Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Panda and Hedgehog Episode 8 Recap

  Omo, omo, omo! (This is suddenly becoming my favorite Korean word. Haha.) The bromance is in full swing, and the guys are bonding left and right. This episode gives us decent back story and more pieces to the puzzle, but is light on the side characters. Also, Panda proves how infuriating she can be. 
  But the guys! They're just so sweet together! I just love them both. Can't they come live with me? And make me macarons all the time? I wouldn't mind a cake every now and then, either. 

  Won Il tells Seung Ji about the macaron stealing, but he takes it in stride. Panda runs out and tells them that the DC has ordered 4 dozen cupcakes by 4 p.m. to give to his friends who can't come. Can Seung Ji do it? Won Il just stands there, and Seung Ji tells him "Assistant! Come along!"
  Won Il is still upset about the thieving, and Panda has to tell him again to go help Seung Ji, reminding him of the competition. She gloats to herself that they may be able to pay off their debts soon if business keeps up.
  Won Il tells Seung Ji that they need to go confront Step-dad about the whole situation, but Seung Ji argues back that they can't afford to back out on the order. He calmly continues to prepare his ingredients. When Won Il presses, he answers that there's nothing they can do right now, but in the end, he'll win over Step-dad. For some reason, the DC eavesdrops on this whole conversation.
  Won Il insists that this isn't a fair competition—Step-dad doesn't play fair. Why isn't Seung Ji all fired up? Seung Ji answers that he may not have much, but he knows what it's like to lose everything. He won't fight back until he's ready to risk losing all. Won Il still thinks they need to cancel the order—what kind of cakes can they make if their mood is ruined? Seung Ji responds that the most important thing to him is the needs of each customer.
  Won Il leaves to go confront the Writer, and Seung Ji watches him go. As he drives off, Seung Ji says that he has to hold it in because Won Il still works at Saint Honore and he can't act until he finds a way to protect him. Aww, I love their frivalship! However, Seung Ji is too distracted to work well and goes to stare at his pretty face say his mantra in front of the mirror.
  When Won Il meets with Writer, Writer asks if he's there as the president of Saint Honore, or as Seung Ji's friend. Won Il answers that it's the latter, and asks why they used Saint Honore's product when the product from Cafe Panda was better. Apparently, Step-dad's shady friend is or knows the president of the cosmetics company and he pulled strings to keep Seung Ji's macarons out of the ad. In fact, they used Writer, too. Plus, Seung Ji doesn't have any power or influence, so he can't really fight back at this point. It's better to wait for a better opportunity. 
  Won Il is beyond upset at his own impotence, and starts saying a mantra of his own. Only, it's the same mantra Seung Ji uses—naming scientific names of insects and plants. Wait, are they brothers? I'm pretty sure Won Il didn't pick this one up from Seung Ji, so where did he get it? I was really hoping they wouldn't be related, for once, but dramas gotta have their brivalries. (Haha, I'm making up words left and right today.)

  He gets back to Cafe Panda to find Panda and Won Yi staring through the windows at Seung Ji. Da Na explains that instead of working, they're wasting time being mesmerized by Seung Ji's work. Won Il walks in to hear Panda sighing over Seung Ji's pretty face, asking Won Yi if she should just go in and bite it. Won Yi asks where she would bite—nose? cheek? lips? It's cute that Won Il looks most betrayed by his sister's response. They turn and jump when they see him behind them.
  As Won Il stalks off to go help the Hedgehog, Panda marvels that they are both so good looking, it's hard to choose. Won Yi likens it to having a limitless credit card in one hand and a debit card to a full bank account in the other. When Panda says she has no idea what that feels like, Won Yi reassures her that these guys will let her know soon enough. Panda decides that she must have saved a country twice in a past life.
  While packing up the latest batch of macarons, Won Yi says that seeing them makes him want to leave Saint Honore and become the president of Cafe Panda. Seung Ji retorts that seeing him there makes him want to quit Cafe Panda and work as a patissiere at Saint Honore. Although Seung Ji is joking, Won Il wants to give it a shot.

