Things Come to a Head in Episode 12 of Start-Up and a Reset Raises the Stakes for the Remaining 4 Episodes

Oh my what an excellent episode 12 for Start-Up, dropping what felt like an exclamation mark but then telling us there is much more ahead. Four more episodes left and I think it’s just the right amount for the story head, a lot of hard lessons where learned by EVERYONE in this episode but then each person made the right decision (albeit harder one) and that shows all my time invested was worth it. Ji Pyeong got a dose of pain, Do San got a dose of business reality, and Dal Mi got a dose of self-sacrifice, and all the supporting characters were given room to breath and a nugget buried so we can stay tuned for their next arc. Since this isn’t a drama predicated on surprises I’ll just say that there is a 3 year time jump at the end of the episode, at the right time and right moment, and will likely throw the Dal Mi-Do San-Ki Pyeong dynamic into a new twirl when everyone reunites in 2020. It’s right that Dal Mi gets to know both guys with the same playing field, and even if its not as a romantic interest these boys are still just wonderful and would make great BFFs and business partners. I don’t believe there is one answer to this question, and am tuned in to see how the leads decide.


Things Come to a Head in Episode 12 of Start-Up and a Reset Raises the Stakes for the Remaining 4 Episodes — 46 Comments

  1. I think my opinions don’t match with koala.. the overall story really went downhill with the unnecessary love triangle .

    On a sidenote..i m really curious abt one thing..Haters may deny it but it is true that Suzy is extremely popular in Korea ..I saw a poll abt top 10 favourite celebrities of 2020 , and Suzy ranked at 9th position..The list contained yoo jae suk, Bts, Iu, Hyun Bin , gong yoo,Kim hye soo,PBG etc.
    However i don’t understand why her dramas fail to bring good ratings..Like don’t give the Netflix crap because Secret Forest 2,its predecessor consistently ranked 1 on Netflix Korea and still touched 9 pc ratings..Besides ,Park Bo gum was also in that fav celebrity list along with suzy and his boring youth drama which aired on WEEKDAYS still pulled out strong ratings on TVN and good ranking on Netflix Korea..
    Both PBG and Suzy are highly admired and they have been consistently ranking in these types of polls but why her dramas can’t give a good performance??..Even before Start Up ,her other drama ratings were average at best..

    It is kind of weird…The general public seems to loves her but can’t watch her dramas..
    Just an observation..

      • can’t we enjoy the show without the need to care about the rating? Honestly rating don’t affect my preference at all.

      • Part 1: 4.270%
        Part 2: 5.079%


        Cut her some slack. Blogging is hard work.


        Careful now, people who can’t handle the truth will be arriving to call you hater and also pull out GoodData, TVing and Netflix rankings as excuses. Lmfao.

      • @Chi

        True, ratings shouldn’t affect your preference. There are so many dramas with high ratings but crap stories and vice versa.

        But I’ve noticed Koala makes ratings a big deal in her posts. She even uses ratings (whether it dropped or soared) to criticize or praise a drama’s story direction. She just happens to have a bias for this particular drama. If SU had high ratings, you think she wouldn’t have posted them?

        I don’t agree with hating on dramas or their ratings but she plays a role in it.

    • The way you all are so insecure of the Queen is hilarious. As seen on that Top 10 list, Suzy is the biggest actress in her 20s. Your Kim sister faves and others are nowhere to be found lmao. Start Up is doing great considering she is carrying this drama on her back ALONE in terms of popularity. Stay pressed.

      • @Marie ..First of all i m not even a fan of Kim whatever.I haven’t even watched their dramas..😂😂😂..And nor do i care if u bash them.. are kind of wrong..
        IU ranked 3rd and Suzy at 9th so she is not the highest ranked 20s actress…but still comparing to other actresses out there Suzy is still really famous..

        PS: Don’t worry abt my faves ..they are veteran in this industry and have already proven their mettle..
        I just stated an observation that Suzy dramas don’t perform well even when her popularity outshines her male co stars in Korea.

    • I was speaking in general to the users here because those who drag Suzy are mostly fans of the Kims or other 90s gen actresses. As for IU, she is higher because of her singing career. No one gives a fck about her as a flop actress. She can’t act and rides off the popularity of male leads. Suzy is still more popular and more respected in acting than her.

      • I don’t stan IU but this is the biggest joke i have ever heard..Hotel Del Luna had a male lead to make it successful..Ha Ha!!!!
        Now don’t bring in Hong Sisters because it is not always that their drama does well..(Hwayugi ratings were not in 2 digit.)..
        And you dare to say IU’s acting is bad ..She has certainly improved …No wonder people here like to drag suzy because of fans like you…
        IU was a BAEKSANG best actress nominee consecutively for two years and still gave a good fight to other veteran actresses.
        We will talk again when Suzy gets a Baeksang nomination…
        Does it hurts to see IU winning in both the criteria??..

      • PS: Regarding Baeksang , I wasn’t talking abt Best New Actor category because anyone can win that like..😂😂 lmh,yoona, ahn hyo seop etc..

    • Being loved by the general public has no correlation on how a drama will have good ratings. Even though she has public recognition, her recognition is for being first love icon. She’s barely getting recognized for her acting with this and wyws. People actually hated her acting. The thing I am impressed about is that even though her dramas always seem to “fail” to bring good ratings the writers and directors love her and keep casting her. StartUp actually has good ratings and is maintaining 1st in its time slot. It’s doing it’s job

    • The ratings in korea must have something to do wether if its cable channel or free tv. I think Start-up’s current rating is high enough considering it is aired via paid channel tvn same as It’s Okay to Not be Okay which headlined one of Kdrama’s most popular actor.

    • Nothing is weird about that even with popular Hallyu male actors can’t save their own dramas…so why blame Suzy? At least she never got below average ratings. And multiple ads were lined up in her dramas that affected the ratings…
      ◆ WYWS (1st ever drama who got 2 split episodes and most of the time double digit ratings )
      ◆ Vagabond (one of the 1st dramas who got 3 split episodes…got a peak of 13% ratings)
      ◆ SU (one of the dramas in tvN/cable channel who got 2 split episodes and sometimes 3 parts. They even got 5% ratings)

    • Because Park Bogeum is recgnized for his acting talet and good eyes for choosing a project. Even his worst dramas performed pretty well. Unlike Suzy who has been casted in several high profile dramas but failed to deliver. However, I think she will turn things around with Startup. I can see a lot of improvements in her acting.

    • Suzy’s previous drama was Vagabond, and it went up to 13% with an average of 9%. She’s not a consistent ratings draw, true, but I think it’s unfair to say her dramas can’t give a good performance.

      One factor is probably that her demographic is younger, and they watch online. As opposed to, say Park Bogum, who has a healthy ajumma fanbase (just like his character in ROY!).

  2. probably knetz love suzys visuals but they cant watch their drama because of her lack of acting skills. shes not believable as CEO. ..and nam joo hyuk wooden acting is still there. Wooden Do Dan

    • You obviously doesn’t watch the drama based on your air-headed comments… Just keep on hating instead of supporting your fave…and keep your veins popping due to hate LMAO

      • What drama? Start up? Obviously I’m watching just for her. Otherwise I would have dropped it since that love triangle is annoying af and Kim Seonho’s toxic fans keep saying he outshined the main leads. I have to laugh. He should be kissing Suzy’s feet for the popularity he is now getting. Focus on your 1% rating actress fave.

      • Oh sorry I thought you were replying to me LMAO. But you’re right. Joane is just a jealous hater, especially because her fave is flopping and Suzy is thriving.

  3. What can be said about the ratings is that they’ve been pretty consistent around 4% which means the show hasn’t lost any viewers during the run and it’s still decent ratings for the cable channel. To be honest I think it’s underrated and deserves better ratings but it’s not the first time this happens, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a really a good drama. I’m enjoying it lots more than While you were sleeping and I’m happy I have this drama to look forward each week!

    • reminds me of iotnbo’s ratings. that drama deserves better ratings too, but i’m glad it’s being recognized as one of the best drama this year in korea. i hope start up would get the same recognition

  4. This drama may not have achieved the expected ratings but I observed that it’s the most talk about drama right now and based on various brand value ranking, the drama and its leads are popular. It may have less effect on Suzy and NJH but it definitely has positive effect on Kim Seonho. Considering that he is a fixed member in 2d1n [a well-loved variety show, hence, he is familiar to Korean audience] and now he is becoming a favorite among kdrama international fans.

    Jung Haein had also great character for a male SL but he did not overshadowed Lee Jongseok in While You Were Sleeping. If LJS was Dosan, the fanwars would be more chaotic. Hahahah!

  5. I love all these characters, that’s some amazing cast! I already knew the veterans were great, but the younger cast lead by Suzy and Nam Joo Hyuk are also great with their emotional arcs and hopeful stories. I gonna miss this so much when it ends! It’s my favorite 2020 drama together with It’s Okay Not to be Okay!

  6. Keenly looking forward to see how this drama will end. I am watching this as a romance drama set in the backdrop of the specialized tech start-ups business and it’s a nice drama so far – fast paced, fast dialogue, good looking stars (NJH and Suzy look nice together) and good acting. Although, there are plot holes here & there and a super emo guy in the male lead, the drama is interesting enough for me to look forward to watching it week after week.

  7. The guy looks dumb to me thats why I had to fast forward scenes when he is on it (Nam). Suzy’s performance is not to rave about too. Slow episodes too.

    • Different preferences but you doesn’t obviously watch it. Dosan being dumb and awkward is part of his character as geeky programmer. Some are raving in Suzy’s acting bc viewers can see how she improved. All episodes are interelated with each other making run good especially for character developments of the character.

  8. This drama lost me at episode 10. I cannot waste an hour of my life watching this drama anymore, but I am interested in the outcome, so I log in to read the recaps and comments. Honestly, the acting is acceptable from Suzy and NJH and halmoni and Ji Pyeong are stellar actors. What threw me off was the writing and plot direction. I’m not a fan of the love triangle, particularly when it dragged on for so long, went into emo territory and made the characters act stupidly. Not surprised if the ratings don’t increase but tapers off from here. I do think that this is the writer’s worst work til date; her strongest was I Hear Your Voice and Dream High – and to a lesser extent, Pinnocchio. In those dramas, even though there was romance, it never distracted from the primary plot. Or maybe the acting was stronger in those dramas, so it filled up the plot holes in the script.

    • @Adal -I honestly think it was downhill after Pinocchio, that drama was great up to the time they had the hyung’s arc but after that closed the plot was a bit…it ran out of steam somewhat. But it still had engaging characters and fantastic OTP chemistry so I stayed with it (seriously I think it’s Park Shin Hye’s best onscreen pairing ever, and Yoon Kyun Sang’s breakout role is unforgettable).

      One thing I miss from Park Hye Ryun’s earlier dramas was that she had well written second female leads like Lee Da Hee in IHYV, Ham Eunjung in DH…Lee Yoo Bi was cute in Pinocchio and good at comedy but had very little to do. It looks like that trend continued here with Kang Hanna, which is a shame because she’s a good actress.

  9. I don’t even think there’s a love triangle. Dalmi basically friendzoned or mentor-zoned Jipyeong and she is in love with Dosan. There’s not 3 interactions of Dalmi getting to know Jipyeong. In fact everytime something major happens, Jipyeong is away sick or down with guilt or is stopped and that’s about it. The show is heading towards Dalmi-Dosan romance since quite suddenly we are told they were breaking up when I thought they almost started and then Dalmi put Dosan on waiting list, so she can evaluate him. For a love story, it is frustrating. For a business story, even more so. I was thinking series will show how they take 3 years to build up Samsan. From the trailer, seems like 3 years in Silicon Valley made Dosan so rich he now can afford a yacht. I don’t like the time jump and a great pity if it just jumps that way. And the whole Dosan punching scene is so out of order, I feel Jipyeong got a raw deal. It wasn’t even his fault, although he should have been more involved as a mentor. Again the writing suffers so that Dosan gets more role. When Jipyeong should have been there, he was instead sick and out of sight. You can say Jipyeong is a terrible uninvolved mentor or rather I will say that’s bad writing. And we have the 3 unhappiest people with least ambition in life boarding the plane to a destination of a lifetime because 2 is love sick and 1 is … hell bent on revenge for something that needn’t have happened if his brother had thicker skin and listen to advice, however crudely made. The crying in the rain scene was unnecessary. It’s modern times. 3 years ago there was face time. Still do. Did Dosan and Dalmi need to breakup? Of course not. As for Dalmi, obviously 2STO, as despicable as they are, they wanted developers. WHat use they have for project managers which probably they have plenty? But everyone was paid their share.

    • By the way, Suzy is rather good in this series. I only watched a few of her past performances, including one movie and I do think she was very effective in here.

  10. I agree with @ Adal that this maybe the writer worst work. Sigh, hope the balance 4 episodes, she can show us why she had write so much on triangle and develop injie character and challenges of start up.

    My observations –

    Injie is the biggest winner on demo day. She not only had started a profitable business and she tells it to the face of her stepfather who offer to invest in her company that she does not need his investment she wants global partner. I was like yes, the “revenge” was sweet.

    Alex deal – it was proposed by dosan to bring the whole of samsan to US. All at samsan were so happy and did not think and read the contract carefully.

    Dosan – is it not true that he did not read the contract carefully. He brought the company to disbandment and almost lost noongil in the process. Yet, rather than reflecting he chooses to throw his temper and punch JP.

    Yong san – his revenge is so off. Was it achieved? No, he blocks the opportunity for the mentor to stop dosan and dm from signing the contract.

    Samsan – no doubt, they are good IT developer but cannot do business. JP analysis on them was correct.

    Chul san – at least he is the rationale one who reflect that perhaps they should listen to JP advice. His liking of saha is healthy.

    Triangle – the more DS tries to block JP, it creates more opportunity for DM and JP to interact and understand each other. DS’s way of annoying JP, makes JP finally realise he likes DM.

    I will still watch the show for KSH and granny who are performing extremely well. I just hope the ending would be a choice of who is the right fit and no one is pathetic. And looking forward to see DM working and learning from injie. And how noongil was saved.

  11. Hey Guys
    Why don’t we just enjoy the show…people have different preferences. I am new in KDrama. Thanks to the pandemic! I dont know much about the characters, but.honestly I find them all lovable!Who cares.about the ratings…

  12. If IU is a “flop actress” when her last two dramas’ peak ratings (both on cable) are 2-3x that of Startup, then what does that make Suzy, lol. And Suzy “more respected in acting” than IU 😂😂😂 of all the blatant lies to tell, seriously what fake news 😂😂😂

    Or do you actually think Nielsen is lying and Lee Sun Kyun/Yeo Jin Gu were that popular in their own right before they did their dramas with IU?? Stay mad, IU’s career in both music and acting has commercial success AND better reviews lol. That’s not even opinion, it’s cold hard fact. Maybe you Suzy stans think the Kim girls are easy to put down but now you’re coming for IU, the delusion 😂😂😂😂

    • I do agree that when it comes to music and acting department, IU is so far better than Suzy. IU is also well-loved by Korean public. But I do not agree with your statement regarding LSK and YJG esp LSK who is popular in dramas and movies, and critically-acclaimed actor. He almost has perfect record in picking good projects. I believe that IU was appreciative that she had the chance to work with LSK. While I believe though that Hotel de Luna was IU’s drama regardless of who is the ML but YJG was a very popular child actor and has his own followers also.

