Marching Toward The Finale
After last week’s big dramatic twist at the end, Dinner Mate confirms one thing this week – the series has definitely outstayed its welcome. That’s a shame too because the characters, comedy and romance have been excellent at times and easily some of the best work produced this year in Korean dramas. Unfortunately the narrative has failed to inspire the same excitement, with a dragged out story losing some of the charm that made those early episodes so endearing.
Episodes 29 and 30 of Dinner Mate begins with Jae-Hyeok heading over to Do-Hee’s house but realizing she’s not home. As he wanders down the street, he realizes that he’s not the most important person in Do-Hee’s life anymore. It’s a tough pill to swallow for him and realizing he doesn’t have the courage to face this truth, he decides to try and commit suicide. This catches us up to where we left off before as Hae-Kyung runs out into the middle of the road and saves Jae-Hyeok from being hit.
Hae-Kyung is rushed to hospital and straight into the operating room. His surgery goes well though and he eventually awakens to find a relieved Do-Hee standing over him. Despite what appears to be possible fractured ribs, he’s happy Do-Hee is there with him.
Keanu arrives not long after too and implores Hae-Kyung not to blame himself for what happened with Jae-Hyeok. Jae-Hyeok happens to be in a ward nearby though and has bigger problems to deal with when his father arrives. Through a brief flashback we see the reason he traveled over to America originally. Calling out his Father for a lack of affection, Jae-Hyeok rejects him and tells the man he doesn’t want to be his son anymore.
While Do-Hee and Hae-Kyung pick up where they left off, Keanu speaks to Jae-Hyeok and informs him he’ll be hospitalized. Finally deciding to confront his problems head-on, he asks Keanu for help and walks out the hospital without looking back or at Do-Hee, who stands in the doorway. Instead, he gets in a car with Jun-Woo and leaves.
In the wake of Jae-Hyeok seeking help, A-Young sits with Keanu and asks to hear more of his stories. It’s here he admits that he used to have Jae-Hyeok as a patient and they were worst enemies. As Keanu failed to get closure on his past, he reveals the bad news to A-Young that they can’t be together. However, she decides to wait for him.
Hae-Kyung is finally discharged from hospital and returns home, where he prepares to meet Do-Hee’s Mum properly after their altercation at the clinic. No-Eul also decides to quit 2N Box and heads there to sever ties with A-Young and the others. Given Do-Hee currently has time off, she doesn’t get a chance to speak to her.
That evening though Do-Hee has a bad dream about Hae-Kyung and heads over to his house to make sure he’s okay. As they sit together, she helps dress his wounds until they look in each other’s eyes and kiss. Pulling back, he asks her to have breakfast with him, asking once again for her to stay the night.
Dinner Mate has been one of those shows that’s great conceptually and has glimmers of brilliance but doesn’t do enough to sustain that enthusiasm across an extended period of time – especially 32 episodes. This Korean drama has felt overlong and bloated, losing the initial charm that made the opening set of episodes so enjoyable and adding the car crash as a way of drumming up some last minute drama.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s certainly positives to be had and if you’ve made it this far you’ll almost certainly watch through to the finale, but it’s hard not to think Dinner Mate could have been so much more than it is.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!