Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 10
by | January 8, 2013 | 159 Comments

Oh – how can an episode be so dissatisfying and satisfying at the same time? It’s crazy how much this drama has made me think about myself and my own motivations for doing things. I like that our main couple is starting to face truths about themselves, but what I don’t like is how long it’s taking for us to get them to say it to each other. I have to commend So Yi-hyun though for making a character so interesting even though she spends most of her time looking horror-stricken or crying.


Se-kyung dares Tommy to give up first as she tosses the contract back at him. She’s no longer afraid of her ugly love and will keep going forth. Tommy doesn’t believe Se-kyung can tell Seung-jo the truth, though. Se-kyung says she can; instead, it’ll be Tommy who can’t tell Seung-jo the truth because he won’t be able to achieve his end goal of matchmaking the most powerful marriage in Cheongdam-dong. She may lose her love if she tells the truth, but at that point, she knows she can just give up. He on the other hand has a finished career.

On top of that, she’s learned never to sign contracts with the rich, because it just means she’ll be in debt and she may never get out of it. ‘Atta girl, your experience doing you some good.

She leaves his studio with her heart racing, but she can’t stop now – Ah-jung’s call reminds her that she must run back to see Seung-jo.

Seung-jo remains standing outside in the cold by the river because Se-kyung told him to. Silly boy. The others have huddled up inside the car watching him be a stubborn-butt all by himself in the cold and introduce themselves to each other. I bet Ah-jung is setting her sights on Dong-wook too. And finally, Se-kyung arrives.

Seung-jo is happy that she came back, as it most likely means she’s accepted him. But Se-kyung wants to reveal her truth first. Seung-jo: “I have something to tell you too, but I want to hear your answer first!” He pesters her – her presence means she’s accepted him, right? With a small smile and slight nod, she accepts him. Wheee! Seung-jo laughs brightly and swings her around in the air. The friends in the car rejoice – it’s a happy ending!

They come out to congratulate the happy couple and Ah-jung takes some pictures to commemorate it. Secretary Moon and Dong-wook want to set up the projector so that Seung-jo can show her what’s in his treasured USB, but Seung-jo cries out it’s not time yet. He wants all of them to leave instead. “Oooooooooooh,” the friends coo, but they all leave with happy hearts.

Se-kyung brings Seung-jo to a convenience store to get him some coffee. She holds it against his cheek and cradles his frozen face – a gesture that makes Seung-jo infinitely happier because now he feels like they’re a couple.

Back at home, Yoon-joo can’t erase the image of Seung-jo carrying Se-kyung on his back. Her brother calls, asking for updates about her predicament, but she coolly tells him nothing new happened and hangs up. And as for Tommy, he now sees that Se-kyung is smarter than he thought, because he really can’t reveal anything to Seung-jo. Telling him the truth about Se-kyung would only make Seung-jo hate him more. So he decides to have his lackey Hae-joon spy on Se-kyung.

Se-kyung takes Seung-jo home first, wanting to be the one to drop him off instead for once. He can’t part with her, calling out her name repeatedly every time she turns to leave. She promises to meet him tomorrow, and the knowledge of having won the girl he loves makes Seung-jo tear up in joy.

He later texts her about where she wants to go tomorrow, and when she replies, she adds a smiley face. Yay for Seung-jo – he finally got emoticons on the texts. He texts her back a picture of the happy bunny and tells her to meet him at 10am and leave all the plans to him. Aww – I want to be the bunny he hugs so tightly. What he doesn’t realize is that Se-kyung vows to tell him the whole truth tomorrow.

Se-jin and Ah-jung are already home updating the parents. Excited as they are, Deuk-gi warns Se-jin and the mother to not say anything to Se-kyung until she mentions it first. He’s the only one not as excited by the news as he knows that just hours before, Se-kyung looked very unsure about her love for Seung-jo.

The following morning, Seung-jo is waiting for Se-kyung outside GN Fashion by his car. He practices how he should greet her – informally? formally? with a cute lilt? As he’s practicing to his window, he doesn’t see Se-kyung standing behind him: “Yes I came!” He ushers her into the car immediately and takes off – they’re headed to Paris. Of course, Se-kyung thinks he’s just exaggerating… until he really takes her to the airport.

What about luggage? Seung-jo already packed the basics. And tickets? Even though it’s holiday season, first-class seats are always available. What about a passport? Seung-jo declares it’s already in her bag. Turns out he texted Ah-jung to tell her to put Se-kyung’s passport in her bag discreetly.

Except… Se-kyung doesn’t own a passport! Haha – talk foiling his plans.

He’s shocked that a girl who wanted to go to Paris so badly doesn’t even have a passport. Se-kyung figured she’d apply for one the day she finally could. Seung-jo is saddened by this, as he already made all the reservations at the Parisian cafes and restaurants. Se-kyung is impressed – so this is what dating a rich, powerful man is like? Seung-jo worries that this might distance the both of them again by status, but she appreciates his gesture.

He holds up a pinky – they’ll promise to go to Paris one day together, right? Though Se-kyung knows she must tell the truth to him soon, she pinky-swears with him. He tells her they’ll start the application process now, and guides her to a photo booth to take pictures. But instead, he decides to just jump in with her – and a montage of cute couple pics ensues.

They go to a bakery and feed each other slices of cake, taking another picture with Seung-jo’s phone to commemorate their date. Then, he takes her to a special tea parlor, and Se-kyung realizes this might be the time and place for her to tell him.

They sit by one of the paintings that Seung-jo had made while in Paris. He admits that he didn’t just break his relationship with his father over his move to Paris, but also because he had fallen in love with a woman his father disapproved of. He let go of his father first, and in return, his father made him sign a contract to give up his inheritance and cut him off entirely. Seung-jo was left with only 150 Euros to his name, swore to never see his father again, and changed his name.

What’s worse is that his relationship with the woman took a downturn as well, so while he was homeless, he painted that painting and entered it in a patronage auction. Surprisingly, it garnered him 30,000 Euros, and he was suddenly the new darling of the art world. People wanted his paintings, and he painted furiously and quickly to meet the demand. One of his clients was the head of Artemis. The thing is, he still does not know who the original purchaser is, the one who paid 30,000 Euros and gave him a reputation and a new life.

Once he was offered a job at Artemis, he left behind painting as he had something else to do. What that thing was would be revealed in that USB. He thinks that Se-kyung will hate him once she sees the USB, so he hesitates in giving it to her right away. Now, Se-kyung feels it’s her turn to tell her truth. She is afraid that Seung-jo may dislike her just as well, and again, he stops her from saying anything. It’s possible that whatever “truth” she needs to say, it won’t be as big as his. Therefore, he hopes that she can just wait a while longer; once he reveals his secret, and she still accepts him, then he’ll hear hers.

I commend Se-kyung for being so insistent on telling him, but if he won’t hear it, then there’s no point. Neither of them notices Hae-joon watching them from afar.

On the ride back, Se-kyung wonders how Seung-jo’s father must have felt when he saw his son come back successful. Seung-jo thinks his father hates seeing him doing so well, since they still have petty fights whenever they see each other. But Se-kyung offers a different view: perhaps his father is proud of him, but doesn’t know how to express it. After all, her father never praised her for all her awards and certificates, but he quietly collected these treasures. Too bad Seung-jo’s family isn’t that kind of family, though.

He drops her off at the steps leading to her home, eagerly asking what she thought of the date. She admits it was scary – and immediately he blames himself for having started off with the grand gesture of going to Paris. (Dong-wook had warned him!) But Se-kyung clarifies – she enjoyed the date a lot, and misspoke. (It was so good… it was scary?) They promise to meet the next day again, and he drives off. That’s when Yoon-joo steps out of her car, having watched this entire lovey-dovey exchange.

She hurries after Se-kyung, who’s already turned to go up the stairs, but fails to call after her friend, perhaps out of fear or uncertainty.

Se-kyung hopes that she can hear the truth from Seung-jo soon, as she doesn’t want to lose her nerve and never tell him her truth. Hopefully it’ll be soon – because as soon as Seung-jo gets home, he drops the USB into an envelope and addresses it to Se-kyung.

Meanwhile, Tommy receives the photos Hae-joon took and learns that Se-kyung couldn’t tell him the truth yet. Hae-joon also noticed Yoon-joo watching them, but hasn’t found out her identity yet so he’s ordered to continue watching.

Tommy receives In-hwa as a guest. She plans to visit the store selling GN Fashion’s collaborative line with Artemis – Club A – with Seung-jo as a way of getting closer to him. Tommy advises her to go slow with Seung-jo, and she likewise advises Tommy to try a different tactic in approaching Il-nam. Recently, Royal Group had lost out on bidding for an outlet to JK Group, so Il-nam is feeling bitter. She hopes that Tommy can relay her suggestion, since doing it herself would be unseemly when she attends the Royal Group Charity Bazaar.

And so, Tommy meets with Il-nam with the suggestion: Artemis is planning a merger and acquisitions deal with another company, Roman. If Il-nam works with the other company, it would mean that he’d get to work closely with Artemis. Add to that the current collaboration with GN Fashion, and all three companies would be united together. Il-nam chooses to think over it rather than move forward.

In-hwa tours the store with Seung-jo, talking about the simpler designs she had in mind to emulate the simple styles seen in European clothing in the late 1700s-1800s. Seung-jo is amiable enough to her ideas, so she thinks she’s getting closer to him. When she steps away for a call, he sees his father in the store, having come to see him.

Awkwardly, Il-nam asks when his son’s work day will end. Why? Il-nam: “F…Foo… Food!” Seung-jo: “Food?” Il-nam: “Want to eat?” Hahaha – Il-nam is like a caveman at emotions. At least Seung-jo joins him for dinner after that awkward invitation.

They head to a Japanese restaurant, and Il-nam mistakenly dips his sushi into his son’s soy sauce bowl. Clearly he’s not used to sharing a table with someone. He asks after work, and if things are going well with Se-kyung and her family. Not that he really cares – he knows that Seung-jo will be able to take care of his matters well. He just warns that marriage is serious business – look at the other company presidents who had daughters-in-law from a poor background.

Seung-jo points out that some of the sons’ arranged marriages ended in divorce, which is worse than love matches. He’s frustrated with his father’s archaic thinking – that whatever he says, goes. Sometimes arranged marriages done purely for business don’t work out as well. Il-nam is so fired up he replies, “Just shove the food in your mouth!” Hahaha – most awkward family dinner.

Meanwhile, at another family dinner, In-hwa and Mrs. Shin hope that Tommy’s chat with Il-nam was successful. If Il-nam and Seung-jo work with each other more often, it’s possible they’ll have a better relationship and look upon In-hwa more favorably. While serving the Shins, Yoon-joo smirks to herself – their plans are never going to work, because father and son will never work together. Even though they were spotted eating together, Yoon-joo knows that it happened all because of Se-kyung. Wow – I love how frank and unemotional she is regarding how Se-kyung must have changed Seung-jo.

