Start-Up – K-Drama Episode 7 Recap & Review

The Investment

Episode 7 of Start-Up begins with Ji-Pyeong answering Dal-Mi’s emailed questions. Despite bemoaning his luck with how many there are, his big smile tells a very different story.

When Dal-Mi shows up with Do-San they both get their start-up fund from Ji-Pyeong but Do-San stays behind afterwards. He’s going to reveal all and tell Dal-Mi about the 15 year old letters. Ji-Pyeong is clearly rattled but Do-San is confident it won’t change anything.

In fact he’s so confident, he answers Ji-Pyeong’s concerns with, “We’ll see about that.” Scoffing at his audacity, Ji-Pyeong eventually snaps, turning his car around and heading back.

Meanwhile, Do-San is sent out to get some food by Won-Deok. When she leaves, the pair inside discuss Won-Deok’s deteriorating eye-sight. It turns out Dal-Mi doesn’t know about this and Won-Deok doesn’t want her grand-daughter to pity her.

She doesn’t want anyone else giving her that pitying gaze either and thanks to him, Dal-Mi has been smiling a lot which has translated across to her. She thanks him for allowing Dal-Mi to show off her good side and asks him not to tell anyone about what’s happening – especially Dal-Mi and the “good boy” Ji-Pyeong.

It’s here Do-San realizes that the person Ji-Pyeong cherishes and cannot repay the kindness for is Won-Deok. Standing up, he hands over a bunch of cleaning sponges he made – reciting the same familiar words he was practicing outside.

Only, Ji-Pyeong suddenly shows up and things immediately become awkward. The pair pretend like they don’t know each other and awkwardly bow – this is especially humorous given they both know each other and can’t work out how low to bow.

With niceties out the way, Do-San tells Ji-Pyeong to leave as he’s taken up his advice. He awkwardly decides to stay and the two fight over changing a lightbulb in the bathroom, trying to determine who’s the alpha male.

They continue to do little tasks until they sit down to eat together. The pair comment on how the food isn’t equal on the table and the conversation inevitably turns to Ji-Pyeong helping her. He stutters when she asks why he’s so invested and he bumbles out ROI (return of investment).

The dinner comes to an end and the pair head home. Just before they do though, Ji-Pyeong mentions the email and how he’s answered all 461 questions for her.

With a piece of thread stuck in her hair, Ji-Pyeong hesitates in removing it, prompting Do-San to step up and do it himself.

Back home, Won-Deok and Dal-Mi discuss the two men in her life. Only, it’s just one according to Dal-Mi. Her grandmother asks whether she prefers the man from her childhood or the current one. As she’s forced to pick one, we don’t hear the answer as the kettle boils.

Dal-Mi goes through each of the questions one by one and checks the answers. On the back of this, the group reconvene at the office and they look over their ten million won investment and try to make it last 6 months.

With a demo scheduled in 3 days, they need to try and make a good impression to secure more funds – potentially 10 billion won to be precise.

Back at Sand Box, none other than “MONEY!!!” guy (Cheon-Ho really but he’s officially being nicknamed MONEY now) shows up with a new tech that’s been developed. Putting these strange orbs on your finger pulsates blue if you’re excited. As they think about their investment, Sa-Ha looks on in disgust as everyone’s finger turns blue.

With these on their fingers, they all start thinking about different investment models and potential ways of building their start-up. After listening to different pitches, they head outside for a break.

When they do, Dal-Mi spies Ji-Pyeong down below and rings him. When he checks his phone, it turns out he’s called Dal-Mi “Question Bomber” in his phone book. He hangs up on her though – unaware that she’s watching – and walks away.

Outside the office, the San boys learn from the twins that In-Jae has already secured a big investment. That comes in the form of Jeonghan Bank, showing that her connections are vast.

In-Jae is not happy that her father-in-law is interjecting, telling him to stay out and not to assemble a task force. As In-Jae walks away from him, Dal-Mi happens to be watching from afar.

In-Jae overhears Sun-Hak talking about her, and how she’s only in it for money. Sun-Hak’s disappointed that In-Jae doesn’t have more about her and walks off.

Only, she walks straight into her sister who talks about the investment and congratulates her. It’s a back-handed compliment in truth, but one that In-Jae reveals the truth about.

It turns out she didn’t actually go through her father-in-law, she stayed afterwards at the 12th hackathon to make contacts and secure an investment from one of the judges there.

Her father was not involved at all and unlike her (Dal-Mi), In-Jae claims that she learns from her mistakes. Using this to spin her own narrative, she tells Dal-Mi to take the Morning Group and secure an investment just to make money.

