Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 20 Recap

by: Raine

This episode is most definitely a turning point in the show. Feelings are made known (sorta), Jung-ae is finally only despicable instead absolutely loathsome and Soon-shin gets knocked to the ground and has to pick herself back up again. The question is: will she?

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 27.6%.

episode 20 recap

Soon-shin struggles to absorb the information Mi-ryeong has just cruelly imparted: Joon-ho had made a bet with Yeon-ah to turn a nobody into a star. Then Yeon-ah would sign onto his agency. Mi-ryeong explains that the bet is the reason for having Mi-ryeong teach Soon-shin and for paying the huge cancellation fee for the other actress. He wanted to win the bet to have Yeon-ah.

Wow, this woman can twist the truth real good.

Mi-ryeong says that the two got back together and so there is no reason to keep going with Soon-shin. He’ll tell her the truth soon so she shouldn’t be devastated when he tells her.

Wooooooow. Can I smack her?

Soon-shin films for the music video with a white flower in her hair and a yellow umbrella to keep the rain away. She’s strolling along a beautiful pathway and looking quite lovely herself. Joon-ho watches beside the director who calls cut and gives her a few instructions. She turns around and remembers Joon-ho’s comforting words the night before: he believes in her. The words ring heartbreakingly false in her ears and bring tears to her eyes. She turns back to the camera with tears falling.

The director approaches her and Joon-ho watches with concern. The director tells her to relax and gives them a ten minute break.

Joon-ho finds her and Soon-shin is unusually cold towards him. He tells her she looks nervous and needs to relax, especially if she wants to see him play guitar.

Aw, he’s so into her and doesn’t really her heart is breaking. He better do the right thing by her. No one has thus far. Well, maybe Chan-woo, but he doesn’t count!

Soon-shin asks Joon-ho why he’s nice to her and he’s surprised by the question. He thinks she’s really nervous. She sighs and he encourages her. We, the audience, know that he’s sincere. But she can’t believe it anymore and nor can I blame her.

Sexy baker Jin-wook finds Granny in the garden and she asks him a favor: she wants Jin-wook to help her make an international call to Hye-shin’s ex. Jin-wook dials and tells the ex that Granny wants to talk to him. The man hangs up like a douche and Jin-wook pretends that the call was dropped and that he’s having trouble connecting.

Aw, he’s so sweet to Granny. I like this relationship. She lost a son and Jin-wook is kind and doting, as a son would be. He’s also a lonely soul. I hope they further develop.

At the bakery, Jin-wook notices Hye-shin passing by looking rather like a zombie. He goes out to talk to her and makes an excuse to bring her inside. He notices how down she and decides to lift her mood. He asks her for help since his assistant is too busy dating. Pffft, yeah right.

Anywho, he leads her into the kitchen and asks for help kneading some dough. When he shows her how to knead it, by throwing it violently against the table, he fakes arm soreness.

Is he doing what I think he’s doing? Distracting her? AWWWW!

He has her put her purse down and tells her to slam the dough down onto the table. The first time was a little wimpy. He teases her that her arms are weak and that she needs to use more strength. Then, the clincher: she probably has someone she hates. She should imagine that person and slam the dough down onto the table.

OMG Jin-wook, you’re amazing. She totally gets what he’s doing, but she follows along, following his coaching and loud encouragement. The last time she gets flour all over him and it makes her laugh. He is mesmerized by her smile and tells her that her smile is pretty. he starts babbling about how that doesn’t mean she’s NOT pretty when she doesn’t smile and she smiles again at his adorable dorkiness.

Jung-ae visits Gil-ja to ask for a job at the chicken shop. She can’t stay at home anymore and confesses that Hye-shin got divorced. Jung-ae wonders what she did wrong in her life. Men always pretend to love their wives but don’t mean it. She admits that seeing Soon-shin makes her furious even though Soon-shin hasn’t done anythign wrong.

WAIT. A. SECOND. You openly acknowledge this and STILL treat her like dog doo under your shoe? AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!



Okay…I’m better now…I think…

Gil-ja suggests genetic testing and when Jung-ae rejects that idea, Gil-ja tells her to either accept the situation or confront the wench about the situation.

At the end of the shoot, Soon-shin greets the director who gives her instructions and some praise. Joon-ho comes and she immediately withdraws into herself. The director tells Joon-ho that he was worried about Soon-shin, but that she did a great job.

The director leaves them alone and Joon-ho promises to buy her that steak he promised her episodes ago. Remember the episode where he put that cold cut onto her forehead?

She quietly trudges away to change and that’s when yeon-ah approaches him, further confirming Joon-ho’s betrayal in Soon-shin’s mind.

Joon-ho isn’t really happy to see her and Soon-shin turns away and doesn’t hear him reject Yeon-ah. Honestly, I don’t think it’d matter if she did. This was low, hard blow to her already battered soul and ego.

An angry Yeon-ah seeks out Soon-shin to congratulate her. She didn’t think she could do well. Then she apologizes for putting Soon-shin between her and Joon-ho. Yeon-ah didn’t think Joon-ho would take her seriously and actually take her up on the bet. There is no way Soon-shin could actually become an actress. With a smile that belies the cruelness of her meaning, Yeon-ah apologizes on Joon-ho’s behalf.

Joon-ho finds out Soon-shin left already and is confused. He was going to buy her expensive food. STEAK at that. I love steak. STEAK. Buy me steak!

At home, Joon-ho pulls out his guitar.


He sits down and starts to doodle a bit and is a tad smug when he realizes he hasn’t lost his touch. He remembers promising Soon-shin to play for her. Then he fingerpicks the Extreme’s song More Than Words, one of my favorite songs ever. And I get ready to hear the man sing…and he barely whispers the words!!!! But I’ll take what I can get, which is the sexiness that is Jo Jung-seok playing guitar.

Soon-shin walks home remembering Yeon-ah’s cruel words. She gets a call from Chan-mi who wants to know about the shoot. They meet and Soon-shin tells her everything. Chan-mi is appropriately appalled while Soon-shin is dejected. Then Chan-mi wonders if the reason Mi-ryeong complemented Soon-shin was because Joon-ho asked her to.


Soon-shin rushes over to Mi-ryeong’s to find out the truth. Mi-ryeong isn’t happy to see her. But Soon-shin asks her question anyway: did Joon-ho ask her to pay Soon-shin compliments? Mi-ryeong doesn’t know why it’s important. Soon-shin explains that Mi-ryeong was the first person to tell her she had talent and helped her to realize that acting made her happy. She wanted to be an actress like Mi-reong.

Thankfully Mi-ryeong looks uncomfortable about this direct confrontation with the teary, passionate and suffering Soon-shin. Again, Soon-shin asks if the compliments were because of the bet and Mi-ryeong apologizes and tells her to quit.

Soon-shin starts sobbing. That’s when Jung-ae comes in after having decided to take Gil-ja’s advice and confront Mi-ryeong. They are surprised to see each other and Mi-ryeong smirks and comments that they are two peas in a pod, dropping by her house whenever they want to. Jung-ae has something to tell her, but Mi-ryeong doesn’t want to hear it. She heads upstairs.

Soon-shin stops her mother from chasing after Mi-ryeong. She’s going to quit. She drags her mother out of the house, nearly running into Hwang who hides behind a wall.

Jung-ae follows the sobbing Soon-shin down the street and finally has to stop her daughter in order to talk to her.

And then the most infuriating thing ever: Soon-shin apologizes to Jung-ae. WHAT?! Jung-ae should grovel before her daughter for treating her so badly. What is Soon-shin apologizing for?

Whatever. Soon-shin apologizes and promises to stop acting, sobbing all the while. Jung-ae was right, Joon-ho and Mi-ryeong used her. Soon-shin had been happy when she thought it was real. She thinks she’s really stupid for being played. She wants to think she has potential and talent like what Mi-ryeong had said.

Jung-ae actually looks moved and hurt on her daughter’s behalf. She asks if Soon-shin just heard all this from Mi-ryeong and Soon-shin nods. She apologizes for being a stubborn and bad daughter and hurting her feelings. She just wanted to do well in acting and make her mother happy

And Jung-ae says NOTHING! She just lets Soon-shin take the blame.

