Step By Step – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Jeng’s Realization and Reflection

Episode 3 of Step by Step starts with a nervous Pat asking if he could retract the peer review submission, but Pui informs him that it was sent automatically to the boss. Ae tells him to stop worrying and asks Jeng if he has seen the review. At the office with Mr Jeng finishing up a meeting. Pat seems anxious, and afterwards, attempts to ask Jeng about the peer assessment. Jeng lies that he has not had time to read the reviews. Pat asks if he can resend the review, to which Jeng agrees and tells Pat to talk to Pui.

The next scene introduces Jaab’s workplace with his colleagues, including Jen and Kanun. Jaab presents an idea that the team criticizes harshly but in a comedic way.

Back at home, Jeng and his brother Jaab both seem troubled. Jeng consults with his brother about what kind of a person Jaab thinks Jeng is. He is concerned about Pat’s review and asks if he micromanages. He wonders if he lacks empathy and is narcissistic. Jaab says whoever told Jeng might be a fortune teller since his description of Jeng was on point. Jeng is even more troubled, and Jaab admits that it is very difficult to get along with Jeng, and he has to let it go many times.

Jeng asks what Jaab’s problem is, and Jaab asks how he could stop feelings for someone. Jaab informs that he has feelings for someone on his team. Jeng is worried that he has become the boss his subordinates hate. Jeng thinks Jaab’s problem is more of a boss-subordinate problem, but Jaab corrects that it is more about friends. Jaab has feelings for a friend who is taken. Jeng advises that after spending time together, Jaab will figure out what he does not like about his friend and will eventually not like them anymore.

Following his brother’s advice, Jaab calls Jen to ask him out to Tae’s birthday party at Pearl & Oliver. Jen says he would not be available since he was going on a date with his boyfriend, Mon. Jaab is heartbroken about the weekend dating and blames his brother Jeng for his terrible advice.

While brooding, Jen sends a voice message saying his boyfriend was tied up at work so that he could go to the party with Jaab. They have a moment of flirting with Jaab telling Jen he looked good in white and pink shirts, but the moment is spoilt when Jen says his boyfriend told him the same. Jen asks if Jaab is catching feelings for him since it seems they would be going on a date.

Next, the scene goes to Tae’s birthday party at his restaurant. Pat, Ae, and Beam are in attendance. Kanun, Jaab, and Jen are the photographers. Pat notices Jeng again talking to the servers, and he thinks that his boss might be haunting him during the weekends. At the table, Tae talks to them about his partners at Pearl & Oliver. He mentions Jeng as one of his partners, and Pat wonders if he means his boss.

The MC introduces a game, and the partygoers begin to group up to win the vouchers. Ae asks Tae to ask some of the kitchen staff to help. He calls his friend Jeng to come out. To Pat’s astonishment, it was Jeng, his boss. Pat’s team does not win the game since Jeng helps them answer the question, and he is the owner.

Behind the restaurant, Jaab is happily watching photos on his camera. Jen joins him and asks to see them too. Jaab first refuses, but Jen insists so he gives in. The photos are all candid of Jen that Jaab secretly captured. Jaab asks Jen if he wants to have a wedding with his boyfriend, to which he says yes, but he thinks it would take some time.

Jaab goes again to ask Jen if he believes in chemistry. Jen says that he did not understand it. Jaab says that because of Mon and Jen, he believed chemistry is true. Jen asks Jaab to let him wait for Mon to pick him up at his condo. Jaab and Jen almost kiss whilst there but Mon calls just in time to pick up Jen. Unfortunately, Jaab is heartbroken.

The next morning after the party, Pat wakes up in an unfamiliar house. Seeing Jeng’s photo, he remembers how his friends were all drunk the night before to take him home, and his boss had to take care of him. At first, Jeng wanted to take him to his condo, but he had to go home after Jaab texted that he was going to the condo with Jen.

Pat wants to leave but notices that he does not have his clothes. He looks for Jeng and finds out that Jeng was researching micromanagement, which means he had read Pat’s peer review. Jeng explains how troublesome Pat was the night before, which makes Pat feel utterly embarrassed. After returning his stuff, Pat tries to order a cab but realizes it would be expensive due to distance. He requests Jeng to drop him off at the Sky train station. Pat feels even more embarrassed after he meets Jeng’s parents.

Pat is anxious about the assessment. He texts Ae, who tells him to fake being asleep so Jeng doesn’t have the chance to ask about the assessment. Before he can, Jeng asks about a work project and offers to provide more help since the work takes a fair amount of time. Pat interprets the question as Jeng intending to fire him. He tells Pat to find ways to get out of the car as soon as possible to avoid further questioning.

An intimate moment happens when Jeng catches a mosquito, and Pat helps him clean the dead bug off his hand.

Jeng arrives at Pearl and Oliver after dropping Pat off and overhears the employees at the restaurant speaking ill of his management. As Pat had said, the employees say that when he is around, they feel stressed out at work and celebrate that he would not be at the restaurant. He is further distressed and asks Tae about it.

Tae mentions that Jeng was so nervous during the party that he messed up the kitchen system. In retrospect, Jeng remembers seeing Pat at the party. He asked his brother Jaab why Pat was there, and Jaab said that Pat was like a restaurant’s VIP customer, which might have been why he was nervous. Tae tells him that working with Jeng as his partner makes him feel at ease since he knows that Jeng will make sure everything is perfect. Tae admits that he would say no if Jeng were to be his boss.

Jeng returns to his condo and talks about Pat with Jaab, who informs him that Pat was shocked to see Jab at the party. Jaab says that Pat’s reaction shows that he must fear Jeng. The current realization about his management style and performance review results gives Jeng sleepless nights. He remembers Pat’s words when he was drunk. Pat says that Jeng was confused, and the person whose shoes he spilt milk tea on, and the person who’s his boss, are very different. He wonders who the real Mr Jeng is and how it would have been if they met each other as other people, not as a boss and subordinate.

Pat fills in a request to resign at work but is undecided about doing so. Nan does not make it easier. Jeng requests to see Pat at his office but he looks nervous, rehearsing how to address his comments about the peer review.

Pat nervously enters the office. Before Jeng can talk, he offers to resign instead of being fired and gives Jeng back his clothes. Jeng is confused, and Pat explains that he is resigning since he knows Jeng is dissatisfied with his assessment and will fire him. Jeng informs Pat that he doesn’t intend to do that but consults about the upcoming one-on-one session with the employees.

Jeng intended to solve the problems at the workplace, and among them was an accusation of misbehaviour among the employees, including Pat. Jeng says he will punish Prem for his comments that made Pat angry and warns Pat about controlling his emotions. He says he wants to improve himself and be a better boss whom Pat can work with in the long run by getting to know the real Jeng better. At the end of the episode, Jeng makes Prem and Pat apologize to each other.

The Episode Review

The introduction to Jaab’s company, Baan Jay Productions, and the team shows a great difference between the two brother’s management models. Jaab allows his team to criticize him freely, and they even make jokes, making the work environment friendly. When he corrects Jeng saying his problem is in the category of having feelings for a friend and not a boss-subordinate relationship, it shows that he takes his team as his friends while Jeng thinks of them as subordinates.

The episode is mostly about Jeng’s reflection on his management style, and he seemed distressed and troubled after the realization that the employees thought of him as narcissistic, lacking in empathy, and likes to micromanage. He was genuinely troubled and consulted with his friends and brother about it.

At the end of the episode, he decides to work on himself and become a better boss while making the workplace better and less toxic. Looking forward to seeing how he changes and changes the workplace in the next episodes.

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