King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 10

You know how most dramas are set either in present day or 500 years ago? I’m still puzzling over why this drama is set in 1987. I think it’s trying to tap into emotions that today’s 40-year-olds (yes, Kim Tak Gu would be 40 years old if he were real) experienced during their college times. For me, it’s interesting examining a recent point in Korean history that no one talks about very much anymore.

Episode 10 recaps

Yu Kyung’s lucky hat

When Yu Kyung arrived at the orphanage 12 years ago, she had with her the pack of money that she stole from her father. She had no use for it, and it was probably hard to keep it, so she decided to give it away.

She walked past a Salvation Army-type of guy, and decided not to give him the money. The next people she was were a family sitting on the steps of a shop begging. They had young children with them. Yu Kyung decided to give them the money, and dropped it.

Checking the pack, the child discovered that there was a lot of money. This prompted the father to run after Yu Kyung, asking if she had made a mistake. Yu Kyung said no. The man thanked her profusely, and gave her his cap. He told her to become successful so that she can help the poor in the future. This inspired Yu Kyung, and gave her motivation for life.

She goes on to become the top student in the top university. She is well-known for her good grades, and her cap is iconic. While searching for her missing cap (she seems to have a habit of dropping it), she meets Ja Rim who picked up her cap. Ja Rim has written Yu Kyung’s name and department on her cap so that she will never lose it again. Ja Rim asks if she could join Yu Kyung’s club.

Yu Kyung knows who Ja Rim is — daughter of the Geo Seung Food company. As a result of that meeting, Yu Kyung becomes friends with Ja Rim, and this provides her with news of the Gu brother that she thought was Tak Gu. Finally, her lucky cap brought the real Kim Tak Gu to her.

Yu Kyung takes the unconscious Tak Gu home with her. As he lies resting, she prepares food. Tak Gu wakes up shortly after, and finds Yu Kyung in the kitchen. Wondering if it’s all a dream, he asks again if she is that Shin u Kyug and reaches out to touch her. He feels her shoulder, and her hair, and realizing it’s true, he hugs her in joy. Yu Kyung does not resist.

Tak Gu holds on to her for a while, until his growling stomach interupts. Tak Gu steps back, apologizing for his exuberant hug, and explains that he hasn’t eaten in 2 days. Yu Kyung was expecting that much.

Over dinner, Tak Gu notices that Yu Kyung has English books in her room. Add that to the fact that she goes to a top university, Tak Gu realizes that she’s done well, and congratulates her.

Yu Kyung tries to ask Tak Gu what his life was like. She reveals that she found out that he left the Gu family. Not wanting to reveal how sad his life has been, Tak Gu tells her that he’s working in a famous bakery in Incheon. He says that it was really hard getting in; even with qualifications from Japan, his other colleague had to take the same test as him. They managed to get through at first try.

Yu Kyung asks if he’s had any luck finding his mother. Tak Gu says no, but he’s going to keep trying. Yu Kyung asks whether Tak Gu has taken out a newspaper ad to find his mother. He has not, and he likes the idea. She apologizes for the past, but Tak Gu says it’s not her fault. To make her smile, he tells her that she is prettiest when she smiles.

Tak Gu leaves after dinner. Yu Kyung says “see you next time”, a common greeting, but it gets Tak Gu all excited. He checks if she meant it and asks when. Yu Kyung says she will look for him at the bakery. Tak Gu offers to get her phone number or find her on campus, but Yu Kyung says that things are a mess in school right now. So Tak Gu will have to go back to the bakery.

After they part, both Yu Kyung and Tak Gu have happy smiles on them, like they had a successful date.

After talking to Yu Kyung, Ma Jun heads to Ja Rim to find out who the girl was. Ja Rim says she’s a friend from school. She assumes that Ma Jun is interested in her, and tells him to lay off Yu Kyung. I think Ma Jun is actually more concerned about other things, like if she is trying to get close to the family to spy on them.

The entire Gu family reaches home. Il Jung excuses himself to his workhouse, and asks Manager Han to come long. In Sook immediately heads into the house, leaving the kids to talk. Ja Kyung tells Ja Rim to apologize to their mother for disturbing the party. Ja Rim asks Ma Jun to come along to help shield her.

