As Tae-moo finally receives his long-awaited kiss from Ha-ri (Gugudan’s Kim Se-jong), this begs the question: who then is actually on the blind date with Marine Group director Jo Yu-jeong (Seo Hye-won)? No prizes for guessing that it’s the ever-trustworthy Sung-hoon (Kim Min-gue), who notifies Yu-jeong that Tae-moo has someone in mind that he wishes to marry. This doesn’t bother her, though, as she’d fallen head over heels for Sung-hoon instead – despite him firmly informing her that he has a girlfriend.
The next morning, Tae-moo and Ha-ri head off on an early morning date before the work day begins, with the newly minted boyfriend flexing his cooking skills at his friend’s cafe. Ha-ri is impressed by the elaborate, Instagrammable breakfast that Tae-moo whips up, though she’s much too nervous to even enjoy it. The nerves even manifest itself through her (accidental) choice of two different white shoes, a detail that doesn’t escape an amused Tae-moo.
At the office, Ha-ri has a close call when she receives a pair of expensive-looking white heels sent by her “boyfriend”, piquing the interest of everyone in Food Product Development Team 1. She manages to deflect the situation smoothly by attributing it as a prank by her bestie and Marine Group heiress Young-seo (Seol In-a), who would have been more than able to afford buying them. Over at Marine Group, Young-seo snarkily observes that Yu-jeong’s finally wearing a different outfit from her; but little do they know that this would be the least of their worries.
After returning from a business trip, Tae-moo surprises Ha-ri while she’s doing a joint interview with Min-woo (Song Won-seok) at the company’s headquarters. He makes good of his promise to have dinner with the Food Production Development department’s field day MVP – none other than Ha-ri herself – to the envy of the rest of her team. To his surprise, Ha-ri brings him to her favourite snack bar, at which she’s a regular customer along with Young-seo. Though initially feeling out of place, he eventually warms up to being there, particularly after Ha-ri introduces him as her boyfriend to the owner. He eventually marks his inaugural visit by treating all the customers to their meals, quipping to Ha-ri later that it was “his first time spending that much money at a snack bar”.
Meanwhile, Sung-hoon returns home to find a drunk Yu-jeong waiting for him outside his apartment, ready to throw herself into his arms. She ends up throwing up instead; but not one to leave people in the lurch, Sung-hoon lets her do so in his bathroom. Young-seo arrives moments later, excited to whip up some of her home-cooked delights in his kitchen, but Sung-hoon conveniently uses Tae-moo’s “presence” as an excuse to cover up Yu-jeong’s untimely visit, and shuffles his girlfriend back into her apartment next door.
Over breakfast the next morning, avid drama fan Chairman Kang (Lee Deok-hwa) delivers an entire mental monologue about his grandson’s dating life. Just the day before, he had found out through Yu-jeong’s ecstatic mother (Kim Young-ah) that her daughter is dating Tae-moo. Even as he wonders why he’s not been informed of this new development, the Chairman rationalises that it could have been due to Tae-moo’s break-up with “Geum-hui” not too long before, and decides to hold his tongue.
At the Marine Group headquarters, Young-seo becomes an involuntary listening ear to a devastated Yu-jeong, but ends up encouraging her cousin to boldly pursue the guy of her affections. This inevitably leads to Sung-hoon getting a big shock when an apologetic Yu-jeong appears before him and Tae-moo at their company lobby. Unfortunately for them, Chairman Kang happens to overhear Yu-jeong’s confession, and calls the trio out on the entire blind date ruse.
Tae-moo continues to keep mum about the woman he’s been seeing, though his grandfather continues to harbour hopes that it’s “Geum-hui” he’s reunited with. After (yet another) unfortunate encounter with Ha-ri in the men’s washroom, Chairman Kang makes it absolutely clear to Tae-moo that he doesn’t like running into Ha-ri, which displeases his grandson.
That evening is a big one for Sung-hoon as he’d decided to introduce Young-seo to the nun at his orphanage (whom he addresses as “Mother”), but everything falls apart at the seams when Yu-jeong appears with her. It is there that Young-seo finally realises that it was Sung-hoon who had rejected her cousin. Beyond how Sung-hoon was not upfront about the situation, what infuriated Young-seo even more was how her own boyfriend had “ignored her and blindly did” as Tae-moo said, prompting her to wonder about the extent he’s at the family’s beck and call.
Food Production Development Team 1 goes on an impromptu team dinner to make up for Ha-ri getting into trouble with Chairman Kang. This, however, becomes even more impromptu (and just a little awkward) when Tae-moo decides to join them, becoming the unofficial meat griller. The atmosphere lightens up considerably after he accepts his first “drink bomb” from Mr Gye (Lim Ki-hong). Towards the end of the evening, Tae-moo and Ha-ri sneakily hold hands under the table, which gets spotted by an intoxicated Hye-ji (Yun Sang-jeong). Thankfully, those claims aren’t taken seriously by anyone.
