King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu episode 22

Ma Jun is falling deeper and deeper. He’s really starting to mirror Shin Yu Kyung — he keeps going with the momentum even though it’s clearly the wrong decision. Making one bad decision doesn’t mean that you have to keep making more bad ones. Just saying.

episode 22 recaps

Tak Gu, Mi Sun, then Head Baker react first to Grandpa’s announcement. Ma Jun is in disbelief: is he sure that Tae Jo/Ma Jun is eliminated? Grandpa says yes. Ma Jun remains calm, and demands a reason. He has clearly fulfilled the competition’s requirement of making bread without yeast. Grandpa asks if Ma Jun insists that no yeast has gone into the bread. Ma Jun says that there is no yeast. Grandpa challenges him to make the bread again before him. We hear a voiceover from Chun Bae.

Chun Bae says that there is no such thing as a delicious bread made without yeast. The trick is to use a very minimal, untraceable amount of yeast and enhance the yeast’s effect using starch. He leaves the decision to use yeast to Ma Jun. Fastforward to Ma Jun weighing out the ingredients. He hesitates, and finally decides to use the yeast-starch trick.

Grandpa tells Ma Jun that the point of the most filling bread in the world was to think of others, but he failed. The point of the most interesting bread in the world was to promote creativity. The only thing that Ma Jun cared about was winning, which is why he tried to pass off someone else’s bread as his own. Grandpa says that he is deeply disappointed.

Grandpa leaves, and Axe Eyes and Head Baker follow. Ma Jun storms out, leaving Mi Sun, Tak Gu, Windmill man and Curly. Mi Sun takes a piece of Ma Jun’s bread and takes a bite. Her expression changes. She recognizes it as the Bong bread. Not the exact recipe but very close.

Curly takes a piece of Ma Jun’s bread to try. Isn’t Grandpa the only person who knows the Bong Bread recipe? They still have no idea why Grandpa is upset.

Head Baker talks to Grandpa and asks him if it’s okay to leave things that way with Tae Jo. Axe Eyes asks what Grandpa tasted in the bread that got him so angry. Grandpa remains silent.

Ma Jun finds Chun Bae in a little restaurant, and confronts him. Who is he to cause Ma Jun to get eliminated from the competition? Chun Bae reminds him that the decision was his to make. He laughs at Ma Jun for being too greedy.

Ma Jun gets really upset. He has spent so much time and effort trying to get the certificate. Chun Bae tells Ma Jun that very soon, the certificate will mean nothing. Now, Ma Jun needs to fulfill his end of the bargain, and his task is to steal the fermentation diary. With the fermentation diary, they can strip Grandpa Pal Bong of his Master Artisan title.

Ma Jun doesn’t understand what Chun Bae is saying. Chun Bae explains that the fermentation diary belonged to him, but Grandpa stole it and used it to become a master artisan.

In Sook and Kim Mi Sun are left in the room, and they sit at the table. In Sook marvels that Kim Mi Sun was living perfectly fine the entire time. Mi Sun says that she has unfinished business. In Sook asks if sending threatening letters is part of that unfinished business. Mi Sun remarks that those letters were threatening after all. In Sook comments that Mi Sun has learned to talk back.

In Sook demands to know what Mi Sun wants. Mi Sun gives a long non-reply, telling In Sook that she’ll reap what she sowed. Mi Sun brings up how In Sook cruelly treated a young boy without qualms. In Sook says that Mi Sun should have taken care of her own son, instead of leaving her with the trauma and humiliation.

At this point, In Sook can guess what this is about. She warns Mi Sun that she’s nobody to go against In Sook. Mi Sun should stop messing around. With that, In Sook leaves.

There is a man waiting outside the room, and it turns out to be Dr. Yun. Thank goodness for that. I expected the confrontation to be a lot uglier. It was really understated and civilized.

Outside, In Sook meets with Manager Han. He asks if the meeting went as expected. In Sook is bothered by the fact that she has no idea what Kim Mi Sun is after. Manager Han says that it’s a lot easier now that they have drawn Mi Sun out. In Sook apologizes for not trusting Manager Han earlier. She tells him that the deadline with President Na is the next day at 6pm. He needs to keep their shares.

Kim Mi Sun is sobbing when Dr. Yun comes in, but she regains her composure quickly. She tells Dr. Yun that they need to ensure that things with President Na go well the next day.

