Start-Up episode 14 recap – Dal-mi tries to recruit Do-san and friends Self-driving systems.

November 29, 2020
Daniel Hart 3
K-Drama, Netflix, TV Recaps


Episode 14 only has one obvious conclusion, but it’s good for the audience to see Dal-mi and Do-san remind each other of their past, and why they need each other in the present.

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Episode 14 only has one obvious conclusion, but it’s good for the audience to see Dal-mi and Do-san remind each other of their past, and why they need each other in the present.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series Start-Up episode 14 contains significant spoilers.

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

The opening

Han Ji-pyeong asks Dal-mi about the ransomware attack. As he looks at her, he can tell she is in deep thought, but she claims she is okay and relieved but that she’s ashamed of not knowing what to do. Dal-mi also asks why Do-san had to return now out of all times when she’s in the worst position — she feels humiliated. Han Ji-pyeong comforts her by giving her tissues for her tears. Episode 14 is about Do-san and Dal-mi primarily — they are integral to all the characters finding a way back together.

Han Ji-pyeong stops Do-san from seeing Dal-mi

Episode 14 then flits back to Han Ji-pyeong pushing Do-san back into the elevator and asking for a chat. He tells him to talk to Dal-mi another time. Do-san is curious to why he needs Han Ji-pyeong’s permission. Han Ji-pyeong explains how three years is a long time and relationships change. Do-san took that as a hint that Dal-mi and Han Ji-pyeong are together.

Han Ji-pyeong immediately comes clean

But it was a dumb move, and Han Ji-pyeong felt stupid, so he rings Dal-mi and tells her how Do-san now has the impression that they are together and it’s not too late to chase after him. Dal-mi doesn’t want to because she believes Do-san is going back to America. Do-san keeps trying to ring her, but Dal-mi turns her phone off. The relationship between the two is complicated since the break-up, and three years apart does not seem to have given either of them clarity.


Do-san, Chul-san and Yong-san need to figure out what do next. They need advertisers and an investor. The next day, the three men take part in a photoshoot. After the photos, Do-san sees photos of Han Ji-pyeong; he’s affected by the conversation they had.

Hire new developers

The next day, Dal-mi learns that The Morning Group are doing their own self-driving system and they have a temporary permit. Dal-mi remembers their developers briefly meeting Chairman Won. In-jae confronts her stepfather and brother, and she is furious that they are stealing their ideas and employees.

When In-jae returns to Sand Box, she tells Dal-mi that they need to recruit developers and advises that she recruits Do-san, Chul-san and Yong-san. Dal-mi is worried after all the mean things she said to Do-san when they broke up. In-jae tells her to bring in those three developers, or she is fired. There’s plenty of suggestions that the company bog employees down, so the buck lies with Dal-mi. In-jae is fuming because it’s Dal-mi’s responsibility as CEO of the company. Episode 14 sees Dal-mi having to take some accountability.

Dal-mi plucks up the courage.

Meanwhile, Do-san, Chul-san and Yong-san have loads of offers from investors and companies. Dal-mi keeps ringing Do-san, and eventually, she enters the Samsan Tech office herself. She tells them she’d like to recruit them.

Do-san speaks to Dal-mi privately; he brings up words that were said during their break up and expresses how much they hurt him, but then he explains that she was right, the person she loved was not him; he doesn’t want to be confused anymore. Do-san tells Dal-mi that he doesn’t want to see her ever again. Those words hit Dal-mi like a brick — the tables have turned, and she now understands how he felt. She apologises. After she leaves, Do-san obviously regrets his words.

Han Ji-pyeong doesn’t believe it’s a bad thing that the offer was rejected

In the car park, Han Ji-pyeong can see that Dal-mi looks exhausted and she’s panicking because she hasn’t recruited Do-san and co. She tells him how they are thinking of hiring Do-san and others. Han Ji-pyeong thinks it’s a good thing that Do-san rejected the offer. Meanwhile, Do-san is replaying Dal-mi’s words over and over again — how she felt hurt. There’s inevitability ingrained in the story — Do-san and Dal-mi will not be able to forget about each other. Their pasts were too important.

