By Bryan Tan
This recap contains spoilers and covers episodes 5-6 of Start-Up, which is currently available on Netflix.
Team Samsan Tech gets plunged straight into the thick of things at the Sandbox hackathon. As CEO, Seo Dal Mi (Bae Suzy) pulls together a team of five, comprising programmers Nam Do San (Nam Joo Hyuk) and his two friends, as well as designer Jung Sa Ha (Stephanie Lee). You’ll remember Stephanie’s tall, svelte figure and smouldering looks from When I was Most Beautiful (2020) and The Last Empress (2019).
The teams at the hackathon are given 48 hours to come up with a product or service and present it to the Sandbox panel, which coincidently features Dal Mi’s interfering and underhanded stepfather Won Doo Jung (Eom Hyo Seop). Team Samsan Tech rolls up its sleeves to win the hackathon and enter Sandbox’s coveted residency program for start-up companies.
Even though Do San is a genius mathematician and coder, I find it rather incredulous that it takes him less than 48 hours to develop a program which can analyse handwriting and detect forgeries. If I could do that I wouldn’t need to enter a hackathon at all; companies all over the world would be clamouring to market my skills (even more ridiculous is team Won In Jae, which manages to create a similar program in less than 24 hours).
I love that Dal Mi’s granny (Kim Hae Sook) always has the most beautiful and emotional scenes. Granny confronts her daughter-in-law, Dal Mi’s biological mother (Song Seon Mi) for divorcing her late son when he needed her the most. In another tender moment, Han Ji Pyeong (Kim Sun Ho) ties Granny’s shoelaces and asks her if she regretted not sending Dal Mi to university instead of him, because she could not afford it.
Start-Up shows us that behind all the glamour and fame of the start-up scene, it is the blood, sweat and tears of the previous generations that give the current ones the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Samsan Tech does eventually get accepted into the residency, despite a massive setback when their programme gets pitted against In Jae’s and fails miserably. Plot armour much?
Let’s not forget that all this while, Do San and Ji Pyeong continue to deceive Dal Mi, at the same time harbouring romantic feelings for her. Dal Mi is already very suspicious of Ji Pyeong, who has almost no relation to Do San but has been very visibly helping him all this while.
Nothing notable really happens in these latest two episodes which discerning viewers will not already predict. How much longer will Do San and Ji Pyeong hide their true selves (and feelings) from her? I pray that things will get more exciting in the next few episodes!
More recaps of Start-up: