Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 3
by | December 10, 2012 | 123 Comments

For a drama that’s incredibly bleak and melodramatic in its portrayal of poverty, there are plenty of golden moments in this episode – all thanks to Seung-jo. If this drama is supposed to be a comedy, it’s all because of him. The beloved In-chan oppa ends his cameo with this episode, and while many are sad to see him go, I think it’s good that he’s gone. We need to move on – just like Se-kyung. At least, Kim Ji-suk shows his bright face for a mere three seconds today. I’m looking forward to more of His Yummy-ness.

SONG OF THE DAY

“It’s Okay” by f(x) for Alice in Cheongdam-dong OST [download]

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Episode 3 Recap

Se-kyung is convinced to learn the secret to Yoon-joo’s success, which makes Yoon-joo slightly suspicious. Se-kyung explains that she’s now found hope in Yoon-joo’s story. She’s lately been told that life is predestined and one cannot change their circumstances no matter how hard they try… except for Yoon-joo.

That’s kinda bleak.

Meanwhile, Seung-jo is arriving at the sobering realization that he’s not feeling as happy as he was the other night about his little revenge against Yoon-joo. He calls Dong-wook to come over, then tries to validate his revenge as a way of healing his wounded heart by excitedly telling him of the dinner. Dong-wook sighs – why doesn’t Seung-jo just cry?

Dong-wook hits the issue right on the button: doesn’t Seung-jo feel terrible and empty inside after finally having completed his revenge? Isn’t he wondering what he did all this for? Seung-jo is incredulous, but Dong-wook says, “Are you afraid your tears won’t come out?” Seung-jo is suffering from a mental breakdown of depression and anger, and we see flashes of his instability as he forces Dong-wook to leave.

Back at Yoon-joo’s home, Se-kyung doesn’t believe that Yoon-joo could have done any better than she did, but somehow she did. So if Yoon-joo can do it, why can’t Se-kyung? Yoon-joo seems like she’s not sure if she’s being complimented or insulted. Of course, Se-kyung can only succeed if Yoon-joo helps her, which we’re not sure she will.

As Se-kyung leaves, she doesn’t notice a motorcyclist nearly stop in his tracks at the sight of her. It’s Ho-min, Yoon-joo’s younger brother and classmate of Se-jin. Yoon-joo gives him a little allowance and he asks her to help out Se-kyung; let her take advantage of Yoon-joo’s status. That’s strangely kind of him, which makes me wonder if Ho-min has a crush on Se-jin. He then comments on the strange coincidence of Se-kyung and Seung-jo arriving both from her past. Are they in cahoots or something?

Se-kyung hears from Ah-jung that Artemis has decided to sue In-chan for his illegal distribution of goods, but what’s worse is that his mother has just passed away. Se-kyung rushes to the hospital, where Dong-wook happens to work.

Dong-wook reviews Seung-jo’s medical record, laying out the symptoms that may explain his uncontrollable anger. But Seung-jo takes a marker and starts X-ing it all. Wrath comes about when one is blocked from his desire, or is forced into doing something. Was he blocked from his desires? No. Was he forced into doing something? No… well, until Dong-wook tried to make him cry. Watching Seung-jo frenetically cross out the entire board makes him look a little crazy.

Dong-wook tries to calmly tell him to cry, as accepting his condition is the first step for proper treatment. Seung-jo would rather just take his medicine and stop talking to Dong-wook about crying. What man goes about crying all the time?

He returns to his car and classical music turns on. Almost immediately, Seung-jo starts crying. Huh? But after about a minute, he stops, and checks the rearview mirror. Nope – no tears. HA. Oh well.

At that point, he sees two people arguing in front of his car, with the guy telling the girl he never wants to see her again. The girl turns, and Seung-jo recognizes her as Se-kyung. So that means the guy must be In-chan. He gets out of the car, but Se-kyung begs him to give her ex a break.

Seung-jo reenters the hospital to see In-chan in the funerary parlor for his mother. He calls up Secretary Moon and tells him to send a floral arrangement and spots Se-kyung again, who is waffling between going into the room and staying outside as In-chan wished.

*Click click!* And Ho-min is surreptitiously sending photos of Seung-jo and Se-kyung back to Yoon-joo. It looks like those two could be working together. Ho-min is now Yoon-joo’s personal private eye, as she orders him to snoop around for more information on their relationship.

When Ah-jung meets Se-kyung outside the hospital, she reminds her friend to butt out of In-chan’s affairs. Se-kyung reassures her that she will end it for sure, and then they spot Secretary Moon and the legal team for Artemis arriving at the hospital.

Se-kyung intercepts Secretary Moon before he can see In-chan and asks if she could write a letter requesting leniency for In-chan. Secretary Moon encourages it; he’s not sure how it will be received, but he will forward her letter.

Seung-jo has gone for his yoga lesson, except he’s incredibly wobbly standing on one leg. He falls out of form when he gets an unexpected classmate – his father. Il-nam can be such a flirt though, winking at the teacher.

Seung-jo accuses his father of following him around, but then Il-nam brings attention to the photographer snapping pics behind the rows of lockers. Did Seung-jo sleep with a married woman? Il-nam tsks at his son’s taste in women and leaves for Tommy Hong’s studio.

Yay! Kim Ji-suk!

Il-nam is escorted through the store to a fashionable basement that looks like an upscale party lounge. Though Tommy Hong is a fashion designer, he also has a side business of being a successful matchmaker for the rich. Il-nam is here for a request regarding ‘Jean Thierry Cha.’

In the parking lot, Ho-min reviews the photos he’s snapped that day, and doesn’t notice Seung-jo creeping up to his car, his face rising up to the window as he finds his prey… cue Jaws theme music. Hehe. He finally knocks on the window and confiscates the camera.

Dinner at the Shin household is a reserved affair as Mrs. Shin asks how GN Fashion’s deal with Artemis is going. She even hints to In-hwa that Seung-jo is single but In-hwa isn’t interested, and Yoon-joo covers up her shock over having him even closer around her. Mrs. Shin also has Yoon-joo visit a different doctor to see if she can get pregnant.

