Dinner Mate: Episode 14 Recap

Life can be lonely, but it’s nice to have someone there with you who you can lean on during times of difficulty and hardship. Hae-kyung and Do-hee has always been that source of support and comfort for each other even before they got into a relationship, but things remain the same now that they’re a couple. Through all the troubling and uncertain times, one thing’s for sure: they will always love and care for each other.

Dinner Mate/Would You Like to Have Dinner Together?: Episode 14 Recap

Hae-kyung cries his heart out upon learning that his mother is no longer alive. She passed during her surgery operation and was able to express any last thoughts through a letter that she had written for Hae-kyung before the surgery. Thanks to Byung-jin, Do-hee learns about Hae-kyung and she hurries over to the hospital to be by his side. Upon arriving, she comforts Hae-kyung and places her arms around him. No words are verbally exchanged between the two, but it’s obvious the two are aware as to how the other person is feeling. Hae-kyung regrets that he never got to hear his mother speak her last words to him in person and that he assumed he would have more time to spend with her. Do-hee reassures him that his mom knows how he feels and that he shouldn’t worry about it. Aww, so sad.

Hae-kyung prepares for a funeral for his mom. Do-hee heads back home to change into an appropriate outfit. On the way out of her place, she comes across Jae-hyuk who wants to have another talk with her. Although rejected at first, Jae-hyuk receives one last chance to say what is on his mind to Do-hee. He hopes Do-hee won’t hate him too much and won’t think of him as a bad memory. He understands that what he did to Do-hee must have been terrifying for her so he’s going to get himself treated. He’s also aware that anything he says won’t change Do-hee’s mind for he understands that they’re completely over. However, he hopes that his words will at least have some kind of impact in changing Do-hee’s perception of him.

Back at the funeral home, Hae-kyung panics when he discovers from both Gun-woo and Byung-jin that Jae-hyuk is gone and Do-hee went back home to change. Hae-kyung is upset and frustrated at Gun-woo’s carelessness in all of this. He’s reminded of his mother’s words to keep Do-hee by his side no matter what and he prepares to head out to Do-hee’s place. However, right at that moment, Do-hee appears at the funeral dressed in her black clothing. She’s okay.

Hae-kyung takes Do-hee outside for a private talk. He raises his voice at her and shouts at her for not telling her where she went. He was worried that something bad might have happened to her. Do-hee apologizes and explains that she left in a hurry. She also forgot her phone at home so she couldn’t tell Hae-kyung that she was on her way back. Do-hee also reassures Hae-kyung that he won’t need to worry about Jae-hyuk anymore; she’s sent him away. Hae-kyung pulls Do-hee in for a hug and he apologizes for yelling at her. From now on, he wants her to trust him and to stay with him and to not go anywhere without her. Do-hee agrees and apologizes for taking so long to decide. She’s here to stay with Hae-kyung. She won’t go anywhere.

When Jae-hyuk gets back home to Gun-woo’s place, he contemplates on whether or not to delete a photo of him and Do-hee that he has on his phone. The burial service for Hae-kyung’s Mom eventually takes place and both Hae-kyung and Do-hee take some time to say some words to Mom. Hae-kyung vows to come visit often and Do-hee will do the same, especially since Mom wanted to see Do-hee the last time she was with Hae-kyung. Byung-jin, Gun-woo, and 2N Box staff watch as Do-hee and Hae-kyung hold hands and say some remaining words to Mom. On their way back to their cars, Gun-woo explains that No-eul couldn’t make it to the funeral for she had a photoshoot that same day. Hae-kyung volunteers to give Do-hee a ride back home, but she encourages him to go home and get some rest. So with that, they separate and bid farewell.

Once at home, Hae-kyung receives a phone call from Keanu. Keanu stops by the clinic to receive Jae-hyuk’s medical information, files, and charts. Jae-hyuk wants to receive counseling at Hae-kyung’s clinic and Keanu’s been appointed as Jae-hyuk’s psychiatrist. Back at 2N Box, Assistant Manager Kim and So-ra chat about Hae-kyung and Do-hee’s relationship. It’s interesting how they ended up falling in love with each other when at first, they hated each other’s guts. You know what they say, those who despise each other end up falling in love. Right at that moment, PD Jin-kyu gifts So-ra with some potato chips. Ooh, I think it might be someone’s turn next. Hehe. When Gun-woo arrives home from the funeral, he discovers Jae-hyuk asleep on his couch.