In-hwa thinks that she’ll get along with Seung-jo, but Yoon-joo knows better. This family and Seung-jo will never be one.

Seung-jo tells Dong-wook he just had a meal with his father. This is big news! Dong-wook finds the whole thing funny but is miffed that Seung-jo still won’t listen to his advice – such as sending that USB now. Seung-jo is still scared to reveal the truth, because he’s afraid of losing her. So Dong-wook snatches the envelope and offers to send it himself.

After dinner, Yoon-joo drinks glass after glass of wine by herself before finally calling Se-kyung. She’s curious to find out how things are going between her and Secretary Kim. Se-kyung wants to do things her own way now, and that does mean confessing. Yoon-joo is shocked – didn’t she tell her that if she chooses to get “dirty” she has to be “dirty” all the way? There’s no such thing as confessing! Se-kyung hangs up, and Yoon-joo breaks down in tears. It looks like she no longer wants to believe in her own advice anymore, but she knows no other way to survive in Cheongdam-dong. 

Se-kyung is musing over Yoon-joo’s words when her sister brings in a package. She finds a card with gibberish on it, and the envelope with the USB.

Seung-jo frets in his apartment, but when doorbell rings, it’s Yoon-joo. She unleashes on him – no matter what she did to hurt him, he committed many more wrongs against her. She blames him for using her, for ending their relationship, for “giving up everything” for her, because in reality he didn’t love her. He used Yoon-joo as a way to one-up his father and prove that he could live differently. She thinks that when he gave up his inheritance for her, it was his way of testing her love for him.

Seung-jo admits that she’s right. After she left, it took him three months to figure out that she was still in Paris, five months to find out where she lived, and one year to hopefully bump into her once. He didn’t really want to see her again, but he wanted to prove to himself that someone like her truly did exist. He never doubted her love, but he did doubt her sincerity.

Seung-jo still does not know why he decided to exact revenge – whether it was because he hated Yoon-joo and his father enough, or because he needed to do something to save himself from despair. However, he regrets having their relationship end without a proper good-bye. With some distance, he now realizes that he was wrong. He’s sorry for not truly protecting her and for not trusting her love, and hopes that she can live well from now on. Yoon-joo collapses into her own puddle of tears.

Se-kyung finds that the USB contains the videos he took of him talking to his father when he declared revenge, and talking to Yoon-joo about his mental breakdown in Paris. None of the files show his father’s or Yoon-joo’s faces. At the end Seung-jo appears, directly addressing Se-kyung. He explains that he’s practically written out movie scripts when confronting the people who hurt him in the past, and wanted to see and hear them suffer numerous times by recording their conversations.

Seung-jo also tells her that he’s a petty person by nature. When he signed off his inheritance years ago, he did it willingly, knowing that he was still wearing an expensive watch that could help him survive a few extra months. However, his father knew exactly what he planned to do and forced him to hand over the watch (as well as his wallet). Seung-jo didn’t like being caught that way. The gibberish on the card is his online username, and Googling it will lead to numerous negative comments he made against Royal Group. It was completely immature of him but he encourages her to look up his comments, though he is afraid that he may just ruin all her happiness.

But he stands by his belief – if they can accept each other, flaws and all, then they must have true love.

Se-kyung grabs her coat and phone and rushes out the door, texting that she’s going to his place. Seung-jo doesn’t hear his phone go off and misses them. As Yoon-joo is about to go back home, she sees Se-kyung head into Seung-jo’s building. Se-kyung gets on the elevator, and Yoon-joo desperately chases after her by going up the stairs. At this point, Seung-jo sees Se-kyung’s texts, and hurries out the door as well to meet her. But not soon enough – just before Se-kyung rings the bell, Yoon-joo drags her into the elevator.

Yoon-joo pulls Se-kyung to her side of the building, and they stand behind a pillar that shields them from Seung-jo’s view. Yoon-joo doesn’t want Se-kyung to confess, as it’s better that way. Se-kyung’s confused and says she will tell the truth since he shared his secret. But Yoon-joo insists that men react differently when telling the truth and hearing it. Even though he says he’ll be understanding, he won’t be.

Se-kyung doesn’t understand – what makes Yoon-joo an authority on Seung-jo? Yoon-joo finally blurts out the truth – she’s the woman who dumped him years ago. When she got married in France, her husband was none other than Cha Seung-jo. She tells Se-kyung that Seung-jo suffered greatly from post-traumatic stress disorder after she left, so much so that he could have died of depression. If Se-kyung tells him the truth, won’t it tear him apart even more? Won’t he want to die if he learns the two women he loved used him for money, and are friends?!

It gives pause to Se-kyung’s actions, as she hesitates. Though it might make her feel better, the person hearing it may feel worse. Yoon-joo hopes that Se-kyung can save Seung-jo… and by extension, her too.

Yoon-joo returns home, and Se-kyung leaves the apartment complex – only to bump into Seung-jo waiting for her outside. He warms up her cold hands and warily asks if she saw the video. Se-kyung sighs, but she finally says that she will accept him. Her face doesn’t look happy or loving though, and Seung-jo figures it’s because she’s worried about her own confession. He embraces her gratefully, and then tells her that they have somewhere to go together tomorrow.

Se-kyung heads home, piecing together the clues Seung-jo and Yoon-joo gave her to figure out their relationship. She receives a text from Seung-jo about the time and place where they’ll meet tomorrow, and she responds with a simple ‘Yes.’ No emoticons, no smileys. While Seung-jo is still happy she said yes, he does pick up the nervous bunny for comfort.

The following day, it’s the Royal Charity bazaar. Some other rich folks greet the Shins and Tommy at the door, and are aware of rumors swirling around In-hwa and Seung-jo’s possible engagement. Se-kyung doesn’t realize this is the event she’s attending since she meets Seung-jo at the lobby first.

He takes her upstairs to meet Il-nam, and the Shins and Tommy freeze at the sight of her. Tommy is absolutely flabbergasted and looks like he’d wish nothing more than to disappear like the Cheshire Cat. In-hwa’s expression hardens, while Min-hyuk and Mrs. Shin are confused over who she is. Likewise, Se-kyung is dismayed to see her employers there.

Seung-jo takes her by the hand and goes right up to Il-nam. “I have someone to introduce to you,” he says. “This is my girlfriend, Se-kyung.” Cue Tommy squirming while Il-nam regards Se-kyung carefully. Then Seung-jo says, “Se-kyung, this is my father.” Il-nam’s jaw drops – his son just acknowledged him as his father? He just acknowledged their relationship, and their ties as heads of two companies.

But that’s not all – Seung-jo: “Father. We are going to get married.”

Drop your jaws everyone. Drop ’em.


Whoa – isn’t Seung-jo jumping the gun a little here? I mean – they just got together as a couple two days ago. Oh wait – Cinderella’s prince came for her after one ballroom dance; ok, I guess they aren’t fast enough. At least they had one date night.

I find it delightful that everyone learns at the same time that Seung-jo will marry Se-kyung. If Yoon-joo were there, I’m sure she would have been shocked too, but happier than the rest of her in-laws. I am still amazed that Yoon-joo can be so civil towards Se-kyung and Seung-jo’s relationship, rather than completely jealous. She wants what’s best for both of them, even if her advice may sometimes be misguided. I guess I’m just so used to a jealous third-wheel in all these K-dramas. What makes me like her even more is that she is just like Se-kyung and Seung-jo in that they all have a conscience and still believe in sharing emotions to create a connection and relationship. She’s not like her cynical in-laws who believe that a third person must create a relationship between two people, rather than the two people working at it themselves. I bet Min-hyuk won’t be able to find out what’s going on with his wife recently; he’ll need a couples’ therapist to tell him.

I’m not wholly satisfied with this episode because it left me still wanting to know when Se-kyung is going to tell Seung-jo the truth, and it opened up a whole new moral battle inside my head. Se-kyung seemed so determined in this episode to tell the truth that I feel like it will happen no matter what. And I want it to happen soon because I desperately want to know how Seung-jo will react. Se-kyung seemed to accept his secret easily, which makes it seem like his secret wrongdoings are not as great as her secret. And that’s where the moral battle comes in – I wonder, whose secret is worse?

Is it Seung-jo’s, where he bears a grudge against those who hurt him and resorts to petty, slanderous tactics that hurt many more people in the process?

Or is it Se-kyung’s, who keeps up a little white lie of pretending not to know Seung-jo’s real identity before he told her, and that white lie really only hurts him?

It’s difficult to compare their secrets/sins. K-dramas have made us – or perhaps, just me – believe that Se-kyung’s lie is worse, and more hurtful. And yet Seung-jo has proven to be equally as selfish and immature with his wrongdoing. I even felt that the last scene where he introduced Se-kyung to his father was another moment of one-upping his father, proving to Il-nam that he could live a different life from the rich and find another “poor girl” who’d love him for who he is. I want to know how he reacts because it might give an indication to what the writer thinks is the greater evil – Seung-jo’s selfishness or Se-kyung’s dishonesty. Either way, their imperfections should make them perfect each other.

Hand me a nervous bunny please.


159 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. aby

    MGY’s face looks weird… thank you for the recap

    • 1.1 cat

      why you say MGY’s face looks weird? or did u mean SK?

      • 1.1.1 lizzie

        some viewers are complaining how MGY face looks Bigger and weird… and they are saying she did some PS when she looks the same only gained weight…

        I think the hairstyle also doesn’t hep.

        Korean and their love for ”small faces”

        • zodd

          She looks bloated a bit…

          • tsz

            She is more of a talented character actress rather than a pretty face. I don’t know whether I am more bothered by his perfect white dental work or her untouched ivory teeth in the first picture.

        • wen

          It is good if she gained weight, but it seems like her face and her neck area are bloated instead of her overall body size. I just hope that it’s not something related to her health…

    • 1.2 jess

      She just gains some weight, and it’s very good for her .
      healthy and not so stick thin like many other actress.

      • 1.2.1 meryl

        I agree it just took a little weight and is more like it!

      • 1.2.2 Windsun33

        I agree with that – so many of the k-pop/k-drama girls look like poster kids for Anorexia, she actually looks like a real person.

        • NikaNika

          You could have complimented MGY without denigrating k-pop/drama girls; plus those of type figures and frames are pretty common in Asia (even in my country, India), most of them look like normal, healthy and very real (?) girls to me.

          • Ally

            I agree.

          • Windsun33

            I spent many years in Asia, especially Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, and Hong Kong. And while there are tons of lovely ladies there (I married two of them), very few fit the mold of the “ideal” drama starlet. This is no different than drama queens or pop divas anywhere else in the world, but it seems that K-drama girls are much more biased towards some kind of “ideal look”, and far too many of them look almost the same.

    • 1.3 Domino

      Yeah!! Looks like a full moon. Chubby chubby!! Pinch the cheek!! ^o^

  2. rainbow


  3. Arawn

    I don’t think one should dwell on which is worse, telling a white lie as SK or being somewhat vindictive & petty like SJ. Neither is good, but neither are they something very horrible.

