Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 4
by | April 13, 2010 | 190 Comments

It’s a popular opinion, I know, but it has to be said: Moon Geun-young blows me away. She isn’t afraid to take Eun-jo to the darkest places, and doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to her misplaced anger. She gets ugly and mean, and human, but then when she’s light, she becomes young, fragile, and incandescent. Eun-jo is by far the most complex character we’ve encountered in a long time, and Moon Geun-young makes us feel every shift in her character, from the heights of her first love to the depths of her loss.


Hyo-sun calls Eun-jo a beggar and tells her to get out of HER house. Eun-jo actually looks rather pleased that she was right about Hyo-sun all along. I think that Hyo-sun wasn’t really faking her fondness for Eun-jo; she’s just not used to not getting what she wants—she’s the ultimate princess. She’s spent her whole life being cooed over and adored; even her very stern father bends to her all-powerful pout-and-shake. So this is as much a revelation for her as it is for Eun-jo, that she could hate this much. Eun-jo’s actually taught her to get in touch with her anger (kind of like therapy in reverse).

Eun-jo turns right back at her and tells HER to get out. Ki-hoon comes in to witness. She says that even though she may hate it here, she’ll never leave just because Hyo-sun wants her to. She’ll only ever leave of her own accord. It’s like watching two dogs fight over territory, although we know it’s not so much the house as its inhabitants that they’re fighting over. Hyo-sun is taken aback at the response. Eun-jo walks out, and Hyo-sun runs after her. Heh, even in her anger, she still chases after her unni.

Ki-hoon sees the note from Dong-soo, and mutters, “Those little things, not studying when they should…” but then finds himself annoyed: who is this Dong-soo kid? He’s jealous! Of a high-schooler. It’s adorable.

Linchpin Dong-soo is down by the river, trying to work up the courage to talk to Eun-jo, but he hides when he sees Hyo-sun coming, and witnesses the sisters’ continued fight. Hyo-sun catches up to Eun-jo and screams if this is what she wanted, pulling out a handful of Eun-jo’s hair. Hyo-sun looks more surprised by what she’s done, but it’s too late…a hair-pulling, knock-down, drag-out fight ensues.

They roll around, yelling insults, yanking hair, and at one point Hyo-sun stops, noticing Eun-jo’s bleeding lip. Pausing out of genuine concern, she goes, “unni ya, you’re bleeding!” Eun-jo looks even more annoyed by Hyo-sun’s concern, and she tosses her aside and walks away.

Hyo-sun comes home crying at the top of her lungs, and this is why Eun-jo hates her—because she commands sole attention without even thinking about it. It’s just her way of life, to be the doted-on princess. It’s imbued in her upbringing, so it isn’t necessarily Hyo-sun’s fault, but it’s understandable why Eun-jo can’t roof with her sweetness. As I would say, she ain’t on my bus.

Kang-sook is in the middle of a phone call (from the drunken ajusshi, presumably) and she hangs up and rushes over to Hyo-sun, consoling her. Hyo-sun cries out, “I wish you never had Eun-jo!” Eun-jo, who hears this from her room, says to herself, “That’s what I’M saying.” Ha. And heartbreaking, all at the same time.

Dad comes in, angry and fired up about the commotion. He drags Hyo-sun to another room to punish her, yelling out for sticks. Mom goes straight to Eun-jo, asking her what she did this time to make Hyo-sun so upset, and yeah, is anyone confused about why Eun-jo is so angry? If your only family in the world, the one person who’s supposed to be on your side, repeatedly blamed you for Cinderella’s poor-me tears, you’d have a permanent scowl on your face too. Kang-sook can’t believe Eun-jo can’t handle (read: manipulate) such a simple little thing like Hyo-sun, while Eun-jo is angry at mom for only caring that the princess is crying.

Dad’s got them both kneeling in his office, old Korean style, as he says that until they get along, he’s not going to let them use separate rooms. The girls are NOT happy to hear this news. Ki-hoon brings in the requested sticks, and lingers, so Dad asks if he wants to be hit too. Ki-hoon gallantly asks if he can’t just try to talk to the girls himself, so Dad says, okay, you can be hit too; just wait over there. Heh. No one messes with Dae-sung when he’s on a righteous anger streak.

He brings out Hyo-sun first. He tells her to say she was wrong if she was wrong, and hits her once. She immediately cries uncle and yelps in pain, saying she was wrong, so very very wrong. Dae-sung sends her back to her spot. Next he calls out Eun-jo, who pulls down her socks and prepares for the coming pain. Dae-sung repeats the same option to Eun-jo to admit fault, and this time he hesitates, perhaps not wanting to inflict any more pain on this damaged girl. But he rules his house with an iron fist and must be fair, so he hits her.

We’ve come to expect Eun-jo’s reaction. She steels herself through the pain and doesn’t budge. Dad is startled, and doesn’t know whether to keep hitting her, but he continues, as Ki-hoon and Hyo-sun watch in pain, trying to intervene on her behalf.

Meanwhile Kang-sook is on the phone again with the drunk ajusshi. He’s singing to her, and I’m assuming she’s already tried hanging up on him. Jung-woo comes to the rescue yet again, this time with a frying pan to the head. He advises Kang-sook to change her phone number. I like this kid. I wish his grown-up version would stay pudgy and twangy, but I know that’s not going to be the case.

