The episode 3 recap is finally here! The plot momentum is picking up, and mysteries of the past are starting to unravel while the characters all head into new and exciting futures. It kills me that we only get one episode per week!
Here is a quick legend of the primary characters and the abbreviations I’ll be using.
A note on Hong Jae Yi: The proper romanization of his name is actually “Hong Jae I” in which the “i” sounds like “ee”. Since it looks awkward to have a single vowel sound as a name it is instead romanized as Jae Yi or simply Jay. I chose JY so I could use a two letter abbreviation, but Jay (or Jae) seems to be more popular elsewhere on the web. Kang Hee should also be Kang Hoe, but I haven’t seen it that way anywhere (probably because people would pronounce it like “ho” although that actually seems pretty appropriate for her character at this point).
EB is back home and remembering JY’s kiss (what?? We don’t get to see the rest of the scene on the train?). She goes to deliver milk and JY shows up to take her out for breakfast. Every time EB delivers milk at that one house she writes something on the carton and bows. I suspect that it might be KH’s house since she is the person EB admires the most.
EB awkwardly trips over her words trying to say that the food looks delicious, and continues to be an awkward mess while she agrees with JY that they should continue practicing. While they eat JY brings up that it shouldn’t be her first kiss at age 23. He anticipates her double-take and raises a napkin as she splurts out water (I love this!) and gives her his glass (even though she has her own…cute!). He compares the kiss to that of a secondary school student but EB denies being nervous (after treating us to a super fake laugh) and acts like it wasn’t a big deal since some people greet each other that way. He in turn denies that he’s that kind of guy (and lets be honest, who would greet someone by kissing their hands like that?). She thought it would be awkward if she made a big deal out of it, so he says to just consider it a kiss for someone on her way to becoming a star (which will allow them to eat without her lame laughing). His “hah hah hah” imitation cracked me up; he sounded like a French pirate! Since EB saw JY with KH last episode, I’m guessing she’s feeling pretty confused right now.
Meanwhile Jin is meeting some guy that looks like a total sleazebag. He was given large sums of money that all disappeared without doing anything profitable. The man temporarily switches to jondaetmal (polite speech) after Jin calls him out, although he doesn’t do it very sincerely. Jin blames him for spending on wine and hotels, but the guy asks why he is only talking to him and not his cousin? Before Jin came along the cousin was in charge, and had a hand in losing the money. Uh oh…trouble ahead!
B and the other girl on their musical team are practicing (badly) while GJ yells at JY about the singing talent and says that JY needs to get 2NE1 and f(x) over there (hahaha). EB shows up and is introduced to GJ who seems delighted to meet her (I’m sure he just cares about her voice at this point).
JY is now meeting with some female sleazebag, who says that if a large wealthy company gives just a little money to a musical and complains about things like profit, it doesn’t seem right. I have no idea who she is.
JY is continuing to coach EB and gives her a song he composed for her, explaining that the heroin is scared and rushes to center stage to sing. The song is about love (and denial that it love is love) and while she sings JY interjects that she should feel like she doesn’t love a man, but her heart is starting to waver (HMM….can we think of any connections to real life here?). Even though she does a good job she lacks confidence in her performance and JY snatches her hand to show her their success with his heartbeat, asking if his heart is beating fast and if she likes the song. The expression on her face here is priceless. Rather than being shocked or bashful, she just dubiously stares at him like he’s some sort of freak.
Of course this is the perfect time for a jealous second lead to interrupt, and sure enough KH shows up without knocking (her infuriating presumptuousness continues!). At least JY has the good grace to glare. When EB greets her KH asks if she knows her, and EB acts like a flustered fangirl, waving JY off when he tells KY that they’re in the midst of a lesson (KH has something she wants to discuss with him). After EB bows her way out KH tells JY not to play with kids, and that she would find it personally insulting if he wasn’t just playing with someone at that level (yeesh, get over yourself lady).
