Drama Recaps
My Name Is Kim Sam Soon: Episode 9
by | August 31, 2011 | 56 Comments

We’re halfway through the series, already?! I feel like we just started! This ninth episode aired just about a month after the series began, and struck a milestone with ratings at the 40% mark. While a lemmings effect probably contributed to the 50% end-of-series ratings, it doesn’t quite explain why MNIKSS became so popular in the first place. What WAS it about this drama?

Current and former math nerds will appreciate this more at all, but in mathematics there are things called Euclidean algorithms, which are used to derive the greatest common factors. Not that you have to channel Euclid to figure this out, but clearly the greatest common factor of the drama is Sam Soon, charming both men and women alike. Still, this begs the question. What IS it about Kim Sam Soon, anyway?

Episode 9 – You Played With My Heart As If It Were A Toy.

Sam Soon’s dad, dead for many years, has re-appeared to his depressed daughter to share a drink with her. Sam Soon pours out her troubles to him, ending with her wish that her heart would harden so much that she wouldn’t feel any more pain. Maybe she’s right.

Still, Sam Soon’s dad is able to answer Sam Soon before going. He reminds her that he died because his heart hardened too much. Sam Soon’s dad smiles and says that he’s happy that Sam Soon can love, because it means that her heart is powerful and healthy. This lifts Sam Soon’s spirit quite a bit and Sam Soon wonders whether she should tell Jin Heon how much she likes him.

Sam Soon’s dad concurs wholeheartedly. But what if Jin Heon says, “no way!” and embarrasses Sam Soon?

Sam Soon’s dad: Embarrassment? Come on… Is life so complicated to live? If he says he doesn’t like you, then you just tell him, “Go Have A Nice Life!” and give him a nice knuckle-sandwich to eat.
Sam Soon (snickering): You know, even without you telling me, I did already give him a good punch earlier. That boy is always getting beaten by me. He ALWAYS stirs me up to the point where I have to hit him. He’s totally my bap.

Note: “bap” means food or rice, but in this case, you could say that Sam Soon is referring to a cruder word that also starts with a “b” but rhymes with iatch.

But when Yi Young comes back, their dad disappears and it’s back to reality. As they are walking back from the restaurant, Yi Young tells Sam Soon that she should forget about Sam Shik. Yoo Hee Jin is the real deal – nice, pretty and fun to hang out with. And if Yi Young were a guy, even she would choose Hee Jin over Sam Soon, sorry.

It appears that both Yi Young and Jin Heon have the same taste in women. Across town, Jin Heon is lying in Hee Jin’s lap as she cleans out his ears. This slightly-gross activity is something that married couples do for one another. And looks like nothing that Jin Heon’s mom said in the last episode (go back to America, stay away from Jin Heon) has made a difference to Hee Jin.

Still, Hee Jin knows that she’d better not show up the next day at the Buddhist Temple with the rest of the Hyun family. Tomorrow being the anniversary of the accident that killed Jin Heon’s brother and brother’s wife, Jin Heon’s mom won’t be any mood to accomodate Hee Jin.

Not that Sam Soon knows anything about this. Jin Heon’s mom calls her up and cryptically orders her to be outside of her house in the morning without telling her why. In the car ride to the temple, Sam Soon tries to say that she and Jin Heon broke up but Jin Heon’s mom curtly dismisses it. Jin Heon has no say in this! You’re not dumped! Yet!

So, Jin Heon’s mom, Assistant Yoon, Mi Joo and Sam Soon arrive in one car, and Jin Heon and Manager Oh arrive shortly thereafter. Jin Heon is surprised to see Sam Soon there. Hey… didn’t I just dump you? Hehe! But this is interesting – why is Manager Oh there?

Inside the temple, the names of Hyun Jin Tae (Jin Heon’s older brother) and Kim Shin Young (Jin Tae’s wife) are written on one paper tower. Surprisingly, there is another paper tower with another name written. Who could that be? In front of the paper towers, a wide array of foods are placed on a dining table. Jin Heon takes the spoons, and places each one into the respective rice bowl before each paper tower. With the metal chopsticks, he taps on a plate twice and then backs away from the table. Before a smaller table, Assistant Yoon pours rice wine for Jin Heon, who then circles it over the incense twice before bringing the wine to the table.

