King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 4

OMG OMG OMG!! I know this is bad manners, but this drama upped its act even more. No wonder the ratings were skyhigh! And it’s only episode 4! I’ll expect to be disappointed in the coming episodes, but hopefully not.

Episode 4 recap

Il Jong finds Tak Gu on the ground, the tray of bread that that he had set down strewn on the ground too. The two guys look at each other in silence. Tak Gu clearly has an “oh s*** what have I done” look. Il Jong is harder to read.

Il Jong demands an explanation. Tak Gu doesn’t really have much to say. Manager Han finally catches up with Tak Gu, and apologizes. He found Tak Gu at the window peeking, and wanted to take him away silently, but must have frightened Tak Gu in the process. He will take Tak Gu out now.

But not yet. Il Jong is insistent and demands to know what Tak Gu was doing peeking in. Tak Gu says he was asleep. Somehow, he smelled something delicious, and by the time he was awake, he was looking at Il Jong wave his arms and make bread. Hmm…sleepwalking eh?

Manager Han tries to take Tak Gu away again, and Tak Gu does not resist, but Il Jong says to leave Tak Gu. Manager Han is so surprised that he confirms twice that he is supposed to leave Tak Gu

Il Jong tells Tak Gu that he can’t see properly from so far away, so he should stand in front of the table and watch the bread making process. Well, not that near. Tak Gu is delighted, and stands quietly watching Il Jung mix a bunch of things (that do not really belong in bread). Manager Han looks at the father and son, face impassive but he’s probably not happy. We hear echoes of Ma Jun sighing that he has never seen that side of his father.

The breadmaking takes hours, and at some point it is bright outside the windows. Tak Gu tries to say something, but Il Jong tells him that he doesn’t want to talk while making bread. Tak Gu obeys, but his stomach does not, emitting a loud growl. And another loud growl. Il Jong looks slightly amused, and decides that they should eat.

Enter another glowy father and son scene, and some clarifications. Tak Gu exclaims that fresh bread is delicious, and Il Jong is pleased. The cream bun that Tak Gu bit into was Il Jong’s first and favorite bread. Sadly, the reality of selling bread is that you have to spend more time drinking than making bread. Il Jong cannot make bread every morning anymore.

Il Jong asks Tak Gu how he was able to smell the bread before it was baked. Ah! So it wasn’t a mistake in the previous episode that Tak Gu entered the room, and there was no bread.

Tak Gu says he smelled something that reminded him of other bakeries — the sweetness of white sugar, and the sourness of something that is like rice wine. Il Jong accepts his explanation.

Tak Gu urges Il Jong to eat too, and like a little boy, Il Jong eats messily, smearing the cream all over his mouth. Just one word: adorable! Man, I never thought Il Jong had it in him!

Tak Gu brings the rest of the bread back to the main house and sets it down on the dining table. Grandma asks how Tak Gu brought the bread from the workshop, and Tak Gu explains it’s fresh from the oven so Il Jung told him to deliver it. The Gu kids can’t believe their ears — straight from the workshop? Grandma tells Tak Gu to sit down for breakfast, but he declines. He has already eaten in the workshop, so he excuses himself. Grandma looks pleased.

Il Jong comes in next, and Grandma tells him to take a seat. But Il Jong has also eaten breakfast, so he’ll go get ready to start his day. As he gets dressed, Il Jong thinks about what Tak Gu said about the sweet smell of sugar, and the sourness of rice wine. Someone told him about that smell before: it’s the smell of fermentation.

Back when Il Jung was a baker apprentice, his master was a bearded old man, with a distinct scar on his right hand. And Il Jong was a dashing young man. The master said that you can tell whether dough is ready by pressing on it. But some people have the ability to use smell to check whether the bread dough is ready.

The other young apprentices are in disbelief, but Il Jong was quiet and stoic even as a young man. Annoyed, the master repeated himself “I’ve only met one such person my entire life, and he was a genius.” I guess we know who else is a genius.

After breakfast, Ma Jun shows up in Tak Gu’s room to ask whether he had breakfast with Il Jong that morning. Tak Gu says yes, and Ma Jun says it’s not allowed. Tak Gu replies that Il Jung did not stop him from entering the workshop. In fact, he was invited to join Il Jung for baking every Wednesday and Sunday if he wants.

Ma Jun can’t believe it, and calls him a liar. No one has ever been allowed into the workshop, not even Grandma. Tak Gu asks if it’s for real. In any case, since he was invited to join Il Jong, Ma Jun can come along.

And instead of accepting it, Ma Jun unleashes his fury. “I hate bread!” He hates it a lot, and he doesn’t want to make it. Which is just fine because as Ma Jun turns to leave, they see Il Jong right outside the room. Il Jong doesn’t say anything about Ma Jun’s tirade. Instead he tells the boys to get dressed because they are heading to the factory. Tak Gu is delighted to be included. And nothing gets Ma Jun ready more quickly than competition.