Meanwhile Jin shows up unannounced to meet with his cousin Jae Joon (JJ) and JJ’s rather sinister-looking father (I bet he sleeps in a coffin and burns in sunlight). JJ and his dad had been talking about taking money, and the dad told him that him taking the money isn’t important, but whether or not it’s known that he took the money. Jin has come to confront them about the investment fund for the musical, which JJ has made a mess of (which is a fact that JJ’s father admits to, causing JJ to storm out). The uncle wants Jin to take care of JJ’s mess and prove his ability (they make a comparison to a new pitcher coming in at the end of a baseball game).
KH is asking JY if he needs to get back into musicals this way, and asks him to instead do it through her, even without Jin. He says that she should know the significance of them working together again, and she agrees that she does, once again getting waaaay inside his personal bubble. He pushes her away, but it’s clearly a struggle for him to resist her (though he’s trying his best I’m worried about him having a future moment of weakness). She tells him that she is musicals to him, but he says that he’s trying to get rid of that and asks for her help. She replies that he admitted that she had no choice but to leave him back then, and when he tells her that she chose her husband, she says that no man can have all of her but that he can have the biggest part (ugh, she’s revolting). He doesn’t like things complicated, so she asks if it’s now simple for him because of that girl (EB).
Jin is now meeting with SW (is he ever not meeting with someone?). Jin is explaining that he hates selfish people who work only for themselves, and that talented people should use that talent to benefit others (his character just keeps getting better). I don’t fully understand the details of the investment troubles, but SW emphasizes to Jin that what’s really important is the successful showing of the musical, since everything is forgotten once the curtain goes up. Jin has to meet with the board for the investment fund, and his main worry seems to be that they will want to back out of the investment since the money was handled so badly by JJ.
Gu Jak and his musical gang are leaving a performance that he claims to have memorized after one viewing, although he quickly gets busted for having seen it many times (he is using it as inspiration for his own musical).
At Jin’s board meeting people are complaining about the fund’s losses, and bring up that they are investing on nothing but potential. They complain that he claims to be honest, but that his family is disreputable and loses them money. Jin does his best his best to remain confident but remains silent when they ask if he can return 300% on the musical’s investment (which is what they need to recover their losses).
JY asks EB what time they should practice tomorrow, but she says that she’ll just practice with the group from now on (are you crazy EB???). JY stops in his tracks and stares after her grumpily, so she explains that he often has guests at his house (we all know who she means). He pulls her into a side hug and explains that KH was once special to him, so she hastily interrupts that she understands, but he tells her to listen carefully and emphasizes that KH was important in the past. She still wants to practice with the group so she can just focus on musicals, but after she leaves JY smiles to himself, happy that he has enough effect on her to impede her ability to concentrate. Personally I think EB is just afraid to feel feelings.
Jin is sitting dejectedly while the board room clears out, and gets a call from RK who is at a club for someone’s birthday. She invites him to come out, but he says that he is too tired and busy with work. He perks up ever-so-slightly when he talks to her, but she is clearly way more invested in the relationship and he seems to wish he had another life.
EB’s childhood friend is on the phone with her, arranging to go over to her apartment. She tries to explain that she has a strange friend living there but gets cut off (poor guy will have to deal with B). EB has an illegal job cleaning up cadavers, and when she finishes JY is waiting outside with coffees.
They go to drink their coffee by the river (trying to set the mood JY?) and he is freaked out by her hands that have just been touching corpses. He wants to know how much she makes doing that, and she asks if he wants to know because he wants to help her out? And yes, yes he does (because it’s illegal and not because it’s gross).
Meanwhile B is in awe over the apples that EB’s friend has brought from Dae Gu, and explains that since they live under the same roof they are all a family (he wants to wait outside). She compliments him on being handsome, and is most definitely buttering him up for the sake of food. His name is Kwang Seo.
EB is doing crunches in the car (so much for romance) and explaining to JY that her grandmother taught her to live without owing things to other people. He understands that, but tells her that she is short on time if she wants to get better (at singing). She promises to not miss any practices, and admits that her ego is part of the issue. Back at the apartment B is at home raving over all the apples she has just eaten and asking when she can expect more (no big surprise there).
And now it’s time for a musical montage! Everyone is practicing for the audition performance, and EB even has the musical on her mind while tutoring. I sort of love montages like this and wish it was longer.