Yoon-joo then gets a text message from “Ho-min’s friend.” It’s actually Seung-jo, and he tells her that he’s just moved into the house across the street from her. Stalker! Yoon-joo goes to see him, asking what on earth he’s trying to do.

Ever since she left him, Seung-jo has been afraid to fall asleep, as all he can replay in his mind is her leaving. He suffered from a mental breakdown, but those feelings of shock and rage fueled his revenge. All he wanted to do was appear before her a changed man… so how’d he do? Does she now regret throwing him away?

He only wanted her to feel some regret, so now that that’s done, she doesn’t have to set a photographer on him anymore. Yoon-joo: “I may have been surprised (about his reappearance) but I don’t regret it.” She doesn’t think he’s changed a bit, and calls him an immature child. On top of that, she didn’t leave him because he was penniless; in his mind, she must appear completely selfish.

Seung-jo cutting ties with his father was not as grand of a move as he thought. Instead, she calls it a rash move that never considered her position or her circumstance in life. Seung-jo: “You mean, what you really wanted was my father’s money?” He laughs at her for accepting a measly 30 million won when he expected her to ask for a billion. She ended up just throwing away a man worth 10 billion. Doesn’t she regret all that?

Yoon-joo: “Only people who have nothing will regret like that.” But not her. She threw him away, washed her hands of him and the money. “I told you, right? It was all just business.” Despite having had his revenge against her, she still manages to be the only one who can hurt Seung-jo deeply.

But Yoon-joo herself can barely hold it together until she gets out of his building. Acting cool may have seemed easy, but she seemed really hurt by reliving her experiences with Seung-jo. She gets a call from her brother, who affirms that Seung-jo and Se-kyung have no ties other than the fact that In-chan works for him, and is Se-kyung’s boyfriend. Yoon-joo wants to bring Seung-jo down, so she tells Ho-min to gather more details on Se-kyung and In-chan.

At that moment, In-hwa appears behind her, wondering why Yoon-joo is out so late. Whoa – how much did she see, and what did she overhear?

Seung-jo thinks of Yoon-joo’s hurtful words, and tries to cry once again. He fails. “Only a child can cry,” he wryly notes.

Se-kyung struggles to compose a letter for leniency to the CEO of Artemis, and finds it easier to write than to type it out. The following day, Secretary Moon tries to find the perfect moment to hand the letter to Seung-jo, who is mildly surprised to see it handwritten.

Se-kyung introduces herself as the ex-girlfriend, saying that she hopes that despite his wealth, he understands that life is not easy. Life and love is not easy for her, especially since she and In-chan broke up over money. After everything they’ve gone through, she now believes that the opposite of saying “I love you” is “I can’t do anything for you.” Because she couldn’t do anything for In-chan or his mother.

She now understands that it’s foolish to think standing by the man you love is called “love.” Rather, love is doing everything she can to help him. Yet all she can do is to give him her savings, and Seung-jo finds her seal and her bank book enclosed, reading Se-kyung’s deposits and the hopeful messages of what she wishes for the future. The deposits are measly but there are pages of them. Her total only amounts to 5 million won (approximately $5,000), with her final wish being to go to Paris.

Suddenly, a tear drops on the bank book. Seung-jo is startled to feel a tear stream down his cheek, and he hurries to the bathroom. He laughs with joy at the sight of himself actually crying, and finishes the letter. Se-kyung knows that her savings aren’t enough for all the trouble that In-chan caused, but hopes that the CEO can accept it as the last thing she could do for In-chan.

By the end of it, Seung-jo is bawling like a baby. Hee. Now he’s really happy, because Se-kyung has just proven to him that love truly exists. Relationships are not all based on business, as Yoon-joo said.

Seung-jo victoriously exits his office and commands Secretary Moon to drop the lawsuit. Secretary Moon reminds him that there may be other lawsuits and fines to pay, so Seung-jo tells him to do everything he can to just drop the lawsuit on In-chan.

Next thing we know, Secretary Moon and the lawsuit team march (like the playing cards/guards) into the funeral home, where Secretary Moon announces to In-chan and Se-kyung that the matter will be settled with a fine – which CEO Jean Thierry Cha will take care of.

He presents the CEO, and Seung-jo comes in with the poise and manner of a king greeting the crowds. Se-kyung’s jaw drops, and my stomach hurts from laughing at the cheesiness of all this. (Please let this be a dream!)

Seung-jo hands over the bank book, then makes a grand speech about love. Poverty cannot end love, so they should use that money to help Se-kyung’s dreams and protect their love. In-chan covers his mouth like a little child, and I feel like he’s just covering his mouth to stop laughing.

Se-kyung is so overcome with emotion that she cries out, “Truly, I don’t know what else to say to show my gratitude!”

And with that we end up in Seung-jo’s office, as he practices this entire scenario in front of the mirror. HAHA! He sure has grand delusions. He practices the second part of his speech: it is not that they should be grateful towards him, but that Se-kyung and In-chan exist for each other. He follows up with a quote from Winston Churchill: “Immature love says I love you because I need you. Mature love says I need you because I love you.” Then he finishes off with a grand statement that all they need is love and each other.

What a romantic. Has he been watching too many dramas lately?

He gets ready to leave with the bank book in his pocket, but Secretary Moon rushes in. Se-kyung already came by to visit and express her gratitude. Already?! Seung-jo wasn’t even ready! He was going to do his grand gesture at the funeral home for her with the big reveal! Now it’s too late! Secretary Moon also has two gift boxes in hand – and gives Seung-jo the smaller white one.

Inside is a handmade leather bracelet that looks very cheap. Seung-jo is confused over why his gift is so shabby, and so he grabs Secretary Moon’s maroon gift box. In that one is an expensive set of cuff links. Seung-jo: “Why is your gift so pretty? Did you switch it?” While angry, Seung-jo’s country accent starts creeping out, which is funnier because he’s not the elite Seoulite we think he is.

Seung-jo runs out, and manages to catch Se-kyung not too far away. She’s confused over why a secretary would have the gifts, but Seung-jo wants to confirm which gift is for the CEO. If she’s more thankful to the CEO, shouldn’t he get the more expensive gift? Se-kyung clears the matter: she’s thankful to Secretary Moon for helping her with In-chan’s situation and his tips on how to approach the CEO. And that leather bracelet is handmade! It’s the first thing she made when she got to college.