    In SK’s case I wouldn’t say that the deed itself is so very bad or damaging but keeping silent about it will make it very damaging to SJ at least. If SK won’t tell him herself, it will look like she has indeed used him only for his money and that will really be a punch into his guts. And considering that Tommy knows (and so do Ah-Jung and Yoon Joo – too many people know), it’s only a matter of time when somebody will spill the beans. So ultimately SK’s choice is not whether SJ will know or not but will she be the one to tell him or will it be somebody else.

    YJ was immensely unreasonable in her words. She basically just placed SJ’s sanity, happiness and even his LIFE on the shoulders of SK. That’s a horrible burden nobody should be asked to carry – that nobody CAN carry as ultimately we cannot save anybody who won’t help him/herself in the process. YJ kicked SJ to the ground and is now expecting somebody else to clean the mess. Ish.

    And finally SJ… that was one lousy trick he pulled there in the end of the episode. He’s doing same to SK what he did to YJ: using her against his father. I’m sure he loves her but that is not an excuse. He still has issues to work trough until he’ll be able to have a healthy and loving relationship with another person.

    • 3.1 JoAnne

      Yep, his statement there at the end left kind of a bad taste in my mouth. I forgot to mention that in the comment.

      • 3.1.1 kakashi

        everybody is very, very selfish in this drama. I hope Yoon-joo will also get a good redemption-moment

    • 3.2 IBELIS

      I agree I think the marriage announcement was part of the evil SJ rearing it’s head. He knew going in that all concern parties would be there and his announcement was to 1. stop IH inc. from scheme any marriage deal concerning him.

      2. Put his dad on notice that he is doing it again.

      SK can prove that her knowledge of who he really is had nothing to do with how they met. Thank God text messages are dated and time stamped.

      Are these really the worst secrets a couple could have from each other.

    • 3.3 Saboriana

      I don’t disagree with your assessment of YJ; however, instead of the word Unreasonable I would use the word desperate. YJ has earned her place in Cheongdam through hard work, and while it’s not in the convention sense of the word, she has done it instead by selling off up pieces of herself, and losing who and she could have been, and now after all that she stand to lose everything. To us her lost may appear materialistic in worth, but to YJ losing her place in Cheongdam would be equivalent to dying. Even if YJ action is mostly motivated by self-preservation, I still feel she really wants to spear SJ more pain, and she also wants things to work out for him this time around, because she truly loved him back then.
      I realize that a lot of people hope YJ is the benefactor instead of Dad; however, I hope that Dad is the one who brought the painting. At this point in SJ life he is incapable of having an adult relationship, because he doesn’t really understand love, due to the fact the he believes his parents never really loved him. The only way for SJ to have a stable relationship with another person is for him to acknowledge that he is loved, and deserved to be love by his father, and for me learning that his father did not abdomen him, but instead quietly supported him, will go a long way in helping him heal. I really like the fact that this show does not try to show us the so call idealist, innocent, pure, self-scarifying version of love, instead so far we have seen Ugly love, Selfish love, childish love, Rich love, Reality love and Self-love, maybe love is a little multi-faced

      • 3.3.1 Anduril

        Yes. YJ buying they painting accomplishes nothing. SJ just said in the episode he knew she did love him.

        Dad buying it would be better. And what do you want to bet that he has it hidden away just like SK’s dad. Her story was one of the reasons I think it was Dad who bought the painting.

  4. kakashi

    thank you for the fast recap! First, Han Se-kyung made me mad, now Seung-jo makes me mad. What a selfish man!

    The drama does such a good job in portraying true human beings, with many, many faults and inconsistencies.

    I feel he is the character that has the biggest journey ahead of him. He really needs to grow up AND he has to get over his daddy-issues. That will maybe only happen if Se-kyung tells him the truth. It may be devastating for him – but it may also be the trigger that forces him to grow. Remember that scene when Yoon-joo confronts him and tells him how selfish he was about their love? He should have listened … He does not yet get it that being a couple means taking life-relevant decisions together

    • 4.1 kakashi

      oh, and as much as I disliked SJ’s move at the end, I very much liked Tommy Hong’s “WTF just happened” face. Suffer, evil scumbag, suffer!

      • 4.1.1 gravity4dani

        ahahahahahaha well put, well put

    • 4.2 Betsy Hp

      So much agreement! It’s kind of odd that Yoon-joo is the one giving out decent relationship advice, but she’s right. Seung-jo needs to understand the woman he loves, understand her fears and hopes, etc.

      Learning Se-kyung’s lie, and then staying by her side (maybe even standing up for her to his dad?) will show that he really does understand and love her. Not just her “Candy” facade.

  5. bim2

    “The thing is, he still does not know who the original purchaser is, the one who paid 30,000 Euros and gave him a reputation and a new life.”

    I had feelings it was Daddy Cha who bought those painting ^^~

    • 5.1 Rashell

      I think either daddy or Yoon-Joo was the painting buyer.

      • 5.1.1 gravity4dani

        I think it was Yoon-Joo.

    • 5.2 Lilly

      For sure. A wealthy elite is always going to be the path for another to cross over. Even a genius inventor has to have that first wealthy patron.

    • 5.3 Simpletons

      My bet it’s YJ… afterall, didn’t she get 30,000 euro’s as her payoff to leave….

    • 5.4 Betsy Hp

      I’ll place my bet on Daddy Cha as the secret benefactor. 🙂

  6. JoAnne

    Really love this show – in addition to the BOUNTIFUL cute and funny of PSH, we get stuff to think about.

    I’m frustrated because I think she should just tell him. Handled with sensitivity and care, her confession should go over just fine with Seung Jo. He is a lot stronger than people give him credit for.

    Re the painting and SJ’s anonymous benefactor: My initial thought was that it had to be his father…but this morning I began to think it might be Yoon Joo. What a wonderful statement if she used his father’s money to give the man she loved the potential for a new life, even if it wasn’t one she would share.

    • 6.1 kakashi

      me too, JoAnne! I also think it might be Yoon-joo.

      • 6.1.1 JoAnne

        Great minds, girlfriend…

        • kakashi

          (it’s all that tweeting. It makes us grow closer in the head)

          • JoAnne

            All the world needs now is tweets.

    • 6.2 as6582

      i also think YJ bought the drawing using the money she got from Daddy Cha…

    • 6.3 Arawn

      But wait, did YJ get that much money from daddy Cha? If I remember correctly, she got good references to get in to Cheondamdong and not money. Correct me if I remember wrong.

      • 6.3.1 YY

        Yes, I thought she rejected the money and requested a reference instead? She pushed away the cheque, if I am not mistaken.

      • 6.3.2 kakashi

        … I didn’t think it was the Daddy Cha money, but her money (or husband’s money). Not sure that adds up time-wise.

        • Arawn

          It cannot add up. She finished her education before moving back to Korea where she worked in the high class shop at least for a year before she met her husband (if I remember correctly her words to SK). Where would she acquired enough loose cash to buy SJ’s painting?

    • 6.4 Rashell

      That’s who I think was his benefactor as well. She really did love him, so I don’t think she could have let him suffer when she had the means to help him.

    • 6.5 Saturtledaisy

      I also thought it’d be the Dad – but that would negate the whole ‘I-made-it-on-my-own-take-THAT-daddy’ thing Seung-jo has going on =/

      It’d be nice if it were Yoon-joo, but did she already have that kind of money back then? But it would be pretty awesome if it were her.

      • 6.5.1 kumi

        I think it might be Yoon-joo. She could have made somebody else to pay that price.

  7. bgr

    jaw dropped! jaw dropped!!! and laughed in glee after that. Hahahahaha Way to go Jean Thierry Cha!

  8. kelinci biru

    Is So Yi Hyun the one playing yoon joo? I find interesting too. I dont like her on Hearstrings, i love her here, she’s making that evil character, so fascinating and yet vulnerable.

  9. yumi

    Thanks for the recap.

    I’d wouldn’t be surprised if it were Seung-Jo’s father who bought his painting for 30,000 Euros.

  10. 10 YY

    I have always clung to the one optimistic part of Seung Jo’s past, that he became successful on his own through sheer grit and effort. This, to me, defied the grim pervasive theme of effort being useless without wealth and being born to the “correct” social class. But this episode brings a new twist with it – that of the mysterious benefactor. I have a bad bad feeling it is Seung Jo’s father, and I say bad because this would totally negate the sole sliver of light in the midst of all the darkness, that of Seung Jo finding success on his own without depending on his father at all. But now if his father is the mysterious benefactor, it would mean Seung Jo became successful because his father helped him. If this is true, then cynicism rears its ugly head again – that the stark bitter truth is in this harsh, money-driven world, it is simply impossible to succeed on your own through perseverance and hard work. How utterly depressing.

    There were other parts in this episode that I found painfully real, like the scene where he cynically admits his desire to keep the expensive watch and use it as a means of survival in a foreign land outweighed all the usual dramatic noble heroics. The part where YJ tells her to stuff her confession, that a confession is just a way of shifting the burden to the receiver, is shocking in its brutal honesty.And the last scene too where he triumphantly introduces Se Kyung to everyone was far from romantic to me – she seems more like a tool here for him to use. As he gloats and revels in their discomfiture, and addresses his father mockingly, I catch myself thinking: He’s doing all this for himself, he’s not thinking about her at all. But the odd thing is, I understand, and it’s so totally okay because he’s petty and childish and flawed and he’s not going to change overnight because of love.

    • 10.1 Arawn

      YY: Errr. It IS impossible to succeed on your own. Every single person who has ever succeeded has needed and has gotten some help at some point. And I don’t see nothing wrong with that. Helping is not making things happen for the person who is helped. Even if you get help you still need ofter to work your ass off to benefit for the said help.

    • 10.2 jomo

      Love your comments.
      As far as this: that he became successful on his own through sheer grit and effort.
      But it also was fueled by anger and resentment and the willingness to take revenge. We often hear, “I am doing this for your own good” when the rich parent cuts off the child. In this case, it did work. His son learned how to survive without handouts, and did manage to crawl out of utter poverty on his own.
      But, then, why does the father return to being a benefactor and purchase the painting? That leg up maybe could have happened anyway, maybe not, since we are to presume that SJ is talented artist.
      Of course, if it wasn’t the father who bought the the painting, and it was some Super Genius Art Guy instead doesn’t matter too much. This underlines again the truth that hard work only takes you so far in this world, without help from above you will stay down, and will not achieve richdom.
      This parallels everyone’s story: YJ, Tommy and now SK. As I ponder that in my own reality, in my own country, I think it is still true. Even Bill Gates had to have financial backing to take him out of his garage and onto everyone’s desktop in the world, didn’t he?

      • 10.2.1 Betsy Hp

        This parallels everyone’s story: YJ, Tommy and now SK.

        I agree. This drama is all about tearing down the Candy-myth. That just hard work and a positive attitude are not enough to make it. Yes, it’ll take you so far, but everyone needs a little help from someone a little higher up the food chain.

