Cheese in the Trap Recaps from Nam Joo Hyuk character's POV: Episode 14 (and the surprising first steps)
The wait is over and based on the preview from the previous episode, then we should see more of Jung and Seol now and how things progress, so let’s recap episode 14 of Cheese in the Trap together.
After In Ho’s hug, both arrive to their respective homes in similar states of shock. Seol is trying to find an explanation to why he would’ve done something like that: he’s having a hard time, he went crazy, or anything but the fact he likes her, but as her eyes focus on the scarf he gave her the other night, the truth seems impossible to hide anymore.
In Ho basically accepted he went crazy. Then he receives a text from Hammer reminding him a week has passed so his thoughts swift to a more important issue. He goes and grabs the flyer from the piano concours and realises that if he wins that and adds it to the place deposit and his advance pay, then he gets just enough to pay him.
The next day Bo Ra is waiting alone with a melancholic look until I text her. Her whole face lights up as she runs to meet me. I have requested her assistance to pick a gift. She believes it’s for her and is utterly disappointed when I tell her it’s for my boss Mo Na as a token of my appreciation.
Later, Seol notices how Bo Ra’s spirits seem lower than ever and tries to cheer her up, so they go and get some coffee together. They leave together while Da Young has been stealing glances. Upon their return and the comment that the professor is taken longer than usual, Seol checks her bag and notices the absence of the notes Jung gave her.
Uh-oh, someone stole them.
Some other classmates point how Da Young had been prying in Seol’s seat and she, with an arrogant attitude, defends herself with the excuse of taking a pen from Seol. It all looks too shady and suspicious, even her nervous attitude and how she then blames it on Sang Chul, practically betting her life that it was him.
They go after class together to face said sunbae, expecting to find the missing notes but the ones he was photocopying belong to another class, so he’s clear of doubt. Da Young blames their suspicions on Seol and gets away with the other girls. Bo Ra and Seol affirm they never really suspected him and leave as well. However, Sang Chul goes back to the photocopier and his look is far too suspicious not to believe he has done something wrong.
At night In Ha is having dinner with Chairman Yoo, trying to inform him about Jung’s whereabouts. Finally, Chairman Yoo states that if he desires to finds out about Jung, he’ll go personally to see him and In Ha does not need to report any more. She tries to talk him into getting her a place but he’s fed up, finally. When asking for her classes she comes with lames excuses and continues to try to get more from him. He muses how before her attitude wasn’t so nasty, meaning now it is. He agrees to think about it only when she gets the certificate.
The next day, on her way to school Seol manages to hide before In Ho notices her… although I’m pretty sure he did anyway. Regardless, her own behaviour has her spacing out most of the morning, to the point I can’t get an answer from her.
At that point Bo Ra comes in. When she spots us she squares her shoulders and brings a smile, trying her best to look cheerful as she sits between us and finally notices Seol’s mood. She tries to ask me about the present and if it worked, and I tell her it was great, not minding to keep the details of how much my boss did in return for me. Bo Ra says I should still keep accepting all she gives me, after all she’s older… and pretty. I think that’s obvious, she was a model before. Bo Ra’s face falls at that.
At the end of class, Bo Ra has noticed my lips are peeling and offers me a lip balm with no colour. I stop her from applying it herself, although I do accept the lip balm before going.
When Seol and Bo Ra are having lunch together, both seem lost in thought. Seol tries to get some help from Bo Ra regarding In Ho, but she doesn’t really want to tell about it so she uses the whole excuse “my friend has a male friend who likes her so should she continue ignoring his feelings?” The problem with that is that Seol does indeed have a friend with that problem so Bo Ra gets snappy, thinking Seol is making fun of her.
Bo Ra rants how if she continues ignoring him then he’ll latch onto another girl because men are like that. Isn’t she cute? So jealous.
Nearby, Sang Chul is having hangover sup because he’s been drinking a lot lately, apparently, instead of studying. The graduation exam is the next day and he’s the only one not killing himself to pass it. Bo Ra finds that suspicious and points it out, wondering if she still hasn’t found the notes, but they confirmed it already he didn’t steal them so they end it there.
