Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 3
by | April 11, 2010 | 149 Comments

She’s not as tough as she looks, is she? Don’t try to hide that you have a heart, you big softie!

Loved this episode, which had a lot of character movement. This is such a good drama — whimsical, thoughtful, funny, and well-balanced. Prior to the drama’s premiere I had guessed it would be high-quality, and Moon Geun-young tends to pick good projects. My misgivings were therefore not about whether it would be good but about whether I would like it, and I’m thrilled that I do because it’s one of the meatier offerings to come around recently. Even so, the complexities leave room for a sense of humor.


Cinderella’s Sister OST – “뒤돌아봐” (Look back) by JOO [ Download ]

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Following the slap, Dae-sung is actually disappointed in his wife for taking such an extreme measure against her own daughter. He recognizes that Hyo-sun has been doing her share in harassing Eun-jo and tells Kang-sook, “I was embarrassed and upset. Don’t do that again.”

He’s more generous regarding Eun-jo than Kang-sook gave him credit for, and she sees that her move has backfired — she was trying to look like a good mother to Hyo-sun but she has come off looking cold to her own child. So she breaks down and says that she was afraid he’d look down on her because of her daughter’s behavior.

While this is true enough, Kang-sook the Opportunist sees a chance to use this moment to her advantage. She cries that she can feel the judging eyes of others, and that people (like uncle and the ajummas) give her dirty looks and think she’s just a lowly widow who wormed her way in.

Ain’t she crafty! She’s not lying about any of this, but her master stroke is in twisting the situation so that she comes off as a total innocent. As a result, not only does she get herself off the hook, Dae-sung issues a stern ultimatum to his staff: anyone who doesn’t accept his wife can resign. Hyo-sun’s uncle and the ajummas gulp uneasily.

We introduce an element of fantasy — it’s not overdone, just a touch of delightful whimsy — as Eun-jo sits by the lake, moodily tossing rocks into the water. She thinks, “In my thoughts, I’ve packed my bags more than a hundred times.” An imaginary sheet of paper drifts from the sky to settle at her side, upon which she envisions clothing and a suitcase. With a finger, she drags items into the bag, mentally packing her belongings.

Thus packed, Eun-jo decides she’s ready to depart for a place without her mother, and grabs the handle of the suitcase that has appeared out of thin air.

She stops short to see Ki-hoon, ever smiling, who has been searching for her far and wide. She’s holding her suitcase with one hand so he takes it from her grasp, only now the luggage has turned back into a rock, like a pumpkin that has lost its magical properties at the stroke of midnight.

He starts to lead her away, but she wrenches her arm out of his grasp. That sudden movement causes the glass slipper hairpin (which he bought for her) to fall out of his pocket. It settles on the sand, unnoticed.

Eun-jo pushes past Ki-hoon, who calls after her to wait up since that she doesn’t know the neighborhood. When he stumbles and falls over a rock, she looks back momentarily but keeps walking on. Hilariously, just as he grumbles over her unconcern, SHE trips and falls. She pops back up instantly, trying to save face, and continues on.

With some effort, Ki-hoon catches up to her and notices that her knee is bleeding profusely — the rock has cut a huge gash in her leg.

Shocked at the extent of the injury, Ki-hoon exclaims that it must hurt. It won’t stop bleeding and she’ll need to attend to it. Eun-jo keeps a stoic face and he asks, “Doesn’t it hurt?”

Finally, sick of his fussing, Eun-jo retorts, “It hurts! Why wouldn’t it hurt? But so what?”

At home, Hyo-sun asks Kang-sook hesitantly where she heard that the kids were making fun of Eun-jo for having a different last name. Hyo-sun has asked every student in her class and nobody said such things, which Eun-jo also confirms.

Kang-sook isn’t about to admit she lied, so she tells Hyo-sun that she must have misheard. Thankfully, she’s got the tried-and-true head-pat to win Hyo-sun’s affections, and the girl agrees to let the matter die here.

Eun-jo keeps a blank expression on her face while a doctor disinfects her injury, then stitches it up. Ki-hoon is a big ol’ wuss and can hardly stand to watch her being fixed up, and is incredulous at her lack of response. He even asks the doctor if she has a problem perceiving pain, because that would make a lot more sense. It’s her lack of expression at feeling pain that he can’t fathom.

As they walk home, Eun-jo asks Ki-hoon what language he was singing in the other night. Ki-hoon perks up at her interest and explains that it’s a Spanish song. Liking the idea of Spain’s distance from Korea, Eun-jo thinks, “If I go hide there, nobody will be able to find me.”

But first, she’ll need to be prepared. She asks whether Spanish is hard to learn, and Ki-hoon starts talking enthusiastically about Barcelona and Gaudi. Uninterested in that, she cuts him off to tell him to teach her Spanish. They can use one hour of their math lessons for Spanish lessons. Without letting him get in a word in edgewise, she walks off.

Ki-hoon hasn’t had a chance to tell say anything, so now he worries to himself, “But I don’t know Spanish.” HAHAHA. I love him.

Ki-hoon’s only half-right about Eun-jo not showing pain, because it’s only in front of others that she won’t display her hurt. When Eun-jo comes home to see her mother cradling Hyo-sun, both asleep, her emotions are much easier to read without anyone around to witness it. Her hurt plays across her face, and a tear even glints in her eye.

That night, Ki-hoon starts to study Spanish on his own, trying to learn enough to teach Eun-jo without giving himself away. And I LOVE the flipped dynamics in their subsequent tutoring session, because he has to fake his way through it. Tutoring sessions are the only time Eun-jo shows him any respect, and he doesn’t want to be found out as a fraud.

As they start, Eun-jo asks whether South America is farther away than Spain. Ki-hoon takes issue with the way she rudely cuts him off, which is when she cuts him off again to say they ought to start the lesson.

Ki-hoon wants to start by teaching her the alphabet, but she has studied that on her own last night and is eager to advance to Lesson 2. Having only studied enough to stay one step ahead of her, Ki-hoon’s face falls and he looks a little panicked. He isn’t ready for Lesson 2, so he turns to her previous question. Drawing a vague outline of South America, he points to a dot representing Ushuaia, Argentina, which is the world’s southernmost city.

She asks how long it would take and how much it would cost to get there, prompting the question of why she’d want to go to Ushuaia. Curtly, Eun-jo tells him to forget it and turns back to await her lesson expectantly.

Faced with continuing their conversation or revealing that he’s a fraudulent Spanish teacher, Ki-hoon chooses the former. Thankfully, he’s rescued by the sound of voices outside, which give him an excuse to cut the day short.

(To Eun-jo, asking Ki-hoon for Spanish help is a necessary evil, and she figures that nobody will be able to find her if she runs for Ushuaia. Ironically, she’s just setting this up so that nobody would be able to find her EXCEPT for the one guy who will become the one most determined to track her down. I’m not saying she’s going to be running to Ushuaia anytime soon, just that she’s giving him the tools to figure her out without realizing it.)

