Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 34 Recap

by: Raine

Some of this episode was really beautiful. Some of it seemed belabored. They need to get some new, strong playing cards on the table. I’m sick of them spinning their wheels on Mi-ryeong.

AGB Nielson Nationwide had this episode coming in at 26.9%.

episode 34 recap

Soon-shin comes out from her audition and blindly walks by an anxiously waiting Joon-ho. She didn’t pass the audition and her desolation makes Joon-ho smile – she’s just THAT cute. 😀

He comforts her over coffee; not everyone makes it on their first go round. Soon-shin complains that she was too nervous to show her skills. Joon-ho teases her and makes her smile. Then he assures her that it’s just the beginning; he went through the same thing and was going to show his father how great he was. Stage fright got the better of him – he never got to sing one song. AW! He wants her to clear her mind of the failure and come to rehearsal the next day, ready to try again.

Mi-ryeong broods over Soon-shin’s harsh rejection, “I am not your daughter.” Hwang and Soon-shin come home. Mi-ryeong is happy to see her; Soon-shin looks like a zombie. She doesn’t answer Mi-ryeong’s inquiry about the audition and she refuses Mi-ryeong’s elaborate breakfast spread the next morning – she only eats rice.

She leaves Mi-ryeong frustrated. Hwang laughs as Mi-ryeong frets over what to do about Soon-shin. Even though Mi-ryeong doesn’t eat breakfast, she wants to start having rice for breakfast.

I honestly think she’s trying now, but I am so glad she’s getting her ass handed to her by Soon-shin. The woman needs to get a grip and see how selfish she’s been.

Soon-shin buys breakfast from an outdoor stand and gets caught by Yoo-shin. She’s angry that Soon-shin doesn’t call much. Oh, so you do care, huh? You need to show it a little better…

Soon-shin makes the excuse that she’s been really busy preparing for auditions. Yoo-shin wonders if Mi-ryeong is nice to her and Soon-shin has a tough time lying, so she changes the subject to Jung-ae and Granny. They don’t even have time to be mad at Soon-shin because of Yoo-shin’s marriage troubles. She is the new trouble maker.

I wonder if Yoo-shin understands Soon-shin just a bit more now..

In-sung hands Joon-ho a list of dramas and one drama, potentially headlined by Yeon-ah, has a would-be singer role. Joon-ho remembers Soon-shin singing and decides it’s perfect for her. He drags her to the recording studio, sticks headphones over her ears and puts her in front of a mic. Then he has her sing and asks the engineer what he thinks of her voice and talent. He gives her a thumbs up. With lessons, she could totally take on a singing role.

YES! IU IS SINGING! Why did it take so many episodes for you to get her to show her vocal prowess? HUH? Foolish production team. Follish. And then we have Jo Jung-seok’s character who needs to get back on stage. Oh, and don’t forget actor Lee Ji-hoon who is a famous SINGER. Yeah, so much potential here. Tap it, yo.

Soon-shin is absolutely giddy as she reads the would-be actress part and won’t let Joon-ho talk until she is through. It’s frickin’ hysterical. When she’s through, he tells her what she’ll need to do to prepare and then ask if there’s any instrument she can play.

OMG OMG OMG! I KNOW! GUITAR! IU rocks the guitar. You guys have seen her acoustic covers, right?

Yeah, I’m totally IU fangirling right now. I just went on a 20 minute IU youtube fest. Back to the drama…

So anyway, Soon-shin says she can play the guitar a little because Chan-woo taught her. Joon-ho warns her that this director doesn’t care about connections, only about performance. She’s happy to hear it and so cute in her enthusiasm – I know Joon-ho just feel fo her more.

Yoo-shin picks out presents for Gil-ja’s family to gain her favor. Then she heads over to Gil-ja’s horror and my utter delight. She calls Gil-ja “eommeoni” instead of “ahjumma” totally flipping her out. She hands out the presents, pleasing Bok-man and Chan-mi. Gil-ja storms into the kitchen and Chan-mi follows her to convince her to let the marriage happen. Chan-woo will never change his mind so she should stop being a mean mother-in-law from the get go. Hehe.

Sexy baker Jin-wook gets out his old boxing gloves and remembers his confession to Hye-shin and her kind acceptance of his past. Then he gets permission from Granny to hang a punching bag outside. He says she can use it when she’s frustrated and she agrees with a smile.

I like this pair, too. He’d be a good son-in-law, caring for the whole family, not just his wife.

