Drama Recaps
Five Fingers: Episode 1
by | September 29, 2012 | 89 Comments

I’m a little late to this makjang party, but thought it’d be fun to weigh in on the first episode of surprisingly ten-fingered Five Fingers, which is well into the first act of its run by now.

Sporting some lush cinematography and a commandingly vulnerable performance by Chae Si-ra, the first episode delivers on what you’d expect: birth secrets, sibling rivalries, adultery, dead grandmas, senile living grandmas, and the one kid who just happens to be born as a genius in whatever it is that his secret father does. It wouldn’t be Baker King Kim Tak-goo if Tak-goo was a genius architect, would it? Same rule applies here.

Episode 1 premiered to 11.2% ratings, but you might know it better by its controversial casting kerfuffle.

Note: Yes, this is another one of those one-time-only recaps.


Franz Liszt – “La Campanella – Grandes Etudes de Paganini” [ 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.


In front of a full audience and under the gleam of spotlights, the opening chords of Franz Liszt’s “La Campanella” are teased from a grand piano, one of two on the stage.

One pair of skilled hands belongs to YOO JI-HO (Joo Ji-hoon), but he’s not alone, since the pianist sitting across from him begins to play notes that not only are complementary, but complete the piece.

YOO IN-HA (Ji Chang-wook) gives off a self-satisfied air as he glances away from the keys and to his pianist companion as the music reaches a crescendo, which is right when a voiceover sounds in past tense, noting that Ji-ho was recently elected as Chairman of Buseong Group.

We know any company with the word ‘group’ in it means big money, but the news-voiceover seems speculative about Ji-ho’s decision to have his inauguration ceremony be a concert where he could face off against his younger brother, In-ha.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Buseong Group CHAE YOUNG-RANG (Chae Si-ra) is touted as the sole reason why their group has become one of the top ten in Korea as she dresses in a gown gifted by her husband for the inauguration.

There’s a tiny taste of the conflict to come as we hear that Ji-ho, along with being Buseong’s top shareholder, has had some disputes with In-ha over the company. What good is a makjang if family members actually get along?

Everything seems to be going well for the ceremony, until Ji-ho lights a candle… and lets it drop to the table, setting everything alight. He watches this placidly, even as the smoke starts curling under Young-rang’s doorway.

She steps into a living room engulfed in flames, with Ji-ho staring silently across the way. Young-rang cries out for his help as his mother, but he coldly turns away and leaves her trapped. Unable to escape as a chandelier shakes precariously above her head, Young-rang screams as it falls from the ceiling and comes crashing down…

…Which is the perfect time to cut to a flashback from fourteen years ago. At Jeju Island, a petulant boy runs from his grandma, who’s about ready to beat him for stealing food from guests. It’s good-natured annoyance, even though the boy is truly hungry and without money.

He gives Grandma a sausage-for-dinner request before he goes running off, but the sight of three boys eating outside of a market puts him in an even sourer mood.

Meanwhile, a privileged boy sniffs at the mini-banquet prepared for him as his mom, a younger Young-rang, caters to his every wish. Surprisingly, the boy turns out to be In-ha, and he’s kind of a brat. He knows he’s got Mom wrapped around his piano-playing fingers and orders her around without a care.

Young-rang doesn’t just take abuse from her son but from her crabby mother-in-law as well, and is the first to back down and apologize for every complaint, something which surprisingly has In-ha annoyed. He doesn’t seem to be a fan of Mom apologizing needlessly to Grandma.

I’m gonna go ahead and take a guess that the poor disenfranchised boy is Ji-ho, who shows an ear for pitch as he picks up a guest’s guitar for the first time and replicates sounds from his house as though he’d been learning all along.

In-ha plays the piano as accompaniment for a young girl singing while Mom watches from the audience. He doesn’t like her and cruelly ups the pitch, which causes the girl’s voice to crack before she runs off stage crying. He smirks after her.

Outside, the girl hits him with her backpack while her mom blames In-ha for raising the pitch. He’s not sorry at all, and Young-rang feigning innocence doesn’t help their cause, since the girl’s mom knows she’s a retired pianist.

Turns out Young-rang did see what her son did, and when she asks In-ha about it he claims he did it because that girl looked down on him. Mom pleads with him not to disappoint her and his father: “To Mom and to Dad, you are our only dream.”

But In-ha immediately shoots back, “Dad said this too: If you’re born a boy, you can’t bow down to others. He said being weak is worse than being a coward. I’m never going to apologize to that wench even if I die!”

Young-rang gets called out by an old friend(?) who seems a bit sarcastic as she notes that Young-rang was poor as dirt before she married up. She’s got a recital coming up with Buseong as her sponsor (they sell musical instruments, as fate would have it) and Young-rang tries to cover up her surprise by acting like she was the one who forwarded the sponsorship request through.

But her frenemy has some nasty news for her: She’s been seeing Young-rang’s husband, Chairman Yoo, for six months. She’s got the works as a mistress, like an officetel, car, and now the recital.

One gift she did refuse was Young-rang’s original engagement ring, which she slides over the table. “Being a supportive wife doesn’t mean you will be loved,” her frenemy coolly reminds her before sauntering off, leaving Young-rang to silently fight her desolation.

The topic of inheritance comes up with Cheats McGee Chairman Yoo (Jo Min-ki), but he’s not pleased with In-ha’s antics and plans to cut down his stocks every time In-ha upsets him.

