Relationships can blossom in many different ways, but they can also be set back in various ways as well. As Do-hee and Hae-kyung continue to engage with each other, they slowly find themselves treading the fine line of respecting rules and boundaries they’ve set for themselves to resisting the urge to be something more. How does one balance the two conflicting thoughts and feelings? Is there a way to internalize and address both situations without making things too obvious?
Note: The newest OST track to ‘Dinner Mate’ has been released! Feel free to listen to the song while reading the recap 🙂
Dinner Mate/Would You Like to Have Dinner Together?: Episode 6 Recap
Hae-kyung finally returns to the restaurant to pick up a drunk and exhausted Do-hee. She stands up only to fall into his arms as she admits that she was waiting for him the entire time. She wanted him to tell her to wait for him. Of course, the words weren’t meant specifically for Hae-kyung as Do-hee was referring to Jae-hyuk. She grows sad over the fact that they could have worked things out years ago. Hae-kyung eventually walks both Do-hee and the giant stuffed penguin back to his car, but they encounter his mom on the way back. Thanks to some insider info from Byung-jin, Mom rushed over to the restaurant at the thought of possibly meeting up with her son. When asked who the lady next to him is, Hae-kyung lies that Do-hee is his girlfriend. Do-hee plays along and lies that her name is Lee Mun-jeong, the same exact name on the book that Mom is carrying with her. Mom rejoices over the fact that they have the same name and she eventually lets the two go after handing a copy of her book over to Do-hee. On the drive back home, Hae-kyung grows curious as to why Do-hee isn’t dishing him for details on where he went. She reminds him about the rule to their relationship and how they are forbidden to ask each other personal questions. After falling asleep for a short bit, she eventually wakes up to a small strawberry milk carton gifted by Hae-kyung. He eventually drops her off in the neighborhood and she heads home with her giant penguin.
The next morning, Do-hee wakes up without a hangover (I know!). She’s in a good mood and she’s feeling good. However, her mood turns sour after she recalls memories from the night before related to Hae-kyung. Lol. No-eul isn’t in the mood to eat. She’s still heartbroken over Hae-kyung and she contemplates with Gun-woo on what she has to do in order to get him to notice her. Gun-woo eventually leaves for work so she too heads to 2N Box to get some work done. Once at the company, No-eul introduces herself to Do-hee and along with Jae-hyuk, the three of them sit down to have a discussion about their new show. No-eul is confident she can hit one million hearts with their first episode. And how exactly will they do that? With the help and appearance of Hae-kyung.
Speaking of Hae-kyung, he has another counseling session with a patient. It’s none other than former idol and current actress, Sandara Park (from 2NE1). She seek therapy from Hae-kyung for she’s suffering from anorexia. The pressures of being a celebrity has been a lot for the actress to process and she’s uncertain as to what to do. After giving Sandara some tips, he eventually concludes that she’ll need surgery. And so Hae-kyung enters his operating room: the kitchen! After thoroughly washing his hands and putting on his apron, he and Byung-jin get down to business. They cook up a delicious, light, and healthy meal for Sandara. While the former idol is eating and enjoying the food, Hae-kyung adds that it’s not so much the food that she’s eating that is essential, but rather the attitude she carries when she eats. With that, the three all snap a photo together and the counseling session comes to a successful and yummy end.
Do-hee barges into CEO Nam’s office and agrees to do the new show with No-eul. Although a bit suspicious, CEO Nam is relieved with Do-hee’s choice. She also offers to gift Do-hee with a copy of Hae-kyung’s Mom’s book. However, Do-hee remembers how she already received a copy of the same book from the night before so she declines the offer. Hae-kyung too has thoughts about his mom while at work. Although he refused to go to the hospital with his mom for her doctor’s appointment, he ponders over how she’s doing with her visit to the hospital. As we will see, Mom feels lonely and afraid to be by herself at the hospital while many other patients are surrounded by their loved ones.
Do-hee waits patiently for a text from Hae-kyung. She checks her phone so often even Jin-kyu and So-ra begin to notice. Bored with work, Do-hee decides to give Mom’s book a read. Upon opening up to a random page in the book, she comes across a sentence that reads, “That night, he sparked a fire within me.” Do-hee ends up dozing off and dreaming about Hae-kyung himself. She dreams that the two are having dinner in a really nice and luxurious building. Although they feast and drink some wine, Do-hee questions what their true intentions in meeting are. She ends up seating herself on his lap and the two lean in for a kiss with each other. The dream is too good to be true and our PD eventually wakes up. Although she and Hae-kyung are definitely not dating or kissing in reality, he does ask her for another dinner date right after her dream. Score!
