Home > Start-Up > Start-Up: Episode 5 Recap – Part 1

Start-Up: Episode 5 Recap – Part 1

We are so happy to get our live recaps up and going one again with Start-Up! This is my fave show on right now. It is such a cute story with lots of heart while also being uplifting and just magical. Adri did a wonderful write up on the first 4 episodes if you need to catch up (you can find them here: one & two, three, and four).

Caution: Be wary of typos

How to Watch: Netflix

Shorthand Character Chart: coming up

How we do this: This live recap will be in two parts and we segment each post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, if there is a preview then we will try and translate it. Look for that at the bottom or on a separate post!




In their small office, Do-san is knitting quietly and the other two are sitting. Yong-san looks at Do-san and asks what happened. Chil-san just shakes his head. 

CS – Hey, you had a successful first date so whats wrong? hmm?

Dong-san looks at him and then goes back to his knitting.

DS – Chul san….nothing.

CS – Ugh, just tell me.

He turns around, but he doesn’t say anything.

Both – UGH!

CS – *hits chest* You are starting this again, just tell me!

DS – Well, I asked Dal-mi why she likes me.

CS – What did she say? I bet something is wrong with her eyes *chuckles* … I’m sorry.

We go to a flashback where she explained it.

CS – First love? Well, actually that is Han Ji-pyong.

DS – Then I asked her again why she likes me

Flashback – Your letters comforted me for a long time.

CS – That is not you, that is Han Ji-pyung again. Well, is it nothing about you?

DS – *looks at his hand* My hand.

Flashback – You hands are big and cool. 

DS – Just my hands.

YS – *rubs head* Do-san….humanity used to walk on four legs and then two legs and then started to develop a stronger brain. Why? Because front legs have nothing to do so they became hands. *grabs a sticky note and puts it in Do-san’s hands* Humans started to use hands and develop the brain and make tools. And we have culture and history right?

CS – *nods*

DS – So what do you want to say?

CS – Hey, you should understand engineers talk as an engineer. What he means is hands are the most important thing. Right…?

YS – You got it *thumbs up*

Post it – 

Do-san looks at the post-it.

Elsewhere, Dal-mi is sitting on some steps outside and talking on the phone about holding Do-san’s hand. She is talking to her grandmother. Her halmae is all like, what are you talking about? Dal-mi tells her that they held hands.

DM – Also, eunnie asked Do-san, do you choose me or Dal-mi.  Do you know what Do-san said? 

Flashback – Can you be Samsan tech CEO?

DM – *high pitched scream* AHHHHH! Then he offered his hand to me! Not eunnie! Halmoni….that hand….that hand….was the coolest thing in the world.

Flashback to handshake.

Halmoni – How can a hand be cool? Hand is just hand.

DM – it was cool. I am nothing, but he still held my hand, not eunnie’s hand.


DS – I am nothing….(said something else)….right…


DM – Halmoni, I am getting greedier. I started tis to win over eunnie because of appa. *looks at her own hand* Now I am really becoming ambitious.


DS – I know I don’t deserve it but….I wish for it more and am more desperate for it. *balls hand into fist*

Split screen of Do-san and Dal-mi both looking at their fists.

TITLE: HACKATHON – Hacking and marathon


Ji-pyung’s assistant says that the hell-gate will open starting tomorrow. He looks excited about it and says it is not his thing but then shakes his head and then says he went to the event as a mentor last year and for two nights and three days and then was sick in bed for the next three nights and four days. it was so hard but there was no reward. That is a bad thing right….team leader? Team leader? Um, where is he?

Ji-pyung had already left with his mentor t-shirt and happily started running to Sandbox.


Meanwhile at Sandbox, Dal-mi picks up a sign at the front desk and is told by the information guy that it is table 36. As soon as you get more members, send me a QR code, okay? She says she understands.

Man – You can have unlimited snacks over there….

