Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 3 Recap

by: Raine

Ladies and gents, the show has truly found it’s stride. I had a great time watching AND recapping and after watching I didn’t want to type this thing up in favor of just jumping into episode 4…but I resisted!

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 21.0%, but still strong and each episode gets progressively stronger. This one had some serious comedic and acting gems in it.

episode 3 recap

So ex-girlfriend Choi Yeon-ah has tasked confident (and bumbling) Shin Joon-ho with turning a nobody into a star. If he does, then Yeon-ah will sign with his management company.

That nobody, is the Lee Soon-shin huddling on the street reeling from major blow. She’s sobbing into the phone to her friend Chan-mi about being scammed as Yeon-ah and Joon-ho watch her from the cafe above.

Joon-ho doesn’t have the time to accept Yeon-ah’s challenge nor is he worried about her stealing Song Mi-ryeong from his agency. Besides, he doesn’t really need Yeon-ah – he just said it for friendship’s sake.

She smiles indulgently at him and he wonders if he he’s funny. He’s not the Joon-ho from before. She coolly takes her leave to go film.

She just loves to mess with him and crush his poor ego. Mean girl.

On the phone, Chan-mi scolds Soon-shin for her stupidity and although I don’t think Chan-mi is much of a friend, she is correct in this. Anyway, Chan-mi wants to meet and talk it over, but Soon-shin tells her friend to keep it secret and hangs up on her.

Mr. Waiter comes out and sees her crying. He hands her her bag, tsks at her and walks away to hang up a “help wanted” poster for part timers.

Soon-shin immediately approaches Young-hoon about a position and Mr. Waiter is waving a frantic “No WAY!” behind her back to his boss. But Young-hoon is loving Mr. Waiter’s pain and agrees to hire her. Before she leaves, she asks Young-hoon to help her catch President Fake if he comes by again.

Of course, Young-hoon thinks she’s chasing President Fake for love and gives her advice: don’t go after married men. She decides not to correct his assumption and leaves, allowing Mr. Waiter to beg Young-hoon not to hire her. But Young-hoon mutters with his indelible smile that she doesn’t look married.

You’re weird, dude…

Yoo-shin is walking home and spots stodgy Chan-woo walking home. She immediately starts in on him, commenting that he sure does get off early for starting a new job. Don’t dermatologists just do beauty treatments nowadays?

Wow, she seriously can’t be nice. I think she might be genetically incapable of it.

Anyway, he wonders if she’ll ever visit a dermatology clinic and she says that she won’t. She doesn’t understand women who spend money on dermatology. She likes women to look natural; and not having wrinkles when they age is gross.

Hrm, I’d love to prevent wrinkles…ask my sister. I bet Yoo-shin just thinks she’s too pretty for treatment, which she is, but still…

He agrees with her with a sigh.

When Soon-shin appears, he brightens. She does as well, but then deflates to see Yoo-shin who calls her on it. Chan-woo avoids a fight by asking about Soon-shin’s new career as an actress. But it doesn’t work. Yoo-shin points out that Soon-shin is just a trainee. Again, Chan-woo softens the mood by offering to buy her a congratulatory dinner. They half-heartedly invite Yoo-shin who declines in favor of going to yoga. She thinks people in Korea eat too much.

Um….okay? I think she just loves to hear herself talk.

Anyway, Soon-shin tries to get her to come along, but Yoo-shin thankfully leaves and the two head to dinner. She takes him to a cheap place (looks like she’s munching on mandu)  and he promises her something better once he gets his first paycheck. Then he offers her some coupons for his hospital saying she has to take care of her skin as an actress.

Cue choking on the mandu. He thinks she chokes because of the cost and babbles about their neighborhood having a start.

So kindly hearted, but oh-so-wrong.

Chang-hoon drinks with Park Bok-man, Chan-woo’s father. Bok-man wonders if Chang-hoon will really let Soon-shin become an actress. He wants to congratulate her but something feels off.

But Chang-hoon isn’t really paying attention. Instead he shares the fact that he saw “Kyeong-sook” better known was Song Mi-ryeong and then tosses back a shot of soju.

