Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 10
by | May 4, 2010 | 130 Comments

Dang, I know I said Dae-sung should have died, but now that he has, I feel kind of bad about it. It’s just that this is the angst I was expecting in Episode 8; it’s been delayed one very long week, which explains why I agree with some of javabeans’ general lack of enthusiasm for Episode 9. (More on this below.) For the record, I am firmly in the column of “Thinks Eun-jo LIED About the Goddamn Letter Because Her Heart is a Stone Wrapped in Thorns Encased in Ice” and NOT in the “Because She Lurves Her Sister” column. Because c’mon. Who’re we kidding here?

I have no illusions about Eun-jo being a nice girl, or good-hearted deep down. That oversimplifies her. So I’m not in her camp because I have some hope of her becoming some redeemed saint. I think she’s dark, damaged, and now…verging on becoming the antagonist…which is why I dig her. Call me sick or twisted, but I am so with this girl, and I’m riveted by her attempts to resemble a human being with a heart. That said, I’ve got more than a bone or two to pick with where we’re going storywise, especially in the department of how fast we’re getting there. Because pace? Is not thine friend, Show.


Eun-jo is busy fielding work calls, even in her mourning clothes. She’s got the thousand-yard stare going on, grasping at anything work-related to keep her busy, and her mind off of reality. Jung-woo tries to get her back in touch with the present—they’ve got a funeral to attend, but she’s clearly not mentally with us.

At the funeral, Jun-su and Kang-sook stand vigil, as Jun-su bows to all the mourners. (In Korea the patriarchal system is very rigid for ceremonies like funerals. The eldest son is the chief mourner, who stands by the deceased night and day for three days, while daughters are relegated to the background, which is why neither daughter is standing here.)

Jun-su is confused, as a child of his age should be, while Kang-sook is genuinely upset. That is, until Auntie Shaman/Priest shows up, out-mourning her, and oh my goodness, are we really going this route for the funeral? To the funny place? I did not expect to be laughing…

But here we are. Kang-sook throws herself onto Dae-sung’s aunt, not to be outdone at her own husband’s funeral. She flails about, half-choking the poor woman, who in return can’t get free from Kang-sook fast enough. They wail side by side, still hating each other, and it’s funny because the whole funeral’s got this dark comedy bent to it, with the wife who’s more concerned with keeping up appearances, and the son who just looks at everyone quizzically.

In Hyo-sun’s room, things aren’t quite so light. She drinks straight out of a large makgulli jar, trying desperately to get drunk. Ki-hoon watches her from a distance, then finally intervenes to try and stop her from drinking anymore. She spits out: “You won’t let me lean on you! Why are you taking away my liquor?!” Damn straight!

Hyo-sun tells him to get out and take Eun-jo with him, blaming her for pushing the deal and causing Dae-sung’s heart attack. Ki-hoon’s heart breaks as he thinks to himself in voiceover: “It wasn’t Eun-jo. It was me. I did that.” But he can’t bring himself to say it, of course. Hyo-sun lashes her hurt towards Eun-jo, as Ki-hoon embraces her, saying, “Let’s send ajusshi off well.” She cries out: “I can’t do that. How? To where? How can you send him off, oppa?” Oouff. I feel like someone punched me in the gut.

Eun-jo and Jung-woo make their way to the funeral, but she can’t bring herself to face it. She turns back around, making excuses about work…but Jung-woo grabs her by the arm, saying, “Noona, get it together!” Love this kid. And here their dynamic has a pronounced shift, if even for a tiny moment. Eun-jo is the vulnerable child, not knowing how to deal, and Jung-woo tells her what she needs to do, every step of the way.

He appeals to her family pride, saying that Gu Dae-sung’s funeral is a mess, which works to give her something to focus on (she’s a taskmaster at heart) and keep her tethered to reality. It also forces her to say the words: “Gu Dae-sung” and “funeral,” letting the truth sink in.

He asks one last time if she’s got it together, and then smoothes the hair out of her face. It’s a touching gesture because he’s calling her noona, but acting like the oppa here, and he’s looking for nothing in return but the chance to be there for her. She looks up at him, but says nothing. She braces herself, and walks inside.

Presumably days after the funeral, Ki-hoon goes to see big brother, and in turn doles out some of the blame onto him. Not all of it, mind you—he still feels very much the one responsible for Dae-sung’s death, but he’s come to tell Ki-jung that his plan was just to stop Ki-jung from acquiring Dae-sung Co., not take it for himself. He knows no one will believe him now, but his plan was to give it back once he had gotten it. Uh…then what’s all that with your father? And does that mean you’re not in hostile takeover mode anymore? Because I don’t think that’s the case…

Ki-hoon then switches gears to blame Ki-jung for his own mother’s death. Wait. Daddy Hong told you that Ki-jung, who at the time was also just a child, made your mother run (when she wasn’t supposed to), causing her to die? Who would blame a child for that? Not that Ki-jung isn’t a baddie now, but how can you hold him responsible when he was just a child? Daddy Hong might be the devil.

But now Ki-hoon knows what that feels like—because in trying to keep Ki-jung from getting what he wanted, he caused the death of a man. He says that he won’t forgive Ki-jung or himself: “Now I really can’t ever go back to who I was before.” Oh dear. I know I’m not the only one who was hoping you’d drop the corporate espionage and black suits and go back to the flannel-shirt-wearing oppa who used to jabber on about your favorite artists. Is he dead now?

Ki-hoon challenges his brother that Dae-sung Co. won’t die like this—it’ll survive, and he’ll ensure that Ki-jung never gets his hands on it. It’s basically like, thank you for the wake-up call; now you’ve awoken a monster. Ki-jung asks what he’ll do if he doesn’t lay off. Ki-hoon: “I’ll take you down with me…and we’ll die together.”

