King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 18

A Korean friend once told me that if you walk around hand in hand with another person, it’s as good as declaring your intention to marry. Yes, this friend of mine is a little older, but we have to keep in mind that this show is situated in 1989. There is something really sweet (and cliched I guess) in experiencing a sincere and real first love.

Oh, and not having a cellphone to say that you’re running really late…it’s been a really long time since that happened.

episode 18 recaps

Ma Jun drags Yu Kyung out of the house. He demands to know if she has no pride. Isn’t she supposed to be smart? She should quit. If she needs a job, he can find her one. Yu Kyung says that he doesn’t understand. It’s not her style to just give up. Besides, she will have to deal with mistreatment anywhere else she goes. She tells Ma Jun that he is privileged, so he won’t understand. I don’t understand her either.

Yu Kyung goes back into the house.

Inside, the guests are excusing themselves. In Sook apologizes for the incident and says that Ma Jun is stressed out from studying. They are interrupted by Yu Kyung’s silent entrance. Yu Kyung walks up to In Sook to apologize and says she will continue waiting. The mood turns bad again; it’s like Yu Kyung picked off a scab and the wound is bleeding again.

In the meantime, Tak Gu is still waiting at the clock tower. And someone else is waiting for him at home.

Back at the bakery, Mi Sun is pacing in the hallway. She stares at his door and wonders why he is so late. Windmill man sees her and asks if she’s waiting for Tak Gu. Mi Sun says she’s unable to sleep because she’s anxious about round two of the competition. I’m sure he bought that.

Windmill man thinks back to his conversation with Il Jung.

Il Jung told Windmill man that he’s willing to do whatever the latter thinks is appropriate with regards to Tak Gu. Windmill man doesn’t like that reply; he doesn’t know what is best for Tak Gu either. For instance, Tak Gu might not want to see Il Jung. He tells Il Jung to wait until the competition is over before coming back so that Tak Gu doesn’t get affected.

Competition? Tak Gu is at the bakery? Windmill man refuses to reply and leaves. Was that slip an accident?

Il Jung is overwhelmed by the news. He thinks back to all the clues he’s had: that Tak Gu found Windmill man, that Mi Sun’s mom was complaining about how Grandpa is letting kids who’ve barely been around for 2 years to take the test, and that new apprentice who was covered in flour that day, who acted a little strangely, whose last name is Kim.

At some point later that night, Yu Kyung makes her way to the clocktower looking exhausted. The events of the night weigh on her mind.

Her compliance didn’t sit well with In Sook, who thinks that this is a declaration of war. Who told her to come back? Yu Kyung replies that she doesn’t know what she has done wrong. She’s done everything that In Sook wanted. If she’s not needed, Yu Kyung is happy to leave. In Sook snaps and slaps Yu Kyung, to the horror of her daughters. They rush up to restrain In Sook.

In Sook accuses Yu Kyung of trying to fight her using Ma Jun. Ja Kyung interrupts and tells Yu Kyung to leave. In Sook says Yu Kyung will stay. She’s not done talking. Yu Kyung does not react. Ja Kyung looks urgently at Yu Kyung, and Ja Rim shakes her head to tell Yu Kyung to stop fighting with her mom.

In Sook keeps talking. How dare she covet Ma Jun? Yu Kyung corrects her: she’s got no interest in Ma Jun. It’s him who has been approaching her. If she doesn’t want them to end up together, In Sook will have to teach her son better. This is completely rude, and takes things up a notch. Ja Kyung and Ja Rim both look like they can’t believe Yu Kyung said that. Her piece said, Yu Kyung finally leaves, which is why she is finally able to head to the clocktower.

It’s midnight. Initially, she doesn’t notice anyone there, but someone approaches her from the side and it is Tak Gu. Yu Kyung’s spirits are lifted at the sight of Tak Gu, and she runs over to hug him. She allows herself to cry and tells him that he’s dumb for waiting so long. Tak Gu says that she said to come, so he did. He’s relieved to finally see her.

In the meantime, Ma Jun has gotten back to the bakery, and he notices the family car. He sees Il Jung sitting outside the bakery and approaches. He asks why Il Jung didn’t go in to see Grandpa. Il Jung asks why Ma Jun did not inform him. Ma Jun doesn’t know what Il Jung is referring to. Il Jung says that he was with Ma Jun at the bakery for 2 years, yet Ma Jun never said a thing. Il Jung demands to know why.

Ma Jun pretends that he still doesn’t understand. What did he hide from Il Jung? Il Jung explodes. His brother, that’s what he’s been hiding. He was so close, yet Il Jung never realized it. Ma Jun tries to say something, but he gets as far as “Dad…” before Il Jung cuts him off. Ma Jun has called him “dad” a million times, but Tak Gu never got the chance to say it. Il Jung doesn’t know how to forgive Ma Jun.