(Also, the conversations are so well crafted here. You can reveal so much through conversation structure — what is said, what is not said, the order in which things are said. Well done.)

The noise comes from arriving guests, here to celebrate Dae-sung’s birthday. As Eun-jo watches from a distance, Hyo-sun approaches to offer one of two gifts she is holding. She figured that Eun-jo wouldn’t have had a chance to buy a present for her father, so she prepared one for her. It’s a sweet gesture, but unsurprisingly Eun-jo rejects it.

Returning to her room, Eun-jo checks a voicemail message on her phone, which immediately darkens her mood. It’s from Jung-woo, warning her that the drunk ajusshi (he’s only identified as Ajusshi Jang by the drama) is on his way to find her mother.

Eun-jo confirms that Hyo-sun’s uncle gave him the address, and takes out her agitation on him. How could he? The uncle has no idea why this is a cause for upset, nor does Ki-hoon, who is eating dinner with him.

Eun-jo finds the drunk Mr. Jang sitting in a heap just outside the front gate. He has settled here after peering into the party to witness Kang-sook presiding as hostess, singing a song for the guests. Miserable, he cries as he sings along with Kang-sook — it’s a song he taught her, he explains.

Nervous that he’ll be caught and angry that he came here to crash the party, Eun-jo drags him away, just as Ki-hoon comes up to them. He doesn’t know what’s going on but he can read the general tenor of the situation, and ushers both to the wine cellar so they can hash this out in privacy.

After Ki-hoon steps out, Eun-jo tells Jang that Kang-sook is out of his life now — he’d better get over it. Is he here for money? Jang insists that he loves Kang-sook and that this is not about money.

The sound of men’s voices makes Eun-jo tense, and she claps a hand over Jang’s mouth to silence him. Dae-sung and another partygoer have come from the party to grab more makgulli from the cellar, and they’re headed straight inside.

Thankfully, Ki-hoon is waiting outside and intervenes, volunteering to deliver the wine to them. He comes inside to grab a cask, then warns Eun-jo not to stay in this room for too long, lest they be discovered.

Eun-jo speaks harshly, trying to drive the point home to Jang: he doesn’t have any of this — a grand house, a large family, status. If he did, Kang-sook would go to him without a second thought. But instead, he’s a lowlife gambling drunk “whose body and heart are rotten.” The sharpness of these words finally cuts through his drunken haze, and he mumbles, “Stop it.”

I actually think Eun-jo’s derision is as much (if not more) directed at her mother for being so mercenary, although she doesn’t harbor warm feelings for Jang, either. She warns him not to come back until he can bring Kang-sook these things: “If you don’t show up, I’ll believe that you loved my mother. Disappear now. If you don’t, you’re a lowlife who just came for money.” She’s unable to stop a tear from falling down her cheek.

Slowly, he gets to his feet and stares at her for a long, uneasy beat. Eun-jo looks scared — it’s unclear what he means to do when he steps closer to her — but holds it together under the weight of his glare. Finally he decides he’s had enough and stumbles off, and only now does she allow herself to tremble in fear and relief.

After making his delivery, Ki-hoon finds Eun-jo in front of the house, staring: Jang is passed out in a heap by his truck. Frustrated — so close to getting him gone, yet thwarted at the last step — she growls, “Will you kill that guy for me?” She’s powerless to do anything in this moment but stare at him, wishing him gone.

Ki-hoon sees the frustrated tears in her eyes and takes charge, taking the driver’s seat to drive him home. Eun-jo doesn’t say a word, but he assures her it’ll be fine — he’ll take the last train home and make it back by morning. Eun-jo can’t tell him she’s worried about him, but he seems to sense it anyway and repeats, “Don’t worry.” With a last small smile, he drives off.

This entire encounter is more proof that Eun-jo does care about her mother and, perhaps to a lesser extent, her new family. If she didn’t, she could wash her hands of everything and let the others discover Jang, letting the chips fall where they may. Jang would have babbled freely about his relationship with Kang-sook, reflecting badly on her and giving others reason to look down on her. It would also disillusion Dae-sung about his wife and by extension disrupt the familial harmony that he is hoping to achieve.

If Eun-jo truly didn’t care — or if she were as heartless as people may believe — wouldn’t she be fine to let that happen? Or even enjoy the disruption? The fact is that she’s preserving the family and trying to be as invisible about it as she possibly can.

Heading back inside the gates, Eun-jo sees Hyo-sun leading Kang-sook in a song and dance routine. (For the curious, it’s Two Two’s 1994 hit song “One and One Half.”) Dae-sung beams approvingly, but he notices Eun-jo trudging off in the distance and indicates to Kang-sook that she should check in on her daughter.

It’s out of duty that Kang-sook finds Eun-jo in her room, where she complains about her rudeness and Dae-sung’s attentiveness regarding Eun-jo. After her ordeal tonight, Eun-jo orders her mother out, screaming in frustration when her mother ignores her.

Eun-jo’s hurt that her mother has barely noticed her and asks why she even bothered bringing her here. She didn’t even know that she needed stitches in her knee! Ironically, despite Eun-jo’s facade of cynicism, the only thing that really gets through to her is sincerity — like Ki-hoon’s and Dae-sung’s (though not Hyo-sun’s) — and she cannot abide her mother’s fakeness. So now she rejects her mother’s concern when Kang-sook worries over the stitched knee.

I believe that Hyo-sun is being sincere in her overtures, so it’s interesting that Eun-jo views her motives suspiciously, not believing that her kindness is real, though Dae-sung has (somewhat) earned her trust. Perhaps the difference is that Hyo-sun is monopolizing her mother’s affections and pleading for Eun-jo to like her back, while in contrast Dae-sung offers his help without any demands on Eun-jo’s feelings.

When Hyo-sun finds her outside their room to tell her that she gave both gifts to her father, Eun-jo says flatly, “I don’t like you. You don’t like me either, do you? You can’t like me. There’s no reason to, so how could you?”

Hyo-sun says, “But I really do.” Eun-jo can’t believe that, and says, “It’s much more natural to dislike me. It’s harder to make yourself like someone because you have to. So it’s fine to dislike me. I’m saying to act like you don’t know me.”

Crying now, Hyo-sun asks Eun-jo to believe that she isn’t just pretending to like her, or forcing herself to act friendly.

Eun-jo returns, “You’re fooling yourself” and tells Hyo-sun to think carefully. As she walks away, she meets eyes with Dae-sung, who has overheard the exchange. This is unfortunate, and Eun-jo probably would have preferred he not witness this, but she walks on stoically.

Eun-jo calls Jung-woo to let him know that someone is driving Jang ajusshi home, and asks him to call her when Ki-hoon leaves. Not one to bother with pleasantries, she starts to hang up, but Jung-woo keeps her on the line. He has something to tell her, and announces, “Noona… you’re my woman! I love you!”

Jung-woo hangs up quickly, then exults that he confessed his feelings at last.

Eun-jo stays up that night waiting for Ki-hoon to return home. When it’s past 4 am and there’s still no sign of him, she opens the gate and waits in the dark on the front step. But still, he doesn’t come, and finally she heads back indoors, leaving the gate slightly ajar so he can make his way inside.

When dawn breaks, she is still awake, not having slept all night.

The reason? Ki-hoon has been called to see his father, and now we get a bit more insight into his background. He’s a youngest son, but he’s also illegitimate and has been disowned by the Hong family. Neither man enjoys this encounter, but President Hong (who runs his own company) feels he must address this issue before it grows out of hand. Recall that Ki-hoon’s photos had been taken in an earlier episode, and the family had paid off the source to hand them over. But the longer Ki-hoon stays as a worker in Dae-sung’s wine company, the more possibility there is of him being discovered and written about in the papers. This possibility has the family on edge, in particular Hong’s wife. They’d all prefer he dropped off the face of the earth, because that would make life easier for them.

Ki-hoon replies that he won’t stop working for Gu Dae-sung. Wasn’t it President Hong who said that he had no place in the Hong family? Therefore he gives his father no right to dictate how to live his life. He will sign the document giving up his inheritance.

Enter the hateful stepmother, who tells Ki-hoon to show some respect — they’ve done so much for him. If by “so much” she means neglected, sent away, and pretended he didn’t exist, then I suppose she’s right.

Interesting that even with a shared dislike of Ki-hoon, both spouses are also at odds with each other. This is a political marriage, not a love match.

Dad tells him soberly, “If you don’t save me, I have nobody on my side.” As Ki-hoon stands up to leave, President Hong stops him with the words, “I need you.” His wife and eldest son are buying up stocks of the company. Ki-hoon understands that his father needs his shares, not him. Although he has never placed any great expectation for affection from this man, he is bitter in his response: “I almost believed you for a moment when you said, ‘I need you.'” He adds accusingly, angry with his father for getting his hopes up, “I almost thought you really needed me.”

Ki-hoon visits his mother’s mountainside grave, where he sits despondently. He asks his mother whether he ought to go ahead and talk with the reporters and reveal everything, just as the Hong family fears. Or maybe he should let them pay him off handsomely in exchange for his silence. What should he ask for? His tone is bitter at this fresh reopening of old wounds, and he takes swigs from the bottle of soju he has brought (which is a common offering to the dead).

All day, Eun-jo remains distracted. In class, her ears perk up when Hyo-sun calls her uncle to ask about Ki-hoon, who isn’t back yet and isn’t answering his phone.

At nighttime he’s still absent, and she lies awake in bed, unable to sleep. She gives up trying and heads outside again.

Only, this time he stands there slightly drunk, leaning against the wall. (Warning: this next scene will break your heart just a little, and you will like it.)

Surprised, relieved, nervous, Eun-jo thinks to herself, “He’s here.” And then he smiles at her and she thinks, “He’s smiling.” Simple words, but they carry the weight of a revelation.

He calls out to her, “Eun-jo ya,” and waves her closer. Her eyes fill ever so slightly with moisture and she thinks, “He called me ‘Eun-jo ya.’

Ki-hoon tells her to come over, but she stands unmoving, thinking again, “He called me ‘Eun-jo ya.’

Unaware of how very much she feels his presence, Ki-hoon misreads her non-response as disinterest and mutters in dissatisfaction, even as she revels one more time, “He called me ‘Eun-jo ya.’

Thinking she’s not going to come to him, he walks over to her, stumbling at the last moment. She reaches out to steady him, thinking, “He called me ‘Eun-jo ya.’

Ki-hoon leans into her, wearing a stricken expression on his face, and says, “Eun-jo. I’m hungry.” Potentially comic words are actually quite telling of his emotional state — i.e, his emotional hunger. He fights his tears — one falls — and says, “I’m starving to death.”

So, what exactly is the significance of “Eun-jo ya”? Would it be too maddening to answer “Nothing, and therefore everything”?

Plainly put, there’s nothing terribly significant about Ki-hoon calling her “Eun-jo ya.” One could argue that it implies closeness, because the suffix “ya” is the casual way of calling someone’s name — someone your age or younger, with whom you are on somewhat familiar terms. You couldn’t use “ya” to address someone older than you. But since she is still a minor, “ya” is a perfectly appropriate way for Ki-hoon to address her. I don’t think it’s that meaningful that he uses that term because it just means that he’s older and has that right.

I’ll argue that the significance lies entirely in Eun-jo’s reaction to the words. She is moved by them, not because of some deep meaning in the words themselves but because of the context. She wants to be close to him in this moment, and for once she’s not fighting herself and trying to close off this new feeling with ironic eye-rolls. It’s an emotional breakthrough for her, and all because of a simple matter of him calling her name.

Hunger is one thing she can help him with, so Eun-jo busily prepares a table of food for Ki-hoon. All the while, she thinks to herself — and even her inner voice seems softer now — “He called me ‘Eun-jo ya’… He called me ‘Eun-jo ya.’” As though the repetition makes it more true.

When she takes the food to his room, he’s asleep. Uncertain, she lingers in the room and tells him to eat, but he’s dead to the world.

She looks at Ki-hoon closely, noticing that one of his socks is loose. She reaches over to pull the sock off gently, but when he moves in his sleep, she leaps up and runs away like a startled animal. She’s panting when she reaches her room — a combination of physical exertion and a more emotional stirring.

When she looks down at her knee, the scar is healed. Symbolic?

In the morning, Hyo-sun bursts into Ki-hoon’s room and wakes him. She wonders why he bothered to prepare food but didn’t eat any of it.

Seeing the table, Ki-hoon remembers Eun-jo’s words to eat — heard subconsciously in his sleep — and that killer smile emerges again as he realizes who’s responsible. He digs in, leaving Hyo-sun sad to sense that he’s miles away from her. She asks, “Oppa, who am I?” but he’s too busy eating to respond.

On the way to school, Hyo-sun hesitantly brings up her upcoming dance competition. Mom and Dad may miss it, and she’s not sure about her uncle or Ki-hoon. Working up the courage, she asks if Eun-jo can come see her, and gets back an immediate no.

Hyo-sun is disappointed but doesn’t press the issue, now that she’s used to Eun-jo’s attitude. She says with fake cheer that that it’s okay — Dong-soo (the boy who told her to stop texting) has been acting nicer to her now, and when she told him about her competition, he said he’d make it.

Eun-jo doesn’t care to hear this and sighs. In a trembling voice, Hyo-sun says:

Hyo-sun: “I know what a sigh means. It means you’re tired of me, right? I know, but unni, no matter how I think about it I don’t know what you mean about me fooling myself. I really like you for real. But you hate me. I know, so you can keep hating me. I’ll keep liking you. Even if you hate me, I’m not going to bug you to like me, so don’t tell me to force myself to hate you too. If it makes you happy, I can do anything — just not hate you. You probably hate me harping on this, don’t you? I know. I’m sorry.”

