Level Up Episode 5
An Dan Te (Sung Hoon), Manager Park, Kwak Han Cheol (Baro) Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) CEO Jo Super Idol J (boy band) Bae Ya Chae (Kang Byul) eatery owner, Mi Ja. step brother Kang Hoon
At the new work location that is being refurbished for Joybuster, An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) confers with the construction manager. Meanwhile Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) explores a greenhouse and ends up disturbing a bee nest. They fly up enraged. She runs. Dan Te sees her running with a swarm of bees following. He grabs her, asks if she can swim, and jumps into the river. The ambulance arrives and finds Dan Te (unconscious) and Yeon Hwa across the river. They revive Dan Te.
Kwak Han Cheol (Baro) finds no one wants his mother’s honey cakes. He takes them into the conference room to study per Manager Park’s direction. He eats them and finds them yummy.
Dan Te flashes back going into the river with Yeon Hwa. She tries to direct him up. Instead he kisses her. Wrapped in blankets Yeon Hwa chides for jumping into the river when he didn’t know how to swim. The ambulance driver warns them not to disturb bee hives if they find others on the property. They bicker about why the incident occurred. Dan Te is worried that they swapped germs when they kissed. Yeon Hwa is taken aback. Then he pretends it was a joke and she does the same.
Dan Te’s step brother Kang Hoon grouses to his friend he needs money and a part-time job won’t generate sufficient income. They watch a YouTube classmate try and power a cart with fire extinguishers. It fails. The security guard chases her. She runs up to Kang Hoon, puts the cart in his hands, the helmet on his head and begs him not to identify her. She flees. The security guard follows and order Kang Hoon to remove the helmet. The security guard’s eyes widen recognizing him from the other day’s interaction with Dan Te. Kang Hoon rushes away.
Let’s ignore that she was in a blue jump suit and Kang Hoon is in white and black.
The YouTube student, Sang Mi, live streams her thoughts on the incident while eating. Kang Hoon finds her and returns her helmet. He wants to know how much she makes creating content on YouTube. He suggests Sang Mi teach him her YouTube skills as payment for not identifying her.
Dan Te and Yeon Hwa get in his car to return to the city. Dan Te is not happy when he sees a large purchase on his credit card. He knows Kang Hoon has appropriated his card without his permission…again. He drives like a maniac back to the city. Arriving at his apartment building, Dan Te tells Yeon Hwa to wait for him.
Kang Hoon lays out all the new video equipment. Fear strikes his heart when Dan Te enters the apartment. Kang Hoon begs forgiveness for the purchase. Dan Te asks if he borrowed money from Kang Hoon in a former life. Ha! Kang Hoon explains he wants to try this and is excited about this new business opportunity. Dan Te is not. He literally tosses Kang Hoon out of his apartment and changes the passcode.
In the lobby, Kang Hoon begs Dan Te to give him the equipment. Dan Te declares he’ll return the equipment for a refund. Yeon Hwa recognizes Kang Hoon and calls to him. He begs her to change Dan Te’s mind. Confused she asks their relationship. They state they are step brothers. She notes they are similar. In union, they reject that. Kang Hoon demands to know why Dan Te invited him to live with him. Dan Te retorts his offer of help is over. He walks away. Kang Hoon stares at Dan Te’s retreating back.
In the car, Dan Te explains that his step brother isn’t worth helping. He tells her personal matters are off limits. Yeon Hwa is tired of being in wet smelly clothes and asks she take him to her apartment so she can shower and change.
Clean and dry, Yeon Hwa offers Dan Te some of her father’s clothes so he can do the same. He starts to decline but catches a whiff of himself and complies. We see he as multiple bee stings on his back. Yeon Hwa Is horrified when her father enters the apartment for his lunch hour. As she feared, her father assumes the worst when a clean and dry Dan Te steps out of the bathroom, in his clothes. He hits Dan Te on his back repeatedly. Dan Te goes down. Yeon Hwa yells this man is her boss. Yeon Hwa’s father tends Dan Te’s bee stings, chiding him for not seeking medical attention. Dan Te promises to return the clothes. Yeon Hwa can’t believe she’s in this situation.
