Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 8
by | December 26, 2012 | 195 Comments

The drop into hell is just as bad as I thought – if not worse. The truth really changes people, and while you’d hope it’s for the better, in this instance it changes people for the worse. We’ve seen Se-kyung grow into a stronger person who will do whatever it takes to achieve her dream. Now we’ve reached the point where it’s time for her to achieve that dream, and become a “Cheongdamdong wife” – which was the focus of the series. However, I now fully realize that I never really wanted her to succeed.

For all that I’ve seen to this point, I commend this drama for forcing us to take an introspective look into who we are and what we really want in our lives.


“Love Like This” by K.Will for Alice in Cheongdam-dong OST [download]

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


So – we’re back in the elevator of truth! What exactly did Secretary Moon hear?! Flashback to that night, and Ah-jung reveals her truth first: “Han Se-kyung likes Secretary Kim!” Seung-jo goes into shock – did he just hear that the girl who refused to work with him… actually likes him?!

The doors open – and you’d think he saw Se-kyung across from him – but he’s actually too dazed to focus on what’s right in front of him. Se-kyung turns around and sidles up next to the elevator wall so she can’t be seen, and an usher and Secretary Moon wake Seung-jo from his reverie.

Secretary Moon guides Seung-jo to his private room behind the stage. Seung-jo, still in disbelief: “Really?” Secretary Moon assures him it’s true, but Seung-jo still asks in an innocent manner: “Really? Really really? Really truly?” Hehe – he sounds like a kid.

Se-kyung’s elevator doors close again, and she clings to the handrail. Overhearing Seung-jo being addressed as the CEO just confirmed what Ah-jung said, and she noticed the handmade bracelet she had given the CEO on Seung-jo’s wrist. Instead of feeling relief, Se-kyung looks more like she’s worried for the future. But as she runs through all her encounters with Seung-jo in her mind again, it’s starting to make sense that he is Jean Thierry himself.

In the privacy of his room, Secretary Moon confirms the truth, which makes Seung-jo wildly happy and prompts Dong-wook to wonder if he’s gone mad. Next thing we know, he’s lifting Dong-wook up and jumping around excitedly, even giving his buddy a playful slap on the butt. Someone’s gone mad as a hatter…

Seung-jo thinks that Se-kyung doesn’t know about his real identity, so Dong-wook encourages him to be honest – tonight’s the night! But suddenly, Seung-jo’s happiness turns to horror – Se-kyung loves Secretary Kim – not Jean Thierry Cha! And he’s Jean Thierry Cha right now! What should he do?

Dong-wook: “Get a hold of yourself! You’re not Secretary Kim, but you’re not Jean Thierry Cha either. All of that is just like fashion, like the clothes you are wearing. The clothes don’t make you.” Oh you’re so wise. He reminds his friend that he is only “Cha Seung-jo” and the confession of love is coming from Cha Seung-jo. That makes Seung-jo feel loads better.

Se-kyung finally emerges from the elevator and is led to her table, where she finds a special placard with her name on it, indicating that she is a formal guest and not some random person given an extra seat. She looks around in her unfamiliar surroundings and notices Jean Thierry’s seat not too far from her.

She doesn’t notice two men peeking around the curtains behind her, staring at her. Dong-wook confirms to Seung-jo that Se-kyung is present, and when he sees her, he gets another panic attack. Dong-wook tries to calm him, but instead of going into the party hall, he just makes a mad dash in the other direction.

They zoom past Tommy, who’s just arrived at the party and wondering what crazy people ran just past him. But he becomes more befuddled when he sees Se-kyung in the party hall – what is she doing in this party in particular?

On to Yoon-joo. Her position as the wife of GN Fashion is all thanks to Il-nam, quite frankly. She made it so far, and so Yoon-joo now gets on her knees to beg him one more time to help her. She begs him to help protect her position by never revealing her secret. Il-nam sits down – of course he will keep her secret. They will both keep the secret to their graves, because that is the only way that the marriage between Seung-jo and In-hwa can occur.

Yoon-joo protests, but Il-nam doesn’t listen. Why is she being so emotional? Wasn’t her relationship with Seung-jo based on business anyway? He notes that he only liked her for her business-minded sense. I wonder if he now realizes that Yoon-joo could possibly have loved his son. He knows that Seung-jo truly did, and when he remembers Seung-jo refused to have any association with GN Fashion or his father in the marrying sense, Il-nam realizes that his son must have known of Yoon-joo’s new life.

Yoon-joo exits Il-nam’s building with a heavy heart, unable to stop crying. She doesn’t pick up her brother’s phone calls, but hails a cab to take her anywhere but here.

Tommy happens to be seated at a table behind Se-kyung, allowing him a perfect view of her without her knowledge. Min-hyuk and In-hwa arrive at the party as well, and Min-hyuk has a good view of Se-kyung. Displeased to see her, In-hwa goes over to ask what she’s doing at this exclusive party. Se-kyung quietly says that she was invited by Jean Thierry himself, which makes her quite surprised – how does her lowly part-timer know the CEO personally?

Before Se-kyung can explain, the MC bids everyone to take their seats as the art talk by a fashion curator is about to begin.

Backstage, Dong-wook tries to calm down Seung-jo, who’s freaking out over the impending big reveal. He doesn’t know what to do, flailing and whining, when suddenly Secretary Moon snaps: “You should have lived your life more honestly!” Seung-jo switches immediately into boss mode – “What did you say!?” Secretary Moon backtracks – ha! – because what he really meant was that Seung-jo should be truthful to the person he loves.

Dong-wook agrees – a love without truth has no future. No matter what Se-kyung feels, he must be truthful. Now psyched, Seung-jo goes into his quiet space, takes a deep breath, and transforms into the smooth Jean Thierry Cha.

The MC introduces him, and Se-kyung fidgets in her seat. Seung-jo walks onstage; before him, the audience is dark, so he can only imagine that she’s out there watching, realizing that the man she knew as the secretary is truly the CEO. He introduces a specially made Buche de Noel made for the occasion, and in his mind, he hopes that Se-kyung remembers the conversation they had about it. The cake is meant to cast away all the bad things of the past year and bring hope for the new one.

Seung-jo recites a poem from Nazim Hikmet: “The most magnificent poem is the one yet to be written. The most beautiful song is the one yet to be sung. The most glorious days are the days we have yet to live.” Each line in his mind is related to his relationship with Se-kyung; they are just about to start on a journey together, if she can accept this truth and accept him. He toasts to the crowd, and hopes that they can make all their wishes come true with Artemis. He himself wishes for the future where the truth would be the easiest thing in the world.

The toast is made, and the lights turn on – and Se-kyung is nowhere to be found. Seung-joo glances over at Dong-wook in a panic, who doesn’t know himself what happened to her. But Tommy knows – he saw Se-kyung get up and leave the party before Seung-jo came out to greet the guests. Unfortunately, she left her phone behind, and it is now in his possession. Ugh – slimeball.

Seung-jo walks around to greet the guests, but when he gets a moment with Dong-wook, he worries that Se-kyung may have left because of him. Dong-wook is sure that she left before he came onstage, so it’s not likely she knows his true identity yet.

Se-kyung meets with Ah-jung, who’s positively thrilled for her friend hitting the jackpot. Their pauper is really their prince, and what’s more, he likes Se-kyung for the hardworking girl she was in the past. Ah-jung adds that she remembers telling Secretary Moon that Se-kyung liked Seung-jo, which gives her bonus points. “Just keep treating him like you always have,” Ah-jung advises, since Seung-jo clearly fell for Se-kyung because she was a Candy character.

“Candy” – the diligent girl who doesn’t know Secretary Kim is the CEO and only loves Secretary Kim. This is perfect for Se-kyung, right? Se-kyung tears up over her luck, and while she tells Ah-jung she’s happy, she doesn’t sound altogether convinced.

At the party, a guest chit-chats with Min-hyuk and notes that Jean Thierry Cha looks a lot like Cha Seung-jo, the son of Royal Group’s Cha Il-nam. Min-hyuk then notices his sister approach Seung-jo, complimenting him on his choice of poem, which she read while in Turkey. Seung-jo is disinterested in this talk and checks his phone, but gets no messages. Then he notices Tommy off to the side, laughing. Seung-jo excuses himself, blowing off In-hwa completely. Ha!

Seung-jo isn’t happy to see Tommy at his party, especially since he didn’t invite him. Seung-jo: “Did you see Han Se-kyung here today?” Tommy smiles, and says that she left before he was even introduced: “I lost the opportunity to apologize to her again,” he adds. Seung-jo gives him a tip on how to apologize properly: how about Tommy just never appears in front of Se-kyung – or him – ever again? Hehe – guess helping mend the relationship between Seung-jo and Il-nam will be a lot harder than Tommy thought.

Se-kyung heads back to her work studio in college and takes out her sketch pad. Slowly, she writes out a list, logically going through everything in her head right now.

  1. Secretary Kim is Jean Thierry Cha.
  2. Jean Thierry Cha likes the “Candy” Han Se Kyung.
  3. However I am no longer a Candy.
  4. The CEO doesn’t know that I’ve changed.
  5. In the end, he likes the me before I changed.
  6. I have to act like the person I was before I changed.
  7. I like Secretary Kim.
  8. However, the one I must target is not Secretary Kim, but Jean Thierry Cha.
  9. This is good fortune. It’s like winning the lottery.
  10. That is why I have to act like the Han Se-kyung before the change.

By the end of the list, tears are streaming down her cheeks. I don’t understand her heartbreak though, because I feel she hasn’t truly changed, even though she thinks she did. In the end, what it boils down to is that she wasted a lot of effort to win the heart of a man who likes her for her.

Seung-jo returns home unhappily, and he hugs the Happy Bunny to help comfort his aching heart. He doesn’t realize Se-kyung is standing outside his home, contemplating their relationship. She sits outside her house, crying for a bit before finally resolving to be the girl she was before her “change.”

Se-kyung composes a letter to Jean Thierry Cha, and gives it to Ah-jung for a read-through. Se-kyung is convinced that a letter is the surefire way to win his heart, since it worked with resolving In-chan’s problem. Ah-jung slowly agrees, but also adds, “You’re kind of an ass.” HAHA! Along with the letter, she is going to return the clothing that Seung-jo had sent to her.

Deuk-gi comes up to her room and asks why she’s not picking up the phone. That’s only when Se-kyung realizes she never brought it home. He tells her to look for the phone later, as she has a friend outside waiting for her. Friend? Turns out – it’s Yoon-joo, teary-eyed and looking for a confidante.

Seung-jo still cannot understand why Se-kyung would leave, when she had been so insistent upon meeting the CEO. On top of that, she won’t even pick up her phone. He’s confused by the mixed messages, and Dong-wook smiles at his friend: “Do you want to see her that much?” Seung-jo does – “I like Han Se-kyung.” He likes her so much he just wants to see her right away and tell her everything and get the truth out in the open.

Se-kyung follows Yoon-joo to a fancy hotel, where Yoon-joo has booked an expensive room. After a glass of water, Yoon-joo explains that when she was working in the store in Cheongdam-dong several years ago, she had always wanted to book a room like this. She resolved to spend her following Christmas in the same room, and the following year, she married Min-hyuk and was able to. Now that she’s so rich though, booking the room is nothing special for her anymore.

Yoon-joo: “Are you jealous of me (for feeling that way)? Do you really want to keep going down this path?”

