Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 4
by | December 12, 2012 | 121 Comments

Our obligatory makeover episode! More revelations to be made, but what I’m most thankful for is that despite Se-kyung’s 180-degree reversal in her perspective towards life, she still cannot get over her own values. That’s the only thing slowing her down in her journey through the depths of hell  rabbit hole.

Episode 4 Recap

Before we can get sentimental over Yoon-joo’s kindness in helping Se-kyung with the secret to her success, Yoon-joo says that it’s up to Se-kyung to do everything else on her own. She will only promise to get her started, and with the envelope, the score between them is settled.

Se-kyung accepts it, but has a moment’s hesitation – is she doing the right thing? Pushing aside those thoughts, she opens the envelope to find a journal. “Chapter One: If you’re going to be ‘dirty,’ might as well be dirty all the way!” Whoa – this is some journal.

Seung-jo is concerned over how Se-kyung must feel after learning of In-chan’s betrayal of sorts. It gives Dong-wook the fuzzies – here’s his childish, selfish friend who’s now concerned over the well-being of another girl who just got abandoned, like he was. Does Seung-jo like her? That notion comes as a shock to Seung-jo, who never seemed to entertain the thought. “If you cry, does it mean you like someone?”

But Dong-wook thinks Seung-jo is acting like a Daddy Long Legs. Seung-jo: “It’s HEALING!” Haha – so this is just part of his own process to get better?

Se-kyung returns home and is accosted by her mother and sister, who are excited that Yoon-joo may be their savior. But her father interrupts: he’s put the house up for sale, and the bakery too. Ever since the mega chain store JK Mart opened across the street, he’s been unable to make a profit. Se-kyung’s words have hit him deep.

It’s sad to see the father feel so useless. He had hoped that at his age he would have a house to own to give to his daughters. But now he has no legacy and he doesn’t know what they’re going to live on: All he has left is 5 million won ($5,000).

Man… it’s as if we just saw an older In-chan doing this to an older Se-kyung.

That strengthens Se-kyung’s resolve. She meets Yoon-joo in a bakery, ready to get “dirty.” Yoon-joo shows her Chapter 2: “Follow the White Rabbit.” Omo – the “Alice in Wonderland” allusions are here! Yoon-joo tells her to visit the French restaurant Etoile, where the meals are expensive and all the women want to be seen. Why? Because Tommy Hong frequents that place, and the easiest way to get into the Cheongdam-dong elite is through him.

Meet your White Rabbit, Tommy Hong. Former personal stylist to the madames of Cheongdam-dong, he began to fashion prospective daughters-in-law to their tastes, and successfully matched 58 marriages. Everyone wants him to find their daughter-in-law; everyone wants to be found as that daughter-in-law.

Se-kyung finds all of this excessive, but Yoon-joo points out that Se-kyung doesn’t know a single wealthy man in Gangnam, or anyone who could introduce her to one. Even if she were to get into an accident with a chaebol and get into an argument with him (um – which did happen), or accidentally fall in love at first sight, Se-kyung still has to meet him first. Tommy Hong can do that.

So fine – what must Se-kyung do to meet this Tommy Hong? Yoon-joo sighs in exasperation – must she give her all the answers? (Haha – I’m tickled to the bone by this new sarcastic side to Yoon-joo.) She tells Se-kyung to meet her at Etoile at 4pm tomorrow – wearing something that she thinks is “Cheongdam Style.”

On her way out, Yoon-joo smacks her brother with her bag. Ho-min is curious as to why his sister is helping Se-kyung, but she tells him to concentrate on his business. (That cafe she frequents is actually owned by her brother.) Yoon-joo admits that Se-kyung is not the type of girl she hates since she knows what she wants, so that’s why she’s helping her.

Se-kyung spends all night sketching and figuring out what might be considered “Cheongdam Style.” Frustrated, she turns to Chapter 3: “It’s not being a knock-off that makes it cheap, it’s the mind that makes it cheap.” All about perspective!

So Se-kyung arrives at Etoile the following day wearing black patent heels, a classic handbag, and a tweed coat. She didn’t buy a single piece, having borrowed them from the stores. (Because you could?!) To her, “Cheongdam Style” doesn’t mean expensive brands; instead, she is going for a sweet and virtuous look with conservative clothing. Besides, her coat is a 1954 Chanel tweed coat.

Yoon-joo laughs – how naive Se-kyung is. Though it’s nice to wear classic items, looking around she’d notice that none of the women are carrying classic bags like hers. They’ve got the latest trends. A girl carrying classic-styled products appears to be wearing hand-me-downs from her mother. That means she only has enough money to purchase one expensive thing in her life. Therefore, even though Se-kyung’s wearing expensive brands, they’re so old-fashioned that she ends up looking poor.

Yoon-joo suggests that next time, Se-kyung should carry a bag that makes everyone ask where she got it. Uniqueness is key. Looks like Se-kyung didn’t really understand Chapter 3.

Yoon-joo: “Cheongdam’s style isn’t focused on designer labels. Instead, it’s that everything must look new, because Cheongdam girls have no reason to run.” Se-kyung begs to differ – doesn’t everything come down to money in the end? Nope! Yoon-joo says it’s all in the mind. It’s not about how much you paid for your clothing, but why you’re wearing it. Make it seem important, and they’ll think it’s important too. Don’t bother imitating, as it’ll lead to nowhere.

So does Se-kyung know what she needs to do? Se-kyung nods: “I’ll need a part-time job here.” Yoon-joo’s jaw drops – why is Se-kyung looking for a part-time job in Etoile when she’s trying to capture Tommy’s attention? Se-kyung says she doesn’t have the money to get what she needs, so while Tommy watches the other girls, she’s going to watch him and use a different tactic to approach him. Yoon-joo is skeptical, but she leaves Se-kyung to her own devices.

A white car comes up to the restaurant, and Tommy Hong steps out – in scuffed white shoes and a basic briefcase. He just had to defy all of Yoon-joo’s teachings. He enters a gallery and greets Mrs. Shin, who wants Jean Thierry Cha to be matched with In-hwa. Tommy is intrigued – he already received a request regarding Jean Thierry Cha, though not of the matchmaking kind. So he’s already got plans to meet this CEO.

Seung-jo heads back to his office, still bothered by Dong-wook’s presumption that he may like Se-kyung. He receives his daily schedule from Secretary Moon, who adds that since In-chan paid off his debt with that bank book, Se-kyung must be very upset. Seung-jo interrupts: “Please take care of So In-chan completely so that his name never shows up again in this office.” He sends Secretary Moon to check whether he has more meetings, then hurries to his desk… to compose an all-important text to Se-kyung.

It’s harder than it looks. He introduces himself as Secretary Kim first, and then starts off with “About So In-chan…” Thinking it inappropriate, he changes it to “The president is worried…” That’s strange as well so he settles on, “Are you all right? ~~^^” (Emoticons included.) Then he heads off to another meeting.

Se-kyung is actually quite busy researching Tommy Hong, enlisting the help of Ah-jung to dig up all the information she can find on him. When Se-kyung receives the text, she types off a quick reply, then tosses her phone back on the table.

During the meeting, Seung-jo is antsy waiting for Se-kyung’s reply. It finally comes, saying merely: “Yes. I’m fine.” There’s no emoticon! It’s just periods! All those agonizing moments – for this type of response? He quickly texts back, “How are you doing well?” Annoyed, Se-kyung is about to text “Mind your own business,” when the manager asks her to pick up more items. She hurries out, his text forgotten.

Poor Seung-jo. He keeps checking his phone, waiting for an answer. He tries to come up with excuses: “I’m just curious…” “The president is curious…” He gets so distracted that he ends up typing out words from the presentation, which elicits a loud groan from him. Everyone thinks Seung-jo doesn’t like their ideas regarding the collaboration between Artemis and GN Fashion, but he manages to cover it up smoothly like a true professional. And he goes back to texting: “You’re not responding. Are you busy?” “Why aren’t you replying?” “Are you ignoring me?!” HAHA!