What’s going on here? In simplest terms, the tradition is called Jae-Sa (in Korean 제사 and in Chinese 祭祀), a unique mix of Buddhism, shamanism and Korean Confucianism. The spirits of the dead are honored with food and drink. Jin Heon, as the oldest surviving male of the family, has the task of performing this ceremony.

In an adjacent building, the women sit and wait (for the spirits to finish their meal and depart). Here we learn that Manager Oh’s son was the motorcyclist who was killed in the same car accident. Manager Oh then tells Sam Soon the whole story about the accident.

Sam Soon is touched by the story and cannot help but see Jin Heon in a new light. It is almost like Jin Heon has been caught in a time warp and never had a chance to grow up since the accident, just living in the tiny space allotted between anger at Hee Jin and regret for his own actions that took the lives of three people.

Jin Heon’s mom asks Manager Oh to lunch and takes Mi Joo as well, leaving Jin Heon and Sam Soon to find their own way. Two people, one car… sounds easy enough. After Jin Heon’s mom’s car is safely away, an annoyed Jin Heon tells Sam Soon to just listen to him and not to listen to his mom anymore.

Sam Soon has other ideas. Sorry, but she’s not going to listen to either Jin Heon or his mom from now on. Sam Soon won’t be used in the Hyun Family chess game any longer. Sam Soon shoves a resignation letter into Jin Heon’s belly and walks off, not even asking Jin Heon to drive her home.

But when Jin Heon drives off without Sam Soon, it is Sam Soon who appears surprised. It looks like she expected him to still give her a ride. Since Sam Soon is the one who is giving the gesture of resignation, is it her expectation that Jin Heon will now beg for Sam Soon not to quit?

Well, it worked? Jin Heon is there at Sam Soon’s bus stop waiting for her, flowers in hand, begging Sam Soon to stay on as pastry chef. But rather than reject the flowers out of hand, Sam Soon tells Jin Heon to offer the flowers while on his knees. Really? Is this a test for Jin Heon or is Sam Soon just giving a little pay back?

After grumbling, Jin Heon finally does get on his knees. The choices aren’t great- either he has to go back to Chef “Oh My God” Chris to beg regularly for pastries, or he has to beg Sam Soon to stay (but this is a one-time thing).

Sam Soon enjoys the view and takes the flowers. But then she STILL refuses to come back. Unexpected backbone! Jin Heon pulls his final trump card and calls on Sam Soon’s integrity. That forces a concession out of Sam Soon. 2 weeks. 2 weeks to train In-Hae and to give time for Bon Appetit to find a replacement, and then Sam Soon is out.

On the other side of town, Hee Jin has lowered herself to begging as well. She begs Jin Heon’s mom, and then Assistant Yoon, to buy her lunch to show she can eat. It is a weak tactic and one that has little chance of success on its own. But Hee Jin isn’t expecting short-term results. Her rather shameless strategy is long term – Hee Jin is trying to tear down the wall that has been built between her and Jin Heon’s mom, one brick at a time. She might get rejected 100 times, but she only needs to succeed once. Sooner or later, Hee Jin expects to succeed.

Meanwhile, Chae Ri makes a surprise appearance at Bon Appetit, to pester Sam Soon. Chae Ri accuses Sam Soon of trying to seduce Hyun Woo. An annoyed Sam Soon pours baking flour over Chae Ri and chases her away, past the Bon Appetit staff on their lunch break. Sam Soon’s mouth is in rare form, threatening to throw whoever bothers her next into her oven. She’ll mix them with eggs and flour and turn them into pastries, DON’T TEMPT ME! RAWR! I’LL BAKE YOU ALL!!!!

A pissed Sam Soon plops down on the toilet in the stall next to Jin Heon who initially tries to hide his presence. Oh poo, but Jin Heon’s stall is out of TP. Could Jin Heon borrow a square or two? Suddently, Sam Soon’s crappy day just got 1,000 times better. Oh noes, Sam Soon lies gleefully, she’s out of TP too! Sooo sorry!

