Let It Go
Episode 13 of Start-Up picks up during Dal-Mi’s job interview for In-Jae’s company. It turns out she realized that both sisters had the same idea over the future and it would be in their best interest to team up and finally work together. After smiling at her sister, In-Jae decides to take her on.
Things move quickly, as Won-Deok’s corndog truck is taken away while Dal-Mi serves as the new CEO for joined company Cheongmyeong. Noongil has been acquired by a top private foundation and Do-San, together with the other San brothers, have been living the high life in Silicon Valley. Do-San however, does not look too happy in his photos.
We then cut forward 3 years later to San Francisco. Chul-San has a swanky new hair cut and is currently filming a vlog. Do-San meanwhile, remains nose-deep in his laptop.
Dal-Mi meanwhile greets the team in Korea as they come in from lunch with news that they’re filming a promo video. Only, Shin Jeong and Shin Hyeon are none too enthused with this idea. Neither is In-Jae either when she finds out who’s doing their video.
Yep, it’s “MONEY!” (Cheon-Ho) and he’s got a brand new idea this time. Hilariously, it involves In-Jae doing a hand gesture similar to that of Elsa from Frozen. It’s pretty funny in truth but it gets the viewers hooked no doubt, as the pair unveil their new project – a self-driving car start-up. Among those watching happen to be Chul and Yong-San. When they tell Do-San, he decides against viewing it.
Meanwhile, we catch up with Sa-Ha who now has a boyfriend. Well, she did anyway. She breaks up with him while at the playground with her daughter. It turns out she’s struggling with commitment and the reason for that seems to be Chul-San.
As another video is uploaded to his vlog, she immediately watches the stream. She’s not alone though either, as it turns out Dal-Mi is watching this from home too.
At Sand Box, Ji-Pyeong saves Dal-Mi from one of the employees hitting on her. On the way out the elevator, Ji-Pyeong puts his hands up next to his, smug that his are bigger and believing that this is what Dal-Mi finds attractive. Anyway, Dal-Mi invites him over to hers later that evening to eat when the elevator doors swing back open.
That evening, she rings In-Jae and invites her over to join them. In-Jae rejects though, leaving Ji-Pyeong with Won-Deok and A-Hyun. After preparing food and having a good time, Ji-Pyeong passes out from exhaustion on the sofa. It turns out he’s actually still awake, listening to Dal-Mi and the others talk about the self-driving car project.
Ji-Pyeong awakens later on and continues to sort the food out. Only, Dal-Mi shows too and they discuss Won-Deok and her deteriorating health. Given she’s worked all her life, no longer having the shop is definitely taking its toll on her.
Ji-Pyeong suggests he help her and open a shop. He wants to be the one she depends on… and also the one Dal-Mi depends on first too. For now though she remains quiet and refuses to answer him.
Later on, Young-Sil tells Ji-Pyeong to seize the day using a baseball analogy and that’s exactly what he’s going to do. He heads to a jewelers and looks into buying relationship rings.
Meanwhile, Do-San and the others start booking tickets back to Korea. Although he hasn’t before, Do-San is now ready to head back and check up on his parents. Of course, he’s obviously looking to check up on more than just that.
Back in Korea, In-Jae and Sal-Mi discuss the self-driving car project. It turns out they’ve spent over 2 billion won so far on this and if they don’t get the permit they’ll have to spend that again. It’s an awful lot of money to gamble with and In-Jae is well aware of the risks.
Elsewhere in Sand Box, Ji-Pyeong tries to rehearse the best way of asking Dal-Mi out. As he walks purposefully through the atrium, he runs straight into Do-San who’s back in town. Clutching the ring box, he realizes this throws a big spanner in the works.
As they sit together, Do-San reveals he’s only there temporarily while Ji-Pyeong drops the box on the table and decides to be brave, telling him he got a gift for Dal-Mi.
Dal-Mi is under a lot of pressure and the future of the business hangs in the balance. As she races out to meet an investor, Ji-Pyeong heads into the office but obviously Dal-Mi’s not there. However, she forgets her car keys and unfortunately while she’s gone, it turns out her computer has been hit with ransomware.
Chul-San and the boys are back too with another livestream, back where it all began in their original office. Not long after, they head out to eat, where they run into Sa-Ha of all people. What are the odds!