“Kyeong-sook” is drinking some hard liquor on the rocks while thinking about him as well. We see more of their conversation. They talked about her just moving to the neighborhood and then parted awkwardly.

Her phone rings and it’s a drunk Hwang calling to say he’s cooled down. But she hasn’t. She warns him not to call her again and hangs up. 

A drunk Hwang stumbles from the room he was drinking in and drunkenly crashes into Reporter Park, one of the reporters who had covered Song Mi-ryeong’s Timeless event. in episode 1. Reporter Park asks about Song Mi-ryeong and Hwang starts cursing, swearing he’ll end her and stumbles away, yabbering about he made her who she is. 

Now that we have turned the requisite nosy reporter on someone’s trail, we turn back to Soon-shin who is heading for her interview with Young-hoon. When she enters the cafe, Mr. Waiter is not happy to see her. 

Heh. I love Mr. Waiter’s pouty face. So cute. 

Young-hoon tells Soon-shin to change into her uniform but before she goes, she hands him a flier of “Shin Joon-ho,” an abominable bastard and her contact information. HAHAHAHA!

She want him to hang the poster in the cafe. Of course, Young-hoon finds this more than amusing. He seems to find everything amusing. Soon-shin explains that this man is a swindler who has already had a few victims and that he may reappear at the scene of the crime. 

Young-hoon guesses that she was also a victim, which she admits with embarrassment.

Mr. Waiter leads her to get changed, but before she goes ten feet, she bumps into JO JUNG-SEOK…ahem, I mean, the real President Shin Joon-ho. 

He is more than a little unhappy to see her and she is exasperated as well. She accuses him of stalking her and then brushes past him to get her uniform, leaving him stuttering (again). 

Mr. Waiter brings out her uniform and discovers she’s a waitressing rookie. He sighs that he’ll have to teach her the rules, 1 to 10. Rule number 1: don’t fall for him. 


There were a few former employees who fell for him and were unable to work because of it. She promises to never fall for him. Heh. (But what about him falling for her, hrmmmm?)

Then she asks about the guy talking to Young-hoon, which brings Mr. Waiter to rule number 2: don’t interfere with customer’s personal lives. 

Hehehehe. Oh, I anticipate trouble! Bring it on! 

It’s Joon-ho’s turn to ask about the annoying girl now on Young-hoon’s staff. He wants her fired immediately. Then Young-hoon holds up Soon-shin’s wanted poster to Joon-ho’s face, comparing the two and laughing with amusement…again. I wish I was as constantly amused with things as this man is. 

Soon-shin slams down a water glass and asks Joon-ho for his order in polite words, but a curt tone. Joon-ho is annoyed and I likes it. I like feuding main leads. Heeeee.

Yoo-shin is getting ready and sees the coupons that Chan-woo gave Soon-shin. I bet she’ll steal them… 

At work Yoo-shin comes up with a clever idea and makes people laugh but afterwards, one of her male co-workers tells her that she looks tired, her skin looks bad and that she has wrinkles. She heads to a skin clinic for laser treatment and seems to know a lot about it. 

Hrm, so she was full of hot air before talking about thinking skin care is dumb? Hrm, I can’t wait ‘til Chan-woo catches her in his hospital after dissing it… 

She gets a free armpit treatment for being pretty and dresses in a towel to receive it. OMG, is he gonna catch her getting her pits de-haired?! Oh please, oh please, oh please, pretty please… 

AND he walks in to work on her pits! Oh sweet victory. 

She sits up quickly, bonking her forehead against his. She snaps at him. Then he cleverly wonders if she took Soon-shin’s coupons. Yoo-shin lies that she gave them to her. He points out that she said she’d never come to a dermatologist and asks her to lie down with a smirk, getting ready to treat her with glee. He starts and she squeals in pain. Heeeeee.



Mi-ryeong is being interviewed about being awesome and beautiful. Her interviewer is none other than comedian Seo Kyung-seok. Hehe I love his goofy grin. Anyway, he admires her beauty and so does Jung-ae who’s watching the interview on television at home with Granny and Woo-joo. She hopes that Soon-shin can become an awesome actress like Mi-ryeong.

