Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 31 Recap

by: Raine

Epic cuteness mixed with the same ol’ same ol’. I’m not even curious to see how Mi-ryeong is going to be even MORE selfish next episode. I’m only curious about the relationships, which have been on a serious back burner for way too long.

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 23.2%.

episode 31 recap

Soon-shin goes to Mi-ryeong and agrees to do what Mi-ryeong wants. In return, Mi-ryeong should clean up the rumors that are affecting Soon-shin’s family: Jung-ae prevented Soon-shin from acting. Mi-ryeong doesn’t see any need to clear up the rumors; they are the truth. She is disappointed that Soon-shin came to her because of that, but agrees to think about it.

As Soon-shin leaves a frantic Joon-ho drives up to Mi-ryeong’s place. He intercepts her and she calmly tells him that she’s agreed to do whatever Mi-ryeong wants. It’s better for her to hurt than for her family to hurt. Joon-ho is not happy to hear it.

Hwang reminds Mi-ryeong that Soon-shin came in order to protect her family, not because she likes her. Mi-ryeong just mutters some nonsense about the acting world sucking Soon-shin in. She’ll make Soon-shin sleek and fabulous and show her family who is a better parent.

Really? You want to use a human to prove your coolness?

Soon-shin tells her mother that she wants to get back into acting and to do that she’ll go to Mi-ryeong. Jung-ae steels herself and tells her to go for it with a smile plastered on her face. Soon-shin is saddened, but says nothing.

Jung-ae tells Hye-shin and Yoo-shin about Soon-shin learning acting from Mi-ryeong. They should keep it secret from Granny, too. The two sisters are incredulous and Jung-ae begs them to understand how hard it is for Soon-shin. They head upstairs to confront Soon-shin – why did she change her mind? Yoo-shin thinks it’s because you can’t deny blood. Hye-shin feels bad for their mother.

Soon-shin explains that she doesn’t want them to be hurt because of her. Yoo-shin agrees that it’s a good idea. At least, her words do. Her face expresses regret and disappointment.

At Chan-woo’s breakfast table, Chan-mi notes that he’s super happy and guesses he has a girlfriend. Gil-ja snaps that they broke up and changes the subject quickly. Then they make mother/son date for the next day: he has something to tell her.

Of course, Gil-ja heads to work, cranky as all hell. To make herself feel better she invites Yi-jung and her mother to the mother/son lunch.

Does anyone in this show take a hint? This is utterly ridiculous.

Chan-woo invites Yoo-shin out on a date and tells her to meet him at the bus stop. When she gets there, he calls to double check that she’s arrive and then hangs up.

And then we see it: a banner of her and Chan-woo on the side of a bus asking her to marry him. She’s mortified and I’m cackling with glee! Hehehehehehe! What a cheesy, romantic proposal. The door opens and he’s standing on the bus with flowers, smiling like a lovesick fool. She stares like a dumbstruck idiot.

The crowd around them applauds as he approaches her and asks her to marry him. She’s so surprised that at first she says nothing. At his embarrassed urging and the encouragements from the crowd, she accepts the roses.

They head to a cafe where she counts and admires her flowers. She still hasn’t given him a verbal answer. They spar back and forth and act all cute and stuff. She’s worried about telling the families, but that doesn’t overpower her happiness.

Joon-ho broods over Soon-shin and her grim decision to go to Mi-ryeong – she’s sacrificing her happiness with her family for her family’s happiness. Then Mi-ryeong comes in demanding a list of films and dramas she and Soon-shin can do together. Joon-ho is incredulous – he thought Mi-ryeong ended the contract. But no, the goddess of narcissism has decided to give him another chance. How benevolent of you…

Mi-ryeong invites Soon-shin to go shopping. She’s all bubbly while Soon-shin looks utterly depressed. Mi-ryeong tells her not to dress as she used to because Soon-shin needs to think about Mi-ryeong’s dignity…Can I smack her?

At lunch, Soon-shin isn’t hungry and doesn’t respond to anything Mi-ryeong says. When Mi-ryeong proposes starting acting lessons again and mentions how happy they were at that time, Soon-shin smiles.

They were happy because Mi-ryeong wasn’t judging her at all or faking being a mom or anything. She wasn’t being arrogant or a diva. If she dropped all of that crap and the pressuring, perhaps she could actually form a relationship with her wounded daughter.

Anyway, Mi-ryeong says that she’s planned an interview where Soon-shin can take care of the rumors about her mother. At that, Soon-shin actually smiles at Mi-ryeong who is quietly thrilled that Soon-shin smiled at her.

That’s the first time I actually believe Mi-ryeong cares about Soon-shin.

Mi-ryeong wants to spend more time together, but Soon-shin leaves. However, Hwang catches her before she gets far and  shoves some shopping backs into Soon-shin’s arms. They are Mi-ryeong’s gifts from her heart. He hasn’t seen Mi-ryeong act like this towards anyone before.