Il Jung walks to his car, and Ma Jun gives chase. He explains that he wasn’t going to hide it forever. He was going to inform Il Jung as soon as he beats Tak Gu in the bake-off. He referred to Tak Gu as a punk, and Il Jung corrects him: Tak Gu is his older brother.

Il Jung heads to his desk as soon as he gets home. He thinks back to how Windmill man mentioned the possibility that Tak Gu doesn’t want to see him. He takes out the letter that 12-year-old Tak Gu left him where Tak Gu had said that he wanted to be Kim Tak Gu, so please don’t try to find him.

Tak Gu walks Yu Kyung home, hand in hand. What is he going to do now that it’s so late? Tak Gu says that it’ll be fine if he goes back to the bakery. Yoon Shi Yoon is an excellent actor — you can totally hear his voice change when he’s talking to Yu Kyung. Yu Kyung apologizes for making him wait so long. Tak Gu says that she waited 2 years for him, so it’s nothing if he waits a few hours. When the competition is over, they should go on a trip to the ocean.

He tells Yu Kyung to leave first, so that he can see her go safely. However instead of releasing her hand, Tak Gu tugs at it. Yu Kyung stops and Tak Gu leans forward slowly and after all that suspense, he plants a kiss on her cheek. Oh my goodness.

After she leaves, Tak Gu realizes that he’s forgotten to give her the bread, but it’s fine. There will be other chances. He’ll make her bread for the rest of his life.

Yu Kyung gets into her apartment and touches her cheek thinking about Tak Gu’s kiss. Her mood darkens — the cheek that Tak Gu kissed is the same cheek that In Sook had slapped earlier.

In the morning, the bakers assemble in the kitchen to start the day. Tak Gu is conspicuously missing. Head Baker asks where he is, and Ma Jun says he didn’t see Tak Gu last night. Axe Eyes is scandalized: Tak Gu stayed out all night? Curly offers that he took off yesterday after receiving a letter, and Mi Sun was the one who handed it to him. Head Baker asks Mi Sun who the letter is from, and she says that she doesn’t know.

Tak Gu appears right at this moment, looking extra cheery. Giggling a little, he explains that he wasn’t out all night, just a little later than usual. He came straight to the kitchen and has already checked the equipment, made the dough and cleaned up, and it looks like he is still overflowing with energy.

Axe Eyes notices his cheerfulness and asks if something good happened. Tak Gu says he’s allowed to have good days. On top of the usual “hai hai hai” reply, Tak Gu pumps his fist with gusto too. Mi Sun notes his cheerfulness with sadness, and Ma Jun looks even more annoyed.

Things are not well for Yu Kyung though. She arrives in the office to find her belongings packed in a tray. She has been reassigned to the Maintenance department. Yu Kyung asks what the reason is, but Ms Yoon doesn’t know. It’s just manager’s orders. She asks if something happened with In Sook the day before.

Yu Kyung tries to talk to Manager Han to get a proper reason, but he tells her there is none. There are just lines that she can’t cross, and she crossed one last night. This is a tug-of-war that she can’t win.

Resigned to the change, Yu Kyung goes to her new office, which is a dump. She is expectedly upset about the change.

In the meantime, Manager Han has to deal with his other problems, like Dr. Yun. He’s getting information about the doctor and finally realizes where they have met before.

Manager Han pays an unannounced visit to Dr. Yun. Surprised, Dr. Yun still manages to remain calm as he closes the side door. Manager Han said that he checked that there are no patients in the afternoon. Dr. Yun explains that it’s a special patient.

Manager Han tells the doctor that he hasn’t been feeling well in the chest, and Dr. Yun decides to take his blood pressure. As he is getting his pressure checked, Manager Han casually asks how Kim Mi Sun is doing. Dr. Yun freezes, unable to reply. Manager Han tells Dr. Yun that he now remembers that they met 26 years ago. He asks where Mi Sun is.

The doctor tries to say that he doesn’t know what Manager Han is talking about. Manager Han tells him that whether it’s the blackmail letters, or the photo falling over, he’s unafraid. Is Dr. Yun behind them? Or Kim Mi Sun? Dr. Yun tells him to leave, but Manager Han insists on asking where Mi Sun is.

Nervously, Dr. Yun glances towards the side door, and Manager Han notices it. He gets up to check and Dr. Yun tries to stop him. Manager Han ultimately wins, and he opens the door, revealing yet another door. Manager Han senses that his prey is near, and gives chase. Kim Mi Sun tries to calmly walk towards the exit. At a turn, she briefly loses Manager Han and makes it to safety.

In the safety of her home, Kim Mi Sun calls the doctor to tell him that they should contact President Na by phone in the future. It’s getting too dangerous, and she wants him to be safe. She’ll operate on her own from now.