  Just then the DC's girlfriend arrives. Everyone runs out to greet them, with Won Il and Seung Ji jostling for position. As the girlfriend steps out of the van, the boys just stare, making Panda jealous. She jumps in front of them to remind them of their competition, but they ignore her and push her away. She tells them they're dead and drags them down to Seung Ji's room, where they're to stay in time out. 

  Too bad! Won Yi runs downstairs to tell them that the customers want both guys upstairs. They run upstairs and are introduced to the girlfriend, Mina. When they hear her name, Seung Ji says "Ah, Japan!" but Won Il elbows him and introduces himself in Japanese. She responds in Korean, but he can't help showing off and keeps using Japanese with her. The DC says that she's a super famous actress in Japan. Won Yi recognizes her from that one movie she was in. "Oooh, you are really famous!" Haha!
  The DC asks if they are still discontented with the orders, and Seung Ji abundantly insists that he never was. "Did you ever hear me complain, Won Il?" Won Il elbows him again to stop his babbling, and Panda asks if the desserts are to Mina's liking. If not, she can send the guys back into the kitchen until they get it right. To her disappointment, Mina tells them that it's not that she just likes them, it's more like she was given a great gift.
  Later that night, the guys sit stunned in a park as Lamesauce power-walks right behind them. They're still marveling about how pretty Mina was, and Beom Bo and Host Club come up and ask "how pretty was she?" It's like a comedy routine. 
Won Il: Her eyes were like the stars in the sky. Her eyes. . . .Seung Ji: She was like a delicious chocolate mousse cake with a cherry on top.Me: Commence Eye Roll Sequence. (At least Seung Ji compared her to the thing he's most passionate about.)
  Host Club asks how they're handling being kicked out by Panda. He heard they both lost Round 1 and are out of the competition. They decide that before they're officially kicked out, they'd better get one last look of Mina. Beom Bo and Host Club agree that they need to see her, too. As they're running back, Seung Ji happens to spot the van, and eventually convinces Host Club to hotwire it so they can get back. On the way back, Won Il is very quiet, and the guys start chanting Mina, Mina, Mina! in an attempt to psych him up.
  Lamesauce gets back to where he parked the van and starts looking around for it. He wonders if it rolled away, then realizes someone took it. "Oh, no! Hedgehog is going to kill me! I should have taken it back sooner!" (Or, y'know, not stolen it in the first place.)
  The four guys are standing in line, looking sheepishly at the ground. Panda paces in front of them like an angry drill sergeant. Finally, Seung Ji speaks up and says that they brought the van back, can't she cut them a little slack? She yells back that she's not the van, so it's no good. Beom Bo points out that he and Host Club weren't part of the competition, so why are they being punished. She realizes she got carried away and dismisses the two of them. Grateful, they run away. 
  She scolds Won Il and Seung Ji and tells them that they have to go back to their positions. They're a bit confused until she explains that she won't look at them as men any more—they're back to where they started. The guys go outside and Seung Ji tells Won Il that he won the first round, since he didn't rat Seung Ji out for hotwiring the car. He wouldn't have just lost the competition, he'd be out of her life for good.
  Won Il asks what his true identity is (Batman?) and he answers that he's the worst man he can think of. (Hitler? He doesn't look anything like Hitler!) Won Il says he's also the worst kind of man. Seung Ji, surprised, asks why. If Panda knew about Saint Honore's stealing, he'd be gone for good, too. He asks if they should work together to get back in Panda's good graces, and Seung Ji says that if Mina would take him over her current boyfriend. . . but that's impossible. They agree that they can't leave the status quo, um, quo. They agree to redo Round 1.

