Initially, Baker didn’t catch my attention because the cast is not familiar, I only recognize the lovely Eugene, but she wasn’t enough. Yesterday, I started and raced through episode 5. Fast-paced, tugging and well-acted. I’m on board! And it’s all because of the storyline and child actors, the adult versions haven’t appeared yet. I read that this drama was under promoted with low budget, yet look at the monstrous rating now! So who’s following this?
These summaries are not recaps, so they aren’t detailed and might contain errors. Spoilers Alert!
Summary – Episode 1:
—- Koo Il Jong is president of Samhwa Enterprise, head in the baking industry, who yearns for a son to carry on his family business. When his wife, Seo In Sook, gives birth to the second female baby, he is disappointed. In-Sook then seeks help from a fortune teller and is devastated when he told that she can only give birth to a male baby if the “seed” is from a different man. However, the psychic also revealed to her a more shocking revelation, before she becomes pregnant with a child, her husband would have a male heir with another woman. And that woman is Kim Mi Sun, the Koo’s caretaker. Desperate to her keep her status, In-Sook rekindles her love (as it seems) for Han Seung Jae, Il Jong’s manager. After In-sook returns home and finds Mi Sun pregnant, she orders the caretaker to have an abortion. On that day, Manager Han drives Mi Sun to the hospital, where she luckily escapes and gives birth to her son, Kim Tak Gu. Learning about the escape, In-sook demands Manager Han to find Mi Sun and make her disappear from the face of earth. In a moment of softness, Manager Han let Mi Sun and her newborn live but threatens that if she ever shows up again at Geo Seong, he will kill them. At home, standing before her luxurious house, the pregnant In-sook gently rubs her growing womb, “One day, this will all be yours. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you so that no one gets in your way.”
– Spoiler: The baby in In-sook’s womb is Driver Han’s biological son, his name is Ma Jun.
The story fast forward, and 12 years later, we are introduced to Il Jong’s only son, Kim Tak Gu, who is being chased by his mother for an embarrassing reason – wetting his bed. From then, we learned that Mi Sun is living in a small place with her son. The landlords are a couple – a loud ajuhmma and her timid husband. Their child is the same age as Tak Gu. At the Koo’s household, Grandma is disciplining her grandson, Ma Jun, who is a stubborn and snobby child. It’s ironic how Il Jong and his mom wanted a male child and here he is, yet they don’t like him. I mean who would? Just look at the brat’s attitude.
The landlord’s son wants to befriend Tak Gu and his gang, so he decides to take them to the bread factory, where his father works at. Once they are inside, the son hurries Tak Gu to get as much bread as possible. On their way out, the son falls behind when President Il Jong’s car approaches, thinking fast, Tak Gu runs back to block his friend. The car stops and President Il Jong’s steps out to confront these two thieves and ask Manager Han to call the police. This scene marks the first moment the father and son meet.
Summary – Episode 2:
— Kneeling down, Tak Gu apologizes in hopes that the President would spare their bread-stealing crime. The president advises Tak Gu that if he had the courage to steal, then he should have the courage to take up the responsibility. If not, taking them to the police station is appropriate. At the police station, Mi Sun discovers that the person who took the boys to the police is her former boss, Koo Il Jong, also the father of Tak Gu. The issue here isn’t money but whether the president would press charges against the boys. With that, Mi Sun finalizes her option and tries to meet the president. However, trailing behind the president is Manager Han, the person who threatens to kill her twelve years ago. She cowers and turns away. That night, she brings Tak Gu to a bread factory and buy a whole plate full of bread. She tells him she’s sorry for always working and not being able to buy him the food he likes. As she says all this, Tak Gu’s eyes are brimming with tears. Mi Sun: “In this world, you are the only one for me…” Tak Gu: “I know.”
Returning to the Koo’s household, Grandma takes out her stick and whips Ma Jun, saying that he doesn’t understand what his dad had been through and if he can’t get things with own hands, nothing will be his. Until he says sorry, she would continue to whip his legs. Of course, this stubborn boy refuses to admit he’s wrong and just bawls his eyes out. On the outside, In-sook is frantically walking back and forth trying to break in. Manager Han stops her and says if someone has to go in, it would be him. He comes in with the excuse of worrying about the Grandma’s health. Ma Jun takes this opportunity to cry louder, and In-sook bursts in, telling Ma Jun to return to his room. When the child is gone, In-sook asks her mother-in-law what is the problem, she (grandma) wanted a male heir, and she (In-sook) gave her Ma Jun, but why is she being mean to the child. Grandma retorts that what’s the use of giving birth to him if she (In-sook) fails to teach him properly? In-sook blatantly states that the reason why grandma hates Ma Jun so much is because she regards In-sook as someone not good enough. She continues her verbal rampage by bringing back Mi Sun, “You hate me because I got rid of Mi Sun right? You feel remorseful towards her! You think she has a son somewhere right?!”
