King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 17

the episode of the emotional Mi Sun’s.

episode 17 recap

In Sook asks who Tak Gu is, and gets no reply from either guy. She tries again and asks whether he works with Ma Jun. Again, silence. Ma Jun tells In Sook to go home for today, but she says she has more to say. Ma Jun gets really upset and shouts at his mom, telling her to go home. He’ll talk to her when he visits during the weekend.

In Sook doesn’t look ready to go, but she starts to leave. She tells him to go home this weekend so that they can talk.

Mi Sun comes out of the bakery, and asks Tak Gu why he’s not going in. Ma Jun frowns, not liking what is happening. Upon hearing the name “Tak Gu”, In Sook turns back. Not getting a reply, Mi Sun addresses both guys by name again, this time saying Tak Gu’s full name. In Sook walks up to Mi Sun and asks if she just said Kim Tak Gu. Mi Sun said she was calling to Tak Gu, and points him out. Ma Jun’s frown-o-meter goes even higher.

In Sook turns to Tak Gu and asks him “Are you really Kim Tak Gu?” There is another pause before Tak Gu quietly greets her “Long time no see, Little Madam.” In Sook is too shocked for words, and just stares at Tak Gu for a long time.

Dr. Yun tells Kim Mi Sun that he has a lead on Tak Gu. He found a man who saw Tak Gu 14 years ago. He brings Mi Sun to a tiny restaurant, and points out a man sitting alone at a table. Mi Sun asks if the man has met her son. The man looks confused at Kim Mi Sun. Dr. Yun steps in to introduce himself as the man from yesterday. He tells the man to repeat what he said yesterday.

The man complains that it’s a hassle to keep repeating himself, prompting Mi Sun to pass him an envelope. The man accepts it, and says about 13 or 14 years ago, a wealthy man asked him to sell a boy to a deep sea fishing vessel. We see a flashback (episode 6 if you want to read back) of what happened that night when Tak Gu resisted and ran away.

Mi Sun asks what happened to Tak Gu. The man replies that he doesn’t know. It would be very lucky if Tak Gu didn’t starve to death on the streets. This greatly agitates Mi Sun, who suddenly finds the strength to grab the man by his collar and shake him. How could he do this to a young boy? Doesn’t he have children?

Thankfully, the man doesn’t respond (by hitting her), and Dr. Yun pries the man loose from Mi Sun. The man leaves, and Mi Sun collapses into a pile on the ground, sobbing.

In Sook is finally home and alone, thinking about the unexpected discovery of Tak Gu. She decides to get the dirt on Pal Bong’s bakery, probably looking for a way to deal with Tak Gu.

The guys retreat to the privacy of their shared room, leaving Mi Sun outside wondering what is going on. Tak Gu speaks first. He confesses that Seo Tae Jo reminded him of Ma Jun. He asks Ma Jun how long he had planned on hiding. Did he not want to acknowledge Tak Gu? Ma Jun says that he was planning to just be Seo Tae Jo for the duration of his stay at the bakery.

Tak Gu bitterly remarks that for two whole years, they’ve lived and done everything together, and not once did the thought of introducing himself ever occurred to Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks him what he was expecting. That he’ll be happy and say “Hi, I’m Ma Jun. Why did you suddenly disappear from the house?” Why would he do that?

Tak Gu now understands why Tae Jo insisted on competing, and why he tried to separate him and Yu Kyung. But what does being Kim Tak Gu have to do with it? Tak Gu has never done anything wrong towards Ma Jun.

Ma Jun confesses that he just hates Tak Gu. It’s not something he can explain; he just feels that way. Tak Gu says he can understand that, and he leaves.

Tak Gu goes over to Yu Kyung’s old apartment, and finds out that she’s moved without leaving contact information. He thinks back to how Ma Jun asked whether Yu Kyung would really want to see him if he failed, and feels dejected.

Yu Kyung enters Manager Han’s office to hand him some files. He praises her work, but reminds her that she has to leave. He has found two other suitable positions in other companies for her. Yu Kyung refuses, but Manager Han tells her to leave when he’s asking nicely.

The exchange with Manager Han gets to Yu Kyung but she cheers up when she sees her calendar. The 25th is circled. Her colleague asks if it’s a special day, and she says that she’ll be meeting a friend that she hasn’t seen in two years.

In the meantime, the mail has arrived for the day. A piece drops from the stack, and it’s addressed to Tak Gu, from Yu Kyung.

