High Society: Episode 3
Gah, they’re so adorable. These two continue to be the highlight of the hour, that they could easily have us thinking that they’re the main couple of this show. As trouble continues to brew at home, Yoon-ha is faced with a budding crush that leaves her on cloud nine. And who can blame her when he embodies what it means to be a perfect gentleman?
Little does she know that there’s more to Joon-ki than meets the eye, and while she may spout lofty ideas of romance, she’s much more naive to what’s going on in her own heart.
SONG OF THE DAY
Kim Feel – “Stay With Me” [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
After tucking Ji-yi in bed, Yoon-ha finds Chang-soo still waiting outside. She doesn’t believe for a second that her sweet friend would ask him for a ride home as Ji-yi isn’t the type to seduce a rich guy to move up the social ladder.
Fed up with the third degree, Chang-soo says he’s the one who had the rougher night, showing off his currently shirtless state. Oh yes, definitely a rough night. Ji-yi doesn’t seem to know about her friend’s familial background—wouldn’t she be hurt when she finds out?
Offended by Yoon-ha’s surprise that he has a heart, he asks if holding a part-time job makes her think that her insufferable life at home is still somehow better than the lesser people who have it worse. Yoon-ha disagrees—working part-time jobs makes things bearable for her at home.
Plus, she doesn’t want to escape one hell and enter another by marriage. “I want to marry for love. I yearn for a warm and simple life. I want a man who loves me for who I am, not because I’m the daughter of a wealthy family.”
Deciding to end this conversation here, Yoon-ha can now enjoy unemployment, all thanks to that awful Joon-ki. Chang-soo won’t stand for anyone speaking ill of his buddy, but Yoon-ha will curse out the jerk who fired her if she pleases, thankyouverymuch.
While Chairman Jang denies knowledge about Taejin Pharmaceuticals’ slush fund, Madam Min reminds Yoon-ha that it’s more important than ever not to make waves. When told that preparations for an arranged marriage will continue, Yoon-ha asks, “Do you wish for me to live like you did?”
Marriage is all the same, Madam Min tells her, whether one loves their partner or not. Yoon-ha would like to make that decision for herself, but isn’t surprised when she doesn’t get a say in the matter. She excuses herself to take a call from Joon-ki, who asks her to come out to the workplace.
Rather than reinstating her, Joon-ki notes she must have some powerful connections because the butthurt customer is waiting to apologize to her. Yoon-ha isn’t interested—one because she no longer works here, and two, she’d rather put Joon-ki in an awkward situation.
But Joon-ki tugs at her guilt strings, so Yoon-ha sits down with the customer, who apologizes and asks to put in a good word with her backer because her husband’s business is about to go bankrupt. In exchange, she’s asked the department store to give Yoon-ha her job back.
Yoon-ha calls up Oppa afterward, who did indeed took matters into his own hands. Kyung-joon believes keeping Yoon-ha working at Yumin will come in handy one day, and says he’ll start questioning her sincerity about leaving the nest ASAP if she doesn’t get her job back.
Joon-ki announces that the part-timers are invited to tonight’s team dinner since they’re the ones who deal with the customers in person every day. He gets called out to see Chang-soo just as Yoon-ha walks in and asks for a private chat.
As soon as they’re alone, Yoon-ha asks why he made no mention of the customer’s request to reinstate her. Joon-ki has no intention of bringing back a troublemaker, and she doesn’t strike him as the type who’s desperate enough to have this job.
Yoon-ha believes the matter is over and done with, but Joon-ki questions why the customer came back and apologized now. “Humans don’t change that easily.”
He can’t help but wonder if Yoon-ha induced fear into the customer and whether or not she’ll do the same to him. She asks what he would know because he grew up rich. “Have you ever failed at something before?” Again, a slightly odd argument coming from her, a chaebol’s daughter. She asks what she needs to express her desperation—shall she beg?
Joon-ki oddly feels compelled to share a personal story, despite the fact that they aren’t even close. A flashback takes us back to when Papa Choi was a security guard, apologizing to a resident over failing to deliver a spoiled box of fruit.
Little Joon-ki had stood up for his father and shed tears at seeing him treated so horribly. “Why did you stand there and take it? Just quit this job!” he had cried.