Instead of toilet paper, Sam Soon offers advice. She describes various methods used by different blood types to escape this untenable situation.

1. Type A’s would wait for help.
2. Type B’s would utilize the two finger method (use your imagination).
3. Type AB’s would scrounge for used TP (ew).
4. And Type O’s would just wipe later.

Which type is Jin Heon? A desperate Jin Heon reverses the question and asks what Sam Soon would do, and Sam Soon replies, “Socks.” Karma warns me from snickering too much here, for who knows when this could happen to any of us. Must not laugh too much!

That night Sam Soon goes out with the Bon Appetit girls at a club but is ditched by her co-workers when it is clear that clubs aren’t really for old maids like her and Jang Captain. Minorly drunk but majorly depressed, Sam Soon arrives home in a disconsolate mood. The days of her youth are gone, and her heart is being pulled by yet another guy who has dumped her. What’s wrong with her?

Sam Soon cries on her swing and then again, lying on her bed. Unfortunately, she is caught crying by her mom. Being caught crying by a Korean parent is not a good thing, it’s bad. This is because Korean parents always blame the child first for crying. And blaming is generally followed by hitting. So Sam Soon is getting blamed, hit and yelled at her mom, and a stressed-out Yi Young spills the beans about Sam Soon dating and getting dumped by her boss. But that causes MORE hitting, not less, and so Yi Young opens her mouth AGAIN, admitting it was a fake relationship! In the immortal words of Chef Chris, “Oh. My. God…”

Panic often makes people blurt out things when they should just keep quiet. Yi Young clearly panicked here, and so I can’t really blame her too much. But Korean kids learn dissemblance and obfuscation skillz when dealing with their parents (survival instinct to avoid further hitting and yelling), so I’m a little surprised at Yi Young’s cracking under pressure and lack of survival skillz. Yi Young, what do you THINK is going to happen now that mom knows?

Witnesseth from Sam Soon’s mom’s point of view: Sam Soon has seriously screwed up. By engaging in chicanery and falsehoods, she has brought shame to her family. And worse, she has turned herself into a fake prostitute and what if other people find out? The whole family will be the laughing stock and Sam Soon will NEVER get another match-maker to help her out. For what? For mere money? To save her home, she destroys everything that the home stood for? And finally, what’s this, Sam Soon is the one who is crying her eyes out like a baby? How can a girl have so little sense or pride in herself?!

Sam Soon’s mom is deeply shamed, hurt and angry. How can anyone face their ancestors after something like this? How can she face any of her friends or neighbors now? All to save a house? Sam Soon’s mom would rather be a homeless person than be faced with the humiliation of this.

Samsooki Note: every time I watch this drama, when I get to this point, I am always surprised at myself. For 8+ episodes, I get suckered every time and I forget how desperately foolish Sam Soon was in doing the fake relationship thing. It seemed so innocent, silly and not a big deal. But it IS a big deal. It should never have been done. Ever. And it takes Sam Soon’s mom getting really upset before I wake up to how poorly this whole thing could play out.

The next morning, Sam Soon’s mom is on the warpath. She storms into Bon Appetit and starts yelling for Sam Shik. Manager Oh blocks the path and gets her cooking goons to “escort” Sam Soon’s mom out. But Jin Heon arrives and Sam Soon’s mom is free to start beating on him. Free, until Manager Oh splashes a pot of cold water on Sam Soon’s mom and yells at her to stop. How dare she come into this establishment and lay a hand on the owner! How dare she?! Ruh Roh x10.

The opening guitar riff to The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black leads into the drums of war as Sam Soon’s mom launches herself into Manager Oh. Oh the humanity! I see a red door and I want it painted black. No colors anymore I want them to turn black… [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Sam Soon and Yi Young arrive in a taxi and rush to the battle. Sam Soon’s shriek carries through the restaurant and everything stops, including Paint It Black (awwwww).

Sam Soon and Sam Soon’s mom finally settle down and have a face to face with Jin Heon. Sam Soon’s mom hands over the deed to her home. Jin Heon tells her that it’s not necessary since he settled things with Sam Soon already. This sets Sam Soon’s mom off again, as it did Sam Soon the first time.

