Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 8 Recap

by: Raine

This episode was the bridge that Se-kyung crossed to the dark side.

“Love Like This”Instrumental of song sun by K.Will (from the Cheongdam-dong Alice OST)


episode 8 recap

So here I am, all thinking that they’re going to see each other, but Se-kyung freaks out and hides against the elevator wall so that Psycho-jo sees no one when the door opens. Actually, I’m not sure he’d see anyone as he is in such a daze over the news that Secretary Kim delivered: Se-kyung likes Secretary Kim.

He walks slowly out of the elevator, stopping Secretary Moon every few to ask: “Really?” It’s so adorable how Moon gets more annoyed at each repetition. But Park Shi-hoo is even cuter.

The happier Psycho-jo gets, the more depressed Se-kyung gets. It takes her a while to get off of the elevator. She remembers all of the strange encounters she’s had with “Secretary Kim” and the truth hits even harder.

Yeah, I can see this turning her back to normal or making her really evil. I think she’ll go the evil route.

In the green room, Psycho-jo is so happy he (as always) can’t figure out what to do. He picks up Dong-wook in a bear hug because he’s so happy. He excitedly wonders how long she’s like him and starts doing his crazy head dance. SO. CUTE.

Dong-wook advises that Psycho-jo tell Se-kyung the whole truth and confess his feelings for her. But Psycho-jo freaks out because Se-kyung likes Secretary Kim and not the president.

Okay, every innocent statement he utters makes me cringe for the pain he will endure later.

In any case, Dong-wook comforts Psycho-jo by saying that he is neither Jean Thierry Cha nor Secretary Kim. He is just Cha Seung-jo, a man who likes a woman.

Se-kyung nervously finds her seat and struggles to digest the information she’s just learned. She even hallucinates his handsome face in her water glass and frowns even more. I wonder if she is every going to smile ever again.

Psycho-jo and Dong-wook search for Se-kyung from backstage and Psycho-jo tries not to hyperventilate from nerves and insecurity. He’s terrified to tell her the truth and runs away like a total goof, looking rather like the nutty characters in Zelda games. Tommy Hong watches him run and gets more curious about the Se-kyung/Psycho-jo mystery.

Daddy Cha is meeting with Coach Tick and doesn’t seem to pleased to discover that she is the daughter-in-law of GN Fashion. She falls to her knees and begs him to keep her secret (that she used his letter to marry into Cheongdam-dong). He agrees to keep her secret as long as she helps the marriage between Royal Group and GN Fashion go off without a hitch. Coach Tick doesn’t want this at all, but Daddy Cha sneers at her. The only thing he ever liked about her was her business sense; let this remain business, just like her relationship with Psycho-jo was supposed to be.

I feel so badly for her. Everyone thinks she’s this cold-hearted business-oriented wench, but she just wanted to secure a comfortable life, even at the expense of happiness and love.

Daddy Cha realizes that his son must know about Coach Tick’s relation to GN Fashion. In a touching turn, Daddy Cha feels pity for his son’s plight.

In-hwa and Min-hyuk arrive and greet Tommy Hong. Then they notice Se-kyung. In-hwa approaches her suspiciously, but before Se-kyung can explain, the art talk begins.

Backstage, Psycho-jo freaks out over what he has to do. Secretary Moon snaps that he shouldn’t have been more careful. When Psycho-jo stares at him incredulously, Moon clarifies (with his finger in the air) that people should be truthful with the person they love. Dong-wook agrees (also with his finger in the air). Psycho-jo grins as comprehension dawns on him and his wagging finger joins the others. He’s going to be honest and tell her the truth!

Psycho-jo steels himself for the big reveal, and marches onstage, greeting the audience confidently and mentally addresses Se-kyung, assuming she is completely surprised. He recites a poem that says that the best things are yet to come and mentally tells Se-kyung that the same is true for them.

When the lights come on, he searches for Se-kyung but she isn’t there. He looks confused, but Tommy Hong doesn’t. He flashes back to the moment when Se-kyung bolted and left her phone on the table. Tommy now has her phone and is probably planning some nefarious deeds with it.

Dong-wook has to calm Psycho-jo down and remind him that there is no time to freak out about Se-kyung where there are guests to tend to.

Se-kyung meets with Ah-jung who is ecstatic that the love/money match seems set in stone – she admits that she told Secretary Moon that Se-kyung likes Secretary Kim. But this news makes Se-kyung’s heart weigh even more heavily. In order to pursue her goal, she needs to be the “Candy” that Kim first fell for. But Se-kyung is no longer that girl and the guilt eats at her.

When Ah-jung promises to keep the truth about Kim being the president a secret so that Se-kyung can take advantage of this amazing luck, Se-kyung starts to cry. All the lying and deception is really getting to her. Then she lies some more tin order to explain the crying: she’s happy.