At home, Kang-sook is in the throes of schizophrenic grief. One second she’s rifling through her bank statements and marriage papers, in fear that it’ll all disappear, and then the next second she’s in tears thinking of Dae-sung and feeling all alone.

Eun-jo meets with the town elders who had lent money, and tells them that half the shipment to Japan was sold to another buyer, while the rest got shipped back, and half of that turned into rice wine vinegar, while the rest…she drank. Haha! No one laughs at her joke, not knowing that she’s ever said a humorous thing in her life (this may be the first).

They get upset when she tells them they won’t be paid back right away. She tries to assure them it won’t be too much longer, but they worry what Dae-sung Co. will be without Dae-sung, especially since the whole brand’s distinction is its particular taste, which is something only Dae-sung could produce. Eun-jo tells them that they’ve graduated from lenders to shareholders—now they’ll own a part of the company and reap profits when the company turns back around.

Jun-su has been running from room to room, looking for someone to play with him, and wakes up Hyo-sun. She’s not in the mood to play with him either, until he says: “Big noona doesn’t play with Jun-su. Little noona plays with Jun-su a little. Mommy doesn’t play with Jun-su a little. Daddy plays with Jun-su a lot. When’s Daddy coming home? Why isn’t Daddy coming home?” Aaaack! I think that kid just sporked my heart out. Is there anything sadder? Hyo-sun hugs him close, and agrees to play with him.

On their way out, they run into Eun-jo, and the three of them go down to the river together. Hyo-sun sits down next to Eun-jo and says: “I was under the impression that you honestly liked my dad. But you didn’t cry. Everyone from the cooks to the day laborers…there wasn’t one of them who didn’t cry.” She asks again whether she ever had true feelings towards her father. Eun-jo of course doesn’t answer, aggravating Hyo-sun even more.

Hyo-sun basically blames her for Dad’s death, while Eun-jo goes on the defensive, asking what she’s supposed to do about it. Hyo-sun cries out: “Bring my Dad back!” She slumps down in tears, and Eun-jo’s cold façade starts to crack, as she tears up.

And then Hyo-sun reaches out to her halfway. She gets down in front of Eun-jo, leaning her head on Eun-jo’s knees, saying: “I’m scared, unni ya. I’m scared to death. I feel like I’m standing outside with no clothes on. I’m cold, and I’m scared.” Eun-jo reaches out her hand…oh, she’s not going to do it. There’s no way. No way. Oh my god, she does it!

She pets Hyo-sun on the head, sweetly telling her that it’s going to be okay. She calls her by name, “Hyo-sun ah,” which we know is something she almost never does. She holds her, gently comforting her, and letting her own tears fall as she tells her not to cry. It’s heartbreaking, earth-shattering, and such a tiny ripple too.

I can’t believe it. A breakthrough of monumental proportions…

…and then? They take it all away. NO! I KNEW IT! Gah, why so cruel, Show? Must thou see me dead and bloodied to be satisfied?

It’s all in Eun-jo’s mind, as her hand stops above Hyo-sun’s head, hovering there in the vast space between two sisters, at once an ocean and an inch.

She gathers herself, then pushes Hyo-sun off of her, screaming at her to stop her crying. And here’s where I’ll be in the minority: my heart breaks for Eun-jo in this moment, because it’s such a tragic juxtaposition between what she could be, and what she is. I sort of hate you, Show, for making me experience it, but I love it nonetheless. Like I’ve said before, I’m kind of a tv masochist.

Eun-jo rips into Hyo-sun for crying all day, every day, when there’s so much that needs to be done to try and save the company. Hyo-sun, still on the ground, asks quietly, “Can’t you comfort me, just once? I’m so scared and lonely. Couldn’t you show me a little affection? I think I’d be less frightened.” Oh, you poor lonely girl. I wish that for you so much.

She looks up at Eun-jo, desperate for a tiny morsel of love and affection. But Eun-jo already has her needles raised, in full-porcupine mode. She shouts: “I’m sick and tired of your childish whining! Stop it!” And she turns and walks away.

Little Jun-su, who sees this interaction, runs up behind Eun-jo and throws a rock at her, shouting, “Evil hag-witch! I’m gonna tell Daddy on you!” Eun-jo pauses at the mention of Dad, but keeps on walking.

Eun-jo goes to check on the workers at the winery and finds them all sitting around. She asks them why they’re not working, to which they pretty much say: what’s the point? Eun-jo lays into them, saying that they’ve always been paid, even in the hardest of times, and that they need to keep working. She overreacts, as she usually does, shouting at them to quit if they’re going to be like this. But in the middle of her rant, Dae-sung’s hand comes to rest on her shoulder, calming her down. In that one gesture, she remembers all the times he comforted her all these years, and what his hand on her shoulder meant to such a girl who never had a home or a father.

Out of her reverie, Eun-jo turns around, and sees that it’s Ki-hoon’s hand. Oh, I sincerely hope this is symbolic of the place he will start to take in Eun-jo’s heart because I’m over the petty letter-lying and such.

In her office, Ki-hoon tells her calmly that she needs to take a different approach with the workers. (And with people in general, ha.) He also offers another company’s story as a model for their company’s problems, and assigns Eun-jo to do a write-up about it as a contributing article, for a magazine, I’m assuming. Oh, he’s assigning her homework! Are we going back to the tutoring days?

The winery workers interrupt them, saying they quit, mainly because their egos are wounded by Eun-jo’s lack of respect and all that. Yeah, I know she’s not a people-person and I’d be pissed if my boss yelled at me like that, but be a grown-ass man and consider she’s a young woman who just lost her father. Were your tiny feelings hurt, wittle guy?