We go back to the caning session, and by the stacks of broken sticks and the gashes on Eun-jo’s legs, it seems they’ve been at it for quite some time now. Dae-sung is bewildered by the steeliness of this girl, but strangely, I wouldn’t want her any other way, even if it’s painful to watch her be so stubborn. Ki-hoon finally can’t take it anymore (aw for the loving oppa), and stops Dae-sung and does the patented manly wrist grab, taking Eun-jo out of the room.

Kang-sook comes in and finds Dae-sung defeated and exhausted, and Hyo-sun about to faint. What are you fainting over? Being pain-adjacent?

Ki-hoon brings Eun-jo to their wine cellar and paces around her going, “You…what kind of kid…your head is a rock, isn’t it? Stubborn fool. All it takes is just saying you were wrong, and you can’t even…” But he trails off as he looks down at her gashed legs. He tries to tend to her wound, but she doesn’t budge, and just sits there in silence. Ki-hoon gets frustrated, saying that if she were the type of person to listen to him, she wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.

He calls her “saek-gi” and “nohm” here, which are technically bad words, but also what guys who are really close call each other in jest. The only equivalent I can think of is girls today calling each other “bitch,” but in a non-hateful way, like “hey bitch!” or “love ya, bitch!” He’s sort of yelling at her, but he’s not calling her names out of spite; he’s more like a frustrated oppa.

Ki-hoon leaves to go get her medicine, and when she’s alone, Eun-jo hears a faint bubbling noise. She leans onto a large makgulli jar and presses her ear against it, listening to the rising bubbles. For whatever reason, for just a moment, the gurgling bubbles popping on the surface soothes her, and she leans in intently, as if listening for a secret message trapped inside. It’s as if her own anger and hatred has bubbled over and dissipated in the same way, rising to the top and then bursting at the surface.

She’s so enraptured that she doesn’t even notice that Ki-hoon has returned, using this opportunity to tend to her wounds. He tells her that it’s the sound the makgulli makes when it’s fermenting. He says that next time she should just run away instead of getting hit, since she’s such a pro at running away. He adds, “If you ever get hit again, you’re dead.” Aw, you’re cute when you’re trying to be tough.

Ki-hoon calls to her: “Eun-jo ya,” and when she doesn’t respond, again: “Eun-jo ya…you could give me a response…Eun-jo ya” And finally, she answers, uttering out a small “uh” as if speaking for the very first time. Ki-hoon: “Does is hurt?” Eun-jo: “uh.” (“Uh” is the Korean version of “yeah.”) Ki-hoon lights up at her responsiveness, having finally broken through a major wall.

Then in a little bit of the show’s patented whimsy, Eun-jo imagines herself and Ki-hoon floating away in a giant makgulli bubble, headed for the moon. Her voiceover shows the fundamental change in her: “My legs don’t hurt. They bleed, but they don’t hurt. Why, I don’t know. It’s just…my heart is soaring to the edge of the sky. I can even reach the moon.” The literal ride to the moon is a little cheesy, but the sentiment is innocent and beautiful.

Later that night Dae-sung feels terrible for the extent to which he punished Eun-jo, and comes into her room while she’s sleeping to tend to her wounds. Eun-jo is awake though, and she realizes his remorse and his care for her.

The next morning Eun-jo waits outside for Ki-hoon, and she launches right into an inquest. Who was the girl at the river, huh? Ki-hoon is taken aback. She asks again, fiercely, but almost too fiercely, as it gives her away. Ki-hoon breaks out in a smile as he realizes this is Eun-jo…being jealous!

He beams from ear to ear, even trying to contain his laughter when she death-rays him with her eyes, but he can’t help but find her adorable. He teases, “Did you come find me first thing in the morning to ask me that? Were you so curious that you couldn’t sleep a wink? Is that it?”

He goes into his room to grab the package that he received yesterday from the woman in question. He shows Eun-jo the contents, essentially a collection of his favorite albums and books. He excitedly starts to tell her about each one, but she’s not interested. He snaps at her to listen, and she snaps right back, “Who was the girl?” He answers that she’s the younger sister of a friend who was storing his stuff for him. Satisfied with that response, she gets up and walks out, leaving Ki-hoon flustered. He shouts after her, “Hey, what about you? Are you…are you really going to date that Dong-soo jerk?” HAHAHAHAHA.

She doesn’t even turn around to see his puppy face, all you’re-not-going-to-pass-me-up-for-that-pre-pubescent-kid-are-you? It slays me, the oppa-knows-best attitude followed by the 180-turn into “but…but…I’m cooler than Dong-soo, right?” It’s beyond cute.

The girls get ready for school, and Hyo-sun asks Eun-jo to pretend that they’re getting along in front of the parents in order to get their separate rooms. Eun-jo reluctantly agrees to do so. Hyo-sun sees Eun-jo’s scars on her legs, and even in their cold war, Hyo-sun gives her a pair of her new socks and runs off. Eun-jo, who’s so angry that she doesn’t even know why, can’t even accept the tiny gesture, and throws them on the ground.

Ki-hoon drives Kang-sook to the temple, while Dad eats breakfast with the girls. Hyo-sun uses this as an opportunity to apologize in front of Dad (making her much more like Kang-sook and speaks to their mutual kinship), and she has to prod Eun-jo to play along, kicking her under the table. Eun-jo concedes, and mutters out a half-hearted “No, I was wrong,” pleasing Hyo-sun and Dad very much.

Dae-sung sees Ki-hoon and wonders why he’s back at home so soon. Ki-hoon tells him that Kang-sook wouldn’t let him take her all the way to the temple, insisting on taking the train there herself. Dae-sung calls the priest on business, and asks him to send something by way of his wife, but finds out that she’s not there. We see that Kang-sook is on the train to somewhere, but it ain’t to pray.