So maybe Mi-ryeong is earnest, but she shows it badly. Therefore she fails.

Soon-shin can’t go home with the expensive clothing and asks Chan-mi to keep them for her. Chan-mi drools over the expensive new clothes and Soon-shin gives her one outfit. She thinks Soon-shin is lucky to have a rich and famous mother that will change her life completely. Chan-mi = bad friend.

Woo-joo gets picked on at school. The other kids call her an orphan like her aunt (Soon-shin) because they’ve never seen her father who is in Hong Kong. Woo-joo is on the verge of tears when sexy backer superhero Jin-wook comes and saves her. She stalks away and he chases her, offering to scold the kids for her. He notices she cried, but she denies it.

Jin-wook offers to teach her to fight and he tells her that she needs to show other people that she isn’t a person to be messed with. He shows her how to look threatening and how to find the weakest guy. Woo-joo accuses him of being a gangster and Jin-wook shuts up right quick. She continues by saying that she hates him hitting on her mother who is above his level. Jin-wook’s mouth hangs open as she stalks away.

Damn, that kid can be cruel! But I like that we’re digging a teeny bit into his past.

However, I LOVE that Woo-joo practicing giving the mirror the stank eye just as Jin-wook taught her. So. CUTE. Then she pretends she isn’t when Hye-shin comes in.

Chan-mi brings the clothes to her parents shop and Jung-ae walks in while Chan-mi is showing off the expensive clothes and talking about how Soon-shin didn’t want to take them home. But Jung-ae doesn’t react badly, instead she admires them.

Dong-hyuk asks Mi-ryeong to be a model for his cosmetics line. They smile and flirt. Yes, it’s flirting. It’s not talking.

That night, Dong-hyuk comes home and is questioned by Soo-jung about who he drank with. He purposefully avoids her questions and then snaps at her. He assumes she’s going to blather on about baking or cooking or something.

Ouch. You treat her like crap. No wonder she walks on eggshells around you.

Anyway, she tells him about the lunch with Chan-woo and his mother the next day. He is incredulous but says nothing.

Jung-ae sees Gil-ja heading out to meet Yi-jung and her mother and tells Gil-ja not to force Chan-woo like she forced Hye-shin. Gil-ja takes offense and snaps that Jung-ae shouldn’t push Soon-shin so much that she has to hide her clothes.

OMG, why are these people friends????????

The Gil-ja meets with Yi-jung and Soo-jung and is all awkward smiles. They exchange compliments and then Gil-ja gets into how popular Chan-woo is as a potential son-in-law. The mother’s start talking in a roundabout way about matching their children. Although the words are kind, the mothers don’t much like each other.

Then Chan-woo comes in and he is not happy with what he sees. Yi-jung is terrified to confront him, but greets him anyway. He can’t even smile. He won’t even sit. He says he has to go, surprising and insulting everyone. He says there is a misunderstanding because he has a fiancee. He came to tell his mother about it. With an elegant apology, he leaves.

Gil-ja follows him out, furious that he could embarrass her like that. He tells her straight out that he’s going to marry Yoo-shin and wants her to approve the marriage. Gil-ja has another freak out and refuses.

When Gil-ja returns to the restaurant, she asks Jung-ae if she “knew”. Jung-ae has no idea what’s going on but notices her friend looks sick. When she tries to wipe the sweat from Gil-ja’s forehead, she snaps.

Again, shit-tastic friend.

Soon-shin brings an apology gift to Young-hoon and the staff for leaving the MT early. They easily banter and are generally adorable. She apologizes again and he assures her that she’s always on their team. She tells him she appreciates his words and his support. So he gives her advice: sometimes you just need to have a drink during the rough times and let the rought times go.

Then more rough times come in the form of Yeon-ah. Both Soon-shin’s and Young-hoon’s smiles fade. Yeon-ah has come to ask him to guest teach in a cooking class she takes with Joon-ho’s mom. He is just as weirded out by how close Yeon-ah is with Joon-ho’s mom as I am.

Yeon-ah is just mommy hopping. When one mom fails her, she picks another. It’s really quite sad. And really sleazy.

Soon-shin leaves as quickly as she can and I’m left wondering when Yeon-ah is going to try to intervene.

In-sung brings Joon-ho a list of films for Soon-shin and Mi-ryeong. It reminds him of when Joon-ho worked so hard to make Soon-shin successful. In-sung suggests contracting her soon. Joon-ho crankily sends him away, wanting to contract her, but not under these circumstances.

Have I mentioned that Jo Jung-seok looks delicious in his light pink jacket?

