Dinner Mate returns this week and it’s clear we’re rounding the corner into the home stretch of this Korean drama now. There’s been romance, laughter and a whole lot of melodrama and this week we see all of this wrapped up together in a heady, messy hour of emotion.
Episodes 25 and 26 of Dinner Mate begin with more clarity surrounding just why Hae-Kyung lashed out at Jae-Hyeok in his office. Convinced that Do-Hee will protect him, Jae-Hyeok screams in Hae-Kyung’s face and it’s enough for him to throw the boy out his office.
Unfortunately, it turns out one of the patients there has been filming the whole time. However, another patient starts hyperventilating prompting Hae-Kyung to help out while Do-Hee takes Jae-Hyeok outside and to the nearest police station.
Unsure what to do, Do-Hee breaks down in tears and phones Gun-Woo, pleading with him to show up. Before he goes however, he lays down some home truths to No-Eul and tells her that what she’s doing is getting in the way and causing issues for Hae-Kyung and Do-Hee to be a happy couple.
It’s enough for her to think twice about the damning article she was going to get a reporter to write and seems to have hit a pretty sensitive note, convincing her to back down from doing this.
Gun-Woo finally shows up and Do-Hee pleads with him to take Jae-Hyeok away or she’ll report him for trespassing and stalking. As Do-Hee walks away alone, she reminisces over her time with Hae-Kyung and how they joked about their time together being destiny.
Hae-Kyung winds up gaining some words of wisdom from Keanu as they drink together. Passed out on the table, Do-Hee arrives to greet him and brushes the hair out his face. When he awakens she’s nowhere to be found and he happens to be on a sofa back home, thanks in part to Keanu giving him a piggyback ride back home.
After what happened, Hae-Kyung and Do-Hee finally sit down to eat again but things are awkward and contrived. Do-Hee tells him they’re not Romeo & Juliet (let’s hope not, given how that story ended!) and she openly admits to feeling uncomfortable eating with him and isn’t sure if she can carry on doing so.
Keanu sits with Jae-Hyeok and starts talking to him about his illness – or at least how the illness has manifested itself in his unhealthy love for Do-Hee. At the same time, Hae-Kyung struggles to focus at work after what happened with Do-Hee, holding back tears with a couple who greet him as they sit and eat together.
In the aftermath of this No-Eul visits him at the clinic, admitting that she knows the fight to win him over is pointless. Unlike Jae-Hyeok, she’s finally accepted the situation and walks away with her head held high. At least until she walks around the corner that is. As she starts to weep, the lingering camera shots finally allow us to gain some crucial moments of characterisation and presumably shut the door on this sub-plot.
After promising Do-Hee he’ll make it comfortable for them to eat together, he visits his Mum in hospital who has a secret to tell her. However, he convinces her not to admit that now and to wait until after the surgery is over. While she’s gone, she leaves a note telling him she loves him.
Unfortunately Hae-Kyung receives the bad news that his Mum has passed away during surgery. Beside himself, Hae-Kyung breaks down in tears, which is where the episode ends.
With deeper characterisation this time around for all involved, there’s some good closure for No-Eul while Hae-Kyung’s character takes a turn for the worst. The few pockets of humour that are showcased here are certainly welcome and Jae-Hyeok has some good moments too as he opens up to Keanu. Whether he’ll retract the articles and turn a corner though still remains a mystery.
The series as a whole has really thrived during its romance scenes and unfortunately that seems to have fallen by the wayside in more recent episodes. Hopefully tomorrow’s double bill will rekindle the spark that Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung seem to have lost, but given Hae-Kyung’s grief that may be easier said than done.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!