Tak Gu is practicing for the competition, and this time the bread isn’t burned. However, the inside of the bread is dry. Tak Gu sees that his supply of flour is running low, and decides that he’ll have to break out the barley and corn.

Head Baker is conferring with Grandpa about Tak Gu’s situation: he lacks the materials and time to make something suitable for the competition. Grandpa asks if Head Baker is worried about Tak Gu, but Head Baker denies it. Oh the useless pride. Grandpa says it’s fine if Head Baker is not worried. They can just start Tak Gu from scratch again.

Besides Tak Gu, there is another problem. Head Baker is opposed to giving out the Bong Bread recipe. It’ll tarnish Grandpa’s reputation. Grandpa says that reputations are too hard to keep. He will hand his recipes to the rightful heir.

Mi Sun comes by and sees Tak Gu in the kitchen looking at the barley. She asks if things are not going well, and mentions that Windmill man is worried about him. In addition, he’s been acting strange since the other day when that woman visited. Who was that woman?

Tak Gu refuses to comment, and leaves. He sees Ma Jun on the way out, but they do not greet each other.

Mi Sun takes a break at the cashier’s counter, and sees the letter that fell on the ground. She sees that it’s for Tak Gu from Yu Kyung, and picks it up and keeps it.

In Sook decides that she will need to handle the situation differently with the pressure from President Na, and the discovery of Tak Gu. She looks for Il Jung in the office, and gives Yu Kyung the eye while she’s entering. She cuts Il Jung a deal: bring Ma Jun back to the company early, and she’ll give him the shares and never meddle in company affairs again. Of course, Tak Gu should be deleted from the family register.

Some time later that day, the other 3 competitors are working on their entries. They do not see Tak Gu, and Curly worriedly wonders whether Tak Gu will be practicing at all that day.

Mi Sun takes out Yu Kyung’s letter to look at it. Glancing down as she tucks the letter away, she notices that Tak Gu has a bunch of bread hidden under his workbench. She grabs a bread, and sniffs at it. She then tears a bite off one to try, and pronounces it tough. She brings the bread with her to look for Tak Gu.

Tak Gu is outside the bakery, fiddling with his bread, probably worrying about how tough it is. Unannounced, the mother and son from the market stop by to take Tak Gu up on his offer of bread. Tak Gu invites them in and brings over a variety of bread for the kid. The mother protests it’s too much, but Tak Gu says that they can bring it home.

The kid tells Ta Gu that he wants to eat the bread that Tak Gu made. Which one is that? Tak Gu admits that he didn’t personally make anything, and the kid looks disappointed. His mom explains that the kid came specifically to eat Tak Gu’s bread. Mi Sun overhears the conversation and brings out Tak Gu’s prototype bread. The kid cheers up, but Tak Gu looks dismayed — it’s not fit for eating.

The kid bites into a piece anyway, and pronounces it delicious. Mi Sun makes a face, and tells the kid that he has a good heart. The mom takes a bite and says that the barley is too dry. The mother tells Tak Gu that he needs to boil the barley with more water before using it. Since the corn is already moist, it requires less water, although some salt will improve the flavor. Mi Sun offers the kid water, and he accepts it, alternating between eating and drinking.

Mi Sun whispers to Tak Gu, telling him to remember this moment because they are his first customers. Seeing the boy drink from the cup, Tak Gu thinks back to what Il Jung said about adding water back to bread that is dry, and hits upon an idea.

He goes into the kitchen to make a new batch. He washes the barley in lots of water, and boils it, and works on separating the corn kernels. He mixes the barley and corn into the dough. When the dough is ready for baking, Tak Gu checks the temperature, remembering Windmill man’s words about the temperature, inserts the tray, and then two cups of water into the oven and prays. Mi Sun and Windmill man watch Tak Gu silently.

Windmill man heads down, and runs into a customer who recognizes him. He hands Windmill man a card, telling him that this person is looking for him. The card belongs to Il Jung.

Mi Sun is contemplating the letter from Yu Kyung. She wonders if it’ll be better to hand the letter to Tak Gu before or after the competition, but can’t decide. She brings it with her and goes to the kitchen to find Tak Gu.

Tak Gu has been baking all night and is now on batch 5 or so. He takes a bite and savors it slowly. Mi Sun enters the kitchen to hand him the letter, and notices that the smell is good. Tak Gu offers her the bread to try.

