Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Panda and Hedgehog Episode 13 Recap

  I'm going to be honest. This episode doesn't move things along very much. It's basically setting up for the final (or only real) conflicts to unwind. But that's fine, because our bromance moves to the next level. 
  Seung Ji remembers back to when he was kicked out of Saint Honore by Step-dad. He walks in, where Glasses is explaining to the new recruits the huge amount of pastries produced daily by Saint Honore. Grandpa asks about the huge specialty order due next week, and decides to focus on that first. He leaves, and Glasses worries that he'll be overwhelmed, but Seung Ji says everything will be fine, since Step-dad's face isn't all over the place.
  Step-dad is lurking outside Cafe Panda, where Panda arranges the table and sulks that Seung Ji hasn't even called once. She knuckles his photo on the back of her phone and says she hates him. Step-dad worries about Cherry Blossom, and hides his face as Customer jaunts by. 
  Seung Ji asks all sorts of questions about the financial side of the patisserie, but Glasses refers him to Won Il for answers. He says he was ordered by Grandpa to come help out, so he has to. Grandpa is his master forever. "What about Panda?" "Panda is my servant." Haha! I'm pretty sure you are her servant in many ways, Hedgehog. 
  Won Il rebukes his mom for not greeting the people who are there to save the company. Mom says she wants to see how good he is before offering her thanks. Besides, he just runs a crummy little shop, according to the report by Eun Bi. Eun Bi stammers that she didn't say it like that, she just said it's a corner shop. Mom insists that they don't know Grandpa's intentions, and he could very well be there to scam them. Seung Ji overhears this and says she doesn't even know Grandpa. 
  Grandpa heads to the really gross restroom, followed by Host Club and Won Yi. Host Club explains that Grandpa's philosophy is that you can judge the quality of a place by the state of their bathroom and kitchen. Won Yi answers that their place must be really awful, then, as she cringes at the state of the bathroom.
  Seung Ji introduces himself, and Mom says she's heard of him, since the newspaper had a story showing his copy-cat macarons. He replies that she's lucky it didn't get broadcast all over the internet that Saint Honore stole his idea. She asks who said they stole the idea, and he asks who said he and his grandpa are less than Step-dad. She says the proof is in the cake, and he asks what will happen if Grandpa's cake is better. 
  She scoffs at that, so he offers to write out a contract. If, after 11 days, Grandpa's cakes are better in sales and taste, then he gets to run Saint Honore for a year, with the same pay Step-dad received. Also, the entire team will be employed by Saint Honore. But if they lose, Seung Ji will work at Saint Honore for a year without pay. Mom agrees to the terms, and Won Il tries to get Seung Ji to stop, but he says he won't back down. He doesn't mind being called a beggar, but he won't stand for Grandpa or Panda being called beggars, which is how Mom has been referring to them. 
  Won Il offers to write out the contract, and Mom asks whose side he's on. He answers that he's on the side she thinks he's on, but she's on the other side. She asks what he means, and he tells her that he's aware she wants to use him to get Step-dad to change and come back with his tail between his legs. He warns her not to use this as a means to wriggle out of the contract, and she mouths to Eun Bi to contact her father. 
  Grandpa wanders the kitchen, noticing all the disarray. Host Club trails behind wondering what kind of people could work in such conditions, and how Step-dad could leave and take everyone with him, effectually ruining his own business. He asks if Grandpa's helping out because of Won Il, or because he's trying to teach Seung Ji that it's better to help than to burn the place down. Grandpa doesn't answer, but I think it's a bit of both. 
  Won Il takes Seung Ji outside. Seung Ji asks if he's done something wrong, speaking to Won Il's mother like that when he's not sure things will work out. Won Il says she has no right to treat someone who is like his little brother, or someone who is like a grandfather to her son, like that. They agree to not tell Grandpa about the bet. 
  Step-dad continues his lurking outside Cafe Panda, but this time, Customer notices him and he runs away. 
  Grandpa  inspects the storeroom, and Won Il and Seung Ji join him. Seung Ji notices that the ingredients are much cheaper than the ones he and Grandpa use, and Won Il calculates how much they spend per month on ingredients. Seung Ji quickly realizes that Saint Honore makes cheap cakes and sells them for high prices, so all that money is going somewhere. Grandpa asks Won Il what he intends to do about Step-dad, and he admits that he wants to prevent him from returning to Saint Honore, but he's worried that he and Glasses can't oversee everything on their own. 