Do-hee eventually stops by Hae-kyung’s house later on that day to cook him some noodles. She catches him still asleep in his bedroom so she stays by his side to watch him sleep for a few minutes. Do-hee eventually moves on to cooking in the kitchen. When Hae-kyung wakes up, he finds Do-hee in his apartment. She received the passcode to his place thanks to Byung-jin, but Hae-kyung can care less. He’s just happy to see his girlfriend, concerned for him. Do-hee reassures Hae-kyung though that she didn’t do anything creepy like poke his face or stare at him while he was sleeping. No, she didn’t do any of those things at all. Haha.

But once again, Hae-kyung doesn’t mind. He stands behind Do-hee and wraps his arms around her from the back (AHH I’M SCREAMING!!). He also reminds her to tie her hair when she’s cooking so Do-hee begins to tie her hair up. At that exact moment, Hae-kyung faces Do-hee and the two make eye contact as Do-hee is typing her hair. AHHH I’m screaming again! The sexual tension between the two is eventually interrupted by the pot of boiling noodles and Do-hee resumes to cooking. She heard from Byung-jin that Hae-kyung wanted noodles so she’s cooking him some. Of course, when Hae-kyung mentioned noodles to Byung-jin, he meant that he wanted to try some of his Mom’s noodles, but he still agrees to eating Do-hee’s noodle dish.

And so it’s time to test out Do-hee’s noodles. Sure, it’s not all that great and Do-hee’s cooking isn’t the best, but Hae-kyung likes it. The noodles reminds him of the noodle dish that his mom would make for his dad and he feels even more grateful to Do-hee. Hae-kyung is really all alone now, but he doesn’t feel lonely thanks to Do-hee. Do-hee walks over to Hae-kyung’s side to comfort him. She puts her arms around him and is relieved that he doesn’t feel lonely. Hae-kyung sheds some tears upon being held by Do-hee. He jokes around and teases Do-hee for her cooking, but it’s obvious that Hae-kyung is grateful for it. He’s going to remember it for a long time. They hug again. Just like they did when they first met, they still provide each other with that same level of comfort and support.

When No-eul returns to 2N Box, she finds out from Assistant Manager Kim and So-ra that Hae-kyung’s Mom has passed away. She hurries over to Hae-kyung’s place, but Hae-kyung isn’t there. He’s spending some time with Keanu at his clinic and the two check in with each other during their talk. Do-hee awakens to find herself alone at Hae-kyung’s place. Right as she wakes up, she discovers No-eul at Hae-kyung’s door so she allows the influencer inside the apartment. No-eul is close to leaving upon finding only Do-hee inside the apartment and not Hae-kyung, but Do-hee encourages No-eul to wait inside with her for Hae-kyung. He should be back shortly.

Hae-kyung wraps up his conversation with Keanu by bringing up Jae-hyuk. How will things turn out with Jae-hyuk? Keanu wants to give the medical journalist another chance. He sees that Jae-hyuk is determined to get better so hopefully his counseling sessions with Keanu will allow for that. Worst case scenario, Jae-hyuk will end up in prison if his counseling sessions with Keanu doesn’t seem to help. Keanu also reassures Hae-kyung that he himself is healing from his past accident with Jae-hyuk. He’ll be okay.

Back at Hae-kyung’s place, Do-hee comforts a crying No-eul who was disappointed that Hae-kyung didn’t inform her about his late mother. She really liked his mom and would have liked to know what had happened to her. Do-hee encourages No-eul to not pretend and act as if everything’s fine. She broke up with Hae-kyung, but she doesn’t have to act like she’s doing okay if really inside she’s not. No-eul sheds tears thinking about Hae-kyung’s Mom so Do-hee goes to her to comfort her. Right at that moment, Hae-kyung returns to his place and finds Do-hee caressing No-eul. Do-hee gives the two the opportunity to talk things out so she leaves.