She sniffs at it, breaks it, and tastes it. She also savors the taste slowly, closing her eyes to concentrate. Tak Gu asks how it is. She takes a second bite, and finally pronounces it soft. The bread and the grains melt together. It’s delicious. Tak Gu can’t believe what he’s hearing. Mi Sun repeats that it’s delicious. Tak Gu breaks into a dance around the kitchen in joy. He grabs Mi Sun into a hug, which surprises and confuses her. I guess he’s not getting the letter today.

Tak Gu picks up the loaves and runs over to the market in time to find the mother and son. He offers the bread to the kid, who pronounces it delicious with more gusto this time. Delighted, Tak Gu picks up the kid and swings him.

When he gets back, Tak Gu asks to see Ma Jun and offers him a loaf of bread. Ma Jun tastes the bread, and tries to hide his surprise (isn’t it strange that you can see someone pretending not to be surprised?). He asks Tak Gu if he’s showing off now that he can finally make edible bread. Happily, Tak Gu says yes. Ma Jun asks what the secret was, and Tak Gu shares that the secret was putting a cup of water in the oven.

Ma Jun tells Tak Gu that he shouldn’t be sharing his bread with a competitor.Tak Gu replies that until the competition is over, he’ll continue to be Seo Tae Jo and they are friends. Ma Jun asks if they can’t be friends if he’s Ma Jun. Tak Gu doesn’t reply.

Windmill man meets Il Jung in a cafe. Il Jung is surprised to learn that Windmill man works in his teacher’s bakery. He wants to know whether it was Windmill man at his company the other day, and Windmill man says yes. Il Jung asks what his purpose was, and Windmill man tells him to answer his question first: is Il Jung still looking for his missing son? If he meets his son, what will he do? His son has been looking for his mother all these years. What will happen when he finds out that the person who separated him and his mother is his father?

Il Jung is surprised by the question and asks Windmill man what he means. Windmill man says that the kid is finally able to smile, and he doesn’t want to see that smile go. Who is he talking about? Windmill man says Kim Tak Gu.

Il Jung asks if he’s met Tak Gu. Windmill man says that Tak Gu found him two years ago. He had spent his entire life looking for his mother, and was in terrible shape. Thus, he’s asking Il Jung how he will explain what happened 14 years ago. Il Jung asks where Tak Gu is, and Windmill man says he will reveal Tak Gu’s location if Il Jung gives him a reply.

As Il Jung contemplates his decision, Manager Han is getting information from someone hired to get the dirt on President Na. He’s going through a stack of photos of people that President Na has met, and one of them is Dr. Yun. Manager Han looks suspiciously at the picture, and the subordinate explains that the men ran into each other in a hotel parking lot, and he wasn’t sure if the man was important.

Finally the day of the competition dawns, and the competitors get to making their bread. Curly is making a braid, and Mi Sun has made a huge bread. Ma Jun is mashing sweet potato into pastry dough.

They explain the rationale behind their creations. Curly thinks that a filling meal is rice with dishes, and he’s squirted on some savory cheese mix as a side dish on his bread. Mi Sun is making a cake/bread hybrid, cutting the bread and filling it with cream, fruit and cake. She thinks that a shared meal is the most filling.

Ma Jun’s complicated creation looks the most polished. Besides the sweet potato in the pastry dough, he’s made his own mix of nuts and such to supplement the bread. Axe Eyes asks Tak Gu to explain his bread. Tak Gu says it contains barley and corn, and he tried to incorporate everyone’s contribution (heart) into this creation.

Finally they start judging. Grandpa sniffs then takes a bite of each bread, and contemplates them silently.

Grandpa comments on Mi Sun’s creation first. The bread is very soft, and works well with a cake filling. He also likes the idea that sharing a meal makes it feel fuller. Thus she passes round one.

Curly’s idea was good too. However, his topping didn’t blend well with the flavor of the bread. Thus he does not make it to the next round.

Ma Jun’s creation is easily the most impressive and skilled one of the four. Grandpa has reservations about the creation though, because it feels cold. He’s not certain whether he should pass Ma Jun, but decides to give him a chance. If the bread retains the cold aura the next time round, he’s out. Ma Jun doesn’t look happy about passing this way.