Granny scoffs at this and then notices that Mi-ryeong looks an awful lot like “Kyeong-sook”. Chang-hoon comes home, pales a bit at seeing Mi-ryeong/Kyeong-sook on television and greets his family.

Yoo-shin storms in, angrily demanding to see Soon-shin and then storming off. Jung-ae wonders when Yoo-shin will stop picking on Soon-shin. Speaking of, she isn’t home yet. Jung-ae hopes her youngest is having too much fun acting to remember such a paltry thing as the time. 

Chang-hoon asks if Jung-ae is happy and she admits that she’s ridiculously happy now that all three of her daughters are on their feet.

At work, Soon-shin receives a call from Yoo-shin who is furious that she wasn’t told that the coupon was from Chan-woo. Incredulous that Yoo-shin took her coupon, Soon-shin scolds her sister who defends that it was in her room. Um…you’re selfish Yoo-shin. 

Soon-shin lies that she’s in class (earning a comment from her sister about never working this hard in school before) and hangs up, thinking now she’s become a real actress. 

Chan-woo’s family is enjoying dessert and fawning over him while Chan-mi is looking depressed. Her mother, Gil-ja wonders why she looks so down and Chan-mi denies it for all of two seconds before mentioning Soon-shin’s name. Then she denies it more and finally spills the truth, swearing her family to secrecy. 

Now the town will know, huh? Or at least Soon-shin’s unsupportive family. 

Later, Soon-shin arrives home while on the phone with the loan company, trying to negotiate a lower interest rate because she’s a victim. Her father overhears and she brushes him off with a desperate need for the toilet. Poor guy had been waiting around for her to come home because he was worried.

I’m warming a bit towards him. 

Hwang is sobering up and remembers his rambling in front of Reporter Park. He calls him to do some damage control, saying that it was all drunken nonsense.

I didn’t mention it before, but Hwang’s full name is Hwang Il-do played by Yoon Da-hoon. I forget things sometimes…a lot of times… 

Mi-ryeong bumps into Dong-hyuk and Soo-jung and he looks majorly awkward while the women chat. On their way out, Dong-hyuk wonders how Mi-ryeong was let into the place (presumably some kind of social club) and Soo-jung says she invited her. He says that this place will now “get dirty”.

Ah, interesting. He doesn’t like her. Or loved her so much that he now hates her? What makes her dirty in his eyes I wonder? Does he know about her having a kid? Hrm… 

Mi-ryeong overhears and looks hurt but goes inside the spa and meets Yeon-ah. Yeon-ah asks about Hwang quitting and is surprised because they seemed close. Mi-ryeong says that one should never trust easily or it will hurt one in the end. 

Poor jaded actress. She gave up everything to be a poor jaded actress…a poor jaded, unhappy actress. I wonder if this is the path Soon-shin is going to have to avoid. 

Yeon-ah had wanted to tell Mi-ryeong something but instead says that Mi-ryeong was right: living isn’t easy. There are a lot of things to endure and hide. Finally, she admits she heard some things from a reporter that were so outrageous that she laughed them off. But she felt Mi-ryeong should know…

At home, Soo-jung invites her husband to go on a trip with her and Mi-ryeong, which promps Dong-hyuk to ask her not to see Mi-ryeong anymore. He doesn’t like her; they’re not in the same league. 

Soo-jung is surprised by the request and Dong-hyuk tells her to stop catering to the starlet and focus more on her son. She’s incensed by his word choice and obvious bias against her friend. How can he work with this attitude and he tells her that work is work and personal is personal. 

Finally, he asks if she’s ignoring him, pulling husband rank and she quickly says that she’s not, hurrying to talk to the housekeeper. 

Dong-hyuk calls Joon-ho to make sure he meets the daughter of a chairman. He warns him not to screw it up or never see him again. After rattling off a few credentials, Dong-hyuk hangs up before Joon-ho can protest.