Yoon-ha apologizes for making him talk about his tough childhood, but Joon-ki isn’t at all ashamed of his humble roots. If she thinks being poor is something to be ashamed of, then that’s the reason why she’s unable to advance in her career. His parents aren’t well-off, but they’re happy people.
What he wants her to realize how precious being employed is from his father who put up with being insulted to keep a job. That’s what having a job means to him, Joon-ki finishes. “What does [a job] mean to you?”
She remains silent, so he takes his leave. When she asks if that means she can return to work, he tells her to attend the team dinner tonight.
Chang-soo is swimming laps when Joon-ki finds him. Like the good friend he is, he pulls Joon-ki into the pool, which then leads into the world’s most adorable water fight.
Afterward, Chang-soo complains how his hyung requested to see both of them. He thinks it’s Hyung just jealous about their tight friendship and is always trying to come between them. He still remembers when Hyung had asked Joon-ki to come over to his side; just thinking about it makes his blood boil.
At Joon-ki’s reply that people might be mistaken into thinking that they were a couple, Chang-soo basically says while girls come and go, friendships are forever. “You’re more precious to me than a girl.”
… and then he gets all pissy when Joon-ki doesn’t return his affections. Hahaha, this is great. While Joon-ki teases him on his mushy talk, Chang-soo orders Joon-ki to verbally express his feelings: “I. Like. You. I really like you.”
At lunch, Yoon-ha points out Ji-yi’s tendency to eat other people’s food. “It’s more delicious when you steal from others,” she cheerily answers. Yoon-ha asks what it means if a guy shares a personal story that he’s never told other people. Ji-yi means he’s making a pass… unless it was coming from Joon-ki.
Yoon-ha matter-of-factly says it was, elaborating that he comes from a poor family. Ji-yi’s good opinion of him is due to her prejudice against the rich, Yoon-ha says. Asking if that means she’s got a decent shot now, Ji-yi scurries off.
She doesn’t find Joon-ki at his desk, however, then stops abruptly when Chang-soo approaches. After failing to sneak past unnoticed, she asks if they can just forget about the ripped expensive shirt. When he doesn’t let her off that easy, she pouts that she’ll just starve and get kicked out of her place to scrounge up the money.
Chang-soo finds her amusing, but that smile disappears when she keeps talking about money. Is that all the thinks about? “Yes,” she answers. He’s left astounded—it isn’t like he’s expecting her to like her or anything, but he’d like to be thought of more than just a personified dollar sign.
She smiles when he says they can forget about the shirt. But he expects something in return for his kindness. Dealing with people is a two-way street, he tells her, then trails behind her wearing his trademark smirk.
In his office, Chang-soo’s hyung comments on how he thought Joon-ki would fall in line under the right kind of leader (meaning, himself) rather than sticking with his best bud.
Chang-soo is unenthused at the vending machine coffee Ji-yi offers him. He lets her drink it instead and wonders aloud, “How strange. You’re tacky, poor, and dumb. But strangely enough… I want to be with you.”
When she asks who that is, he answers, “You!” Aw, do I sense a budding crush? Ji-yi scowls. He’s genuinely curious to speak her mind even though she says hearing it will just make him feel bad. He frowns at all the negative nicknames that start with “dog,” but then looks thoroughly pleased when she has one with “gim“: “Handsome [jalsaenggim].”
He suggests that they meet up on occasion because she’s fun and would make a great happy pill. Ji-yi sees nothing in it for her, and Chang-soo says hanging out with him would be a positive thing in her life.
But Ji-yi would rather keep her image of the rich and famous in her dreams. Bringing them into her reality is far less fun, and he’s beginning to change that idealistic perspective of hers. Chang-soo: “What’s wrong with me?” Ji-yi: “I told you earlier.” And no, I doubt it’s one of the “dog” references.
With that, she leaves, leaving Chang-soo to wonder: “Did I just get rejected?”
Kyung-joon and eldest unni Ye-won exchange terse words in his office, the latter told she’ll be dismissed from her pharmaceutical company next month. Just like he once said, he’ll do anything to remove whatever stands in his way. Ye-won says he originally wasn’t even interested in business management, then Kyung-joon invites her to sit in his chair —the one she so wanted — if only for a moment.