Seung-jo’s eyes widen in admiration. She commands him to wrap it nicely and give it to the CEO. She turns to leave, but Seung-jo stops her – he has more to say. He hands her the bank book and says that the CEO wanted to give it back. Se-kyung stares at the book, and Seung-jo continues chanting “grateful” in his head, hoping she’ll say it so that he can go into his whole speech about love. Ha!

“I’m grateful,” Se-kyung says, and Seung-jo’s eyes light up. But before he can get into his speech, she says, “I can’t take it.” Poor Seung-jo’s balloon is deflated – this wasn’t part of the imaginary script in his head.

Se-kyung refuses to accept, because then all of her resolve would have been for nothing. She already had resigned herself to losing that money for the sake of In-chan, so she’s not about to take it back. More than being grateful, she feels more sorry.

Seung-jo gets all frustrated over why she can’t just say she’s grateful, and his accent comes out again. Se-kyung’s confused – why is he acting like he’s the chairman, as if he’s being magnanimous and cool? Se-kyung adds, “You sound like a country bumpkin with your accent!” and leaves for home.

Yoon-joo meets her brother at a cafe he seems to work at, and he tells her that all Se-kyung wants is probably money. Her boyfriend’s in debt, and she’s in debt. If Yoon-joo just gives her money, Se-kyung will go away. But Yoon-joo thinks there’s more to her request for help, so she tells her brother to keep digging.

When Se-kyung arrives home, she sees her parents discussing their bills. The bank has already demanded that they pay back 50 million won in the first few days, otherwise they’ll lose their house. Her mother has already determined that they can get a loan as long as Se-kyung signs it in her name.

Se-kyung heads to her room and looks fondly at her room, as if ready to say goodbye to her childhood dreams. She heads back out and flatly tells her parents no. She wants them to sell the house, pay back the mortgage and use the extra money to move into a small rental. Their house’s worth has gone down, but Se-kyung doesn’t want them to wait for the market to get better. If they wait, they’ll be in even more debt. It’s better to cancel out as much debt as they can now, because she still has to pay off her school loans.

Se-kyung loves this home just as much as they do, but she will never borrow again. She’s seen how borrowing money from banks has just sunk her family further into debt.

Yoon-joo looks into her safe and takes out an envelope, one that seems to hold the secret to her success. She still seems unsure about whether she should share it. As for Seung-jo, he cheerily puts on the bracelet and has In-chan come to his office the following morning.

When In-chan arrives, Seung-jo begins with the fact that In-chan’s resignation has been processed, and then hands him a card to another fashion company. Seung-jo’s already given him a recommendation to make it easier for In-chan to get a job in the same industry. “In life, there are things that can be weathered, and matters that cannot,” Seung-jo says, while turning to the window. He smiles over the brilliant line he just said and then continues his speech: “Poverty is something that can be weathered. I’ve lived through it.” I love that with every line of guidance, Seung-jo gives himself a mental high-five.

He hands In-chan Se-kyung’s bank book and seal, and tells him to return it to Se-kyung and be grateful to her. In-chan is shocked over the kindness, and Seung-jo repeats that there’s nothing to be sorry over, as what he really really wants to hear is someone saying, “Thank you.” In-chan finally gives him that satisfaction, and Seung-jo launches into his speech about love and Winston Churchill.

He’s on such a roll that In-chan is intimidated and confused – especially when Seung-jo takes his hand and kisses it. Whut? Seung-jo is secretly most grateful to In-chan and Se-kyung for proving to him that love still exists.

That evening, Seung-jo invites Dong-wook over for dinner, and the doctor is stunned to see Seung-jo in high spirits. He just did some “volunteer work” that completely “healed” him, giving him a warm wriggly feeling in his heart. Dong-wook: “Maybe a bug got in there?” HA!

Seung-jo explains his “volunteer work” in helping two people reunite and restart their lives. He imagines Se-kyung knocking on his apartment door, hurt by the fact that he lied to her about his status. Then she thanks him for helping protect her love and kisses Seung-jo on the cheek, which makes him so very happy that he ends up dancing to “Barbra Streisand.” Haha! My poor tummy!

Dong-wook finally wakes Seung-jo from of his reverie and reckons that he must be crazier than before.

The following day, Seung-jo receives no word from Se-kyung or In-chan; he had been so sure that they were going to come running in gratitude. He finds out something more shocking from his secretary, which prompts him to find Se-kyung after work.

He asks her if In-chan’s contacted her at all. Se-kyung reiterates that they broke up, so why would he? Seung-jo’s disappointed – so that means In-chan never gave her the bank book? It turns out In-chan left for Brazil yesterday, having found a job there. As Se-kyung processes the news, Seung-jo tries to defend In-chan, saying he must have had his reasons for not giving her the money. Se-kyung takes the news surprisingly well; she had already given up on the money so whether he took it or not was none of her concern.

Seung-jo isn’t assured, so he follows Se-kyung home to make sure she won’t fall into despair like he once did. She nearly falls into oncoming traffic a couple times, giving Seung-jo a scare that she might contemplate suicide. But she doesn’t, and ends up taking a long path home.

Se-kyung ends up by the Han River (of course), and Seung-jo watches with concern, contemplating purchasing life preservers just in case. At that moment, Se-kyung receives a delayed message from In-chan. He explains that he had planned to give her back the bank book, but decided to use it to pay off all his debts. He went to Brazil for a fresh start – without his debt, his mother or his girlfriend.

The cold hard truth finally sinks in, and Se-kyung dissolves into tears.

She cries her heart out before finally returning home, with her guardian angel still watching until she enters her building. Se-kyung is in for a surprise when she sees that of all people, Yoon-joo is in her house.

Se-kyung is angry, and orders her to come out and talk. Guess even though she wanted a favor from Yoon-joo, she doesn’t want her to be with her family at all. Se-kyung hopes that all Yoon-joo is here for is to answer her request. Yoon-joo nods – she has two answers fro Se-kyung. First, she hands her an envelope of money; even though she’s rich she doesn’t have unlimited resources, but the amount should be enough to keep the house. Once the debt is paid off, Se-kyung ought to protect everything she has – the way she’s lived her life now, her values, and her love.