Sam Soon’s mom makes a second point before leaving. Sam Soon is done with Bon Appetit. There is no more bargaining. This is it.

Jin Heon looks at Sam Soon, but Sam Soon’s face warns him from speaking. This thing is written in stone.

Sam Soon heads to the lockers and picks up all of her stuff and takes off her name tag. In the short time she was at Bon Appetit, she sure was part of a lot of interesting things. But didn’t all of this have to end? I mean, if Sam Soon is ever to be able to look at another person in the eye, be it Jin Heon or anyone else, she has to (1) pay back the money and (2) not be subordinate to the whims of Jin Heon as her boss.

In Hye comes to see her unni as Sam Soon is packing up. Sam Soon smiles warmly at In Hye but apologizes for leaving like this. In Hye is a wreck but Sam Soon gives In Hye a gift on loan: her prized scrap book of French pastry notes, private thoughts and recipe diary. I absolutely adore this scene, as it reminds me of everything I love about Korean culture- how knowledge, culture and tradition is passed from person to person through the unni / dong-seng relationship. This is how dong-sengs learn to become unnis (or hyungs).

Finally, as Sam Soon is walking out of Bon Appetit, word has spread to everyone that Sam Soon is done. Every rank and file staff member gathers near the front to give her a cool send-off. Sam Soon is touched but she gruffly tells them not to follow her out. Of course, they follow her out. Even Jang Captain is upset. This isn’t how things are supposed to be.

And in the window, Jin Heon also watches Sam Soon leave. Is all of this his fault? I think, maybe. Yes.


This can be a difficult episode to watch, with many embarrassing moments and scenes that bring back painful memories of one’s own childhood. Moreover, in ways that may not be entirely suited to many palates, as there is is a strong Korean flavor to this episode. From the Jae-Sa ceremony, to the crude jokes, to the way that Koreans can make rather extreme statements as a starting point for negotiations, to the (over?) protective Korean parenting, there is a pungency about this drama that may not be as agreeable to the wider audience, especially when compared to more recent k-drama fare.

But like Sam Soon herself, this drama makes no apologies for being how it is. Koreans DO bargain and base their preliminary negotiating positions upon age and social status. They DO enjoy a bit of toilet humor. They DO place a tremendous amount of consideration into honoring one’s ancestors. They DO act shamelessly to protect their own. And Korean parents DO create paradoxes in the way they raise their kids. This is just how it is, and Koreans, like Sam Soon, wouldn’t have it any other way.


56 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. pampi

    love kim sun ah in this role.she is the best:)

  2. amina

    love this drama so much..
    best drama everrrr ^_^

  3. snow

    muahahaha, the toilet part cracked me up, as it always did. thanks samsooki for the recap! yes jin-heon, about time you regret losing such a good pastry chef… and a good girlfriend! (that she’s your fake gf is a minor detail for now…)

  4. min

    falled in love with Hyun Bin!

  5. Akosirhenz

    yay its here :))))

  6. melonhead

    wow so quick! to read now or go to sleep cos I have a test tomorrow? ….read. 🙂

  7. Ivoire

    Thank you Samsooki!!!!

    This is coming out earlier in the day than I anticipated. I haven’t seen all the episodes of MNIKSS yet, however I am glad you are recapping it and I look forward to this every week.

    Thanks again for your detailed explanations of Korean culture, practices and parenting. I have just skimmed through some of the post, now I am off to read. I love how you make the correlation between the music playing and what is happening in a particular scene (you have done it a few times). I will keep that in mind when I rewatch this drama and catch up on the episodes I’ve missed.

  8. Chocobo

    Chef “Oh My God” Chris

    Laugh-out-loud comment of the week! Nothing amuses me more than watching awkwardly delivered English lines. Especially when spoken by random American or Australian extras who are definitely NOT actors.

    Which makes me wonder — if Korean pops up in the background of movies or television here in the West, does it sound just as awful? I suppose it’s because no one really thinks we’ll notice when it’s in another language.

