Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 6
by | April 20, 2010 | 157 Comments

Seo Woo turns out a stellar performance this week in back to back episodes of Cinderella’s slow turn to the dark side. It’s like watching how Lex Luthor got to be…Lex Luthor. The love quadrangle starts closing in on our main characters, and Ki-hoon’s return throws a wrench in just about everyone’s day. Jung-woo steps up, Hyo-sun goes mad, and Eun-jo and Ki-hoon drink till they pass out. That’s what happens when you go away for eight years to a country with no phones. Wait…are there phones in America?


We backtrack again to pick up a few details along the way from the last episode. Are we always going to be starting episodes with Hyo-sun’s B-side? Back in the car, Ki-hoon turns up the volume on the record he once played for Eun-jo, but she’s not in the mood for memory lane. At her coldness, Ki-hoon muses that it’s so simple for her. That she just forgets and walks away. He betrays a bitterness, like what he really wants to say is: “How dare you forget me.”

Hyo-sun is awake in the backseat, picking up on all the tension and reading between the lines. Once they’ve tucked her in bed, she sneaks back out, and sees Ki-hoon dragging Eun-jo out by the wrist. Can’t the hero ever just politely ask a woman to follow him outside? Must there always be a barbaric show of male dominance with an undercurrent of “I want you so badly, but I’m gruff and out of touch with my emotions, so I’m taking it out on your tiny tiny wrist”?

We pick up with the pair outside, just after Ki-hoon calls out, “Eun-jo ya” again and again, making her stop in her tracks. She cries for just a moment, with her back still towards him, then wipes away her tears and braces herself for his approach.

Eun-jo spins around and spits out her venom, fast and furious: “Whoever you were, however you laughed, whatever your name was, none of it matters now. Less than dust, less than a bug, you’re nothing to me now. Call my name or laugh, just try it. Then I’ll just…kill you.”

It’s harsh, to be sure. But it betrays her vulnerability to two key things: the way he laughed, and the way he called her name. It’s her way of keeping her guard and not losing face in front of him (lest he think she was pining away for him like a naïve schoolgirl), but for Ki-hoon, the words cut like a knife. Not for nothing is she the evil stepsister, I’ll tell you that much.

Hyo-sun has heard everything, and I’m not sure if her tears are poor-me tears or ones out of empathy. Despite the fact that her inclination is poor-me, she’s also very aware of both Eun-jo’s and Ki-hoon’s feelings, seeing as how she so desperately wants to be loved by them. My guess is it’s a mix of both, leaning heavily on the feeling of “but oppa is MIIIINE.”

Hyo-sun goes back inside and sees Dad with little Jun-su on piggyback, and she smiles sadly, thinking in voiceover: “Everyone went on a picnic…leaving me behind…leaving me behind…leaving me behind.” It’s interesting to see how things have turned around for the two sisters since their teenage years. I like that this drama confirms my theory that spoiled brats turn out to be useless sorts of people as adults, and it’s not hard to see how the princess ended up adrift and feeling left behind. But I think that it makes her a more interesting character, to have lost something, by way of Eun-jo gaining something for the first time. They will forever be at odds, because they both so desperately need to be loved, but are encircled by the same four people their whole lives.

Dae-sung calls Eun-jo in for a meeting, where he tells her that she can leave (as per his promise eight years ago, and her admission of waiting for the opportunity). He tells her that he never thought she had stayed with the intention of leaving someday. He praises her for being diligent, smart, hardworking, and adds sweetly that if she wanted to fly, he would’ve pinned her some wings. Dae-sung says that he’s never thought for a second that she owed him anything (referring to her very calculating business-like statement that she wanted to repay him for his kindness).

Eun-jo replies that she knows. But Dae-sung shakes his head, “No, you don’t know. You don’t know. You couldn’t know. If you did, you couldn’t say those things.” I think Dae-sung is right here, as he usually is. He doesn’t mean this statement in a hurt way; he means that she thinks she knows, but can’t actually fathom the love of a father. I agree, only because Eun-jo still sees the world from a very limited perspective, and although she has experienced Dae-sung’s care for eight years, she still doesn’t believe herself worthy of true love, fatherly or otherwise.

He says that he’s never thought of her any differently from Hyo-sun…then concedes that maybe he has, but only in the very recesses of his heart, where no one could understand why. He adds that even if that’s the case, he is not ashamed (he can stand honorably with his love for Eun-jo as his daughter). It’s a very honest answer, and another glimpse into why these two get along—Eun-jo responds well to Dae-sung’s fastidious honesty and his steadfastness as a person—he is still the same man who punished her fairly and then tended to her wounds all those years ago.

Dae-sung says (breaking my heart) that he thought Eun-jo felt the same way about him. He tells her to give him a proposal for her departure, aka Life Plans and Such. An Excel spreadsheet for her life…does anyone else want to take this girl out for a drink? Dae-sung says that as the father who changed her surname to his, he has the right to make sure she’s got a real plan, means to live, and ways to achieve her dreams. Eun-jo says she’ll draw up the plans, making Dae-sung sad and resigned.

Just then…Kang-sook appears, having heard the tail end of their conversation, and flips out. She breaks down, wailing at the top of her lungs, thinking that she and Eun-jo are being kicked out. She faints in Eun-jo’s arms, leaving Eun-jo and Dae-sung dumbstruck. Even though I’m assuming that Kang-sook is doing a bit of acting here, I don’t know if it’s because the actress is so good, but it feels real, like the histrionics are exaggerated, but based in real fears deep inside.

In another part of the house, Hyo-sun explains very cutely to Ki-hoon that she’s decided to marry him, so he should follow suit. He’s like, what’s the what, now? The cute thing is that she’s totally serious, without knowing how ridiculous she sounds. It shows that she’s still a stunted child in many ways. Ki-hoon just laughs and says “okay,” the way you’d answer if a kid asked you to go to Mars with her someday. You’d answer “okay, sure thing.” This isn’t the response she was looking for. She may be a kid, but she ain’t no dummy. Hyo-sun says glumly that she knows he likes Eun-jo, but that can never be. If he goes to her too, then who does she have left? She gets up abruptly and adds that anyway oppa is hers; he’s been hers since forever and a half ago, so that’s the way it is, and that’s that! Haha. Your logic does not resemble Earth logic. But it’s cute just the same.

The doctor has come and gone, and Eun-jo sits by Mom’s bedside, telling her to rest and take it easy with true concern. Mom asks if they’re alone, and when Eun-jo confirms that they are, she hilariously pops up and rips Eun-jo a new one for thinking of leaving. She fumes that she’s set up everything for her and Jun-su to inherit the kingdom, but she dares to throw it all away? Eun-jo goes mad before our very eyes, as it dawns on her that her mother has put on a show for the umpteenth time, and she has fallen for it yet again. And you wonder why she has a hard time TRUSTING?

Eun-jo’s soul turns inside out, as she struggles to keep her tears in. Kang-sook tells her to use the ailing mom defense and not even think about setting one foot outside. Eun-jo, shaking in disbelief, says quietly, “I should have just died then. There were so many times I could have died. So many times I could have disentangled myself from you.” Damn.

Kang-sook doesn’t understand what she’s going on about, and warns her not to ever speak of leaving again; then she’ll really put on a show. Hyo-sun comes running over, fawning over Mom, and Kang-sook goes right back to her angelic invalid pose in a heartbeat. Ha. Evil genius.

Eun-jo walks outside in a teary stupor, where Jung-woo is waiting for her. He silently turns her shoes around (a recurring motif and such a beautifully simple and selfless visual gesture). And the way he looks up at her, expectantly…just about kills me. I feel like the less this kid says, the better—not because I have a negative judgment about his acting, but more because I like the impact of this character as the silent bodyguard type. He could turn out to be the reincarnation Lee Jung-jae in Sandglass, if he keeps this up.

Eun-jo is lost in her own world, as she walks slowly to the riverbank. Jung-woo follows ten steps behind her, wanting to reach her but unable to get close. He stands guard as she sits by the river and finally decides that this is his moment. He tentatively takes small steps, his face breaking out in a smile at the thought of approaching her. But the second he sits down next to her, Eun-jo pops right up to leave. It’s the same thing she did to Dae-sung when he first tried to get close to her—she’s got a lot of built-in defenses, this girl.

Jung-woo gets right back up, ever doggedly pursuing her, and it makes Eun-jo finally turn around and acknowledge him, though not in the way he was hoping. She asks if he’s on an errand or if her father is looking for her, and I’m getting the impression that she knows this isn’t the case, but is offering him an out so that she doesn’t have to deal with his advances. Jung-woo just nods, reading that she doesn’t want to be bothered right now. His undeniable adoration of her is written all over his face, and it’s priceless.

She turns and walks away, just as he utters out, “noona,” but she doesn’t hear him because Hyo-sun’s uncle is honking at the kid. He takes Jung-woo on another nefarious delivery, this time even giving him a cut of the hush money.

In a quiet moment, we see Hyo-sun clinging to Mom as they sleep, and the depth of her loneliness as she gets passed up for Jun-su. She feels that Mom’s love for her is empty, but clings to it desperately anyway, which breaks my heart.