Dal-Mi heads back to the team and asks them what they think about this. Given they’re all struggling to make an investment and raise funds, they agree to follow her lead. Afterward, Dal-Mi and Do-San head outside and talk about their hobbies – where it turns out both of them knit in their free-time.

When Ji-Pyeong sees them laughing and getting along, his face instantly falls and he walks away. Meanwhile, Do-San has a perfect chance to kiss Dal-Mi but holds back, instead mentioning how he wants to forget what happened 15 years ago and how he was a loser back then.

Only, to Dal-Mi those moments in her childhood meant a lot. Although she doesn’t directly say it, it seems like it affects her a little.

Still, she doesn’t let that deter her too much. She visits Ji-Pyeong and tells him about the Morning Group investment. Eventually she talks plainly about how nosy Ji-Pyeong is – helping her every step of the way – and she admits that she likes him doing that. She’ll even go out of her way to help him with any questions he has too.

The proposal she’s written for Morning Group is good – perhaps a little too good. Ji-Pyeong worries that the company will take advantage of her – remembering moments in the group meeting where the Chairman gloated about how Samsan could be used by different companies.

Dal-Mi and Do-San head up to meet Doo-Jung at his business and they mention the proposal briefly. They know Dal-Mi is In-Jae’s little sister and speak informally to her – which is pretty rude to be honest.

Sang-Su tells them they need to collect 100,000 images rather than using the AI for proper means. All of this is just to secure a good reference on their resume and apparently a lot of start-up companies do this. They’re absolutely being taken for a ride though, with Doo-Jung claiming that their logo is worth more than 50 million won.

Do-San is enraged with the chairman and smashes his glass name-plate all over the table. He can’t cope with them being taken for a ride and speaks to Dal-Mi on the roof. As he does, she suddenly leans forward and kisses him passionately on the mouth. The skyline is absolutely gorgeous and tellingly there’s no music during this moment either.

As they pull away momentarily, Dal-Mi decides to go ahead with Do-San’s original idea. This comes in the form of creating an app for the visually impaired and using that as their eyes. With both of them together, the pair passionately kiss – and now there’s music!

The epilogue cuts back to show that question from earlier around who Dal-Mi’s favourite version of Do-San is. Her choice happens to be the one who wrote the letters to her 15 years ago. The old Do-San is the one she’d pick given he’s her first love.

As we cut across to Ji-Pyeong watering the flowers. Dal-Mi comments how this current version of Do-San is like a different person altogether but the few moments they have do make her heart flutter.

The Episode Review

Start-up returns this week for a slightly slower episode this time around, one that focuses on the growing love triangle between our three lead characters. There’s obviously a spark there between Ji-Pyeong and Dal-Mi but he’s playing it very cool and indifferent toward her for now.

It’ll be interesting to see what direction this drama takes and exactly who Dal-Mi will pick at the end. Personally, I’m rooting for Ji-Pyeong, especially after the insensitive comments Do-San made about the past. Given he read the letters he should know how much it means to her, despite his insistence to forget about all that and make Dal-Mi fall for him.

It seems like this kiss was a ploy from her to try and feel a spark of passion toward Do-San. And that was certainly some kiss at the end!

In fact, that whole scene was perfectly orchestrated with the gorgeous skyline of Seoul in the background there while the kiss takes place without music. There’s no repeated segments, no big K-pop moment – just a kiss between two people. It’s a pretty stylish segment and very un-K-drama like too.

There’s bound to be repercussions for what happened with the Chairman as well and quite what will happen next remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure though – this one is definitely shaping up to be one of the best k-dramas of 2020!


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7 thoughts on “Start-Up – K-Drama Episode 7 Recap & Review”

  1. Most people seem to base their reviews on which male lead they like. I’m actually enjoying the drama regardless. The triangle is fun though, both of the leads have faults and it will be fun to see which one she ends up liking more. Personally, I don’t mind Do San and actually think his support of Dal Mi is sweet.

  2. I’m totally rooting for Ji Pyeong. Dal Mi will find out Do San is a total stranger, but she has feelings for him. I just don’t see this ending well for Do San when the truth comes out. What is Grandma thinking?
    In the next episode 8, the last scene is heartbreaking when JP confesses (in tears) to grandma- he can’t stop thinking about Dal Mi and he wants her. I just can’t wait to see how this turns out.
    *Just a correction: Chairman is In-Jae’s Step-Father, not her Father-In-Law. (Father-in-Law would be her husband’s father)

  3. Honestly, the Triangle was not Needed but I understand the need for Do -San. I’m Team Han, but he annoys me, He needs to take bold steps (removing the wool on Dal-mi’s hair ) + him not answering her mail will also stack up against him at some point. Still think do San will end up with Dal -mi ( Hate it), But it’s looking likely. Anyways why have they decided to make in-Jae the villain, she just trying to make her own way up in the Tech world.

