Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 5 Recap

by: Raine

Warning: Heavy, heart-wrenching episode. Get the tissue box ready and prepare for high emotional stakes, hot tempers, and our main storylines starting to emerge from the texture.

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 22.3%.

episode 5 recap

Chang-hoon has pushed Mi-ryeong out of the path of an oncoming car, which hits him instead. Mi-ryeong stares in abject horror and the car driver zooms away(!!!!). Hwang Il-do just happens to be walking by and runs to Mi-ryeong who is paralyzed with fear. He quickly assesses the situation and leads Mi-ryeong away from the scene. They hide behind some foliage and watch as another car finds Chang-hoon and calls 119.

Soon-shin is still waiting for her daddy to pick up the phone and she’s starting to get annoyed. Ack, ack, stop tears. Stop!

At home, Woo-joo and Hye-shin are doing homework while Jung-ae is ironing. They get the call that Chang-hoon was in a car accident, which Jung-ae has a hard time processes. She rises clumsily and burns herself with the iron. She asks Woo-joo to stay with Granny and Hye-shin to accompany her to the hospital.

Hye-shin calls Soon-shin and gives her the news and IU’s face is absolutely heartbreaking. She runs to the hospital and meets Yoo-shin there.

In front of the surgical door, Jung-ae and Hye-shin are talking to the police who say that there are currently no eyewitnesses. The police will review the CCTV and call them if they find anything. Yoo-shin and Soon-shin find them as Hye-shin asks why her father was in the area anyway. Soon-shin realizes that it was because of her; he was going to meet her.

Oh no. You’re going to take the blame for this, aren’t you? NO!!!

Yoo-shin blows up at Soon-shin, demanding to know why they were meeting and Hye-shin stops her.

I know that Yoo-shin is pretty hateful, but having just gone through a death myself, the way she reacts is so normal. She needs someone to blame and it’s already an inherent part of her personality to be spiteful.

The surgeons come out and deliver the bad news and leave the family reeling. Jung-ae collapses and Hye-shin and Yoo-shin kneel beside her. Only Soon-shin stands, unable to even cry, feeling the weight of guilt and the blinding pain.

Hwang delivers the news of Chang-hoon’s death to Mi-ryeong and tries to comfort her by saying the accident was a blessing in disguise. WHAT?! He tries to say that she doesn’t have to worry about the rumors anymore because a MAN DIED. Although she tries to silence him, he forcefully says that he’ll take care of everything.

I don’t like him. I didn’t before, but now I really don’t.

Granny has hurried to the funeral hall, sees Chang-hoon’s flower wrapped picture and collapses when the truth hits her. She passes out and a freshly arrived Chan-woo piggybacks her to help.

While running behind the train of worried people, Soon-shin receives a call from Mr. Waiter who snootily demands where she is. She apologizes and tells him she won’t be in for two days and hangs up.

Mr. Waiter the drama queen runs to Young-hoon to complain about Soon-shin and how he knew she was no good from the start. But Young-hoon cares more about why Soon-shin is taking off.

Mr. Waiter gets to work and Joon-ho joins Young-hoon. He, too, wants to know where Soon-shin is: he’s going to train her. To do that, he needs her number and after a doubtful pause, we see Joon-ho sitting in his office holding Soon-shin’s number.

Even though it’s not romantically, how much do I LOVE that he’s chasing her?

She doesn’t pick up the phone.

The bereaved stand over Granny’s bed and Chan-woo joins them with the news that she will be fine. He offers to stay with her so they can prepare for the funeral, but Soon-shin volunteers instead.

Again, she’s isolating herself. Soon-shin, you need to stop doing that!

Chan-woo’s family has come to mourn with their friends and greets them with loud wails.

There is something I find really sadly beautiful about people who mourn together. It’s one of the rawest emotional connections that people can have.

Bok-man tearily asks why Chang-hoon was out and Hye-shin explains that he was going to meet Soon-shin. Yoo-shin’s eyes narrow and she marches in front of Soon-shin and coldly accuses, “He died because of you.”

Soon-shin’s face falls and the family ushers a fuming Yoo-shin away.

