Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 23 Recap

by: Raine

OMG OMG OMG! Haircut. Hotness. It’s Eun Shi-kyung! I mean, no, Jo Jung-seok, no, I mean, HOTNESS.

My brain seriously fried seeing his new haircut.

Oooooh, you want to hear about the episode? Oh, okay. Things are moving along pretty quickly now. Thank god for no more set up. 22 episodes of that crap is enough.

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 23.8%.

episode 23 recap

Mi-ryeong, the reluctant mommy, escapes her hospital bed and chases after Soon-shin, who, at the moment, is returning to the hospital to return Mi-ryeong’s script. They catch sight of each other, and gaze at each other; Mi-ryeong with longing, Soon-shin with confusion. Before anything can happen, Hwang and Yeon-ah come to drag Mi-ryeong back to bed, preventing her from talking to Soon-shin, which she desperately wants to do.

Hwang wonders what Mi-ryeong was going to say to Soon-shin.

Yeah, I wonder…at this rate, the truth is coming out soon. There is only so long the leaking truth will tide before bursting. And Soon-shin is going to be smacked in the face.

Granny remembers a conversation near the beginning of the show where Jung-ae asked about Kyung-sook, the woman in Chang-hoon’s graduation photo and guesses that Kyung-sook is Soon-shin’s birthmother. Granny approaches Jung-ae with her hypothesis, which Jung-ae fervently denies. She swears left and right that she is fine and doesn’t want to know the truth – she wants to ignore it.

‘Cause that worked SO well before.

Soon-shin’s arrival cuts the conversation short. She heads upstairs and takes a peek at Mi-ryeong’s script, the same script that she had studied for her audition and supposes the older woman felt sorry for her.

At Mi-ryeong’s place, Yeon-ah tears Hwang a new one for not arriving early enough to care for Mi-ryeong. Yeon-ah insists on staying to care for Mi-ryeong, but Mi-ryeong snaps at her to leave her be.


Granny invites Jung-ae to the mineral spring to get some exercise and fresh air. Soon-shin suggests that they all go together, but Woo-joo and Yoo-shin can’t go. Granny keeps trying to push for some alone time with Jung-ae, mostly definitely so that she can pump her daughter-in-law for information. Hye-shin comes to the rescue and suggests a family picnic with those who can go much to Granny’s chagrin.

Soon-shin catches Yoo-shin primping and stares after her curiously. The same thing happens at Chan-woo’s with him and his mother. He lies that he’s going to see friends and gives his mom her credit card to go shopping, winning her over.

He heads out to pick up Yoo-shin who urges him to quickly get out of the neighborhood so her family won’t catch them. He is decidedly unhappy with her behavior.

I don’t like it either.

AND THEN….*SQUEEEEEEEEEE* Jo Jung-seok with a new haircut. He looks like he did in King 2 Hearts as Eun Shi-kyung. *drool* Hotness. Can’t think straight.

What was I doing?

OMG hot…


Soo-jung asks HOT Joon-ho if Mi-ryeong said anything to him. She was very rude to Soo-jung at Yi-jung’s birthday dinner. Soo-jung is surprised Mi-ryeong hasn’t apologized and Joon-ho advises her to drop it. Then she asks him if he got a haircut and he smiles.


Seriously, there’s nothing that says broken heart like a new haircut. And this is one sexay broken heart. Now where’s the guitar and the singing.

Mi-ryeong broods over a simple meal, acting all sick over a situation she put herself in. Then she gets a call from Soo-jung, who can’t let Mi-ryeong’s rude behavior go after all. She sits in the living room beside Dong-hyuk who hears how indignant Soo-jung is and how harshly she scolds Mi-ryeong. Then, Soo-jung idiodically pushes the same point again: get married and have kids. It’ll fix your life.

Okay, I get that Soo-jung is trying to help, and it really DOES help to have someone in your life to lean on, but the woman has no social savvy, or noonchi, as a certain awesome person  on the Dramabeans forum taught me. Maybe that’s where Joon-ho gets it from…or…y’know, doesn’t get it.

Mi-ryeong half-heartedly apologizes several times. Then she hangs up on a shocked Soo-jung who is even MORE surprised to hear Dong-hyuk defend Mi-ryeong.

More broody Mi-ryeong. *yawn* She goes out for a walk.

Really? How contrived. You know who she’s gonna meat up with.

