King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 12

Argh…if I didn’t recap the show, I could be marathoning this and getting to the end. It’s a good idea to have a recap to write…stops me from being too obsessed.

I apologize that this recap is extra long. Either the show is getting more detailed, or I’m not doing a good job of picking out the important parts.

Episode 12 recaps

In case you forgot what happened last episode, Tak Gu got Yu Kyung out of jail, and they kissed. But it’s the last time that they will see each other for two years, so nothing else can come out of it.

Tak Gu heads back to the bakery, and pretty much spaces out in despair. Mi Sun notices him as she locks up for the night. She goes over, but he doesn’t notice her. She tries stomping around him, but he pretty much keeps staring ahead. She clears her throat furiously, no response. She waves her hand in front of him. He doesn’t blink. She even tries talking to him with no results.

Yu Kyung is reacting in pretty much the same way as Tak Gu. She is still outside the police station, sitting on the curb and staring blankly ahead. Ma Jun is there waiting with her. He decides that he’s had enough, and she needs to go home. He will give her a ride.

Yu Kyung stands up, and Ma Jun thinks that she is finally going home. Instead, she turns the other way and walks slowly away. Ma Jun is annoyed, and he grabs her. Angrily, Yu Kyung tosses his hand aside and continues walking.

Ma Jun gets into the cab and tells the driver to go. The taxi drives past Yu Kyung, and then it stops. Ma Jun drags Yu Kyung into the cab, and says that they will go home.

Although she didn’t invite him in, Ma Jun steps into Yu Kyung’s apartment. Immediately, he is put off by some smell. He can’t believe that she’s living in such desolate conditions. He says they should leave and offers to buy her dinner.

Yu Kyung ignores his offers, and asks him why he made a deal with Tak Gu. Ma Jun ignores her, and repeats that they should go out to eat. Yu Kyung carries on with her line of questioning.

She notes that Ma Jun owns a lot of things, more than Tak Gu. She asks him if it’s fun for someone rich to bully someone weak. She continues reminding Ma Jun that Tak Gu doesn’t even have family.

Ma Jun finally replies — he knows that all. He wants to know why Yu Kyung insists on staying with someone who has nothing. Ma Jun doesn’t understand why Tak Gu is important to her.

Yu Kyung says that Tak Gu is the only thing that she has. She tells him that Tak Gu was there for her, fulfilling the duties that her father never did. He was the only person who laughed with her. Tak Gu means nothing to a person who has it all, but he is everything to Yu Kyung. How could someone who have it all ever understand?

She tells him to leave.

Ma Jun tells her that he will give her things that Tak Gu can’t give her, clothes, money, a new place. She should be his woman.

Mi Sun was somehow able to get Tak Gu to respond, and they end up at the little food stand near the bakery. Tak Gu confides that he’s not sure what he’s done. He was only concerned about saving Yu Kyung, but he’s going crazy now at the idea of not seeing her for two years.

Mi Sun asks him why he did it. It was the only thing that he could do to save Yu Kyung. So what are his plans now? He can only study and win against Seo Tae Jo. He can get a certificate of recognition in two years if he works very hard right?

Mi Sun tells him that it’s not possible. Yes, she understands that he’s talented and that is enough to make bread. But there is no way he can make bread of that kind of quality or catch up with Ma Jun. She can’t help him even if she wanted to. There won’t be a miracle.

Yu Kyung is thinking about Ma Jun’s offer, and what the cop said about the easier path in life is to change yourself not the world. I think she is tempted.

Back at the Gu’s residence, In Sook shows the “murderer” letter to Manager Han. Of all times, it has to be just before Grandma’s memorial. It has to be Tak Gu. Who else would do such a thing? Actually scratch had better be Tak Gu because they don’t want to entertain the possibility that anyone else knows about it. It would be best if it were just a blackmail threat from Tak Gu. They can fix it with money.

Manager Han tells In Sook that he is already in the process of taking care of Tak Gu.

They are interrupted by some noise. In Sook has already taken precautions by sending the housekeeper out, but Manager Han goes to check just in case. He doesn’t see anyone, but suddenly the creepy Dr. Yun appears. His presence unnerves Manager Han, but In Sook is unperturbed. She tells him to please proceed to Ja Rim’s room.

