Gourmet 22

Friendly Advise: If you haven’t seen the episode yet, maybe you should put a box of tissue where your hands could reach.

Within the short span of a few days, a million things seems to be happening in Un Ahm Jung. The real source of the problem is found to be salt, not just the soy beans. Bong Joo and Joo Hee’s engagement is called off. Bong Joo and Joo Hee’s father faced a direct confrontation that puts them in an impasse. Joo Hee fainted. Sung Chan kissed Jin Soo. Min Woo started on the vendetta, with Joo Hee’s dad. Bong Joo faced the inspection of tax bureau. And Chief Oh repented for pushing Bong Joo so hard that he turned into a bitter headed cynic.

New story starts here:

Being the excellent reporter that Jin Soo is, she attempts to interview the world renowned gourmet Mr. Matsumoto. She was turned down but not without a fruitful observation. The man has no appetite. Jin Soo decides that if she can help the man regain his appetite, then perhaps, she can earn herself the right for an interview. She sets out to Un Ahm Jung to look for Sung Chan’s help and hears about the inspection from the tax bureau on the way.

Jin Soo encounters Joo Hee and her father talking when she arrives at Un Ahm Jung. She recognizes the father from the previous day, arousing suspicion in Joo Hee that her father might be up to something. (Of course, Jin Soo’s dad’s action is hardly beneficial for any possible husband to father-in-law relationship.)

The petition for a chain store in Mexico is being revoked; the bank pressures Un Ahm Jung to pay for the loans; Un Ahm Jung faces a large compensation fee for breaking the contract; and their main investor Jang is overseas with no way of reaching him.

Phone calls flood the office, bringing trouble after trouble to Joo Hee. The situation becomes more intense as the shareholders command to take Bong Joo down the throne and find another successor, only Chief Oh considers a second chance for Bong Joo to redeem himself. Un Ahm Jung is facing a cul-de-sac.

Sung Chan overhears Bong Joo’s conversation with Chief Oh and visits all the shareholders to beg them to hold on to their decisions. The investors all take invasive actions and the final answer is always the disappointing “no”. But Sung Chan doesn’t give up.

Investor Jang has returned from his trip overseas. Bong Joo pays a personal visit to him but the fickle investor refuses to see Bong Joo. Bong Joo becomes dejected instantly and sulks in a bar. (Great juxtaposition.)

Bong Joo returns to find Joo Hee’s dad, demanding the reason that makes the old man so determined to ruin him in the expense of Un Ahm Jung and refuses to give up. Then, letting go of all previous pride and façade that encapsulated him and held him intact, he keeled before the old man and apologized for any wrong doing he had done. “One chance. Give me one more chance. Please.” he begs. The old man walks away, leaving Bong Joo kneeling in the middle of the living room and Joo Hee, watching in pain.

Jin Soo is surprised when Mr. Matsumoto called her for an interview after reading her article on Sung Chan in a local magazine. She is tongue-tied in front of him while Mr. Matsumoto watches her through his thick lenses in amusement. Reporter Kim-possible gets her interview as wished, in return, she needs to arrange a meeting for Matsumoto to see Sung Chan. Befuddled, Jin Soo discusses Matsumoto’s interest in Sung Chan with her boss, who reminds her that perhaps Sung Chan can ask Matsumoto’s help to settle Un Ahm Jung’s internal affairs.

Jin Soo sets off to see Sung Chan 1) to deliver the message of Matsumoto’s interest, 2) to reveal her suspicion that Min Woo, Joo Hee’s father and another investor are behind the catastrophe crashing down on Un Ahm Jung. Sung Chan suspects that investor Jang must take a role in revoking the proposal for the chain stores as well, but there must be someone more powerful who wants to destroy Un Ahm Jung once and for all. (It’s so cute when Jin Soo talks to Sung Chan, she uses “us”.)

Sung Chan meets with the Japanese man. Turns out, the man wants Sung Chan to make a rare seafood dish composed of a small shrimp that he had tasted once in his youth. (Sounds familiar?)

The truth is, the story is not as simple as it appears to be. Matsumoto knows Chief Oh. The question now is, is he the friend or is he the foe?

Jang Goo continues to surprise us. While every shareholder is opposing Bong Joo, the one-time prideful butcher decides to do his best to help. The shareholder’s meeting commences in a mixed atmosphere of both uncertain apprehension and triumphant anticipation.

