Perfect Wife: Episode 3
As if things weren’t already convoluted enough, this episode introduces even more mysterious relationships and strange behavior on the part of the people around Jae-bok and Jung-hee. As they try to decide whether to save their marriage or call it quits, sharks are circling in the choppy marital waters, just waiting for their chance to strike.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Rather than make a scene in the emergency room, Jae-bok takes her husband, Jung-hee, and his mistress, Na-mi, up to the roof. She asks flat-out if they’ve been having an affair, and Na-mi snaps that Jae-bok already saw everything she needed to see from inside her closet.
Jung-hee hadn’t known that Jae-bok saw them, and he starts to freak out and stammer another lie. When Jae-bok calls him out for lying, he swears that they never slept together, and Jae-bok is all, Do you expect a prize? Na-mi backs him up, saying that she wanted to sleep together, but Jung-hee always refused.
Jae-bok tells Jung-hee that she wants a divorce. He starts to loudly beg for another chance, but she’s a stone, and she tells both Jung-hee and Na-mi that she’s going to sue them for emotional damage. When Na-mi says she has no money to pay her, Jae-bok just sneers that she’ll sue her for even more, then.
She starts to leave, and Jung-hee’s desperate attempts to stop her fall on deaf ears. She tells him to stop talking or she may really kill him, and she orders him not to show his face to her again. After she’s gone, Na-mi asks Jung-hee to marry her, since his marriage to Jae-bok is over. Jung-hee hesitates, and Na-mi also leaves, devastated.
Bong-gu wakes from a lovely dream about his sugar mama and another rich girl fighting over who gets to buy him the most buildings and his very own law firm. But reality isn’t nearly so great — he’s actually sitting in a filthy alley with a homeless man.
He realizes that his phone and wallet are gone, and suddenly remembers being hit on the head after filming an incriminating video of Jung-hee’s boss for Jae-bok. He runs back to the hospital, but Boss Jo is gone and the nurse doesn’t know where he was transferred.
As she walks home, Jae-bok thinks about how panicked Jung-hee was when he first entered the emergency room looking for Na-mi. Years ago, Jae-bok been taken to the hospital for an upset stomach, and he’d displayed the same loud, frantic worry over her then, even managing to lose a shoe and injure his foot while running to find her.
Jae-bok stomps a foot in frustration, which lodges the heel of her shoe in a pavement crack. The heel breaks and she falls, though luckily, she’s not hurt. She gathers up her pride and hobbles on, then decides to stop at a street cart to eat something.
Jae-bok buys the cart owner’s extra pair of sandals, then hears someone calling to her. She sees the mysterious Eun-hee waving at her, and she’s so eager to get to Jae-bok that she’s nearly hit several times running across the street to her. Eun-hee notices Jae-bok’s mismatched sandals and dusty jacket and sweeps her into a nearby restroom to change.
Against Jae-bok’s objections, Eun-hee takes off her beautiful (and no doubt expensive) outfit and gives it to Jae-bok, changing into her own gym clothes. She chirps that she used to skip her evening classes and change out of her school uniform like this, but Jae-bok says she never took night classes — she always had to work because her family was poor.
Eun-hee gasps at how well her clothes fit Jae-bok, and she even gives her her heels, which also fit perfectly. She says it must be fate that they keep meeting like this, and though Jae-bok is grateful, something about Eun-hee still appears to make her uncomfortable.
When Jung-hee goes back to work, he’s informed that the company has been planning to let him go during a downsizing next month. He’s asked to voluntarily resign now, due to the issue with Boss Jo.
Eun-hee gives Jae-bok a ride home, and when she says she’s heading to gym class now, Jae-bok asks if her husband isn’t home. Eun-hee says that he’s working late tonight, oddly unable to meet Jae-bok’s eyes. She pastes on another smile and tells Jae-bok that her shoes are good luck — from now on, only good things will happen to her.
When she gets back in her car, Eun-hee looks back at Jae-bok’s ruined clothes and shoes still in her back seat. But rather than return them, she just smiles to herself.
Bong-gu must have been waiting for Jae-bok, because he walks up and asks if she was out with friends. She notices the bruises on his face, and he grumbles that it happened because of her.