Poor Jin is now meeting with his uncle, JJ, and his grandfather, accompanied by RK. RK offers to leave so they can talk, but the uncle tells her to stay even though they aren’t married yet (the grandpa wants her to stay too since he hasn’t seen her in a long time). JJ thinks it’s great that she’ll be his sister-in-law in just a few months, and when she says that she’s the lucky one he insists that the marriage is of much greater benefit to his family (she must be really rich!). The uncle says that they should set a date since Jin has nothing else to offer the family, but RK diverts the conversation to how he performed very well at the meeting (her father was impressed). Jin clearly isn’t one to be flattered, and says how everyone just thought he was making excuses on JJ’s behalf. He wants JJ to come forward and handle the situation himself, but JJ says that it’ll just get worse if he tries to continue (at least he knows he’s an idiot). Grandpa remains silent, but RK squeezes his hand for support (I can already tell that the poor girl is going to get her heart broken).
We now finally return to the couple living next door to EB’s grandma. The wife is asking if it’s ok that he never goes to work, and thinks that his father will resent her as a result. She is worried about his father even disliking their child (Jin) as a result, but thinks that Jin is still a little kid (I was right about the memory loss!).
RK is mentioning to Jin that his uncle seems particularly strict with him, and he explains that the added pressure is due to his father, who was an expert financier and heir to the company, even though he was a younger brother to the uncle. His father disappeared to take up painting and left Jin will all of his burden. He insists to RK that he fine since it happens all the time, and meanwhile the grandpa is deep in thought.
Outside the audition hall GJ is freaking out while ironically telling everyone to relax and treat it like a practice. The girl (whose name I still don’t know) mentions that JY didn’t come, and GJ goes on a tirade about how no one is to mention JY’s name (of course he says JY’s name about a thousand times while doing the ranting). He then practically pounces on EB to emphasize the importance of her role, but another team-member drags him off by the face.
The auditions start, but a nervous EB is still outside and gets an encouraging call from JY. The audition layout includes a group performance (that gives the judges an idea of what the musical would actually be like) followed by a solo that focuses on the music. SW tells JY to pay attention to how he feels, and it’s time for GJ’s group (holy moly B is loud when they greet the panel). The judges seem to enjoy their performance a little more than the others.
It’s EB’s turn, and all the judges recognize her. She does a great job, and Jin in particular is completely captivated. Is it her performance alone, or is he extra moved because he knows her story? SW wonders why there aren’t more songs, and GJ explains that the composer is still working on them (Jin notes that the composer’s name isn’t listed). KH is smiling insincerely (as usual) and manages to sound condescending just asking EB her name. She says that the key is too low and tells EB to sing at a higher pitch (after showing off her own voice). Everyone feels bad for EB, but she actually attempts the song with cringe-worthy results. SW tells EB not to apologize because this isn’t an audition for musical actresses, but KH isn’t finished tearing EB apart and wonders how they can be expected to invest in a musical with songs that are tailored for one specific person. EB puts all the fault on herself and when she mentions that she can’t sing in higher keys, KH corrects her by saying that what she considers a high key is actually a normal key. EB once again agrees with her with no thought for her pride (I think this just annoys KH more) and KH wonders why she just doesn’t feel ashamed and give up. EB again says sorry, but KH kicks the condescension up a notch and says that judges don’t like to hear apologizes, and that it’s better just to quit. She storms out, and they are forced to put a hold on the auditions.
EB catches up to Jin and asks if she can see KH. He assumes that it’s about the harsh commentary, but EB pulls out a well-worn book that she wants KH to sign (Oh my goodness…I need a moment to pick the pieces of my heart up off the floor). Meanwhile her group is too embarrassed to wait there any longer, so they leave to wait at a coffee shop.
KH wonders aloud if EB has no temper or no shame, and whether her brain is too bad or too good. EB places the book in front of her (which is a first edition) and explains how it has inspired her and that she will be sure not to disappoint KH in the future. Even though this whole scene is heartbreaking, I feel like it was the best thing EB could’ve done to really get to KH (who signs the book and tells SW that they’ll have a fresh start).
