“I Love You Mum”
Following yesterday’s heart-wrenching episode, Chocolate continues to ride that emotional wave right the way through today’s drama too, offering up another decent episode that delves deeper into little Ji-Yong’s past while offering up bites of progression for our main protagonists too. All of this culminates in an eye-opening finish that paves the way for the potential of romance to follow.
After their dinner together, we begin with Kang driving home but stopping when he spies Ji-Yong at the bus stop. Driving up next to him, he defiantly tells the surgeon he’s planning to head home to his mum. After driving him back to the hospice, Kang has a change of heart and decides to drive the young boy to his Mum instead. Meanwhile Cha-Young tends to Tae-Hyeon who continues to feel sorry for himself. Despite telling her his grief is around Overwatch, as we soon see it’s actually around Mr Kim’s death and his guilt over shouting at him certainly offers up a more sympathetic ear to Cha’s brother.
Back at the hospice, Cha-Young returns from her bike ride and makes See-Hoon a delicious dish of gimbap before sending the photos on to Lee Jun, whom she informs the dish was made by. He thanks Cha and as she washes up the plate, we see courtesy of a flashback that he told Cha-Young about Lee Kang unable to do more surgery.
Kang and Ji-Yong make it to Gongju but an urgent call distracts Kang long enough to lose the child. News of this gets back to the hospice too and Cha-Young finds herself heading over there with Ji-Yong’s brother, Min-Yung. As fate would have it, they run into Kang in the street and join forces in the search for the small boy. Thankfully they manage to find him soon after and it turns out he met his mum, who gave him money to eat and never speak to her again. Some of this, we sense, is partly thanks to her abusive partner.
While Kang takes Ji-Yong someplace safe, Cha finds his Mum sitting on the steps outside her house and gives her Ji-Yong’s gift, telling her it’s his last birthday. Cha walks away and heads back to Kang where she shares in the birthday celebrations. As she does, after picking out food and cooking up a special birthday dinner, his mother reads the note left for her and she breaks down into tears. He signs off the letter by telling her he loves her and giving her a “happy sandwich”, a pre-wrapped baguette from the local Quiznos. Soon after, Ji-Yong and the others finish their meal and start driving home, where Kang thinks over Cha-Young’s cryptic message about a painful day in her past.
Lee Jun gets into a spot of bother at the hospital too. Despite promising to save him, Chairman Jo passes away, prompting Lee Jun to be hassled by the family outside. His Father sees red when he sees one of them strike his son, prompting him to shout all sorts of profanities at the family before grovelling back to the board for forgiveness following his outburst.
Back at the hospice, Seon-Ae teases Yeong-Sil regarding a “special someone”. She remains oblivious over who this may be but as we soon find out, it’s Hyeon-Seok. While she learns more about just why he eats so many instant noodles, we learn more about Cha-Young too. She continues to suffer from PTSD and after hearing a news report about a building collapsing in a taxi, she pulls over to the side of the road and starts having a panic attack and vomiting.
Kang soon learns about the horrors she endured while she was 12, prompting him to share a drink with her after Lee Jun picks her up at the side of the road and brings her back. He pours her a cup of water and tells her he hopes she’s never sick again on her birthday. As the episode closes out we’re left with conflicted feelings over just what the future holds for these two characters.
Chocolate is quite the emotional rollercoaster and while tonight’s episode didn’t quite reduce me to tears like the Mr Kim tribute did yesterday, it’s another emotional one nonetheless. Knowing Ji-Yong doesn’t have long left and seeing everyone rally around him and put on a brave face is both touching and incredibly bittersweet. It helps add some gravitas to the series too and this constant niggling feeling of letting go of old grudges and living in the moment, embracing life’s wonder and happiness, is something that I think is finally starting to break down the barriers Kang has tried so hard to put up this season.
Still, as we approach the halfway point of this one, romance teases to break out between our two leads but in true Chocolate fashion, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be smooth sailing. B,efore we get there though this week’s double bill bows out with another decent episode, setting things up nicely for the story to come.