Fed up, he tells his team to just go with the contemporary New York style, then runs off. He goes all the way to GN Fashion and sees Se-kyung just arriving from her trips. Why hasn’t she been responding to his messages?!

Se-kyung checks her phone and finds that he’s sent a lot of messages. She’s worried something may be wrong again, and he says there is: “We were having a conversation! How could you stop replying in the middle of it?” If someone she was talking to stopped responding, wouldn’t she wonder if the other had fainted? Or gotten into an accident? HA. Someone’s definitely watched too many soap operas.

Se-kyung is confused – is he fighting with her because she didn’t respond? She’s sorry but she’s really busy, as she had to pick up a lot of things for Yoon-joo. Seung-jo grumbles under his breath, as if Yoon-joo is the root of all his problems with Se-kyung right now. Hee. Seung-jo finds it ridiculous that a public company such as GN Fashion would hire someone just to be an errand girl. Do the stockholders know this?

Tired of his irrationality, Se-kyung points out that Artemis must have temps like her too. Seung-jo doesn’t have an answer, as he doesn’t know, and she leaves him standing outside.

When Seung-jo returns to the office, he sees profiles on all the designers at GN Fashion except Se-kyung, because she’s a contracted employee. Seung-jo is aghast that she was hired to be an errand girl rather than a designer, so he orders Secretary Moon to get him Han Se-kyung’s missing “designer profile.”

In-hwa and the manager at GN Fashion have no choice but to submit Se-kyung’s designer profile. In-hwa asks Se-kyung if she knows anyone working at Artemis, and she replies no. (I guess Ah-jung or Seung-jo don’t count?) Se-kyung then shows the manager the shoes she picked up for him (as a favor for him) and he embarrassingly tells her to put it away. Too late – In-hwa saw it. But she also notices Se-kyung’s shinier leather booties. Hmmm.

Seung-jo goes over her resume and realizes that the only reason she’s a contract employee is because she didn’t go abroad to train as a fashion designer. But successful designers like Tommy Hong didn’t go abroad either. He is outraged (for Se-kyung) that she must be worked to death for one year as a contractor and then let go. Secretary Moon points out that they do the same thing, so Seung-jo cries, “Why do you keep mentioning our company?” Hee. If Seung-jo is so agitated by Se-kyung’s job, Secretary Moon suggests that they hire her – or recommend her to another company. Seung-jo: “She’s a designer! Our company doesn’t hire designers. Just get out! Out!”

I love wacko Seung-jo. After successfully kicking out his secretary, he gleefully calls up a few of his contacts: “Hey, do you want to hire a designer?”

At Etoile, Se-kyung starts her first day as a waitress, and she presents the menu of the day to Tommy. He’s not too psyched about the menu, so she says that she can have the meat portions of the meals replaced with vegetarian substitutes. Tommy’s impressed – she must be new, so who told her that he was a vegetarian? Se-kyung brings attention to his clothing – all of the brands that he’s wearing are by designers who don’t use natural leather in their designs. To her, that means he must be a vegetarian.

Tommy likes her already. He agrees to the revised menu and, as she walks away, notices her leather booties and the bracelet she’s hanging by her waist (similar to the one she gave Seung-jo). Unique factor – check!

He finishes his meal and heads out, disappointing Se-kyung that he can’t stay any longer. However, he does compliment her on her perception and her eye. All the fashionable ladies around gasp – Tommy just complimented… a waitress? Score for Se-kyung! Yoon-joo later arrives to check up on Se-kyung, still doubtful that her waitress approach would succeed. Se-kyung only smiles: “It’s already begun.”

Tommy meets with Seung-jo in his office, and is pleased to find that Seung-jo isn’t like what the rumors had purported him to be. He invites him to his private party, and Seung-jo wonders how many designers Tommy has in his shop. Perhaps he prefers designers who were trained in Seoul (and didn’t go abroad)? Tommy’s amused by this presumption, but since he doesn’t deny it, Seung-jo has a recommendation to him for a designer.


Back at the restaurant, Se-kyung explains her methods. With her and Ah-jung’s intense research, Se-kyung discovered Tommy’s likes (all things British), the stores he frequented, and his upcoming events. She spent all day following him around, discovering that he was a vegetarian. (Danggit – so it wasn’t her spontaneous knowledge of fashion that clued her in on it.) Yoon-joo’s impressed by Se-kyung’s hard work, though it’s what she used to hate about her back in school. In this instance, it just might work. “Just don’t rush it too much,” she cautions. “You’re moving too fast already for this.”

Meanwhile Seung-jo is recommending Se-kyung to Tommy, telling him that she’s extremely diligent and sweet, and may want a new start as a designer. He mentions her name, and Tommy wonders if it just may be the same Han Se-kyung who served him in the restaurant. Tommy agrees to meet her, promising not to mention Seung-jo’s name in the interview. They shake hands, and Tommy notices the handmade bracelet on his wrist. It’s quite unique… Seung-jo blushes as he says he received the handmade bracelet as a present. Tommy – are you thinking that Se-kyung may have seduced Seung-jo into a new job?

Not quite sure what to make of it, Tommy calls up Il-nam at the parking lot. Is it possible that perhaps Seung-jo already has a girl? Tommy doesn’t think Se-kyung could ever be his type, but he will look into it.

Il-nam arrives in front of JK Mart with his men, as Royal Group is planning on their own mega-mart not too far from here. He happens upon a huge scene where Deuk-gi is throwing all the $2 bread that he bought on the ground. He’s so angry – how could bread like that sell so cheap, when he, a baker of 30 years, could never make it that cheap? Some employees try to stop him, and Il-nam tells his associate to photograph and video everything that follows…

He steps forward, and bows to Deuk-gi. A wealthy president bowing to a small store owner? The video makes waves on the internet and netizens get vocal about mega-marts destroying small stores in the area. It doesn’t look good for JK Mart either, so Il-nam relishes his win. He meets with Deuk-gi; it’s a shame that he’s getting pushed out, but that’s what happens when it’s a case of “survival of the fittest.”

Deuk-gi despairs. Survival of the fittest? Can’t they just all try and survive together? Just because he couldn’t compete with other heavyweights because he’s only a “lightweight,” does that mean he has to “die”? He gets up to leave, and Il-nam changes tack – perhaps they can work together. Deuk-gi – who just moments ago had been advocating harmony – now says, “Is that even possible?”

Turns out it is. Il-nam makes Deuk-gi part of his “White Balloon Project,” where he gives former small shop owners jobs after they lose their stores due to the expansion of the mega-marts. Deuk-gi is the first to receive such a job, and the news is all over the TV. What no one realizes is that the job is only for a yearlong contract. But Deuk-gi has no choice but to accept it – they need it.

Tommy arrives at Etoile again, this time for coffee. Se-kyung correctly gives him decaf, his preference. She admits that she’s his fan, as he is one of the few designers who never trained abroad and still managed to make it in Cheongdam-dong. Tommy asks how she got that bracelet hanging from her pocket, and when she admits it’s handmade, he becomes confident that she is the designer Seung-jo recommended. He invites her to his exclusive party over the weekend, which makes Se-kyung squeal in happiness (privately, of course). She’s made it!

Afterwards, Tommy phones Seung-jo to confirm that he met Se-kyung. That brings a huge grin to Seung-jo’s face, but he quickly composes himself so that he can sound cool and aloof. He pretends that he’s busy, not confirming whether he’ll attend the party. But we all know he’s definitely going.

Se-kyung happily updates Yoon-joo, who’s apprehensive over how fast things are moving. But it’s a good thing for her too, because it’s one day closer to not having to deal with Se-kyung anymore. She helps Se-kyung shop for a dress, giving tips on which styles to pick out, as well as giving her a store to go get dresses from in case Se-kyung doesn’t have enough funds. Simple dress, simple make-up. She’s going to a party where no one will know her, but there’s one way to get attention: stand at the foot of the entrance for 10 seconds and act as if she is waiting for someone to escort her. Welcome to Chapter 4: “Be confident, and don’t be shy.”

