Clinging To The Past
Dinner Mate returns and picks up right where it left off with the reveal of just who was in Do-Hee’s apartment that night. With this reveal comes the realization that this Korean drama has really settled on its melodramatic tone. Unfortunately those expecting the same lighthearted tones the series begun with will be hard-pressed to find that here. It’s a shame too because there’s certainly a lot to like with this one but the show does have a tendency to fall a little too far into melodrama.
Episodes 23 and 24 of Dinner Mate begin in Do-Hee’s apartment as she finds Jae-Hyeok crouched against the wall but bleeding, begging her for help to find their picture. Telling him to get a grip, Hae-Kyung pounds on the door pleading with Do-Hee to open up. As she does, Do-Hee lies and tells him that her Mother is the one there, not Jae-Hyeok. While Hae-Kyung heads home, she tells Jae-Hyeok to as well otherwise there will be trouble – especially if he pulls this sort of stunt again.
After staying at her Mum’s house, Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung eventually reconvene in the morning as they head to work for the day. Do-Hee receives a call about Jae-Hyeok’s sickness but she brushes it off; Jae-Hyeok is no longer going to be an issue in her life moving forward.
Meanwhile, A-Young waits for Keanu at his usual hangout spot. Despite falling asleep, he does eventually show up and they agree to be each other’s dinner mates. Before they can officially get some food together though, A-Young takes him out clothes shopping to buy a suitable outfit for their upcoming date.
Do-Hee’s Mum takes the first steps in filing for a divorce, heading to see Hae-Kyung for advice and jokingly telling him he’s a smooth talker and she wouldn’t approve of a girl bringing him home. Little does she know, Do-Hee is obviously his girlfriend.
At the same time, Jae-Hyeok and No-Eul are certainly not moving forward with their lives as they both become hung up on their respective crushes. No-Eul gets her stress out through exercise while Jae-Hyeok sinks further into obsession and pettiness. Unfortunately this spills over in a pretty ugly way as episode 24 moves into its final act. No-Eul confronts Do-Hee at 2N Box and mentions her love for Hae-Kyung and how she’s protecting her heart in pursuing him. She makes it quite clear she’s not giving up without a fight.
Jae-Hyeok heads to counselling where Hae-Kyung happens to be waiting for him. At the same time, Gun-Woo visits Do-Hee and admits the truth about what happened in the past and how he had Father issues. Unfortunately it’s all too personal for Hae-Kyung who grabs Jae-Hyeok and takes him outside his office, calling him a punk. Do-Hee happens to see this though, leaving things on a cliffhanger ending.
How will Do-Hee react to Hae-Kyung manhandling Jae-Hyeok? What’s next for our characters? And will Jae-Hyeok get the help he needs moving forward? There’s plenty of unanswered questions hanging over this one as the foundations for the conflicts ahead in this third act are revealed. However, the show lacks the same comedic edge and lighthearted tone those early episodes had in abundance which is a shame.
There’s still enjoyment to be had here of course but it does also feel like a far cry from what we’ve seen before. Still, the characters are likable enough that you’ll almost certainly stick with this one to see how things play out moving forward.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!