Wow – Yoon-joo is surprisingly kind. It’s like she doesn’t want Se-kyung to become her.

Se-kyung still wants to know what else Yoon-joo can do for her. For all the hard work she and In-chan put in, they’re still saddled by debts. On top of that, Se-kyung’s been told she lacks the eye for fashion. And as for love – well that just ended hours ago. Will that envelope of money solve all those problems for Se-kyung?

Before Se-kyung can get all “oh poor me” on Yoon-joo, she says that In-chan broke up with her for money – and for that she’s relieved. She’s finally free from one relationship full of financial burdens. No matter what they or others say about their love and sacrifices for each other, in the end their relationship is done.

Se-kyung is once again coming to that hard realization that the means don’t matter – only the result. At that same moment, Seung-jo arrives at Dong-wook’s home, again in tears. That girl who loves for the sake of love still exists – and he thought she was an extinct species. It’s this girl that made him cry.

Since she will always be poor no matter what, Se-kyung bitterly vows to change herself. If the world won’t change, and she can’t change the world to help her with all her efforts, then she’ll change herself. She will live exactly like Yoon-joo and become ruthless with her goal of being rich. It seems like Yoon-joo is trying to hold in her pride and happiness right now, as her one-time rival now aspires to be her, but she also looks like she wants to say, “The Cheongdam-dong life ain’t all you think it is.”

Se-kyung doesn’t want the money, but Yoon-joo hasn’t even finished her offer. She hands Se-kyung that envelope from her safe. In it holds a locked journal with the secret of how Yoon-joo got into the Cheongdam-dong elite circle despite not having the merits that Se-kyung has.

Comments:

I’m really interested in this series now on its own merit. I enjoy watching the complex characters because every time I think that they are going to act all haughty and elite, they show a human insecure side. And every time I think that Se-kyung and the poor people are going to be noble, they end up being bitter and jaded. Seeing Se-kyung stand up to her family was a sign that she was not going to let others walk all over her, and she was going to try to dictate her life from now on. Seeing Yoon-joo waffle between wanting to help Se-kyung for good intentions or selfish ones was an interesting development; it appeared that Yoon-joo truly sympathized with Se-kyung’s plight, but at the same time probably just wanted to bring Seung-jo down with Se-kyung as her pawn.

What I loved the most was seeing Seung-jo and his quirkiness come out on full force. He had some little   idiosyncrasies that were amusing – such as instead of walking around a standing lamp, he walks under it. And then he had all these grand delusions of what he thinks will happen, and what we think would happen after watching K-dramas – but they end up not happening. I love that he romanticizes everything as if he’s living in a movie, but reality is not like that, and he gets crushed every single time.

There are some nice parallels already being drawn of Seung-jo and Se-kyung. They’re both very similar in that they want to appear different to the people in their past. They want to show that they’ve changed, or can change. There is something about their former selves that they hate and wish to hide forever. For Seung-jo, I believe that it’s his naivete, and for Se-kyung it’s her pride when it comes to work. Seung-jo is ahead of Se-kyung on this, because he’s already transformed himself into the elite Jean Thierry Cha, while Se-kyung is at the cusp of changing now. What’s sad is that Seung-jo is falling for the hard-working Se-kyung, and has no idea that she’s about to change into the very woman he hates. His transformation is being undone because he’s slowly going to revert back into that young idealistic Seung-jo who believed that love can conquer all. But her transformation is just beginning.

Will he be able to fall for her once she’s transformed into a mini-Yoon-joo? And will Se-kyung eventually turn back into the hard-working girl we know with Seung-jo’s help?

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123 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Kelinci Biru

    Kim Ji Suk yummy-ness? second that.

  2. cg

    Thanks :)

    • 2.1 cg

      it’s good to see a different type of female lead, having some grey shades… and how she will transform into a good and hard working person again….

  3. kika

    What I really love about this drama is that no one is absolutely good or bad. Rather, each character is painted in shades of gray. Even when I don’t root for them, I understand their motivations, and how they got to being who they are now.

    That’s a rarity in dramaland.

    • 3.1 luvs

      agree with you it is very rare indeed to have a Se Kyung character – usually the girl just works hard and takes 3 jobs as the stereotypical kdramas and waits for a knight in shining armour – here, Se Kyung will save herself her own way instead – i am curious to see the process as it is really a unique story line.
      Park Shi Hoo is very quirky here and he is so adorable:)
      this is turning into a very interesting drama -

    • 3.2 ilovekimchi

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I love how the characters are so well defined and fleshed out. Never did I expect this from the synopsis or previews that were released. Much as I find PSH portrayal of CSJ quirky and idiosyncratic, and awesomely funny; I look forward to how our two protagonists will meet meet midway whether in Wonderland or in reality. Now, HSK has lost faith in love just when CSJ has restored his through her. I find MGY’s acting riveting — never expected less from her. I love how the the characters are very three dimensional and relatable. I love that the drama entertains as much as it encourages its viewers to introspect: about poverty and injustice, and that sometimes our choices aren’t what really define us, because like what you said, life is not always black or white.

      • 3.2.1 ladida

        Oh god, Moon Geun Young is SO GOOD. That scene where she lets out her frustration and her anger and makes it clear that she refuses to take shit in her life anymore? Had me in tears and cheering for her at the same time. Also, she and Nam Goong Min have got to do a melo together, because they can cry like woah.

  4. MsB

    I think the Duck Sauce dance is on permanent loop in my head!! I have never laughed so hard as I did in this episode. Even though it was sprinkled with seriousness, the lighthearted scenes were tremendously funny. A lot of people were concerned about the chemistry between MGY and PSH, I was never worried but I am so excited to see how this plays out. JTC?!! What a hoot!!

  5. Ga-eul

    This show is, surprisingly, shaping up into one solid romcom. I LOVE that Han Se-kyung isn’t a typical Candy heroine. It makes the story so much more interesting.

  6. Ms.Simone

    I want to like this drama, but it seems to be moving at a snails speed.

