Start-Up – K-Drama Episode 13 Recap & Review

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!


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21 thoughts on “Start-Up – K-Drama Episode 13 Recap & Review”

  1. I think the movie will end this way,
    Do San will end up with Dal Mi
    While Mr. Han will finally get the family he’s be hoping for.

    Omg love this episode
    Finally Do San is back.. I hope he works things with Dal Mi and gets back with her.

  2. I really really love the actors in this series.The series is very relatable in terms of how start ups work and the problems faced.
    But i wished this wouldn’t be the typical cliche series where the two main characters ended up together. I love both Dosan and Mr Han ,but realistically speaking I wished they’d show an aspect of Dosan and Dalmi growing apart and moving on with their lives, which is okay considering they chose different paths.They could still be good friends but i feel Dalmi being with Mr Han is the most realistic in the real world.
    The series is on episode 14 and I can already tell how it is going to end..but i honestly hope it won’t be the unrealistic fairy tale endings that we are always made to believe.

  3. I agree with most of the comments. The story did not evolve with sense after Dosan left for the US, there was no follow through with JiPyeong and Dalmi’s relationship in that three years that Dosan was not there. The character of Dosan does not go well with Dalmi, her choice of him would show how poorly she makes a choice considering all angles for a good partner in life. I was so excited watching the show thinking it would be Dalmi and JiPyeong at the end as it made me feel, there was a chance especially when Dosan left for US, but now I am totally disappointed after watching episodes 13 and 14- I think these were poorly written episodes. I am totally dismayed that I do not feel like watching the ending. The only motivation that I have is to watch Kim Seon Ho, because I just love his persona. I wish for him to have better dramas where he is the victor at the end or his ending is happy.

  4. I sincerely hope that the cry baby does not end up with Dalmi. Seriously, man up! Mr. Han is the best fit for her in all the terms. Writers come on….. change the end, so many people having the same thought it is not a coincidence. Dalmi needs a man to be there for her and her grandma, not a cry baby that didn’t even care about his family while he was away for three years, that is not responsible enough to put business aside from personal matters, that is impulsive and that cry every time things don’t go the way he wants. Is this really the type of person you want as a protagonist?! He the cry baby ends up with Dalmi, the show will be a completely disappointment to all the viewers. I really like the drama but the end is a killer. The cry baby what needs is a baby sitter not a CEO. Mr Han should lead the end…!!!

  5. I am so disappointed!! I just love Mr. Han he should be the one main character with Dalmi. It’s kind of boring to watch now, it seems Dosam is the one ending up with the girl. I don’t like his character at all. He is like a kid. I keep thinking, well Ji-Pyeong is the first one to appear in the beginning maybe he is the one that will at the end. But it looks like Dosam and Dalmi have more scenes together and Ji-Pyeong not so much. I guess I need to find another serie to watch because like everyone else thinks, it is getting boring and I don’t like Dosam. 😅

  6. Why does do-san cry in every episode? He’s so frustrating, this whole drama is silly. This is definitely the k-drama that has upset me the most. Poor poor writing

  7. While the filming is over, I second the comment about how lame is the script making KSH (Good Boy) as such… lame, despite his astute investor/businessman character. I also lost interest on the series mid-way Ep13. If one would notice, I thought rating hit a dip from Ep12.🤔

  8. Can we at least have more scenes of grandma and HJP? The whole love triangle story is dead to me. HJP never stood a chance, if after 3 whole years they decide that the day he wanted to make a move is when Do-San returns. Very predictable and poor writing imo.

    They should just give HJP character a different thing to deal with apart from Dal-Mi. He grew up as an orphan, perhaps helping him deal with that and making him accept grandma fully as the family he never had would make more sense at this point.

  9. Honestly I’m not excited to watch the “Start Up” anymore knowing that Dalmi and Dolsan in the end. Im rooting for “Good Boy” it seems he just like the grandson that grandma doesn’t have. I’m just watching to know what’s the end of the story. But the excitement gone..for me I just fall out of love.

  10. Well, IMO, after watching this drama for 13 episodes, there are severe irregularities in how the writer pan out the story or in fact, she made a slight wrong move for HJP role. Notice how everyone was hooked with HJP from the start and for a long time i have to admit i desperately want the 2nd lead to get the lead girl in the drama. I think this wasn’t what the writer expected, the response from audiences to fall head over heels for HJP. The writer created a story arc thats so impactful for HJP from the start(from emotions, to his actions, his inner conflicts and his thoughts), viewers were left engaged, frustrated and happy all at the same time. At the end of ep 11, if SDM and HJP had delved into the letters, the role of NDS will be rendered obsolete and any chance of reviving him to be with dal mi will be useless or seems odd. So if you noticed in subsequent episodes 12 and 13, HJP gt cock blocked while trying to talk to dalmi and after 3 years, the writer rode on the indecisiveness of HJP to showcase he hadn’t muster the courage to make the move. And BAM, you have NDS back in the fray, this time around his scenes are all creating the instant impact of him being more hero like and a man whose isnt lacking much anymore. Essentially, the writer has to throw the 2nd lead character under the bus to save NDS character and if its towards the ending of NDS and SDM, this will be a more natural route.