Ki-hoon is busy studying Spanish, talking aloud to his computer that his student is such a quick study that he has to study extra hard just to keep up.

Later that day he has a visitor, and it turns out that the thug from the second episode really IS his half-brother. I know Ki-hoon called him hyung-nim the first time, but I just didn’t think he was from the same family as the oldest brother. How come one brother looks like a Kennedy and the other brother looks like a Kardashian?

Second brother, Hong Ki-tae, drives Ki-hoon somewhere, and recounts going with Dad to visit Ki-hoon and his mom at their house when they were kids. So we know they grew up in separate houses, for at least their childhoods, explaining the vast difference in, well, everything. It’s interesting though, that all three brothers, Ki-jung, Ki-tae, and Ki-hoon are named thusly, as most illegitimate children are not named in succession to their “rightful heir” siblings. At least that’s how it is in my family. But that’s a whole other can of worms.

Kang-sook returns home late that night, from nobody knows where, and Dae-sung is out waiting for her, hoping that she’ll explain herself. He asks where she was, but when she says “temple,” she can see it’s not the answer he wants. Ever quick on the uptake, Kang-sook immediately starts with the tears, making up an elaborate story about wanting to get Eun-jo some medicine for her injuries, so going to see her old herbalist, and not wanting Dae-sung to know because he’d feel guilty. Man, she should start an improv group.

Ki-tae drops off Ki-hoon at an office complex, where his evil stepmother and her lawyer are waiting for him with the contract to sign over his inheritance (including the all-important shares of the family company). She asks what his demands are, and he calmly replies that he wants half…of the company.

She scoffs, and offers to add another zero to the end of the sum (that they’re offering in exchange, I gather). That just makes Ki-hoon sneer. She even insults his dead mother, saying that she may have given birth to him with the intention of taking half the company, but he can’t have it.

That riles him up but good. They start a shouting match, as much as Korean WASPy types shout. Then Ki-hoon offers to bring his lawyer next time, as he has no intention of signing over his inheritance under duress, referring to the army of suits waiting outside. What are they, expecting a battle royale? There’s enough minions out there to take on Batman. He makes threats of his own, saying that unless they plan on making sure he’s dead, they shouldn’t bother laying a finger on him. He leaves and calls his father right away, asking how he can help. Time to take down the evil stepmonster.

One other tidbit that we learn here is that the Hong company has the suffix “Ju” which means alcohol. So I’m assuming that the family company also deals in liquor, and that his brothers’ distaste for Ki-hoon’s place of employment is not about the backwoods country, but about his working for a competitor in their market.

At Dae-sung’s makgulli company, it’s the season for a new batch to be made, and I’m totally enraptured by the procedure of making rice cakes and preparing them for the wine-making process. I feel like I’ve stumbled upon the Food Network or the History Channel; I could watch this for hours. Dae-sung leads a prayer ceremony to get things off on the right foot, and all are present for the big event.

Ki-hoon and Eun-jo use the opportunity to make eyes at each other, but this time Ki-hoon looks at her sadly and longingly. Hyo-sun notices their mutual attraction yet again, and her face falls.

At school Eun-jo is presented with the First Place Academic award, while at the same time Hyo-sun has just completed her dance competition and done very poorly. Mom and Dad are present for Hyo-sun’s performance, and console her, as she is very upset not to have won first place. See what I mean? It’s her basic sense of entitlement that irks the likes of Eun-jo.

Eun-jo practically runs home with her award on her back, excited to show her family, or perhaps at least Dad, who despite his sternness has always supported her academically. But she arrives home to find the entire household a rapt audience for Hyo-sun, performing a repeat dance recital (no doubt orchestrated by her enabling parents to fulfill her need for acceptance).

In voiceover, Eun-jo says, “It doesn’t matter. I only wanted to be praised by one person.”

She taps Ki-hoon on the arm and tells him to meet her “there.” He finds her in their wine cellar, where she silently presents her award to him. She contains her excitement in her Eun-jo-esque way, but her eyes reveal her anticipation of Ki-hoon’s approval. He opens it, and beams with pride: “You did well. You did really really well!” He calls her Eun-jo ya, and tousles her hair and pats her on the head affectionately. She basks in his praise and warm affection, to the soundtrack of fermenting wine, bubbling over like the love in her heart.

Ki-hoon wants to give her a present for the good job she’s done, so he brings her to his room and gives her one of the contents from his favorite stuff collection. He gives her an old fountain pen, wrapped in a cloth case. He says it’s probably older than her, and that he’s broken it in over the years. He tells her, “Use it to write letters, and journals, and whenever you hold it in your hand…think of me.” Well, there goes my heart, floating away on a cloud.

And then…she SMILES at him. Not, you know, a full-on bleeding heart smile, mind you. This is Eun-jo we’re talking about. Just a glint in her eye, but that’s all it takes. She’s come miles, and he knows it.

Eun-jo gets up to leave, and when she opens the door, Hyo-sun is looming just outside, sulking. She demands angrily why she doesn’t get one, why she went out on a dance competition, and Eun-jo’s the only one to get a present. She cries, “Did you forget? Don’t you know who you belong to?” Both Ki-hoon and Eun-jo just look back at her silently. Eun-jo may have yielded her mother’s love, and everyone’s undivided attention to Hyo-sun’s inherent selfishness, but she’s not about to give up Ki-hoon.