Hwang wonders what the two were doing at Mi-ryeong’s and then gets a call from his coffee shop informant who tells him that Reporter Park Yoon-shik came. He wanted to know if Kyung-sook and Mi-ryeong were the same person. The coffee shop ahjumma asks why so many people are looking for Kyung-sook lately and mentions the woman who visited her last time. Hwang sends her a picture (I think of Jung-ae) and asks if it was the woman who asked about Kyung-sook having a baby.

Mi-ryeong comes down and tells him Soon-shin quit acting. She needs to make sure Soon-shin and her mother don’t bother her further and tells Hwang to make “that rumor” bigger so she won’t even dare to approach the house.

Wow…you’re horrid. I hope you don’t get a chance at redemption, but you probably will.

At breakfast, Soon-shin announces that she’s quitting acting, shocking the whole family. Jung-ae remains quiet as the family questions her. Soon-shin says she failed and apologizes for making a fuss out of everything. She assures them she won’t feel small after this, but even crabby Granny knows better. They can all see how down she is and Jung-ae continues to keep silence.

Joon-ho is practicing guitar on his electric in the office and is noting his lack of callouses.

Yes, it hurts when you don’t have callouses! That’s why you need to practice! Sidenote: Jo Jung-seok has callouses. So the close-up on his fingers showed string indentations into…callouses. Hehe. Kinda funny. ANWAY.

In-sung comes in with bad news: KOK, the band who Soon-shin shot the video for, has a very angry fan following because of Soon-shin. There are terrible rumors about Soon-shin like she’s dating Joon-ho. In-sung doesn’t want this to ruin KOK’s new album. Joon-ho wants to know who’s spreading the rumor.

Mr. Waiter approaches Soon-shin. Three sweet-looking school girls have come to find her and bow in greeting. Soon-shin goes out to talk to them, confused.

Oh. No.

As soon as she steps out, their sweet faces change into hard glares and they throw eggs at her. Soon-shin clenches her teeth and demands to know what they’re doing. The KOK fangirls are furious about Soon-shin shooting the video and start to viciously attack her. Soon-shin tries to push them off and they pour flour on her. Young-hoon and Mr. Waiter have trouble pulling them off, but finally manage.

Joon-ho finds Soon-shin on the flour in a pile of flour and egg bits. He tries to help her up but she shakes him off. They go up to his office and she tries to clean up with a towel. He asks how she is and tells her not to worry. When the KOK video is a hit, this kind of thing will stop.

She stops him. “I quit.” She can’t possibly do anything in a month. Joon-ho is baffled that she’s giving up because of “these little things.” Soon-shin demands to know why he didn’t solve these little things. He couldn’t even do a thing about her audition. He apologizes and asks her to trust him.

How can I trust you? she asks, but he doesn’t know the real reasoning behind her words or the reason for the tears in her eyes. She leaves him stunned.

Then she visits Young-hoon to quit her job. He’s baffled until she asks if he knew about the bet. That’s why he told her not to start acting. Why, then, didn’t he tell her about the situation in the first place? Did he enjoy watching her get excited when in actuality she was just being used. Young-hoon tries to tell her that’s not what it was, but she reiterates: You should’ve told me and stopped me.

Young-hoon apologizes for not telling her and admits that he was happy to see her find something she liked. He asks her to reconsider quitting because the restaurant needs her.

She won’t.

It’s kinda nice that the helpful, passive “second lead” of sorts gets scolded for being passive and not-so-helpful. This guy’s character development also needs to amp up…like now.

Yoo-shin calls Hye-shin to call a girls’ night out; bonding time over food and drink to make the house trouble-makers feel better.

Hye-shin invites Soon-shin out and they head to Gil-ja’s chicken shop. Bok-man had been in the midst of remembering his conversation with Hwang about Kyung-sook, the baby and Chang-hoon. Hwang had said that Kyung-sook didn’t meet with Chang-hoon before he died. Bok-man tells his wife what’s troubling him: that Kyung-sook and Chang-hoon DID meet before he died. Also, it’s weird that Kyung-sook/Mi-ryeong doesn’t know that Chang-hoon raised her daughter. Gil-ja begs him to keep silent.

And that’s when Hye-shin, Soon-shin, Woo-joo arrive. They are treated VERY hospitably. When Yoo-shin calls, she’s freaks when Hye-shin tells her to meet at Chan-woo’s chicken shop. Heh. Heh.

The three toast and Soon-shin powers down her beer much to Hye-shin’s surprise. Hye-shin asks if Soon-shin will regret quitting, but Yoo-shin arrives before she can answer. Yoo-shin notes that Soon-shin is drunk and scolds her. She is then subsequently scolded by Gil-ja for scolding Soon-shin about drinking when Yoo-shin is such a prolific drinker. Lots of scolding all around.

Gil-ja advises her to kick the drinking, stop breaking men’s hearts and just get married already. Just then Chan-woo calls and she answers, “Oh, Woo-chan ah.” Hehe. Of course, Chan-woo is confused, but she continues talking and promises to call later. Then she hangs up. Gil-ja scolds her for having so many men and advises her to register at a marriage bureau like her Chan-woo.

Gil-ja thinks she’s a great candidate…except for her personality. HAHAHA! Yoo-shin gets defensive, especially when Gil-ja says imagining Yoo-shin as her daughter-in-law gives her a headache – she would be rude. Yoo-shin defends herself, saying she’s well-liked at work. AND, she wouldn’t want a mother-in-law like Gil-ja.

O_O Open mouth. Insert foot.

When they leave, Gil-ja mutters about Yoo-shin talking back. Bok-man says Gil-ja started it and Chan-woo walks in on the tail end of the conversation. He calls to check on Yoo-shin who is steaming about being told to register at a marriage bureau.

They meet outside and she snaps about him being registered at a marriage bureau. Does that mean he’s still going on blind dates? He honestly tells her no and reminds her that their rules say to respect each other. They fuss a little and then he fakes her out by pointing to a nonexistent cat and swoops in for a kiss on the cheek. She complains, but likes it…until she realizes Jin-wook is getting off work and has seen the whole thing.

Yoo-shin stops him and Jin-wook says that he hasn’t seen anything.


Yoo-shin asks him to keep it a secret and tells them to finish what they were doing. Heh. Yes, you definitely have the power.

Chan-woo isn’t worried while Yoo-shin is. I really like seeing her get her comeuppance as much as I like her romance.

Jin-wook notes that the family has lots of secrets and that it really must be Spring: everyone is dating. Dating makes him think of Hye-shin’s smile. He tells himself he’s crazy for thinking of it.

Aren’t we all crazy in love?

Jung-ae visits Soon-shin while she sleeps and tucks her in. And I find that it makes me mad. RAWR. Then Jung-ae finds the scenario for the music video on the desk and flips through it. Yoo-shin walks in and Jung-ae leaves. Yoo-shin mutters that she knew Jung-ae would regret being mean to Soon-shin.

Sounds like you have some experience in this, huh, Yoo-shin?

Mi-ryeong asks about Joon-ho and his decision. Hwang thinks he’s going to keep supporting Soon-shin. Hwang wonders if Mi-ryeong can’t be a little nicer to Soon-shin. She wonders about his 180 and then decides to go see Joon-ho.

Dude, you’re power and image hungry. Go jump off a cliff.

Joon-ho is trying to contact Soon-shin to no avail. In-sung advises him to give up on Soon-shin or the company and it’s image will take a huge hit. They are interrupted by the arrival of Jung-ae who immediately returns the down payment of the contract. Joon-ho is taken back and Jung-ae, with a strange little smile, thanks him for what he’s done for Soon-shin, reminds him of his promise to her and doesn’t let him speak at all.

You made this mess, buddy. Now let’s clean up! I want smooooochies!

When Jung-ae leaves she runs into Mi-ryeong to tries to ignore her, but Jung-ae greets her. She explains that Soon-shin quit acting and Mi-ryeong congratulates her on getting what she wanted. Then Mi-ryeong brushes past Jung-ae who stops her with an angry yell.

“Congratulations? Who are you to say that? You don’t know anything. You broke my daughter’s heart and you say congratulations? Really? Yeah, you can say that because you don’t’ have a child and because you don’t know how it feels. Don’t live like that. You’ll get punished.”