  7. Ace

    Wow. After reading the recaps for episodes 1&2, I thought I’d never want to watch this drama because of the many clichés and because it was getting into melo territory (that’s how I saw it). Anyway, after reading this one it made me interested again so maybe I’ll start watching with this episode. Frankly, I was interested before because of my PSH love (not really MGY’s fan even if I acknowledge that she’s one of the better actresses her age out there) and now I want to see it and watch PSH as Seung-jo be quirky and amusing.

    Thank you for the recaps.

  8. Perevell

    PUHAHAHAHA that Barbra Streisand dancing just made my day ahahahaha oh my poor tummy *clutch*

    All in all,good solid episode, but I’m already wincing about what the future holds for these two; Seung Jo likes her for the way she is, but now Se Kyung is firm on changing. I just hope that he finds out why did she change in the first place and brings her back to her senses, though in the first place it wasn’t a very good situation to begin with. Hmmm, very curious to know what happens in the end.

    *replays Seungjo’s dancing* *dies of laughter again*

    • 8.1 Perevell

      And might i just add that I just found out that PSH is 34 years old.

      What.

      It’s not even possible. I thought the very least he should be is 28! brain cannot compute. how does he still look so everlastingly..i duno youthful? shizzles, that’s like more than a decade from my age.

      • 8.1.1 Moko

        Everlasting Baby-Faced. I bet he can be petty about his skin and his abs….pfff this Ssha guy must have some roots from there. Not that I’m against that, no, I’m far from it.

  9. befuddled

    The lamp in his office… the way he keeps ducking under it… it’s cracking me up.

      • 9.1.1 befuddled

        Hah hah hah, I love that someone made that into a gif

        • 9.1.1.1 kakashi

          it was me :)

          • 9.1.1.1.1 JoAnne

            Remember what I said about him? I take it back. Well. He doesn’t make me feel grabby-handed – yet – but you can add me to the ranks of PSH-ers.

          • 9.1.1.1.2 kakashi

            hm. JoAnne. I am not entirely sure I like this development …

          • 9.1.1.1.3 JoAnne

            bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahah

      • 9.1.2 Perevell

        Hahah this is priceless! I shall be saving this if you don’t mind? I could watch it forever :P

      • 9.1.3 marid

        I love this!!!!
        I kept laughing soo much!! why does he not move the lamp.

        • 9.1.3.1 befuddled

          I swear it looks like there is just enough space to just go around the lamp, too!

          • 9.1.3.1.1 kakashi

            oh, there absolutely is! When he realizes he is crying and runs to his little bathroom-thingy, he goes around it, not under!!

        • 9.1.3.2 tarianant

          it’d be great if he does that move in front of Se-kyung and then she moves the lamp impatiently for him, all aishhh and jinjja

          @kakashi thanks for the gif, I LOL again. Love that move, but when he added his text with ~~^^ it cracked me up more..don’t know why ^^

          • 9.1.3.2.1 kakashi

            yes! and when he gets nervous about her NOT adding the ~~^^ – priceless … he’s like a teenager, in love for the first time!

  10. 10 nakai

    I’ve loved Nam Goong Min since ‘One Fine Day’. Wish his role is bigger ..there’ll be more reason for me to watch this drama.

    • 10.1 anna

      He listed under City Conquest another second lead role. I guess now I have to watch that show. I hope Kim Hyun Joong’s acting improve.

      • 10.1.1 shopgirl

        I swear Nam Goong Min looks exactly like Kim Hyun Joong.

        • 10.1.1.1 luiz

          Park Shi Hoo is so cute, awesome, and hillarious.

  11. 11 Carole McDonnell

    I am sad to see Oppa go but that said, they did it somewhat believably. Even though we don’t see oppa actually feeling guilty and hateful about the world as he jets off to Brazil, we get the feeling that he also has given up on goodie-goodie effort as well. His transformation takes place off screen but it’s almost as if he was standing before us going through the same cynical change of heart that our heroine is going through. I don’t know how the drama managed to convey that but somehow we feel he’s a creep to leave his beloved behind but at the same time, we feel his taking the bankbook is his own venture into cynicism: use the girl and go! I’m amazed her bankbook could be taken just like that. Even if two people own the account, i assume we would need the two owners to sign-off on the money.

    I love Jean-Thierry Sscha’s drama-soaked imagination. I’m on this OTP train.

    • 11.1 Arawn

      This is pretty much my impression on In-Chan too. I like what they did because now he’s a grey character, too, and not the perfect and pitiable boyfriend who got ditched by the heroine for the sake of acquiring money. And I think him taking the money and leaving to Brazil is totally plausible. His desperation was immense in the last episode and only thing that seemed to hold him somehow together was the duty to take care of his mother. So when the mother died, there was nothing left for him in Korea as he had already given up on Se-Kyung. Sure, they might have gone back together if In-Chan had asked Se-Kyung, but I got the impression that he has utterly and completely given up on the idea of a life together with Se-Kyung and so it wasn’t an option.

      • 11.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        My thoughts exactly, Arawn!
        I’m just hoping the screenwriters don’t make a typical long-drawn-out unknown identity til the last stages of the drama kinda drama. There are so many possibilities so far — with the main characters growing and talking things out between themselves. I’d like them all to explore it together instead of having secrets/counter-secrets, intrusive villainess troubles and mega-weirdly concocted troubles to drag the story out. I’m believing in the drama so far so I’m in trust mode.

    • 11.2 ladida

      I loved what they did with In Chan because it made so much sense for his character. He’s already disappeared without a word to Se Kyung once, and he’s tried to break up with her several times before, and now that his (guilty) wish that his mother would die has come true, he has no reason to stay tethered to this place, especially since he has such a golden opportunity just handed to him. That flight to Brazil and Se Kyung’s checkbook is in a way analogous to the rich husband Se Kyung now wants.

  12. 12 kakashi

    This drama is hitting all the right buttons. Well, mine at least. Can’t wait for Saturday! I love how they play with the superclichés of KDramaland in such a clever way. They never quite give us what you’d expect. Park Shi-hoo simply shines so far – I hope MGY gets more sparkly (and funny) moments, too.

