King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 3

Spoiler alert! Food porn ahead! But first, the tears…

Episode 3 recaps

We start off with the end of episode 2, but with more details. Mi Sun brings Tak Gu to the rich house to see Il Jong, only to be greeted by Manager Han. While the guards drag Mi Sun away, Tak Gu takes the opportunity to run towards the house. It took a while for this to register, but Manager Han runs after him.

Tak Gu shouts for help while running, but there was no one on the way in. He reaches the house and hesitates, but runs in. He reaches the other end of the house and opens the door to the garden and shouts for help. Sort of. His voice dies as he is greeted by an ongoing party. He stares at the party in awe, embarrassed to interrupt, and Manager Han catches up to drag him off. Il Jong interrupts to ask what is going on.

Manager Han looks unfazed, and says that it is nothing and he will deal with the situation. Tak Gu finally finds his tongue and asks Il Jong to save his mom.

Followed by his family (no Grandma), he heads out to the gate to meet Tak Gu’s mom. Despite the initial shock of seeing In Sook, Mi Sun remains composed and greets everyone politely. She tells Tak Gu to greet his dad.

They head back to the house, where everyone was left to sit awkwardly in the living room and Il Jong and Manager Han are conspicuously missing. Informed by the servant, Mrs Gong, Grandma joins the adults in the living room. Grandma immediately warms up to Tak Gu, noting how much he resembles a young version of his dad.

In his private room, Il Jong has a go at Manager Han. He specifically asked Han to check on Tak Gu’s mom. Clearly Manager Han lied. Why did he lie? When did he start lying? Manager Han says something about keeping the peace in the house, and Il Jong shouts at him. Since he’s been quiet the whole time, it’s rather surprising. He tells Manager Han that he only requires loyalty, not thinking.

The Gu kids are sent upstairs while the adults talk.

Il Jong coldly asks what Mi Sun wants. Is she here for money? Despite his words, his face does not really look that cold towards Mi Sun. Actually, he looks like he feels betrayed.

Mi Sun wants to leave Tak Gu with the family. She doesn’t want anything else. Grandma is delighted, while In Sook is vehemently against it. Grandma says either they take the kid, or Il Jong will have two families. Il Jong says they will do as Grandma wants. (But what does he want?)

It is awkward all round in the house. Il Jong excuses himself to go attend to his guests. In Sook goes to get a drink to calm herself down. Grandma asks to talk to Mi Sun privately, leaving Tak Gu alone.

The Gu kids come over to check Tak Gu out. Mrs Gong serves food to Tak Gu, and stops to exclaim how much he resembles his father, which irritates Ja Kyung and Ma Jun. Ja Rim, on the other hand, seems friendly and asks his age, declaring that he’s older that Ma Jun so Ma Jun should call him hyung. Ma Jun resents it, calling him a beggar and a fly, and tells him to leave.

In Grandma’s chambers, Mi Sun breaks down and says that it has really hard and she’s no longer able to raise Tak Gu. Grandma says that she understands. Grandma tries to give Mi Sun some money to live better, but Mi Sun says she only wants the right to visit Tak Gu once or twice a year. Besides, if she took the money, that will open her to gossip that she kept her son for money. Grandma approves of Mi Sun’s decision.

Downstairs, Tak Gu does not seem to quite understand what is happening. Mi Sun avoids eye contact with her son, and apologizes to In Sook through the door. She cannot bear to tell Tak Gu directly what is happening, so she tells In Sook that she is leaving Tak Gu to the family.

Tak Gu is alarmed, and asks his mom if she’s gone mad. He repeats that he wants to go home, but Mi Sun says no. He will stay and benefit from his father’s house. Mi Sun leaves and Tak Gu starts bawling.

Manager Han catches Mi Sun as she heads out. Does she really think that her son will be safer in the rich house? Mi Sun steels herself, and threatens to retaliate if Tak Gu is harmed. Once outside, she loses all that steel, and pretty much collapses.

Annoyed by Tak Gu’s crying, In Sook comes out and slaps him. She challenges Grandma — if he’s staying here, she’s free to do what she wants to the kid. In Sook then drunkenly heads out back to the party. She tells Il Jong that she will have to accept things, but she has a condition. Tak Gu cannot be added to the family register. She orders Manager Han to ready the car to take her to Cheongpyong (she keeps going there, vacation home?).