Because her father won’t take her calls, Ye-won sets up a meeting with her father at Lady Kim’s place. She comes right out with it and tells her father that Kyung-joon is deceiving him, but a USB drive alone isn’t enough to persuade him. Chairman Jang is a businessman above all else—there must be something beneficial for him in this deal.
As for Lady Kim, she barges into Madam Min’s office unannounced. Tossing an envelope of money onto the stand, she comments on how nice it was for Ye-won to come see her at home. Madam Min is in no mood to entertain Lady Kim’s company, keeping her words polite.
Taking this as her cue to leave, Lady Kim gets up and asks to be invited to the family home sometime. Once she leaves, Madam Min rips up the envelope.
Chairman Jang blames his son for being unable to keep his own sister under his thumb. He orders Kyung-joon to start from the bottom rung again, resorting to throwing objects to express his anger when Kyung-joon refuses.
Per Lady Kim’s orders, Mama Lee shops for groceries at Yumin Food Market. There she meets Yoon-ha, who is pleasantly surprised when she keeps her promise of coming back to her tasting corner. Mama Lee’s kindness make Yoon-ha smile, then follows her line of sight to Joon-ki.
Realizing that Mama Lee is Joon-ki’s mother, Yoon-ha calls him over, convinced that he’d be happy to see his mother. As expected, Joon-ki greets his mother fondly, and the latter kindly invites Yoon-ha to join them for tea.
Madam Min gets straight to the point when meeting Ye-won at home. Ye-won sadly notes that she’s also sleeping in separate rooms with her husband, but her mother brings their conversation back on-topic: what did she secretly speak with her father about?
Taking a seat, Ye-won unloads her emotional burdens on her mother. She wonders what wrong she committed for Kyung-joon to try and oust her. Her career is her identity—what could she do but wait for her in-laws’ inheritance to be passed down to them?
All she wants is a subsidiary company to call her own, but Madam Min asks if there was something she did to instigate her own dismissal. Ye-won doesn’t necessarily deny it, but says they’re family. Moreover, she feels it’s more unfair because her deeds weren’t selfish—they were for other people’s sakes too.
Madam Min still pins the blame on her and tells her daughter to do as told and take some time off to pursue her hobbies like visit exhibitions. Ye-won: “That’s what Kyung-joon likes to do.” Oh snap.
Impressed that Mama Lee remembers her name, Yoon-ha says Joon-ki must take after her brains. Mama Lee says her husband is the smarter one. Unfortunately, Joon-ki has to leave early due to work, but so does Mama Lee after receiving the most adorable text from Papa Choi.
She needs to get back home since he’s physically disabled. Mama Lee strikes her as a wonderful woman, Yoon-ha says.
Kyung-joon is busy in the library when Madam Min walks in. She picks up his copy of “The Gift of the Magi”, he still remembers the lesson she taught him: “A person’s heart is more important than money.”
Instructing her son not to drive Ye-won out completely, she explains a mother loves watching her children get along. Kyung-joon calls his mother a strong woman, meaning he trusts her greatly. He’ll take appropriate measures with Noona.
In fact, he plans on taking a trip to take some time off. He asks that Yoon-ha accompany him, and he’ll be taking a book (entitled “Status Anxiety” by Alain de Botton) with him.
Joon-ki finds Chang-soo enjoying another one of his hobbies — target shooting — and briefs him on a cook-off for the upcoming remodeling project of the Yumin Food Market. Hearing about the team dinner tonight, Chang-soo asks if Ji-yi will be present.
Knowing his buddy’s flirtatious ways, Joon-ki tells him to find someone else to play with. Chang-soo takes offense to being accused of something he hasn’t even done yet, though now he wants to. Lol.
After being forced to accept a bitter shot of soju from her boss, Yoon-ha is about to pour him one when Joon-ki swoops in and takes the bottle from her hands. He pours a drink for an excited Ji-yi, then silently fills her glass with water. Both Yoon-ha and Ji-yi don’t miss the chivalrous gesture.
This way, Yoon-ha won’t be forced to drink nor left out when the team raises their glasses. He continues to take care of her, which makes Yoon-ha smile. Chang-soo arrives just then and offers to pay for dinner, making sure to take note of Ji-yi’s reaction among the applause.