Soon-shin is cleaning and praying for money to rain down from the sky. 

Honey, you and me both. Please, let money rain down from the sky. I don’t care if its Korean cash. The exchange would be worth it. Rain money! RAIN! BI! BI! Oh…now I’m imagining the singer raining down from the sky into my living room…hehehe. 

So anyway, Soon-shin is cleaning the floor and trips Joon-ho with her mop. YES! They tsk angrily at each other and then he pauses, remembering Yeon-ah’s challenge: can he turn someone like Soon-shin into a top star?

He turns to appraise her and asks how tall she is. She scoffs and he asks her to turn around. When she won’t, he circles her like a vulture, creeping her out with his stare. After a very long look, he tells himself to forget it. Not even he is a magician.

Aw, how mean. But I guess this show is about being ordinary and rising to the top. And family. And singing Jo Jung-seok… 

Young-hoon sits down with Joon-ho being tasked with preventing him from running away from his blind date. A classy (and nerdy-lookin’) lady walks in asking for a reservation with Shin Joon-ho. Feeling desperate, Joon-ho jots down a number on a napkin and hands it to Soon-shin, telling her to call it after five minutes and then hang up. The lady appraoches and asks if he’s Shin Joon-ho, and he confirms it.

A little bell goes off in Soon-shin’s mind, although it should really be a HUGE bell. Like a flippin’ monster Liberty Bell-sized bell.

Joon-ho’s date talks about the physical make-up of the brain and how it works (trying to connect it to the feeling of love), making Joon-ho look very antsy. He manages to say he thinks it’s interesting and the woman thinks her neurological explanation of love will turn him on. Joon-ho keeps shooting Soon-shin dire looks  and signals and she finally calls him.

He picks up and asks, in banmal, if a person with a feminine name got home safely, causing Soon-shin to roll her eyes. He twitches at her to hang up and he keeps blathering on about the person “on the other line” buying a gift – but how did she know he wears size 3 briefs?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What’s even better is that to an English speaker’s ears like mine, the borrowed English word for underwear, “panties”, sounds hella goofy. A man wearing panties? Pffffffft! I’m having Dokko Jin flashbacks.

Joon-ho lies that “oppa” is in class so he has to go, making his date frown. Aw, I kinda feel bad for her. But he keeps going, calling the person “on the phone” “jagi-yah” and telling her he misses her. His date starts grabbing her neck in frustration.

AND THEN…his phone rings, giving it all away. It’s none other than Soon-shin who walks over holding up the napkin, calling him “oppa” and telling him never to do something like this again.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The poor, furious, incredulous date can now enjoy his humiliation…and so can I. Soon-shin slaps down the napkin and leaves him to be splashed in the face with a cup of water.

My life is complete. That…was awesome. Oh yeah, I was hoping that when he picked up the napkin with the phone number to dry his face that the ink would smear on his cheek…but I guess the whole “utter embarrassment” thing will have to do. Heh.

In-sung worries about a cranky Joon-ho who wonders why he’s worried. His kiss-ass assistant says he “always” worries after him. Hehe. I love how self-serving he is. It’s fun. Mostly because Joon-ho chooses to keep him around.

In-sung grows serious and says that after a bit of investigation he’s discovered that Yeon-ah’s investor is a shady characterJoon-ho has a little fit and declares that he doesn’t care about her anymore. Hah. YOU. CHILD. Just up and admit you’re worried.

Well, he sort of does. He “runs” into her and tells her about the shady investor. She immediately picks up on his worry but scoffs it off. She doesn’t need a trustworthy person. Just a competent one. A trustworthy person is one with ability. She needs those kinds of people.

Wow girl, you know how to hit him where it hurts, eh?

She wonders if he still has feelings for her and he stands up angrily, saying that that’s a total joke – this of course loudly declares to her that he totally still has a thing for her.

Joon-ho stalks off to his car and angrily beats up the steering wheel.

