Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 2 Recap

by: Raine

We most definitely have improvement this episode. Our heroine gets a massive shove towards the dark side and Park Shi-hoo gets even more insane. Is it great? No. But that’s okay. Park Shi-hoo is pretty enough for me.

episode 2 recap

Seo Yoon-joo, henceforth to be known as Tick Girl, fakes surprise at seeing Se-kyung who remembers that cat fight back in school. Tick Girl comes in and makes fun of Se-kyung for rising respectfully. Se-kyung shouldn’t have to do that seeing as they were school pals and all. Hey, in the name of friendship, Tick Girl will even take care of the warranty.

How nice of you.

Se-kyung says she’ll take care of it herself and also that she plans to resign. Tick Girl pretends to empathize that her sister-in-law, In-hwa, is a bit much. Because the Tick has worked in the field, she understands Se-kyung’s pain. But if Se-kyung quits now, news will travel fast and she may not be able to get another job.

So Se-kyung meets with In-hwa who heard she was classmates with Tick Girl and also that the warranty issue will be overlooked. But girls like Se-kyung with no fashion sense are all the same, they quit, In-hwa says. Shouldn’t they at least have backbone if they have no fashion sense? In-hwa walks out and I like her a little better.

In-hwa bumps into Tick Girl and it’s clear there is no love lost between them. In-hwa snidely remarks that Tick Girl seems to be focusing on other things rather than the very, very important meeting with Artemis. Oh, and she’s not REALLY close friends with Se-kyung is she? In-hwa notes

Okay, I like In-hwa even more, now. Even if she’s going to compete for Park Shi-hoo’s affections later on.

Se-kyung meets with Ah-jung who, like a good friend, freaks out that Tick Girl is the big boss’s wife, the company’s madam. They even call her names, “Seo Yoon-bal” (Seo Yoon-foot!) Ah-jung wonders if Tick Girl hired her on purpose but Se-kyung says that the madam sincerely seemed not to know. Well then what about the man she was living with in France two years ago, in that luxury apartment? Ah-jung promises to dig around a bit more to find out the scoop!

Ah, trusty, nosy friends are the best!

In the car, Tick Girl gloats as Se-kyung tells her friend that she’ll continue to work for the madam and Ah-jung freaks out. She understands that Se-kyung needs to make money, but doesn’t seem thrilled by the prospect at all.

Se-kyung calls In-chan again and then Tick Girl calls to meet at an art gallery. Tick Girl thanks her for coming to help her plan the meeting with Artemis because she is oh-so-nervous to do it by herself. Se-kyung answers in formal speech that she’s only doing her work duty, which shocks the hell out of Tick Girl. HAHAHAHAHA! Take that!

I love the power of jondae to floor a bitchy woman and I don’t even speak Korean!

Tick Girl asks her to relax her speech but Se-kyung points out that in a work situation, it’s inappropriate. You have to do things you don’t want to and smile when you don’t want to. Tick Girl agrees and Se-kyung massages her cheeks when Tick Girl ain’t looking. Too much smiling!

The painting they were looking at gets hung in Tick Girl’s home and Se-kyung delivers a few more items said to be liked by the mysterious president of Artemis. Se-kyung looks at the fancy set-up  and wonders if the dinner has to be that high-class to eat just one meal. Tick Girl says that the man is the youngest CEO of Artemis in Korea in history and has made ridiculous sales. It’s not just one meal.

Ah-jung brings news that Tick Girl lived as “Yoon-joo Cha” rather than “Yoon-joo Seo” when she was in France. Se-kyung is confused at the name change and Ah-jung explains that in France women take on their husbands last names when married. They had an unofficial private ceremony at a Catholic Church. And then it hits Se-kyung: Tick Girl’s husband’s name is “Shin,” not “Cha.”

BAM! She kicked her Cha husband to the curb to marry rich, Ah-jung says, but Se-kyung thinks her friend is just being envious. If you remember, Tick Girl did say that conniving and deceiving was her ability.

What’s going on with In-chan? Ah-jung wonders next. He was absent from work without reason and Se-kyung assumes it has to do with money. She checks on the refund on the bag. But it was illegally distributed so they are checking into it. On her way out she bumps into a fashionably-dressed ahjumma with a ‘tude.

This next scene is SO. CUTE.

Park Shi-hoo, I mean, Cha Seung-jo/Jean-Thierry Cha, I mean, Psycho-jo, is on the computer gossiping about the newest sales at his father’s department store. The shoppers complain that Artemis goods never go on sale and a grinning Psycho-jo types that Artemis prices went up 10%. The women immediately want to go out and buy it and Psycho-jo “kekeke’s.” He immediately becomes serious when Secretary Moon walks in. So. Cute.

The fashionably-dressed ahjumma wants a refund, but they don’t refund or fix bags; she didn’t buy it in a store (ahem, illegally distributed…hrm, where have we seen this before?) She’s all cranky when Psycho-jo walks in and thinks he’s the manager. In slo-mo, she hurls the bag at Psycho-jo who catches it with an impressed smile; he impressed himself. He lowers the bag, revealing a muted smile and asks if she wants a refund or an exchange. She wants to exchange with a bag on a display, which is more expensive, and he gives it to her, hoping she’ll buy from an official store next time.

Why? Psycho likes psycho. That’s why!

Psycho-jo calls for a meeting and then gets a video message from daddio. He heard they had a bag illegally distributed. Why didn’t he put Artemis in daddy’s department store? He, too, carries long grudges. Why is his last name “Cha” (pronounced the French “Sha” and not the Korean “Cha”) and makes fun of it “Sha ssi,” which sounds like the insult “jassig.”

Of course, this pisses Psycho-jo off who then goes into his meeting. He wants to know who distributed the faulty products and they tell him that So In-chan has been missing for two days. But Psycho-jo is pissed. He doesn’t want his defective products to be on sale and wants In-chan found.

Ah-jung calls to say that In-chan is in trouble and she meets with Secretary Moon who says that In-chan should come in and confess to the illegal defective product distribution. He has distributed five bags so far. She runs to his house, but no one answers and the mailbox is full of bills and final notices.

Psycho-jo reviews So In-chan’s personal file and it’s full of debt, which explains the reasons for him jacking the defective bags.

Ah-jung wants Se-kyung to pretend she doesn’t know about the debt and forget In-chan, but she won’t. It’s JUST money. Although she wants to find In-chan, she has to shop for Tick Girl instead. Of course, Tick Girl “nicely” warns Se-kyung to cut herself off from the boyfriend who could bring her down and then sends her to her ginormous wardrobe full of bajillions of dollars of clothes, bags and shoes.

Sell just a few of those and you could save her boyfriend, bitch.

Tick Girl invites her to chat like a girlfriend sometime soon and Se-kyung leaves, running into the president. He says that his wife talks a lot about her and then asks what the French saying she mentioned at her interview was. It left an impression on him. He saw the interview with his wife who gave him a high score.

Oh snap! Now she knows the Tick is lying! You should’ve realized, Se-kyung.

But now she does and when the Tick walks out to meet her husband, they have a stare down. And then some verbal sparring, which the Tick wins.

Se-kyung pretends not to know and then the Tick gloats that she’s no fun, being all stiff. But she has to in her position. Then Se-kyung cuts to banmal and tells the Tick that she’s still mean. She hasn’t succeeded in her eyes; she’s still the same as before. The Tick laughs at how serious Se-kyung is and makes fun of how badly she wanted to look good at the interview. How could she not hire her when she put so much effort into it? She’s not showing off, just giving her a job she most desperately wanted. In Se-kyung’s eyes she could still be “you know what” but that doesn’t matter anymore.

Is that why you keep imagining what Se-kyung meant by that insult during your school days fight? That insult that wasn’t even verbally fulfilled, just “You are exactly what you’re imagining.” Because of that, you have to prove you got your position by your skill, lying and stealing, and Se-kyung got hers by your handout.

You’re enjoying every second of this, you tick!

A dejected Se-kyung heads back to In-chan’s house, uncollected mail in place. She flips out and drops her purse. When she kneels down to pick it up, she finds a picture of them dressed up as bears, making a heart between them. It says, “Next year I won’t make you toil.”

She flashes back to when they took it, dressing up as bears and entertaining kids for money. Afterwards he handed her the picture and they cuddle.

Se-kyun puts the photo in an envelope and leaves it with his untouched mail.

She gets a call from an unlisted caller and it’s In-chan, standing in a phone booth by a construction sight. She asks him where he is and then tells him she misses him. He says nothing, but starts to cry. They both cry together on the phone.

Money sucks. It makes you cry. It makes me cry. Well, except when I have it. I guess that’s their problem, eh? It’s sad that they could’ve been together otherwise, but financial stress is just too great on him.

(There was a hot minute of nekkidness, but my dumb screencapping program couldn’t capture it. I will compensate you fans later. Promise.)

Park Shi-hoo gets dressed to Trent Reznor. RAWR! Trent AND Shi-hoo ssi? *swoon* He puts on a bracelet and heads out. He sees Se-kyung asking for Secretary Moon, wanting to know about So In-chan.

