Drama Recaps
Alice in Cheongdam-dong: Episode 14
by | January 22, 2013 | 74 Comments

Lots of yelling. Lots of heartbreak. Lots of satisfaction. For me, this week truly redeemed last week’s. Even though I’m averse to watching characters have their sufferings dragged out for several episodes, I do hope to watch Seung-jo and Se-kyung suffer for a bit. If we’re going to build up this little white lie into a big crisis that everyone else in Cheongdam-dong is treating it, then we ought to have a big blowout, right?


In-hwa can barely believe Seung-jo’s calm reaction – how could he think there are impostors in that video? Didn’t he watch it carefully? Seung-jo assures he did, and tells her he will get back to her once he’s reviewed the documents regarding the outlet’s location. He leaves In-hwa more confused than ever before – could he have possibly known about this video already? And is he going to try and cover it up?

As for Dong-wook, after he found out about Seung-jo cutting ties with his father he had returned to Paris to look for him. By then, Seung-jo had left his apartment, and Dong-wook spent 6 months looking for him. He found him practically insane living in a storage warehouse. It’s painful for Se-kyung to hear this, but she wonders what would happen to him if a similar traumatic experience were to occur again. Dong-wook doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but firmly instructs her to stay beside him. An experience like this cannot happen again, because he might self-destruct again.

Seung-jo returns to his office, the same fake smile still on his face. But as the truth registers slowly, his smile slowly turns to a grimace, and his brows furrow in confusion and anger. Clearly, he is not fine. Neither is Se-kyung, who leaves Dong-wook’s office more worried than before. But she ends up getting a call from Seung-jo, and heads over to his place to meet up.

Se-kyung finds the apartment door unlocked, and searches through the rooms, but he’s not there. It worries her that he might have run away because he learned the truth somehow. Thankfully she finds him in the kitchen, where he sets up two glasses of wine for the both of them. It looks like he’s in a good mood, and once Se-kyung feels assured of that, then she can enjoy her wine.

Tommy gets a call from his spy and learns that the meeting ended early, but Seung-jo seemed to have left the office in a good mood. Could it possibly be that In-hwa changed her mind at the last moment? But Yoon-joo isn’t assured, and wants to get a confirmation back at the GN Fashion office.

In-hwa storms back into the office, leaving her manager feeling perplexed. Yoon-joo arrives in time to ask what’s wrong, and the manager fears that the presentation he worked on – with In-hwa’s “edits” – wasn’t satisfactory since Seung-jo apparently had no reaction to it. In-hwa comes out to see her sister-in-law, and they walk to a private corner. “Did you tell him?” Yoon-joo asks. In-hwa smiles – Jean Thierry Cha is an impressive man, but surely he will break sooner or later, right? That’s all the confirmation Yoon-joo needs to pass along to Tommy.

Se-kyung looks over Seung-jo’s child pictures and compliments how his eyes have remained pretty since he was young. But this time the flattery is met with a quiet response, as if Seung-jo is wondering whether she is lying to him or not. He goes to grab another bottle of wine, and Se-kyung receives a call from Tommy. She escapes to the bathroom before picking up.

Tommy is surprised to hear that she’s at Seung-jo’s apartment, and that nothing has happened so far. After all – In-hwa had told Seung-jo everything that afternoon. Se-kyung can barely breathe as the world around her swims before her eyes. Dong-wook’s warning that he may self-destruct if he accepts reality rings in her ears, and she barely realizes that Tommy is frantically calling out her name, wondering why she won’t respond.

She finally registers hearing Seung-jo calling out for her and quickly hangs up with Tommy. She emerges from the bathroom to see Seung-jo opening another bottle calmly. He calls her over, as they need to talk. Yikes!

Seung-jo: “Starting tomorrow we’ll be busy looking at wedding halls, looking for our new home, preparing for the wedding, and sending out invitations. Let’s do them all one by one, step by step, okay?” Se-kyung barely manages to give him a small smile as Seung-jo drinks more wine, probably getting quite buzzed. I feel this is worse – having to tiptoe around him for the rest of your life.

Tommy tries to call Se-kyung back but she’s already turned off her phone. He’s reaching a breaking point in nervousness, as he can’t figure out what’s going on in Seung-jo’s mind. Shouldn’t he be yelling or cursing her out? How could nothing be happening so far? Is he going to try and bury the truth as well? Yoon-joo has nothing to say, other than the fact that it has now become Se-kyung’s burden to deal with Seung-jo and the truth.

Seung-jo drinks himself to a stupor, so Se-kyung tucks him into bed. Il-nam and Dong-wook’s words go through her mind – both of them want her to stay by Seung-jo’s side no matter what, as they know only she can help make Seung-jo better. She holds onto Seung-jo’s hand and silently reaffirms her vow to stay by his side no matter what, even if their relationship came to an end right now.

The following morning, Seung-jo wakes up with the image of Se-kyung on the video seared in his head. Doubts start filling his mind again, but he hears plates clattering in the kitchen. It’s Se-kyung preparing breakfast – she had stayed in the living room overnight. He smiles as she scolds him for having such low tolerance for alcohol, and it does warm his heart that she seems to care so much for him.

Se-kyung then mentions that despite what Seung-jo says, he doesn’t seem to be a petty man. But she hopes that he can show her different sides to him, rather than always the good side. Her conversation is veering too close to revealing her secret, and Seung-jo interrupts her – he has someplace he wants to take her, so they should eat quickly.

It’s a quiet car ride as Seung-jo takes her to a secluded, small church. He envisions white flowers along the side, their close friends and family sitting in the rows near the front, greeting them. She joins in on the fantasy, waving at Dong-wook and greeting Il-nam. It’s hilarious how his face is brimming with pride, and then when he sees her, he gives her a disapproving glare.

