In the first episode of Start-Up, Ji-Pyeong runs on the treadmill and asks the robot Yeong-Sil about the weather. Yeong-Sil mistakes it as fortune and tells him that he will run into someone. Ji-Pyeong goes out while drinking water.
Start-Up: Episode 1 Recap
Dal-Mi (Bae Suzy) gets into the restroom and fixes her shoe with her pen. She goes out and walks through the bridge. She takes out her phone from her pocket and sees the photo of In-Jae. In-Jae smiles while taking photos of herself. But her smile is frozen when the follow picks her up. He takes her suitcase and runs to follow her.
Ji-Pyeong gets in the car at the parking lot. He tells Dong-Chun to fire Yeong-Sil because he didn’t understand what he said. Dong-Chun wants to know how Yeong-Sil made Ji-Pyeong angry.
Dal-Mi calls In-Jae Seo In-Jae and asks her if she made a selfish decision before. In-Jae admits it and tells Dal-Mi to call her Won In-Jae.
15 Years Ago
In-Jae tells Dal-Mi not to play DDR and thinks all of her socks will be ruined. Dal-Mi notes the hole on her sock and gets changed. She asks In-Jae to get together. But In-Jae prefers Pump. So Dal-Mi asks to play Pump. In-Jae smiles.
A-Hyun has a fight with Chung-Myung because she found the resignation letter he wrote. She tells him that their daughters will be hungry because of it, and thinks he should leave the family since he wants to quit his job.
Dal-Mi and In-Jae eat snacks from their grandma Won-Deok’s store. They tell her to persuade their dad Chung-Myung. But she points out that he wouldn’t get married to A-Hyun if he thought what she said was right. Dal-Mi asks Won-Deok to live with them. But Won-Deok rejects it as she thinks it will make A-Hyun and Chung-Myung’s relationship worse.
Won-Deok gives the letters to In-Jae, and reveals the boys asked her to do that. The boy spots it and blames Won-Deok for doing so. She yells at them. Dal-Mi is envy of In-Jae. But In-Jae tells Won-Deok to throw the letters away because she doesn’t like the boys who don’t study hard. So Won-Deok drives the boys away.
Won-Deok calls Ji-Pyeong when she sees him standing there. He is startled and tells her that he’s not hungry. He runs away then. In-Jae sees Chung-Myung walking across the street. She takes Dal-Mi to chase him. Dal-Mi stops In-Jae and tells her to take another bus. In-Jae points out that A-Hyun will get a divorce with Chung-Myung if they don’t stop him.
The two arrive at the company. They hide in the room after they saw their dad. They see the boss beating Chung-Myung after he stopped him bullying the employee. Dal-Mi cries to call her dad. In-Jae stops Dal-Mi while putting her hand on her mouth. But she’s in tears as well.
The two tell A-Hyun that Chung-Myung got hit. They persuade her to let him what he wants. But A-Hyun tells the kids that nobody will pay their tuition if Chung-Myung resigned. She thinks he needs to earn money no matter what happened to him because it’s his responsibility.
Chung-Myung shows up and apologizes to A-Hyun. He asks for a divorce when he’s in tears. She agrees to it and asks the kids to make a choice.
The agent takes Ji-Pyeong to see the boiler room. He thinks he won’t have any money if he rents it. But he finds out that he won a prize, and tells him to get himself a better house. But Ji-Pyeong points out that it’s cybermoney. The agent tells Ji-Pyeong to invest for real. But Ji-Pyeong says that he is still a kid and doesn’t have any parents. The agent cheers Ji-Pyeong up and tells him to pay for his hardships. But Ji-Pyeong tells the agent to buy his hardships instead.
Ji-Pyeong walks by the noodle shop and sees the footage that Do-San won a prize. He is lost to throw his prize. But he picks it up then.
Ji-Pyeong finds a flyer in the rain, and there is a cheap place for rent. He intends to take the flyer. But Won-Deok tells him that it’s a scam. He is startled by her looks because she wears a raincoat. She takes a look at his shoes and thinks she needs a place to stay. He denies. She tells him to stay in her house. But he yells at her because of his self-respect. So she tells him that she put the key in the birdhouse, and runs away.
Ji-Pyeong walks into the room and takes away the newspaper. He sees two hot dogs. He eats them up and spots the cash.
Won-Deok thinks Ji-Pyeong might stay in her house last night and worries that he would take the money away. She returns to the house and finds out that the money is still there. She thanks God for it. Ji-Pyeong shows up and startles Won-Deok. He tells her that he intended to take the money away. He tells her to store it in the bank. She calls him a good boy and asks him to help her.
Ji-Pyeong opens a bank account for Won-Deok. She asks him to keep the account for her. But he reminds her that he will do something bad to her. But she says that she feels guilty for misunderstanding him. He remembers the agent told him to invest for real and chases Won-Deok. He asks her why she didn’t open an account herself. But she runs too fast.
Dal-Mi tells Ji-Pyeong not to follow her because she’s not happy. She runs away. He’s confused. She runs in Won-Deok’s arms and cries to her that mom and sister left her. Won-Deok comforts Dal-Mi. Ji-Pyeong spots it.
Won-Deok notes that Ji-Pyeong’s handwriting is pretty good. She asks him to write a letter to her and say that he wants to be her friend. Because her sister left her. He agrees to it but doesn’t want to use his name.