Following last week’s double bill of episodes, Dinner Mate returns with another melodramatic slice of romance as our two leads find themselves unable to shake the ghosts of their past. With lots of interpersonal drama and plenty of talking points, Dinner Mate eases away from its comedic roots and leans much heavier into exploring the past.
Episodes 17 and 18 of Dinner Mate begin with Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung deciding to go out for dinner while the rest of 2N Box believe they’re fighting. While eating, Do-Hee admits that she won’t give their relationship a chance as she believes they’re going to end in disappointment. After helping her change a plaster, both Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung head home but neither are able to sleep.
The next day, No-Eul arrives at the clinic and informs Hae-Kyung that his mother is ill. At the same time, Do-Hee and A-Young head out for lunch together where they start a 10 minute timer and wolf down their food in record time. However, eating the cheese-fried pork brings back memories of Jae-Hyeok telling Do-Hee to eat better.
Outside, Jae-Hyeok arrives and tells Do-Hee to visit the hospital with him. After offering him this one kindness, she tells him she’s happy without him and walks away. This hospital also happens to be the same one Hae-Kyung is at where he hears the news that his Mother has stomach cancer. Upon hearing this news, Hae-Kyung breaks down in tears after confronting his Mother.
That evening, A-Young invites Keanu out to have dumplings with her. This is where he admits his daughter loved dumplings but she’s gone far away now. However, he remains outside the convenience store because he’s waiting for someone. Through flashbacks, we see crucial moments of a news report showing a psychiatric patient committing suicide. After their initial meeting, A-Young visits Keanu again and admits she wants to date him.
Meanwhile, No-Eul visits Hae-Kyung where he updates her on how his Mother is and admits he’s going to go on the show with her. This prompts No-Eul to visit Do-Hee at work where she makes it known she still like Hae-Kyung.
Hae-Kyung arrives at 2N Box and Jae-Hyeok makes his presence known immediately by entering the meeting. Although he eyeballs Hae-Kyung the entire time, the Doctor catches Jae-Hyeok off-guard by inviting him and Do-Hee to dinner after their pitch. However, Jae-Hyeok immediately phones No-Eul and invites her along too.
Things are awkward at dinner, to say the least. So awkward infact that it prompts Do-Hee to head off to the toilets while Gun Woo arrives after Hae-Kyung happened to invite him. Outside, Do-Hee overhears Jae-Hyeok admit truths about his family that he’s hidden from her for such a long time, prompting her to eventually slap him and walk away.
As rain soaks Do-Hee, Hae-Kyung arrives and invites her back inside for a hot drink and food. As the episode closes out, Hae-Kyung and Do-Hee discuss their feelings and end things with a warm embrace.
With Jae-Hyeok’s past slowly starting to seep through in this episode, it’s obvious he’s not a very pleasant man. He seems to be pretty controlling too and there’s lots of indication that he could cause some serious problems moving forward for our characters. Both Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung are finally starting to grow closer together now though which is good, although the lack of comedy to offset some of the more melodramatic elements is a bit disappointing.
While there aren’t loads of big talking points in this episode, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless and although a little slower this week, Dinner Mate continues to serve up a decent slice of drama.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!