Se-kyung does exactly that, and starts garnering looks from the other partygoers. It’s enough to attract Tommy’s attention to the fact that she’s her, and he personally escorts her to the drinks table. She takes champagne and remembers her wine lesson from Yoon-joo: take a sip while looking away, instead of looking into the glass to see how much left there is to drink. Tommy takes note of her class, and offers to introduce her to some of the guests.

Per Yoon-joo’s advice, Se-kyung already has a mental database of all the guests and their occupations. Therefore it’s no surprise to her when she’s introduced to Park Sang-yeon, writer of Tree with Deep Roots (and sunbae to the main writer of this show – in-joke!) She manages to find a way to connect to every male guest – but they’re not the important people she should be impressing. According to Yoon-joo, she should be impressing Tommy by showing how appealing she can be to men.

Tommy receives word that Seung-jo has arrived, and hurries to greet him. “Han Se-kyung is here too,” he adds, which elicits some frantic glances across the room. He can’t be seen by her! He decides to head up the stairs between two men dressed in similar coffee-colored suits. (Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum? Heh. Kidding.)

Too late – Se-kyung finds him, surprised. Seung-jo blubbers that he escorted the CEO, which gets Se-kyung even more excited. Where is this benevolent CEO?

Seung-jo gets a call from his chauffeur (who’s the real Secretary Kim) and he uses the call from “the CEO” as an excuse to make his getaway. At that moment, Se-kyung is offered a mojito by another man at least twice her age – Jang Myung Ho. Of course, she’s also done her research on him, and appeals to his taste in mojitos. Happy Mr. Jang means Happy Tommy, which means Se-kyung will hopefully find her happiness.

As the party winds down, Tommy congratulates her on meeting such a good guy like Mr. Jang. He hands her a hotel key card – this is the next place she’ll be meeting him, since he hopes to see her more often. Se-kyung is confused, so Tommy tells her to drop the act. Didn’t she want help from people in this world? Isn’t that what she hoped to gain by coming to this party? Se-kyung had not thought of it that way; she’d hoped that Tommy himself would be helping her, not handing her off to others.

Tommy thought she was looking for sponsors, which is actually a huge misunderstanding. Se-kyung returns the key card, which makes Tommy wonder if she really has a relationship with Jean Thierry Cha. She learns that the CEO had recommended her as a designer to Tommy. He still can’t get over the fact that she’s not looking for a sponsor, and tells her that they need to settle on the price. That  must be why she seems so offended. He starts talking about nightly rates – ohmygod that sleazeball – and she splashes a glass of water in his face.


Except, to deal with this indignity, Tommy splashes soy sauce right back in her face. WHAT THE HELL!? Humiliated, Se-kyung leaves first.

Seung-jo’s chauffeur finally arrives to pick him up outside the party, but by the time he gets into the car, he notices Se-kyung walking out, her head hanging low.

He catches up to her on the sidewalk, and notices the stains on her cheek. He laughs at her, thinking she spilled soy sauce on herself, but she quietly asks if it’s true that the CEO recommended her to Tommy Hong. She extends her gratitude, but she doesn’t want the CEO to worry about her anymore. Clearly, things did not work out well.

She has no idea why a CEO who’s never met her is acting like Daddy Long Legs, and being so kind when no one ever has. Unfortunately, the way that the CEO has been helping hasn’t really been helpful. Seung-jo demands further explanation, and she finally admits that she was just asked by Tommy if she was being sponsored by Jean Thierry Cha.

It angers Seung-jo to see that the soy sauce stains on her cheek must be Tommy’s doing.

Se-kyung wanders the streets alone, and realizes she has no one to confide to. It just so happens Yoon-joo calls her up to check up on her. Se-kyung can’t help but admire Yoon-joo even more. What must Yoon-joo have done to get to the position she is in now… She apologizes for looking down on her all that time. She reckons that Se-kyung must have been propositioned with a sponsor as well.

Yoon-joo: “So, you just took off?” She calls her a dumb bitch – Se-kyung knows nothing of how she felt when she was going through this. (I wonder what Yoon-joo had to do for her experience…) Se-kyung is unsure if she can become completely dirty – transforming from a white swan to a completely black one. Yoon-joo: “You just lost the best White Rabbit. You need to find another one.”

Back at the party, Tommy has changed into a fresh new suit and apologizes profusely to Mr. Jang, who merely orders him to find a “new one.” Damn. Next thing we know, soy sauce is being poured all over his head… by Seung-jo. And it’s a little vase full of it too.


Seung-jo: Remember this. That the new Artemis CEO has a bad temper.

And BAM – he punches Tommy to the ground.


Oh my god – I’m so excited! My new crack! Whee! I love you Park Shi Hoo! You’re back to cheering me up like in Prosecutor Princess!

That little ending twist cheered me up considerably. First was Yoon-joo’s biting comment that Se-kyung is nothing like her, and will never understand her. I thought she was going to be sympathetic, but she’s not. She gave Se-kyung very harsh feedback regarding the world of Cheongdam-dong. Nothing is ever easy, and there’s no way Se-kyung can come out of it unscathed. I do wonder what Yoon-joo’s experience was like – if she was also sponsored or if she managed to stay away from that route. No matter what happens though, I feel like she and Se-kyung may become best buds!

The second twist was seeing Seung-jo take control of his wackiness, but use that same spontaneity to go and take revenge for the girl he clearly likes on Tommy Hong. I loved the punch, as I thought his threat was sufficient enough.

It’s surprising to see how much of a sleaze Tommy Hong is, as I don’t really believe he’s a terrible man. He’s terrible because he’s in that industry, but probably doesn’t really believe in everything he’s doing. I am also hoping he’s not really a vegetarian, but became one to help explain away why he doesn’t wear real leather. (Because maybe in the past, he couldn’t afford it? So he just chose good quality shoes and made up a reason why he wore something so different from all the other rich?) He’s a man full of references too – always wearing white as if to emphasize on the White Rabbit reference, and I have to stop myself from calling him Tommy Hilfiger every so often.

It’s hard to capture all the wonderful performances by the actors in the still images and recap, because it’s a drama better watched than read, for me. I really appreciate the complexity of this drama as it never tires out my brain while watching. It manages to be light and understandable, while also leading us through the dark complex world of the rich. I hope this keeps up.

Just as a side note – the recaps may not come out on the day the episodes air, but let’s keep the spoilers and references to ourselves until the appropriate episode’s recaps. Let’s keep it a surprise for others!


121 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. aaastrike

    Saturday seems so far away (T.T) Can’t wait… (>_<)

    • 1.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      I’m so loving it. But it seems that Park Shi Hoo is doing all the comedy here. 🙂 I’ve never seen this side of him so far. In his previous dramas, he’s usually the cool and serious one. It’s a good thing he accepted this project. I need some laughs since my week is full with melos and sageuks these days.

      • 1.1.1 Jade

        Same here. This show is good, but the whole poverty thing is too exaggerated for my liking. It’s nicer to have more comedy – Love PSH moments!

  2. cg

    Thanks for the recap…..I think I should start watching this…as I’ve completed Queen In Hyun’s Man 🙂

  3. houstontwin

    Thanks for the recap. I never expected to enjoy this drama so much! One question…if SK is a university trained designer, why is she so ignorant of what to wear to a cocktail party? Someone in her field should at least be keeping up with fashion in the media.

    • 3.1 S

      I thought that was weird too. Although, the rules given by YJ were more narrowly defined than what usually goes for a cocktail party. So maybe it was about the specific image SK needed to give off.

      I was a bit suprised/disappointed by SK buying and borrowing clothes. Since she is a designer, wouldn’t it be cheaper to make her own?