Soon-shin and her family are enjoying their picnic. Soon-shin misses her father and wishes he was there. Granny nearly gives the secret away and then sobs about her son’s death and his supposed betrayal.

They leave, laughing and arms linked, only to come across Mi-ryeong. Soon-shin asks after her health and the other three stare her down. Mi-ryeong quickly begs her leave and Granny starts getting really suspicious. Hye-shin wisely hurries them home.

You know what’s wise? Telling Soon-shin the truth. Just sayin’. In any case, we know it’s gonna come out soon.

Mi-ryeong tells Hwang to put the house up for sale and I’m wishing the woman would just make up her mind and stop flip-flopping in her decisions.

Hye-shin is surprised that Mi-ryeong lives in their neighborhood and Jung-ae asks her to keep it a secret from Granny.

More secrets?

Chan-woo is practically wiggling in his chair as he frets over his relationship with Yoo-shin. She’s trying to adorably feed him dessert and stops when Chan-woo asks if they can tell their families about them – it’s tiring to hide. She quickly reminds him about their contract and about how much his mom dislikes her. Chan-woo thinks his mom would understand, but Yoo-shin tells him how judgemental his mom has been lately.

And then jealousy rears its ugly green head. Where were you that night? Cue nervous response, “My director invited me to his house. We just had dinner ” We all know the truth about that is coming out at the most inopportune moment.

Yoo-shin asks Soon-shin why their mom looks so depressed and Soon-shin tells her that they met Mi-ryeong. That doesn’t answer the question though as both sisters are out of the super top secret birth secret loop. Yoo-shin thinks Jung-ae got depressed because Mi-ryeong is so pretty and Soon-shin defends their mother as being the prettier woman.

Stop lying child.

Granny can’t sleep because the super top secret birth secret is looming over her mind. She is positive Mi-ryeong is Kyung-sook.

HOTNESS IS BROODING. ME LIKES THIS BROODING! He’s looking at Soon-shin’s profile and photos, (which are adorable), and telling himself that he, with his heartbreak haircut, needs to get over “this”.

Don’t! You still haven’t sung More Than Words for her.

Mi-ryeong is…you guessed it….brooding. Yeon-ah makes her porridge and worries over her health. Mi-ryeong tells her not to worry about it and Yeon-ah looks hurt. She asks why Mi-ryeong won’t tell her anything – it makes her sad.

Too bad seeing you sad makes ME happy.

Yeon-ah wonders what she means to Mi-ryeong if Mi-ryeong won’t tell her what’s going on.

I know! Nothing. She uses people to her selfish advantage. What would Freud say? Probably that Mi-ryeong has abandonment issues so she keeps abandoning people.

Then hotness comes in, I mean Joon-ho, because Yeon-ah called him to visit. She thinks he’s being too careless with his actresses and Joon-ho actually looks a bit chagrined.

He visits Mi-ryeong and asks what is going on, noting that she really doesn’t look well. Mi-ryeong says that Yeon-ah is making a whole lot out of nothing and cites her lack of exercise and busy recent schedule as the reason. Joon-ho thinks there’s another reason, but Mi-ryeong changes the subject: did he really cancel the contract with Soon-shin.

Yeon-ah asks Joon-ho to chat for a bit and he obliges her, but doesn’t look too happy about it. She comments that he changed a lot – he’s so cold to her now. Then she realizes he was always that way, even when they were dating. At the time she knew he loved her. Now, after he got mad, he’s a different person. He gets annoyed with the diatribe.

Then she gets to the point and it’s a selfish one; surprise surprise. She points out that he made the bet to have her and she wanted him to win. He takes a moment to gather his thoughts and says he changed, just like he did. He’s not stupid enough to believe in love anymore. She gapes and asks if it’s because of Lee Soon-shin, if he likes her. He denies it. He made the bet because he wanted to win to satisfy her pride and he wanted Yeon-ah to lose. An indignant Yeon-ah doesn’t understand and he spells it out for her: don’t you feel bad for using an innocent person in our game? How would you feel if you were her.

In any case, he’s cleaning up the mess he made, that’s the least he can do for her.

Joon-ho leaves Yeon-ah who looks wounded rather than like she understands.

Soon-shin pulls out Mi-ryeong’s script, the same script that Soon-shin had studied for her audition. Her mother catches her reading it and she nervously laughs, saying she read it for fun. Jung-ae wonders if she’s still attached to acting, and Soon-shin lies that she is not, she’s been fooled more than enough.