Both Chang-soo and Joon-ki have their eyes set on their respective ladies of interest at the noraebang. Chang-soo gets called out to sing, and his vocals have the ladies swooning—even Ji-yi looks a little impressed, despite herself.
Out in the hallway, Yoon-ha thanks Joon-ki personally for looking out for her at dinner and re-hiring her again. Joon-ki replies that he’d do that for anyone, but smiles to himself once they part ways. Just around the corner, Ji-yi looks crushed.
She initiates conversation with Yoon-ha in the bathroom, telling her that the best thing about a one-sided crush is that one can determine its start and end whenever one wants. She declares her crush on Joon-ki ends now, which leaves Yoon-ha perplexed.
She can tell that Joon-ki likes Yoon-ha instead and bows out, pointing out Joon-ki’s courteous behavior towards her. Yoon-ha argues that even he said that he was just being nice, but Ji-yi says his behavior tonight suggests otherwise.
At Yoon-ha’s genuine naivete at this, Ji-yi says she must like him too. Yoon-ha denies it, but hearing her speak positively about his parents only confirms it for Ji-yi. Yoon-ha doesn’t want to be the reason why Ji-yi stops liking Joon-ki, but Ji-yi just wants to see her friend be happy. You, Ji-yi, are a wonderful human being.
She once loved a man who rebuilt her emotional health when her life was at its lowest point, but she let him go when they faced opposition from his family, Ji-yi tells her. Ever since then, she’d determined to never put herself in that position again, and Yoon-ha says that won’t ever happen with Joon-ki’s family.
But Ji-yi’s point is that she treasures Yoon-ha like a sister. That stirs the hearts of both ladies, and Ji-yi genuinely hopes that her friend will meet someone who will make her emotionally stronger. “A good man makes you see life in a positive light.”
It turns out Ji-yi is the best wingwoman a girl can ask for, because she asks Joon-ki to take her friend home. Joon-ki puts Yoon-ha in a cab though, because she’s supposed to refuse a ride home from a guy she isn’t close with. He even makes sure to jot down the taxi’s license plate number.
Yoon-ha happily reflects upon her day in the car. Elsewhere, Chang-soo seems disappointed not to see Ji-yi walking home alone.
But he is there waiting outside her place. His presence scares the bejesus out of her, and he flashes that charming smile of his while talking about her dark and dangerous neighborhood.
“You’re more dangerous,” Ji-yi returns. He follows her up to her rooftop place, which she loves. Of course, a guy who can’t bear street stalls like him wouldn’t understand that.
She believes environment plays a major role on people—she wondered how he’d survive as an unemployed bum, but now that she knows Chang-soo’s a chaebol, she finds him impressive, cool, and handsome. He immediately smiles at those compliments, and she admits that she feels small next to him.
Chang-soo says there’s no need—he’s friends with Joon-ki and they get along fine despite their social class differences. She laughs when Chang-soo says he can be funny too. The two share a charged moment before Ji-yi looks away.
She won’t pursue another relationship doomed to fail, even if a guy who follows her home is a “green light.” In her mind, a successful relationship leads to marriage, a commitment Chang-soo finds too serious in their youth. But those guys who weren’t serious all ended up being jerks, Ji-yi argues.
“You’re free to like me, but don’t say that you do.” Ji-yi tells him. “If you do… I think my heart may waver.” That’s as close as Chang-soo’s going to get as a confirmation of mutual interest, but when she bids him goodnight, he wonders if he got rejected again.
Ye-won storms into the library in a rage after her office is hit with a search and seizure. She threatens Kyung-joon that she knows a lot more about him than he lets on: “You take anti-depressants, don’t you?”
Kyung-joon owns up to it, saying that’s not the only thing he takes. Noona is under the mistaken impression that she’s still somewhat capable, but there’s no way she can rule even if he weren’t standing in her way. Like father like daughter, Ye-won throws more objects in a fit of rage.
Yoon-ha enters the messy library afterward; she’s eager to talk to her brother, but Kyung-joon hands her a key. Should something terrible befall him, she’s to use this key, he tells her. Yoon-ha doesn’t take it, refusing to believe in something so morbid.
They continue their conversation outside, where she slinks her arm through his. She can’t hide the fact that today was a wonderful day, telling him how there are days when the small things can be so meaningful. She’s usually wary when it comes to guys, but this one makes her feel reassured and she also met his mom.
