Boiled mackerel (고등어조림)
“It’s chewy. I wonder if it’s because the mackerel is fresh?”
Beef rib-eye (꽃등심)
“They say meat picks the time to be eaten on its own.”
Neighbours Jin Yi, Soo Kyung, and Dae Young are cleaning their apartments. Jin Yi shows off her multiple vacuums while online with her friend. Soo Kyung frets over her dog, Barassi’s hair loss. Dae Young uses a wet napkin to ineffectually brush away crumbs while he reads a manhwa.
At work that day, Soo Kyung’s usual wariness of people is justified as her co-worker, Kyu Sik falls prey to a petty scam while she stands firm. That evening, at the grocery store, Soo Kyung runs into Dae Young, where he reminds her that he had to clean up her vomit from the hallway floor, then dissects her living habits. Paranoid and offended, Soo Kyung stalks off, but has nowhere to escape Dae Young since he lives next door.
The next day in a park, Soo Kyung scolds Jin Yi for falling for a marketing scam to get a free bike, then patches Jin Yi up when she inevitably falls off the bike. In return, Jin Yi rescues her after Barassi pees on a random woman’s knock-off designer shoes. When the conversation turns to Dae Young, Soo Kyung warns Jin Yi to stay away from him.
That evening, after dinner, Dae Young takes Jin Yi to a building built by her father’s company. The stars come out in Jin Yi’s eyes as he reassures her that her jailed dad can’t be a bad person.
The next day at work, Soo Kyung introduces her co-workers, Attorney Oh and Kyu Sik, to the Shiksha blog, a site that showcases the empty plates after eating at a mat-jib (famous restaurant). They decide to eat boiled mackerel with radish leaves, but they’re interrupted by their boss, Attorney Kim, who drags Soo Kyung away to take pictures of him for his own blog. When Soo Kyung, Attorney Kim, Attorney Oh, and Kyu Sik finally end up eating boiled mackerel for lunch, Attorney Kim is reluctantly captivated by Soo Kyung’s epic gluttony.
In the meantime, Dae Young tags along with Jin Yi to attend her friend’s gallery opening, but not before grilling Jin Yi about her rich friend. At the gallery, Jin Yi’s credit card is rejected for being over the limit, but her friend gives her the painting anyway. When Dae Young shows up shortly after, Jin Yi’s friend immediately susses out that Jin Yi has a crush on him, and encourages her to confess. Dae Young, meanwhile, makes up a bullshit story in order to introduce himself to one of the other gallery patrons.
Back from lunch, Soo Kyung checks her phone to find that Jin Yi has updated her Facebook profile with a picture of herself and Dae Young. Soo Kyung shares her suspicions of Dae Young, while Kyu Sik berates her for her paranoia. But, it seems justified when Attorney Kim warns her about a “Don’t Ask” assailant, being one who attacks randomly without provocation. This one in particular has been attacking women in her neighbourhood.
Back at her apartment, Jin Yi asks Dae Young out. She’s pleased when he responds by patting her on the head, and telling her that he’ll think about it. As he leaves Jin Yi’s apartment, Dae Young spots Soo Kyung, and calls her “noona”, much to her consternation. When he leaves, Soo Kyung tries to lecture Jin Yi about spending time with him, but Jin Yi takes offence and flounces off.
In her apartment, Soo Kyung takes refuge in looking at grilled meat on the Shiksha blog. When Jin Yi invites her to come up to the roof to eat with her and Dae Young, Soo Kyung is lured in by the promise of beef ribeye. Up on the roof, Dae Young lectures them about the importance of timing when eating meat, and conquers Soo Kyung’s skepticism by stuffing meat in her mouth. But, when they’re done, Soo Kyung starts giving Dae Young the third degree. Annoyed, he tries to avoid her questions, but eventually admits he works in insurance. Soo Kyung is still skeptical, so he brings a professional award down from his apartment as proof.
Having accepted that he works in insurance, Soo Kyung is put off again when Dae Young points out that her stress-related eating will lead to problems later on, and that she may need insurance. Convinced that Dae Young only sees people as potential clients, Soo Kyung complains to her friend, Kyung Mi over the phone, while Kyung Mi uses wrestling moves on her husband, Kyu Sik.
Late that night, after Dae Young leaves the officetel in a black baseball cap, a mysterious man in a similar outfit attacks a woman walking by herself down the street with something that looks like Dae Young’s insurance award.
Dae Young spent this episode being breezy and amusing despite seemingly living up to all of Soo Kyung’s paranoid fantasies about him. He worms his way into Jin Yi’s gallery opening, he repeatedly pesters Soo Kyung to buy insurance, and then looks suspiciously like the mysterious “Don’t Ask” assailant. And yet, somehow he comes off sort of charming. Is it his skill in cooking rib-eye that endears him to us? Or, maybe the food lecture?