While I’ve been enjoying the romantic relationships the women are in, I’m glad to see these episodes focus on their personal goals outside of love. Yeah, love is important, but it’s good to have other goals as well. The show is still rather heavy-handed with getting its message across, but this is one time that I really don’t mind.
The girls air out their problems during an unusual fast food dinner. Mako and Saki jump on Emi when she says that Takei broke up with her because she left in the middle of his match to comfort Yu. Emi says she would have done the same if either of them were in the same situation, but when asked if she told Takei that, she says that explaining the situation would have seemed too much like an excuse. They tell her that she needs to properly explain to Takei so there will be no misunderstanding.
The woman in the café types: “When you’re messing about with love…”
Lighting Works is collaborating with Starlights for an event and Starlights particularly wants Emi to be in charge. To celebrate Emi’s first job as the chief, the guys suggest that they have a party at Emi’s. Takumi declines and they ask that she brings Takei and Emi doesn’t mention they broke up.
Mako runs into Kisaki after she cleans out her desk. He only wants to know about Momoko though, since he can’t contact her. Yamamoto was watching and talks to her after Kisaki leaves, saying that since she quit her job, she can be around as many men as she wants now. Seriously, can someone slap this guy? He bets she thinks he started the rumors (duh), but Mako doesn’t think that way. He says it’s not his fault and leaves.
Emi apologizes to Takei for causing any misunderstandings, but Takei says he’s not angry about her going to meet Yu. He asks if Emi likes him and though Emi doesn’t give a response, that’s answer enough. Takei knows they shouldn’t have dated until she could answer that question confidently. He apologizes for rushing the relationship, but he thought that if they dated, she would eventually love him. He says she needs to focus on her number one, but says that if one day she thinks of him as her number one, they could try to date again.
Mako stops at a restaurant and while she eats her soup, she starts crying. The chef is bewildered and asks what’s wrong. Mako: “Even when things are terrible, things can still taste delicious.” He hands her a napkin and asks if she’s going to cry or eat. I like this guy already.
Misuzu goes to meet Takumi at his company since he forgot his notebook at a meeting. She sees him just as he leaves the building and jumps into the car with Saki. She hides quickly as they drive away, shocked by what she has seen.
At Emi’s congratulations party, the guys ask why Takei isn’t there but Emi brushes aside the topic, not wanting to talk about it. As Emi, Saki, and Takahashi work on a puzzle that Takahashi brought for Saki (that’s shaped like a heart), Takahashi asks if Saki has a boyfriend or someone she likes. Saki responds yes to the latter, to Takahashi’s horror and Emi asks what he’s like. “An adult. Straightforward. A person who makes you feel better when you’re down.” Emi teases Saki because she said finding someone like that is hard, but Saki takes it all back, saying he’s really just a regular person.
Mako and Yu are in the kitchen cleaning up when Mako tells him that Takei and Emi broke up because of him. Well, not that explicitly, but it comes out that way so when the guys leave, Yu is looking particularly guilty.
Saki falls asleep on the couch so Emi goes to get a blanket from Saki’s room. She knocks over a bunch of pens, one of which she recognizes as Takumi’s. She can’t help but watch her boss suspiciously the next day at work when Saki’s name comes up.
Yu confronts Emi about her break up with Takei and offers to go talk to him, but Emi says there’s no need. She’s not ready for a relationship and she can’t honestly say she liked Takei, so Yu talking to Takei would only make the situation worse.
Mako meets up with Momoko who wants to cheer her sister up because she lost her job. Turns out Kisaki kept asking about Momoko because she had stopped meeting with him after Mako saw them together. Momoko didn’t really like Kisaki; she had only wanted to take something of Mako’s. Mako feels like an idiot for not realizing that, saying she has no luck with work or love. Momoko agrees and says the only thing Mako’s good at is cooking. I can see where this is going.
Emi meets with Hikari who has started coming back to work. Hikari admits she was always jealous of Emi and Yu. “You always got along and could understand each other. I wanted to be like the two of you. But, I guess it couldn’t have been me.” She knows what she did hurt Yu, especially since she was the one hurrying to get married. She asks if Emi likes Yu and asks her to take care of him.
Yu calls out Takei to clear up any misunderstandings, but Takei makes it clear that it’s Yu that doesn’t understand and tells him that Emi still likes him.
