Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 11 Recap

by: Raine

SMILES! Glorious, SMILES! Cuteness, relationship development, more people in on Soon-shin’s secret, Jung-ae delving deeper into her husband’s secret. Lots of good Soon-shin/Joon-ho development, which is what I was a-hankering after!

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 24.0%. Although the rating went down, it still holds 1st place amongst weekend dramas!

episode 11 recap

Lee Soon-shin, with quiet desperation, asks Song Mi-ryeong one last time if she’s talented. Mi-ryeong says that she is, which earns her a beautiful, tearful smile from Soon-shin. They amicably part and I’m thinking I love their rapport (despite Mi-ryeong’s cruel intentions) even though I hate what the truth is going to do to Soon-shin. I don’t much care what it will do to Mi-ryeong, even though I’ve been liking her more as of late.

Hwang scopes out the street in front of Mi-ryeong’s house because he had, in fact, noticed the not-so-stealthy Bok-man poking around. He doesn’t find Bok-man who has managed to slip around a corner before being caught. Hwang goes back into the house in time to see Soon-shin thank Mi-ryeong with several enthusiastic bows.

She skips out into the street and is surprised to see Bok-man. He asks why she came out of Mi-ryeong’s house. Soon-shin admits Mi-ryeong is her acting teacher, but that her mother doesn’t know about it. Bok-man blows a gasket and tells her that she shouldn’t be doing this. She is confused by his adamancy.

Hwang asks Mi-ryeong why she didn’t refuse Joon-ho’s request to train Soon-shin. And Mi-ryeong reiterates what we already know: she’s using Soon-shin to make Yi-jung quit. Hwang better not tell Joon-ho. I don’t think he would, since he finds the situation amusing enough to smirk at. Jerk!

Mi-ryeong better be nice to uri Soon-shin.

She admits that she likes her for some unknown reason and finds her cute. Yeah, but you’re still lying to her. Grr. But I like Soon-shin smiling…but I hate lies…..ACK!

Soon-shin returns home and her mother immediately asks if she canceled the contract with Joon-ho and returned the money. She sits her mother down to ask if she can at least try acting. It’s only for six months and she already got the money.

This goes over about as well as we expect it would: not well at all. Granny will freak out; Yoo-shin will freak out. Soon-shin is probably getting swindled again. Jung-ae doesn’t want her to do it.

But Soon-shin wants to do it. She’s been encouraged and has a spark of hope.

The next morning Soon-shin looks for her mother, but she’s at work. Granny wonders what trouble Soon-shin is making now, thinking about her “dating” her manager.

Seriously, what is up with all these judgy people. Shut up, grams!

Soon-shin rocks the treadmill and I give her two thumbs up for not giving up. Then she takes a picture to prove that she’s still in the game and sends it to Joon-ho.

Mr. Joon-ho is not very happy and even crumples up Soon-shin’s profile, disappointed it ended this way. I think he may also be disappointed on her behalf. But then he gets the text with a cute little caption that says, “Here’s a picture of me.” Then we get:


And I’ve decided I’m going to marry that smile. *Watches for too long* Happy Joon-ho tells a confused In-sung that he looks handsome today and then smiles more. MOAR!

He heads down to the restaurant, grinning like a fool. He finds her and tells her the picture was pretty. Did she get permission from her mother? Nopes! But she’s gonna try anywayz. His face falls a little at that, but then he clinks glasses with her and tells her, “fighting.” Aww. I loves them.

Jung-ae is cleaning the stairs and her boss tells her that taking two days sick leave in a row is bad. Then he sends her to clean a spill. Gil-ja walks in just as Jung-ae’s boss scolds her for cleaning the wrong spot and calls her useless.

Gil-ja drags her to the chicken restaurant to tell her friend to quit. Everyone’s against it and they don’t need the money anymore. Jung-ae lies that she likes her job and that all jobs are honorable. Gil-ja offers her a job and I’m thinking, “GREAT!” but then Jung-ae turns it down. Maybe she is thinking of the fish vending ahjumma’s advice: don’t work at a restaurant.

