Monday, September 3, 2012

Panda and Hedgehog Episode 5 Recap

  This episode felt a bit slow to me. But mostly, I think it's because it's a lot of build up. Things are starting to happen, and new plot developments are. . . developing. 

  Panda comes to talk to Seung Ji, but fixates instead on the tattoo she sees peeking from beneath his shirt. He asks her what's wrong, and she can't answer—she's too distracted staring. He asks if she's trying to get an eyeful of his body (who isn't?) and pulls his shirt, causing her to shriek and run away. She runs to Da Na and drags her away from Eun Bi. She tells her sister about the tattoo that looks like a knife, and Da Na responds that she's such a fox! (For seeing his back, natch.) Da Na decides she needs to see it too, but Panda stops her and tells him there's something about Seung Ji. . . he may even be a gangster!
  Seung Ji goes to the shop and asks Eun Bi if she's spying on his recipes. He flatters her and she tells him she's not there for the recipes, but because Won Il wants her to find out about him.
  Won Il and Glasses are talking about investigating Step-dad—lots of money has disappeared/been embezzled in the last 10 years. Glasses tells him the status of their ingredients—prime ingredients have gotten too expensive, so they treat old/cheaper ingredients to make that flavors more addicting. Won Yi comes in with questions about becoming a patissiere. She runs out again, and Won Il bemoans the fact that she wants to be like Seung Ji.
  Seung Ji withdraws money to spend on the cafe, and Host Club chides him for it. They walk back to the cafe, and Host Club spies Eun Bi in the window, and is instantly smitten. Especially after he finds out she has a good job. Seung Ji tells him to come back when he's not dressed as a host.
  The 3 girls are discussing Won Il's motives, and Panda says she thinks he's bad luck and looks down on her for her humble little shop. Eun Bi points out that he just doesn't understand these things, since he was born rich. The sisters decide Won Il is trying to show off how much better he is than Seung Ji by using his money.
  Seung Ji brings out a cake for Eun Bi to deliver to Won Il, who is currently getting in a fight with Won Yi. He's upset that she's so attached to Seung Ji and his cakes, and she's mad that he won't bury the hatchet so that she can learn from Seung Ji. She also mentions that she wouldn't want to do anything to upset Hedgehog. Awww, her crush is so cute!
  That night, Panda thinks over when Won Il scolded her for not looking into Seung Ji's background and decides to take action! She's going to sneak down and get a good look while he's sleeping. Da Na insists on coming too, but has to grab her phone first—he probably sleeps naked, and she wants a photo. What a little perv! Haha! She says it's to use as blackmail in case he doesn't listen to them. Uh huh.
  Lamesauce sneaks around outside, plotting another attack.
  The girls go downstairs and peek around the door into Seung Ji's room, but he comes up behind them and asks what they're doing. Da Na cheerfully tells him everything and he teases Panda about being terrified of his tattoo. He tells them to go away, but Da Na says she'll just sneak in and strip him to get a good photo.

  They hear some noises upstairs in the cafe, and Panda jumps behind Seung Ji in fright, managing to pull down the back of his shirt. When she finally opens her eyes, she realizes she's face-to-face with the horrible. . . hedgehog tattoo.

  They go upstairs and find all the bread has been skewered with toothpicks, and now resembles porcupines. The van tire has also been stabbed. Panda insists that they go to the police (good idea), but Seung Ji says they don't have evidence it's actually Lamesauce, so it won't do them any good. (Why don't people in dramas ever realizing that filing a report is a good way to get the process started? Also, security cameras. Buy some.)
  Oh wait, they do! Yay for doing something proactive. At the store, Panda starts interrogating Seung Ji about his personal life. He asks why that's important, and she says as business partners they should know everything about each other. She grabs his arm, but he pulls away, muttering that she's too young. (He must mean inexperienced/immature, because she's older than him.) She remarks that he may have dabbled on the dark side in his past, and asks about his tattoo again. He tells her that he shouldn't have gone to a cheap place, and that the original design was a flaming hedgehog. She teases that instead he got one burning with aegyo. He angrily Stooge-pokes at her and walks off.
  Host club shows up at Grandpa's bakery in a suit, ready for his blind date with Eun Bi. Grandpa tells him if he's just going to play with someone's precious daughter, he shouldn't start in the first place. "Would I wear a suit if I was just going to play around?" Grandpa retorts that the worst thing you can do is try to hold onto a girl against her will and storms off. Host Club and Bum Bo wonder why he's taking this so personally and Cherry Blossom quietly says it's because that's what he tried to do to her.
  Step-dad is making one of his signature cakes, and Mom comes in to tell him to stop making them—nobody actually buys them, and it's a waste of money, and the sales figures show that. Won Il wants them to stop making worthless cakes. He angrily leaves.

  Eun Bi brings the cake to Won Il, and he opens it to find rolls of money, a model panda, and candles that say 800. He opens the accompanying card—a drawing of a hedgehog with 8 million-won notes surrounding it. Oh, so he's paying off the massage chair. Interesting.

  Won Il goes downstairs and sees Step-dad yelling at a worker for not making her sales. She defends herself by saying that their designs are out of style and that they need to hire a young patissiere who is in touch with what's trendy. He tells her to get out and gets violent when she stands up for herself. Luckily, Won Il steps in before he can actually hurt the poor girl. Mom insists that he apologize to "dad", but he refuses and tells them they had better be at the upcoming board meeting. Oooh, I hope he has something big in the works! Won Il and Glasses leave.
  Creepy Spy guy finds the box of money from Seung Ji and makes a big deal about it. Eun Bi and another secretary grab the box and run off, telling him it's nothing, but he still suspects something shady. Ruh-roh! Eun Bi goes to return the money.
  Mom tries to calm down Step-dad, saying this is all childishness. Dad insists she call Kwon Yoo Jin, the daughter of a patissiere, and the only shareholder in the company outside the family. She has 10% of the shares, Won Il has 45%, and between Mom and Step-dad are the other 45%. So they need her shares to control the company. Spy stops in to say that their suspicions about Won Il having a relationship with Panda seem to be confirmed.
  Host Club helps install the security cameras and Customer comes by and flirts with him. Seung Ji shows Panda and Da Na how to make hedgehog treats. Eun Bi shows up to talk to Panda.
  Mom tries to get info out of Won Yi, who explains that her brother and Panda definitely aren't dating. She's also reading a book *gasp!* so she can learn to be a patissier. Mom tries to bribe her and offers her 10% shares. (Mom's, or Kwon Yoo Jin's?) Spy and Step-dad plot together.
  In Seung Ji's room, Eun Bi teases him and Panda about how they seem like they're dating. She tells them to back off with the money thing for now, so she can protect the boss. (Wait, that's another drama, keke.) She explains the confrontation at Saint Honore, and she and Panda discuss how Step-dad isn't Won Il's father and how Won Il must hold grudges. He wants Step-dad out of the company.
  Seung Ji leaves the cafe deep in thought, and doesn't notice anyone who tries to talk to him. Host Club follows him. Sad, he didn't even get his introduction! (Btw, I think Host Club and Eun Bi would be a great couple!)
  Eun Bi tries to convince Panda that Seung Ji likes her, but she insists they're just partners. "Riiiight, that's why he spends so much money for you. Plus, he sticks around when he could do better for himself with his mad skills." Panda says it can't be like that, because he's 2 years younger than them. Eun Bi successfully refutes that argument. "He's 2 years younger. Not 2 years old. Men don't get arrested for liking noonas."
  Aunt comes in and decides they need to spruce up the place for someone who's being so nice. She recruits Customer to help hang wallpaper. I love that Customer is the resident handywoman. She finished installing the camera, changes the van tire, and now hangs wallpaper! Girl power FTW!
  Seung Ji shows up at Grandpa's and expresses guilt over targeting the wrong guy—Won Il isn't the son of the man who rejected him, after all, but a step-son who has goals similar to his own. Grandpa offers to help or give money, but Seung Ji says that's not the problem. Should he ally himself with Won Il to get revenge on Step-dad? Should he block Won Il so that his own revenge can be that much worse? Should he use him? 
  Grandpa says to let things go and start a new life. By seeking revenge, he's making his own life miserable. He should just strive for his own happiness instead.
  Won Il is also pondering his revenge. Would mom be happy if that man disappeared? Glasses asks if it's really his place to interfere? (Dang, both guys are getting sound advice here. Why do I have the feeling they aren't going to heed it?) Glasses suddenly says he wants to talk to Seung Ji, which annoys Won Il. Maybe they should just fight it out.
  Seung Ji comes home to a newly redecorated room, but snaps at Panda that she needs permission to enter his room. She ignores him and asks where he went. He tells her she needs to knock. She asks about other tattoos and demands to see them, then threatens to dock his pay if he leaves without telling her again. "Shouldn't you pay me first, before you say such things?" She tells him she still doesn't have money for that (only to redecorate) and says that she picked the color. 
  When Seung Ji goes to bed that night, he notices cutesy glow-in-the-dark baby zoo animals. "Definitely Panda's work. This is great." Because he can't sleep, he gets up and goes back to work.
  Lamesauce shows up the next day and is infuriated by the new products in the window. Customer catches him and cackles about the new security camera. She warns him to stop, since Seung Ji is collecting evidence against him. "Whatever! That wasn't there before when I—oops." Yeah, nobody ever thought you were a genius, Lamesauce.