        And it’s seems to be saying that trying to deny that truth and cling to the Candy-myth ends up hurting people. That if there was honesty about the hand-up needed people wouldn’t have to find dishonest means to get that hand-up. If that makes any kind of sense.

    • 10.3 V

      I hadn’t thought about it, but you are right about the repercussions of the Dad buying SJ’s painting. Now I really hope it is YJ (as someone mentioned above) that gave it to him. I had thought that maybe SJ’s Mom was still alive and bought the painting, but I like the idea of YJ buying it more.

      • 10.3.1 YY

        Ooh, I thought of the mum too and bandied with the idea of her buying the painting. The mum who supposedly abandoned her child. I feel there’s something more to the story here…perhaps she was not from the same social class as the father, they fell in love and she left because she couldn’t fit in, and that’s why the father is so against the idea of marrying outside one’s class now? I do like the idea of YJ buying the painting – that would be so sad, that she cared so much about him she helped him the moment she could….but where would she get the money? She wasn’t married then, was she? She came back to Korea and got married much later so I thought this idea didn’t fit…I don’t know, I could be wrong.

      • 10.3.2 Saturtledaisy

        Oh, the mom~! I hadn’t thought of that. Actually, that would make sense, since there is obviously something going on with his mother, seeing as she’s been mentioned several times.

      • 10.3.3 Arawn

        I view this complitely differently. If it was the dad who bought the painting, I feel that he did it because he DOES love his son but he was just too proud and stubborn to take back his words & didn’t quite know how – we’ve seen how clueless he is what comes to bonding with SJ. So it would be, in my eyes, a gesture of affection.

        Besides, I still fail to see how 30 000 euros would negate someones success. It’s not THAT big sum of a money after all. If you think that SJ had to pay for tuition fees, food and rent, that money would have been spend in couple of years so he did have to work hard to get where he is now. If you have only 100 euros and NOTHING more, that’s pretty much a disaster. It could take months before you even can get a measly job because you would have no place to live and many places don’t want to hire homeless people etc.

        • (permanent) visitor

          That initial 30K wasn’t important because of the money he received, but because of the acclaim/prestige that came with it – he got publicity from the large sum, and THAT’S what allowed him to keep selling paintings for lots of money.

      • 10.3.4 (permanent) visitor

        Did anybody else wonder how, exactly, successful artist translated into successful fashion CEO? So the previous CEO of Artemis bought a painting from some guy in Paris, and thought, “Ah ha! This is the perfect person to run my multi-million dollar corporation, someone with zero business experience!” Again it seems like he didn’t work his way up in the ranks, or at any time have a sincere interest in the industry, just in revenge. Will he ever go back to painting? Or did it just turn out that he was good at being the CEO because he “understands” women?

        • Saturtledaisy

          I figured he eventually became a CEO because he was good at being a businessman, considering the speech he gave in the first episode. Cold, harsh, shrewd and definitely very driven to succeed, … perfect characteristics for a CEO, no?

        • cleonc90

          I believe he studied business at Yale before fly to Paris to study art..
          It’s not like the Artemis CEO picked some random person to run their company without any thoughts..
          SJ started at Artemis as a mere marketing staff (explained at the episodes before).. Then he climb all the way with all his marketing strategies.. That’s why he’s picked as Artemis Korea CEO..
          Maybe he just picked this job because he wanted to carry out his revenge.. But, he definitely has the talent and knowledge in business too..

  11. 11 Carole McDonnell

    The immaturity factor with Seung-jo is a bit scary. I’m hoping for purity in his love, not weird gamesmanship. I think there is a very pure love there…but yeah, there is the subtle taint of human sin and pettiness. I’m hoping it’s not going to be a costly mistake. I know our OTP are in love but..I just hate this uneasy feeling I have about the next coupla episodes in this journey. I hate the idea of the writer playing with me as well.

    • 11.1 JoAnne

      I kinda like to be played. I really WANT to be surprised and have the story be a journey for ME, not just a story about someone else’s journey. I’m not interested for a ride on a smooth highway, but one with detours and unexpected things to see gets me kind of excited.

      It’s why the pat endings all leave us with a bad taste in our mouths even if we ‘got what we wanted’ (Nice Guy, I love you but you disappointed me even as I was smiling for Maru and Eun Gi) – we want to go someplace NEW. Or at least take a new road to get to a familiar place.

      • 11.1.1 Carole McDonnell

        I know what you mean. I don’t mind being played…a little. The craft of filmmaking and creative playing with the audience (I still smile when i think of King of Drama where we all thought Anthony hadn’t listened to the mole’s confession..only to see Rep Oh sweat bullets when the tape was being played.) I guess I just hate the “when will she tell the secret?” back-and-forthing. It’s like…seriously…. There is suspense and there is just silliness. I like detours and all and surprises..but after the third time with the back-and-forthing of “will she/won’t she” …I just can’t call it a surprise anymore. Kinda the opposite.

        • JoAnne

          I agree with you on that!

    • 11.2 rearwindow

      See, I LOVE that the characters in this show are all three dimensional. The fact that they all make mistakes and have issues makes me feel like they are real.

      I normally want happy, straightforward endings from my romcoms, but I feel like CD actually has something to say about society and about privilege, so I’d be down for all kinds of subversive endings…as long as it makes sense in terms of character psychology and fits into the greater themes being explored, and isn’t tragic just for the sake of being tragic.

      • 11.2.1 Carole McDonnell

        I like the three-dimensionality. I hope I didn’t sound as if I hated that. I like the confusion and the wow, what a hot mess Seung jo is! IT is scary though because one never knows what an immature perhaps bi-polar character is gonna do with certain news. Seung jo is probably not as frail as I think he is but I do fear him flying off the mental handle and reacting badly when he has to deal with a truth. Of course, he might be surprisingly understanding when he hears it. I just don’t know how emotionally healed he is. He rushes into this new declaration so quickly that i worry for him and for those around him.

        Which is what makes me so wary of the drama trope of “when to tell the big secret?” I feel it gets in the way of the three-dimensionality of the characters sometimes and makes me feel we’re dealing with screenwriting games rather than actual 3 dimensional characters. The screenwriting game of “timing” tends to annoy me. She was just about to tell him but then….X happened…and then that gives villain time to do Y. It’s very exhausting for me and it leaves me feeling played and it doesn’t allow the characters or the story to breathe. I know the suspense in some of these stories is about the viewer wanting all truths out in the open. But for once, i’d like to see screenwriters tell the “secret” ASAP so the characters would do what normal folks would do instead of playing around like this.

        • Betsy Hp

          I agree that withholding a secret just for drama’s sake is tired. And the handling of this secret very much skirts the edges of that trope. Or… okay, actually it pretty much plops down in the middle of it and sets up camp. But!

          But… The conversation with Yoon-joo raises enough interesting points to let me give the secret-keeping a pass for now. Because now it’s a lot more about Seung-jo’s ability to handle the secret. My sense is that Yoon-joo genuinely feels he’s not strong enough. But I feel that, story-wise, he needs to become strong enough.

          Because Yoon-joo’s already thrown down a gauntlet (“can you understand your girlfriend’s needs?”). Because Seung-jo has begun to examine his childish need for revenge against his father and her. Because Se-kyung decided to stick around out of love, ugly though it might look to others.

          So that’s what I’m keenly interested in finding out. Not how or when the secret gets told, but how Seung-jo handles it.

  12. 12 Grey-Gabo

    SJ’s childish whims can be cute at times but he does need to grow up and get a huge slap of reality on his face, maybe SK’s confession will do the trick. He needs to learn tough love. I bet at the end they’re gonna have like a 5 years period of self discovery apart and then find each other again…I don’t know this drama is really tricky in that it’s not as predictable.

    Also YJ was right about him being selfish with his love, what he did at the end without even telling SK first just seemed like wanting to rub it in his daddy’s face. But like everyone else I did enjoy Tommy Hong’s reaction it was by far the best but now I’m wondering whether the sister-in-law is gonna become a real threat cos she always had that potential. I mean the way her eyes narrowed at the revelation I was all “oh snap”.

    I’m glad YJ isn’t mad about the fact that SK and SJ love each other, but I wish SK would tell her that TH knows about everything that way she can maybe help her take him down.
    I kinda do and don’t want Sk to tell SJ the truth cos YJ’s right he probs is gona break down and never be able to trust any girl again, i mean if that happened to me twice in a row (but with guys) I totally would lose trust in the male population. And if papa Cha did buy his frist painting, that would make him feel even more like shit. But hey ho, worser things have happened in Dramaland ^ ^

    Anyway I really enjoyyyed this episode, best one yet!

  13. 13 rearwindow

    This episode was sooooooooo goooooooooood. Instead of heroes and villains, we’re getting a bunch of people acting in their own self-interest and following the mandates of their own moral codes. The character psychology for even secondary characters is off the hook. Yoon Joo, for example. What an interesting, complicated person. I disagree that she’s “helping” Se Kyung and Seung Jo (this is definitely debatable, but she is trying to keep them together in the best way that she knows how) because she has their best interests at heart. I think she is primarily hung up on pushing them together in order to prevent In Hwa from marrying Seung Jo. It’s subtle, but I noticed that throughout this episode, she would think things like, “this helps me too but it also helps you” when talking, or thinking, about helping helping SJ & SK stay together. I too find it a little surprising that she is able to stifle her emotions so well w/r/t SJ & SK’s relationship. However, given that she has spent years perfecting the art of stifling her emotions in order to move forward, it makes perfect sense that she would not act rashly. I feel towards her what I feel toward all of the other characters at this point, even Tommy Hong (and even/especially our delightfully flawed leads): I am entirely sympathetic towards her, even though I don’t always love her decisions.

    You touch on this a little bit, kaedejun, but my favorite part of this drama is how successfully it engages in an exploration of classism. Particularly with Se Kyung & Tommy’s discussion of ugly love vs. beautiful love, and SK’s refrain of wondering why she is the only one who has to take these things into consideration, while the wealthy are free to love in whatever way they’d like. What is so wrong about taking wealth into consideration when choosing a partner? Most, if not all, people do it, whether they admit it or not. The wealthy do it even more explicitly, hiring matchmakers to help catalyze a romance that is financially advantageous to both parties. This show seems to ask: Is there a difference between what Se Kyung and Yoon Joo have done, and what In Hwa is doing? And if so, why? Simply because SK and YJ were poor and are thus challenging the social structure?

    Interesting, interesting stuff.

    • 13.1 V

      Yes. Especially because In Hwa initially turned down SJ because he was just a “salary man” but then came running when she found out his family was the richest of the rich.

      • 13.1.1 rearwindow

        Right! I’d forgotten about that!

        And even Seung Jo’s using Se Kyung’s (relative) poverty to spite his father. He is no more blind in his love than anybody else in this drama.

    • 13.2 ilovekimchi

      Love reading your insights, kee ‘me coming! 🙂

      • 13.2.1 rearwindow

        Thanks! 🙂

    • 13.3 Betsy Hp

      So, so much agreement! Especially to the classism stuff. (@V: Such a good point re: In Hwa. I’d forgotten all about that.)

