Home > Highlights & Heartbreaks > Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8
“ET phone home.”

The true identity of the girl on the swings, Won-deok’s deteriorating vision, and Do-san’s letters! Episode eight of Start-Up doesn’t hold back the punches. In fact, so many things are hinted at or straight up revealed, my head is still spinning…

What Do-san did was dangerous, but come on. It injured him more than the chairman. He’s clearly taking legal action out of spite, which is sad. You’d think his time would be better spent, you know, running his company. Or investing in good shoe lifts, because like Dal-mi said, the dude is vertically challenged. Maybe that’s why he’s so mean. (Much love to all our petite milk-guzzlers haha).

Dal-mi comes up with the idea for a new app named NoonGil.

The app would be a combo of the image recognition software Samsan Tech already has plus the voice recognition technology of Yeong-sil. And its purpose would be identifying anything from a nearby crosswalk to the amount of change a visually impaired person has in front of them.

Do-san’s right! Dal-mi is a genius. It’s almost like her subconscious invented this for her grandma.

Ji-pyeong shoots down NoonGil.

He explains that the more users an app like NoonGil gets, the more expensive it is to run. Dal-mi understands this, but is willing to accept the challenge and try to get an investor.

Director Yoon overhears everything and follows up with Ji-pyeong. He reveals that Dal-mi and In-jae are sisters, so she could be the girl on the swing. Yes! It looks like Director Yoon will soon find out In-jae stole Dal-mi’s inspirational story. But knowing how this drama is, I won’t be surprised if it turns out she was at the playground too.

In-jae’s mom tries to convince her to rejoin Morning Group.

All so Chairman Won will reactivate her credit cards! I’m glad she stops pushing once she sees that In-jae is content in her new role. Hopefully Ah-hyun will get some of her daughter’s independence before the drama concludes.

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8

Ji-pyeong “rescues” Dal-mi from the countryside in the Good Boy Mobile.

Dal-mi fibs and tells a potential investor she’s going to the same town as her, so she can hitch a ride and pitch NoonGil on the way. She does a good job, but the investor doesn’t have the budget to fund NoonGil. Left in the countryside, defeated and alone, Dal-mi starts walking back to the city when Ji-pyeong comes to pick her up. The investor is an acquaintance, and called him on behalf of Dal-mi. Aww. This investor seems nice. I bet she’ll come around.

In the meantime, we’re treated to a nice, long Dal-mi/Ji-pyeong scene. He puts the shoe Dal-mi got cow poop on in the incombustible waste bag she gave him, and tilts her seat back when she falls asleep. I love this tender side of Ji-pyeong, but no more ship-hopping for me! I’m firmly Team Dal-san! (Dal-mi + Do-san).

Dal-mi shows Won-deok how to use NoonGil.

And her smile is priceless. When she’s alone, she has NoonGil read her verses from the Bible while reflecting on her precious relationship with Dal-mi and writing something in a notebook.

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8

Do-san’s cousin does a little viral marketing, and sends the pic Do-san took with baseball legend Park Chan-ho as a kid to him!!!

What a good way to make up for that insane (but hilarious) CODA acceptance video! Hahaha.

Won-deok tells Do-san how and why she and Ji-pyeong chose to use his name when writing the letters.

It’s because he looked kind and smart in the Math Olympiad newspaper article. She judged him well, because he truly is a “Living Buddha”. Imagine if Won-deok knew he gave away his trophy shortly after the picture was taken.

The viral marketing works and Park Chan-ho talks about NoonGil on TV.

I knew this was going to happen! Now Dal-mi’s going to have to be the bearer of bad news and tell Do-san and the gang they won’t be able to afford running the app with all these new users. They’ll need investors that she hasn’t managed to get yet.

Do-san gets called into the police station on behalf of Morning Group.

What a dark cloud looming over the initial success of NoonGil. I believe I said it before, but I’ll say it again: Chairmon Won is petty. Even the police officer talking to Do-san mentions the damage the nameplate caused is minor.

Heartbreak #1: Do-san tells Dal-mi about her grandma’s vision loss by showing her the notes Won-deok wrote on how to improve NoonGil.

I didn’t expect this to be revealed so quickly! (And this won’t be the last time I say that). A lesser drama would’ve dragged it out to at least episode fourteen.

I’m glad Dal-mi found out before Won-deok’s sight completely deteriorated, but my heart aches for her. Won-deok has been her only family for the last fifteen years! At least Do-san can be her rock now.

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8

Heartbreak #2: Dal-mi tells Won-deok she knows about her declining vision.

Them hugging it out on the couch and crying is cathartic. They’ve been through more than most families, so I have faith that they’ll overcome this too.

Dal-mi blackmails Chairman Won into investing in NoonGil.

Dal-mi asks In-jae to get her an impromptu meeting with Chairman Won, so she can apologize and get him to invest in NoonGil. After finding out about her grandma’s vision loss, she’s determined to make the app a success. When the girls get there, Do-san’s already kneeling before the chairman with his head bowed. The chairman says he’ll drop the charges against him and consider investing in NoonGil if Dal-mi gets on her knees too.

I’m preparing for a third heartbreak when Dal-mi pulls the biggest uno reverse card I’ve seen thus far. Before the meeting with Morning Group in the last episode, Ji-pyeong advised her to record it, so she did. She now plays it for Chairman Won in front of his son, Do-san, and In-jae. She tells him if Morning Group doesn’t fund NoonGil, she’ll play the recording for the press and show all of Korea that instead of helping the youth, he exploits them.

Needless to say, the next scene is Chairman Won on stage in his “Pay it forward” sweatshirt telling an audience at Sandbox he’s investing in NoonGil. When they start clapping, I put down my Apple TV remote and clap with them, because Dal-mi is my hero! I’ve rarely seen a character strike such a perfect balance between kind and calculating. I also love her optimism and resolve, so if it’s the screenwriter’s intention to make me admire her— mission accomplished!

Highlights & Heartbreaks: Start-Up Episode 8


What? What?! It’s only episode eight, but everyone is finding out everything! I can’t believe Dal-mi’s already figured out Ji-pyeong wrote the letters. I for sure thought the handwriting/forgery software Samsan Tech came up with during the hackathon would expose him, but Dal-mi figured it out with good ol’ deductive reasoning. The handwriting software was just a cheeky misdirect.

Bravo, screenwriter Park Hye-ryun. Bravo.

Start-Up impresses me more with every episode! Unless the drama finds a way to make Dal-mi rethink her suspicions, the central conflict has been revealed! What’re they gonna do for the next eight episodes? Will the revenge storyline involving Director Yoon come into play?

Okay…so…I know I said I wouldn’t jump ship, and I’m not, but wouldn’t it be revolutionary if Dal-mi ends up with Ji-pyeong?

In the future, it’d be kind of cool if dramas didn’t designate a first or second male/female lead, but just had four main characters and kept viewers guessing about who ends up with who.

With the way things work, I’m pretty sure Dal-mi is going to end up with Do-san, and I’m happy about it. But the drama is sure having fun playing with my emotions.

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