Start-Up episode 8 recap – has Dal-mi figured out the truth about Do-san?

November 8, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
K-Drama, Netflix, TV Recaps


Episode 8 presents a funding issue for Samsan Tech, which puts Dal-mi in a precarious position. The issues are the same but the secret that hangs over the characters is beginning to come to the surface — this makes for an interest second half of the series.

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Episode 8 presents a funding issue for Samsan Tech, which puts Dal-mi in a precarious position. The issues are the same but the secret that hangs over the characters is beginning to come to the surface — this makes for an interest second half of the series.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series Start-Up episode 8 contains significant spoilers.

We will be recapping this weekly — check out the archive.

The opening

At the start of episode 8, The Morning Group are preparing a legal challenge due to Do-san’s outburst. While that rumbles, Dal-mi tends to Do-san’s wounds from smashing the glass. She tells him that she will never forget the support he gave her. These two are getting close for reasons not to do with the letters which complicate matters.

New ideas

Jung Sa-ha tells the team what she expects from the solution. Do-san agrees, explaining that apps that are assistive need to be differential. Dal-mi then looks at a dog and lightly suggests that it would be great to understand what the dog is looking at and doing; Do-san suggests using image recognition and combining it with voice recognition to help those with visual impairments. This is a cracking idea.

Han Ji-pyeong’s disagreement

The team is all in agreement with this idea, but later on, Han Ji-pyeong disagrees with it. Dal-mi is frustrated that he’s so negative. When he discusses advertising, he makes her aware that this app is for blind users, so it would be difficult to make money. Dal-mi gives him the “feelings” recognition device, and if it goes blue, it means she has convinced him.

I immediately wondered why Dal-mi didn’t consider audio advertising in their argument.

Persuasive Dal-mi

Dal-mi unexpectedly starts talking about Do-san’s letters which catch Han Ji-pyeong off guard before going into her pitch about having the ability to help people. The device goes blue, and Han Ji-pyeong is flustered and tries to talk Dal-mi out of it, but it does not work. After their meeting, Yoon Seon-hak seems impressed by Dal-mi’s idea. Han Ji-pyeong reveals that Dal-mi and In-jae are sisters and Yoon Seon-hak is surprised as she didn’t know.

I wonder what impact this will have on Yoon Seon-hak? She is sold as an important character, but she’s tentative in the plot.

Bring In-jae back

In-jae’s stepfather rings the mother and asks her to bring the mother home as she has run away. She wasn’t aware. The mother meets In-jae for a meal and asks her about leaving the stepfather’s house. In-jae reveals she’s in a studio apartment. The mother is happy that her daughter looks satisfied after taking a stand for herself.

Time to look for an investor

With a new solution getting developed, Dal-mi arranges various meetings with potential investors to try and secure funding. Her character has grown since the first episode; she’s confident, ambitious and hardworking — she has a winning attitude. Back at the office, the developers are working hard to get the solution right — it’s called NoonGil — “It works as the guide dog’s eyes.” When they test it out with a blind user, it works.

An exhausted Dal-mi

After an exhausting day trying to convince an investor in Samsan Tech’s NoonGil solution, Han Ji-pyeong picks her up. He tells her to take a nap as she’s doing all-nighters. As he advises her, Dal-mi falls asleep in his car. When she wakes up, Dal-mi asks Han Ji-pyeong not to tell Do-san about her business case; she doesn’t want him worrying about money.

However, in this scene, she didn’t consider her own worries which cripple her for the rest of the chapter.

Uploading to the app store

Dal-mi returns to the team, and they tell her that the solution has a 97% success rate. They want to upload it on the app store. As they guess how many people will download it, Dal-mi reminds herself of the costs the more people use it. When Chul-san suggests uploading it to the global market, Dal-mi panics, but it’s too late, they’ve done it. She’s worried, so she goes to church with Ms Choi and prays.

Not many downloads

The next day, the team learn they haven’t had many downloads, and Dal-mi is relieved, and the team is confused. They all go out for a meal and drown their sorrows while Dal-mi is full of joy and drinks copious amounts of alcohol. In LA, a baseball legend named Park Chan-ho downloads it to test it out.

A turn of fortunes, but it might be costly

The next day, Do-san is on TV with the basketball legend talking about him. He knows him from when he was younger, and he’s endorsing the app. Samsan Tech has reached 10,000 downloads, but Dal-mi is rightfully concerned about the running costs. Her confidence has decreased, and she keeps getting drunk to drown her worries while the team are happy with their achievements. Meanwhile, Do-san is called to the station for property damage, and he needs to settle with In-jae’s stepfather Chairman Won.

Chairman Won is unnecessarily cruel.

Detailed feedback

Ms Choi gives Do-san some feedback on the app and thanks him. She’s appreciative of him helping out Dal-mi. She talks about how, when younger, she and Han Ji-pyeong saw him in a newspaper for a maths competition, and he looked young and smart. Do-san shares the feedback to Dal-mi, and she isn’t aware that it is her grandma’s. She likes what is written and finds it detailed.

When she realises it is her grandma and that she’s struggling with her vision, she breaks down in tears, and Do-san hugs her and tells her to put on a smile for her grandma. When Dal-mi returns home, she cries to her grandma and promises that from the next day, she will smile. The relationship between Ms Choi and Dal-mi is charming and endearing — it really elevates the story.

Seeing Chairman Won

The next day, Dal-mi asks In-jae if she can see her stepfather Chairman Won. She’s on edge and is desperate. Dal-mi feels this is her last chance, but when she gets there, Do-san is on his knees begging Chairman Won, who is looking very smug. He reveals if Do-san doesn’t settle, he will be convicted. Dal-mi asks for funding for NoonGil. Chairman Won asks both Dal-mi and Do-san to beg on their knees to teach them a lesson. In-jae is disgusted at her stepfather.

The voice recording

But then there’s a twist; it seems that Dal-mi recorded their last meeting and it doesn’t put Chairman Won in a good light — it sounds like he is taking advantage of young entrepreneurs and their ambition. Dal-mi blackmails Chairman Won and asks for funding, or she will take it to the press. She turns it into a negotiation and asks Won to settle with Do-san. The next day, The Morning Group funds Samsan Tech.

What was noticeable in this scene was In-jae — she was genuinely impressed with her sister.

The ending

Late into the night, Dal-mi sees a letter from Han Ji-pyeong and Do-san’s letter from when younger — she sees how the handwriting is very similar. The truth is slowly forming in her head — does she now know Han Ji-pyeong sent those letters when she was younger?

In the epilogue, Han Ji-pyeong sees Do-san preparing his bicycle and gives him Dal-mi’s scrunchie that she left in his car. Do-san seems slightly bothered that Dal-mi was in his car and kicked his bike over — Han Ji-pyeong drives off and smiles. However, he was daydreaming; in reality, when he gives Do-san the scrunchie, he doesn’t seem bothered which irritates Han Ji-pyeong. The pair are still fighting for her love.

Start-Up episode 8 presents a funding issue for Samsan Tech, which puts Dal-mi in a precarious position. The issues are the same but the secret that hangs over the characters is beginning to come to the surface — this makes for an interest second half of the series.

Developer notes
  • After a business meeting, Dal-mi asks Han Ji-pyeong when his birthday is and realises it’s the same as Do-san.

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