Questions and doubts are tossed in the open, each addressed by Bong Joo’s honest explanation and earnest promise to make things right again. Despite the effort, the inevitable happened anyway. Bong Joo doesn’t take it too well. He walks out completely dejected.

Chief Oh feels the pain for his poor son, sandwiched between the urge to prove himself and the yarning for support. He grieves. So does Joo Hee.

Once past the grief, the biggest question at hand becomes this: after Bong Joo’s removal from power, who will replace him? The answer is: Matsumoto himself. Everything that’s been keeping Bong Joo, Sung Chan, and Joo Hee up all night worrying their hair white is planned by Matsumoto.

Sung Chan picks up his chief uniform again for the first time since he left Un Ahm Jung. Different from the Sung Chan who has been running from his duty, the Sung Chan now not only faces his challenges, he encourages everybody around him not to give up as well. He is on a mission to give back what he learned during his self-imposed exile and pull Un Ahm Jung up from the depression.

The kitchen sudden comes back alive.

Then, Jin Soo’s news of Matsumoto’s evil intention takes Sung Chan away from the kitchen to confront Matsumoto. Matsumoto had went through all the trouble in his ambitious vision to monopolize the food industry under the name of globalize Korean food. To do that, he needs Sung Chan. Sung Chan fiercely protests and promptly refuses in a fury. Storming out of Matsumoto’s hotel room, he receives a call, informing him of the grave news – Chief Oh is dying.

Sung Chan rushes back to see his father. Chief Oh tells Sung Chan with iron persistence, “Don’t let Matsumoto. Don’t let him!” Sung Chan nods with tears in his eyes, “I won’t. I will fight to the last straw with older brother.” Relieved, Chief Oh tells Sung Chan, “Remember to put my sauce in the tank next to the imperial chief.” Sung Chan nods again, sobbing quietly. “Where is Bong Joo?” Chief Oh looks around with difficulty. Joo Hee gets on her knees and volunteers, “I’ll look.” She runs out.

When Joo Hee and Bong Joo finally make it back, Chief Oh turns to look at his son with loving eyes. There is no reproach in those eyes. He asks gently, “Where have you been? It must be hard for you.” Bong Joo is already in tears. He mumbles a few unintelligible responses. Chief Oh continues, “Sorry, because of me, you had to face so much.” Chief Oh struggles up and asks Joo Hee to bring him the sauce passed down from generation to generation and asks his sons to put aside their differences and grudges and save Un Ahm Jung together. Having accomplished what he can do to reunite the brothers, Chief Oh moans and slumbers back to bed.

he watches as his son sleeps soundlessly beside him, letting past memories take him by the hand

he chuckles at the memories

Sung Chan wakes up. Chief Oh asks him what he had dreamed. Sung Chan recalls the dream: he’s been fishing with Chief Oh and Chief Oh got a huge fish. They both chuckled. “Next time, I’ll ask brother to come along.” Sung Chan says thoughtfully. “Yeah. The three of us.” Chief Oh adds. “Brother is really good at fishing. The last time we fished together, he won the bet. Father, did you teach him how to fish?” Sung Chan turns to Chief Oh, who makes no response. Sung Chan looks on for a full minute without moving. Then, incredulous, he asks, “Dad? Are you asleep?” Silence. He waits. “Dad, you are asleep right?” Sung Chan repeats, his voice shaky now. Still getting no reply, Sung Chan contorts his face in pain. He sits up, unable to contain himself any longer. “Dad, please open your eyes! Please open your eyes!” He starts to cry uncontrollably. Bong Joo slides the door open and rushes in. Shock and fear filtered his face, he runs towards his father, shaking him, apologizing, hoping that a miracle would occur and his father would open his eyes and smile at them again.

But there is no miracle.

I really like all the father-son bonding between Sung Chan and Chief Oh. It’s so sad to see him go, but at least there is something to bond the brothers together.

Last two episodes next week.

4 thoughts on “Gourmet 22”

  1. Isn’t this the recap for 21? Your last recap for gourmet was episode 20. Anyways, does this mean Jinsoo and Sungchan are okay now? or are they still kinda, “ehh”?

  2. Oh okay it’s just because I haven’t read a recap of episode 21 yet. (I have other sites where I read episode synopsis’ of gourmet)

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