    I know that Daniel Dae Kim wasn’t fluent in Korean prior to Lost and needed help from co-star Yunjin Kim. Does anyone who speaks fluently know whether he succeeded at sounding natural?

  9. jojo

    Thanks, Samsooki, for the recaps and comments(especially Korean culture)…love watching this again. Saying that, some of the current fare pales in comparison.

  10. 10 Noelle

    One of the greatest uses of the Stones ever. Thanks for the recap Samsooki!

  11. 11 Mojo

    thanks for the recaps, aside from checking your site for possible drama updates the only recaps i read here was for heartstrings and kim sam soon

    waiting for the next one 😀

  12. 12 Celexa

    i’ve always loved how Koreans actually ‘go’ to the bathroom. Americans never do 😉

    • 12.1 birdscout

      That’s one of the things I really had to adjust to when I first started watching kdramas:)

      Another MNIKSS recap so early on a Wednesday? What a lovely surprise! Thanks so much, samsooki. I am loving the recaps!

      • 12.1.1 birdscout

        About the “slightly gross” activity of cleaning someone else’s ears: Growing up, my mom always cleaned my ears, and I do the same for my husband and kids now, but to non-Koreans it must seem a really weird thing. In Canada, we were always told in health class to never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear:)

        • laya

          😀 My mom always cleaned my ears as well [and of most everyone in the family] using a thin flat stick, and I’m not Korean. Maybe it’s an Asian thing?

          • Memlu

            My mum did it, too, and we aren’t Asian at all. I always find it surprising when people characterize it as gross! (And I was surprised, too, to find lots of people don’t clean their ears out.) But it’s hygienic! How else are you supposed to clean out your ears?

          • My.Ning

            Yes my mom did it too for me and i really quite enjoyed it! =)

            However, heard from doctor or whatnot that you are not supposed to do it in case your ear gets hurt. Cos you ear produces ear wax that will automatically clean itself. I’m not sure i believe that tho! hee…

            Thank you samsooki for your recaps!

    • 12.2 lvsanchez

      I was about to comment something similar. When i first watched this I was like OMG no he’s so hot, I don’t want to watch him doing number 2! And their sound effects… too lifelike. Kim Sun Ah has to do bathroom duty again in her new drama and all I could think of was this scene lol

    • 12.3 jojo

      We do, we just don’t show it on tv.

  13. 13 outofcontrol

    Korean flavor tastes entertaining. Thanks, Samsooki.

  14. 14 yumi

    “In Hye is a wreck but Sam Soon gives In Hye a gift on loan: her prized scrap book of French pastry notes, private thoughts and recipe diary.”

    I love the role that notebook plays in the drama and how it becomes a stand-in for Kim Sam Soon.

  15. 15 dmko

    Thank you Samsooki for your aways great insights and recaps. Love them and can’t wait until the next installment of My Lovely Samsoon.

  16. 16 skelly

    As samsooki says, this is a very Korean-flavored episode. So many times I have watched this episode and thought, ‘well, THAT wouldn’t happen in an American show…’ Showing the hero stuck on the toilet? check. Showing the mom beating up her two adult daughters? check. Showing the parents making crucial relationship/work decisions for their children? check, check, and check. This episode simultaneously opens up a fascinating new world and reminds us of the feelings – love, friendship, pride, remembrance – that we all know and understand.
    Thanks samsooki, for reminding me every week about why I love this show!

    • 16.1 vebaroc

      yes, my dear skelly. i think one of this drama’s enduring universal appeal is the telling of kim sam soon’s life’s as it happens in the realm of the ‘real world’ as we ordinary mortals see and experience it. for us audience, sam soon is the friend that we have/had just spent a half night consoling who happened to be jilted by a similarly ‘upper society/snobbish’ kind of guy, that friend being an ‘ordinary like me’ kind of gal! cried buckets, but realized soon enough that ‘what the heck! he is the one losing much for ignoring awesome gals like us!’ and us being the winners after all, besides it’s always a great experience to be able to have a good cry, as in a ‘natural cleansing way’ to chuck off bad vibes and start a new page in your young life, thank you!!!