  Panda stomps out and asks if the two of them are dating? If they like each other so much, they should just get married. Seung Ji says things will be difficult from tomorrow on, and Won Il asks if he'd miss him if he stopped coming. Seung Ji answers "Yes. Let's go out together," and grabs his arm. Won Il freaks out and pulls away, but Seung Ji keeps playfully grabbing at him. As he leaves, Seung Ji yells out after him "See you tomorrow, Assistant." They are sooo adorable! 
  Step-dad is in a photoshoot highlighting the new macarons. He says it shouldn't just be him though and everyone tries to guess who he means. Hilariously, his little spy jumps to the conclusion that he's the special person, and thanks Step-dad profusely. Nope, not you, buddy. Finally, he explodes and insists on having a cosmetics model in the photos. Mom jumps ahead by leaps and bounds and decides that a model would make a great daughter-in-law. 
  Eun Bi grumbles to herself. So does one of the patissieres. Eun Bi suddenly realizes all the girls are in love with Won Il. She and her friend talk the matter over and realize that Step-dad has a little something-something going on with the youngest female patissieres, who can't say or do anything without getting in trouble. She decides to find out from Glasses how much Won Il knows about this.
  Glasses tells her that they are aware of the dubious situation, but they don't know how extensive the problems are. Eun Bi demands that they expose Step-dad's creepy evilness, but Glasses contends that it's difficult for Won Il, since that person is the father of the person he holds dearest in his life. He can't do that to his beloved sister. 