Later that night, Dae-sung tells Eun-jo that he won’t fire Ki-hoon; that he’s an unfortunate kid, and he’ll only let him go if he chooses to leave of his own accord. Dae-sung tells Eun-jo that she’s arrogant (he says so matter-of-factly, not unkindly) for wanting to get rid of Ki-hoon. He asks for her Life Proposal, but she doesn’t have it. He supposes she changed her mind because of Mom, and breathes a sigh of relief, saying that he didn’t know what he would have done if she really went through with it. Aw.

He adds that he knows that she can take care of herself full well; what he wanted was for her to find a warm place to rest her heart, and until that time, he wanted to take care of her. Double aw. He says that her insistence on repaying her debt to him means that she doesn’t know his true heart, and that he’s been torn up the last few days. Okay, stop being so damn perfect, Dad. You’re making me worry for your well-being. But Eun-jo, ever the heartbreaker, throws down one of her patented, rip-open-a-vein-why-don’t-you honest confessions:

Eun-jo: “This house is…arduous. Don’t give your heart to me. If you’ve given it, take it back. I’m an unbelievably horrible person. How awful…you can’t even imagine. If you knew the thoughts I live with every day, you wouldn’t want to look at me, even for a second. For now I’m stuck because of my mother, but I will leave. Whether I repay my debt to you, or marry that man my lab sunbae wants me to meet, I will leave. So don’t dote on me. I’m not the kind of kid who will stay here forever, thankful for your grace, just because you trust in me.”

Because she doesn’t understand…that love can be unconditional, forgiving, and stronger than pain…she can’t let anyone love her, just as she can’t let herself love anyone again.

Ki-hoon goes to meet his father at a hotel, and he tells him that the current project (read: acquisition of Dae-sung’s makgulli company) isn’t worth his time and effort. Daddy Hong thinks Ki-hoon’s gone soft because of his feelings for Dae-sung (well, that’s a close guess…), but Ki-hoon corrects him, saying that he’s not the same Ki-hoon of eight years ago. When he left that place he left all those feelings behind. (Ah, some insight into his self-imposed exile away from his looooove.) He says it might have been different had he never left, but once he did, he forgot it all.

Dad doesn’t understand; what’s the problem, then? Ki-hoon starts to laugh, which is exactly the sort of chuckle down the road to madness that Eun-jo does with her mom. It’s not hard to see why Ki-hoon saw right through her pain as an adolescent.

Ki-hoon muses that this whole charade is right out of a Joseon-era history book: a father betting on the darkhorse prince to topple the king and usurp the throne. He goes further with the analogy, saying that he’s drawn his sword in battle, but has found that his opponent is too young (which we can read as both Dae-sung’s company being too young and small-time, but also as Eun-jo being too young and mismatched an opponent for him to fight fairly). He says he’s retreated his sword; Dad shouldn’t worry about small-fry Dae-sung being a worthy adversary. He plans to just rest there a little while and think of other ways to help his father.

Dad scoffs that Ki-hoon knows nothing. He hands him a document, while the chimes of evil masterminding ensue. Ki-jung has apparently bid on Dae-sung’s company and has not given up making advances. Dad refuses to lose this to Ki-jung. And for good measure, he adds the requisite Tragic Twist of Melodramatic Proportions: Do you want to know how your mother really died? OH, JEEBUS.

From the looks of Ki-hoon’s walk of stunned dismay, the answer isn’t good for Dae-sung and Co. As he walks out, Ki-hoon sees Eun-jo walk past, wearing a dress and high heels, which is probably a very surprising sight for him. He follows her into the café, where she is on a mat-seon with that guy her lab sunbae wanted her to meet. It goes hilariously badly, as Eun-jo picks a thing, anything, (happens to be height) to pick apart the poor guy’s attempt to get close to her. When he asks how tall she is, she responds accusingly, “How tall should I be for you to marry me? If I’m 170(cm), will you marry me? 172?” Haha. Who on earth thought this girl would be good on a blind date?

Ki-hoon looks stricken as he listens to her talk about marriage with another man, even if it is in her over-my-dead-body Eun-jo-esque way. He meets her outside, and asks if she’s on a mat-seon, adding snottily that she must not have liked the guy if she’s leaving so soon. She just ices him with the silent treatment and drives away.

Ki-hoon follows her, and catches up on a windy mountain road, where he races to try and stop her, and she speeds up to try and lose him. You silly kids and your cat-and-mouse games. Although, if someone loses an eye or gets amnesia from this, I will hurt you, Show. He calls her to tell her to slow down, which is just hilarious, since YOU’RE CHASING HER, but whatever. He finally cuts her off, leading to an almost collision, and tells her to slow down, and he’ll stop chasing. Uhh…it would’ve worked the other way around too, and you wouldn’t have had to cause a near-accident, but what do I know?

Oh, NOW I get why this scene is here—Ki-hoon starts telling her that it’s unsafe and that he’ll stop chasing her, but his insistence on those words have a secondary meaning. He ends up saying: “I won’t chase you. I’m not going to try and hold you, and I’m not going to ask you to hold me. So you don’t have to run away. You got it? Anyhow, I’m also…” But he trails off, unable to complete his words. I’m also…what? Moving on? Denying my one true love for the sake of my family? Frustratingly stubborn when it comes to you? What?

Eun-jo arrives at home, and Jung-woo follows a few steps behind her in silence. She finally acknowledges him and asks if he has something to say to her, but he simply smiles and shakes his head. When she takes off her shoes to go inside, he turns them around for her, and she looks at him like, what’s your deal with my shoes, dude? He says it’s a pledge of allegiance (much like an army salute) for the person who feeds him. So nicely written, these spare scenes. She understands it as she’s the boss and he’s grateful for the job; he means that he’s grateful for all the times she made him food when they were young and she was the only one to ever take care of him.

Late that night, Ki-hoon broods on his pavilion, then makes a call to Daddy Hong. He says that if Dad can promise that once they acquire Dae-sung’s company, he’ll give Ki-hoon full control, then he’ll agree to start the work. I’m assuming from the chimes of evil masterminding that there’s going be some nefarious corporate espionage or something at work. Either that or he’s going to drink up all the makgulli before they can bottle it up. Can I help with that?

The next day, Hyo-sun has been put to work with the other laborers, washing rice. She’s terribly bumbling at even the most menial of tasks, but to her credit, she does it with a song in her heart, mostly because she’s determined to get Eun-jo and Dad’s approval. Dad chastises her for spilling even a kernel of the very precious organic, hand-picked rice. At this, she wonders aloud, “Am I useless?” But she gives herself a pep talk, saying that she can do it, and continues to work.

Eun-jo comes by, making Jung-woo stand up at the sight of her. She asks to see Hyo-sun when she’s done, and walks away. Jung-woo salutes her as she walks past, hopeful, then deflated when she just blue steels him.

Eun-jo has Hyo-sun try on dresses for the commercial, and Hyo-sun asks what this is all about. Without answering her, Eun-jo just says offhandedly that she’s pretty, but this time rather than being earnest, I think she’s using it as a way to throw Hyo-sun a bone. Hyo-sun replies that being called pretty doesn’t work on her anymore. She calls Eun-jo a liar, calling her pretty just to boost her ego and get her to do whatever she wants. She won’t be fooled twice.

Eun-jo doesn’t bat an eyelash; that’s fine with her, so long as that’s what she wants. If Hyo-sun doesn’t want to do it, she’ll just use Dad’s money. (She says here, “Your Dad,” purposely distancing herself in her snotty way.) Hyo-sun declares her evil. Eun-jo just taunts her, saying over and over, “You’re not going to do it, are you?” until finally Hyo-sun stops her. Next thing you know, Hyo-sun’s dancing around in a tutu for the commercial. Ha. I almost feel bad knowing that Eun-jo is so much smarter than her. But they pretty much know how to push each other’s buttons equally.

During the filming, Eun-jo notices Ki-hoon smiling at the monitor, and shoots him the sidelong death ray of jealousy, which he doesn’t notice. But then he sees her walk away from him and has the pouty face of why-doesn’t-she-love-me? Oh, you two.

The three of them go out to eat afterwards, where Eun-jo thinks only about work, and Hyo-sun blissfully eats away. She pulls the classic I’m-going-to-feed-my-boyfriend-in-front-of-you move, driving Eun-jo to drink. But she apparently can’t hold her liquor very well. So Ki-hoon, instead of stopping her, matches her drink for drink. It’s like a hilarious pissing contest, neither of them knowing why they’re doing it, but just fueled by anger and hurt feelings. And yeah…if I had to look at this…

I’d be drinking till I blacked out too. The two of them end up vomiting by the river, with Hyo-sun looking on in amazement. She can’t win…these two will always be in sync, whether in bliss or in misery, and they’ll always leave her out.

Hyo-sun calls her uncle, who sends Jung-woo out to fetch them. By the time he comes running, Eun-jo and Ki-hoon have passed out on the ground. Haha. Jung-woo drives them all back, and Hyo-sun catches him stealing glances at his beloved Eun-jo noona in the rearview mirror. She asks his name, and finds out that he’s a recently discharged soldier, nay marine, which he insists is not just any solider. Hyo-sun laughs at his earnestness.