Tak Gu’s bread is the plainest of all four and obviously lacks skill. The idea behind the bread was haphazard. However barley and corn are indeed food that poor people of the past ate, so it satisfies the fullness requirement. Tak Gu’s bread also had the best smell of all four. Lastly, he was able to take rough ingredients and turn them into something soft and palatable. Thus he passes. Tak Gu is overjoyed, and everyone looks happy for him except Ma Jun.

Grandpa declares round one over, and leaves. Axe Eyes takes Tak Gu’s bread to try. Ma Jun dumps his bread into the trash. In his room, Grandpa enjoys Tak Gu’s bread.

Curly, Mi Sun and Tak Gu celebrate the end of round one. Although Curly didn’t pass, he doesn’t look upset. He tells Tak Gu that he tried the barley bread, and was very impressed. Mi Sun decides that it’s time to hand Yu Kyung’s letter over to Tak Gu. She admits that she’s had it for a few days because she didn’t know if his mood would be affected if she gave it to him before the competition.

Mi Sun gets no reply. Tak Gu grabs the letter and tears it open. Inside, Yu Kyung has asked to meet at Nam Soon’s clock tower at 6pm on the 25th, which is today. Tak Gu takes off, grabbing his tray of bread with him. Mi Sun objects — how can he leave their celebration early?

Tak Gu doesn’t notice Mi Sun throwing a hissy fit, and runs off. In anger, Mi Sun grabs the bottle of soju and takes a big swig. Curly is surprised and concerned.

Yu Kyung is getting ready to go meet Tak Gu when the phone rings. She gets called back to the office where Miss Yoon tells her to go to the Gu residence. Miss Yoon would have gone herself, but In Sook specifically requested Yu Kyung.

When she gets to the Gu residence, In Sook is entertaining guests (a mother and her grown up daughter) with Ja Kyung and Ja Rim. She tells the housekeeper to tell Yu Kyung to wait because In Sook has guests who arrived earlier. Yu Kyung agrees to wait. Ja Rim looks uneasy.

Ma Jun comes home to find Yu Kyung waiting while In Sook chats with her guests. He asks Yu Kyung why she is there. She explains that In Sook called her. He asks In Sook why someone from the company is here on a Sunday. In Sook says she needs Yu Kyung and tells him to come over and greet her guests. She tells Yu Kyung to wait a little longer.

They proceed to dinner, and Ja Kyung tells Ma Jun not to help Yu Kyung or he’ll provoke In Sook into worse behavior. Throughout dinner, Ma Jun keeps looking at Yu Kyung who is still waiting. Ja Rim is bothered as well.

Tak Gu makes it to the Nam Soon clocktower with time to spare. He’s excited to be seeing Yu Kyung again. Time passes, and he still waits on cheerily. It’s almost 9pm.

In the middle of fruit and more polite chit-chat, Ma Jun finally loses it. He slams his drink on the coffee table and tells him mom that he’s had enough. He came back because she said that she had something to say. Instead, here they are just entertaining guests. Ma Jun apologizes to the guests and leaves, and as he walks by Yu Kyung, he tells her that she should leave too.

Yu Kyung refuses, saying that she’s here because of In Sook so she’ll leave when In Sook says so. Exasperated, Ma Jun drags Yu Kyung out forcefully to In Sook’s dismay.

In the meantime, Il Jung has finally decided on his answer and looks for the Windmill man at the bakery. He tells Windmill man that he’ll do whatever he says. He’ll suffer the consequences of revealing the truth as long as he gets to meet his son. So where is his son?


I can’t wait for round 2 and 3 of the competition, just because I want to see what Tak Gu and the rest will come up with. Honestly though, except for Ma Jun’s pastry, the other breads didn’t look that delicious to me. There was a brief bonding scene between Ma Jun and Tak Gu in this episode, but I don’t know how things will turn out with Tak Gu performing better and Ma Jun getting jealous. I’m still hoping that the brothers will make up.

From the previews, it is certain that Il Jung and Tak Gu will meet in the next episode, and Kim Mi Sun’s turn is probably coming really soon.

I still can’t figure out what Yu Kyung is up to. With regards to the romance, there are two possibilities: either Ma Jun and Tak Gu will fight over Yu Kyung first, or Mi Sun and Yu Kyung will fight over Tak Gu, freeing the 3rd party. Mi Sun is becoming more obvious (I thought her little hissy fit was adorable), so it’s a matter of time before the others find out. But she probably doesn’t want to come in between Tak Gu and Yu Kyung. I have my money on Yu Kyung choosing first.

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