Kyung-joon can immediately tell that his little sister likes someone, and smiles when she says all the tiny coincidences seem like stars aligning themselves and feels like fate. He asks if it’s one-sided, to which she answers “for now” or perhaps “forever.”
Oppa encourages his sister to confess her feelings first, because guys welcome that if it comes from a pretty girl. There’s no point keeping her heart hidden and doing nothing about it. This love advice, coming from a divorced man.
She promises to take his advice to heart, then rests her head on his shoulder.
Joon-ki relaxes at home, where he compares photos of Yoon-ha with her family and as a child… with the one attached her resume. He still has the hairclip she dropped the day they first crossed paths.
We flashback to the time when he asked Yoon-ha what happens if he likes her instead, then when Chang-soo was determined to beat his brother by marrying the daughter of Taejin Group, and when Yoon-ha confronted him about who she is.
Again, we hear Joon-ki repeat the words he spoke in Episode 1—that meeting by chance three times is considered fate. But he doesn’t believe in fate… he makes choices.
Now the question is: how long have you known about Yoon-ha’s background, Joon-ki? Although I would love to see more of Joon-ki being a gentleman to Yoon-ha as he was in the latter half of the episode, now he’s making me question his motivations. Then perhaps the better question is: why are you being so kind? I don’t doubt that Joon-ki is outwardly nice fellow, but we’ve also been given hints to a darkness that lies just below the surface.
That isn’t to say that I think Joon-ki is a disingenuous guy, because I believe that he believes in every word he utters. It’s more that he strikes me as an ambitious man waiting for his opportune moment to climb the ladder. In other words, the kindling is there, and the right (or wrong) spark could swing him in either direction: the average Joe who wants to prove that success isn’t dependent on your background or the cold, shrewd man who lets corruption engulf him. I admit I had trouble warming up to Joon-ki, because his character introduction shrouded his true self like a veil. It’s a risky move, since you want to be in pace with a main character—keep him hidden too long, and you risk viewers becoming disinterested in a guy the show wants them to be paying attention to. Even more so when you’ve got two winning second leads.
For a man as shrewd as Joon-ki is, it would be silly of us to think he would stay in the dark about Yoon-ha’s background for long. Not only because it’s the digital age, and the Internet is real, but because he also provided Chang-soo with her photo. He easily could have found out plenty of information about her from the start, then pretended not to know. We won’t know the answer until the next episode (or perhaps even later), but what’s important now is what Joon-ki will do with this information. What choices has he made already and which ones will he make? Now that’s interesting stuff to explore.
And if a quick internet search would readily bring up Yoon-ha’s photo, it does seem a bit of a stretch that Ji-yi still doesn’t know yet. Especially if she follows the lives of rich socialites so closely. But then again, she didn’t know Chang-soo was wealthy either. Maybe he doesn’t have Instagram. Or not.
Speaking of second leads, words cannot fully express my adoration for our second leads Chang-soo and Ji-yi. Not only are they cute as a button, they enrich this story so much and leave us words to ponder upon. Even though it’s only been three episodes so far, I love how considerate and loving Ji-yi is to her friend. Putting aside a crush for a friend’s happiness is no easy feat, and her unconditional love for Yoon-ha is one of the many reasons why I admire her. It pains me to think how much it will hurt once she finds out that the friend who’s been spouting lofty ideas of the oppression of the rich is in fact, wealthy herself. Yet at the same time, I admire the wonderfully realistic stance she has about love, men, and marriage even though she allows herself to dream of the perfect romance with a man who will love her for her. You keep being you, Ji-yi, and Chang-soo, er—I mean true love will follow.
- High Society: Episode 2
- High Society: Episode 1
- To be or not to be evil in High Society
- Four youths’ fates divided by money in High Society
- Blind dates and champagne toasts in High Society’s posters and stills
- High Society starts with a kiss
- Sung Joon and UEE pucker up for High Society’s poster shoot
- Chaebol’s Daughter adds UEE, Im Ji-yeon, and new title
- Sung Joon offered lead in Chaebol’s Daughter
- Chaebol’s Daughter loses Moon-Park pairing, gains Park Hyung-shik