  17. 17 langdon813

    Everything I love about Korean dramas is found in this episode and then perfectly summed up in this recap. When I first watched MNIKSS I was much less familiar with Korean culture and found it both hilarious (potty humor, always close to my heart) and embarrassing (OMG, if my mom came to my work and caused a scene like that I would DIE).

    But now, a few years later, MNIKSS feels like home to me. Familiar, comfortable, and warm. I know where we’re going but the journey is still just as pleasant. And these recaps help point out things I missed the first time around and remind me of the things I loved.

    Thanks samsooki!

  18. 18 babylind

    now i can understand better… i love how you emphasized the Korean culture and traditions… thank you very much! =) i’m still in love with this drama..

  19. 19 shaz81

    Thank you !!!!

  20. 20 Noelle

    @ commentary

    I agree. When I first watched this show I was taken aback by the toilet humor. I never saw, EVER, a women in a show or movie using the bathroom. So that was new and admittedly it still boggles my mind whenever I see it in Kdramas. I also didn’t understand Sam Soon’s mom. To me she seemed mean at first but thanks to your awesome recaps I understand her a whole lot better. I can draw parallels between her and the women in my family. I’ve grown to love her like a tia.

    Thank you again for the recap.

  21. 21 CityHallFan

    Thanks for the recaps for this drama! I’ve always wondered why dramabeans hadn’t done so earlier…so thanks sooo much!! 🙂

    Another epic episode at the least. And amazing chemistry from the leads. I just recently read a fanfic about MNIKSS which deals with their life after the end of the drama from soompi. If anyone is interested, please check it out! ^^ I didn’t write it , but it’s pretty much as good as the drama! Ahh, made me want to watch this series all over again!! XD

  22. 22 mvl


    thanks mucdh for this recap of my favorite ep. of mnikss!!!
    not being korean it gave me some insight into the culture but thanks for clarifying it for those of us unfamiliar w/this intricite culture.

    this recap is the funniest of the show. the fight scene between sam soon’s mom & manager oh is the best & funniest female fight scene i ever watched. it always cracks me up! go mom u get a feel for where some of sam soons character comes from. don’t mess w/mom.

    u didn’t mention a couple of scenes that makes sam soon such an unforgettable character. i not saying this to be critical because i truly enjoy u’re recap but these scene also made me laugh. when lthey’re leaving the temple & samshik’s mom stumbles & sam soon tries to cover her
    laugh at 1st but then sees mom’s assistance smirking that she breaks out laughing only to be embarassed as all look at her as being uncouth & walk away from her. & the scene right after the bathroom when they both joins the staff for lunch. the chef 1st tries to find out why they broke up & then samshik tries to embarress sam soon & she throws it right back at him. in the 1st scene u feel embarassed for sam soon, because i’ve been there done that, laugh at an inappropriate time. & in the 2nd scene how resoureful & witty she is & how these 2 are made for each other their relationship is spicey.

    i have to say that one of the reason i fell for this k-drama which was my 1st is because it reminds me of a harlequin romance as sam soon’s sister states at 1 point in the drama. it has a wholesomeness about it & for me it great seeing people of color in great drama no matter what culture.

    thanks much for everything! just like in this drama they’re sorry for everything. explain that 1 for me. i have so many ?s still waiting for u to explain sam soon’s name meaning. can’t wait.

  23. 23 Abbie

    Really liked this episode. To be honest Bon Appetite was getting rather tiresome. I’m glad her mom made her quit. But maybe she’ll go back…? I am not Korean, I don’t have even an ounce of Korean in my blood, but My Name Is Kim Sam Soon has given me a deeper appreciation for the Korean culture, even more so than K-pop or any other drama I’ve seen. Thanks, MNIKSS!

    Thanks for the recap, Samsooki!

  24. 24 Jomo

    Thank you for the recap – Chef “Oh!My!God!” was a great tie in.

    It’s funny now that you point out how “Korean” this episode was. Looking back, I know I was surprised by seeing them on the toilet, but in a good way. I was touched by the funeral ceremony. Everything that was foreign felt fresh. It made sense to me.