      • 3.1.1 V

        She may not have had enough time to make her own for that meet up. I do hope she end up making her own clothes in the future though.

        • houstontwin

          Right! Like in “Project Runway”, she should be able to remake remnants, old clothes, etc, into something stylish!

          • S

            Hahaha… after the “Cheongdam style” challenge was announced, SK even got time to sketch.

            Please, please, please tell me that Tommy Hong will say “make it work” in a future episode.

          • Lorelai

            This is what makes me wonders if Korean people have slight difference between “fashion designer” and “stylist”. Please check in every end of fashion show, how the designer dress up. Most of them wear black and/or very down to earth, whilst few wear eccentric clothes. But maybe this show were also about making fun about how shallow their perception about fashion, as what Seung Jo does. Anyways…

      • 3.1.2 Mari

        No!!! I now relate “new designers” to making horrible clothes, thanks to Babyface beauty. Ugh… While I loved the show, I never ever liked any of the outfits she made. Yet everyone in the show kept prancing her for her talent. So I hope that if SK does make her own clothes its actually pretty, not just something he show is telling us everyone likes.

    • 3.2 deasy

      agree with you, and also if she is a designer cant she notice SJ clothes? why she never currious about a secretary who always wears lux branded item. or maybe actually she know SJ true identity and just pretending in front of him?

      • 3.2.1 h"Candoustontwin

        excellent point!

      • 3.2.2 Jan

        Right! Also curious, if she was so thorough with her research, shouldn’t she have found some pictures/information on Artemis’ CEO? You’d think that’d be one of the first things she’d look into.

  4. Woody

    I read somewhere that MGY calls PSH “oppa”, I thought whe would use “ajousshi” (not sure abt spelling)

    • 4.1 Woody

      Correction: she would use

    • 4.2 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      Why would you call PSH “ahjussi”?! He’s a 34-year old bachelor so it’s obvious that MGY will call him oppa. They only have a 9-year age gap.

      • 4.2.1 Perevell

        Yeah, i’d call him oppa even though there’s more than a ten year gap between us 😛 Ajusshi? never!

      • 4.2.2 Woody

        I personally would not call him “ahjussi” (thank U for showing me the spelling), he is definitely oppa for me 😀

      • 4.2.3 ck1Oz

        Em the only actress young enough to call him ahjussi is like JiWon from Reply Me 1997.

        • jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

          I guess you mean Shi Won (Jung Eun Ji). She can still call PSH “oppa”. Even Song Ji Hyo calls Ji Suk Jin “oppa” even if they have a 15-year gap.

      • 4.2.4 houstontwin

        34 seems so young to call someone adjusshi. Is it the age that determines what you call someone or is it the difference in age?

        • Woody

          Oh, in my country, age makes a difference. But for me, usually type of relationship determines. Actually, I saw it in QSS series, where ES called Eric’s character “ahjussi”in the beginning. So, I assume that calling would be ok, if u don’t know the person well (though I maybe wrong and that was the case only in QSS). So it leads me to a conclusion that MGY and PSH must be good friends.

        • jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

          It’s actually age difference. But sometimes, the relationship between the two counts. There are also those who don’t want to be called “ahjussi” especially if they are still unmarried.

  5. Camille

    I watched this already but read the summary again anyway. I loved this episode and the characters a lot! I’m getting real hooked too and can’t wait for Saturday either. My inner romantic squeezes when Seung Jo defended Se-kyung with the soy sauce and punch. Oh man!! 🙂

  6. Nia ipeh

    Yeaaayy, cool! Thanks..

  7. bigwink

    ILY for recapping this!

  8. Opal

    Never been a big fan of PSH before though I watched almost all of his drama. I always thought no one can do the comical antics/comedy as good as Kang Ji Hwan but PSH is definitely nail it. It is so refreshing that he can do different genre.

  9. Michelle

    I like the end but i think it is one of his fantasies.

    • 9.1 Perevell

      Highly doubt it. we’ve seen how over the top his fantasies are. This one has a more serious tone to it, and I can see his madness and sincereity in that confrontation. Besides, he’s always taking action when it comes to revenge or anger, but when it comes to acts of kindness THEN he imagination goes awry.

      • 9.1.1 Perevell


    • 9.2 houstontwin

      Michelle, how perceptive! You may be right about that.

  10. 10 Woody

    “There’s no emoticon! It’s just periods!” – yeah nowadays that means smth is off with the person you text to.

    And that sequence of “splash” images was great.
    Thank U so much for the recap!

  11. 11 ladysarahii

    I’m really liking this drama. PSH is a huge highlight for me… he provides much needed levity from the heavy stuff.

  12. 12 Carole McDonnell

    I could so totally see Tommy Hong as a vegetarian. Hey, Hitler was a vegetarian. Mercifully, there are good vegetarians…but there are some pretentious vegetarians out there.

    I’m wondering if Tommy Hong has it in him to be a vengeful villain. Something tells me he’s not gonna go down easy.

    That said: Oh, every woman needs a defender like Jean Thierry Sscha! I know more mature types would be subtle and underhanded and destroy Tommy’s name behind his back. But our hero just doesn’t get the whole back-stabbing thing. He’s direct and he believes all people are direct (or he believed that once.) With him, what you see is what you get…except for the whole “I’m secretary kim” thing.

    But please, please, please, Writer-nim…. let heroine discover the real identity in the next episode. Seriously, how could a big fight take place in a wealthy Cheongdam-dong society and folks not carry a photo? So I’m hoping there’s big gossip in the tabloids because of this “unfortunate incident” and I hope there are lots of pictures. And I hope our heroine reads the gossip rags.

    Thanks so much for the recap.

    • 12.1 Que

      From the official character description, Tommy’s character isn’t going to be the villain. In fact he’s gonna help turn Han Se Kyung into a Cinderella, when he realizes that she’s just like him. Actually from the character description, the sister in law( Han Se Kyung’s boss) is gonna step into the role of 2nd lead female and the one who tries to ruin the main leads relationship cause she’s in love with the guy.

      • 12.1.1 Lilly

        Ah!! So that is who the Queen of Hearts must be. I had no clue who it might be.

        (I still see Tommy as Cheshire Cat for manipulating and drifting around place to place. Looks it too in that still with the water, lol.)

      • 12.1.2 Carole McDonnell

        oooh, wow!! That’s good, then. About Tommy. Helping her because she’s like him is good. Plus it gets him back into Jean Thierry Ssha’s graces. Not to mention he’s spying for Daddy Cha. (Ah, these dramas and their indulgent daddy cha’s!) Well, when our heroine is finished with, she will be a perfect society wife…which will be good.

        Re: sister-in-law: Yeah, I suspected as much. The closed worlds of these dramas are pretty claustrophobic when love appears. It’s always as if there are no other people in the world to love. I guess it’s the old competitiveness with these dramas. Some women like the idea of winning over another woman…so that’s the type of stuff that happens in dramas. I was always the type that liked the guy whom no one else was attracted to. Not into drama, me. Thanks.

        • Aliiiiiiiice

          I totally don’t see Tommy Hong as a jerk or villain either. He’s crafted a very specialized role for himself in the world of Cheondamdong: he wasn’t able to study abroad in his youth, either. Like Yoon Joo, he had to find a way in.

          If his role is White Rabbit (he doesn’t seem crafty enough to be a Cheshire cat), he is subservient to whomever rules Wonderland/Cheondamdong. And his service of expertise is not fashion, though he is a designer, but in playing matchmaker and deal maker.

          Broker or business and relationship deals, if you will.

          Think about it: every time he may say something insulting, it’s not with the intention to insult Se Kyung. There are rules and standards in Cheondamdong, and rules that he’s very quick to uphold.

          Like even when trying to settle SeKyung’s nightly rate, he was just curious. Based on his calculations, there just was no feasible way she could have a deep relationship of intimacy and respect from Jean Thierry Cha. And yet she was a designer. Who seemed very keen on being upwardly mobile, like himself. Jean Thierry Cha seemed to try to want to find a job for Se Kyung through Tommy Hong, hence… well, it would only make sense to him in HIS head that this gal must be someone looking for a sponsor.