    • 12.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      SJ is the most interesting character on this drama. I so love it. <3

    • 12.2 kakashi

      Yes! PSH does it again… He just chooses his dramas so well. We should have had more faith in him! Why did I even doubt that this would be awesome!

      • 12.2.1 houstontwin

        I never knew that he could be that funny. I have seen PSH do ‘cute’ before but never ‘funny’.

        • 12.2.1.1 kakashi

          agreed! I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted … and will now rewatch Episode 3. must be one of the best episodes I’ve seen this year. Or ever?

        • 12.2.1.2 ladida

          This is basically a wackier version of the chaebol character he played in Queen of Reversals, which is one of my all-time favorite dramas. It’s kind of like the drama version of comfort food for me.

          • 12.2.1.2.1 Lovebug

            Hahahah, I love that character too. Goo Yong Shik remains the only kdrama character that I would really want to date in person! Sigh

      • 12.2.2 Lovebug

        I had faith!!! I swear I did. My Park Shi Hoo had never led me wrong!!

  13. 13 love1403

    Jean Thierry Cha is my hero! Lol he´s so crazy, funny and totally awesome! This drama is really good and it´s so weird yet unique. It´s really drawing me in and now I´m dying to wait for ep 5-6.

  14. 14 jude

    I am so glad I made the decision to watch episode 3 (and 4) because oh boy. That changed everything.

    What I thought was going to be a boring and usual rom-com about hardworking Candy with a chaebol Prince who falls in love with her because of her good natured charm, is quickly becoming another drama altogether. The drama about one jaded Candy ready to move into the dark side with help from The Evil Queen as her frenemy , not knowing that Her petty and immature Prince Charming-in-disguise has fallen for her? Sold!

    Plus Kim Ji Suk is supposed to be the Rabbit who is going to take our Jaded Candy/Alice down into the Cheongdamdong blackhole (and, methinks, he will fall in love with her too in the process.) Double sold!

    (and yay for frenemy! K-dramas rarely have this. Usually second lead actresses are portrayed too simplistic, as in being bitchy and annoying. But you know, bitches can be friends too. Friends that we love to hate and wish to stab in the back sometimes, of course)

  15. 15 ailee

    wow this is one very interesting show. never expected that the heroine would actually stoop down low to her supposedly enemy’s level. I wasn’t actually onboard with the drama before the premiere, am a big fan of MGY but not PSH so decided to read one of dramas he was in, Prosecutor Princess and I gotta say I was pretty impressed by him. I’m having the same feeling I had with PP on this drama and seriously am excited to finally join this journey :D

  16. 16 epyc

    I was indifferent to Ep 1 and 2 but Ep 3 is the one to hook me line and sinker.

    This episode is also the best rom-com episode in recent memory. Park Shi Hoo is no doubt to rise to a soaring height for his portrayal here. I have so many countless LOL moments because of him. It is utterly refreshing to have a cinderella reversal story – really clever set up.

    After watching Ep 4 whch gives us another unexpected turn, AIC could just have the potential to become one very special drama.

  17. 17 Ann

    I was not too sure about this drama, too, until this episode. I enjoyed it because the characters aren’t stereotypical. I don’t think the mental illness is portrayed very accurately, but I have rarely seen it portrayed well in any movie or film.

    I love that Tommy Hong is in the picture! But his secretary’s outfit–short shorts with thigh high nude stockings? Hideous!

    • 17.1 houstontwin

      Yes, that was a really bizarre ensemble. I couldn’t really make out exactly what she was wearing, but it wasn’t flattering.

  18. 18 tinegrace

    i thought this wasnt really interesting.. but yeah like you guys.. after ep 3 im already all in.. PSH is really amazing.. i laugh my ass out loud on the barbra stressand part.. its so new here in dramaland… keep this up till the end!!! ^^

  19. 19 tika

    BEST DRAMA EVERRR BECAUSE OF PARK SHI HOO!!! EP 4 IS THE BESTTT!!! must watch guysss

  20. 20 Mystisith

    Seriously, what happened between eps 2 and 3? A few changes (music, comedic scenes)and the whole show is transformed: THIS 1 clicked with me.

  21. 21 Yuhotarubi

    oooooooooooooooooh I’m loving this series, thanks a lot for the recap, now I have to watch the episode
    thanks again kaedejun !!!

  22. 22 V

    I just started watching this drama yesterday and I love it so far.

  23. 23 Pam

    This kdrama is really quirky but I’m liking it thus far. I’ve yet to watch ep 3 fully but your recap and insights are fueling my excitement! I love all the characters and I’m glad In Chan is out of the picture, leaves room for SJ and Tommy Hong to move on in…hehe. Love me some Kim Ji-suk! I’m watching Chuno and his character has me roaring with laughter and swooning at all the eye candy, i. e. washboard abs.

  24. 24 Sajen

    this world, the real one, needs more crazy people like Seung-jo

  25. 25 Woody

    Still follow only recaps, but plan to watch it soon. Missed MGY.

    • 25.1 Annie

      I’ve to tell you, the recap just doesn’t do the show justice. Not that it wasn’t a fantastic recap, but the actual PSH scenes are so hurt-your-stomach funny, they’ve to be watched! You can read the rest of it, but watch the funny stuff.

      • 25.1.1 Woody

        After reading your comment, I think I’ll start to watch it sooner than I thought

  26. 26 shiku

    Park Shi Hoo as Jean Thierry Cha is awesome. I absolutely loved his dance! I rewound it so many times! I loved the scene where he caught the photographer and when he wad trying to cry. He is fabulous!
    I have always liked MGW since painter in the wind and I can’t wait to see how her character will develop.

  27. 27 dany

    I think that Park Shi hoo is stealing the show. He is so crazy and funny and entertaining! And I think the story is getting better and better. Thank you for the recap.

    • 27.1 Carole McDonnell

      He is sooooooooooo good. I think Jean Thierry Sscha is going to become another of my fave chaebol princes. Up there with Cha Chi Soo. That said, I know he’s reclusive and unknown in Cheongdam-dong society but I do find myself wondering how (Episode 4) he could be on a party guest list which our heroine has researched and yet she has not seen his picture. That’s the only thing that disturbs me about this whole not-knowing-who-he-is scenario. Unless the screenwriter is playing with that particular trope and telling us to wink at it.