Hyo-sun and Jun-su come home, and Mom has a freak out at Hyo-sun for not telling her where they went, and keeping Jun-su out when he has a cold. Hyo-sun doesn’t understand why she’s suddenly being treated so coldly, while we all know—Kang-sook has finally dropped the nicey-nice mom act. And this? Can I tell you…is the ONLY major plot point in the entire episode. Mythology-wise, this is a biggie, as Kang-sook becomes the evil stepmother and Hyo-sun becomes Cinderella, as it were. But it’s kind of the only thing that happens, which you’ll hear me gripe about below.

Kang-sook has her own gripe session with the gods (or as we might find out later, her other personalities) about ending up a widow with but a hundred thousand dollars to her name. Well eight years ago that would’ve meant a whole lot more, before you became the wife of someone with status. Hyo-sun interrupts her to apologize, desperately trying to get back in Mom’s good graces. Her only mode of relating to people is: to be loved, or not to be loved, and this is vexing her sorely.

Mom shakes her off violently, saying she hates her sticky pawing. It dawns on Hyo-sun that Mom might not be mad at her…that this is just how she really feels. She’s been so blinded by her desire for a mother and Kang-sook’s well-honed act, that this is actually a revelation for her. She realizes that she’s all alone in the world. Now that Dad’s gone no one’s in her corner, and her home just became foreign soil.

She lingers in Eun-jo’s doorway for a moment, wishing that her sister would reach out to her, just once. But she’s been hurt too many times to try going down that road again, especially in one day. She looks next for Ki-hoon, who is busy trying to win back the workers with a little drink.

The next morning solidifies what she’s been feeling: Mom dotes on Jun-su and gives pieces of fish to him and Eun-jo, Eun-jo buries her head in work, and Hyo-sun gets squarely ignored.

Ki-hoon looks over Eun-jo’s article, criticizing it openly. But that’s good, because it gives them something else to be mad about than just being mad at each other over their broken hearts…FOREVER. Ki-hoon tells her to rewrite it and to apologize to the winery workers, which she of course refuses to do. She says they can just quit then, while Ki-hoon challenges her to try and find anyone else who’s devoted twenty years to Dae-sung Co. and has as much experience.

Ki-hoon goes to the winery to find Daddy Hong in the cellar, looking over the battlefield thinking he’s won the spoils. Ki-hoon is quick to tell him it’s not his place to be here. Au contraire, son. Daddy Hong fronted Daesung Co. all the money it needed to get back on its feet, so now it belongs to him. He’d like his money back, or he’ll be taking over, thank you very much. Ki-hoon is taken aback by his father’s brazenness (what, are we surprised?) and realizes that now Daddy Hong is as much the enemy.

Ki-hoon tries to reason with him and ask for more time, but Daddy Hong feels like Ki-hoon’s turned his back on him, so he’ll collect the money and cut his losses, or just take over Dae-sung Co. in his stead. Ki-hoon fills the girls in on the issue (without mentioning that it’s his own father, of course), and tells them he’ll figure out a way around it. Eun-jo digs a knife in: “Why would you care? What are you, to us?” She’s basically challenging what his loyalty is to the family, now that Dae-sung is gone. It’s a question I’d like to know the answer to, but only because I know of his backdoor family dealings, and Dae-sung Co.’s place as the pawn in all of it. But Eun-jo is pretty much out of line here, and Hyo-sun tells her as much.

Eun-jo goes straight to Mom, demanding all of the money that she’s squirreled away all these years. Mom denies having any, which Eun-jo knows is a damn lie. There’s no way in Hades she hasn’t got a small fortune to her name, what with all that Dae-sung had, and she shouts at her to hand it over. Mom tells her she’s crazy: even if she had any money, she’s got to think of how to feed herself, Eun-jo, and Jun-su in the future, not hand it over to a failing company. “It’s the money I traded for my dirty fate in life. What right do you have to tell me to hand it over? I won’t give it. I can’t!” She shakes Eun-jo off and storms out…

…Running right into Hyo-sun, who’s been listening the whole time. Kang-sook betrays a moment of shock, but then realizes that she’s got nothing to be afraid of anymore. It’s a nice little beat that plays across her face in an instant.

Hyo-sun looks hurt and utterly betrayed. This is a truth we, even Dae-sung, have all known about Kang-sook, but she has not been privy to. She comes in to ask Eun-jo, even still with a little hope wavering in her voice: “Is that how it was? Mom…is that how she was? It’s a lie, right? I heard it wrong, right?” So sad that she just wants someone to lie to her and keep her worldview from shattering.

Kang-sook kicks it into high gear and begins her tirade as evil stepmother. She fires the kitchen staff, the two nice ajummas who have been working for the family their entire lives. They quiver in fear and plead, but she kicks them out of the house without an ounce of sympathy.

Hyo-sun chases after them in tears, and Eun-jo sees what her mother has done. Hyo-sun kneels before Mom and pleads with her that the ajummas aren’t just workers; they’re family to her. Kang-sook just looks down at her coldly, saying: “Then follow them. You say she’s like your mom; then go follow your mom.” Damn. Ice, ice, baby.

Hyo-sun asks why Mom is being like this all of a sudden. Mom’s like, time to grow up, princess. She yells at her to get out, and Hyo-sun cries her heart out down the halls of the empty house.

Eun-jo comes into her room to give her the only kind of comfort she knows how: she’s moved the ajummas over to the winery, since she needs workers there. Aw. Are you really just a marshmallow? I sense something soft and fluffy under the glaciers! Eun-jo even makes a small fist with her hand, mimicking her movement to try and comfort Hyo-sun earlier, but again she just pulls back and walks away.

Hyo-sun asks her unni why Mom is like this, all of a sudden. Eun-jo disabuses her of any delusions she might have about her mother.

Eun-jo: You are not the princess of this house anymore. If you make a wrong move, you might get kicked out on your bare feet. My mom? Can do that and then some. You think she won’t? My mother? Get it together, Gu Hyo-sun. I’m begging you. Get it together and be smart, for god sakes. Stop crying like an idiot. Find a way to live by your wits in this house where no one will take your side! You got it?

I know it’s no hugs or teddy bears, but it’s a heartfelt plea from Eun-jo, who wants to see her sister be a stronger person and fend for herself. Obviously, it’s like the blind leading the blind as far as her own emotional growth is concerned, but hey, she’s not wrong about her mom here. She yells at Hyo-sun to get up.

Kang-sook continues her reign of terror, kicking out Hyo-sun’s uncle next. Who didn’t see THAT coming? She tells him he’s got balls, living off of her when he’s the one who killed Dae-sung, and when he goes, “What?” She answers with her own hilarious version of: what’s what in the what now? Ha.

Jung-woo is eager to give Eun-jo a shiny bauble that he bought for her, but she’s too busy with Hyo-sun to notice him. Ki-hoon calls his father because he’s come up with a solution: he’ll just sell his stock in Hong Ju to repay the loan; how ’bout that? Well played, Ki-hoon. Daddy Hong freaks out, and Ki-hoon knows he’s won this round.

But now there’s another kink, as Jung-woo has heard the conversation. He asks if Ki-hoon is affiliated with Hong Ju, which Ki-hoon denies vehemently. But Jung-woo’s antennae are up and he knows there’s something not right here.

Eun-jo leads Hyo-sun to the makgulli cellar, asking her to taste from a jar. Hyo-sun does, not knowing what this is all about. Eun-jo asks her whose liquor that is, and Hyo-sun replies that it’s Dad’s, of course. And Eun-jo, stunned, asks if she’s sure. Turns out she’s made it, and she was able to faithfully recreate the taste.

Both sisters are stunned. Eun-jo turns to the jar, repeating over and over: “I…I did it. I didn’t think I could…I thought I wouldn’t be able to…” She shakes, tears brimming in her eyes. Okay, I suppose this is the one other thing that happens in this episode. But did anyone doubt this would come to pass?

Eun-jo, rather than sharing a nice moment with her sister, uses it to challenge her in her usual bristly manner. She says this is going to be the new hope for Dae-sung Co. What will Hyo-sun do to stake her claim and keep Eun-jo from taking it all? Would it kill you to show her ONE tear? Just one teensy one? I know, it would. Gah.

She lays down the gauntlet: “My mother is no joke, and I’m my mother’s daughter. I might even surpass her. I’m a lot smarter than her, you see. Don’t get burned. Even if you do, I won’t save you. You’ve been warned.” Oh, snap. It’s ON, bitch!

Eun-jo hugs the makgulli jar tight and walks out. Jung-woo tries to tell her about Ki-hoon, but she tells him not to follow her. And in a nice lyrical moment, Eun-jo walks through the compound with the jar, going from empty space to empty space, sending Dae-sung off in her own way.

She ends up in his office, placing his picture next to the jar, and putting a bowl of makgulli in front of him. (Offering alcohol to the deceased is a common practice in Korea, but here the meaning is twofold because it’s also an offering of the makgulli she’s made to save the company.) She tells him that she’s gone over it a thousand times, how she could have done things differently for it to not end up this way. Suffice it to say, she blames herself as much as Hyo-sun blames her.

She offers the makgulli to him, saying that she made it. “Hyo-sun said it tastes the same, but I want to be praised by you…” And then, she strains with the first few syllables of “Father,” the thing she couldn’t bring herself to call him when he was alive: “Ah….Ah…Ah…beo…” Tears fall as she searches for the word, and then it comes out: “Daddy.” Ack! Stab. (Appa can be Dad or Daddy, but coming out of Eun-jo’s mouth, consider it the difference between calling your dad “sir,” and then “daddy.”) I knew she would never say “Father” when Dae-sung was alive, and I knew she’d finally say it when it was too late, but I did NOT expect “Daddy” to come out of her blackened heart. She cries, pouring out her regret, asking for forgiveness, calling out: “Daddy, Daddy!” Dae-sung’s death didn’t move me very much, until this moment. Sniff.

The thing I’m struggling with in this episode and the last two, is that I saw all of the narrative elements coming, so the wind was already knocked out of them. This episode, while containing beautiful moments of reverie and sadness, are not at this show’s height of narrative tension, while, let’s be frank, at ten episodes in, it should be.

In response to javabeans’ comments on Episode 9: In general, as I mentioned above, I agree with her frustration in relation to the story, while disagreeing that it comes from the lack of finding anyone to root for. Does Eun-jo frustrate me? Hell yes, she does. When she lied about the letter I wanted to smack her to high heaven. Do I feel like the characters are stunted adolescents who need to grow up? Uh-huh. Do I hate the weenie that Ki-hoon has become? Yup.

But call it the power of the dark side, or whatever, but I’ve always been interested in villains. And in their own way, EVERYONE—Eun-jo, Hyo-sun, Ki-hoon, Kang-sook—is on the road to hell, paved with all manner of self-important good intentions. And while that makes for a much grayer scale on the wheel of morality, it also makes for delicious drama.

The problem? There’s so much drama to be mined that they’re not doing, because we’re still mired in the same one-two conflict between the sisters, and the as-yet-to-be-executed hostile takeover. Just do it already. I want things to move faster—twenty episodes is not an excuse to languish in pace. If I had to fill twenty episodes, I’d cram it full of so much story that moved so fast people got whiplash from it.

Because I feel like the current love story is between the two sisters, I don’t find too much fault with all of the tension and the snowballing angst between them. But just because Ki-hoon/Eun-jo/Jung-woo are the secondary romance, as it were, doesn’t mean that we should just let all the love fizzle out. Why hasn’t anyone been caught making out yet? I mean this in a narrative tension way, not that I don’t mind some smoochies, as you might know. I just want someone to DO SOMETHING. Something crazy. Involving lips would be better, but whatever.

I get why everyone’s guarding their hearts and being all, “I DON’T love you! Really!” But too much of that leads to…people staring at each other meaningfully…which is boring the seventieth time around. If we get one more episode where there is only ONE major plot point the entire hour…I’m going to start writing letters. Because just as javabeans gets angry about characters—I’m a plot-monger. If I feel like the train is at a standstill, I will get my ass off and walk home.

So put me down for both agree and disagree, because I think this show is doing something very interesting tonally (like the funeral, and other moments of oddball hilarity), and something awesome with characterization. The problem for me is that it’s moving at the pace of “It’s a Small World” when I want to be on “Space Mountain.”

As for all of the love/hate of Eun-jo out there…maybe for me, it comes down to this: I’ve been her, or some shade of her, in my youth. And while people say things like, “Eight years…get over it,” this kind of darkness isn’t something that gets washed clean with time—you have to learn to dig yourself up out of it. I think we’ve picked up with Eun-jo as she’s learning this, and for better or worse, she kind of stinks at it. But I love that she’s on this journey, as flawed and twisted as she is, and I would have been sorely disappointed if we had picked up with her eight years later and she was already a perfectly well-adjusted adult. Where’s the fun in that?


130 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. meikisis

    it’s getting good! cant wait for the next episode!

  2. colourmad

    The last scene really got me crying. :'(

    The show really is taking a slow pace here but I can’t do anything but just look forward to the next episode. I’m starting to like Ki-hoon less D: /sigh

  3. awdin

    thanks for the recap…sigh…i wish hyosun would get stronger…:((
    she’s such a sad character..

  4. teddyluver

    thanks for the recap 🙂

    i feel so bad for hyosun….
    shes almost pitiful…. :((

    can’t wait for the nxt epidoe!

  5. sheryl

    Mucho thanks for the recap but was wondering whether the bit on Dae Sung’s may possibly serve as a spoiler? Just wanted to ask.

    Thank you for all your hard work!

  6. sheryl

    Sorry, left this bit out – *the bit on Dae Sung’s death in the foreword

  7. insertusernamehere

    i think my main problem is that the characters are not changing much…maybe they’ll wait until the 14th episode or something. we do have TEN more (oh dear). We want to see everyone grow. Thats why I feel for Eun-jo so much at the end of the episode, because being able to say “appa” is her first step towards growth. Or maybe her semi-openness towards Jung-woo was the first one? well, shes moving very slowly, but at least shes making progress. now im waiting for Kihoon to stop being silly and Hyosun to toughen up. should we hope that Mom changes too? i don’t think the writer cares enough about her to give her that chance….

  8. FasirisFay

    Hmmmm, totally agree with your agree and disagree. Same with javabeans, I’m getting a wee bit tired of EJ’s angst. I get it: you’re mad! But that scene on the bench where you think she’s reached out? Tore my heart out! And then stomped on it with a jackhammer.

    I think the plot is okay, personally. I feel like it has been slow, but this episode was necessary to show everyone’s different reactions to Dad’s death, but I’m hoping that it speeds up a lot in the next two episodes- lips touching would be a welcome thing. haha. I don’t know if you’ve seen the preview (I hope this isn’t a spoiler, because the episode isn’t out and I’m just making guesses here from the preview) but we may be having a repeat of the Eun Jo Ya scene which will reduce me into a puddle of Squeeeee! Lol- perhaps some liplocking will result from that?

    Thanks for the recap- love reading yours and Javabeans’ alternating point of views on the drama, its really refreshing.


  9. soulbee

    omg KS is really starting to get on my nerves. At first, I thought she was just misunderstood. I cried at that one episode where she told EJ about the hardships she went through, raising her up. I really really thought that she was a good mom.

    But I guess she’s just a “crazy bitch” after all.
    [ lee mi sook is totally awesome tho ;)]

    LOL @ that ridiculous ring JW buys EJ. Even if she accepted his love, she’d never get caught dead wearing THAT.

    I’m wondering , will we ever see those glass hair chopsticks again? Or did EJ lose her chance to be cinderella when she pushed KH away and cut off her locks?

  10. 10 thislove

    Oh I definitely agree with you, girlfriday on EunJo. I love her even with her dark side and exactly! There’ll be no fun if 8 yrs later she’s a totally changed person. I believe everyone has a dark side whether to the depth of EJ or not is the case. I love how she’s cold-hearted towards HS but in her own way she’s comforting and motivating HS to become more independent rather than be a useless person for the rest of her life.

    I’m also loving the two sisters interaction. Hoping it’ll slowly develop into something more loving. Love your recaps of CS! Can’t wait for this week’s episodes!

  11. 11 FasirisFay


    Hmm- interesting idea about the glass chopsticks! They seemed to have disappeared from my mind (and the story) and I didn’t think they’d have any significance. It would be interesting if HS finds them and assumes they are hers, as a twist on the classic Cinderella story of the glass slippers actually belonging to Cinderella…wouldn’t it be interesting, if in this case, they always belonged to the stepsister?

    Random speculations….but they’re fun anyways!

  12. 12 Zee

    I think you hit the right note there with the pace being too slow – I felt like Daesung’s death/funeral/mourning could have gone on faster (not that I didn’t shed buckets of tears when he died)

    I love MGY and what she’s brought to the show, but I don’t know how long I can go on seeing her brimming-with-tears-but-refusing-to-open-heart looks, like in her scene with Hyosun and the letter scene with Kihoon. I sincerely hope that she does open up herself again, hopefully to Kihoon, but at this point I’m quite desperate for her to open up, even if it’s to the kitchen ahjummas!

    Thanks for the recap – I believe it takes a lot of effort to put so much insight to the recaps, and I do really appreciate everything that you and javabeans have written so far. 🙂 I do hope we have more to be happy about in the next episode.

  13. 13 Married2ahero

    LoL your disneyland ride analogy made me laugh out loud.

  14. 14 Marres

    I really love this drama…..for this episode though i just wish Eun-jo had made just that one little tiny gesture to hyo-sun…..because i have an entirely different lovely dovery episode playing in my head! ugh! i can’t handle the angst!…
    Thanks for the re-caps JB & GF! Awesome!

  15. 15 Porcelain

    You made me cry again. Be proud. Thanks Girlfriday…

    I guess being masochist myself, I actually find myself looking forward to the recap for a good release by crying.

    Ok, I get the draggy part of the story, but truly uncomfortable by the whole Ki Hoon family issues… hmmm…

    And I agree too that its not so much about who loves who between Ki Hoon/Eun Jo/Hyo Sun and oh yeah throw Jung Woo into the mix but its fundamentally a story about the 2 sisters and man it is hearbreaking, the part its all in Eun Jo’s mind comforting Hyo Sun when actually she did not… Omona…

  16. 16 ktv

    Thanks for the recap. For those who have never been into these dark moments in their life, it’s hard to get out of it and to change your mind or your attitude toward certain things, especially in the matter of trusting others. Eun Jo won’t change unless something pierces through the icy wall that she built up before. I think Daesung’s death did it. It opens a wound that she will have a choice to whether or not heal it this time. l am usually root for a character in Kdrama. This is the first time I do not root for any of them. They have their own good and bad things associated with them while other conventional k-drama always draw a fine line between the good and the bad character. The portrait of these characters in CS makes them more human since no one is perfectly good or bad.

  17. 17 Snikki

    @ FasirisFay & soulbee

    And to add to that, the glass chopstick won’t fit Eun Jo’s short hair, so just like in Cinderella, that hair thingy will stay on perfectly on Hyo Sun’s long locks.

  18. 18 estel

    Oh, oh, oh I hope someone accidently slips and falls on someone else’s lips in episode 11! At this point, I don’t even care if it’s Ki-hoon/Eun-joo, Ki-hoon/Hye-sun, Jung-woo/Eun-joo, or even Eun-joo/Hye-sun as long as SOMETHING happens. Something to get things moving! I wanna see Ki-hoon and Eun-joo have a knock-out drag-down screaming fight where they finally air all of their dirty laundry. I’m all for emotional honesty. And kissing. That, too.

    Lovely recap, girlfriday. You always bring out the inner squee in me. 🙂

  19. 19 Faridah2201

    Great recap.

    I agree with you and like Eun-jo. There is obviously a point when guarding your heart can be excessive but I get that the reason she does it is because all the hurt she has had to go through. I dislike when people say that whole 8 years nonsense. From birth to about age 16, her most formidable years, she had to deal with some hard crap. Plus during these 8 years she had to deal with her 2-faced mother alone, since her mom only acted like her true self in Eun-jo’s presence. That being said, the final scene dang near broke my heart.
    My utter dislike for Hyo-sun is dissipating, still think she is a nasty piece of work but now I just want to take care of her since Eun-jo is currently incapable.
    My other thing is I no longer want Ki-hoon with Eun-j0, I want her with Jung-woo. I just feel like if E and K got together they would have competitions with each other over who can out-angst the other. I seriously doubt that they can have a healthy relationship whereas Jung-woo brings out the best in her, knows how to take care of her, and is not emotionally stunted.

  20. 20 Drake

    I like it even if there is no much love going through Kih Hoon/Eun Jo/Jung Woo. I love how the drama works.

  21. 21 Shirley82

    20 eps? it’s already the middle! They need to get a move on!

  22. 22 estel

    Oh, and P.S. that part where we saw that Eun-jo didn’t actually reach out to her sister? Forget breaking my heart, it threw in on the floor on walked all over it with hobnail boots. And then stomped on it and stuck it in a food processor for good measure. What was left of it was further shredded by the ending scene with Eun-jo…I’m not a crier, I hadn’t shed a tear in this drama up to that point, but man, that really got to me.

  23. 23 NickDobi

    totally with you on the let’s get off “it’s a small world” and run over to futureland to get on “space mountain.”


  24. 24 holey moley

    like everybody, i think, though true to the complete characterizations, characters hasn’t grown up that much, which we should have seen because its 10 episodes now, which made us worn out, right?…but i think the show is doing a great job in establishing the main conflict which is of course the sisters relationship…i love watching their relationship and how it will unfold. im also not a bit worried that the romance has taken its backseat status, i love watching the family dynamic….based from preview, romance will probably move a little bit…i dont know…

    well i just want to say the MGY better win another daesang for her role or im going to cut a bitch (thanks javabeans)…though the narration is quite frustating, the acting, the directing, the characterizations, ooh i love how they feel like real people, with real inner conflicts, the ost, yesung’s voice is still awesome is still perfection…its just its so god damn slow…lets see for the next episode…so far, i ill give a or a minus…

  25. 25 jonijtc

    This is my first time to comment. I must say I enjoy your reviews very much, girlfriday! Your humorous prose is too witty for words! I’s just like to share my two cents’ worth of opinion: Eun-jo’s angst is nothing compared to Hyo-Sun’s. Imagine a sheltered princess suddenly forced to endure a life of hell! And Jung-Woo as the adoring puppy to Eun-Jo is just the right mix for the story. He provides relief to an otherwise boringly one-dimensional love triangle. I agree with you when you say that they should mine the story for more angles and not just concentrate on the dynamics between the sisters, and Ki-hoon (who I found boring, by the way). You write great reviews. Thank you!

  26. 26 popcorn

    All I know is…they cry too much. Man was it hard to hold my tears when EJ didn’t actually extend her hands to HS. I was just yelling at the screen, “Is it really THAT hard? C’mon just touch her a little…just a little.” I believe human needs to be touched in order to survive.

    Oh boy, this drama is a heavy one.

  27. 27 Tina

    Um. Spoiler tag? That’s a pretty big spoiler up there, and it’s the first thing people see when they enter the site.

  28. 28 ft

    great recap! if im not wrong, eunjo also cried out ” I did wrong, Daddy” at the last part, which I thought was pretty remarkable cos she has never admitted her mistake, and so humbly to boot.

  29. 29 mimi

    Loved your frankness in your recap!

    This is my gripe: I’m just gettin’ a little tired seeing Ki-Hoon hugging the wrong girl and consoling her, if you know what mean. We’re halfway through the drama and we haven’t even heard the leads confess that they liked one another. No sweet words, no arm holding, no nada. Zip.
    What am I supposed to look forward to, O Writers? Stares, glares, and more sarcasm? Watching this drama is just getting me down.

    That’s all I’m sayin’.

  30. 30 serendipity

    Yeah, what I said about ep9 — times three for ep10. Too much plot-device overhearing of conversations, too much dashing of our hopes for EJ’s recovery, too much of the angst altogether, not enough movement… An additional grievance for me is how starkly EVIL EJ’s mother has become. I always thought she was interestingly nuanced and believable, but with this episode I could’t go along with the caricature.

    Girlfriday, I love you. Don’t we all just love people who share our opinion? Hee hee. I SO don’t believe EJ lied about the letter in ep 9 because she loves HS. And I’m with you on drama watching not being about rooting, or even watching people mature. It’s about believing and being invested. Hey, I loved What Happened in Bali, where EVERYONE was behaving badly & immaturely, and I would not befriend any one of that ghastly lot, but boy was I invested because the plot went places and people journeyed (the Heart-of-Darkness kind of journey, not the skipping-to-rainbow’s end-hand-in-hand kind). So I don’t need likeability or even hope in my dramas. But I’m losing heart interest in CU.

  31. 31 robotmatsuri

    IMHO I don’t think Dae Sung’s death is much of a spoiler–it is written in the story…

    Thank you so much girlfriday & javabeans! The pace is incredibly slow, which is why I’m not clamoring to get the newest episodes… I do hope things speed up and more drama is introduced now that DS is dead.

  32. 32 Juunichi

    “Why hasn’t anyone been caught making out yet?”

    AHAHA! Amen to that! xD

    I very much agree with you, and love your recaps for the revelations and viewpoints it provides me, but most of all, I love the random humor you manage to squeeze in! xD
    And I’m definitely with you on the TV masochist thing…When all you watch are dramas that have mary-sue-like heroines and dashing prince charmings who are near-perfect (save minor faults and whatnot), you begin to crave for stories with villanous characters. That’s why I’m still rooting for Eun Jo! Though her actions could be perplexing at times, I still savor them, since it’s really hard to come by characters like her who also happens to be the ‘heroine’ of the story. I’m just reaaally fascinated by her psychological complexities!

    Also, I’d have to say that I like what Ki hoon has become. Though I LOVE the Kihoon of 8 years ago, I also like that now, he has toughened up a bit. douche-bag he may be, but for some reason, it feels right at this point in the story..

    I’d ramble on more but I should really get back to studying! arrgh XD

    Thanks again!

  33. 33 okdubu

    the last scene completely broke my heart ;~;

    i was so effing pissed off when eunjo’s scene comforting hyosun turned out to be her imagination. LIKE REALLY.

  34. 34 dannaluk

    “Thinks Eun-jo LIED About the Goddamn Letter Because Her Heart is a Stone Wrapped in Thorns Encased in Ice” and NOT in the “Because She Lurves Her Sister” ………….Hahahaha!!…love u GF!!…these 2 eps rocked my world!..thank you..now i should get back to reading this recap

  35. 35 Molly

    I really hope Hyo-sun eavesdropped on Eun-jo calling out to their father at the end of the episode, because she hasn’t seen much of her sister’s inner struggles to be a more open person. Hearing that would be the one of the first instances in which Hyo-sun realizes that her sister is still a human and not a cold workaholic robot. A few episodes ago, when Eun-jo tucked Hyo-sun in…I can’t remember her reaction to that, but I think it’d be nice for the writers to start toning down the sisterly angst. They’ll never be friends, given what they’ve been through, but perhaps soon they’ll start feeling more of that sisterly bond.

  36. 36 girlfriday

    Guys, he died in the last episode, not this one. How is that a spoiler? Unless you’re starting your experience of CS by reading recap 10, in which case you have quite the nonlinear approach to life.


  37. 37 asianromance

    Thank you for the recap! It’s awesome that the real Cinderella story finally unfolds.

    And yes, some progress for Eunjo! I think Eunjo could have pushed herself to express a bit more gentleness for Hyosun. After all, the dad is dead and her mom is finally showing her true colors. Poor Hyosun- her world has turned upside down.

    as for Ki-hoon…i sort of don’t care about him anymore…i’m starting to forget why he was playing double agent and his dealings. i sort of want Jungwoo to get with Eunjo- i think Eunjo needs a start with someone who has definitely let go of their past and he has managed to make her smile and relax a bit too…Kihoon really needs to step it up, especially after he inadvertently caused Daesung’s death.