Then Gil-ja starts in on her own problems: she thinks Bok-man is cheating on her because he’s acting really strangely. He’s never home. She says that she even wishes he was dead – then she realizes it was a really bad joke.

No duh.

Jung-ae returns home and sits down for a chat with Granny. Grams is nervous about how they will fair, how to pay the bills and support the kids. She suggests redecorating the storage room and renting it for some extra income.

How much do you bet that the renter is going to be someone that we know?

Jung-ae really doesn’t like the idea, but clears out the storage room that is full of her husband’s things.

When she heads outside to clear out a few things, she meets Bok-man who’s brought fertilizer for the garden. He’s acting a little strange. I know he wants to mention Soon-shin’s acting.

Granny and Jung-ae tell him about renting the storage room. Bok-man offers to help the renovate the room with Chan-woo because he owes Chang-hoon so much.

Then Bok-man ventures to mention Soon-shin studying acting and orders Jung-ae never to let her learn. Just hearing the idea pisses Granny off.

If she wasn’t an elder, I’d smack her. But I was raised better than that. Boo.

Joon-ho is looking at Soon-shin’s workout picture and smiling happily to himself. I KNOW it’s not a romantic gesture, but it’s still so cute. SO SO CUTE! When In-sung comes in, Joon-ho requests scripts that are successful based on plot and not on the actor’s abilities. He also wants to meet with a director who had an actress drop out. And then laughs jovially to himself.

Yi-jung is tossing and turning in her neon yellow bed, furious about how Mi-ryeong is treating her. When Soo-jung comes in with tea, Yi-jung begs for her help with Mi-ryeong.

So Soo-jung the sucker mom heads on over to Mi-ryeong’s place to say that Yi-jung is having a hard time. Mi-ryeong scoffs that Yi-jung doesn’t even have the energy for such basic things? Being an actress will become much harder. Maybe she should just quit. Soo-jung immediately agrees with her. Mi-ryeong warns that being an actress is just all glamor.

As Soo-jung is leaving, Yeon-ah shows up calling, “Eomma!” She is surprised to find out that the guest leaving is Joon-ho’s mother. She thought that Joon-ho’s parents were dead. When Mi-ryeong hears this, she realizes that Joon-ho had been serious about breaking off relations with his parents all those years ago. He’d been determined to succeed.

Yi-jung shows up at her father’s hospital to look for Park Chan-woo. She asks that he treat her, but he’s busy. She wants in anyway and says it’s only fair ‘cause she’s her daddy’s daughter…only daddy shows up. Yi-jung tries to explain that she’s been practicing so much that her skin is bad and her hair is falling out.

Maybe it’s trying to dye your hair red that’s making your hair fall out…just sayin’.

Donghyuk says that her condition isn’t bad enough to go to a hospital and to go home. If it’s too hard, she can always quit. That fires her up and she promises to make her dream come true and surprise him. She leaves in a huff.

I just find it funny the entire staff was watching. Heh.

Mi-ryeong takes Yi-jung and Soon-shin to see a play. Soon-shin watches raptly while Yi-jung can barely keep her eyes open. Afterwards, Yi-jung brags that she loved the play. Soon-shin thinks it was boring and gets scolded by Yi-jung for having no appreciation for art…and then feels stupid when Mi-ryeong says that it was hard to sit through as well.


Mi-ryeong asks for a five-page essay and Yi-jung offers to write even more, but is shot down. Jung-ae calls Soon-shin who runs into the bathroom to take the call, leaving Yi-jung laughing at her Candy ringtone.

Jung-ae asks when Soon-shin is coming home so she can join in fixing up the storage room and have dinner with Bok-man and Chan-woo. Soon-shin lies that she’s eating dinner with friends. Before they hang up, Jung-ae asks Soon-shin to bring home some Paz. She will and she’ll also massage her poor mother’s legs; she’s been working too much.

Of course, Mi-ryeong has heard the very daughterly reply and smiles to hear their closeness. She even comments that mom must be happy to have her. Mom is even a fan!

It’s a weird exchange for the audience, to be sure.

That night, Chan-woo finally hits me with how sexy he is doing some man work! I finally get it. Jung-ae calls them up for dinner where Granny showers them with praise and Woo-joo fawns over Chan-woo.

When Yoo-shin comes home, however, Chan-woo’s smile disappears. Hye-joo asks about his blind date and the poor guy stutters around Yoo-shin, who doesn’t look happy to hear he had a date. Woo-joo isn’t either and refuses to let him marry. How cute.

Chan-woo excuses himself to work more and Yoo-shin follows. She reminds him that when he was younger, he cried when he got trapped inside a lock closet. Heh. Oh, childhood friends turned lovers are sooooo vindictive.

Well, they’re not lovers….yet….

Yoo-shin asks about his blind date and he answers in as few syllables as possible. Will he ask her out again? He pauses and answers that he will. Yoo-shin awkward laughs and smacks his arm, telling him he’s finally grown up. She even pats him on the head. Thing get awkward, though, she he grabs her wrist to stop her and ends up with both of her wrists in his hands.

He releases her and hurries off. True to form, she runs after him, unable to leave him alone. she offers to teach him how to ask a girl out and the conversation is witnessed by a very unhappy Soon-shin returning home. Then Soon-shin watching the couple is witnessed by Joon-ho.

Lot’s of creeper stalking staring.

Chan-woo shakes off Yoo-shin’s arm and conversation. Why does she keep buggin’ him? It’s weird.

Not if you have a crush…

But he thinks that she doesn’t like him and tells her to back off. Then he leaves her stunned.

Joon-ho honks the horn to get Soon-shin’s attention and it’s so cute how you can see he obviously cares about her feelings.

He brings her to a coffee shop to give her study materials – DVDs and books – and a key to a practice room. Soon-shin is touched and thanks him with a soft smile. He doesn’t handle the thank you well, but is obviously pleased by her sincerity.

And then he addresses what has been bugging him for some unknown reason: why is “that guy” from before (Chan-woo) so immature? He looks like a gisaeng. Soon-shin doesn’t know who he’s talking about and Joon-ho continues to mutter and badmouth “the doctor”.

How much do I love that he’s already jealous? Even if it’s not purely romantic, he’s feeling protective of his downtrodden new employee.

What’s wrong with him? she asks defensively and the mention of Chan-woo’s name seems to incite Joon-ho even further. “Guys like him are the most dangerous,” Joon-ho warns. “They make girls confused.” Joon-ho could tell that he likes to lead girls on. Doctors are always that way. He warns her not to fall in love because she promised to work hard. Also, men like “Chang-woo” (yes, he says it wrong) will regret having missed an opportunity to be with her so she shouldn’t be sad.

Aw, the jealousy turns into a cute compliment. YAY!

She corrects Chan-woo’s name and he gives her a piece of golden advice: you can’t change anyone else, but you can change yourself. You can’t force a change of heart.

AMEN! I tell people that all the time. Now…follow your own advice buddy.

Soon-shin wisely asks if he’s had a similar experience and he clams up. He seems to be on the verge of answering, but he cops out. He orders her to remember to take a picture at the gym again, just to get the attention off her so she retaliates by inviting him out for a hike.

Hehehehehehehe. He’s too BUSY. Uh-huh. Sure.

He tells her to keep her spirits up and she agrees with the most adorable, indulgent smile.

Aw, aw, aw. He doesn’t like to see her so down. And she is soooo receptive to his backwards care.

To prove my point: she holds out her hand for a fist bump and we get this in return:


GLORY OF THE SMILE! IU has a gorgeous smile, too. And smiling together equals smiley happiness.

Granny and Jung-ae relax after the storage room is finished and chat about how grateful they are to Bok-man and Chan-woo for their help. In the morning, Granny will put the room up for rent – she wants to get out of the house for once.

Then she asks Jung-ae about Soon-shin. She’s been having a lot of late nights recently. Instead of working, Soon-shin shouldn’t have tried to become an actress in the first place. In fact, the Kyung-sook Jung-ae is curious about wanted to become and actress, too. She was crazy. She would’ve ruined a family as a daughter-in-law. She wasn’t an actress because she had no talent, but she was greedy.

Of course, Granny brings back Jung-ae’s obsessive worries with that little anecdote. Soon-shin comes in with the Paz and doesn’t seem too happy. Soon-shin seems really earnest about wanting her mother to know about her acting and mentions seeing a play with a friend.

Yeah, not a good idea. Mom blows up and Soon-shin lies that she quit acting.

When Soon-shin comes into their shared room, Yoo-shin asks if she had a good time with her “boyfriend” – she saw Soon-shin climb into his expensive-looking car. He must really like her if he comes to see her so often.

Soon-shin decides to explain the truth to her sister. It takes a minute to register and only sinks in after she admits to signing a contract and truly wanting to learn to act. Yoo-shin still thinks her sister was swindled, but Soon-shin admits to study with Song Mi-ryeong, which blows her mind.

The next morning, Yoo-shin sends Woo-joo to school on her own and demands that Hye-shin come with her to meet Shin Joon-ho. She tells Hye-shin the truth; Yoo-shin even looked him up on the net. She wants to find out what’s really going to prevent anything else from happening to her family. Hye-shin ain’t helping with her secret divorce neither.

They run into sexy, nervous, finger-wiggling baker on the street who hurries inside to prevent further mortification. Yoo-shin thinks he’s weird, but Hye-shin understands that he’s just embarrassed. Of course cranky Yoo-shin takes this as Hye-shin having bad taste, like in her ex-husband.

Wow girl. Watch yo’ tongue.

Inside the bakery, Jin-wook watches them walk away. His assistant comes over and scares the crap out of him. But his assistant is just worried that he looks so worried; just like when he was in jail. The word “Jail” incites Jin-wook and he order his assistant never to use it again.

I wonder what Hye-shin will think about her new lover being a jailbird. I wonder what he was in for. Speculations anyone?

Young-hoon is sporting a new haircut and watches Soon-shin before asking if working two jobs is hard. She replies that it isn’t.

It’s not like she’s doing much as a trainee…. ANYWAY…

She says that acting is fun even if she’s not good at it. Young-hoon tells her that having fun is all that matters. Then she won’t have regrets if she quits. She asks him if cooking is fun for him. Of course, it is. It’s the most fun and he’s studied music and other things…

Funny coming from actor/singer Lee Ji-hoon’s mouth.

Soon-shin’s sisters come to visit her, leaving Mr. Waiter in lusty heat over their tall, long-legged hotness.

Boy, you need to get laid…quick.

Then he meanly wonders why Soon-shin isn’t like them. Young-hoon snaps his tongs at him.

Soon-shin reluctantly guides her sisters to the Gabi office. In-sung greets Soon-shin half-heartedly and then Yoo-shin spots him and strides over, ready to do business. Joon-ho glances over at Soon-shin in surprise, but she only puts on her best begging face.

Next thing she knows, Joon-ho is hosting her sisters in his office, awaiting the interrogation that is sure to come.

Yoo-shin asks to inspect the contract and off In-sung goes to retrieve it. Joon-ho apologizes for the lie and the sisters seem understanding based upon Soon-shin’s explanations.

But then Yoo-shin asks what his intentions were for scouting Soon-shin. His facial expression is hysterical:

He saw potential in Soon-shin and wonders why Yoo-shin looks so surprised by that. Soon-shin has a lot of potential.

In comes In-sung with the contract and Yoo-shin asks how much Soon-shin is being paid. The investment costs are high, so her actual paycheck may not seem that large. After her debut, she will make more.