He confirms that Boss Jo is faking his injuries and says that he even has evidence on his phone, but admits that he lost it. Jae-bok adopts a very stern mother attitude and says that she knows he got fired from the law firm.
He looks adorably sheepish when Jae-bok says that she also knows nobody will hire him because of his bad reputation. He says that he only acted haughty because he didn’t know he was being fired, and Jae-bok crows that see, he was fired. HA, I love their bickering.
Eun-hee still hasn’t driven away, and she watches Bong-gu and Jae-bok curiously. She’s so preoccupied that she nearly runs over a delivery guy.
Bong-gu tells Jae-bok to call Boss Jo to confirm his story — if he’s guilty, he won’t answer. She’s annoyed but tries it, and sure enough, both Boss Jo and his wife are blocking all incoming calls.
Bong-gu bounces with glee at being right, and guesses that this means there’s more to the situation than they think. He peppers Jae-bok with questions about Jung-hee, then tells her to call him. When she doesn’t want to, he asks if he perhaps cheated on her.
He can tell it’s true by Jae-bok’s too-quick denial, and further guesses that he must have cheated with someone at work. He continues guessing that the woman must have had an affair with Boss Jo, broke up with him for Jae-bok’s husband, and now, Boss Jo is out for revenge.
Jae-bok just ignores Bong-gu and his insistence that she call her husband until Bong-gu mentions her kids. Jung-hee answers his phone from the restaurant where he’s drinking away his woes and asks if he can come home. Jae-bok waves off Bong-gu’s orders to have Jung-hee come here, instead telling him to look into things with Boss Jo before hanging up.
She starts to head inside, but Bong-gu stops her and asks for food, since he came all this way to tell her this information and even got attacked for her. He even pouts that he hasn’t eaten since lunch, aww. Jae-bok says she never asked for his help, but Bong-gu retorts that he couldn’t ignore her kids crying over their dad. She notices that his shoelace is untied again, and softens.
Jung-hee makes some calls while a woman discreetly listens in at a nearby table. It’s the mystery woman that’s paying Na-mi for something, and Na-mi calls her at that moment to ask for a meeting.
Na-mi looks in her date book, which is marked on today’s date with “D-27” and a note: Why do I need more money? She says out loud, “Sorry Oppa, but I won’t let you go. You’re mine.”
Jae-bok relents and buys Bong-gu ramyun at a convenience store. He slurps it down like a starving man, then gets all grabby-hands when Jae-bok gets a text from Jung-hee. It flusters her when she suddenly finds Bong-gu’s handsome face very close to hers. But Bong-gu doesn’t seem to notice, and he reads the message that Boss Jo is dropping the charges against Jung-hee.
Bong-gu is excited, assuming that Boss Jo is backing down because Bong-gu found him out. He tells her to find out where Boss Jo lives, but she just orders him to finish eating. Bong-gu grows agitated, thinking she’s going to let the whole thing drop.
He complains that he even got beat up and had his phone and wallet stolen, and Jae-bok goes into her own wallet to pay him back. She’s only got a little cash, but she gives it to him and tells him to let her know how much she still owes him.
She drops her wallet, and when she bends down to grab it, she notices Bong-gu’s shoe is still untied. She starts to leave, and Bong-gu complains that he’s of no use to her now that the charges have been dropped. Wordlessly, Jae-bok just stoops and gestures to his foot.
Caught off-balance, Bong-gu watches as she ties his shoelace — it’s an interesting little moment. Jae-bok clucks that he dresses up but can’t even tie his shoes correctly, then thanks him for his help and leaves.
Jae-bok goes home and takes off Eun-hee’s fancy clothes, remembering how Eun-hee almost got killed crossing the road to get to her. She takes out a bag and starts stuffing it with Jung-hee’s clothing.
Na-mi meets with the mystery woman, taking out a huge stack of money and placing it on the table. She says that she’s returning it because she can’t do the job. The woman smirks that she already did, but Na-mi reminds her that she was supposed to disappear, but now she’s refusing to leave.
The woman assumes it’s a play for more money, but Na-mi says that she’s not going to lie to Jung-hee anymore because she loves him. That sends the mystery woman into a seething rage, and she reminds Na-mi that this isn’t all she owes her.