Misuzu comes over to talk to Saki, but only Emi’s home. Emi tries to lie that she doesn’t know anything, but Misuzu sees right through her. Misuzu: “Hey, what do wives nowadays do in situations like this? Do they yell? Do they cry? What should I do? I don’t know what to do.”
Saki and Takumi are on a date at the river. They talk about having their own seat and Saki says she’s been rejected by so many companies without a seat for her that she feels that there’s no place for her in this world. Takumi feels the same; he’s working hard, but really all he’s doing is trying to please Misuzu. Saki surmises he hasn’t told Misuzu about not being able to have children. Takumi used to think there was no such thing as useless people, but now he knows there are. He wonders where people like that go and Saki says they probably come here. She promises that even if other people say they don’t need him, she’ll be there for him and she holds his hand.
Emi confronts Saki about her affair with Takumi when she comes home, but Saki says they’ve done nothing wrong. Emi maintains that what she’s doing is hurting Misuzu, causing Saki to lash out about how Emi’s trying to win Yu back since she broke up with Takei. She tells her to stop using work as an excuse and just go for Yu. Emi thinks work is better than being dragged down by love but Saki snaps and says she can’t help what she’s doing. “This is my first time. I can’t stop these feelings. I like him. I just wanted to be by him. Hey, could this turn into adultery?” Yeah Saki, you crossed that line a long time ago. She runs into her room before Emi or Mako can say anything.
Emi and Mako are surprised by how Saki’s changed so much because of her love for Takumi; she’s abandoned everything else for him. Mako, spying the heart puzzle, says love is like a puzzle. You have to place all the pieces carefully or it won’t fit. She says her puzzle may not have any pieces for love or marriage in it so she will have to find those pieces on her own.
Takumi has decided to leave the apartment and finally tells Misuzu that he can’t have children and has nothing left to offer her.
Emi meets with the guy from the Starlights company. He’s been impressed with her work so far and asks her to join their company.
Mako goes back to the restaurant which is hiring and asks for a job. Though the chef guy is reluctant since she has no experience, he decides to hire her.
The girls are still fighting so Saki doesn’t eat dinner with Emi and Mako. Emi is indecisive about taking the new job, feeling that she owes a lot to her company. Mako points out that it would also mean that she and Yu would separate, a thought that hadn’t occurred to Emi.
At work, the other girls are surprised to see Saki, figuring she was going to quit because she got a job or a man. They gossip about one of the other girls who quit because she wanted to be with a married man. Though the man had discouraged it and the relationship was one-sided, the wife eventually found out and the girl was left alone and jobless. The story leaves Saki looking unsettled.
When Saki goes to visit her mom and sister, they find her hostess card in her coat. Saki’s sister is angry that Saki lied to them about working at a publishing company and asks how she thinks their father would feel if he knew she was working at such a place. Saki can only apologize before quickly leaving.
Misuzu’s been engrossed in work and has been staying up late so when Emi meets her, she apologizes for not being able to stop Saki. Misuzu can’t accept any apology nor can she say that she’ll never forgive Takumi; she still doesn’t know what to do. She feels that after ten years of marriage, Takumi’s affair makes the whole thing a failure.
Saki and Takumi meet at the park and talk about how Takumi is now living at the office and Saki’s family found out she was a hostess. Saki says it’s for the best and now she can get a real part-time job and they can live together like a real couple. She says it cheerfully, but Takumi’s face is solemn and he doesn’t give a response.
Mako invites Emi and Saki to the restaurant she’s working at (without either knowing the other one is coming) so they can make up. The atmosphere is awkward until Saki and Emi taste the chef’s delicious food. The two start laughing and talking like usual and Mako smiles in the kitchen, saying that good food really can save the world.
They all go home together and Saki and Emi congratulate Mako on being able to work at such a great place. Mako thinks being able to quit her old job and working at the restaurant has helped her realize that she really was too serious about her relationships. She never spoke honestly about her problems with Yamamoto so that was why he misunderstood her relationship with Kisaki. She believes being too serious is not telling our partner about what you don’t know or not telling them what is troubling you. Mako was always focused on marriage so when she was with Kisaki and Yamamoto, she was always worried about marrying them instead of just being in love. Saki thinks Yamamoto was probably too serious too and Emi adds that even though Yamamoto liked Mako, he was way too focused on Kisaki and pushed too much. Thanks Emi, but that would’ve been some helpful insight two episodes ago.
Saki and Emi say Mako’s practically a love expert now, but Mako says it’s only because she’s not focused on love that she can speak so honestly about it now.
The woman in the café types: “Can you not worry about love?”