That night Hyo-sun sulks in bed, while Eun-jo stays up and takes out her fountain pen. She carefully fills it up with ink, and on a blank page, writes: “Eun-jo ya” as we hear Ki-hoon’s voice calling her in her memory.

The next morning, Dae-sung greets Eun-jo outside, and she tells him that one of the jars of makgulli in the cellar is ruined. Surprised, he asks how she would know such a thing. She replies that there’s no sound coming from that one. Dae-sung is impressed, and promises to check it out.

Just then, Hyo-sun comes back, dejected and dragging her feet. Dad asks, “Did Ki-hoon leave okay?” Startled, Eun-jo turns around, wondering what that meant. She follows Hyo-sun back into their room and demands to know where Ki-hoon went. At first Hyo-sun refuses to answer out of spite, but once their shouting brings Dad into the room, she yields, and drops the bomb…Ki-hoon has left for the army.

Eun-jo runs to his room, their wine cellar, the yard, finding all of them empty. She races down to the river, but there’s no sign of him. At home, Hyo-sun cries, and pulls out a letter. We see in flashback that Ki-hoon gave her the letter, asking her to give it to Eun-jo. Stupid, stupid man! Were you born yesterday? Doth ye not own a television? Or read any Shakespeare?

She opens the letter, but it’s written in Spanish, so she can’t decipher it. From the few words that I can see, and from my very limited vocabulary, I can make out the following words: “Dear Eun-jo…I go because I think my father needs me…Now I go alone. Later I will take you…to the moon and the stars…..Wait for me at home…” I can’t make out the rest or the words or phrases in between (maybe a native speaker can do a better job?) but that’s a little of what Ki-hoon wanted to say to her.

Eun-jo rushes to the bus station, where the soldiers are leaving for the army. But Ki-hoon isn’t there, you see, because he’s not going to the army. He’s got a family turf war, and his vote’s the one to tip the scales.

He looks back before boarding the train, as he thinks, “Will you…stop me? Even when blood gushes from your knee, you’re unable to cry, just like stupid Hong-Ki-hoon. Eun-jo ya. If you hold me, I think I could stop here. Before I get on the train, stop me. Eun-jo ya.” But she doesn’t come, and he slowly lifts his foot off the platform with one last look, and leaves on the train.

Eun-jo goes down to the sandy bank, and crumples to the ground. Her tears come crashing down in a wave, as she lets all the years of pain and anger flow out of her like an endless ocean held in by a tiny dam. The tears pour out of her small, fragile body, and she clutches her heart, as if knowing it was there for the first time. She cries out, “Eun-jo ya…Eun-jo ya” over and over again, searching for the sounds, as she has been silent for so long. She cries from the depths of her soul, letting go of her tough façade and being, for one brief moment, just a young girl in love with a boy.

It is achingly beautiful and although a heartrending moment for Eun-jo, it is, in fact her breakthrough as a person. As she cries, we hear in voiceover: “That person…I’ve never called him anything before. So, just like a cuckoo bird cries, ‘cuckoo, cuckoo,’ like a bird, I called out my own name as I cried.” The camera pans down and we see that Ki-hoon’s glass hairpin is lying in the sand just behind her; the gift thwarted for the love thwarted.

And then we pick up…eight years later. If you mess this up, we will have words, Show. Don’t do me wrong now. Not after that last scene.

We’re in Seoul, and GU Eun-jo, as her nametag reads, is giving a presentation for her makgulli company, outlining new trends and ways to market their product, as well as their all-natural approach to production, as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. Basically she’s confident, smiling, well-spoken, and no longer the bottled-up young girl of old.

Outside the office building, she looks across the street and sees a sign for an art exhibit, featuring Ki-hoon’s favorite artist, which he mentioned for a split second when showing her his favorite things. She can’t help but feel drawn to it, so she goes inside.

She looks at the paintings, and Hyo-sun appears next to her, having come to the exhibit after hearing about it from Ki-hoon. Eun-jo asks what she means, and Hyo-sun baits her, “Didn’t you know? Ki-hoon oppa and I are dating.”

NO! Take it back!

I guarantee she’s lying. Okay, I’m 99% sure she has to be lying. Right? Someone pat me on the head and reassure me, right now!

I wanted to spend longer in the teenage phase, and honestly, I could have done with the entire drama being set in that stage of the girls’ lives, but I’m not the conductor of this train, so I’ll just sit back and see where this takes us. While it’s satisfying to see Eun-jo take on her stepfather’s surname and work for the company as a successful and confident young woman, the journey of how she got there interests me more than how great she turned out. I’m sure there will be much more conflict and hard times ahead, so I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but I already miss the wounded, misunderstood teenager who was experiencing love for the first time.

I don’t know the actresses’ respective ages, but I have to say, Seo Woo is far better suited as the older version of Hyo-sun, while Moon Geun-young seems better suited for the younger Eun-jo. Both actresses are amazing, of course, so I have no doubt we’ll be enraptured by their dynamics at any age, even if they’re still fighting over Ki-hoon at 80.

What I love about this drama so far is that it’s epic, not in scope, but in making the tiny moments monumental. It makes mountains out of molehills, essentially drawing us into quiet character moments that become increasingly significant the longer we spend with them. Eun-jo’s anger, her quiet resolve, and finally her cascade of tears become revelations that plant her firmly in our hearts. Now we are with her, and there’s no turning back.


190 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Jo

    One thing, just one thing, made me incredibly upset with this episode. I swear….

    Mein GOTT!
    I loved her even more for that hair, and now she’s…she just chopped it all off!!