He trails off when he looks over at the snacks and sees Samsan tech guys stuffing their bags full of snacks. The Samsan guys are so happy and think this is so encouraging! If we come here then we can have this everyday???? I really want to be in here!

Do San is about to put the entire tray of snacks into Yong-san’s bags wen dal-mi walks up.  Do-san stops quickly. Dal-mi tells him to bend over and starts to stuff his hoodie with candy and jelly snacks.

DM – These are only for you, okay? Dont’ share. *she shows him a particular jelly snack*

He smiles and says okay. Yong-san asks if we should pick one more team member? She tells him that they should, they have to. They ask what member they should recruit?

DM – I think the starting member should have a good personality. *they keep stuffing their bags* Someone who is self motivated and focused and solves problems *they are not listening*

She looks around for Do-san but he has been pulled away by Ji-pyung. There is a trail of jelly snacks to where he was pulled to like he’s Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. Ji-pyung pulls him to a quiet spot around the corner.

JP – How much did you say?

DS – Huh?

JP – How much does Dal-mi know now?

DS – What are you worried about now? That I am not a great guy?

He pushes Ji-pyungs arm away softly.

DS – Or is it because her first loves letters are fake?

JP – *grabs his arm again* Does she even know about the letters now?

DS – *pulls his arm away again* The letters are still valid.

JP – Was she disappointed that you are not a great guy?

DS – No, she was happy.

JP – What, not angry? Happy?

DS – Yes.

DP – What about me? Did she say I was strange?

DS – *looks away a bit annoyed*

JP – She should wonder why I made all those events.

DS – Team leader, she didn’t say anything about you at all.

JP – really?

DS – Not at all. So you don’t have to lend me your car and watch anymore and you don’t have to worry about us anymore.

JP – *takes off jacket and looks around* How did you and Dal-mi become a team? Even her enemy eunnie came to sandbox. She will be so hurt if eunnie is in but she is out. *Puts on a mentor t-shirt*

DS – What is this?

JP – tell me about it, what am I doing…. *fixes appearance* I was running a fund for tens of millions of dollars and have become a mentor for hackathon? Ugh, hopefully no one takes a picture of me.

DS – Can you just stop here? I will do it from now on.

JP – That would be scary. What you say is the most scary thing. You were like that because you don’t know things. if I am Kim Yong-san and Lee Chul-san then I would demand you pay for their effort for the last two years.

DS – *looks upset*

JP – What, are you angry?

DS – Yes, a little bit.

JP – What is this? *takes the candy from his hoodie top* You don’t deserve to get angry because it is a fact. When you get in Sandbox, then I will let you get angry. Ah, I need sugar.

He starts to eat the particular jelly candy that Dal-mi gave him. Do-san snatches it back.

DS – This one is mine.

He checks Ji-pyung’s hand to see if he has anymore of the jelly candy in it then walks away. Ji-pyung wonders what the problem was then picks some more candy off the ground and runs off.

He runs right into Dal-mi who runs up to him happily and says she as looking for him for a while, a long time. Ji-pyung walks around the corner and a piece of candy pops out of his mouth because he is so surprised to see Dal-mi there.

DM – Ah, team leader Han….I actually had a question…..

JP – Um…well….*sees secretary*…ah, hey, what happened.

He excuses himself and goes to his secretary to avoid the conversation. His secretary is all like, um, what? But Ji-pyung is asking what is so urgent you should have told me! And pulls him away.

he pulls him all the way around the corner. The assistant/secretary is so confused. He asks what happened, did I make a big mistake? Ji-pyung tells him not, just hold this and take off your jacket. He takes off his t-shirt and tells the assistant to become the mentor for him. He puts his shirt over the assistants head.

The assistant is all like, hold up, why should I be a mentor??? Ji-pyung tells him to please do a good job and leaves.




Chul-san and Yong-san are happily playing with a power extension strip as they walk outside. They are just clicking it on and off happily and walking. A guy notices them so they say, ah, hi, how are you doing! This guy is walking with a girl. They are both in bright colors.