Lies beget more lies, little Miss Candy wannabe.

At the party, some guy tells Min-hyuk that he thinks Psycho-jo looks a lot like Royal Group’s son, Cha Seung-jo. Min-hyuk starts to deduce why In-hwa is pushing the match so hard.

In-hwa approaches Cha Seung-jo who is less than interested in her. She tries to work it but he’s preoccupied with his phone and by the presence of the insipid Tommy Hong.

Tommy is there without invitation and apologizes to Psycho-jo for his rudeness. He just wants to apologize (some more) to Se-kyung who Psycho-jo is searching for. Tommy explains that Se-kyung left before Psycho-jo was introduced. The best apology would be to never appear before Psycho-jo and Se-kyung again. Then Psycho-jo leaves mid ass-kissing.

Heh. Me like. Tommy Hong is creepy and skeezy.

Se-kyung wanders to her college where she sits and writes a list of evil deeds to commit. Of course, she cries while making it.

  1. Secretary Kim is Jean Thierry Cha
  2. Jean Thierry Cha likes Candy Han Se-kyung.
  3. However, I am no longer a Candy.
  4. The president doesn’t know that I have changed
  5. The president, before he changed, liked the me before I changed.
  6. I have to act like the person I was before I changed.
  7. I like Secretary Kim.
  8. However, the person I have to commit to is not Secretary Kim, but the President Jean Thierry Cha.
  9. This is good fortune. It is winning the lottery.
  10. That is why I have to act like the Han Se-kyung before the change. I have to act like her.

She stares at his apartment and then huddles on the street to steel her nerves and try to stop crying. Meanwhile, he’s cuddling with the happy bunny and breaking my heart.

When Se-kyung is done, she is “Candy” and writes a letter to the president. It was how she moved him last time. Ah-jung reads it and says it’s good, but Se-kyung is being an ass.

I agree. Now why did you push her in the first place you bad friend! Oh yeah, ‘cause Se-kyung lost her house, her boyfriend and basically all career opportunities because she was poor. But is this seriously the ONLY way? I mean, he likes her period. Why does she have to fool him? Why can’t she just, y’know, be honest? Oh yeah, ‘cause then this wouldn’t be k-drama.

Anyway, Se-kyung reminds Ah-jung that she has to take advantage of this good fortune and Ah-jung reminds her that she has to return all the gifts because no Candy dresses well.

Se-kyung’s dad comes in wondering why he didn’t answer his calls and Se-kyung realizes that she’s lost her phone. But right now it doesn’t matter because she has a guest.

Is it the love of her life…?

No, it’s Coach Tick. Not who I was hoping for, but the Tick’s tears change my mind. After wandering the city in a depression, she found herself at Se-kyung’s? They really ARE frenemies.

Psycho-jo dumps on Dong-wook, wondering why, when Se-kyung was so adamant about meeting the president, she just up and leaves the party. Where did her work ethic go? And why won’t she pick up her phone? Dong-wook teases him, but Psycho-jo gets earnest. When he heard that Se-kyung liked him, he thought his heart would explode. He likes her and wants to see her and tell her everything, no matter what she thinks about his lie.

Aw, puppy. PUPPY! *HUGS* I seriously can’t stand this. He clears up his lie and she delves further into hers. I wish the writers would make her more sympathetic again. Tears don’t cut it. I know they gave us two episodes of backstory, but that doesn’t cut it. That backstory needs to hold up against Psycho-jo’s powerhouse presence and it’s NOT!

Coach Tick takes Se-kyung to a wicked expensive hotel room. She explains that she delivered clothes to this room (that cost $5,000 a night) one Christmas and rich girls her age were partying. The Tick decided that night that she would Christmas here. It happened after she married and renting this room ain’t a problem at all anymore.

Looking Se-kyung in the eye, Coach Tick, with her eyes still red from crying, asks if Se-kyung really wants to take this path. But Se-kyung “hates people who say things like that. The dream came true for them. Whether they are happy or not, the dream came true for them. But they tell others not to take the same path.”

Coach Tick seems disappointed, but she understands Se-kyung. She was like that once, too. Then she asks what happened with “that situation.” Se-kyung explains that the situation wasn’t a crisis – the secretary and the White Rabbit have turned out to be the same person. The secretary, who was her crisis, lied but he also likes her.

That comes as a surprise to Coach Tick.

The Wonderland diary says that love and business can’t mix, but Se-kyung thinks it could work. Coach Tick replies that she and Se-kyung are a lot alike. She explains that she fell in love in Paris, married in a church with their bracelets and smiled like happy fools. She admits she loved him. It was real and love came first. She found out soon after that the man was from a good family. This family was against him and the man gave up everything because he loved her and wanted to be with her.