In the car, Yeon Hwa apologizes for her father’s actions. Dan Te agrees to try. Yeon Hwa asks why Dan Te didn’t say anything about the bee stings. Dan Te explains that in the river, the bee stings paralyzed him so that he couldn’t swim. He wasn’t able to save her. Yeon Hwa declares the attempt was more important. Dan Te suggests they resolve the issue another way.
At Joybuster, the employees gather to watch Dan Te and Yeon Hwa battle it via a video game. Yeon Hwa is confident she’ll win. The other employees are too. But things don’t go as expected and Yeon Hwa loses. Dan Te orders her team to generate a new game idea within the week. Manager Park explains to Yeon Hwa’s team that Dan Te immerses himself in a company when he decides to restructure it. Manager Park notes that Dan Te works hard and refuses to lose. Yeon Hwa realizes that Dan Te learned Joybuster’s video games as part of his new role.
Locked out of Kang Hoon’s apartment, he can’t sleep over at his friend’s place because they are out of town. Instead he meets Sang Mi meet who tells her live feed audience she’ll get what she wants from this boy. She ends the broadcast with a promise to report what happened in her next video. Kang Hoon wants him to teach him. Sang Mi wants Kang Hoon to bring all his new equipment to her place. When she learns he doesn’t have the equipment or money, she tells her followers she’s leaving. Kang Hoon grabs her and demands she teach him as promised. Sang Mi tells her followers she’s being threatened. She tells Kang Hoon to find his own path to earn money. Kang Hoon demands she keep her word. Instead of talking to him, she talks to her viewers. Disgusted, Kang Hoon grabs her phone and steps on it.
It’s late at Joybuster and most are gone. Manager Park asks Dan Te if he needs his management team to stay. Dan Te tells them to leave. They quickly comply.
The CEO of NexViper is surprised to learn Joybuster won’t be using his software to publish their next game. When he’s told Dan Te is restructuring the company, he muses not using his NexViper software is a risky move.
Dan Te finds Manager Park’s wallet in the bathroom and tucks it in his pocket for safe keeping. Dan Te finds Han Cheol asleep in the conference room next to the box with his mother’s honey cakes. He read the sweet note Han Cheol’s mother wrote. He recalls Yeon Hwa chiding him that Han Cheol’s mother sent the honey cakes with love.
Flashback…Dan Te’s father is relieved when Dan Te arrives for lunch. It’s awkward between them. Dan Te spies the gaming system in the bag next to his father. Pulling it out his father hopes his new stepson will like it. As they eat, his father suggests that Dan Te come over for a family meal. Dan Te bristles that his father’s new wife and son aren’t his family. He points out he’s never gotten a gift from his father but his stepbrother does. His father counters that Dan Te doesn’t like games or anything he tries to do for him. Dan Te counters he knows nothing about his father. He repeats he has no interest in his father’s new family. He walks away and thinks that he doesn’t like anything.
Flashback…A young Dan Te sleeps in his mother’s hospital bed.
The antagonism between Dan Te and his father was earned by his father.
Han Cheol wakes startled to find himself in the conference room.
Manager Park returns to the office to see if he left his wallet there. Yeon Hwa returns to the office to get her USB. Manager Park asks about Oh Mi Ji, Yeon’s friend and eatery owner. He admits he likes her. Yeon Hwa warns him that Mi Ji is a divorcee and isn’t a pushover with men. Manager Park is thrilled to learn Mi Ji doesn’t have a boyfriend and decides to give it a go.
Han Cheol finds Dan Te working in the conference room. He’s surprised to see his mother’s honey cakes on the table. Dan Te wants Han Cheol to tell his mother he liked the cakes. Han Cheol is pleased. His distracted by sugar on Dan Te’s lip and goes to wipe it off. Just then Manager Park and Yeon Hwa. Everyone is startled by the appearance of what is happening. Manager Park explains he left his wallet. Dan Te grouses they should go home. He leaves after tossing Manager Park’s wallet on the table.
Yeon Hwa tells Han Cheol his mother’s honey cakes were yummy. Manager Park is interested an Han Cheol hands over a pack. Manager Park calls to Dan Te if he wants one. Dan Te gets on the elevator without a word. They are surprised when Han Cheol reports that Dan Te already ate and enjoyed his mother’s honey cakes. Manager Park suggests Han Cheol join him for food and drink.
