We’re gearing up toward the last third of Noodles, and while it isn’t the time to show the characters’ hands just yet, it’s high time for each plan to begin taking shape and bombs to start dropping. I’m hardly interested in any show’s politics side, but i guess it’s inevitable as the older characters are fighting over Goongrakwon. Like it or not, we’re finally entering that ugly battlefield… *groan*
The gate is opened by Dae-chun, who regains full consciousness and speech ability long enough to say his final words to the kitchen staff, draw up a new will, and deliver a blow for one of the truth/revenge-seekers. There IS indeed more to his role, which is less about Gil-do’s real identity and more about the murderer of Da-hae’s mother. He may be the last few persons who knew young Gil-do’s face, an important knowledge to tear the beast’s mask, though on a more important note, he holds the key to Da-hae’s childhood trauma.
The reveal wouldn’t have been this shocking if i had paid a closer attention to the faces appearing in this drama, no matter how fleeting the screen time is, because i vividly remember the flashback scene but not her mom’s face. All this time i’ve questioned Da-hae’s character who seems to pop up out of nowhere — i once thought if she was the housekeeper’s daughter — the answer of which has long been given to me, only right under my nose. What’s worse is how uneventful it actually was: a push-and-run accident. Ugh. I hate this turn of events because then there was no motive or satisfying closure other than the perpetrator being too coward to own up to the mishap. Like, the disclosure sends the thrill through the roof and the truth crashes it to the ground. Sooo anticlimactic.
This, however, could mark the end of Da-hae’s motive to find her mom’s killer. She doesn’t get to hear why, but she gets the who, whom she’s grown fond of that the blow is harsher than anticipated. The more crucial variable is what (led to her fall). I hope Da-hae’s doesn’t forget the “Gil-do = murderer” bits as well as his multiple identities and secret safe once she comes back to her senses. Currently, she’s understandably disoriented; she’s been suspecting and hating on the wrong person, we can’t fully blame her for seeing Gil-do in new light and buying his blatant lies. Despite abandoning her, he’s still her biological father, who argues that he used cho powder* as medicine on Dae-chun and breaks into tears while visiting the niche of the only person he’s ever loved. She isn’t privy to the information we know about him, yet it’s still rather frustrating to see how trusting and gullible she is.
(*Speaking of which, it remains a mystery how Gil-do poisoned the family’s last homemade meal with it.)
I am also frustrated with Tae-ha’s silence. He’s closer to the monster than anyone else, including Da-hae and Do-kkoo, is on his good side, something Myung-yi still strives to achieve, and in the loop of his master’s inner thoughts and feelings. Yet, instead of sharing those inside stories to help Myung-yi or protect Da-hae, he keeps everything to himself and merely looks on as the former struggles to earn Gil-do’s trust and the latter falls into the trap. Either Tae-ha’s too careful or Gil-do’s actually testing him by being quite open. It’s equally puzzling and amazing how he manages not to betray any emotion upon learning things like Gil-do’s twisted past and his relation to Da-hae. I start feeling wary of his glee when complimented by Gil-do and the death glare directed at Myung-yi for being too close to Da-hae. (There is still a woman between them, though i’m glad it isn’t the typical love triangle.) I don’t mind him being protective of her, he deserves to be happy and i enjoy their easy rapport, but those micro expressions…don’t look right.
While the elders are busy playing mind games to win over Dae-chun’s shares inherited to Da-hae, the youngsters are fighting their own wars. Myung-yi is busy kissing Gil-do’s ass, also is a step closer toward his ultimate goal by becoming the head chef after deputy head of noodles forfeits upon being confronted about the ingredients he didn’t use but was smelled inside his dish (Gawd, this man is too honest for his own good!). Unfortunately, that doesn’t last long as his promotion, public exposure, and the subsequent rise in sales threats to strip Gil-do off of Goongrakwon’s management rights. The master of manipulation tempts Myung-yi to prove his loyalty and thus earn his trust by resigning from his post and running the resurrected Chimyeon Restaurant. Sometimes i can’t understand him either. Doesn’t he plan to avenge his parents’ death? Why is he so obsessed about discovering Dad’s name instead? How will that change anything?
The upside of this largely tedious week — besides the awkwardly adorable courtship between Tae-ha and Da-hae, obviously — is the eventual reunion of the main leads. Myung-yi finally stops evading Yeo-kyung and initiates the meet-up. Not only that, they also agree to join forces to crush their common enemy. We haven’t gotten further breakthrough regarding her case, and i frankly doubt Gil-do had a hand in it. Her arc remains the dullest and her screen time the least among the cast (save for Gil-young). I’m not really impressed with her works either. She merely orders her assistants to do the menial tasks as she waits or sits prettily on her desk. She does manage to infer that Kim Gil-do = Ha Jung-tae, but that’s as far as she goes. They still believe the secret vault holds every incriminating evidence they need, but Gil-do isn’t an easy target. He’s smart enough to change the entry code and nearly caught Myung-yi red-handed, yet dumb enough to believe Tae-ha’s vague answer about Da-hae being the one who broke into his room when she was with Dae-chun till his last breath when the alarm went off.
Yeah, everyone becomes a lot more desperate and rash this week. Myung-yi’s sneaking into the room at the slightest opening, Kang-sook’s flipping her lid at will reading then attempting to butter Da-hae up half-bakedly (in addition to the mention of her parentage when it was never brought up before that scene), Myung-yi leaving the DNA test result inside his noodle shop, which he openly offers for Da-hae’s use and temporary shelter, and Congressman So dropping his pretense and confronting Gil-do about his past crime. He’s been doing so well in taking jabs at his nemesis that it’s weird to see his facade crumble so easily over a taunt.
Episode 14 shows a lot more plot holes than usual. Despite the illogical execution and eyebrow-raising sequence, i’m willing to believe the characters have something more up their sleeves (to make up for those uncharacteristic blunders). Noodles has been quite good in being unpredictable. They’ve made it thus far that my humble wish is for Show to keep it up till the end. Keeping my fingers crossed.