CS and YS give him high fives and hugs but it is clear that this guy is big competition. Their faces both go nervous when they hug him. he is with a blond woman. They ask if they found their team?

The woman tells them yes, they are lucky that they are on the best team. Both YS and CS look on and says, huh, they best team, ah…they nod their heads.


There are several circular tables with personal computers on them for each other teams. The two colorful guys from earlier walk in. Do-san tells Dal-mi that those two are twins, they are very well known in the AI field. Dal-mi asks, huh? The most well known? Do-san tells her yes.

Yong-san asks why they are even here? They don’t even care about start-ups. Their nickname is hunters. For the last couple of years they attended all the hacker events and took the award money then ran away. It looks like they are on In-jae’s team.

Do-san puts all his candy on the table.

YS -And they discourage people who really want their money for their startup. They are bad guys.

DS – Their winnings should be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

DM – They have good skills and their style as programmers are good.

CS – As a developer? CEO, hey, what you say kind of bothers me, okay. *snaps fingers to take her vision off of them* What about our style?

They all look at each other.

CS – Okay, our style is pretty bad. But hey are not motivated to open a start up. 

YS – We are the only ones that won the CODA competition. 

CS – Yeah, they are locals, we are global.

One of them says they went to MIT though right? Dal-mi asks, MIT? Yong-san tells her not to be discouraged. What they do is different than us. They keep kind of talking about how skill is more important but Dal-mi has snuck away. They look around for where she might be.

Dal-mi is off in the room where they need to network and find a team. She mutters to herself that she needs to find a good spec which might meant hat she wants a college person.

Back at the table, the team talks about how when they check their specs their resume comes up. They look at all their resumes and then ask Do-san if he knew that Dal-mi didn’t go to college? She is only a high school graduate. Maybe we should form a new team.

But Do-san says that their CEO is Dal-mae. The other two looks nervous about this. Chul-san says it doesn’t make any sense for a high school graduate to become an AI company CEO. People will look down on us.

Do-san says that Chul-san is the one looking down on them. CHul-san asks, me? I don’t talk to those people who look down on others….others are like that….Do-san looks at Chul-san. Chul-san says he also doesn’t look down on others for that. You know me. So Do-san tells them that is it, don’t care about what others thing. The most important is if we do not look down on us.

YS – *whispers to Chul-san* I was a little bit scared, he has a charisma he never had.

Do-san throws them both a candy.

meanwhile, a group of guys are trying to get Sa-ha on their team by saying she is super pretty. She tells them that they are looking at her look and not her resume, then apologizes and says she also looks at the look as well. She walks away.

Another woman says that Sa-ha is the kind of person they are looking for. Accounting and law and design. Sa-ha designs her and says, even if you kneel down to me I will not join.

When she turns around, Dal-mi is kneeling in front of her.

SH – What are you doing?

DM – i am Samsan tech CEO, Seo Dal-mi. I found you with your resume, not about your look. I don’t want to be a CEO that does not do anything. I am not going to do everything. You can just make our design.

SH – Did you follow me?

DM – Yes. *smiles*

SH – Hey, people will look down on you, you look cheap. Your CEO’s knees are so easily bent.

Dal-mi looks around, she doesn’t care.

DM – Well, people will think you are great, not that my knees are so easy to bend. That is a better result for you right? When we still have time, you should decide. When the time is almost up then it will look like you were not wanted.

There are four minutes left.

SH – Tell me the reason you choose me.

Cut to the two the them dramatically walking in to the computer area. Everyone is stunned. Yong-san says “Green” and Chul-san says “Light” while they watch them walking in. All the other teams stand up and look at them in awe.

Chulsan stands up as well, he is super happy to see Sa-ha. He greets her and tells her to sit. She is all like, um, what the? She sits at the table and is introduced by Dal-mi. Everything goes back to the awkward normal. Dal-mi introduces Saha as the designer.