  Won Il admits that he could easily find investors, but he doesn't have a clue when it comes to baking cakes. In fact, he doesn't even know where to start in their current situation. He's entirely dependent on Grandpa and Seung Ji.
  Seung Ji begs Grandpa to lead them, since Grandpa has the experience directing other patissiers, which Seung Ji lacks. He reminds Grandpa that the patissiers who mistreated him and beat him up have been working here. Won Il is shocked by this revelation, and Seung Ji assures him that he has reasons for hating Step-dad. He asks Grandpa to explain, and he gives the abridged version. Seung Ji begs Grandpa to take over so they can all be happy, replacing their bad memories with happy ones. 
  Won Yi is outside and overhears everything. She runs up the stairs, but meets Glasses on the way. She asks him to give Grandpa some papers, and he notices that she's upset, but she brushes it off as nothing. She volunteers to work in the kitchen.
  Glasses brings the profiles of Saint Honore's patissiers to Grandpa (there are 4 left), who decides to stay if they will trust him and let him run things his way. 
  Seung Ji reveals to Won Il that they are getting out the knife Grandpa has kept hidden for 20 years. Won Il asks what he was like before, and Seung Ji only knows that he said he flew. "So let's fly with Grandpa, too." 
  Grandpa institutes some new policies. Each person will work in the specialty they are most confident in. Glasses announces the teams and the projects they will work on. Grandpa tells the staff that he wants each of them to work for a brighter future. He wants their pastries to be alive. He tells them that Saint Honore is dependent on them for survival, and the final team includes all of them—Team Saint Honore. 
  Won Il goes outside, and now it's his turn to remember the night he promised to take care of Saint Honore. Won Yi follows him outside and asks if he knows Seung Ji and Grandpa aren't actually related. She wonders why people who have no blood ties are closer than some people who do. She tells him to worry about his filial duty later, and for now focus on the poor little cakes that will die without him. Can he abandon those innocent cakes?
   They decide they need to do something for Grandpa and Seung Ji, to repay them for bringing their cakes back to life. All they can do is find Grandpa's lost grandson for him. Won Yi brings up a facial recognition program she's seen online that they can use to match the childhood photo to an adult. They decide to ask Cherry Blossom for her help. 
  Step-dad sits in his car across from Cafe Panda, taking reconnaissance photos. Customer spots him again and heads over to confront him, but he drives away first. 
  Won Il calls Panda to ask her to help with Cherry Blossom, and she agrees to do it. She realizes they can find their friend Min Woo the same way. Won Il tells her he has something to tell her about Min Woo, but he wants to do it face-to-face. They agree to meet later.
  Customer tells Panda and Da Na about Step-dad's suspicious behavior and warns them to turn the security camera on the entrance. They agree to watch out for him, but Da Na thinks he might be Cherry Blossom's love interest, or a detective.
  Step-dad studies Cherry Blossom's photo, and decides she must have sent Seung Ji after him for revenge. "But how did she find me?"
  Panda debates whether recording with the security camera will have a negative impact on Seung Ji. She promised him to never treat him differently because of his past, but when she heard about the suspicious man, her first thought was that it might have something to do with Seung Ji. Cherry Blossom reveals that she was in jail for 20 years, and has the same worries about how people will treat her. 
  She points out that Mom will probably demand to see Seung Ji's profile, and it may affect his work. Panda says that Won Il will protect Seung Ji, but Cherry Blossom tells her that all the patissiers that went with Grandpa have criminal records. 
  Mom notices some of the guys' tattoos, and demands that Won Il investigate them thoroughly. She thinks they're in a gang, and Grandpa must be the leader. Won Il asks if she's forgotten about Step-dad's tattoo. He stands up to her, and tells her to work things out with Step-dad so they can get their house back. If she doesn't he'll take matters into his own hands and demand the embezzled money back as well. He's held back up until now because of her. She asks who has embezzled, but he warns her that if he has to bring in the law, she'll be seen as an accessory for ignoring everything that's gone on all these years. 
  She warns him that he'll chase her away one of these days, if he keeps on like that. He asks if she's talking about the mom who says she's on his side, but is really helping Step-dad, whose loyalties flip-flop between them, but usually land with Step-dad. "Before I'm your son, I'm the manager of Saint Honore." After he leaves, she asks if he thinks he's going to chase her away, too.