  2. popcorn

    I agree with the hair…:(

    I love this episode. It is so layered with different emotions. I love the ending scene before 8 years passed…such sadness when she cried. I swear if not for the fact I was feeling pretty happy while I watched it I’d have cried…

    I was going to ask Javabeans to assist in recapping this since I quite like it but I guess you and her are alternating and you guys are doing great!

  3. knightsofcastle

    I couldn’t agree more.. I so loved this drama.

  4. mimi

    Ooh, so we know ditzy Hyo Sun never showed Eun-Jo Ki-hoon’s letter… Who’s evil now? But c’mon, Ki-hoon. 8 yrs is a long time to let pass without contacting HS.

  5. jm126

    Team Seo-Woo

  6. sophie

    This drama has really done bad things for Seo Woo in my eyes and AMAZING things for MGY. Absolutely amazing. I would have loved to see her develop too but I’m curious.

    Thank you so much 🙂

  7. annieee

    splendid recap! much love to you, girlfriday! just reading your recap makes my heart go bunkers for the two–cuteness overload from ki-hoon and eun jo’s interactions!
    i wanted the drama to stay in their younger days too. so. much. angst.! in an awesome way too! it’s nice to see eun jo finally standing on her own two feet, but like girlfriday says, i want to know how she got there! and from watching the mv released earlier, i think eun jo will suffer some kind of setback so that she’s goes from riches back to rags again? cant wait to see how this unfolds. i need to catch up soon!

  8. ivy

    Finally, girlfriday! you have no idea how long i’ve been waiting for this. i love it that you and javabeans are recapping CS and PT. okay i shall go and read it right now.

  9. ripgal

    I wasn’t really blown away by MGY in the first 3 episodes, I thought she overdid her aggression and cynicism. B thank God she nailed it on spot in this episode. Her darkness and vulnerability meshed into one, it was haunting. I never really felt sorry for her when she dissed her mom or Hyo Seon in the first 3 eps, albeit knowing how much she’s been thru her rough childhood. It was too much for me. Let alone Hyo Seon. But in here, she totally stole the show with the portrayal of her complicated and mixed feelings when faced with her father, HS and of course cutiepie Ki Hoon.

    Some gripes here and there about the flow of the story (esp with Ki Hoon leaving just like that!) and the sudden time leap. But overall, so far so good.

  10. 10 Ise

    Hello, first I have to thank you for your recaps! They are great and its nice to get input on what is going and such.
    But i think you get the basic off the letter but this is what he is saying from the parts that are not covered with her hands (Spanish Native Speaker in the HOUSE):

    “Eunjo, im leaving because i dont think i can bare looking at you face that is so serious.
    Now im leaving on my own. Later i will take you to Ushuaia and the moon and the stars”
    “Dont runaway…wait for me at home…”

    This is all i could decipher, basically to just wait for him and not do anything rash.


  11. 11 kaedejun

    wow – thank you for elucidating hyo sun’s character, especially when you said that she requires the attention of EVERYONE in the household. the episodes may have been hinting at that the entire time, but i’ve never noticed it until you kept bringing it up in this recap.

    i would HATE a girl like that! ok – my comment about not understanding eun jo before? i completely take it back. i TOTALLY get her now!!! i would throw away a sock too even if it was a kind gesture for my benefit just because we are in a cold war!

    as for seo woo – please. do. something. about. that. hair!!!!!!!!

  12. 12 celestialorigin

    So much can be expressed with such tiny gestures and nuances… Macro in in a micro cosmos encapsulated in Eun-jo and Ki-hoon’s world brimming with unspoken love!!!

  13. 13 Amalai

    “Dear Eun-Jo

    I’m leaving because I don’t think I could leave watching your serious face (It’s not that well written in spanish but you get the idea)

    Now I’m leaving alone. Later I’ll take you to Ushuaia, to the moon and to the stars.

    Don’t run away. Don’t ….. side and wait for me at home.

    You are…..


    Edit. I guess I was a little late 🙂

  14. 14 LS

    Never posted before, but I’d like to do a bit of service for your great blog that I read ALL the time! thanks for the recaps!

    The first two paragraphs he writes,

    “I’m leaving now bc I don’t think I’ll be able to go seeing your sad face.
    Now I’m going alone but later I’ll take you to Ushuaia (southernmost pt in Argentina), to the moon and then to the stars”

    After that I just see fingers!

  15. 15 LS

    whoah, that was fast! other ppl posted while I was writing it out! haha.

  16. 16 Deborah

    This drama is SO good. I really want to know what happens next! Thanks for the wonderful recap!

    “Stupid, stupid man! Were you born yesterday? Doth ye not own a television? Or read any Shakespeare?” This made me laugh so much. 😀

    Does her hair miracously grow longer? Because in the promos/MV, she has really long hair again. I’m confuzzled. 😐

  17. 17 nycgrl

    I totally agree I wish we could have stayed a little longer in the youth and was surprised about the time jump so soon.

    I’m curious about how her relationship develops with the stepdad as well as the slow erosion of the stepdad and mom relationship (my guess). I’m sure when we see their interactions 8 years later we would be able to fill in the details ourselves but I was really liking the Eun Jo and step dad scenes.

    MGY has such a baby face that she can look 14 easily. Interestingly her real age looks like a stretch for her.

  18. 18 ColleenF-H

    Of course Hyo Sun never showed the letter, she is a spoiled snotty liar. I cried when Eun Jo cried during the show and again while reading the recap that moment was very moving. I was not sure about this drama, but now I am totally hooked!!