Hyo-sun runs off to join Dong-soo.

As Eun-jo studies, Ki-hoon’s voice intrudes on her thoughts. It’s a little unnerving to her. After school, her walk home takes her by the lake, where she sees Ki-hoon sitting alone on the hillside.

For a moment she seems pleased, but her mood sours when an unknown girl joins him and hands him a shopping bag.

When she arrives home, Dong-soo is lurking around the house with flowers. He trips at the sight of her and drops the bouquet, then runs off without a word. Eun-jo has no desire to convey the flowers to Hyo-sun, so she leaves them there.

Inside, she sees Mom clipping Hyo-sun’s toenails in another of their cozy moments. While I don’t think she wants the same kind of attention from her mother, she certainly feels hurt to be passed over entirely for her stepsister, and this darkens her mood even more.

It’s been a bad afternoon for Eun-jo, who has been passed over three times now — first Ki-hoon and his mystery girl, then Hyo-sun’s Dong-soo with the stupid flowers, then Mom. So when she finds a tea party set out in the bedroom, she glowers.

Hyo-sun presents it as a surprise, because Eun-jo is moving in to her own room tomorrow. This is her way of celebrating their last night as roommates.

Any other day, Eun-jo may have just ignored this, but today she’s feeling angry and perverse. So she asks Hyo-sun leadingly, “If you like me so much, can you give me everything I ask for?”

Hyo-sun brightens — it seems like Eun-jo’s finally ready to take a step forward! — and asks what she wants. She’ll do it!

Eun-jo asks, “You can handle it no matter what I take?” Hyo-sun nods without hesitation. Eun-jo challenges, “No matter what I have, you can like me through the end?” Hyo-sun promises that she can. Really!

So Eun-jo heads outside to retrieve the bouquet from where Dong-soo dropped it, thinking, “I don’t know why I wanted to play that kind of joke. I just felt really angry about something, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what.”

We can presume that it’s Ki-hoon’s defection to another woman that rankles the most, but Eun-jo doesn’t recognize the stirrings of jealousy. When Ki-hoon comes walking home holding the shopping bag, she turns away coldly, to his surprise.

She presents the flowers to Hyo-sun and announces that Dong-soo gave them to her and wants to date. There, she’s made her point that Hyo-sun was fooling herself. Now that Eun-jo has claimed Hyo-sun’s crush, she can’t keep liking her no matter what.

Hyo-sun is stunned and hurt. She sees the card in the bouquet, and starts to read it. Eun-jo hadn’t noticed the card, which is about to ruin her joke, so she snatches it away as Hyo-sun starts to cry and walks out in a daze.

As harsh as the joke was, Eun-jo is content to use it to make her point and let it end here. But when she looks down at the card, to her shock it actually IS for her: “Song Eun-jo! I like you. I want to go out with you — let’s go out! I’ll treat you well.”

I think her upset reaction shows that Eun-jo is mean enough to play the trick, but she’s not so mean that she would have done it for real, had she known the truth. Her expression shows her regret.

Just then, Hyo-sun storms back into the room. Glaring, she mutters quietly, “Beggar.” Eun-jo asks her to repeat herself, so Hyo-sun, brimming with anger, says in a loud, clear voice: “BEG-GAR! Get lost.”

And Eun-jo’s actually relieved at that reaction.


There’s no question that Eun-jo acts in rude, unkind ways. But she’s generally the type who reacts when people bother her; she doesn’t incite trouble. Therefore, this lie to Hyo-sun falls outside of her normal range of behavior, because she initiates the conflict. And when she realizes that she has hurt Hyo-sun unintentionally, she’s upset with herself. It may seem inconsistent that she’s been fine hurting Hyo-sun’s feelings all along but feels bad now, but the difference is that this time the hurt inflicted isn’t the hurt intended, if that makes sense.

Also, Eun-jo is uncomfortable with the idea that Hyo-sun likes her when she dislikes her back — it makes her the bad guy. She pretends that doesn’t matter, but she would have a hard time justifying being so mean if Hyo-sun were truly as good and nice as she seems. So at the end of the episode, it’s a relief to have Hyo-sun fighting back — it relieves that guilt.

I don’t think Kang-sook’s reason for treating Hyo-sun nicely is purely calculated, but I think that her bonding sessions are her way of “earning her keep.” A large reason Dae-sung married her was after seeing his daughter taking to her so well, so it’s up to her to maintain that.

I also suspect that Kang-sook finds Hyo-sun easier to treat nicely than her own daughter, so she prefers to maintain this illusion of doting mother rather than work on the relationship with Eun-jo. Eun-jo doesn’t let her get away with crap and brings out her true self, and Kang-sook doesn’t like that reflection. Perhaps Eun-jo’s insistence that Hyo-sun is fooling herself stems from Kang-sook’s behavior. It’s like Kang-sook is pleased to live out this fantasy as someone’s devoted wife and loving mother. I bet she likes that vision of herself better than the one Eun-jo reflects — the one that shows her in the harsh light of reality without any fancy mirror tricks.

If you disagree with the following, that’s cool, but as for me:

I find Eun-jo is eminently relatable. I mean, how many of us have seen kdramas with an adorable and/or plucky and/or perfect heroine and wanted to be more like her (gorgeous even through the “shabby” clothes and with men falling at her feet), but really had nothing in common with her?

Eun-jo, however, is constantly misunderstood — and sometimes by her own fault. She gives us hope that someone out there will see the real us despite the way the world misinterprets our behavior, and who finds enough value there at the core to try to connect even when our pride puts up that wall.


149 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lisa

    I’m pleasantly surprised by this drama.

    The chemistry between Eun-jo and Ki-hoon is mesmerizing.

  2. rainbowmusic

    this is such a beautiful new retelling of the story and I love it. the actors are absolutely incredible the way they portray these characters is amazing. javabeans if you ever need any more help recapping these dramas let me know because I would be more than glad. thank you so much for all your recaps!

  3. Anh

    Your recap is such a joy to read, JB! So much details and wonderful analysis!!

  4. meow

    Thank you so much for the recap! You are awesome

  5. Cyclic

    “Eun-Jo Ah”.. These 3 words slayed me. More so in the Ep4. I’ll leave my wife to her fantasy rom-com PT while i wait impatiently for next week’s new CS eps.

  6. violet

    thank you. i am patently obsessed with this drama. the “emotional connection” you talked about is reaaaaaaaaaally strong for me. oh god.

  7. Lily

    Thanks for the recap!!