Anyway, Chul-San eventually agrees to drive her home where she suggests that she tutor him and help with his English. He’s going back in 10 days so for now that’s plenty of time to hook up again.
However, “Punk” phones her (which happens to be Dal-Mi) and reveals that her computer is under attack. They want 300 million won in 12 hours or Dal-Mi will lose everything. Sa-Ha promises to ask around for IT security experts but things definitely don’t look good right now.
With all other options exhausted, she receives a call from Taeram Construction’s IT security manager. Or, in other words, Do-San. Upon hearing his voice she struggles to hold back tears as he tells her he’s on his way. It turns out Sa-Ha told him everything about the attack.
Do-San races in to save the day and bemoans all of them for not backing up their work. Chul-San and Yong-San appear not long after and begin working through the solution. A file was executed 3 hours prior and and as they get scrolling down the code, they realize that it looks very similar to something they’ve handled before. Eventually they find the decryption key and save the day.
With everything solved for now, Dal-Mi collapses from exhaustion, prompting Do-San to grab bottles of water and sit with her, discussing what’s happened between them.
Do-San has been living the high life and comments it was nice…but also boring. She thanks him for his help and he in turn thanks her for the thrill of trying to solve this, something he hasn’t felt in a long time.
Si Jeong and Si Hyeon have been acting strange for a long while and when they fail to show up to work the next day, it doesn’t pose well for Injae Company. Could they be the ones who placed the ransomware in the computer to sabotage Dal-Mi?
Anyway, Ji-Pyeong shows up in the office after hearing about the attack and is thankful that everything’s been resolved.
There’s more pressing matters to deal with right now though, especially as Chul-San presents the very real conundrum the San boys need to deal with. Will they go back to San Francisco and take 2STO’s offer and stay there or give it up and move back to Korea?
Chul-San wants to stay in Korea and eventually Yong-San makes the choice for them and decides to stay too. Do-San speaks up and decides on a 3-0 swing to stay. However, he forgets his jacket and hurries back inside to pick it up.
Only, when he enters the elevator Ji-Pyeong happens to be there ready to greet him. Ji-Pyeong turns to him and tells the boy they need to talk.
During the epilogue, we cut back to Do-San taking his Mum out for a drive. She’s got driving lessons coming up shortly and as they talk, he mentions Dal-Mi and how he’s not seeing her.
However, when Chul-San rings and mentions the ransomware attack, he drops his Mum off by the side of the road and races off to help. As he does, he rings Dal-Mi and this is where we end things for today.
The Episode Review
With a trademark K-drama time jump, catching up with everyone after 3 years is a nice touch but also one that reinforces that Do-San really doesn’t look happy with his life.
I understand that he’s still torn over Dal-Mi but after 3 years you’d think the boy would have moved on or at least got invested in his work. He’s been consumed by this dream all his life and it seems it’s just not as fulfilling as it would be for him.
He’s never really had a great choice of words and calling the attack on Dal-Mi’s computer “thrilling” is probably the wrong word to use, especially with Dal-Mi’s livelihood and career on the line.
Speaking of that attack, it seems likely that the twins were the ones responsible. At least, that’s my two cents anyway. They made a quick getaway after it happened and Do-San recognized the code from before, which seems to hint that this is a formula he’s familiar with.
So after 3 years it seems like Ji-Pyeong still hasn’t made a move on Dal-Mi either which keeps the triangle open for the future. Right now, I genuinely think this is going the neutral route. Unless I’m completely off the mark – in which case completely disregard these next two paragraphs – I’d imagine this will end with Dal-Mi deciding to go it alone and choosing neither of the two guys in her life.
After the polarizing ending to Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol (which I actually quite liked under the pretense that our male lead is an apparition), and the not-polarizing-but-very-poor open ending to Private Lives, Start-Up is the last of this trio of k-dramas on Netflix starting around the same time with an ending still to be written.
With less drama this time around and more of a catch-up session of sorts, the preview for tomorrow seems to hint at more drama to come.
So what are we thinking guys? Will Dal-Mi choose Do-San? Or will she say yes to Ji-Pyeong’s relationship proposal? Or are we thinking option 3 that sees Dal-Mi go it alone and decide to stay single? Let us know in the comments below, we love reading all your thoughts on this series!