Back in the house, Tak Gu is sitting in a corner. Il Jong walks by and asks him what he’s up to. Tak Gu says he’s thinking. He needs to figure out how he is going to survive. Il Jong is pleased at Tak Gu’s thoughtfulness. He tells Tak Gu not to worry, and to make full use of the resources the house has to offer.

Ma Jun arrives to call Il Jong to dinner. Il Jong leaves the boys alone, and they have a talk. Ma Jun warns him that he is not welcomed and to get out. The boys are interrupted by the call to dinner.

At dinner, Tak Gu is too upset to eat. But he remembers his mom words to never go hungry, and starts to eat with gusto while fighting tears. This causes the kids to stare at him, before they were told off by their grandma.

Somehow, Mi Sun manages to make it back to Cheongsan. She runs into Yu Kyung, who tries to greet Mi Sun, but was too distraught to notice. The kids in school were wondering where Tak Gu was. Yu Kyung follows Mi Sun home, and witnesses Mi Sun telling her landlady that she left Tak Gu with his dad. The landlady is surprisingly sympathetic.

Outside the house, Yu Kyung runs into her dad, who demands to know if the boy who injured him lived here. Yu Kyung says no, and runs off. Yu Kyung’s dad gives the house a look over. Something bad is probably going to happen.

In Sook meets up private with Manager Han. She demands to know how Mi Sun managed to bear Tak Gu and bring him up when Han was supposed to get rid of them. Manager Han apologizes that he could not clean up the situation previously, but promises to do better in the future. In Sook nearly hits Manager Han in anger, but stops herself. Instead, she collapses into his arms, and says that things are difficult for her and that he is the only person who can understand.

Tak Gu’s life in the new house does not proceed well. He’s not getting on in school with the other kids, the Gu kids ignore him, and he lives in constant fear of In Sook. However in a letter to his mom, he lies and says that everything is going well.

Not satisfied with just ignoring Tak Gu, Ma Jun tries to stir up trouble. Ja Kyung’s mechanical pencil disappears, and the Gu kids march over to Tak Gu’s room demanding to search. Ma Jun was the accuser — he saw Tak Gu loitering outside Ja Kyung’s room. Tak Gu says he wanted to ask for homework help, but Ja Kyung looked busy and he did not want to disturb her. Moreover, Tak Gu has no idea what a mechanical pencil is, and Ja Rim helpfully explains that it looks like a pen.

In any case, Ja Kyung does a quick search but doesn’t find anything. Ma Jun offers to help, and almost immediately finds the missing mechanical pencil in a drawer. Ja Kyung gives him a suspicious look, and Ma Jun proudly parades his evidence. Tak Gu denies stealing, and the two boys almost come to fists, except Grandma appears to check in on what the fuss is.

Everyone gathers in Grandma’s chambers, and the boys kneel while explaining the situation. Ma Jun explains that Ja Kyung’s mechanical pencil was missing, and they found it in Tak Gu’s room thus Tak Gu must have stolen it. Grandma asks Ja Kyung if she agrees. Ja Kyung cautiously states that the pencil was found in Tak Gu’s room, but mentions nothing about stealing.

Grandma orders the Gu kids out of the room. Outside, Ja Kyung tells Ma Jun that as much as she dislikes Tak gu, he should never do something like that again, or she will deal with him personally.

Inside the room, Grandma gives Tak Gu five lashes. She also explains that she believes that he is innocent, but she cannot appear to take sides. This will not be an isolated incident; He will continue to meet other similar incidences, and fists will not solve the problem. Tak Gu asks what he can do, and Grandma says he will just have to bear it until the truth is revealed.

Ja Rim finds Tak Gu after his punishment and gives him some ointment for his legs. She helpfully explains the family dynamics to him: Grandma and Il Jong are on one side, In Sook and Ma Jun are another side, Ja Kyung is her own faction and Ja Rim just tries to stay out of everything. She advises him to stay clear of the factions if he wants to survive.

Tak Gu doesn’t understand why the family has so many sides. There should only be one side in a family. Ja Rim offers no explanations. There is no love in the family, just a power struggle. She also cautions him against visiting the small separate house where Il Jong stays.