Ma Jun says he’s leaving. Ja Kyung tells him to greet their mother properly before leaving, but he refuses. It’ll be the same old routine: she’ll ask him what he’s doing, and he’ll tell her she doesn’t have to know. Ja Kyung doesn’t press him, but reminds him that the company is in trouble and he should not add to their father’s burden.

Ma Jun says he understands. Wistfully, he says that he wished that Ja Kyung was born a son. Everyone would be happier. Ja Rim agrees, but Ja Kyung tells them it’s useless talk. Ma Jun tells them not to worry. Il Jung has asked him to work hard too. Ja Rim wonders what he’s up to.

In the work house, Il Jung demands to know why Manager Han did not inform him about In Sook buying over Director Choi’s shares. Manager Han apologizes, but he did not know. He will get to work on a report. Il Jung says it’s too late. What they need to know is where In Sook got the money from, and how they can get the shares back to Il Jung.

As usual, Ma Jun is everywhere, and overhears the conversation.

Leaving the bakery that night after cake #4 was completed, Mi Sun sees Ma Jun as he returns from Seoul. She tries to sneak away without him noticing, but he sees her anyway. She tries to flee after greeting him, but he keeps talking.

He gets really close to her, and asks whether cake #4 was completed. If so, he would like to try it. Mi Sun agrees, says it’s really hot, and she’s got to go. She pretty much runs off.

Ma Jun looks after her and smirks. He thinks that Mi Sun is too simple.

Tak Gu gets back to the bakery. Predictably, Head Baker is not keen on letting him back in, particularly since Tak Gu left without notice. Tak Gu says it’s no matter, he’ll keep trying.

Windmill man tries to persuade Head Baker, but to no avail. Head Baker explains that it’s got nothing to do with Windmill Guy now. It is a problem of values. Head Baker thinks of bread as something that is as important as life. Tak Gu clearly has no respect for bread. I’m with him on this one, particularly since I know Tak Gu is doing this to meet a girl.

All these close encounters with Ma Jun is getting to be too much. The alarm goes off, and Mi Sun barely rouses to turn it off, but someone beats her to it. She groggily opens her eyes and see Ma Jun reaching over her.

She asks him what he’s doing in her room. He asks her what she thinks he’s doing in her room. For whom does she think he’s in the room for. He bends over and gets closer to her face. Mi Sun doesn’t resist, but scrunches her face up and hides her lips, bracing herself for it.

But it’s all a dream. The person in the room is her mom, who tells her that she’s running late.

No one notices that Mi Sun is late at the bakery. Rather, everyone is taking in the excellent cleaning job that Tak Gu has done.Tak Gu proudly claims credit for cleaning the kitchen. Head Baker does not look impressed.

Tak Gu joins the line, and Head Baker hands out the day’s assignments. He has nothing for Tak Gu (even though he had an extra slip of paper). Tak Gu persists and tries to help as Head Baker takes the dough out of the fridge. But instead of helping, Tak Gu ends up spilling the dough onto the floor.

He realizes that he’s not going to get anywhere, and cleans up and leaves. Once outside though, he plays with the dough, and starts getting inspired.

Manager Han asks In Sook where she got the money to buy the shares. She refuses to let him know because he has similarly refused to let her know what Ma Jun is up to. However Manager Han is not there to stop her. On the contrary, he tells her to hurry up. In Sook realizes that something is up, and asks him what has happened. Manager Han tells her that Tak Gu is back. She tells him that he needs to stop Tak Gu, even if it means his life.

In Sook has her own set of plans. She heads over to the company to talk to Il Jung. Specifically, he will let Ma Jun work in the company. Otherwise she will vote against the new plans at the upcoming meeting. Il Jung doesn’t reply, and she gives him until the meeting to think about it.

When Grandpa Baker walks by some time later, he notices shaped dough on the floor. Tak Gu had shaped the dough like it was useable. Tak Gu comes along with a broom and dustpan, apologies for the mess. He starts to explain that he made a mess in the morning, but Grandpa is not interested in that. He wants to see Tak Gu shape the dough.

They head indoors, and Tak Gu starts with breathing, then raising his hands to check the humidity like Il Jung. This surprises Grandpa, who mutters “interesting”. I thought it was all a show, but Tak Gu follows by bringing out a spray bottle, and spraying water into the air. He explains that he was checking the humidity, and thought it was too dry.