Coach Tick explains that love is inclusive: you love everything about a person. But business is selective. Only one thing is important. Se-kyung says that she is greedy for both, because she sees them both as a possibility. Coach Tick understands that, too. She’s been there. She knows she can’t stop Se-kyung.

The next step for Se-kyung is in the diary: Waiting breeds desire. I guess she’s gonna make poor puppy Psycho-jo wait for her and want her more.

As an afterthought, Se-kyung asks what happened to Coach Tick, But the Tick says they aren’t that close. When she succeeds, they can meet at places like this more often. she leaves, unhappy with sending Se-kyung on her path.

Psycho-jo pines in front of Se-kyung’s house and Se-kyung fights herself in the $5,000 hotel room.

The next day, Secretary Moon has prevented news of the party from being released and sent the clothing donation to GN Fashion. On Psycho-jo’s desk are the things he gave Se-kyung and a letter.

I’m sitting here sweating bullets when the scene jumps to the annoying Tommy Hong. RAWR!!!! Anyway, Tommy’s heard about the first letter incident, when Se-kyung begged the president on her ex-boyfriend In-chan’s behalf. Tommy isn’t surprised that Psycho-jo has a crush on such a Candy-like person. But the word “Candy” jars Tommy and he gets suspicious. Se-kyung isn’t a “Candy” anymore. She’s working her way into Cheongdam-dong. So why did she reject the president of Artemis?

The secretary has cracked the password on Se-kyung’s phone and Tommy scrolls through it, seeing the name “Secretary Kim” all over the place.

In his office, Psycho-jo braces himself, then reads the letter:


This is Han Se-kyung. I’m sorry to suddenly contact you liek this. I can no longer be your stylist. The rest is, Kim Seung-jo, the man who works for you, I like him. However, for me now, liking someone is an extravagance. A love without any power in the face of reality. That’s what I’m scared of. And I’m even more scared of myself. No matter how many times I try to ignore it, my heart keeps fluttering. I know that the opportunity you ahve given me is so precious and rare. But I, right now, I am desperate enough to quit this job. If I met you directly, I thought it would be too hard to tell you, so I left the party early. I’m sorry. And, thank you so much for everything.

The letter leaves earnest Psycho-jo in tears and me, well, I’m furious. This deception is horribly cruel, especially knowing what we do about Psycho-jo. As I watch him run out of the office to find her, I find myself ready to reach through my computer screen and strangle Se-kyung. I honestly don’t care about her “reasons.” She’s going to hurt my puppy. RAWR!

Psycho-jo drives to GN Fashion to meet her and calls her. Tommy, who has her phone, answers and is confused when he hears President Jean Thierry Cha’s voice. But only for a moment. Tommy searches Se-kyung’s texts and finds the text from Ah-jung that reveals that Secretary Kim is the president.

Se-kyung has taken a few days leave from work, which stymies Psycho-jo’s search and makes In-hwa suspicious, especially when she remembers Se-kyung at the party.

Psycho-jo makes his way to Se-kyung’s place and comes across her mom and sister. Se-jin tells him that Se-kyung is on sick leave to clear her head and that she won’t be home for a few days. Mom says that Se-kyung has been weird for the past few days and her complexion has been off. When they go up, Psycho-jo leaves her a message to call him immediately because he needs to tell her something.

Upstairs, Se-jin calls Ah-jung, who is at a jimjilbang with Se-kyung, to say that she told Psycho-jo everything she was supposed to. Ah-jung tells her that she is on her way to getting that designer bag and hangs up. She is stoked that things are going as planned. They haven’t, however, found Se-kyung’s cellphone, which is supposedly in Cheongdam-dong. In any case, Se-kyung just needs to steal Psycho-jo’s heart.

But you already have it you ginormous BITCH!

Anyway, Psycho-jo goes to Se-kyung’s fashion school and I’m freaking out that he’s going to find the list, but he only finds her sketches for an angry bunny. He flashes back on their time together there.

Tommy Hong is busy figuring out Se-kyung’s scheme. She knows Secretary Kim’s real identity, but Kim doesn’t know she knows. So she’s planning to feign ignorance and win the president over; to use him. He orders his secretary to find Se-kyung.

Min-hyuk tells his mother that he thinks that Jean Thierry Cha is the son of Royal Group, which is probably why In-hwa is going after him. In any case, nothing can harm them because they’re on solid ground. Min-hyuk is going to research Jean Thierry Cha just to be sure. Coach Tick has to try really hard to remain calm as he’s talking because the truth of her past could, y’know, majorly harm her husband and his fashion empire.