Se-kyung doesn’t like what Yoon-joo is suggesting, especially since it’s hypocritical to have lived a life of luxury, only to tell others not to go down the same path. Yoon-joo backs down, as years ago she felt the same way. She asks if her “love crisis” has been resolved, and Se-kyung says that she didn’t succeed – because it ended up not being a love crisis. Yoon-joo pieces together that Se-kyung had fallen in love with the secretary. But Se-kyung reveals that the secretary is also her White Rabbit for Cheongdam-dong, and he’s in love with her.

Se-kyung: “In your diary, you said that love and business don’t mix together. In this case, I think it will work out.”

Yoon-joo gives a slight shake with her head, a look of pity on her face. Se-kyung becomes defensive – is she saying it’s not possible? Yoon-joo shakes her head – rather than believing it’s impossible, she just realized how alike she and Se-kyung were.

We get a flashback as Yoon-joo explains her history in France, without names of course. She married Seung-jo in front of a priest, exchanging the metal bracelets instead of rings. She had been very happy in France, and she truly loved Seung-jo. The love came first, and the realization that he came from a very good family came second. Back then, she wondered if she could possibly be so lucky as to have met him. But then, their whole marriage fell apart because of their love for each other. Because his family was against her, Seung-jo had given up his inheritance and his family.

Yoon-joo also points out that love isn’t just love – it also includes everything like family background and personality. However, if the relationship were just a business, then only one thing was important – his wealthy background. Yoon-joo finds love and business much too different, and that it’s difficult to reconcile both because you have to follow one path more than the other to make sure the marriage works.

But Se-kyung is already so sure that she can have both, and has become greedy for it. Yoon-joo smiles, wise beyond her years, knowing that Se-kyung isn’t really understanding her right now. If that’s going to be the case, then she wishes Se-kyung luck. “Waiting breeds desire,” she says, knowing that Se-kyung knows what to do next.

Se-kyung wonders if Yoon-joo came to see her originally for a different purpose, to tell her something. Yoon-joo: “I was going to, but now that I think about it we’re not that close.” She congratulates Se-kyung on her progress, and leaves the hotel room first.

The following day, Seung-jo has still had no contact from Se-kyung until he finds a letter and his gifted package on his desk from her. At the same time, Tommy learns from his detective assistant that Se-kyung had sought pardon for her boyfriend, and Seung-jo had granted it, forming a crush on her at the same time because she was a “Candy-like” girl. But Tommy realizes first that she is no longer an honest, hardworking Candy because she had come to his party in the hope of meeting a match. Now he can’t figure out why she didn’t pursue Seung-jo and went to him for help instead.

The assistant just so happened to also have cracked Se-kyung’s password on her phone, so Tommy goes through her recent calls. He notices a lot are from a Secretary Kim…

Seung-jo opens the letter; it’s addressed to Jean Thierry Cha, and Se-kyung is formally handing her resignation through this letter. “The reason is that I like Kim Seung-jo, who works for you. However, liking someone right now is an extravagance and no matter how much I try to ignore it, I can’t. I am desperate enough to quit this job.” Oh my God that bitch. I’m sorry – but she is an ass for playing with his heart so much right now.

Of course, Seung-jo’s tears are falling again, and he bids his driver to take him to GN Fashion immediately. Once they’re there, they discover that Se-kyung has gone on sick leave. He calls up Se-kyung, and Tommy picks up without saying a word. He hears Seung-jo’s voice calling out to her, introducing himself as Secretary Kim. Shocked, Tommy hangs up, and he goes through Se-kyung’s texts to find Ah-jung’s message that Secretary Kim is Jean Thierry Cha.

At the same time, the manager informs In-hwa that Se-kyung went on sick leave, which makes her suspicious over why Se-kyung disappeared after the party.

That evening, Seung-jo heads over to Se-kyung’s home. He bumps into Se-jin and their mother outside the front gate, and they recognize him as the kind secretary. They don’t know where Se-kyung went, as she disappeared without a word. Se-jin offers to pass along a message, but he declines. He calls up Se-kyung instead and leaves her a voicemail, then heads to her college to see if she’s there, but she’s not.

Se-jin watches Seung-jo from her room and immediately calls up Ah-jung, who’s in a sauna with Se-kyung. Ah-jung was right – Seung-jo did visit! And per Ah-jung’s instructions she had said she didn’t know where Se-kyung was. Ah-jung praises her – it’s so easy to get Se-jin to do what they want as long as they bribe her with designer bags. Ah-jung is excited that their plans are going well. Although they can’t track down Se-kyung’s phone, Se-kyung is making good progress in stealing Seung-jo’s heart.

Meanwhile, Tommy is super scary smart. He figures out that Seung-jo approached Se-kyung as a secretary, but she found out that he was really the CEO. Seung-jo doesn’t know that she knows, and she knows he doesn’t know, so she chose to hide from the world. By doing so, it means she’s going to use Seung-jo and toy with his feelings. He orders his assistant to find out where Se-kyung is hiding now; he may be able to resolve this quickly.

Min-hyuk updates Mrs. Shin about the party and tells her that it’s likely Jean Thierry Cha and Cha Seung-jo are one and the same. Of course, Yoon-joo is rattled at hearing this, especially since Min-hyuk finds this marriage helpful to them as a business. In addition, if In-hwa gains a position with Royal Group, she won’t fight her brother for control over GN Fashion. Poor Yoon-joo – her hard work is falling apart.

Seung-jo runs around in circles at home, begging Dong-wook to give him advice. Dong-wook thinks Se-kyung is running away from the truth, not unlike what Seung-jo had done before. It could have been resolved if Seung-jo told the truth earlier, but Seung-jo couldn’t. In a touchingly honest moment, he says that he couldn’t trust anyone. He didn’t want her to know anything about him until he knew exactly what her motives were. He was afraid that she might end up being like other manipulative women. But now, he misses her terribly, and he’s sorry for not having seen that she probably did care about him a lot.

And Se-kyung does – to an extent. She rereads Yoon-joo’s warning about avoiding love in the diary, and she looks quite reluctant to avoid it.

The following day, Dong-wook assists Seung-jo in looking for Se-kyung by visiting her home. He sees Se-jin instead, and once he proves to be a rich doctor friend of Seung-jo’s, Se-jin immediately takes a liking to him. If he wants to see Se-kyung, he’ll have to follow her.

Se-jin leads him to the eyeglass store where she works and hands him seven different pairs of glasses. Why not have different glasses for every day of the week? HAHA – Se-jin’s smart, getting what she wants from him (money) before giving him what he wants (information). So Dong-wook gets suckered into buying seven pairs of glasses, but he does discover that Se-kyung is in a sauna, and calls up Seung-jo with directions.

At the same time, Se-jin calls up Ah-jung at work to warn her that she told Dong-wook where Se-kyung is, so they’ll need to warn her sister. Ah-jung freaks out and hurriedly calls the sauna to contact Se-kyung. Meanwhile Seung-jo rushes out with his chauffeur, and Tommy’s spy (another worker in Artemis) discreetly calls Tommy with directions on where Seung-jo is headed.

Ah-jung manages to warn Se-kyung in time to get out of there, and she hurriedly gets out of the spa. She ends up in the parking lot, and spots Seung-jo’s car. She tries to hide around the staircase, but it’s too late – he’s seen her!

He chases her to the rooftop parking lot, and Tommy arrives just in time to witness this.

From another parking lot across the street, Tommy watches Se-kyung hide behind a larger car as Seung-jo runs up and down the rows, screaming her name. She refuses to come out, so Seung-jo decides to tell her the truth right then and there, and she can just listen. Se-kyung panics – is he really going to admit everything now? What should she do? As Seung-jo says, “Honestly, I am…” she steps out from behind the cars dramatically.

Se-kyung addresses him as Secretary Kim still, and he goes forth with his apology. She may not ever want to see him again after hearing what he has to say, but Seung-jo feels like he must say it anyways. As he starts and hesitates in telling her about his identity, Se-kyung keeps reminding herself to do well. She must perform well.

Seung-jo: Honestly, I am…
Se-kyung (thinking): You have to naturally be surprised.
Seung-jo:  I’m Artemis’ CEO, Jean Thierry Cha.

Se-kyung’s eyes widen as she looks Seung-jo in the eye.

Se-kyung (thinking): Han Se-kyung… you’re doing quite well right now, right?


This was quite a heady episode, as I felt I went into a tailspin from melodrama to romantic comedy and back to melodrama in a quick eight episodes. For one thing, I’m really starting to like Yoon-joo and hate Se-kyung – feelings that I didn’t expect to have in the start of this series. In addition, Se-kyung’s inner monologue during Seung-jo’s confession was more surprising because it revealed her motivations and makes her a more unlikable protagonist.

Identity is proving to be very fluid in this drama. As Dong-wook pointed out, one’s name and identity can change just like fashion and it depends on whom you are with. Seung-jo has three different identities he can hide within, with “Cha Seung-jo” and “Secretary Kim” being closest in demeanor. Yoon-joo also shows that she has different sides to her – the wife of GN Fashion, and the young, lost woman whose life is falling apart because they’re based on fragile relationships. As for Se-kyung, she keeps changing from the hardworking ‘Candy’ character, to the ambitious, ‘Cheongdam-dong wife’-wannabe character, using either identity to fit her situation. It’s sad that no one has been able to retain or show their true selves thus far, whether it is out of fear or out of ambition.

Speaking of Se-kyung, she seriously annoyed the crap out of me in this episode. First, it was as if she was exhausted by all the deception because she’s convinced she’s become more like Yoon-joo and doesn’t want to be a ‘Candy girl’ again. But here’s the thing – I never felt for a moment that she had become a cold-hearted gold-digger that she seems convinced she is, because she never seemed comfortable with the idea of doing whatever it takes to get a rich man. Her declaration of saying that she’s “changed to the Se-kyung she was before” felt completely facetious because what changing was there to go back to?!

But while I was initially annoyed with her, I ended up understanding her a little more. It was when she wrote that letter to Seung-jo and the parking lot scene at the end that I realized Se-kyung had actually turned into the “Cheongdam-dong gold digger” that she said she wasn’t going to be any longer. It was then that I understood why she was so heartbroken. Knowledge can be corruptive in this instance, and she knew that knowing Seung-jo’s true identity would lead her to manipulate him because the opportunity was too tempting to deny. Perhaps that’s why she was so conflicted and crying so much in the beginning; she was becoming aware of just how much of a gold digger she really is, and perhaps is losing more of that good, honest self we had come to love of her.

I want to understand Se-kyung to like her, but I really don’t want her to succeed as a Cheongdam-dong wife because she doesn’t deserve anyone’s love. You can’t manipulate others or buy love. If she is to end up with Seung-jo, then I hope she doesn’t do it through manipulation. I hope that she realizes the wisdom in Yoon-joo’s words, and chooses to love Seung-jo wholly, rather than singularly because she views it as a business. It would be much too heartbreaking to watch a character so honest (Seung-jo) end up with a character so deceptive (Se-kyung).

Hand me a Happy Bunny please.


195 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. rainbow

    Thanks for the recap 🙂

  2. bim2

    “Love isn’t just love – it also includes everything”

    I want to added “Love is accepted the whole package”.

    In my opinion, it’s not just Se Kyung who must redeem with herself (thinking deeply what she really want), but also Seung Jo must accept the new Se Kyung whether she’s “dark”, “light”, or “half dark-half light” ^^~

    • 2.1 kumi

      If one is guided by his emotions only, then such all-acceptance is not possible. There must be a more substantial base for such unconditional love.

    • 2.2 magnus

      true true. They both have to accept all of the other. At this point SK’s needing to accept all of SJ stands out more though because she’s manipulating him(gross) at this point while SJ is just completely unaware of her wanting to marry rich and live a comfortable life. Once he realizes though, it’ll be his turn to step up and accept all of her.

    • 2.3 malta

      Neither has to accept the “new” other, or the whole package for one moment or forever. That is why people fall out of love, break up, and get divorced. Like Yoon Joo and Seung Jo did.

    • 2.4 Asil21

      It’s somewhat unfair to expect Seung Jo to accept the “dark” Se-kyung though, right? because he definitely loves her for being the person that he thinks she is (pure and hardworking) not what she actually has been (manipulative and somewhat cold). I think it’s hard to expect someone to unconditionally love a person who hasn’t been completely honest with you. Meanwhile SeungJo’s deception has only been about his name and status. As a person, the person that he is around Se-kyung (idealistic and slightly immature) is closer to his “real” identity than Jean Thierry Cha is.

  3. Orion

    The most sensitive and kind people make the meanest villains. It’s because those people are fully aware of good and bad and just how evil it is to be wicked through your own decision and not through ignorance.

    Se Kyung cried because she was aware of what she was becoming. And in order to not be broken and just die, a former-kind person needs to become even more wicked. You accept it and learn to hate yourself. You become as cold as possible, to keep that little voice, which knows what is right, at bay.

    I agree that Se Kyung will not deserve Seung Jo if she keeps manipulating him. I am hoping he will learn of her plan before she’s completely lost down the rabbit hole and guide her back to her old self. This is one case where getting angry at her will not help. That only helps when people don’t fully understand what they’ve done. Se Kyung knows it. Very well. She needs someone who can see through her deception and manipulate her back, to show her why this type of life is not rewarding. I feel Seung Jo is too immature and naive to properly help her, but I can hope.

    The same goes for Yoon Joo. If a person has been used and seen the dark side of society, rejection is just an excuse to hate more. If her husband does find out and hates her for it, it will just reaffirm her views that the world is wicked and love is not something worth bothering with. I think these women both need to see that a life without money might be painful, but a life without love is not even worth having. A little honest love and forgiveness would give them wings.

    • 3.1 jomo

      Very nicely put.
      All of it.

    • 3.2 Shukmeister

      I concur with Orion.

    • 3.3 kakashi

      thanks so much, Orion! well said

    • 3.4 lizzie

      Thank you! Thank you!

      People say what SK is doing doesn’t make sense but not for me.

      I understand why she is doing it and even though I don’t approve I understand.

      Nice words, you said it all!

      • 3.4.1 namcha

        Me too! I don’t hate SK for what she is doing. She is disillusioned with life and sometimes hard work doesn’t get what you want or deserve.

      • 3.4.2 Orion

        Yep. If someone has lived tough days due to money (and I mean “I have no food” days, not “I can’t buy a new designer bag” days), they know exactly where she’s coming from and how she feels. How many of us would be tempted to gain quick money? How far would our lives go before we end up just like her?

        This series is so sad, because it rings true for many young people in modern societies. It’s also sad because, unlike Se Kyung, no rich kind awesome man is coming to save us. So we also know how much we’d appreciate it if such a person came along. We are Se Kyung. She is we.

        Which is why it’s possible for her character to be so misguided without alienating audiences and losing their support. We’re just seeing things from an outsider’s point and we can see where this is headed. People involved in a situation often have the least proper grasp of it.

        And in a country like Korea, where relationships sometimes still cling to a business-like nature, imagine how many poor women try hard just to land a rich guy. I think exploring what a person has to sacrifice for such a life is worth making a drama out of. Compared to most kdrama themes, this is actually based on reality and not some fairytale notion. It gets people thinking right from episode one and that’s more than most Korean series achieve in their entire run.

        • Abbi Kay

          Hear hear!

          I only JUST read your comment after typing mine. Well said.

    • 3.5 Lovebug

      Exactly!! I am thinking that she will be exposed sooner rather than later, and Seung jo’s love will save her from herself.

    • 3.6 Mystisith

      “You become as cold as possible, to keep that little voice, which knows what is right, at bay.”
      “She needs someone who can see through her deception and manipulate her back, to show her why this type of life is not rewarding.” Tommy Hong maybe? Or The Queen of Spade. Which by the way is maybe really loved by her husband: She lives in perpetual fear of being busted and knows only the survival mode. What about starting to live?

      I see than the usual guilty parties agree on that episode.

    • 3.7 Pam

      Orion wrote: We are Se Kyung. She is we.

      I agree, CDDA speaks to the darkest part of us, the part we are not brave enough to admit to ourselves, our inner-self that is greedy, materialist and consumption driven.

      We hate what SK because we know that what she is doing is wrong but who is say that we wouldn’t do the same in her situation? Don’t we secretly wish to be a Cheongdamdong wife/rich lady of leisure? And if we hate SK/ourselves, how do we break away from this feeling of greed and become Candy again/or better yet, develop into something more?

    • 3.8 Abbi Kay

      Agree with you 100%! Here’s my 2cents:

      I think Se Kyung’s character is refreshing and more real than many k-drama heroines who tend to either be uncommonly dense or too “angelic” and upright to be even remotely believable. (Case in point: Go Eun Sung in ‘Shining Inheritance’ or even Dong Yi in, well…’Dong Yi.’ [Note: I’m not criticizing Han Hyo Joo, folks] I swear, you could burn down Dong Yi’s ancestral home, slaughter her cats and cut both of her arms, and this chick will look at you with candid warmth and say, “I forgive and I love you. Here, take all my life’s savings and Godspeed! blah blah blah”…Get real!).

      While I don’t endorse going ape**** whenever anything unseemly occurs in one’s life, there are natural and predicatable human reactions to particularly unfavorable events. Se Kyung’s recent behavior and her motives grind on our nerves, because 1) gold-digging is typically vulgar and cheap and 2) because we’ve become sympathetic towards the valiant Seung Jo (who has won our hearts). Yet, Se Kyung’s behavior appears more believable than entirely diabolical.

      No kidding, gold-digging is not an honorable lifestyle, but those who are excessively criticizing her seem too high in the instep and self-righteous. Se Kyung has busted her but for years with little to nothing to show for it in terms of career advancement. She’s seen how poverty can drive people to new lows (aka boyfriend) and wants to avoid feeling the pangs of poverty. If any of us are ever in her ex-bf’s position or know someone they loved that has been living in that position, would we all HONESTLY be strong enough to say, ‘I will endure it even if there is no way out of it’? I hope I wouldn’t be among those who would choose the gold-digging route, but I’m not entirely positive that I would say ‘no’ if an opportunity came along to rid me of such problems, if ever I were in such a situation (God forbid).

      I’m currently reading ‘Vanity Fair’ and the plot synopsis drives an excellent point: Do we blame the opportunist or the society that makes opportunism necessary? As much as I loathe Rebecca Sharp, can I say that I don’t understand what has driven her to lead such a life? Only the best among us are above taking the easy path when hope disappears, but not many of us are among the best.

      So while I don’t support how Se Kyung chooses to move up in the world (and I refuse to fault her for trying for a better life), I cannot hate her either…or even Yoon Joo, for that matter. Se Kyung is not truly evil, and there is redemption for her yet, since she hasn’t sunken beyond repair.

      No, I’m not a smug, crusading moralist bent on proving her point (at least I don’t think I am), and I really do not want to appear as a hypocrite judging others while perched comfortably on her social pedestal. I just want to emphasize how easy and common it is to say ‘this and that’ is wrong about others when we’ve never lived in their shoes. I thoroughly enjoy watching Se Kyung’s character unfold, as she seems surprised herself at what she’s capable of doing as much the viewers.

      …our maybe I’m Se Kyung’s champion simply because I’m Moon Geun Young’s ultimate fan so that no matter who she plays in dramas, she can do no wrong in my eyes.

      hmmm, I wonder…
      (anyway, can’t wait for next week’s episode…I’m watching Ohlala Couple to pass the time)

      thanks for your awesome comment, Orion. I enjoyed reading it and felt that I understood SK more afterwards.

      • 3.8.1 Mystisith

        The heroine tried the “following” mode with her ex: Fail. “Action” mode with her ideal job: Fail. Now she’s in “reaction” mode aka defensive aggressive. She is going to take the bad road and make the worst decision of her life, under the pressure of society standards. I don’t feel the right to judge her either: She has the plate under her nose and the temptation is strong. Hopefully, some guides and true love will help her getting out of that nightmare.
        Will we have a happy ending? I suppose… With a damn cruel wake-up call before that. And maybe 1 or 2 twists.

        • Abbi Kay

          Very true. And as real as Se Kyung is, should we see her as a villain in her own story? Or is Yoon Joo, the one now regretting her past, the real one since we are not certain what she’ll do once she learns of Se Kyung’s White Rabbit. She may possibly take another jab or two at Se Kyung. After all, it IS Yoon Joo’s game that Se Kyung is playing. Furthermore, we now know that YJ did really love Seung Jo. So what exactly is Yoon Joo ready to do? She was always second best compared to SK. How will she accept SK being Seung Jo’s love? We all already know she that she is terrible at losing graciously, even after cheating.

          Right now, however, I’m more scared of the sister-in-law. She’s lurking in the shadows, but appears too ready to strike at any moment, even at Yoon Joo, who she has yet to completely accept into the fold of the upper echelon. S-I-L might just be the penultimate villain.

          I believe people like Seung Jo’s father and the sister-in-law are the real culprits in this story, attempting to control others while carelessly pushing those with no claim to wealth and prestige to the edge. Sister-in-law once belittled Se Kyung for not being born with the eye for fashion. PUHLEASSE. If S-I-L wasn’t born into a life of privilege, she would have NEVER made it as far as a Team Leader in one of South Korea’s wealthiest franchises. She was born with the right assets, not the talent. END OF. So sister-in-las can take her uppity lectures and her Jimmy Choos and shove it.

          In fact, I believe that the sister-in-law is JUST as bad as Yoon Joo and Se Kyung, since she’s playing the same GAME, only she already has the wealth and power, so the label “gold-digger” doesn’t seem fit, but she is every bit the scheming opportunist.

          Even Tommy Hong isn’t immune to the societal poisons, despite enjoying a notable degree of entitlement. Tommy is just as eager for acceptance and strikes me as a pitiful, plaything earnestly doing the bidding of the wealthy. He’s just not expected to perform under the sheets like the women are.

          Se Kyung, Yoon Joo, and Tommy aren’t entirely blameless. They have allowed the wealthy elite to push them around too easily and in doing so, they’ve compromised their dignity. Yoon Joo is tasting her own medicine right now and Se Kyung, as you said, may have her cruel wake-up call before she finds her peace and happiness. What are we to say of Tommy? Will he see the error of his ways or escape unscathed?

          More than anything, I feel most sorry for Seung Jo. He really is the sacrificial lamb who everyone wants a bite out of! Being wealthy sure has its perks but with people like father, S-I-L, Yoon Joo, Tommy, and Se Kyung around, is it all worth it?

          This show (and others like it) teaches me to live simply and in that, I may just find my happiness.

          • Orion

            I have to say though, while I do feel sorry for Seung Jo, he is clearly too naive about people and the world. I think it will do him good to see what life is really like for people. He did have a bad love and he did have to become successful again on his own, but he had the means to do it. It feels as if his bad relationship and his fight with his father did not make him mature as a person. He’s still a child who has daddy issues and cries over the girl who left him. He’s not a man yet.