Na-mi says she’ll pay everything back, but the woman lunges at her and whacks her over the head with a handful of money. The woman cackles madly, and with an insane look in her eyes, she threatens to tell Jung-hee why Na-mi seduced him. Na-mi looks terrified, and the woman leaves without taking the money.
When Jung-hee arrives home, he finds a bag packed and Jae-bok getting ready to go pick up the kids. She tells him to go away until she and the kids move, still determined to get a divorce. Jung-hee starts to beg again, saying that he was stressed and lonely, but Jae-bok snaps that it’s not just about him.
She’s unmoved by his pleading and refuses to forgive him, and when Jung-hee tries to say he can’t live without the kids, she retorts that he shouldn’t have cheated, then. Jung-hee relents and agrees to leave.
Jae-bok asks if he plans to stay with Na-mi, and Jung-hee yells that he’s not going to see her anymore. Jae-bok takes deep breaths to stop herself from sinking any lower. It doesn’t work.
She says that she tried to let Jung-hee go nicely, but she can’t. She takes Jung-hee to the boxing ring at Hye-ran’s gym, tosses a pair of gloves at him, and says they’ll go until one of them faints.
When Jung-hee objects to violence, Jae-bok snarls that his betrayal was worse than physical violence. She nails him with a left hook, then keeps throwing punches as she asks what he saw in Na-mi. He doesn’t answer when she asks if it was all new and exciting, and she smashes a glove into his belly.
Jung-hee grabs Jae-bok in a hug, apologizing and trying to make her stop. She throws him off and he starts begging again, but all it gets him is a knee in the family jewels and a hard uppercut. Yikes.
Jung-hee lies on the ground, unable to move, and Jae-bok straddles him and puts him in a headlock. She screams, asking why over and over, until she finally dissolves into tears.
Later, Jung-hee texts Jae-bok a picture to prove that he’s in a motel room. He looks at pictures of their family in his phone, apologizing to his kids, then he looks in the mirror and tells his reflection to end it. But when he tries to delete all of his photos of himself with Na-mi, he can’t do it.
The next day, Jae-bok tries again to find another place to move, but there aren’t any apartments available in their area. She tries to talk Jin-wook into agreeing to change schools, but with the self-centeredness only a preteen can muster, he refuses to consider it.
Eun-hee calls to say that she had Jae-bok’s broken shoe repaired, and Jae-bok says she’ll come pick them up and return Eun-hee’s clothes. Eun-hee chirps happily at the thought of seeing Jae-bok again.
Bong-gu’s friend sends him to a hospital on another case, and as he’s entering the building, he realizes his shoe is untied. He crouches to tie it, but gets frustrated when he can’t replicate Jae-bok’s efficient knot.
He goes to the client’s room, but backs right back out again when he sees the older woman in the bed playing cat’s cradle with a visitor — strange, it’s Na-mi’s mother and Jung-hee. Bong-gu takes out his phone to call his friend, but stops when a familiar voice calls out.
Bong-gu turns to see Na-mi, and he grabs her by the ear and accuses her of planning this. Wait, they know each other? She shakes him off and says she had to, because he was ignoring her calls that her mom was sick.
Bong-gu says that he didn’t even see her mother before turning to go. Na-mi says that she’s leaving, but Bong-gu just snarls a goodbye, so she runs after him. She begs him to watch over her mom while she’s gone, but he asks why he should when she’s not even his mother.
Na-mi follows him all the way out, but Bong-gu refuses to agree to her request. Na-mi says that she’s his mother too, even though neither of them share any blood ties with her. Angry now, Bong-gu says that that woman discarded him when she had an affair with Na-mi’s father.
They’re interrupted by Jung-hee, who asks if Bong-gu is Na-mi’s brother. Bong-gu and Na-mi deny it in unison, then Na-mi sidles up to Bong-gu and purrs that he’s her new boyfriend. Bong-gu shoves her off, but Na-mi continues, telling Jung-hee that they should break up.
Bong-gu sighs heavily, and asks Jung-hee if he’s married. He can tell by Jung-hee’s face that he is, but before he can say anything else, Na-mi drags him off. As they walk away, she whispers to Bong-gu to help her, and he guesses that the wife must have caught them.