Mi-ryeong is completely taken aback by the speech and her pride is seriously smarting. Instead of meeting Joon-ho, she goes home to seethe…and consume alcohol.

Joon-ho broods on his sofa next to his electric guitar. He starts to play More Than Words again (and the guitar is SO out of tune!) But he can’t focus and he tosses it aside. He has no reason to play anymore. Soon-shin is gone.

Mr. Waiter worriedly asks after Soon-shin and says that she must’ve been very shocked. Why is all this happening to her? Young-hoon doesn’t answer.

Joon-ho arrives and asks after Soon-shin. Young-hoon sternly asks why Joon-ho is looking for Soon-shin when she already quit. Joon-ho admits that she’s driving him crazy by acting to righteous and stubborn. He still thinks that she’s quitting because she took another girl’s role in the KOK video.

Young-hoon is surprised that Joon-ho hasn’t heard yet. And that’s when Yeon-ah comes up. Joon-ho isn’t happy to see her. She frets over his fingers that are red from playing without callouses and she is happy to hear he picked up the guitar again, thinking it was because of her earlier encouragement.  Joon-ho corrects her: he promised Soon-shin he’d play for her if she did well with the music video. But she’s making him crazy now. Where did she go?

Young-hoon finally speaks up and tells Joon-ho that Soon-shin quit the restaurant, too. Yeon-ah finally tells him that Soon-shin found out everything about the bet. Joon-ho’s face falls. He immediately starts to go after Soon-shin, but Yeon-ah stops him by the arm.

Yeon-ah: How long did you think you could hide this from her? She was going to find out eventually. Isn’t this good for you. You can’t take care of her forever

Joon-ho: Let me go.

Yeon-ah: Don’t go. If you go, I’m not going to see you anymore. Are you going to be okay with that?

He removes her hand from his arm and runs after Soon-shin.


YES! He’s going to take responsibility, isn’t he? And even more, he dumped the hateful Yeon-ah.

What I really like about Joon-ho’s character is that he’s so flawed and weak. He’s falling in love and doesn’t seem to realize that in order to actualize said-love he’s got to take responsibility for what he’s done. He did make the bet. He should’ve told her about it. If he had, it would’ve been better. Then all his sincerity would’ve been obviously true rather than seen by Soon-shin as a mask used to fool her into acting. He’s going to have to work hard to win her over again and also against the plotting Mi-ryeong and probably vengeful Yeon-ah. I’m totally cool with that. I want him to work for something he truly wants, not just something he thinks will prove himself to other people. Being in love might make him more aware of others as well, not just Soon-shin. She’s the gateway for him.

As for Soon-shin, I wasn’t sure in the beginning if finding out about the bet could be made into a big thing. But with one betrayal (or seeming betrayal) after another, it definitely is the straw that broke the camel’s back. If he’d told her in the beginning, they could’ve worked together to win him his woman. But he foolishly kept is secret and now hurt this already very downtrodden girl. It pissed me off when she apologized to her mother, but it is totally within her weak character. The girl has zero self-esteem. Well now it’s in the negatives. Now she has to pick herself up, hopefully with her mother and Joon-ho being more honest with her.

I don’t get the purpose of Hwang’s character. Well, I do. He’s a plot mover. Period. Nothing of substance. he doesn’t even have a real reason to stay by Mi-ryeong’s side. Unless guilt is enough of a factor. I dunno.

Jung-ae…*sigh* this woman is so selfish. She let her daughter who has done nothing apologize and take on the burden of fault and guilt when she is already burdened with so many things. She did a few correct actions this episode, but I’m still not convinced.

Hye-shin. She’s a little pathetic as a character. She’s not interesting in-and-of herself. But as a sister or mother or potential girlfriend, I find her fun enough. I’m more interested in seeing people interact with her. She’s a little boring.

I love Yoo-shin sticking her foot in her mouth with the future in-laws. More please.

And, and, and…IU was so pretty in that shoot. And Jo Jung-seok is so sexy playing guitar. He is totally going to serenade her outside her window, isn’t he? HE BETTER!

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

Character introductions.

3 responses to “Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 20 Recap”

  1. thank you for the recap
    i’ve been waiting for it, even though i’ve already watched the episode hundred times

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