This episode is all about risk (the possibility of loss). And it gets explored in many instances; business and personal. In-jae Company risks bad public opinion, Do-san risks both his parents and Dal-mi’s trust, and Ji-pyeong risks his heart.
Remember when I compared dramas to rollercoasters? Well in Start-Up’s case, episode nine is the plunging drop.
Do-san cheated during the Math Olympiad.
In a flashback, we see the reason he won the olympiad is because a gust of wind blew the runner-up’s test on the floor. Young Do-san sees it and copies the one answer he doesn’t know.
Oh no! Not our Living Buddha! This is why he ends up giving said runner-up his trophy. He doesn’t feel like he deserves it, and it haunts him to this day. This explains a lot about Do-san, and while a small part of me is disappointed in his actions, a much larger part is happy to see his character’s not perfect. He’s flawed just like the rest of us.
In-jae gets egged by a disgruntled security guard who is now out of work thanks to her company.
Jeonghan Bank has referred In-jae company to Haun Engineering and Construction. They want a new security system that can be run by AI, so they can cut down on security guards. One of these guards is who attacks In-jae at Sandbox.
Man, what a scary scene! It’s a relief Dal-mi was there to protect her big sis. The funny thing is this scene kind of shows why physical security is still an asset. AI can’t protect you from getting pelted with eggs or hit by a giant computer monitor.
Haun Engineering and Construction security guards protest, and they land on the news along with In-jae Company.
They say there’s no such thing as bad press, but in this case I’m not too sure about that…
Heartbreak #1: Through the news, Do-san’s parents find out he’s no longer CEO of Samsan Tech, and it sets off a series of events.
He opts to get drunk instead of going home. And while practicing what he’s going to say to his parents, Do-san imagines confronting Dal-mi about the letters and starts bawling his eyes out.
Aww! I feel so bad for him! The stress and guilt are just eating him up.
Do-san and Ji-pyeong spend the night at Dal-mi’s.
Yong-san and Chul-san ask Dal-mi to meet them at the restaurant they were drinking at. Since Do-san’s drunker than a skunk and trying to avoid his parents, they ask her if he can spend the night at her place. This sounds like a bad idea all around. He might blow his cover! Fortunately, Ji-pyeong swings by in the Good Boy Mobile and drives Do-san and Dal-mi to her house. Out of jealousy, he ends up spending the night, and him and Do-san have a very revealing squabble.
Ji-pyeong basically admits he’d trade his wealth and success for the one thing Do-san has: Dal-mi. Whoa. That’s quite a declaration. Ji-pyeong has fallen so hard! The poor thing never stood a chance. (V – loved that scene!)
Do-san whisks Dal-mi and Won-deok away to a beautiful beach, and while watching the sunset Dal-mi asks her grandmother if the current Do-san and the Do-san from fifteen years ago could be different people.
Won-deok rejects the idea even though it would’ve been the perfect time to come clean.
Heartbreak #2: Do-san finally goes home and confronts his parents.
Sometimes it’s the scenes where no one cries that get you the most. The pure disappointment on Do-san’s parents’ faces is the biggest reason he didn’t tell them about cheating during the olympiad or giving Dal-mi the CEO position. If my parents looked at me like that, it would crush me.
Fortunately, his mom tries to be understanding in the end.
Heartbreak #3: Ji-pyeong tells Won-deok he has feelings for Dal-mi!
And he wants to tell her the truth! This means he doesn’t want Won-deok to go to her old storefront and retrieve the letter Dal-mi put in the bird house when she was searching for Do-san. The last thing Ji-pyeong wants is that letter to be given to Do-san, so he can further convince Dal-mi he’s the real deal.
This is so difficult to watch! How can I be happy about Ji-pyeong finally admitting his feelings when he’s more than likely going to get his heart broken?
Dal-mi sees Ji-pyeong with the last letter she wrote to Do-san!!!
Feeling bad about their disagreement, Ji-pyeong texts Won-deok and offers to drive to her old storefront and get the letter. When he arrives, he slips it out of the bird house and reads it. Once he looks up, Dal-mi’s across the street, bewildered. The reason she’s there is because she grabbed her grandmother’s phone by accident that morning, and saw Ji-pyeong’s text!
She looks about as gutted as I feel. This is the kind of pain I didn’t want to see her in. (V – Suzy acted so well in this scene!)
Heartbreak #4: Do-san calls Dal-mi on Won-deok’s behalf and realizes the jig is up.
As Dal-mi stares at Ji-pyeong with tears coursing down her face, she asks Do-san to tell her where they used to leave their letters. When it’s obvious he doesn’t know, she hangs up.
I truly don’t know how they’re going to move past this. It’s a massive betrayal that casts Dal-mi’s formative years in a completely different light. I’m also worried about how this will affect her beautiful relationship with Won-deok.
I enjoyed this episode even though it was ripe with heartbreaks. Suzy, Nam Joo-hyuk, and Kim Sun-ho acted beautifully, and the way the drama set up the big reveal was gut-wrenching without being over the top.
Now that everything is out in the open, I can’t wait to see how these characters go about repairing their relationships.