          This really isn’t a reflection on whether or not he’s a good or bad guy, just a networker trying to make another correct match. He did indicate to SJ’s father that SeKyung didn’t seem like “his taste.”

          I WILL ADMIT — the soy sauce toss was petty and mean. But let us remember he’d done it in a moment of retaliation. Plus he’s the host of the party and I can’t imagine him not attempting to find a way to control the upset in the situation when the entire room is watching him being affronted by an apparent Nobody.

          And if he’s a rabbit, then he’s also in a very precarious position as well. He may hold some clout, but he’s probably not the big fish.

          I’m all for him helping SeKyung. I love stories with heroines having a gaggle of unlikely — and seemingly dangerous — allies at the ready.

  13. 13 LizJ

    This seems to be a great drama. Personally, the financial stuff is uncomfortable for me to watch, having gone through some serious financial problems in the last couple of years.

    I’m going to continue watching, though, because I think those issues will get less emphasis as the story focuses more on the OTP relationship.

    • 13.1 houstontwin

      I hope things are going better now!

  14. 14 ladida

    I love it! I love that we have ladies respecting each other and understanding each other even though they’re different and that they might become really good friends; I love that the second lead male comes in as a sleaze; I love that our heroine has decided to grab everything she can; and I love love love that Seung Jo is falling for Se Kyung first while she’s totally oblivious! The guy falling for the girl first is one of my favorite romcom scenarios; it’s so delectable. My favorite scene was when Se Kyung was getting the bags out of her car and she told Seung Jo to help her and he did without any hesitation at all. Oh, and his secretary is hilarious! He has the best facial expressions. Park Shi Hoo is really giving me some of his Queen of Reversals vibes, and that’s just great.

    Thanks for the recap!

    • 14.1 V

      I love what you wrote. It was so funny that he took the bags out with out thinking. He’s fallen hard.

      • 14.1.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

        Ha! To think that he’s a CEO of a global company and SK is just a mere contract employee, but he just did what she says without hesitation. LOL!

    • 14.2 ilovekimchi

      I love that scene too! Thanks for the recap! I am so in love with this drama. This episode’s ending was just perfect!
      I can’t believe how awesome PSH is (having only seen him in PP – waiting to find time to watch The Princess’ Man) in this. He’s on spot on with his comedy and completely adorable as our flawed and quirky prince. There are lot of PSH fans here (me included) already; but I am also a huge MGY fan and I just want to gush how great I think she is! I love her even in crappy dramas because she never fails to deliver. I don’t know if it was one of the bloggers here or another site that was recapping CS before, who said she is one of the best actresses (if not, arguably, the best) of her generation. She gets the nuances/subtleties of her character, even the small and fleeting expressions convey so much. Even without dialogue, her portrayal of her character’s pain/sadness/joy is/are palpable.
      I love our two leads’ scenes together ( more!more please!). That scene by the car — how it showed their developing relationship, with how at ease they ‘ve become around each other (though Se Kyung still finds him more of a nuisance more than anything else at this point, I think). I am curious how SK andYJ will develop friends or foes?I love the transformation in PSH’s face when he learned of about what TH did. I think this show is perfectly cast. Now that Alice has been given (rather, chooses to take ) the keys to Wonderland, I anticipate what will happen next!

      • 14.2.1 ilovekimchi

        Just wanna add that I continue to appreciate the running social commentaries in this show, this time maybe the demise of small businesses?

        • Aliiiiiiiice

          To add to that, it interesting that the Big Fish must eat up the smaller fish to expand their empires. But if we’re to take the Alice in Wonderland metaphor, their empires are made of nothing but a house of cards.

          Cheondamdong may seem glamorous and filled with powerful players, but really — what fuel’s Artemis’s empire but the fear and insecurities of women who can hardly afford their wares?

          And if the magic of Cheondamdong is in its power of illusion, then it needs fuel to stoke the fires of people’s imagination. And their kindling of choice could the people who work hard, start small and are grounded in reality.

          It’s an interesting story or premise that paints no one as completely black/dirty and no one completely as pure and innocent. The movers and shakers of Cheondamdong all had to lose something precious (I’m waiting for Tommy Hong’s story) to keep its mirrored city afloat and balling in money. And the hardworking Candy girls who want to get in on the basis of their talent and effort alone — well, after a while, we’ve got to critique their attempts to break into a business that their healthy, everyday lives just cannot afford.

          And while yes, it’s great to dream, but can we just take a moment to critique what it is that we’re dreaming up for ourselves? And the why behind it?

          Anyway, I’m curious as to how that allegory is going to play out!

          Great thought-promt, @ilovekimchi.

          • Asabiyet

            “But if we’re to take the Alice in Wonderland metaphor, their empires are made of nothing but a house of cards.” Spot on! I love the comments on this show.

  15. 15 Ga-eul

    For me the most interesting character is Yoon-joo right now…. I truly wonder what HER experience of climbing to the top was like. Cause from what she said, it seems that she really did get ‘sponsored’ and sold her body. Yikes.

    • 15.1 Emily

      Her diary did say she had to go all the way and it does make you wonder what exactly she did right? although I wonder if they will go into it on a weekend drama. it seems more cable fare for her to go that far, and for it to be more than just mentioned in passing like this without any more detail. Also I really wonder about how she met her husband and how much her husband knows about her. their relationship intrigues me as he seems fairly nice… you wonder if he’s a sucker or if he geniunly saw through her act and still wanted/loved her.

    • 15.2 Lilly

      Seems everyone but her husband either fears her or looks down on her also. There is some realism in possibility that someone like that could fall into friendship with someone they once hated just because that person now admires them. Imitation is biggest form of admiration and all.

  16. 16 Kelinci Biru

    I luuuuuurves this episode, for obvious reason and also for crazee Park Shi Hoo and showing that this is not a regular candy drama. I really really hope things are going to improve for the better… *Sunday come now!!*

  17. 17 Courtney

    All my previous worries about this drama are pretty much gone! These two episodes have been impressing me so so much! Much more depth and detail than I expected ^^

    Mr. Ssha is hilarious! And so is his dad (how different from the mean old man from I Miss You!!)! Especially, when they begin doing yoga (?) together~

    I expected the drama to be a very lighthearted drama, but it’s got some very serious tones here and there, and the way it deals with the struggles of the average and the rich are done very well.. very human-like!

    The performances have been stunning so far! Secretary Moon is hilarious, so is his President, Jean Thierry Cha! Han Se Kyung is an interesting character. I’m a big fan of Moon Geun Young so I think she’s done a stellar job, but I also think that the actress playing Seo Yoon Joo is amazinggg! Loving the expressions 🙂

    I think Shin In Hwa is really pretty! Love her voice 🙂

    Oh and I also found it slightly strange that Yoon Joo was so much more clued in about fashion than Se Kyung seeing as SK is the designer.. They should try to aim to show that SK does have talent and a real knack for fashion!! Because I find it hard to believe that she would be so lost to find what to wear, when she is a fashion designer in the Cheongdamdong world (despite not really being ‘in’ it)

    Anyway, loving the drama! ^^

  18. 18 weissman

    I wasn’t sure whether I was going to lkike this series or not but after this episode I am hooked

  19. 19 ailee

    love it love it love it! literally head over heels with PSH now even if it’s just his character 😀 what can be more perfect than two of your favourite main leads become your OTP? though I still think MGY should be with CJM but i’ll let it pass this time since it’s PSH 😀

  20. 20 ck1Oz

    Wow your screencap left me speechless.Trying to work out if it’s like a slow-mo.Or a Chinese wuxia special effects.You know the Tommy-hit-with-water look.:-)

  21. 21 V

    I like all your ending comments. I hope Se-kyung and Yoon-joo become besties as well. And I hadn’t even thought about that vegetarian-to-disguise-being-a-poor-designer-that-can’t-afford-leather angle on Tommy.