Jung-ae looks guilty. GOOD. I think she’s finally come back to her right mind. Almost.

Sexy baker Jin-wook and his assistant check out books on high school equivalency. They promised each other that they would get their equivalency’s once business went well. Jin-wook wants to go to college. Of course, Jin-wook spots Hye-shin peruses some books and approaches her with a smile. He sees she’s checking out a book in English – for translation purposes – and he shows off his rudimentary English. “Thank you. I’m sorry. Big Bang. Top. Sister. Mother, father, gentleman.” Heh. Love that his knowledge comes from K-pop. Can he do Sistar19’s bum dance as well? I wanna see that.

Then he drops the book he was holding and she sees its the GED for college, quite an educational drop from translating a foreign language. He tries to explain that when he was in jail…then he stops himself and changes “jail” to “bakery”. His cheeky assistant pops up out of nowhere and wishes him luck on the GED. Hehe. Embarrassment…

The tentative couple walk home together and Jin-wook explains why he couldn’t he into college. His family was poor. His parents passed away when he was young and he was raised by his grandmother. Her only wish was to see him go to college, which he couldn’t fulfill before he died. Since business is going well, he wants to try.

Yay! We’re learning more about his past. I know he has an adorable personality and a sense of right and wrong, but it’s nice to hear about his roots aside from going to jail.

Hye-shin seems pleased by it, too, and says his grandmother must be happy in heaven.

Then, he says,

“I’m Seo Jin-wook.”

OMG they haven’t introduced themselves properly and didn’t know names. Aw! How cute. He fawns over her name. “…Hye-shin ssi.” CUTE. ^^

Jin-wook heads into his basement room and pulls out his study materials. Then he pauses to look at the picture of him and his grandmother.

“Grandmother, Jin-wook is going to start studying. I’m all grown up now. You should’ve waited for me. You left me too quickly. I miss you.”

His lower lip wavers for a moment and then he forces himself to get ot work.

Hye-shin works on her translation and glances at her child, who is sleeping, and, for once, looking peaceful.

Jung-ae is watching the interview that Mi-ryeong and Yeon-ah recorded last episode. She scoffs at all the comments about mother/daughter relations. Then Granny comes in, wanting to watch the show and take a look at Mi-ryeong. She wants Jung-ae to stop hiding the truth from her, but understands her hesitancy.

Granny lies that she’s going to water the garden, but goes to visit Bok-man instead. She says what she wants outright: Kyung-sook is Soon-shin’s mother. Where does she live and what does she do for a living? Bok-man’s mouth hangs open and that’s enough of a confirmation for her. When Chan-mi comes home, Bok-man pretends nothing happened.

Joon-ho calls Jung-ae for a meeting and looks so beautiful with his Eun Shi-kyung hair. He asks after her and Soon-shin. Although they were supposed to be done talking, he apologizes for the hardships and asks for one more favor. Soon-shin was very happy when she was learning acting. He doesn’t want her to give up because of him. He begs Jung-ae to let Soon-shin act again.  Even if he’s not trustworthy, Soon-shin should try another agency. She will be fine.

Joon-ho’s earnestness and Soon-shin’s behavior tell Jung-ae that this is all the truth.

When she returns home Granny lays into her about Kyung-sook. Is that why Soon-shin was crazy about becoming an actress? Everything makes sense to her now – but it’s breaking Jung-ae’s heart. Granny does redeem herself by thinking it must’ve been hard for Jung-ae. But Jung-ae just wants to forget it all. She’s been through this all; she’s talked to Mi-ryeong who will let Jung-ae raise her. Granny is livid at Mi-ryeong’s cruelty and wants to talk to her.

Soon-shin reminds Young-hoon she’s finishing with work this week and he looks depressed. So he invites her out for a walk and a cup of coffee. When they head out, they’re spotted by Joon-ho, IN A SEXAY WHITE JACKET! NOM! He follows them as they chat.

Young-hoon wants her to work until she discovers what she wants to do next. She wants to as well, but it makes her want acting and also makes her feel small. He says she shouldn’t feel small and also that he wants her to keep acting. She was so pretty when she acted. She was so happy; glowing. He advises her to look into her heart and see what she really wants.

Joon-ho watches them as Young-hoon says she always gets through everything with a cheerful demeanor and her iron will. He doesn’t join them and instead returns to his office where he “reminds” himself that he doesn’t care about her anymore.

Well, at least you’re not meddling in her life and sticking your foot in your mouth.

Joon-ho then gets pissy about Soon-shin smiling at Young-hoon. “That girl smiles at everyone.”

In-sung comes in with bad news: Mi-ryeong’s rumors have started up again. Her past is fake and she has a daughter. Joon-ho wonders where Hwang is.

He’s trying to do damage control with smirky Reporter Park. But he’s interrupted by Joon-ho and Park makes his escape.

Granny has had enough of her inner turmoil and decides to find Mi-ryeong and confront her, using Bok-man as her resource. Bok-man immediately calls Jung-ae to inform her of Granny’s search and Jung-ae heads out with Hye-shin to stop the eminent showdown.

Mi-ryeong is surprised to see Granny. (I think she’s watching herself in Love Rain on her projector…hehe.)

Anyway, Granny greets her as Kyung-sook and with a very critical eye. Mi-ryeong asks her not to call her Kyung-sook, but Granny won’t oblige. In fact, Granny continues to scold the incredulous Mi-ryeong/Kyung-sook who doesn’t think she’s done any wrong. Granny asks how she could leave her child with Chang-hoon and live a good life as an actress. It’s because she lived such a low life that she did things like that. Mi-ryeong is offended and wonders why Granny never approved of their marriage. Before Grams can answer, Mi-reyong said that Chang-hoon and his wife raised the baby of their own accord.

AND, she and Jung-ae have settled the issue and there should be no more talk about it. Granny is royally pissed off and curses at Mi-ryeong, whose hackles are also raised. She asks Hwang to see the lost old bag out, but Granny goes in for the hairpulling. Hwang manages to pull her away and sends her away with the newly arrived Jung-ae and Hye-shin.

They take a sobbing Granny home who apologizes for the bad behavior of her late son.

Mi-ryeong throws back the drink and Hwang stops her, as per usual. She drunkenly rants about the indignity of Granny calling her Kim Kyung-sook. If the family is so rude and angry, Mi-ryeong can just take her daughter back. Hwang warns her against it and reminds her of her situation, but Mi-ryeong is too drunk to understand. He reminds her of the incident with Chang-hoon and Mi-ryeong begins to sob.

What did she do wrong? she wants to know.

In reality nothing save not reporting what she saw., but scandals and celebrities go hand-in-hand.

Anyway, after some more flippage, Mi-ryeong decides to take back her daughter from that family.


So although I hate Mi-ryeong, I do like that finding out who her daughter is did not make her all of a sudden become a good person. It just threw a wrench in her life plans. I honestly think she only cares about Soon-shin in a selfish manner: MY child. I don’t like her family. How dare they insult me. So on. So forth. This will hopefully make her grow a heart…and a soul…and a conscience. Or maybe one of the three…or at least half of one?

Love the sexy baker and Hye-shin. And I love his assistant’s snarky comments and cockblocking. I’m glad we learned more about Jin-wook as I said before and I’m really looking forward to Hye-shin showing a more active interest in him. Right now he’s doing all the romantic heavy lifting.

As for Yoo-shin and Chan-woo, most of this is all on her. I know that her concern about Gil-ja is valid, but she really needs to grow some self-esteem or something and announce their relationship. It’s hurtful. But then again, he DID agree to the contract. I have a feeling this secret is coming out soon because Gil-ja is already suspicious. And they live in the same damned neighborhood!

Then we have Soon-shin and Joon-ho: I was denied interaction and I was sad, but I liked to see Joon-ho reflecting and I LOVED watching him tell Yeon-ah that he wants to take responsibility for hurting someone else. And she didn’t understand. Idiot. Next episode better have more of our pairing!

By the way, I like Young-hoon stepping up the romantic ante. I loved seeing Joon-ho jealous. Give the idiot some competition!

IU is really rocking Soon-shin.

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Character introductions.

7 responses to “Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 23 Recap”

  1. I believe you meant Chan-woo “heads out to pick up Yoo-Shin” not Soon-shin, and that Hwang was interrupted by Joon-ho, not himself (lol). I totally understand; I mix up names all the time.

    Btw, thank you for the recap. I never used to be able to watch ongoing drama because I would always forget what happened in the previous episode but these allow me to refresh my memory without having to rewatch everything.

    고마워요! 🙂

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