I am not making excuses for Yoo-shin, but she is a blamer and she’s in pain. She needs someone to blame and who better than the one she always picks on. I really hope she learns to open up and stop causing other people, AND herself, pain.

Jung-ae, Hye-shin and Yoo-shin are greeting the guests in the funeral all when someone comes to gather some paperwork. Chan-woo accepts it. Yoo-shin stomps over to him, still needing to release the anger fuel by pain. She tells him to stay out of their business. Is he looking down on them because they don’t have a son in their family.

Unlike Soon-shin, Chan-woo doesn’t crumple under Yoo-shin’s scathing tongue. He tells her not to be stubborn. Then he realizes no matter what he says she won’t hear him right now.

Okay, I liked him before, but he just got cooler.

Chan-woo tries to comfort her by saying Chang-woo is in a better place and Yoo-shin starts to break down. How does he know, she demands. Has he been there? Who is he to comfort her?

And then it comes out: she fought with him until the end. I.E. She thinks her father doesn’t know she loves him.

But wise Chan-woo gently says that her father knew and sends her back inside. He sees her sharp tongue for what it is: a defense mechanism. What is she defending against I wonder? Insecurity, obviously. But why?

Granny is grieving for her son while Soon-shin watches her, apologizing. DON’T APOLOGIZE!

In a strange scene shift, we see Soo-jung chatting on the phone, explaining that her husband is going abroad to open a new clinic. Dong-hyuk has his eyes closed and tells his wife to shut up when she inquires how he’s feeling after drinking all night. She mutters to herself when he starts to ignore her and when he hears the forbidden name “Mi-ryeong”, his eyes pop right open. Soo-jung childishly says that she’ll go out with a younger, sexier man instead of Mi-ryeong. But that doesn’t make him react.

When they arrive, he strides ahead of her, leaving her behind.

No wonder she’s miserable. He’s a douche.

But the real reason she follows him is so that the production team can have Soo-jung spot her daughter, Yi-jung (BAE KEU-RIN) who happily drives away in a sexy yellow sports car. She heads straight for Gabi and bursts in with a wicked hip swagger.

Joon-ho is still trying to call Soon-shin when Yi-jung bursts in, greeting her older brother cheerily. In-sung, who has no idea who she is, comes in to check on Joon-ho and his bold guest and gets asked by said guest for some water.

Joon-ho is still in shock: isn’t she supposed to be in school? She dramatically says that she dropped out and to keep it a secret from daddy. She wants to be an actress; it’s her destiny.

Oh this is going to go over very well.

Joon-ho tells her to cut the crap and she says to grab a hold of her now or she’ll go to another agency. When In-sung comes back in, Yi-jung asks him who he is and he points out he’s worked there for a long time. Heh. In-sung has brought Soon-shin’s contract and Yi-jung immediately gets jealous: how great could she be?

Aish, another person to hate on Soon-shin. Grr.

When she finds out that father is overseas, Yi-jung returns home and greets her mother with an enthusiastic hug and kiss. Soo-jung is not as enthusiastic. She tells her daughter not to take Joon-ho’s path from ten years ago. But Yi-jung says she’s different: she has talent.

Girl, you did NOT just say that uri Jung-seok oppa is talentless! RAWR!

Soo-jung appeals to Joon-ho to stop her, but Yi-jung has already decided to become an actress, regardless of what will happen when Dong-hyuk finds out. Joon-ho wants to send his sister back right away and snaps at his mother for “joking” that he should train her. He’s just like his father, snapping at her.

Wow, she really doesn’t like her husband, does she? Or she likes him but he rejects her so it’s love/hate.

Mi-ryeong whimpers on her sofa remembering the accident. She’s woken up by her “La Vie En Rose” ringtone. I seriously don’t feel bad for her. For some reason I’m not jiving with her character at all.

Soo-jung is on the other line and wants Mi-ryeong to secretly help Yi-jung become an actress. Mi-ryeong suddenly yells that not anyone can become and actress and that the girl should just study. Soo-jung is more than a little shocked by the outburst but it doesn’t end there. Mi-ryeong explains that it’s a hard, dirty and lonely road. Soo-jung shouldn’t look down on her work, think it’s easy. She risked death to live again. After that impassioned speech, Mi-ryeong hang’s up, leaving Soo-jung very, very confused.