  8. nattacatta

    thanks jb! great recap!
    i love this show so much, and i love eun jo so much as well
    in this and ep4 she shows so much vulnerability and relatability and, especially around ki hoon, a willingness to open up more which shows that she is not just a cold, broody teenager
    i think she is just amazingly fantastic, both the character and mgy, who is doing an incredible job
    i like that hyo sun has fought back now (finally), but as it gets into next episode i start to really dislike her, when i have actually thought she was so cute and nice ep1,2,3
    and ki hoon is just utterly adorable and i love them together
    i also think the significance of eun jo ya is that very few people call her by her name in a casual, happy way, maybe dae-sung, but that is fatherly, but no one else does- if her mum says it it is angry, hyo sun calls her unni, jung woo calls her noona
    i think it is the first time someone has addressed her so happily and sincerely with her own name, but that is just my take
    and that scene did break my heart a little, it was so so sweet
    thanks again!

  9. Lucille

    Thank you. I loved this recap and this episode. I hope they are able to keep this dynamic going until the end. I like that there are really no bad guys. Both sisters’ have a point and they sorta act like real sisters. My sisters and I went through a phase where we just never saw eye to eye on anything. We grew out of it as we got older and I hope to see that with these girls.

  10. 10 ernie

    I loved that part too- during that part, she stood there dazed, thinking of the words Eun Jo ya, and something about that scene was really powerful. I liked it a lot- and I loved how her relationship with Ki Hoon is moving forward. You see a whole big step in it in episode 4, although I won’t disclose how. 😛

    I didn’t see that coming- that the flowers were ACTUALLY for her, and the way Eun Jo reacted proved to me that she wasn’t as tough as she likes to be. She’s mean enough to play the joke, but not mean enough to hurt Hyo Sun intentionally that way. I feel so bad for Hyo Sun, and like Eun Jo, I was relieved when Hyo Sun started fighting back.. although I’m not liking the way she fights back in episode 4. Again, no details. x]

    One of my other favorite parts was when the drunk ahjusshi starts crying and whispers that it was the song he taught Kang Sook- I wasn’t sure how I felt about him, but I do truly think that he loves Kang Sook in his own odd, drunken way.

    I heart this drama lots- love love love. All the actors embody their characters perfectly, and Moon Geun Young portrays Eun Jo to the point where I want to hate her, but at the same time, I can’t. I know some people think it’s rude and mean of Eun Jo to treat Hyo Sun so cruelly, but they’ve got to understand- she has to act like that. Eun Jo wasn’t raised like the rest of us, lovingly and with care. She was raised so that now, she acts harsh and rude.

    Oh yeah. And I adore Chun Jung Myung’s smile. I know I’m not the only one who has melted into a puddle of mush after seeing it. 😛

  11. 11 eve

    i love it thank you so much for the recap i want you continue for the recap ep.4 soon this is best drama now

  12. 12 Heej

    I think it was sort of tiring to see Eun-jo’s actions and reactions at first because of the fact that she’s so stoic and aloof and you sort of balk at the fact that she’s not saying anything but this episode cemented my belief that she would be an interesting, layered character, and it made me like her a lot more than I did in the first two episodes.

    I also like the fact that she really is relatable; not necessarily her circumstances, but certainly the way she deals with them. This series is entirely compelling.

    Thanks for the recaps~

  13. 13 mimi

    Great recap!
    About Ki-Hoon calling her “Eun-Jo ya”: Was it the first time he called her that? I hadn’t noticed what he had called her before.

    I’m feeling for EunJo but I wish she’d give a little/soften up, so she wouldn’t be hurt all the time. I wouldn’t enjoy this drama as much if she were bitter ’til the end or for most of the episodes.

    Last comment: The use of computer graphics I think looks cheesy in this drama. This drama’s pretty serious and throwing in the CG effects looks haphazard. It would’ve been okay for a light drama, like “You Are Beautiful”, but –well, it just looked goofy.

  14. 14 jandoe

    i can’t wait for recap of episode 4. JB, your last paragraph here on your reflection about Eun-jo is a total winner. i agree completely 🙂

  15. 15 miss_procrastination

    I tend to stray away from melodrama but I am watching with rapture. Though so far I am not a big fan of any of the characters. But I’m going to stick around.

  16. 16 cocoa

    i totally agree. i loooove that scene where kihoon calls eunjo’s name. i’ve already seen ep.4 and i can’t wait to see how this drama will play out!!

  17. 17 Nyl

    I usually just skim through your recap, but I really read what you wrote today and it was not only wonderfully written but also very insightful. You are extremely talented.

    I love Cinderella’s Sister. It has been a while since there’s a drama that hold my interested. I hope you will keep up the good work and recap this series.

    Thanks you! Best of luck to you.

  18. 18 mie

    Three times this episode moved me.

    One, when Ki-hoon told his father, “For a moment there, I actually nearly believed you.” I think I literally heard my heart break in two. I know I shouldn’t be so idealistic as to believe that perhaps his father truly did love his mother (thus further inciting the fury of his “wife”), but this father doesn’t give a crap about his illegitimate son – other than to use him to bring down his wife and his eldest son. It’s a harsh wake-up call, usually missing from stereotypical Korean dramas, that life is not all sugar and spice as we wish it were.

    Two, “Eun-jo ya.” Who DIDN’T fall in love with this scene? I think a huge significance in this scene is that, when you think in retrospect, no one really says her name aloud. Her mother calls her 기집애, Jung-woo calls her 누이, Hyo-sun calls her 언니 but no one really says her name other than Ki-hoon. It’s like an acknowledgement of her existence; a sign of affection; a connection forged. It’s a beautiful moment.

    And finally, when Hyo-sun finally lashes out. Like so many have said before, I don’t think Hyo-sun is a fake person, at least not in the way people think. I do think a huge part of her behavior is a facade – but a facade that has become a part of her due to long years of habitual behavior. I read somewhere that Eun-jo learns to love and Hyo-sun learns to hate. It’s like yin and yang are finally both hitting the middle ground, if that makes any sense. The only thing is, I thought if Hyo-sun blew up at Eun-jo, it would be over Ki-hoon, not that seemingly insignificant Dong-soo character. Bleh. Anyway, Hyo-sun’s “꺼져” made me smile, like Hyo-sun was finally fleshing out into a real character.

    Thank you for the recap, as always.

  19. 19 Marie

    Thank you so much for the recap JB I am loving this series, I feel Ki hoon and Eun Jo have great chemistry.

  20. 20 kaedejun

    first off: since when did BB have a whole head of hair!? and black no less!?

    and secondly with your comment about eun jo – i agree she represents us who want to be understood. however i still find her somewhat as unrelatable as those who are the plucky perfect heroine. (actually, i find hyo sun even MORE unrelatable, but that’s beside the point – she was way too perfect until the final scene, and thank god for that)

    eun jo prefers to hate to keep a distance with everyone, which i can understand, but wants to inflict a certain pain to alleviate her guilt over being liked. as in, she is in pain and so wants someone to be in pain with her… if that makes sense.. THAT is something i can’t relate with, so while i know we should cheer for eun jo, i also can’t jump on her bandwagon and be completely sympathetic, especially if this may not be the last time she begins to initiate the conflict. It’s as though she’s using the excuse of being misunderstood by the world to justify her actions – that because she is misunderstood she should start hating, and because she hates, people should hate her back – instead of trying to fix other people’s misconceptions. She doesn’t have to act all good-girly on them, but she can also not do more things that affirm those misconceptions… (like, why is she aggravating the situation!?)