However, Do-hee has trouble leaving and she stays outside of his apartment. Inside, No-eul grows upset and frustrated at how Hae-kyung didn’t notify her about his mom’s passing. However, Hae-kyung reasons that there was no need to. They’re not together anymore and there’s nothing that they can do for each other. So what about being friends? Can’t they be friends? Hae-kyung is opened to the idea of being friends one day, but just not at the moment. They both know that’s not something they’re both comfortable with at the moment. Plus, Hae-kyung doesn’t want to upset Do-hee and cause any misunderstandings. With that, No-eul storms out of the apartment. Do-hee hides herself from the door and receives a phone call from Hae-kyung at that moment. She whispers that she’s home already, but Hae-kyung can hear her outside of his place. He opens his door and drags Do-hee inside. LOL.

Was she outside of his place because she didn’t trust him or more so because, well, she didn’t want to go home? Hae-kyung leans in towards Do-hee as she’s backed up against the wall, but right at that moment, Do-hee’s Mom gives her a phone call (NOOOOO. NOT RIGHT NOW, MOM!). Mom demands for Do-hee to come home and clean up her place as soon as possible. With that, Hae-kyung drops Do-hee off at home and she reunites with her mother. Mom forgets about the cleaning when her daughter arrives and simply wants to sleep over. Do-hee attempts to get her mom to leave, but Mom has no plans of doing so. Do-hee then receives a text right at that moment so Mom grows curious as to who it could be. Of course, our PD doesn’t reveal much and she goes to take a shower. Lol.

The next morning, Keanu and CEO Nam meet up briefly outside of the convenience store. CEO Nam gifts our homeless ahjusshi (he’s not really homeless anymore since he’s now sleeping at Hae-kyung’s clinic) with a cell phone. However, our Keanu had one all along. He just never turned it on until now. With his cell phone now active again, he asks CEO Nam for her number. They are still lovers after all. When CEO Nam encounters Do-hee at 2N Box, she drags the PD into her office for a talk like usual. They first bring up the incident where Jae-hyuk broke into Do-hee’s place and then got dragged out by Hae-kyung at the clinic. CEO Nam is disappointed in herself for even allowing Jae-hyuk to be near Do-hee and to work with her, but Do-hee doesn’t feel the same way. She pitied Jae-hyuk because of his illness. Hopefully, the psychiatrist Hae-kyung has recommended to treat Jae-hyuk will be able to give Jae-hyuk the help he needs.

Of course, this doctor is none other than Keanu. During his counseling session with the doctor, Jae-hyuk learns that he’s suffering from a delusion disorder. Keanu adds that Jae-hyuk is having a difficult time separating his fake world from the real world. He imagines himself in a fake world where he needs approval from his father or where he can’t survive without Do-hee’s love, but in the real world, Jae-hyuk is so much more than that. To Keanu, he feels as if there’s so much more that Jae-hyuk can do and accomplish in the real world. Jae-hyuk grows more anxious and tearful by the minute and he grows doubtful as to whether he can do it or not. Can he pull through? Keanu grabs his hand and shows his support for the medical journalist. He believes in Jae-hyuk. They should keep going at it.

No-eul cuts ties with the journalist she’s been working with and sets things straight with him. It seems like that article they were working on together will no longer be happening. Hae-kyung occupies himself with his break from work by playing some computer games at home. Since Do-hee can’t leave work early, he has no other option but to keep playing his video game to pass by time. Speaking of Do-hee, she receives a visit from Mom who still hasn’t gone home yet. She’s set up a blind date for her daughter at a cafe later on that evening across from 2N Box. Although Do-hee has plans with Hae-kyung after work, Mom makes sure that Do-hee will attend that blind date.

CEO Nam finally discovers the truth about Keanu when she stops by the clinic. She assumes our homeless ahjusshi has just stopped by as a patient, but she’s taken aback when she finds him in a white coat with his name “Psychiatrist Kim Hyun-woo” on it. Ahh, now everything makes so much more sense to CEO Nam. She admits that she’s not a big fan of the white coat on Keanu. So if she doesn’t like his new outfit, did she prefer him when he was still a homeless ahjusshi? CEO Nam doesn’t quite have an answer to that either and she walks out of the clinic. Lol. After work, Do-hee rushes to the cafe for her blind date. It turns out Hae-kyung was waiting for her outside at 2N Box and caught her running across the street to the cafe so he followed her. That could explain as to how he showed up to the blind date without Do-hee or the man’s knowledge.