Hye-shin asks her ex-husband to come for her father’s funeral, but the man won’t. He won’t call Jung-ae to give her his respects. Hye-shin hangs up angrily and then slumps to the ground. Her daughter finds her thinking about Chang-hoon’s promise to wait for her story. Woo-joo wants to know if her father is coming, but Hye-shin can only cry.

Turns out bad ex-husband did call and Jung-ae says that it’s okay that he doesn’t come because he’s stuck at the office. Hye-shin apologizes and tears flow again.

More tears. Yeon-ah is sobbing…on set. The scene ends and she tries to call Mi-ryeong who is sick. So Yeon-ah goes to Young-hoon’s to pick up some food for Mi-ryeong. She searches the menu nonchalantly and casually asks after Joon-ho. Young-hoon asks if she still has feelings for him, she keeps coming to this cafe, but she laughs him off. She comes to the cafe because the food is good and the customers leave her alone.

Young-hoon tells her to stop tormenting Joon-ho and she smirks, wondering if asking him to show his ability is considered torment. She explains that Joon-ho asked her to join him and she told him to prove his ability. She seems so happy that she’s getting to him and Young-hoon picks up on it. He tells her that Joon-ho isn’t as mature as he looks and that she should stop; she’s made him suffer a lot. Of course, she seems happy because Joon-ho said he had no feelings for her.

You wicked, wicked…RAWR. Can I pull out her hair now? She doesn’t even care that someone is hurting. She just likes that she’s bugging him!

Young-hoon sighs, finding her as unbelievable as I do.

Yeon-ah heads to Mi-ryeong’s and meets Hwang. She finds out that Hwang is working for Mi-ryeong again. Yeon-ah scolds Mi-ryeong for not calling her when she was sick and frets over her health. Mi-ryeong is touched by the concern.

Yeon-ah asks if she’s dealing with difficult matters and tells her to care for her health.

I bet you Yeon-ah orchestrated it all! I hate her! HATE!

Hwang heads to Soon-shin’s house and creeps around the gate. Joon-ho arrives to stalkrecruit Soon-shin and is surprised to see him. Hwang lies that he was taking a walk and stopped to admire the garden. Joon-ho comments that Mi-ryeong’s house is close, which Hwang brushes off and then runs away. Hehe.

Joon-ho rings the bell, but no one is home.

Young-hoon makes kimchi pasta and Joon-ho wonders if he was really born in the States with Korean taste buds like that. Oh, clever writernim, giving us background that way. Young-hoon asks why Joon-ho is there and Joon-ho explains that he went to the prodigy Soon-shin’s house to find her. This gives Young-hoon pause and he asks Joon-ho to sit down and have a little chat.

Young-hoon wants to know what Joon-ho is really up to. Why is he looking so hard for Soon-shin? He’s being pathetic, trying to hard to impress Yeon-ah. He tells Joon-ho that what’s past is past. Joon-ho balks and then manages to ask why Young-hoon brought Yeon-ah up, but Young-hoon is no fool. He knows that Joon-ho is doing this to prove himself to Yeon-ah. He warns Joon-ho not to play with Soon-shin who is his staff.

Joon-ho ignores him and says that he will train the badly-rated Soon-shin and that Young-hoon should just stand by and watch. Young-hoon is silenced by his pathetic friend.

Hye-shin is gathering her father’s personal effects from the police station. When she turns on the phone, she gets a call from sexy baker Jin-wook who is pissed that Chang-wook hasn’t come for his cake for days. He says that he ordered a cake for his daughter and that he’s tried to call Chang-hoon hundreds of times. Hye-shin apologizes but he doesn’t want sorry. He wants the cake picked up. She hangs up.

The detective says that the surrounding CCTVs are broken. He suggests she offer a reward and hope someone will step up.