  38. 38 nabi

    Thanks girlfriday for the wonderful recap as always. I agree with you on wanting something to happen in terms of the 2nd romance triangle or whatever. This show is too draggy and is drying me out.

    I think you’re a bit wrong about KH’s motivations.. KH was telling the truth when he told KJ that he didn’t want DS’s company in the hands of KJ and it backfired. It would’ve ended up in the hands of either KJ or their father anyway so I think it was KH’s genuine intention to pretend to take over DS’s company in front of his father but later return the company safely back to DS and that’s why KH told DS to trust him no matter what happens. My heart aches for KH because he’s such a misunderstood character.

  39. 39 heejung

    you just made me cry again at the scene where eunjo calls out appa. damn.. so sad. oh, and i really really REALLY hope that the hand on the shoulder was a signal of things to come, please!! and i think that now that kihoon sees that his daddy-o is getting evuller, mayhap he and eunjo will combine powers.

  40. 40 Kim

    This drama frustrates me but I can’t help loving it. It’s episode 10 and there hasn’t been one kiss yet. At the rate that Ki Hoon and Eun Jo’s romance is developing, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jung-woo nabbed a kiss first. And the story line is too slow. This show needs to pick up the pace.

  41. 41 heejung

    oh, and maybe the writer made kihoon sink to these depths so that his (i hope) eventual change is even more pronounced, a la wish upon the stars. i hope.

  42. 42 linz

    thanks for the awesome recap! i agree with you about the plot moving pretty dang sloooow. but i’m still invested in this show for now and i do kind of enjoy how it tortures me hehe 🙂 someone reallly does need to get caught making out in the winery…i’ve been waiting for that for 10 episodes now!!

  43. 43 Buki

    I’m not saying EJ luves HS, but they do “love” each other in their own sick and twisted way. Despite their hatred for each other, they each seek each other for comfort, even though its not comfort that they receive.

    I don’t think we were suppose to feel the impact of DS death till this episode (i didn’t really cry either at his death). You don’t really feel the impact of death till the aftermath. How does one death effect and change everything. We see that in this episode as oppose to ep 9. This is why this episode is so much harder on the heart. I experienced this myself. The cry at the death and the funeral is expected but it’s the aftermath after all the family is gone and body buried that you really start to feel the death. I really liked this episode. I liked the slowness of everyone really feeling their sorrow. Don’t worry i’m sure the pace will pick up form here.

  44. 44 Judy

    I enjoyed your recap. I hope the pace of ep11 and 12 can move faster.

    But I still love every characters in this drama. I wish they can find happiness in the end.

  45. 45 peanut

    I’m really glad you mentioned at the end how hard it is to get yourself out of a mire, especially in Eun-Jo’s case where her trauma is a constant reminder in her mom. So much so that the little effect Daesung had on her has only made a crack. 8 years is a long time, indeed but with the trauma she had I wouldn’t be surprised if 20 years passed before she was honestly okay.

    I think it is hard for people to understand what trauma (especially suffered at a young age for an extended amount of time) can do to somebody who feels alone (or really is alone). I understand only because I have experienced it first-hand.

    But in the context of a drama it’s hard to be realistic to the healing process as well as satisfy the pace of the story.

    I started off really liking this drama, but I’m slightly disappointed at where the writers are taking it right now. I hope they’ll get everything moving soon: characters and plot alike!

    As for the acting…I have a special place in my heart for Moon Geun-Young (I’ve seen almost everything she’s been in), so I was very biased at first and admired only her acting…but I have to say these actors are doing a fabulous job with what’s been handed to them!!

    Thanks for the recap!

  46. 46 Mrs. Kaneshiro

    I love you!!! Just had a bad day and this recap had me on the floor with your witty comments. I feel the same way with you about Eun Jo.

    “If I had to fill twenty episodes, I’d cram it full of so much story that moved so fast people got whiplash from it.”

    I would totally watch it haha and enjoy the whiplash that came with it 🙂

  47. 47 Quynh

    i agree with your comment about eunjo…i am a lot like her in many respects though that much of a bitch i can’t pull off…the vulnerability, the fear of getting hurt – that i can understand…even the whole letter thing – i would have done the same thing. i see it as her not wanting to open herself up to hurt again.

    i really love the sisterly interaction in this episode. for the first time in 10 episodes i finally feel a bit of a connection to hyo-sun. she’s becoming real not the bitchy facade she puts up to compete with eunjo or the cutesy act she has for everyone. she’s just a girl needing love who’s lost her dad and the one guy she can rely on is an idiot who loves someone else.

    speaking of ki-hoon…omg one more episode of his secrets and i might just start skipping every scene with him. grow some balls and take over the company or tell the truth. do something at least.

  48. 48 yumi-chan

    I agree with you on the pacing, but for some odd reason I think it’s necessary. I can’t see Eun Jo as the dramatic smoochies type and I think Ki Hoon would slap Hyo Sun across the face if she dared put her lips near his.

    I think that when something big happens it’ll be bad, but the good type of bad!

  49. 49 lily

    i think the reason why eun-jo never opened up is because she always planned on leaving so she never saw a reason to change, but now that she has to save the factory and keep things moving she might open up because to her she owes the only man she could count on and who she saw as a father that much and more.

  50. 50 Quynh

    oh yes and the need for a kiss…i agree w/ you…i expected a make-out scene b/w eunjo and ki hoon in episode 7/8…and it still hasn’t happened…come on producers!! what kind of romance is that?

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