Master of Revenge Ep 5

Master of Revenge; God of Noodles Episode 5

DaHee narrates that smell is related to memories and that’s why babies remember their mothers through scent. In order not to forget, one needs to keep smelling it and we see her lie on her bed, smelling a bloodied article of clothing, tears on her face.

In the not-prologue present, DaHee sits and clears her nose, casually as she pleases. She’s here to determine the genuineness of some Chimhyang (agarwood) for a staff of Goongrakwon. Goongrakwon wants the fragrant resin-wood for their 100 year anniversary celebration. As the seller talks up the staff, DaHee calls them fake. Of course the seller gets offended and DaHee says that the real thing would smoke like a cigarette while a fake one would release only a thin smoke. The staff offers to buy up everything if they’re the real thing and lights the smallest end of the smallest piece up. It releases a smoke as thin a supermodel on a runway.

They leave and DaHee addresses the staff as Noodle Master, obviously on casual, friendly terms with him. She chides him for not making noodles these days since she can’t really smell the buckwheat on him. Noodle Master asks her to work for him but she rejects and she demands her pay. Apparently, no one’s supposed to know that he uses her for such things and lets her off after she asks every revenge drama’s signature “who are you?” Neither sees the man hiding behind the trees and watching their every move. As she drives off she thinks to herself that the real secret is the smell of alcohol lingering in his throat.

GilDo heads for the kitchen, seeing a portrait of his father-in-law on the way and takes issue with how it looks like something from a mortuary. He orders his guard to make the father-in-law’s portrait smile or lower it’s eyes like he thinks the place is Hogwarts.

He addresses his kitchen staff and warns them to be on their toes for a particularly sharp-tongued Madam Seol, who will be tasting their dishes for the 100 year anniversary celebration that afternoon. Noodle Master takes heed.

GilDo goes to visit his still unconscious father-in-law where his wife snarks at the “filial” son-in-law coming in after sticking his father-in-law in a sunless, isolated place. GilDo ignores her and stays by his father-in-law’s side, telling him to be well so that he can see him rise to success.

Husband and wife walk out, with KangSook telling GilDo to be a little less cool and  to be friendlier on TV. Even if she can’t stand to be lovey-dovey with him, they should at least show the world that they’re amicable as husband and wife.

DaHee speeds her way down a huge street, a “shit-fly” on her tail. Her words, not mine. She loses him and is greeted with flying objects the moment she steps home. Her roommate/sister screams at her for writing a negative review of the gourmet-with-a-gifted-tongue Seol MiJa asking why she’s stirring up trouble. DaHee simply offers the reason that it’s because it’s the truth.

Seol MiJa meets with GilDo at Goongrakwon in Gangnam and is presented with an array of dishes. Both head chef and GilDo watch nervously as she eats.

As she eats, she puts her chopsticks down at the Royal Pheasant Buckwheat Noodles and delivers a scathing opinion of the food that’s not quite up to standard. She doesn’t hold back as she steely tells the chef to worry more about making the noodles perfect rather than the customer’s tastes.

Seol MiJa and GilDo walk out and she asks after her old friend of 40 years whom she can’t visit (Grandpa Go) and she and GilDo seem to be on amicable terms, even if not exactly friendly. MiJa claims that she has a stake in the establishment, since she always has to taste any food that Goongrakwon makes before it appears on the menu. She comments on the grandeur of Gangnam Goongrakwon, she and GilDo talking in circles about politics and business. She pokes him with his shortcomings with a nice smile on her face and GilDo reminds her of the harsh article DaHee had written about her.

She leaves and head chef offers GilDo his apologies. Surprisingly, GilDo just calmly tells him to go over the 100 year anniversary celebration’s menu while he’ll deal with MiJa himself.

MiJa stalks her way out as she talks ill of GilDo under her breath. Her assistant hands her a tablet with DaHee’s article and MiJa just demands to know who wrote it.

The person who wrote it is currently making food and enduring her elder sister’s sighs. Elder Sister sighs that she had worked so hard to get to where she is today, even scoring an interview with MiJa, but is now brought down (so she thinks) by DaHee.