  He goes to the kitchen and watches Seung Ji work. Seung Ji comes over to the glass and makes a face to cheer him up. It's these little things in their interactions with each other that I love so much. Won Il goes outside and says that he's able to laugh because of Seung Ji, and he's grateful. Seung Ji comes out and says he knows that Won Il can't live without him.

  He offers a new cake he's made, but Won Il refuses. Seung Ji reminds him that he's eaten his cake before, and all the employees are watching them. Everyone who knows his aversion is silently cheering him on—even Eun Bi and her cohort have come down to see. Seung Ji tells him he has to do it if he wants the company to be revived, and he finally takes a bite. Seung Ji tells him that it was messed up, and instead of trashing it, he gave it to Won Il. Haha! Always getting in one last jab! 

  Seung Ji asks if he can sleep with him in his office later. Because he can't get ideas. And wants to stay close. Geez, where were your thoughts headed? As he walks off, Won Il says "I love you!" Seung Ji answers "Gotcha!" Seriously, these guys are so cute together. 
  Panda asks Seung Ji that night when he'll come home. He says he wants to develop a new product first, and is struggling because he doesn't know the people he's working with. They realize this is the first time they've talked on the phone so long, but it's also because it's the first time they've been apart like this. Panda asks if he's missed her, and he says that he's been staring at her photo all day. She asks if he's been checking out other girls, and he answers that he's only had Won Il to look at. 

  When they decide to hang up, Panda tries encouraging him by saying "Fighting! 1 2 3 GO!" He says he wants to hear something else, so she tells him she's staying in his room while he's gone. "Not that." They tell each other "I love you" and hang up. They also both kiss the pictures on the back of their phones. 
  The next day, Creepy Spy reports to Step-dad about the orphanage. He had to go to the police station instead, and they gave him a flier from Grandpa. They told him that the kid's grandfather and mother are searching for him as well. Step-dad mutters that he thought the old man had died or disappeared for good. When Spy asks who he means, he says "Someone who could be a threat to me."
  Mom wanders Grandpa's bakery, looking through all the baked goods. She takes a bite of Beom Bo's favorite, and spits it right back out. She gives him some money, but he tries to give it back. He explains that the reason she doesn't like their product is because she's too used to chemicals and cheap ingredients others use to stimulate appetite. He gives her another roll and tells her to taste what quality is like. If their store is still around, it means they're doing something right, and she's old enough to know these things. (Yay, Beom Bo! Way to stand up for yourself!) She throws the bread down and storms out.
  The detective is at Cafe Panda and sits down with Cherry Blossom. He admits that he's sorry not to see Seung Ji there, since he was looking forward to trying another of his cakes. Panda asks after Rice Cake, aka Hedgehog Jr., and the detective says that his manners have improved slightly, thanks to Seung Ji. He also talks a lot about how pretty Panda is. 
  Cherry Blossom asks how the investigation is going, but he's having a hard time tracking down her ex. He says he's looking for patissiers, and gets some info from her. 
  Beom Bo tells Lamesauce about his earlier encounter, and they realize that the woman claiming to be Eun Bi's mom must really have been Won Il's mom. They call Panda to tell her she's been snooping around, and she repeats everything in front of Cherry Blossom and Detective, who both perk up at the news. 
  Mom and Eun Bi show up at the cafe, and Mom decides she doesn't even need to go inside. She can tell there's no business, and they won't sell many cakes judging just by the sign, the location, and the customers she can see through the window. Da Na comes up and greets them. Mom calls them beggars and leaves.
  Cherry Blossom asks Panda to invite Won Il over for a talk. Da Na runs in to say she saw Mom outside, but they left. Panda runs out to try to confront her anyway. Detective tells Cherry Blossom that her father is going through unnecessary hardships. She tells him that he threw away the name of the bakery because of her, and she's sorry. (I'm pretty sure she means Saint Honore.) 
  Panda asks Won Il to come, but he can't until after work. He wonders if she's mad, since she seemed cold towards him. 
  A wealthy-looking woman comes to Saint Honore, and Cohort runs up to tell Won Il that it's an emergency. This woman is the CEO of the magazine Luxurious Living, her husband owns a French investment firm here in Korea, her father runs a top culinary school, and her mother runs a big hotel. They've never managed to make her happy with their food—it's usually just acceptable to her family's picky tastes, and sometimes it's not good enough. But, they're regular and important customers, and every year she orders from all the best bakeries and rates them in her magazine the next month. Saint Honore has never even received one star in her column. 

