Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 11
by | May 9, 2010 | 69 Comments

How far these two have come, right? I wish it had come a little earlier, because the shouting and fighting has been getting tiresome for a while now. This drama surely has enough dramatic territory to mine without worrying that a détente between the sisters would detract from the tension when in fact it reinvigorates the story, like a cool wind blowing in on a high-pressure heat wave.


Yiruma – “나에게로 (To My Heart)” [ Download ]

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Eun-jo breaks down in tears as she makes her wine offering to Dae-sung, finally using the word “appa” (Dad) and begging for his forgiveness.

Just outside the room, Ki-hoon hears her sobs, her emotion stirring his. So loud is her grief — finally given an outlet — that Jung-woo is able to hear her cries from outside, and it brings tears to both of their eyes.

Hyo-sun sits in the dark cellar, recalling Eun-jo’s taunt that she has succeeded with the yeast and therefore swooped in as savior.

She walks through the house slowly, surveying the surroundings. I suspect she is thinking how this all may be taken away if Eun-jo’s warnings come to pass and she is ejected by her mother.

Late that night, Jung-woo calls Eun-jo out — he’s leaving temporarily to train with the reserve forces. He figures this is a good time to go, since there’s no work for him at the factory anyway. Eun-jo tells him to be careful, and turns to go back inside.

Hilariously, Jung-woo hurriedly detains her — he’s been fumbling for an opening and jumps to say his piece before she leaves. He whips out a jewelry box and opens it to offer her the decorative pin inside, shaped like a crown, which he fastens on her shirt.

Jung-woo tells her to wear it while he’s gone, calling the pin “bread,” which is an offbeat and random comparison. He explains that wearing it will keep her from starving, which he means in a metaphorical sense as the pin will “protect” her.

Eun-jo lets out a small smile, and tells him, “Strangely, I want to believe those ridiculous, stupid words.” He tells her to take care, then heads out.

That softer attitude is still in evidence the next morning, when Eun-jo asks Hyo-sun if she knows where all the former workers live. Eun-jo is ready to reach out to them, and she waits while Hyo-sun goes in to speak with each of the ajusshis. Unfortunately, Hyo-sun reports that they are so affronted with Eun-jo’s behavior that they refuse to come back.

Here I’ll diverge from girlfriday’s comment in the previous recap about cutting Eun-jo some slack for her outburst to the men in light of her grief; I suppose you can label me the less sympathetic one, although I don’t think my comments have been unreasonably hard on Eun-jo. I think anybody who has suffered a huge trauma or is undergoing severe stress gets a general pass for temporary awful behavior, because pain and grief can spur us to some ugly places. But these men are not reacting to her momentary outburst — at least, not the words alone. They’re offended at what they have suspected all along, that Eun-jo views them as price tags, as animals to boss around and sneer upon. Yes, she is grieving, but her words wouldn’t have such a sting if that dictatorial tirade weren’t in line with the high-handed way has always treated them. And that lack of basic human respect is why they refuse to come back. (Note: I don’t mean that this is actually how Eun-jo sees them, but these men have no reason to cut her slack as Dae-sung or Ki-hoon do, and are judging based on what they see.) Until she can prove to them that she DOESN’T think of them in such a demeaning way, they see no reason to return.

Hyo-sun agrees with me, and calls Eun-jo out for only seeing those men as yeast-makers: “Do you know that the ajusshi who lives here is the father of our high school classmate Dong-soo?” We can see from Eun-jo’s reaction that she didn’t know, nor did she know that his grandmother is ill, and that his father always struggled financially to buy her medicine. Or that Dae-sung had given him extra work and paid him more because of his situation. Hyo-sun wonders how horrible Eun-jo’s actions must have been for that man — who needs money so badly — to refuse to return.

Eun-jo bears Hyo-sun’s reproof surprisingly well, keeping her head down and feeling some of the shame she hadn’t felt before. Hyo-sun tells her to give up thoughts of threatening the man into returning; she’ll ask her uncle to persuade them, as he is friendly with them. And if he can’t, Hyo-sun suggests gently that they handle the business as best they can among themselves.

I don’t think Hyo-sun expects Eun-jo to bend very much, but on the contrary, Eun-jo asks Hyo-sun to fill her in on everybody’s backgrounds. With that information, Eun-jo goes around offering small tokens according to the men’s preferences (sweets for one man, beef for another, tonic for the grandmother). Rather than trying to persuade them to come back to work, she simply gives her gifts, says she was wrong, and bows respectfully.

Ah, now this is an example of supplicating the Korean way. Humility toward her elders does more to mollify them than anything else she could have tried.

It’s a HUGE relief to see these sisters interacting without glaring, spitting, and hissing. On their way home, Hyo-sun has one thing to ask: What is she to Eun-jo? She wants to know for sure what Eun-jo thinks of her. Eun-jo eyes her warily, and returns the question by asking what Hyo-sun thinks of her.

Hyo-sun asks, a little scared, “Are you going to leave me?” Eun-jo isn’t the type to open herself up to possible hurt without first seeing if it’s worth the risk, so she asks, “Are you worried I’ll leave?”

But Hyo-sun would rather have her question answered first, and asks it again. All this constant fighting is exhausting, and she asks her sister if they can just act, however briefly, like they’re on good terms. Can’t she promise she won’t leave?

Hyo-sun: “I wish someone would hold me, but Mom has changed and I’m so lonely. I think it’s because the shock was really big for Mom, and things will improve with time. If I don’t think that, I’ll go crazy.”

Hyo-sun says pleadingly that she wants her relationship with Eun-jo to be warmer, for them not to clash all the time. For once, Eun-jo’s prickliness doesn’t get in the way of her true intentions, and she offers to give it a try. She clarifies that she’s not promising to be warm, but she will at least try not to oppose her.

Even that much is a huge gesture, and Hyo-sun is moved. It’s enough encouragement for Hyo-sun to link arms with her sister, and although Eun-jo quickly unlinks them, she doesn’t do it meanly.

Ki-hoon goes to the temple to beg for salvation, burdened by his sin against Dae-sung and the two sisters. The monk advises him to bow in prayer, and so he does — over and over, in endless repetition.

As he does, he thinks back to the day Dae-sung collapsed, when Ki-hoon had cried in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, begging Dae-sung not to die. His narration tells us, “However…”

“…even in that moment, I came first. I was begging that I wouldn’t commit a sin. The worry wasn’t for the man who was leaving.”

Briefly, Dae-sung had opened his eyes, and eked out his last words. Ki-hoon recalls in an anguished voice, “And even then — good lord — he said that it was okay.”

Now, Ki-hoon falls heavily, sweating and exhausted. He’s in pain from the hours of repetition, and with shaking limbs he gets back up and brings his hands back together in prayer. He asks bitterly, “How could he say it was okay? How?”

At night, Hyo-sun and Eun-jo brush their teeth in the bathroom, a bit uncertain with their tentative truce hanging in the air. Even when they accidentally bump heads when they both try to use the sink at the same time, they just eye each other warily, not wanting to break the peace.

Eun-jo looks in on the room shared by the two men; since she knows Jung-woo is gone, she’s clearly looking for Ki-hoon. Her face betrays her disappointment to find it empty (though I wonder what she would have said if he were there!).

At the moment he is slowly making his way home, his muscles rebelling from his day of repentance. He stumbles along, leaning heavily against the wall for support, when the sound of the creaking gate gets his attention. When he turns his head toward the noise, it’s the teenaged Eun-jo he sees. He envisions her as she did that long-ago night when he’d come home drunk and she had waited for him.

Again these two are on the same wavelength; her eyes likewise see the younger Ki-hoon, smiling at her just like he did on that night. She thinks (as she did back then), “He’s here. He’s smiling.” And Ki-hoon thinks, “She came out.”

His mouth upturns in the barest of smiles, and although he can’t quite wave to her as he did years ago, his fingers curl as though wanting to. Both his smile and wave are smaller gestures now than they were then, tempered by time and experience and pain, but no less meaningful.

While previously he had gestured her toward himself, now he only thinks, “Come here.” But she can’t hear his thoughts and turns to go back inside, so he blurts, “Come here,” stopping her.

He reaches out a hand to her, but that upsets his balance and he topples to the ground. Eun-jo races to him and helps him halfway up, though she removes her hand quickly.

As they crouch there together, kneeling on the ground, he says, “Eun-jo ya.” The words haven’t lost their effect on her, and bring tears to her eyes. With a pained expression, Ki-hoon tells her, “Now, I really can’t go to you. Things have made it so I can’t go to you.” Ah, finally a confession, and it comes by way of a rejection — how like this drama!

He continues: “I can’t go to you, but… but if you allow it, I… I’ll look after you two, as though bowing to you several thousand times a day. Like ajusshi. In his place.”

Eun-jo feels pain at his admission, her voice soft as she answers, “I never asked you to come to me. Because I never told you to come, I won’t ask why you can’t. I can’t understand why you would try to act in his place, but I won’t ask.”

She tells him not to do that for her, but to do so for Hyo-sun. She confesses that she has decided to stop being so mean to her sister, even though it’s not because she cares for her (so she says): “If I treat her warmly, I may be able to receive forgiveness, even just a little. If it’s possible, I want to give it a try. I really want to be forgiven.”

He thinks, “Yes, me too.”

As usual, Eun-jo keeps her composure until she retreats to her room, where she sobs alone.

Ki-hoon narrates, “And so that day, that awful girl cried for us for the last time.” And he does the same. (Why do I find this hard to believe? Just one episode without every main character crying — is that too much to ask?)

Kang-sook has difficulty sleeping, thumping her chest in annoyance at the suffocated feeling that keeps her awake. Perchance it is her conscience, but Kang-sook would never entertain that idea, and thinks it’s something physical.

Hyo-sun wakes up crying out for her father, and makes her way to Kang-sook’s room. She approaches quietly and lies down beside her, then tentatively lifts her arm to lay it across her mother’s stomach. For a moment you think Kang-sook will allow it, but she tells Hyo-sun to take her hand away, calling it disgusting. Understanding that she has been rejected, Hyo-sun gets up and leaves the room without a word.

At breakfast, Eun-jo wonders why her mother has only set the table for three places, appalled to hear that Hyo-sun has been told to eat by herself. Kang-sook blames her suffocated feeling on the aggravation of sharing her table with Hyo-sun, defending her choice by saying she’s not starving the girl. She just doesn’t want to eat with her.

Eun-jo asks her mother, “How many more sins do you want to commit?” Trying to get through to Kang-sook, she says she’s afraid that in a next life, she’ll be born as Hyo-sun’s mother — it’ll be her punishment for sinning so much in this life.

Leaving the table without eating, Eun-jo runs into Ki-hoon outside, who smiles at her, a touch of his old warmth back. She tells him to find Hyo-sun and make sure she eats breakfast, and to bring her to the winery.

There’s an aww moment when we next see the three sitting together in the winery as the former kitchen ajummas serve them breakfast. Kang-sook has driven them from her presence (either literally as with Hyo-sun, or indirectly as with Eun-jo), but it’s touching to see them come together, even if it’s ostensibly for work reasons.

They discuss business matters such as the problem of how to repay their elders. Ki-hoon instructs Hyo-sun to meet with them again, and tells her to be sure to tell them that her sister was able to reproduce her father’s makgulli exactly. Perhaps he’s not purposely being diplomatic (the decision is a logical one, regardless of diplomacy), but a nice effect of this is that both sisters are necessary components to the plan, and both contribute their strengths while the other makes up for what they lack. This is an example of what I think we’ve always wanted to see from these two — they can so easily bring out the worst in each other, but there is the potential for them to be complementary if they wanted to be.

With that decided, Eun-jo suggests they all eat breakfast. Hyo-sun proposes that they make bibimbap — which is, on a superficial level, a tasty thing to do with side dishes, but also a symbolic gesture. Bibimbap is a way of sharing their breakfast equally, since they mix all the ingredients together and then eat out of the same bowl.

When Ki-hoon moves to add more gochujang (hot paste), Eun-jo blocks him. (Ah, there IS that drawback of sharing bibimbap — everyone’s spiciness levels must be in accord!) Hyo-sun shoves his spoon in Ki-hoon’s mouth (eliciting a smile from Eun-jo), then moves to feed Eun-jo the next spoonful. It seems Eun-jo won’t eat it so Hyo-sun starts to take the spoon away, but Eun-jo grabs the spoon back and takes the bite. She even moves to wipe some food from Hyo-sun’s chin, although she doesn’t actually make contact because their attention is diverted by the sound of men’s voices outside.

The three look out in surprise; the noise comes from the chatter of the factory ajusshis on their way back to work. One of the men eats one of the candies Eun-jo had given him and smiles at her; she bows to them in return. Hyo-sun is more expressive, and thanks her uncle in particular, who had a key role in convincing them to come back. The leader tells Eun-jo gruffly that this isn’t the result of her bribe; they’re not people to be so easily bought. They returned because she apologized. Eun-jo nods respectfully, grateful and relieved.

This is the thing about Korean ajusshis and ajummas (many of them, not all) — if you disrespect them they will bear that grudge for ages and teach it to their children and their children’s children. But if you humble yourself and earn that respect back, that’s all water under the bridge.

Ki-hoon puts a hand on her shoulder in approval. Hyo-sun turns back to see this moment, but rather than making a big fuss, she takes a moment to gather herself and puts on a rueful smile. She approaches them to get back to business — now they can start making yeast again, but who will preside over the ceremonial rites?

Ki-jung visits his father to discuss Ki-hoon’s lack of response regarding the scam with the Japanese exports. President Hong asks sardonically, “Do you think we’re on the same side?” Ki-jung answers that Ki-hoon probably thinks he can’t reveal the truth to Eun-jo and Hyo-sun when he’s the half-brother of the culprit. Although Ki-jung had prepared for a legal battle, he may not need to now.

President Hong hints that Ki-jung must have come for a different reason, and Ki-jung’s expression darkens as he glares. He says, “Father, you’re a truly bad person.” And then, betraying the first hint of emotion we’ve seen from him, he says that he had felt anguished when Ki-hoon’s mother chased him and collapsed, and later died. But Hong used that to provoke Ki-hoon? With an edge in his voice, he tells his father darkly, “I respect you. I’ll become bad, too. I’m curious to see how bad I can become.” Aie, I’m not! Also: Does this mean that Papa Hong is the ultimate baddie after all, and not Ki-jung? Also again: If only dads weren’t such assholes to their children, so many Korean dramas would lose their raison d’être.

The workers gather to discuss who will take Dae-sung’s place in the ceremonial rites. Ki-hoon makes a few suggestions which seem more diplomatic than anything, as both the leader and Hyo-sun’s uncle are flattered to come up as possibilities. He asks Hyo-sun to name the person, feeling she is the most appropriate person to decide, and gives her a day to think about it.

Hyo-sun is ready now, and after gaining everyone’s agreement to abide by her decision, she names Eun-jo.

Eun-jo protests, arguing that she can’t dare take Dae-sung’s place in this, the winery’s most important activity.

Hyo-sun agrees that she doesn’t like the idea of somebody taking her father’s place, but she thinks her father would want Eun-jo to do it. She adds ruefully, “Saying this makes me feel wronged too, you know — why it’s you and not me.”

Ki-hoon applauds the selection, and the others join in.

Hyo-sun’s uncle waits till afterward to talk to Eun-jo, beating around the bush before getting to his point. He reminds her that he was quite important in bringing the workers back, as though to defend his worth. Her mother keeps pressuring him to leave, but he has nowhere to go and has lived here his whole life.

Eun-jo hadn’t known this and tells him he doesn’t have to leave, which surprises him — he’d been preparing to argue his point. She says she’ll have a talk with her mother, and even corrects herself by using the polite version of “I” (she starts by using the casual form, then switches to the polite, as she did back with Dae-sung when he had admonished her to respect her elders).

Entering the house, Eun-jo hears a crash of dishware and her mother yelling. In her mother’s bedroom, Kang-sook berates Hyo-sun, who kneels to pick up the broken cup. Trying not to act upset (but clearly shaken), Hyo-sun explains that since Mom has been complaining of feeling suffocated, she’d brought her some tea. As she picks up the pieces, Kang-sook yells shrilly, “Get out right now! I can’t stand the sight of you!”

Eun-jo glares at her mother, then orders Hyo-sun to stand and follow her out. She calls Ki-hoon to instruct him not to go to sleep yet, as she’ll be sending Hyo-sun to him. She tells him to wait outside and be ready to comfort her.

Eun-jo asks why Hyo-sun keeps going to Mom foolishly. Hyo-sun says that she misses her, and thinks of how Mom used to pat her hair and comfort her in the past: “Mom’s being like that because she’s lonely, and I’m lonely too. So I think it would be good to be together, and even if she hates me for a while right now, I think maybe if she keeps seeing me, she’ll start treating me well.”

Sick with pity, Eun-jo asks, “Are you dumb?” She tells Hyo-sun to avoid Kang-sook for “a little while.” Hyo-sun can eat breakfast with Eun-jo at the winery and come home late, and “soon, things might get better.” Of course, Eun-jo knows they probably won’t, but she also knows that’s not the way to convince Hyo-sun.

But Hyo-sun doesn’t believe that and asks, “Am I a child?” To Eun-jo’s shock, Hyo-sun tells her that se started to catch on years ago — she could tell Kang-sook was different when Dae-sung wasn’t around. “I knew, but it didn’t matter… If I like her, it doesn’t matter.”

The words hit Eun-jo hard, because not only is Hyo-sun not the silly idiot she’d pegged her for, her words are exactly the same as Dae-sung’s when he’d told her he knew the truth of Kang-sook’s character. Hyo-sun adds that it’s okay if things never improve — it’s okay if she’s hated forever: “It’s okay as long as you don’t kick me out, or run away with Mom. Without you, Mom, or Jun-su, I’d really be alone.”

Eun-jo looks lost, tears streaming down her face. Hyo-sun approaches her and requests, “Just don’t leave me.” Which is, of course, another direct echo of her father.

Throughout this conversation, Hyo-sun has maintained a calm demeanor — it’s Eun-jo who is badly shaken — and she leaves the room calmly. But once outside, she starts to breathe heavily, falling to the ground and beating her hurting heart.

Eun-jo goes to her mother to ask — beg, even — that she treat Hyo-sun better. Her tone is imploring, but Mom neither notices nor cares, assuming that Hyo-sun asked Eun-jo to say that.

Eun-jo tells her they wouldn’t be good enough even if they bowed at Hyo-sun’s feet every day, begging her to understand: “Hyo-sun is her father. Do you really think he didn’t know anything?” He knew she was acting the whole time — and he loved her anyway, even though Kang-sook is someone for whom “hell would be too good.” And just like her father, Hyo-sun also said that it’s okay if Kang-sook doesn’t love her back.

Kang-sook goes about her toilette coolly, not even caring. When Eun-jo bursts out that you can’t find people like them in the world (meaning that they’re exceptionally good people), Kang-sook retorts, “I know, how stupid are they?”

Eun-jo sobs, “Mom, we can’t be like this! If we are, we’re not even human! I beg you, change your heart. If we don’t, I really think we’ll be struck by lightning!” Kang-sook yells back that they wouldn’t — who are they to send punishment their way? She mutters that she’s just holding out to send Hyo-sun off in marriage, when she can be rid of her.

Her mother’s callousness drives Eun-jo to desperation, and she starts pulling clothes out of her mother’s dresser. They’re only going to bring ruin to this house and must run away: “We can’t be in this house.”

Kang-sook grabs Eun-jo’s hands and gives her a fierce no — why should they leave? The three of them put together outweigh Hyo-sun’s inheritance. They will stay put and grab what they can!

Just as she had done when Kang-sook had been so flippant about “ripping off” Dae-sung, Eun-jo lets out a terrible, frustrated scream. Kang-sook tries to muffle her and warns her to come to her senses.

Eun-jo walks out into the courtyard a dull daze, sobbing. Ki-hoon is outside waiting as instructed; told to comfort Hyo-sun, he is here to comfort her instead.

Concerned, he asks what’s wrong. Between sobs, Eun-jo begs him to take her somewhere far so she can run away. It’s okay if she doesn’t get her forgiveness. No — forgiveness is out of her reach. “So let’s run away. Run away with me.”


Finally we see some development in these characters, and it comes not a moment too soon. Quite the contrary.

One of this drama’s strengths is in its complex, nuanced characterizations, and I applaud that. Despite my frustrations in my last recap, I’ve always appreciated that nobody’s an outright hero or villain. Even Eun-jo. Girlfriday used the word “villain” to describe Eun-jo in the last recap (perhaps lightly), but I don’t see her as one. We’ve seen so many hints of her inner softie that it’s clear she doesn’t actually hate her sister, although she may fiercely resent her at times. But while you get credit for having good intentions, those intentions don’t replace — or equal — actions. And for ten episodes we saw her intentions remaining shut up inside her, such as with her imagined embrace of Hyo-sun in the last episode. She gets some credit for wanting to comfort her sister, but ultimately that remains locked up in her head and her sister doesn’t know this. Only Dae-sung’s saintly good heart was willing to push through her outer bad behavior to see the good intentions behind them.

As girlfriday noted, this drama has been pretty slow on plot, and I’ll add that it’s been slow on character growth too. It’s great for them to explore these dynamics in such depth, but after a while you just need some progress.

Which is why it’s a grand relief to see them moving forward in this episode — Eun-jo’s outpouring of grief releases her pent-up aggression, and after that bit of catharsis she is able to be less hostile. Not warm, as she warns Hyo-sun, but at least no longer antagonistic. Here she gets credit for intentions AND actions. She’s even able to show her tears to Ki-hoon and Hyo-sun, which is almost as big as declaring she will stop being so mean, because baring weakness is just as hard (if not harder) for her than extending kindness.

As for Kang-sook, frankly I’m loving her (as a character, not as a person). I love how Lee Mi-sook plays her, and even though she says and does some horrible things, the drama has made an effort to portray her as a complex person, not just stock villain. This is one side of the fairy tale that rarely, if ever, gets explored — Cinderella stories always start with the stepmother already evil, and we are just to accept that about her. Other twists on the tale have given the stepsister a deeper look, but never the mother.

I puzzled over her sudden attitude switch, wanting to understand beyond simply “She turns evil because she’s always been evil.” I know that her nice persona was an act, and that she felt suffocated by it enough to keep meeting with Jang ajusshi, with whom she could be her crude, selfish self. But I’m convinced she cared for Dae-sung, maybe even loved him a little, even if I doubt she’d ever admit it to anyone — or even herself. I suspect she told herself it was all an act, but perhaps a small (tiny, minuscule) part of her wanted to be the wife he thought she was. After all, when he married her, she rejoiced at finally getting that stamp of approval as “wife,” which shows that the graduation to respectability did matter.

So I wonder if that teeny part of her used the “I’m just acting nice to fool Dae-sung” routine as an actual excuse to be nice, without admitting the shameful fact that she actually cared about being a decent human being. As we’ve seen time and time again, especially with Eun-jo, she’s deliberately crude and harsh for shock effect. But now with Dae-sung gone, Kang-sook no longer has a reason to act nice, and in a small way it’s like she has lost her anchor. Might as well be the monster she believes she is. Ironically, now the constant cruelty has a suffocating effect on her — just as her nice act used to.

Or am I reaching? This is just a theory-in-progress so I don’t have the entire argument worked out yet, and maybe you disagree and think she’s an evil hag who is a master of getting people to do her bidding. I just don’t think this drama would simplify her to that extreme.


69 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dancingstarlet

    OHMYGOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These recaps are the highlight of my kdrama week!!!!! being the lazy person I am this is the only way I know what’s going on in Cinderella’s sister! Thank you javabeans! You’re amazing!!!

  2. Icarusfalls

    I think you have an littl error – recalling Hyo-sun’s taunt should be Eun Jo!
    Thanks for these recaps. I love this show!!!

  3. justafan

    Happy Mother’s Day…!

  4. shazwina

    wow~ speechless

  5. lovin it

    thanks! i wish things would pick up a bit though..
    im continuing to watch this.. despite that the one good character died..

  6. Icarusfalls

    I love your theory about Kang-sook and I must say I agree. She is one of my favorite characters/actors in the drama together with so many thers and it is interesting to see all her scenes.

  7. annie

    I will turn my self to be a Lesbian for MGY seriously.
    Love all her drama. and this one is absolute friggin awesome with a taste of salt from my tears.

  8. twinkie

    i still wish the character development would move faster and storyline. too much angst is making the storyline dragged out. Eun Jo and Ki Hoons romance needs to blossom more. You gotta make us fall in the love with the couple a little first before bringing on such a heavy dosage of angst.

  9. Ri

    Thanks for the recap! 🙂

    I really enjoyed this episode from the bibimbap scene to the scene between KH and EJ at the main gate. And then there’s HS who reflects her father in her words. I’m starting to take HS a little more seriously now. Haha.

    Lookin forward to ep 12! 🙂

  10. 10 mina

    hey java, i totally agree with you the part about Kisook. Even though we need more proof but so far i get the feeling that she is not totally evil. She is the way she is because she don’t know any better way than what she is right now. I don’t know if that make sense, it’s like she don’t know how to be good. lol.. She learn to be what she is because her environment taught her to be one. So you can’t really say that a person is truly evil from birth lol..cuz at some point in our life we used to be good.

  11. 11 jandoe

    the actress who plays the mother deserves a big fat award at the end of it all. i dislike her character too, but that complexity makes me not able to hate, rather to keep imploring her character depth (or lack thereof?). but whatever it is, the actress plays her so well! …all these said, agree on progress! suddenly episode 11 was a tirade of stuff, moving forward. so much so that just as i said i’d stop watching, it pulled me right back in! Agree though that we COULD do with a no-crying scene episode because this drama is already heavy as it is, but for once i don’t really really really mind it. anyway i’m starting to rant so i’ll stop here, haha.. thanks JB – and girlfriday, can’t wait for twelveeee! 😀

  12. 12 giddygirl108

    I agree with your analysis of her love for Dae-sung but I would also argue that she really did love Jang Ajusshi as well. Remember the scene of when Eun-jo confronted the two and Jang Ajusshi angrily returned the money Kang-sook tried to bribe him with for him to leave? The look on her face after he had returned the check was telling in, at the least, the little affection she did harbor for Jang Ajusshi. Lee Mi-Sook is doing a fantastic job!!!

  13. 13 Molly

    I love you Javabeans!! And I love Cinderella’s Sister! It’s so nice to finally get complex, multidimensional characters, after years of clear-cut good-guy, bad-guy dramas. 🙂

  14. 14 birdscout

    Although I never disliked Hyo-sun, I didn’t especially like her either. But I really did admire the way she asked Eun-jo for a truce at the beginning of this episode. Finally, we get to see some movement in plot and character development! I really enjoyed this episode and the excellent recap is better than the icing on a double-layered ice-cream cake!!! Thank you, javabeans. You are such a talented writer. Watching kdramas is not nearly as much fun or insightful without your recaps.

  15. 15 celestialorigin

    OMG! Thank you soooo much for the recap, JB! You are my hero! I can’t wait to to watch the episodes I haven’t been able to watch soon. Soon, my work will be done and I’ll be able to indulge with my undivided attention. Meantime, this is tiding me up. Thank you again.

  16. 16 emeldy

    I agree with you with your theory on KS.

    I have been defending KS and Ki Jung in other Forums. Am so glad Javabeans, you pointed it out. For some strange reason i cannot hate them. I refuse to see them as an outright villain, though their action looks like it. The small moments when we get to see some sorts of weakness or humanity in their character speaks volume to me. I am really curious how will this two character shape up. Mind you, i have absolutely no hope for them to change, but i am some how rooting for them to change.

    I know many don’t like Ep.11 and 12. It’s actually my Fav so far. I looked at this episode as a big character development.

    I Love CS. I can still vouch that this is one of the best K drama i have watched so far.

  17. 17 aly

    thank you!!! your recaps are always fantastic 🙂
    honestly, I like reading it here rather than watching at this point because there is just too much drama… I’d be on overload… so I’ll read for now and watch later on!

  18. 18 jackie

    finally some bonding time. honestly. but where is jung woo?! D: he has been pretty nonexistent in the past few episodes. BRING HIM BACK.

  19. 19 Emily

    Thanks for the awesome recap!

    I have to agree that it’s SO nice to finally see some relationship development between the sisters. All the silent, angsty glares were getting kind of old.

  20. 20 paige

    thnx 2 the recap….wow its really going well although slowly..
    i hope there would be less crying from the characters and develop more further…
    i hope they could bring out more romantic scenes and comedy..
    but aniway m lovin this drama…
    and will be waiting for nxt recap
    thnx again

  21. 21 cloudpoofer

    I agree with your analysis of Ki-sook. I also like that the people in this drama actually seem like real people. Motives are not always clear, and people are rarely strictly good or evil. I wish there would be more development of the romantic story line though! hehehehehe.
    Thanks for the recaps! 🙂

  22. 22 SM

    Great!!! Finally the plot moves on… I started feeling annoyed and tired with the angst and crying… 🙁 I knew this drama is good but after seeing all of those angry and crying faces, I thought I may drop this drama for a while… I almost switch all of my focus on Personal Taste… Now it is such a relief as I love to follow this drama bcoz of the quality and great acting… 🙂 Cin’s sister let’s roll!!!

  23. 23 Zee

    Great transition in this episode, and Eunjo proved that her heart’s not made out of stone after all. 🙂 Be it to make up for the sins of her mother, or because she does love Hyosun, I think it’s great lengths for Eunjo.

    I love that Hyosun has grown up too. If it were 2 episodes ago that she saw Kihoon with his hand on Eunjo’s shoulder she’d run over and go all Oppaaaa over him to grab him back. Maybe I’m just happy that the sisters are on good terms, finally! For me, I think all the sisterly love is somehow more gratifying than watching the Eunjo-Kihoon relationship (because I’ve half given up on those two).

    Thanks for the recap, amazing as always 🙂

  24. 24 mimi

    Since Hyo-Sun’s had a change of heart towards Eun-Jo now, it’s time for her to fess up about the LETTER. If she had given it to her that day, the course of events would have turned out differently I think: EunJo would have turned soft faster, Ki-Hoon wouldn’t have gotten on the train, …
    Moral of this drama – When someone asks you to give someone a letter, just do it!

  25. 25 Tigger

    Thanks for the recap. I also started to like HS in this episode. When Jung Woo gave her the pin, it reminded me of Ki-hoon telling her he was hungry. Perhaps the affectionate gesture filled some of Eun-jo’s emotional hunger?

  26. 26 soulbee

    awesome recap 🙂
    I must be a crazy person. I watched episodes 11 and 12 and bawled my eyes out
    Then, I decided to watch one of MGY’s films, Love Me Not.

    My eyes are now as puffy as cotton candy

  27. 27 soulbee

    oh and i keep thinking–
    Mr. Jang looks like jang hyuk!
    xD that’s how I imagine jang hyuk will look like when he gets older.

  28. 28 doozy

    “(Why do I find this hard to believe? Just one episode without every main character crying — is that too much to ask?)”

    Ditto that.

    Even though it’s acting, Moon Geun Young and Seo Woo must be so physically and emotionally exhausted from all the crying! Makes me a little worried for their health.

  29. 29 CS Fan

    I agree about the mom. I love the mom too. Not as a mother, she is a horrible mom as both her daughters can testify. But as a character she is just so much fun to watch. Lee Mi-sook is an awesome actress is all I can say. Her Kang-sook is viscous and hateful in some scene, yet side-splitting funny in others. I love how Lee Mi-sook injected that dark humor in her character. She definitely deserves an award for her performance.

    I wish Moon Geun-young would do the same with her character too. It will lighten up her character and gives it more life. And Eun-jo has some great throwaway lines too. My favorite in this episode is the part where she complains her to mom that she’s terrified that she will become Hyo-sun’s mother in her next life and has to take care of her. It’s totally random but dialogs like this always makes me laugh. Same goes for Seo Woo, too much intensity can be tiring for the audience to watch. But this is just a minor complaint against excellent performances from two very talented young actresses.

    Frankly, I am not trilled by Hyo-sun’s change in this episode and her scenes with her step mom. Eun-jo’s change I am expecting, since the show has been building up for it. Hyo-sun’s change comes as a surprise to me and I kind of see it as a regression rather than as an improvement. I tend to love Eun-jo more than Hyo-sun in this drama but I do find Hyo-sun interesting as a character. What with her learning to find her place in the world and fighting for her goals etc. Especially with Eun-jo’s “tough talk” in the previous episode, I thought Hyo-sun will toughen up and become more independent. But she seems to regress right back to her needy and overly-sunny childhood self in the first few episodes. The parallels between her and her father in this episode is obvious and the drama emphasize as much. But I think there is a fundamental difference between her kindness and her father’s kindness. Dae-sung never really experience his wife’s cruelty and coldness. True he realized that she is materialistic and married him for his money. But from his POV, Kang-sook has been a good wife and mother for the past eight years. He is also aware that Kang-sook and Eun-jo has been living a harsh life before they met him and this brings out the protective instinct in him. Hence he wants to take care of them. Dae-sung may be kind, but he is not without his temper. He does have pride and dignity. Hyo-sun, on the other hand, behaves more like a puppy who keeps crawling back to her master after getting kicked repeatedly. It makes her scenes with Kang-sook very frustrating to watch. I was like, are you some kind of masochist? Like everyone else, I am loving the sisterly love in this episode and that she and Eun-jo are finally getting along now. I just wish she and Eun-jo will reconcile while retaining some of the spirit and fire she displayed in the past few episodes.

  30. 30 Cloud

    I definitely agree with the theory you placed about Kangsook; I love the reverse psychology the staff injected in the drama. People start changing themselves, both for the better and worse. It’s intriguing how each of the characters develop. Which is why I have to say, CS is an amazing drama that really strikes the heart and mind.

  31. 31 Hannah

    Lovely recap 🙂

  32. 32 ais730

    thanks again for the recap javabeans…

    i love the develoment of EJ and HS’ relationship in this episode.. i am rooting for the sisterly love to become deeper =)

  33. 33 purty.sunshine

    This was my favorite episode so far. I cried for the first time and was extremely moved. Normally, I watch dramas for their “fluff” factor…ie. The cute romantic moments between the characters but I was surprised to find myself enjoying this particular episode purely for the great acting and touching and extremely moving moments between all the characters.

    I could probably usually be referred to as a “shallow” drama watcher, and I’m sure anyone who watches dramas would know what I mean. But lately, I’ve become drawn to melodramas (ooh Korea, why do you make me masochistic?) and more for the fact that I get to see such amazing acting with some great writing.

    I was very blown away! Finally, I can say “*this* is why I’m watching Cinderella’s Sister.”

  34. 34 djes

    I watched this episode RAW, and FF-ing it, because I want to watch it again properly with sub….when I caught their breakfast scene, I stopped and I cried.
    It supposed to be a happy scene, and I’ve been waiting for this for so long, and I feel relieved. It’s a simple but beautiful scene, my favorite so far.

    I knew it! It’s the father who is the true devil! Ki Jung always looks sad whenever he sees Ki Hoon, and their other rebel brother ( I wonder what will his part in this story, with his appearance in the later episode ) seems never really hate Ki Hoon, like what he believes.

  35. 35 pabo ceo reom

    I agree.

    I don’t think Kang-sook is a straight-up villain. I completely ahbor her on a superficial character level, but I can see why she acts the way she acts.

    And yes, this episode really brought me back into this drama. I was starting to grow iffy but I’m getting pulled back in and it’s not a minute too early that’s for sure.

  36. 36 skyyy

    Even though I follow this show pretty much religiously, I still find your recaps fun to read and quite insightful. Thanks for continuing this~~

  37. 37 sam

    Awesome recap JB for a happier episode. 🙂

    Kang Sook also change in that 8 years. At first it is an act. But after DS got his heart attack, I think that she actually cares. The scene in front of the surgery door do convinced me that Kang Sook do love or at least care very much for DS. She might not label her feeling as love but that is what she feels at that time. So her treatment to DS after that is all out of love, her way. It’s no longer an act.

    When DS died, she is at loss again. Kang Sook came from a generation where a woman’s identity is connected to who they married or not. That is why the identity of ‘wife’ is very important to her. Remember the scene after she got married and look at her marriage cert. How gleeful she was! So when she’s all alone again she lost that identity. She try to be the woman she thought she was before she married.

    All these years she thought that she’s being nice to HS because HS is DS’s daughter. Now when DS is no longer around, Kang Sook thought she have no reason to be nice to HS anymore so she treated her bad. But her chest pain is an indication that her true feeling (care/love for my children) is not in sync with her action( treating HS badly). And it manifest in her chest pain. HS, previously, brings out the best in Kang Sook. The way she treated HS in the past is the way good mother (good mother identity in KS’s mind) should treat their children. Could it be that she actually love HS on her own merit, not just as DS’s daughter? That is why she cannot bear to see HS(asking her to go somewhere else, not eating with her etc), because it made her feels bad because she treated HS badly.

    @ JB “Why do I find this hard to believe? Just one episode without every main character crying — is that too much to ask?”

    Ahh…but this time JB, the cryings is not just sad crying, But happy ones too. That can’t be bad, right?

    DS did say to KH before he passed away that it’s going to be okay. KH is in turmoil so he’s not ready to believe it. DS trusts that all the people he left behind have their hearts all in the right place so no matter how hard things are they will get over it. So maybe we can expect happy endings too for all these characters? 🙂

  38. 38 peanut butter

    i love how starting episode 11, the characters start developing more!! it’s so interesting to see these characters interact with one another! and yes, kangsook is definitely not the typical stepmother (which is a good thing)!! and the fact that she is in part watching out for her blood children makes me think that she is one who completely doesnt trust in the world and only takes her immediate family into consideration. she is a survivor! just in my opinion.

  39. 39 shin mi rae

    thanks for the recaps. love it.

    im just wondering. Hyo Sun keeps punching her chest and having a difficult time to breath… are we seeing a developing life-threatening sickness here??? i hope not. there is enough drama here to sustain the series… i hope they will not inject a cancer or heart disease here….

  40. 40 T

    Thanks for the recap!!! I love this show and loved this episode…but I have to admit I am a bit conflicted on the change?… or more kindly put progression of the characters. The audience has always known that Eun Jo’s heart is kinder than her facade but Kang Sook…hmmmmmmm…not so much… Honestly, I don’t like her having chest pains or some such thing to speak of her feeling some sort of guilt. I agree that those things make her a more complex character,but I liked the idea of her being a pure villain. People and dramas especially have a hard time seeing people as just well bad. Some people are…well just bad and as we have a beavy of complex and dynamic characters in this show, I liked the idea of Kang Sook being this ruthless, hardass, b^tch of a woman. If one needed a reason for her charachter’s actions I was hoping it would be an example of this steel like woman paired down to nothing but nails by life. I like the idea of her having had to survive by her wit, charm, and exquisite sort of guile to create this narcissitic and meglomanical woman. Granted these are all ideas super imposed on this poor character but I liked it and it seems to fit better in my humble opinion than any not so residual feelings of guilt 🙂 Frankly, I’m a bit dissappointed. Not only is she not as interesting as a character anymore, but her childlike willingness to accept what Eun Jo says about playing Hyo Sun out of her inheritance is bewildering. 🙂

  41. 41 Deborah

    @39 shin mi rae

    Hyo-Sun does it because its her way of dealing with the pain she feels (even more so) when she tries to suppress her tears (EJ and HS in this episode agreed that she should stop crying).

    Thanks JB for the great recap! Glad everything is ~kind~ of more mellow…

  42. 42 sam

    @ 39 shin mi rae

    “Hyo Sun keeps punching her chest and having a difficult time to breath… are we seeing a developing life-threatening sickness here??? i hope not. there is enough drama here to sustain the series”

    LOL. I’m still laughing as I’m typing this. I hope not! Like you said there’s enough drama as it is. To my understanding, she’s holding her chest because she’s out poured her feelings to EJ about their mom. It’s still flowing. She is still overwhelmed by it.

  43. 43 ClassX

    @ 39

    xD hahaa definitely not
    Remember, she is Cinderella.
    Plus, if she was going to die, I’m sure dramatic music would play and sounds of her heartbeat would be sounded
    and kihoon would be like, ” dude, are you ok? you look like ur abt to die!”

    Kihoon didnt seem too worried about hyosun, so I don’t think we have to worry either.

  44. 44 hannah

    these recaps are always such a gem to look forward to in my week – thank you, thank you, thank you all for recapping so faithfully!


  45. 45 Porcelain

    Thanks for the recap…

    Halfway thru the drama, I am still confuse who is the Cinderella… as in fitting the original fairytale mode…

    If Eun Jo is the mean stepsister, well she is indeed mean, but with a conscience… I hurt for her whenever she tells Kang Sook to treat Hyo Sun better…

    And Hyo Sun… despite the nasty treatment still clings on to whatever “family” she knows… Lee Mi Sook… I love this woman!

    I don’t trhink anyone, exception to the Hong family – daddy and hyung team… could be consider as evil…

    I don’t think anyone is particularly villianous and even if they are *evil* like Kang Sook, they are multi-facade, which makes this a delicious drama!

  46. 46 Mel

    Honestly, I like your reflections on Kang Sook’s character. Many fans have contemplated on KH/EJ/HS but I feel this KS woman is power! She is the reason why all these started in the first place:

    Without her, DS would have never remarried. Subsequently, EJ would not have known the warmth and security that she had for that 8 years and HS might not ever have gotten in touch with her antagonistic side since she was doted as an only child. And KH dear of course, would never have felt more angst than this.

    She is an awfully nicely written character – I feel she epitomises the human character a lot, in various ways.

    Thanks. I really like your take on KS’ character.

  47. 47 asianromance

    thank you for the recap! i love the progress here! instead of a eunjo-kihoon or eunjo-jungwoo shipper, i’m a eunjo-hyosun shipper as i love how these two girls are becoming more like sisters and supporting each other. I love romance in drama, but the way kdramas depict family love trumps romantic love.

    i wonder if Kangsook’s coldness towards Hyosun is due to guilt. When facing guilt, there are some people who lash out and try to run away from it (like Kangsook) and there are some people who try to atone (like Eunjo). Hyosun’s love must really torture Kangsook. She can go on and on about sponging off nice people, but she can’t suppress her conscience all the time. Every time she sees Hyosun or everytime Hyosun touches her, it is probably like someone screaming “you are a horrible bitch!” to her.

  48. 48 caryatid

    so nice to see that the sisters somewhat get along with each other. your definitely right JB it is truly a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to the story…now all we need to see is some lip action! muahahahaha!!!:D

  49. 49 kit

    I was totally hoping Eunjo would be cold forever and run away with Jungwoo. >_>
    But very good character development in this – it seemed a bit too hurried after her being so cold for ten episodes, but I guess her stepfather’s death was able to release her from her supposed non caring attitude.

  50. 50 shu

    AHAHA. Go Ki-Hoon run away with her to Ushiasia!! Now’s your chance!!!

    awww. wish thinsg could be this simple for ki hoon and eun jo, but anyway, nevertheless thrilled to see them interacting again without throwing boulders across.

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