Chairman Yoo comes home and asks Young-rang about the trouble In-ha got in at school, claiming that he can’t put In-ha in charge of Buseong just because he has a talent for the piano.

Her husband’s mistress had mentioned which maid in the household had been acting as her spy, so Young-rang tells her husband that she fired that maid because “The ring I favored disappeared.”

Chairman Yoo seems suspicious that Young-rang might have found out about the affair, but convinces himself that it’s fine.

Grandma gets to use a pager to call Young-rang whenever she wants, and it’s becoming increasingly more apparent that Grandma is going senile, since she can’t remember her birthday was last week or that she took a shower ten minutes ago.

Despite that, Grandma still tears her a new one about being so meek all the time and apologizing: “But what are you plotting behind it? Even though you can fool others, you can’t fool me, because you’re just like me. Your maiden family is wretchedly poor. Your husband’s family is so rich. I’ve gone through everything you’ve gone through, so that is why I can’t trust you.”

Chairman Yoo comes in to diffuse the situation, and takes Grandma for a swim while Young-rang looks on dejectedly, the weight of her husband’s betrayal bearing down on her.

In-ha’s less of a brat than I initially thought, and genuinely loves his mother. It’s adorable that he wants to protect her from everything, and tells her to believe only in him. “Don’t be sad even if Grandma keeps bothering you. I’ll be the best pianist, and I’ll make your dream come true. Got it?” Aww.

He definitely lifts Young-rang’s mood, and they discuss the upcoming competition his dad is sponsoring. But he’s got his eye on the prize, and plans to win.

Chairman Yoo ends up finding Young-rang’s ring in the pool, and knows she knows: “You’re going to stay next to your husband as though nothing ever happened?”

It’s a stormy night, and Ji-ho’s Grandma laments a measly $200 deposit she’s been getting for over ten years from Ji-ho’s real parent(s), who left him behind.

Ji-ho’s scared to death of thunder and tries to follow Grandma outside, only he’s a second too late; she gets hit by the same car that splashed water on him earlier that day.

And the poor kid sobs over Grandma’s body in the rain, while the Yoo household gets a call that she died. (Well, it’s not like we could be surprised at the connection.)

The Guitar Man staying at Grandma’s house gets pulled into the police station with Ji-ho, with Guitar Man proclaiming his innocence. Ji-ho didn’t get to see the car clearly but remembers the sound of the car horn (with his genius pitch and all).

This brings him to remember the car that splashed him, and the stuffed frog hanging in the back window.

In-ha gets royal bath treatment from his maids and Young-rang, who stresses to her son the importance of a pianist’s hands. She gets called off to Grandma’s meal as she all but shoves every plate into her mouth, eating everything she’s not supposed to as a diabetic.

Young-rang tries to stop her, and doesn’t bat an eyelash when Grandma offers her all that she owns if she’ll let her eat what she wants. Young-rang claims she doesn’t have that kind of greed, but Grandma isn’t hearing it, and offers the maids gold in exchange for giving her more food.

Young-rang gets a call from a woman who seems like a family relation, but she wants money for a ticket to America. Young-rang finally puts her foot down and claims she won’t spend needlessly anymore, and hangs up.

Ji-ho is left alone in his grandma’s house, and cries when he finds that she’d made him sausage just like he asked for.

However, he doesn’t get to stay alone long, since a group of gangsters come in and kidnap him kicking and screaming. Their exit is blocked by the high tide, which has overrun the bridge from Jeju to the mainland, so Ji-ho uses the opportunity to try and escape.

He leads his kidnappers on a merry chase before he tries swimming away, ending up strewn on a beach. The gangsters easily find him again, only this time, they’re accompanied by Chairman Yoo.

Ji-ho: “Ajusshi, who are you?” Chairman Yoo: “I am a person known as your dad.” Dun dun dun.

Chairman Yoo/Dad tells Ji-ho that his grandma’s murderer was caught thanks to his excellent hearing skills, and tells his son to live more like his father. O-kay… the one that he just met? Give the kid a second, jeez.

Dad tells Ji-ho that his last name is Yoo now, and that name will protect him. “I’m sorry for finding you so late. This is the first time I’m saying sorry in my life. I’m sure I’ll not have a reason to say it to you again.”

Ji-ho’s brought home to meet the rest of the family, as Chairman Yoo explains that he’s the son of a woman he was with before he got married, and that the woman had her mother raise Ji-ho without him knowing. So for just finding out like one day ago that he had a secret son, he seems totally fine.

Since Ji-ho is older, Chairman Yoo declares him Instant Hyung, an idea which has In-ha fuming. He even reprimands In-ha for protesting: “From this time on, Ji-ho is my older son. Even if the sky falls down, this will not change. If anyone in this house can’t accept this truth, get out of this house this instant.”

Just like that, In-ha is dethroned, and I can’t really blame him for hating everything about this situation.

Young-rang tries to talk things over with her husband, not upset because he has a new son but upset about what it means for In-ha. Chairman Yoo is pushing the boundaries of sanity as he grabs his wife and admits that he feels competitive when he sees her, and does everything he can to see what will make his meek and apologetic wife cry or lose her temper.

But, to him this is all payback for her betrayal, since she saw a man while studying abroad on his sponsorship. (Supposedly.) This explains the piano record she was listening to earlier, and his reaction when he saw the initials “J.W.” addressing it to her.

No amount of pleading will get Chairman Yoo off of his high horse of vengeance, and he sees Young-rang raising Ji-ho as a way to make her suffer.

Ji-ho gets premium spa treatment and is pretty uncomfortable about it, and things get even worse when he goes to the room he’s sharing with In-ha.

In-ha taunts his new hyung and calls him a beggar, an exchange which ends with Ji-ho twisting In-ha’s priceless wrist. Young-rang and Dad come to break it up, and Young-rang tamps down her own protests once she sees that his wrist is fine.

“He is your hyung, so he can do it,” Mom says with an air of resignation. She even apologizes to Ji-ho for In-ha making him mad. At least Dad steps up and punishes Ji-ho.

He again tries to get a rise out of Young-rang by telling her that Ji-ho’s mother was her late best friend and rival. “At least for your friend, raise our Ji-ho well. You were no match for her talent. She was an outstanding piano prodigy.”

He leaves her to her flower cutting, and her repressed rage causes her to grip a rose stem so hard that she bleeds.

It storms again that night, leaving Ji-ho fuh-reaking out in the laundry room where he’s been locked (for punishment). He eventually just passes out, and wakes up under Young-rang’s gentle care.

Perhaps needing some motherly love, Ji-ho leans his head on her chest. I like that Young-rang is so wonderful to him, even telling him that he can lean on her anytime. “I want to get along with you, honestly,” she stresses as she hugs him.

This is the first time Ji-ho’s ever been hugged, but he can’t understand why Young-rang doesn’t hate him. She tells him that it’s not his fault, and that this is his house now, too. Aww. The power of motherly love.

The next morning, Young-rang tries to figure out why In-ha’s piano piece sounds different than the last time. Ji-ho pipes up that it was different, and Young-rae checks the sheet music to find that In-ha did get a note wrong.

Curiosity piqued, Young-rang tests Ji-ho’s ear by asking him to identify which notes she plays blind, and he passes with flying colors. He’s got a natural talent for pitch, as Chairman Yoo also finds out.

Chairman Yoo is a terrible father, as he demeans In-ha’s abilities as due to years of practice and praises Ji-ho’s ability from being born a natural prodigy. He even brings up inheritance, and blatantly says he’ll give the company to whichever child is superior in piano playing.

This causes In-ha to practice so hard that he sweats all over the keys, while Ji-ho gets his first piano lesson ever from the same teacher.

Ji-ho wants to join the school’s instrument club as well, but In-ha tries to get him out by telling the other kids that Ji-ho was just an orphan his dad brought home.

But Ji-ho is determined to get in, so In-ha administers an almost impossible audition by having Ji-ho replicate the song he hears from a violin on the piano. He passes easily.

Next up is a flute, and this time Ji-ho not only replicates the basic notes but turns the tune into an advanced piano medley. The rest of the kids are wowed at his ability, but In-ha is left jealous and fuming.

Once they’re outside their house, In-ha lets all his pent-up rage out on Ji-ho, mostly mad on his mom’s behalf because “she became the world’s most pitiful person.” Aww.

But then he throws Ji-ho into the pool, becoming alarmed when Ji-ho stays face down and unmoving. He jumps in to save him, but Ji-ho pops out of the water laughing: “It’s refreshing, right? I felt bad for being the only one, so I wanted you to try.”

Brotherly antics! It’s kind of cute how mad In-ha is, but I think they’re making some headway.

Grandma steals pancakes from a husband and wife team at a street stall, who are apparently used to this happening. (I love the City of Angels poster thrown in there, just to remind us what year we’re in.)

The husband is deaf, and signs what he says to his pregnant wife while we hear him in voiceover. They’re adorable together, especially since they both have big hearts and seem to be just genuinely nice people.

They do talk about their daughter though, in the hopes that one day they can make enough money to buy her a piano.

We apparently find that daughter staring through a shop window at a piano, and Ji-ho soon joins her. She smiles as she says that she comes every day to look through the window until sunset, and dreams that her dad will one day buy it for her.

Ji-ho gets her inside by lying to the owner, even though she doesn’t know what to do once she gets to the piano because she’s never learned how to play. There’s no opportunity like the present, so Ji-ho teaches her the basics, enough for them to play “Chopsticks” together.

The girl starts to cry when she realizes her dad will never be able to hear this sound: “I really want to play for my dad.” Ji-ho: “You can play the piano with heart instead of sound, then he can hear it.”

The owner chases them out, and together they ride on his bike through a pretty, tree-lined road.

Ji-ho comes home late, and gets a solid thrashing from Daddy Dearest for stepping out of line. He blames Young-rang too for just waiting around for Ji-ho to get home, and she apologizes, as usual.

He thinks she waited because she loves Ji-ho less, and warns her: “I won’t endure it if you ignore my son.” Then he tells them that Ji-ho will be entering the upcoming piano competition even though there isn’t enough time. Chairman Yoo doesn’t care, because he’s terrible like that.

Young-rang tends to Ji-ho’s sore shins, putting the blame on herself for him being out late. “Although I didn’t give birth to you, you are my son, just like In-ha. Let’s accept one another. Although I’m lacking, from now on, I’ll do my best.” She asks for him to call her ‘mother’ from now on, even though he doesn’t do so right away.

Young-rang has to break the news to In-ha about Ji-ho entering the competition, and In-ha is furious. When Mom tells him that both he and Ji-ho are her precious sons, he fires back that he’s her only son.

Ji-ho challenges In-ha on why he doesn’t want to compete with him, admitting that he’s terrified of the piano just like In-ha should be. This makes In-ha Smash!, so he throws Ji-ho against their aquarium wall, causing the glass to fracture.

Young-rang sees this and, knowing it’s dangerous, grabs the two boys to get them out of dodge before the glass shatters and water comes pouring out. But once on the ground, she’s only holding Ji-ho.


Just based off the first scene of the episode, I was expecting a Flames of Ambition-esque matriarch figure, the kind of woman who’s fought tooth and nail to get to the top and is going to fight tooth and nail to stay there throughout the series.

I was pleasantly surprised then to see Young-rang as a meek but ultimately goodhearted madonna, one who represses her emotions not for a future plan of vengeance (at least, not that we know of), but just because it’s in her nature to be agreeable to a fault.

Most of her appeal comes from Chae Si-ra’s nuanced performance – again, something I wasn’t really expecting from the first outing of a weekend makjang. I’m not sure if she’ll be able to stay this way through the series, but even if she undergoes some evil change down the line, at least we get an idea of who she used to be and why. That’s a better route than Evil Mother From Hell on the very first day.

I wouldn’t say that makjang is refreshing, but there are so many makjang tropes that were just plain avoided by making Young-rang so pitiful. In your normal garden variety makjang, I’d expect her to make a huge deal about her husband cheating (she didn’t say a word), reject Ji-ho as an illegitimate son (she accepted him wholeheartedly), and start scheming a way to make sure her real son inherits the company (she thinks of both equally as her sons).

The fact that none of that happened was honestly just nice, and subverted my expectations in a pleasant way. The bread and butter of makjang dramas tends to fall on parents with either not enough love for all their children, or too much love to the point of obsession. The fact that Young-rang has enough love in her heart for not only her son but a son that isn’t even hers speaks volumes about her character, and makes up the most interesting facet of the show for me.

I don’t really get Chairman Yoo or most of his issues, mostly because he fails as a husband and a father. It’s not love to put your children through an emotional wringer of constant competition, and I don’t even know if it qualifies as tough love. I get that he has some serious issues with his wife, but what is up with dumping your son that you’ve raised for your new and shiny son?

Maybe they’re meant to occupy both sides of the extreme – Young-rang with love to spare and Chairman Yoo with a piano-shaped hole where his heart should be. All I know is that, despite being a bit of a brat, this whole situation has tipped the scales against In-ha, so him lashing out just seems normal and human. Especially if he’s been practicing his whole life for what his new hyung can do instantly and effortlessly, along with that same hyung gaining instant acceptance from his mother and obvious favor from his father. Who wouldn’t be upset? (But, yes, throwing your brother into a wall of glass isn’t ideal.)

I just hope that the childhood backstory doesn’t overstay its welcome, because with such a great upcoming adult cast, why wait?


89 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. canxi

    I haven’t heard much buzz on the show besides all the upsetting “kerfuffle” (lol, such a funny word) so this was nice to see pop up.
    Hopefully, it’ll be able to rise above all it’s controversies

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Thank you HeadsNo2 for recapping this, I really like how you write. You are so funny! I loved your introductory paragraph at the very top. The recap is quite entertaining, yet thoughtful. I understand why the beaners love reading your recaps.

      • 1.1.1 ilikemangos

        I also love how headsno2 does 1-episode recaps for some shows just to give us all some insight into the other less popular shows.
        And the funny, that’s a plus.

      • 1.1.2 AnaBanana


        Good one, Ivoire — did you come up with that one?

        That’s a good name for this community — we’re drama-beaners! 🙂

        Oh, yes — and thanks for the recap, Heads!! Good one, good one…

    • 1.2 MsB

      I guess its a controversy for T-ara fans! I don’t even know her. I know only one Hyomin because I’ve seen her in two dramas!

  2. Mipo

    Hi ! Thanks for the recap.. I think if you liked the first epi you should watch a couple more… it is most definitely not what it seems :3

  3. JoAnne

    Even though you wont be recapping I do hope you continue to watch – surprises ahead for you!

    • 3.1 MsB

      Tell her, Joanne!!! Barely scratched!

  4. jenna

    so glad you recapped this even for only one episode. i’ve watched 12 episodes and it is very good. hanging on each week for new episodes. the cast is fantastic. many twists and turns and the beautiful joo ji-hoon!

    • 4.1 MsB

      JJH was the draw for me because I’ve loved everything he has done! Sorry for his problems and glad to see him coming back ‘hard’!

    • 4.2 aznative

      Finished last episode of “Five Fingers” this week — I loved it. Watched mainly because I’m a fan of Ju Ji-Hoon and Ji Chang-Wook. Don’t watch a lot of melodramas, but glad I watched this one. First time I’ve seen Chang-Wook as something other than the good guy.

  5. Annie

    I’m still not sure why May Queen is doing better than Five Fingers. It’s even more makjangy.

    • 5.1 Daisy

      Believe it or not May Queen is pretty addicting… It might also because May Queen resembles the older dramas with the Makjang.

      Have you watched May Queen? You should try its good and the OTP have amazing chemistry!

      • 5.1.1 Annie

        It’s next on my list 🙂 I’ve heard good things about the OTP(s) so I’m giving it a shot once Five Fingers is over. There’s only so much makjang a girl can take! I’m just worried about FF’s low ratings since it’s shaping up to be a compelling drama and I was hoping it would be a good comeback vehicle for Joo Ji Hoon.