He meets with her and tells her to speak with him because he’s the CEO’s secretary. (I wonder how long that ruse is going to lat.) Se-kyung declares that In-chan will return and take responsibility no matter what. Did In-chan say it himself? Psycho-jo wonders and finds out she barely spoke to In-chan properly on the phone. Psycho-jo gets annoyed that In-chan sent a woman to take care of his business, which incenses said woman. She came on her own because she believes in him, her boyfriend of six years.

Psycho-jo tells her with some relish that her boyfriend is delinquent and now that she knows this, she will wake up and leave him now. Why? ‘Cause he knows women better than they know themselves.

Se-kyung scoffs at him, which surprises him. You may know women well, she says, but you have never loved or been loved. She moves to leave, then turns around and lets him have it, complete with a resounding “Ya!”

Are you the CEO or something? she demands  The way you act and speak is like the CEO. Just stop playing and relay my message to him. So In-chan will return; I give my word. Then she leaves.

Insulted Psycho-jo (and a very adorable Park Shi-hoo) calls after her that he has loved, that’s where his insight comes from! It’s so adorably defensive. *rewind* He gets a call and immediately changes into business mode. HAHAHA.

Dong-wook gives Psycho-jo a pen that can record from inside his pocket – it’s to help “heal” himself. Oh man, seriously? You’re going to record your meeting with the Tick? You are sick…I like it!

Psycho- jo even fancies his revenge half as cool as the Counte of Monte Cristo’s…not quite. But cute that you’re so delusional.

Of course, while the Tick and her hubby are getting ready, she refers to the film and understands why Dantes has so many people rooting for him to take his revenge – it’s beneficial to a person’s health.

Honey, you are not Edmond Dantes. I’m JUST saying. Park Shi-hoo is closer, and not just ‘cause he’s a dude. He was ACTUALLY hurt. You’re just a pussy.

(I totally forgot to stick this in, but newkdramaaddict mentioned that the Kill Bill Theme was playing! Thanks!)

In-hwa checks out the dinner set-up and says it’s not bad. Then CEO Jean-Thierry Cha arrives and Min-hyuk, In-hwa and the Tick ready themselves in front of the elevator as Psycho-jo readies himself inside. He even says, with horrid English grammar, “Time to revenge.” Eeek! Adorable!

And then the door opens dramatically. Psycho-jo smirks. The Tick’s smile fades into a look of abject horror.

They talk about Psycho-jo’s rise to the top using his past experiences to understand the female psyche and using that “understanding” to come up with a brilliant marketing plan. He gears his explanation towards the Tick who says she doesn’t know much about those things. In-hwa likes the psychological basis for jacking up prices and Min-hyuk wonders what anguish birthed this brilliant plan.

Oh, I know!

Wine runs out and the Tick is sent for more. Of course, Psycho-jo goes after her to gloat. She calls him a loser and he laughs. She’s the one who has to kiss up to the loser with her husband. The Tick asks him to shield her but he calls her an egotist. Not to worry though, he promises. He’s just come to return something.

Back at dinner, Psycho-jo offers a gift to the Tick because he’s the CEO for Eclaire as well. But it turns out it’s a bracelet that means something as it’s a matching one to the one he’s wearing. He shows it off quite obviously. A flashback shows us that the cuffs are their couple jewelry, or the equivalent of wedding rings.

In the car, Psycho-jo laughs maniacally, kicking and giggling like a little girl. He replays the scene over and over on the recording pen Dong-wook gave him, cackling to himself.

Se-kyung heads to In-chan’s and finds the gate open. He appears behind her. She beats him while crying and asking where he was. She sees his dirt-covered boots and hugs him.

I really like the chemistry between them although the crying is getting a bit much.

In-chan says he’ll deal with the company and thathe’ll probably be fired. He pulls out the envelope she left him that was full of notes between them. They reminisce and then he burns it all, even though she tries to stop him. He thinks effort is their strength is B.S. He used to believe in it, but not anymore. No matter how hard he tries, nothing changes. How can he marry her and father her kids?

He stole the bags to pay for his mom’s surgery and then wondered where he’d get more money for the rest of the medical bills. He was disappointed she hadn’t passed because he is so desperate and hates himself for thinking that way. He doesn’t understand how she can stick by him either.

She apologizes for always saying that working hard will bring about good things. He wants to break up or he’ll feel like a total failure. She hugs him and apologizes for making him say these things.

I get money troubles but I don’t want to watch other people’s right now. Ack. They’re so pathetic, yet understandable. And so many tears. I’m DONE WITH TEARS!