Tak Gu closes up the bakery for the day. Before he leaves, he collects the scroll. As he is locking up, Il Jung’s car comes by, and the men have a talk.

Ma Jun is still thinking about what Chun Bae said about getting revenge on Grandpa. He tries to talk to Grandpa to ask for one more chance to make the bread without yeast. He’s probably hoping not to go over to the dark side. Grandpa says no to the second chance. Ma Jun has not only harmed a friend, he has also tried to deceive his teacher. Ma Jun looks surprised that he was discovered.

Grandpa says that it’s human to have bad thoughts, but it is also human to regret these mistakes. Ma Jun has failed to show remorse time and again. Ma Jun points out that he waited and endured two years for the competition. I don’t see how this is even an argument.

Grandpa says that there was a reason he made Ma Jun wait two years for the competition, but he’s failed to teach Ma Jun anything. He tells Ma Jun that he won’t kick him out yet, and he’s willing to let Ma Jun try again in another two years.

Il Jung asks Tak Gu to come help him in the company. Tak Gu reminds him that he has Ma Jun, who is more skilled and suitable. Il Jung explains that he has no one that he can trust. Tak Gu once again refuses. Il Jung asks whether things will change if he finds Kim Mi Sun. Tak Gu replies that there is even less reason for him to join Geo Seung if that happens. Il Jung’s conscience weighs on him for not telling either party the truth.

Ma Jun happens to walk out of the house at that moment, and witnesses Il Jung patting Tak Gu on the shoulder before leaving. Ma Jun seethes, but he doesn’t confront Tak Gu immediately. He continues walking to the kitchen.

Ma Jun runs his fingers across the tabletops, like he is saying goodbye. He recalls his confrontations with Grandpa in the bakery and firms his resolute. He smashes the fermentation jars and takes a lighter to the trashcan.

Tak Gu is putting the scroll away into a box when the alarms go off across the street. He rushes out, and so do the other bakers. Quickly, they head across, with Windmill man in the lead, and start to throw water on the fire.

With a bag in hand, Ma Jun heads into Grandpa’s room. (I should have seen that coming, but I wasn’t thinking.) He rummages through Grandpa’s desk and drawers, and finally goes through the wardrobe. He finds the fermentation diary in a piece of cloth and takes it.

Ma Jun hears Grandpa’s voice, and turns around. It’s part of his imagination. He puts the book in his bag, and heads out. As he walks by the dining area, he hears the voices of the other bakers and remembers when they were nice to him. “Come have something to eat, Tae Jo.” If you think about it, he’s never been that close even with his family.

Ma Jun hesitates for a few seconds, but leaves.

The fire truck has come and gone, and the fire has been put out. Windmill man gives Grandpa a report: the fire was largely contained to the trashcan, where it started. It’s mainly smoke, and that will clear off on its own. The bakery should be operational the next day.

Tak Gu looks at the broken fermentation jars on the ground and realizes something. He heads back to his room to check. Ma Jun is not there. He looks in the bathroom, and wanders downstairs to the kitchen. Mrs Head Baker asks if he needs anything, and Tak Gu wanders off again. The other bakers call out to him, asking him why he’s been wandering around the house.

Tak Gu doesn’t have a reply, but Mi Sun notices that Tae Jo is missing. This sets off a bit of chatter and confused looks. Grandpa goes to his room and sees the books strewn all over, and checks his wardrobe’s shelf. Sure enough, the fermentation diary is missing. Grandpa feels weak.

Yu Kyung is getting ready for bed when she hears a knock on her door. She goes to the door and asks who it is. After a pause, Ma Jun announces his presence. She opens the door, and he asks if he can go in. He has nowhere else to go. Yu Kyung lets him in, and Ma Jun heads to the bed and curls up in a fetal position.

It’s late in the day, past 5pm, and In Sook asks Manager Han whether he’s found President Na. Their deadline is 6pm. Manager Han hangs up, and they receive another call on the car phone. They have discovered President Na’s whereabouts. Kim Mi Sun also arrives at the same hotel.

President Na gets into the elevator. At the very last moment, a group of men in black suits rush in. He looks nervously at them. Sure enough, they take him to Manager Han in the basement and grab the suitcase out of his hands. President Na demands to know what they are doing.

Manager Han checks the briefcase and it’s empty. He looks to President Na who tells him that the shares are not going to In Sook.