Somewhere else, In Ho meets with Hammer to request for a month. Lowering his head and minding his speech, he explains his plan to give him all the money. If Hammer waits a month, he gets all the money. If they take In Ho now, In Ho can run away anytime again. At first the big guy doesn’t buy In Ho is a pianist, so our boy shows all the web results with his name and that convinces the big guy.
However, his plan isn’t honest. He’ll wait that month, get the money… and also In Ho.
The cute baby that warned In Ho runs to him to give him some money, trying to help the best he can. He points out how In Ho looks a lot happier here in Seoul than in Busan. He has a precious soul, please someone adopt him and take him away from Hammer.
After that, In Ho spends hours practising, reminding himself he’s got a month. Just one month, he can do it, right?
Seol is going home and calls her omma. Because there’s nothing at home, she tells Seol to eat at the noodle shop. Seol asks if In Ho is around, and when omma mentions his name out loud, she gets his attention, but upon knowing he’s there, Seol makes an excuse to eat out before getting home, just when she’s a few steps away. Ow.
She ends up eating ramen in a convenience store and of course In Ho happens to see her. He smiles and gets her attention, joining her inside. He knows she’s stiff and avoiding him, so he puts all the cards over the table. He accepts he likes her and how he doesn’t expect anything from her because they are their problem, so she can stop avoiding him. She’d not even doing a good job. He hands her the pack of kimchi he bought to eat with that ramen and leaves.
Outside, he tells himself he can be happy for one month.
He runs into In Ha, who’s singing really out of key. He puts his jacket over her shoulders and asks her about the certificate, not surprised when she says she’s not interested in that. Then wonders if he’d like to have a clothing shop. That sparks her interest and asks him if he plans on opening one for him. He says yes, but not yet. Then he tells her he’s leaving in a month and asks her to come with him.
She doesn’t buy it, but he’s really serious this time and tells her to think seriously about it. She won’t, she shrugs it off and tells him to go alone, turning around and walking back. In Ho doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do then.
The next morning Seol runs into In Ho and greets him happily, but then turns in another direction. He runs after her and she comes with an excuse she was going to the admin building, but she’s just lying. Once he leaves, she really goes in the way she was intending the first time. Before leaving, In Ho tells her he’ll be waiting for her to go back home together.
The results of the graduation exam come out, and of course Seol passed. However, the surprise is that Sang Chul also did. Da Young didn’t, which means she really didn’t steal the notes. But if sunbae passed and bragged that it was easy, isn’t that weird? Then he offers to buy everyone a meal. I get the chills with his attitude.
Back to In Ho in his piano lesson, his left hand is stiff. He thinks it’s because he practised too much before and the professor tells him to get a look in the hospital just in case. He agrees but I’m not sure if he’ll really go. Then he asks for the auditorium to prepare better for the concours, which surprises the professor but he’s happy he’s all fired up again. Then he’s back to playing, his hand still giving him trouble. Dude, really, relax or you won’t be able to play.
Seol avoids In Ho and goes to buy Bo Ra’s birthday present. Then she is going back when she walks by a nearby bar, just to see Sunbae showing Da Young he was the one who stole the notes. Uh.
Seol steps forward and tells him off for not having shame. Sang Chul plays the victim again, saying how she has screw him over all those times. Seol has had enough and tells him it was always his fault and now he’s stealing? Shouldn’t he be ashamed for once?
Sang Chul lists his hand, as if to hit her, startling Seol, who falls. In Ho watches that and charges against sunbae to punch him. The other sunbaes come out, stopping the fight and Seol drags In Ho away.
As they walk home, they worry for each other wounds and after all that’s done, she is preparing herself to properly reject him, but In Ho stops her. Then Jung is calling her and he also stops her from picking up, telling her to go back to the way they used to be, ignore his feelings and pretend not to know for a month. She asks what will happen after a month and he replies that he’ll take care of his feelings.
Jung hears later from a classmate what happened with Sang Chu and that he is applying to Taerang among other companies, not really expecting to get in but trying nonetheless.
Jung has that gleam in his eyes, the one that tells me he’s back to leading people in the right direction to make the mistakes that will cost them too much.