        • Dara

          Yes, MQ, Kang San oppa (KJW), then Chang Hee oppa (JH), and I can be the heroine anytime!

      • 5.1.2 hanabi

        I’m watching May Queen too and it’s now the drama I most look forward to during the week. This is the first time I’m intentionally watching a makjang knowing it’s a makjang. I tried to watch Baker King KTG before I knew anything about this kind of drama and was turned off by all the dramatics. I like the previous work of the leads in MQ and decided I was up for the craziness. Now I’m hooked.

        The OTP! So cute! It will be fun watching their relationship develop.

        As for FF, the storyline doesn’t interest me and neither do the leads, so I don’t think I’ll be picking it up.

      • 5.1.3 MsB

        I’m watching it and it does resemble the older type dramas but I still like FF better!

  6. Kiyori

    Well i am currently watching this drama and waiting for episode 15 to be subbed. the mother is the devil incarnate Jae-hee from nice guy has nothing on the evil umma. It is a slow build after the childhood episodes but when you hit episode 10 the drama begins makjang style. I think the whole TARA drama hurt the drama with younger fans but a main stay of this drama is the music if you love classical music it is a feast for the ears.

    • 6.1 Daisy

      I don’t think it was T-ara’s fault though. Cause even after Eunjung left, the drama hasn’t been doing well ratings wise. I do admit maybe because of SBS “dropping” her may have gave the drama bad publicity though.

      • 6.1.1 hapacalgirl

        I think part of is because they had to change the story a bit and change the Dami character to fit Jin Se Yeon’s young age that has also disappointed watchers of the drama. I personally am not watching because of the shadyness of SBS (and because I typically don’t watch makjangs) but I have occasionally visited the soompi thread.

  7. M.D.

    I did begin to watch the show, but put it to rest. Curiously enough, in spite of all the buzz for the adult cast, I much preferred the children.

    • 7.1 MsB

      The children were fantastic, no question! Watch if you want. That’s all I can say!

  8. jess

    Thank you for the recap! I’m quite liking this makjang. Like you mentioned, it isn’t the usual makjang fare where the villians are so over the top. They’re no less hateful but they’re tamer, if that makes any sense. Chae Si-ra is excellent at being that manipulative character you love to hate. Also, Five Fingers somewhat eased my Gaksital withdrawal with the actors who played Mok Dan, Dam Sari, and the head of Kishokai starring in the drama.

  9. Annie

    I can’t stand the look of young IN-HA. he somehow resemble a monkey? Awwww.. I feel so mean. but what the hay, I’m glad that those kids are gone. I hope the young actress get equal pay with the adult because they stay ridiculously looooong.

  10. 10 Naz

    I agree with M.D. I love the adult cast but the stories with the children were worth watching more. As adults its just constant drama non stop, hardly any giggles or breathing room. After a while I just kept pausing and walking away. I love the two male lead characters as adults. In Ha truely believes the world is agaist his sucess and convinced himself that he’s broken, where as Ji Ho is really a unconditionaly blind sweet guy. How he managed to stay that way after years of being in that family is beyond me.

  11. 11 nancii

    Please recap May Queen!! Even for 1EP!
    I would like to hear people’s views 🙂
    Currently on the latest ep and I love it!

  12. 12 hazel

    i liked the show at first, but then it began to seem more and more like baker king kim tak goo, so I later on dropped it. I’ll probably go back and watch one of these days though. I am however really enjoying May Queen at the moment. I didn’t think I would, but I’m loving it.

  13. 13 The Real CZ

    I liked the first two episodes, but once SBS removed Eunjung, there went all of the motivation I had to watch this drama.

  14. 14 Suzi Q

    The young actors are really good especially the one who plays In ha, the spoiled brat .The children story line is more believable than the adults.
    The adult cast with Joo Ji Hoon and Ji Chang Wook, whom I loved in their former roles are awesome in their current roles; however, sometimes the stupid ridiculous story line is hard to swallow.Every thing points to dear sweet mom sabotaging Ji Ho for several episodes, but he’s too dumb and in denial to put two and two together. Eyes roll. Such a mama’s boy!
    Chae Si ra is chewing up the scenery and giving a stellar performance in her role as the mom from Hades.She would use any underhanded method to raise up In ha as the heir. This plot drags on which seems like forever.
    Jin Se Yeon has only one expression of smiling throughout. No chemistry and not romantic at all. I can’t buy that the two brothers would have a love rivalry over her. I like Eun jung’s acting better, but unfortunately,she got the boot.
    Nevertheless, I enjoyed the beautiful classical piano music and the lush cinematography of this drama. This drama is almost half way completed, but 30 episodes is too much of this to watch. I hope you can please recap May Queen which is so much more interesting.

    • 14.1 Village Mrembo

      High 5! May Queen lover here lols

    • 14.2 MsB

      I totally disagree but that’s why I like this more than May Queen but watching both. But disagreements are accepted.

      • 14.2.1 izuyam

        I’m watching both and prefers FF over MQ too. Tho I love both the male leads, I somehow find the acting of the lead girl in MQ very lacking… and I also find the low self-esteem issues of the lead girl disturbing.. nonetheless, I’m getting a bit impatient with JJH’s character here in FF.. He’s still clueless & being overly nice to his ‘mom’ & ‘bro’ despite all the backstabbing it’s so frustrating to watch… I still love him very much tho’ 😛

  15. 15 Stardust

    I started watching this, and stopped after some episodes because I really hate the way baddies win over the deluded goodies… BUT I gave it another shot recently for ep 11 and was happy to see good progress, so I went back to rewatch the older eps in one go… I think my main problem is watching a week for 2 eps of makjang… makjang should be devoured in one sitting, if possible hahahaha

    Thanks HeadsNo2 for your one time recap… you helped me greatly by identifying the two songs played on the show lol… For once my google powers were of no use..

