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We get more details about relationships in Episode 2 of Man Who Sets The Table. Rating wise, the first two episodes clocked in 8.6 and 9.8 respectively (source).


We start with Roo Ri apologising to Tae Yang. It’s clear from his smile that nothing is wrong and she is just misunderstanding. He simply plays along and tells her that she will have to compensate for his loss. She replies with letting her work so that she can help through her salary.

The hotel has new guests and there is dearth of staff. Roo Ri to the rescue! She would assist him for arranging the event for a soon-to-get-married couple.

To her shock — the new couple is none other than her douchebag ex-boyfriend Myung Tae and his equally mean girlfriend/fiance. Seeing her acting weird, Tae Yang asks Roo Ri about her reaction but she avoids answering. She first refuses to assist him but when Myung Tae blackmails her that if she would refuse, he would tell her parents about her real job, she caves in.

Roo Ri’s dad is thinking about mom’s graduation (from marriage) proposal.

Daughter-in-law Yun Joo with her mom plans to amend the situation by arranging a meeting at a restaurant with dad, mom and also son So Won. Mom is surprised to see everyone when she comes with her son. Before, she tried to make him understand her reasons behind this tough decision but So Won blames her.

Everyone leaves mom and dad alone in a room to resolve their issues. He asks her reason when he knows that he has given everything to her all these years. Through flashbacks we see that in various situations (mom’s birthday, their anniversary, her trying to get romantic), dad always made her feel worthless and tried to impose his own desires and decisions. He was basically providing for her materialistic requirements but never gave her any respect or affection.

We also come to know that it was dad who decided So Won’s marriage. He did so in order for him to open hospital with his mother-in-law’s financial help. So that explains why he lives with them.

Dad is enraged when mom enumerates his behaviour and tells her that he wants divorce.

Now time to get some clarity about Tae Yang’s family. His mom married three times. He and little brother Woo Joo are her sons from two marriages. Her marriage to Jung Do is her third. Jung Do raised his brother’s daughter Eun Byul as his own after the latter and his wife died in an accident. Hence, all three siblings have different surnames.

We learn that Woo Joo and Eun Byul have a warm relationship and they care for their parents. Eun Byul confesses that she still misses her parents while Woo Joo tells her that he loves stitching more than learning karate. The parents also discuss about their kids.

Tae Yang tells Roo Ri to behave properly in front of guests if she wants her contract renewal. Myung Tae’s fiance goes for a shopping spree and hence, he is short of money. He shamelessly asks Roo Ri to help him but she doesn’t agree this time. He also informs that he is only marrying because of money and it’s like an investment for him. His fiance sees them together and is clearly not happy.

The proposal event night comes. Roo Ri gives the dress she prepared to the fiance girl but the latter has something else in mind. She arrives in bathrobe to the event and tells that her dress is destroyed. She creates a scene. She also tells Tae Yang that Roo Ri did it as she is her boyfriend’s ex and she got dumped because she wasn’t good enough. Tae yang tries to allay her anger but to no success. She says to fire Roo Ri.

Roo Ri apologizes but the fiance wants her to kneel down. Roo Ri can’t take this anymore. She asks the reason for doing this to her. The fiance says that Myung Tae only had pity on her and she kept on clinging to him. Roo Ri retorts that she even gave her pocket-money to support him and after he got a job (after failing in numerous
job interviews), he started dating her and that too only for her money. Roo Ri says that the two of them deserve each other as they both are similarly mean people.

The fiance can’t take anymore and grabs Roo Ri’s hair, who replies with same. A cat fight ensues and everyone falls in the pool, including Tae Yang, Myung Tae and Roo Ri’s friend along with two girls. It only stops after the general manager arrives.

Meanwhile, dad advises mom to become financially independent before divorcing him. They go to court to fill out the forms. Dad is too reluctant. He gets a call and delays the process.

Dad goes to a friend’s funeral where his other friends discuss the importance of wife, especially when one gets old. Dad becomes scared.

On reaching home, dad grabs mom and tells that he would never give divorce to her.


Well, we all knew this would happen. I think dad is too selfish. Now that he fears that he will have to live and die alone, he is trying to cling on to the marriage. I want to know more about their relationship even if I know he was always an arrogant man who only had self-importance and no respect for his wife or daughter. But currently, I see him being painted in too broad strokes. I want to know if there was ever a time when he actually had some love for his wife or whether he had any likeable traits. Because currently, I dislike him!

I’m still confused about this whole marriage graduation thing. I mean it is practically equivalent to divorce, then why mom was so shocked to hear that. I guess graduating means to live separately but continue to be spouses on paper.

I don’t know if it’s drama’s lack of time tracking or the fault of subtitles (I guess it’s the latter) but in episode 1, it was mentioned that 3 months have passed since that subway incident. But ep2 said it’s 6 months. Hmm.

I think Myung Tae and his bitchy fiance just received the most despicable (and over-the-top clichéd) couple award. That pool fight was  funny and I liked that Roo Ri finally spoke her mind. She is indeed a sympathetic character and I can’t wait to see her gaining self-confidence in future episodes. On the other hand, her brother So Won is such a weak person. He keeps on getting irritated by his wife’s antics but is actually enjoying the wealth she has brought with her. I like her mom though. Eccentrically interesting.

I continue to like the warm family of Tae Yang. It’s so convoluted but their closeness and affection is such a soothing portion in the drama.