Chul-san says that they have seen her before. Saha uses banmal to everyone she speaks to and asks how they met so they tell her that it was at the bookstore. The last copy of Sanbox was there, she sold it to us for only a $10 premium.

Dal-mi is like, what? $10? Saha tells her that they both just met each others needs. We were both happy.

Chul-san is so happy to see her and pats her with his shirt, lol. He wonders how they can just meet like this, this is fate. She tells him to stop that and that they need to draw a line. Let’s not talk about fate of whatever. I did not come here because I like the team. I came here because time was almost up. But Samsan tech, the name is so horrible.

Do-san and Yong-san look at each other.

Saha says this is not her destination, it is just a little stop for her. She just wants to be clear. Dal-mi tells her okay, so let’s start. Chul-san gives Saha a lot of candy. Dal-mi tries not to make a crazy face.

The owner, Yoon, comes in and tells them all that the hackathon has started. From now on all of you will come up with a new business model with your members. The data set and GPU and API, you can utilize all those resources offered by Sandbox.

Everyone claps.

Samsan is super excited that they can use all those resources. They talk and joke happily amongst themselves about it. Dalmi raises her hand and asks what the criteria is. Yoon tells her that there are only two criteria. First with the resources and time limit what kind of profitable business can you create, and second, how can you pursue the investors in three minutes?

So they basically have to have a business and a pitch. Dalmi and Injae both think three minutes? Dalmi looks at Do-san, he nods encouragingly but also awkwardly. Yoon tells them all that she is looking forward to all the amazing things they create.



The team starts to brainstorm. dalmi tells Saha that they are going to create a machine based learning service. Saha asks if they are a technology based team? Dalmi says yes, of course our name is Samsan Tech. Saha thinks they are really a lotto.

Dalmi asks if she is that happy she joined them. Saha says no, it is like a lotto in that you do not match me at all.

Chul-san asks, CEO, I am not looking down on you but do you know what machine learning is? Do-san tells him, hey. Dalmi says she knows because Do-san explained it all to her. It is a very romantic technology. She smiles.

YS – How can you explain machine learning in a romantic way?

DS – *coughs a bit*

Then we go to the flashback where they were eating on the bench.

DM – I wonder everything about you. Your family and friends and what you like….everything. 

DS – What I like is….forming an artificial neuter network. Have you heard about that?

DM – Well, I have heard about it but I don’t know what it is.

DS – Do you know machine learning?

DM – I heard about it, but I don’t know….

DS – Well, *uses the ramen to explain* Let’s think of computer as Tarzan on an island. He has never seen a woman before. But one day Jane comes to the island. Tarzan gave a rock to Jane and she doesn’t like the rock, but she likes it when he gives her a flower.

DM – Ah, he doesn’t know hat women likes because he never saw a woman?

DS – That’s right….yes, so he keeps trying. Tarzan gives her a frog, she doesn’t like it, but she likes a pretty rabbit. She doesn’t like screaming but she likes smiling. Experiencing all those things, he learns how to get Janes love.

DM – Ah, I see! That is why it is machine learning. The machine is learning.

DS – That is right. You give a lot of data-experience and make the computer learn using an artificial neuter network. That is my job…..was it not good?

DM – No, it was fun…and cool.

In the present, the other two guys are like, TARZAN? JANE? Do-san is a bit embarrassed and asks, don’t you know metaphors? The guys say they don’t know because their Korean language was 7th grade level. 

Saha asks how long they are going to fool around. It has been twenty minutes.

DM – So what kind of data they will give to Tarzan….

YS – Well, they have a lot of data here….

They find hand writing in the database bank. Saha says they should have a lot, all the documents are written by hand. They should have a lot of fake data. Chul-san tells her that he all of a sudden feels a big wall between the two of them. She asks, wall? He tells her, you are perfect and then starts to laugh. It was a joke.

The other two nerdy guys love this joke and start laughing and giving thumbs up. Saha puts up an acuatally physical divider between the two of them. 