            I want to see this really wake him up. Because that is the problem with a lot of rich people. They just can’t fathom the things in life that are really painful for most. Some can’t and won’t help because of it and those who do know what life is about have become too bitter or arrogant to help.

            As mean as it sounds, I want him to get hurt again. Because, this time, he really needs to listen. And understand. He’s not entirely the victim with Yoon Joo. She had a point in what she told him as well. A puppy love that blinds you is not love. It’s infatuation. Love is “getting” a person. All of them. Not just their “Candy” version. He needs to see and learn and mature. Then he can use his innocence properly to help the person he likes this time around.

      • 3.8.2 Orion

        Thank you for your lovely comment too. And everyone here. I love seeing people capable and willing to be open-minded and really think about their entertainment and life. It’s something which often seems to be missing from the fans of Asian Entertainment. I am filled with hope and joy when I read such comments. Even the ones I disagree with, as long as they’re so well thought-out.

        I do fully agree with you though. 😛

      • 3.8.3 rearwindow

        I fully agree with you. Another thing: I think people have forgotten (or at least, they aren’t mentioning) how incredibly disillusioned Se Kyung must be when it comes to love. Not long ago, she was in a long-term loving relationship with someone who she fully expected to marry, where all aspects of the relationship were fulfilling for her (except their mutual lack of money, but from her perspective love was vastly more important to her than money). By all accounts it was a mature, balanced kind of love…but she lost it all–not only did she lose it all, he screwed her over royally–because of money.

        I think most adults at some point in their lives will come to the realization that love alone is not enough, that many things–such as ideals, life goals, families, values, and yes, money–have an impact on a relationship. It’s easy for us to judge her decisions from our perspective, but given that she just came out of a 10 year relationship where she made all of the “right” decisions and was rewarded for it by being abandoned (and robbed!) by a man who was in all other respects a “good guy,” I don’t blame her for taking the cynical route.

        • Soo Won

          yeah, it was a nice thing to point out! (because i loved Inchan as much and felt back-stabbed the same way?! :D)

        • Abbi Kay

          rearwindow, EXCELLENT!

          I forgot about how glaringly disillusioned Se Kyung must be about love after her ex unceremoniously laid a wad of douchebaggery at her feet.

          Can you imagine?!

          He might as well have peed on her head for added effect. That unfortunate episode with hewhoshallnotbementioned made it a little easier for her to use Seung Jo, I guess. I wonder how far she is willing to take it even though she is beginning to feel plagued by guilt.

          Misadventures in love can cause many people (especially women) to take leave of their senses.

          I don’t blame her for taking the cynical route either.

          • Orion

            About your latest comment:

            I am 26 and never been in a relationship. I have no problem admitting that. But I observe people, observe life and I talk about these things. With older people, people who’ve lived a bit more than us, people my age, younger people, people of different views on life and romance and I have been doing so since I was a little girl. While a life as a loner geek has its negative sides (and I’d love to get out of it someday), it does give you the ability to really think life and see it. Just not from within. I’m like a scientist observing, but never really being able to experience it.

            So I certainly lack the experience and there are things I’ll never really know or understand until I am involved with someone, but there are things someone on the “outside” can see better than the people in a relationship and things that don’t depend on whether one has been romantically involved or not. I understand people and I always project myself into their situations to accomplish that.

            So, my views are in no way complete. This is just as far as my ability to empathize and analyze the world takes me. 😉

        • Orion

          Agreed. Love is wonderful, but it’s no guarantee, because the person you think you know and love might not really be who you thought they were. We all assume the person we date is an angel sent to love us. But that is naive. Who is he to others? What are his values? Does he stick by them? Does he treat people well out of kindness or because he has no choice? We rarely ask those things, as long as the person treats us well and “seems” nice.

          So yes, I can’t blame her for going forward with the plan. All she sees in Seung Jo is some puppy in wuv. For a woman who was in a proper relationship which failed so badly, with a person she realized she didn’t even know, some hot guy buying her gifts might move her as a girl, but it can’t impress her as a person anymore. Which is why Seung Jo needs to grow up. Because she needs a man. A man with values. Not a talking nyan cat.

          • Abbi Kay

            Orion, I’m curious to know your age (of course you shouldn’t tell me..considering how this is a public forum). You seem thoroughly seasoned in love and relationships so I’m rightfully jealous about your level of discernability. I wonder if your wisdom came from personal experience or just watching others (or simply because you are a kdrama enthusiast so you’ve seen it all! ahaha). Either way, your last two comments were awesome. I was unable to see Seung Jo’s incriminating inadequacies with regards to his relationships.

            His innocence was a facet I appreciated most, since many of the characters have already shown their darker, unsavory nature. However, I didn’t make the connection that his naivety is what’s impeding him most. Since I know he means well, I’m not prepared to see him hurt, which will happen because this wouldn’t be a kdrama without showcasing the angst of the male lead.

            Gahh! I cannot wait till next week! I really want to clearly identify the cheshire cat, the mad hatter, and the queen of hearts in the story. Everyone’s role (except for Alice and the White Rabbit) seems to be shifting as the story develops, so I’m a tad lost.

          • JoAnne

            had not even CONSIDERED that – wonderfully excellent point in a sea of excellent points here – I had been hung up on whether she changed or not since it didnt appear that way to me but how could she NOT have changed

      • 3.8.4 ilovekimchi

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Share your love for Moon!

        • Abbi Kay

          soul mates..duh! ahaha
          molto grazie!

      • 3.8.5 malta

        Well…at the end of the day, moralizing or not, Se Kyung is hurting herself.

        • momosa

          Yeap, she has a chance to get out of the deception but instead dug the hole deeper. She’s a smart girl all along, so it’s a little surprising that she’s continue with the deception fully aware now that Seung Jo likes her and he has money & status.

          Just burn the diary and get on sincerely. And Tommy Hong, why is he getting a purview of everything going on. And Yoon Jo, it is hard to stomach a brave & stoic girl like her can be shaken by the mere mention of her ex. I thought she would be more harden after all that she has gone through.

        • Abbi Kay

          malta, I think you are missing the finer point of these analyses. Anyone with a brain cell to claim is aware that Se Kyung is hurting herself. What some of us are doing is actively watching this drama and noting any subversive themes and the accompanied viewer reactions to some of these recurring themes. For dramas such as these, passive viewership is not part of my personal agenda [Of course, there is nothing wrong with passive viewership either. Each to his own]

          I don’t believe anyone in this particular thread argued that Se Kyung wasn’t hurting herself. For some people, myself included, we wish to enjoy a drama with a meaningful premise (and scrumptious male leads) as well as understand the promptings of human nature as comprehensively as possible, so that by the time the drama ends, we’ll be able to say more than “oh, so-and-so is terrible” or “this drama is okay” and all that jazz.

          There is more to the individual character than whether he/she will hurt himself/herself or not. I’m looking for WHY one would choose an ultimately destructive path and WHAT they stand to lose by doing so. More tellingly, I wish to learn if I am not unlike these major heroines, at the end of the day.

          I hope that clarified a few things for you, malta.


      • 3.8.6 Lang Ngo

        I really like this drama, because it really portrays how people are so oblivious to the games that are played around them.

        I do feel for Se Kyung, but I really just think she’s really incompentent in networking and finding a job. I really hate the attitude that is being sold to people that if you are the top of your class, win lots of competitions, and graduate from a top school that you deserve a job….

        Frankly, life doesn’t work like that. Working harder is not going to help… It’s like all those people you hear on the news complaining about the economy… e.g. sending out 1000 resumes with no replies back for interviews … Gee really, you would think that after the 100 resume, they would look at their resume or process and be like gee, maybe I’m doing something wrong ….

        Another thing that this drama highlights really well, is Se Kyung’s dad, I’m not really sympathetic with him.. I actually want to say in his face… ” Really man, you had a bakery for 30 years, and you expect people to be loyal to you without doing anything ?”. That’s not how businesses are run. Small business people like her father don’t really own business. He probably never made a customer list, and didn’t do any marketing .

        He probably figured, that if he made good bread, people will come… Not true, and I’m so happy that Seoug Jo dad knocked some reality into him… He has noone to blame but himself for not doing what is most important for a business, finding and generating new leads, and marketing.

  4. Laurita

    Despite my bad opinion about show, I actually kept watching it because of the comedic “falling in love” moments (who can resist the main lead experiencing love as if it is his first time in such a childish manner). But I cannot help it – even though I sincerely try to find reasons to explain heroine’s actions, I end up even… despising her.

    I always feel like shaking the heroine and telling her: oh, just throw that foolishness, stop victimizing yourself, tell the truth and live happy ever after.

    I even like her sister more: she is as she is but at least doesn’t hide it.

  5. dbsklove

    oh god. i hated se kyung in this ep. well it started ever since she rejected him…

  6. dany

    No happy bunnies in this episode…

    • 6.1 TS


  7. kakashi

    Thank you very much for your thoughts, kaedejun! I’ve been (and remain!) an ardent fan of this show from the get-go. But this episode was unsatisfactory in a weird way, even troubling. I now realize it’s because the show does a marvelous job in not quite giving us what we expect and usually get from KDramas.

    Seung-jo’s craziness suddenly stopped being only funny (if it ever was) and made me feel sorry for him, even pity him. Do we want/expect to pity the male Lead? Se-kyung’s behavior was weird and then turned into hateful when she really went along with her plan and started to “use” him. I could have slapped her! Do we want/expect to despise the female Lead? Yoon-joo started off as b**** and now grows on me in an unexpected way. Do we want/expect to be able to relate to the evil character? Tommy Hong … well, he’s just hateful so far, so that’s easy ^^ I’ve been waiting for some backstory to change our views of this character in vain so far.

    After eight episodes, I’m still amazed at CDDA and what it turned out to be … definitely not what I expected!

    • 7.1 Ponpon

      I agree, especially with your views on Cha Seung-jo. I loved his crazy and naive reactions to falling in love again especially because he is the type to love in its entirety and I really liked that aspect of this character. However, by the end of this episode I realised that what we initially understood as naivete on his part has been transformed into insecurity with his insistent need for validation from others regarding his actions and feelings. I am amazed that the drama was able to make me adore Cha Seung-jo so completely for the first 7 episodes, to being a little annoyed at his behaviour, a little disturbed at the extent of his mental anguish, and feel extreme pity regarding his present and future circumstances (if indeed Han Se-kyung uses him for her ambitions which seems pretty likely at this stage *sigh*)

      I do not hate Han Se-kyung, I just hate her decisions and I hope she starts to understand that trying to be a Cheong-dam dong wife and daughter in-law is not the best path she could take, especially if she has to live every second of it being deceptive and manipulative and cause others around her pain. Can you imagine how exhausting that would be, I mean we have Yoon-joo as a perfect example. And although I never really cared for Yoon-joo in the beginning, seeing her become so tormented by what is happening around her, the foundation that she has built for herself crumbling before her eyes without having enough power to control it, is almost heartbreaking, despite the fact that she brought it on herself by being manipulative in the first place.

      So I have too many mixed feelings about this show since it makes me question how I am suppose to feel for each of our characters. It was a pretty unsatisfactory episode indeed.

      • 7.1.1 Laurita

        Uf, you spotted what I really wanted to say. After so many interesting comments that made me understand HSK character and her actions way better, I still want to say that while I don’t actually hate her as a person, I do hate her actions (though I understand them).