Seeing Ms Choi struggle

In-jae bumps into Ms Choi, but due to her eyesight deteriorating badly, she doesn’t recognise her as she’s helped to bench. Afterwards, In-jae dissolves her adoptions with Mr Won. Her priorities have changed now she’s seen her grandma who is struggling — she knows what family she belongs to; it’s good to see that story bringing the family back to where it should be.

Finding Do-san

After a long biking trail, Do-san spends the evening on his own near the woods. Dal-mi finds him, and she’s breathless. His parents told her where he’d be. She tells him she isn’t done — she wants to talk. Do-san describes the painful 5-hour bike journey and wonders how easy it was for her to arrive here. The narration suggests that he cannot stop thinking about her. Dal-mi tells him that the journey wasn’t easy for her either, and insists they talk. Dal-mi is laying down her pride admirably, in the hope that Do-san can lay down his so they can finally be open with each other.

Talking self-driving systems

The pair sit next to a campfire. Do-san asks Dal-mi why the self-drive system is called Tarzan. Dal-mi explains it was based on a Tarzan story that he told her. Do-san states he worked on self-driving cars for 2STO because the company asked him too. Dal-mi falls asleep while sitting up, so Do-san kneels beside her and tucks her hair behind her ears. He’s trying to push her away, but it isn’t working. He tells her that her idea for self-driving fascinated him as she snoozes.


Jung Sa-ha and Chul-san catch up at a cafe. Apparently, Chul-san bumped into her by “chance”, but this keeps happening. Both characters seem to be finding ways to reconnect. Chul-san asks Jung Sa-ha if she’d like to work with him again and that she will be heavily compensated.

Han Ji-pyeong and Yong-san have an honest chat

Yong-san tells Han Ji-pyeong that he no longer blames him for the death of his brother and that he just wanted someone to blame. Han Ji-pyeong apologises as well and admits he was harsh to him. Yong-san wants honest criticism from Han Ji-pyeong. And the advice is clear; either they are excited about running programs, or they are excited about running a company. If the former, then they need to be part of a company that pays them well. Yong-san talks about wanting to partner with Dal-mi’s company. Han Ji-pyeong wants to stop him, but as an investor, he believes they will be great partners. Han Ji-pyeong has clearly grown in the last 3 years; he’s less personal about his advice and decisions.

The ending

Dal-mi asks Do-san what would it take for them to work for her company. Do-san admits he has read the business case for her ideas. As the episode draws closer to the end, In-jae and Dal-mi are preparing for a self-drive system test. Dal-mi gets into the autonomous car, and Do-san is inside with his laptop. The band are back together, and the vehicle starts moving on its own.

The epilogue shows Do-san giving Dal-mi a piggyback. He wants to use his money for shares into her company. It may have taken an entire episode, but in the end, Dal-mi managed to recruit the developers she needs and paves open for a rekindling romance with Do-san.

Start-Up episode 14 only has one obvious conclusion, but it’s good for the audience to see Dal-mi and Do-san remind each other of their past, and why they need each other in the present.

Developer notes
  • In-jae’s mother asks In-jae if she wants to meet her name Won. She also asks her to come to her grandma’s for New Year’s Eve as her eyesight is getting worse.
  • Yong-san tells Han Ji-pyeong that he’s gotten nicer.

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3 thoughts on “Start-Up episode 14 recap – Dal-mi tries to recruit Do-san and friends

  • November 30, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Não gostei , esperei a série inteira ela ficar com Sr.Han!!!!!

  • November 30, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Esperei a série inteira ela ficar com o Sr. Han , não gostei dela com o Nan!!!!

  • December 1, 2020 at 5:56 am

    The stupidest k drama ever. The writer for this kdrama is stupid. Nam do san actor the worst actor ever. Very lousy acting skills

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