    I am a HJP shipper, ive nvr wanted the 2nd lead to get the girl so badly, trust me. but on an objective pov, the direction is slightly leaning to a NDS/SDM ending, if not its an open ended stalemate where no one gets the girl or a far fetch ending of HJP/SDM. But looking at the story arc now, HJP/SDM will just be our alternate ending in our own fantasy.

  11. The ending is set. Dalmi-Dosan what else is there for our Ji-pyeong? Hope the writer gives him a really dramatic scene, maybe,,, when grandma really goes blind or when he finally gives in to Do San. Sad, sad, sad. Btw, cheers for Kim Seon Ho for getting the 2020 AAA award. Good luck in his next series. Looking really good. Fighting!!

  12. The writers are making the love triangle unpredictable. On early episodes we see ji-pyeong as a boy who was helped by the grandma so thena we concluded that ji-pyeong and dalmi will be the center of the story because most kdrama had it the way so that is why it is so disappointing to see that the writers are making a way for do-san and dalmi to worked out. So ji-pyeong is only the bridge for do-san and dalmi to meet??? Thumbs down. Who knows. Maybe the writers will make the character of ji-pyeong to be what everybody wants.

  13. Like everyone excited to see how the story will end, why can’t we make everybody happy by adapting the twist i am proposing…
    let Do San go back to the US to give Ji-Pyeong the opportunity to win Dal Mi’s heart. In the ensuing episode, since In-Jae will eventually lose her twin IT staff who, i suspect, are behind the plan to sabotage Dal Mi and In Jae’s company, should also go back to the US where she left a successful career before entering Sand Box. After returning to the US, she (In Jae) accidentally bumps into Do San and both will eventually develop a relationship. Do San may not end up with Dal Mi but at least, she becomes his sister-in-law. And everybody lives happily ever after.

  14. I watched it at first because I thought that Mr Han would end up with Dalmi.
    I’ve lost interest in watching it since it’s now obvious that the writer want Dalmi and Do san together.

  15. They builted up episode 1 -12 then episode 13 is so disappointing .
    they should have created a story of jipyeong finally making a move to win dalmi but 3 years passed and still he has not done anything then one day he realized that he needs to start making a move after hearing “yeoung sil’s advice “. and oh .. what a coincidence that Dosan and his friends decided to visit seoul .
    As a viewer , it does not make sense . Poor script writing in this episode . Too much hype on episode 10 to 12 then nothing happened. The writer did not even give Jipyeong ‘s character a chance. When his personality is competitive .
    I think it will be more interesting for the viewers to see if the relationship of dalmi and jipyeong develop during that 3 years when Dosan is in San francisco. But then again thats just my opinion.
    I lost interest in this show after watching episode 13.

  16. Ji-Pyeong will never be the first person Dal-mi calls. He should give the ring to Do-san and basically ask him to propose. I am guessing this is what he wants to talk about with Do-san.

  17. “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” -> This is what I’ve thought and what upset me most, Ji-Pyeong during 3 years doesn’t make any move and suddenly need Yeong Sil’s advice to go full throttle. This is really inconsistency with the character. It’s like the stage been set up for No-Dan returns. In 3 years Ji-Pyeong became insecure person and timid one (The urgency to declare upper hand that Dal-mi are his by telling Do-San he want to give jewelry, IMHO really absurd)

  18. As much as I want Dal-Mi to have a romantic relation with Ji-Pyeong, I know it is not going to happen. Plus, Ji-Pyeong has a few integrity isuses. Okay, when he tells a lie, he will eventually tell the truth but why lie in the first place. Plus, I didn’t like him chiding Dal-Mi about nibbling on carrots. Maybe Ji-Pyeong will just be Dal-Mi’s work husband in the in end. Of course, Do-San and Dal-Mi will end up together but the only marriage we will see on StartUp will be between Chul-San and Sa-Ha.

  19. i really enjoyed Mr. Han’s moments in this episode. Hope Dal Mi accepts Ji Peoyongs proposal. I totally ship them. You can see Chul sans maturity after the time skip, but as you said Do san still looks like the same person 3 years back.

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