Side dish: A new school year begins on Tuesday, and everyone will need snacks to get them through the day. You can buy convenient prepackaged granola bars or you can make Chewy Quinoa Bars instead. They nut-free, healthy, and will make you feel good about doing that little bit extra until you realize you just don’t have the time to be making things from scratch. Until then, it will be delicious.
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Playboy Hyun Min (Ahn Jae Hyun) wakes up and has a fit when he realizes that he has been kidnapped by Ha Won (Park So Dam), and placed on a plane. Thus, Ha Won succeeds in getting all the Chairman’s grandsons to the Haneul Group vacation home. However, getting everyone to wear the matching embroidered varsity jackets and engage in team building exercises is another matter. Ha Won’s proposals are universally rejected.
Unbeknownst to the grandsons, the Chairman has checked himself into the hospital. He does not want them visiting him and is not even sure that they would care anyway. It would seem that only Secretary Yoon Sung (Choi Min) is aware, and he is further burdened by texts from his mother pleading to have a meal together.
Hyun Min is pouting by the infinity pool when childhood friend, Hye Ji (Son Na Eun) comes out for a swim. She invites him to join in, but he rejects her. As he is walking away, Hye Ji goes into distress in the water, and he rushes to her rescue. Hyun Min knows right away that Hye Ji experienced a cramp, and massages her leg. An embarrassed Hye Ji stops Hyun Min and thanks him, but Hyun Min downplays his actions, and walks away.
Meanwhile, Ha Won’s stepmother and stepsister scheme to reunite her with Kang Young Jin, the man who might be her biological father. That way, Ha Won will feel obligated to leave Sky House, and she would permanently sever any ties with the stepmother and stepsister. The stepmother goes to confront Kang Young Jin, a construction worker, at his job about taking responsibility for Ha Won. The man denies that he is Ha Won’s father until it is revealed that she is currently living at Sky House. Young Jin is hounded by creditors, and this possible source of funds gives him pause. Later, while doing beauty treatments on chaebol wives, Ha Won’s stepmother overhears gossip about the Chairman’s wife that gives her an idea.
Ha Won persistently posts her vacation itinerary around the house, but fails to get anyone to care. She finds solace watching lambs eat and reminisces about eating kimbap with her parents. Misfit Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo) finds Ha Won’s schedule and feels guilty enough to search for her. He finds her just in time for the horseback riding experience, and pressures her into following through with her own plans. Thus, we are treated to the swoonworthy sight of Ha Won and Ji Woon riding a white horse together.
Pop star, Seo Woo (Lee Jung Shin) is enjoying his rare vacation when his manager reveals to him that his time off was brought about by blackmail. He confronts Ha Won’s unapologetic friend, Ja Young (Cho Hye Jung) about providing the photos of him crossdressing to Ha Won. Their bickering is interrupted by Yoon Sung tasking Seo Woo with starting the BBQ, as mandated by Ha Won’s itinerary. While preparing kebabs, Ja Young reveals to Seo Woo what a pitiful family life Ha Won has.
After horseback riding, Ha Won realizes that she has lost her mother’s necklace, and Ji Woon helps in the search. Ha Won reveals that she invited Hye Ji on vacation to thank her for allowing her to sleep over the night before her graduation, and not to manipulate Ji Woon and Hyun Min. Ji Woon flirtatiously asks if she will grant him a wish if he finds the necklace for her. Ha Won promises to do anything he asks, and Ji Woon triumphantly presents her with the necklace. An ecstatic Ha Won embraces Ji Woon and they fall onto the grass together. The intimacy of the situation causes them to jump immediately back up and awkwardly walk it off.
Hye Ji goes to find Hyun Min, realizing that he probably does not have a change of clothes. When he tells her to go play with Ji Woon, Hye Ji admits that she came on the vacation for Hyun Min, and for their shared history at the vacation home. Hyun Min claims indifference, and Hye Ji walks away looking defeated.