Yu tells Takumi that he’s thinking of going back to America. The people he met abroad are setting up a new company and are asking for him to help out by the end of the year. He hadn’t been sure before because he was still with Hikari, but watching Emi work so hard has encouraged him to work hard as well.
Emi’s trying out some fancy lights she borrowed from the Starlights guy when Yu comes to work. Yu makes Emi stand in front of the lights like she’s on stage and Emi imitates being a singer. She’s bad at it and she keeps making awkward poses so Yu laughs at her. Emi’s embarrassed, but she laughs too. Yu stares at her as Emi smiles, the lights still shining on her, but when she notices the look on his face, he quickly says it’s nothing.
Saki’s mom comes to visit her and asks about why she became a hostess. Was it to provide for them? No, Saki needed that money for herself. She didn’t want to see the cleaners close because the only memory she has of her father is working at the cleaners. Saki’s mom calls her silly and says that even if the cleaners close down, her dad will always be with her. She reminds her of the times her dad praised Saki’s writing skills and how happy he was when Saki won an award for her writing. She tells Saki to find something she wants to do because that’s what her dad would want.
Though Emi hasn’t told anyone at work about Starlights’ offer, Tamu has guessed that they’re trying to recruit her. He thinks she should go for it, but he knows she’s hesitating because of Yu. He tells her a little distance between her and Yu wouldn’t be a bad thing, in fact, it might help, but Emi is still uncertain.
Yamamoto calls out Mako because he’s heard rumors at work that she quit because she was pregnant. Yamamoto doesn’t care about how that affects her though, he just wants to confirm it’s not his. It has to be Kisaki’s right? Mako tells him not to worry about it since she’s not pregnant. However, Mako’s unfocused when she goes back to work. The chef notices and tries to cheer her up by saying in his gruff way that the broth he scolded her for making the other day wasn’t bad. He reminds her of how she said even when someone’s having a rough time, food is still good.
Saki’s quit her job at the hostess bar and is planning to move in with Takumi. She asks to meet with him at the bus stop where they first met. Takumi’s going to meet her, but he gets a call from Misuzu’s company that Misuzu has collapsed so he goes home to take care of her. Saki waits in the rain until it gets dark before finally deciding to call Emi, asking rather dejectedly if Takumi is still at work. Emi goes to pick Saki up and take her home.
After getting Saki cleaned up, all three girls sit down to try out Mako’s cooking which is good as always and Mako shares the life lesson of the episode about how good things are always good, no matter how bad life is at the moment.
In the café: “Sometimes, it’s good to not worry about love. Take a step back and look things over again. You’ll fall in love again. Maybe a new love. Maybe an old love.”
Mako goes into a store and buys a pregnancy test.
Emi tells the Starlights guy that she’ll give him an answer after the event. AT work, Yu tells Emi about how he’s going back to America and asks her to come with him.
Finally, someone said something! Looks of longing can only be satisfying for so long, y’know. The setup’s rather cliché (he’s leaving to pursue his career, she wants to pursue her career at home, blah) but I’m so happy that Emi finally has to settle her feelings for Yu that I can roll with it.
I liked these two episodes because they actually made me see Mako as a character, at least until Mako bought the pregnancy test. I’ve been pretty harsh on Mako’s character so far and that’s because she never seemed like a character. For the most part, it always seemed like the writer was using Mako to fill up air time by giving her random plot lines instead of developing her as an actual character, so I liked that Mako was finally not just following around guys like a mindless idiot and was actually pursuing something other than an obviously futile romance. I don’t like the pregnancy plot because it seems unnecessary and stupid. Mako has a good job doing something she likes and may have a romance that isn’t doomed with the chef. I could have gone with that for the next two episodes, but the writer had to throw in the pregnancy. Yamamoto tells Mako there are rumors about her being pregnant, so she buys a pregnancy test? In what world does that make sense? Mako’s working around food all the time and is studying for her cooking license so maybe if she had become sick or something, I would have bought it, but no, there’s groundless rumors that she is pregnant so Mako thinks she’s pregnant. That’s dumb.
I feel a leetle sorry for Saki, but the wake-up call was long overdue. Her relationship with Takumi started breaking down as soon as it started and it’s helping her start to realize that she’s just deluding herself into believing she has a real romantic relationship with him. Also, since her family finally knows what kind of life she’s leading, Saki may get over that feeling of uselessness that brought her and Takumi together in the first place and go back to trying to get her life together.