  16. 16 ilikemangos

    Can i just say joo ji hoon’s hair here is horrendous?

    • 16.1 Annie

      It’s gotten better lately. I still think his stylist hates him though.

      • 16.1.1 izuyam

        LOL 😀

    • 16.2 elle loves kdrama

      I know, what is up with his hair? It is much better now, but that’s not saying much…

    • 16.3 MsB

      I think they must have read the internet because they changed for better! Its MUCH better now!!

  17. 17 cherkell

    Phew! I’m still exhausted from this morning’s double-dip in episodes. Non-stop swings back and forth on the emotional pendulum is kinda hard to process at 5:00 AM. At least I can sleep in tomorrow!

    I agree with my unnis above; it’s hard to make a decision about a show until you’ve watched a few more episodes. Makjang isn’t my cup of tea either, and biases aside, I STILL would watch this because it’s a plotline near and dear to my heart by focusing on classical music (as I have taught and play piano for pretty much over 3/4ths my life now). It’s hilarious how I could remember the melodies to the boatloads of Chopin sprinkled throughout, but my brain locked up forgetting the first notes to the ‘Fur Elise’? *headdesk*

    And if anyone thinks that Jin Se-yeon’s character was rewritten to better cater to her real-life persona is dead wrong — in a recent interview with the scriptwriters, they said they have not changed Script Word One at all on Se-yeon’s behalf. No matter who was casted for that role, the same words would be coming out of that person’s mouth. Regardless, some amazing acting chops are being shown to us, and I’m strapped in for the long haul. (And offering In-ha a cookie and a hug, because he surely needs one right now. 😛 )

    So gomawo Headsy for the one-shot — I hope you give it a second shot after all. And another ‘set of eyes’ is always appreciated when it comes to the dramas. I never know if I’m missing a nuance (or five) as I bang out my recaps. Mostly because I get soooo distracted looking at all The Pretty on my monitor for hours on end… and now I’m even farther behind. Back to it!! *typetypetype* 😀

    • 17.1 mojaslatka

      I think they mentioned before that they made alterations to the scripts. And if they didn’t, I would say they should have.

      Well, that’s only my personal opinion.

    • 17.2 MsB

      You sound like me!! I watch on Saturdays, repent on Sundays for all the nasty things I say!!

  18. 18 Rita

    ‘Was pleasantly surprised to see you are recapping the drama that I follow because of Ju Jihoon who is my favorite. Before, I wondered why dramabeans do not do a recap and so am happy to see you are doing it now. Thank you!

  19. 19 Village Mrembo

    I never planned on watching either this or May Queen cuz it just sounded same ol same ol to me. I did however take a peek at May Queen out of sheer boredom and now am hooked! Its def got to do with my undying love for that dude from Can U Hear my Heart! (that gazillion dollar smile lols) The whole ‘casting’ thing as u put it just put me off 5 fingers, i wonder how many other potential viewers like myself the drama lost…

  20. 20 Dara

    Eh..I liked ep1 but then In-ha kept on screaming till his adulthood to which I find it was really difficult to watch this drama continuously one hour long so already dropped it. Plus, JJH’do and his rather stiffed persona scared me away, and the mom was just just a makjang weekend mom.

    • 20.1 MsB

      But that is part of his character! His flaw is simply his mother fault! Period! He is as is because of her! And there is more to the story! There has been hints left and right but you have to watch to find out!

  21. 21 Maricel

    I’m loving this drama and yes, the first episodes were pretty good, the young actors were great. The adult version of them started a bit slow and i hated how oblivious of the situation Ji ho was. But then, the mother seemed so caring that he couldn’t distrust her, especially since she took care of him for 14 years…I love that he discovered her true character. Grandma was very helpful and her tricks are quite smart.

    Da Mi for me is so cute, i love her and her mother… and the <3 scene with Ji Ho was adorable… i believe they look good together…and JJH is even more charming than before 🙂

    I am truly enjoying this drama, and my heart got broken when i read this was one episode recap u.u…thanks anyway…i do like your recaps.

  22. 22 anais

    As for episode 13 or 14, I’m about to give up. Yoo Ji Ho just sits there and takes it. As of Episode 13 or 14, you’d think he’d have gotten a little bit more savvy by now. Rant rant rant rant. The latest twist bridging Ep 13/14 makes me just want to scream.

    • 22.1 MsB

      True but Moms had 14 years of hidden in her hatred! JH has to get over the fact that she does not love. For anyone to expect that happen overnight, that’s impossible! Remember what happened when he thought his Mom came to school? That should give clue why its going hard and hurtful!

  23. 23 bim2

    Just recaps episode 2 and you’re gonna realize it is makjang series ^^ The truth face of Young Ra… so scaryyyyyy >.<

  24. 24 Sonia

    Did anyone else think that the first picture of In ha looks so much like the suicidal dude from BoF, the one who’s also in SUFBB. I even looked up Five Fingers in asianwiki to see if Heads got the name wrong. lol

  25. 25 DarknessEyes

    thanks for the recap! I kinda wish there were regular recaps for this, because im not sure if im in for actually watching a makjang, but thanks anyway! This doesn’t look to be too bad after all– especially after that whole kerfluffle lol

  26. 26 Diana

    thank you HeadsNo2

    SBS missed their calculations that just after gatsikal the Jelawat wind will blow to five fingers with powerful scent

    that the recent craving fans from gatsikal will continue craving or raving for the actress ?, too bad it didn’t work that way for young viewers.