        There must be, there should be some line where we can say “she did bad” or “she did good”. When judging, it is necessary to look into any action objectively, because there is nothing purely bad or good, BUT I don’t feel guilty saying that I don’t like her actions, because they are bad. No matter how much I understand her, the pressure from her condition, society, etc., I must say that she chose the wrong path. And I am amazed that it comes from me, who always used to compromise and didn’t keep myself in one side… Maybe this drama wants us to look into gold-digging more favorably, but If we claimed that any decision is not bad/good entirely, therefore we cannot judge anyone, doesn’t our society’s rules doomed to crumble down… because no one is guilty then for his/her circumstances.

    • 7.2 katiamon

      With these writers you can’t know what to expect from the characters… can they make me root for Tommy Hong in the end? I wanna see him suffer soon!!!!! right now is really difficult for me to find him relatable and i just wanna kick him whenever he’s on my screen ¬¬.
      BTW, when he said that SK reminded him of someone he knew long ago i guess he was talking about himself…

      • 7.2.1 Shukmeister

        I think he knew Yoon Joo when she was angling to be a CDD wife, and that’s why he recognized YJ’s mannerisms through SK. I can only hope that YJ will be there for Tommy Hong’s fall.

        • katiamon

          but when they met and she gave him the painting he didn’t say anything about meeting again, perhaps the dairy is from someone else? it might explain why TH discovered SK’s strategy at the party

      • 7.2.2 kakashi

        yup. kick the man! More soy sauce! punish, punish, punish! Off with his head!

        • Mystisith

          Hmm. Don’t kill him yet… I’d rather have him on my side than as an enemy. He is the puppet master and he has the key to decipher everyone’s heart.

          • kakashi

            ah, I was channelling the Queen of Hearts there. I don’t think she ever really managed to chop anybody’s head off? So Tommy is quite safe. for the moment. but suffer he must!

  8. TS

    Dongwook’s the Dormouse! He even has a sleepy look!

  9. girlinterrupted

    Thanks for the recap!

    Really hating the Tommy Hong character. He’s so sleazy and under-handed, especially with how he stole and tampered Se Kyung’s phone…On the other hand, kinda amazed at how he seems to have bionic hearing…

    • 9.1 TS

      Bionic hearing, bionic memory. He’s pretty awesome as a villain, slimy though he is.

    • 9.2 Shukmeister

      I’m amazed that in a room full of people sitting down, no one stopped Hong from standing up, walking to a table someone just vacated and tucking an item picked off that table, never mind seeing self-satisfied smirk as he sat down. What if it had been your Chanel clutch??

      That many rich people in one place, there had to be bodyguards and security. It’s these obvious, tired tropes that annoy me the most in any show. They might as well have had the lights suddenly go off for a second. Why not use the whole trope…

      • 9.2.1 kakashi

        ha! you’re a smart one. Of course, you’re right. I think I’ve seen too many KDramas: It didn’t even cross my mind that stealing somebody’s cellphone couldn’t/shouldn’t be as easy as they made us believe. But who knows: he might have evil dwarfs at his command or something?! (or his evil assistant did it. I don’t like her, either)

      • 9.2.2 Ponpon

        Haha, I’ve realised when watching this drama, and sometimes other Kdramas, to check any common sense and understanding of reality at the door, it becomes less head-achy that way 😛 All those times Han Se-kyung ‘almost’ runs into the president of Artemis, her and Jean Thierry Cha arriving at the same time despite his elevator leaving first, him not even seeing her across from his elevator, the constant missed opportunities, the phone incident, Tommy Hong’s ability to always be in the prime position to listen into other peoples conversations even though he is clearly meters away….*phew* It’s just easier to believe they are probable in the world of this drama 🙂

        • Shukmeister

          Ponpon –

          You are correct, and I would make a lousy screenwriter by insisting on reality. I come from a police / fire / rescue background, and have shaken my fist many at the incomprehensible things drama docs and detectives do.
          So I guess it’s the Genki Girl / Candy in me that hoped somebody would tackle Tommy Hong to the ground and cuff him.

          • momosa

            I sheeessh all the time at thsi episode. Common sense just went out the window, tsk tsk. Didn’t swear though, my daughter is next to me, trying hard to set a good example! Not sure whether I should watch the next episode….

      • 9.2.3 girlinterrupted

        and how was he able to crash the “VVIP only” party in the first place? as jean thierry cha pointed out, he wasn’t even invited…these events are supposedly high-security right?

  10. 10 kopytko

    Se Kyung sister isn’t that dumb after all. Whiny and materialistic as she is, she knew right away that the Cute Doc is the man worth going for 🙂

    • 10.1 Mystisith

      Funny than in real life shrinks are often described as crazier than their patients: Here, he is the voice of reason and the only one who uses his heart correctly at the moment. Love him.

      • 10.1.1 kopytko

        Right? One of the few really normal people in present kdramaland althogether. Truly lovable guy. In real life they’re usually hiding. grrrr….

  11. 11 namcha

    The best part of this episode was the way both the Doc and how Seung Jo runs during the Christmas Party. I laughed so hard. The next revelation will be that Seung Jo knows that SK knows that he is CEO before he told her and that will devastate him, I think. Tommy will have a hand in it so as to pair him with icy boss lady.

    • 11.1 jomo

      I LOL’ed and rewound at that scene, too.
      It was as if the doc saw the crazy that SJ was and joined in against his will.

      • 11.1.1 Shukmeister

        Lol –

        If you noticed, he started wiggling his head just like SK too!

        • Shukmeister

          Correction: Seung-Jo’s character. Guess I was thinking too many hateful thoughts about Se-keung when I wrote it. 🙂

    • 11.2 katiamon

      i would like to watch the BTS of that scene and many others… how much would they laugh when PSH is acting crazy?

    • 11.4 Lovebug

      OMG that was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen. With things like that I wonder if its scripted or PSH improvisation.

      • 11.4.1 ...

        ditto. also wonder how many times they shot the scene…

    • 11.5 girlinterrupted

      even the way he ran was crazy!

      • 11.5.1 Gaeina Lee

        hahaha… yup, he ran in funny way. Only PSH who can do it. ^^

  12. 12 joycekang

    I don’t understand why she has to go through the whole anguish / ‘I’ve changed’ drama. They both like each other! So she knows he’s Jean Thierry Cha! Why go through the whole gold-digger mumbo-jumbo?? Oh, because otherwise the show would end right here.

    • 12.1 TS

      Or they could come up with sorts of misunderstandings, or some kind of financial pressure to get Se-Kyung to back off from Seung-jo so he’s forced into marrying In-hwa.

  13. 13 opheliadrowning

    I too am liking Yoon Joo more than Se kyung now, and am wondering if that would have made a more compelling main character arc. I really am not sure how the writers can pull this back and make us like Se Kyung again. I think they have to do it in the next 2 episodes and then let us watch Se Kyung try to unravel the mess she has wrought, or else the audience will start cheering against the heroine.

  14. 14 Cath

    I want the happy bunny too.

  15. 15 jomo

    Thanks for the recap. I feel similarly to you about really not liking SK’s devolving character, but understanding her at the same time.

    I think it is clever that SJ’s and SK’s stories are separate but influenced by each other. The LOVE part is secondary to their growth as characters.

    SJ’s rediscovery of humanness is willful and voluntary. He credits SK for the opening of his heart but it was really more the ideal of love that affected him so strongly.
    SK’s journey is the opposite. Love, she decided, made her weak. It was something to avoid in the future, and would NOT useful in achieveing her new goal of financial happiness.

    Financial happiness? Ha! Even Yoon Joo is telling her how impossible and stupid that prospect is.

    Narratively, this is why we are in a good place now.
    SJ needs to come down from the clouds, and see the reality of love. It is hard, messy and it hurts. Sure it was all sweet and goodness to love a Candy. Who doesn’t love a big hearted unselfish person willing to sacrifice for you?
    When he sees SK the way she really is now, he will have to decide for real whether to open his heart or not.

    SK, on the other hand, needs to sort out her priorities and she needs to take responsibility for her future rather than pin it on marrying rich. I hope her sh^t hits the fan soon, and it devastates her. I hope SJ gets really really mad at her, and freezes her out. How will she react to the loss of BOTH her love and her white rabbit? I have no idea!!

    • 15.1 Lovebug

      Love all that you said! Though this sucks to watch as a viewer, what is happening now does make sense narritvely.

      If Se Kyung were to confess everything to him about her intentions now (we wouldn’t have more drama to watch) then her going “all the way black” wouldn’t be fufilled. She hasn’t hit rock bottom yet to be redeemed, and Seung Jo needs to stop fantasizing everything and see things and people flaws and all.

  16. 16 hulya

    As a Turkish girl, I am so happy with the speech Jean Thierry Cha made at the party :))))

    and i agree with everyone commenting on how Se Kyung hasn’t actually changed. I also think she is still the Candy girl

    • 16.1 TS

      Me too!

    • 16.2 Gaeina Lee

      I’m not Turkish, but am wowed by that poem. Then, on Xmas eve, am searching and saving all Nizam Hikmet’s poetry… ^^

  17. 17 katiamon

    I was expecting her to assume the role of the disappointed girl who felt played because he wasn’t sincere but i think she did wrong by sending that letter with the clothes and pretending she didn’t know. I just hope SK’s daddy finds out and smacks her for been so mean to SJ… Poor Seung jo, i don’t want him to be heartbroken again!

    • 17.1 Shukmeister

      I think he needs his heart broken. With just a little of the Paris story told, it’s quite likely in his mind that his relationship with Yoon Joo was filled with fluffy clouds and cherubs. So he needs to be hit with a bit of realism to come to a more mature understanding of love and relationships.

      Don’t flame me, Beanies, but I don’t think I would stay with a manic, over the top needy guy, even if it was PSH. 8)

      • 17.1.1 Ponpon

        Haha Cha Seung-jo is pretty high maintenance in the emotional department I must admit, oh but Park Shi-hoo is so delicious…

      • 17.1.2 kakashi

        that’s fine with me, Shukmeister. ^^

        • jomo


      • 17.1.3 katiamon

        hahaha! i never considered he was emotionally high maintenance… he might be, but he’s just so funny to be with and i love to laugh 🙂

        • Shukmeister

          Just picture what the current Seung-Jo would be like the first time he has to handle a clogged sink… 😉

          • kakashi

            hm, well, my husband can’t handle a clogged sink either … see what I mean? 😉

          • katiamon

            would be like pure comedic gold! like when he tried to wake up drunk Ah-jung patting/hitting her shoulder, hahaha

      • 17.1.4 Pam

        I’ll take PSH in any way, shape or form! LOL!

  18. 18 jude

    I have a mixed feeling about this episode. I kinda miss this drama being happy and nutty as its previous episodes. This one episode annoyed me so much that I want to throw something at the screen.

    But on the other hand, I feel strangely satisfied by this drama’s potrayal of Se Kyung’s character. A manipulative Candy who knows what she needs to do in order to get what she wants is somehow feels more real to me than that Candy I used to read in manga or watch in any other dramas – you know, the Candy who still has a heart of gold even after people throws stuffs at her?

    Yeah. Human never works like that. Nobody is that kind. So I applaud the writers to actually paint Se Kyung like a real human being.

    • 18.1 lizzie

      Thank you!

      People always complain about the candy girls who does nothing and just take crap on the kdramas and how sick they are of it, but when have a different main girl they hate it an dislike her…

      How much selfish main guys we had already and everyone loved them (see for example Joo Won from Secret garden) but when it is a main girl they don’t like it.