      I will say though, that I think Yoon-joo does genuinely want Seung-jo and Se-kyung to succeed. Not that self-interest doesn’t play a part (in this drama self-interest always plays a part: that’s the point, I think), but I think she’d really like Seung-jo to have a healthy relationship, to be healed from the blow she’d given him earlier. And I think she wants Se-kyung to succeed where she, Yoon-joo, had failed.

      I suppose I’m more arguing priorities. I think screwing up In-hwa’s marriage plans is an added bonus, but not her main motivation. Though I’d also say that all these motivations are so tangled together it might be arguing over millimeters.

  14. 14 ilovekimchi

    Thanks for the recap, kaedejun! Please know how I am one of many who appreciate all the effort you put into this! As for my two cents: what more can I say, but I do love this drama so much. It has exceeded my expectations as it has gone beyond exploring the usual themes of love and trust. Because we hear the characters’ thoughts (I love how everyone’s monologues are voiced out, and we can do so much more than pick their minds), it’s as if I’ve come to know them as if they were my friends and family even. I feel as lost as SeKyung, and as anxious as Seungjo. I cannot condemn either for their past and present actions, as my heart goes out to both. How the social commentaries are seamlessly interwoven by the writers is laudabable; how our supporting cast deserves every screen time they get, their subplots provide much amusement and added cuteness. We don’t even have a typical villain to speak off as neither YSJ nor TH is painted soulless or evil.

    • 14.1 ilovekimchi

      **speak of**

  15. 15 jomo

    Thanks for the recap. You cleared up some questions I had about the Roman, GN, Artemis dealio.

    To confess or not to confess? That seems to be the question.

    I agree that the confesser needs to say the words more than the confessee needs to hear them, but that to me is just an interesting psychological truth more than a reason NOT to confess.

    Has anyone ever lived with what YOU perceive as a hurt against someone and buried it? (I actually have.) It destroys you from the inside. Your every interaction is colored by it. It takes years to let go, and, yes, finally, you forget it, but the relationship is changed forever.

    It makes no sense to me for SK to BEGIN the relationship with that burden. I agree with Arwan and JoAnne about SJ’s strength. He is a big boy. If SJ admits she fell in love with him first, THEN found out he was JTC and lied about knowing, THIS IS THE STUFF THAT crushes him?
    Please. What kind of life would they have together if she has to be careful not to reveal everything that might hurt him?
    “Honey, you do look manly in that fur disaster, I mean coat, really.”
    “That was the best sex we ever had, really.”
    “Yes, I do like it when you fart the national anthem, really.”

    • 15.1 Laurita

      I agree about the burden that clings into you when you are as if “forced” not to tell the truth. Plus you must be constantly cautious about what you’re saying…
      And, at the end of the day, no one really wants such “help” or “saving from hurt”. Everyone prefers the truth.

      It’s more like a selfish fear of not wanting to let go of that temporary happiness: that “saving form hurt” is like an excuse for conscience… But only a strong personality can overcome that fear… I think it’s very likely that after the truth will be told (no matter who and when tells it), the relationship will end or won’t be the same. Without trust, love disappears. It’s like cheating in pair (but more severe), when the hurt side maybe wants to believe, but cannot, because always feels suspicious. There must be a damn good explanation done or a very very convincing situation after the truth is out, that would make SJ believe the sincerity of love again.

    • 15.2 kumi

      Truth has to be revealed when the other side is ready to accept it. Or else, such revelation will be least of all useless.

      • 15.2.1 Laurita

        when can ANY person be ready to hear such truth?

        • kumi

          Basically, when one is able to forgive.

      • 15.2.2 jomo

        I think truth can be revealed no matter what.
        The hearer can’t unhear.
        They don’t have to agree with what they hear, or like it, or even believe it.

        • kumi

          No, they don’t have to agree with it, or like it or believe it. Not any of these mental actions. It’s a deeper thing, more like something for their heart. They have to be able to assimilate it within their hearts. Even secretly. Or why turn the truth into a mere rending of air?
          Actually, I think the truth is that SK loves SJ, not that little mistake that she made. But for SJ it may be not just a trifle. First, he has to show the ability to forgive (mom, dad, ex, etc). Right now he’s not ready yet, but has a great potential of it.

          • Laurita

            I agree with you that SJ will need more growth and preparation to understand SK and forgive her. But, in this situation, waiting for “preparation” is probably one of the worst decisions – the longer you delay the truth, the more evil you will look in the “saved”person eyes.

            I think that even if he forgives others, it will not prepare him to forgive her. Maybe he will grow to understanding after the truth is out, gradually, but the more lies are told, the harder the forgiveness is.

  16. 16 lizzie

    Poor MGY.

    When she was too skinny people said her to gain some weight.

    Now she gained some weight they are saying her face is big not small like ot used to be; That her face is weird / offand that maybe she did some PS (to make her face bigger? lol okay)…..

    Not only this, they said she isn’t beautiful and the other girl (who plays YJ)deserved to be the lead(because her face is smaller and she is prettier – omg, really?)

    They also said because she looks too young she doesn’t match her co-wokers…

    I feel bad for Moon. Not sure if they are really opinions from normal viewers or biased (some PSH) fans who are bashing her for not being pretty enough to PSH. But either way, they are very mean. People love to complain how they hate idols on dramas and all, but when they have an actress that isn’t considered pretty for them but acts good they complain… aRGH.

    • 16.1 kakashi

      I didn’t know that there was that much “hate” for MGY out there. I’m sorry to hear it. Granted, she hasn’t been very lucky in her choice of dramas so far, but she certainly is a very talented actress and deserves credit for it.

      Pretty or not, that’s so objective… How condescending to bash people for their looks. I am really, really thankful that she has a special face and not one of those by the dozen plastic surgery ones, which I find so boring. And I am so glad that PSH said what he said (about her being super beautiful). I think they have very good chemistry and I think they genuinely like (or at least respect) each other.

      • 16.1.1 lizzie

        Yeah, it is sad. Viewers are complaining on the official website drama board about her face and how she looks too young to have chemish PSH…

        About her looking young, I understand she does look young, but not like a 12 year old, more like a 18 year old… (she has 25 years btw) imo in Cinderella sister she looked mature enough, maybe it is the haircut…

    • 16.2 Curioser And Curiosor

      I, too, am a little annoyed by the shallowness with which people judge and comment on this actress. I’ll repeat what I said in a earlier post:

      I simply love Moon Geun Young – have done since first seeing her in “Autumn in my Heart” and then realizing it was the same actress, grown up and transgendered in “Painter of the Wind” (where she co-stars with the phenomenal Park Shin Yang – I think I am partial to actors with unusually engaging/disconcerting gazes – Song Joong-ki, anyone…?) and then saw her do a complete about turn with “Mary…” and aw, man, “Cinderella Sisters”… Man, the woman is no joke!

      If folks could take a step back and consider the life she is breathing into this very complex and conflicted character, the way she looks – both naturally and as her character – would actually make sense to them.

      Think about male actors, for example – some of the best ones are not pretty at all. But even with the pretty ones, we fall in love with the look in their eyes, their way of expressing the hidden inner life. Here, for example, there have been dozens of comments about the range and elasticity of Park Shi Hoo’s ability to express the vicissitudes of Seung-jo’s manic life.

      Looking farther afield, consider the male leads in “Chuno.” As pretty as Oh Ji Ho may be, his bland delivery (heavens bless him!) did not really inspire much empathy. Jang Hyuk, on the other hand, is nowhere nearly as pretty, but man is he BEAUTIFUL! Why? Because of the light in his eyes which lets us see the inner life of the character he is portraying. No matter how objectionable his circumstances, we see his pain and his joy, we empathize, we love (yes, I’m on a Jang Hyuk kick at the moment). And to be fair to the pretty actors, Song Joong is one of those who brings it home with the range and elasticity of his ability to express that inner life in really subtle shifts.

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I know. I just hope more people will look at the light in MGY’s eyes and see how much life her characters have because of it.

    • 16.3 JoAnne

      I think she’s adorable and I love her face. Apart from just being too damn cute for words, I love that she has that sharp mind and that grown up heart behind that baby face.

    • 16.4 Arawn

      Personally I don’t find her beautiful but she is pretty and charming. And anyway I don’t see how she even should be some gorgeous beauty, I like actors who looks like themself instead of looking like every other doll-like actress that you can fit 14 in a dozen. Granted, MGY’s eyes bother me somewhat sometimes, but that’s not that big of a deal. It simply means that I’m not very interested in her but I think she’s doing a good job and bashing her based on her looks is idiotic.

      Also, she is still damn skinny and not in anyway big or fat. People saying something like that should be whipped. No wonder young girls have anorexia and weight issues. For me MGY is not distractingly skinny like some Korean actresses are but she still is in the skinny corner of the weight spectrum. Grrr.

    • 16.5 Saturtledaisy

      She does look kindof young. She also looks very tiny and skinny o-o. I don’t think she’s the same /kind/ of pretty as So Yi Hyun, but I certainly don’t think she looks ugly o-o. Besides, that doesn’t really matter for the character, now does it?

      I do wish she’d change her hairstyle though, not a big fan of her bangs x–x.

    • 16.6 Laurita

      We are just spoiled by the pretty-face-industry in k-dramas. I myself used not to pay attention to the actors’ beauty at all, but after years of watching Korean dramas and getting more into the K. culture (through articles and commentary and such), even living in another country, I already feel the impact of S and V lines… It’s not hard to feel so, when flawless beauty standarts are “in your face” all the time.

    • 16.7 meme

      it is indeed bothersome. and uncalled for. if it’s not her looks, it’s her acting they nitpick. but anyways…

      more power to mgy!

  17. 17 V

    At the end of the episode I was waiting for SJ to yell “Bazinga.”

  18. 18 simon

    On the whole PTSD thingy: if that is true (and well, if the drama says so, that’s the way it is, I guess) then YJ isn’t completely wrong. Apparently his trauma is having been used (and left) for money (by his mom, his gf, his dad). Now, the only way to (kind of) overcome PTSD is to avoid the traumatic experience; sometimes by literally going away, not meeting certain people, etc. Having to live through that trauma again … yeah, that might just about do it.

    As to killing him: it’s not unusual for PTSD victims to commit suicide – or kill/hurt sb. else. I’m not sure I like that the drama is having SJ suffering from PTSD – after all, that’s what war veterans, holocaust victims, etc. often get – at least his behavior makes total sense in that light. PTSD is pretty much the worst acquired (i.e. one you are not born with) psychological disorder you can get (that I know of).
    It totally wouldn’t make sense for him to be suffering from PTSD and behave in a normal way. And it’s not even his fault, really. He could be doing much much MUCH worse. TT-TT

    • 18.1 meme

      thank you. i was wondering if ptsd was really that debilitating. you said the one of the ways to overcome is to go through it again? hmmm

      • 18.1.1 simon

        *.* nooooooooh, what I said (or meant, anyway) was the opposite: “the only way to (kind of) overcome PTSD is to avoid the traumatic experience”. Oh, I see, you mean when I said: “that might just about do it. ” ? By that I meant, it might just about kill him. Not cure him. ^^;

        Of course, SK telling him gently (and preferably having his doc friend close at hand) is by far safer than just waiting for IH or TH to tell him to his face…

  19. 19 SH

    Thanks for the recap. I love the top picture; they look so cute together! Though, I’m starting to develop a love-hate relationship with this show. Love all the cute OTP moments and Yoon-joo’s story arc, but annoyed at the central conflict. It just becomes overly complicated beyond the realm of credibility.