Perhaps she notices that Manager Han looks uneasy. She tells him that Dr. Yun comes recommended by some Chairman, so it’s fine. In any case, she needs him to trace the origin of the letter, and reminds him that he needs to stop Tak Gu even if it means his life.

I don’t know whether Dr. Yun heard the earlier part of the conversation, but he is definitely hiding and listening in to part two.

Windmill man is thinking about what Manager Han said to him. If he works with Manager Han, his sister will receive better treatment. He is interrupted by the other two bakers who are complaining about Tak Gu overstepping his boundaries again.

Unwilling to quit, Tak Gu had gone to Grandpa and Head Baker to let them know that he intends to obtain a certificate of recognition in 2 years. The Head Baker shuts him down — does he even know what he’s talking about? Grandpa is a little more sympathetic. He asks Tak Gu for his reasons.

Tak Gu admits that he is competing against Tae Jo. Not only does he want a certificate at the end of two years, he wants to beat Tae Jo. Head Baker throws him out.

Privately, the two older men discuss the situation. Head Baker’s instincts are to reject Tak Gu, but Grandpa thinks they should let Tak Gu try. Tak Gu’s had a hard life, and for the first time he has something else to work towards.

He asks Head Baker why he let Tak Gu back in after he chased him out. Head Baker thinks back to the spoiled bean paste incident, and his expression softens. Grandpa tells him to retain the thought, the impression that he had of Tak Gu. He will leave the final decision to Head Baker. They have clearly defined their roles: Head Baker is the whip, while Grandpa is the carrot.

The next morning, Tak Gu gets assigned a task. He gets to clean the baking trays. Head Baker gets all picky about the trays, and makes Tak Gu wash and dry them again and again. Tak Gu accepts the task, and strives towards perfection.

Seeing Tak Gu fervently cleaning trays in the kitchen, Ma Jun reminds him that however perfect his tray-cleaning techniques, Tak Gu is ultimately competing in bread-making. To date, he hasn’t learned anything useful towards that goal. I think it was mean-spirited, but it’s definitely good advice. Ma Jun tells Tak Gu to use whatever means he has to fight on, and there is no need to play clean.

They are interrupted by Mi Sun’s mother who announces that Tak Gu has a guest. A guest? It’s a man in a suit. Unsurprisingly, it’s Manager Han.

They head to a quiet spot to talk, and Ma Jun watches them from a distance. Manager Han demands to know what Tak Gu is up to, sending threatening letters.

Tak Gu is insulted that Manager Han thinks he sent a cowardly letter. He denies it, and tells Manager Han not to ever bother him again. He does not need money to separate from the Gu’s. He left on his own 12 years ago. If Manager Han bothers him again, he’ll go straight to the President, not write some cowardly letter. He leaves in a huff.

Manager Han believes Tak Gu’s denial, and is thus left with the unpleasant scenario of having to find an unknown culprit.

Ma Jun steps in to talk to Manager Han. He had clearly told Han that Tak Gu is his to deal with, so why is he appearing now? Manager Han changes the topic and notices that Ma Jun looks thinner. Ma Jun said those are inappropriate words — is Manager Han his dad? Ouch.

Manager Han asks Ma Jun what his plans are. He has kept his side of the bargain and has not told In Sook about what it happening. It would be nice if Ma Jun could call his mother more often since she keeps asking. Ma Jun says he’ll be there for the next two years. He needs to get that certificate. Now that Manager Han knows his plans, he should stop coming to the bakery.

Manager Han reminds him to call his mother. He tells Manager Han to stop acting like he is close to the family, mentioning his mother like that. He needs to keep his distance.

Irritated by his encounter with Manager Han, Ma Jun is restless.

Yu Kyung is having nightmares. The recent beatings by the police have stirred up memories of her abusive dad. She begs for forgiveness in her sleep, and then dreams of Tak Gu, who saves her from her dad, and tries to save her from the police. She wakes in a start and decides to go find Tak Gu.

She runs into Ma Jun who was just entering her building. He demands to know where she is going, and she declares that she needs to go find Tak Gu. Ma Jun looks annoyed but he doesn’t have to stop her. Yu Kyung faints.