    Idols power is still in ruling the RATINGS, but it will idle away (die) in two years time !.

    We still want to know what will happen between the two brothers and will the mother die in the fire ?
    or who is in the mental instituition – clues from the teaser ?.

  27. 27 mikan

    my mom is watching Five Fingers, but I think at first she’s just ‘scanning’ through the episodes until she came to that interesting part so she watched the previous episodes. She said she likes action-packed dramas more but now, I don’t know why she’s still watching it, hehehe… maybe because of Joo Ji-hoon. And Jin Se-yun is also there.. (and yes, it’s from a daughter’s point-of-view of her mom watching it…) 😀

  28. 28 Mrs kamoo

    my friend asked me..have u watch five fingers??? I said.. NO!.. is it good? she say YES~and she insist me to watch it~so because of ji chang wook I say OK I will *later*…after watched a couple of the eps. now I’m hooked~ I don’t know why..but I will watch it until the end.. ,

  29. 29 angelyurihuynh

    that’s amazing drama waiting your cast joo ji hoon ^^

  30. 30 nonie

    Honestly I miss Joo Ji Hoon’s acting a lot. I hope the recap continue….

  31. 31 sherry

    i watch five fingers and may queen at the same time too. Both is also makjang-ish but surprisingly I look fw to May Queen episodes .. Hope I can read the recap of MQ in dramabeans someday

  32. 32 Laura

    “In your normal garden variety makjang, I’d expect her to … reject Ji-ho as an illegitimate son (she accepted him wholeheartedly), and start scheming a way to make sure her real son inherits the company (she thinks of both equally as her sons).”

    Sadly, it actually happened exactly in this way… 🙁

  33. 33 Kiyori

    why does everyone say she did not reject him. she simply did it with a smile at no moment was she ever sincere that makes her far worst than the outwardly vicious step mothers.

  34. 34 Lila

    I just finished watching this ep, and boy the younger version of In Ha is a terror! I get why he’s upset but there’s so much anger there. There’s obviously still going to be rivalry when they grow up but hopefully they treat each other like brothers. I can’t imagine Ji Chang Wook playing someone truly evil.

    • 34.1 MsB

      *shudders* Keep watching! I had never seen JCW before but he is on my radar!

  35. 35 F.Ids

    Looking forward your recaps cause i didn’t manage to watch the other episodes

  36. 36 Kim Seo

    I’m honestly shocked at your opinion of the mother, but then realized that mine was like that too. At first. You’ll find in later episodes her intentions are not so good. I really hope you review the rest of the series, if only so you can realize the rest of the plot that unfolds, since I really enjoy it.

    • 36.1 MsB

      That and my opinion of father changed too!

  37. 37 elle loves kdrama

    I am not sure why I am attracted to certain makjang and not other, but this one pretty much has me wrapped around its little five fingers.

    AND I am also watching May Queen and Nice guy. It must be the season of makjang for me. I usually love rom coms, but I guess I need a little (or a LOT of) drama in my life these days.

  38. 38 DB5K

    Most of what you’ve deduced about Young Rang is wrong, wrong, wrongitty, wrong, wrong. While it may be true that Young Rang would have patiently bore all the abuse from her husband and mother-in-law till the end instead of committing all those evil deeds if Man Se had handed over the company to In Ha, she never ever accepted Ji Ho. She perceived him as In Ha’s rival from the beginning, and loathed him from the getgo. She even derives sadistic pleasure at seeing him in pain. Young Rang does indeed love her son, In Ha, “too much, to the point of obsession.”

    And the story actually slows down once the adult cast makes its appearance. The first few episodes with the adult cast seem to meander around pointlessly. Meh, filler episodes… It basically loses its “fire.” The exit of veteran actors such as Jo Min Ki and Na Moon Hee is also felt quite keenly. (Ratings decreased consecutively for 6 episodes after the adult cast transition).

    The drama has lovely trappings: lush cinematography, tasteful wardrobes, elegant sets, classical music, beautiful actors, etc. But it’s hollow. It’s tasteful makjang, but it’s still makjang for the sake of makjang. It’s hard to understand what motivates the characters and in a revenge drama, that’s like the most important thing. If viewers don’t really get why a drama’s characters are seeking revenge, or don’t feel invested in seeing the characters exact their revenge, then viewers have no reason to continue watching it. On the positive side, the plot seems to be developing more quickly now.

    May Queen, on the other hand, has makjang elements, but it has “heart.” You can’t help deeply empathizing with its characters. (ZOMG… CHANGHEE… MY HEART, IT ACHES FOR YOU. All of the conflicts in this drama will rip your heart into shreds. The relationships the characters have with each other are riveting, complex, and moving. I highly recommend it. People may not be up for watching 8 episodes with the child cast, so I would watch the first episode at least, because the child cast is TOP NOTCH, A-class, cream of the crop material. Also, flipping Ahn Naesang gives one of his best acting performances yet. Then you guys can read recaps of it (www.asianaddictsanonymous.com or bloomingbird.wordpress.com) until the adult cast makes it appearance. And I guarantee you will be impressed with Han Ji Hye, Kim Jae Won, and Jae Hee’s acting~~

    • 38.1 Lila

      Definitely agree. Watching Ep 1 I had the same thoughts as HeadsNo2 but after watching Ep 2, it’s reminding me more and more of Can You Hear My Heart, where the mother pretends to be a good and caring mom to the other son but wants to see him fail in order to get back at the husband.

