Dinner Mate: Episode 5 Recap

What is meant to be will be. Coincidental encounters have now transformed into fated interactions and Do-hee and Hae-kyung come to accepting their new reality. In the process of navigating this second phase in their relationship, they continue to battle with their internal thoughts and feelings towards their first love’s who can’t seem to let them go just quite yet.

Dinner Mate/Would You Like to Have Dinner Together?: Episode 5 Recap

Hae-kyung and Do-hee reunite after searching endlessly for each other. It’s as if they were fated to keep crossing each other’s paths. To mark a new start to their relationship, Do-hee suggests that they be meal buddies. They can be dinner mates of some sort and meet to grab food together. Hae-kyung warms up to the idea and the two go on a casual stroll with each other. Meanwhile, No-eul and Jae-hyuk encounter each other at the same restaurant after hours of waiting for their first love’s to show up for dinner. With Hae-kyung and Do-hee busy spending time with each other, No-eul and Jae-hyuk take it upon themselves to keep each other company. With both having gotten stood up by their first love’s, they don’t feel so great. Hae-kyung never showed up to the restaurant whereas Do-hee showed up but left her purse behind and ran away.

Our two meal buddies set some rules and boundaries to their newly founded friendship. They’ll use a messaging app to contact each other and will have to ask a day in advance to grab dinner together. They’ll take turns picking the menu and they won’t contact each other unless it’s solely for the purpose of making dinner plans. They also won’t lend each other money nor will they get into a relationship with each other. Do-hee is in disbelief at Hae-kyung’s ideas and scoffs at his suggestion to not date. It’s not like he was her ideal type anyways! Haha. Hae-kyung squeezes in one last rule which is the most important one yet: they won’t force each other to have meals which they won’t enjoy. Do-hee then recalls the moment she shared with Hae-kyung her former dinner experiences with ex-boyfriend Young-dong that she clearly didn’t enjoy. She agrees with all the rules and they go their own way. However, Do-hee stops herself after realizing that she has no money with her since she left her purse back at the restaurant.

CEO Nam enjoys a meal by herself. While eating, she notices the same homeless man who’s interacted with Do-hee a few times before staring into the restaurant with a sad look on his face. He’s reminded of the moment when he ate with his family in the past and the much happier times he experienced back then. A lot has changed for him now and he’s all alone. CEO Nam sympathizes for the man and purchases some dumplings to go. She hands the food to the homeless man after she finishes eating at the restaurant and encourages him to keep his head up; there will be better days in the future. CEO Nam treads away after handing the man the food, but he follows her shortly afterwards. She prepares to attack him using some of her fighting skills, but he clarifies that he’s not stalking her. In fact, he’s scared to walk alone in the dark so he wants her to keep him some company. LOL. CEO Nam permits the man to stay behind her as they walk through the dark neighborhood together. When she arrives at 2N Box, she discovers that the man has disappeared. She makes it safely inside the building.

Hae-kyung ends up driving Do-hee home since she’s left her purse and wallet back at the restaurant. Although her mind told her to stay home, she unknowingly found herself at the restaurant. As much as she wants to forget about her first love, she still unconsciously remembers small details about him. Hae-kyung comments that sometimes the heart is a step behind one’s mind; it takes a little longer for the heart to accept what the mind already knows. Hae-kyung drops Do-hee off near her house and they bid farewell for the night. He now knows where she lives, but he’s okay with it. He doubts he’ll ever see her around in her neighborhood. After Do-hee exits his car, Hae-kyung finds Do-hee’s ring that she had forgotten and left behind in the passenger seat. He grabs it and takes good care of it.