Once they’re out of Jung-hee’s sight, Bong-gu pats Na-mi on the head and tells her to behave and to never call him again. She says that Mom is very sick and misses him, and asks him again to check on her while she’s gone for a month. Bong-gu spits back that her sugar daddy can hire someone to do it.
Jae-bok goes back to Eun-hee’s home to return her clothing, and Eun-hee is thrilled to see her, as usual. She invites Jae-bok in for tea, and pouts that it would be nice if she would move in. Jae-bok gets a call, and Eun-hee listens as Jae-bok learns that there’s a place she can move into, but it’s not available for two months.
Knowing that Jae-bok’s lease is up in two weeks, Eun-hee pounces on the opportunity — she tells Jae-bok that she can live in her house for two months while she waits for the other apartment. Jae-bok is still uneasy with the offer, but Eun-hee practically begs.
Jae-bok thinks about how she wants to divorce Jung-hee and how Jin-wook doesn’t want to change schools, and she agrees to move in. Eun-hee hugs her tightly and even starts to cry, then pulls Jae-bok upstairs.
Jae-bok is startled that Eun-hee remodeled the place even though she said she wasn’t moving in, and Eun-hee explains that she had hoped Jae-bok would change her mind. Jae-bok asks what she’d have done if she hadn’t, but Eun-hee says that she had no choice but to move in. Okay, creepy.
Na-mi arrives home to find Jung-hee on her step, since she changed her door code. He reminds her that she told him to get a divorce and asks if she changed her mind, and she says she did because she got a hot new guy. Jung-hee remembers her mentioning her brother Bong-gu before, but Na-mi just tells him to come get his things.
Jung-hee tells Na-mi that he got kicked out by his wife and lost his job, then turns to go. Na-mi asks if he’s really going to leave just because she said so, and Jung-hee says that he loves her, but he has kids to think about. Desperate, Na-mi asks him to grant her a wish before he goes.
She means sex, and she throws Jung-hee onto her bed and starts to undress. Jung-hee stops her, but she insists on doing it just once before they break up. She stops attacking him when he hits his head on the wall, and he makes a break for it. Na-mi chases Jung-hee all the way to the street, but he gets away, crying out for her to be happy.
Jung-hee calls Jae-bok to meet him in the park, where she finds him waiting for her on his knees. He vows to stay like this until she forgives him, but Jae-bok just barks at him to do whatever he wants before leaving him there.
There’s a storm that night, and her little daughter says she’s worried about Daddy. Even Jin-wook seems concerned, and Jae-bok has a talk with her reflection, asking if she loves that traitor.
She heads back to the park with an umbrella and finds Jung-hee exactly where she left him. He sobs and clutches her legs, and they relocate to a bench to talk. Jae-bok says she’s been thinking about whether to stay together for the kids, understanding why some women do it, but adds that she’s not afraid of being a single mom.
She asks Jung-hee why he begged for forgiveness, and whether it’s just regret, or if it’s because he still love her. Jung-hee says that it’s both — he felt bad, but he also still loves her. Jae-bok reluctantly admits that though it makes her feel stupid, she still loves him, too.
Jung-hee lets out a happy wail and goes for a hug, but Jae-bok pushes him away. She makes it clear that this is the first and last time she’ll forgive him, and that she expects him to end things with Na-mi completely. Jung-hee enthusiastically agrees and finally gets his hug.
Jae-bok doesn’t seem as happy as her husband, and she tells herself that she’ll only bury her feelings this one time. “Because,” she thinks, “I still love this person.”
Eun-hee works at a sewing machine, embroidering letters onto a cloth. She admires her work when it’s finished, a monogrammed “K&H” in bright red letters.
As Hye-ran helps Jae-bok pack for the move, she finds an old book with a photo tucked inside. It’s a picture of Jae-bok with her first love, Kyung-woo, and Hye-ran warns Jae-bok not to leave things like this lying around.
Eun-hee calls to invite Jae-bok over to okay some decorating decisions. When Jae-bok gets there, she notices two name plaques by the door — one is Eun-hee’s name, and the other says “Cha Kyung-woo.” It’s the same name as her first love, but Jae-bok tells herself it must be a coincidence.