The boys and Il Jong arrive at the Cheongsan factory, and are greeted by the workers. Tak Gu greets them back, especially his previous landlord. Unsurprisingly, the landlord is surprised. They do a walk around the factory. Finally, they stop to check the supplies.

Il Jong opens a fresh bag of flour, and runs a handful of flour through his hands. Tak Gu asks Ma Jun what is going on. To my absolute surprise, Ma Jun knows his stuff. Il Jong is checking the moisture content of the flour. Flour that is too wet and sticks to the hands cannot be used to make bread. Tak Gu feels the same way as I do, and tells Ma Jun that he never thought that Ma Jun knew much.

Finally, the inspection party ends up in front of a table with four bowls of dough. Il Jong says that only one of the dough is good enough to make bread, and he wants the boys to identify which one.

Ma Jun steps forward like an expert, and pushes his finger on each dough. He makes a quick decision: number 3 is correct. The workers look impressed. Now Tak Gu takes his turn.

Untrained, Tak Gu does what he does best — smell. He sniffs at each bowl of dough, and then backtracks to sniff bowl 3 again. Finally he answers that he has no answer. None of the dough smells like Il Jong’s bread. Bowl 1’s dough was not sweet, bowls 2 and 3 were sweeter, but bowl 4 had a bit more of a sour smell.

Il Jung looks more and more pleased with each word that Tak Gu says. He pronounced Ma Jun’s answer to be correct. However, Tak Gu was also right. None of the dough was like the one he made that morning. In the factory, they use dry yeast, but the dough he made at home used live yeast. The two types of yeast behave differently. (I’m not sure about this.)

On the way out, Tak Gu asks Il Jong all kinds of questions. Like why are some of the boxes a different color? The factory gives 10% to orphanages and the poor. Il Jong explains that his motivation for building a bread factory is to feed people. He has lost a friend to hunger, and it’s worse than losing people through war. Making bread is an act of patriotism too if it’s to feed everyone.

In the meantime at home, In Sook notices that Il Jong is not around, and asks Mrs Gong where he is. Mrs Gong replies that Il Jong took the boys to the factory. “Boys?” In Sook doesn’t like the sound of it.

A yellow (and fugly) car arrives at the factory, and it is none other than darling In Sook. She goes in, and overhears Il Jong asking the boys whether they would like to formally learn bread making from him. Her answer is no way, and over her dead body would she allow her precious Ma Jun to be at the same rank as someone like Tak Gu. Tak Gu can learn bread making; her son is not touching that flour thing.

And I’m like “What?” I Thought she wanted Tak Gu out. I didn’t realize she meant that her son should be out.She doesn’t understand how important it is for her son to learn breadmaking from his father and compete with Tak Gu…

So Ma Jun has to leave with his mother. Outside the factory, a sulky Ma Jun gets mad at his mom. How could she embarrass Il Jong in front of the factory workers? I can’t believe that I actually like Ma Jun after 3 episodes of disliking him.

Under orders from Il Jong, Manager Han catches up with In Sook. He tells her that she should just leave things be. Learning bread making from his father is something that Ma Jun wants. Well, no one is getting through to this lady.

Back home, Grandma chastises In Sook for embarrassing Il Jong in front of his employees. Clearly she was not thinking as usual. In Sook disagrees. She has warned Grandma that things will happen if they took Tak Gu in. Self righteous b*****!

After Grandma leaves, Ja Kyung speaks up. She’ll have to agree with Grandma on this one. In Sook was being too selfish and thoughtless. In fact, In Sook might have just pushed Il Jong towards Tak Gu AND Mi Sun. *smack* Everyone: 4 In Sook: 0.

In Sook is left frantically wondering when Il Jong will come home.

And Il Jong would have. They probably left the factory around lunchtime. On the way back in the car, Tak Gu apologizes for being the reason for the fight. Il Jong says it’s not his fault. To change the topic, he suggested finding some place to eat noodles. Tak Gu should know of a good place since he lived in Cheongsan. And Tak Gu knows a good place…

…it’s home. From inside the house, Mi Sun hears Tak Gu shouting for her. She can’t believe her ears, but she goes outside and there he is!

Tak Gu explains that Il Jung wanted to have noodles, so Tak Gu brought him home. Mi Sun hurries into the kitchen, and realizes that she has nothing. Landlady is in a frenzy too — is that the president? Mi Sun can use the landlady’s cucumbers, so she just needs to get noodles from the market.

While they wait for the noodles to be cooked, Tak Gu’s friends stop by. News sure travel quickly. Il Jong gives Tak Gu permission to leave.

The boys catch up on important things, like are the girls in Seoul prettier? Tak Gu asks about Yu Kyung. It seems that her mom ran away with another man a couple of weeks ago.

Tak Gu finds Yu Kyung, who was fetching wine for her dad (I was wondering why she keeps running around with a kettle). They exchange polite greetings, and Yu Kyung asks Tak Gu what that Incheon shore chant was again. He is delighted to perform it for her twice.