Gun-woo spends some time with a date back at his studio apartment. Things are going well between the two until a heart-broken No-eul interrupts and enters the studio. The man walks away after assuming No-eul is Gun-woo’s girlfriend so his date comes to an unfortunate end. No-eul is upset over being stood up by Hae-kyung. To be fair, Gun-woo reminds No-eul that she did do the same to Hae-kyung back when they used to date and how she stood him up many times during their relationship. Now that she’s gotten a taste of her own medicine, how does it feel? Jae-hyuk drops Do-hee’s purse off inside of 2N Box. He encounters CEO Nam there so the two have a small talk. After wishing him a lonely and sad birthday, she conveys her honest feelings and thoughts on Jae-hyuk and Do-hee’s relationship. Back then, she truly thought they were going to last and eventually get married. Do-hee loved him more than she loved herself. Jae-hyuk hasn’t lost all hope yet and claims he and Do-hee will get married. However, CEO Nam puts him in his place and reminds him of the reason as to why he hurt Do-hee so badly. He left her to supposedly study abroad, but he never actually went through with it. He never studied abroad like how he claimed he did. Although Jae-hyuk reasons that he made a mistake, CEO Nam isn’t so forgiving. Jae-hyuk has to take some anxiety pills to calm himself down after the confrontation with CEO Nam. Oof. The truth hurts!

Hae-kyung and Do-hee rejoice in the fact that they now have transitioned from strangers who eat dinner together to friends who grab dinner together! They gush about it that night before going to sleep. Cute! The next day at work, PD Do-hee puts her creativity and courage to the test. She goes above and beyond for a show that she produces along with Jin-kyu and So-ra. While working on the show together, Do-hee receives a notification on her phone: Hae-kyung’s started a chat with the two of them in it. While Do-hee waits anxiously for a text, Hae-kyung debates on what he should specifically write. He has to remind himself that they can’t do small talk or can only contact each other to confirm dinner plans. After doing some research on delicious restaurants he could possibly show Do-hee, it’s Byung-jin who ends up recommending his boss a nice restaurant. Byung-jin pesters Hae-kyung for details on why he’s looking up different spots, but he ultimately concludes that a place that serves pork belly and soju is the most ideal. Although Hae-kyung avoids Byung-jin’s many questions and doesn’t reveal too many details to his assistant, he shows interest in the recommendation that Byung-jin has in mind. Hehe.

Do-hee explains her situation to So-ra. She’s befriended the same guy who she met back in Jeju Island and now is dinner mates with thanks to a series of coincidental and fated encounters with each other. So-ra fishes for some more details about his personality from Do-hee and assumes this dinner mate must be handsome if Do-hee doesn’t seem to like his personality so much. So-ra is then reminded of Hae-kyung who they’re still trying to recruit onto their show. Do-hee’s attitude immediately shifts upon being reminded of Hae-kyung and she still strives to catch him. Speaking of Hae-kyung, he feels his ears burning during a counseling session with one of his patients. LOL. The session eventually concludes so he finalizes dinner plans with Do-hee. He suggests for them to meet the next day at 7pm for some soju and pork belly. So-ra’s excited for Do-hee’s dinner plans with her new dinner mate (and so am I), but Jae-hyuk doesn’t feel the same way. He approaches the two friends and requests to speak privately with Do-hee.

He apologizes to Do-hee and pleads for another chance with his first love again. He’s confident that things will work out this time. However, Do-hee draws the line with Jae-hyuk that she forgot to do the last time they met. She’s willing to work with him, but she wants to keep things strictly professional. Although Jae-hyuk attempts to defend himself by stating that he had his reasons for leaving her back then, Do-hee doesn’t have the patience nor time to listen. She doesn’t care to know why. Jae-hyuk then makes an urgent phone call afterwards and pleads the caller for the chance to tell Do-hee the truth. He’s afraid he’s going to lose Do-hee so he wants to simply reveal the truth to her and then ask her for her forgiveness. Jae-hyuk’s call is cut short when Jin-kyu attempts to enter the room. Hae-kyung receives a special visit of his own from his mother. She invites herself into his office for a special counseling session, but Hae-kyung refuses to interact with her. In one last desperate plea, she requests to have dinner with the psychiatrist. However, that strategy doesn’t work either and Hae-kyung coldly rejects his mom’s requests to sit down and talk. Before leaving, she makes sure to drop off a copy of her book on Hae-kyung’s desk.