  20. 20 ilovekimchi

    Just to add– regarding PTSD, for me is not the worst, as different psychiatric diagnoses — whether biologically based or not– have different prognoses. There are holocaust victims, veterans, victims of different traumatic events who are able to reconstitute after experiencing the trauma, and live their lives, though scarred and changed, still productive and ablemto, pardon the cliche, “let go.” Seungjo has had — that we know of– two traumatic abandonments in his life, and the manifestations of The six of PTSD can be chronic or delayed in onset. Seeking vengeance was (his perceived) way of healing; his hyper vigilance and anxiety about this relationship with HSK are both a defense mechanism and manifestation of likely PTSD. The rates of suicide are not the that high, but we do hear lot of them lately In the news. How I took what YSJ meant with regards to him finding out being the death of him, was either he could be really suicidal or the death of the person who is Seungjo as we know him.

    • 20.1 ilovekimchi

      Aagh–not six but “- the signs and symptoms of PTSD-“

  21. 21 Katie

    Nervous bunny! Hahahaha. Someone should market those bunnies seriously! Especially with the ratings on the up now that May Queen is done.

    At first I was totally on the boat of SK telling SJ ASAP about her “secret” which honestly isn’t that big of a deal, but then I went back and re-watched the episode and realized that YJ is right that maybe SK shouldn’t tell SJ…at least not everything since he couldn’t decide what YJ was saying was true and untrue. Because if SK says yes, I did those things, but I still love you, SJ will question every little thing she ever did. He won’t be like…oh that’s why that one thing you said “Yes” without the smiley face…he’ll say, you approached me all along with the intention of being rich.

    Sigh…this show is so good! It’s already Tuesday! A few more days!!

    • 21.1 jomo

      “Because if SK says yes, I did those things, but I still love you, SJ will question every little thing she ever did.”

      I know I am a broken record on this, but if SJ really is that damaged, and cannot trust or fogive people who love him because they made mistakes that they are sorry for, he needs to continue therapy and SK needs to find a new boyfriend.

      • 21.1.1 Arawn

        This. SK cannot spend rest of her life “protecting” SJ for hurtful situation and possible emotional damage. He’s a grown up man who has to bear that responsibility himself. If he cannot, he is not suitable for a relationship.

  22. 22 delicatecloud

    SJ, in my opinion, has just rediscovered the joy and giddiness of falling in love. He has not allowed himself for so long to be himself and to be in love. He has been absorbed in planning and executing his revenge on the woman who dumped him and his father. His antics and his “immature” actions to me are an expression of him freeing himself from his own bondage of revenge and spitefullness. In spite of all these “new” emotions he is experience (or re-experiencing) he has not lost his cool headedness and he sees clearly where the marriage talk (between himself and Im-Hwa) is going to go and he has pre-empted any future talks or moves by all parties concerned. It is clever of him to drop that “bomb” on all of them which is “in your face” but also showed a another side of his character – that he is shrewd and manipulative and knows exactly what the other parties are thinking. See that smile at the end? It is not an innocent sweet smile but one that says I am on to you guys and your machinations. I believe we will see more of this side of his character in the coming episodes….

  23. 23 cindy

    While I found adorable the insecure and little guy inside SJ in the first episodes, now I’m annoyed by it because he doesn’t behave like a man at all.

    You would think he would change after YJ talked with him about his petty revenge agaisnt his father, yet SJ does the same and puts SK in a difficult decision just because he wanted to go against his daddy again and make him angry.

    You say SK used YJ, well, isn’t SJ using her now too? Because I mean, what the… they didn’t even date and aren’t even in a stage where they decide to marry.

    On another side I’m happy he was the one who mentioned marriage first because OH MY GOD if SK mentioned it, everyone would be saying she is still after her plan to marry a rich guy and POOR SJ… I mean really guys? A relationship is about two not one, so if they marry, SJ himself wanted it.

    Plus I remember the characters description and there said he will marry SK just to get revenge on his father again…

    I’m the one who finds too early for SJ call what he feels ”love” I was a little put off by it..

    • 23.1 Saturtledaisy

      He’s like a broken little puppy. Biting everyone that hurt him (REVEEENGE) and loving others so quickly simply because he needs that love.

      Marriage? Of course it is way too soon, but the guy is apparently crazy head-over-heels in love. Which isn’t exactly an excuse for disregarding the fact that to be able to marry there needs to be a second party that /agrees/ to the marriage first. It’s not a one-person decision.

      But you know, puppies (even adorable ones) still need to learn things and grow up, and I’m hoping they’ll show us some more of that growth next week~

      He kindof reminds me of Daniel Choi’s character in Baby-faced beauty. Kindof a lot, actually. Though SJ’s probably a little crazier.

  24. 24 nami

    I know this post is off-topic..lol.. But i just wanna know if MGY will be playing for the title role of MBC’s upcoming sageuk drama ‘Goddess of Fire’? Moon Geun Young rules.. <3<3:-*<3<3.. Forever MGY fangirl! I would love to see her in another sageuk drama!

    • 24.1 HJE

      I love her too

  25. 25 delicatecloud

    SK, on the other hand I empathize with. In the episode 9 she was totally conflicted as to what to do – if she takes the offer from Tommy Hong she would be giving up her love for Secretary Kim. She said so to YJ does this mean that she does not love him enough? She agonized over this and when SJ confessed his love for her and poured out more of himself to her, that was the catalyst that made her finally make up her mind. She is going to fight for her “ugly love” no matter what. Her acting in episode 9 and 10, of a conflicted and agonized soul, i find very convincing. She is also wrecked with her own consciouness, which is bogging her down as she knows right from wrong. She was not totally euphoric when she accepted SJ, after hearing his confession of what he has done, because she has to rethink and will continue to agonize over her own secret which she has yet to divulge. To tell or not to tell and even when to tell are the questions.

    I liked her character and her journey into the realm of CDD. A world that everyone imagines to be paved with gold and all good things and there will be no worries once you enter this wonderful world. SK is realising that not that glitters is gold and the world of CDD is not what it seems/or believed to be. There is a price for everything – even love in CDD.

    YJ is also extremely interesting – she loved SJ but she loved something else more and chose that path. Perhaps she still loves SJ but she desperately need to ensure that this relationship is not out in the open for her own survival. I don’t blame her nor do I judge her. Sometimes i find myself in such a dilemma as well.

    The benefactor of SJ? It could very well be his father. Perhaps his father could not stand to see his own son in such dire straits and wanted to give a helping discretly. It is true that in order to succeed, whether in business or our own professional career (to move up the ladder so to say) having someone standing behind us (or giving a good word) is extremely important and crucial. This is the fact of life and something to acknowledge if not, one is at the loosing end.

    • 25.1 cindy

      I would find it so interesting. SJ has been hating on his father all along and bam finds out his father did help him and didn’t just throw him out there and didn’t care…

      Maybe his father wanted him to be strong? I don’t know, but either way he didn’t get stronger and is still a kid in his mind… he needs to tough up

    • 25.2 Arawn

      Yeah. A human is NOT an island. Nobody and I repeat, NOBODY is successful in this life without some sort of help whether is is emotional support from the close ones, a loan in the right time, getting to know right people or whatever. And there is nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t negate the hard work at all. Helping is not the same thing as doing everything for the person you’re helping.

    • 25.3 Lovebug

      I really love your take on SeKyung’s character! I wasn’t really confortable watching them officially get together (which was intentional) and it was clear she wasn’t wholly comfortable with it either.

  26. 26 Domino

    MGY’s face looks like a full moon.

    • 26.1 Windsun33

      I think she is totally cute!

  27. 27 Saturtledaisy

    Ohhh I liked this episode. Even if I kindof hope they won’t be spinning ’round in circles with the ‘will she tell him or won’t she’ question forever. But I like the way they’re confronting us with the question of /should/ she tell him.

    Personally, I believe he’ll find out eventually anyway, and I think it’s better for /her/ to tell him now rather than someone else tell him later. Even if it is going to hurt him, because getting over that kindof hurt is also part of the healing proces. But more importantly, finding out from someone else will probably lead to this huge misunderstanding (because the other person will be telling it from THEIR perspective, and judging from Tommy’s reactions, it isn’t going to be pretty) and will just hurt even more. So much more. So, you know, telling him herself, as gently as possible, might just be better for both her conscience and his heart. And possibly for mine, too.

    As for Seung-jo’s plotting thingy, I kindof like it. Because the drama shows us he’s still the man we saw in the first episode – the guy talking about how the company needed to exploit the ridiculous love Korean women have for brand names, the guy plotting revenge with his ridiculous games. It means he hasn’t made a complete 180° turn simply because he’s fallen in love. Being able to feel love again was his first step, but he doesn’t seem to be completely fixed yet. I’m pretty sure living as a beggar in Paris can do that to people.

    I’ve realized the reason why I’ve been getting so annoyed with Se Kyung lately is because she portrays herself as having done something completely evil, but I never really saw that. Trying to get acquainted with influential people isn’t a sin, she’s just trying really hard to work towards a better future for herself and her family, like most people are doing. Like all the rich people are doing, too. It’s not like she’s really harming anyone else in the process.

    Up until she sent that second letter, I didn’t think she’d done anything that needed to be hidden from anyone at all. But then she sent that letter and ran away – I never really got the running away thing – and toyed with Seung-jo’s feelings (though honestly, it seemed like she was hurting more over it than anyone else, from all the crying she’s done). That’s probably something SJ could get mad about, but not unforgivable, seeing as he’s the master of script-writing anyway.

    So from hereon I see two ways to go:

    -either she tells him and they face whatever’s coming at them together
    -or she doesn’t tell him and finds out from someone else and we’re in for a lot of Dramatic Crying Scenes (which are probably going to be there anyway becauset his is a kdrama).

    Worst case scenario:
    He finds out by reading YJ’s diary, and makes his own (probably wrong) assumptions. Or from Tommy Hong, somehow, (anonymously?). That would be really, really, really bad, too.

    • 27.1 Saturtledaisy

      jeez this was long. Sorries, but my brain just has too many thoughts.

    • 27.2 Lovebug

      Agree with everything you said! Especially regarding Seung Jo’s plot arc! (Also I write a lot too but this drama kind of asks for it!)