  4. I hate that there’s a triangle and the drama is forcing SLS on us the viewer. Why did they have to involved Dosan in the first place. JP as a smart business man should know he’s opening himself up to blackmail, when the easy thing to do is just tell her from the start that he used another name; thus the tangled web they are weaving will not be there.
    JP can sometimes be demeaning and belittling to DS even though he still go out of us way to help Dalmi. Dosan for someone who is just meeting Dalmi seems to have this unshakeable trust in here which seems naïve and creepy. He also acts to JP as if he has more connection to Dalmi and uses that to push JP’s buttons. in 7 episodes, they made the sister Injae a one note villain

  5. Wow the person above really ripped Do San a new one. I love Ji Pyeong too, but I’m empathetic towards Do San. He got roped into this really elaborate 15-year-old scheme but comes to like the attention and affection Dal Mi has towards him. It’s his first time a girl has shown interest in him as a person and it’s natural for him to want more. I don’t condone the never-ending web of secrets he keeps getting looped into. I think that’s his biggest fault, is that he cannot distance himself from people.

    Do San is a genius programmer but he’s not a tech bro that we’ve gotten so used to seeing portrayed in the tech field. I’m glad he’s not a douchey Jeff Bezos. He worked out of a dingy little rooftop apartment, I don’t know who wouldn’t be glad to receive a standing desk. I’m excited when I get an ergonomic chair, that office would be like candy on top of the cake. As for the food bar, I’ve done that myself. My brother works as a machine learning architect and takes home food from work all. the. time. In fact, sometimes he doesn’t even buy food cause he can horde it at work.
    As someone who worked in tech doing Sa Ha’s job, I can vouch that CEOs aren’t like Steve Jobs. I think this show manages to capture this beautifully. Personally, it’s so rare to see a CEO being portrayed as compassionate and empathetic in tech, other than maybe Richard from Silicon Valley, I’m just glad to see this happen here in kdrama.

  6. It’s a good drama and premise with some glaring holes in script writing that take away from what you sense to your core is a experience that should be so much better than that.


    Dosan is supposed to be done awesome programmer but in a couple scenes he is a witless moron. He can’t figure out what buttons to push in JPs BMW as if it’s beyond him.

    In another one he practically giggled like a school girl st a desk that raised up abs down electrically.

    Dosan knows he is a stand in for JP who is doing all this to support dalmi and grandma and he knows the lengths JP is going to to do it. He knows the feelings dalmi has are for Jp who wrote the letters and established the relationship, yet he had no problems whatsoever inserting himself into dalmis life and stealing Brett affections for himself. An absolute skum move.

    Dosan is so stupid he cant remember what he is supposed to do for 20 minutes and forces JP to come and save dalmi and therefore dosan at send box.

    When dosan and his 2 stooges are giving away their technology thinking they ste talking with investors, it’s JP who comes and saves then from losing everything, yet 10 minutes later when he asks to keep the illusion going on for a bit more for dalmi, they blackmail him to get what they want. Absolute skum.

    They get into sandbox the 3 fool’s are so infantile they bring duffle bags to steal all the free candy they can from the open snack table.Dosan even fills the hood on his sweatshirt and spills it all down the hallway.

    Every episode has multiple reasons why dosan is skum but the writer introduce elements that are designed to make him appear better or kinder or of higher character than he really is.

    There are multiple where he forces himself into dalmi life at the expense of JP who he KNOWS is the one dalmi really has feelings for. He says he wants to tell her the truth because he knows it will blow up in his face later when it’s discovered, yet anytime JP is around he shoves him, steps on his feet and gets in between JP and Dalmi when th they are ralking.

    In one scene dosan is insulted by a company CEO and breaks his glass nameplate on his desk. Dalmi has her own reasons to not want to take the deal and is crying. Dosan sees none of that and storms out. Dalmi bring a true leading lady who is inoccent admirable and worthy of sacrificing for thinks dosan reaction was for her and ends up kissing the skum.

    Anyone who cares about dalmi knows only heartache will come from dosan inserting himself into her life, but at every point he should have disappeared from her personal life he lies and manipulates her and JP. A woman can regret her feelings for a man but there are different levels of damage a man can do based on how much a woman has given up for him.

    If the truth had come up before she could have salvaged a relationship at least in buisness but now that she has kissed him the damage will be 10x. Hopefully she will not have go to the 100x level giving herself to such a person and THEN finding the truth.

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