After leaving the restaurant, Ha-ri and Tae-moo run into Chairman Kang, who happened to spot them as he was passing by in his car. The older man exudes a controlled calm as he confronts them, pressing Ha-ri to explain why “the president of a company is meeting with his employee secretly like this” at that time of the night. Thankfully, the couple were saved by the return of Manager Yeo (Kim Hyun-sook) and Mr Gye, who had dragged a delirious Hye-ji back to the restaurant to retrieve her cell phone.
Back at the mansion, Chairman Kang once again attempts to find out more about Tae-moo’s mysterious girlfriend, gently reminding his grandson that he had approved of “Geum-hui” simply because the young man liked her. Moved by his grandfather’s words, Tae-moo promises that he would introduce her to him eventually, still leaving the Chairman curious about her identity.
The weekend kicks off with Ha-ri rushing to Young-seo’s side first thing in the morning, as the young heiress is once again bugged by an encroaching intruder. Post-annihilation, Ha-ri is even more surprised to find out about what happened between Young-seo and Sung-hoon the night before, and the events leading up to it. As for Young-seo, she develops a steely resolve to once again draw the line – this time, at dating.
While on the way to have dumplings for breakfast, the best buds spot their respective other halves playing a round of scissors-paper-stone, before getting into a car and driving off. Naturally, the ladies follow them – all the way to the orphanage where Sung-hoon grew up. Young-seo finally meets Sung-hoon’s “mother” (the nun), who shares more about his back story with her. Armed with this new knowledge, Young-seo eventually makes up with Sung-hoon, assuring him that in time, they’d be able to open up to and share more with each other as they get closer. Separately, Tae-moo reassures Ha-ri that they can tell his grandfather about their relationship when she feels ready.
Ha-ri and the group rush back to the fried chicken restaurant upon her receiving a call about younger brother Ha-min (VICTON’s Choi Byung-chan), who was caught on their security camera running off with money from the cash register. When a hungry all-women hiking group unexpectedly enters the closed restaurant, the quartet roll up their sleeves without hesitation and get busy serving and cooking up a storm for them.
A little excitement ensues after as Ha-ri’s parents return a day early from attending a funeral – leading Tae-moo to hide in Ha-ri’s room, and then her closet. Meanwhile, Sung-hoon gets special attention from Ha-ri’s parents after Young-seo introduces him to them, which makes Tae-moo rather wistful at how he and Ha-ri were still keeping things under wraps. Thanks to the friends’ teamwork, Ha-ri eventually manages to sneak Tae-moo out of the house, but ends up getting spotted by Ha-min, who was returning home from his date. Both siblings eventually agree to keep each other’s secrets from their parents.
Following a run-in with Woo-hee and Min-woo, Ha-ri calls up Tae-moo wanting to hear his voice. She tells him she was “bored”, but her boyfriend rightly interprets it as “a weird way of telling [him she] misses [him]”. Ha-ri locks Tae-moo down for an after-work date the next day, which happens to take place as it rains. Along with the young president taking the subway for the first time in his life, the couple also head to a flower market at Ha-ri’s request, and end off with a tasty meal of Korean jeon (pan-fried fritters). Tae-moo eventually realises that Ha-ri had found out the reason he was so averse to rainy days – he witnessed his parents’ car accident as a child – and was trying to divert his attention to her.
After going their separate ways, Ha-ri makes another stop: this time, at a cafe to meet Chairman Kang, who had finally found out that Tae-moo was seeing her. Just as the Chairman directs Ha-ri to stop seeing his grandson, he receives a call from Sung-hoon – one that alludes to a possible car accident Tae-moo had gotten into while on the way to them.
- The heartwarming orphanage visit. It was nice to see how Tae-moo and Sung-hoon continue giving back (continuing Tae-moo’s parents’ legacy), how Tae-moo seemed right at home, as well as how Ha-ri and Young-seo effortlessly fit right in as they interacted with the kids.
- Seeing a more down-to-earth side to Tae-moo, particularly in wanting to be accepted by Ha-ri’s parents.
- The easy chemistry and spot-on comic timing between the besties (Ha-ri and Young-seo; Tae-moo and Sung-hoon) and the respective couples (Ha-ri and Tae-moo; Sung-hoon and Young-seo) are already enjoyable; having the four of them bounce off each other makes for an even better watch.
- “Should I debut as an idol and make money?” Ha-min earnestly asks Ha-ri, when considering her future wedding expenses, to which his older sister replies, “Do you think becoming an idol is easy?” In real life, Choi Byung-chan (Ha-min) is an idol, having debuted in the boy group VICTON in 2016. Prior to her successful foray into acting, Kim Se-jong (Ha-ri) also got her start as one: first in project group I.O.I, and then in the now-defunct Gugudan. – certainly one that Ha-ri doesn’t need any more.
‘A Business Proposal’ airs every Monday and Tuesday on SBS at 10:00pm in South Korea, and is also available on Netflix globally