He had a job 5 years back in a dumpling shop, and his job was to make the dough everyday. He held the job for 2.5 years, so he’s had a lot of experience with dough.

He proceeds to cut the dough up and announces that he is holding about 500g, and he will proceed to divide them into five portions of 100g equally. Grandpa asks how he is so sure. It turns out that he held a different job years back as a meat packer. His job was to cut and weigh the meat, so it was advantagous to him if he could accurately guess the weight.

We see the finished products on the table, and Grandpa Baker looks impressed. He’s managed to learn some things about baking the past 12 years. This means that Tak Gu doesn’t hate bread. Tak Gu says it wasn’t making bread. It was making memories of her.

Heading back to the bakery, Tak Gu see Jae Bok (I saw their lineup again, and maknae is actually more senior than windmill guy) and Axe Eyes strapping up the bike for a delivery. Tak Gu is bothered by a bad smell, but he can’t figure out what it is.

He sniffs around and complains to Axe Eyes, who thinks that Tak Gu is saying that he smells. Angry, he goes back upstairs to the kitchen. Tak Gu follows him, still trying to figure out the smell.

In the kitchen, Tak Gu zooms in on the empty bowl of red bean paste, which was used to fill the bread that Jae Bok is delivering. He says it’s gone bad, which makes Head Baker worried. Head Baker tastes the remaining bean paste, and gets a second opinion from Mi Sun. Mi Sun says there is a slight difference. It’ll get worse if the bread is exposed to the sun while being transported.

Head Baker asks windmill man to call the children’s hospital to tell them that the order is canceled and to return the bread. Tak Gu says it’s not enough. The kids were looking forward to their bread. Head Baker then orders 200 pieces of bread meant for the store to be sent to the hospital at no extra charge. They will just have to make more bread today.

Head Baker tells Tak Gu and Mi Sun to make the trip to the children’s hospital. Tak Gu is delighted — really? Head Baker tells him that after he gets back, he needs to carry bags of flour. Tak Gu confirms that this means he gets to stay.

Ja Rim finds Yu Kyung in the clubroom. She checks that Yu Kyung survived the incident with her mother. She apologizes for her mother’s behavior; she can’t choose her birth parents so it’s not her fault.

They are interupted by bad news: several of the seniors have been arrested by the police. The bearer of bad news tells Yu Kyung that she needs to leave Seoul immediately without going home. Everyone is advised to leave.

Ja Rim panicks listening to the news. What should she do? Yu Kyung points out that she should have been prepared for the possiblity of being arrested from the moment she joined the club. It doesn’t hep Ja Rim. Yu Kyung tells her to go home and stay home. Given how important her family is, Ja Rim should be well protected at home.

Ja Rim asks Yu Kyung if she has a place to hide. Yu Kyung says maybe.

After finishing their delivery, Mi Sun and Tak Gu have a little chat while heading back. Mi Sun asks about his nose — is it really so sensitive? Tak Gu says that he once nearly died from eating bad read bean paste, so he remembers the spoiled smell well. Mi Sun was sure that Tak Gu was not coming back after he was done with the windmill guy. What changed his mind?

Tak Gu says that he’s decided to disregard windmill man’s words. He has a plan, and that is to save money and take out a newspaper ad to find his mom. Mi Sun is bothered by his refusal to face reality.

He says he will not believe that his mother is dead unless he confirms it personally. Through believing and perservering for 12 years, he was able to find the windmill man. Moreover, he recently found a childhood friend that he missed a lot. He believes that he will find his mother some day.

As she nears her house, Ja Rim sees a car in front of the gate. Seeing her, the men get out of the car, and try to confirm that she is Gu Ja Rim. They say that she is a good friend of Shin Yu Kyung and a member of the club, so they need her to go with them. Ja Rim tries to escape by running away, and the men give chase.

A car is approaching on the narrow road that leads to the Gu residence, and it narrowly avoids knocking over Ja Rim. However, this gives the cops the chance to catch up and arrest her.

The passenger in the car is In Sook, who is horrified to see her daughter arrested through the windscreen. She steps out and demands to know what they are doing to her daughter. The cops tell her that besides studying, Ja Rim joined a bad club in school.