Joon-ho calls Soon-shin to talk about the offers and is engulfed by jealousy when he hears she went to visit Young-hoon…again. He immediately asks to meet and demands to know why she visits Young-hoon so often. She wanted to apologize, she says, and so Joon-ho demands an apology as well. Why didn’t she ask how he was doing or come upstairs to see him? Pfffft. You child.

He sits on a bench and has her sit next to him. He hands her a stack of scripts and tells her to pick the one that draws her most. She doesn’t care what she does, but he reminds her that she has to audition. She has to pass with her own skills; she doesn’t want to hear that she passed an audition because of her connections, does she? If she’s going to do this, she’ll do it step by step, like she’s starting at the bottom. She needs to try her best.

OMG, I love you Joon-ho. You’re making the best of this.

Soon-shin asks why he’s looking after her and Joon-ho jumps up. He calls her an idiot for not knowing. He is about to confess and gets all awkward and Joon-ho like. He takes a moment to gather himself and says that he doesn’t know what to do with her; she makes him worry about her all the time. As he continues, he shoves his foot deeper into his mouth: I’m taking care of you because your so stupid and clumsy at everything. Hehehe. I missed this side of you Joon-ho. I missed you! You’re BACK! *HUGS*

Soon-shin is a bit offended, but he cuts her off. He makes her promise she’ll tell him before she does anything. But a verbal promise isn’t enough. He holds out his pinky and she smiles as she takes it, sealing their promise. (He also gets all squeamish at the physical connection, hehe.)

When he returns to his office a toad is sitting on his sofa. No, it isn’t a toad, but I’m close. It’s Mi-ryeong and she wants to know why she hasn’t received the list she asked for. Joon-ho replies that he’s going to ask Soon-shin for her opinion first. Mi-ryeong wants him to ask her first since she’s the expert. But Joon-ho doesn’t want to rush things; Soon-shin isn’t ready yet.

Mi-ryeong points out that he used to be the one to rush her, but Joon-ho says this is what is best for her. Mi-ryeong thinks the time is now because of the attention that Soon-shin is getting. They both wonder at how much the other has changed.

Mi-ryeong decides to find a different agency for Soon-shin because she doesn’t like Joon-ho. Hwang should take care of Soon-shin for now. Sneaky, bitch.

Yoo-shin tells Jung-ae she’s going to get married and is happy about it. Jung-ae is not happy about being surprised, but Yoo-shin didn’t want to bring up her marriage while Soon-shin’s troubles were going on. Unlike Soon-shin, Yoo-shin promises not to leave Jung-ae. She’ll bring a good husband home. Jung-ae doesn’t want to live with her, but Yoo-shin knows that she doesn’t mean it. Jung-ae is too nice – so nice, in fact, she let Soon-shin go live with “that woman”.

Of course, Granny overhears and she ain’t happy. She decides to march over to Kyung-sook/Mi-ryeong and give her a piece of her mind….and pull out all of her hair. Heh.

At that moment, Mi-ryeong has brought journalists to her home for the interview. Soon-shin looks wooden and unhappy to be there, but she sits through Mi-ryeong’s fake happiness and the reporter’s curiosity. Mi-ryeong talks enough for both of them, but Soon-shin gets a chance to speak. She immediately says that she’s grateful for the support of both of her parents. Her mom continues to trust and support her. Although Mi-ryeong gave birth to her, she wouldn’t be here without her foster parents. It was her foster mother who sent her to Mi-ryeong.

Mi-ryeong is NOT happy with this turn of events. She forces herself to agree that the foster family is great and that she appreciates them. HA!

Soon-shin continues and says that her foster family, her mom and her sisters, are great to her. Okay, that’s not all the truth, but I see why she’s saying it. Soon-shin never imagined that they weren’t her biological family.

Mi-ryeong stops that line of questioning and re-directs the reporter into asking about future mother/daughter film or drama projects. She blathers on about wanting to live and work together. When Soon-shin is asked if she’s ready to act, she says “no”, but Mi-ryeong jumps right in, declaring, “An actress is someone who can act out whatever role is given to her.” Soon-shin is definitely uncomfortable with that.

As am I! She’s a NEWBIE. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. Mi-ryeong’s been in the biz for ages!

Before Soon-shin can speak her piece, the ahjumma comes to tell Mi-ryeong Granny, Jung-ae and Yoo-shin are at the gate. Granny calls for Soon-shin to come out and Mi-ryeong runs down to do damage control before the reporter hears her. Yoo-shin and Jung-ae try to stop Granny, but she’s adamant about calling Soon-shin; that is, until Mi-ryeong tells them that she and Soon-shin are in the middle of an interview.

Now Granny disowns Soon-shin and tells her to just live with Mi-ryeong. Soon-shin tries to go to her, but Mi-ryeong stops her and drags her away. Soon-shin is so torn that she lets her biomom do it.