Even though she’s nervously looking around for her dad, Yu Kyung enjoys Tak Gu’s little dance. Of course, they did not see Yu Kyung’s dad approaching them. Tak Gu runs, and the dad gives chase.

Yu Kyung runs to Tak Gu’s house for help. She interrupts a little conversation between Mi Sun and Il Jong. Everyone runs out, looking for Tak Gu.

Tak Gu was hiding in a construction site, but is easily found by the drunk dad. The next time we see him, there is blood on his face. But Tak Gu is not afraid. He puts on a calm face and tells Yu Kyung’s dad that he’s scum for beating his daughter, and doing nothing but be drunk all day. No wonder his wife ran away.

In return, Yu Kyung’s dad makes fun of him for not having a dad, and pretty much calls Mi Sun trash. You don’t insult a boy’s mother! Tak Gu shoves at the dad, but he is easily caught and Yu Kyung’s dad beats him up…except Il Jong stops him.

Yu Kyung’s dad doesn’t care that Il Jong is Tak Gu’s dad. All men deserve a fair beating. So Il Jong goes for it, and knocks the drunk dad down in one punch. Mi Sun rushes over to Tak Gu, and Il Jong goes over as well. The happy family scene does not sit well with Manager Han.

Back at Mi Sun’s place, she tends to Il Jong’s cut knuckle while Tak Gu sleeps. Il Jong congratulates her for bringing up her son so well, under such difficult conditions. He hugs her, and Mi Sun accepts it. Probably with joy and relief, she sobs silently into his shoulder.

In the meantime, Manager Han is in the police station, dealing with the report and Yu Kyung’s dad. But he realizes that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Yu Kyung’s dad seems ready to get back at Tak Gu despite being in cuffs. I foresee Yu Kyung’s dad doing something very evil.

By the time Il Jong gets home, it’s almost 9pm, 6 hours past his usual time. In Sook demands to know whether he was at Mi Sun’s house. Il Jong explains that Tak Gu was hurt, so there was no choice. Even then, she can’t believe that they talked the whole time. Insinuations insinuations.

Does this mean Il Jong will visit every week? Il Jong says that he will do what he wants. Unlike In Sook who embarrassed him in public, Mi Sun brought up a child for him. He needs to compensate her. It’s not about getting even. She’s nowhere near his level.

Later that night, it rains. Always a bad sign. Ma Jun and Grandma are awokened by a loud sound (sure has to be freaking loud for such a big house).Grandma looks out of the balcony and sees In Sook and Manager Han walking outside. She follows them.

In Sook and Manager Han end up in the workshop. She is mad about what happened today, and she couldn’t wait till Cheongpyong to meet with him. This time, Manager Han challenges her. Why is she so shakened by the fact that Il Jong met Mi Sun? Il Jong doesn’t care about In Sook, so why should she care about him? And who does she think Manager Han is?

She calls him Seung Jae-sshi. He’s her man, and Ma Jun is their son. She only wants to ensure that their son inherits the fortune, after that, she’ll leave Il Jung and go to him. It’s for their son. Encouraged, he tries to kiss her, but she resists. Not in the workshop. And realizing she’s pushed him away a little too much, she draws him close again.

All these are witnessed by Grandma, who for some reasons stays for the entire show until In Sook and Manager Han run into her while leaving. Grandma can’t believe that Seung Jae is betraying the family, after all they have done for him. She’s really upset, and she’s old, and Manager Han looks much younger and stronger…I’m just saying.

From outside in the rain, Ma Jun is listening and seeing everything through the window.

Whew! That was a whirlwind that blew me over. The previous episodes were well-made, but this one blew me away!

I was really pleased with the food porn. Not just visual porn, but mental porn. The somewhat plausible stuff, like a genius nose that is finely tuned. The little details, like you can feel if the bread is ready, or if the flour is too wet, or that dry yeast and live yeast give different results. Like a blind test to see if you can recognize different doughs.

Added bonus, they clarified that the timing mismatch in baking and smelling bread was deliberate.

I also liked that I saw a different side of Ma Jun in this episode. I adored having everyone tell In Sook off. For a brief moment I thought Manager Han saw through her, but love blinds.

I’m impressed that the Baker King writers have been able to squeeze way more stuff into 4 episodes than the 6 episodes Cinderella’s Sister used for their extended backstory. Plus this is a 30-ep drama, and CS was only 20. If this keeps up, it’ll be a jampacked 26 more episodes.

Episode ratings: 25.3% (down, but episode was affected by World Cup 2010)

Read Episode 5 recaps.

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3 Responses to King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 4

  1. Pingback: King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu, Episode 3 | Dramamia's Blog

  2. Pingback: Food Porn Fact Check #2 | Dramamia's Blog

  3. Pingback: King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 8 | Dramamia's Blog

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