Ma Jun takes her to the family hospital and has Dr. Yun look her over. Besides suffering from injuries, Yu Kyung is also malnourished. The doctor tells Ma Jun that she should stay for a while, and Ma Jun agrees to pay for it.

Ma Jun looks at the sleeping Yu Kyung and muses to himself. Top student in her department for four years, yet she’s unable to feed herself. Her life has been hard enough, yet she puts on a front. He lets his hand brush against her hand. This is more than just taking Tak Gu’s girl away.

Ja Kyung goes to see her father to hand him the marketing plans for their entry into the French market. Il Jung asks why she didn’t hand it to him in the office. Ja Kyung admits that she has a request — she wants to accompany him to visit Grandma’s grave. Il Jung says it’s fine, he can go alone.

Ja Kyung protests that it’s fitting for her to go along, seeing as she is the eldest daughter. I think there is some undertone with regards to succession in the family and company riding here. Anyway, Il Jung changes the topic to some other work matter, and Ja Kyung’s face falls. She takes her orders, and turns to leave. Then Il Jung tells her to be ready to leave before 7am. Ja Kyung stops for a while, and it takes another while for the information to sink in. She is happy to be accepted.

Il Jung is somehow disturbed by the discussion of Grandma’s memorial, and heads to his workhouse. He stands at the spot where Tak Gu once stood to watch him bake, and he quietly calls for Tak Gu. Where is his son?

Since no one is teaching him, Tak Gu is trying to teach himself bread baking by reading a pile of books. Mi Sun notices him trying to study on his own in the kitchen, and goes over to check things out. Tak Gu is having problems understanding all that pH and whatever else the books are talking about. It doesn’t help that Mi Sun is looking at him, trying to see what he is doing.

Tak Gu tries reading another book to no avail. Mi Sun tells him that there are too many types of bread in the world and it’s hard learning on one’s own. He’s doing it wrong. He admits that he dropped out of elementary school, so studying is hard for him. He is personally ashamed of his lack of education and skills, and he would find it hard to look either his dad or his mom proudly in the eye. He doesn’t have confidence, but he’s trying and doing his best.

Mi Sun wasn’t there to put him down, but she is touched by his desire to better himself. As Tak Gu packs up his books to leave, Mi Sun tells him to stick to the basics. Bread is made of four ingredients: flour, water, salt, yeast. Start from there, where it is the easiest. At least that is how Grandpa says it.

They start Tak Gu on actual bread making. He mixes flour, water, salt and yeast, and makes what Mi Sun thinks is dumpling dough. Tak Gu doesn’t give up though. He carries out all his tasks with enthusiasm. Although they don’t say so, his colleagues are impressed.

With Mi Sun’s help, he keeps trying to make the right dough. He mixes batch after batch, failing every time. Although they are not formally teaching him at the bakery, Tak Gu hangs around when the others are having bread lessons, and takes notes. He doesn’t understand all the technical or English-derived terms, but he consults with Mi Sun at the end of the day. “oh-ba-mi-sing?” It’s really just “overmixing” with a Korean accent. Head Baker notices Tak Gu’s efforts.

Again, Tak Gu tries a whole variety of combinations to make dough, all of which fail. Finally, he gets it right, and gets to move on to the fermenter. Head Baker secretly notes his progress with quiet delight.

Ja Kyung and Il Jung visit Grandma’s grave with Manager Han in tow. Il Jung notices that like before, someone has already been there and left Grandma her favorite flowers. Who is it? He doesn’t know who it is, but it has been going on for 12 years. He thinks it’s a good friend of his mother when she was alive.

Hanging behind further from the grave, Manager Han watches Ja Kyung and Il Jung do their thing. He looks uneasy, like he would like to be somewhere else. He hears Grandma’s last words to him, the words that asked how could he and why did he betray the family. Seriously freaked but unable to run away, he turns around to change the scene.

A black car is parked slightly hidden, possibly observing the Gu party. There is a woman in the back seat (she has a hat). Curious, Manager Han tries to see who it is.

