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Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 3

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 3

Dramas are like rollercoasters. Every episode contains soaring highlights or heartbreaking drops that leave us devastated.

There are a ton of good dramas airing right now, and since we can’t recap all of them, we’d like to start something new called Highlights & Heartbreaks. Every week we’ll break down the important scenes in dramas episode by episode. Any meaningful scenes that build upon the plot will be considered a highlight, and if anything sad or tragic occurs, it’ll be considered a heartbreak.

Together we can deconstruct impactful scenes in the dramas we’re watching. If there are certain scenes in an episode you enjoyed, but they don’t move the plot forward, we still encourage you to bring them up for further discussion.

Today we’ll be starting with episode 3 of Start-Up. To read our first impressions of episode 1 and 2, click here.


Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 3

Do-san and Dal-mi’s first meeting at the networking event. 

It was satisfying for them to finally meet after two whole episodes, and very sweet of Do-san to help her save face even though he wouldn’t get anything out of it. Truly, a knight in shining armor. (Or in this case, a knight in designer suit?)


Heartbreak Alert: Dal-mi’s emotional reunion with her mom. 

I really felt for Dal-mi in this scene, and I thought Suzy delivered solid acting. While it was nice to see Dal-mi’s mother showing her younger daughter some affection, it seems like too little, too late.


Do-san “sailing off without a map”.

So far, from what we know about Do-san’s character, he’s very logical and analytical. To see him overriding those traits to give Dal-mi his business card so they can stay in contact was sweet. And surprising! He already feels a connection even though he wasn’t the one who wrote those letters.


Dal-mi quits her job!

This life-altering decision is prompted by her co-workers telling a delivery guy only certain elevators will get him to the top floor. Wanting to get on an elevator that’ll get her to the “top floor” in life, Dal-mi quits her job, so she can focus on starting her own business.

I loved the elevator metaphor and Dal-mi’s resolve in that moment. It was inspiring.


Samsan Tech wins CODA!

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 3
I was so proud of them!

This was a pure triumph of the underdog, and I reveled in Do-san shoving CODA’s winning announcement in Ji-pyeong’s smug face. This essentially gives Samsan Tech the confidence they need to apply to Sandbox.


Do-san, Dal-mi, and In-jae all apply to Sandbox.

With Dal-mi quitting her job, Do-san winning CODA, and In-jae breaking free of her step-father’s influence, the three apply to Sandbox. In episode 2, I was expecting Do-san and Dal-mi to apply, but In-jae surprised me. We’re already starting to see depth and character development with her.


Do-san, Ji-pyeong, and Won-deok (Dal-mi’s grandma) decide to keep up the lie.

I can’t believe they’re going to let Dal-mi keep believing that Do-san was the one writing those letters instead of Won-deok and Ji-pyeong! I know if they come clean early the drama will lose a major conflict, but man this is really going to hurt Dal-mi later.


Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 3

Ji-pyeong and Do-san contemplate their feelings for Dal-mi.

Over dinner, Won-deok asks Ji-pyeong if he has feelings for Dal-mi. Somewhere across town, one of Do-san’s friends asks him the same thing. I gasp audibly and wait with bated breath for their responses.

Ji-pyeong says, “No” while Do-san smiles and confirms that he does.

Wow. We’re getting a confirmation of feelings in episode 3?! Things are moving fast. I don’t believe Ji-pyeong doesn’t have feelings for Dal-mi, so we’ll just have to wait and see where this love triangle takes us.


And last, but not least: Do-san’s CODA acceptance speech!

I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t breathe during this scene! It was my favorite thing about episode 3 and I’m looking forward to seeing how Do-san will live this embarrassing moment down. His cousin really did him dirty. (V – Ahahahaha, I have to watch this!)


All in all, I enjoyed this episode. There was a lot of plot advancement, which I appreciated. And characters like Won In-jae were developed further.

Do-san is catching feelings kind of fast, but I guess it makes sense for a shy programmer who’s never dated anyone before.

What were your favorite scenes?

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