Flashback to a lovely table setting with dessert, roses, candles, wine, and couple/engagement rings. Joon-ho sits beside the table, nervously checking his watch, waiting anxiously. Young-hoon come to sit beside him and tells him that Yeon-ah won’t come. Joon-ho is in denial but Young-hoon sets him straight: Yeon-ah won’t be satisfied with a trainee like him. She left home when she passed the auditions. Joon-ho storms away and we cut to a younger Yeon-ah signing photos at a fan meeting. Joon-ho stands at the back, trying to catch a glimpse of her. When she leaves, he calls her name and she turns and completely ignores him, greeting him like just another fan, leaving him heartbroken. 

Well, now we know why he showed off his success so much and why he changed careers. Yeon-ah made him feel small and worthless over his career. I know this too well: love for music versus money and success. Most musicians don’t make that much money. I’ll attest to that. But it’s really cruel how she dumps him once she hits the spotlight. I can see why he’s so ready to one-up her and she’s so ready to push him back down. I like her position in this story more now. I actually want to see how she develops even though she’s still a tad 1-D for me.

On the drive home, Joon-ho sees a Yeon-ah make-up advert on the side of a bus. He swears to show her [that he has the ability.]

Man, Jung-seok oppa really packs a punch into this small moment. His breath is shaky, his eyes are burning but the rest of his face shows insecurity and fear. Really awesome moment.

Hye-shin is helping Woo-joo with her homework and Jung-ae wonders why Hye-shin isn’t looking for a house instead. Hye-shin wants to stay and Jung-ae wonders how her son-in-law could live with them. With shifty eyes, Hye-shin says that her husband called to say he has to live abroad one more year – then Woo-joo gets shifty eyes, too. They talk about being separated for so long and Woo-joo storms out.

Hye-shin follows her and we learn the truth behind the shifty eyes and the strangely unhappy Hye-shin and Woo-joo.

Woo-joo declares she hates living with her grandmother and in a house where she doesn’t have her own room. But Hye-shin doesn’t have the money to get their own place. And Woo-joo blurts it out: Then why did you get divorced?

Ah-ha! Makes a lot of sense. Huge stigma against divorcees, especially women. That and disappointing a huge family and having to explain to everyone who will most certainly judge her. But keeping this a secret from your parents and family…big no no!

Woo-joo storms outside and a creepy man in a mask follows her. She remembers her mother warning against strangers and runs away in fright. He continues to follow her and she hurries into a bakery. The man follows her in and she shrieks before bolting.

Turns out the man isn’t a creeper, but a guy who works in the bakery: Seo Jin-wook played by Jung Woo. He takes of the mask and takes a deep breath, then sneezes. He wonders if “that kid” was sick. Then he finds her cellphone on the floor.

(This is that new bakery that they were talking about last episode.)

Jung-ae goes into Gil-ja’s shop and we can expect Soon-shin’s secret to come out now. Gil-ja is a bit antsy. Jung-ae orders fried chicken for Woo-joo who hasn’t been eating a lot but seemed to like Gil-ja’s chicken. Then Jung-ae tells her friend how happy she is and Gil-ja comments that she must be with her successful daughters.

Gil-ja cuts herself because she’s distracted by Soon-shin’s truth and Jung-ae notices how pale and snappy she is. Jung-ae demands to know what’s going on and Gil-ja says she was told “to keep it a secret.”

And cut scene!

Chang-hoon is at work and calls Soon-shin to go on a father-daughter date, but she says she can’t because of a gathering. He seems disappointed.

Mi-ryeong remembers Yeon-ah mentioning a rumor she heard from a reporter. She phones up Joon-ho for a meeting.

Chang-hoon shows up at the acting school to find Soon-shin, but she is nowhere to be found. (Her name gets laughed at again.) And neither is Shin Joon-ho the president there. So Chang-hoon heads to Gabi and spots his daughter working as a waitress in the cafe on the first floor of the building.


They are shocked to see each other but before truths can be revealed, Chang-hoon spots Mi-ryeong outside (come for her meeting with Joon-ho) and drags Soon-shin from view…only he drags her to the spot where Mi-ryeong is headed. 