  21. 21 Carinne

    JB quote:
    If you disagree with the following, that’s cool, but as for me:

    I find Eun-jo is eminently relatable. I mean, how many of us have seen kdramas with an adorable and/or plucky and/or perfect heroine and wanted to be more like her (gorgeous even through the “shabby” clothes and with men falling at her feet), but really had nothing in common with her?

    Eun-jo, however, is constantly misunderstood — and sometimes by her own fault. She gives us hope that someone out there will see the real us despite the way the world misinterprets our behavior, and who finds enough value there at the core to try to connect even when our pride puts up that wall.

    I invasively relate to her character in its totality being a real thing as a being. I’ve learned to deal with it, that people will have their own interpretations about who you are by their personal beliefs even if these are all against those of your own. Like my best of friends remind me, “forget what others mystify you as being and keep going on with your life,” and so I have and never looked back.

  22. 22 animedork101

    Bravo! When I watched this episode, people kept arguing that they couldn’t handle Eun Jo’s bad attitude anymore. Like you said though, she really is easy to relate to. She’s been through hard times for her age, and trusting anyone has proven to be a disappointment for her. For the most part, I think she’s pretty cool. But your recap gives me more insights and things to think about that never would have occurred to me otherwise. Thanks.

  23. 23 Melissa


  24. 24 starlighttears

    Javabeans, thanks a MILLION.
    I hope you get around to ep 4 because I’m dying for your take on things
    I love guess recappers but I always know when your the one writing 🙂
    Just one thing, the last line where you wrote that Eun Jo sees relieved, i actually never thought it was a look for relief, i thought it was more a look of surprise.
    because even though Eun Jo was eternally suspicious of Hyo Sun’s bubbly everlasting goodness, I dont think she expected Hyo Sun to actually retaliate.

    Its kinda like how a bully just keeps on bullying someone because they dont fight back and just cry, but once they start to hit back it comes as a shock at the challenge of power. Correct me if you think I’m wrong, but she had to ask her to repeat what Hyo Sun said even though you know she could tell it was something derogatory and though she suspected HyoSun she never thought that Hyo Sun would actually turn on her.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it but since I have watched ep 4, the beginning Eun Jo is acting a little more chastened and doesnt seem to have the all consuming power that she used to when Hyo Sun was trying to cater to everything for her – and she even has a bit of a defensive tone? & you mentioned she did definitely regret what she did so I dont think the reaction was relieved more disbelief, and like “damn i didnt think she would actually start to hate me?”

    As for that Ki Hoon and Eun Jo hunger scene it was PERFECT and totally agree with you. Whats more, I dont think anyones ever called her that before either, in that gentle tone without any expectations etc.

    GREAT scene and Ive never seen any of Chun Jung Myungs work but i was won over with his first smile. he is ADORABLE.

    As for her mother, her seeing her mom with Hyo Sun, everyones just saying its outright jealousy, but i dont think its that simple. like she knows her mother for what she is and to see her acting affection while knowing its fake is especially harder. perhaps if those affections were real then i would say it was jealousy, but its ore like anger, mixed with indignation, because she knows EXACTLY what her mothers doing, and right in front of her as well with no shame, but Eun Jo cant SAY anything about it because no matter what she still cares about her mother but it frustrates her that due to her others fake moddly codling of Hyo Sun, she has to put up with Hyo Sun gushing about how great her mom is all the time. The only jealousy I think she really feels is the fact that her other couldnt even ,ake the effort to fake take care of her or whatever.

    Okies thats it for me.
    Again, thanks forever.
    you have no idea how many times i refresh your page to see if its updated.
    Hope you dont tire yourself out with all the recapping!
    I want to see you last the distance <333

  25. 25 mm

    im waiting for this recap for 2 days…

    thank you a lot of point you stated make me understand the whole story a lot better..

    eunjoo ya…. maybe it’s in the tone he uses to call her..
    eunjoo ya… maybe it’s in the way he call her…
    eunjoo ya… maybe it’s because he is the person who call her ..

    the chemistry between kihoon and eunjoo was amazes me..

    it goes beyond attraction of good hair great make up or nice dress…

    it is really emotional bonding… hope these 2 persons will heal eachother pains..

    PD please please i want a happy ending.!!!

  26. 26 obivia

    I foresee a lot of pain in the future. Dammit.
    It’s too bad. Cuz you know I’ll be watching (and reading) till the (most likely) bitter end. I really want Eun Jo + Ki Hoon to be together (I know, it’s just a drama and not real life but still!). They’re able to unleash in each other what no one else can–KH’s unabashed smiles and EJ’s tears. This is my favorite drama so far of 2010–so far, up in the ranks of Coffee Prince (which, I felt, had a good mix of angst, great dynamics, laughs, etc.)

    As always, your recap leaves us wanting more!

  27. 27 asianromance

    Thank you so much for the recap! My favorite scene was the luggage scene. It’s so whimsical and it does give the drama a fairy tale feel despite the little tragedies we are seeing.

    ” She gives us hope that someone out there will see the real us despite the way the world misinterprets our behavior, and who finds enough value there at the core to try to connect even when our pride puts up that wall.”—> this is why I like Eunjo’s character, even though I don’t think I can bring myself to like Eun-jo for real in real life. In other dramas, the female characters win at life because they are likable even in the most trying of circumstances. But not everyone can be innately likable and not everyone can get back up with a big smile after falling down. Some because may go “f&$# you and f&$# this world!” instead of “Aja! Fighting!”. It’s nice to know that we can be loved even when we show our darkest personality traits. And there are just some people who are harder to get through and this drama really speaks to those of us who do have walls and who do not have the ability to converse and express our feelings as openly as those plucky kdrama heroines. I

    I like Kangsook likes Hyosun more because she can start over with her and even be sincere with her without anyone suspecting her abt ulterior motives. Even if Kangsook becomes a good and sincere mother to Eunjo from now on, Eunjo will always hold Kangsook’s past against her. She will always be suspicious of her.

    It must really hurt Eunjo to see Hyosun get all this affection from Kangsook just by being cute and friendly. Eunjo spent her entire young life cleaning after Kangsook’s messes and not even a thank you. It’s also bitter to know that perhaps the aspects of herself that makes her unlikable to her mother are those that came about because of her mother’s irresponsible attitude. She couldn’t win.

  28. 28 obivia

    @24 starlighttears:
    You have to at least see Chun Jung Myung’s “Hansel & Gretel” movie. (melting)
    And “What’s Up Fox?” would be a nice *upbeat* counterpart to “Cinderella’s Sister.”
    I had seen CJM in X-Man a few times (a variety show) but wasn’t won over until I saw him act. WOW.