On the other hand, Tak Gu’s manhood feels shame after the President openly criticizes him. This shame becomes guilt when he sees his mother (Mi Sun) bows down to the landlady by doing her laundry, to avoid being kicked out. He decides to stand up for himself. To repay the amount of bread that he stole, he goes around to pick up recyclable cans and sell them. Y’ll know, I love this kid already. We also get to see Tak Gu’s first crush, Yu Kyung, daughter of a wine seller. He declares to his friends, “For a real man, her background doesn’t matter, only purity matters!” Aw! What’s bad is her father often abuses the girl. Sigh.
Having saved enough money, Tak Gu returns to the bread factory and hands the money to President Il Jong. The president finds the little boy amusing and accepts the money. Tak Gu then formally introduces himself as Kim Tak Gu, Tak for High Tak and Gu for saving Gu. The only meaning I can get from his name is once a person is high up in position and status, he/she should help the less fortunate people. His name pulls a string in the president’s memory as he recalls telling Mi Sun to name their child Tak Gu. He has Manager Han checks on Tak Gu’s family. No doubts, Manager Han lies that the boy’s name is nothing but mere coincidence. Next day, he drags the mother out and demands to know her intention of living next to the bread factory. Mi Sun fearfully confirms that it’s all a coincidence. I believe her. Grabbing her by the collar, she begs for another chance. She will disappear forever…
That night, Mi Sun hurriedly packs up their things, intent to leave for good. Tak Gu wonders aloud what’s with their disease, packing and moving around. Fed-up, he stands his ground, explaining that he likes it here and wants to settle for once in a place where he can attend school regularly and has friends – “I’m also a person, and needs to live a life! Why do we always have to move when you feel like it?” Poor Mi Sun.
In her dark room, Mi Sun quietly weeps. As the night grows still, she watches Tak Gu in his sleep, and agrees that he needs to live his life too. She recalls what he said earlier after meeting President Il Jong, “When I grow up, I want to become a great person like the President. Make lots of money and make you proud.”
The next morning, Mi Sun has made her decision. She dresses up in a light pink outfit, appearing like a fine, young lady that she is. With Tak Gu by her side, she crashes into President Il Jong’s birthday party. The guards inform Manager Han! He comes out and in a menacing tone tells her to leave. Mi Sun argues, “Once I’m here, I will not go back, it’s either I live or I die.” The guards grab her and carry her out. Tak Gu runs towards the house and screams, “Please help!!”
Summary – Episode 3:
— The gist of this episode: Mi Sun brings Tak Gu back to the Koo’s household and asks Il Jong to raise the boy up healthily. She didn’t accept money from anyone and leaves tearfully. Tak Gu is devastated but follows his mother’s wishes, “Don’t be hungry, don’t give up. No matter how hard things get, you have to through obstacles like a real man.” Okay, this scene got me cry buckets.
What follows? Because father shows exceptional affection towards Tak Gu, someone Ma Jun regards as a “disgusting beggar”, Ma Jun accuses him of theft and tries to isolate him from the family. His accusation is caught on by their eldest sister, Koo Ja Kyung, a clear-headed girl with intelligence. Koo Ja Rim, the second sister, appears to be the nice “princess” in the house, very chill.
How considerate is Tak Gu really? He sends a letter home, embellishing to his mom (Mi Sun) how great life is in the new family, when in actuality, he’s alone.
During their breif talk, Ja Rim advises Tak Gu to stay away from the small house, a restricted workplace only father is allowed to enter. She cautions that if he does go in and gets caught, no one would know the consequence.
While he’s sleeping that night, the smell of bread attracts his keen sense of smell, and Tak Gu follows it to the small house. Inside, the president is making bread, and as Tak Gu watches in awe, a hand emerges from behind, covers his mouth, and drags him outside. As he struggles, Tak Gu is able to escape the grasp of Manager Han and rushes back into the work house, where he clumsily knocks over the con of freshly baked bread.
– I thought this drama is going to be slow paced and overly dramatic. Boy, I’m pleasantly surprised by how fast the plot moves. The child actor who plays Tak Gu is excellent! His accent makes him more adorable. The little boy who acts as Ma Jun is pretty good too, he makes the right, snobbish expression.
So far, the adults are driving me nuts. President, if you’re going to marry In Sook, be a good and caring husband. When she was in the hospital giving birth, YOU were supposed to be there, regardless of the baby’s gender! In Sook, don’t disappear when you feel like it, show some concern to YOUR daughters too! Grandma, as the elder in the family, you disappointed me, how am I ever going to listen to your moral stories? Mi Sun, you gave in to seduction while your madam was away….but I love Tak Gu.