strangers acquainted with each other; they don’t meet each other other than to grab dinners. They aren’t aware of who the other person is and what their name is or what they do for a living, but they feel comfortable enough with each other to the point where they can talk about their love life and complicated relationships. What is even more fascinating is how similar Hae-kyung and Do-hee’s love life is. What were the chances that both of their first love’s would come back into their lives at the same time with a common goal to rekindle some broken relationships and start over? Even if it’s not with each other, Hae-kyung and Do-hee are still tied together by the string of fate and destiny. They are meant to be.

This episode didn’t make me feel anything in regards to the first love’s. I’m not getting enough of a backstory or incentive to want to understand No-eul or Jae-hyuk or see them back with Hae-kyung and Do-hee. I don’t have a reason at this point to care so any scenes of Hae-kyung with No-eul or Do-hee with Jae-hyuk just feels futile at this point. A little empty. A little pointless. A little iffy. I just want to see more of Do-hee and Hae-kyung who have been entertaining when together so far. They speak the same language and understand each other despite the fact that they don’t even know each other’s identities or professions or anything really. They can still bond even without that background knowledge or subtle details and that’s the beauty in their relationship. They feel a way around each other that they don’t feel with anyone else. And as we saw in this episode, with No-eul and Jae-hyuk back in the picture, Hae-kyung and Do-hee’s heart has moved. Their lives has been shaken up. But it’s not enough to the point where they want to return to their old lifestyle. They don’t want to repeat history and possibly re-live a past that they tried so hard to recover and bounce back from. Things could change in the future and our two leads might give in to their first love’s eventually, but I think our two leads feel comfortable and strong enough now to look past their past and to look forward to their future. When they have each other, what reason would they need to return to their first love’s who only left them behind with pain, heart-break, and bad memories? Why would Do-hee and Hae-kyung go back to a relationship or to someone who hurt them and abandoned them when they could be with someone new who they feel more confident and comfortable around?

I do hope Do-hee and Hae-kyung eventually come to learn more about each other sooner than later. Right now, they’re in the process of being just dinner mates and not necessarily friends, but I kind of want to see their relationship develop even more. Of course, what’s beautiful right now is the fact that they are dinner mates who doesn’t necessarily need to know each other to spend time together and hang out, but the whole PD Do-hee vs. Doctor Hae-kyung is killing me. How much longer are we going to drag out the fact that Do-hee and Hae-kyung were fighting each other on the internet, but eating dinner together in peace in person? When is Do-hee gonna find out that Hae-kyung is the psychiatrist that she’s been desperately trying to recruit onto her show? When will Hae-kyung discover that Do-hee is the crazy PD who’s been pestering him and Byung-jin into coming onto her show? It’d be great if the drama could wrap up this mini-plot now because it’s starting to grow a little old on me honestly.

As we saw in this episode, I think the show was trying to introduce the role of food and the impact it plays in one’s journey to healing. As we saw with the steak man, he was able to take his first step into self-forgiveness and healing by meeting with Hae-kyung and eating a bite of a steak. Although I don’t think the impact was necessarily there in showcasing the importance of food per se (the case felt a bit forced to me and as if it was trying to prove something to me instead of being effortlessly integrated into the show), I do appreciate that we got to see Hae-kyung perform his magic as a psychiatrist who utilizes food to help his patients. It is what he is known for as a psychiatrist so to actually witness him do his job was interesting and fascinating.

I also want to give kudos to Seo Ji-hye who I think, with episodes three and four, has grown into her character as the quirky, funny, determined, and silly Do-hee. While I found her decent in the first two episodes, I think she’s now settled into her character and feels more comfortable portraying witty Do-hee. I find myself cracking up with her scenes (such as the part where she made a dramatic speech to 2N Box staff about the cancellation of her show), but she can also be so good and serious when it comes down to more emotional scenes such as with Jae-hyuk. Do-hee is a complicated character who feels a lot of things either everything or nothing all at once and I’m really enjoying these many conflicting sides of her. Seo Ji-hye is doing a great job.

‘Would You Like to Have Dinner Together?’ continues to remain a breezy and seamless watch. Despite my irks with the exes back in the picture, I’m still content at how Hae-kyung and Do-hee are now more actively pursuing their relationship with each other. It seems as if fate and destiny is transforming into a big theme in this show and is proving our leads wrong about their encounters with each other. Just like Do-hee described in this episode, fate is “when you meet the person in a place where you thought you’d never meet anyone. And you end up meeting the person anyway when it’s impossible. And it makes you think it’s a miracle.” Do-hee and Hae-kyung are fated to be and so much more.

Extra screenshots from the episode~

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