  29. 29 skyyy

    gah, thank you so much for reaffirming my thoughts about EJ and the drama in general. From the start, the aspect which captured my attention the most was the stark reality of the characters. We don’t get the cliched, either “good” or “bad” lead role but rather a character with complexity and perfectly layered to give us that emotional intensity in the scenes that follow. I completely agree with you in that EJ’s character speaks to us, in a way that few dramas have ever before. Unlike the other dramas, albeit all fun and good or light and enjoyable, CS establishes a connection between the characters and the viewers, portraying the characters in a way where their emotions and thoughts parallel our own.

  30. 30 Nano

    this drama somehow exhausts me at the same time where i’m crying and laughing with the rest of the cast. i think the reason she reacts so strongly to ki-hoon calling her eun-jo is because no one really takes time to call her so affectionately. hyo-sun has the annoying “unni!” pinned on her, her mom just calls her swear words in korean, and dae-sung seems to be so awkward around her. i’m sure i’m not the only one who can relate to a girl jealous of her mother doting on a “younger” sibling, and that’s why i love this drama so much. the characters are hateable and likable at the same time, and you can’t help but root for everybody once you see all the layers put on them.

  31. 31 langdon813

    Everything about this drama has captured my heart. I love the touches of whimsy here and there, in the music and in Eun-jo’s imagination, because they give me hope that everything will turn out just fine. After all, all good fairy tales have their moments of terror and despair, which must be endured before you finally get to see “…and they lived happily ever after.”

    I really want Eun-jo and Ki-hoon to get to Happily Ever After.

    Thanks JB!

  32. 32 Rika

    I am so in love with this drama… I did not intend to start watching it, but I’ve fallen deep.

    This drama just throws you off cliches and keeps you coming back for more. I have no idea what to expect for the adult section. The teenager section is awesome enough. I hope it keeps the momentum going…

    I love his smile… At first, it was kind of goofy, but now i can’t get enough of it….

  33. 33 nixxochick

    i have fallen in love with this drama..to the point that i actually watch the raw episodes, which i hardly ever do.
    i have read comments people have posted on this drama in other sites and most of them, but not all, dislike Eun Jo. I can see how this can happen but her characted is the reason why i love this drama..she has so much hurt inside of her that her actions are understandable and Moon Geun Young is truly doing such a great job. hopefully this will be one drama you will continue to post on because your added insight truly makes it so much better ^^

  34. 34 salt

    thanx for the recap.

    i tried very2 hard to like personal taste more than CS, mainly because of LMH, but it seems like i’m failing. after ep3, CS is the one i’m looking forward to more than PT.
    who would have thought that i would prefer some heavy duty drama rather than a trendy rom-com…?

    anyways… i was getting a slightly different vibe during the scene with eun jo and the drunk ahjusshi. i agree that she’s trying to protect her mother’s new life but i also think that she did feel a little bit of sympathy for the guy. she looks sad and conflicted but determined when she was belittling him in the wine cellar. she was frustrated but also at the same time kinda sad that the guy was so drunk to drive that she had to pull him out of the truck so that he wouldn’t kill himself while driving. she’s angry at herself that she couldn’t bring herself to intentionally cause or allow harm to the guy that she asked ki hoon to do it for her..
    personally, i think it’s a mark of good acting when the audience can’t put into words the emotions the actor was trying to potray but we can all understand it….

  35. 35 honest_will

    CS is getting better and better
    the heroine/main girl is showing emotions with ease and natural
    im in love with her acting
    she keeps everything inside and gets misunderstood easily
    but ki hoon oppa is there for her

    i wonder how the seo woo and eun jo rivalry will ensue
    who would eventually win

    ki hoon’s acting is okay, a bit too cheery when he’s the wine factory
    when he meets his dad and his step mom, he’s acting skyrockets from 1 to 10
    we get to see his smart and strong intellect

  36. 36 nattacatta

    oh, a few things i forgot to say that i wanted to
    the spanish thing
    if i didnt love ki hoon/ cjm already then i fell in love at this point, he is so sweet, not to mention his adorable smile
    and he just keeps staying up late and studying for the pure purpose of not telling her he doesnt speak spanish and losing face
    when she was like, lets go onto lesson two, his response made me laugh
    his character is so fantastic, as people have said, he is so nice and sweet but doesnt fall into the trap of being a nice, sweet, boring guy at all
    and also, am i the only one that thinks mgy has an amazing voice?
    everytime she speaks i think how nice her voice is and how well suited it is to eun jo
    thanks again jb! you analyse dramas so well, if only you could do my school drama responding tasks too….

  37. 37 danni

    I’m torn with being annoyed sometimes with Eun-jo and actually liking her. Like you said, she is relatable and her situation and her attitude towards it is also understandable, but sometimes I feel like she takes things a little too far and that’s when I get annoyed with her.

    On the upside, I like how things are developing between Ki-hoon and Eun-jo. They are unexpectedly cute and their interactions range from funny (I couldn’t help but laugh when Eun-jo fell right after Ki-hoon fell) to sweet and sad (because who didn’t love that scene where all Eun-jo could think was that he called her name?) I was tentative at first, but it will be interesting to see how there relationship fleshes out.

    I have to say, for all of Kang-sook’s conniving and calculating ways, I love this woman. She knows what she wants and for the most part, knows how to get it. I don’t think her concern over Eun-jo is fake, but like you said, Eun-jo really knows how her mother is and it creates a messy relationship between them. On the other hand, Hyo-sun coddles up to Kang-sook as a mother and Kang-sook can easily play that role.

    Thanks for the recap jb!

  38. 38 daria

    I am officiallyin love with the lovestory in this drama.

    eun joo and ki-hoon reminds me of my favorite romantic pairing in the best romance novel of all time, catherine and heathcliff in wuthering heights.

    eun joo calls ki-hoon by her name and ki-hoon sees eun-joo as like him. it reminds my of catherine’s line in the novel “i am heathcliff, he is always, always on my mind, not as a pleasure, any more than i am a pleasure to myself, but as a part of me” or something like that. SQUEAL.

  39. 39 J

    It’s been such a long time since the last time i was so emotionally attached to a drama. Well written and directed! Wonderful acting! I’m looking forward to episodes 5 and 6 this week =)

    Thanks for the wonderful recap!

  40. 40 Eisa

    I loved this episode! This is seriously the first drama that has made me cry, I cried so much in these last two episodes. Plus Chun Jung-myung is adorable.

  41. 41 celestialorigin

    Thank you JB as always for your insightful recap.