  Panda shows off Seung Ji's new animal macarons. Turtles, hedgehogs, pandas—very cute! She runs downstairs to show her appreciation. Of course she doesn't knock, jumps on his bed where he's trying to sleep and pinches his cheeks, waking him up. She teases him, and he tells her to have Eun Bi come. Suddenly she thinks he likes Eun Bi and peppers him with questions.
  They play tug-of-war over his blanket, and she falls on the bed next to him. They stare at each other for a moment, before Seung Ji asks what she thinks she's doing. She sits up and points out that his blanket smells. "I can't buy a new one, okay?" (I wonder why not. Is it from his childhood?) 
  Panda goes to the mall to buy Seung Ji a new pillow and blanket and runs into Grandpa and Cherry Blossom. They explain that Grandpa's looking for a suit to buy him to celebrate his new job, and share a look when she tells them why she's there.
  Seung Ji presents more macarons and asks Aunt what her favorite cake is, since he hasn't really properly greeted her. She says that she can't even pay the interest on his kindness to her niece, so he shouldn't worry about it. He asks how much she pays in interest on her current loans, and seems to get an idea when she tells him 48% (whoa!).
  Panda comes in and announces the new VVIP, Grandpa. We see him adorably helping Seung Ji with his tie, while Seung Ji lectures him about spending money he doesn't have on useless things. "If Won Il wears a suit to work, why can't you?" Cute, but impractical. Grandpa then gives him a hard time about getting dumped by Panda, and he insists that they've never been a thing. 
G: Then why did she buy you a blanket?SJ: Because she didn't like the smell of my blanket.G: If she's not your girlfriend, why did she know?SJ: We were fooling around. (I don't think it means what you think it means.)G: If she's not your girlfriend, why were you fooling around?SJ: She just comes in whenever she wants!G: You don't know anything about women! That means you like her. (Not the other way around? Maybe there's a mix-up with the translation.)SJ: What does that have to do with me? You're driving me crazy!