      Anyway, both Suzy and IU are still young and has ample of time to secure their standing in acting industry. I hope though that IU would venture to more movies because it would definitely help her to make her standing well-known.

      • Jamie, no hate to Suzy, but her fans on this site have been extremely toxic towards IU and a bunch of other actresses claiming that we all feel “insecure” of her bias, which is not the case. Royal We was just stating the facts to defend IU, and she is right, although I personally would not have mentioned any actors. But I get her point in that they are not big hallyu stars. Anyways, back to my point, IU is not “so far” better than Suzy in the music industry, she is MILES ahead as the most-daesang-awarded female solo and Gaon’s biggest digital act. As for acting, I believe that they have similar standing, with Suzy being more awarded and having popularity in the field longer. However, IU is a bit ahead currently with back-to-back Baeksang nominations and a higher-rated drama in the same time slot as Start-Up. However, both still need to secure their standing, that I agree with.

      • Also, IU fans are very appreciative of Lee Sun Kyun and Yeo Jin Goo, two extremely talented and award-winning veteran actors. I assume Royal We was just pointing out that IU “doesn’t ride off the popularity of male leads,” which that Suzy stan Marie keeps claiming. If that’s the case, then what is Suzy who has worked with the likes of Kim Woo Bin, Lee Seung Gi, and Lee Jong Suk at their peak HALLYU popularity.

      • @Jamie – no disrespect was meant AT ALL to Lee Sun Kyun and Yeo Jin Gu btw, I and all IU fans are very appreciative of their talents and their previous body of work. It’s just that at the time of their respective works with IU, neither was an established Hallyu star type, the type you can say IU could “piggyback” of. And her dramas with them still peaked at 8 percent (My Ajusshi) and 12 percent (HDL) respectively.

        Suzy rode the hype of her early successes in film/tv to do very well in endorsements but uhh, her works over the last several years have not lived up to their hype commercially. If she’s not a good actress and casting her doesn’t even bring in the ratings that would justify casting her, then what is she even relevant for? PPL money? But her fans think it’s still 2012 and keep coming for actresses who are miles ahead in terms of talent and ratings/viewership, it used to be Park Shin Hye, now it’s IU and the Kim girls.

      • @Len – thanks for understanding what I was trying to say. LSK and YJG are incredible actors and IU was lucky to gain the experience to work with them, I didn’t mean to sound like I was putting them down when all I meant to say was they weren’t like your Lee Jong Seok, Kim Woo Bin, Park Bo Gum type stars. Apologies for any wrong impression, I admit my fault for that.

  13. @marie, at first i really feel for you. But what you said of kim seon ho is uncalled for. He is already a popular and accomplished stage theatre actor and he put his best skill in the role and doing his job well. He did not even know he’ll be popular in this drama.

    Thanks to viewers who like his acting. And for the writer and pd who choose him to act as JP.

  14. @Marie You are so damn toxic. I’ve been a silent lurker on this site, and you are always dragging IU and Kim So Hyun as “flop, ugly, untalented” unprovoked, yet you claim us fans as the insecure ones? And now you’re even drag Kim Seon Ho. Pathetic.

  15. Lol my friends who work for FANG all said that Start Up was very unrealistic. Not sure just how bad the other actors/actresses have to be for Suzy to “hard carry” bc she alone is alrdy terrible. Popularity & looks fade & down the road, no one gives af if you’re popular or not just your achievements. Look at JDJ, not a popular actress on that stupid list but she’s so much more accomplished compared to some of the “popular ones” who cannot act regardless of how many lead roles they’ve taken llololol Even the Kim actresses in their 20’s, who weren’t on the popular list have been praised for their acting skills.

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