The next day he’s visiting someone, probably a higher-up in the company, to ask for a personal favour. Later, Sang Chul gets an email informing him he, contrary to everyone’s expectations and even the other students’ results, got accepted for an interview in Taerang. Problem is, it clashes with another more secure interview he also had.
What did I tell you?
Bo Ra insists she doesn’t want to do anything for her birthday, but Seol has already arranged a dinner with me included. That seems to get Bo Ra’s attention. Then they spot Sang Chul and Jung talking friendly, which is suspicious. Seol did tell him about what happened with sunbae and the notes, so he shouldn’t be acting like that. It’s weird and Seol starts thinking, wondering if Jung cold be up to something.
Jung joins the girls and Seol invites him to join their birthday plans, but Bo Ra says she doesn’t want to see the lovebirds in front of her, so she’s just having dinner with me instead. Seol tells her to have a serious talk with me before giving her the present she got her. Then Seol leaves with Jung, commenting to him on how her friends haven’t been doing well and she wanted them to help us.
To that birthday dinner? I can’t make it on time and text Bo Ra to wait for me a bit with Seol, however she is alone and does not wait. She runs into me when I’m waiting outside her fence because when I went to the restaurant, she wasn’t there.
She thought I didn’t know her birthday, but I did (how couldn’t I not know?) and hand her a small box with the earrings she had chosen. Heehee. They were for her. She’s surprised, asking about my boss but oh come on, who does she take me for? I just wanted to surprise her.
I notice the look in her eyes, the conflictive emotions so I decide to try it one more time. I need to know if she really doesn’t think I’m the one.
She starts replying how she only wants us the three of us to be friends forever but those words hurt me. I demand to know if she’s okay if I date other girls, because only being friends mean that, I date other girls, she dates other boys. Is that okay?
She can’t reply immediately and I take her silence as my answer, so I turn around to leave. I’m a few steps away when she cries out she doesn’t want to break up with me. She confesses she wants me to be always by her side, but she doesn’t want me to date other girls. But what she hates the most is the idea of breaking up with me if we ever date.
I finally understand she does like me, so I step forward and promise her I’ll be forever by her side, and we’ll never break up. Still tearful, she smiles and nods after I ask her to date me. I do what any man in a K-drama would do: I hug her.
Somewhere else in the snowy city, Seol beams with happiness at the first snow. Jung smiles happily at her, amused with how cute she is. She then asks him about Sang Chul, expecting him to be angry at him after what she did. She is aware sunbae was bragging about almost having this full-time position in another company, which is much better than even trying for a part-time in Taerang.
Jung acts as if it were nothing, yet Seol has this little bug in her head wondering if Jung could be possibly trying to make Sang Chul risk his safe position for this slim chance at Taerang.
Well, he is indeed doing so. Coaching Sang Chul, encouraging him to go to Taerang interview instead of this more suitable other, even giving him tips and offering notes for Sang Chul. Sang Chul buys it all and when they hang up, Jung’s look turns icy and calculative. You’re doomed, sunbae.
Back to our Seol, she’s being trapped in the rush hour of the morning in the subway, until In Ho comes to help her so she can have more space instead of getting squished between all those people. Then, when they are walking into campus, he invites her to his concours and she agrees to go, encourages him to practise hard and do his best. She also gives him back the scarf and thanks him for it.
With the feelings from that, he goes to practice but his hand keeps bothering. He didn’t go to the hospital, did he? You have a concours coming! Mate, look after it!
Sang Chul shows up for his Taerang interview and the higher-up Jung asked the favour to? He recognises sunbae and gives him some encouragement, making all the other applicants jealous. Then Jung and another employee come to give water to the applicants, he also encourages Sang Chul.
How does the interview go? Bad. Sang Chul is asked about the market in China, but he didn’t prepare well and had no clue they had closed their firm in Beijing. He dug his grave with his answer.
In campus, Bo Ra and I are enjoying being together. Or well, I certainly am. Holding her hand and teasing her a bit at how shy she’s being. Seol is watching us but we don’t notice her until a bit later when she beams we should double-date and she joins the teasing. I walk up to catch up to her to tell her about Bo Ra’s passionate love confession. Bo Ra is so cute when she’s flustered.