Once inside, Eun-hee says that her husband is home and that he wants to meet Jae-bok. She takes Jae-bok to the living room and calls upstairs for her husband, and when Jae-bok sees the giant wedding photo over the staircase, her heart stops to see Eun-hee with a very familiar-looking man.
She stammers, remembering that there was a painting there before, and Eun-hee says that they were trying out a new painting for a few days. She calls again to her husband, and Jae-bok gets another shock when he answers in a voice she recognizes.
Eun-hee steps aside to answer a call, leaving Jae-bok to wonder what she should do. A man begins to walk down the stairs, and when his face comes into view, Jae-bok stares — it’s Kyung-woo, her first love.
I knew it! I knew Eun-hee was the mysterious, blogging wife of Jae-bok’s first love, and I’m still of a mind that none of this is a coincidence. I do still wonder if Kyung-woo is in on whatever Eun-hee is doing, or if Eun-hee has decided on her own to reconnect her husband with his first love, for some reason. It seems as though Eun-hee is purposely trying to get Kyung-woo and Jae-bok back into each other’s lives, but why? She’s so fake whenever she’s with Jae-bok that it’s hard to guess what she’s really thinking — I can’t even get a read on whether she has good or bad intentions. It’s the slight air of desperation, the way she seems so anxious for something from Jae-bok… approval? Compliance? It’s so hard to tell. Whatever she’s planning, she’s going to great lengths to make it happen, and I’m eager to see the next episode and see how Kyung-woo reacts to seeing Jae-bok again. I think that his behavior will give a lot of insight into what might be happening with Eun-hee and whether Kyung-woo is in on it, or whether Eun-hee is working on her own.
And is any of this tied into what’s happening with Na-mi and Jung-hee? Whatever Na-mi was being paid to seduce Jung-hee away from Jae-bok, it looked like tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why does Na-mi need that kind of money and why is the mystery woman willing to pay that to get Jung-hee to cheat? She seems terribly emotionally invested in making sure her plan with Na-mi goes the way she wants, but what’s her end game? What will anyone stand to gain if Jae-bok and Jung-hee divorce? And is that even the whole point, or is the truth even more mysterious than we think?
Right now the two threads — Eun-hee and her determination to get Jae-bok to live in her home, and Jung-hee’s cheating with Na-mi — seem unrelated to each other, but of course this is a drama, so there’s got to be a connection somewhere. I just can’t for the life of me find it, at this point. And that’s a good thing, because we wouldn’t feel compelled to keep watching if we could figure out all the mysteries right away. I’m loving that I have no earthly idea what’s happening, and it’s keeping me on the edge of my seat, watching closely for clues and eager to discover the truth.
I’m still both mystified and intrigued by Bong-gu, because I simply can’t figure him out at all. He obviously likes Jae-bok, though I can’t tell if it’s as a friend, as a woman, or what. I don’t think he finds her attractive at this point… or at least if he does, he doesn’t really realize it. But he takes every opportunity to seek her out, and every single time she tries to leave him, he attempts to stop her. He’s almost desperate for her attention, and I want to know what that’s about. For her part, I do think Jae-bok recognizes that Bong-gu is an attractive man (she definitely reacted to his face being so close to hers in the convenience store), but I think that more than anything right now, he sets off her maternal instincts. She doesn’t really like him much, but she can’t seem to resist his pouty face and his untied shoes, like he can’t even take care of his own most basic needs.
And what on earth is Bong-gu’s relationship with Na-mi? They both said they weren’t related to Na-mi’s mom by blood, but then Bong-gu said she deserted him when she had an affair with Na-mi’s father. So Na-mi knows her through her father, and apparently takes care of her like a daughter. But then, is the woman Bong-gu’s stepmother or adoptive mother? I’m so confused, but I’m getting used to that with this show. At least the confusion seems intentional, that we as an audience are meant to be kept off-balance the same as the characters within the show. It certainly keeps things interesting! I do hope the show starts answering questions soon though, because what can be intriguing at the start can quickly become frustrating if it drags on for too long.
- Perfect Wife: Episode 2
- Perfect Wife: Episode 1
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- News bites: January 14, 2017
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