The person in the car notices that Manager Han is staring at her, and winds up her window. The lady is wearing two jade rings that look like they could be the very ones that Grandma passed to Mi Sun. Could it be her? The car moves off.

Il Jung calls Manager Han. He doesn’t respond. Seeing that Manager Han was looking intently at the car, Il Jung asks if it was someone he knew. Manager Han says no.

Dr. Yun tells Ja Rim that she is now fine. She immediately asks if she can go out now. He tells her that she can go shopping and such, but should avoid parties for the time being.

In Sook catches Dr. Yun on his way out. He tells her that this is his last visit now that Ja Rim is well. He casually mentions that Ma Jun’s girlfriend is pretty. I can’t tell if he’s honestly trying to make small talk, or trying to leak information. He’s awkward, and I don’t know if it’s deliberate. I don’t think he actually knows who Shin Yu Kyung is.

At the hospital, the nurse is chatting with Yu Kyung. Isn’t she lucky to have a rich and caring boyfriend? Yu Kyung doesn’t reply. The phone rings, and it is Ma Jun. He asks whether she is feeling better. She asks why he brought her to there. She would prefer to be discharged or get a less fancy room. Ma Jun is amused that she can’t seem to just say thank you.

He tells her that he will visit later that day because he has the day off for family reasons. There is a knock on the door and In Sook enters the room. Yu Kyung freezes. Ma Jun wonders why Yu Kyung doesn’t reply, and is surprised when he suddenly finds himself talking to his mother.

In Sook confirms that it is Ma Jun, and asks whether Yu Kyung is the latest girlfriend. Without hearing his complete reply, she says that they will discuss the issue at a later time. (Slightly off topic, her voice seemed really weird in this scene, like she had a cough or something.)

After hanging up the phone, she addresses Yu Kyung. She tells Yu Kyung that she doesn’t like that Yu Kyung was responsible for luring her daughter into activism, and is now clinging onto her son. How deep is the relationship? Can it be resolved by money?

In Sook explains that she’s had to deal with previous girlfriends before, and she usually used money. She asks Yu Kyung to name a price.

Yu Kyung says she gets the point, and that she will leave. She tears off her IV, to In Sook’s surprise, and changes out of her hospital garb. She tries to hide her frustration, but it’s not working. Despite getting what she wants, In Sook doesn’t seem that pleased.

Ma Jun quickly cabs to the hospital but it is too late. No one is there.

Yu Kyung’s anger doesn’t last for as long as her hurt pride. She is looking downtrodden as she walks home. Ja Rim happens to just be leaving Yu Kyung’s apartment when they meet outside.

Ja Rim is happy to see Yu Kyung and asks how she is doing. Looking sheepish, she apologizes for outing Yu Kyung’s hideout to the police. Yu Kyung tells her that it’s okay. Rich people are like that anyway. She never thought she could rely on rich spoiled kids anyway. Ja Rim is surprised by Yu Kyung’s tone.

To drive the message home, Yu Kyung says that she knew that Ja Rim was never really interested in the ideals of the movement; she just wanted to have fun. And Yu Kyung played along just to see what Ja Rim would do. The game is now over, so they should part their ways from now.

Yu Kyung manages to make it into the building before she allowing herself to cry.

Ma Jun returns home to a delighted housekeeper Gong. Funny, I never thought of her in that way. Ma Jun seems happy enough to see her. He asks where his mother is, and she appears as if on demand.

Ma Jun tells In Sook that Yu Kyung was very sick. In Sook thinks it’s the perfect excuse for a girl to get close to a guy. She tells him to never see Yu Kyung again, and walks away.

Ma Jun follows In Sook and tells her to stop interfering. He’s old enough. She replies that he has bad taste in women, so she’ll have to interfere. She’ll pick his future wife anyway. Ma Jun tries to protest, but doesn’t get anywhere.

In Sook changes the topic and asks Ma Jun what he is up to. She threatens to follow him around. He tells her that he’ll hide. She lets him live outside of the house because she trusts him, but she has no idea what he is up to. She deserves at least a hint of what he’s up to.

Ma Jun gives up — he tells his mother that he is working at Pal Bong’s bakery. In Sook registers Pal Bong bakery as where Il Jung learned to bake. Ma Jun says that he intends to earn Pal Bong’s certificate of recognition as a quick way of making his father acknowledge him. This is about as much as he is willing to tell In Sook.