Jin-wook calls again and starts flipping out that she hangs up on him. His assistant asks what’s wrong in this adorable satori accent. Heeee. Jin-wook tries to call again and swears he’ll get the money for the cake. He hates untrustworthy people who disrespect others.

I know this is a sad situation as someone died, but Jin-wook is so funny getting so mad that she didn’t think he was important enough to talk to and deal with. I can’t wait to see him bicker with Hye-shin.

His adorable assistant thinks he’s overreacting too because he reminds him that he was once dragged to jail over bread. He sends his assistant back into the kitchen and struggles to calm his wounded nerves and pride.

Gil-ja takes Jung-ae home and sets up her bed for her. Aw, what a good friend. She frets over the family not eating and then asks about the case. No witnesses have stepped up. Gil-ja suggests raising the reward, but they don’t have the money. There’s also Soon-shin’s debt. Yoo-shin overhears them talking and is shocked to hear that Soon-shin was conned 10 million won. Gil-ja is surprised that Jung-ae hadn’t told her children about it.

Yoo-shin is furious, thinking their father was meeting Soon-shin to deal with the debt. She storms into their grandmother’s room where Soon-shin is tending to her and demands to know if it is true. She was conned and is lying about being an actress. Granny rises weakly. Yoo-shin blames Soon-shin for their father’s death: he wasn’t in his right mind at the time.

Granny asks if that’s why Soon-shin kept begging for forgiveness. That’s why Chang-hoon was so sad that morning. When Soon-shin apologizes, Granny tells Soon-shin to get out of the house and that she is no longer her granddaughter. Jung-ae tries to stop her and Granny wishes Soon-shin had never come to them.

Gil-ja leads Soon-shin out while Jung-ae puts Granny back to bed. Granny wishes they never brought Soon-shin; she’s good for nothing. She even took her father’s life.

Man, I know they’re suffering, but that is too much. Well, suffering really does change people. But Granny never liked Soon-shin. I really hate how people in this show only value people on their accomplishments. But I’m just going to consider suffering right now and keep going.

Outside, Soon-shin remembers her father supporting her even when she called herself a gullible fool.

(Doesn’t he look like he’s trying to be a vampire in that second picture?)

The next day, Soon-shin heads to work. She apologizes to Young-hoon who immediately recognizes that something is seriously wrong with her. But before he can say anything, Mr. Waiter runs over and shoves a broom in her hands, giving Young-hoon a sidelong glare as he tells Soon-shin he did all of her work. She takes the scolding quietly and gets to work while Mr. Waiter mutters that she should be fired.

While mopping the front, Soon-shin spots the “Wanted” poster she made and takes it down angrily. Joon-ho sees her and smiles, happy to have finally found her. He’s been looking for her everywhere and she replies that she’s been busy and is currently busy and doens’t have time to talk now. Joon-ho barely hears her and steals her mop so she has to follow him to chat.

Hehe. He is so petty.

He demands to know where she’s been. He was ready to hire a private detective. Then he complains she shows up when he doesn’t want her to and is nowhere to be found when he wants to find her.

Ah, so your wants and whims should dictate her life, eh? I get it…

Soon-shin doesn’t want to hear this and rises to leave, but he tells her to sit. She does so with a heavy sigh. Her attitude bugs him – does she know who he is? She doesn’t CARE. Bwahaha.

He finally gets his name out, “Shin Joon-ho and slides his card across the table. The same card President Fake gave her. Then he offers her the same words President Fake did, “Do you want to become an actress? I’ll turn you into a star.”

The offer hits home for Soon-shin and she begins to cry. At first Joon-ho thinks she’s touched by his offer. But then he realizes she’s really sobbing and his face falls.


*applause* I love a well-done crying and IU cries beautifully. And Jo Jung-seok’s face when he was watching her was art. So heartbreaking, yet so satisfying to watch as a viewer.

I’m going to go through this systematically although I said a lot during the recap, as per usual. Heh.

This episode was really heavy and in a normal 16 to 20 episode drama, the death and it’s effects would’ve taken a few scenes. Instead we get a whole episode full of tears. It was a bit much for me, but at the same time, it was very revealing about the characters and what paths they’ll be taking emotionally.