Later, Sang Chul is really depressed about his interview and by now, everyone knows he stole the notes so he’s getting no sympathy. Seol still doesn’t know the hand Jung put there.
At home, In Ha wakes up tormented with In Ho’s words of leaving. She tries calling Chairman Yoo but he doesn’t pick up and texts her that he’s busy. She thinks it’s Jung the one turning his father against her, but Jung just tells her to think of her past actions and she should know who’s the real responsible of that.
Seol is walking home when she runs into Sang Chul, who drags her to get a drink even if she doesn’t want to. In his drunk stupor, he tells her the story of his life, how he was the brilliant kid in his small town, how they even threw a party when he got in university, but how things changed when he saw how everyone was more clever, richer. He kept going, with a mask of iron, self-preservation.
For the first time I do feel sorry for him.
He cries for failing his interview, he really wanted to get that job even if he knew he didn’t have the skills.
In Ha and the Nerdy Sunbae arrive, joining them when they see them. Sunbae is so drunk he ends up throwing up and Seol waits outside, while the Nerdy Sunbae comments on how Seol and Jung are so alike, although he doesn’t know if they are just idiots or that good. In Ha asks to know more and he tells her about what happened, with the notes, the interview and such. In Ha figures it out immediately.
And because In Ha is In Ha, she spells that out for Sang Chul. Seol only listens, her expression hard. Sang Chul’s face falls as he understands Jung pushed him, he really believes it when In Ha tells him Jung is the only heir to Taerang group. He wants to go after Jung immediately, stumbling and falling. Nerdy Sunbae has to help him, leaving In Ha and Seol alone. In Ha, in her arrogant tone, asks if Seol really didn’t know or was pretending not to, or even worse, hoping it wasn’t true. She tells her once again Seol can’t handle Jung.
Her thoughts are heavy when heading home, and she stops at her uncle’s to get some coffee. In Ho is there and goes out when he hears her voice, but stops when he hears her discreetly talking about Jung and the problems with their relationship. He goes back and starts playing that melody she knows, the one she requested once, a song to comfort her. She listens to it, her fingers ghost over an imaginary keyboard.
The next day, Sang Chul barges inside Taerang, demanding to see Jung. He wants to fight and refuses to go out when Jung tells him to, instead he blurts out he’s the son of the CEO. Everyone panics at that, making calls and realising who Jung truly is. As Sang Chul is dragged out, his expression is almost murderous, betrayed and utterly scary.
Seol is walking around, trying to call him but he doesn’t pick up. A bit ahead, Security drops Sang Chul who is left mumbling and ranting. He takes a few steps before Jung comes and charges against him, pressing his forearm against his throat and pinning him against the wall.
No mask, Jung is angry and showing it. Sang Chul is angry, blaming it all on Jung, but he just reminds him how it was his decision at the end. Sunbae can’t even believe it, he had experienced something like that before but didn’t think it was that bad and asks him why he’s doing this, is it because of some measly notes?
Jung pushes harder, angry and disgusted at how to Sang Chul all that belongs to him is precious and what belongs to the others is just measly, so it serves him right to lose a measly job now.
Jung walks away, still angry, flustered, anxious—and he runs into Seol. He calls her name, the horror of knowing she saw and heard it all. She doesn’t say anything, she steps forward and wraps her arms around him.
That surprises him, but not as much as when she tells him not to say anything. She knows what happened, why, and she thinks to know how he’s feeling. She reassures him not to be anxious because she’s never running away.
He melts, exhausted, a bit broken maybe, and hugs her back, tightly, his expression so lost yet reassured.
And that’s where the episode ends, surprisingly and refreshing. Seol has matured a lot, hasn’t she? Handling the situation in a better way, stepping first to offer comfort and opening to understanding instead of just fighting him or making it worse. I’m sure they’ll talk it out and get to an agreement over this, but this first step I think it’s key and it really shows they’ve grown stronger as a couple.
Now… let’s not talk about the preview because I start screaming again. Our K-drama ends next week and I’m not ready, but I’ll see you all then to recap it together.
STATEMENT: This is a work of fiction, no infringement of copyright is intended. By adopting the point of view of one of the characters in Cheese in the Trap, I'll recap the episodes. All right belongs to the creators of the webtoon and drama.