DaHee attempts to comfort her and points out the hypocrisy of MiJa giving bad restaurants good reviews. Someone knocks on their door and the elder sister goes out to scream at the annoying guest. Lol, she opens the door just a bit and closes it straightaway when she see’s MiJa.

Not-blind DaHee goes to the rooftop with MiJa and trashes it out with her, bringing up the example of MiJa once waxing lyrical about the brasenia scented food from a restaurant when the restaurant doesn’t even use brasenia in their food.

MiJa takes DaHee to some super hidden restaurant that doesn’t have any menu whatsoever. The owner just serves whatever he wants and opens shop whenever he wants. The owner appears and ooh, it’s not-bum Myeong. Today’s menu is fish noodles and he informs them that that it’ll take about an hour.

MiJa asks for one of the broths to be steeped in brasenia and the other, not. DaHee asks if it’s a test and they try to scare the other off. Myeong offers the bet that the one who gets it right pays for the noodles.

We get a montage of Myeong making his noodles and apparently, no it’s not fish and noodles but actual fish-meat-and-flour noodles. What kind of recipe is that? I need to try it.

The noodles are done and DaHee takes one sniff. She does the same with the other and she just says that he put brasenia in neither of them. Lol, he could be YAPS’ friend.

He admits it and says that she could have just gotten lucky. She identifies the brasenia in her five-flavour-berry tea and both MiJa and Myeong acknowledge her skill, which is when her stomach rumbles, hur.

She digs into the noodles and relishes them, asking for how Myeong thought up of them. He says that he learnt it on his way to ShanXi.

MiJa asks if she’s heard of DFEL, which is short for Drink First Eat Later. Apparently they’re not talking about drinking noodle broths but actual alcohol as MiJa asks DaHee to join her for drinks after the meal. Koreans and their alcohol…

In another pub, GilDo downs a shot offered by the corrupt official that got him his Gangnam land. It’s nonsense time again as GilDo talks about food masters not wearing braces or even using mouthwash for the metal and alcohol in either would spoil their perfect sense of taste and corrupt politician praises his own inability to even look at bribes for fear of being tempted. I am now suffering from eye strains due to a major eye-roll.

GilDo asks about the by-election and the corrupt politician tells him to know his place. Money from uneducated people is apparently problematic, as he tells GilDo – what GilDo gave was not a bribe but merely an admission fee. You better watch your back. This guy doesn’t take kindly to insults.

At Myeong’s restaurant, DaHee is lightly snoring away after just 2 small shots of alcohol. MiJa tsks at her and laments Myeong wasting his talent away. In fact, he’s already good enough for Goongrakwon and at the name, DaHee sits up, long enough to say, “Goonrakwon! I got you.”

However, she continues to say that he’s not yet good enough for the VIPs of Goongrakwon. Myeong asks if Goongrakwon’s that good and MiJa reminisces the day she ate their Royal Pheasant Buckwheat Noodles. She admires the person who came up with the noodles and therefore admires GilDo, mistakenly accrediting him for the feat. Myeong stiffens and challenges that he could make those noodles too, the recipe for which GilDo had stolen.

GilDo, meanwhile, is stuck with corrupt politician’s drunk ass. As he sends him off, he asks Hwang how he likes living in Gangnam as compared to Masan and Hwang just replies that the people act same. GilDo plans to live the way he did at Masan.

DaHee stirs awake and prepares to leave when Myeong calls her out for lying about having remarkable olfactory abilities and offers the hypothesis that she lured and caught MiJa’s attention on purpose in order to enter Goongrakwon. She takes offense at that and calls him a liar in return, commenting that no one who ever went to ShanXi could have not known of Seol MiJa. Is MiJa that gullible? She falling for lies left and right.

Myeong questions her claim that scents have thumbprints. If little smells are overpowered and disappear, how could smells have thumbprints? DaHee objects, saying that scents layer over each other, not overpower. She remembers her mother’s scent from 10 years ago perfectly.

That triggers Myeong to say that things like “Mother’s smell” and “Father’s food” are just imaginations based on memories. DaHee tells him to stop and she stalks out.

DaHee returns home and opens the curtains that cover her board-of-revenge that lists GilDo as Ha JungTae, born in Seoul.