Gil-ja throws back soju, riles herself up into a tizzy over Chan-woo and Yoo-shin and runs out of the house. She comes across Granny yelling at Jung-ae and telling her that she’s lost her daughter for good. Jung-ae says she sent Soon-shin away, but Granny calls her bluff. Jung-ae is anything but happy about sending Soon-shin to Mi-ryeong. Yoo-shin feels betrayed as well and promises to fill Jung-ae’s empty heart with her marriage.

Uh-oh, is she marrying for that reason? I mean, I know she likes Chan-woo but…

Anywho, drunk Gil-ja storms over to Yoo-shin and attacks her. Jung-ae pulls her off and then Gil-ja finally spills the beans: My son says he’s going to marry her.


First things first: JO JUNG-SEOK will be singing on the OST! The song he sang during the MT! *fangirl spaz attack* *SQUEEEEEEEE*

*takes a ten minute fangirl break to look up Jo Jung-seok Youtube videos*

*break extends twenty more minutes*

*computer overheats from the hotness of Jo Jung-seok*

*re-starts smoking computer*

*decides to finish recap with much reluctance*

Hi, I’m back.

Anyway, seriously not the best way to end the episode. I would’ve preferred for it to end with Soon-shin’s indecision about going to her family. I was not impressed with the reveal of the news. It was so obvious and the families were just being ridiculously ignorant. I seriously don’t care about anything in this show but Soon-shin and Joon-ho and then the baker and Hye-shin/Woo-joo. Those story lines have heart. The others just have manipulation. While manipulation is all good and well, too much of it just frazzles my nerves and makes me want to watch something else.

I used to be invested in Yoo-shin and Chan-woo, but it’s so contrived now. I hate Gil-ja hating Yoo-shin. I understand part of her reservations. Yoo-shin did date around and she is prickly, but Chan-woo loves her. He’s been friends with Yoo-shin forever. Yoo-shin is Jung-ae’s daughter. There are so many reasons to at least try and like her. How much do you want to bet the fragile friendship between Jung-ae and Gil-ja breaks in the next episode? Sadly, I don’t care.

Other relationships that are leaving me cold:

  1. Jung-ae and Soon-shin: Jung-ae is just pushing her daughter away to protect herself, not Soon-shin. She should find Soon-shin a new acting teacher, not send her to the selfish woman who claims to be a mother.
  2. Soon-shin and her sisters: All of them are in denial about how things really are between them. But neither older sister tries to help/defend/bring back Soon-shin. Not really. They just spew words and there is no action. I’m surprised on Yoo-shin’s part. Despite her poisonous words, her actions have always been defensive of her family, including Soon-shin. I’m surprised she didn’t drag Soon-shin back into the house by her hair.
  3. Dong-hyuk and Mi-ryeong: who cares that they’re flirting. Anything with Mi-ryeong is lame.
  4. Yi-jung and Soo-jung: it’s all about meddling with Chan-woo with them and I’d prefer to see them interact with Joon-ho. I want to see their family dysfunction and try to put itself back together.

Now Mi-ryeong and Soon-shin could be interesting if we actually explored Mi-ryeong as a character. It’s difficult to give a child up, have guilt eat at you for 25 years, and have the kid show up again. I want to see Mi-ryeong deal with THAT. I don’t want this manipulative denial. I want to see her struggle to relate to Soon-shin within the selfishness. Right now I see none of the inner workings of Mi-ryeong. Just selfishness and it’s infuriating. She could be such a juicy character. Show how she wants to love Soon-shin, but she’s scared. How she wants to relate, but doesn’t know how. How she’s in love with the IDEA of a daughter, but has no idea how to love a flesh-and-blood daughter.

Another relationship I do like is Woo-joo and the baker. They’re more interesting then the baker and Hye-shin. I see no conflict in Hye-shin when she’s with him. It’s more like she has a problem in her life and he shows all his colors and then Woo-joo shows hers. I want to develop Hye-shin more. She’s like a talking cardboard box right now. But the baker and Woo-joo, glorious. I love the push-and-pull and the slow discovery. It’s really beautiful. The child is fierce and eloquent, bruised and vulnerable. He is tough and clumsy, sweet and yearning for love. They both are. I feel like they are affecting each other more than his love of Hye-shin is affecting him.

Last but not least, Joon-ho and Soon-shin. I wish Joon-ho would just stand up to Mi-ryeong and be the boss. But with Soon-shin, he’s pitch-perfect. He knows what she wants and pushes for what she actually wants. He can read her because they’re so similar. He understands her and genuinely wants to help her. He gauges her reactions and makes decisions based upon them. She can see him, too. She doesn’t judge him or make him feel foolish or like an idiot. I miss that part of their relationship. And I missed his clumsiness as well. More please.

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, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Character introductions.

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