  42. 42 saranga

    jb, love that you recapped this episode =)

    i read eunjo’s expression at the very end of the episode as… well, not necessarily relief. definitely not surprise. to me, it was almost as if she had EXPECTED this. she’d been “suspicious” of hyosun’s sunny advances, for lack of a better word in my brain at the moment. all her life, she hadn’t met many people she could count on and trust all the way through. she had told her stepfather that she didn’t believe in promises. i kind of read that expression as (all right, perhaps a bit of relief) but also something like… “see? you can’t help yourself either” or “see? what did i tell you?” regarding hyosun possibly fooling herself into liking eunjo

    i can relate to eunjo so well. borrowing from meredith and cristina from grey’s… she has a “dark and twisty” side. so do i. just a leetle bit. maybe so do lots of people, and i’m just not aware of it. but my dark and twisty side is a bit less than meredith and cristina’s, and eunjo is much darker. she’s been through that much more. i think life has been physically difficult on her (growing up poor, not being able to go to school, living under rascally stepfathers, having an immature mother) and that took a toll on her emotionally. i’m truly curious, though, to know if eunjo’s character is one that many people can relate to??

    the scene where she was “packing” her suitcase was a surprise, but a nice one. it wasn’t overdone, like you said. i think it’s these moments, and the instrumental music that gives this drama its lovely fairytale-like feel. i was expecting dark and heavy, not this at all. i like the yesung track, but my gripe with it is that it doesn’t seem to fit with the other instrumental tracks, or the drama’s overall feel. at times it can feel too loud and obnoxious.

    i have a hunch that moon will definitely be nominated for some awards for this role

  43. 43 thekors

    i agree with you. i mean, not to say that i am 100% similar to EunJo but i’m also bored of getting the typical k-drama heroines. i would love to think everyone has gone through their teenage years with at least a lil’ bit of angst – i’m not even in my teens anymore yet i can still act bitter like EunJo out of no reason (PMS being the all-too-often excuse). MGY carries her character with this depth that i don’t find her spitefulness baseless at all.

    and we get the typical cutesy-character from Seo Woo but she’s also good so i have been proven wrong with my first impression.

    CJM, how can you *not* like him?

  44. 44 bandaid

    i sooo love this drama. 🙂 thanks so much for the recap! 🙂

  45. 45 who is

    I absolutely LOOOOOVE this drama! I can’t say that enough. I had an hour long conversation about it today with another friend.

    The only thing I was confused about was Eun Jo’s reaction to drunken guy. I wasn’t sure exactly how to interpret her crying. I understand the anger, and the death glare. But the crying. I can either attribute it to the potential that the drunk man may attack her, and she’s scared about being alone with the guy. Or… I’m almost thinking that she MIGHT just have some feelings for the drunk man? When Eun jo was living with the drunk man, the mother and her were just “normal”… in their own way. Their situation was the status quo, it was within her comfort range. No need to deal with the grandeur, dirty looks from workers, people telling her to be respectful, no need to have her mother’s affections be towards someone else. And in the beginning of the series, she was able to cook meals, and the living situation didn’t seem incredibly dire as if they’re living on the streets, and the drunk man clearly loved the mother at some point in his life, with the ring and all.

    So I wondered if part of Eun jo’s tears were the result of consciously knowing that if she had let him crash the party, and she and her mother would go back to their original lives. (Which Eunjo would treat as yet another situation that didn’t last) (oh, and that would mean the mother would have to let Eunjo go based on their verbal agreement in episode 1, therefore – freedom!) But she didn’t do so because like you said, she wants to allow her present family and her mother to keep their current happiness, she had to make the decision to permanently exclude drunk man from their lives – thereby losing a given opportunity to return to “normal” life. She had to consciously make the decision to sacrifice her possible road to freedom in exchange for her mom’s happiness.

    I could be going crazy here… but I feel like attributing the tears and the shaking and very upset nature of her reaction to being alone with drunk man ONLY is a bit of an over reaction. I’d like to think, since eun jo is a very smart girl, that a million thoughts are crossing her brain when that happened. Her options, what the appearance of this man means to her, what she can potentially do with this man who showed up, can she use him to her advantage, SHOULD she use him to her advantage, and everything else.

    Thanks for the recap! As always. I always look towards your insights to help explain some situations. Thanks!!

  46. 46 simplesim

    Thanks JB! And thanks so much for your indepth comments. Don’t have time to savor this recap yet but quickly scroll down to read your comments.

    quote “I also suspect that Kang-sook finds Hyo-sun easier to treat nicely than her own daughter, so she prefers to maintain this illusion of doting mother rather than work on the relationship with Eun-jo. Eun-jo doesn’t let her get away with crap and brings out her true self, and Kang-sook doesn’t like that reflection. Perhaps Eun-jo’s insistence that Hyo-sun is fooling herself stems from Kang-sook’s behavior. It’s like Kang-sook is pleased to live out this fantasy as someone’s devoted wife and loving mother. I bet she likes that vision of herself better than the one Eun-jo reflects — the one that shows her in the harsh light of reality without any fancy mirror tricks.

    If you disagree with the following, that’s cool, but as for me:

    I find Eun-jo is eminently relatable. I mean, how many of us have seen kdramas with an adorable and/or plucky and/or perfect heroine and wanted to be more like her (gorgeous even through the “shabby” clothes and with men falling at her feet), but really had nothing in common with her?

    Eun-jo, however, is constantly misunderstood — and sometimes by her own fault. She gives us hope that someone out there will see the real us despite the way the world misinterprets our behavior, and who finds enough value there at the core to try to connect even when our pride puts up that wall. ” unquote

    Sorry, forgot how to ital but I totally AGREE with you! 🙂
    JB, I really admire and respect how you can see inside things. For your young age you have so much wisdom. I am past ‘golden’ but still can’t act handle life and so often misunderstood. I am blessed to know of you and your site. Its more than kdramas. 🙂

  47. 47 dannaluk

    Holy shit !…there were only 4 comments when i started reading when i refreshed right after there were 44 comments.( granted i procastinated in between) I feelt like this is the hundredth time I have said this since yesterday night (after watching ep 3 and 4)…this is the first time in a long time that i cried while watching a drama (i dont even remember the last time anymore..idk if this is testimony to all the dramas i have chosen)…and now that means a lot!!!…i dont think there is anything that i have dislike about this drama yet…its just sooo magical!!…thanx for the recap JB that was really insightful…now i gotta run and rewatch some of the parts again..lastly can I just say…EUN-JO-YAAAAHHH!!

  48. 48 nabi

    Eun-jo Ya…
    This scene was the highlight of the this drama so far.
    I command the writer, PD and actors for such a well-crafted scene.

  49. 49 mymymai

    Thank you for the recap, JB! I can’t wait to read the one for episode 4. This drama pulls at all the right strings to convey different emotions. I’m completely addicted.

  50. 50 Nicolioli

    After I watch the drama I always come read what you wrote in case I missed something and to say the least I did I didn’t understand the whole family part but now I do so thanks 🙂

    I have to say, I relate with Eun-jo so much and I like her character. I always though that just once I want to see a Kdrama with a tough women in it.

    I pray that her and Ki Hoon end up together, they can’t give us hope and totally destroy it.

    If anything I hated the end of ep 4, I’ll leave it at that for those who haven’t seen it.

    As for Hyo-Sun, I don’t know whether to be ecstatic that she showed her dark self (I don’t think its her true self) or be scared b/c that means she’ll make life harder for Eun-Jo

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