Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 2 Recap

by: Raine

So I think, thus far, I’m enjoying this show. There are some points I greatly dislike, especially the really obvious setups, but at the same time, it has a nice beat to it and the leads are engaging.

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 24.3%, 1st overall. I think it deserved it. Nothing was new or surprising, but it was nicely put together, well-paced and fun. That’s pretty good for a second episode!

episode 2 recap

The President Fake Shin greets Lee Soon-shin while the real president remembers that she’s the one who made a fool out of him in front of Choi Yeon-ah. Joon-ho’s buddy, Kim Young-hoon, wonders if he knows the woman with the imposing name sitting by the window.

Then Joon-ho tells Young-hoon he’s meeting Yeon-ah, which shocks the hell out of him.

President Fake Shin works his magic on Yoon-shin and Jung-ae, telling them that Soon-shin is special and she’ll be a star in a matter of years. When Jung-ae starts to protest, he brings out a contract that has the numbers 20 million won (about $18,000 USD) on it.

That should’ve had both women running away at high speeds, but instead, they freeze, allowing President Fake to convince them that it’s not what they must pay, but what they will receive.

So fishy.

In the bathroom, Joon-ho primps nervously and tells himself to “relax”. Gah, I love this insecurity. It totally undermines cold chaebol. On his way out he runs into Lee Soon-shin and calls her “100 Won,” which is the coin that Admiral Lee Soon-shin graces.

That’s kinda funny, heh.

Anyway, he’s wondering if she’s stalking him as a protest for being fired. She tells him he’s not that special with quite the admirable bit of attitude. He warns her to never appear before him again, still calling her “100 Won.” He is still completely humiliated because of that day.

But plucky Soon-shin tells him she doesn’t want to see him either. And why does he keep calling her “100 Won?” Her name is Lee Soon-shin, like the national hero! Didn’t he go to school?

Then he rudely points out that the national hero Lee Soon-shin is on the 100 won coin.

Yeah, female Lee Soon-shin, you get minus 1,000,000,000 points for missing that reference. I know she’s supposed to be dull, but…come ON now.

Soon-shin, however, isn’t phased. She tells him she’ll let him call her whatever he wants because she doesn’t have the time to waste on him. (Okay, she gets a few thousand points back for being so cool.) She tells Joon-ho that her luck got better since he fired her. Maybe she’ll come to thank him later.

Then she walks away, leaving him stuttering for her to stop. He gives up and turns away…and then slips and bonks his head on a railing.


Cue entrance of Choi Yeon-ah and the appearance of a huge red welt on Joon-ho’s forehead. Yeon-ah inquires about the welt, but Joon-ho awkwardly denies anything. She notes that he’s still the same, completely uncoordinated.

Omigosh? This has been a long-term thing? OmiGOSH there is going to be more clumsiness?! YES!

Ridiculously embarrassed (again) he denies his clumsiness and takes her to his office, not wanting to be near 100 won.

And…he wants to show off his swanky office and how cool he is as the president. His show is so ridiculously cute.

They are greeted by In-sung and Yeon-ah is intrigued by his name, the same name as actor winter wind-tastic actor Jo In-sung. Assistant In-sung wanted to become an actor and gave up because of his name. Joon-ho and Yeon-ah walk away before the poor assistant can explain.

In his office, Yeon-ah glances around and spots a picture of Joon-ho playing guitar and singing. She says he was the coolest when he sang. That makes him self-conscious so she turns the conversation towards business. He wonders if she came to meet him today because she is now a free agent. He wants her to join his company and tells her to name her conditions and he might even consider it – major names are in his company now, like Song Mi-ryeong. This, of course, makes her laugh.

The little power game they play is kinda funny, especially as more of his goofy character has now been exposed.

Yeon-ah suddenly asks for Song Mi-ryeong and that she’ll pay the penalty for breaking the contract. She explains to a confused Joon-ho that she wants to open her own management agency because she’s sick and tired of being stifled. She wants Song Mi-ryeong because the woman is alike a mother to her. As a fellow actress, Yeon-ah thinks she could take care of her best.

Okay, just because you act as well doesn’t mean you know how to manage…does she realize the difference? Probably not.

Anywho, Yeon-ah says Mi-ryeong signed with him because of their good relationship, but he shouldn’t destroy her future prospects.

Joon-ho scoffs incredulously and so do I.

Seriously lady? You’re nucking futs!

Joon-ho leans forward and demands to know if Mi-ryeong is the type to sign a contract based on a past relationship. Also, she’s not the motherly type. Yeon-ah must be dreaming.

Yeon-ah smirks and Joon-ho warns her that business isn’t for everyone.

Soon-shin and Jung-ae are riding the bus home and Jung-ae is all smiles. But Soon-shin thinks it’s too good to be true. How does something like this happen to someone like her? Jung-ae thinks he was exactly right and Soon-shin just has to work hard – don’t be meek like Jung-ae was as a child.

Now we get to Yoo In-nah (yay!)…wait…I mean Lee Yoo-shin who is being followed by her drinking date from the first episode. She coldly tells him it’s over; how many times does she have to tell him that she’s not interested. The guy pathetically wonders why they went on a date and held hands and even kissed.

Hrm, I’d like to know that too.

As Yoo-shin rolls her eyes at the guy’s antiquated dating ideas, Park Chan-woo shows up to witness her cruel explanation. She can hold hands and kiss with lots of men. The guy doesn’t believe her and she scoffs and wonders what kind of girl he thinks she is. “Pure like a lily.” Besides, she’s his first kiss.

Yoo-shin is annoyed by him and then she spots Chan-woo. She runs to him and hugs him, asking him to stay like this for a while. Then she grabs Chan-woo’s face and tries to kiss him, but he’s holding her off. Hehehehehehe.

She pulls away and asks the guy if she’s still like a lily to him and he runs away crying.

Okay, last episode, the bitchy was just annoying even though I love Yoo In-nah, but this little bit was kinda funny.

Chan-woo is rather disgusted by the scene and ignores Yoo-shin who apologizes to him again for “endangering his purity.” Hehe. She promises to pay him back a hundredfold, but Chan-woo is just incredulous that she still lives that way.

Talking a mile a minute, she defends herself and wonders how Chan-woo can still be so stubborn even after coming back from the army.. Her cheeks are red from when he pushed her away during their “kiss”. She wonders how he will live if he keeps doing this (acting so prude.)

He says it’s not any of her business and she assumes he’s still testy from when he had to carry her home on his back. She thanks him and tells him that’s what friends are for. Then she jumps to a new subject: he’s working at a hospital. His mom was totally bragging about him and he defends his mom from Yoo-shin’s sharp, non-stop tongue.

Chan-woo walks away and she wonders what to do about his stubbornness.

At dinner, Yoo-shin can’t believe Soon-shin got a contract, but Jung-ae says that half the money was already transferred into the account.

You gave President Fake your account number?! NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!! I mean, I knew they had, but this confirmation just has me wanting to thunk their heads together.

Adorably, Jung-ae takes the opportunity to tell Yoo-shin to stop disregarding her younger sister. Ha! Yeah. Right.

Hye-shin says that they might even get introduced as “Soon-shin’s” sisters in the future, which makes Yoo-shin glare at her with that infamous sourpuss.

Jung-ae encourages Soon-shin to say something to her family. Soon-shin says that although she’s embarrassed, she is really happy and confused. Granny doesn’t get that Soon-shin is going to become an actress and brushes the whole thing off. Again, Jung-ae tries to get Granny to acknowledge her youngest kindly.

Won’t happen. She needs to be our downtrodden lead.

Just in case we forgot that Yoo-shin was mean, she starts in on all the ways this deal could go wrong and that it’s probably a hoax. Although she’s right, she is a meanie face…why is Yoo In-nah so cute being mean? And how is she annoying all at the same time!

Soon-shin assures them all that her luck will change but her father takes her mother aside and tells Jung-ae to return the money. They should’ve discussed the matter first.

He’s right for being suspicious. I wish that the decision hadn’t been such a stupid one on Jung-ae and Soon-shin’s part because her family really does need to start supporting her. But this issue really isn’t one they should support. It was a STUPID decision.

In any case, the real reason for the dad’s objection to the decision is that he has no faith in Soon-shin. Jung-ae wonders why everyone has no faith Soon-shin.

I really wish this actress business and the family’s faith were two separate issues right now because when the contract goes south, the family will be even worse to Soon-shin.

Jung-ae refuses to cancel the contract no matter what dad says. She’s disappointed in him and granny.

The next day Ex Manager Hwang is skulking around the neighborhood where he saw Soon-shin’s dad and catches sight of him. Hwang not-so-stealthily follows him home where he is spotted by Hye-shin. Hwang quickly hurries away, having confirmed his hunch.

Chez Mi-ryeong, Hwang shows up and is greeted coldly by Mi-ryeong. He’s come for his things and to ask for severance pay: thirty years of it. She controls her temper and dismisses him quickly. He picks on her word choice and then throws in the fact that she saw Soon-shin’s father, Lee Chang-hoon, which makes Mi-ryeong turn pale.

Ah, old flame? Her baby daddy? Her mother’s brother’s ex-best-friend’s lesbian lover?

Okay, that didn’t make sense. But neither does most makjang and I’m smelling some here…

He wonders how Chang-hoon would react to knowing she moved to this neighborhood. Mi-ryeong ignores the taunting and tells her maid to help Hwang out with his things.

On a sageuk set, Mi-ryeong broods over Hwang’s words and Yeon-ah interrupts her with a meal. Mi-ryeong knows that Yeon-ah is up to something and Yeon-ah wonders if Mi-ryeong regrets anything. But she doesn’t. She doesn’t brood over the past – it’s how she got this far.

Hye-shin is sending a very sullen looking Woo-joo off to school and warning her never to talk to strangers. Woo-joo should wait in front of the school for Hye-shin to pick her up. In English, Woo-joo replies that she doesn’t want to go to this institute. She wants to go “home”. Hye-shin tells her that Korea is their home now, which Woo-joo doesn’t want to hear.

Gah, if that girl was raised speaking English…it wouldn’t sound like that…hehe. But she’s cute trying, so I’ll cut her slack.

Yoo-shin sees the exchange and thinks that the kid has no manners. HAHAHAHA! Love the irony coming from the serial heartbreaker.

Soon-shin comes downstairs perusing a script and Yoo-shin tries to grab it from her to see it. Jung-ae stops the squabble by sending Soon-shin to collect her father for dinner. Soon-shin leaves and sticks her tongue out at her sister. YES! So cute!

In the basement, Chang-hoon is rummaging through piles of stuff and knocks over some books. Inside one book is an old photo of a man and a woman. I’m guessing it’s him and Mi-ryeong back in the day. It’s at some kind of graduation.

Soon-shin finds him and they sit for a chat. He tells her acting isn’t easy – it’s more difficult than she thinks. He’s against it.

At least now we may have an inkling as to why he’s against acting – just not why he treats her like a worthless being. I must give him credit: at this moment, he’s kinda nice.

Soon-shin tells him she can’t think straight ‘cause it happened so fast. She asks if she can try it just once. She’s not pretty or successful like her sisters so she feels bad for her parents. He seems incredulous at her words. I think maybe he treats her badly without really meaning too…unlike Yoo-shin and granny. Maybe it has to do with the birth secret.

She continues that she wants to be a daughter he can be proud of. That’s the only reason she wants to do this.

Her friend Chan-mi hears about the news and wonders how something this ridiculous could happen.

Wow, you’re a fantastic friend calling her ugly and basically unworthy of being casted…

Anyway, Chan-mi says that Gabi’s president isn’t the type to do street castings. (Ruh-roh.) He’s a stickler for procedure and background. Chan-mi knows all this because her company won’t deal with his singers and actors because he’s too arrogant. Soon-shin is confused because President Fake was humble. Chan-mi wonders if it was really the president and Soon-shin a-bit-too-quickly declares that it most definitely was. Is Chan-mi belittling her, too? Then she storms off to go to actors’ school.

At a cosmetic surgery center, Joon-ho’s daddy, Shin Dong-hyuk, is injecting something into a woman’s face in front of a line of Chinese students. His assistant is none other than Park Chan-woo! The woman says not to get any more famous; it was hard enough booking this appointment.

Of course, Joon-ho’s daddy is none other than the best! Keep the tropes coming! Was he once in love with Soon-shin’s mother? And then who would that mother be? Jung-ae? Mi-ryeong? Mi-ryeong’s long lost twin?

Sorry, I’m having too much fun with this…

Dong-hyuk and Chan-woo chat. The patients gave Chan-woo high praise and Dong-hyuk is glad to have hired him. Of course, because Chan-woo is the best, too!

Happy with the praise, Chan-woo texts Soon-shin, congratulating her. So I totally didn’t get that he liked her in the first episode, but maybe he does? Whatever. He at least likes her enough to be nice when no one else is.

Then Soon-shin gets a call from someone saying that her name was using to receive a personal loan. When she inquires about it, the man behind the desk asks if she gave her personal information out.

Um, yes. Yes, I did. To a creepy man in a hat who approached me on the street and told me I was special.

She realizes what happened and tries to contact President Fake, but, of course, he’s not available. So she heads to Gabi to speak with him personally.

In-sung comes out wondering who she is. When she says she signed a contract, he is confused because Joon-ho didn’t sign anything. She tells him she signed yesterday in the cafe downstairs and even got a signing bonus.

He says that it’s impossible and then realized that she was scammed.

She hurries to the police station who says that this guy has scammed a lot of people lately. He takes out a 20 million won loan, asks for 10 million for expenditures and gives the scammed person the other 10 million as the sign-up bonus.

The cop tells her that she has to pay the money back. She’s too naive: giving him her account and her seal. He’s a wrongdoer, but she needs to get herself together. Stop being obsessed with being a superstar.

Yeah, this is all true, but isn’t it the police’s job to, y’know, stop these people and help those in need?

On the street, she wanders in shock, calling herself names.

Granny is playing a card game while Jung-ae is peeling apples with a huge smile on her face. She can’t seem to stop smiling lately. Granny thinks she’s looks deranged. But Jung-ae just thinks Soon-shin is great; an opinion that Granny doesn’t share. It makes Jung-ae happy that Soon-shin is being recognized by someone famous. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t succeed as long as she feels good about it.

Jung-ae thanks Granny for giving Soon-shin such a great name. Granny scowls: she named her Soon-shin so that she’d be a boy.


Jung-ae isn’t phased. But Granny keeps going. Because Soon-shin joined their family, Jung-ae couldn’t bear another child. And she’s ugly. Jung-ae just smiles and asks Granny to like Soon-shin. Besides, she’s cute. Granny wonders how Jung-ae seems to like Soon-shin better than her real children.

This is a point I HATE. How is a biological child better than an adopted child? If you choose to adopt a child, that child is yours. I think Jung-ae is perfectly right in loving Soon-shin and Granny should fall out of her rocking chair!

The two women argue over which children were fawned over most: Granny saying Soon-shin and Jung-ae saying the other two. Jung-ae says that her two biological daughters can take care of herself, but she has a special love for Soon-shin. (Literally says she’s more of a daughter to her.) Soon-shin is strangely like her.

Granny says in that they’re both fools. Jung-ae agrees as emotional tears fall.

Soon-shin bursts into the cafe where she met President Fake and frantically searches for him. A waiter stops her and she asks if he’s seen the man she was with yesterday, but he doesn’t.

Hye-shin meets with her friends who fawn over how young and pretty she looks; they credit marrying well as the cause. Hye-shin looks like she does not agree one iota.

We learn a bit about her. She was popular with the menfolk. She gave up a promising job to marry a few months after dating.

The ladies ask for a welcome home party for Hye-shin’s husband so they can meet him and she agrees with a smile. Then she goes out to make a call to her “husband”.

At the cafe, Soon-shin haunts the entrance, waiting for President Fake. Young-hoon comes in and the waiter Soon-shin accosted reports that she’s been there for hours. Mr. Waiter is not happy with this girl who was probably dumped by a guy. Young-hoon is amused by his annoyance and merely smiles as Mr. Waiter approaches Soon-shin to politely kick her out.

Before he can, Soon-shin gets a call from Hye-shin asking her to pick up Woo-joo from school.  Then tries to light up a cigarette to cool her nerves but she gets caught by one of her friends and drops it. Her friend seems impressed that the model student  has now become human. Hye-shin looks like she wants to run away from it all.

Woo-joo waits in front of her school as all the other kids get picks up. She calls her father who is speed dial one on her phone (sadly telling). They speak in Korean, by the way. But he’s busy and quickly ends the call, leaving her extremely disappointed.

Soon-shin appears and Woo-joo wipes the tears from her face and starts off first. Soon-shin joins her and explains what happened. She’s happy to hear Woo-joo speaking Korean because Soon-shin doesn’t know English. Woo-joo calls her an “idiot” in English, then in Korean. The words hit her hard and tears fill Soon-shin’s eyes. She vents about being an idiot who can’t do anything right, focusing on being scammed.

They arrive home and Jung-ae asks about the acting workshop and Soon-shin makes an excuse to leave and hurries back to the cafe. She sits at a table near the front, annoying Mr. Waiter to death with her persistent water drinking presence. He approaches her and tells her it’s closing time. He no so gracefully starts to clean and “cleans” her right out of her chair.

In his office, Joon-ho stares at the picture of him playing guitar and remembers Yeon-ah saying that he was coolest when singing.

I have to agree with that, Jo Jung-seok is definitely cool…and hot…and jumpable…and sexy…and amazing…and gorgeous…when he sings.

Anywho…as he broods he walks to stare at the window and spots Soon-shin getting ready to trudge across the street like, in his words, “an impoverished loser.”

In-sung walks in and Joon-ho is surprised he’s still there. In-sung says he can’t go home until Joon-ho does. Joon-ho calls him on wanting overtime pay and In-sung quickly hands over a contract he’s prepared – for Choi Yeon-ah. When In-sung asks about it, Joon-ho basically tells him he’s being too nosy and dismisses him.

Now this is the real contract and the real president.

Shin Dong-hyuk arrives home to a house decorated in lit candles and flowers. He is greeted by his wife, Yoon Soo-jung, and then is surprised to see Mi-ryeong there and absolutely refuses to look her in the eye. (So they have a connection, too?)

Over dinner the three chat about Mi-ryeong working and Soo-jung yaps about how Dong-hyuk keeps setting Joon-ho up match dates afraid that his son’ll bring home some starlet.

Realizing her faux-pas, she covers her mouth but Mi-ryeong, graceful to the core, says that there is nothing wrong with wanting a daughter-in-law with a good background.

Dong-hyuk takes that as his cue to ask where his son is and Mi-ryeong says he’s off playing with starlets…or brooding over one.

Soo-jung is a bit tipsy and starts flirting with her husband, but he asks her to call Joon-ho instead of reciprocating. His wife thinks it’s better to be alone and he comments dryly that she’s already drunk. (He warned Mi-ryeong against pouring Soo-jung too much wine earlier…probably for this very reason.)

Oh come on man! This must be why she’s unhappy. You’re still in love with a starlet and you won’t flirt with your wife. Poor lady.

Mi-ryeong takes that as her cue to leave even though Soo-jung begs her to stay. She heads home to her museum-like house, sits alone in thought, takes some pills and wakes up on the sofa the next morning. When the maid comments on the nice weather, Mi-ryeong decides to go for a walk where she crosses paths with Chang-hoon in a dramatic moment. They turn back to look at each other. She greets him as “oppa” and they both stare at each other.

Soon-shin goes back to the cafe the next day and Mr. Waiter is furious that she’s there. But Young-hoon takes her a plate of pasta because she’s been waiting there all day without eating. He asks what is going on but before she can answer, President Fake comes in with a new victim and he books it out the door. She chases him for a good long while until she almost gets run over by a car…driven by Joon-ho.

He recognizes her but she’s too stunned by losing President Fake to even register him. She gets up and stumbles around looking for Fake. Then she turns on Joon-ho and yells that she lost him because of Joon-ho. He should compensate her for the money she lost.

It’s a beautiful acting moment on IU’s part. She really had to let everything go for this, screaming until her voice cracked and then collapsing to the ground in tears.

Joon-ho is baffled by her behavior and tries to stop the sobbing and get her up. Yeon-ah appears, wondering what’s going on and who the crying girl is.

He quickly leaves and meets Yeon-ah in a cafe with the contract. He tells her to name her price and that he recognizes her ability. He only works with the best.

Does he really recognize ability in her? Or does he just want to be near her (for revenge or otherwise)? Or does he want to make sure she doesn’t take Song Mi-ryeong from him?

He wonders why she needs to open a management agency when she can just come to him. She wonders why she should trust him and in his ability as a producer.

He says he’ll prove it to her and with a haughty glance, Yeon-ah’s eyes land on Soon-shin crouching on the sidewalk outside. Joon-ho wonders why she’s still there but Yeon-ah has a plan. She wants Joon-ho to make a nobody into a star. It’s too easy to mentor someone who is already talented with a well-established name. So, Yeon-ah challenges:

Can you make her a top star? That’s what ability is. I’ll go to you afterwards. I’ll sign the contract.


I liked this episode way better. With a cast this big and a plot that has to last fifty episodes, I knew that set up would take a while. But actually going through it, I see how difficult it is to make these longer dramas. You have to introduce characters and set up situations and then make them catch interest. And we need to kill dad. I’m actually sad about that.

This episode did a better job than the first with set up and capturing attention. I’m glad for the strong cast and the small sparks of humor that help ease us into the long run.

The character I liked least, Choi Yeon-ah, became more interesting with this competitive love/hate relationship she has with Shin Joon-ho. Not to say I’m won over by her, not in the least, but she became more interesting than his 1-D evil ex last episode.

Then we have Young-hoon who is billed to be the oh-so-helpful-and-understanding second lead and is already fulfilling his roll with the free pasta and the kindly offer of a listening ear. We haven’t seen much of him. So far…he smiles…a lot. And makes pasta that looks like worms.

And sue me, but I love the quintessential cheeky assistant, Jo In-sung. This time, he’s not just funny, but he’s selfish as well and really does push the boundaries of teasing Joon-ho. I find it fun because Joon-ho sometimes takes it and sometimes gets ruffled (like about wearing man-hells!) And I love ruffled Joon-ho because it means adorable Jung-seok oppa.

In terms of performance, Jung-seok oppa is spot on with the insecure, bumbling talent hiding behind an arrogant president’s facade.

IU really did well with the heavy emotion required this episode and she has magic chemistry with Go Doo-shim. I really believe they are mother and daughter. There have been several articles stating that the two actresses are close. I can tell. Such great magic.

I’m not really moved by Hye-shin’s character yet. Her story is too formulaic and it doesn’t have not it’s unique twist yet. I’m waiting for it. We got 48 episodes left! I do want to see Woo-joo get close to her mother and to Soon-shin.

And someone give me some singing. We have two amazing singers in the leads and not a PEEP! RAWR! SING!

Lastly, I hate how Soon-shin’s worth is hinged on her economic success and lack of beauty. Yay for modern society…

Onto episode 3!

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Character introductions.

Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 2 Screencaps.

3 responses to “Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 2 Recap”

  1. Yet again. I really want to start watching this show, but I’m completely terrified of the 50 episode run and the availability of subs trickling away by the end.

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