Grief and Sorrow
Dinner Mate could be one of the biggest disappointments of the year. It’s such a shame because this time a month ago the show was doing really well and managed to hit that rom-com sweet spot. What went wrong? Some of the problems this show faces comes from its desire to move into more melodramatic waters and this shift has lost some of the fuzzy, warm gloss that made this such an enjoyable watch.
Don’t get me wrong though, there’s still enjoyment to be had with this one but it feels far more fleeting now compared to how it was before all those episodes ago. As we approach the end-point of this series, Dinner Mate looks to try and salvage some of that early-season good-will with a conscious desire to move back into romantic comedy territory during episode 28.
For now though, episodes 27 and 28 of Dinner Mate begin with Hae-Kyung beside himself with grief and in the hospital mourning the loss of his Mother. It’s here Do-Hee arrives to comfort him. Realizing she’s not dressed appropriately for a funeral, Do-Hee heads home to get changed. Only, just before she leaves her house Jae-Hyeok happens to be there asking to talk. He apologises for his actions in the past and explains that he lost his composure. Understanding they’re over, he tells her he doesn’t want there to be bad blood between them and asks her not to hate him too much.
Gun-Woo shows up at the hospital and admits to Hae-Kyung that Jae-Hyeok has gone missing. Before he races off however, Hae-Kyung turns and sees Do-Hee has returned. He questions just why she left without telling him and holding her close, eventually apologises for shouting.
After the funeral takes place, the 2N Box group question just why No-Eul didn’t show up as they hurry away. Hae-Kyung meanwhile heads home after a long day. Just as he starts to get comfy, he receives a call from Keanu and thanks him for his help. Hae-Kyung collapses from exhaustion and doesn’t notice Do-Hee arrive. She brushes the hair out of his face and hurries over to the kitchen.
When Hae-Kyung awakens, he finds her chopping vegetables and preparing their dinner. Hae-Kyung throws his arms around her and tells Do-Hee to put her hair up when she’s cooking. After staring longingly into each other’s eyes, they sit and eat their noodles together. Only, it tastes weird and he starts tearing up.
Keanu takes up position in the clinic and tells Byeong-Jin that he’s going to take on Jae-Hyeok as a client and help him get the treatment he needs.
No-Eul suddenly learns about Hae-Kyung’s Mother and races off to see her ex. At his house she finds Do-Hee and the pair sit together and wait for Hae-Kyung to arrive. Do-Hee tells her she’s really pretty and comforts her in the wake of what’s happened.
When Hae-Kyung returns home, she leaves and allows them both to talk. There, Hae-Kyung admits that they can’t be friends anymore. As No-Eul leaves, he turns his attention to Do-Hee who didn’t actually leave after all and happened to be waiting outside the room. He invites her back inside again and the two talk.
With all the melodrama resolved regarding the ex’s, as we soon learn Keanu had a phone all this time and he and A-Young exchange numbers. Calling him her “Prince of the parasol”, she decides to come and visit him at work.
Do-Hee’s Mother rings and informs Do-hee she’s going on a blind date. Only, Hae-Kyung arrives just in time to gatecrash and tells her blind date she has a boyfriend but she’s hiding it from her Mother. Hae-Kyung takes offense to this though and tells her she needs to reveal the truth to her Mother. While they argue, her blind date leaves.
Sharing a nice evening together, Jae-Hyeok happens to be out in the open again. Hae-Kyung rings Keanu and lets him know before approaching Do-Hee’s ex. Only, as he rushes out into the road Hae-Kyung follows him and saves Jae-Kyung at the last second before he’s hit by a car. Unfortunately, Hae-Kyung takes the full brunt of this force and as Do-Hee pleads for help, the episodes come to a close.
The chemistry between the two leads is the strongest part of this drama but the ensuing soapy melodrama that’s engulfed this one has really fizzled out those cute, comedic and romantic vibes this drama had so early on. It’s such a shame too because when the show leans into its comedy and romance, Dinner Mate is all the stronger for it. Quite what next week has in store for us remains to be seen but it looks like we’re in for quite a nervy week as we await Hae-Kyung’s fate.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!