Back home JY is getting the news about the audition, and is concerned for EB (he leaves her a comforting message and thanks her). EB has collapsed onto the floor and cries into her book while Jin watches. RK shows up and asks if EB is alright. EB insists that she is ok, and that she is happy that she got to sing the song she likes the most in front of the person she respects the most.
RK and Jin are together (at his house I think) and putting in the audition tape. Look at how intent Jin’s face is, and he hasn’t even pressed “play” yet! RK brings up KH’s strange behavior regarding GJ’s group, but he’s not engaging much in the conversation and just wants to watch EB’s song.
Jin has done a complete 180 and tells KH and SW that he wants to invest in GJ’s musical (so much for sourcing something foreign!). He has to look into the composer and make sure that the musical is actually original, and KH warns him that he may no longer like the songs once he knows who the composer is.
Jin is watching the song on repeat late at night, and even watches her attempt the high pitched version (he must be interested in her specifically to some extent). He remembers back to KH talking about the composer, and seems suspicious that she knows the composer (has he put 2 + 2 together?). He calls up GJ and says that he has been reviewing their scene.
JY is with EB at her cadaver job, and his discomfort is palpable. She tells him not to worry and that KH was right, but he puts all the blame on KH, noting that she didn’t care about anyone else’s song arrangement. Ever pragmatic, EB explains that they met the objective of showcasing their work to the judges, and that that’s good enough if it gets sponsored. JY gets a phone call from GJ.
GJ is busting with excitement because Jin wants them to compose the musical, but JY apologizes for ruining his dream since he doesn’t want to work with Jin (they want to co-produce the musical, rather than just sponsor it). GJ says that Jin already knew that JY was the composer, and said that the deal is off if JY doesn’t compose all the songs. GJ pretty much begs JY since this is the chance of a lifetime.
KH is practicing dance and singing (psh…pointe shoes? I’ll be impressed when I actually see you dancing on them). Rather than seeming happy with her great voice, she seems frustrated that the song doesn’t work as well for her as it does for EB. She suddenly turns around after imagining JY’s presence, and it’s flashback time! This next image is actually a CG painting I did (click for full size).
The whole scene is gorgeously filmed, so it’s too bad that it involves Ms. Witchy-face. JY tells her that he composed the song just for her, and says that he’ll make it so that absolutely no one else can sing it. They proceed to make out, and she is wearing a ring (gasp!!). Does this mean that they were engaged back then, or that she was having an affair? I’m guessing she’s upset because he is now doing for EB what he once did for her, and she understands how special and significant that is.
JY shows up to meet Jin suddenly, and wants to know his intent. Dun dun dun! It looks like things are about to get officially started.
Although this drama seems basic on so many levels, it has excellent pacing and we’re always given just enough information to keep us interested but also curious to know more. I find that my heart always goes out to Jin, who is doing his best in the midst of a viper’s nest. I think he’s going to face a lot of hardship in the future since he’ll have a love triangle and his biological parents to deal with on top of all the investment drama.
I also appreciate how his relationship with RK is portrayed. The norm in kdramas is for relationships to either be positive or negative, and emotional or business-like. The Jin/RK relationship feels much more realistic and finely nuanced than that. Even though their marriage clearly has business implications, they are obviously trying to make it work on an emotional level as well, and they do seem like a good couple on the surface. They enjoy each other’s company, but it doesn’t feel like they connect on a deeper level. They just seem “fine” which is probably the most common type of real-life relationship, and also the hardest to leave since there aren’t any obvious problems.
I’m loving Daniel Choi as JY and think he has great chemistry will all the other characters. His friendship with GJ feels genuine and like it goes way back, while his scenes with KH feel appropriately conflicted. He always seems sincerely enamored with EB, and I’m glad that he’s no longer composing in secret because he even has great rival-chemistry with Jin. I hope they end up being frenemies!
Links and Such
Once again I have to thank Cheerkoo for her helpful translations over at Soompi in the Goo Hye Sun thread (there are translations of interviews and articles there too) as well as Softy over at Cadence for helping me with various scenes.
Here is a Youtube playlist for Episode 3 on the official SBS channel. If you’re not watching this show, you should be!
Video of the day is a sageuk collab! I’ve done a 180 (just like Jin) and like collab videos now. The people that should be credited are watermarked on the video itself.