Tak Gu is woken up in the middle of the night by a smell. He follows it out of his room, out of the house and realizes that it is bread. And it is coming from the small house that Ja Rim told him to avoid. This makes him pause for about a second, before his nose led the way and he continues on towards the small house.

He found the door unlocked, and let himself in. It’s dark inside, except for a kitchen lit with warm glowly lights. There’s a lot of flour in the air too, and a whole bunch of ingredients on the large wooden table.

Il Jong suddenly appears, still in his formal shirt , but now with an apron and protective sleeves over his arms. He inhales and exhales, moving his arms along like doing tai-chi, and suddenly gets to work making dough. What follows is a 2 minute segment of food porn, that seems somewhat inaccurate. Tak Gu is enthralled by the performance and keeps watching for hours.

Suddenly a hand reaches over Tak Gu’s mouth and someone drags him away. It is Manager Han, but it is not clear that Tak Gu realizes this. Tak Gu struggles, but to no avail. He’s taken outside, and he keeps struggling as he is dragged further away. At last he breaks free, and starts running towards the small house. He enters, and rushes towards the kitchen where Il Jong was. In his haste, he knocks over a tray of bread, and Il Jong looks at him.

The last scene could have been a scene out of a fairy tale. I think the bread making part was inaccurate, but the soft lighting and warm colors, and with Tak Gu just emerging from his sleep, all serve to make it look rather beautiful and surreal. And then it changes into a nightmare, like a giant chasing Tak Gu from the top of the beanstalk or something.

But about the story — I think this episode was a little slow. We devote a lot of time to settling the problems and showing how there were conflicts, but these are all details. A really succinct summary would be, Tak Gu is sent to his father, and he doesn’t get along with the family. One night, he sees his father making bread.

I really don’t see why Mi Sun gave Tak Gu to his dad, and didn’t say a word about how Manager Han has been threatening her. As Manager Han pointed out, having Tak Gu over doesn’t ensure his safety. I think it was a really bad move on her part. For all that has happened to her, she is really still very naive.

It was interesting seeing the Gu kids react to Tak Gu. We knew how Ma Jun would react, but I wasn’t expecting the initial coldness from Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. I mean, Mi Sun pretty much abandoned Tak Gu, and I (being sexist) expected the girls to react with more sympathy. I guess the illegitimate son part, and the fact that their dad had an affair was more important to them.

We see more of Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. The part where Ja Rim sat down with Tak Gu and explained the family dynamics to me was particularly informative. It could have turned out very cynical, but Ja Rim made it sound like it’s just all facts. I have been siding with Grandma and Il Jong, but this speech made me change my mind. Just because In Sook seems evil does not mean that Grandma and dad are the good guys. The fact that Ja Kyung has her own mind makes me think that she’s going to be a wildcard.

I liked how the writers are capable of making very complex characters. I am particularly noticing this with Grandma. The other characters still seem rather simple to me. I started out disliking Grandma in Ep 1, then liking her in Ep 2, and here I have mixed feelings. I mean, it looked really selfish when she was happy that Tak Gu was sent to the house. She cares about Mi Sun, but not quite enough, and maybe because she was Tak Gu’s mother.

I was disappointed by Il Jong’s lack of emotions. He really holds himself back. He clearly likes Tak Gu, but does not seem to spend time with his son. I realize that it would infuriate In Sook, but he should feel free to spend time with Tak Gu if he wants to. I was also sad that he didn’t make time to speak with Mi Sun in private. He liked her to some extent, but he’s not showing any sort of affection. He took care of things in a very minimal and superficial way. The side of baker Il Jong was kind of surprising. He looked like the kind of guy who didn’t like to get his hands dirty.

We have moved some important chess pieces, but the consequences are not apparent yet. I’m beginning to appreciate devoting so much time to the backstory; it’s a lot richer than usual. But now I am expecting more from the adult part when things have to resolve.

PS. Anyone noticed that Tak Gu sleeps beside his bed?

Episode Ratings: 28.5% (Dramawiki)

Read Episode 4 recaps

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2 Responses to King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 3

  1. Pingback: Food porn fact check #1 | Dramamia's Blog

  2. Pingback: King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 2 | Dramamia's Blog

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