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Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14 Kdrama recaps

In episode 14 reconciliations are made as Do-san, Yong-san, and Chul-san re-establish themselves in Korea. Since Samsan Tech belongs to 2STO, it’s interesting to see them start from scratch now equipped with everything this drama’s taught me about start-ups.

There weren’t many heartbreaks, but certain scenes were sad. And now that we’re nearing the end, I can’t help but notice some of the things I was excited to see never happened, and the show could’ve handled certain components better.

Dal-mi cries in front of Ji-pyeong about not making sure Cheong Myeong’s data was backed up before the ransomware attack. And about Do-san not being back in Korea full-time.

I understand why she’d be disappointed, but sometimes we have to cut ourselves some slack, because no one’s perfect. Like Ji-pyeong pointed out, even the Pentagon isn’t infallible.

As for Do-san, he’s here to stay! So I hope she finds that out quickly and it doesn’t get dragged out.

Ji-pyeong runs into Do-san in the elevator, effectively stopping him from going to Cheong Myeong’s office. When he asks what gives Ji-pyeong the right, Ji-pyeong hints at being in a relationship with Dal-mi.

First I’d like to say, that still doesn’t give him the right to stop Do-san from seeing Dal-mi. Single or in a relationship, she’s a grown woman who can decide for herself whether she wants to see someone or not. Second, they’re not dating!!! You guys know I like Ji-pyeong, but this really bothered me. Sure, he didn’t come right out and say him and Dal-mi were together, but leading someone to the wrong conclusion is still a lie.

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14 Kdrama recaps
Tyra and I are so disappointed in Ji-pyeong.

Ji-pyeong immediately calls Dal-mi and tells her what he said to Do-san.

Phew! Okay, it takes guts to call up someone and tell them that you lied on their behalf. But because Dal-mi thinks Do-san is going back to the states, she doesn’t care to correct the misunderstanding and even hangs up on Do-san when he calls. This is something that irritated me throughout the whole episode. They keep hanging up on each other and ignoring each other’s calls. Just pick up and communicate! Y’all aren’t in high school. You’re adults running successful companies. What’s going on?

Do-san throws away Park Chan-ho’s signed baseball!

Oh no! This baseball has been a little beacon of hope; an encouraging reminder for both Do-san and Dal-mi to follow their dreams. Do-san throwing it away shows me that he’s pretty much given up hope.

This is one of the times I wish Do-san was more resilient (like Dal-mi at the beginning of the drama). Even if Ji-pyeong is dating Dal-mi, go and talk to her in person. If not to fight for her then at least for closure.

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14 Kdrama recaps

Do-san, Yong-san, and Chul-san move back into Samsan Tech’s old office and choose a new CEO via rock, paper, scissors.

Being CEO is that bad, huh? Well, I’ve seen what Dal-mi and In-jae have gone through, so I guess I wouldn’t want it either. Congrats, Yong-san!

The boys contemplate starting a new company, and even get interviewed by a magazine through the delightful Cheon-ho.

The icing on the cake is the magazine cancelling the interview they already had scheduled with the Shin twins. Ah…long live the underdogs.

The Shin Twins start working for Morning Group, whose AI division Morning AI has also created a self-driving car. Unlike Cheong Myeong, they already have a permit.

So Chairman Won is who the twins were having those clandestine lunches with. Again, the only thing I’m surprised at is why In-jae and Dal-mi kept them around for so long. Especially since Dal-mi knew about their money-grubbing, disloyal ways through Do-san and the guys. That sounds like setting yourself up to me.

In-jae tells Dal-mi to hire Do-san, Yong-san, and Chul-san to replace the twins or she’s fired.

Tough terms, but In-jae wants the best. I’m glad Dal-mi now knows the boys are back in Korea for good.

Ah-hyun’s divorce from Chairman Won is finalized!

What great news! She may not have supported her first husband while he was alive, but she deserves to be with someone better than the chairman. Or choose to stay single and pursue her passions just like her daughters. I’m quite pleased with Ah-hyun’s character trajectory. I just wish we could’ve seen more of her and Dal-mi’s relationship. After the three year time jump, their relationship is pretty much fixed and Dal-mi’s back to calling her mom instead of “mother” comfortably.

And come to think of it, have we ever seen In-jae (as an adult) and Won-deok communicate??

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14 Kdrama recaps

Heartbreak #1: Dal-mi goes to Samsan Tech and asks Do-san to work for Cheong Myeong, but he turns her down, because he’s still hurt about what transpired three years ago.

It’s frustrating to watch, but I can’t act like I’d be rushing to work with an ex I had a painful breakup with. I just wish they’d try and talk longer and listen with open hearts.