      • 27.2.1 Saturtledaisy

        I know, right? It makes you use your brain and think about things. *shudder* (oh how I love this drama~)

  28. 28 (permanent) visitor

    Question: After SK went to tell off Tommy Hong, and she leaves his place….why does she need a phone call to remind her that SJ is waiting? Didn’t she just run over to TH for a reason? Why so slow?
    And then when she finally gets back to the park, she stands there basically waiting for him to notice her. WHY? He’s clearly freezing to death, give the poor man a break.

    I know this goes back to last week, but I *still* don’t understand why she pretended not to know he was the CEO. If the objective was to get him to like her, she already did that, right? So why continue the charade? And compound the sneakiness by writing that manipulative letter?

    • 28.1 jomo

      I think between what you wrote and Saturtledaisy’s worst case scenario, we have how this is going to play out the next few weeks.

      SK will NOT tell SJ, so her little stupid letter of lie will be eclipsed by SJ reading of the diary written by YJ.
      He will assume they have been in cahoots from the git go specifcally to go after him, then hurt him.
      Followed by:
      Tears and more tears, anger and angry bunnies. Tommy will find out and see his opening to stick IH in there.
      Don’t know what will happen after that…

      • 28.1.1 Saturtledaisy

        Why did she ever make those angry bunnies ; ;

    • 28.2 Saturtledaisy

      I think what the show wanted us to feel was that she was ‘portraying’ the Candy-like character she used to be. So she created this drama-like mess to emphasize her Candy-ness (for SJ). Or something. Which ironically marked her exact change from being an honest girl to a lying girl, because that’s the first (and as far as I know only) big lie she has told him up until now. I suppose the show needed us viewers to be able to see that, because she /thinks/ she needs to do something like this to seem ‘pure’, she truly has changed?

      I don’t buy it, though. I’m pretty sure that was a plot device because they just needed Se Kyung to do something bad. Even though any rational person would’ve just TOLD him she’s known this fact for like, five seconds or so. But if she’d done THAT, then there’d be no reason for her to be morally confused NOW, and there’d be no reason for the tears that are surely to follow when SJ finds out about the fake letter.
      This is how the dramaworld works, I guess?

      This is probably me speaking as a law student right now, but what person goes around PURPOSELY leaving evidence behind (THE LETTER!! The text messages! – altough these can be interpreted in the opposite way to prove that she DIDN’T know before ah jeong told her, but since she rejected him as a secretary, that’s probably not going to help her – the OBVIOUS LIE with OBVIOUS WITNESSES) when there’s no way she can prove her own honesty and how she sincerly loves him? The only reason I can think of is because the plot requires these elements to come back and bite her in the behind.

      As for the long moments where she just stares instead of doing something (like getting poor SJ out of the cold ; ;), isn’t that what every (k)drama tends to do? Have long scenes with actors/actresses just looking emotional, instead of doing something. Because they’re pretty shots and are supposed to invoke emotion, I guess?

      • 28.2.1 Saturtledaisy

        *evoke, not invoke.
        and… what is that smiley doing there D:

        • jomo

          Smiley is winking at Law Student and wondering why you are commenting on a K-drama instead of reading and memorizing something law-like.
          Much nicer than what Angry Bunny would do.

  29. 29 Lilian

    This show has clearly shown us how everyone is imperfect =D not even the male lead, aka Seung Jo, is perfect. His pettiness and the fact that he always seems to shove decisions at people is horrible….hope by the end of the drama he grows up, but still with some wackiness in him please! I wanna see him dance again =D

  30. 30 Lovebug

    So once again CDA reveals itself to be a show that forces you to think! A light and fluffy rom com this is not! But I appreciate the discourse its creating and everyone thoughts on motivations etc.

    Honestly I watched both these two episodes with not a small degree of anxiety (And a very large amount of TELL HIM!!! Please just TELL HIM!!!)

    I have said this from begining that the writers are doing a good job regarding characterization as there are no perfect people in this drama! Even Seung Jo though played so charasmatically by PSH is in my opinion is just as flawed as Se Kyung and actually for me his situation is a little more scary as he doesn’t seem to be as aware of it as she is.

    I actually was glad that Tommy Hongs evil machinations coupled with Seung Jo’s sincerity finally forced her to wake the hell up and decide she wanted this “ugly love” with Seung Jo and that she needed to tell him the whole truth. (Sigh I so wish she told him already).

    I thought the scene with Seung Jo and Yoon Joo was powerful and loved how it shed so much light on both characters. Her anger and accusations that he used her and tested her, and that he never believed in their love. Him admitting it and saying that he knew she loved him but to what extent. Him apologizing and admiting his fault in it. And her complete breakdown as they say goodbye. Like Whoa! (I now really like the actress playing Yoon Joo).

    After that scene I felt sure that if Se Kyung told him he would be able to understand. (As I feel like her finally in the end understood Seung Jo). But I also get why Yoon Joo stopped her from confessing. Yoon Joo doesn’t believe in love overcoming all, which is why she left Seung Jo in the first place, also why she lives in fear of her husband finding out her past, why she lives in fear period. I do believe that her warning to Se Kyung not to confess is out of genuine care for both Se Kyung and Seung Jo but also out selfish self presevation is a good character beat and true to life. Most of our motivations in life are completely pure.

    Lastly I really hated Seung Jo’s declaration (or In your face Dad! move) It really brought what Yoon Jae said earlier about him using people when dealing with his dad. The fact that he did it not long after the conversation with YoonJoo where he admitted behaving that way makes it worse because he is likely not fully aware he is doing it. (He is still putting on a show for people which if I was his girlfriend would drive me crazy).

    This drama is really interesting because usually we watch immature jerks who are transformed by the power of love. But I think we are watching 2 immature jerks in love.

    • 30.1 Saturtledaisy

      I’m so happy we have a complicated character like Yoon-joo, and not some annoying third-wheel ex-girlfriend. I’m starting to feel really bad for her now, because in the end what she’s been doing hasn’t been that bad. I hope we get to see more of the relationship between her and her husband. I wonder if he’ll find out and just accept her despite everything (since he doesn’t seem all THAT pure himself, helping In-Hwa with her SJ-stalking et all), or have him being the one that helps her be able to be happy again, or something. Or, you know, for the husband to do ANYTHING other than be surprised his wife is acting a little differently.

      Plot twist: what if the husband knew about everything ALL ALONG?

      • 30.1.1 Mystisith

        Love your plot twist: Husband seems passive and not very perceptive. But maybe he loves her genuinely and therefore accepted her like she is…

        • Arawn

          I think this would be awesome. YJ is a person who doesn’t really believe in love in a sense that love is something that makes people really forgive each other and hold on to each other. For her love has been a painful obstacle in her path and even when she was loved by SJ, it came with a price of being used. So it would be great if the husband actually did love her for who she is. I won’t hold my breath, though. 😀

      • 30.1.2 Betsy Hp

        Plot twist: what if the husband knew about everything ALL ALONG?

        That would be SO AWESOME! I really, really, really, really want Yoon-joo and her husband to be totally in love with each other.

    • 30.2 delicatecloud

      I don’t think he was “using” his father per se. He was pre-empting further negotiations/talks on the marriage that is being engineered through Tommy Hong between himself and Im-Hwa. He went in through the “front door” so to speak so that everyone is clear that he is NOT in favour of the so-called “brilliant M&A” match. Remember the side-bar he had with YJ during the launch? He wanted to make a stop to the whole machinations.

  31. 31 Fafa

    With every attack YJ makes on SJ, I hate her more. Even if SJ gave everything up to test her love, she had failed the test! In the end she loved money than him. So how come she has all those accusations against him now?
    But SJ has grown out of that petty JTS mood. He even apologizes to YJ for not being able to protect her (although I think she does not deserve his or anybody else’ protection, including her current husband whom is actually a kind husband for her).
    So a big applause for SJ and a BOOOOO for YJ.

    But I am not sure what I have to think of SK. On the one hand I like her because she fell for Kim secretary not for JTS CEO, and on the other, I am disappointed at her for the letter of lies she wrote to SJ and the game of hiding in the sauna she played with him.

    Not sure how SJ will react when he finds out the truth!

    • 31.1 Arawn

      YJ did wrong, yes. But that doesn’t negate the wrongs SJ committed and YJ has all the right to point out them. She was wronged too in their relationship.

  32. 32 Lilly

    This is why when someone asks if you accept something you should always ask what that means to them completely for you to say to them you will, I suppose.

  33. 33 lavete

    Waahahahahaha no credit card in this world could buy TH reaction to the “We are going to married” thing…

  34. 34 lovedramas

    Both SJ and SK are black and both of their secrets are bad. Both have a bad side to themselves, but I don’t think it’s the bad side that they have had in the past that is going to make who they are as a couple in the future. They need to accept and forgive and then move on with how to both help each other become better people in the future. I think that’s far more important then dwelling on the past.

    SJ threw SK out to the shark there at the end, and now he needs to prove his sincerity, show his “responsibility” towards her, his love to her, and figure out a way to actually protect her. Frankly, this two need to figure out together how to protect each other 🙂 That works much better… 2 heads are better than 1.

    Frankly there is no difference btw what IH is doing then what YJ or SK did. It’s just that people view it differently when the idea of “gold-digger” comes to mind. Both are selfish and using others for personal gain. SK was right when she said that to Tommy.

    I hope the whole SK secret gets worked out pronto! I believe they do genuinely love each other and can stay the long haul and weather all the storms together. I bet there are many ahead.

  35. 35 Sajen

    for some reason I thought this was 20 episodes not 16 and I was panicking in my head ” What, how can they possibly fill 10 more episodes even with filler” granted even with 16 episodes I think they’re moving a little fast.

    at the beginning I just wanted Se Kyung to leave Wonderland by herself, now I want Se Kyung, Seung Jo and Yoon Joo to all leave together and all be happy.

    finally congratulations to So Yi Hyun for making me like Yoon Joo who could easily be a detestable character

  36. 36 Jane

    I tried reading all the comments, but there are a hundred, and, I should be working, so I will just write my thoughts and just ask forgiveness if someone else has written something similar or approaching my words.

    I would like to point out why I love this drama even though both SK and SJ annoy and touch me deeply at the same time.

    The thing is, I can identify with both of them, not because I have any particular personality trait similar to any of them, but because I think these characters reflect something we all can relate to: most of us are regular, pretty good human beings capable of some evil, of hurting others and doing things that are not necessarily good.

    These are not your regular kdrama characters. To me, not even Tommy Hong is really evil. They are just trying to survive.

    Yes, SK needs to confess, but SJ needs to get over his daddy issues. I think he is pretty over what happened with YJ, so to me the ending was more to just annoy the hell out of dad. SJ also needs to mature in a way that makes him more responsible, less selfish, but keep the cute and charm that he is.

    And even though SK is emulating YJ, in the sense that she wants to accomplish the same thing (enter Cheongdamdong), SK is different and is willing to use different methods. She is also a different woman. I think she will call SJ to task after that finale, but I also think she would stand by him; she is stronger that YJ.