      Loving May Queen, the chemistry between the child actors were so great, I was sad to see them grow up. Still great adult casts though.

  39. 39 Piano Sheets

    I am loving this series and the first few episodes were quite good, the young actors are gr8. The mother appeared so caring that he couldn’t distrust her, more so because she took care of him for 14 years… I love that later he discovered her true character. Grandma was very helpful and her tricks are smart.

    Da Mi for me is so cute, I love her and her mother… I believe they look good together…and JJH is even more charming than before

    I am truly loving this drama, and my heart got broken when I came to know this was one episode recap. Thanks anyway… I do like your recaps.

  40. 40 izuyam

    not usually a makjang fan but was inspired to do a marathon of this drama after reading your recap and boy, now i’m officially hooked…

  41. 41 izuyam

    ‘…Ji Ho is really a unconditionaly blind sweet guy. How he managed to stay that way after years of being in that family is beyond me.’

    sorry to cut your post.. i really agree with you on this one!

  42. 42 Reiga

    thanks Headsno2 !

    There is no family bonding with ji ho’s family and Da Mi’s family. Dami bring food cooked by her mom for ji ho

    and da mi’s mother brought her cook food for her working colleagues. Yang rang put one full table of food for In Ha.

    What’s is the writer up to ? food GALORE !

    where are the kids ?, and where have the orchestra gone too ?.

  43. 43 Viave44

    dreambeans i hope u’ll continue to recap this one:!!

  44. 44 Callan

    This drama is way better than May Queen for me. May Queen is your typical revenge drama and I find HJH’s acting quite exaggerated and annoying. FF is a class above MQ and the cast is amazing.

    • 44.1 MsB

      MQ is not really typical because a lot of the revenge plots haven’t come to fruition because people are still oblivious to what’s going on. The only active revenge but not revenge is Kang San. Right now, we don’t know what he plans to do.

    • 44.2 Addy

      diagree. FF is just as unoriginal as MQ. FF is like Baker King Kim Tae Goo all over again.

  45. 45 MsB

    “pleasantly surprised then to see Young-rang as a meek but ultimately goodhearted madonna”-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! You have to keep watching!!! Without even reading comments, I know for a fact, you felt the same thing I did about the characters but HeadsNo2, it all changes!!!! The surface is BARELY scratched in the first episode! I LOVE this show!! This show is the reason why I am waiting on Nice Guy!! There is SO much going on in the drama! I love revenge dramas, I seen a lot them, this is different!! I cannot even say what’s all going on because I would definitely be letting the proverbial cat out of the bag!! My daughter can contest that I watch this Saturdays because my blood pressure rises every time I watch an episode! I’m cussing, I’m screaming, I’m pissed! Just about every emotional feelings run! I love the characters! I hate the characters! I think Jin Se Yeon is perfect for the role of Da Mi! I know nothing the previous young lady so I cannot compare; I just know this role was made for her more than Mok Dan! If you decide to continue to recap, I’ll tell you my feelings for every episode!! Be warn, don’t read my tweets! I generally let lose for frustrations on Saturdays..LOVE THIS DRAMA!

    • 45.1 MsB

      And yes, I love more than May Queen (sorry Kim Jae Won, love you!)

  46. 46 hellochloe

    … and that’s the sound of me sinking into the ever frustrating world of makjang. This ‘cap deserves a proper reading. Imma go get me some snacks. Thanks HeadsNo2!

  47. 47 nonie

    I wonder why Jin Se Yun has more chemistry with Joo Ji Hoon than Jo Woon in Bridal Mask. I love all Ji Hoo and Da Mi scene in Five Fingers. They look so good together !

    • 47.1 Addy

      i agree..im shipping her with Joo Ji Hoon…she had no chemistry whatsoever with Joo won in BM and i hate that cuz that automatically disqualifies them from winning any best couple awards…i want Joowon to bag all the awards this year.

    • 47.2 Jenny


      I don’t see that happening in 5 fingers.

      I can’t say about “gatsikal” because I didn’t watch that

      drama but I can also say about “flower for my daughter”

      there was no chemistry between her and the male lead

      too !.

  48. 48 Addy

    ummm i’m just wondering why you guys chose to recap five fingers instead of May queen….May queen is definitely the better of the two.

    MQ is on ep.14 now and i’ve never been as clueless as too who the heroine will choose…MQ has an interesting dynamic with the premise we were giving vs what we’re actually seeing… PLS DRAMA BEANS!!! RECAP MAYQUEEN

  49. 49 Oxell

    Thank you Dramabeans for recapping Five Fingers! I’ve been waiting for this since the premiere of this show.
    I’m enjoying this show so much. This drama has perfect cast, the scores are freakin’ beautiful. I love Piano and watching this show just makes me love Piano even more.
    the OST from Lim Jeong Hee is very beautiful.
    I hope you will continue to recap this show 🙂

  50. 50 cilia

    Just love all the cast & their superb acting esp the step mum and Joo Ji Hoon. Am watching May Queen and The Innocent Guy as well but somehow Five Fingers tops them all at this point.

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.