Hae-kyung arrives outside of the restaurant where Hae-kyung is patiently waiting for her. She has to remind herself to snap out of her dream of Hae-kyung before she enters. To start off the dinner, they both apologize to each other for what happened the night before. After setting the mood for the date, they dig into some sashimi and pair it up with some rice wine. As a psychiatrist, Hae-kyung goes on and on about the benefits of eating tuna and how healthy it is. Of course, Do-hee is more interested in eating the tuna rather than listening to Hae-kyung talk about it so she has no problem with filling up her stomach. Eating tuna reminds Do-hee of the days when she used to eat the seafood with Jae-hyuk. He would always dip the sashimi with red chili paste which she despised. Hae-kyung comments that sashimi is best paired with ssamjang which Do-hee agrees with. The dinner portion of the date comes to an end with more rice wine and fulfilling sashimi.
The two dinner mates take a casual stroll after dinner to digest their food. They chat about topics like the rice wine they just drank to Hae-kyung’s personality. The next morning, Do-hee prepares for work. She’s in a good mood and there’s nothing that can stop her.. except there is. News articles of No-eul’s debt scandal is brought to light and CEO Nam demands for Do-hee to cancel her show with the social media influencer. Although Do-hee notes that it was No-eul’s Mom who caused all the trouble, CEO Nam refuses to be associated with No-eul. They don’t want to get in trouble nor do they want to be dragged down with her. CEO Nam makes it official and calls the final shot, but Do-hee and Jae-hyuk rebel. They head out to go meet No-eul herself.
On the drive to No-eul’s house, Do-hee reminds Jae-hyuk that they are to remain strictly professional. During their meeting with the influencer, Do-hee encourages No-eul to participate in the show. Running away would be irresponsible of her and Do-hee sees No-eul as a worthy investment. She wants to go through with the show no matter what. Do-hee concludes the brief meeting by saying that they’ll contact her later on once the scandal dies down. Hae-kyung learns of No-eul’s situation himself thanks to Gun-woo. Although Hae-kyung tries not to worry about No-eul or to get himself involved with the situation, he gives in.
Do-hee and CEO Nam go grocery shopping together. After grabbing some strawberry milk (thanks to Hae-kyung who introduced it to her), the two colleagues have another talk about No-eul. Do-hee is certain they can reach a million hearts with No-eul on her show, but CEO Nam still wants the show to be dropped. Hae-kyung rushes over to Gun-woo’s place where No-eul is located. Once Gun-woo leaves the two alone, No-eul gets straight to the point with Hae-kyung. She pleads for him to do the show with her. He only needs to appear on the first episode with her. She has no other work and no one will want to work with her after all the news about her. Hae-kyung is in disbelief at how blunt and honest No-eul is. He feels used by her and refuses to help her. In fact, he won’t help her anymore. He’s also close to cutting ties with Gun-woo who keeps contacting him in regards to news about No-eul. And to think that Hae-kyung was worried for No-eul. Once Hae-kyung leaves, No-eul tears up at the thought of Hae-kyung yelling at her. He never yelled at her back then even through her cheating. He’s changed in so many ways now compared to before.
So-ra and Do-hee grab some drinks together that night. After updating So-ra on the situation with No-eul, Do-hee indirectly chats with her about Hae-kyung. She beats herself up for embarrassing herself over a stranger (AKA Hae-kyung), but No-eul remains honest with her colleague. Do-hee isn’t embarrassed that she embarrassed herself over a stranger; she’s embarrassed that she embarrassed herself in front of someone who she wanted to impress. They’re two different things. After getting home that night, Hae-kyung recalls a conversation he had with Do-hee about their first love’s. He checks his phone afterwards and reviews the text messages they’ve exchanged in their chat with each other.
CEO Nam worries for Do-hee after failing to hear back from her via text. She stops in Do-hee’s neighborhood to visit her, but comes across someone else first: the homeless man – named Keanu – who she bought dumplings for last time. The two sit down to enjoy some coffee together and Keanu utilizes the chance to flex. He explains and describes the history behind the coffee flavor they’re drinking which surprises CEO Nam. There’s more to the man than she originally thought. While CEO Nam is drinking coffee, Do-hee and So-ra enjoy some soju together. Do-hee permits So-ra to use her phone to give her mom a phone call while she’s away in the restroom. Of course, So-ra actually didn’t need to make a phone call to her mom. Instead, she sneaks into Do-hee’s text messages and discovers the ‘Dinner mate’ chat with Hae-kyung. When Do-hee returns to the table, So-ra proposes that they go camping. It’s been a hot minute since they’ve last went.