Dan Te sits are the eatery he shared the flashback meal with his father staring at the table they ate at. The owner greets him warmly and asks about his father.
Manager Park tells Mi Ja to join them for food and drink. She joins them but won’t drink while working. Manager Park suggests they go bike riding on day. Han Cheol suggests he and Yeon Hwa join them. She notes this is a double date as she walks away. Manager Park confirms he is interested in Mi Ja. Han Cheol confirms he is interested in Yeon Hwa.
Dan Te eats the soup. He tells the owner his father suddenly died. The owner offers his condolences and turns to answer a customer’s call. Yeon Hwa enters and joins a surprised Dan Te. She calls out for a bottle of soju and two glasses. She chides Dan Te that he should pour her drink and vice versa. Dan Te relents and pours her a drink. He informs her this eatery was favored by his father, though he put the bill in Dan Te’s name. He doesn’t want to talk about it. Yeon Hwa notes he ate Han Cheol’s mother’s honey cakes. She asks why he did that. Dan Te retorts he’s not interested in being examined. Yeon Hwa retorts if she can determine what would hook him for a new game, she’s had a new audience for their next game. She urges him to eat and drink with her. But she can’t help herself and asks why Dan Te argued with Kang Hoon. Reluctantly Dan Te explains that Kang Hoon only causes trouble. Yeon Hwa and Dan Te agree he wants to solve issues not make them. Dan Te drinks. Yeon Hwa is thrilled. Dan Te retorts he’s only determining if the soup and soju pair well. He fills her glass and she fills his. They drink and eat.
Manager Park and Han Cheol tells Mi Ja the food and drink were delicious. She tells them to bring Dan Te next time. Manager Park declares Dan Te doesn’t drink or have fun. Han Cheol comments that as a bigger man, Dan Te should tolerate alcohol well. Manager Park retorts that Dan Te’s body can’t process alcohol. His phone buzzes, it’s Dan Te.
Dan Te is outside the eatery, affected by the alcohol and doesn’t answer Manager Park’s questions.
Inside the eatery, Yeon Hwa wonders why it is taking Dan Te so long to return to the table. She calls Dan Te. A man answers and reports that Dan Te is drunk.
Yeon Hwa rushes outside and thanks the man for answering Dan Te’s phone. She sees him on the ground. She manages to get him up and starts to call a cab. She spies food on his shirt. She picks it off and goes to eat it but he stops her hand. She apologizes for a overly familiar act. Dan Te declares that his is food. He eats it off her fingers. Yeon Hwa’s eyes widen in surprise.
Dan Te has appeal. Writer Kim Dong Kyu showed more of Dan Te’s past, specifically the strained relationship with his father. Yeon Hwa seems to be able to prod Dan Te to consider his actions and change for the better. Dan Te ate the honey cakes and told Han Cheol to thank his mother. Dan Te drank soju with Yeon Hwa.
An Dan Te (Sung Hoon) has heart though he covers that fact with a matter of fact manner. Dan Te’s flashback to eating with his father showed his anger at his father moving on and wanting Dan Te to consider his father’s new wife and son his family too. With that background, his willingness to help his step brother Kang Hoon had to have limits when Kang Hoon stole Dan Te’s credit card again. Kang Hoon continues to be more spoiled than likeable. While I don’t like Kang Hoon homeless and without money, he created the situation. The young couple relationship between Kang Hoon and Sang Mi got off to a rocky start. I didn’t find her likeable either, so in that regard, they are a match. Finally we start to see a relationship beginning to build between Yeon Hwa and Dan Te. She challenges him in a good way this episode.
Shin Yeon Hwa (Han Bo Reum) saw a kinder side to Dan Te. He saved her by jumping into the river. The underwater kiss was odd at this point in their relationship. He was stung by bees. He took a beating from her father. He ate Han Cheol’s mother’s rice cakes. Yeon Hwa saw all this. She chided him into drinking with her. Little did she know Dan Te’s body can’t process alcohol. Writer Kim continues to use the pick and eat food off someone else as a catalyst for moments. First when Han Cheol wiped the sugar off Dan Te’s mouth and second when a drunk Dan Te sucked food off Yeon Cha’s finger. The shock was evident on her face.
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as good. My rating chart is below: