Drama Recaps
Cinderella’s Sister: Episode 17
by | May 29, 2010 | 98 Comments

I think I have to start out with an apology, because I’m just so emotionally checked out of this drama that I can’t tell a good episode apart from a bad one anymore. I’ve read a lot of comments about how Episode 17 is so much better than the previous ones, which was promising to hear, but in the end all it gets from me is a resounding “Eh.” There are two conflicting adages that come to mind: “Better late than never” and “Too little too late.”


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Hyo-sun comes home in a daze and tells Eun-jo, “Mom ran away.” With her initial anger now replaced by little-lost-girl fear, Hyo-sun says dully that Mom ran away because she felt sorry to Dae-sung. Eun-jo looks at her in a mix of pity and disbelief, like she can’t decide whether Hyo-sun is that good or that stupid. Hyo-sun admits that she had used Jang ajusshi as a reason to hold onto Mom — that she didn’t want to kick her out, so if she could forgive Jang ajusshi, she wouldn’t have to.

Hyo-sun asks who Eun-jo and her mother are to her that she’s like this, but Eun-jo has no idea and asks the same thing back: “Who are we that you can’t let us go?” Hyo-sun counters by asking who’s acting more absurdly, her or Kang-sook. TouchΓ©, although frankly I think everyone in this drama is operating on some absurdity clause.

Eun-jo can’t take this — she and her mother have incurred so many sins against Hyo-sun and her father that she can’t stand it. She asks Hyo-sun to kick her away, but Hyo-sun refuses. If you feel that bad, you could try for some self-kicking, you know. You could ask Ki-hoon for tips.

Eun-jo starts to leave the room, but Hyo-sun grabs onto her leg and clings. Eun-jo tries to wriggle out of her sister’s grasp, but Hyo-sun grabs onto her arm, her ankle, her shirt — whatever she can hold on to drag Eun-jo back down. There’s a darkly funny undercurrent to this moment, reminiscent of that courtyard punch-a-thon in a long-ago episode, one where you can’t laugh outright but which has its own sort of pathetic-comic tinge.

Unable to get free, Eun-jo screams that she hates this, hates her, hates everything. Hyo-sun cries out, “How can you not know?” How can Eun-jo be so blind to a person’s feelings?

Resting her head on her sister’s knee, Hyo-sun says that Eun-jo and Kang-sook are sick people (sick as in suffering from illness rather than twisted, although I think there’s an argument for both) — how can they turn the past eight years into nothing? If she’s not ill, how else could Eun-jo act like they’re unconnected? I guess she’s looking for an answer other than “Because my heart is studded with spikes, wrapped in layers of ice, and dipped in a coating of fun-killing toxic goo.”

Hyo-sun argues that Jun-su ties Mom to Dad and sister to sister. (It makes me wonder if anything would change if Jun-su turned out to be Jang’s son, which is something I’ve always wondered. Probably not, given the way things are going, but there were a few episodes in there that could have gone that way. It sure explains Jun-su’s mean streak.)

Eun-jo sighs, “You’re really driving me crazy, Gu Hyo-sun.” Hyo-sun returns the sentiment, then asks her to bring Mom back.

Hyo-sun is still ill, so Eun-jo puts her to bed and tends to her, wondering if she ought to hug Hyo-sun — that if she held her feverish sister, she’d feel the heat too and be able to understand her for once. You know what would help with the understanding? If people just DID, instead of wondering about doing, and oh, maybe talked about the things they didn’t understand so that they could get understood.

Eun-jo is not that shocked by her mother’s departure, and narrates that compared to the shock it gave to Hyo-sun, her own is nothing. She asks Jung-woo to meet with Jang ajusshi just in case Kang-sook went to him.

Ki-hoon feeds Hyo-sun some lies (or greatly improbable ideas) that give her hope, saying that her mother probably just needed time to think, which she couldn’t have with Hyo-sun always around. She’ll come back once she’s thought everything over.

Eun-jo walks a glum Jun-su to kindergarten, telling him that Mom will be back soon. He isn’t satisfied with that answer and demands to know if she knows who SNSD is, or T-ara, or U-Kiss. He does some of their age-inappropriate dances — pelvic thrusting and all — and is annoyed that Eun-jo has no idea what he’s talking about. Mom knew them all.

What a random bit, but I’ll take the comic relief wherever we get it.

It turns out that Kang-sook has come to work at the restaurant run by the old friend she had run into. It’s a humble place and the riffraff can get a little unruly with a few bottles of soju in them. Kang-sook intervenes to help her friend fend off the drunken men’s groping and shoving, and sees that the woman’s daughter watches the scene, crying silently.

Kang-sook takes the girl outside to get away from the ruckus, and it’s a little jarring to see her showing compassion for a random daughter when she has left her own. But this supports the point that Kang-sook has finally seen the error of her ways and while she can’t comfort the children she has wronged, she can comfort this one.

Eun-jo tells Jun-su that she’ll learn the dance for him for his kindergarten class. Jun-su yells that he wants Hyo-sun to take him instead of his ugly older sister. (And I wonder, are we supposed to feel sorry for this kid? ‘Cause he’s kind of a mean bully. And while he has just lost his Dad and temporarily his Mom, I’m not sure they’re showing him in the most sympathetic light…)

Eun-jo persists, to which Jun-su shouts that she’s lying, and besides, she doesn’t know how anyway.

She comes upon Ki-hoon in the office, who is transcribing Dae-sung’s notes into the computer. He had intended to finish it before leaving the company, but may not have time and tells her she’d better have a look. Plus, the books contain personal notes as well. Inside one she finds a sonogram of Jun-su, which Dae-sung has labeled “my third gift.”

Ki-hoon leaves the office to let Eun-jo use the computer, but a sound captures his attention — it’s a live performance of T-ara that Eun-jo has pulled up on the laptop. She looks at the computer as though it’s a video of an alien ritual — which it probably is, to her. Still, she gamely gives it a go, awkward hand gestures and all. Ki-hoon can’t help but smile, because he’s just as surprised as we are to see a booty-shaking Eun-jo make an appearance in this drama.

The scene starts out funny, but it develops a sad undertone as Eun-jo thinks of the ridiculousness of dancing in such a situation: “My mother is a truly, truly unbelievable woman.” And not in the good way.

Eun-jo finally receives contact from her mother, who calls from a pay phone. Kang-sook reminds her that she had said she’d be happy living without her mother, saying that it would have been nice if Eun-jo had let her run away, and maybe then they could have met up once a year pleasantly.

Eun-jo talks urgently, telling her that Hyo-sun and Jun-su both want to see her. “Mom, do you think it’s fine to just run away like this? Are you saying you don’t care what happens to everyone else as long as you can get away? Even if you go, you can’t do it this way.” Perhaps those words connect with Ki-hoon, who may have not considered his own departure in those terms till now.

Kang-sook says that she hasn’t decided whether or not she will leave, and will let her know when she has.

Jung-woo tries to urge Hyo-sun to eat something, but she remains stubbornly sitting on the steps of the house, waiting for Kang-sook. Jung-woo tells her that she’ll come back, drawing upon his experiences with her in the past, when she occasionally went away but always ended up returning. She’d never leave her kids behind, which means she will come back to retrieve them. However, as Eun-jo won’t leave this house, that means Kang-sook will end up staying, too. He says all this with enough matter-of-factness to give her some hope.

Upon hearing that Eun-jo has made contact with Kang-sook, Hyo-sun insists on going with Jung-woo. They haven’t located the exact whereabouts, but Ki-hoon and Eun-jo are able to narrow down the source to a particular city.

Eun-jo tries to insist that Ki-hoon go back home to be with Hyo-sun while she can go on to meet her mother. He tells her that he feels relieved now that he has told her everything he has to say — it doesn’t matter if she hates him now, because he feels free to worry about her. He couldn’t do that before, burdened with guilt as he was, but now he’s unfazed by her glares and her ire.

A wrench is thrown into their travel plans when the car breaks down and they have to wait for a repairman. On top of that, it’s likely they won’t be able to fix the car right away, so Ki-hoon suggests leaving it with the mechanic and taking a bus for the rest of the way.

Eun-jo hates losing time and in her irritable mood grows angrier at the sight of Ki-hoon’s smile. But now that he’s finally been unburdened, it’s like nothing can ruffle his good mood or wipe the smile from his face: “Even in this really serious situation, I want to talk about things that have nothing to do with this. It feels like they’ll burst out. Will you listen to me?”

He grabs her by the shoulders and pushes her toward the car. If ever a moment called for a kiss, this is it — but by now I’m not even fazed when they don’t, because when faced with the option to either satisfy or frustrate, when has this drama ever chosen against frustrate?

Instead, Ki-hoon leans against the car and tells her to lean, lest she tire herself out. He starts to reminisce, saying she hasn’t changed in eight years. Eun-jo can’t bear to go down memory lane and turns away, but he grabs her arm and tells her, “Just lean somewhere,” and this time he doesn’t just mean the car. They wait.

This means Hyo-sun and Jung-woo arrive in the neighborhood first, and without much to go on, they walk around asking locals for information. They have no luck all day and Jung-woo suggests they stop for meal break, overriding Hyo-sun’s resistance to arrive at the restaurant run by Kang-sook’s friend.

Kang-sook is in the kitchen cooking, and recognizes Hyo-sun’s voice. Seized with panic, she escapes to the adjacent room and urges her friend not to say anything about her, and to serve the kids as slowly as possible so as to buy her some time.

However, the woman’s daughter asks her mother where the ajumma went, especially without her wallet, which Hyo-sun immediately recognizes as Kang-sook’s.

Leaving the car behind, Ki-hoon and Eun-jo take the bus, and Eun-jo nods off during the ride. Her head lolls uncomfortably, and as Ki-hoon watches her sleep, he slowly moves her head to rest against his shoulder. Watching her sleep, he smiles like a little boy.

Jung-woo texts him to say that they found Kang-sook, whom Hyo-sun faces with indignation.

Kang-sook keeps her gaze firmly fixed away from Hyo-sun and tells her to leave — even if she and Jung-woo dragged her back home today, she’d find a way to run off. Hyo-sun demands to know why, and Kang-sook answers that for the first time in her life, “I’ve realized what it means to not be able to show my face.” She can do so when she’s here, but not at home — not in front of her children. Not wanting to accept her mother’s departure, Hyo-sun tells her to live with her with her head bowed, then. That was her punishment.

Kang-sook urges her to ask Eun-jo all about the horrible things she had done in the past without even batting an eye, as though that will convince her that Kang-sook isn’t ready or worthy to return yet. She says she will go home if/when she finds that she can. Hyo-sun tearily agrees to leave now, but only if Kang-sook promises that she’ll come someday, and that until she does, she’ll stay here with her friend. Kang-sook makes the promise.

When Eun-jo wakes up, she’s surprised to find herself leaning against Ki-hoon and the bus now empty. He’d asked the driver for ten minutes, but now it’s been thirty since they arrived.

He tells her that Hyo-sun found her mother, which is why he agreed to meet them back at home. There’s no need for them to also seek her out, so they can head back now. Eun-jo naturally balks at that — no decision is satisfactory unless it was her own, and even then she’s hardly ever satisfied — and insists on going to seek her out anyway.

With her usual charm, Eun-jo harangues the restaurant ajumma, calling her a liar (for saying Kang-sook isn’t around) and demanding that she tell her where she went. The ajumma tamps down her irritation and says that Kang-sook immediately packed up after the other kids left, which Eun-jo doesn’t believe. Finally the ajumma has enough of Eun-jo’s shouting and retorts that even if she DID know, she’d want to lie because of Eun-jo’s attitude. Seriously, you’d think the girl would have figured this out by now, with all her business experiences. Instead she keeps yelling, which gets her kicked out.

And even then, she continues to bang on the door and insist that the ajumma tell her where her mother went. Ki-hoon stands by quietly throughout this whole exchange, but finally he steps in and pulls her away from the door, grabbing her in a hug.

The gesture is partly to contain Eun-jo’s reaction and partly to soothe her, and he holds her tightly as she fights him at first, then gradually calms down as he pats her head like a gentle father might. Eun-jo says, “She said she’d never once considered abandoning me, but she did anyway.”

Ki-hoon continues to pat her comfortingly, and shares a story of his own. How back in his youth, he had been taken away by these big men, against his mother’s wishes. She had run crying after the car, even though she wasn’t supposed to run. And that’s how he was separated from her.

One day, his mother had come to find him in the house where he’d lived with his brothers. That’s when his brother had given her the runaround — literally — to lose her, and she had run after him. (That’s how she had died, as we already know from Ki-jung’s admission.)

Eun-jo hears him recount a part of his life she’d never known before, possibly feeling a certain bond with the scars they carry because of their mothers. He promises, “I’ll find her for you. Don’t worry.” And for once, she lets him comfort her.

She arrives home late that night to find Jun-su crying for Mom, and Hyo-sun trying to comfort him, making up a story about how she’s nursing her sick friend back to health. To help him back to sleep, Hyo-sun carries him piggyback in the courtyard, murmuring affectionately just like Dae-sung used to do, “Our puppy, our adorable, awful kiddo-kiddo-kiddo…”

As they lay side-by-side with a sleeping Jun-su between them, Eun-jo asks if that’s what “he” used to do for Hyo-sun when she couldn’t sleep — is that what Dad used to say?

Eun-jo’s use of the word “Dad,” which she so scrupulously tried to avoid in the past, makes Hyo-sun sit up immediately in surprise. Sadly, Hyo-sun asks, “Why am I hearing this for the first time? You should have said that sooner.” Why did Eun-jo insist on being such a brat before?

Everyone has been saying that they’re sure Kang-sook will return — as though there’s no way she wouldn’t — but Eun-jo needs to voice her fears and she asks Hyo-sun what she’d do if Mom never comes back. However, Hyo-sun would rather answer the question of why she believes that Kang-sook WILL come back: “Because Mom said she can’t hold up her face.” But abandoning Jun-su is an even worse act that should make it even harder for Kang-sook to hold up her face; ergo, she will come back.

That so surprises Eun-jo that she sits straight up in disbelief. This is the first indication that Kang-sook is really feeling remorse for her actions and, more than that, shame. Hyo-sun adds that she believes that Kang-sook won’t want to spit on the last eight years, no matter how hard they were, because that’s like spitting on Dae-sung. Doesn’t Eun-jo feel the same way?

Eun-jo’s narration: “It was really hard to believe, but she’s telling me that Mom has realized what shame is. Without me knowing, Hyo-sun was growing up from the ridiculous girl who used cutesy antics to gain anything into an adult who knew how to respect the time that had passed. Only I with my bared claws stayed the same.”

And can I say that I’m greatly relieved that Eun-jo has finally realized that she has not changed. Well, she has mellowed out since Dae-sung died, but her view of the world and unwillingness to bend has remained a constant. Perhaps this will prompt some real progress in her, which has been a really long time coming. Again, it’s better late than never, but rather too little too late to make a convincing impact at this late stage.

Ki-hoon returns to the restaurant the next day to try approaching the ajumma’s daughter for information, as he’d seen her the night before. He flashes his winning smile at her and asks about her mother’s friend, but the girl is wary of the strange man (smart girl!) and says that the woman is gone. Rather than pressing her, Ki-hoon employs some reverse psychology and backs off, affably saying that that’s too bad. Oh well.

As he leaves, he sees the girl running for her mother. An important phone call sends him away before he sees Kang-sook, however, who hears that a man had been by inquiring after her.

The call is from Director Park, Ki-jung’s resigned Hong Ju employee. And this drama is making it WAY too easy to joke about Ki-hoon’s lethal telephoning powers, because apparently Mr. Park is dying. (For reals!) He feels burdened by all the shady dealings he has been a part of and is giving Ki-hoon vital information about Hong Ju misdeeds via email. How convenient! It’s like he knew this was Episode 17 and swooped in with a deus ex machina plot point!

Also on the docket for today is a last-minute visit by the Dae-sung Co. elders. Knowing it can’t be good, Ki-hoon tells Jung-woo to make sure Eun-jo doesn’t return to the winery today, as he doesn’t want her present for this meeting.

They are here to inform him that Hong Ju has accepted their shares in Dae-sung Co. in exchange for Hong Ju stock. Ki-hoon asks for the conditions of the exchange, arguing that this company cannot be swallowed up by them. The head elder cuts him off curtly — they came to tell the two daughters, not to consult with him. They will return tomorrow to talk directly with Eun-jo and Hyo-sun.

Ki-hoon tries to explain that the two sisters are going through a lot right now — if they hear about this, they’d lose the will to endure. He asks for more time and the details of Hong Ju’s offer. They remain silent and leave.

Next, he meets with Director Park to ask about his intentions — the sudden help is a little suspicious, to say the least. Park merely explains that part of him would like for Ki-hoon to take that information and stick it to the Hongs in his stead, but more prominent is his desire to die with a clean conscience. At the end of the day, no matter his personal motivation, what’s wrong is wrong.

Ki-hoon warns the man that he’s inviting investigation of his own deeds, but Director Park is prepared for even worse than that. He tells him to use that information however he wishes, whether it’s to publicize Hong Ju’s deeds to the world or to help restore Dae-sung Co.

Jung-woo has done as ordered and taken Eun-jo away for the day, ignoring her insistence on returning to the winery. For once he even yells at her to listen to him, which is quite a surprise since she’s the only one who’s ever yelling in this relationship.

Still, she continues to complain, until he whips out his hidden (but probably faked) card: It’s his birthday. He hadn’t wanted to be the guy who insists that someone celebrate his birthday with him, but he’ll take it where he can. And that finally convinces Eun-jo to go along for the day. She even enjoys herself.

This sequence injects some much-needed levity into the episode, and is worth it just for the cake scene alone, which I admit was the one truly winning moment in this episode for me and made me laugh out loud. Eun-jo dips her finger in icing to dab it on Jung-woo’s nose, displaying a rare flash of her playful side. Jung-woo takes this as encouragement and dips HIS finger in the icing, holding his finger out toward Eun-jo’s face, which is when she levels THIS stare at him:

“You are writing your epitaph” seems to be the closest translation of that sardonic look, and Jung-woo sheepishly retracts the finger and licks the icing off himself.

They go on to enjoy the date-like atmosphere, where he compares her to a round-faced stuffed animal (to which she protests) and even persuades her to wear a silly pink headband. She’s reluctant to do it, but the guilt of “It’s my birthday present” is too strong for her to deny. She does, however, refuse to succumb to the supreme cheesiness of allowing him to wear a similar set of ears, and he pulls his off with some disappointment. So cute.

All in all, not a bad night. Upon arriving home, she bids Jung-woo good night and heads on to her room, but just as she rounds the corner, there Ki-hoon is, sitting out in his pavilion.

He calls out to her, “Eun-jo ya,” and gestures her closer. She thinks he’s crazy — has he forgotten all the angst between them? (And I’m like, honey, we’re all trying to forget that!)

She thinks, “He’s smiling. He’s definitely crazy.” But then she starts to head toward him, thinking, “And I’m definitely crazy, too.”


I’ve been hanging in there because I’d committed to finishing this drama, and there’s only one more week left, and I do feel a sense of responsibility to projects I’ve taken on. I’m trying not to let my personal fatigue weigh down the recaps although I’m sure it comes across, plus I’ve never made it a point to leave out opinions just because they weren’t positive; I don’t want to write recaps as a mere dry recounting of events. But just know that this is me being as positive as I can, which is nowhere near how frustrated I feel on the inside. It’s gone beyond Will It Snow For Christmas levels of angst (bearable) and is hovering right on the border of A Star’s Lover (unbearable).

One light at the end of the tunnel is this: As with Will It Snow For Christmas, I was pretty certain we had to get a happy(ish) ending because otherwise, the angst wouldn’t make any sense. There can’t be a point to all this Sturm und Drang if we were going to end up on a depressing note, because I firmly believe that a tragic ending would require more up and down in the middle. Not this solid plateau of moodiness. This drama isn’t tragic enough for a tragic ending, so we’ve got to be angling for a (semi-)happy one. I don’t mean wedding scenes and trumpets blaring, but a hopeful ending that points at a satisfactory end for most of our characters.

One thing that struck me with this episode — though it has been the case throughout the drama — is that I really hate how the men treat the women. Like they’re helpless idiots incapable of doing anything for themselves, and must be “shielded” from the truth. It’s as though these men must keep secrets from the frail women because their frail women minds and hysterical emotions wouldn’t be able to handle the hard truth. I mean, WTF?

For instance, Ki-hoon taking the meeting with the elders and keeping it a secret from Eun-jo because she wouldn’t be able to endure this news. What drama have you been watching, Ki-hoon? Girl is about as soft and weak as a cast-iron skillet thrown at your head, which is what I’m tempted to do. She is less tough with emotional traumas originating from her mother, but in other respects she’s pretty solid; she’s hardly going to have a breakdown because of some sold shares. Jung-woo isn’t as bad (for example, worrying that she’s not eating seems like a reasonable concern) but he displays the same tendencies. Then again, you can’t blame the men that much since the women do have a history of collapsing from emotional blows. I’m annoyed with the men for treating the ladies like this, but I think I’m more annoyed with the drama for supporting their beliefs.


98 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ahem...

    I just want to know if Eun-jo would want to see the first episode of Coffee House. Being that she has become a new fan of Tiara.

  2. Sveta

    Ah, that’s what the scene was. When i downloaded the episode, i sort of did a quick scan through it, that’s why i thought of extension…i thought it was a real date instead of a birthday date.

  3. msles59130

    First!! i loved this episode, and although it was a bit too late, still felt it moved the plot forward enough to be believable

  4. Atsirk

    Whoa. Thanks for pointing that out, Javabeans.
    Nonetheless, I really liked this episode.
    Episode 18 is much more awesome πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the recaps πŸ™‚

  5. Sveta

    one quick question, so far, is this drama worse or better than Forever Yours?

  6. Nano

    I gave up on this drama, although I’m following it through your recaps. It makes it so much less heavy with your dry humor through it.
    the part where director park is dying was a complete WTF….

  7. kay

    maybe i’ll finally start watching again…. or maybe not. man this drama had such amazing potential and then it went all crazy on us.

  8. Ladymoonstone143

    Thanks for the recap javabeans. I am also committed to finishing this drama with so much angst..but liking Bad Guy is helping me a little bit. I got something forward to look into and will not waste so much tears anymore with watching CS..lol

  9. jackie

    this drama makes me so sad. it had so much potential. it could have been so great. and they give us THIS?

  10. 10 Lan

    I don’t think kihoon is trying to shield eun Jo of the news. He’s simply buying time because he just figured out his own way of dealing with this.

  11. 11 Lan

    And jun soo’s mean streak? He can certainly get that from the mother! I see no relation between that and the potential fact that he might be Jang’s son. It’s kind of mean to interpret it that way. Lots of nice parents have mean kids too, so what now? And at the end of the day it won’t matter that much if everyone loves the kid like family. Family is because they have all been together, isn’t that important? Like hyo sun and eun Jo don’t have any real blood connection but they have come far in being true sisters to each other.

  12. 12 Noypi

    Call me crazy but i’m one of those people who loved this drama from the very start up to now… i RARELY like dramas that are over 16 episodes but this drama is an exception.. it kept me interested.. i know some may complain about the slow pace or lack of skinship, or late revelations, but i love it.. it IS a drama and this is what they give us and i can totally relate to them.. it is Better Late than Never for those who are thinking about giving this drama a second chance… if u see Episode 18… Trust me, u wont regret it… 2 episodes left to tie it all out.. im keeping my fingers crossed that they give a happy but logical and realistic ending..

  13. 13 nuttycracker

    Ahh…finally, a moving episode! Yes, I totally agree that this is too little too late. I felt I have invested sooo much time (and got soo disappointed with way to many episodes) that I just couldn’t quit now that the end is looming. Thank goodness, only 3 episodes left!

  14. 14 mina

    i agree, i can’t distinguish if this is bad or a good drama. It seems like every episode, i don’t know what to expect, and it will goes forever and ever. Like it don’t feel there’s only one more week left because the story just doesn’t seems to end this soon you know. I don’t know, i think until i see the ending then i can decide if this is a bad or a good drama.

  15. 15 popcorn

    +_+” You are better than me. I stopped watching after episode 14 or so. It was too emotionally aggravating and I can’t seem to relate to it anymore. Nothing in real life to me is that sad or even 1/4 of it…

    I simply like it because it seems to have a good plot but along the way one small problem remains throughout the whole drama. The characters somehow just can’t seem to be honest. It’s like “Speak!”. I’m sure in real life there are more than enough instances where people wish they don’t speak too much. This drama just defies that to me.


  16. 16 Rev

    Jun-su dancing was just… awkward to me. Felt soooo wrong, hehe.

  17. 17 asianromance

    thank you for the recap! This script could have used some editing and polishing to speed up the plot and to cut out the contrivances…i wonder if the script was completed before the shooting or if the script is being written while shooting. I feel pretty bad for this drama. It’s got tons of good material but it seriously needed a better editor.

    anyways Eunjo’s revelation about herself and how unchanged she has been these past years sort of makes me forgive the show a little bit (and then that bit of light was ruined a bit by the Kihoon scenes). At least there was some sort of purpose to Eunjo’s pretty static character even though she and Hyo-sun have become tight and everything. .

    As for Junsu’s mean streak and petty behavior…it’s understandable. He inherited the mean streak from Kangsook and I think Daesung was a somewhat indulgent dad, which had allowed this mean streak to grow unchecked. Look at Hyo-sun- she didn’t grow up until she felt threatened by Eun-jo.

  18. 18 Yawn!

    This drama is about a whole lotta nothing. Just goes round and round and round…..Great acting from a wonderful cast, but just seems wasted! My brain is mostly checked out as I watch and I don’t have any emotional investment in any of the characters. I would be great if Eun-jo ended up with Jun Woo, but since that will most likely never happen, I don’t care at all if Eun-jo is with Ki-hoon in the end. But since I’m the type that finishes all the dramas that I start, even if they stink, I’m going to suck it up. Thank goodness my misery will be over by next week. Whoo hoo!

  19. 19 mimi

    We waited 17 long episodes for Eun-Jo to place her head on Ki-Hoon’s shoulder. The writers threw us a little Goldfish cracker. to keep us anticipating. Oooohh. Nice. It’s really moving slowly!

  20. 20 danni

    I’m not sure if this episode was better or worse. I’ve been enjoying the drama more because of the antagonism between Hyo-sun and Kang-sook, but this episode was all about Eun-jo and Ki-hoon and they’ve spent so much time pushing them away from each other that I thought pushing them together like this was just weird. It’s kind of sad that the drama is called Cinderella’s Sister, but I feel more invested in Hyo-sun (who has actually CHANGED) than Eun-jo. She’s interesting sometimes, but only when she’s having a mental breakdown, which is you know every other episode, and that gets tiring after awhile.

    I totally agree about the men protecting the women thing by the way, but since the women in this family are always nearly close to a flipping breakdown, I can understand why the men are like this. Like you said, it’s more of the drama’s fault.

  21. 21 Yawn!

    Forgot to add – thanks so much Javabeans for your recaps. I actually couldn’t even finish watching this episode as IT WAS SO BORING as I had not gotten up to the “birthday date” part yet. Gotta go back now and finish. Jung Woo is the only character that i’m rooting for……so if that’s not enough proof that I’ve already “checked out”! LOL

  22. 22 jandoe

    ouch JB, somehow reading this recap was somewhat painful, though I guess this means I can see why the apology in the beginning that you extended seemed kind of necessary. …which yeah, means i’m someone who grew damn tired of this drama but still strangely haven’t lost all hope about it – sort of. i disagree with you, but i understand where that’s coming from, in terms of this drama. but ah well, no worries about it. one more week, just one last recap of this show for you!

    thanks for making effort (and seeing through with your commitment)!

    p/s: gf, can’t waittt for 18’s recappp!

  23. 23 dannaluk

    naah i actually loved these two eps…aftr so many weeks we’re finally on the same page show!

  24. 24 Judy

    JB, thanks for your recap.

    I have been very angry from ep5 to ep16 because of the dragging story plot. So it is still a nice turn for the drama in ep 17 even though I agree it is too late. As I mentioned before, ep 17 to ep 20 would be very rush because script writer wasted too much time in the previous episodes on other lines of story and on unnecessary angust scenes.

    So script writer finally woke up and knew that there is no more air time to waste.
    Thus, the sudden luck from the call of director Park.

    But still ep 17 and ep 18 are still very nice to watch. I like the development between KH and EJ. It is an emotional break though for EJ to hug KH in the final scene of ep18. I have been rewatching ep 17 and 18 so many times in the last few days. It’s like a person dying of thirsty after passing through a dessert. So you can be so moved by a little hug scene.

    I dare not hope for a kissing scene. It would be like a bomb to me if they really give us such scene in the coming 2 episode. But there can be a lot of MGY’s fans objecting to this idea .

    I guess this drama will have a happy ending. Otherwise, the script writer will get killed by a lot of viewers.

  25. 25 Judy

    But I have to say that even though I hated ep 5 to ep 16, the acting from the whole cast is really great. The cast saved the show but it could have been much better if the story can be more focused and tighter. It should be a 16-episode drama, not a 20-episode one. Then we can save a lot of crying.

  26. 26 Lahlita

    Oh my GOD, Javabeans, thank you for mentioning your issues with the way men treat women in this drama. [WARNING: Semi-epic Rant Ahead]

    Ki-hoon and Jung-woo keeping Eun-jo and Hyo-sun in the dark about the meeting with the elders blew my mind. When I read your recap I actually gasped in disbelief. Because it was only TWO episodes ago that Eun-jo and Ki-hoon had it out regarding his previous actions in the Hong winery takeover debacle. Something about him making fools out of her, her sister, her father and the whole Cham Doga family by not telling them what was going on? Something about all of the tragedy that arose from his keeping everyone in the dark while he tried to play God with their fate? I seem to remember a kind, beautiful man dying because of Ki-hoon’s actions. Yes, we know his intentions were good. So what? And now he’s doing the same thing again? I was in absolute disbelief, and I’m disappointed in the writers. Because this time Ki-hoon will succeed; the writers need his second attempt at heroics to result in a favorable outcome in order to “justify” the means. Otherwise they won’t be able to credibly push the upcoming love-line in the final episodes.

    There’s a worrying pattern of physical male domination as well. I know it’s a different culture. It’s still not OK. I am hyper-aware of male-female interactions in media, and let me tell you, that male domination shiz? I cannot stand it! Many of the men in this drama have that problem. I remember Jung-woo’s frustrations with Eun-jo liking Ki-hoon even though he knew what Ki-hoon had done. He grabbed a drunk Eun-jo by her wrist and dragged her up and down, tossing her back and forth while she repeatedly said it hurt and asked him to let go of her, and he didn’t. I was unimpressed. But I’m even more bothered by Ki-hoon because the writers are offering him up as Eun-jo’s love interest, and one of the main catalysts in her transformation to a woman who learns to open up, to be vulnerable, and to care for other people.

    The Ki-hoon from the first four episodes was lovely. But when he returned eight years later, I noticed that he’d developed a really bad habit of putting his hands on Eun-jo, and sometimes she would spend a good ten seconds trying to shake him off before she succeeded. Even after very forcefully asking him to release her, She still had to struggle and shake him off, and that pulled me right out of the drama. I do not care care that they love each other; for the love of kimchi, when she says “hajima” that means “hajima”! When she has verbalized her no, that that means take your hands off of her immediately. That means let go of her wrist. That means DON’T drag her up and down the countryside and force her into vehicles. While you’re at it, don’t grab her by the shoulders and push her up against a car, even if it’s for her own good because she “needs to rest”. I take offense to the way physical domination is considered an acceptable male response to verbal or emotional conflict, or to portray male concern/care/love.

    Almost every drama has this issue. People tend to go overboard when they’re emotionally overwrought. I think Cinderella Unni hit me very hard because the characters are ALWAYS emotionally overwrought, and they all have crappy coping skills. Hyo-sun cries nonstop, Eun-jo yells nonstop, Kang-sook hits AND yells. Ki-hoon yells, asks if you want to die, and (along with Jung-woo) grabs and tries to physically control and subdue. Why? Why??? Oh, Javabeans answered it. Because the women are written to be Irrational Fainting Buckets of Krazee. Oh, joy.

  27. 27 lucy

    i really do think that cinderella’s sister is one of the biggest disappointments of the year at lest for me… seriously it started so awesome like the first 5 eps and then it just went downhill. hopefully this won’t happen with bad guy which looks pretty promising.

  28. 28 nattacatta

    @12 Noypi
    I totally agree with you! I still love this drama too!

    When I watch the episodes, I have never felt bored or like I wanted it to end (I know, I’m definitely in a minority here) unlike I do with a lot of other dramas (I liked PT but I always found myself bored halfway through the episodes)
    I think it is better late than never!
    It is sad to think that it could have been like ep1-4 amazing all the way through but I love it how it is, though I don’t think I’ll be rewatching it any time soon
    Call me anti-feminist but I havent noticed how the men treat the women as weak, I saw it is ki hoon treating eun jo in a way sensitive to her personality
    And I think she would (speaking as if I havent seen ep18) get really really upset if she learnt they were losing dae sung doga, cause the elders have all the shares so if hong ju gets those they get dae sung

    I have faith in cs and I love episode 18!
    Eagerly anticipating next week’s episodes!
    Of course it would be the weekend before I go on exam block that I watch them 😐
    Oh well, English can wait…
    Thanks jb for continuing with this drama

  29. 29 yuri

    agree with u…TOO LITTLE TO LATE…but i love how she tried to dance t-ara’s song,,hahaha…cuteeeeeeeeeeeeee

  30. 30 Lahlita

    Javabeans, in my rant I forgot to thank you for your recap! Thanks for sticking with this drama when many of your readers gave up. U R most x-sellent! You only have Episode 19 left to write, so it’s almost over. Hang in there!
    Javabeans, Fighting!

  31. 31 Mel

    Gosh Sarah, thanks so much for your insightful recap – I particularl LOL-ed at ” And this drama is making it WAY too easy to joke about Ki-hoon’s lethal telephoning powers, because apparently Mr. Park is dying. (For reals!) He feels burdened by all the shady dealings he has been a part of and is giving Ki-hoon vital information about Hong Ju misdeeds via email. How convenient! It’s like he knew this was Episode 17 and swooped in with a deus ex machina plot point!”

    I felt that too – but oh wells -it IS episode 17 anyway, can’t care less much more. I just want the drama to end on a happy note.

    I’m really thankful that you’re still sticking around to this project as I really loved your recaps – even if you think that some fatigue is spilling out – I still love reading your writings. So keep it up! πŸ™‚

  32. 32 Sakura

    Thanks JB !

    Even though if they kiss, I don’t buy it, AT ALL !! Sorry to you scriptwriter, you messed up your drama.

  33. 33 tombrady

    Still loving CS though I must admit that it’s the phenomenal acting that has me hooked instead of the writing.

  34. 34 heejung

    now that kihoon is finally showing signs of being nice again, all that’s left to do is let down his hair once again… please!!!

  35. 35 mookie

    I do have problems w/ the writing, I do, but that’s even in first 4 eps, yet I come back for this particular brand of CU frustration because every ep also gives me a little scene or 2 that is most viscerally satisfying for me a drama can provide…and w/ that *pouf* the other whatever min of the ep I dont care for does not matter. It helps that I’ve really fallen for these characters, growth or no growth, these are still characters that have some oddness on top of the usual cliche and it intrigues me. I do not expect EJ to grow much frankly, and I’m fine w/ these ppl just stay frail and this close to all collapse, they r still grieving their Dad who passes, o, couple wks ago?! they may need years of serious therapy to overcome the grieve and their psych probs. I find holding onto that fact makes their actions plausible. Again, this is just me.

    I would cringe at a kiss at that roadside emergency, it’s just last ep that EJ was hit by the ‘KH is part of Hong Ju’ bomb, and considering the Kdrama real-ish timeline, I’ll give it couple of days to stew?! and do our EJ has much EQ to begin w/?! KH still had a hard time physically comforting her end of last ep when she’s genuinely crying for HS’ well being. KH aired it all and stated he’s going to care for/ love her his way, I appreciate him doing a swift 1, but OTOH if he kissed her, when they r still on shaky grounds, it’ll be more self-centered than concern for her. At that moment, I do not doubt he’s putting all his concern on her, knowing she’ll be completely vexed w/ what he’s said and would need time to process, let alone her mind is preoccupied w/ finding mom ….No way any form of physical advancing crosses KH’s mind. He’s satisfied and grinning mad just w/ stating his stance. it’s self indulgent enough! I find him putting things down, stating his intention as honest as possible.. yet put her need to calm down, to unwind…comforting her most effectively a grander romantic act.

    And how can we ask for a kiss in the same breath of how annoyed w/ the male domination very pronounced in this drama? um, how will a kiss right there and then exactly what we’re accusing?! I consider it an inconsideration, masochistic manhandling of a girl/woman who sets her whole mind to find her mother and can just muster enough functionality to do just that.

    KH is buying time first and foremost, but there’s also an element of self preservation, the simple fact that it’s the Hong Ju behind this for the nth time and an even graver offense. Honestly, I doubt EJ can take it, yes she’s been hit by larger falling rocks, but enough is enough. and I would also bet HS can’t take it.. she’s not eating and hit by some Kmelo ailments already. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

    And I wonder, is this drama any diff than most Kdrama I’ve seen in that dept?! I’ve really seen worse offense even w/ my first completed (and loved) kdrama, MNIKSS

  36. 36 jons

    Alright. I thought I was the only one who was getting tired of cs. It was really intresting until ep5-I kinda followed it until up to ep 10. Since then I’ve been following only recaps. I expected much more from this drama. I think Seo woo is a great actress. She and mgy can cry, laugh, get angry so perfectly. But I feel like there is no story. It’s just about how the characters change after 8 years-and her fathers death. It’s just draggy for me and I’m surprised ratings are as high as they are. But I think that the teasers were misleading. There really is no villan here. I thought Cinderella was going to be evil and mean. But the whole name of the drama us irrelevant to the drama. There really is no Cinderella. Just a company and a dead father. I’m disappointed with this drama. It was doing good, I almost even liked it more than PT at the beginning-but then the story lost me. This episodevwas basically what we’ve been seeing for the last few weeks. πŸ™

  37. 37 Lena

    I gave up on this drama some time ago, but I still read your recaps just so I know what is happening. Eun-jo looked so funny with the pink head-band! And her face (in the screen-shot). Lets pray for a good ending, maybe one where the an unexpected couple emerges! (but then it might be… predictable) ==”

    But thanks for your recaps! I enjoy reading them.

  38. 38 favegirl13

    well i guess im one of the few people who’s enjoying this drama
    love it, the relationships, angst

  39. 39 jenn

    Thanks for the recap, considering how much you are frustrated with it. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed this episode very much, EJ is softening both towards HS, KH. She’s more comfortable letting her feelings showed, I find her knocking on the restaurant’s door touching, that’s her expression of how great her mom means to her, she rarely shows this side.

    Oddly I enjoy the journey with KH as well even with the slow, tedious pace, I find it realistic that he has to take this long to be where he’s at. it is a bumpy ride, but I can see he’s almost at the end of his suffering.

    I do not think they need a kiss to convey their intimacy. Their quieter moments befit their characters.

    What puzzled me most is why are ppl berating the show this loudly yet keep reading the recaps without watching it yourself? If you do not care about this drama and think it’s so bad, what can u get out of reading a recap? It’s not accusatory, I just find it bewildering, esp w/ this recap since Dramabeans started before the jump she did not enjoy the episode at all, so this may only be helpful to people who are passionate about the drama and want to have a clearer picture before the subs are available, or so I thought.

  40. 40 aigoo

    but for me its an artistic drama – of how the inner characters grow and unfold or how reasons are made. it hurts when negative comments are being thrown to this show. sad sad sad πŸ™

    i admit it has its flaws but in a major way, the characters are fairly reasonable for their actions. like Ki Hoon who had this heavy guilt then and so he cannot touch Eun Jo. but now the barrier was broken last episode and he’s pretty making it up to her.

    hah, don’t talk like you’re in much agony watching πŸ™

  41. 41 hapacalgirl

    While this is the first melodrama I have every watched from beginning to end, I have to agree with #40 because yes it was angsty but I actually felt this story was more real then many dramas I have watched and extremely interesting. Could they have included some other plot points and explained stuff such as how Kihoon ended up working at Daesung or how his father knew Daesung, yes and that is my one of my gripes but most things seems realistic. The show had its flaws but personally I don’t think it is as bad as everyone makes it out to be but everyone interprets things differently so its understandable. I mean people want skinship but EJ/KH are such flawed people that it makes sense that it would take them this long to get together. People like EunJo don’t change so quickly in real life so it makes sense that she would be this stubborn and even she admits this herself. Also in order for them to have a chance, all of their “skeletons in the closet” per se had to be let out and addressed which is what I feel they did in these recent episodes. Like others have said, as much as I want to see a kiss, ep 17 wasn’t the episode for it to be in, and it would be completely out of character for Kihoon to basically force himself on her in that way in this situation. It makes more sense that he will begin to gradually be completely honest with what he is feeling in regards to wanting to worry about her and stuff. He is essentially starting to act like the youngin he was 8 years ago before all the issues came between them.

  42. 42 Judy

    @10 Lan

    I agree with your opinion that KH is just buying time, wants to know more about Hong Ju’s offer and thinks of ways to fight back. Moreover, you have to give some execuse for JW’s scenes since he has so little scenes in this drama even though he is the second male lead.

    I disagree with JB’s opinion that how men belittled women in this drama. I think this phenomenon happens in almost all k-dramas or even Asian dramas due to cultural issues. But CS has so many fierce female characters that sometimes, it makes the men looked too weak or soft or stupid (sometimes) in character. CS is not the same as traditional k-drama that the male lead is always dominant and leading/helping the female.

    When I watch EJ challenging KH in ep 5/6, EJ challenging KJ in ep 15/16, and EJ threatening KJ in ep 18 and how KH’s mum scolded KH’s dad in ep3, I found this k-drama to be different from other k-dramas that the female characters are the stronger ones in this drama. EJ certainly looks like an intelligent and hardworking business woman all along in this drama.

    In this drama, the leading male roles (DS, KH and JW) are all soft and kind in heart. They are trying to win their ladies using their heart. It is usually the reverse for all other k-drama.

    I think a lot of viewers are not very used to this development because we are trained to accept male dominated dramas. Male characters are usually the strong ones and the female characters finally won the male because of their soft and kind heart.

    In real life, I don’t think we can find this sort of men like DS and KH who can stand her lady cheating on him (for DS) and her girl yelling and rejecting him (for KH) so many times.

  43. 43 Ri

    thanks for the recap javabeans! i can feel your frustration with the drama tht started off so good but started to disappoint halfway thru πŸ™‚

    as for me, i thought eps 17 and 18 redeemed it all. haha, call me a softie but i really think so! to top it off, i’m actually sad the drama is coming to an end. watching MGY, Seo Woo and CJM on screen has become such a weekly ritual for me now tht it’s kinda sad we won’t get to see them anymore after this week πŸ™

    i like how KH isn’t trying to grovel for his mistakes but instead he feels like he’s majorly unburdened which would have been sooner if he has just told her earlier on! but, anyhoos, it’s a nice take on typical kdrama plot to see KH using the fact that everything is now out in the open to slowly revert back to the “ep 1-4 KH” we all fell in love with πŸ™‚

    and the scene with JW and EJ celebrating JW’s “birthday” was just too cute, TOO CUTE! haha, but too bad all the cute scenes in the world won’t get them to end up together. as much as JW is suppose to be the 2nd male lead, i think there was never a strong indication from the start that he would even be KH’s competition coz EJ has always treated him like a little brother.

    Looking forward to the ep 18 recap! And am dying to see eps 19 and 20! though, the sceptic in me is coming up with all sorts of horrible, typical kdrama endings so i’m mentally prepared for any crap they throw my way!

  44. 44 MUSE

    Personally thought it was a good episode. There was decent movement in terms of the plot points and it was GREAT to see KH move past the self flagellation. Heart the fact that he is at least now making a concerted attempt at fighting for his love of EJ! The killer smile that seemed to radiate from his being when he moved EJ’s head ever so gently to rest on his shoulder also didn’t hurt

  45. 45 wei_c

    Aw, it’s really sad that it’s too late for you to enjoy the show anymore. And it’s definitely coming across in your recaps for the past few episodes. Personally, I thought it wasn’t too little too late. In fact, the revelations and growth in this ep and the next ep become so much more meaningful because it’s such a long time coming.

  46. 46 Xy

    Err quick qn. Is ep 18 the last one?

  47. 47 ais

    I really enjoyed this episode..
    the cake scene brought a wide smile to my face.. i love that side of EJ only JW can birng out…

    there’s a lot of squeal worthy moments from EJ and KH.. good build up for ep 18 when EJ finally FINALLY let her guard down and meet KH halfway.. =P

  48. 48 dixa

    I’m the other person who gave up on this drama.
    Now I only read comment on this site, even the recap I still don’t read it all. lol

    This drama started so well and things turn to be unreasonable depressed to the point that I can’t take anymore. They’re all good actors and actresses but the storyline is so……….(I don’t have the proper word to call but bad enough for me to just give up).
    Thank you for your recap JB!

  49. 49 Ri


    nope, 2 more to go! πŸ™‚

  50. 50 Helen

    team jung woo.

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