Soon-shin immediately blames herself even before Yoo-shin says anything. She stands alone so many times when the family gathers that it’s obvious where she thinks she stands. She is the outcast, the black sheep, the worthless maknae. She doesn’t even fight when Yoo-shin and Granny yell and hollar. She takes it as though she thinks she deserves it, which she DOES NOT. When she returns to work, she lets Mr. Waiter scold her and merely bows her way through life. My goal for her: grow a backbone and some pride and don’t let other people determine her worth.

Speaking of other people determining worth, we have Joon-ho who is pitting everything on Soon-shin. He needs to turn her into a top star to show the incredibly arrogant and horrible Yeon-ah that he is worthy of her attention. But her attention ain’t worth shit, Joon-ho. Forget her. But he can’t. Not even his hyung’s advice gets to him. He is dying to prove himself. Not only to her, but his judging, cold father. Even his flighty sister thinks he was talentless. He needs to find internal strength, like Soon-shin. Maybe they will teach each other that as they grow.

Let’s get to flighty sister. I wasn’t much interested in her. She’ll ’cause family problems with the whole actress thing that Dong-hyuk hates. She’ll probably hate on Soon-shin because of the contract and that her brother is helping a stranger instead of his sister. I feel like she’s just there to cause problems right now. I don’t really care one way or the other for her.

I have to cover Mr. Waiter. I love him and his self-centeredness. I feel like his treatment of Soon-shin is, while belittling, not all that harsh and is actually something she can depend on. He may be mean, but he guides her at work and always treats her the same. Plus, his delusions of his own hotness and importance make me laugh. Unlike Yoo-shin and Yeon-ah, he lacks malice.

And then we have Young-hoon, already the sweet, talented, ever-understanding second lead in Soon-shin’s life…and everyone’s life. He sees straight through the cruel Yeon-ah and through weak Joon-ho. He sees that Soon-shin has taken an emotional beating. He sees that Mr. Waiter is a nice guy full of hot air. Joon-ho asked him to keep quiet and just watch what he does with Soon-shin…I wonder if Young-hoon can.

I know the masses probably hate the next character: Yoo-shin. She’s mean, unthinking and runs her mouth. But I don’t hate her. I dislike her. I wish she’d stop to think, but I think she’s insecure and runs her mouth as a defense. With her father’s death, the floodgates opened and she has absolutely no filter, whereas at least before she had a miniature one. Partially, I admit, I think it’s her parents fault. It’s a parents job to teach their kids how to treat people, especially their own siblings. I know siblings fight, but my mom always shut me down if I ever treated my siblings like that.

That said, I kinda saw her blaming of Soon-shin coming. Yoo-shin is the kind who places the blame externally while Soon-shin internalizes it. I think her relationship with Chan-woo will help her relationship with Soon-shin. I really want to see that sister relationship repaired.

Chan-woo is wise. He knows exactly how to handle Yoo-shin. He lets her verbal barbs bounce right off of him and he just jumps to the crux of the matter. Very cool. When Yoo-shin is with him, I catch a glimpse of what she could be.

Back to the other mean girl, the truly mean one, I want to rip Yeon-ah’s head off. She hurts to BE hurtful. Her treatment of Joon-ho makes me doubt her sincerity with Mi-ryeong. Perhaps she does feel for Mi-ryeong like a daughter to a mother, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be a slimy bitch. I really hope it was her who spread the rumors and that she goes down in flames…

And Mi-ryeong. I’m more blah about her than I am about Yi-jung. The “woe-is-me” actress, “I have nothing buy my career and my looks.” Blah, blah, blah. But her speech in this episode about traveling the long and lonely road to get where she is makes me think that Soon-shin is going to have to travel the same path. But where Mi-ryeong gave up everything, I think Soon-shin will keep her loved ones.

When is that birth secret coming out to Soon-shin? Granny almost screamed it out today!

Guh, Granny. My heart broke for her and hated her this episode. Outliving a child is something no parent wants to do. But like Yoo-shin, she took her pain out on Soon-shin. Not cool.

Time for episode 6…here I come!

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

Character introductions.

Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 5 Screencaps.

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