The cliffhanger isn’t really all that fabulous, but I am slightly curious to see how the “Who’s your mommy?” storyline pans out. I’m also curious as to when (and how) Chang-hoon dies. He works at a place with forklifts so I immediately thought he was going to get crushed when I saw them…hehe. Or he could have a heart attack or something.

Actually, more than the meeting between the ending trio, I want to see how Mi-ryeong “discovers” Soon-shin’s talent.

Speaking of Mi-ryeong, I’m not particularly interested in her, or in her sob story. While I’m loving Lee Mi-sook, the character is just so…blah. I do like how she immediately got rid of her manager when she caught him last episode and I do like her inner strength. But the poor jaded actress routine is something I don’t care for. I suppose it’ll be necessary in a mentor for ordinary but plucky Soon-shin who will need to be a bit jaded before the drama ends.

And if we’re sticking to actresses, Yeon-ah is really just a user. I’m not sure if she loved Joon-ho or not. Probably did but loved herself and her career more. But she really did dump him in the dirt, then decided to step on him by treating him like just another fan and then acting like he doesn’t have what it takes in businesses after they meet again.

However, now that he does have his business success behind him, that makes their dynamic a bit more interesting than just quashed man heart chasing successful bitch actress. Even with success, she’s telling him he’s not enough of a success to have her. This is his drive: to be the man she thinks he’ll never be. But my goal for him: is to be the man that HE wants to be. Forget her! I suppose that’s where ordinary Soon-shin comes in to teach him to accept himself…his totally clumsy self.

Don’t you just love that Joon-ho is thwarted almost every time he tries to be an asshole? Today’s thwarting by Soon-shin’s phone call was just pure magic. Love.

I see a little more than ordinary in Soon-shin and most of it is in her spunk. She doesn’t take crap from Joon-ho. She let’s Mr. Waiter’s attitude glide right over her. Where she is most vulnerable is to her family’s cruelty (and to Chan-mi’s.) In Soon-shin’s case, I think I like “the ordinary girl rises to the top” because the drama is long enough to show us a (hopefully) believable journey. Soon-shin isn’t totally bereft of ability and her biggest flaw is the lack of support (and therefore confidence). So let’s change that!…especially from Yoo-shin…No wonder Soon-shin has no confidence or faith in herself…sheesh. Stupid Yoo-shin…

…who got hers! BWAHAHA! Loved seeing Chan-woo show up and gloat over that loud-mouthed bitch! (Love you Yoo In-nah, I promise.) I want to see more of him making a fool of her and teaching her to stop running that mouth.

This is my first longer drama and I must say, I love the pace as much as I’m begging to know when the key plot points are going to emerge. It’s nice to have time to develop things.

I really loved the introduction of Seo Jin-wook, taking Hye-shin’s warning to Woo-joo and turning Jin-wook into a totally creepy ahjussi. I wonder if that dropped cell phone is going to make some romance between Hye-shin and Jin-wook the baker…

Anyway, this episode was really fun. I’m actually invested in more characters than just the main couple. Me likes.

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

Character introductions.

Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 3 Screencaps.

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

  1. Thanks for the recap! Let me check the names of the characters… (I’m still lame in that area & probably will never improve.)
    – Lee Yoo Shin and her PS boyfriend
    – Shin Joon Ho and Choi Yeon Ah
    Those 2 couples give me a serious SeGa vibe (Oska and his bitchy ex but for a reason as we learn it later.) What did they do, those 2 idiot men?
    I like the scene when our future Manager is evaluating his future trainee: Pyonte alert! I would have beaten him with the mop.
    On a sidenote, cafe owners are apparently a weakness of mine: After INR2012, this one. I like coffee! I need a barista at home. 2 birds with 1 stone. 😉

    • She’ll beat him with the mop after she’s paid back her 10 million won debt…I’m sure of it. Knock him right off them man heels.

      I’m fresh off SeGa and I totally see it. I’m a TOTAL Oska fan. He’s my fav SeGa character. And I have a weakness for Philip Lee…when that man busts out with English…phew.

      I’m a former barista btw…but I don’t think you mean me…

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