And so our So-ra and Do-hee embark on their camping adventure. It’s off to a great start until So-ra realizes they’ve forgotten the most important product just yet: wine! She heads back to purchase some wine while Do-hee stays behind at the camping site with their belongings. However, Do-hee isn’t alone. She’s not the only one there. She’s greeted by an excited Hae-kyung who shows up to the campsite thanks to Do-hee’s invitation that she sent him the night before. But wait, that doesn’t sound right. Do-hee didn’t text him anything. But of course, it’s because So-ra sent him the text, not Do-hee (good job, So-ra! You’re doing God’s work!). It’s almost dinner time so the two dinner mates prepare to make some food. After touring the camp site and taking a good look at all the goodies provided, they head over to a communal spot where several other couples are also making dinner. Things turn awkward, but Do-hee and Hae-kyung are used to it.
The night is young and our duo are still cooking some dinner. They divide and conquer to make the most out of their time: Hae-kyung will cut up some vegetables while Do-hee will grill the meat. Everything seems to be going well until Do-hee’s shirt gets caught on fire thanks to the BBQ grill. Hae-kyung comes to her rescue and tries to fan out the fire with his jacket. When that doesn’t work, he throws both him and Do-hee onto the ground to put out the fire. It thankfully works and the both of them are safe. No one’s burning. Upon falling down, Do-hee lands on top of an exhausted Hae-kyung. He reminds her to get back up so the starstruck Do-hee does as she is told. She changes into new clothes in their tent.
Jae-hyuk drops off some pizza at the office. He learns from Jin-kyu and Assistant Producer Kim that Do-hee’s gone camping with So-ra. But wait, how can that be when So-ra walks right into the office at that moment? Unaware of Jae-hyuk’s presence, So-ra jokes that Do-hee is camping with a man. However, she keeps her mouth shut after recognizing that Jae-hyuk is there with them. Jae-hyuk isn’t so happy with the news and he drives over to Do-hee’s neighborhood to find her. After parking the car in front of the convenience store where Keanu likes to frequent, he prepares to visit Do-hee’s apartment. Keanu freezes upon seeing Jae-hyuk. He drops his book and immediately turns around to avoid being seen by Jae-hyuk. Since Jae-hyuk didn’t quite catch Keanu’s face, he doesn’t think too much about things and he walks away. Uh-oh, our homeless man knows something.
Back at the camp site, Do-hee gushes over Hae-kyung’s rescue. Was he putting out a fire or setting a fire with the way he saved her? LOL. She has another naughty thought at the two of them inside the tent, but she snaps herself out of it. When she returns to the BBQ grill, her meat is no longer good but she assumes she can just clean the meat by washing it off. Lol. Eventually, the night grows darker but our two dinner mates are still in the mood to eat. As usual, Do-hee takes photos of the food before digging in. Whereas before Hae-kyung would sit and watch Do-hee take photos, he decides to join her in the activity. He pulls out his phone to snap a few shots of both the food as well as Do-hee herself before eating. Aww.
Jae-hyuk arrives at Do-hee’s house, but there’s no answer. He attempts to get in contact with her through a phone call. However, Do-hee is too busy spending time and having fun with Hae-kyung. After dinner, they sit down in front of a small bonfire and stare at the beautiful stars resting in the sky. Do-hee brings up how she wishes she could catch a shooting star. She has a wish that she wants to make. Hae-kyung refrains from asking her for more details given the rule of their relationship: they are to not ask each other about their personal lives. However, he’s also flexible with their relationship. Do-hee can share her wishes and thoughts with Hae-kyung if she would like and he can do the same with her. After a few minutes, Do-hee eventually opens up. She wishes her heart won’t turn cold and that Hae-kyung won’t either. Just like how she did with Jae-hyuk, Do-hee draws the line with Hae-kyung. She wishes to end their relationship. She wishes to stop being dinner mates. She’s crossed the line and she broke the rules to their relationship. Hae-kyung stares at Do-hee in disbelief, shock, and confusion. What will happen to them now?
Blah. LOL. Blah. Gaaah, I hope Do-hee wants to cut ties with Hae-kyung because she wants to be more than dinner mates. She was fantasizing about him in this episode and daydreaming about him and having dreams about him. She broke the rules to their relationship so I’m assuming (and hoping) she wants to stop being dinner mates because she wants to be more. She could also want to pull the opposite and cut everything because she doesn’t want to risk anything and is afraid of going even further. Ugh, I don’t know which one it is and why she wants to suddenly stop being dinner mates. I really hope she’s not going to push Hae-kyung away because we all know and have seen by now, the two are fated to be in each other’s lives. Whether as dinner mates or friends or acquaintances or something more, the two are meant to cross paths. Ultimately, I don’t know how to feel about this episode. Like all the episodes prior, there were some parts that I enjoyed while there were some that I didn’t. I think it’s okay to say that I felt more disappointed with this episode than I was content with it.