  19. 19 Esther


    I have refreshed this page MULTIPLE times trying to get the recaps for this episode. And after reading it, I went straight to bada.us, hoping against hope that Episode 5 was up. I just couldn’t wait another week for the next recap!

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

    So here I am, distraught, needed to study but desperately wanting to know what happens next. I. CAN’T. CONCENTRATE.

    I’m in love. I’m absolutely, irrevocably, impossibly in love.

  20. 20 Mei

    Waah, I love this drama! I loved MGY’s long hair too but she still looks good with short hair. Can’t wait for this week’s episodes!!!

  21. 21 estel

    @1 I know!!! WHY WHY did they cut it off? I mean, I guess they had to change her somehow, but why THAT of all things? *cries a little inside*

    Girlfriday, just as you said, I love how this show takes small, little beats and draws us into their emotions. It’s not hard to relate to big events or horrible tragedies in someone’s life, but it takes skill to make us emotionally invested in the small, private moments of the characters’ lives. I love how so much of the action is moved along wordlessly, just by the subtle body language of MGY and the other cast — I particularly dig the relationship between Eun-jo and Ki-hoon. It’s just so real. And you can feel, really feel how desperately they need each other. I wish wish wish Ki-hoon hadn’t been such a dummy and given Hyo-sun the letter. He must not watch dramas, obviously.

    Thanks for such a lovely recap! I love how you focus on the characters and their moments. I enjoyed Ki-hoon’s jealousy twice as much because of your witty comments. 🙂

  22. 22 jackie

    i’ve been waiting for this recap! i love you girlfriday 😀 and i love this drama so, so much. eun-jo is so complex but still so relatable. and god, is ki-hoon a total (but SO ADORABLE) idiot? why the hell would he give the letter to a girl who is clearly jealous of his and eun-jo’s relationship (which, by the way, i LOVE)?! gahh i can’t wait for 5 and 6.

  23. 23 Jennifer

    From what I can see of the letter it says

    “Dear EunJo

    I’m leaving [without saying goodbye] because I couldn’t bare to go while looking at your serious face. Today i’m leaving on my own but later I will take you to Ushuaia, the moon and the stars.”

    The rest is covered by her hands but I can make out “Don’t [go?] anywhere and wait for me at home.” and the masculine word for “Hurt”.

    Thanks for the recap, i’m also wary of all the changes. I can only have faith that the time jump will not cripple the drama.

  24. 24 danni

    Totally didn’t notice that Eun-jo had taken on her stepfather’s name and probably never would have if I didn’t read this recap. I like the two sisters fighting instead of Hyo-sun trying to be nice and Eun-jo just being rude. Honestly, the scene where they’re fighting had me cracking up, despite the fact that it really did show how vastly different Eun-jo and Hyo-sun are (really, who stops in the middle of a fight to notice your opponent is bleeding? That’s a GOOD thing).

    The childhood scenes are usually the highlight of a show and they will definitely be missed, but I’m pretty sure the show can still hold its ground without them and there shouldn’t be any crazy timeskips since all the actors are relatively young.

    Thanks for the recap, loved it!

  25. 25 Monica

    Hello there, just wanted to say I love the recaps. They are so insightful. I’m actually a native spanish speaker and I know others have already translated the letter so I’m gonna follow suit *hehe*

    “Dearest Eun-jo,

    I’m leaving because I don’t think I can bare seeing your face so serious.

    I’ll leave now. Later I will take you to Ushuaia, to the moon and the stars.

    No playing………………..side and wait for me at home…………

    You are………….like…………..hurt…………..don’t leave………..

    Before the…………….don’t……………..”

    These were the words I was able to translate that weren’t covered by her hand.

    Keep up the great work!

  26. 26 lily

    the letter basically said he left because his father needs him, he wouldn’t be able leave if he saw her serious face i love that he said serious it cute because he knows she never smiles, that he might be going alone but one day he would take her to Ushuaia and luma and even to the stars.also to wait for him at home.i can’t make out the rest her hand blocks most of the rest of the letter but he does repeat that “i wouldn’t go” again and again so i am guess he wrote that if he said bye to her in person he wouldn’t have been able to leave her.

  27. 27 theedie

    I agree that I would have loved to have seen more of the teenage years, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s good that they stopped it at four episodes. Why? I think if they had extended it to more episodes things would get a little redundant. We know Eun-jo is a hard shell to crack, and in order to see some sort of change would require years, 8 in fact as it was revealed to us. So if we spent longer in their teenage years we would have just seen more of the same old same old and the episodes would have been fillers basically.

    Oh btw MGY should be 22 (or 23 in Korean years) right now. I only know this because my birthday is exactly 5 months before hers and we were born in the same year. Makes me kinda jealous cuz she’s totes more successful and talented and prettier than I am *sigh*

  28. 28 animedork101

    Man, this was a great episode and I too would have loved to see a few more episodes of their teen years, but I guess the show must go on. I hope they due flashbacks to give us an idea of how Eun-jo went about her remaining teen years without Ki-hoon. I loved watching it, but I also looked forward to your recap. Tomorrow is Wednesday, so here we go!

  29. 29 lynx

    First of all – THANKS to girlfriday (thank God I didn’t have to wait till friday for this. I’ve been waiting.)

    What I love about this drama so far is that it’s epic, not in scope, but in making the tiny moments monumental. It makes mountains out of molehills, essentially drawing us into quiet character moments that become increasingly significant the longer we spend with them. Eun-jo’s anger, her quiet resolve, and finally her cascade of tears become revelations that plant her firmly in our hearts. Now we are with her, and there’s no turning back.