In Sook demands that they stop the arrest. She identifies herself as first lady of Geo Seung. The cops say that they are just carrying out their duty, and take Ja Rim away. In Sook tells the driver to call Ja Kyung and Manager Han.

Ja Kyung arrives home to check on In Sook, who is panicking. Manager Han has gone to speak to the lawyer to find out what can be done. In Sook asks whether Il Jung was informed, and Ja Kyung says yes. In Sook demands to know where Il Jung is. Ja Kyung says he’s in a meeting, and he will be back as soon as possible.

In Sook gets really upset: his rightful place in such a time is beside her. Ja Kyung tells her to stay calm.

Il Jung is indeed in a meeting. However, he cannot concentrate, and decides he should leave. He tells another director to take over as chair. Outside, he asks the PA about the situation and what the others are doing, and decides that his first priority is to find out where Ja Rim is being held. They will use any contact they can find, at any price.

Ja Rim is being questioned by the police. The interrogating cop treats her respectfully, but finally get annoyed when she repeats that she doesn’t know where Yu Kyung is hiding. He raises his voice and looks menancingly at Ja Rim, sending her into tears.

It is night at the bakery. The work day has ended, and Head Baker has assigned the cleaning duties to Ma Jun and Tak Gu. Tak Gu is exhausted, but labors on. He asks Ma Jun whether he thinks that they are being tricked into working. Maybe the bakery won’t actually teach them anything.

Ma Jun asks Tak Gu why he is back. He has previously said that he was only there for the windmill man, not to learn baking. Tak Gu says that circumstances have changed, and he now has new reasons. Mi Sun arrives just at this moment to annouce that Tak Gu has a guest. It’s a woman by the name of Shin Yu Kyung. Tak Gu immediately gets energetic, and runs out to see his guest.

After the last chores are done (I assume), Yu Kyung and Tak Gu eat dinner at a little stand across from the bakery. Mi Sun checks them out briefly as she walks by, and she wonders what’s so good about Yu Kyung. Ah…jealousy.

From a window, Ma Jun also looks at Yu Kyung and Tak Gu, looking close and comfortable to each other. He recalls how she has said many times that he can never beat Tak Gu.

Yu Kyung and Tak Gu are having a rather honest conversation. She mentions that when she saw him in Seoul, he looked like the world had deserted him. But now, he looks lively again. He tells her it’s because he met her.Yu Kyung was uncertain that Tak Gu would actually be at the bakery if she showed up. The entire encounter in Seoul felt like a dream.

She talks about how fate is so unpredictable. He says he sure wasn’t expecting to see her again so soon. Yu Kyung confesses that she wasn’t thinking of visiting so soon, but something came up in school. Her classmates were arrested, and she’s actually running away from Seoul. She wonders if she could stay for a while. Tak Gu says it’s no problem at all since he’s on great terms with the family.

The reality is that he had to beg them to let her in. Head Baker is agnostic. Since Mi Sun is the one who has to share the room, she can decide. Mi Sun intially refuses, but Tak Gu promises to do anything. Upon hearing that, Mi Sun decides that she will help Yu Kyung out. Mischievously, she says Tak Gu won’t be happy for long.

Back at the police station, it looks like they got a confession out of Ja Rim.

As Mi Sun and Tak Gu show Yu Kyung to her new room, they run into Ma Jun. Yu Kyung recognizes him, but Tak Gu calls him by a different name.


I wonder if the show is trying to contrast Il Jung with Head Baker In Mok. It’s that scene where In Mok says that bread is like life to him. For someone of such sentiment, he probably doesn’t like the idea of mass manufacturing bread, prefering the more artisanal approach. Il Jung may be a good guy, but in some ways he gave up some principles to have his factory — like marrying In Sook for money.

The reason for Tak Gu going back to Pal Bong bakery and cheering up seemed clear to me — it’s where Yu Kyung can find him, and because he saw u Kyung again. I wonder if the show really needs to pretend that it still goes back to finding his mother. I feel like it’s a lie he told Yu Kyung to cover up, and he started to believe in it.

I’m still waiting for Tak Gu to show off his prodigy bread making skills. Making playdoh shapes, however perfect they may be, is making playdoh shapes.

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