    Between this show and King of Dramas I am a happy girl.

  22. 22 Freya

    Im loving this show seriously! there are still some plot flaws but never mind that..there’s rare to no perfect drama drama anyway..

    let me fall in love with the story itself and the characters..can’t really wait for the next episodes!

  23. 23 Faranak

    Woah! Love this show,i enjoy it a lot- thank you soooo much for the awesome recap 😀

  24. 24 katiamon

    drama, you make my weekends! i love PSH, he’s nailing the character so well and his the perfect (yet crazy) white knight in the shinny armor. can you be my oppa? hehehe…
    the plot is getting better and i’m glad about this, specially for MGY, she’s a good actress and her latest drama was such a bummer (MSOAN, anyone???)
    i want it to be saturday so badly! thank you for the recaps!!! and i promise no more spoilers (though i think i didn’t post any, but whatever) =P

  25. 25 ThePreviewQueen

    Based off of the Synopsis, SK is suppose to be a girl hiding her scheming ways with a “Candy Girl” exterior. However, from what I see is that she is still the same, she is still dedicated, hard working, uses her effort, determined and oddly enough genuine. Though her aims of achieving success have changed, from doing it all alone to getting people to help her get what she wants.
    And as much as she keeps saying that she is not going to be like that any more, the more I still see those qualities shine from her. And SJ tends to see her when she is not being anything other than her genuine self. Which is what he admires in her, and the fact that she doesn’t put up any “airs” .
    I have a feeling that she is going to come full circle in this drama, that she will come back to original state of mind in a way. Only smarter.
    But this Drama has really impressed me, I wasn’t expecting very much when I had seen the trailers and such. But I do hope that they will continue on this vein and not go all Melo. on us…which I can see happening.

    • 25.1 jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

      I guess they will not go all melo as long as SJ isn’t healed yet. His mental sickness is the only thing that gives comedy to the show.

    • 25.2 Lilly

      In the original story didn’t they try to make Alice a queen of something and she left Wonderland anyway? Someone must already know this story. Don’t make me read that book people, seriously, help me out here.

      • 25.2.1 Mari

        Lol. It’s free on the kindle if you really want to do it. I started to but it’s a little too weird sometimes.

      • 25.2.2 Betsy Hp

        Wikipedia to the rescue! 🙂 Here’s a synopsis:

        Warning: it’s a children’s book filled with nonsense (that might be political commentary, or maybe a coded mathematical vision of how the universe works) so the plot isn’t that… linear. (There’s a reason it was really popular during the heyday of LSD use.)

        • Lilly

          TY – Read work from drug using Mathematician.
          Brain fry mundo.

    • 25.3 h"Candoustontwin

      I don’t know what people mean by “Candy Girl”. Does that just mean a super nice girl?

  26. 26 lenrasoon

    yep episode 3-4 definitely won me over, i felt this episode had toned down a bit of it’s craziness in comparison to the last one, but we getting to the center plot of the drama that is Se-Kyung entering Cheongdam-dong, how exciting!.

    Tommy’s character surprised me a little, i didn’t think he would be a pimp (lack of a better word) and then when things went sour between him and Se-Kyung i was expecting an apology and not soy sauce in the face lol, i’m curious of how are they going to use this character in the future, is he the real antagonist and not Yoon-Joo?

    Seung-jo was awesome at the ending, i’m just worried that he waaaay too invested in someone who doesn’t even know his real identity. Also how cute/creepy was the text message scene? only in Kdramas i would find that kinda thing cute and not weird hahaha.

  27. 27 Lilian

    I loved the ending too. Such a sleazy character. Wondering whether he is a good designer or whether he relied on this relationships to become famous….the latter more likely?

  28. 28 kopytko

    Huh. The marketing people almost made me miss out on this drama, I am glad I did have a look despite my huge doubt that I would digest it (c’mon, what kind of motivation is becoming a daughter-in-law?).

    It seems we’ve got a good season for quirky, off-the-wall male characters (Anthony, Hyun Min, Jean (Jane ;p)Thierry Ssha). Now I am looking forward to seeing a female unique character. We all know Candies, second-lead-b*tches, tomboys, damsels in distress, martyr daughters-in-law, from time to time we get to see a normal girl (yay!), but seldom can we see a truly original, memorable woman (Yeo Chi – this year’s revelation). A really quirky one, not just a battle axe.

  29. 29 Mari

    I love this show! Thank you soo much for the recap.
    PSH is just awesome. Thank you writers for creating such an entertaining charecter. He is not just a crazy man with a grudge , but a man that was wounded by life and is acting out. I love that now we get to see him, if not go back to his old “self” at least revert back to a “normal” ( lol funny normal) man capable of caring for others & not just his revenge plans. I have watched episode 3 & 4 about 5 times each. I still can’t get over the duck sauce dance. Now the punch at he end is on replay, I really hope that was not just one of his fantasies.
    Is anyone else hating on Tommy Hong just because they remember his charecter from “Personal Taste”? I hated him soo much, I’m having a hard time liking him here ( probably the reason why I haven’t watched I need romance 2012 also)

  30. 30 Pam

    Loved, LOVED this episode!

    I don’t blame SK for throwing water in Tommy’s face; first he says her looks are below par and then when he thinks she playing hard to get he tries to negotiate a price….ugh.

    This is the first drama I’ve seen with PSH and his portrayal of Seung Jo is brillant! I have fallen hard for him! Who said chivalry was dead in Cheongdam-dong? ***Swoon***

    Tommy is a D-bag! Wow. No gentleman here. Soy sauce on a white dress? Unforgivable…hehe.

    I wonder is YJ will reveal what she had to do to snag a rich husband? Do you think these girls will be viewed as wife material after being passed around rich men? Did Tommy hook YJ up with a rich husband after she paid her “dues”? Ew.

    I hope SK doesn’t stoop that low.

  31. 31 Joannah

    He freaked out when he received Se-Kyung’s reply text because she ended it with a period. And we hear him repeating/shouting “period?!” It’s because using the period at the end of a text means the conversation is over.

  32. 32 Boba

    Omg i love this episode , i love how he stood up for here he is such a doll! Lool love him n his style i cant wait for next week , actually im now following three dramas u guys recap alice, king of dramas and school 2013 omg ! U r the 2nd best thing in my life besides Kdramaaaa

  33. 33 llei

    Well yes SK is a fashion designer but you have to take in the fact that she has NEVER been to a high social party plus the fact that she is there to IMPRESS.

    Anyone can dress to nines but to make a GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION well you have to have someone with experience to advice you.I mean imagine she uses her own devices and end up wearing the same exact thing like all the other 10 girls in the room then what’s the point.

  34. 34 Lilly

    Shi-hoo is always great and never ever a disappoint to me in his acting. He lights up every drama he has been in.

    • 34.1 lenrasoon

      i agree he’s very charismatic.

  35. 35 anna

    “No matter what happens though, I feel like she and Se-kyung may become best buds!”
    IDK man, that kind of stuff is extremely rare in kdrama.. they might be “getting along” right now, but when she finds out about the whole SJ thing being daddy long legs to HK, she probably be seething. I hope it’s not that way. I like ladies who are friends and not try to backstab each other. Their frenemies work for me right now.

  36. 36 Dorotka

    I still don’t understand how come that Se Kyung was not prepared for the “sponsor” offer. Did Yoon Joo omit that on purpose from her “education”? Or she just didn’t expect it to come so fast?
    Because I think TH conclusions and actions were right, given the circumstances. I don’t have to agree with that Cheongdam-dong world and its rules… but it somehow looked logical. So for me it was more a failure of Se Kyung. She didn’t come prepared enough… and she humiliated the host at his own party.

    Still, love all characters. Nobody is black and nobody is white. And they are all interesting.