    Could not agree with you more on that. each moment has so much significance weighing in – and its in the glances, the littlest of smiles and the way the body moves – that speaks volumes when the words are few!!

    Secondly – THANKS to the native speakers in the house.

    What I don’t get is —- if he told her to wait —- WHY 8 years?!?!?!?!?!?! He knows where she is. If she took on a position in her stepdad’s company – he would know too!?!?!?!?!?! His own dad is in the business?!

    I would hate it if this drama goes into some petty three-party love relationship and the dynamics we’ve been seeing goes flat.

    ……..arghs. The hair.

    and is it just me or – the evil sista (who was a self-centred air-head) has now turned out to be in full force conniving and full of tricks up her sleeve? Geez.

  30. 30 rainerust

    THANK YOU girlfriday! Amazing recap, as usual.

    @1 Jo
    Yeah I’m with you on the hair – I was terribly sad when they panned to 8 years later and I realised that Eun-jo was sporting SHORT HAIR.

    This episode is completely enchanting…until the time skip. I really do like Hyo sun, despite her ‘inherent selfishness’, because to all intents and purposes, her concern is genuine (if you argue that she doesn’t care about Eun-jo genuinely since she doesn’t bother to find out about her, well, let’s just say it’s not like Eun-jo goes all out to find out about her sister, right? Let me put it this way: even though it seems like the sisters are different, their personalities are actually, deep down, motivated by the same source, which makes them somewhat similar; the only thing that is different is merely the ways they express themselves), so the last 5 minutes of the show totally killed me, because I’ve been dying to find out what happens IN BETWEEN.

    …I find myself vaguely disgruntled to be more involved in the relationship between the sisters than the romantic triangles that are building up. Somehow I really want the two to resolve their differences! ARGH.

    That aside, can I just say how much I love CJM? MGY is awesome and kickass, and SW can act, but ohhhhhh CJM STEALS MOMENTS!! (And little bits of my heart too)

    Looking forward to this week’s episodes, and yours and JB’s recaps!

  31. 31 hpn88

    The music video is totally confusing me now and I think that it literally was A MUSIC VIDEO that has scenes that aren’t going to be seen in the actual drama.
    otherwise they are going to have to go back in time again…

    did anyone else crack up at the evil stepmom using her fingers to command her little army.

    Also little boy KEEPS THE “TWANG” at least he seems to in the ep 5 preview. although he doesn’t stay chubby.

    thanks for the recap! and thanks to all the spanish speaker for the translations!

  32. 32 lynx

    Oh and thanks for pointing out the reason… I was wondering why she was in the bus station and he was at the train station… THANKS!

    Now – for all that the story was built up to be at this point – something really minor (but i suppose it’s for the story line in kdrama-land…) He couldn’t tell her himself that he was leaving? *haiz* and miss a heart-wrenching scene by the river… i guess not..

  33. 33 J

    Think EJ’s short hair will stay. If I’m not wrong, the MV has nothing to do with the drama plot.. So bid farewell to the mesmerizing long hair and let’s start getting used to the new look! In fact, I’m starting to like the short hair; MGY has always looked gorgeous to me (but she needs to eat more!!).

    KH’s leaving scene and EJ’s crying scene really broke my heart. CJM’s eyes are totally WHOA. Kudos to MGY for the fabulous acting too! I’m in Team Eun-jo, so I think HS is very annoying. I have to say, SW is really doing a great job here!

    Thanks Girlfriday for this wonderful recap! Looking forward to tonight’s ep5 and tomorrow’s ep6!

  34. 34 Angel

    I am supposed to be studying but the recap was too tempting to refuse 🙂
    I am absolutely IN LOVE with the story!! I love the little interactions between EJ and KH. They aren’t big or flashy, but the simplicity in itself is adorable :P. This is what I love about Asian dramas – clean (most of the time – anyway… the ‘unclean’ stuff is not even half of some of the stuff they show of Western TV) and cute! I hate it how in lots of Western shows they tend to sexualise everything (because they think that it’s popular or will garner for ratings). e.g. Glee (love the singing/songs, kinda hate the storyline).

    I hope they keep the show the way it is! The same flow/vibe – the same cute factor!

  35. 35 rainerust

    @ Esther

    Psst, coming a bit late, but Episode 5 comes out tonight, so I don’t think you’ll be able to view it yet. LOL. The recaps will probably take a while too, since they’re quality recaps. 🙂

  36. 36 onie80

    i loved the episode, i dont think i loved anything like that this year!
    MGY is amazing , the only thing i watched from her was My Little Bride… but now i understand all the things they say about her !
    We all know the end of the drama but I still want to see what’s going to happen…best drama of the year to me so far !
    I still dont get the mother sometimes but i feel bad for the father….
    Thank u for the summary !

  37. 37 lynx

    btw… does anyone else think that KH chose to stay – and fight – not just because of what happened with the evil stepmom being a complete b**** but with what EJ said about – she will leave when she decides to and not because HS told her to??

    Part of me wants to think – these two should go together – because they complete each other – EJ with her fighting spirit and him with his bright and cheery personality.

    Ok. This is the last comment for ep 4.

    Let it be Wed already….

  38. 38 onie80

    BTW u have good eyes ! that letter i couldnt see a thing ! i knew it wasnt korean but wow BRAVO !!