And how long will that be? Yoo-shin asks. Good question. Some trainees wait years before debut (2AM’s Jokwon who waited seven) and some only a month or two (Lee Hi).

Luckily for us, the contract (and the time for LOVE) only lasts six months, which Soon-shin tells her sisters. Yoo-shin says she’s worried about her dongsaeng being mistreated.

Shouldn’t we be worried YOU will mistreat her?

Then Hye-shin busts out the intelligence we’ve heard and read so much about but have never seen. She asks for clauses to be cut and amended and Joon-ho promises to fix them so both parties are pleased. Hye-shin wants to take the contract home to read over and Yoo-shin is holding out on trusting him since they just met.

I love seeing Joon-ho in the hotseat. It’s fun.

Soon-shin sees her sisters out and sweetly thanks Hye-shin and Yoo-shin who pretends she doesn’t like her little sister, but we can see right through her. They won’t tell mom until later and Yoo-shin makes her promise to be a great actress for their father’s sake.

On their way back, we learn that Hye-shin was on a legal team and that’s why she was so efficient with analyzing the contract. Then  Yoo-shin tells her she shouldn’t have gotten a divorce if she was so smart. Instead she should confront the woman.

I don’t know why that should make a different. Your man’s manparts were in another woman. He’s spending time being faithful to her and not you. He’s STILL with her. Divorce away!

Anyway, Hye-shin reveals that she didn’t get alimony because she didn’t want to accept anything from him. Yoo-shin wants to give Hye-shin’s ex a piece of her mind for letting Hye-shin turn down alimony.

Yoo-shin is convinced she is from a family of idiots. Takes one to know one…

Granny goes to rent out the storage room and only wants girls to rent it, but the real estate agent doesn’t think girls would like it because it’s a semi-basement. Still, Granny only wants women for her women-filled household. The agent promises to try.

On her way home, Granny almost gets run over by a motorcycle and falls in front of Jin-wook’s shop. He rushes over to help her (rather clumsily) and tries to lift her onto his back, but she’s heavy…or he’s just not as strong as that sexy physique makes him seem.

Woo-joo rushes over and glances unhappily at Jin-wook trying to piggyback her grandmother.

The piggyback is an intimate gesture and is NOT always sexual, so seeing the man who “likes” her mom and who could replace her father piggybacking her grandmother does  not make poor, unstable Woo-joo happy.

Jin-wook brings them inside and serves them bread and juice on the house. Granny is pleased, but Woo-joo high tails it out of there. Before she gets out of the door, Jin-wook stops her to ask why she lied about Chan-woo being her father. She just leaves with an attitude. Granny says to leave her be ‘cause the kid’s got an attitude.

Hrm, I wonder where she got it!

Also, Granny just came from renting office and is making friends with single MAN who may be the only man she’d let live in her storage room. Cohabitation hijinks? Anyone? Anyone?

Bok-man is brooding in his chicken shop about seeing Soon-shin with Mi-ryeong. Gil-ja comes in and wonders why he’s been spacing out so much lately. He escapes on a walk as Chan-mi comes in. But this time, Gil-ja won’t stand idly by while her husband goes out doing ‘weird’ things. Oh no. She’s gonna be weirder…by stealing her daughter’s scarf and glasses to play private eye. We even get a few measures of the James Bond theme. Rock on, k-drama. Rock on.

Gil-ja catches him peeping on Mi-ryeong’s house and drags him away, yelling and screaming. Hwang notices the commotion.

While Jung-ae cleans Soon-shin and Yoo-shin’s room, she remembers Granny saying Kyung-sook wanted to be an address. Then she stumbles upon the study materials Mi-ryeong and Joon-ho gave her.

Soon-shin comes in and Jung-ae goes ballistic when her daughter confesses to wanting to act. She throws the books and DVDs on the ground and snaps that she can do whatever she damn well pleases.

Jung-ae goes to Bok-man for answers. Why did he say Soon-shin shouldn’t try acting? She comes in on Gil-ja yelling at Bok-man. She thinks he’s stalking Mi-ryeong and will get the cops called on him. She’s embarrassed he’s stalking rather that just straight up cheating on her. He finally admits Song Mi-ryeong is his friend, Kyung-sook from his hometown, but Gil-ja doesn’t believe him.

But the name strikes Jung-ae in the heart.

Who is Song MI-ryeong? Is she Kyung-sook?

Dun, dun, dun!


I am seriously not invested in Jung-ae finding out the truth about Soon-shin’s birth. It seems a bit contrived and overly dramatic to me and I don’t’ know why. Maybe because I thought that Kyung-sook brought the baby to Chang-hoon and it never occurred to me that he cheated.

However, I perfectly understand why Jung-ae is so distraught. Her husband is dead PLUS he might’ve cheated on her with his ex-girlfriend who maybe be her beloved Soon-shin’s biological mama. The most interesting part of the whole thing is Gil-ja thinking her hubby’s cheating on her and making like James Bond in leopard print scarves.

I suppose the most important part of Jung-ae’s discovery is going to be the question provided by the answers she finds: Does she tell Soon-shin the truth or not? Which then begets the question, when will Soon-shin find out and how will she react? Perhaps Joon-ho and Yeon-ah will found out first? Or Mi-ryeong? Who knows. Lots of paths to take. Just as long as Jung-ae treats Soon-shin well.

I think she’s more afraid to lose her daughter. I find in a lot of Korean dramas have parents they think they’ll lose their kids to the biological parents. Yes, biology is huge, but the love Soon-shin  has for her mom surpasses biological ties. An adopted child is still one’s child. The most important ties are the ones forged through shared lives, no?

Jumping to Young-hoon, his stylish haircut and the character. He’s still just standing there smiling and supporting. He’s talented, mentioned music and…then what? He really hasn’t had much development and by episode 11 I’m wanting some. There’s been time to do it.

Now how much do I love IU and Jo Jung-seok together. He seriously makes it seem like the age gap between them is negligible. I don’t care about age AT all. They just click so well on screen. They play off each other. When they make each other smile, I SMILE! And that’s so awesome. This is going to be a fun relationship.

I also really appreciate IU’s facial expressions. She says so much with absolutely no dialogue. You go girl. I notice your skills next to powerhouse Jung-seok oppa. Rock on.

Also, I just love the development of this relationship between Joon-ho and Soon-shin. They are very alike and immediately see the insecurities in each other. Although Soon-shin makes fun of his, she does it without the nasty judgement that Yeon-ah has. He may need her for his mission to prove himself, but he can see it’s also a mission for her to prove herself. Something else they share in common. They can see what her acting career means to themselves and to each other. Plus, they’re forced together by this contract and forced to interact. We loves interaction. Yes we do. We loves awkward gestures of acceptance like fist bumps and indulgent smiles. We loves words of gruff encouragement.

Onto another couple, Chan-woo and Yoo-shin better go somewhere soon. She’s supposed to be practical, so she better practical herself over to the realization that she likes him and have Chan-woo babies. Heh.

As for Hye-shin and the baker, Jin-wook. I think I like the slow pace. He’s got a few skeletons that should be fun to dangle in front of her family. What will Granny say when she finds out her savior was a jailbird? Plus, I want to see Jin-wook melt the ice over Woo-joo’s heart. Her father really hurt her a lot, too, by cheating and ignoring her. JERK!

Okay, no more of that. Onto episode 12 hoping for the cute!

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

Character introductions.

Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 11 Screencaps.

3 responses to “Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 11 Recap”

  1. I love this drama. It’s reliable and not overly twisted. I frigging don’t care about the birth secrets and stuff. I’m indeed more interested in what happened to baker-nim. I bet he wanted to protect a woman from a jerkish chaebol son → Jail.
    The love storylines are all endearing and adorable in their own ways.
    Just a thought: Joon Ho should hire Young Hoon in his agency. What about a variety show a la Can We Get Married? with his 2 recruits to launch them in the Ent field?

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