  Won Il reassures her that Seung Ji can make croque en bouche the traditional way, and it should be all right. He then meets the customer and tells her the same thing, and she warns him that they have visitors coming from France, so it had better be perfect. He assures her it will be, to the chagrin of Cohort and the Saint Honore waiter. But Host Club backs Won Il.
  Seung Ji tells Won Il that the cake they ate for the truth game wasn't real croque en bouche. It's only based on croque en bouche. They'll need Grandpa for this. He agrees, and they scare him when they yell "1 2 3 GO!" Haha!
  Eun Bi takes Mom to a culinary school to meet her lawyer father. Mom freaks out that he would be there instead of lawyering, and Eun Bi just has this look of "I warned you not to use him," but she's wise and doesn't say anything. When she finds her dad, he tells her he was avoiding her calls, so she should have known he wouldn't work for her. Eun Bi asks what she should have done, when Mom threatened to fire her if she didn't introduce them. If she loses her job, how will she see Won Il? Her dad says he doesn't need to hear every detail of her love life. Plus, Won Il said she isn't his type. 
  She asks him to just lie about his progress, but he says she should bring Won Il. She asks if Step-dad has already started preparations to sell Saint Honore, and he tells her Step-dad isn't what he claims to be. Eun Bi tells Mom that her dad wasn't there and he's not working as a lawyer any more. She demands that Eun Bi find another lawyer today. Mom gets a call about the croque en bouche order, and storms out. 
  Grandpa starts the croque en bouche with Seung Ji and Glasses on standby. Mom watches from outside the kitchen, and Won Il passes and shoots her an exasperated look behind her back. He calls Panda to tell her he can't come by until much later.
  Eun Bi comes in to his office and asks if President Choi is really President Choi. 
  Okay, that's not really where it ended, but it's where it should have ended. They just show Grandpa working some more, and an unimportant tidbit between Aunt and Cherry Blossom.  
  Overall, I don't think anything much happened in this episode. Grandpa and Seung Ji took over the operational side of Saint Honore, and we found out that Step-dad stole the company from Grandpa all those years ago. It was implied, anyway. The patissiers have to fill some big orders, and one very difficult order, and are determined to make Saint Honore reputable again. 
  We didn't even really see much interaction between Panda and Hedgehog, besides one phone call. Granted, Panda finally told him she loves him, but that was it.
Worth seeing again.
  We did get some cute bromantical moments, and it's often in the smallest things that we really see the depth of the relationship between Seung Ji and Won Il. They have come to completely trust one another, and are so dependent on each other. It's sweet. I also love that Won Il sees Grandpa as his own granfatherly figure. 
  At this point, I think the most interesting conflict is Won Yi's. She's trying so hard to reconcile her view of her father with his actions, and things just don't add up. I wish we were shown a bit more of this angst, because it could be really compelling. As it is, it's interesting and well-acted, but doesn't carry the weight it is capable of. 
  Won Il has always disliked Step-dad, and knows he's shady. But Won Yi loves him, and has always believed him to be a good person. I like that she's mature enough to understand that he's not, as he keeps proving again and again, but it's still a very difficult transition for her to make. And through this process, she's coming to depend more on her hyungs Won Il and Seung Ji to be her male role models. Song In Hwa is doing a phenomenal job showing this conflict with the short scenes she gets.
  I think the acting in this drama is pretty solid. Maybe not award-winning, but all the major characters have won my heart. Lee Moon Hee was made to play melancholy and sweet, and is great as Cherry Blossom. Choi Jin Hyuk stole my heart from the beginning, Yoon Seung Ah had already impressed me in TMTETS, and Lee Dong Hae has grown quite a bit in the course of 13 episodes. At first, I found his character kind of bland—likable and with a shady past, but bland—but he's done a nice job of fleshing out Seung Ji and making him more than he appeared.
  I love how this show has continued to be consistently cute and light-hearted. There's a touch of angst thrown in, which could be mined for a bit more drama, but it pretty much stays in the realm of nice fluff. Which is where I like it. 


  1. "I also love that Won Il sees Grandpa as his own granfatherly figure." That's so true. I think one of the reasons that I love this drama so much, and much like a lot of others, is because we too are trying to find people to create a makeshift sort of family; not one of blood but rather unconditional love. I know, I know, awww!

    I know I have always labelled this show as cute BUT truly, I love this show because it is so endearing. I just love how after getting the OTP together, the show is fixated by them and creating silly conflict to separate them. Instead our conflict is found in the brewing bromance and Won Yi and her brothers/father. Though I do not doubt that they won't let past fate change their hearts, of course they will still have to traverse a mind field of hurt and grief.

    I just love that this drama, despite its candy floss style, is dealing with feelings in a really mature way.

    1. Yay! The weekend is here. I can't wait! Wishing all Panda and Hedgehog viewers well and a happy ending!