Psycho-jo listens to the recording again. This time though, he’s not laughing. He fiddles with his bracelet and we see that the inside has an engraving on his initials: “S.J. Cha.” Hers has “Y.J. Cha.”

That night dad comes in to tell Se-kyung not to worry, they’re house won’t be foreclosed. He’ll repay their debts somehow by working hard. After a long, hard day, Se-kyung just  feels defeated. Why do they live like this if they work so hard? Dad admits that trying doesn’t get you anywhere. It only makes one feel better to say that things will get better if one tries.

Wow, dad. Not helpful at all.

She remembers all the people that day looking down on her efforts and then heads over to the Tick’s place.

Se-kyung asks if she’s been to France and asks if she was Cha Yoon-joo there.


Se-kyung shows the Tick the wedding photo and points out that it’s rather obvious her husband doesn’t know yet. Did the Tick really exert effort to attain her current place? Se-kyung wants to know and admits to threatening the Tick, but not to kick her out of her position. Se-kyung wnats ot know HOW she got her position. What’s the Tick’s evil secret?

Oh, so she can be the Tick Jr.?

Alright! I’m interested.


First, they fixed Psycho-jo’s name plate. It said “Jane Thierry Cha” instead of “Jean Thierry Cha.”

Second, this episode was SO much better. Hooooorah!

The plot is kinda, sorta, maybe going somewhere now. At least our female lead has a plan of attack and is off the tears. No more tears. Too much crying for me. Gah.

Park Shi-hoo’s Psycho-jo is hysterical. I love a mentally unstable male lead. It’s funny and interesting and Park Shi-hoo does crazy REALLY good. I really am looking forward to/fearful of the psychological progression and how the show will treat a psychological condition.

But the “psycho” behavior means lots of his awesome smile. YAY! So maybe he should just stay “crazy”.. .On the other hand, I want to see how the writers explore his psyche with the damage done by good ol’ dad and the Tick. What diagnosis is he taking medication for?

I’m liking In-hwa, even though she’ll be a love rival as well. She’s not just an airhead and catches on to the Tick’s evilness and lies right quick. I can dig it, even if she’s mean to Se-kyung.

And Se-kyung, I get that they needed to push her to the dark side in order for her to covet marrying wealthy, but my brain hurts with all this crying.

I love Ah-jung, but maybe it’s cause I love actress Shin So-yool. She’s kind of a menial side character who just functions as an intermediary. I’d love to see her in a meatier role, but such are the trappings of rom-com.

There is something about this plot that still doesn’t have me sold. It seems so surface. But that’s also got its good qualities, too. Nonetheless, I’m still really looking forward to the third episode.

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (final)

Character introductions.

Cheongdam-dong Alice Episode 2 Screencaps.

4 responses to “Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 2 Recap”

  1. Two things! I love Psycho-jo! PSH does crazy so well!! The music choices?!! Psycho-jo getting dress to some serious rock?!! I did not know the song but I was rocking hard! And Kill Bill theme coming off the elevator?!! PRICELESS!! I like the show! Now I have to see where its going!

  2. ,all I want to know is how they (they being Se Kyung and Ah Jung) got to know of the Tick’s past re marriage in while in France while the husband, or even the sister in law (??) knew nothing of it.. gaah, me looking for logic in a kdrama is a lost cause methinks?

  3. Glad to see you are recapping this. I’m not sure what to make of Cheongdam-dong Alice just yet. Mostly I think I’m tired of this K-drama habit to always have storylines with characters that are the total underdogs pitched against characters that are soooooooooo superior. It’s too extreme and too black & white for me.

    Park Shi-hoo’s character I like, because that ‘he’s a total lunatic’ facet makes him interesting. Like he’s superior but there is very clearly an intricate background story (not even with the marriage, but the whole story with his dad). Hilarious and full of interesting potential.

    Seo Yoon-joo bores the hell out of me. Miss Super-Superior. I just don’t think that’s a very real character but rather a caricature.

    Se-kyung is alright, although I’m not so keen on the turn at the end (well, it could go any direction, who knows). I’m shipping her with her current boyfriend – their crying is a bit much, but they obviously love each other. If she’s meant to be OTP with Park Shi-hoo by the end, I’m not too rooting for that right now (nothing to do with PSH, but honestly, it would be nice if a k-drama actually took that risk and didn’t go for the obvious OTP).

    The other thing I find highly problematic is that Se-kyung’s friends are not friends. None of them, including Ah-jung. I also find it sad how Korean dramas ever too often insist on these superficial characters that only care about looks and money, as if these were the only kind of people that existed. :-/

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