    Let’s see what episode 11 brings. The good thing about this series is that you can never predict what will happen next. I am sure we will all be surprised.

    • 36.1 Amy

      I totally agree with what you said…couldn’t put it more perfectly myself.

  37. 37 jess

    I have a feeling that in the end both SeKyung and Seung Jo will leave wonderland together . With their personalities they will be miserable in this type of wonderland.

    • 37.1 Jane

      Maybe they’ll leave for Paris? Let’s hope so!

    • 37.2 lovedramas

      I agree. I think SJ’s first love in a career is painting – or so it seems. But he gave that up in order to exact his carefully planned revenge. I feel like he’d rather be a painter than a luxury goods company CEO. If SJ went back to painting, then I think In Hwa would drop him like a hat – no position of power, no use for her. Although SJ may want to still be in the industry just so he could work with SK everyday. 🙂 hehe… he seems like that kind of person. 🙂

  38. 38 Eva

    Dramabeans! how do you know me so well! Exactly how I was feeling about this episode…. how could it be so dissatisfying and yet satisfying. I am soooo frustrated that Se-Kyung has told Seung-jo the truth yet. But we will see!!!

  39. 39 mysin

    someone here says this is a selfish drama, I thought the same too… talking about reality… for some it’s cruel isn’t it? some people must put their selfishness above anything otherwise they’re not going to get anything or left behind… oooh LIFE… *sigh* or is it just in korea?
    I love this drama, there’re just a lot to learn here

  40. 40 Valleydale

    These characters are all so deliciously complex and so touchingly human (SJ, SK, YJ, and even Daddy Cha). I love them all. I don’t at all understand the “hatin'” some people here heap on them. These characters all just make me want to hug them, and heal their hurts.

    I think it was Daddy Cha who bought the painting. I immediately thought that was the case, especially since, when Se Kyung and Seung Jo were talking about their relationship with their fathers, SJ said his dad would never have secretly saved all his press articles and awards. What SJ’s dad did was “secretly” throw him a financial life-line. And you can see how desperately Daddy Cha wants a relationship with his son, even to the point of asking advice of Se Kyung’s father. The poor guy is just clueless in the parenting department, like so many people in real life….sigh….

    I think Seung Jo took a step toward healing when he apologized to Yoon Joo for “not being able to better protect her” in Paris. It showed that he’s moved on from the hurt/rage/revenge cycle that had heretofore driven him. The video confession he made to Se Kyung is further proof. He’s much more self-aware now, and stronger too, if stronger means he’s no longer on the verge of emotional collapse. But, I don’t know if he’s yet ready to hear Se Kyung’s truth. I definitely don’t think he’ll handle it well coming from a source other than Se Kyung herself. That’s the shoe that still hangs in mid-air here, and the revelation upon which the plot will pivot (if only temporarily). He’s bound to end up reading that diary, and it will not be pretty.

    One thing I sincerely hope they won’t use is that curiously over-used K-drama device of fast-forwarding one or more years into the future at the very end. It’s seldom done well, IMHO. But, I can see SJ, SK and even YJ eventually rejecting the excesses of Cheongdamdong and leaving for Paris. A fast-forward might be the only way they could show that playing out. Just a bit of random conjecture here…

    • 40.1 bashful

      Hi Valleydale,

      I like your reasoning as to why Daddy Cha was the one who bought Seung Jo’s painting. Just like Se Kyung’s Dad cherishes Se Kyung artworks, albeit not openly, Daddy Cha could be the same too. I will then not be surprised if indeed it was him. But what made me guess it was Yoon Jo instead was the fact she was still in Paris when Seung Jo became homeless and penniless. Then some fans recalled she received from Daddy Cha, 30K euros, the same amount used to buy Seung Jo’s painting.

  41. 41 saboriana

    How funny would it be if the ending was another one of SJ epic day dream.

  42. 42 Amy

    Isn’t it interesting though that Seung Jo doesn’t seem interested in knowing the “secret”. It seemed like everytime Se Kyung tries to bring it up he stops her either to confess himself or he just brings up another subject.

    I’m wondering if he already knows her “secret” when he went to her college to find her. I remember him picking up her rabbit drawings…could it be he also read the notes she left behind?? And now he’s just pretending he doesn’t know to see what she’s going to do to test her sincerity??

    Plus I read somewhere Tommy Hing is suppose to fall for Se Kyung…I can’t wait for that to happen. Saturday…please come faster…lol.

    • 42.1 bashful

      Hi Amy,

      I wondered too when will Tommy H. fall for Se Kyung. What will trigger it? Could it also be just a pretend-falling-in-love for her so he can pull her away from Seung Jo and continue the In Hwa-Seung Jo matchmaking deal?

      • 42.1.1 miss unknown

        It’s probably too late in the drama for him to fall in love with SK to be honest because we are 6 episodes away and the writers have to tie all the lose ends together…with SJ and his dad, SJ needs to know about SK’s plans, SK and YJ’s frienships, etc…but I totally predicted right that SJ’s story will be unfold first then SK.

        Although it’s a little late for Tommy Hong to love SK, I have a feeling that when SJ is confused about the whole truth part, Tommy will actually help SK, where he may “love” her…but then the writers of this drama is very UNPREDICTABLE! LOL…the story moves quite fast so it’s really intruding but scary to watch and follow at the same time!

  43. 43 Jolie

    Reason Moon looks a little bigger because her hair is not suitable to her face , she shouldn’t let her hair down on her forhead . Her forhead and face look smart and pretty . Besides , I don’t like other actress because they looks similar , they have V line face and beautiful face but look as surgery so much in Korean .
    Moon is really amazing actress to me and I think as a person or actress still have natural face like her .

  44. 44 Betsy Hp

    I’ve commented all over the place but want to throw in, thanks for the recap, kaedejun! 🙂

  45. 45 mysin

    Phewww… What an exhousting discussion… Anyway out of topic I wanna see MGY paired with Song Joong Ki in a drama… Anyone??? I read someone here demanding too 🙂

    • 45.1 hh2468

      moon geun young and song joong ki? after moon geun young and park shi hoo? park shi hoo and moon chae won? moon chae won and moon geun young? next is park shi hoo & song joong ki then?
      pheww small small world

      • 45.1.1 HJE

        phewwwww.. 😀

  46. 46 mysin

    😀 😀 😀 I know, right… I wouldn’t mind at all, is it goint to be like Song Joong Ki with Yoo Ah In in SKKS? Got couple award too, perhaps? Hillarious… But first MGY n SJK…

  47. 47 Missy

    someone tell YJ to have two seats! Ruining Sk’s moment. That is Sk’s man now and for better or worse it is her decision to reveal her truth to her partner. Shame on SK for being so easily swayed by the ex that did him wrong. She needs to stop acting like a scared Lil girl and be a woman about something. This waffling back in forth between if she wants to be a gold digger or not is tired. Pick one, own it and move on.

  48. 48 Jolie

    I would love to see Moonie and Song Jong Ki will be in a drama together . I think they will match because her face looks baby and suit to SJK .
    Seem SJK looks younger than Moon Chae Won in Nice Guy .

    • 48.1 HJE

      Jolie, I love that too

  49. 49 mtoenlob

    To confess or not to confess. This is SK’s dilemma and has led us to likewise question ourselves. If we were SK, what would we do?

    If she confesses, there will only be 2 responses from SJ depending on his perspective of things. Either negatively or, I’d rather use the word acceptance instead of positively. If he thinks or feels betrayed by the truth of what SK has to say, then most likely he will response negatively. He’ll be hurt, he’ll get angry or he might even go to the extreme of exacting revenge. He has done it before, it is not unlikely he’ll do it again. The confession might even lead to a break-up of the relationship and worst a travel back to despair and emotional breakdown for SJ. At the other side of the balance, he might just understand where she’s coming from and accept SK’s moment of weaknesses – the thought of using him (in the persona of Jean Thierry Cha) and his money to uplift herself from her current status. Granting that she harbored the idea of using SJ, but once she learned that JTC and Secretary Kim are one and the same person that’s when her anguish sets in as she agonizes between pursuing her dream of entering Cheongdamdong and loving the man in the person of Kim Seung Jo (Secretary Kim) as she knows him.

    If she chooses not to, does it benefit SJ? Maybe. Sometimes, what you don’t know won’t hurt you. But to SK, keeping it to herself could be an unnecessary burden. There will always be a nagging thought and a feeling of remorse. Although she is not morally bound to tell SJ that once she contemplated the idea of using him for his money, for her own peace of mind it is prudent and sensible to do so. Secrets have ways of finding their way out into the open. For the sake of their relationship, it is advisable that they start on a clean slate. Just as SJ came out clean before SK and gave her the opportunity to decide whether to accept him as he is, it would benefit them both that she be honest with her intention, too.

    “There is a voice inside of you That whispers all day long, ‘I feel that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.’ No teacher, preacher, parent, friend Or wise man can decide What’s right for you — just listen to The voice that speaks inside.” – Shil Silverstein

    It would be judicious for SK to listen to what the voice inside her says.

    And to SJ, “Love comes to those who still hope even though they’ve been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they’ve been betrayed, to those who still love even though they’ve been hurt before.” – Positive Treasure

    The issue of ‘double standard’ raised by Se Kyung to Tommy Hong is something worth mulling over. Why is In Hwa’s attempt to lure Seung Jo into marriage any different from the scheming plots of Yoon Joo or Se Kyung to marry a rich man? Subtle it might be, IH’s attempt through the machination of TH is as devious as the cunning bid of YJ or SK to crack Cheongdamdong. In the eyes of many, why are the likes of YJ or SK looked down as women who use their charms to extract money and things from men? Why the condescending attitude to the likes of YJ or SK when IH’s primary interest to marriage is material benefits as well. Why is IH’s method acceptable while that of YJ or SK’s is unacceptable?

    It all boils down to social class and financial status in society. It is okay when done by the rich and famous but it comes down right dirty and ugly when done by someone from the low rank of society. Why this kind of perception?

    Double standard may take the form of an “instance in which certain concepts are perceived as acceptable to be applied by one group of people, but are considered unacceptable when applied by another group.” But this reeks of hypocrisy and violates the basic principle that all stand equal, a total disregard to impartiality which is based on the assumption that the same standards should be accorded to all people “without regard to subjective bias or favoritism based on social class, rank, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or other distinctions”. SK hit it right on when she questioned the validity of TH’s contention. TH is biased and rightfully so because he has a lot to gain financially and socially when the marriage match between IH and SJ is accomplished.

  50. 50 Geeme Koon

    I like the symmetry of the story and the irony.


    Yoon Joo steals SK’s man using her tactics (skills)


    SK steals Yoon Joo’s man using Yoon Joo’s own tactics (skills) with Yoon Joo’s help without either knowing the target.

    But as the story is revealed , Yoon Joo’s character gets softer and more human as this story goes on. SK and YJ are both going crazy from not truly confessing what happened in their relationships to SJ.

    Favorite part:

    YJ : “Save Seung Jo” ….. ((((save me , too)))))

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