This episode shines a spotlight on the love triangle between Dal-mi, Do-san, and Ji-pyeong. Because of that we get some hilarious scenes, a surprising kiss, and an answer even more shocking.
Since Start-Up is very much grounded in reality, it could’ve been a predictable drama, but it manages to dish out twists and turns at every opportunity.
Heartbreak: Won-deok tells Do-san why she wants to hide her vision loss from Dal-mi.
I understand not wanting to be pitied, but hiding the truth from Dal-mi is a knee-jerk reaction for Won-deok at this point. When everything comes to light, it’ll be that much harder on Dal-mi.
Nevertheless, it’s an emotional scene and Do-san now realizes why Ji-pyeong’s debt can’t be repaid with money.
Ji-pyeong crashes dinner.
He races over to stop Do-san from telling Dal-mi about the letters. When he realizes she’s still in the dark, he accepts her invitation to stay for dinner and pretends he doesn’t know Won-deok. The next scene leaves me wheezing as Ji-pyeong and Do-san fight over helping the women change lightbulbs and move heavy things.
A handsome handyman service should definitely be their next business venture. I mean, I’d certainly call them to do some work around the house…
Won-deok asks Dal-mi which Do-san she likes better: the one from the letters or as she knows him now?
Dal-mi actually answers, but a whistling teapot drowns her out, so I scream into my pillow. And it’s much louder than the teapot.
Jeonghan Bank hires In-jae company for a 300 million won AI project.
It’s the talk of the town, and also a direct result of them piggy-backing off Samsan Tech’s idea during the hackathon. Let’s face it, if Shin Jeong hadn’t walked past their table and eavesdropped, In-jae company probably wouldn’t have used the bank’s data.
Dal-mi congratulates In-jae half-heartedly, but points out everyone at Sandbox thinks she got the job, because the CEO of Jeonghan Bank went to school with her step-father. But that’s not the case. In-jae reveals that while Dal-mi went to go nap after the hackathon, she spent it chatting up Jeonghan Bank’s CEO. Mr. Won wasn’t involved at all.
I don’t want to admit it, but when opportunity knocks, In-jae always throws open the door and wrestles it inside. She says as much to Dal-mi, and tells her Morning Group is launching their own AI project. If Samsan Tech wants more capital to lessen their burn rate, it’d be advantageous to submit a proposal.
Samsan Tech submits a business proposal to Morning Group.
But it turns out Morning Group has already hired a tech team for their AI project. They only called Samsan Tech in for a meeting to convince them to collect 100,000 images for the project; something they could easily hire a part-timer to do. It’s below Samsan’s skill set, not to mention exploitative.
I knew it was too good to be true. In-jae’s step-father and brother are both snakes of a similar scale.
Do-san smashes Mr. Won’s nameplate when he starts manipulating Dal-mi.
Hoping to go over his son’s head, Dal-mi and Do-san go to Mr. Won’s office after the meeting. He immediately starts manipulating Dal-mi by saying he views her as a daughter, and she should’ve chosen to live with her mom like In-jae. She starts tearing up, so Do-san grabs Mr. Won’s glass nameplate and smashes it against his desk. I almost clap!! Him and Dal-mi went to Mr. Won’s office to talk business, so he had no right bringing up sensitive personal matters.
Are Do-san’s actions a little extreme? Yes, but I can’t help but feel satisfied, because Mr. Won is clearly trying to hurt her. I’m also glad they decide to give up the project.
Dal-mi kisses Do-san!!!
And I bet every one of Suzy’s ex co-stars feels it, because man is it impactful! I love that Dal-mi is the one who initiates it, and the breath-taking sunset behind them makes the moment magical. Even the shaky camera technique adds to the scene and makes us feel as elated and off-kilter as our budding couple.
Samsan Tech ends up deciding to create a program for the visually impaired.
In a flashback, we see Do-san pitch this idea to Dal-mi, Yong-san, Chul-san, and Sa-ha. He was inspired to do it because of Dal-mi’s grandma. We swing back to the rooftop, where the two agree to forge ahead with the program even though it will be expensive and likely not make a ton of money. Dal-mi smiles and tells Do-san it’s okay. That they’re “sailing off without a map”. Recognizing this from one of the letters he read, Do-san pulls her into another kiss, and that my friends, is how you end an episode.
Except it’s not the end. The drama drops one last bomb on us.
Post credit scene: Dal-mi’s choice.
We’re shown what Dal-mi’s answer is when Won-deok asks her which Do-san she likes better. She picks “the Do-san from fifteen years ago” aka Ji-pyeong. What?!!! I did not expect that! Granted, this is before the spectacular rooftop kiss, so maybe now present Do-san is her pick…
Compared to the last episode, there wasn’t as much going on. The focus was on Dal-mi’s relationship with the “two Do-sans” and Samsan Tech trying to secure more capital. Like a pirate, this episode kidnapped me from my Dal-mi/Ji-pyeong ship and deposited me on the decks of Dal-san. Sure, they don’t actually have any shared history, but the new memories they’re making and the challenges they’re overcoming together are creating such a beautiful bond.
I just hope said bond will be strong enough to withstand the lies…