She smells the clothes in her drawer, convinced that the smell of her dead mother and grandmother are not simply the imaginations of her mind. She smells the bead she wears around her neck in a necklace, saying that she won’t forget the smell of their murderer either. Gurl, really…

She recreates Myeong’s fish noodles but though they smell the same, they don’t taste the same.

In his shop, Myeong opens his modern-era revenge file on his computer and scrolls through his tree of revenge. He clicks on a question mark that links to pictures of DaHee, all taken without her knowledge.

Some day(s) later, DaHee rides off in her scooter to college and sees DokGu hanging out there, all slicked up.

She asks him why he keeps stalking her but he declares not to know what she’s talking about. He exchanges the “expensive” phone he once gave her with a smartphone with a puppy accessory.

In his car, his still-lackey DooChul sings terribly and DokGu smacks him in the head, threatening to kill him if he sings aloud again. So hurtful! He asks about the tracking device that the puppy accessory must be and confirms that DaHee is his niece.

A flashback shows the day he had first appeared before DaHee who gave all sorts of precocious little child answers, lol. She smells him and tells him that he smells of cigarettes, a man who lives alone and powdered milk. If he didn’t smell like the last one, she’d have screamed, haha! DaHee’s grandma calls out for her and DokGu says about that much and mini-DaHae says that she’s not her grandma – she’s just pretending to be one. Say what now?

TaeHa is in great demand amongst the prison mates/ gangs and he almost beats up someone who had been bugging him when the security guard tells him to go meet someone with the message of “Wimpy Park MooTaek”. Why do they always speak in codes around here?

TaeHa comes face to face with DokGu who isn’t a lot more polite than the other time. DokGu offers to take him under his wing. When TaeHa rejects, DokGu jabs that brains are not the only things that get inherited. Cancerous cells get inherited too and that means TaeHa is full of the bad blood of Wimpy Park MooTaek. TaeHa goes crazy when he hears the name and DokGoo tsks at that. He tells TaeHa to work for him again before leaving, promising to show him something interesting. Why you gotta provoke an innocent kid like this?

GilDo goes to meet the congressman (aka Corrupt Politician) with an appointment at 1 pm. He told’s that the congressmen is out though (how rude).

At a certain set, a director screams at his staff to find someone who hasn’t appeared and Hwang sees his phone with 18 missed calls and ignores them all.

Big fat jerk, corrupt congressmen, wakes in his office after a nap of 3 hours. He goes out to meet GilDo and brazenly invites him inside, blaming his secretaries for not waking up. GilDo takes a nearby cup with him into the room.

Inside, GilDo and congressman talk in circles, essentially about GilDo doing things the way he did in Masan. That’s short for being a gangster. GilDo throws the congressman pictures of him partying it up with the bar girls and socks him in the face with the cup.

He tells the congressmen that it’s an obvious conclusion that either they both die or one of them dies. He bets the congressman dies and I’m with him on that one. He has the track record for it. By the way, I think he means that literally.

GilDo walks onto the set of his interview, 4 hours late. The interviewer-announcer offers to put the mike on him and sees what she thinks is red juice on his shirt.

As she gets him a new shirt, she brings up his documentary “Masters of Korea” and laments that he should have sprayed water a few more times for his “sweat” to look more realistic. Oooh, I think someone’s onto him.

She pokes at his falling status in society a bit but doesn’t go away even when he asks if she won’t when he’s about to change his shirt. When she puts the mike on him, she’s all touchy-feely.

He whirls her around, asking who she is. She says that she’s someone who can make him a king and in return, she wants to be the one beside the king. She offers to give him some time but he doesn’t need it and they kiss. Ick, lady, your choices.

As TaeHa works with an electric cutter, the boss of another gang in jail sticks a file in a block of wood, snidely remarking about DokGu coming for him and his increasing popularity. Oookay then.

In his cell, TaeHa rushes to check the papers and sees that YeoKyung has passed the bar exam, top of the class. The other boys get that information and are happy too.

Unfortunately, her bar exam interview dates range from 15 till 17, the last day of which coincides with TaeHa’s day of discharge from prison. You better go to your bar exam interview and send the guys a message! I won’t have any broken friendships around here!