Dalmi speaks up and says that she has an idea, what if they make Tarzan learn the difference between fake writing and real writing. Then Tarzan can detect fake writing.

The assistant mentor is standing at their table and starts to nod. It looks like he likes that idea. The team is not sure if that can be possible but perhaps. Chul-san asks if that can be a business model? She says yes, of course.

Ji-pyung peak around the corner and starts to call to his assistant to pull him over. He has to whisper yell to get his attention. The assistant complains for a hot second then runs over happily.

JP – You ignored me right?

Dong-chun- No I didn’t hear.

JP – Did Samsan tech pick an item?

DC – Yes

JP – already? Hey, you should help them.

DC- Well, their item is good, I didn’t need to.

JP – It can’t be.

DC – They want to have a business using machine learning to detect handwriting patterns.

JP – Hey, that is really not a good business mod…..actually it is not bad.

DC – Its good right

JP – Whose idea was it?

DC – The CEO, Seo Dal-mi.

JP – Seo Dal-mi came up with that?


The other team is also trying to brainstorm what to do. The pink haired sister says they should try hand writing recognition. Her brother asks what kind of business that can be. The pink haired woman says that their CEO can decide.

In-jae asks why handwriting? The pink woman tells her that Samsan Tech is using it. I saw that you were rejected by Samsan Tech. The other woman is angry. The pink sister says they will help her fight hat because they think it’s fun to crush the person that rejected them.

In-jae doesn’t look interested in that but she doesn’t not look interested in it either. Int he end, she looks like she might do it.

Cut to a montage of the Samsan guys getting to work programming the handwriting technology.

The pink and yellow sibling team also works on the handwriting program.

Everyone works on it and has their part. Time passes from day to night. They are all still working incredibly hard to get it to work. But it looks like the Samsan Tech teams is not working. However, the bad team is working.

They have 35 hours left. 

Chul-san and Do-san start to talk about technical details and think they can do it over. They keep working hard and we go into another montage of things not really working right but everyone still working hard.

Chul-san thinks that the accuracy is bad. They start to talk in detail about the technology. Dal-mi wants to say what she thinks but Chul-san is not interested in what she thinks. Do-san asks what she thinks.

DM – Jane says that she likes flowers more than rocks. But I like rocks more than flowers.

Team – what is she saying?

DM – On the island, what do you need flowers for at all? You need a rock to at least get fruit from a tall tree and to keep predators away. To me, rocks over flowers.

CS – *basically ignores that* Hey Chul-san, buy her a big rock ,not flowers.

But that actually gave Do-san an idea, he looks over his program.

DS – Everyone has a different flavor. 

DM – Yes.

DS – …. let’s change our network structure.

YS – Right now?

CS – Are you crazy?

DS – This is the structure we used for image recognition. Image and handwriting are very different structures. We used the same network, that is why we failed. We can make a slim network from the bottom.

DM – yes. That is what I am talking about.

YS – Hey, this is big work.

CS – If redoing it is not the answer then we don’t have an answer.

DM – We shouldn’t keep giving the wrong answer, it is better to find a different answer.

YS – But if it goes wrong, then we have to pack up.

DM – Yes.

The guys aren’t into it, but Do-san is. he tells them, lets do it.

They get to work again and we see another montage of them working hard changing the code. They eat and drink all while they are at the table. Saha works on the power point. Dal-mi is probably the one that is going to introduce it.

It gets late so some teammates take naps on the bean bags around. But Dal-mi and Do-san keep working on into the night.


Click here for part 2!


Loved part one! This drama has the feeling of an old school show but with lots of wonderful character motivations threaded in. It is so emotionally packed with positivity. I love it. Okay, off to part 2!

Drama Milk contains ads and affiliate links that keep the lights on over here. The ads use cookies to aid in your viewing experience. If you like what you see then consider whitelisting us from your adblocking software so we can keep doing what we do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.