After Do-san’s dad retrieves the baseball from the trash, he encourages Do-san to bike to a relative’s house in the countryside to clear his head.

The scene lasts a little longer than necessary, but it’s important to see this process, because it’s going to lead to a revelation somehow.

Elsewhere, Won-deok drops her sun visor while on a walk and In-jae picks it up and helps her sit down without revealing her identity. Once she gets in her car, she contacts someone to help her dissolve Chairman Won’s adoption.

That’s right, In-jae! I’m glad she finally knows who her real family is. And this is not say people who are adopted don’t have a real family, it’s more to point out how Chairman Won only used her as a tool and a placeholder for his son.

With directions from Do-san’s parents, Dal-mi finds him in the boonies and they have another heart-to-heart. She falls asleep after her long journey and he reads her Tarzan proposal.

I hope they reconcile after this. I mean, Do-san knows the reason she broke up with him. She told him so there should be no misunderstanding. I’m sure it’s still crushing, but I’d hope he’d understand that Dal-mi broke up with him, because she didn’t want to hold him back. Or pay that insane amount for him breaking the contract.

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14 Kdrama recaps

Chul-san swings by the law firm Sa-ha now works for. When he bumps into her, he acts like it’s by accident and asks her for help with incorporating their new business. By the end of their little meeting, he asks her if she’d like to work with him again.

They also both admit that the times they’ve run into each other haven’t been accidents. Honestly, this is the only ship I’m not exasperated by at this point. Can’t wait to see it sail. (V – Same! I actually started to like Sa-ha)

Yong-san does his part as new CEO and goes to Sandbox to ask Director Yoon to check the investors that have flocked to them since returning to Korea.

She advises that since these investors are willing to throw money at a product they’ve never even seen, they’re unreliable. She encourages him to look for his own investors. Ah, this reminds me of how Dal-mi had to run around looking for investors for NoonGil. Now Yong-san is going to know how emotionally taxing the role is. (Not that being an engineer is easy).

Yong-san bumps into Ji-pyeong in the hallway and apologizes for blaming him for his brother’s suicide. Ji-pyeong apologizes for being too harsh. Yong-san also asks him for honest feedback, because now he knows how important it is.

This reconciliation is much needed, and I’m glad we’re getting to witness it. Ji-pyeong has obviously grown in the last three years and so has Yong-san. Maybe he even got some grief counseling in San Fran? Those 2STO health benefits were probably great.

Anyway, Ji-pyeong tells him to just work as a developer instead of starting a company if coding is where him, Do-san, and Chul-san’s passions lie. Good advice! Yong-san then adds they’ve been offered positions at Cheong Myung. Ji-pyeong implies that as a man, he doesn’t like the idea of Do-san working with Dal-mi, but as an investor he’s for it.

Oh my god, guys! The growth!

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 14 Kdrama recaps

Dal-mi takes the self-driving car test, and Yong-san, Chul-san, Sa-ha, and In-jae are there to cheer her on.

When she slides in the driver’s seat, Do-san is right next to her. The symbolism of him being in the passenger’s seat as her right-hand man doesn’t escape me. I’m glad the gang’s working together again, and I hope they pass the test with flying colors and get their permit.

Post credit scene: We see why Do-san’s parents tell Dal-mi where he is, then the morning after their heart-to-heart.

Is it even a K-drama without a piggy back scene? It’s cute though, and I love the cinematography. Do-san carrying Dal-mi against a beautiful backdrop of trees and a moss covered lake is something I can’t argue against, visually.

The reconciliations and apologies that needed to happen happened, and the gang is back together. I’m happy about that. My only criticism is the drama still hasn’t explored Dal-mi and In-jae’s complicated relationship, and this close to the end I don’t think it’s going to. Dal-mi joining In-jae’s company and then doing a three year time jump feels like a way to have them reconcile without actually showing us how it happened. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed by that.

I know Start-Up is primarily about…well, start-ups, but at the beginning it presented itself as a drama about people as well. So I feel like they could’ve handled the non-romantic relationships a bit better. I mean, am I the only one who thinks it’s strange that we never got any scenes of Dal-mi confronting Won-deok about the letters? (V – Equally confused about that.) I love her and understand it was coming from a good place, but she’s the one who started the whole thing, so if I were Dal-mi I’d feel the most betrayed by her. Yet we got no tearful scenes of them discussing it and it didn’t affect their relationship, which is unrealistic. (V – Blame the mens! It’s always the mens faults! hee hee)

For all of the things Start-Up gets right, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to actually displaying and exploring familial relationships (which were supposed to be at the forefront of the show as well). That doesn’t mean it’s not a good drama (so please drop your pitchforks). It just means that’s one area it could’ve improved on.

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