A Quartet Of Quarrels
Dinner Mate has been quite the surprise this year and the chemistry between the two leads has really helped drive this one forward. Although the show has steered far more into melodramatic waters with its quartet of lead characters, the romance between Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung is enough to look past some of the comedy being dropped.
Episodes 19 and 20 of Dinner Mate begin with Hae-Kyung embracing Do-Hee and the two finally start to open up about their true feelings. After discussing food therapy, Hae-Kyung agrees to drive Do-Hee home. Jae-Hyeok meanwhile, sits with No-Eul and they discuss winning at all costs to get the ones they desire.
This sets up the conflict to come as Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung remain oblivious to what the pair may have planned. In the morning, Do-Hee heads to work but notices Keanu isn’t in his usual hang-out spot. A-Young asks around for him as well but receives the same reply, unaware that he’s hiding in the distance behind a tree.
Do-Hee remains focused on her job though and watches as No-Eul’s views skyrocket while she’s on-air, partly thanks to her teasing the idea of bringing the topic of love into the fold. Do-Hee briefs the team on what she has planned though and discusses changing themes. A-Young however remains vigilant and convinces them to continue with the show given what they’ve promised the fans.
A depressed Jae-Hyeok sits with Gun-Woo and they discuss Do-Hee’s feelings and how her heart may have changed over time. In his drunken stupor, he requests Hae-Kyung’s presence in the bar where he tells him to look after “his Do-Hee”. As they sit and drink, it turns into a competition until Jae-Hyeok passes out on the ground.
Back at 2N Box the next day, Gun-Woo tells Do-Hee to go easy on Jae-Hyeok given he’s still getting over their break-up. Hae-Kyung arrives ready to film and the duo send texts to one another about their relationship. Do-Hee wants him to keep things quiet for now but shoots him some knowing glances in the changing room while he’s waiting to go on-air.
As the show begins, No-Eul immediately goes on the offensive and admits that she and Hae-Kyung used to date. Things are incredibly tense and awkward too, especially with Do-Hee sitting and watching. Regardless of what transpires, they still manage to hit 10 million views as things are left volatile and uneasy after No-Eul embarrassed him on-air.
On the way out the building, Jae-Hyeok confronts Do-Hee about his behaviour and apologises to her, promising to go back to the States after he’s finished his work.
Back in the car, Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung arrive at the hospital to greet his mother but when they get there No-Eul happens to be in the room. As only two guests can be there at once, Do-Hee is forced to go home. Hae-Kyung leaves with her though and the two sit and eat instant noodles. While they do, they look outside and see Keanu and A-Young together. She embraces him and asks where he’s been as romance starts to blossom between them. Just before they kiss, Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung head outside and greet them.
It turns out Keanu’s real name is Hyun-Ho and Jae-Hyeok used to be his patient when he worked as a doctor. After finding out more about Jae-Hyeok’s dark past, the pair leave and walk home, being sure to hug and say their goodbyes.
In the morning, Do-Hee gets ready to leave and head to 2N Box for the second day of filming. This time though, Jae-Hyeok is on-air with Hae-Kyung and No-Eul. Things are awkward, to say the least, and as Jae-Hyeok takes a bite from the cake Do-Hee approaches him and grabs his wrist. As all three stare at Do-Hee, things are left wide open for the next set of episodes.
With a big cliffhanger ending and lots to wonder about going forward, Dinner Mate deepens the relationship between our two lead characters will keeping the troublesome No-Eul and Jae-Hyeok firmly in the running to cause a lot of trouble. Quite what the future holds for these two remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – it’s not going to be smooth sailing. For now though, the series continues to deliver the goods and although the lack of comedy is a bit disappointing, the melodrama between the leads is enough to keep you watching to find out what happens next.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!