  39. 39 Noypi

    I believe this drama will be the Highlight of the Entire 2010 for me.. I was hesitant to start this drama because I was afraid it would be too Sad for me, Episode 1 to 3 surprised me because I laughed, smiled, and got emotional.. But it was THIS episode which really sold CS to me. I ADMIT, I CRIED THIS EPISODE. and the ending with the 8yr gap left my jaw hanging.. Wanting for MORE.. NEEDING to know what happened within those 8 Years.. I cannot wait. Thanks for the Recap!

    And if some of you havent seen this, I dunno how the person got it, but i cant wait to see this:


  40. 40 fyoora

    Just reading the recaps makes me crying, so many emotions

  41. 41 nixxochick

    love it!

  42. 42 gielib

    am patting you on the head right now!
    she has to be totally LYING!

  43. 43 giddygirl108

    LOVE your commentary. Have you noticed a trend? I say that every single time. But it’s true.

    I really agree with you on the hesitance of the 8-year fast-forward action we’re getting. 8 years, eh? I was thinking more like oh I dunno…4??? I’m really curious to see the relationship between Hyo-sun and Eun-jo now..I mean…they must not see much of each other if Hyo-sun is dating Ki-hoon. Although…bwahaha…I kinda doubt that. And I’m such an Eun-jo fan…all I can say is, if it’s true then Hyo-Sun will definitely fall off a very steep cliff when Eun-jo wins Ki-hoon back. Well…I doubt she’d have to do that since Ki-hoon probably still thinks of her. I’m like 100.5% sure of that. I’m experiencing slight Schadenfreude right now as I imagine Hyo-sun losing out to Eun-jo…and I do feel a little badly about it…oh now wait I don’t. Although this doesn’t mean I dislike Hyo-sun. On the contrary, I really do appreciate her character and the development. CAN’T WAIT for the next episode!!!

  44. 44 starlighttears

    Thanks agn, GirlFriday!

    Seriously, i was literally crying my eyes out and then it it just skips 8 years. and i was like DIE.

    I totally agree with you on Ki Hoon. oh em gee that boy is so inciteful yet daft at the same time. Did he NOT just witness Hyo Sun going on scorned woman on his ass for giving Eun Jo the pen?! and he pass along a LETTER?! Dude, you live with her. Drag your ass and put it in her room or give it to Dae Sung, her mom, ANYONE but HyoSUN! Oh well, he ust have known to a little degree since he wrote it in spanish.. but still, theres something called google translations!

    Lmao yeah her mom is PRO. i would certainty join her improve class, she knows exactly how to lie, but also to make it make her look good, as well as having noone able to verify it but herself. SMOOTH.

    It just confuses my a bit on the hair pin. Did KiHoon forget about it? Didnt he notice that he lost it? Because when he gave her a present, i was like did he get the hair pin back? because it just doesnt make sense for him to be intent on giving her the hairpin and then give her a fountain pen without even remembering the hairpin?

    Agn, agree, MGY killed it. that was GORGEOUS performance and KiHoon is just the perfect guy ever. I tried to stop smiling at that part when he was laughing at her but i just couldnt stop. his smile is infectious, i loveee him.

    I like you said could have stayed forever in the younger years, but I knew they were gna fast forward and i guess that even four episodes was giving us plenty since they usually only stay in for two. I’m VERY apprehensive then since I loved the younger years so much and i dont know if the older years will have that authentic feel the draa has created from the music and scenery during the first 4 eps. well they have a hell of a job so i wont complain.

    Ah, and also, when Hyo Sun said we’re dating, I’m not korean but doesnt that mean ‘meet’ as well? so I think the directors deliberately leaving it open to interpretation and HyoSun herself.. like they could ‘meet’ or they could be dating as well. But yes she was totally baiting EunJo.

    But omg thanks agn and see you for ep 6!!
    Cinderellas SIster is my drugs. during my last year of highschool. greeattt.

  45. 45 salt

    thanks for the recaps… and i love all your little side commentaries…
    ..fainting due to being “pain-adjacent”.. LOL…

    i get the feeling that in the fight/ quarrel scene (at the start of the epi), hyosun is merely pretending to be mean and angry, at least a little bit, probably trying to please eunjo that yes, eunjo was right. i say that because there were moments during their fights when hyosun seems genuinely worried when EJ’s were hurt e.g. bleeding lip, pulled-out hair.

    but she was genuinely mean and spiteful (during the art exhibition) when the thing they fight about is ki-hoon’s affection. (i foresee seowoo gaining a lot of antis).

    can’t wait for the next epi.
    n yes… i agree. i miss the long beautiful gorgeous hair. i would love to see more of the teenage years because i would luve to see more of the angry eunjo and her journey to become more human.
    but the dilemma would be…. no taecyeon… 😉
    here’s to hoping that he can keep-up with the rest of the casts..

  46. 46 Freehee

    Can’t blame Ki-hoon, I’m quite in love with the teenager Eun-jo as well….BRING HER BACK!

  47. 47 heejung

    oh ma goodness gracious, her hair!!!! so sad, all that pretty hair.. 🙁

    ack, those darn cliffhangers get me every single time. rawrrr i cannot wait for the next episode!!! ><

  48. 48 robotmatsuri

    Thank you so much for the recap! I am loving this drama, and MGY so much!

  49. 49 Freehee

    p.s. Ki-hoon, YOU IDIOT! In my 19 years of life, I know who to give certain letters if I want them to be delivered and who to avoid! For that, I DEMAND YOU DO ARMY SERVICE FOR THE NEXT 8 YEARS!

  50. 50 Mon

    All that beautiful hair gone. ;_;

    Thanks for the recap!

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