The good thing that the show did in this episode was upgrade the dinner dates between our two dinner mates. I wasn’t so sure how many more times Do-hee and Hae-kyung were going to grab dinner with each other before it slowly got repetitive, redundant, and even boring. I can watch them eat together over and over again, but I can also only watch them eat dinner together so many times. Therefore, I was glad to see them outside and somewhere else at the end of this episode; it was fun to see them at a camping site cooking their own food and bonding. It was even better that they were completely deceived and set up by So-ra who brought them together. Fate works harder, but our So-ra works harder!
This new detail in the dinner dates between our two leads was probably the only thing that I enjoyed about this episode. Everything else fell flat to me. No-eul remained the selfish ex-girlfriend that she has been. She only cared about herself and pleaded for Hae-kyung to do the show with her because she was concerned about her own future. At this point, I’m convinced she only wants to get back with Hae-kyung for her own sake and her own pride rather than because she truly still misses him. The layers to Jae-hyuk’s past and personality is starting to peel off which was quite interesting (and exciting) to see in this episode. Who knew that a homeless man would recognize Jae-hyuk and maybe even have some sort of connection to the medical journalist? His reaction to seeing Jae-hyuk was sort of terrifying and alarming but interesting all at the same time and I cannot wait to learn more about how Keanu knows Jae-hyuk. The mystery surrounding Jae-hyuk still stands and I’m terrified that he committed a horrible crime of some sort in the past. We don’t know too much about Jae-hyuk just quite yet at this point, but there’s definitely more to him than I expected. I’m excited to see where the storyline between him and Keanu goes.
The show is still dragging on the whole PD Do-hee vs. Dr. Hae-kyung plot which I wished they would have resolved and addressed by this time. I know the drama hasn’t really been emphasizing on it as much in the last two episodes, but the issue still hasn’t been solved which is what irks me. How could you go from having the two fight, curse, and argue with each other online and wanting to fight with each other in person to suddenly having the two forget about it in the end? Sure, Do-hee has moved on to recruiting No-eul to be on her show, but she visited Hae-kyung’s clinic so many times before to try to talk to him. It’s as if the drama spent so much time on it, it decided to just stop focusing on it which doesn’t really make any sense. Instead of just dropping it and pretending like it doesn’t exist, the show should have dealt with it while it lasted so that the air would be cleared and the cat would be let out of the bag. Now Do-hee and Hae-kyung are even more involved and affiliated in each other’s lives which means it’s only going to hurt so much more when they eventually learn the truth about each other.
Although Do-hee and Hae-kyung created “rules” to their relationship status as dinner mates, it’s obvious that the two are okay with not always abiding by the rules. It was nice to see them follow and respect the rules; it shows that they take their relationship as dinner mates seriously and respect each other enough to know their limits and boundaries. However, it was also heart-fluttering to see the two be so flexible in changing things up. Yes, they’re forbidden from asking each other questions pertaining to their personal lives, but hey, they’re also okay with the other person sharing personal details. Hae-kyung taking that initiative and giving Do-hee that option at the end of this episode was so sweet. I think that comment came about on behalf of Hae-kyung as a psychiatrist, but I also want to believe he offered his support because he cared about Do-hee. He wants to know more about her, even if it’s the smallest and littlest thing like what her wish in life is.
Hae-kyung and Do-hee had to do some real persuading to themselves to think that their encounters weren’t coincidental or that they should remain purely as just dinner mates and nothing more. However, it’s become more and more apparent that they’re okay with pushing those boundaries sometimes. They’re okay with stepping outside of those boundaries at times or they’re okay with being tempted to break those rules sometimes. They’re picking up on each other’s cues the more they spend time together which I also find absolutely endearing (I mean, come on, Hae-kyung went from watching Do-hee takes photos of their food to doing the same thing himself!). Do-hee and Hae-kyung fit so well with each other in such a natural and smooth way. They don’t have to force each other to have meals that they don’t enjoy and they feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable in front of the other. These feelings have always existed even before they established their relationship as dinner mates, but with Do-hee’s request to cut things off, it’s uncertain as to what things will look like now. Will they still feel these things for each other even after the separation or will they resist the temptation and urge to meet up for dinner? Will Do-hee and Hae-kyung be able to break away from a habit that they’ve been practicing and have ultimately become accustomed to? If not dinner mates, what will they be? Where do they go from here?
Extra screenshots from the episode~