Jung-woo puts Ki-hoon to bed, and Hyo-sun brings her sister’s purse in, noticing that the strap has torn off. The look on her face is that of genuine sadness; I bet she would love more than anything to give her unni one of her many pretty purses, but Eun-jo would never accept that sort of gesture from her.

She meets Jung-woo back at the car to bring Eun-jo in, but when they get there, she’s not there anymore. They run around the house looking for her, and Ki-hoon wakes to hear them say they can’t find her. But he knows where to look. He goes over to the factory, to their makgulli cellar, to the place of their unfulfilled love. Their eyes meet, over the sound of bubbles, and Eun-jo passes out. Ki-hoon reaches his hand out to touch her, but pulls back, unable to reconnect with her.

He leaves, and in walks Jung-woo. Symbolic, that Jung-woo replaces Ki-hoon in the cellar, just as he has taken over shoe-turning duties; he can traverse that icy barrier that Ki-hoon dare not cross. He carries Eun-jo home on his back, wondering what on earth is going on with her.

Then we get a commercial break…wait…oh, it’s Hyo-sun’s commercial debut, complete with cheesy changeover from what…hooker on the run?…to pink ballerina? It’s intentionally funny, and cute. Apparently the media exposure did the trick, because the orders are coming so fast that they have to turn some away. Eun-jo saves the day though, securing a way to increase their production, so they take all the orders that come in.

They celebrate, but then stop in their tracks when they notice that Eun-jo’s got a bloody nose. She’s been pulling all-nighters at the lab, and ends up collapsing to the ground in Dad’s arms. Ki-hoon rushes her to the hospital on his back, and we catch up with her in the hospital, Hyo-sun at her bedside.

Hyo-sun (voiceover): “Wow. Song Eun-jo, no, now Gu Eun-jo. I can’t even imitate her. I can’t be like her. If I try to be like her, my legs would split. As soon as the thought that I can’t keep up with her enters my head, I want to cry. I’m not at all worried about her, but the tears won’t stop. I swear by the heavens and the earth, every word I’ve spit at her is 100% a lie.”

She calls out loud, “Unni ya. Unni ya, don’t die. Unni ya, I’ll do well. I’ll adore you. Don’t die, unni ya.” This is one of my favorite things about her—the way she calls Eun-jo “unni ya,” which is a contradiction. You can’t call someone “ya” if you’re younger, and you wouldn’t call one person both “unni” and “ya.” But it’s the perfect thing for their relationship, as they’re two girls of the same age who were thrown together as sisters. It also mirrors the heartfelt way that Ki-hoon calls her “Eun-jo ya;” it’s her own moniker for her love/hate sister/not-a-sister.

She thinks to herself, “Your nose bled because you picked it, didn’t you?…is what I really wanted to say.” She breaks down in tears. And then Eun-jo wakes up, telling her to shut up. She shocks the tears away from Hyo-sun as she asks, “Am I dying? Did they say I was going to die? Or do you just wish I were?” Haha. Damn, you’re cold. And hilarious. She tries to get out of bed, but Hyo-sun throws her back down.

Hyo-sun: “You’re an unparalleled weakling. I’ve never seen a girl like you in all my life. You want to make me pathetic, don’t you? That’s why you showed up at our house, isn’t it? Where are you going? Don’t move a muscle. I can’t stand to look at you move. I can’t stand to hear you talk. You’re just trying to impress Dad so you stay up all night at the lab, and get a bloody nose. Even if you don’t do that, I’m always being compared to you and becoming a pathetic person. And next to pathetic me, you’re becoming a faithful and decent person. Just try and move again. Just try and collapse again! I wish a thing like you would just die!”

And of course, that’s the moment when Mom and Dad walk in. Oh, crap. Dae-sung can’t believe the words out of Hyo-sun’s mouth, and she runs away from him, scared to get scolded yet again for being the bratty sister. She jumps into Ki-hoon’s car and begs him to drive her away.

As if one crazy hospital visitor wasn’t enough for one day, Kang-sook has sprawled out on Eun-jo’s bed (just like her to take the sickbed from the sick girl), saying that Eun-jo will be fine, and that she’s lucky to be sick in such a conveniently melodramatic way. She tells her not to try so hard; even without all the all-nighters and nosebleeds, it’ll all be hers anyway (the company).

Eun-jo asks Mom if that time that they lived in Gunsan, when she made herself a noose…did she intend to die? Kang-sook scoffs at the idea. “Why would I die?” She explains that sometimes you have to go to the extreme to get what you want. Eun-jo asks if that means this time, she’ll make another noose if Eun-jo tries to leave. Mom answers, “Of course,” without so much as a second thought. Eun-jo: “For me? Because of me?” Mom: “Why, do you think I’m lying?” Eun-jo: “I wish that it were a lie.”

Mom slyly checks to see if the door is closed. She walks over to Eun-jo and says:

Kang-sook: “I carried you on my back and dug through trash. Because I thought it would be better than not feeding you. When I fed you, and you got sick, when your eyes rolled into the back of your head and all I could see was the whites of your eyes, I said, ‘God, Buddha, Lord, just try and kill my baby. You think I’ll leave you be? I’ll chew you up and spit you out until there is no heaven.’ That night I gave up the notion of love as holding someone close. Do you know who I am? I’m the bitch who challenged God and Buddha to the death and won…to save your life. A noose? I could tie one a hundred times, you bitch.”

She tells Eun-jo not to be moved. Betraying a tear, she says what mother wouldn’t do that for her child? Eun-jo asks if she loves Dae-sung. Kang-sook is surprised at the sudden question. But Eun-jo needs to know: did she ever love Dae-sung, or is he just another man who has something she can rip him off for? Mom’s like, what the hell with this line of questioning?

Eun-jo cries, desperate to find some bit of humanity left in the dark corners of her mother’s heart. She asks her to please tell her that he’s not just another man to rip off, that she loves him. If she can say that, Eun-jo will forgive her for everything. Kang-sook replies that she does like him…she likes him a lot…because he’s got so much for her to rip off.

Just then, Dae-sung opens the door, having heard the desperate query from Eun-jo and the startling answer. He walks in, just as Eun-jo goes stark raving mad. She screams like a wounded animal, trying to shut out the horrifying truth of her birthright. No matter how good she tries to be, she can never wash off the sins of her mother, and her own position as the rationale for it all.

This episode was family-heavy, which I don’t mind, since the time leap has changed the family dynamics in interesting ways, and I’m fascinated by the changes in each character, both small and large. I’m most intrigued by Hyo-sun, who has become quite desperate and much closer to Eun-jo’s wounded teenage state than either of them realize. I love Eun-jo’s relationship with Dae-sung, and the growing complexity of her character, as someone who both loves and loathes her mother, hates herself because of that, and doesn’t believe she deserves to be loved by Dae-sung because of her mother’s sins.

The time leap actually hasn’t found them as fully formed adults yet either, so I don’t mind it as much as I anticipated. Both girls are still young and searching for their place in the world, so I find that I’m as invested in their motivations and their journey as I was in the beginning. What makes this drama so watchable for me (besides the deliciously compelling character studies) is the nimble balance of light and dark, of comedy and melodrama, and its offbeat sense of humor, even in the darkest of characters like Kang-sook. It’s a difficult line to tread, but this show manages it with a stroke of whimsy.


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157 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. estel

    Yay! Thanks for being my crack dealer, girlfriday. You always deliver! *runs off to read recap and hums merrily*

  2. tatyana

    love your recaps, keep up the good work.

  3. javabeans

    I was TOTALLY thinking Lee Jung-jae in Sandglass, killing you with his intense, yearning stares after Go Hyun-jung, longing for her love but expecting nothing in return except the chance to protect her. *sob*

  4. Norme

    Annyeong Girlfriday,

    Thanks for the recap… Its so touching…I’m really touched…Hey girlfriday, thanks you really give me something to think about ….family….grhhhhhhhhh….

  5. Ash

    Love the recaps! So insightful!

  6. Rainalai

    This: She can’t win…these two will always be in sync, whether in bliss or in misery, and they’ll always leave her out.

    Win. That comment made me laugh out loud.

    Beautiful recap, thanks for the great read before bed! :)

  7. gloria

    You are amazing and your recaps are brilliant. Thank you so much for your hard work. I look forward to each of your recaps just as much as I do for each new episode.

  8. jandoe

    the mother-daughter relationship reminds me a LOT of Janet Fitch’s novel, White Oleander. And that woman who plays the Mum. Man, she deserves the Oscars or something! can’t wait for episode 7, though i don’t know if i can take the overloaded angst-drama-twist and the pained looks of KH (and people jumping ‘ship just cos its a) Taecyon or b) he “breaks” her wall).

    thanks for this recap! :)

  9. mimi

    First, does it get anyone else really annoyed at how CLUELESS Ki-Hoon is about Hyo-Sun? Eun-Jo made herself pretty clear to him that she thought there was something going on between him and Hyo-Sun and he denied it. BUT he lets Hyo-Sun hold his hand at the restaurant in front of Eun-Jo. I know guys are clueless sometimes but he’s there at the top.

