As predicted, yesterday’s episode of Chocolate ultimately served as a chance to catch our breath before plunging back into the drama again. There’s a good amount of plot development here too, as Kang’s Aunt arrives early on and stirs up trouble and a shock involving Cha-Young late on throws a further spanner in the works and big question marks around the future of her culinary career.
The episode itself begins with Lee Kang’s Aunt arriving at the hospice and immediately stirring up trouble, convincing Kang that he should contact Su-Hui’s family and get them to sue the hospice and Director Kwon; that way it gives him incentive to shut down the hospice. Cha-Young approaches while they talk and the girl immediately asks if she has a light. It’s here we see how cruel and heartless she is, brushing aside Cha-Young’s concerns with the smoke given “they’re here to die anyway”. Eventually Kang has enough and puts his foot down and tells her to leave.
As he walks around the corner, he makes a phone call and sits down with Min-Yong, where the boy tells him he knows that he likes someone. Back in the kitchen, Lee Jun peels onions while Cha-Young continues to cook. Eventually he probes her over her feelings for Kang but she defiantly tells him that Kang is simply someone she works with and nothing more than that.
Meanwhile, Director Kwon continues to struggle in his role, as Seon-Ae reassures him that she’ll be leaving as soon as her replacement arrives. While they do, Lee Jun heads home and sees his parents breaking up.
Back at the hospice the next day, Cha-Young has a difficult conversation with Michael’s birth mother regarding the Kimchi stew made in the previous episode. While she and Michael’s brother laugh and throw sugar into the dish with reckless abandon, Cha-Young throws the kimchi away in disgust and asks just why she even bothered showing up, given she abandoned Michael. As they talk, Michael’s brother shoves her into the side and she bangs her head hard, bringing with it painful flashbacks from the department store.
Soon after, Kang and Cha-Young discuss their feelings for one another, with the former telling her that he feels guilty given she’s still technically Min-Seong’s and he’s his friend and doesn’t want to betray that. It’s a tough conversation, and one that sees Kang head back to his office and symbolically place Cha-Young’s crane in his drawer.
While out eating with her brother, Cha-Young suddenly realizes that she can’t taste the salt in her meal, nor in the spoonful she tries or pure salt, and begins to worry. She heads to the hospital and they begin to do tests on her. Before we get the final verdict however, back at the hospice we learn Cha-Young’s condition began when she hit her head, confirming it’s caused her sense of taste and smell to disappear.
The next day Ye-Sol returns and she heads out with Seon-Ae to see her grandfather at his restaurant. He says nothing and ignores them though, until Seon-Ae orders some steamed buns. After she heads off to the washroom, her Alzheimer’s hits and she forgets exactly what she’s doing there, leaving Ye-Sol alone in the middle of this restaurant.
Outside, Cha-Young is in a state of shock as Lee Jun tries to jump-start her senses again but fails. He tells her that they may return in the future but it’s not guaranteed. Before he can continue however, Cha-Young struggles to focus on Kang while Lee Jun is called back to the kitchen. Once there, Michael’s brother confronts her but she ignores him until Kang steps in and goes in hard on the kid.
In the kitchen, Cha-Young has a request to make a specific dish and as she works, the man sits in the corner and watches as she cooks. Eventually they discuss the food and it’s here she admits to him that she can’t really taste much at the moment. The food is exquisite though and she wishes the couple a happy anniversary as they taste the bun cha and it’s exactly as they remember it. He apologises to her for leaving so soon and promises in their next life that they’ll live in the same country and love each other for much longer. Cha-Young watches from the doorway and holds back tears as they talk where we leave the episode.
Phew! That was touch and go there for a second with the final dish. I had a feeling the couple would find the taste inadequate and plunge the show into heartbreak again but alas, we actually end things on a bit of an even keel going into next week. Cha-Young’s loss of sense is a really difficult subject to be explored and I’ll be interested to see how this affects the drama going forward. As for Kang though, I can’t quite figure out whether he’ll turn his back on his family and decide not to disband the hospice or if heartbreak is on the horizon.
I’ve said it before but the one thing that Chocolate has managed to emphasize time and again in a really effective way is how food can bring us together. It can bring us happiness and joy yet remind us of sad and troubled times too. This message has really stood out during the 10 episodes so far and Chocolate has done a wonderful job reinforcing this. With the drama now rooted to a single location rather than the wide-spanning locales early on, this Korean drama has settled into a much more consistent rhythm recently but you also get the feeling this one is geared up for more sadness and years in the future. For now though, this week’s episode bows out with another return to form.
|Chocolate is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|