    This episode is where KSS, the character and the writing, totally won/owned my heart. In every other show, the move with the flowers would have been the end of her revolt. KSS would have broken down, and with a much lighter heart would have gone back to work along side her love. She would have continued to have flirty fights, and eventually, the OTP would kiss and sail off into the sunset.

    But not on Mom’s watch! I LOVED when KSS’s mom kicked ass. She was RIGHT! Samshik was being a jerk, and THIS man did simply NOT deserve to have her daughter near him. KSS was experienced and skilled, and could work anywhere… Samshik, on the other hand, was up a menu without a pastry chef. A really good one. Even by the end of this episode I am not sure he has admitted that it wasn’t just her mille feuilles, he would miss.

    • 24.1 Ivoire

      Hi Jomo,

      I think that by the end of episode 9, Samshik is not aware yet of how much he will miss Sam Soon, and not only because she is an excellent pastry chef.
      *SPOILER ALERT* If memory serves me right, episode 10 deals a lot with Samshik (and maybe the rest of the staff at Bon Appetit) realizing how empty the restaurant feels without Sam Soon and her sassy personality. I think I remember manager Oh making a comment along those lines to Samshik (either something about how good Sam Soon was at her job or something about how empty the place feels without her. I guess we will find out tomorrow when Samsooki posts the recap of episode 10). *END OF SPOILER*

      I think that Samshik might still have been engrossed in his (newly rekindled) relationship with Hee Jin and it hadn’t sinked into his consciousness that he might have started to like her (maybe Hee Jin coming back and letting him know that she still loved him distracted him?). And we do know that he is starting to like her because he got into a fight because of her and he told her that he didn’t like seeing her with other men.

      In any case, we know that we will be enlightened soon (in less than 24 hours) by the always insightful recap and commentaries of Samsooki.

  25. 25 Sobia

    Yes, I’ve watched MNIKSS more times than I count, and thought I knew it backwards and forwards, but these recaps are really making me see my favorite show ever in a new light. I can’t believe all the little things I missed in translation, and all the korean flavors. 🙂 What a great service you are doing us, Samsooki! And I can’t wait till you get to the last episode and hopefully answer for us, “What IS it about Kim Sam Soon, anyway?” There really is something magical about this character.

    • 25.1 sleeplessinwgtn

      Like you, I have watched MNIKSS umpteen times. But being non-Korean, i did not pick up the Korean flavour. So glad samsooki recapped this; it increased my appreciation and love for this drama. I always recommend this to people wanting to watch a K-drama – this definitely got me hooked!

    • 25.2 bbstl

      Also after many multiple viewings of MNIKSS, I find that I just experienced Mom’s fury on the surface. Samsooki’s recap adds so many layers to my understanding of a show I thought I knew everything about. Many thanks!

  26. 26 umalily

    excellent recap! I enjoyed your insights into Korean culture. I love the way you wrote today. Deep and yet not very wordy or flowery.

  27. 27 Cat

    Thanks for the recap and the cultural insight. My favorite kdrama ever!

  28. 28 laya

    Thanks for the recap! <3

  29. 29 Shel

    I watched this a few months ago, and while I did notice some cultural things because they show up in most K-dramas, I didn’t have the insight that you offer. I have many Korean neighbors, my little coastal town has it’s own “koreatown”, and your insights have given me a glimpse into that culture and helped me to understand them a little better.

    LOVE this show, it’s been one of my faves and I’m glad you’re recapping it so I can enjoy it all over again.

  30. 30 Ivoire

    I also wanted to say “Thank You!” again Samsooki because you made me smile.

    I was raised in a culture where going to the bathroom is a very private thing. I refreshed this page almost 12 hours later to see if there were any new posts. I was amused to see that I reacted differently. This morning, I was excited to see the new recap of MNIKSS, which I recognized right away when I saw Hyun Bin on the toilet. This evening, I was a little shocked (just a little) to see A-lister Korean star and actor Hyun Bin on the toilet because it is the first image that greets you when one opens the page.