Ji Woon and Ha Won come across Hye Ji looking out from a footbridge. After an uncomfortable Ha Won decides to run ahead, Hye Ji admits to Ji Woon that her plans for this vacation are not working out. Ji Woon comforts her by telling her to stay pretty (what?!), but Hye Ji doesn’t look comforted by his words.
The Chairman is meeting with his lawyer to rewrite his will in order to accommodate newer family members. He is also aware that executives in his company have been meeting with the lawyer out of concern over succession. He reassures the lawyer that he will choose a successor soon. The lawyer runs into the Chairman’s wife on the way out, and she attempts to fish for information and ingratiate herself with him, knowing that it is a crucial time in determining the future allocation of the Chairman’s holdings.
After being harassed by Hyun Min while washing up, Ji Woon goes looking for his phone in Hyun Min’s washroom and almost walks in on Ha Won in the shower. Ji Woon and Ha Won have an awkward moment afterwards before running in opposite directions. Ja Young shows up and suggests to Ha Won that she cool off with some fresh milk. Ha Won mistakenly chugs the fresh makgeolli, instead.
By the time the BBQ gets going, the drunken Ha Won is providing entertainment for everyone until she guilt trips them about leaving her alone rather than following her team building schedule. Thus, by the time they sit down to dinner, everyone is wearing the matching varsity jackets, reluctantly playing games, and getting smashed. It’s fun until Yoon Sung projectile vomits on Seo Woo and Ja Young.
After dinner, Ja Young comes across Seo Woo’s songwriting notebook and realizes that he likes someone. Little does she know, Seo Woo’s lyrics are about Ha Won. Meanwhile, Hye Ji comes across Hyun Min sitting at the bench where they carved their initials together 10 years ago. He pretends to have simply wandered to this spot, because he couldn’t sleep, and she draws a happy face on his hand to help with his insomnia, like they did as children. When Hye Ji attempts to kiss him, Hyun Min is initially receptive before abruptly standing up. To challenge Hyun Min’s claim that he cares nothing about the past, Hye Ji asks him if he would be okay with her dating Ji Woon.
Back at the dining table, only Ha Won and Ji Woon are left. He drunkenly tells her that he loves her, and she tells him to piss off. Ji Woon downs the rest of Ha Won’s wine before taking her head in his hands and kissing her.
We’ve reached the halfway point of the series, and I suppose the time is ripe for the lead couple to kiss, though I wish it wasn’t the result of alcohol induced misbehaviour. Are they now going to act like they didn’t want to kiss, in the sober light of day? Otherwise, I enjoyed the interactions between Ji Woon and Ha Won, with him teasing her, and her getting excited about everything. They make a cute couple, and I can’t wait for their dynamic to go from awkward to intense.
A character who is really growing on me is Ha Won’s friend, Ja Young. She is hilariously flippant while telling Ji Woon that she has no idea where Ha Won is, then unruly when confronted by Seo Woo about sharing the cross dressing photos with Ha Won. We already know that Seo Woo has no chance with Ha Won so I hope the writer doesn’t prolong this weak love triangle, and just throw him to Ja Young. He is so much more entertaining when he is with her.
There were some plot developments in this episode that I am not looking forward to. Do we need to introduce a possible biological father who will take advantage of Ha Won’s fortuitous situation to squeeze funds out of her? Do we have to delve into a succession struggle by introducing health problems for the Chairman?
I would even prefer watching Hye Ji continue to flog a dead horse – that is, trying her best to jog Hyun Min’s memory of their shared past – than watch Ha Won get guilt tripped into giving Kang Young Jin money, or watch the Chairman have to choose between Hyun Min and Ji Woon. That’s saying a lot, because Hye Ji has become so tiresome in her pursuit of Hyun Min that I couldn’t even enjoy her initiation of a kiss. The character is tedious, but easy to ignore, whereas the melodrama of fighting over money will take center stage and therefore, take time away from Ha Won and Ji Woon.
“Cinderella and Four Knights” was all pre-taped, so the production will not have experienced the same pressure as the usual Kdrama. I can only hope this means this series will not descend into melodrama and tears when the production has done such a good job of creating a fun and lighthearted show so far.