Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 9 Recap

by: Raine

YAY! CUTENESS! The actress ball is rolling. Well, she’s climing up a mountain this episode, literally, followed by her trusty President Shin and his walking sticks. Don’t ask. Just read and you’ll see what I mean.

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 25.9%.

episode 9 recap

Jung-ae is scrubbing windows, but can’t concentrate because the old picture of her husband and his old flame is burning a hole in her pocket. So instead of working, she runs off to ask Bok-man the whereabouts of the woman in the picture: Lee Kyung-sook. At first Bok-man feigns ignorance. Jung-ae “reminds” him (with some handy dandy info from Granny) that Kyung-sook was Chang-hoon’s girlfriend back in his hometown.

Bok-man clumsily pretends to remember her and says that she was Chang-hoon’s first love. She grew up in an orphanage and Chang-hoon treated her like a younger sister. Jung-ae is doubtful that their relationship was nothing more than “friendly,” but Bok-man insists there there is nothing more to the story.

She definitely thinks her hubby adopted his ex-girlfriend’s baby. Or maybe it’s his baby, too. Who knows.

Well, we will…later.

Back at the gym, the big mother/daugher meet-up is happening. Lee Soon-shin is starstruck by Mi-ryeong who finds her charming. Then Yeon-ah crashes the party with her smirky face and makes Joon-ho feel awkward. Everyone save Soon-shin goes for tea while Soon-shin gets put on the treadmill.

While she exercises, Soon-shin remembers Mi-ryeong calling her charming and smiles. Her hand is even starstruck! She holds it to her cheek, thinking she shouldn’t wash it.

I get the sentiment, but gross.

Tea time is a bit tense with Yeon-ah prodding Joon-ho about his “plan.” Mi-ryeong wonders what their repartee is about, but figures it has to do with that adorable girl she met. Hwang asks her not to joke so early in the morning, but Mi-ryeong is serious. The girl may be plain, but her eyes are alive. She compliments Joon-ho’s eye while Hwang remains incredulous.

Joon-ho smirks and declares that Soon-shin’s got talent! Yeon-ah comments that Soon-shin will be trained as her rival in six months. Mi-ryeong thinks that is pushing things, but Joon-ho reminds her that he has Midas’ touch. (Which reminds me of In-sung snuggling up to Joon-ho’s hand…hehe.)

Yoo-shin heads into work. She drops a sports jacket because her shoulder is hurting. A hoobae helps her onto the elevator and she remembers more of that night with Chan-woo.

They’d crashed into the elevator, she made contact with the elevator wall shoulder first. Then they drank themselves silly on the floor of the hotel room. She moans that Chan-woo will never understand her. And then, she barfs all over him.

Now we KNOW they’re going to be a couple. Barf is a classic sign of couplage. Hehe. Oh, we also know how they got nekkid.

He strips off her outshirt, dumps her onto the bed where she sobs herself to sleep. Then he strips *YES*…

…and blow dries their freshly washed clothing. He tucks her in and she opens her eyes just long enough to take in the nekkidness, call him a “cute punk” and fall back to sleep.

Back to the present, Yoo-shin realizes that nothing happened and remembers what she said to him and how he tried to tell her the truth, but she wouldn’t shut her trap. And she ended with the fact that she didn’t like him. She agonizes over it and her female hoobae comes over to inquire as to the fate of Yoo-shin’s “friend” who had a one-night stand. This sends Yoo-shin into a fervent case of denial; they did NOT sleep together.

Yoo-shin gives Chan-woo a ring, but he ignores her. I would, too.

She heads to the hospital and he is not happy to see her. She asks him why he never told her that nothing happened, but he leaves as soon as his receptionists calls him too see a patient. Yoo-shin is, for once, speechless.

Jung-ae remembers the night they took in Soon-shin and then Bok-man’s words about Kyung-sook being the village’s little sister. She heads to the orphanage to dig up information.

Kyung-sook left the orphanage at 19 and left no contact information. The orphanage employee doubts she will be able to find her.

Young-hoon throws a feast at the restaurant for his employees. He even made Soon-shin a dish that will be good for her diet.

Mr. Waiter wonders why Young-hoon always looks after Soon-shin and Young-hoon turns it back at him: why is Mr. Waiter always mean to her? Then Mr. Waiter gets teased about liking her and he declares he’d never like someone like her.

So when is he gonna start to dig Soon-shin? Oh yeah, I called this…like episode 2.

Soon-shin the good hoobae says with a forced smile that Mr. Waiter is plenty nice. Mr. Waiter ignores her and whines that he doesn’t get as much attention. The only conclusion he can come to is: Young-hoon likes her.

That will come, too, my young narcissistic friend!

Again, Soon-shin explains this away: Young-hoon takes care of her because she’s lacking. AND she wouldn’t have made it this far without Mr. Waiter. He puffs up and complains about how hard teaching her is.

Soon-shin may be “plain” and “ordinary” but she knows how to deal with people. She plays this kid like a fiddle.

When Soon-shin comes home, Hye-shin tells her that Jung-ae is really unwell. Soon-shin goes to check on her and Jung-ae barely has the strength to speak. When Soon-shin frets, Jung-ae snaps that she is just fine, then apologizes for the explosion.

For quiet mommy, this is quite the outburst. I deduce…she’s very upset. Heh.

In-sung has come up with several ideas for Soon-shin’s debut: a bikini sit down; a rescue from the Han River. Joon-ho thinks that his assistant needs to start working a little harder for his wages. Like the seasoned Joon-ho assistant that he is, In-sung hunches a little lower and then demands to know what Joon-ho sees in Soon-shin. He’s disappointed in the president’s choice! So Joon-ho offers to write his resignation letter.

Oh these two.

In-sung takes it back and then tattles: Soon-shin didn’t show up for her work out. Compared to other people working their butts off, she’s doing nothing.

And this is true. Actors and idols and performers really do work day and night to debut and then keep their places in the limelight. It’s strange that Soon-shin only has to work out. She ONLY has six months. I don’t see how working at the restaurant is even feasible…


The next morning, Hye-shin thinks she might have to bring their mother to the hospital because she is not any better. So Soon-shin brings her juk and a damp cloth. She’s taken leave from work to care for her mother. But Jung-ae crankily tells her to go to work.

Before Soon-shin can argue, Joon-ho calls, annoyed that she’s at home. He orders her to dress for hiking. She joins him on the street wearing a huge visor and scares the crap out of him when she raises it. Hehe. I just like how dramatic the music made it seem even though it wasn’t really that scary.

Soon-shin doesn’t have the fancy hiking clothes or gear that Joon-ho is equipped with. He comments that he can tell how she lives life from her sloppy dress. She defends herself, but Joon-ho jumps to the next thing: TPO. Time. Place. Occasion. And…he says them in the most adorable English. *REWIND*


TPO means to dress according to the time, place and occasion. So he’s not really onto the next thing, is he? He’s just harping on her sweats. Haha.

Then he asks why she didn’t go to the gym and when he hears that there were issues at home, he wonders how long he has to let her get away with things because of her family problems.

I kinda get his reasoning because a lot of people use family as an excuse, but this time…dad died. It throws things out of whack…just a little bit…just a little…

He asks if she wants to break the contract forward and she weakly protests. See?! he declares. You don’t have the drive to work hard. If she proceeds like this, she’ll fail. So beginning today, it’s intensive training for strengthening her spirit.

I love that he sees her insecurity but is pretty much blind to his own.

They go to a hiking trail and he has her check out all the people dressed properly and working hard to get to the top; she, however, is just waiting for something to happen to her. So they’re going to climb a mountain to improve her as a person – he will guide her there. All she has to do is follow.

And they’re off!

Yi-jung is in a hotel getting a massage and remembering her ahjussi-in-shining-armor (Chan-woo) who saved her at the club. Then she gets a call from her mother that daddy is coming to find her!

She tries to sneak out, but after some chase, daddy Dong-hyuk catches her. Of course, the whole embarrassing scene is witnessed by Mi-ryeong. Yi-jung refuses to return if he refuses to let her follow her dream. Mi-ryeong cuts in and Yi-jung jumps to her side, using the older woman as a shield against her stern father.

Mi-ryeong asks to interfere and tells him he can’t use force or Yi-jung will continue to disobey. Mi-ryeong wants a crack at “helping” her.

On the mountain, Soon-shin is leaping up the steps as agilely as a rabbit while Joon-ho is leaning heavily on both walking sticks, meters behind her.

OMG I LOVE THIS! I love how clumsy he is.

She stops and turns around to face him, all while jogging in place, and asks the struggling Joon-ho if he is tired and needs a break.


“If you’re talking about yourself, then just say it,” he replies. She rolls her eyes and heads off again.

He stops her again because he can’t go any further, but of course disguises it as another lesson: let’s stop and check out the scenery and chat!

Okay, she agrees and stretches. Joon-ho is annoyed she’s so good at this and she explains that she came here every weekend with her father. As though to prove it, she says that there is mountain spring water just ahead, but Joon-ho only drinks the bottled stuff. (Of course.)

Soon-shin continues to stretch, bounce her back against a tree and do other such embarrassing things. Joon-ho is totally appalled by her methods and tells her to pay attention to her image. The ahjummas love this stuff, she replies.

Heh, and that’s why you look like one right now.

Joon-ho asks about her name and she explains that her parents and grandmother choose it: “Soon” for “pure” and “Shin” for “trust” so that she believes in herself and lives bravely. He tells her she’ll need a stage name for the debut; he’ll pay a master to change her name. But Soon-shin doesn’t like that idea because her father would be upset.

Joon-ho calls her a daddy’s girl for clinging to her father and then promises to meet him to ask him to agree to the name change. Then she tells him her father passed away.

BAM! His face is pure shock and guilt and I praise Jo Jung-seok for that.

Soon-shin wants to remain Lee Soon-shin, the name her father knew. She heads off and he merely tells her to wait.

Not that her waiting does much good because he’s ready to collapse, holding onto ropes and dropping his empty water bottle. So she teases him about being a businessman with no physical strength. Maybe he should run with her on the treadmill in the mornings.

Yes, you should. And then we’d get kisses faster. I like kisses. And cuteness.

Joon-ho says he’s tired from staying up the night before and she complains that they’ll be on the mountain all night at this rate. She heads off and he goes to follow her, but falls instead. She hurries over to help him up and he babbles that because he followed “TPO” he’s not hurt.

Wow, you don’t save face that way buddy. Maybe you should just get on the treadmill…and sweat…and glisten…and I’m going to stop now…

He trips again, but this time on her and she falls into a rope. They have the requisite moment of recognition: aha! I find you strangely attractive when in such close proximity. But there is too much built up tension there and they hurriedly part. She tosses his walking stick at him (which he doesn’t catch HA!) He starts to pick on her for making him trip and she tells him that he’s the one who’s always tripping. Commence defensive babbling.

I knew I’d love his clumsiness!

She suggests going back down but he refuses. He can’t go back down; “quit” isn’t a word in his dictionary. You can practically see him thinking about Yeon-ah and her challenge. She notes his competitiveness.

I wonder when she’ll find out the real reason he’s so competitive; especially concerning her debut and success. I’m not sure that she’ll react all that badly because he told her that she was a way to test himself. We’ll see.

Soon-shin finds him laughable so she laughs and starts off again as he screams behind her to go slowly!

Sexy baker Jin-wook is putting out more goods and drops a few. He remembers Hye-shin smiling oh-so-prettily the day before and gets all smiley himself. Aw, you’re a dork! I loves it. He glances up and sees her and Woo-joo walking past so he runs up to his glass door and spies on them. He’s happy until he sees a man (Chan-woo) run up. Then he puts on jealous face.

Hye-shin says that his mom has been bragging about all the women who want him. Woo-joo is making little cow eyes at him. Aw, she’s got a kid crush. She notices Jin-wook peering at them and asks her mom for money to buy Granny something. When she leaves, Chan-woo wistfully comments that she is all grown up. Somehow this brings Hye-shin to say that she thought that he would be together with Yoo-shin by now. They used to fight all the time and yet would always be together. Chan-woo admits he wants it, but things do always go by what he wants. And, he calls her “noona” and I’m getting melty. Heh.

Jin-wook is still staring out the glass door when Woo-joo comes in. He very, very awkwardly pretends that he was just checking out the weather. Woo-joo asks for bread, which confuses him because he thought she didn’t like it. It’s for Granny!

Then he comes out with it: is that person out there your father? He laughs awkwardly and evil little Woo-joo confirms it. He’s my daddy and he’s a doctor.

You little snit! HAHA! I see the problems this is going to cause all too well!

On her way out she sticks her tongue out at him and he does the same. Aw, they’re so cute already. He’s just as cranky as she is. He smiles when she leaves, liking her spunk.

Woo-joo joins Hye-shin and Chan-woo puts a hand on Woo-joo’s back as a good uncle-figure. They walk home looking like a family to the sexy baker.

Woo-joo wanted Chan-woo “oppa”  to come help her with her homework. Hye-shin picks up on her use of “oppa” rather than “ahjussi” and Woo-joo grins like a silly little girl with a crush. Hye-jin finds her adorable, and I do too. Then Yoo-shin walks in in this neon disaster of a house dress.

After sending Woo-joo upstairs, Hye-shin asks if anything happened between Yoo-shin and Chan-woo. He was acting strangely earlier, Hye-shin explains, but Yoo-shin counters that with a “he’s always been a bit strange.” She assures Hye-shin that nothing happened and leaves her older sister suspicious.

Hye-shin brings Granny the bread that Woo-joo bought for her, which pleases Granny to no end. Granny asks if she’s constantly in touch with her husband because it’s not good for young couples to be apart for so long. Hye-shin very awkwardly agrees. Granny notes that he used to call often before but now he must be too busy. Yeah, probably with other women or something.

This secret is definitely coming out soon.

Granny continues, wondering why Hye-shin’s husband didn’t even come for the funeral. The conversation shifts to Jung-ae, whose fever has finally gone down. Hye-shin asks Granny to try and understand Jung-ae’s feelings: she’s exhausted. Granny knows and complains that Jung-ae is always out exercising.

Aw, so many secrets. Secrets are poison.

Jung-ae asks her husband’s picture to tell her the truth. Then someone familiar with Kim Kyung-sook calls. Ooh, are we making some headway?

The hike has finally been completed. In one corner we have Soon-shin who is full of energy and in the other, Joon-ho, who can barely walk straight. Although he is still breathing heavily, he tells her not to miss working out and to go home and memorize the feeling of reaching the top of the mountain.

He’s right in terms of grooming her to be a star, but the situation is just too funny that I can’t quite take him seriously. Neither can she.

Tomorrow she starts acting training, but Soon-shin is more entranced by the food tent a few meters away. He reminds her of her diet and Soon-shin stares forlornly at the food.

Joon-ho limps home and his mother delivers the news that Dong-hyuk allowed Yi-jung to become an actress, which shocks the hell out of Joon-ho. Mom says that Dong-hyuk was moved by Yi-jung’s sincerity. Psssssh. What sincerity? I only see whining!

There has to be a reason Dong-hyuk allowed it. I’m sure of it.

In his office, Dong-hyuk mulls over his encounter with Mi-ryeong, which went farther than the hotel lobby.

No, not THAT way. They sat at an empty table in a snazzy restaurant and he snapped at her for interfering. But he changed his mind after Mi-ryeong offers to help scare Yi-jung off the path of the starlet. She’ll make Yi-jung give up and return to her normal life.

I’m sure Mi-ryeong is trying to win points with him since he can connect her to Chang-hoon, and therefore her past, but the quashing of Yi-jung’s excessive pride will be oh-so-much-fun!

Then Joon-ho limps (HA!) into his father’s room to ask about Yi-jung. Dong-hyuk points out that Yi-jung is probably just following in Joon-ho’s footsteps. Then assures his son that Yi-jung will give up in time. Dong-hyuk orders him to lay off.

In her room, Yi-jung is trying on outfits for her first private session with Mi-ryeong. Joon-ho limps into her room to demand what the hell is going on. He finds her trying on clothes with her mother – she’s gonna meet Mir-ryeong to learn how to act. Yi-jung does the whole “I told you so” thing and says she knew he’d regret not training her himself.

Ha. If she only knew.

Annoyed by the whole thing, Joon-ho limps back to his room to brood. (Do I see muscles behind that blue blazer? Nom!)

Chan-mi is flipping through a magazine and sighing jealously of how perty Mi-ryeong is. Bok-man comes in and ogles the magazine, too, but not for the reason Chan-mi thinks. Gil-ja comes in and gets annoyed that her husband keeps checking out this other woman. ‘Specially since said woman moved into the neighborhood. Both mother and daughter call him gross.

Gil-ja checks on Chan-woo and wonders why he’s looked so troubled lately. She offers to set him up on some dates. When he tries to decline, Yoo-shin calls and he ignores the call.

Jung-ae has gotten the address of a person who knew Kim Kyung-sook and heads out to meet her at her coffee shop. The lady doesn’t seem too thrilled to see her, but still obliges Jung-ae with some info: she hasn’t seen Kyung-sook for a while. They’d been childhood friends at the orphanage. Before she married, the shop lady often contacted Kyung-sook. After, she went to the States with her husband and they lost contact.

When Jung-ae asks if Kyung-sook ever had a kid, shop lady looks a bit taken a back and clumsily stutters that she never heard any new to that effect. Then she asks about the scarf and brings it out. The shop lady honestly doesn’t seem to recognize it.

However, after a very disappointed Jung-ae leaves, shop lady calls Hwang. He’s pissed that she didn’t find out whether the woman who came was a reporter or not. He promises to get shop lady money soon for her information.

Hrm, so did he spill the beans about Mi-ryeong to the press? Did he not? Is he just pulling damage control?

In his office, Joon-ho contacts Mi-ryeong to talk about Soon-shin.

Young-hoon has made a diet-friendly sandwich for Soon-shin because  he’s noticed she hasn’t eaten much lately. She hesitates to eat it and while she’s deciding whether or not to indulge, he asks about life as a trainee. He also wants to check the contract to make sure it’s fair, but she tells him that it’s okay; a contract’s a contract. But, because he’s our ever-supportive second lead, he points out that the contract could prove troublesome in the future when she’s famous. She thanks him and picks up her sandwich and takes a bite. She goes in for another…

…only to have it snatched by the limping wonder! What are you doing?! Nothing, she mumbles. Not eating anything.

Joon-ho snaps at Young-hoon not to encourage her and then hands her an address. She is to go there after work from now on and meet her acting teacher.

He takes her sandwich on his way out and limps away, grabbing the back of his sore thigh. Soon-shin laughs at him earning Young-hoon’s curiousity and a reprimand for the embarrassed Joon-ho.

I love clumsy Joon-ho. Have I mentioned that before?  😛

Chan-woo gets a text from Yoo-shin to meet at the bakery by their house.

YES! Sexy-baker-with-big-misunderstanding is going to totally have a cow seeing Woo-joo’s “father” meeting another lady. Anticipation…

Chan-woo sits with Yoo-shin and Jin-wook immediately gets suspicious, especially after the conversation starts. Yoo-shin asks why Chan-woo has become so hard to reach an indifferent. He denies anything is wrong.

Oh man, I’m just imagining what is going through Jin-wook’s head right now.