Kim Mi Sun and Dr. Yun are in a hotel room going through the share certificates. Mi Sun asks Dr. Yun if they have enough shares to rival Seo In Sook, and he says they have sufficient. She tells him that she will proceed with the plan, and tells him that he shouldn’t get further involved. Dr. Yun disagrees. He’s been all in since day one when she looked for him after falling from the cliff.

They head out, but Manager Han’s men rush in as soon as the door opens. Dr. Yun steps in front of Mi Sun to protect her, but the men grab him. Manager Han tells Mi Sun to hand over the certificates to save the two men. Dr. Yun tells her not to, but Mi Sun hands the certificates over. However, she keeps her composure. She comments that this is typical of Manager Han, roughing up people to get what he wants.

Manager Han said that he is the type of person to achieve his goals regardless of methods. Even dealing with little boys like Tak Gu? Manager Han says that he had warned her when she left Tak Gu at the Gu residence. Mi Sun reminds him that she had said that she will go all out to protect her son. It’s not over. She leaves, and Dr. Yun follows.

Tak Gu spent some time the night before staring at Ma Jun’s empty wardrobe sadly. Now, he is looking listless at work. Being his usual insensitive self, Axe Eyes talks about how Tae Jo was ungrateful, setting fire to the bakery and harming his friends. The other bakers shush Axe Eyes up, and Head Baker sends Tak Gu down with the bread. They take the opportunity to ask Mi Sun if Tak Gu’s smell and taste are back, but she shakes her head.

A couple of men dressed in suits enter the bakery. They are looking for Master Artisan Pal Bong. A meeting is convened.

The men inform Grandpa that there has been a petition challenging his identity as the creator of the Bong Bread. The petitioner is Park Chun Bae. If it goes through, Grandpa will be stripped of his title as Master Artisan.

Tak Gu gets upset. Why are they talking about stripping titles before hearing the other side of the story? Grandpa tells Tak Gu to stop it. He tells the men that he understands the situation, and tells them to leave. The men tell Grandpa that he has a week to dispute the claim. Part of the process will involve re-creating the Bong bread at an evaluation panel.

The bakers, except Grandpa, gather as Head Baker and Axe Eyes fills them in on what is happening. Park Chun Bae is a childhood friend and rival of Grandpa, and he is the one with the genius nose like Tak Gu. They baked together, and the topics of the competition, the world’s most filling bread, and the world’s most interesting bread, were themes they came up with for fun to challenge each other.

Grandpa had always been interested in creating an alcohol-based bread, and was working on it for a long time. Finally, it was Chun Bae who helped solve it, so the Bong Bread actually has two creators.

The bread made them famous and rich. However one day, Grandpa realized that Chun Bae was compromising on the bread’s quality by adding yeast. Chun Bae explained that to keep up with sales, they can’t afford to have a bread with such a long fermentation time. Adding a little yeast won’t hurt, especially since the customers can’t tell the difference.

Later however, Grandpa found out that Chun Bae was adding chemical preservatives to the bread. This time, Grandpa was unrelenting, and chased Chun Bae out. Chun Bae set up his own bakery but gradually lost his customers as they found out that he added chemical preservatives to his bread, and his bakery closed down. Grandpa stuck to his original recipe and his business survived.

There is a thud then a scream from outside, and everyone rushes out to find Grandpa lying on the floor.

The doctor visits, and checks Grandpa. He says that Grandpa is a little weak because of his age, but should be fine when he wakes up. They takes turns to take care of Grandpa. Tak Gu kneels by the side, looking strickened, while Mi Sun cleans Grandpa.

Windmill man and Head Baker talk between themselves about the situation. Windmill man suggests talking to Chun Bae, but Head Baker says that they don’t have his contact information. Windmill man asks him what he intends to do about the petition now that Grandpa is lying unconscious. Head Baker says that they can’t do anything. Windmill man doesn’t look happy with the decision, but he doesn’t press on.

Mi Sun is asleep, and Tak Gu moves over to take care of Grandpa. He begs Grandpa to wake up, and promises to protect his title. Mi Sun is awoken by Tak Gu talking, and hears his promise to Grandpa. She is somewhat comforted by Tak Gu’s words.