They reach the altar, and the priest asks for their vows. Seung-jo replies, “I do,” and Se-kyung follows suit. They pretend to exchange rings, and repeat their vows. The priest then asks if there is anyone with any objection to the wedding. Seung-jo has none, but when the priest asks Se-kyung, she freezes up. Memories of Seung-jo once again believing in love rip her to pieces, and she finally speaks up: “Seung-jo, I have something to tell you… I lied to you…”

Her voice falters as Seung-jo’s smiling face disappears. He stares at her coldly: “Don’t. If you say one more word, I will kill you.” (Ohshitohshitohshit. Sorry – but I believe him.) He warns her not to say another word, as nothing has changed between them. But Se-kyung can’t help herself. She apologizes profusely and takes all the blame. If anyone has to go to hell, it should only be her. He shouldn’t try to deal with the issue by himself.

Seung-jo: “You… ruined everything.” And he leaves her in the church to deal with her guilt and heartbreak. Cold.

She remembers him telling her that love means embracing each other’s flaws no matter what. That stops her crying and she chases after him, but it’s too late. He’s gone. She calls him several times, but he refuses to pick up. He does, at least, stop driving for a moment and lets the tears fall.

Se-kyung frantically calls Dong-wook without an explanation to see if he can get in touch with Seung-jo. He gets the voicemail too, and when they rush over to his home, Seung-jo is nowhere to be found. She instructs Dong-wook to stay in case Seung-jo returns.

Seung-jo isn’t in his office either, and Secretary Moon can’t get in contact with him. Il-nam learns of Seung-jo’s disappearance when his secretary can’t confirm their meeting time, and he immediately suspects Se-kyung. Boy is she really in for it; Il-nam roars that she should have lied and denied everything, but Se-kyung couldn’t. She couldn’t continue when she saw how much it was tearing Seung-jo up inside.

As she walks through the streets of Cheongdam-dong, she passes by the tea parlor he took her to before. His painting has been removed, and one of the waitresses mentions that Seung-jo had arrived earlier and asked the same thing. She directs Se-kyung to another gallery.

Il-nam has sent his secretary to contact the police to see if any accidents have been reported yet. Scary how the father’s first thought goes there. The meeting with GN Fashion is still happening though, as they’ve all arrived. Before they can even start discussing, Il-nam informs Mr. Shin that he will not work with GN Fashion; Royal Group will find another partner to work with on the outlet. Why? Ask In-hwa. HAHA – sucker.

Of course, Min-hyuk and Mr. Shin turn on her and ask what’s going on, but she’ll explain at home. Mrs. Shin arrives at Yoon-joo’s home with the news that the deal was called off, and the two of them wait expectantly for Min-hyuk, In-hwa, and Mr. Shin. In a way, Yoon-joo seems to know what her fate will be.

As soon as they arrive, In-hwa plays the video back for her mother and brother so that they’d understand why the deal was cut off. Before the video ends, Mr. Shin orders the tablet to be shut off (even though Mama wants to keep watching). Pissed, Mrs. Shin grabs her glass of water and splashes it on Yoon-joo’s face – she never should have accepted a nobody like her into her family!

Mr. Shin tells his wife to shut up – yay! – and then Min-hyuk leads Yoon-joo away for a private talk. And then, Mr. Shin became my sole savior for this episode: “In-hwa, who taught you to act so low?” Ooooooh – In-hwa is hurt that her father turned against her, because her marriage got ruined by these two scheming women, and her father would have buried Se-kyung’s secret. Mr. Shin: “Of course! That deal was worth hundreds of millions of dollars and you wasted it on your feelings? What did you gain from it? You just ended up showing your true colors, and hit rock bottom.” If a business partner changes partners, then it’s simply their loss.

While it’s full of tough love, I’m glad Daddy Shin set In-hwa straight for her spiteful actions.

Min-hyuk is disgusted with Yoon-joo, thinking that she must have wanted to beg him for forgiveness earlier so that he would let her stay in the family. Did she want that material wealth that much? He wants to know how and why she decided to hide the truth about her past from him, even though that doesn’t really matter now.

Yoon-joo tearfully says it wasn’t all greed that motivated her. She wanted to protect her marriage, and to be the best wife to her husband. It was difficult for her too. At least Min-hyuk could understand a little of her plight, as he softens a little. He’s not willing to completely end his marriage yet, even though Mrs. Shin is pushing for a divorce based on the prenuptial so that Yoon-joo won’t get a cent.

Divorce is the least of Mr. Shin’s worries – he needs to find a way to salvage this deal. He worked too hard to get the outlet to come to Korea, so he’s not going to let Royal Group take all the profits. Before the divorce can happen, he orders Min-hyuk to find use in his wife to help them.

Yoon-joo walks outside to clear her head and bumps into In-hwa. This time there’s less animosity on In-hwa’s side. They’ve both been bruised because of love, and no matter their background they’re on level ground.

Se-kyung races to the gallery where she sees Seung-jo’s painting. One of the ladies there remembers seeing him staring at the painting for the longest time, and notes that he only left two hours ago. She runs back out again, and nearly gets hit by an oncoming car. Startled, she returns to the curb to catch her breath, and gets a call from Tommy. He’s heard from Yoon-joo – it’s game over for all of them now. Se-kyung can only sob, “Seung-jo is gone!” and Tommy rushes out of his office to look for her.

He sees her walking despondently on the street and tries to send her home. But Se-kyung is insistent on finding him. There’s still a lot she needs to do for him, including proving to him that love really does exist, and showing her true self to him. Tommy suggests that he may have returned home already, and drives her back to Seung-jo’s place.

But Seung-jo still isn’t home. Se-kyung goes into his study to find a picture of Paris that she had drawn up. Suddenly it hits her – Seung-jo had run away to Paris before, and he could do it again. She gets a call from Secretary Moon and they simultaneously tell each other of their discovery. Secretary Moon tracked Seung-jo down and found him on the 10:30 PM flight to Paris.

Se-kyung and Tommy make a mad dash to the airport, where Seung-jo is waiting to board. As he gets on line to go through the gate, Se-kyung and Tommy arrive looking for him. She locates him just as he’s next to go in, and drags him out of the line. Even though Seung-jo resists, she won’t let him go.

Seung-jo declares it’s over between them. He tried to forget about her and her betrayal, but he can’t erase it from his mind. He had hoped she could just disappeared. But what good would that have done? Se-kyung points out that running away would not solve this issue they’re having. If Seung-jo wants to break up, they’ll break up, but not before Se-kyung has had her say.

Seung-jo got to reveal his entire self to her and she still stuck by him. Now, it’s her turn.


Thank goodness Se-kyung finally gets to have her say, since Seung-jo got to make his big announcement about his misdeeds. I hope the path to forgiveness won’t be easy though. Se-kyung forgave him pretty quickly, but since the drama has focused on and intensified her crisis, I think the writers might as well gives up a pretty big payoff. If the drama wants me to believe that her problems are seriously sinful, then I want to see the consequences – and her actions to redeem it – match the gravity of her sin. (Honestly, I don’t believe in her “crime” being so heinous, but I can understand it just enough to let it fly by for this drama.)

I’m glad that Seung-jo grieves in this episode. He didn’t grieve when Yoon-joo left him, but he now cries when he learns of Se-kyung’s betrayal. It indicates a deeper love that he’s developed for her, as well as a sign that he is healing, even if he’s now heartbroken. But other than that, he sure does take reality hard. For someone who can’t stand Wonderland, he sure has a hard time seeing anything but a fantastical Wonderland.

I do have this feeling that things are going to be rushed at the end, since at this point there’s not much story left to tell. We’ve followed Se-kyung’s struggle to becoming a Cheongdam-dong wife, and dragged out the conflict in every way possible. We can only get a neat bow at the end, with snippets of everyone else’s fate, right? That would be a pretty solid state to leave the series in, but it does leave me wanting for more. With the culmination of the truth being revealed for everyone in this drama, I really want to see more about how Yoon-joo will help salvage GN Fashion and become an integral part of the family in the business sense, and I really want to see Tommy do more than calling people up and trying to save Se-kyung wherever she is. I have a lot of hopes and wishes riding on the last two episodes, most of which I’m not sure will be fulfilled, but we’ll see.

I’ve certainly returned to that feeling I had in episodes 1 and 2, where I was curious to see where this series was going, even if it hasn’t hooked me completely yet.


74 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. UJ

    Thanks for the recap^^

    • 1.1 Curioser And Curiosor

      Whah! – I can finally let it out: This episode is as close to being a dramatic masterpiece on illustrating emotional and psychological fragility and resilience as I have ever witnessed on any screen. I think that Park Shi Hoo merits some serious accolades for the depth and versatility with which he shows us a man struggling to contain the anguish of his heartbreak – it is painful to behold and it just took my breath away for the entire episode In Hwa’s callous exposé…

      PSH – what can I say…!? When Seung-jo was happy, he was broad and giddy, waltzing with lappsts in the streets, leaping and clicking his heels with joy – it was so easy to go there with him and maybe even laugh at him a little for being such a kid-in-love.

      Now Seung-jo has to face his worst nightmare in the face and not even his infectious smile and willful self delusion can drive away the horrifying possibility that what he believed was pure love is actually soiled by pragmatic material needs. That the actor chooses denial and stifled disbelief (when he woke up I could just FEEL him saying “please make it not true!”), that PSH chooses that barely contained, almost utterly repressed agony over storm and rage, my heart truly hurt for Seung-jo.

      Heavens, how deeply did this child’s mother wound him when she traded him fro alimony, how savagely did this boy’s lover scar him when she abandoned his penniless arms. I am completely on board with the suggestion of PTSD the narrative offers: acute and shattering traumas will sublimate into something that colors everything we do, making us susceptible to the merest stimuli. I can empathize with this fragile sould for whom the opposite of “I love you” is not “I don’t love you” but rather “what can I get out of you…”

      Ugh, the pain of it is unbearable. And since this is a drama, I just have to say hats off to Park Shi Hoo – this is the first time I have ever seen him play pain so profoundly and it moved me deeply.

      • 1.1.1 Betsy Hp

        Wow! All I can say Curiouser And Curiouser is, I agree! PSH has been doing an amazing job with a complex role. And you explain the whys and hows beautifully. 🙂

        • Laurita

          I also agree. I actually really liked this ep., but yes again mostly for Seung-jo and his acting. I think … I love him/ his role. 🙂

          • Lilly

            He is such a great actor. I hope I will see him in some movies also.

      • 1.1.2 Ivoire

        Hello Curioser And Curiosor, I just wanted to thank you for your detailed explanations to my questions in the episode 12 recap comments section. I don’t know if you saw it, however, I did respond (3 days later) to your answers. Thank you again for your time and your patience 🙂

        • Curioser And Curiosor

          My pleasure, Ivoire. If I remember correctly, we had a lot of fun talking about language, yeah? I am happy to know that you found the response to your questions satisfying. ^_^

      • 1.1.3 tc

        @Curioser and Curiosor – please watch Princess Man if you haven’t done so. PSH’s portrayal of Kim Seong Yu, a man hurt by betrayal and deeply in pain was so awesome. His acting in this ep does remind me of Princess Man.

        • Curioser And Curiosor

          Hi tc, thanks for the recommendation. PSH really blew me away in this episode so I look forward to discovering/witnessing his thespian versatility in his other work.

          • xianzhongfan

            Curioser and Curiosor, The Princess’ Man it is then.

      • 1.1.4 Raitei

        I couldn’t have agreed more. Even when Seung Jo said, “Don’t. If you say one more word, I’ll kill you,” what I felt wasn’t fear but sadness. He was hurting really badly, and his pain struck my heart like a knife. 🙁

        Me and my sister agree, though, that PSH looks lovely when he cry. Idk, but I think he looks a lot more mesmerizing when he show sad/pained expressions than happy ones.

        That aside, I love Se Kyung for having the guts to pull him and stick to him even when he’s trying to push her away. I hope dramaland will have more heroines like her. +_+

        Also, I hope Yoon Joo will still have her happy ending as I see that she does have some love for her husband. I also hope that In Hwa will suffer some more simply because I don’t like her. lol

    • 1.2 luvs

      Shin In Hwa – nothing like the wrath of a scorned woman. She thinks she is the only one who has the right to snag Mr Rich boy, why not Se Kyung? Shin In Hwa did not even love Seung Jo – she was just petty, sore loser. I am glad Se Kyung fought back… it’s ok for the rich to go after a rich boy but not ok for a poor girl to go after the rich boy bec then you are a gold digger…. hmmmm this mentality/attitude is true in real life though.

      Seung Jo – good acting! esp at the church scene. awww broken hearted me… but that’s love. you are only hurt deeply by the one you love.

      Some of the dialogues are off-key to me however .. let’s see how the writers end this. It better make sense…

    • 1.3 luvs

      Who is that doctor character? He is super cute!!!!
      I can forgive this drama’s flaws just because the doctor is there LOL.

  2. Ivoire

    Thank you for the recap!

  3. ninji

    Not looking forward to the end, it will probably be rushed. But at least it won’t be draggy.

    Oh, I just wish this drama would’ve gone with the fantasy element more, like the diary – loved the look of that. I don’t even see How Se kyung is Alice.

    • 3.1 Betsy Hp

      Se-kyung sees the truth and logic behind the “Wonderland” fuzzy thinking that everyone around her deploys. And she’s not afraid to point that truth and logic out. That’s what makes her Alice.

      (Though I do agree it’s not in a fantasy way. It’s much more metaphorical and therefore more connected to reality.)

    • 3.2 nasus

      Yay, some improvements! I had super wanted to drop this drama whose underlying concept is pretty awkward, but decided not to since it showed such a strong and promising beginning. i wasn’t expecting much that it would gain my interest again, but this episode did it! two more to go, i need surprisessss…

  4. ailee

    hate cliffhangers. thanks for the recap hehe ^^

  5. snow_white

    thanks for the recap….

  6. omolady

    At the alter, when he made a 180 in emotions I was so shocked. I literally backed up from my screen and gasped! He looked so cold, so angry, so heartbroken, so I’ll-snap-your-neck!

    • 6.1 Eye Candy

      OMG YES! When he looks at her coldly and goes “Don’t say anything or I’ll kill you” I was genuinely terrified. Glad I’m not the only one who freaked out 🙂

      • 6.1.1 (permanent) visitor

        Seung-jo be crazy. I’d get the hell out of there.

        I prefer love stories to let’s-all-protect-the-hero’s-fragile-sanity stories.

  7. JMVM

    I do not know why, but the ending, instead of leaving me with a sense of doom, it left me with a sense of hope. I think it was the upbeat music. It certainly gave the feeling that the moment was not a mopy one, but one of empowerment. Se Kyung turned the tables on Seung Jo and now he will have to deal with it.

    As some have said, there is not much plot to squeeze in here, so if the writers are smart, tehy acn resolve verything or most of the conflict by the end of episode 15 and the first ahlf of 16.

    Maybe episode 16 will be an all candied out, sweet fan service episode!

    • 7.1 JMVM

      Sorry about all the typos, but my keyboard is misbehaving.

  8. JoAnne

    I would also like to (finally) learn more of Tommy’s story but somehow I don’t think we’re going to get it…

    I hope that Min Hyuk looks back at the ways YJ has tried to be a good wife to him, and that he realizes it isn’t just money or comfort that she fears losing. I have thought all along that, if not love, she at least feels affection and gratitude and support for him and from him. There’ll be people who say that’s not enough, but I think those will be the younger ones. You get older, you realize that companionship and thoughtfulness are a lot more comforting than a passionate love affair.

    As for Se Kyung – she has to turn Seung Jo’s words back on him. If she stands there and defends her ‘ugly love’ and SJ thinks back over the sincere care she has shown him…he will know the truth of her and he will have to accept that the woman he loves isn’t perfect but is certainly worth loving.

    • 8.1 aidablue

      I would also like to see more on Tommy’s story. I felt they gave him a lot of importance in the first episodes as possible white rabbit and then in the last episodes they set him aside as a sidekick character.
      I did enjoy seeing both him and YJ collaborate in SK’s favor but as I am a little bit greedy in terms of character depht I did wish for more.
      As for YJ’s situation, I must admit I have flipped through the episode to see what will happen to her and then watched the episode completely. I don’t know why but her story aroused my interest more than the main couple’s one despite the fact that the leads are so daaaarn good actors and they to tend to squeeze every bit of emotion out of me.

      I do hope YJ gets her happy end, for me she’s the first Alice in this story.

      • 8.1.1 Betsy Hp

        Ooh, I like the idea that Yoon-joo was the first Alice. Then she fully acclimated and became the Red Queen. And now, I think she’s sliding towards becoming the White Queen.

        Which I think bodes well for her, because Alice helps the White Queen win her game of chess against the Red Queen, who I think is now Mrs. Shin. I only hope her husband decides to become a White Knight (or would it be White King?) and stay by her side and maybe that will define the win? (I agree with you JoAnne, for some reason I really, really want those two to work it out. Maybe it’s the warmth they both expressed, but especially him, in the first episodes.)

        • aidablue

          I totally agree with you on YJ turning into the White Queen. It is weird how I first thought that IH would turn out to be the mentor(White Queen) for SK with her ethics and all and YJ would be the Red Queen and then the writers surprised me by making YJ SK’s guide into this unknown world she was entering and turned IH into a bratty princess.

          Ha ha! This drama has a gift to amaze me.

  9. Windsun33

    For me, ep 13/14 made up for the somewhat dragging 11/12 ones. The pace picked up quite a bit.

    With only 2 episodes left, things are starting to fall into place (or in In Hwa’s case, fall apart). Still not totally predictable yet though, I can see several possible endings for it – but being a K-drama, I would expect that most things get a bit sugary, and In Hwa takes off for the US (isn’t that how most disgraced chaebol kiddies go? :D)

    Overall I liked Alice much more than most, in large part because it has avoided most of the far too common cliches – nobody got amnesia, cancer, or was chased down by debt collector gangs).

    • 9.1 kakashi

      ha! we could still get amnesia. theoretically. Seung-jo falls, hits his head, and forgets everything he suffered through. Perfect! ^^

  10. 10 Suzi Q

    Hurray! I’m glad Mr. Shin knocked some sense back to In Hwa’s warped sense of self righteousness and reminded her that her marriage was totally of convenience and she blew a million dollars deal in the bargain by acting so low class!

    Yoon Jo should stand up to her horrible chaebol family and tell them to go stick it where the sun don’t shine!

    I’m glad Se Kyung didn’t back down and is willing to try to show Seung Jo that even though she may have deceived him in the beginning, she is someone who really loves him and who will not abandon him. Shouldn’t you love the frog prince warts and all?

  11. 11 colors

    I loved that the common clichés were being avoided, as Windsun33 said, like when Se-Kyung refused to take a loan and decided to move somewhere elese instead. Or like how she refused to hack into the e-mail box because it’s out of line and too reckless just to protect themselves.

    But, seriously, I can’t get why her lie is such a big problem for everyone. I can get why between Se-Kyung and Seung-Jo because that’s their relationship, so it makes sense.
    As for In-Hwa, it’s also alright to me because she’s too self-centered and felt like it should’ve been her instead.

    But why the others? Like, the Dad says it’s alright if she keeps her mouth shut but who made his son emotionally like this in the first place? I felt it a bit unfair to Se-Kyung who basically has to deal with what man the son turned out because of him (although his trying to protect his son was lovely in a way).

    This drama is trying to say that if you’re a gold digger who actually happens to have fallen in love (“dirty love” or not) before you knew the man was wealthy, you’re going to hell. But if you’re mentally instable and doing many a weird thing like revenge and all- and, well, running reality because you’ve been wounded, it’s alright.

    Yet, I liked the idea that Se-Kyung has to show herselft to Seung-Jo. Until now, he’s just been talking big and I felt they haven’t really interacting with each other as if they were on the same level.
    At first, he sort of stalked her (not with bad intentions, but still), then he dupped her and finally he tried to tell her everything. But that’s when she had the upper hand on the relationship by pretending not to know his identity (yet still carinf about him as a human).
    He was attracted to her because of her suffering and her “wisdom” (maybe not the right word) in relationships, so can’t she also like him also because of his money? After all, she then accepted him as he was (“petty” he says…). Now’s your turn Seung-Jo! Accept that you’re both just human.

    After all, I wouldn’t believe that Se-Kyung would leave him if he were to fall financially to the bottom (even before he foudn out her lie). Despite everything she’s done so far to part of this world of the rich people, I’m sure she would be by his side ’cause she doesn’t see him as a pile of money.
    Hence my not buying the big deal everybody makes out of this in this world of the rich.

    • 11.1 Mystisith

      At this point, the only way for me to see the OTP ending as a couple is for him to be broke and without a title of any kind. That’s the best way to test her honesty and love. He could restart his life as a painter in Montmartre, in a little studio against the roof. With SK living by his side & taking fashion lessons. Very romantic, absolutely not realistic but Happy Ending.

      • 11.1.1 kakashi

        or amnesia. don’t forget amnesia.

        • meme

          dying. of. laughter.

        • Mystisith

          True. Hot Doc must have some secret amnesia potion. Sneakily poured in the coffee, and let’s believe than all this was an awful nightmare. I just need to check than it doesn’t have secondary effects, like blindness for example.

          • YY

            But we’ve got to be careful with these secret amnesiac potions because he could end up not only losing his sight, but his mind AND HIS HAIR as well! So then she’d be saddled with a blind, mad, bald and poor amnesiac painter in Paris, and we’d have heartwrenching closeups of her crying and singing: “I dreamed a dream in time gone byyyyyy When hope was high and life worth livinggggg”

      • 11.1.2 Laurita

        … or just make a marriage contract for not getting any of his money.

      • 11.1.3 Windsun33

        I can see another possible scenario – where Yoon Jo confesses to Seung-Jo that it was all her idea and that SK changed her mind and really loves him… or something like that.

        Of course it is always possbile that there won’t be a happy ending, but that would be a rare moment in rom-coms.

  12. 12 Athena

    Thanks for the recap. Finally the truth is out. Geez, feels like I have been waiting forever for the air to clear. My eternal love for PSH has stopped me from giving up on this drama completely and I have been watching only snippets and cuts of scenes where he appears. Maybe, just maybe this drama can get back on track after this. Is it too late to stop the melo and bring on the funny, dramagods?Please?

  13. 13 Betsy Hp

    Thanks for the recap, kaedejun! 🙂 I’m totally with you in an eagerness to see how it all ends.

    I do disagree here… or at least, I’m of two minds:

    While it’s full of tough love, I’m glad Daddy Shin set In-hwa straight for her spiteful actions.

    Because I think a big thrust of the drama is that being “pure business” or “pure love” is a fantasy. So the expectation that In-hwa not be upset is all part of the “emotions? we have no emotions” lie that the Cheongdam-dong set live under.

    But! I was glad to see In-hwa get set down, because yeah. She did deserve it.

    And this part here… I’m also of two minds:

    If the drama wants me to believe that her problems are seriously sinful, then I want to see the consequences – and her actions to redeem it – match the gravity of her sin.

    Because I’m still not sure if the drama wants us to see it as sinful, or if it wants to show how she was kind of forced to make that choice because of the fantasies of the world she was trying to break into.

    On the one hand, it’s already caused Se-kyung all kinds of pain to lie and manipulate (she’s been waiting for the shoe to drop since she first lied). And we’re seeing Yoon-soo suffer as well as a sort of proxy. (Her stress throughout the drama has been pretty intense.)

    On the other, Seung-jo told her he was relieved she was turned off by him being the president instead of the secretary. So her lie soothed his need for the fantasy. And then everyone reinforced that he needed that lie. So it’s less about her “sin” and more about his delusion? Maybe?

    Heh. I think I’ve confused myself. In any case, I look forward to how this story resolves and we can finally see clearly what point the drama is making. 😀

    • 13.1 Moko

      I totally get what you mean. But still it’s a lie. Not one that she liked.
      Seung-jo is a really fragile man. That’s what we saw in the beginning. I guess it’s also about the fact that he needs to grow up. That even her lie, that ruined the innocence still will, in the end, not break them apart. That the world doesn’t end when someone makes a mistake. That’s what he needs to learn. That love, like SK said, even when it’s dirty, it’s still love. Even when it sucks, it still matters.

  14. 14 meme

    in the beginning of this series, i was so excited, i would even watch the raw videos without subtitles. i wasn’t that excited for the episodes, this weekend, but i have to say that i am back to being totally engaged with this story after this episode. i am interested as the role is reversed, this time, the white rabbit following alice out of the hole.

  15. 15 tc

    Yes, Despite the angst, I actually like this episode. I am glad all secrets are finally out in the open and can’t wait to see what will HSK do to regain CSJ’s trust in her. I really like the way Shin Hwa was reprimanded by her dad and how caring and anxious CSJ’s dad was when he found out that CSJ knows the truth and cancelled the JV arrangement with GN Fashion.

    Both PSH and MGY are so awesome in their acting at the church – managed to still make me cry despite knowing that the breakup will definitely happen.

  16. 16 mtoenlob

    Man is a complex creature. How he responses to life’s stimuli depends, most of the time, largely on his emotional state. Man is vulnerable to being hurt by other people, whether intentionally or not. And when hurt, he is apt to retaliate to protect and avenge himself. He tends to think of revenge, and to react and respond to that hurt by striking back, an eye for an eye, thinking that in doing so justice has been dispensed. He thinks that by hurting the person(s) who hurt him will make him feel good to see the “hurter” suffer as he/she made him suffer. This is Seung Jo. The thought of exacting vengeance from the people who have caused him so much pain and misery is the driving force that propelled him to survive his darkest hours. But in his deluded desire for retaliation he has lost himself. He might have experience satisfaction for the payback but this is short-lived. In his solitary moments he drowns himself with the “happiness” and “satisfaction” but these are not real and this act erodes his sense of well-being and peace. To an outsider, he is a man of poise, of confidence, of success. Deep inside, he is a total wreck. And so, as a coping mechanism, he builds himself a world of make-believe. And this is where he has placed himself and Se Kyung. When SK smashes his make-believe world by making him see reality he is enraged with disappointment. She has ruined his world. Once again, SJ is hurt. And his natural instinct is to run away from reality.

    It is understandable where SJ’s outrage with reality is coming from. The past can hurt. You can either run from it or learn from it. However, by living in self-denial, by hanging on to the hurt, with anger, bitterness and resentment he is harming himself more. He has to acknowledge the hurt, express the pain, and heal himself completely by forgiving those who hurt him, release the pain and let go of the bitter experience. Most of all, he has to forgive himself, because subconsciously he is blaming himself, too. Only then can he start anew.

  17. 17 (permanent) visitor

    “He stares at her coldly: “Don’t. If you say one more word, I will kill you.” (Ohshitohshitohshit. Sorry – but I believe him.) ”

    Yeah, um, this was the point at which I relinquished any hope of being satisfied by this drama, because NO, NO, NO you do not say that, in that serious tone of voice, to someone you love. That is one big, giant, red flag to get out of the relationship. Yes, I know that perpetrators of interpersonal violence are most often someone the victim knows – but are those GOOD relationships? Nope, nuh-uh, I don’t think so.
    I realize that SJ is in a fragile mental state, but that doesn’t make him any LESS dangerous. And when did this go from romance to “it’s her duty to maintain his sanity”?

    Yeah, I’d take the ticket to Paris.

    • 17.1 meme

      in another blog, it was noted that that expression is not literal. not really knowledgeable about this. maybe someone else can explain.

    • 17.2 tc

      @permanent (visitor)

      Please do not take his words literally. I have heard such words been spoken before in other Kdramas to express deep anger. The words are said to intentionally shut the person up and not meant in the literal sense that he will kill her. When CSJ walked out from the church and drove away, I can sense how deeply hurt he is and when he cried, I can feel how deeply broken he is after learning the truth about HSK.

    • 17.3 TK

      I’ve been in perfectly happy, healthy relationships with partners who, when emotions are running high, have said hurtful or even violent things. “I hate you.” “I want to strangle you right now.” “I wish you’d just go and die.” Does that mean they literally wanted to murder me? Of course not. They never laid a finger on me and never had any intention of it; they were just saying harsh words to release their stress. Even I’ve done it when I lose control during arguments. I think everyone who’s been in serious relationship has spoken out of anger at least once.

      And in Seung Jo’s case, here’s a boy who doesn’t know how to express himself at all. Whenever he hits a rough patch, he hides in a fantasy world of mental movie scripts. “I’ll kill you” was just one of his melodramatic lines. What he really meant was, “You’ve hurt me and I don’t know how to deal with it, so I wish you’d just disappear so I can go back to pretending everything is okay.” He wanted to “kill” or obliterate the source of his pain, which at the time was Se Kyung. It doesn’t mean he literally wanted to hurt her.

  18. 18 Amy

    This episode is really awesome….love this show from the beginning then the middle dragged a bit and now I back on board again. Both Moon and PSH are fantastic in their roles here….I felt my heart breaking during the church scene.

  19. 19 ilovekimchi

    Thanks for the recap! So the last couple of episodes dragged, huh? Been abroad, now it’s time to catch up! Sorry to hear it couldn’t keep up the pace, but it looks like it’s picking up again…off to read past recaps….

  20. 20 Valleydale

    Permanent Visitor definitely has a point about how scarey Sueng Jo became in that moment when he threatened Se Kyeung saying, “Say another word and I’ll kill you.” But, then that rage seemed to disappear when he pulled his car over to the side of the road and commenced crying like a lost child. My heart absolutely broke for him in that moment. He’s such a complex and wounded character. I don’t know if it’s possible for Se Kyeung to fix what’s broken in him. What can she possibly tell him at this point that will allow him to open up to her again? He only ever saw what he wanted to see in her. Only perfection will do it seems. I’m remembering early in the drama when they sat in a cafe and he revealed his “deepest darkest secret” about his time in Paris, how he then absolutely would not(!) allow Se Kyeung to confess her own secret. He had no way of knowing what she was going to tell him. But somehow, intuiting that it would ruin the perfect image he had of her, he steadfastly refused to hear it. Se Kyeung is a fully functioning adult, but Cha Sueng Jo is still a wounded child. I can’t think of a single way in which a relationship can be salvaged from such circumstances. It’s too bad too, because I was really hoping for a fairy tale ending. sigh….

  21. 21 Lovebug

    OK I guess I am back on the Alice bandwagon, last weeks episodes seriously left my once ardor for this show seem misplaced. But especially this episode was so satisfying from a character development and acting standpoint that my faith is slowly being restored.
    *well except regarding Tommy Hong. Drama tell me why do you cast Kim Ji Suk to do nothing. He is so much better than that.

    MGY and PSH acting in the church scene was stellar. When she starts to tell him she lied to him but see’s his facial expression and stumbles over the word lie – Daebak!
    PSH is at his best acting behind his acting. (if that makes sense) He is really able to subtlety convey his characters real thoughts and feelings while portraying the act the character wants to put on. I don’t think I am explaining it well but the thing that comes to mind are both the elevator (behind the sunglasses) and breakfast scenes from Prosecutor Princess where he is trying to distance himself from KSY because he knows he about to hurt her.

    Anyway I am pleased with where they are going and hoping that Seung Jo can finally stop living in the fantasy. It kept bothering me how everyone kept acting like he was so fragile in this episode and that the truth would actually kill him. I hope they will show that he is stronger than they think and can be a true accepting partner to Sekyung.

    Regarding Yoon Joo I am glad that her past was finally revealed. She has been living in fear believing that she is really below her her husband and his family. I hope she will not be begging on her knees in the future to anyone of them, but take responsibility for her actions with her head held high! (Sekyung style).

    Actually looking forward again to next week’s episodes! (I honestly kind of wish we had more time to wrap things up, because I still think there is still a bit of work to be done between Seung jo and Sekyung).

  22. 22 YY

    So what does Se Kyung mean when she declares it’s only fair she reveals her true self to him, that if he doesn’t like it then she’ll let him go? How is she going to reveal her true self? Does this mean she has been putting on an act all this while she was with him? Is the next episode going to show her dragging him all over the city so he can watch her ‘real’ reaction to everything around her? Like dragging him to a boutique and saying: “I want this, this, this and this….ooh, and that, that and that.” Um, I doubt he’d be too pleased with the revelation of THIS aspect of her true self. Nah, I think she’d play it safe and go to her room, and say things like: “I always wanted to dress up and be a real life princess, but it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted…” What I’m saying is, she can’t really show her truly true self as yet, not at this juncture when he’s so pissed off with her. Maybe later, muchhhhh later.

    • 22.1 Windsun33

      Yeh, I was kind of wondering also what exactly is her “true self” that he does not already know about. With only 2 episodes left, not much room for any more twists and turns.

      • 22.1.1 JoAnne

        He has no idea why she did what she did, or what her ACTUAL ‘crime’ is – it’s only when she lays the whole story and her thought process out for him that he will be able to truly see her, and decide whether or not it’s something he can accept. She loves him, but she has warts. Right now does he even know that she actually loves him?

        • Geeme Koon

          deception is a shameful thing.

          aiming for a rich man isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the whole shameless part is when she deceived him and pretended to like “Secretary Kim” unconditionally ; when in fact she gave him up to pursue the president ; when she found out his identity, instead of also revealing herself, she played hide-n-go seek to lure him in… She played the game to get him to fall for her. She didn’t need to do that, but she did it anyway.

    • 22.2 TK

      Most likely she’s just going to show him Yoon Joo’s “secret diary” and that numbered list she wrote when she found out he was the elusive millionaire president. And while he’s reading it there will be flashbacks to her writing it in tears, and then he’ll cry too, and then we’ll have a happy happy reconciliation :p

  23. 23 miley

    superlike this episode.the lead actors performances are superb to the point i could feel the intense pain that they are going through.kudos to MGY and PSH for such a sterling performance.i’m looking forward to the next two eps.thanks for the recap.

  24. 24 Hungry

    I just want to say that I LOVE the layers to all of the characters, especially the side characters. Yoon Joo, obviously. But even In Hwa! ..like I mean we’re meant to see her as the antagonist in the later half of the series, but you can sort of understand her sick twisted depth and sort of humiliation by her father, and I sort of feel for her at times. AND IS EVERYONE BLIND OR SOMETHING ABOUT TOMMY? He obviously has strong feelings for Se Kyung – every time he worries about her, calls her, and in the previous episodes when he saw her with Seung Jo in the wedding gown, he was torn.. and when she was walking in the streets, you could feel his heart sinking a little seeing how much Se Kyung really loves Seung Jo, and as much as he couldn’t have her, he still wanted to comfort her. I don’t understand why none of the other viewers notice this!

    • 24.1 Windsun33

      Aside from any romantic angle, I think that Tommy sees a kinship with her because they both suffered the same kind of “you are not in our class” discrimination and had to resort to dirty tricks to get ahead.

    • 24.2 Geeme Koon

      i thought Tommy was Gay ?? He doesn’t seem to be giving off any romantic feelings for SK. More like a gay best friend..

      besides if he was having feelings for her, he shouldn’t have blackmailed and did the video.. he was a main reason the charade fell apart.

  25. 25 rahimah

    Wow! Finally the truth has come out!
    This is the time Se Kyung reveal her true self..
    The Se Kyung with pure heart..
    I’m so rooting for the last 2 episodes,,
    Please writers..make these episodes worth of repeating it over and over again..
    Thank you for the recaps!

  26. 26 IziEyaNa

    Arrggh.. Finally, for past two weeks I’ve been wandering how sincere Se kyung was. Every time she was acting nice and innocent, i cant help it but wandering if she was sincerely being nice or faking it. This week episode really was a relief, Se kyung really cared for Seung Jo. Deep in my heart I know she meant it. But still cant help it…

  27. 27 Lilian

    Initially when I watched this drama, I thought they might make Tommy into another possible love interest and go for a love triangle like most dramas. I kind of liked it that they didn’t go there. It is refreshing that from his heart, Se Kyung reminds him of the old him. And that is probably the main reason he is helping her. But less of the drama and more of the funny please! Like the first few episodes =)

  28. 28 JoAnne

    I sort of like how we started with a lot of funny and have gradually moved on to episodes that are more serious in nature. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion, or getting to know a person. The easy stuff comes first, and you just gradually find yourself in the midst of the more serious stuff as time goes on.

  29. 29 TK

    I just hope that next week the wardrobes will get some variation back. I get the whole “If you’re going to be black, be black all the way” theme…but I can’t remember the last time I saw the main characters in outfits that weren’t black or white! I mean, just scroll down these screenshots.

    -Se Kyung in black; Seung Jo in black and white
    -Doctor in white; Se Kyung in black
    -Yoon Joo in white
    -Se Kyung in black; Seung Jo in black and gray
    -Se Kyung in black with a white apron
    -In Hwa in white with a black coat facing off against -Yoon Joo in pure black

    It’s been this way for a couple of episodes. Around the time Se Kyung started straightening her hair and wearing kohl-black eyeliner, she must have burned all of the clothes in her closet that had a splash of color. I mean, geez, she didn’t have to take Yoon Joo’s advice so *literally* :p

  30. 30 z

    Seung Jo totally lost me with that “I will kill you” comment. PTSD or no, that dude is cray-cray. In my experience (And, sadly, I do have experience on this area) a man who is crazy enough to threaten to kill you is crazy enough to eventually try it. Se Kyung needs to get out while she can.

  31. 31 ilovekimchi

    Finally caught up! Agree that eps 11&12 dragged a little, but am still loving this drama. Seungjo needs to take the good with the bad, and both of them need to leave Wonderland pronto.but even if they don’t end up together,I would be equally satisfied to see Sekyung attain redemption– for her sake more than anyone else’s– for Seungjo to genuinely heal and start living with both feet planted on the ground….

  32. 32 Jae Sihk

    I really enjoy this series but I was hoping for ‘darkness,’ like “Jaryong Go” and “Queen of Ambition” which looks very promising.

  33. 33 natalya

    after reading all the comments, i dont think i have alot more to add but i really hope Yoon Joo got a good ending, i truly feels she is one strong woman from the start, she knows what she want (everyone wants a good life, cmon you are a hypocrite if you think love can feed you rice haha..) and after the truth is revealed, she still stood tall receiving all blows, her defense was to her husband that there is more than greed and wanting to live wealthy.

  34. 34 My Hanh Nguyen

    That su chi con 2 tap phim nua thoi sao???thoi roi buon wa di???the la khong con duoc gap chi MGY va anh PSH nua roi huhuhuhu.sao khong lam nhieu them nua nhi???khong dc uoc gap anh.chi la em thieu suc song va gia them may tuoi luon wa!!!the la tu gio cuoi tuan khong con co duoc cam giac mong cho mot cai gi do nua roi.huhuhuhu.

  35. 35 abby

    after reading all your comments guys I can’t wait for the next two episode. I stand by like a fool waiting to be Jan. 26,2013.I don’t let anybody use the computer in the house except for my permission ok?I’m so upset when PSH leave the church heartbroken and so HSK. I could just wait to see the results of the arguments given in the comments by all of you. Thanks your awesome guys . I enjoy reading all your comments. Good Luck to the director and members of this fantastic drama.

  36. 36 IBELIS

    I could have felt sorry for IH if she was in love with SJ but this was just spite, born out of her belief that she is better than YJ and SK.

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