Yoo-shin chastises Chan-woo for not correcting her when she thought they slept together, causing Jin-wook to pop up from under the counter, eyes wide as saucers. Chan-woo is annoyed and probably disappointed that that was all she wanted to talk about. She brings up his solution of marriage and tsks, calling him hopeless.

She goes on to explain that she doesn’t remember jack shit when she drinks. Then she apologizes for her mistakes. But the apology sounds more like she just stepped on his foot than misconstruing a pretty big situation. He tells her that the apology isn’t necessary because he knows how she really feels.

He leaves her baffled (and Jin-wook horrified and nearly hyperventilating.)

Yoo-shin runs after Chan-woo, utterly baffled by his behavior. Why won’t he just accept his apology. He whirls around and lays it down: Because I like you. I’m angry because I like you. He hates that she thinks of him as she does so he’s furious. What is he supposed to do?

He leaves her stunned, mouth agape, on the street.

Jung-ae comes home and is greeted by Granny who chastises her for being sick and going out. She also urges her to get over the old picture and instead spend her energy finding out who hit Chang-hoon. He was a devoted husband; how could she not try to bring him justice? Defeated, Jung-ae admits she was lonely and that’s why she’s been so obsessed.

Soon-shin heads to Mi-ryeong’s place and ogles at how ginormous the outside is. The maid ahjumma leads her into the living room where the projected images of Mi-ryeong’s work show on the wall. Soon-shin gets a few seconds of projector-watching in before Mi-ryeong comes downstairs, looking glorious. Soon-shin is in awe of her, but the mood is broken by Yi-jung’s screeching voice, overly energetic presence and obnoxious dress that looks like a painter’s pallette threw up all over it.

Mi-ryeong glares at Yi-jung and then politely greets Soon-shin with a sweet smile.



How much did I love the cute in this episode? We finally have our semi-forced contact between the two mains. Joon-ho as the coach for the seemingly hopeless starlet wannabe Soon-shin. They have six months to get together. At the rate their going, I’d give ’em six weeks…heh. But I know the production team won’t make it that easy.

I love the pacing of the different romances. Pretty much nothing at all save bickering between Soon-shin and Joon-ho (but we know how fast THAT changes into smoochies.) We have childhood crushes in Yoo-shin and Chan-woo. And then the gruff sexy baker having a MAJOR one-sided thang for Hye-shin. And let’s face it, he likes feisty Miss Woo-joo, too. She’s a fun kid!

I love that Chan-woo’s love is long lasting and perhaps that means Yoo-shin might have a thing for him, too. Or has one and doesn’t know it. In any case, she’s not used to anyone ignoring her and it’s a great wake up call for her as a lousy human being and as a woman in love/to be in love.

And how much do I love sexy baker turning into a bumbling ahjussi type over Hye-shin’s “husband” flirting with another pretty lady? Hehe. Dying for episode 10 here…

I admit I’m not very interested in Jung-ae’s search for the truth of Soon-shin’s birth. Which will also reveal the truth about her hubby’s relationship with “Kyung-sook”. Will Soon-shin be his biological daughter and therefore have cheated? (BAD!) Or will he have taken his ex-girlfriend’s unwanted charge and given it to his wife to raise.

I honestly don’t know what I feel about the second option. If he’s raising another woman’s baby, that’s a liiiiitle squiffy and I can see why Jung-ae is upset. He should’ve just told her. It would’ve been fine. But again, secrets complicate things.

I LOVE Joon-ho and Soon-shin together. He is right about SO many things with her but each of those things is undermined by his clumsiness and bad timing. The actors also have amazing chemistry and deliver lines so naturally. I even love how the forced face-to-face contact was awkward and cute, but ended quickly. So they’re JUST made aware of each other sexually. It’s cool that way.

I knew I’d like Mi-ryeong more when I saw her in her element. I’m stoked to see her work with Soon-shin and make a fool of Yi-jung!

Now onto episode 10 and hoping for more hijinks. We all know that the tears and drama will take over soon enough, so gimme cute NOW!

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

Character introductions.

Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 9 Screencaps.

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