  We see Won Yi helping Cherry Blossom ahjumma at the bakery, joyously taking care of all the chores and heavy lifting. In voiceover, Glasses explains that the siblings have a very close bond. He even explains why she calls him hyung. When they were little, there was another child that Step-dad had brought home. (Possibly his own child, since his ex-wife was having problems.) The two boys were extremely close but one day the kid disappeared. (Here we see Grandpa looking at LOST posters of Cherry Blossom and Little Seung Ji.) Won Il blamed himself, and to this day can't eat cakes that remind him of his little friend/step-brother.
  He even kept his distance from Won Yi, worried that getting close to her meant betraying that child. When Won Yi found out, she started calling him hyung and became more of a tomboy. It was then that the siblings became so close to one another. We see Won Yi helping out at Cafe Panda, and basically spreading joy and good cheer to everyone she knows.
  Although Glasses admits he shouldn't tell Eun Bi any of this, he feels a responsibility to help her understand. She thinks he means so that she'll be more patient and supportive of Won Il, but he corrects her. The only reason Won Il can stand to be in Korea and working at Saint Honore is because Panda is here. Eun Bi gets the drift, but asks for Glasses to support her claim if Won Il's relationship with Panda doesn't pan out. She says there's not another woman who could understand and help him more than she can. (Yeah, I'm not seeing that. You're far too self-absorbed for that. Plus, women are pretty understanding when it comes to tragic pasts.)
  Seung Ji goes upstairs to eat, and Panda pointedly asks Da Na why he's eating there. He can always eat with his beloved Mina or Won Il, so why would he eat with little old Panda. (Dang, the girl can hold a grudge!) Da Na orders him to sit down, but Panda is stubbornly silent, and one look at her makes him want to run away. The poor guy hovers up and down over his chair, stomach growling, hoping to get to eat. Panda wins out in the end, reminding them of the awful image of his stunned face as he stared at Mina. He leaves, clutching his belly.
  Panda says she can't forgive him. Da Na grumbles that she's acting like a betrayed wife who had supported her man for decades. Panda defends herself by saying that it had only been the day before he met Mina that he had confessed to her. (Well, he kinda confessed. Mostly he just postured and expressed a desire to challenge Won Il. Neither guy has had the guts to actually confess.)
 Da Na rebukes her for being so silly. "You aren't even dating either one, so how can you make such a big deal of this? Most men would run screaming from a girl who throws fits before they're even dating." (So much sense, young Grasshopper.)
  Seung Ji goes to Grandpa's for food and relationship advice. Too bad Grandpa's not there. Instead, he gets a call from Lamesauce, telling him the van was stolen, and he doesn't have money to compensate. Instead, he'll give him invaluable advice on dating Panda. He tells him that being always in Panda's sight is a good way to make her fall for him. The best method is for him to move his room upstairs, right across from Panda's. That way, he can create and evocative atmosphere after the sun has gone down. Lamesauce has the perfect excuse, too. He'll just move in to the basement room! (Freeloader! I don't see this as being a good idea.)
  Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you ask me), Lamesauce's phone dies before they can decide on a plan of action. But Seung Ji decides this advice is better than anything Grandpa would come up with, so he'll take it.
  Grandpa and Cherry Blossom are at the police station looking at photographs. The first couple of men are unfamiliar, but the third they know. Grandpa gets upset because that man is dead, yet they still treat Cherry Blossom this way. She paid for the crimes, and only later found out that her husband was dead. But the officer has news for them. He mentions her jail sentence—10 years for accidental death, and 10 for trying to escape to get her young son.
  The detective points at the fourth photo and asks again if she recognizes him. She doesn't but he's not altogether unfamiliar either. The detective informs them that this is the same man, but he's had plastic surgeries, according to a witness. He's also committed kidnapping, assault, and murder, as well as identity theft. They believe he's still alive and need to catch him.
  Eun Bi goes to the roof, but finds Step-dad molesting one of the young employees. She does the first good thing in her life and takes photos with her cell phone. It's a gift for her Won Il-ie. (Okay, but now you should go kick him in the crotch. Step-dad, I mean, not Won Il.)
  Won Il is waiting impatiently for Seung Ji to come back, since they have a customer. It's a little girl with an unusual request. Panda uses this opportunity to rant more of her anger about how her baker is disloyal. Also, I'm not entirely sure why they thought the song "Hey Mickey" was appropriate here. When the girl asks Panda what disloyal means, she says that's her problem, too. That's why she brought in her savings.
  Her order is for a cake that tastes like jajangmyun (black bean noodles). She explains that this boy told her he liked her, but then turned around and told another girl he likes her. The other girl promised him a birthday cake that tastes like fried pork. Well, she can't sit still and be one-upped by that little girl, so she needs a jajangmyun cake by next week. Panda says yes, but Seung Ji balks.
  Panda grabs the little girl's hand to go, but the little girl stops to ask if she's also in a love triangle with that oppa (Seung Ji) and that ahjusshi (Won Il). Won Il yells that he's not an ahjusshi! He's an oppa! She says he looks like a lollipop. Which reminds her that her boyfriend likes lollipops after eating jajangmyun, so they have to include lollipop flavor too. (So gross!) She and Panda haughtily leave.
  Throughout this whole scene, the guys have had this unwritten dialogue going on, through gestures and looks, and it's hilarious. Mostly, the looks say "these girls are crazy." So true. Seung Ji blames Won Il for making their job more difficult,and Won Il asks if kids are like that these days. Seung Ji says he doesn't even know what kids were like before, so how should he know. He leaves to work and Won Il wonders if he was never a child. He also complains to himself some more about being called ahjusshi.
  Customer stops by and asks Panda about Seung Ji and how he's dealing with his big disappointment. Panda doesn't know what she's talking about, and Customer explains that he lost the advertising bid. The guys head out to eat jajangmyun, and Panda suddenly acts concerned and nice to them. They're completely stumped by this change in her attitude towards them (but mostly Seung Ji). Customer advises her not to let them become friends, because it'll be harder to choose one. Too late.
  At the Chinese restaurant, Seung Ji complains about a kid who likes jajangmyun over candies and chocolate. Won Il reminds him that this kid is in a better situation than they are. Instead of fighting over one girl, he has two girls willing to spend their life savings on his birthday cake. "And at such a young age." Seung Ji decides he's going to get the kid to coach him, and Won Il warns him not to go without him. They bicker a bit, then agree to go together. 

  That night, Panda cleans up and sees Seung Ji struggling with ideas. She smiles to herself, then brings him a bowl of jajangmyun to inspire him. He's suspicious as to why she's suddenly so friendly. She tells him she knows about the ad, then tries to cheer him up by saying that the other company got the ad through connections, but his macarons are still the best. He doesn't immediately respond, so she tells him that even Mina was impressed by him. That works, and he jabs at her by saying that if Mina liked them, that's what really matters. She gets annoyed by that (although she totally deserved it), and stomps out.