Gun-woo meets up with Jae-hyuk for some lunch. It’s been a while since they’ve last hung out so they take the time to eat and catch up with each other. Gun-woo explains that things are still the same for him; his family still isn’t accepting of him as gay and he continues to face difficulties in regards to his sexual orientation. He then shows Jae-hyuk a bunch of photos on his SNS account now that he’s more active online. Jae-hyuk catches a photo of Gun-woo with Hae-kyung which he points out and is curious about. Is Hae-kyung possibly Gun-woo’s partner? However, Gun-woo explains that Hae-kyung is only interested in women. For Gun-woo though, Hae-kyung was his tragic first love (sounds familiar!).

Do-hee’s Mom continues her investigation on Dad’s cheating. Sure enough, Dad is cheating on Mom with the owner of a cafe in the neighborhood. Mom snaps a few photos of the two together as evidence and heads over to Do-hee’s place to inform her afterwards. After spending some time with CEO Nam, Do-hee finds both Mom and Jae-hyuk at the entrance of her apartment. Jae-hyuk was around in the neighborhood so he volunteered to walk Mom to Do-hee’s place. Jae-hyuk doesn’t stay for long and he leaves the mother-daughter duo alone. Do-hee isn’t so shocked at news of Dad’s cheating nor is she so happy at the sight of Jae-hyuk with Mom, but Mom encourages Do-hee to reconsider things. Since she broke up with a cheating Young-dong, she could start over with Jae-hyuk. He’s a good and nice man and they did date for six years. Do-hee is fed up with Mom’s nagging and she exits her apartment.

While walking around in the neighborhood, Do-hee comes across the homeless man once again. She approaches him for some money at first, but switches to a dinner invite when she reaches a dead end with her original request. Together, the two grab some drinks and food together at the same stew restaurant that Do-hee frequents. They have a conversation about friendships in which Do-hee notes that there is someone who she’s met who she would like to remain friends with. She doesn’t know much about him, but she feels comfortable enough around him to want to stay as friends. Eventually, CEO Nam is called by Do-hee to help pay for their food and drinks since Do-hee doesn’t have her wallet on her. CEO Nam and the homeless man immediately recognize each other upon making eye contact and things get awkward rather quickly. The homeless man eventually excuses himself and he leaves first. CEO Nam isn’t happy with Do-hee’s association with the homeless man and warns Do-hee to stay away from strangers. However, Do-hee fights back and questions why CEO Nam gave the homeless man some dumplings if he seemed so dangerous. Lol. Do-hee also reveals the truth as to why the homeless man walked with CEO Nam on the night she gave him the dumplings. Unlike what he claimed, it wasn’t because he was scared of the dark. In reality, he was just looking out for CEO Nam.

Hae-kyung is reminded of Do-hee when he enters his car and finds the ring that she had left behind from the night before. He eventually waits for Do-hee by stopping by her neighborhood. The two eventually do reunite and he gives her back her ring upon seeing each other. Of course, Do-hee grows suspicious as to why Hae-kyung specifically set out to give her the ring that night when he could have waited, but Hae-kyung doesn’t say much. After coming up with a silly excuse, he offers to bring Do-hee back to her house since she’s still drunk. However, Do-hee playfully shushes him and reminds him that they can’t engage in such interactions. Things are best between them when they don’t know each other too well. She eventually bids him farewell and goes off on her own. Hae-kyung smiles upon watching a drunk Do-hee babble and walk away.

The next day at work, Do-hee has a discussion with CEO Nam and Jae-hyuk about the show they’re doing together along with No-eul. Do-hee isn’t so opened to the idea of combining No-eul’s pilate lessons with medical information. It doesn’t sound too appealing and interesting. Do-hee declines to do the project with Jae-hyuk and even offers the show to PD Jin-kyu. However, Jae-hyuk is keen on recruiting Do-hee to work with him on the show. He persuades CEO Nam that he’ll eventually get Do-hee to do the show with him.