Tak Gu announces that he’s filed a response to the petition. Head Baker gets upset. What was Tak Gu thinking, doing this on his own? Grandpa can’t do anything right now. Tak Gu says that they can. All they have to do is re-create the Bong bread. Head Baker and Axe Eyes say it’s not easy. Mi Sun says that they can refer to the fermentation diary, and Head Baker finally reveals that it went missing the same night that Tae Jo left. Everyone gets upset again for a while.

Head Baker says that even with the fermentation diary, they won’t be able to make the Bong bread consistently within a week. Tak Gu says that he will protect Grandpa’s reputation on his own if he doesn’t get help and leaves. Mi Sun excuses herself.  Curly walks out, and so does Axe Eyes. Windmill man tells Head Baker that he thinks they should try. They have already submitted the dispute claim anyway.

Axe Eyes tells Tak Gu that he has a drug to help him recover his sense of taste and smell. Mi Sun doubts the drug is for real, and they argue a little about whether it will work. Not listening to anything, Tak Gu grabs the drug and drinks it. Axe Eyes denies any responsibility if the drug doesn’t work.

Tak Gu asks Axe Eyes for the ingredients and ratios for the Bong bread. Axe Eyes says that he roughly remembers the ratios of the starter dough and produces a piece of paper. They can start from there. Tak Gu notes that it looks like his makgeolli #6 starter.

Head Baker walks over and grabs the sheet of paper out of his hand. He exclaims loudly that all the ratios are wrong. He corrects the sheet and hands it over to Tak Gu. Everyone gets to work. They also keeps asking Mi Sun if Tak Gu has his sense of smell back.

Over at Elder Chun Bae’s side, he’s recruited Ma Jun to represent him at the demonstration after seeing that Tak Gu has named himself Pal Bong’s representative.

Back at the bakery, they try various combinations, but everything fails. As usual, Tak Gu is the last one left in the kitchen, exhausted. He is surprised by Grandpa’s voice, and quickly rises to greet the old man.

Grandpa asks if his sense of smell is back, and tells him that it’s all in his mind. He won’t be able to start smelling until he believes that he can do it. Tak Gu thanks Grandpa for the advice, and Grandpa pats him on the shoulder encouragingly. Suddenly, Grandpa disappears. Tak Gu wakes up. It may have all been a dream, but Tak Gu feels encouraged anyway. He is starting to recognize the sound of fermentation as well.

The day of the demonstration arrives. Everyone gathers in a kitchen. Tak Gu represents Pal Bong bakery. Elder Chun Bae is all cleaned up for the occasion. He reveals that he will be represented by an apprentice, who is none other than Ma Jun. And the fight is on!

A side arc that I don’t know how to fit in:
In Sook dismisses Mrs Gong. Mrs Gong goes over to Kim Mi Sun’s place, where Mi Sun offers her a position.

Il Jung notices her absence. In Sook says it was an issue of trust, and this makes Il Jung think back to the discovery that Mrs Gong made. He directly asks In Sook where she was the night Grandma fell in the rain, and In Sook says that she was asleep. Il Jung tells her that she needs to tell the truth. In Sook insists on her innocence and says that Mrs Gong lied.

Comments:
This episode felt a little strange. It’s like a revenge makjang interlaced with a baking drama. I know that’s what the show is, but the scenes contrast more starkly than usual.

I don’t get how the demonstration will prove the true creator of the Bong bread, but okay. It’s just another baking competition that is Ma Jun vs Tak Gu. It makes up for the immediate lack of a third round topic, and is a nice follow up to the Bong bread arc. I like how Tak Gu is providing leadership at the bakery in this arc.

But given the way the story is going, my guess on what happened is this: after Chun Bae left and his business collapsed, Pal Bong was awarded the Master Artisan title, and he never got around to correcting the organization. I initially thought that Grandpa stopped making the Bong bread after the Chun Bae incident, but it doesn’t sound like he stopped. The timeline is still slightly strange though.

I also don’t get how shares and stocks work. Does seizing the documents mean that In Sook and Manager Han are rightful owners of the stocks? If I were Kim Mi Sun, I would give up the documents and call the cops. I’m lacking the necessary knowledge here.

I’m surprised that Tak Gu still hasn’t gotten his senses back. It’ll probably happen pretty soon, like next episode soon.

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2 Responses to King of Baking, Kim Tak Gu episode 22

  1. Dan Dorado says:

    i really appreciate what you are doing. I’m a big KOB fan and its hard to get a clear english sub copy in our country. thank you very much! It is as if I’m watching the series the way you tell the story 🙂

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