      Other than that, I do like a very manic character. Maybe the mental illness is just depression and not bi-polar issues. Still, he does seem to need some meds to keep him from doing ADHD stuff. He seemed unable to keep his mind on the business meeting.

      • 27.1.1 Moko

        remember they said that he is widely unknown? Because he only came…a week ago back…no maybe two weeks in total? So there are only rumors. It works for me. BUT wouldn’t they know about him in Paris? …Se-Kyung knows how to speek french right? This part bothers me more.

        ” Up there with Cha Chi Soo” HA. That hit me. They totaly match each other. So true sister.

        • 27.1.1.1 Carole McDonnell

          Still…there are photos of folks anywhere. And like you said…there should be something even from France. I’ll buy it now because the drama needs us to buy it but I’m losing my patience with that aspect of an otherwise perfect show about wealth poverty marrying rich etc.

          But what with all the researching in previous episodes and in episode four, it’ll be really weird if she doesn’t find out who he is by episode 5. And seriously, if some chairman cancels your depressed fiance’s debt, wouldn’t you check the internet to at least see what he looks like?

          And yeah, Cha Chi Soo is wonderfully memorable. That mixture of sweetness, arrogance, and cluelessness! And wealth…yeah, i can’t forget wealth.

        • 27.1.1.2 nokke

          k-dramas tend to treat foreign countries like another planet… like there’s no Facebook and thousands of people who’ve stiduied or lived abroad… they’re improving on that a little bit though -))) with that fake-wedding photo.

      • 27.1.2 houstontwin

        I love your insights but it is part of the etiquette of the comments section that we not include spoilers from future episodes that have not yet been recapped.
        Thanks!

      • 27.1.3 doraemon

        When Tommy Hong visited Jean Thierry Cha, he mentioned how nice to meet Cha in person since his photos are nowhere to be seen. Also from earlier episodes, Cha is a mysterious figure in the Korea fashion industry. So no surpise Cha’s information is unknown to many, including Se-kyung.

  28. 28 lenrasoon

    i really loved this episode, so many crazy and laughing out loud moments thanks too Park Shi Hoo awesomeness.

    Thanks for the recap!

  29. 29 im_inadaze

    I wasn’t so sure from the first and second episode, but their second week is pretty solid, I’m sold.

    Actually I’m kind of annoyed by the way Se-Kyung keeps looking down on Yoon-Joo, she probably leach her way to the top but hey, that’s none her business. So yeah, so far there’s no black and white character here, Se-Kyung is pretty bitchy herself. I hope the writer didn’t turn Yeon-Joo into the typical one dimensional second lead, right now I find her pretty fascinating.

  30. 30 autumn

    can we get married is not airing anymore???

  31. 31 Betsy Hp

    Ep 1 was kind of dull. Ep 2, kind of dark. But ep 3? Holy crap I did not expect that kind of humor! I’m definitely sticking around for the laughs alone.

    The added bonus is the twist to the usual Candy-story. So now it’s the girl who’s cynical and jaded and it’s up to the boy to bring the innocence back. (At least, that’s how it looks to be going? Anyway, the plot has me hooked as well.)

    • 31.1 ladida

      I know! And I’m totally rooting for her, too. So excited for having a good romcom on air.

  32. 32 Lilly

    I got the white rabbit. It’s Seo Yoon Joo. That was why she was all in white and as the white rabbit she ran away from Alice’s world and Alice wants to run after her white rabbit to the other world.
    I think the therapist for Cha Seung-Jo is the March Hare.
    I am guessing the other famous character from Alice, the Cheshire Cat is Kim Ji-suk.

    She got to the door with the key, so I am guessing that when Alice got too big then too small, it was Ha Se-Gyung having too big a heart and belief in people to now too small a heart and belief before she slips through the door.

    I am not that familiar with the Alice story though so could be way off on some of it. Enjoying show very much so far.
    Park Shi-hoo is just so really good as always.

  33. 33 Moko

    It reminds me of the make-over stuff from Personal Taste. Not just because it’s the same actor here…well one episode later. But the lessons to learn make much more fun. WAY MORE FUN!

  34. 34 boholAnna

    This is the epidode that got me. hook line and sinker. PSH is channeling some mad hatter vibes with a Johnny Depp touched with Tim Burton craziness. I was laughing at all his scences even when he’s crying.

  35. 35 kopytko

    Surprise, surprise! Unlike the two previous ones, I enjoyed this episode a whole lot. I giggled, I loughed out loud, I was kept interested. Let’s say I have a vague idea why PSH has so many devoted fans. Dude is hilarious – he plays his role to the hilt.
    I am also glad that Madame is given some more depth – if I am to dislike a character, it better be a worthy opponent.

    I hope the doctor will get some more light – a shrink-friend just asks for more… craziness?

  36. 36 nokke

    well, it seems that I like this show, but have you noticed that MGY’s clothes are actually quite expensive despite bring dull?

    • 36.1 nokke

      and haven’t that therapis heard about work ethics? I thought you’re not supposed to have your friends as clients…

      • 36.1.1 kopytko

        I think it really matters in case of surgeries, when because of tension doc’s hand might shake. Other than that, as long as both parties are ok about it…
        Well, many of my clients have become my friends… Neither me, nor them have a problem about it. Business is business, and life is life.

        • 36.1.1.1 nokke

          it really matters in case of therapy! and it’s really basic rule.
          you can check here, for example
          http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=6
          but it’s just obvious

        • 36.1.1.2 nokke

          I’m sorry, but what kind of clients in your case?

          • 36.1.1.2.1 kopytko

            Well, I am not a psychologist :) never, ever. The doc here isn’t a psychologist either, he’s a physician, so Jean Thierry Cha is his patient, not a client. The code you mentioned (American, btw) is not applicable… Rather Hippocratic Oath methinks.