    I am saying this because I am still fairly new to Kdramas (I have only been watching for a year) and so I have been introduced to actors such as Hyun Bin and others in his class when they are already famous. Most articles and reports I have seen of him (either read on on TV) are of him as a star. It is kind of humbling (for me at least) to see a picture of him on the toilet and to be reminded that yes, even stars need to use the bathroom. (For me at least), it is one thing to know it, and another to have that visual of him using the bathroom (even though I know that he is doing it as Samshik).

    I had to smile. Somehow, for a few minutes, it made me see him in a different light. Interestingly enough, I didn’t feel the same way (a little taken aback) when I saw Sam Soon (Kim Sun ah) on the toilet. Maybe because I felt that it is natural for Sam Soon to do such things. After all she did smell Samshik’s socks when she took them off his feet. It was a little thing, but that to me was such a Sam Soon thing to do. How many female characters have you seen do that in Kdramas? I have often wondered if the smelling of the socks was written in the script or if it was something that Kim Sun ah added on her own, just playing her character…

    Thank you to you, Javabeans, Girlfriday and all the other bloggers for writing and posting pictures that make us laugh, smile and think.

    • 30.1 Ivoire

      I meant to say:

      Most articles and reports I have seen of him (either read or on TV) are of him as a star. c

  31. 31 Rachael

    Whenever I finally finish Flames of Desire I’m positive I’ll need to watch this again thanks to your recaps. *sigh* Oh Sam Soon, I adore you, but can also cringe with you at the same time.

  32. 32 Dux

    Samsooki! Your analysis is always so thoughtful, colorful, informative, and funny as hell!

  33. 33 smilesx3

    wasnt type 0 the sock?

    • 33.1 skelly


      When taking socks off someone,
      Type A folds the socks neatly together
      Type AB hides them under the bed
      Type B throws them away
      and Type O smells them…?

  34. 34 Ingrid

    I was laughing during the comfort room scene.

  35. 35 Ahjumma

    What was it about this drama that people loved? It was witty. The “bad” people weren’t as bad as other dramas. Sam Soon didn’t do the zombie walk or stare. She carried on and never wallowed in self pity when things went bad. It was’t over the top. It was just plain enjoyable. After seeing many, many dramas this one remains my all time favorite.

  36. 36 Ahjumma

    Forgot but there is also consistency. Many dramas the female lead is strong and vocal in the beginning and then turns like mush later … or …. she’s strong at the wrong times and weak when she should be strong. Not with Sam Soon which I loved. She was no wishy washy dame.

  37. 37 Carinne

    Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, or what have you… some parents are just plain text Traditional. Yes, I concur… brings back most definite childhood memories.

    I love SS’s blood typing. She is so accurate; JH is her bap.

  38. 38 marion

    ” just living in the tiny space allotted between anger at Hee Jin and regret for his own actions that took the lives of three people”

    You are spot on. He hasnt been doing much except doing that and tormenting SS in a jesty kind of way, providing comfort for himself in doing so.

    Maybe SS was sent to relieve his pain and stress….

  39. 39 marion

    This ep was a riot for me from the toilet humour to learning more about the procedures they did at the temple ( i am always eager to learn more about korean customs and practices) . It also brought back memories of when I used to get spanked for crying, I was a crybaby when I was young and to my parents (like many), crying is a sign of weakness

    I didnt realise that was the ROlling Stones’ Paint it Black but was sure was fitting for the scene. EPIC ! I think there is another one coming up when JH’s mother faces off with SS’ mother in front of the latter’s house.

    Such a cool choice of (English and traditional) songs used in this drama, instead of the trite melodramatic ballads we get on most drama OSTs. Even though most arent found on the original OST which I think is wonderful, I liked the oldies appearing at the apt moments

  40. 40 adrys

    love this drama.. never get bored watching it again and again and again..the best Asian drama ever.. it shows a lot of sincerity and aside from samsoon-jinhoen’s part, the Korean culture.

  41. 41 Cat78

    Love this Drama!

  42. 42 mashimaroluff

    thanks samsooki for recapping this. I always enjoy your recaps and the little cultural insights you give here and there. It really helps me enjoy the drama and understand it better. Keep up the good work

  43. 43 gah

    Sam soon’s whole family is so embarrassing omg. only one who isn’t is her dad hahahaha.

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