  Seung Ji complains about her dating style and mood swings, but it does give him an idea. The next day, Panda and Aunt come down to find all sorts of precious Panda pastries. Aunt says she's lucky to have such a man, but Panda sulks that it's because he did something wrong. Aunt tells her "exactly, but most men don't do something so sweet when they're wrong." Aunt pulls out his Panda quiz and says Panda should fill out the answers for him. She shrieks when she sees that he scored zero, but Aunt says it doesn't matter, because the pastries are a 100. She bites into it, and the taste scores 120. So cute.
  Eun Bi comes by to report to Won Il, and is surprised to learn that he's Seung Ji's temporary assistant. Eun Bi almost spills the beans about the theft, but covers just in time. Panda mentions the competition, but hedges that it's just the guys acting like kids.
  Won Il does research at home instead of helping Seung Ji. Seung Ji calls and tells him to make sure he's there the next day, because they'll have to pull an all-nighter for the jajangmyun cake. Won Il agrees, and we see that he's looking into Seung Ji's past, particularly a competition he won in prison. 
  Panda comes down to complain to Seung Ji about being a bad friend. He tells her the simple solution is to date him and leave Won Il for Eun Bi. She rebukes him for not showing that he liked her sooner, and letting Won Il get involved. She goes to leave, but he grabs her hand and pulls her onto his lap. "Why don't we just kiss then?" She tells him that's a foul, since she has to give Won Il a fair chance, and go on a date with him. She stands up, but he pulls her back down and says they'll just have to kiss 3 times, then. She asks if he thinks she's easy, and he retorts that he's not easy either. They stare at each other.
  Okay, at this point I'm mostly just really annoyed with Panda. She went from being completely clueless about love to being the most obnoxious type of girlfriend—one who forces her man (or in this case men) to constantly prove their affection, while completely disregarding their feelings. What has she done to show them any love or affection? What has she done for them?
  The competition was cute at first, mostly because it wasn't really serious, and because it was a way for the guys to reconcile, but Panda is blowing things way out of proportion, and using the competition as bribery. She is completely unbending in her demands for professions of love, but ignores Seung Ji's sincere demonstration of it. Plus, she's decided she needs to be the Center of All Things at All Times with the guys, and that frustrates me. Mostly, she's just being whiny and selfish.
  At the beginning of this episode, I really wanted Panda to be able to have both guys somehow, but I'm at a point with her where I almost want her to lose them both. Hopefully, this is just an extension of her cluelessness, and she listens to the wisdom shared by Aunt and Da Na. I don't know if I can handle 8 more episodes of Panda acting like this, but if she learns to sacrifice and grows up a little, I might make it.
  That being said, I ADORE the relationship that has developed between the guys. If you gave me 16 episodes of that, with only a little Panda romancing on the side, I'd probably be happy. These guys are so hilarious in their pettiness in love, but so sincere in their grudging friendship, that it just melts me into a puddle of goo. While I laugh histerically at their antics. I really hate using the word bromance, but it's the most fitting word possible for their relationship. And it grew out of their intense rivalry, which I love.
  I'm glad we finally know that they're step-brothers, but I feel bad for the pain and suffering coming their way. And I especially feel bad for Won Yi. However, her being torn between the two guys makes sense, since they're each her half-brother. I love the explanation we got of her relationship with Won Il and how she worked so hard to get him to accept her.
  Step-dad is so incredibly creepy. I knew he was bad, but I had no idea he was this horrible. A lying thief, sure, but a murdering, sexually exploitative douchebag—he gives me chills. I didn't think this light-hearted show would ever have much depth or angst, and I certainly didn't expect such an evil villain. I guess I was wrong there, but I'm beginning to think this show will still be able to maintain it's cuteness while working out the darker aspects that are underlying everything. Here's hoping.