Later that afternoon, they gather for the unveiling of the second question. A tray with 4 bowls is set in front of each contestant. The bowls contain flour, yeast, salt and water, the four essential ingredients for bread-making. Grandpa wants them to pick what they think is the most important ingredient.

Mi Sun chooses first, and she chooses the flour. Tak Gu and Ma Jun take a while to think, and simultaneously choose the yeast. The topic for the second round is this: the most interesting bread in the world. They can help themselves to anything in the bakery, except for the ingredient that they just picked. Thus Mi Sun can’t use flour, and Tak Gu and Ma Jun can’t use yeast. They have 15 days to come up with something.

Grandpa retires to his room to think of question 3. Head Baker asks whether it is premature, but realizes that Grandpa actually expects at least one participant to get through round two.

The participants gather outside the bakery, and Mi Sun and Ma Jun both look displeased while Tak Gu looks upbeat. It’s not so hard is it? Mi Sun can substitute wheat flour with rice flour, or potato flour. Mi Sun counters that using rice flour, the result is a rice cake, while potato flour will make potato cakes.

Mi Sun asks about the guys’ problem: how will they make bread without yeast. Tak Gu answers that any leavening agent should do…like baking powder. Mi Sun immediately shoots the idea down. Grandpa doesn’t like using chemicals in his bread. Tak Gu will get kicked out of the competition immediately if he uses baking powder.

Tak Gu finally realizes how hard the question is. Ma Jun looks increasingly frustrated at the seemingly incompetent Tak Gu, and walks off in a huff.

Left alone, Mi Sun gets to ask Tak Gu how the meeting with Yu Kyung went. Tak Gu says it went very well, and that Yu Kyung has gotten even prettier. Tak Gu adds that when the competition is over, he and Yu Kyung are going to take a train ride to see the ocean. That pushed Mi Sun over, and she too suddenly leaves in a huff.

Inside the bakery, Mi Sun lets loose: she wants to take a train ride to the ocean too!

Ma Jun is being haunted by memories of the unpleasant conversation with Il Jung and decides to deal with it. He heads to the company unannounced, surprising Manager Han who catches sight of him. Ma Jun heads up to Il Jung’s office, and checks that he’s in. He notices that there is an empty desk.

Il Jung tells Ma Jun to enter. He notes that it’s an unusual time of the day for Ma Jun to visit. Ma Jun tries to talk to Il Jung, but Il Jung says that there is nothing to say. Ma Jun bitterly asks why Il Jung never hears what he has to say.

Il Jung doesn’t want to hear excuses. Ma Jun asks why a boy who spent a few months with them is more important than him who has spent his whole life beside Il Jung, following the path that Il Jung wanted him to. Il Jung says that Ma Jun isn’t understanding it in the right way:Tak Gu has suffered all his life, and Ma Jun has enjoyed his entire life.

Desperate, Ma Jun kneels and begs for forgiveness. All he wanted was this one chance to beat the brother he was always second to. Il Jung coldly tells him to get out of the way, and goes to the door. He opens it, revealing Manager Han who has probably heard everything. (Given the number of incidences in Il Jung’s office, he really needs better sound proofing.) Il Jung leaves anyway.

Manager Han goes up to Ma Jun, and tells him to get up. He reaches out to touch Ma Jun on his shoulder, but Ma Jun recoils and tells Manager Han to never touch him. Ma Jun gets up and leaves the room, leaving a hurt Manager Han.

Yu Kyung is in the basement office, thinking about resigning when Ma Jun enters. He looks slightly cheered up to see her. He notes that she’s gone down a long way. He pulls her into a hug and tells her to never forgive those people. Yu Kyung’s first reaction is to resist, but she quickly notices that Ma Jun may just be talking to himself: he is very upset and crying. She decides to let him hold her.

It’s much later in the day, and Ma Jun is still hanging out in the basement office with Yu Kyung. She tells him that he should go, but he declines. They should stay together. He asks her to stay the night with him. Yu Kyung refuses. Hasn’t he brought her down enough? Ma Jun tells her that through him, she’ll get revenge, and all the luxuries that she could never have earned. He’ll let her use him.

Yu Kyung asks what he gets out of it. Ma Jun is also getting revenge. She doesn’t look sold by the idea.

Because he forgot to hand her his first bread creation, Tak Gu decides to look Yu Kyung up again that evening. He scolds himself for not asking her which apartment she’s in, and has to shout her name instead. Realizing he’s annoyed the neighbors, Tak Gu runs to the side of the building and waits there for Yu Kyung.

A cab comes by, and Yu Kyung gets out of it. Tak Gu prepares to approach her, but stops when he sees Ma Jun following out of the cab. Ma Jun is only sending Yu Kyung home, and she tells him that he can leave. Ma Jun surveys his surroundings and notices Tak Gu looking at them. He decides to put on a show.