In his apartment, Psycho-jo is freaking out and doing his famous “What do I do? What do I do?” spiel. Heehee. He’s worried something happened to her and falling according to her plan. Dong-wook thinks she’s escaping as Psycho-jo did in the past. He tells his friend to wait and reveal the truth when he can. He should’ve, however, revealed it earlier. But Psycho-jo admits that he didn’t believe. Believe what? Believe in her and her feelings.


He plucks out the sad bunny and explains that a part of his heart remained in hiding until he found out exactly how she really felt. He was afraid Han Se-kyung would be like “that woman from before.”

I’m sobbing here. Seriously? Seriously? How did you create this character, show? Writernim? PDnim? He totally brutalizes my heart every other scene.

Se-kyung is sitting at the jimjilbang blindly staring at the Wonderland journal, feeling guilty. GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She keeps reading the part about how love can’t figure into business.

Psycho-jo is hard on himself about hurting Se-kyung. He didn’t see how she felt, only his own feelings. He didn’t see how hard things were on her. He ruined things and misses her; he misses her and wants to talk to her. Dong-wook watches him sadly.

*sob* Just…*sob*

So the next day, Dong-wook, the faithful friend, goes to find out about Se-kyung. He arrives at her apartment and meets Se-jin. When she discovers that Dong-wook is a doctor, she grins mischievously and has him follow her. She makes him buy glasses from her if he wants to meet with Se-kyung: one pair for every day of the week. HA! She is so devious.

But in the end, he finds out where Se-kyung is. He texts Psycho-jo who is in a meeting about the collaboration with GN Fashion, making prices higher as is his business method. (I’d almost forgotten about that. I’m glad that is still a part of him. That gives him something to work on character-wise besides just being the puppy in love.)

Se-jin tells Ah-jung she told, which results in Se-kyung trying to make the great escape from the jimjilbang. All the while, Tommy has put a man on stalking the couple so he’s going to the jimgilbang, too.

Se-kyung hides from him, but Psycho-jo spots her. She hides behind the cars in the parking lot and Psycho-jo searches for her, calling her name. Across the parking lot, Tommy Hong watches Se-kyung’s plan unfold.

Psycho-jo is really worked up and when Se-kyung doesn’t come out, he finally decides to just tell the entire parking lot the truth. Se-kyung can’t believe he’s going to confess already. She looks nervous as hell. Just before he confesses, she comes out from behind the cars.

Psycho-jo: Se-kyung ssi.

Se-kyung: Secretary Kim.

Psycho-jo: I have something i have to apologize to you about. If you listen to what i have to say, you might not want to see me again. But I have no choice. O have to… apologize. Honestly, I…

Se-kyung’s thoughts: Se-kyung ah…

Psycho-jo: Honestly I…

Se-kyung’s thoughts: You have to do it well.

Psycho-jo: I am…

Se-kyung’s thoughts:  Naturally… you have to be surprised.

Psycho-jo: …the president, Jean Thierry Cha.

Se-kyung’s thoughts: Han Se-kyung, right now, you are doing well, right?


My biggest peeve with this show is Se-kyung. She’s so woe-is-me and has all these difficult problems that she is handling the WRONG WAY. Poverty is tough. But I was talking with zgzgirl and we came up with reasons why her plan is pathetic.

1) Her worry about dressing badly. If she’s a designer, wouldn’t she be able to design hip clothes that would stand out without being expensive?

2) Is living in a rental the end of the universe? Do you have to own your own house? Is your life really over because your pride was wounded a bit?

3) She can deal with this situation truthfully.

Also, I’ m so on Psycho-jo’s boat that I keep forgetting why Se-kyung is throwing herself a pity party. She hasn’t smiled in like, what, three episodes? It’s annoying. It’d be nice to have the character reiterate why she’s so adamant about following this awful plan. I’m just sick of her.

I think it’s a little too convenient that Tommy Hong figures all this out so quickly. It’s really awkward how he’s all like, I figured this out in 0.2 seconds. He’s just a plot pusher right now and I hate plot pushing characters. Give him some meat, writernim!

Ah-jung is a plot pusher. And Tommy Hong (what a horribly developed second male lead). And Se-jin. And all the side characters. They have no depth. It’s a little frustrating. But Park Shi-hoo’s Psycho-jo is SO amazing, that I’m still along for the ride.

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

Character introductions.

Cheongdam-dong Alice Episode 8 Screencaps.

2 responses to “Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 8 Recap”

  1. Does it make me a racist if the guy in the very top pic remindw me of the Gungnam Style guy?

    In my defence, I actually only watched it for the first time a couple of months ago, and it was being shown at my gym tonight.

Leave a comment. You know you wanna!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s