It’s 7pm which means it’s dinner time for our two leads! Woo hoo! Hae-kyung introduces Do-hee to a new restaurant that Byeong-jin’s aunt owns. Byeong-jin’s aunt keeps tabs on the two meal buddies and she updates Byeong-jin on the phone about Hae-kyung’s visit to the restaurant with pretty Do-hee. Intrigued, Byeong-jin drives over to his aunt’s restaurant to see things for himself. Do-hee and Hae-kyung eventually dig in to some pork belly and soju. Hae-kyung watches as Do-hee forms her little lettuce wrap with the pork belly and even copies the way that she makes her wrap. Aww. So cute. And so they eat and they eat and they feast and they feast and they make sure to drink some soju in between. Just when Byeong-jin arrives at the restaurant, he receives an urgent phone call from his blind date so he turns around. Not today, Byeong-jin. Not today. Although Hae-kyung has enough of the delicious food, Do-hee still has some room in her stomach for some noodles. While slurping a bowl of noodles, Hae-kyung observes Do-hee eat and internally performs his own little evaluation of her. Out of all the traits she owns, he feels as if possessiveness is her biggest characteristic.

Although the food portion of the dinner is done, the night is still young. An event is held that night at the restaurant and the prize involves a stuffed penguin doll which Do-hee wants and loves. She stays behind to participate in the event in hopes of winning the penguin. The challenge? Whoever punches the game machine the hardest wins. And so Do-hee starts. Her punch is strong and bold and she earns first place. Woo hoo! Things are going well! But not so fast! A stronger and bigger man enters the competition and he defeats Do-hee’s initial punch. Noooo. However, not all hope is lost thanks to Hae-kyung who also participates in the game. Spectators acknowledge his handsome looks and even Do-hee seems blown away by his appearance, but there’s only one end goal in Hae-kyung’s mind: to win first place. And so with all the strength from his huge, tight muscles and a step forward that keeps Hae-kyung’s stance grounded, he does some damage to the machine with his punch. He lands not only a huge blow that earns him first place, but he also lands Do-hee the prize of the huge stuffed penguin. Do-hee and Hae-kyung celebrate his win by hugging each other and jumping up and down. However, it takes them a few seconds to realize their situation and they awkwardly back off from each other. Lol. The host of the event assumes the two are a couple so he’s close to suggesting that they celebrate with a kiss. However, our two dinner mates interrupts them just in time before he can finish his statement. Lol.

Hae-kyung’s happy moment is interrupted with an urgent phone call from Gun-woo. While at the gym, No-eul was confronted by a group of creditors who her mom borrowed money from in the past. They demand money from No-eul despite the fact that she hasn’t been in contact with her mother for over two years. An altercation ensues between No-eul’s staff and the creditors so Hae-kyung comes to No-eul’s rescue. He even throws a punch to one of the pushy creditors before escaping with No-eul. Hae-kyung drops No-eul off at Gun-woo’s house and the two are joined by a frightened and concerned Gun-woo afterwards. No-eul wishes to spend some time alone.

Do-hee stays behind at the restaurant by herself. Although she has her giant penguin doll with her, she’s devastated and confused over Hae-kyung’s sudden disappearance. How could he just leave her like that? More so, why are all the men in her life jerks? LOL. First it was Jae-hyuk, then it was Young-dong, and now it’s Hae-kyung. The psychiatrist eventually returns to pick Do-hee back up and he finds her drunk upon his arrival. When Do-hee notices his presence, she stands up only to lean forward on his chest. She’s had too much to drink so she struggles to stand up straight, but she does have the liquid courage to speak her mind. Do-hee admits that she had been waiting for Hae-kyung the entire time he was gone. She had waited for him, hoping that he would ask her to stay and wait for him in return. The two dinner mates lock eyes with each other after Do-hee’s comment: one completely unaware of the comment she just made and the other uncertain as to how to react.

My Thoughts:

NOOOO, it has started. It has officially started. The moment that I was dreading has arrived. I might or might not have screamed when Hae-kyung went to rescue No-eul from the creditors. I might or might not have pulled my hair out when Hae-kyung abandoned Do-hee and left her all alone at the restaurant without any information or explanation. I might have or might not have sighed when I saw Hae-kyung accompany No-eul after the rescue operation.