      • 18.1.1 Arawn

        This is EXACTLY what I was thinking. I’ve been half invested in this drama but now I think I’m gonna definitely watch it. Because I’m honestly SO sick of these perfect candy heroines that you can find 100 in a dozen in Korean dramaland. I want a female lead who is dark, who has flaws (other than being overtly cute), who does selfish, manipulative, mean things. As you say, male leads do this all the freakin’ time and audience loves them. But hey, when a female lead does even a little bit of it, then SHE is the despicable and hateful one.

        Blah. This is what I want. Go on, Se-Kyung, be different. Just for a change.

      • 18.1.2 Mystisith

        Ah…. Double standard for men and women. I am for parity so let her be as manipulative as she wants. Just give me a smart woman and it’s OK with me: She was dumb in the beginning withe her ex and THAT is infuriating to me. If she can dodge the bullet of the bratty princess too, then she will become 1 of my favorite (anti) heroines.

      • 18.1.3 Lixie

        I’m one of those who can’t take a Candy girl anymore but I’m not liking HSK either, there is a big difference between those arrogant male leading men and this goldigger.

        Those guys are always portrayed as cold and arrogant either because they are immature or broken hearted or even both. They never KNOW exactly how bad they are behaving until it’s redemption time. It’s not like that for her, she was good, she still wants to do the right thing and has chosen the other way. THIS makes all the difference.

        • lizzie

          Hmm, SK is also brokenheart!

          Her long time boyfriend just dumped her because of money and she realized love isn’t everything….


          ”Those guys are always portrayed as cold and arrogant either because they are immature or broken hearted or even both. They never KNOW exactly how bad they are behaving until it’s redemption time”

          Well, what about the cold/jerk guys who treat girls as trash because they once were good and caring boyfriend but the second girl left them and they turned cold and jerk because of it until they find the candy girl who makes them change?

          I guess you guys forget how SJ thought about women, on episode one we saw his point of view … but he started to change once he found SK.

          SK here is like the many male leads who were once lovely and sweet before broking up with their girl.

          Look SK, she was lovely and sweet with her boyfriend, but he dumped her and took her money!!! So like the many lead guys we saw already in kdramas, she also doesn’t believe in love anymore like she did, and is turning cold and selfish like many male leads did in kdramas already. The only difference is that this time is the girl the cold one and the naive and fool in love this time is the guy – SJ.

          • Lixie

            I think again there is a big difference because those jerks we talk about began to change once they found love again or for the first time. Sorry but SK is not brokenhearted anymore, she already found love again however now financial security is more important for her than love. The show was very clear on that, they went WAY overboard in showing us what sadness she had to deal with because the lack of money, this was a all a big attempt to soften our reaction when she went black. I saw i t coming and I understand her actions on a mental level but I can’t sympathize with someone using a person in love or even worse, a mentally problematic person in love. It’s too much.

            Another thing bothering me is that I hoped she would feel more betrayed by his lies, if she doesn’t, for me, it is another sign she didn’t care much about him in the first place, which again, is very realistic since they barely knew each other, but not very nice.

          • lizzie

            that is ok Lixie.


            ”I saw i t coming and I understand her actions on a mental level but I can’t sympathize with someone using a person in love or even worse, a mentally problematic person in love. It’s too much.”

            She doesn’t even know how much he likes her.

            Actually he is interested on her, but liking is another step… and they are not in a deep relationship.

            It is all a crush so far.

            She doesn’t know he has mental problems.
            She just knows he is weird.

            I’m sure she will feel more bad after knowing more about him.

          • Lixie

            I understand this, it’s true she doesn’t know it’s love for him or that he takes everything so serious and is just a very intense person, borderline crazy.
            I was trying to make sense of why many people had problems understanding her actions and now see her in a negative way.

            Like I said before, I don’t think the jerks we were talking about stood on a similar level. It’s actually interesting, I was thinking about this later and I don’t know which guys you were all referring to but for me they were guys like JW from Secret Garden, GJP from BOF, Hwan from Shining Inheritance or even DJ from Best Love. They were all so childish but I can’t remember a single action from them that was as low as sending that letter SK wrote in ep 08. If any of you remember something like that post here, it’s an interesting discussion! 🙂

        • malta

          The double standard thing is complex.

          Often the arrogant and cold hearted guys are also portrayed as dumb and funny, like a jester and I think that (along with being played by hot guys) makes them more liked by the audience.

          I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cold hearted or arrogant heroine who was also the comic element in the show.

          Seung jo has almost all the comedy. Almost none for Se Kyung.

          Why didn’t the writer’s make Se Kyung a funny character?

  19. 19 lizzie

    Hum guys.

    So for the fans of this drama:

    SK lied to SJ = Hate this bitch!

    YJ lied to her husband to get him = Aww poor her! I pity her!

    SJ lied to SK a lot because he can’t trust woman and think they all are bitches who want to go after his money = aww how cute!

    lol It is funny how things change when it is another person.

    People saying ”SJ likes SK back, so why use him if he already like him?”

    Well SK believes love isn’t everything anymore, she herself was a witness that love can’t win it all after her breaking up with her long time boyfriend.

    SJ is rich, and likes her so she doesn’t need to do anything because of it?

    But does it means she’ll be able to marry him? Hum, no.

    He likes her but is it love yet? Is he crazy in love with her ? She doesn’t know it, she must just know he is interested on her… her main goal is to be a CDD daughter in law, and she trusts YJ’s words/diary more than this love that is developing between her and SJ.

    Worse yet SJ is very weird guy, she can also think he is just having fun with her/interested on her……

    Love isn’t everything, she knowns it well.

    She feels bad about using him but she think she needs to follow the diary to marry SJ.

    Plus, how much do you wanna bet SJ will wave when he founds out YJ left him but did love him (and maybe still loves him) and that his dad helped her to leave him?

    SJ seems to hate YJ so much, but imo if there is hate there is still love, these two feelings walk together….

    Also, SJ isn’t the best catch imo. The guy has mental problems. I’m sorry but this episode I was a little worried about SJ mental Health…

    And it is true he just thinks only on his feelings.

    I’m not sure, but because it is PSH and he is adorable doing it everyone is loving him but If I was SK I would be unsure about this guy..

    you guys talk as if liking someone means they will marry and be happy until they die, well true it happens on Kdramas, but we already knew SK would go dirty and won’t be changing so soon until the last episodes when she realizes money and being a CDD daughter in law isn’t more important than love.

    • 19.1 Woody

      You are so right. I was nodding the whole time while reading your comment, especially about how weird SJ must look now to SK. Indeed, come to think of it he was fooling her all this time, and she neither knows his intentions nor how (in)adequate his reaction will be if he hears the truth now.

  20. 20 iviih

    Forget the cray cray SJ, I want the hot doctor!!


  21. 21 loveprevail

    Initial I was also pissed with Se Kyung’s manipulative decision. Why choose to continue down what I see as an unnecessary path? Blaming the writers along the way as well.
    However, putting aside my viewer’s point of view of knowing all that is happening and see myself in her shoes, I realized where she’s coming from.
    So here goes…
    1)She just dumped Secretary Kim stating that it’s just business for her. 2)When she got to know that he’s actually Jean Thierry Cha, her intended white rabbit, whom she unintentionally dumped earlier, which means she will conclude that he probably thinks she’s not interested in him. 3) She doesn’t know that Secretary Moon told Seung Jo that she likes him. It’s no surprise that she panicked, right? 4) Se Kyung most likely thinks that she has to leave the party without seeing him probably for two reasons – to collect her thoughts and think of a way to salvage the situation. 5) Se Kyung is a ‘candy’ at heart and I hope she’ll realize that that is her true self. But by dabbling into the ‘dark side’, it has changed her somewhat even though she is still not comfortable with it. She is now a suppressed ‘candy’ with a wicked streak and that explains her breakdown. 6) Leaving her phone behind as a plot of course gives TH a way to mess things up for them later but it also pushes Se Kyung to write the awful letter. From her perspective, because she didn’t know that she lost her phone, she didn’t receive any of the calls or msgs from Seung Jo obviously. With no immediate calls and msgs, surely a girl can’t possible remain feeling confident of a guy’s affections for her since she was the one who told him to bugger off first. 7) She doesn’t know that Seung Jo actually knows about her feelings for him so she has to create an way to get back into his life hence the letter. 8) Her confession regarding her affections towards Secretary Kim wasn’t a lie though the intention behind it was calculated. 9) Se Kyung is not a wishy washy person. She’s tenacious and focused. When she puts her mind into something, she’s in it completely. Choosing to stay put on the path is within her character and she thinks is the only way to fulfill her dreams. 10) Se Kyung is also not guilt-free. It’s so obvious in her expressions that she’s uncomfortable with her decisions. She has to keep telling herself mentally what to do to still her heart, to keep her conscience at bay. She lost one ‘Too Kee’, she can’t lose another especially the ‘Too Kee’ she loves and who loves her back. 11) To Se Kyung, to come clean means risking losing everything. She’s not totally confident that his love for her right now is strong enough to overcome the falsity.
    That’s my two cents. 🙂
    I hope the writers would let Seung Jo find out about her deception like asap. And instead of just anger and feeling hurt, he will come to understand her and her reasons for choosing to change for the worse. Then decides to rein her back in.
    As he is older and someone whom has also experienced similar disappointments and pain, I hope he will use the depth of his love for her to help lead her back into the ‘light’. Writers, let him be someone whom will not fall prey to the schemers at all. That he has his head above water and is ahead of everyone. And also that he is willing to believe that his love is strong enough to keep them both safe from the scheming of others.
    Is that wishing too much? 😛

    • 21.1 Soo Won

      i loved your insight into SK’s actions and reactions! totally agree…
      what she did is understandable… though not liked! (when said out-loud)
      in a typical kdrama the “candy” girl will try to distance herself from the boy she thinks she has harmed in a way or might come to harm later (or maybe does not even deserve to have!)… so she will go on a sick leave and tell herself all the while that it’s for the greater good (a.k.a. HIS sake)! the boy? he will fall deeper for her!
      in real life however, we do go on a sick leave to play hard to get! 🙂 i mean, honestly! who can say she has never calculated her actions in a relationship to gain more love, or affection, or acceptance… whatsoever!
      we do things in a way which we think will benefit us more in the end! it happens like ALL the time! and none of us seems to have any problems with it! so i believe i can accept her planning things out and even playing hard to get at times… (albeit after thinking her actions over several times!)
      yeah,…. i would have prbly preferred a girl who is totally selfless and is completely immersed in love! and well, all the things we need for the boy to fall deeper for her, will just come naturally! but that’s not what happens in real life! in real life, you have to TRY to gain affection! and sometimes be calculative even!! 😉
      BUT… she is doing everything a bit TOO excessively! pretending not to know the truth he had been hiding, lying to him several times, faking things… well i DO understand you girl! but you could slow down a bit, couldn’t you?!

  22. 22 KDrama Fan

    Thanks for the recap. During this episode I kept in mind the last which I so liked. The doctor was my favorite in this episode.

    • 22.1 Mystisith

      It’s so easy to love the matchmaker…

  23. 23 icednoodles

    I don’t want Sekyung to stop her hunt because she probably couldn’t tell Seung Jo that “Hey, I was originally after one half of you for the money, but now I have love too, so everything’s good, right? :D!” because Seung Jo would kick her to the curb, with all her suited bunnies, and bawl his eyes out, and she’d be right back where she started (and with Tommy around, he probably would have told Seung Jo about it if Sekyung decided to keep her yap shut).

    I do like where this show is going, but I worry about how they’re going to pull this off without completely stripping the humor from the menu.

  24. 24 Rach^^

    Moon Guen Young is not convincing me in this drama, not saying her acting is bad but her baby face is a disadvantage in this role.

  25. 25 TS

    Question regarding the cell phones in these dramas: why are they so big? Is that just the latest thing and South Korea is way ahead of the game having even supposedly lower middle class children use phones that look like Galaxy Notes (cross reference to School) or just product placement or what?

    And SK’s original phone was pretty huge too, even before she got a new one from SJ.

    • 25.1 Mystisith

      Tablet smartphones are starting to be very popular. And yes, it’s PPL. ^^

    • 25.2 SH

      What happened to her first phone? I don’t remember what happened to it, but I knew he bought her another phone in that 5-min of Samsung commercial. So technically, she has two phones, one is stolen by Tommy, the other is unknown?

      My biggest gripe with this show is the excessive use of PPLs. It was just so glaring; it sometimes diverted my attention from the actual story. Eg. THAT! Paris Baguette PPL or the optical store PPL. Show, please be a little bit more discrete with your products 🙂

      And yeah, smart phones are getting bigger and bigger.

      • 25.2.1 kakashi

        yup, that Paris Baguette shot was sooooo unnecessary … they were in the middle of talking and suddenly, zoooooom out, view of the sign, and zooooom back in, where they were talking. oh well. At least they can’t do PPL in Saeguk ^^

        • SH

          I know that scene was weird. I was all prepared to be crushed like Seung-jo was, and then out of nowhere they cut to show the name of the cafe…sigh

          At least the cute bunnies are not PPLs, right?

          • kakashi

            Oh! I hope they start selling them soon, I’ll have one… or two!

        • Pam

          [email protected] “At least they can’t do PPL in Sageuk” LOL!!!

    • 25.3 katiamon

      after king of dramas and the story of the orange juice i’m more aware of the PPL which is used a lot in dramas… but it’s part of the business even though they can affect the momentum of a scene.

    • 25.4 Pam

      It’s PPL but my econ prof did say that S. Koreans on average upgrade their cell phones a yearly basis, so it’s an uber important status thing too.

    • 25.5 Soo Won

      it is the same in nearly EVERY kdrama i’ve ever watched! (& i’ve watched quite a lot…)
      EVERYone is using the LATEST thing possible! poor or rich? no difference!
      you can even guess the year the drama was produced in! compare the ones from 1990s, early 2000s, mid 2000s and the present ones… you’ll know what i mean!

  26. 26 Lovebug

    Ok I though this episode of this drama was hard to watch in light of what is happening between our OTP, I love that this show is inspiring so much analysis. More than just the usual PSH is soo hot adorable, funny etc (Which I admit I am guilty of and all those things are in fact true!)

    Though I hate what SeKyung is doing to a degree we knew it was coming. This drama is about two pretty damaged people and I think it will be about them saving eachother from themselves. One of my favorite dramas ever is Prosecutor Princess and one of the things that I loved about it was that though Lawyer Seo knowingly hurt, used, and manipulated Ma Hyeri she saw his sincerity despite that and saved him (forgave him). It was a different yet beautiful love story in that he knew (after he loved her) that he was hurting her but couldn’t change paths and she whose life and family was spinning out of control saw past that to her love for him and him for her. Now granted he had a noble cause and a promise he made that made what he did easier to swallow than gold digging, but I think that the writers will follow the same kind of trajectory here (Why else would they spend so much time establishing her selfless love for Inchan)

    Also reminded me of Can Love become money (I don’t know that many people watched that drama but i liked it alot) where the one thing that the President was afraid of and had gone to great lengths to protect himself from was being used/targeted for his money and that was the very thing UJW’s character approached him for. But they were able to overcome it because of their love.

    I think Han Sekyung will be exposed for what she has become very soon, and her path to redemption will begin. While Seungjo will be forced to stop fantasizing everything and see that people are not black and white but varying shades of grey.

    • 26.1 Mystisith

      The resemblance of the story with CLBM? Absolutely! :))
      Being bitten by what scares you the most, aka being used and being dumped.

    • 26.2 ilovekimchi

      Love your insights. After posting, read yours and realized my redundancy. Heh.

  27. 27 SH

    I liked what Secretary Moon told Seung-jo:

    You should have lived more truthfully…You have to be truthful to the person you love (cr. viki)

    This episode builds around that premise. Just as Seung-jo is ready to be honest and truthful with his feelings and identity, Se-kyung is choosing the antonym of these words — to be deceptive.

  28. 28 kumi

    Now it’s interesting how far in deception can a person go while pursuing wealth.

  29. 29 MariD

    People losing their phones on dramas. It drives me insane. Why does it take them so long to realize its gone ( yes, I do understand that it helps the plot) but it takes me about a minute to realize my phone is not with me. In today’s age I have the feeling that’s the probably true for many people. Anyhow.
    Unheard there won’t be any episodes this weekend because if end of year award shows so I’m holding off from watching episodes 8 since I know I’m going to hate SK. I’m hoping the next episode redeems her a little.

    • 29.1 mojaslatka

      I’m one of the people who would not notice my phone was lost until a weekend past. It happened before and I had trouble tracing my steps to know where could I lost it.

    • 29.2 Shae

      LOL….I know right,…try asking a guy for the time and they’ll pat around for the cellie before thinking of the watch on their wrist…..My nine year old saw how stupid it was of her to check that tiny handbag for it …like duh it didn’t fit going in…..

  30. 30 ilovekimchi

    Thank you so much for the recap. I loved reading your insights and everyone else’s thoughts. I enjoy the discourse this drama is encouraging. It’s been a long time since I was last so invested in a drama. I myself am surprised at how affected I was seeing SeKyung take that route and make that conscious decision to be manipulative and cunning. No one here is painted black or white. Everyone is flawed — from the very beginning, we saw a petty and vindictive Seung jo albeit portrayed comically and and depicted as coming for a heartbroken soul. Then we have SeKyung who was seemingly morally intact in the beginning becoming grayer and grayer. You are right in saying that knowledge –about ourselves or otherwise—can be destructive. The crux of, in my opinion, of SeKyung’s internal conflict is now she can’t love purely out of love anymore. It is now colored with her greed and motivations to marry rich and be a Cheongdam dong wife. It is because she can’t see CJS only as secretary Kim but sees him as her way out and as a means to have a better life. That even if she has genuine feelings for him, she will also still be using him. What I think Moon does so beautifully is showing us SeKyung’s vulnerabilities. I think PSH is adorable providing us much needed with comic relief. But I think he also does a brilliant job in showing CSJ’s insecurities. I too like where the trajectory of the story is taking us. My heart broke a little bit after watching this episode. It wasn’t easy to watch, and I felt a gnawing sense of dread and anxiety in the pit of my stomach afterwards. When the next half of the story unravels SeKyung and SeungJo ‘s road to redemption, I hope it will do justice to what I think is an awesome premise and character buildup. This is certainly not the first time we’ve had an atypical heroine, but still, kudos to the writers and their audacity.

  31. 31 ilovekimchi

    Someone might have posted this already, but I think it’s somewhat apt to quote again:

    “I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”

    — Lewis Carroll
    “Alice in Wonderland”, Chapter II Pool of Tears

    • 31.1 kumi

      This is the most intelligent question a person can ask.

  32. 32 lucertola

    Even if I like this drama as a fiction, I am wondering what kind of message do they give to Korean women. Wouldn’t it be better for our (anti)heroine to succeed by herself, using this current job opportunity only to work, improve and get a better job? And then independently choose a guy who she’d like and love. Mah, it is out of my comprehension why would any woman or man try to marry someone for business if they have other options. Being wife/husband is more tough than any other job, because it doesn’t finish after 8 hours and you have to work all the time and be careful not to disappoint your “boss”, otherwise he/she can ask for a divorce.
    Anyway this drama is still interesting to watch and it has nice a combination of comedy and melodrama. Crossing fingers the script will be good till the end 🙂

    • 32.1 Mystisith

      That’s the point of marrying a rich husband in SK: His money allows you to have a maid who does all the chores at home. And some women have no problem dropping their jobs to become Madams good only for shopping and dinners with the High Society. Sadly, work environment is tough for women in SK. So being a chaebol’s wife is still the Cinderella’s dream out there, even if the marriage is a loveless one only seen as a business transaction.

      • 32.1.1 lucertola

        Thanks for this explanation. It seem that it’s really tough for women in SK, if this is theirs best option of getting rich 🙁
        So, I suppose there is no special founding for developing women’s enterprise and/or there are not many women movements?

        • malta

          I get what you are saying though about marriage being 24hrs a day. Yoon Joo has a horrible marriage. She can’t even trust her husband with any of her worries, which is basically her fault because she lied from the beginning. Yoon Joo is a nervous wreck on the brink of tears all day long. How can she keep that up for a lifetime? I think she is going to have a nervous breakdown. It was really sad and pitiful when she was crying in the hospital stairwell.

          • lucertola

            So true. At least they are trying to portray her that way. Because the old lady president from drama I Do, I Do, seemed kind of happy about her choice. Although she had too many control issues, as we could see.

            Well let’s see what will be the ending for the two Alices. Cause Seo Yoon Joo would need at least one good friend, if not a nice husband 😉

      • 32.1.2 namcha

        I just read in the Economist that SKorean women make 40% less than men doing the same job. I thought our (US) wage gap was bad!

  33. 33 Julia

    Argh! I am so angry with Se-yung.

    I think my perfect story would have picked up from the end of ep 7, they happily learn that they are each other’s true love, a montague of falling in love dating, leading to a manic romantic over the top proposal and live happily ever after.

    But Nooooo … SY had to break my heart by being manipulative and evil to win her Cheongdamdong wife status.

    I was completely puzzled why SY wasn’t happy and giddy with love to learn Secretary Kim was JT … until the horror of discovering the depths of her depravity and greed and complete selling of her soul.

    Now I want her to be caught and I want her strung up. I’m ready to lead an angry mob. Anyone with me?

    • 33.1 YY

      Count me in, O Leader of Angry Mob. That last scene sickened me, with her calculated waiting game.

  34. 34 dramaland

    thank you very much for the recap!
    Im super disappointed that we won’t have episodes next week, the wait is gonna be terrrrible!
    I’m trying to figure out how SK is gonna do to stop manipulating our lovely/crazy SJ, and I actually can’t find a way! (and let’s say that I really hope the scenario is gonna surprise us in a good way!) but in the end, maybe she will end up revealing her true feelings if SJ’s family (father) rejects her and if she reacts a different way YJ did…
    I hope they won’t let the angst going deeper and deeper! I want an happy OTP! I would rather see problems coming from YJ’s step sister, Tommy Hong (oh yes! can he have a more important part in this story please??), SJ’s father, or the queen of hearts. after all, it’s alice in wonderland/cheongdam-dong isn’t it?

    • 34.1 katiamon

      hi dramaland, i think you meant “YJ’s sister-in-law” hehehe.
      BTW, I guess it’s time for Tommy Hong to play the evil character so SK can start her redemption after trying to use SJ.

  35. 35 Julia

    When you marry someone who is rich, you don’t become rich, you just live really close to people who are rich. It is one of those disillusioning discoveries for trophy wives.

    My attitude towards YJ has softened as I see her living with the pain of her life choices.

  36. 36 SH

    I just want to say it’s been awhile since I’ve read really good recap comments thread at DB. You all are funny and insightful 😀

    • 36.1 Pam

      Holla, SH!!! I know, it’s great to fangirl from a critical perspective…something pop culture lacks at times.

  37. 37 LV

    First, thanks for the recap.
    Second, I am wishing that Se-Kyung wouldn’t be capable of pretend be ignorant, I mean, that she would tell him the whole truth (or most of it).