  37. 37 Taiba

    just like what other people said, this episode hooked me in. i was sooo worried the drama will be just like ep 1&2, but ep 3 was sooo funny. and ep 4 wasnt bad. im starting to get into the story and i think its interesting. honestly, if park shi hoo wasnt in it and i watched the first 2 episodes, i wouldn’t have continued watching.

    i just looove park shi hoo <333

  38. 38 miss unknown

    Definitely love this episode!
    I wish there was a way that the writer captivated the audience like how they did with this episode in Ep. 1, because that would defiitely pull in more rating! But then at the same time, that would not make this drama good because Ep. 1 was dull, but it establishes the importance of the characters and why they act that way..it’s actually very rare in K-drama land that I see the writer being able to pull off why each character act the way they act, which is really awesome!

  39. 39 Bakachild

    This rom com has actual substance! They marketed it so badly!

    • 39.1 ladida

      First City hunter and now this. I think when shows have bad marketing we should all take it as a sign that it’s going to be good. Lol.

  40. 40 MollyP

    Can I just say how much I love ‘No Regrets’ by Edith Piaf playing in the background of his dream sequence, while he giving his grand speech? Its so apt.

  41. 41 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap, kaedejun! I was hesitant to watch this drama because episodes 1 and 2 didn’t seem all that interesting, but episode 3 zipped by. I liked how they handled In-chan’s exit from the drama and how Seung-jo is rediscovering his faith in love through watching Se-kyung and In-chan’s relationship.

    Who knows Ouran High School Host Club? I think Seung-jo reminds me a little bit of Tamaki here.

    • 41.1 nokke

      lol, true -)) especially fantasy sequences!

  42. 42 Kstylick

    This is a very heartbreaking episode. I wonder what would happen in the upcoming episodes. I don’t wanna cry for them anymore.

  43. 43 inf92

    A m i the only one that was hooked since episode 1? to tell u the truth i was hooked from the moment PSH agreed to appear in this drama… I liked CA from the beginning, but episodes 3-4 were so much better because of the OTP’s interactions and of course because of PSH’s acting.. He is rocking yet another role.. He always manages to pick amazing dramas that excel him as an actor…

    • 43.1 Songie

      *high five* I was also all in once PSH was. I have so much faith in the man that all the [poor] PR work never once swayed me. He’s just that good.

      Ep3 should be the seal-dealer for all viewers who have been undecided. Episodes 1 and 2 have set up our characters and their world, while ep3 have set up their reversal of beliefs and motivations. CDDA is less about Cheongdam-dong and more about character development, which is the sole strength of its narrative. This episode (and drama so far) was funny (all PSH/JTC/CSJ of course!), touching, and engaging; i feel emotionally connected with CSJ, HSK, and even SYJ.
      I hope we get more fantasy scenarios from JTC (grand scale they are!) just because i enjoy seeing his hilarious reactions to the bursting of his bubble. XD His desperate to be thanked is not very healthy (ha!), but that whole sequence with the country accent and hasty eagerness was all too funny! All those crying scenes (the forced ones and the real ones, lol)– PSH, how do you do that?! And please teach me how to dance like THAT!

      Do-re-mi-fa….kamsaaaa! XD

  44. 44 Claire

    ok like everyone elese’s im sold after watching episode 3 and 4.. Although it’s interesting enough for me since the first two episodes..the story became unpredictable in a sense because of the plot twists and that got me wanting to watch it more..i love that PSH can absolutely make people laugh while MGY can make people cry, it’s a good balance for me..its good to not have any expectations in this drama before it was aired, im hooked in this drama..can’t wait to watch future episodes.. ^^

  45. 45 kimheami

    OMG. I have been an avid reader of this blog for years but hardly ever post, but OMG!!!! I had to share with someone that this episode was totally EPIC because of the Barbra Streisand dance session. I was literally jumping up and down during that scene. I have never been a big park shi hoo fan but gahhhh does he pretty much make this drama.

    • 46.1 anotheraddict

      Yes, the Barbra Streisand dance session was awesome! Thanks for delurking and posting that. I’ll keep that for when I need a happy pill!

    • 46.2 coolubi

      OMG ! THIS IS AWESOME !! XDDDD

  46. 47 katiamon

    i love this drama, the teasers were so plain that i was afraid it would suck but i’m so happy i was wrong. i love SK and SJ’s interactions, is it me or they have good chemistry on screen??? i can’t get enough of SJ’s crazy ways (PSH is really getting into the chesire cat character with the crazy smile and daydreaming) and it’s moving to realize that he’s actually the candy character instead of se-kyung. and yes! finally a female character with a back bone!… ok, she’s developing one but that’s sign of a progress, right? :)
    About the baddies, it’s really interesting that YJ is a frenemy, yes they had problems years ago but now she can relate to SK’s situation and is helping her!!! that’s a very different side for a female antagonist. About Tommy, it’s pretty soon to tell what his real face is but i’m expecting a good twist after the change of pace between eps. 2 and 3.
    thank you for thre recap Kaedejun!!!!

    PS: BTW, does anybody know the name of the song played in the scene where SK is walking down the street heading to the Han river? i wanna download it :)

  47. 48 westpointer

    Park Shi-hoo is just an amazing actor. I love his role Seung-jo in this drama, he is so funny & cute!!!

  48. 49 westpointer

    OMG, it is only Monday. Can’t wait to see the next weeks’s eps….Things really get interesting… love the show!!!

  49. 50 Suzi Q

    The first episode was kind of boring, but this episode was one of the best so far. It was hilarious.

    It’s hard to out act MGY, but PSH is a terrific scene stealer. I had to play his Barbara Streisand dance a couple of times. OMG…It was so funny when Se Kyung told Seung Jo he sounded like a hick when he reverted to his countryside accent. So he is nouveau riche?

    I think Seung Jo is suppose to be the Mad Hatter because he’s a little nuts and suffering from a mental breakdown! He’s my favorite character. I love his quirkiness and his wackiness.

    I think the White Rabbit is suppose to be Tommy Hong who leads Se Kyung (Alice) through to her goal to snare a rich Cheongdam dong man.

    So is the Queen of Alice in Wonderland suppose to be Yoon Joo who will turn on Se Kyung when she finds out who Seung Jo likes? Off with her head! Poor Se kyung! I just love their love rivalry.

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