    Also, a minor thing about the “unni-ya” phrase Hyo-Sun uses. It’s something we hear more these days in Korea (someone calls me that, too) and I think it just connotes a relationship that has the one older – one younger aspect, but one that is close. (or in Hyo-Sun’s case, someone wanting to be close to her older sister, at least from the start. I think HyoSun says it more out of habit than wanting closeness now…)

  10. 10 Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks girlfriday for this awesome recap. This drama seemed to leave me breathless all the time…the acting is just so intense.

  11. 11 Yipee

    Your recap totally rocks!

  12. 12 nixxochick

    this was my favorite episode so far besides ep.4
    i have a bad feeling about the HS and KH relationship but i’ll just keep my mouth quiet and watch, lol.

    thank you for taking the time to post this summary! :)

  13. 13 bd

    Maybe I’ll have to give this another shot.

    I just couldn’t get past the first 2 episodes due to Seo Woo’s bad acting and her annoying gaze.

  14. 14 hmm...

    i lurv this drama and your recaps…
    often i find the recaps more interesting than the drama
    and stop watching the drama and just read the recaps
    but for this drama i think i’ll do both~!

  15. 15 Mirindalove

    Its funny that Hyosun was trying to blame Eunjo for making her pathetic. It was her who wanted Eunjo’s mom to go into her family, she was so excited when Eunjo and Kangsook first came into the family, but now…

    Hmmpphhhh… it was her own fault that she brought this upon herself. Oh well…. its her fate anyway.

    I love the relationship between Eunjo and Daesung. It shows that Eunjo does care for Daesung all along, it was evident when she asked KangSook whether she loved him or not. Probably she does, afterall, think that Daesung as a father figure to her, at least the closest father figure.

  16. 16 Lisa

    I love your recaps! I wait for them even after watching the episodes hahaha.

    I love this drama for the occasional light but the realism in this drama.

    I agree with Taecyeon’s silence somehow enhances his character but I look forward to him doing more than saluting and worshipping. I wanna see how he grows into a man.

  17. 17 starlighttears

    I dont quite agree with your sentiment of it being hilarious when EunJos mom popped up and hit her after she did her little fake show. I mean it was sorta haha because they put the music in but I also found it incredibility sad like your awesome analysis of the last scene. I was just wishing to god that she wasnt asking EunJo if anyone was around so she could stop pretending because Eun Jos concern was real only for her mothers act to be faked. sucked.

    Also, GREATTT wording of the drinking scene. I mean WOW. it just totally hit me, how you said theyd always be in sync whether in happiness or misery and Hyo Sun would always be left out. gorgeous explanation, i wish i could hug you, it was so beautiful because now that youve said it, that was EXACTLY what was happening.

    i officially love you.

    and please god, doooonnt for the love of god kill someone off. DONT.

  18. 18 hanchul4eva

    your recaps are AMAZING. thank you soo much. even though i watched it before i read ur recapps they were still awesome. KEEP UP THE GD WORK!

  19. 19 Waiting for more

    Great recaps GF! You made me smile and laugh a few times, thank you! else I think I’d just cry for these people. Everyone is so hurt, I think it’s really what draws me to these characters, you can feel their struggles and pains…yeah, noone has yet found their happiness…is this how we live?

    I know it’s been said over and over, I love EJ. She has not known love and has always felt indebted to others, her numerous mother’s “men” who took them in, so she treats DS the same way as Mr. Jang, she needs to pay her debt before she can leave them with a somewhat clear/clean conscience. So sad, and yet, that has been her life. I don’t doubt that her mother loves her, in her own ways, but as you said I think, her love is dirty, unclean, sinful, so how can EJ feel good about anything? What she does seem to “have” has been through/thanks to her mother’s manipulations, how can she not feel indebted? I really want to see how she will overcome everything that is weighing her down and finally be able to be happy, to be free, no bittersweet endings please, thank you.
    At this point, I just want EJ to be happy, with or without KH. If he can’t handle her, or their relationship, then so be it, he is not worthy of her. As much as I like KH, he really needs to be more assertive. I can see he’s struggling too, but be a man when it comes to love! I think a lot of HS’s unhappiness right now is self-inflicted, she’s drowning in self-pity. If she doesn’t get a hold of herself and some self-esteem soon she will end up like the mother, always blaming others for her shortcomings and yet dependent on them. They didn’t all go on a picnic and leave you behind, you didn’t follow them, whether willing or able or not, and now you need to catch up to them.
    This drama is really good, it’s got so many meaningful life reflections, it’s scary, and yet enticing, we love it and can’t wait for more!
    Thanks again!

  20. 20 Quynh

    amazing recap once again girlfriday 😉

    i love reading these

  21. 21 blurnutcase

    Awesome recap. It made me think much much more about the meanings hidden within every scene of this drama. Didn’t notice that much when i was watching the episode and this recap puts things more into perspective.

    But omg, did i just not love that last scene. It is like eunjo’s breakthrough in a way towards her mother. The way the screamed and cried was breathtaking. Her tears showed how much she “lost” due to her mother and yet she was crying because for her mother as well. So much meaning in a few minutes.

  22. 22 jean

    i love this drama…
    i just started yesterday.. i thought i wouldn’t love it .. coz it’s too heavy of a drama for my liking.. but darn.. i love it..
    MGY is a really good actress….
    the chasing scene was great.. and add to that is the double meaning dialogue that CMH said when MGY opened the window.. awesome…

    the scream at the end is awesome too… i can’t help but cry with MGY as she screams…

    thank you for the recap..!

  23. 23 celestialorigin

    Luv you, girlfriday!

  24. 24 Alison

    @jandoe i was thinking the exact same thing too!! EJ and KS’s relationship totally reminds me of astrid’s and ingrids. both astrid and EJ love and fear/hate their mother, and just wish that their mother would love them enough to let go. “White Oleander” is such a beautiful portrayal of another aspect to a mother/daughter relationship.

    i wish EJ will find happiness in the end. and i think she would if KS learns to let go.

  25. 25 Nina

    You do a GREAT job recapping! It’s so insightful and you always point out things/scenes that I’ve missed….I always read your recaps and watch the episode one more time :)


  26. 26 icechocolate

    Maybe it’s just me, but do anyone catch a glimpse of Go Hyun Jung as Mishil in this picture?
    Thank you for your wonderful recap.

  27. 27 katyenka

    1. Thank you so much for recapping this drama. It’s my new addiction. I love reading your take as well as javabeans’. Thank you very much!

    2. I know he’s just a side character, but I’m very interested in Hyo-sun’s uncle. What’s he up to and why. In the early episodes we were given a glimpse into his mind when Eun-jo asked him to fetch Ki-hoon for her. When he is mindlessly talking to Ki-hoon we learn that the rice-wine company used to belong to his father and somehow Dae-sung became the owner. He was saying that he didn’t have any other place to go and I don’t remember the rest. I wonder if he is selling secrets to Ki-jung in order to get back at Dae-sung for taking the company away? or some similar feeling…

    3. After the time skip I had hoped that Eun-jo would have softened up a bit, but it seems that those early childhood scars are etched very deeply unto her soul. I also wonder if she made any friends in college or if she had any fun. Current signs point to no. I can’t imagine being Eun-jo, but I empathize with her as well as Hyo-sun. Moreso with Hyo-sun, since I find myself a bit aimless right now, and although I’m an only child, I imagine the built up resentment Hyo-sun has toward Eun-jo. The actresses have done a very good job with these characters.

  28. 28 heejung

    thank you!!!!
    these characters are just so intense. all the scenes with eunjo and her mom just about broke my heart, because i can relate just a little bit. kangsook’s actress is really spectacular! she plays the character with layers on layers, and so does everyone else. the part where hyosun was crying at eunjo’s bedside confused me a bit, though – i can’t figure out whether she means that her spiteful words were all lies, or whether her “don’t die, unni ya” was the lie and “i wanted to say that you fainted to make yourself look good” truth.
    taecyeon’s kinda giving me annoying stalker creeper vibes right now, but that might just be my kihoon bias talking. 😀

  29. 29 kmmhhbicnw

    Thanks so much for the wonderful recaps. You and JB are great. I’m loving this drama so much. Can anyone tell me the name of the actor who plays Ki-hoon’s eldest brother, plz?

  30. 30 Minch

    Hi Girlfriday!

    You’ve excelled once again! You’re a true angel in disguise.

  31. 31 heejung

    (sorry to double post)
    @26 icechocolate: moon geun-young’s been compared to go hyun jung a lot, even being called the younger version of GHJ and suchlike. you’re not the only one! they really do resemble each other^^

  32. 32 Yen

    Terrific recap! Can’t wait to see 7 & 8 this week.

  33. 33 Valentina

    thanks for the recap ^^

  34. 34 nabi

    Just to comment on “That’s what happens when you go away for eight years to a country with no phones. Wait…are there phones in America?” – Seriously. Kim Kyu-wan has an annoying habit of using this kind of embarrassing and ridiculous nonsense as the foundation on which major conflicts develop. She did that in Dr. Gang as well. I couldn’t understand why the main guy feels such guilt over something he couldn’t do anything about and it was a major flaw that made it difficult for me to be able to fully enjoy the show..

    I was heart-broken to see Daesung so hurt when Eun-jo said the only reason she stayed is so she could repay her debt to him. I only have praises for Kim Gab-soo.. he’s wonderful.

    Someone suggested what Daesung says to Jun-su when cooing him to sleep might mean something. (“You evil boy, you evil boy, you evil and adorable boy, you you you adorable boy”) We get a sneak peak of Jun-su’s violent temperament (which is unlike his dad) which could be a hint that maybe he’s not Daesung’s son.. and what Daesung says when cooing Jun-su could indicate that he’s aware of it. I thought this argument is pretty convincing. If this turns out to be correct, poor dad.. T.T

    When KH said “okay sure thing” to HS’s “propose” I freaked out immediately because I was suddenly reminded of Que Sera Sera. I was like, “is this foreshadowing that they’ll actually get married at some point???? Nooooooo” It’s ridiculous how badly I want KH and EJ together at the end.

    That cold and menacing glance Kang-sook shoots at HS upon seeing HS scream at EJ.. I’m afraid the time is near that she’ll finally reveal herself as cinderella’s evil step mother.

  35. 35 girlfriday

    @ heejung: The short answer? It’s complicated and therefore open to interpretation.

    The long answer? (and why I didn’t say one way or the other in the recap) is that she’s as conflicted as her words sound. So I don’t think you can read all of her words as “I mean ABC but don’t mean XYZ.” I think her back and forth between “DIE!” and “Unni, I love you, don’t die!” are her stream of consciousness and what she’s really feeling in the moment. Her words sound contradictory because her feelings are, so she means everything, but also doesn’t mean any of it, either.

    I know. I didn’t help to clarify. Hence the not declaring it either way; you see the conundrum? But I suppose that’s why I find her character so interesting.

  36. 36 nabi

    sorry for the double post but I forgot to add how much I enjoy reading your recap. Thanks girlfriday!

  37. 37 le meera

    i never hated Seo Woo/Hyo Sun, but I never felt much for her – but now I feel that I’m rooting for her, because I feel so bad that she knows she has faults, and I start thinking that Eun-jo is a complete bitch with her answer when Hyo Sun was telling her not to die – but then Eun-jo and her mother comes up, and it confuses me even more.

    I can’t decide who I like/hate more. 😐

  38. 38 gr4c3

    i got misty eyes on those last scene.. geez… Thank you soooo much for the deep recap. Luv it.

  39. 39 Lemon

    i’ve been waiting for this recap all day! thanks girlfriday for this recap 😀

  40. 40 maria

    She can’t win…these two will always be in sync, whether in bliss or in misery, and they’ll always leave her out.

    this is the line that made me realize how much i’ve come to sympathize/empathize with hyo sun.. she IS the snooty biotch, but when you wrote that, i remembered that i knew why. and it’s not a thing you can blame JUST her for. i love the truth of it, for ki hoon and eun jo, but it’s also precisely the truth of it– for hyo sun– that makes it heartbreaking.
    for her, it makes me want to say, :i wish we just loved the people who would also come to love us as we love them” ….even though, yeah, that doesn’t make sense to me either. but just when i read that, it was a tiny tiny wish.

    thanks, girlfriday. my crush on your writing grows with every episode. that’s what you get for growing up on awesome juice, eh? :)

  41. 41 nabi

    @ 9 mimi: Same here. The writer has turned him into a total wishy washy jacka*s which is nothing like how he was 8 years ago. She should realize how much people started resenting KH for his behaviors in Ep 6. Please don’t do that to our Ki-hoon, writer.

    And I agree with you on the use of “unni-ya” as well.

  42. 42 shu

    i want to watch. but i don’t want to watch. i don’t want to see ki hoon and eun jo falling out for real. i like jung woo. but he is making ki hoon sad! when will the letter appear? i want the two of them to be together. but what if their time has passed, and jung woo has taken over. even though both of them go through desperate times in life, and sad times, but eun jo’s ice wall is damn hard to melt. and i don’t want ki hoon backing out! =/

  43. 43 smiles

    Thanks for your excellent recaps as someone who doesn’t understand Korean your insight helps me understand a little more that i would miss from just direct or miss translation.

    This isn’t usually necessary cos well Korean drama’s are not usually complicated or often layered – but this drama is a different beast and your recaps have actually enhanced my veiwing pleasure, making me understand the characters in a way i wouldn’t with out them.

    This drama is truly what i’ve been waiting for since i’ve been watching K-dramas something interesting, complex and different from the norm…so please keep it up!

    Thanks again

  44. 44 maria

    @33 girlfriday:

    that makes sense– it’s not that she doesn’t mean either of the statements, it’s that she means them both. i think, though it’s confusing to us, i think we can let the subject rest at that it gives us insight into precisely how confusing and complex hyo sun is and how that plays into what she externalizes. she’s not even paddling 2 rivers at this point… it’s like she’s paddling 10. all at the same time. :S

  45. 45 robotmatsuri

    Thank you so much girlfriday, especially for the last part in the hospital! Ugh, such a horrible mother… man, I feel so badly for Eun Jo… :(

  46. 46 yap

    thanks for the recap… i really wan ej to end up with kh!!!i miss the smiling kh!!!
    i dunno i feel jw gettin to my nerve.. haha!! hope i can find to like him soon!!
    i saw the bts pic.. i hope kh don’t kiss hs(ergh)

  47. 47 ena

    THANKS GIRLFRIDAY!!! it’s an awesome recap for a great show!!! I really like how the show is panning out and the inner conflicts within and between the characters.

  48. 48 (:

    “But it’s the perfect thing for their relationship, as they’re two girls of the same age who were thrown together as sisters.”
    hmm i’m a bit confused. but isn’t EJ supposed to be older than HS?

  49. 49 FT

    @9 Mimi YEAH I’m annoyed with Ki Hoon’s ‘generous oppa’ attitude towards Hyo Sun too. He’s not clueless that Hyo Sun is so possessive of him, he was also uncomfortable when she fed him in front of Eun Jo. But you can’t be Mr Nice Guy without hurting anyone, brother! And that’s also partly why you can’t get your girl!

  50. 50 djes

    (darn suck internet connection! I wrote a long comment and it disappeared after I hit submit comment button! :( )

    great job Girlfriday, your recaps made me have teary eyes…at the office.
    awesome recaps!

    I agree that maybe it’s good that Jung Woo doesn’t need to talk much. And Taecyeon has been doing good with his facial expressions. He even once said that he was happy that he doesn’t have many dialogues to say. And his gestures show much more meaning without words.

    All the casts are doing great jobs. No one has been disappointing me so far.

    The story is so sad, it’s really heartbreaking to see the sisters, because somehow obviously they love each other, but they also hurt each other.
    Both MGY and Seo Woo are awesome, I’m always in awe seeing their acting.

  51. 51 candidmom

    I love your recap. I love blog hopping, but never read every word in a blog posts that exceeds 300 words. Lols. In your case, your posts are outstandingly interesting. Love them and I love you!

    Keep it up girl! :*


  52. 52 natashabuin

    without fail, you impressed me with your superb and witty recapped for every single episode.thanks to you, i’m in love with Eun-jo day by day regardless how ‘inhuman’ she is sometimes or how ki-hoon sad expression over his unconditional love for Eun-jo.Girlfriday jjang!

  53. 53 dimsum

    hello!~~ wonderful recap 😀

    epi 6 saved me from dropping this drama. epi 5 roughed me up so bad.

    1) i’m about to beat up kihoon. why is he asking for so much from ej when he was the one who left and didn’t say goodbye properly? he wants to know why she’s acting the way she does – DOI! the nerve! why don’t you try apologizing first for abandoning her before you act like the victim. personally, i think he’s acting very selfishly. maybe he’d get treated more decently if he tried to repair what he has damaged first. this is NOT all eunjo’s fault – they were doing so well with eunjo showing him her award, studying earnestly and he up and leaves her. suffer kihoon! suffer!

    2) when ej got dragged outside – they were talking about hs and kh was saying no no you got it wrong there’s nothing going on between me and her? HUH???? why is this the big issue now. what about him leaving her abruptly and not even caring to contact her for 8 years. isn’t that more important?

    3) stepmom is a delicious bitch. i get so riled up watching her. she’s wonderful. 😀

    4) i hope to see more interaction between junsu and ej. i’d like to see how that goes, maybe junsu can help heal ej some. he gives so generously.

    —thanks again for the recaps—

  54. 54 surferbunny

    Hi, thanks for the interesting recap.

    I think, that Daesung actually sees rigth through the character of his wife. Even if he does not say anything about her lies – he knows that there is something wrong. Eunjuns mom is just too fake, trying to hide her bad side.

    When you are married to somebody you will reveal the good and bad side of yourself, but Kangsook is trying too hard to look good in front of Daesung … maybe she is also a victim of surcumstances … to have to give up of her own dignity in order to survive with her child.

    As Eunjun, she also cannot take the chance to love sincerly, because she fears that she might be chased out of her home by Daesung when she would show him her true self. That is why she is holding on this Jang ajussi – not because she loves him, but as somebody who knows Kangsook’s bad and good side and she can talk to.

    But this is only my assumptions on those two charakters.

  55. 55 goldenlotus

    Girlfriday, THANKS! Another amazing recap and insights as always.

    Aren’t you glad tomorrow is Wednesday already! =)

  56. 56 Jana

    LOVE every bit of it! Thanks for the recap. Love it. Looking forward to another episode. I’m totally hooked. :)

  57. 57 mookie

    thanks for the awesome recaps, girlfriday and JB!

    I’m owned by this drama still. I’m invested in these ppl now and even though KiHoon is losing me, and bits of plot development caused some headdesking… I’m hopelessly attached.

    I’ve never loved Kim Kyu-wan’s work completely. 5, 6 have plot points I don’t appreciate and bulk of it was KiHoon’s development. I think set aside my ogling of CJM’s yummy face, I vexed by every line and action of his in 6 and I chose to not rem any of it. I’m nodding madly at the no telephone nonsense, the whole HS/KH PDA in EJ’s face, however passive a partner on his part (tbh I’m pissed, esp after that intense exchange end of 5, I feel like I have to invent explanations to KH’s benefit to appease myself, not sure how long I can stick w/ it, writer-shii) and I cant help but find that Chosen King/Prince diatribe very trite. It’s like he’s lost his sensitivity chip entirely and we’re still going out on a limb that he’s EJ’s daddylonglegs/soulmate/OTP ?! I still wanna hug and pet him (mainly because he’s CJM) and I do pity him having that royal anus of a father, but be kind to our EJ and HS now, mind u.

    I’m still madfangirling CJM but if I put on my rational cap, I’m up for EJ moving on IF Miss Writer is able to pull it off. Realistically, first love/crush seldom materialized to life partners, c’est la vie. We’re 16 once and once only, we fell bad, we bleed, we pained, we wailed, but we moved on and carved out a new normal as an adult, that’s growing pains… and life. I appreciate the growth in EJ, she’s more assured she’s in the driver seat of her life now up to the point of KH abrupt reappearance. Considering all those morsels of life’s ‘wisdoms’ her mom has been instilling (eg a smile is never w/o an agenda…) she knew she has a heart, but she’s extra cautious to even let ppl near it. She’s actively pushing DS away and severing the bond btn them because staying would mean webbing deeper into her mom’s lies and manipulations, and stealing of the fatherly love that should be HS’, not rightfully hers esp if the marriage to begin w/ was 1 big ponzi scheme.

    But I do love how intriguing HS has become in 5, 6 and all the darker, denser family dynamics. It’s like pulling out my gut and I do riled up every scene of Mom+ EJ. And I do see her exactly as EJ sees her, part monster, part mom. Who are we to judge if we were in KS’ shoes, having to feed food fr trash to her child and seeing her almost dying because of your exact deed to keep her alive?!…and similar devastations must have happened thro out the years and positive we’ll not be hardened beyond repair and remorse?! she’s not some holier than thou woman to begin w/, never claimed to be, she’s just trying to cease every opportunity comes her way and survives. She knew she’s made numerous abhorable decisions along the way . Life’s a bitch, she’s a bitch and EJ is one as well, welcome to her ‘beggars cant be choosers’ world.

    I’m hoping and praying we’ll get some Bside on KiHoon. I’m begging.

  58. 58 crzycpl

    Kang-sook is exactly like Madam Kang from BOF. They’re both soooo evil, you just can’t help but love them. But undeniably, in the end, their actions (they justify) are for the benefit of their kids. Whilst we, as viewers, cannot comprehend their actions as being their way of showing affection to their kids, if we could all just see it from their twisted view, maybe we can understand?

    Why is Eun-jo’s pride so much more important than being together with Ki-hoon? It’s because she can’t understand love, especially when it is directed at her. Take her relationship with Dae-sung. Which, by the way, I love. Seriously, how can this relationship be more perfect? He totally gets her and is sooo patient.

    Again… why the unfinished sentences, Ki-hoon??? WHY CAN’T YOU JUST FINISH YOUR SENTENCES?? Hmph!

    The drunken stupor that Eun-jo and Ki-hoon became was just hilarious. That scene where both lie on the ground and Jung-woo stands in the middle … the caption should have read … ‘what the?’.

    I totally agree with you that Hyo-sun’s character is amazing. Seo Woo’s eyes are less distracting now with her new hairstyle so I can look at her again 😀 Seo Woo is doing a great job as Hyo-sun. Actually, they all are. Solid cast.

    Anyway, too excited about today’s episode. Thanks for the recaps. At least now I’m up to speed with what’s going on.

  59. 59 an_nhien

    thank you for the recap!

    I had just notice that Moon has very very teary eyes! She looks like she’s crying in all of the caps :))

  60. 60 J

    I’m loving the development of the characters EJ, KH and HS!

    Thanks for this wonderful recap!

  61. 61 chriskk

    Maybe it’s just me, but I like HS way more than EJ. I’m getting really tired of EJ’s “don’t love me, I don’t trust you, I don’t deserve love” attitude. How can it last 8 years!
    HS is a spoilt child, but I think it will be EJ’s fault if she ever turn evil in future. After all, we can see that every negative action of HS is either directly or indirectly caused by EJ. This drama is suppose to show us the other side of the evil stepsister and we’re suppose to feel empathy for her, but I am not.

  62. 62 Deborah

    TOTALLY loving JW/EJ, but the KH/EJ is still nice… kind of.
    My JW/EJ shippy heart did backflips after watching this:
    Even if you don’t like them, it’s worthy to take a look… EJ not only smiles, but she laughs too! And who doesn’t like jealous Ki-hoon? 😉

    Thanks for the great recaps. I love you guys.

  63. 63 müge

    as a watcher that finished the whole 6 eps in a day, I regretted to ignore that drama. in fact, I had 2 reasons; fisrt one is to be a fan of PT and also I don’t like melodramas. but after I’ve seen such different and strong characters espically EJ, I decided to follow the next eps.
    I should say that I already like MGY and she acts perfect even just with her eyes. I didn’t know CJM till that drama and I loved his smile.
    I really wonder what changes comes in the next eps, especially KH’s role.
    as I said before, I don’t like seo woo herself as she seems too unnatural to me, and also her character really irritated me. I couldn’t believe to be such a fool and also too good-hearted girl in the world.
    anyway, as a whole the drama has something special and also different thigns compared to other dramas. it’s really good..

  64. 64 Ri

    Thanks for the recap, girlfriday! I love that both you and javabeans are recapping CS because, while you’re both equally insightful, it’s fun to have 2 different approaches – both of which can be pretty hilarious. haha.

    New episode tonight! Can’t wait! :)

  65. 65 rainerust

    @33 girlfriday

    MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY! (on Hyo-sun’s internal/external soliloquy)

    …oh dear, your recaps are always so amazing and EXACTLY what I think it’s scary! In an awesome kind of way. I always want to doublecheck what you and JB make of the dramas I watch too! Anyway, brilliant analysis of this whole episode, and I’m dying to watch the next few. Somehow, Seo Woo’s character is REALLY, REALLY growing on me. The irony is that she started out with exactly what Eun-jo is growing to have, and now she’s growing to understand what Eun-jo started with, and both of them hate what they can’t change now (the start, the process, the end) and they’re both struggling to deal with that, which is beautifully, beautifully layered. I can’t even begin to elucidate how fascinating I find this drama! Can’t wait til your next recap, girlfriday!

  66. 66 Porcelain

    Thanks for the recaps girlfriday…

    Emotional… very…

    Not gonna comment on the “square” or triangle love…. but on mummy and daddy…

    Daddy breaks my heart… how he truly loves Eun Jo…
    Mummy kills me, with her “different kinda love” for Eun Jo too…

    Damn… I love Lee Mi Sook… I just can’t wait for the day when I savor this whole drama in whole and take in all of her awesomeness…

  67. 67 jastinel

    Ive cried countless times with this drama, there are so many heart wrenching scenes.
    MGY, she`s amazing actress!

  68. 68 djinni

    thanks for the fix. i was totally in withdrawl

  69. 69 Larkspur

    Thanks again Girlfriday!!! Thanks to you and Javabeans! Can hardly wait for the next!!!

  70. 70 lilly

    Javabeans you stated my feelings exactly. In the 2 last episodes SW/HS stole the show to me. In the first 4 episodes she had an innocent, childish, too trusting to be annoying vibe but now the character aura changed and SW has done a great job.

  71. 71 supah

    Anyone reading this is going to hate me but all I’m seeing is characters boxed in, in frustrating situations and torturing themselves with just their thoughts. It’s like angst purely for the sake of angst.
    Nice to see they’re moving away from the conventional with this drama, but nothing is actually hap.pen.ing – to explain all that bloody angst!
    Can’t bear to watch anymore. Maybe I’ll pick it up again later and marathon it if it doesn’t have a tragic ending.

  72. 72 Alert

    Girlfriday, my Jung Woo salute to you for such a brilliant recap! It’s like watching the drama all over again, and not ashamed to say that I cried and laughed while reading this. I simply love your words! And I’m glad that both you and JB are doing the recaps (I’m so loving various recappers on a drama!)

    As for the drama, I love the way the story shifted towards HS now, as in the early eps, we kept on hearing EJ voiceover, but after the 8 years time-gap, we had the chance to listen to HS’s heart content. Eps 5-6 are totally the time for HS to shine.

    And the mum! Wow, she’s simply amazing. This is one character I totally love to hate, and I’ve been enjoying every single moment of her scenes. I wish she’d get an award or something for this!

    If I were EJ, I couldn’t forgive KH too, and I totally hate how KH changed over the course of 8 years. I miss his sincere smile the most. It’s sad that he’d changed that much (should I blame the writer then?. And the fact that after 8 years, KH came back just to mess everything with everybody (intentionally or unintentionally) – it sucks even more. Have some backbone, will you Ki Hoon oppa?

  73. 73 Kristy

    @ girlfriday,

    Your way of recapping the story is totally totally TOTALLY amazing. I love your view and the way you write about it. I think the drama is awesome but your recap is the largest-portion-of-icing-ever-found-on-earth on the delicious drama cake!!!

    Thanks for making the drama even better. Thanks for taking the time to recap/analyze another episode as well. appreciated it.

  74. 74 imel

    thank you so much girlfriday….

    This series makes me analyze lots of things……..
    *big hug*
    *lots of kisses*

  75. 75 Madita

    Thank you for the recap :)

    This drama is getting better and better, I love it.

    All characters are well played. But I am mostly intrigued by SW’s Hyusun.

    I like EJ, too. But her rudeness, coldness puts me off. I know a lot of people ho had suffered through bad circumstancess in life. But they never treat other people so badly, behave so impolite. Its hard for me to feel sympathy for EJ, eve I love, ador MGY’s superb acting. Nevertheless I also still think, that she has the easier part to play in this drama.

    Regardin SW’s acting, she still leaves me with an ambivalent feeling behind.
    She always let me ask myself whether she really going to be the bad girl or not.
    At least she is balancing on the verge of it, and thats what I also like of HS.

    In my eyes she lost everything with taking KS and EJ into her house…
    She dreamed of a big family, of a lovely mother and a great sister as friend to compensate her loneliness as a child. I dont think that a fathers love, espacially like the one of an authority person like her father DS was enough for her as achild. Children always have a great hunger for the love of a mother….Its heartbreaking.
    But gettining a mother and a sister did bring her the opposite. She lost her father love and attention, knows how fake the love of her stepmother is, and her stepsister hates her. Not enough, the person she was looking up fore, adored and gave her the feeling of security KH betrayed her innocent love, too.

    She should become more mean as EJ with this feelings….
    But she is still struggling with her old naive, good natured temper….
    It makes me really sad to see, how eager she is to get a little bit affection, sympathy from EJ. I am sure she would give EJ immediately KH as a present by herself, if EJ just would have loved her as a sister….

    Well, this drama is really good and I am looking forward to the new episodes and recaps…
    Love it, its a great alternative to all the romcoms aired now…

  76. 76 aberdeen_angus

    Ooohhh, at last I can like this show! This episode was the best so far, although I still hate Ki-hoon and love Hyo-sun, the deepest character of them all (if her contradictions and tribulations are handled properly).

    Thanks for the recap!

  77. 77 v2in

    BRILLIANT! girlfriday, you rock! Your recap is wonderful.. now that I see the character development from your angle it makes much more sense.

  78. 78 sugarpunch

    thanks girlfriday. awesome recap this time. I had problems understanding this ep and u cleared it all up! thanks!

  79. 79 heejung

    @33 girlfriday: thanks for taking the time to reply to my question!! ^^ actually, that really does help clear things up (at least for me). looking at hyosun’s character, the whole ‘conflicting emotions are both what she’s feeling’ thing makes a lot of sense. lovely, it’s been so long since i have seen a drama with characters complex enough to confuse 😀

  80. 80 acuvue

    I loooooved the scream at the end! So dramatic! Yet so real. It was like she was letting out the past 24(?) years of her life, and wondering what the heck she had been doing and where she would go. She was wondering if things will ever change. I’m not in a similar situation family-wise at all, but I think we all know a moment of angst where we just need to scream, but hold it in. Maybe we should just scream sometimes and see what happens.

    On to Ep. 7!

  81. 81 anna

    For someone who has lived with each other, seeing each other every day, for 8 long years. How can they not learn to love each other? Even with the time gap, Eun-jo has yet to break out of her shelf. What the heck did she do in that 8 years time? It’s so sad that someone has to live that way. :(

    And the mom, wth? Does she feel NOTHING for Dae-sung at all? He’s such a good man.

  82. 82 Niki

    Super thanks for the summary! I thought your comments were hilarious.
    “But then he sees her walk away from him and has the pouty face of why-doesn’t-she-love-me? Oh, you two.”

    “She can’t win…these two will always be in sync, whether in bliss or in misery.”
    Love your comments! XD

    I like how you’re giving us equal insights on HS and EJ’s thoughts and actions. Keep up the great work. And keep those recaps coming!! I look forward to ’em!

  83. 83 e sonne

    agree. sometimes i have a mixed feeling about EJ. i want to pity her, but she was too rude and impolite to EVERYONE. at first i thought she was still a teenager, so the anger inside her bloated up. but now that she’s already an adult and act rude and full of harsh word, i cannot think anything about her anymore.

    in REAL LIFE, if i met anyone like her, i would really hate that personality. like, wth? i bet nobody would like being treated that way too.

    but, dont get me wrong. MGY is really an amazing actress. just that i dont agree with her character.

  84. 84 bjharm

    well there are certain korean K-drama rules that are never broken. One all Korean woman have wrists made of steel and two all Korean males do not know how to use a cell phone when leaving a girl waiting..:-)
    I likely not watch the rest of this show, angst and melodrama just not my thing, the first episodes had enough humour in there to keep me going but as it seems to be heading into my lover really my brother and my dog dying of cancer and how else can we make life tragic…I will skip out now. I may catch it at a later stage.

  85. 85 salt

    thank you for your recaps. a funny and interesting read as always.

    i’m more intrigued by hyosun’s character right now. she’s appears so shallow on the surface- a spoiled pampered princess, but there are more layers beneath the surface which made her fascinating and intrguing. i like the quiet moments when her dilemmas and heartbreak were portrayed. seowoo is a good actress.

    i’m hoping for more jung-woo scenes in the coming episodes. he’s such a sweet loyal kid. and the eyecandy factor of taecyon is a bonus… 😉

  86. 86 Mel

    One thing that’s always stuck in my head: was there anything in the past that caused the Mom to be like that – cuz I’m sure there’s more to her layers than just gold digger or yearning for a roof over her head etc. I hope the scriptwriters give it a go in the future episodes

    Thanks for the recap!

  87. 87 Snikki

    I keep forgetting this is a Wed-Thurs drama, I got used to looking forward to Mondays and Tuesdays.

    I have a feeling the uncle’s nefarious activity has something to do with the Hongs.

    Anyway, thanks, girlfriday! You and JB are doing an awesome job!

  88. 88 blkrose

    I really didn’t want to watch this drama. I didn’t want to cry again so soon, WISFC.
    But these great recaps have sucked me in…..
    Why, Eun-jo? Why do you have to be so cold to Dae-sung? After eight years?

  89. 89 holey moley

    love you and javabeans’ recaps….

    anywaay, this drama just keeps on getting better…
    have watched ep 7 raw(w/c shows how im so addicted to this show), not as amazing as ep 6 for me (ep 4 is still the best one for me…i smiled and cried several times) but still great though…

    SPOILER: i love the interaction bet ej and jw, and i may change ship, well originally the prince charming was supposed to be with cinderella right? and i also love the father/stepdaughter interaction but im so sad that an expected but not welcomed scenario will happen to dad, w/c will broke my heart because i love dad and mad respect to kim gab soo, why does the original cinderella should be like that…i appeal that there should be an exemption….

  90. 90 hartofseeker

    actually… when you have to face a crapload of hardships, with a parent that you can’t rely on/despise/can’t tear away from because it’s your mom…. all the anger can make you become a reallll jerkface and be very spiny like a porcupine… ^^;; being a jerk and put everyone down is the way that she could preserve some sort of dignity and pride, like choosing to deal with extreme self-despising (because of her mom’s actions) by putting on a facade of extreme arrogance… you can kinda see that in the conversation eunjo had with daesung telling him not to be so nice… she doesn’t like herself… i’ve been like that before…. maybe that’s why I like the writer’s portrayal so much? no… “like” is an understatement… more like “love”

    in any case, i think this is why this drama is so awesome… you’re not really supposed to differentiate who’s good and who’s evil among the main characters (as much as i hate kangsook, her dialogue with eunjo about her bet with the gods kinda bounced me back); each of them has their own, very human rationale and way of seeing the world… understanding how human their way of thinking is can only arouse pity– that tragically their past made them perceive things in such a twisted way so that they can’t even bring themselves to enjoy the good and beautiful– but not really hatred? you can’t get a black and white here… at most different shades of grey that changes throughout the story (ok… maybe daesung is the exception of being totally white so far haha)

  91. 91 asianromance

    thank you so much for the recap! Poor everyone in this series except Kang-sook. I don’t think Eun-jo had expected to stay for 8 years and to be stuck with her conniving mother even though she is an adult now. That’s got to take a toll on a person. And Hyo-sun- never being able to keep up with anyone.