He pulls Yu Kyung towards him and leans in to her, which looks like a kiss from where Tak Gu is. Tak Gu is furious. In reality, Ma Jun is only telling Yu Kyung to seriously consider his offer. Yu Kyung walks off, and Ma Jun looks after her. He wipes his mouth with his hand, like wiping off a kiss that is too wet.

At home, Yu Kyung tells herself not to be tempted by the deal, which I take to mean that she is tempted.

With Yu Kyung out of the way, Tak Gu approaches Ma Jun. Ma Jun asks Tak Gu how he knew about this place. Tak Gu says that it was the two year anniversary the day before, so he met with Yu Kyung. He demands to know what Ma Jun is doing there.

Ma Jun laughs and says that he’s been meeting Yu Kyung the past two years. She knew him as Gu Ma Jun, not Seo Tae Jo, and they met before the encounter at Pal Bong bakery. In fact, Yu Kyung is working for Geo Seung Foods. Tak Gu is shakened by this revelation.

Going for the kill, Ma Jun asks Tak Gu why Yu Kyung, or even their dad would want him back. He’s just trash. Tak Gu doesn’t take Ma Jun’s taunting well. Ma Jun takes off in the cab, leaving a stunned Tak Gu. It starts to rain.

Il Jung is sitting in his car outside the bakery. The driver asks if they should leave soon since it’s midnight. Il Jung snaps out of his trance, and says that they can go. Their car passes a wet and listless Tak Gu walking back to the bakery and stops. Il Jung emerges with an umbrella and heads towards Tak Gu.

Windmill man notices something outside of the window, and so does Ma Jun.

Tak Gu and Il Jung dry off in the bakery. Tak Gu hands the cloth to Il Jung, but Il Jung tells Tak Gu to go ahead. Il Jung notices the bread in the bag that Tak Gu was holding. Tak Gu says that it’s the bread he passed round one with, and Il Jung is happy to hear that Tak Gu succeeded. Il Jung says that he’s curious about what it tastes like.

Tak Gu asks Il Jung if he has time, and they head up to the kitchen. At first I thought they were going to make bread from scratch (which would take hours), but thankfully Tak Gu has pre-made dough. Il Jung sits and watches Tak Gu as he checks the humidity and rolls the dough into baking shape. Finally the tray goes into the oven and comes out.

Tak Gu serves the bread to Il Jung, and the act brings tears into Il Jung’s eyes. He breaks the bread and eats it, and can’t hold back his tears anymore. Tak Gu looks worriedly at Il Jung, and asks if there is something wrong with the bread. Il Jung says that it’s delicious.

He addresses Tak Gu by name. Tak Gu is in shock. Il Jung approaches Tak Gu and draws him into a hug. He apologizes for not recognizing Tak Gu even though he was so close. He calls Tak Gu his son. Tak Gu hugs him back, and we hear a second loud sob. Tak Gu is crying furiously too now.

Downstairs, Windmill man hears both men crying. As he turns to leave, he notices Ma Jun standing outside.


My goodness…that scene took so long to happen I thought the preview was leading me on. Even as we edged towards the reunion scene, there were so many ways it could have not worked (which adds to the suspense). Like the car could have driven off in the wrong direction and missed Tak Gu. Or Il Jung decides to hold himself back.

Il Jung is coming across as a really selfish character in this episode. Windmill man talks about not wanting to affect Tak Gu’s performance in the competition. He even asks whether they are sure that Tak Gu wants to see his father. I guess I get that it’s something urgent for Il Jung, and he pressed ahead anyway.

But what I don’t like is how immature he acted with Ma Jun. He just refused to listen. I get that he’s upset and all, but he could say something like “let’s talk about this another day”, instead of “don’t even try explaining”.

The other character that I am not liking is Yu Kyung. I really don’t get why she needs to work for Geo Seung, and I don’t get why she wants to. She’s supposed to be smart, but her thoughts on this are totally twisted. I guess it’s her little dent; this terrible obsession seems like a pride issue. She doesn’t know when things are not worth fighting. I have to take Manager Han’s side on this. She really has nothing to win.

I am totally lapping up the cute angsty Yang Mi Sun scenes. Not to be mean, but I hope she continues this one-sided love for a while coz it’s so cute when she throws a fit.

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3 Responses to King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu Episode 18

  1. Arianna says:

    Man…I just love how the President eats the bread!!!
    He stuffs his mouth like a hamster would! XD

  2. Chairman Il Jung – good person, but ahorrible dad
    Manager Han – good dad, but a horrible person

    I don’t know who to root for!O_o

  3. SS501 says:

    I love how the Pres didn’t give a sh*t about whether Ma Jun passed the test or not or what his bread tastes like…. I’m on Ma Jun’s side versus the Pres and why he didn’t tell him anything

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