Do-hee is about to comment that she has a boyfriend when Hae-kyung’s presence does the explaining. With that, Hae-kyung introduces himself and he seats himself next to Do-hee. The situation grows awkward, especially since Do-hee didn’t tell Hae-kyung anything about the blind date, and things resume. The man doesn’t feel too guilty either then; it turns out he too has a girlfriend. He didn’t tell his parents just yet about his girlfriend so he was going on blind dates in order to meet up with his girlfriend secretly. Our precious Do-hee and Hae-kyung end up bickering with each other. Why did Do-hee lie to him and not tell him about her blind date? Why are they both meeting up when they both have partners, respectively?

Before the two know it, the man leaves the table and disappears. But Hae-kyung still isn’t so ready to leave just yet and he still wants to talk with Do-hee. Why does she have to lie to her mom and hide their relationship? That’s when Do-hee reveals the truth to his boyfriend: remember that one patient who said that she would change her daughter’s mind if her daughter was to ever bring someone like Hae-kyung home? Well, yeah, that patient is Do-hee’s mom. Now it all makes sense to Hae-kyung, lol.

CEO Nam is in disbelief that Keanu is not who she thought he was all along. As she’s walking back to 2N Box, she discovers him trailing her from behind and he catches her as she comes close to falling. Hae-kyung himself is still in disbelief that Do-hee’s Mom isn’t a big fan of him. Sure, he’s popular with women, but that doesn’t mean he’ll cheat on Do-hee or do anything behind her back. In fact, he would be willing to die for her! So on their walk out in the neighborhood, Hae-kyung asks for more information on what Mom likes. He wants to impress her when he visits her the next day. The walk is eventually interrupted when they encounter Jae-hyuk waiting outside on the sidewalk.

Hae-kyung approaches Jae-hyuk first and gives Keanu a call to update him as well. Keanu warns Hae-kyung that Jae-hyuk’s reached a realization to the truth so he might inflict self-harm. Hae-kyung should be careful with Jae-hyuk and Keanu himself will meet up with them as soon as possible. So while Do-hee waits anxiously from a few feet away and Keanu makes his way to the two men, Hae-kyung utters a few words to Jae-hyuk. The comments he makes to Jae-hyuk is unknown, but it triggers Jae-hyuk to run out onto the street in front of a speeding car. Hae-kyung catches Jae-hyuk just in time to throw Jae-hyuk out of the way. Unfortunately, the car is too fast and there’s no time for Hae-kyung to escape or react. Hae-kyung gets hit by the car. Do-hee watches as the horrific scene unfolds right in front of her eyes and she screams out in terror upon holding her lover in her arms. Do-hee cries out Hae-kyung’s name while yelling for help.

My Thoughts:

So for those who have been following my most recent recaps, I haven’t been posting comments lately for the recaps to the regular episodes, but I just felt like I had to say something after watching this episode. There’s a few reasons as to why I haven’t been posting any commentary after a recap section (which I mentioned earlier in one of my recaps), but there’s also another reason as to why I haven’t been posting anything specifically in regards to ‘Dinner Mate’: there is nothing for me to comment or say. I thought things got better and that the drama was beginning to redeem itself, but it decided to give us the good old Car of Doom and before you know it, we’re back to where we started. I just need to let off all these thoughts and emotions off my chest.

This drama has always been the same and it’s unfortunately felt very redundant and repetitive for me which is a shame because this drama could have been truly a hidden gem. ‘Dinner Mate’ could have been so much better and could have gone a different route and had so much potential to just focus on our leads. Instead, it wasted its time focusing on the exes and their attempts to ruin both Do-hee and Hae-kyung’s life. It’s just unfortunate because it’s become clear that the drama has no idea as to what it wants to do or what kind of direction it wants to go so it continues to squeeze out the remaining effects of Jae-hyuk. I mean, let’s be honest, we all wanted Jae-hyuk to be the one hit by that car at the end of this episode. If there was anyone who should have been hit by that car at the end of this episode in that moment, it should have been Jae-hyuk. He once again is let go of any kind of punishment, repercussion, or consequence he should suffer and, two, this leaves less time for Hae-kyung and Do-hee to spend together which we’ve already been pretty deprived of this entire series. Yes, Jae-hyuk can receive counseling to treat himself and maybe this will somehow lead into his character getting some kind of redemption, but what we’re not gonna do is ignore the negative impact, terror, and threats that he’s instilled in our lead characters. He’s not innocent and he’s committed various dangerous and psychotic acts against Do-hee that he should face repercussions for.