  38. 38 Lilly

    It is nice to see both ladies’ characters show concern for their family members who depend on them (bakery/cafe)even when they do not like some of them all that much. They are gold diggers but they are unlike the US ones that only do it out of personal greed for themselves only in US dramas. Kdrama way better.

  39. 39 pandasaurus

    Oh no! Will this be the first drama where I’ll actually despise MGY’s character??! Say it isn’t so!!

  40. 40 annie

    this episode was difficult to watch.
    but reading your analysis, i realize that i shouldnt watch this drama just for the romance between SeungJo and Sekyung. This drama is really about Sekyung and her journey. At this point, Sekyung is really unlikeable, but her changes are nothing surprising. The whole premise of the show was for Sekyung to arrive to this point, and then to make a full circle.

    • 40.1 Abbie

      You know, I completely forgot about that. Is that really the premise? Because I really want Se-kyung to redeem herself.

      Sadly, I think I have been watching more for the romance than for Se-kyung’s journey. I’ll try my best to watch it for Se-kyung’s journey than for the romance.

      This actually gives me hope for Se-kyung (and Seung-jo) so thanks!

  41. 41 Abbie

    I did not like this episode. I can’t believe Se-kyung is really going to manipulate Seung-jo. I don’t want her to. I want her to realize she is a good person, and tell him the truth, that she found out who he was and tell him about all her plans. If Seung-jo really loves her, as I suspect he does, he will forgive her. But is that just wishful thinking?

    I don’t want to like Yoon-joo, because she is Se-kyung’s rival, but with this episode, I found myself sympathizing more with her than with Se-kyung. I still think she needs to get completely over Seung-jo because Min-hyuk seems like a good guy who loves her. And because I will continue to support Se-kyung and Seung-jo as a couple.

    Tommy and In-hwa continue to disgust me. I just can’t stand their characters. They seem like a waste, but I understand they’re there for angst. Which gets old after 8 episodes.

    I do like this drama, but with this episode, my fondness for it is fading fast. Seung-jo continues to be my favorite character and I want him and Se-kyung to end up happy. Together, if that’s not clear enough.

    Thanks for the recap, Kaedejun!

  42. 42 Love dramas

    I seem to care for these fictional characters way too much. Lol but I had been pondering over ep 8 developments for the last 2 days and here’s what I have come up with. Ep 8 took me for a ride in such a way that I was so conflicted about all our characters.

    First seung jo, to me, he has a long way to go in maturing and knowing the true meaning of love. It has been nagging at me for 8 episodes now that he still has no idea that there is no perfect person nor women out there to fit his ideal. To love someone means to embrace every part of them, including the parts that most of us do not air out in public. Furthermore, one way of loving sk is to realize her needs and desires and work on those with her. I mentioned before that he needs to be smarter in the way that he handles those around him – his father, tommy, in hwa etc etc. even though he has revealed that he is jtc, the president, he has technically not revealed who he really is and that is cha seung jo. I know he will be deeply hurt when the crap hits the fan and he finds out sk’s intentions. He definitely needs to evaluate what made him fall for her in the first place and hopefully that will help them in their journey in marriage/ life. Marriage is hard work and takes a lot of patience and understanding from both parties. But when rooted in a loving heart, I do believe couples can overcome a lot of difficulties that life throws at them.

    Sk – I had a really hard time understanding her and her actions this time around. Winning someone’s heart, by not being yourself, is just setting her up for a huge fall later. Sk also has no idea what sj has been through on the love front of things. I think she needs a really good friend like sj has his dr friend to give her sound advice. I think Yj is trying to give her advice and an Jung gives some bad advice too. I think she has just gone off the deep end and needs something to make her realize that her current gold digger path was never going to suit her nor bring her happiness that she so desires. I wish the two of them could have a pow wow and lay out all their cards and scars on the table, and figure out how to move forward from there to battle everyone else. But of course, it will not happen that way.

    Sigh… I would much rather see these two battle the other forces against them smartly then them battling each other, cause I feel like I have seen that in many other dramas.

    I do agree with a lot of readers here on their pov. I hope they can reveal all the lies and half truths in the next 2 episodes. I would rather not have it drag out. I sat through the mess that was pcap… Do not drag out secrets!

  43. 43 cindy

    Guys imo SK is going down this path until the last episodes.

    That is what this drama is about.

    Alice in CDD.

    Some people were forgot or didn’t read the premise I think.

    If SK stop her dream of being CDD dauther in law and be happy with SJ, then there is no drama.

    I prefer seeing SK getting dirty and realizing this isn’t what she wanted or what will make her happy than SJ and SK together fighting his dad or Tommy and IH…

    this would be boring. I prefer to see a more complicate relationship.

    I have to say I would prefer if SJ finds out soon, because it would be interesting, don’t you think?

    Maybe he helps her to achieve her dream or helps her realize this is not what she wanted..

    He knew the real SK and what she suffered, I hope when he founds out he thinks about it again, what drove her to this point. I really hope so, but…. how he’ll be able to do such thing when he just focus more on his own feelings?

    I also would like to see YJ and her husband making it work, I really wish this. It would be much more interesting to see it than seeing YJ wanting to go back to SJ….

  44. 44 Annie

    Just wanted to say, the comments on this particular review have been amazing. Thank you for such a wonderful community, Dramabeans.

    • 44.1 cindy

      I know right? Everyone have insightful comments, I’m really enjoying it!

  45. 45 Suheil

    Ok so my idea is the sk is going to have the same challange yoon joo had and instead of her actually leaving like yoon joo she will decide to stay ( thats the only real way i can see her shine again in our eyes )

  46. 46 magnus

    I always knew that SK would be going after the rich guy. It’s in the premise after all. I thought that she’d target a rich guy and try to alter herself into the “perfect” woman for him. Or that she’d find a nice rich guy she liked to a degree and try and convince herself to be happy and it wouldn’t work out. But then she went full on manipulator, which I really hate, but I understand. It’s an odd thing, this show. I understand completely why things are happening and the narrative purpose it serves. Everything makes sense, which I love. But I also dislike the heroine and pity the hero at this point, which is what the writers want I assume.

    I love this drama for that. This heroine is heading into dark waters, in a realistic way. The pay off for this is something I can’t wait for and the shit hitting the fan is something I want to come just so I can hurry up and deal with the pain.

    • 46.1 YY

      I totally agree with what you say. I find this drama so different and so REAL…it mocks at and strips away all the stereotypical themes of the poor hardworking heroine who toils and never gives up in the face of life’s challenges, and the rich and handsome chaebol falling in love with the poor hardworking heroine, and offers instead a twist: the poor hardworking heroine grows tired of being hardworking and takes a shortcut by scheming her way into the rich and handsome chaebol’s heart. I despise her for her scheming manipulation, but like you, I can empathise with her. Even the hero is no cutout Mr Perfect, but a manic and insecure PSH whose rollercoaster of highs and lows leaves me feeling spent and exhausted at times. But it is the sweetness of his devotion to his ideal girl that quite takes my breath away.

  47. 47 aX

    It’s simple. They were each other yesterday–she who believed that ‘all you need is love’ and he who learned that ‘love stinks’ after his break up. Then it did a 180 after the two meet each other. Can they find a middle ground and can ‘love conquer all’?

    One thing is for sure, she aint dealin’ with no broke, broke.


    • 47.1 Lovebug


  48. 48 cindy

    I like here better than soompi because You know in soompi there is more Psh spam than real comments… and Plus have even people calling mgy names because of what Sk did to csj…. Psh acting is good but not like his fans like to exaggerate.. …

    • 48.1 marrymese

      i’m also agree with u cindy 😀 i do like psh character which is easy to root on him because this character is favorable and can definitely make woman’s hearth fluttered. however, if the fan is too exaggerate which is biassed on keep argue about the credibility of the actress which intention more on condemn her without any point of advice or opinion which can improve the motivation of the actress, that is too much for me. for some of them, they only believe that the actor they like very much is really superb in playing his character while at the same time, they do only critique the actress which also play as lead beside the actor they are really like. for them, they do not touch with what kind of depression of heroine feel instead of only feeling/ immerse in their favorite actor’s character. Actress lee bo young has once said about her character in drama my daughter, so young which is she got a lot of negative comments for her character who become so cold toward her father and many audiences did not understand why her character react like that and condemning her. she answer back that for the characters which is play with inner conflict, it is really hard to show, satisfy and make the viewer understand deeply because audience is not in that shoe. for her, she understand her character well because she try to put herself in that shoe. Same goes with other people, if we are watching the character and try to understand the character well by imaging ourselves in that situation, we will become more understanding with the character well. Basically, for those who only feel for the actor while did not feel the actress character, it is because they are simply has put themselves in the character which play by their favorite actor instead of trying to experience the character of the actress well. we must learn that all actors play the important part for make the story of the drama become understandable and success.

  49. 49 YY

    I watched this episode with a heavy and pervasive sense of dread and doom. I fear this show is going to turn melodramatic very very soon, with the fragile Seung Jo going to pieces when he finds out that the woman whom he loves is no innocent but a hard mercenary girl tutored by the woman he hates. I won’t be surprised if he marries her only to discover the truth on their wedding night. I think everyone is doing an amazing job and I especially like YJ who is wonderful here and no longer the mopey weepy victim of past dramas she’s acted in.

  50. 50 Suzi Q

    In this episode, Se Kyung has ventured into the dark side and has become the unlikable, gold digging heroine.She has admitted that she likes Secretary Kim/ Jean Thierry Cha, but she doesn’t know about him being Cha Seung Jo, heir to Royal Group.
    Jean Thierry Cha was over the moon that Se Kyung likes him until he realized she like him as Secretary Kim. His doctor friend said, he was neither personae. He was basically insecure, Cha Seung Jo, who should honestly confess to her. Honesty is the best policy…Love cannot survive with distrust as even Yoon Joo is finding out and sweating bullets on being found out by her rich Cheongdam-dong husband and family.
    Unfortunately, Se Kyung has written down her feelings in her sketchbook after she rushed out of the Artemis presentation. One rule of thumb, never leave any incriminating evidence in writing. Even though Se Kyung can pretend to be Candy again to pursue a rich man, someone, possibly Cha Seung Jo will discover her real motives. Cover blown and the inevitable Sh.. hits the fan!
    Also, I am not sympathetic to In Hwa either. She is doing the same thing as Se Kyung. She is wealthy and in charged of GN Fashions.Whereas Se Kyung is considered a gold digger because she is poor and wants to marry a rich man, In Hwa is wealthy already and wants to marry into the rich Royal conglomerate like a business merger. Would In Hwa be considered a gold digger since she is already rich?

    • 50.1 malta

      You’re right. In Hwa and Se Kyung are both the same.

      In my book, you can be a gold digger even if you are already rich.

      Actually there are many, many gold diggers in this show, Se Kyung, In Hwa, Tommy Hong, and Yoon Joo.

      Even Cha Seung Jo’s dad is a gold digger because he believes in treating people and marriage as “business.”

      I feel bad for Seung Jo. How come he doesn’t have the same mentality as the people he’s surrounded by? He believed in love when he was with Yoon Joo to the point of giving up his family. Then he got jaded after being dumped by her and now he is back again in the same spot with a gold digger playing with his heart…

      Seung Jo is going to find out and judging from how he reacted to Yoon Joo it is not going to be pretty. He will be sooooooo jaded when he finds out the truth.

      Poor Seung Jo.

Add a Comment

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

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