I know the drama needs to do something with No-eul and Jae-hyuk now that they’re back in Do-hee and Hae-kyung’s life, but I can’t bring myself to care about the second leads. They feel so empty at this point and there’s no substance to their storyline. They both left and then came back without a care in the world and tried to force themselves back into Do-hee and Hae-kyung’s life. I’m afraid that our two leads are going to give in and eventually return to their first loves. As much as they want to remain strong and deny their feelings for their exes, they also still want some kind of closure from the failed relationships. Do-hee and Hae-kyung have been doing good so far in that they set boundaries with Jae-hyuk and No-eul and it’s the fact that the two first love’s aren’t respecting these boundaries that remains frustrating and irritating to watch. Why watch Hae-kyung and Do-hee painfully interact with their first love’s when you can watch them be cute together? I really am not feeling the storyline with the first love’s and I hope the drama can either amp it up by actually doing something productive with it or just give us more Do-hee and Hae-kyung dinner dates. At least Jae-hyuk’s story seems a bit more intriguing at this point due to what we watched in this episode. It seems as if there’s more context and details behind his relationship with Do-hee. He didn’t actually study abroad like he claimed he did and it seems like there’s some sort of secret that he’s been withholding from Do-hee. What was his reason for truly breaking up with Do-hee? What was the mistake that he caused that resulted in their break-up? Who was the person that he was on the phone with?

There was some development between our two leads in this episode where they went from being just strangers grabbing dinner together to now dinner mates and meal buddies (nice upgrade! Surely but slowly). Sure, the boundaries and rules to their relationship is still there which makes sense given how the two interacted in the first place, but I like that they’re slowly opening up to other options. If they’ve already met this many times and it’s not by pure coincidence, then they should do something more with their relationship. I like how Do-hee and Hae-kyung were proactive in establishing their relationship with each other. Although they plan to purely remain as dinner mates for just now, it seems as if things will escalate for the two with each passing dinner that they have together. I mean, they were caught hugging each other and jumping up and down in happiness during the event. It’s as if the two are already in the ‘some’ phase in their relationship although the two refuse to admit it. Hae-kyung waiting for Do-hee to hand her the ring when he could have clearly gave it to her during their dinner date the next day? If that’s not an example of whipped Hae-kyung, then I don’t know what is.

I suspect that Hae-kyung will eventually make up with his mom as the show progresses. Right now, he isn’t so friendly and warm with her which he has every right to given that she disappeared from his life at a young age to pursue writing. Now that she has a book out, I wonder if the stories inside her book will include details about Hae-kyung and his dad. Maybe it’s through this book that Hae-kyung will open up his heart as well as the walls that he’s strongly built against his mother. He hasn’t forgiven after all these years and he doesn’t plan on doing so anytime soon. I just wonder what it’s going to take for him to finally give his mom a fighting chance in explaining herself and the reasons for her disappearance from his life.

I think a fighting chance for an explanation is a common theme that exists between a few of the relationships in this drama so far. No-eul and Jae-hyuk definitely have some explaining to do if they want to even think about getting another chance at it with their first love’s. Whereas No-eul seems a bit more selfish and entitled to that second chance with Hae-kyung and ignorant to the way that she treated the psychiatrist, Jae-hyuk seems a bit more genuine towards Do-hee. However, he still raises red flags for me especially in just how persistent and determined he is to get back with Do-hee. From walking Mom to her apartment to claiming that he’s going to reveal the truth to Do-hee in an effort to not lose her was pretty creepy to me. Like Do-hee mentioned, if Jae-hyuk was truly apologetic and sorry for his actions, he should have apologized to her first. He and No-eul can’t just come back and pretend as if nothing ever happened when they did clearly did some damage in the past. Hae-kyung and Do-hee are still hurting from their past relationships which they haven’t completely healed from. Although they now have each other and take comfort in each other’s presence, there’s always a slim chance that they’ll return to their first love’s for that second chance or for that closure that they didn’t receive the first time around.

Do-hee and Hae-kyung has done such a good job in moving forward with their life and letting go of their past, but can they keep things up when their past keeps hanging onto them? Will Do-hee and Hae-kyung have a chance to develop their relationship into something more or will they stop because of No-eul and Jae-hyuk? Will Do-hee and Hae-kyung even want to be associated with each other once they realize that they’ve been enemies this entire time on the internet? Only time will tell and maybe, just maybe, a bit of fate and dinner dates mixed in between as well.

Extra extra screenshots from the episode because everything was too pretty~

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