In his restaurant, Myeong makes his Royal Pheasant Buckwheat Noodles, the exact, same frustrating way his father made them. Outside, DaHee paces, unable to enter the restaurant.

Myeong presents his noodles to his father(‘s tablet) as he tells us all of his vow to become Goongrakwon’s successor and reclaim his father’s name because simple murder won’t soothe his heart.

DaHee must be missing the taste of Myeong noodles so badly because she climbs through his windows.

Myeong catches her and is understandably agitated that she’s here to steal something, not giving up especially when she mentions his fish noodles. She insists that she’s not there to steal anything but really wants to know what’s missing in her noodles because not recognising something drives her nuts.

Its brasenia, he supplies. Oops. He added brasenia but it doesn’t smell because fish can completely eradicate its smell, letting it only leave behind its taste. He also explains that MiJa already knew of it so they didn’t tell her the truth, since it wasn’t a fair bet to bet on something not even detectable.

DaHee slams her money down since she’d actually lost the bet and goes off. Myeong looks at the accessory that she drops on the ground.

DaHee gets on her bike but no sooner does she hold the handles than someone comes along to kidnap her. WHAT THE-

Myeong goes out, probably to return the accessory to her and barely misses her getting dragged into a nearby van. I wrote “barely misses”, which means that he probably saw it. What are you waiting for you doofus? Your eyes didn’t play a trick on you!

He looks down at DaHee’s scooter but I can’t tell from his expression whether he knows what he just saw or whether he’ll save her or not. Oh gorrammit!

 

Comment:

What is with this show and violence against ladies?!

But at least it’s a show without wimpy ladies.

I love the steely spine everyone has in this drama. Talk between the older generation is always layered and done with the veneer of politeness while the younger generation is straightforward and blunt. It’s like watching a live political debate one moment and then going behind-the-scenes in another.

This was definitely DaHee’s episode where she appears in many scenes as compared to the previous episode. It’s interesting to note that DaHee’s the victim of yet another parent-murder and my mind certainly goes to that someone who’s definitely capable of that, especially seeing how DaHee’s mother looks similar to the person who gave Grandpa Go the Wanted poster of GilDo. (I mean, he even killed a poor innocent housekeeper who just happened to enter a room at the wrong time, so what more a person with his Wanted poster?)

So does that mean we have at least 2 separate people hell-bent on revenge in this show? That’s quite a number.

In fact, MiJa seems to have some plans of her own too, though I’m not sure yet what or why except that it most probably involves GilDo. Her disgust for him is amusing in its intensity. MiJa also seems to be like a tigress, quiet and steady. She’s one who holds all her cards close to her chest and really, despite me saying above that people are tricking her left and right, I’m not sure if she’s actually falling for them even if she appears to be doing so from what I see. Is she playing with my mind or is my mind playing with my mind?

Another way that the show is playing with my mind is it’s telling of relations between each character – or rather, not telling. Part of it is certainly attributed to South Korea’s  very loose and vague use of relationship words. Like, DaHae calls the blogger her “unnie”, but I don’t know if she’s her biological sister or not since that word is used for both biological elder sisters and simply older females that one (as a female herself) is close to. That means “unnie” can mean biological elder sister, elder lady cousin, elder lady co-worker, elder lady-friend or even just an older lady that one wants to suck up to. That the blogger is not DaHae’s biological sister is what I’ve concluded, given how the blogger doesn’t seem to be as affected by DaHae’s mother’s murder as DaHae is. The story worsens this by not actually telling us about the relationships between its characters in clear narration but makes us figure it out ourselves by watching the characters themselves. I still can’t tell if DaHae is DokGu’s biological niece or what. What was with the smell of milk formula on him? This method of “show, not tell” is fundamental in many good stories, though sometimes, I like to be thrown a bone, like here.

From another perspective, this vagueness in addressing the relationships perfectly mirrors the complicated relationships between the characters. The enemy of my enemy can be my ally or something like that. Nothing’s ever clear or concrete in this show, save for our 4 friend’s friendship (or so I hope)!

 

This show is like deep water – still at the top and turbulent at the bottom and I loooooove my shows that way.

 

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