    I really like how both girls get equal time and effort in characterization. The duality really makes this show worth watching. I think I can sort of understand EJ’s coldness now. If she was nice, then when they found out what her mother was really doing and when they found out why EJ was really here, then these people would have felt hurt and betrayed. She doesn’t want to accidentally trick someone into thinking she’s worthy person to love. If she remained cold, then they could have walked away saying, “she was always kind of a bitch”. And I guess she had gotten into the habit of being rude. It seems like her life was really isolated. It was always her, her mom, and whatever loser her mom was dating. And the only way to talk to people like her mom and those losers is to be rude.

    now that the cat is out of the bad- i hope the mom doesn’t kill Daesung before he divorces her- you know in order to keep the money…

  92. 92 hmi4

    On EJ / DS. I don’t think she’s being cold just to be obstinately distant. She’s not a sore emo kid anymore who scoffs at any sort of affection/sincerity just to protect herself. At this point, it’s more like protecting her father. She’s doing what KangHa from WUAS was doing. They’re both so afraid of calling the stepparent “mom” or “dad” because they feel undeserving. If she clings onto him now, only to have her mother betrays him later, it’s like stabbing her father twice. She would feel like she had used him like her mother had. And furthermore, I don’t think EJ wants the burden of DS’s possible accusation. IMO she cares enough about his opinions of her whether she shows it or not. This way, she can’t possibly be viewed as unsincere since she’s never been sweet in the first place. Ah, writer, please don’t kill off dearest father. If he becomes the sacrificial lamb in order for your damn histrionics to move along, I will drop the drama without a blink.

    On EJ / KH. This boat ain’t sailing. I’m a bit tired of the OTPs still madly in love with each other after years of separation scenario. I mean, who does that? Normal ppl woulda moved on already. 8 yrs without a word of communication is really stretching it. And when the person comes back being as frustrating as KH has been, I’d be annoyed too. One minute he’s aloof, the next he’s pissy. First he acts like he’s not on familiar terms with her, then he’s upset she treats him the same way. Like OMG dude, I don’t read minds. Then he goes and accomodates HS’s touchy feeling antics. That’s leading her on! No wonder EJ snaps at him “Does HS think the same way?” Like, umm, she’s hanging on your arm, which means you two are either dating, or she’s an accessory. Pick one. It almost feels like she’s annoyed at KH and being protective over HS, and she doesn’t like for HS to be an accessory to anyone.

    Ahh, definitely more interested in the family dynamics at this point than the romance.

  93. 93 Penn

    Job well done, Girlfriday!!! Thank you for the recap.

  94. 94 Biscuit

    Thanks for the recap! So fun and interesting to read~

    Though, about the alcohol incident between Eun-jo and Ki-hoon: Hyo-sun was trying to order some alcohol from a different company, but Eun-jo insisted on the rice wine from their family to help promote it. She ordered 3 bottles, but Hyo-sun can’t drink it because she’s driving. So Eun-jo drinks the alcohol to finish it, even though she can’t handle liquor… but it’s to promote their alcohol and SOMEONE has to drink up those 3 large bottles of liquor. So Ki-hoon sort of helps finish the liquor (though.. there was some competition there…)

    BTW, last scene = awesome cliffhanger ending.

  95. 95 hartofseeker

    o yeah btw… Kihoon apparently didn’t contact ANYONE at the winery all those 8 yrs… not just eunjo…. so i don’t think telephone or no telephone in America matters =P

  96. 96 tina

    I think the reason why this drama is so addicting (seriously, it’s like crack) is the characters are so damn relatable.

    Also, thank you so much for these recaps! To both javabeans and girlfriday. Your recaps have insights that I either completely missed or wasn’t able to articulate.

    It seems eunjo opened up in her own weird backwards way. Little gestures or things that she just says offhand shows the development in her character if not her outward attitude. Just the fact that she refuses to even give kihoon the time of day seems to be partly because of her own hurt and sense of betrayal but also because of the fact that she thinks HS and KH have a little.. something..

    That last scene… omg. She totally blew me away as did kangsook. And kangsook’s character creeps me the hell out because she’s so similar to my own mother. Weird. But you seriously just can’t hate her. Or at least I can’t. Her little speech gave me shivers down my spine.

    I’m liking jungwoo’s character. The in and out dialect kind of distracted me in the beginning but he seems exactly like the innocent loving soul that he was when he had those adorably chubby cheeks.

    Kyaa~ Can’t wait to watch today and tomorrow’s epi. And next week’s recaps 😀

  97. 97 sam

    @ 71 supah “Anyone reading this is going to hate me but all I’m seeing is characters boxed in, in frustrating situations and torturing themselves with just their thoughts. It’s like angst purely for the sake of angst.”

    To a certain extend I do agree with you. People can’t read minds. So if you feel bad…COMMUNICATE!!! That’s what I try to do in my life. But then we won’t have this drama, won’t we? :)

    To those who said that Eun Jo is alway rude to everyone all the time even after 8 yrs. I disagree.
    Ep 1-4 timespan is about a few months before and after they became family. Episode 5 – 6 is about a few weeks after 8 years passed. Eun Jo DO change after 8 years. If not she won’t be able to make the business bigger. Big enough to threat Hong Liquor business. Even after 8 years, she don’t suffer fools gladly. Hence her conversation to HS about HS’s dream. And her conversation with the man who is interested to marry her. It’s obvious to her that he is interested in her because of DS winery. Not because of her. If she is rude to everyone, I don’t think her sunbae will recommend her to that guy. She do change. It’s just that we were shown only her interactions with family.

    Eun Jo only flaw is her pride. Pride is a double edge sword. It makes you stand on your own two feet…hence she works real hard to be where she is now. AND it makes you stubborn. Stone headed. In ep 4 there are 2 times that her conviction that HS is faking her affection for Eun Jo is shaken. One when she sees that HS is concern about her bloody lips and another one when HS gave her the socks to cover the beatings scar. But after 8 years, she is just civil to HS. She do look down on HS because HS didn’t use her privileges. She have money, dad’s, Eun Jo mom’s, heck…everyone attention and she didn’t achieve anything!! I’ll be pissed off too at people like that!!!

    Eun Jo works hard in DS business. Not to take it from HS. She loves the job especially the research side. She knows that she is able to stand on her own two feet. Hence, her asking DS to let her go when the time comes. She feels the time has come when HS said that she is dating KH. She don’t need DS business. She is smart enough to start her own! She stays because she feel indebted to DS, raising her and treating her as family. He is the rock in her existence. I never doubt that Eun Jo loves DS, but she feels that she doesn’t deserved DS love and affection because of her mom.

    HS is needy. She still use the same OPW to get her way even even when she’s 24. OPW might work when you were in your teen/children but it don’t work when you are an adult. Grow up! Find your dream!. Find your place in the sun! In a way, Eun Jo is showing her the way. By being a model. Eun Jo didn’t sugar coated it. She made sure HS is fired up enough to do it herself.

    I learned something from EJ and DS conversation when EJ said she’s indebted to DS and he feels hurt. We need to feel grateful or say thanks when other people help or shower love to us. We should not just give love but we need to know how to receive love also.

    Sincerity in all relationship. Be true to yourself!

    This one is a very good recap Girlfriday. TQ.
    “She can’t win…these two will always be in sync, whether in bliss or in misery, and they’ll always leave her out.”
    Agree wholeheartedly with you. I think there’s more to KH than meets the eyes. I still ship EJ-KH.

  98. 98 lb_tmi

    @ 96 tina
    i wonder if the in and out dialect is supposed to be on purpose. like he only speaks to her w/ the dialect so she’ll remember him.. and w/ others, he uses no dialect so that he’s not so backwoods? btw.. how is Taec’s speaking w/ the dialect? is it good? passable?

    i am loving SW’s portrayal of HS. it’s so deep, simple and yet so complicated all at the same time. and MGY.. she’s just AMAZING!!! her eyes. HER! EYES! and that wail at the end… WOW!

    i’m so not feeling KH at this point. i can’t believe he is still gonna go thru w/ taking away the ONE PLACE he’s felt AT HOME, for a creep that has never been a father to him. i’m almost ready to jump ship.

    anyone waiting for KH to laugh in front of EJ or call her “eunjo-yah” just to see how she’s gonna kill him?


  99. 99 Lois

    Thanks for the recap.
    I don’t understand why dae sung would care so much for his step daughter whom he knew his new wife is a wealth digger that he neglected his very own daughter – paying less attention to her education and her emotional needs but taking responsibility for others and giving less love to his own daughter.

    I should say that Hye son will be crafty or jealousy will sip in as usual in kdrama because being left behind by those close to her that she will act more rashly.

    I am glad Paju movie, the lead actor won an award in Spain and Seo Woo acted in that movie so that mean her acting is good if not very good !. Hope to see more of her in future dramas. I liked her in Tamna the island.

  100. 100 Free

    great recap, as always, thanks, GF !

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