In Sook considers the plan and approves of it. She is willing to let him be now. She was intending to forcefully place him to work in the company, but this plan is a good alternative. She thanks her son and hugs him. It’s not the first time she’s thanked her son, and it somehow gets to me. I’m not sure why.

Tak Gu has finally made dough that he thinks is suitable for baking. However, he has a hurdle towards his goal of making bread — he needs to bake it, and the ovens are Windmill guy’s responsibility. He resists Mi Sun’s suggestion to ask for permission, saying he’ll do it later. He comes back that night when everyone is out of the kitchen. Taking the tray of dough out, Tak Gu notices a strange smell in the kitchen.

Unfortunately for Tak Gu, Windmill guy is still there, possibly having anticipated that he will be back that night. He takes the tray of dough and tells Tak Gu that he’ll help him because he’s a sunbae. He is not going to use this as a reason to let himself be forgiven. Tak Gu finally identifies the smell in the air, and tries to stop Windmill guy from lighting the gas oven, but it’s too late. There is an explosion.

The bakers in the house hear the explosion, and rush over. The kitchen is surprisingly not on fire, but it’s dark with smoke and soot. Tak Gu and Windmill guy are lying unconscious on the ground.

The kids and Il Jung gather in Grandma’s room for the inhouse memorial. As the son, Ma Jun gets to assist his father with the rites, and he performs them perfectly practiced.

In Sook hangs around outside the room, feeling irritated. She seeks her usual solace in drink, and Manager Han joins her. She complains that the entire family gives Grandma so much respect even though she’s been gone for so long.

She asks Manager Han how the investigations on the letter are coming along. He tells her that it’s not Tak Gu. He’s traced the postmark, and it’s from Cheongsan. She is highly disturbed by the information.

After Il Jung, it’s Ma Jun’s turn to pay his respects. He takes his bows, and suddenly without any knocking, Grandma’s picture falls off the table and the glass shatters. This brings In Sook and Manager Han running into the room to see what happened.

Ma Jun is staring at the broken picture of his grandma, looking very perturbed. Upon registering the broken picture, In Sook faints and Manager Han manages to catch her.

Dr. Yun is once again called for a house visit. He gives In Sook a sedative and tells Manager Han that she’ll be fine. On his way out, he notices Mrs Gong behaving suspiciously.

Ma Jun heads to his room, and fishes the bracelet (that In Sook dropped where Grandma died) out from its hiding place. He stares at it, contemplating.

Il Jung cleans up the broken glass, and notices that the picture frame had been tampered with.

Dr. Yun enters his car parked outside the house. The woman with two jade rings is sitting at the back of the car. He asks if they should leave and if she’s okay. From the driver’s mirror, we see that the lady with the two jade rings is indeed Kim Mi Sun.

Wow, what was that about? Everything came rushing in at the last moment. The next episode will be really exciting.

Alright..backtrack to cover a few points.

1. Kim Mi Sun is back! I expected her to come back, but I was expecting something different. I thought they’ll find her much later in the show (past episode 20 maybe), and she might have lost her memory and they have to work to get it back. But no. She’s been well for the last 12 years, and has gotten back in touch with Dr. Yun.

Possibly with some scheming, Dr. Yun has maneuvered his way into the Gu family with Kim Mi Sun’s knowledge. What does this mean? Are they responsible for the letter? But this is out of character for Mi Sun..she’s supposed to be naive and nice. Or did she finally snap?

2. Also, if Mi Sun has been well and alive for the last 12 years, why didn’t she try to look for Tak Gu?

In any case, a rich and potentially powerful Kim Mi Sun, possibly with vengeful motives, is certainly going to stir things up a little. I think the housekeeper is doing something on her own as well, but probably as a reaction to In Sook not treating Grandma with respect.

With all that is happening on the revenge front, I’m not too excited about what is happening between Ma Jun and Yu Kyung. I think Tak Gu’s story is probably going to be predictable as well. Of course, with the way this drama is going, I could be completely wrong about how predictable the romantic plot and the baking plot pan out.

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