    I have this “Tommy Hilfiger” problem as well.
    And the flowers on TH white T-shirt looked like a white rabbit head…

    PPS Thanks for the recap.

    • 36.1 S

      I think SK was looking at the party invitation as networking help from a senior colleague, while TH was looking at it as help with… ummm, funding.

      From TH’s perspective, yes, it makes sense for him to think that SK is looking for a sponsor. All of a sudden, some waitress knows everything about him, seems to be tutored in the ways of the elite, and has a company president blushing over her (wearing her handmade jewelry no less). It would seem like SK is working some angle.

      But I think SK’s surprise also makes sense. She doesn’t know that SJ stepped in to help her, and she wouldn’t have gotten a party invitation if he hadn’t. From her perspective, since she got an invite, she must have made a really strong impression. It could look like a senior colleague reaching out a hand to someone who is struggling the way he did. That maybe he recognizes how hard she is trying and wants to help.

      SK humiliating TH at his own party does seem rude. I would have walked away, but I’m a wuss like that. If I went to network and someone called me a prostitute, I would at least wish I had thrown a drink in his face.

      • 36.1.1 Dorotka

        My problem is not with HOW the misunderstanding arose, but THAT it arose. Or more that Se Kyung was so surprised and offended. I just think with all that research around (she even got the list of the guests!) and Yoon Joo’s help, Se Kyung should have been better prepared. That’s all.

        That doesn’t say she was obliged to accept the offer, of course.

        It just bothered me when I was watching that scene… perhaps I should lock my brain more out when watching :–)

        • ladida

          I thought it was explained well during the scene when she’s telling Yoon Joo what happened at the end of the episode. While at the party she hadn’t yet shed all of her hard working girl “Candy” traits, and it came as a shock to her not because she thought it was outside the realm of possibility, but because all her life the idea of having a sponsor has been offensive to her. But after speaking to Yoon Joo she realizes that taking offense is something she can’t afford to do, not if she really wants to snag a rich husband–“If you’re going to be black, be black all the way.” That moment was the last of her old self.

          Also notice that Yoon Joo doesn’t explicitly tell her the things that she’s been through or the things that she should expect–this Wonderland is a world that deals in connotations, in symbols, in seeing something and recognizing what it stands for, like the way new looking shoes represent a leisurely lifestyle and an older man giving you his business card means he thinks you’re some kind of an escort.

          I think it’s interesting that you mention above that Se Kyung humiliated a host at his own party. Both were humiliated by the other because of misunderstanding that arose from Se Kyung’s not reading the symbols I mentioned earlier properly. Tommy Hong is basically acting as a kind of pimp, right? This party which is presented as a classy, cultured gathering is actually a place for old guys with power to come pick up girls, and for girls looking for socioeconomic advancement to come pick up guys. To me this points to the probability that Tommy Hong is much like Yoon Joo (and Se Kyung)–an outsider who has calculatedly worked his way into this society. And while Yoon Joo and Se Kyung do it by becoming the wives of powerful men, he does it by getting those powerful men women to sleep with.

          • Dorotka

            I can understand the offense, but I somehow expected that she would be prepared. All her preparations before and the situation there just didn’t match from my point of view.

            That Yoon Joo didn’t tell her on purpose was for me the only logical explanation. To let Se Kyung experience the true Chengdam-dong-land. Though I’m not sure whether it was worth loosing the White Rabbit.

            Tommy Hong is a matchmaker on all levels… but he indeed works hard and just wants his clients to be happy.

            And I’m happy I’m not part of that world :–)
            Thanks for sharing the ideas.

          • Betsy Hp

            @Dorotka: I think that’s why Yoon-joo called her stupid. She should have been prepared for that. But, I think that’s also why Yoon-joo thought things were moving too fast. Her instinct said Se-kyung wasn’t ready for this, but Se-kyung was saying she was and acting like she was.

            Se-kyung was partially bullshitting Yoon-joo with her, “I’m all in,” speeches. Not on purpose — I think she believed she was all in. But it’s one thing to decide to find a rich husband and another thing to realize you’re probably going to have to do some whoring to get there.

            I think Yoon-joo thought Se-kyung knew. Se-kyung herself thought she knew… but she was a lot more innocent than she allowed herself to appear and so didn’t realize what she was implying to Tommy, or what Tommy was implying back. Now she knows.

          • Dorotka

            @Betsy: I like your comment. Now it makes more sense. Thanks. Wondering what will happen next…

      • 36.1.2 h"Candoustontwin

        I was naive like that when I was young and working in the performing arts field. But being naive really protected me.

        • h"Candoustontwin

          What happened to my name!?!

  37. 37 iviih

    lol the message and the periods.

    I like to talk face to face because of it.

    Sometimes my friends go crazy over messages

    ”Look! He is so cold / rude , he didn’t even posted anything just a period! ”

    Or when you text with too much ^^ ~~~~

    people say ”look! She is soo into me!”’

    LOL My friends too many ^^ means you are flirting with someone but no ^^ you are too cold /rude LOL

    what you guys want ? that is why I prefer to talk LOL

    • 37.1 iviih

      my friends are *too much

  38. 38 Suzi Q

    It was kind of strange that Tommy Hong who was so well GQ style dressed would go out in public at L’Etoile Restaurant in dirty scuffed white shoes. So tacky…

    He’s like a pimp not a marriage match maker. He deserved a glass of water in the face! What a d- bag, but the actor, Kim Ji Suk who is playing him sleazy is terrific.
    I’m shocked and surprised MGY took the soy sauce to her face though. Oh.. her pretty white dress is a goner.

    • 38.1 Moose

      Wasn’t this meant to underline his status? He is a working man in Cheongdam and hence his shoes are scuffed.

  39. 39 TS

    So, if JP Cha is the Mad Hatter, are Yoon Joo and Tommy HOng the Red and White Queens? And which is which?

    • 39.1 MissChiVyous

      Tommy Hong is the White Rabbit. Not sure what Yoon Joo is at this point. =)

    • 39.2 beng

      JP Cha is the Cheshire Cat, not the hatter.
      He always grins and, can be invisible to Alice (his identity is hidden)

    • 39.3 Cloverleafe

      Tommy Hong is the White Rabbit she was SUPPOSED to follow into Wonderland/Cheongdam-dong but did not follow him all the way through the tunnel to the other side. Yoon Joo says it herself. “Now you have to find a new white rabbit”.

      I think the Red Queen is supposed to be In hwa? But not enough has been revealed yet. I imagine the Red Queen/White Queen will be In Hwa and Yoon Joo.

  40. 40 Fab

    All the love for this show, especially the main leads! I hope it keeps the funny instead of going all dramatic. ~~^^

  41. 41 Cindy

    THIS IS MY DRAMA CRACK OF THE YEAR (and it came so late, where were you all this time? *kisses*

    Lets just cross fingers and pray that it stays this good for the next 10 episode and NO EXTENSION PLEASE! (cuz you know how extension kills a drama)

  42. 42 sally_b

    Thanks kaedejun for the recap! I’m totally hooked on this show – so much so that Í’ve got *Duck Sauce* Barbra Streisand blaring on my ipod right now…hahah! (insert PSH crazy dance ~)

    I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments, but I’m a bit surprised by how my perception of Tommy Hong is so vastly different from everyone else’s — and~ how in the world Se-Kyung wouldn’t have been already *clued* that she was attending a party where the WHOLE IDEA is to facilitate ‘hook-ups’.

    (Quick background to give context to my comments: I used to work for Neiman Marcus/Dallas Flagship store. I’ve attended MANY fashion-launch shows and/or VIP customer reward parties. Tommy Hong-pimpdaddys are NOT made up characters – except in reality they are from the corporate PR office and have titles like – Exec. Asst.)

    These *facilitators* literally (no exaggeration) have personal-journals/notepads that list the VIP client’s information from their food tastes to what size shoe they wear.
    The sales staff used to gather items and brands that these customers had previously purchased (sales history) and would place them in the dressing rooms so that mini-private parties, with drinks, could be held – all the while a major party being held elsewhere in the building.