  Grandpa tells him to quit making his girlfriend wait, and they go out to the general admiration of all the women. Aunt even says he looks like a new husband dressed like that. Everyone expectantly waits to hear Panda's opinion, but she's pretty non-committal. But with a smile, which makes Seung Ji embarrassed.
  Won Il looks through reports on the business while his mom lectures him. She asks if he's trying to ruin Saint Honore or save it. He asks if she really thinks he would destroy the company his own grandfather built, and she complains that Step-dad hasn't been in for 3 days. Eun  Bi brings a sample of all the products to Won Il to taste, and Spy calls Step-dad and tells him he needs to get back right away.
  Panda asks Eun Bi to bring Won Il to the cafe, but Eun Bi tells her it has to be later because of the war with his mom. Seung Ji waits anxiously for them to come that night, and Panda teases him about which one he wants to see more. He angrily tells her to stop using him as an excuse and just call Won Il if she wants to see him.
  He goes to his room, and she follows after texting Won Il. She admires the glow-in-the-dark animals, and says they remind her of her childhood. He sighs and she asks if it's because he can't remember his, but he says it's because he can't tell what's going to happen, and it makes the prickles come out. She asks if that happens, won't he be nude? He just sighs back at her.

  Won Il reads Panda's text, complete with pics of the animal macarons and tells his sister to go buy them the next day. "Good. I needed to talk to Hedgehog anyway." The next day, she eats lots of treats, and asks Seung Ji if she can be his disciple. Da Na mentions getting Saint Honore's secret recipe and a strange man turns and listens in on their conversation. Won Yi asks if Seung Ji needs the secret taste, but he tells her no, he has his own.
  Won Yi leaves the treats in her brother's office, since he's gone, and Step-dad happens by just in time to see it, acting suspicious the whole time. Won Il comes home that night and finds her sleeping on his couch and asks what she did with the pastries. They weren't on the table where she said she'd leave them. She jokes that they must have grown legs and walked off, then rolls over and goes back to sleep.
  When Won Il gets to Saint Honore the next day, he finds new products similar to the ones Seung Ji had made, and is obviously upset. Step-dad hovers in the background.
  The strange man comes back to the cafe, and Customer recognizes him as the president of a great bakery. He offers Seung Ji a position, saying that his cakes are better than a market's. "Which market is that?" "Saint Honore."
  One thing I really like about this drama is its simplicity. Plus, it seems to know to stick with its strengths. Sure, it's overflowing with cuteness, but who didn't expect that from a drama called Panda and Hedgehog? (Unless you've seen these commercials and expected an angry panda.) And that cuteness is really its greatest strength. It doesn't try too hard to be more than it is, but still manages to be something worthwhile.
  I'm also impressed with Lee Dong Hae's acting. I haven't seen Skip-Beat!, but I have read very mixed reviews of it, and it's pretty rare to find an idol-led drama with good acting. He's doing quite well, especially since this is his first lead role, and he only has 2 other dramas and 1 movie to his credit so far. 
  This episode, while beefing up the plot lines, was pretty sparse on the chemistry. Oh, there were cute moments, pretty much all occurring on Seung Ji's bed, but it was missing the crackle that comes when all 3 of our leads interact. Because the OTP is on a slow simmer still (helped by the fact that Seung Ji is very reserved and Panda is oblivious), the scenes of rivalry and jealousy between the guys are really where things pop. 

  I'm intrigued to see if the two guys will end up working together against their common enemy. It would be pretty interesting if they develop a strong bond of brotherhood while maintaining a fierce rivalry for Panda's affections. That's not something you see every day. Usually, the brotherhood is preexisting, and the rivalry causes problems in the relationship the men already have, so it would be fun to explore other dynamics, I think. On to the next episode!


  1. "He asks if she's trying to get an eyeful of his body (who isn't?)" & "Also, security cameras. Buy some." & "(I don't think it means what you think it means.)" Remind me NOT to drink or eat anything whilst reading your recaps. hehe. Loved them though!

    "It would be pretty interesting if they develop a strong bond of brotherhood while maintaining a fierce rivalry for Panda's affections." I didn't see that. Excellent point and I agree.

  2. I don't think the bromance angle is actually there. I would just really like to see it. Plus they keep talking about how they might need to join forces. Who knows? Maybe they're brothers.

    1. Brothers?! That seems so obvious now...dun dun dun! However though, joining forces would be awesome, I just love the face Won Il pulls everytime someone mentions Seung Ji. BTW, please let me formally thank you for your awesome recaps. I am truly enjoying them, I love your style and side comments. I am much obliged.