The drama got distracted and became confused as to what it wanted to focus on and, therefore, shifted its attention more onto Jae-hyuk and No-eul than Hae-kyung and Do-hee. This is extremely disappointing for me especially when I compare the drama now to what it was back when it first aired. I fell in love with this drama because of the amazing chemistry between Do-hee and Hae-kyung and the amount of time and attention that the show was placing on our lead couple. However, the show started to lose sight of that and began to focus on plots and stories that weren’t important and made the drama less and less tolerable. I’m still only sticking through with the drama due to our lead couple because I love watching them together and you bet I wholeheartedly enjoyed all the scenes and interactions they had in this episode. Everything was so sweet — from Do-hee being there to support Hae-kyung at his mother’s funeral to them cooking in the kitchen to them eating her noodles to Do-hee comforting Hae-kyung again after eating her noodles.

There were so many great moments between the two in this episode and I was all here for that. I still am, and that’s the biggest (and really, only) reason why I stayed this far with this drama. The ending to this episode made me super disappointed, but it also made me lose any hope that I had in this drama. I thought the show could redeem itself based off of what we saw between Hae-kyung and Do-hee and them really being that pillar and source of support for each other in this episode. That’s what I originally came here for. However, with Hae-kyung’s car accident, I’m clueless and confused as to why the drama pulled such a thing. It wasn’t necessary and Jae-hyuk shouldn’t even have as much time and impact at this point in the drama. No-eul’s storyline has been slowly wrapping up so the same thing should be happening with Jae-hyuk, but yet, he appeared ONCE AGAIN at the end of this episode and caused yet another incident for our lead characters.

This is what I’m referring to when I say that the drama has run out of ideas so it’s become redundant, repetitive, and boring. I understand that my comments to this episode and drama overall so far can be harsh and brutal, but it’s also just how I honestly feel after finishing this episode. I still like it to an extent for all the moments we’re given between Do-hee and Hae-kyung, but the drama has also brought about lots of frustration and irritation outside of those moments. More than anything, I’m disappointed at the drama not using the potential that it had in really just focusing on our leads instead of our second leads. That’s where the drama went wrong and it’s so sad that things turned out this way because it wasn’t like that at the beginning. Now that this is done and Hae-kyung is injured, I really hope he’ll recover so that he can continue to spend more time with Do-hee. They’ve never done anything to deserve any of this so I’m not so sure why they can never just catch a break. Hopefully, Jae-hyuk will get the help he needs and then be shipped off to the United States like how he should have done a while back.

I mean, I can’t even necessarily blame Do-hee and Hae-kyung for not avoiding Jae-hyuk completely because 1) they’ve already created those boundaries with him which he clearly chose not to respect multiple times but 2) they want Jae-hyuk to get the help that he needs to get better. So although they both view him as a threat and a danger, they also feel as though he can improve and get better with Keanu’s counseling so they haven’t given up on him just yet. They want to give him one last chance to truly make things right before giving up on him completely. But then again, watching the ending to this episode also made me feel the complete opposite in that I wished Do-hee and Hae-kyung had just forgotten about Jae-hyuk a long time ago and didn’t care for him so much. He’s only proven to be a nuisance to our lead couple over and over again and has only made their lives worse with his presence. He’s proven to everyone he’s not so deserving of a “second” chance (which is really more like a 50th chance for he’s gotten away so many times in this drama). I feel so conflicted about all of this, but one thing does stand: I really hope the drama wraps things up well and that Hae-kyung and Do-hee will be able to just enjoy their lives and relationship without having to worry about external factors like Jae-hyuk or No-eul. That’s how their relationship started in the beginning and I sincerely hope that’s what their happy ending looks like.

Extra screenshots from the episode~

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