    My point is – fashion, money and power includes a LOT of ….um…private party service.

    To me, Tommy Hong was doing his *job* and because what he *does* is no secret …at all— he rightfully presumed that Se-Kyung KNEW what the rules of the game were. Throwing water in his face – though satisfying for us – was a clear revelation that she was clueless about this “Wonderland”.

    I felt no animosity to him for replying with soy sauce. It was his house, his game… she was the one stepping outside the norm. I’m really interested to see how these two characters form an alliance — I’m certain they will.

    Need. New. Episode. 🙂

    • 42.1 sally_b

      …oh forgot to mention…it appeared to me that Tommy was pleased to be able to *fast-track* Se-Kyung to a power client ~based on her impressive connecting skills ~ In other circumstances – both characters would have considered the hook-up to be spectacularly successful. That’s what makes the twist so interesting to me ~ 😉

  43. 43 muhloy

    why oh dear god WHY (!?!?!) did i start watching this right when it started!?

    i am so addicted and excited about this show already and there’s nothing for me to marathon!

    just 6 more weeks of that agonizing WAITING between episodes.

    i feel like a druggie

  44. 44 Betsy Hp

    This show keeps driving its hooks in deeper and deeper. I am thrilled with how much they’re using the symbols of “Alice in Wonderland” here. (It’s not just a cute title!)

    So far I’d say Alice is Se-kyung. Yoon-joo is the Queen of Hearts. Seung-jo is the Mad Hatter. And Tommy Hong is the White Rabbit.

    But I also love that all four of them are outsiders to Wonderland (Cheongdamdong), really. Even Seung-jo reveals his outside status with his slipping into his country accent when he’s angry or flustered. (Plus, he’s waaay too innocent to be with the ruthless Wonderland crowd.) I have no idea how it will all play out. Will they leave Wonderland? Reshape it to their more innocent way? Knock it down? But I really look forward to watching and finding out. 🙂

    Thanks for the recap!

  45. 45 asianromance

    A book! White Rabbit! Yes, for the Alice in Wonderland references!

    Thanks for the recap, Kaedejun!

    And Seung-jo is just full of pure win! And Yoon-joo’s got my respect. And that horrible Tommy! Sure he misunderstood Se-kyung to be one of those girls who get sponsors to put them where they want to be, but to throw soy sauce in to her face. He should have just kicked her out. What a super unclassy move. Se-kyung, run away from these crazy rich people!

    The thing about classic items versus eye-catching latest trendy items was interesting.

  46. 46 linlin

    I love this drama and it is one of the few dramas where I have to watch the episode then read the recap cause I can’t get enough of it!!!!

  47. 47 jen

    i like this drama so much my addiction and break from study. cant believe i watched it during finals week no regrets tho 🙂 glad that i stuck to it. ep 1 and 2 were too draggy but 3 &4 definitely picked up

  48. 48 Kimmi

    If you think about it each and every character has similar role as in Alice! and i just love that. Seung-jo is the mad hatter! he has different mood swing and is the one by Se-kyung(alice) side. Yoon-joo’s to me is the white rabbit showing SK around the unknown world. Tommy has the Cheshire Cat feel but im yet not sure i need to see more of him. And that one girl (forgot her) the one who told SK she didnt have an eye for fashion or something to me she might be the headstrong mouse or end up as the red queen but we see. I wonder who the white queen will be? lol maybe im just looking to much into it but when i watch the drama i love that i can see similarities to Alice in Wonderland for real lol

  49. 49 Z

    I love this show! I haven’t been super excited about any shows this year since Padam Padam so many months ago so I’ve been reading a lot of recaps but not really watching anything. But the baby was sick this weekend and I needed something to do so I marathoned all four episodes and fell IN LOVE. My faith in dramas is restored!

    My only disappointment is that Tommy Han’s turned into a sleaze. I know he’s the second lead so he’ll probably redeem himself on the road to falling for Sekyung but it’s gonna be hard for me to forgive him for calling my girl a whore and flinging soy sauce in her face.

  50. 50 rearwindow

    It’s late and I don’t have time to summon new thoughts, so I’ll just repost my comment from Koala’s Playground (another kdrama blog). Please forgive my laziness!:

    OMFG. I have to share, because I had a “come to Jesus” moment with this show just now. I had watched up to episode 3, and thought CA was quite well-crafted (in spite of the slow beginning) with compelling characters and a brutally honest, subversive look at class (im)mobility in Korea (though it applies very well to the United States IMO). But I dunno, something was missing. The emotional hook was there, but the tone didn’t hit the crack-worthy notes for me.
    Anyway, I’ve had the most horrible day, and I was sitting on my couch wondering what in the world I could do to make myself feel better before going to sleep.
    Lucky for me, I decide to watch episode 4 of Cheongdamdong Alice.
    SO. BREATHTAKINGLY. GOOD. One of the most perfect episodes of a kdrama that I’ve seen, actually. It engages on all levels–intellectually, emotionally, philosophically. I’m impressed with how well even little side-stories like Se-Kyung’s father selling out to Seung-Jo’s father are integrated to the story. In a lesser drama, this sub-plot would (at best) provide an interesting distraction from the development of the central relationship. But it not only grounds the stakes of Se-Kyung’s mission, it also provides brilliant (and SO topical) commentary on the seemingly insurmountable capitalistic monster that is taking over the world and the effects of the global economy on a local economy. It ALSO connects the two families in a really interesting way, and provides a moral ambiguity, depth and richness not only to the characters but also to the central question of whether class mobility is even possible in a world where the middle class is eroding.
    Where before, Seung-Jo struck me as a bit of a caricature (kooky-for-the-sake-of-much-needed-comic-relief), this episode really succeeded in toning down the crazy without losing his quirkiness. He’s got this idealistic side that Se-Kyung brings out in him, but in order for that idealism to remain intact, over the years, he’s had to put his blinders up to avoid confronting some pretty disturbing stuff about his complicity in the injustice around him. In fact, he doesn’t even seem all that aware of the injustice around him, which I find so interesting and so true-to-life. How many of us ignore asking the difficult questions of what little mom and pop stores we’re screwing over to take home our modest paychecks from insert-big-corporation-name-here? How fitting that his constant refrain this episode was “Well of course I can’t hire her because we only hire foreign workers, but YOU should hire her!” Obviously it works on a character level and for practical reasons, but it’s also such a great illustration of how people in positions of power actively avoid their complicity in Big Problems such as lack of jobs for domestic workers, etc. “It’s not MY job to change things, it’s YOURS!”
    I also love that now that he’s taken an interest in Se-Kyung, he is opening his eyes not only to her, but to everything she represents–hard work, anchored by a truly brilliant mind, but absolutely no money or connections. She’s taking him down another rabbit hole, in a sense, outside the guilded world of Cheongdamdong and into the shabbier, worn world of the vast majority.
    And Se-Kyung is an INCREDIBLE character. I haven’t really encountered a kdrama character like her. Scary smart, ruthless to a point, penniless, determined, but with an inherent sense of self-respect and pride. In the first two episodes, her role was a very reactive one, so it was hard to really root for her, but I care so much about her journey now, it’s crazy. I feel like I will follow her off a cliff, she’s that compelling. And I fear that I will have to follow her off a cliff, given the dark undertones of this show.
    Anyways, I could go on and on about this drama and this episode but I was supposed to go to sleep 45 minutes ago so I will save my obsession for another day. Suffice it to say: I’m hooked. Just inject episode 5 into straight into my bloodstream, please.

    • 50.1 ilovekimchi

      Thanks for sharing your insights! I too find Se-Kyung’s character sooo compelling, and am in for the whole ride as well! I agree how the social commentaries are so seamlessly woven into the story blending with right doses of drama and laughter. I hope the show continues in this thread.. can’t wait for episode 5!

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