  1. hello,
    First I wanna say I love this show!
    But I wanna ask why are you so sure the guys being brothers(step)? I cant even figure out the relationship about the fathers of SeungYi and WonIl. SOme things are really confusion, by the way thanks for the recap have been waiting for days to read


    1. Mostly it's from putting the clues we've been given together. The child was brought to Won Il's home because his mother, Step-dad's ex, (presumably Cherry Blossom) was having some kind of difficulty (i.e. being in jail). We also know that Seung Ji has amnesia from when he was a child. So if he ran away, or was chased away by step-dad and got injured, he would have been sent to an orphanage or some kind of foster care. Also, Seung Ji and Cherry Blossom have some very distinct similarities, so it's obvious the show is letting us know they're mother and son.

      So, Step-dad was married to Cherry Blossom and divorced her, she did time for his crime, while he moved in with Won Il's family. He must have faked his death shortly thereafter (while using an alias with the Choi family), started getting plastic surgeries, and pretended to be a law-abiding citizen.

      I'm sure that something will click when they finally show his arms, since he probably still has the tattoos we saw in a flashback of the kids. (I was confused why they would use a different actor to play him in the flashback, but it makes sense if he's changes his whole face.)

      Another thing that ties the guys together is their mantra of scientific names. I'm sure it's something Won Il taught little Seung Ji during the brief time they lived together.

      I'm glad that they're not actual blood brothers for once. It happens way too often in kdramas, but it's a nice touch that in this drama they have a convoluted family past instead.

      Hope this helps!

  2. I agree with you, Panda's characterization is definitely missing something. It is strange for someone whose past has been about sacrifice, is now suddenly indulging in egoism. At first I wanted her to behave more like a woman than a girl but now I just want her to behave like a human being.

    I don't know, maybe I should say something in her defence... Maybe she still isn't fully aware of the sincerity of the boys' affection? Maybe life experiences have shown her that it is better to take care of yourself, yourself only, yourself first because no one else will do it for you, that the only person who will be by your side always, is yourself.

    Hmm, at this point I just don't think she deserves their love, NOT their care and attention as I wouldn't be so harsh as to remove that from her because I truly do believe she is grateful for that BUT their love. No, I don't think she is at a point where she could return it let alone reciprocate it.

    1. I take everything I said about Panda back! I just watched the ending of episode 9...

    2. Haha! I know. She definitely redeemed herself.

  3. I am not too sure if Won Il and Seung Ji are step brothers and that Cherry Blossom and creepy Step-dad are ever together as in if they are an ex-couple... Just something hazy about this whole background thing. He perhaps is just a evil character but not too sure how does Cherry Blossom and Seung Ji's fate ties together with him

    The part about Glasses explaining to Eun Bi about Won Yi's background and why Won Il will not want to hurt her...
    If Seung Ji is the child that Step-dad brought home, wouldn't Won Il have known him as the little boy who is the rival of his affection from little Panda since they have met before? Just wondering. As usual thanks for the recap.

  4. K-what: I am a horrible blogger. I didn't realize you had this site. This is my official first post on your site. YAY! I will be ur regular!

    I have to say I just finished this episode and instead of feeling severe annoyance at Panda, I feel pity. I think she's just confused with how to go about it. Neither REALLY confessed and it was so underhanded it seemed like a game. Besides, she had nothing and now two very fine catches are chasing her. Not that any of this is an excuse to be so petty. But I have a feeling this is very short lived. She's already feeling the effects of her behavior.

    Love the bromance. (The Raine definition. kekeke. Seems to be the kwhat def too!)

    Nice job, chingu!

    Where are you watching/did you watch? The subs I have on epdrama/dramacrazy are HORRID.

  5. I watched this drama on Viki, but I know it's up on hulu, too. Some of the subtitles on Viki were confusing (as was pointed out to me in episode 4, I think) and I was able to understand what was really happening on hulu.

    I'm excited you have read my blog! I love your take on things, especially The Thousandth Man. Maybe you've noticed. Kekeke.

  6. Thanks! The viki sub I have was confusing, and this helped clear it up immensely.

  7. Agree with you, I don't like Panda acting like this but I really don't like the yoon seung ah, who cast panda. She can't act. She's pretty but sometimes she over reacts with her gesture and naive looks and somehow it does not look cute, more like dumb I think (imho)