Hye-shin and Woo-joo come out, but Hye-shin is very awkward with him instead of warm. On her way back from Woo-joo’s school, she barely acknowledges him. He thinks it’s because of his past. He doesn’t realize she heard his confession to Jung-bae the day before and she is overwhelmed by it. She did just get out of a horrible relationship.

In-sung is reading Joon-ho his schedule when he gets distracted by Soon-shin practicing. He smiles unconsciously. In-sung warns him to get a hold of himself because people are watching him. It’s so obvious the man is in love. Hehe.

Jung-ae asks Yoo-shin how things are going with Gil-ja because it’s made the friendship very awkward. She also wonders why Yoo-shin loves Chan-woo, but there is no definite answer, as always. Yoo-shin assures Jung-ae she’ll take care of it and stalks away.

Gil-ja is contemplating how to get rid of Yoo-shin and Chan-mi’s comment about her being a mean mother-in-law gives her an idea.

Now, I dislike Gil-ja, but I’m looking forward to this battle. Hehe. I’m a little bit of a sadist…

Gil-ja calls Yoo-shin over who promises to do anything for her – so Gil-ja sets her to work cleaning and cooking dinner. BWAHAHAHAHA! Yoo-shin can barely get the scrub brush in the toilet before she’s completely grossed out.

Oh, you princess. Didn’t you have to clean the bathrooms in school? Or did you get someone to do that for you?

Dong-hyuk congratulates Chan-woo on his marriage and Chan-woo apologizes for being mean to Yi-jung. Dong-hyuk doesn’t mind at all, but he has more pressing matters to get to – like calling Mi-ryeong. Dude, you likes her and it’s…not cool.

Chan-woo comes home and finds a pouty and tired Yoo-shin cleaning. He coddles her and promises to help. It’s actually pretty cute. That won’t last longer than a few years of marriage. Anywho, Chan-woo works on dinner while Yoo-shin takes up cleaning again. She doesn’t want to get in trouble. Chan-woo brings out some soup for her to taste and they are so cute being all domestic together. They flirt a little and she warns him not to do it in front of his mother.

He gives her a foot massage and of course that’s when Gil-ja walks in to check on Yoo-shin. She explodes and Chan-woo holds her back while Yoo-shin runs away.

Soon-shin comes home and Hwang greets her. He says its like no one lives in the house because it’s so cold. He also offers to tell her anything about Mi-ryeong and her biological father. Soon-shin turns him down and he wonders why she even came.He begs her to have breakfast with Mi-ryeong the next day.

Soon-shin reads her script to help her sleep, and the words about being happy get to her.

Jung-ae sits Gil-ja down for a chat and I’m incredulous they’re still talking. But I guess a lifelong friendship shouldn’t be shattered that easily. Gil-ja doesn’t want to hear about Yoo-shin. Surprisingly, Jung-ae promises to convince Yoo-shin not to go through with the marriage. Then she brings up Gil-ja’s freakout over how she was showing off her daughters and her husband. Did she really show them off?

With a bit of shame, Gil-ja says that Jung-ae didn’t show off. Jung-ae apologizes anyway, and guilty Gil-ja says it’s all in the past.

Wait, is she actually being considerate? Wow.

Jung-ae assures Gil-ja that Yoo-shin doesn’t look down on Gil-ja. She says that you never know what’s going to happen in life, like a husband dying and children getting divorced and finding their biological parents. I think she’s trying to say that she understands Gil-ja’s hardships now, but Gil-ja is just feeling guilty for snapping. It’s good for her. Feel the guilt, woman.

And then Gil-ja goes back to herself, concerned for Jung-ae because Soon-shin went to Mi-ryeong. Ah, so there is a heart in there.

I wish more scenes between them were like this. The reason I like family drama is because it’s FAMILY drama. Lots of difference relationships. Not just romance. Friends. Parents. Children. Colleagues. All have the potential to be great…the potential…

Soon-shin is practicing singing while playing guitar and gets a call from Mi-ryeong. She turns Mi-ryeong’s offer to take her home down and turns off her phone so she won’t get anymore calls from her. But she also misses Jung-ae’s call because of it.

Joon-ho watches Soon-shin practice dancing and then check her phone, which has several missed calls from Jung-ae. He comes in and tells her not to do a dance number because she’s a terrible dancer. Hehe. She scoffs and asks him if he can do better. He brags that he was an idol group and she makes him dance for her. After a false start, he does the goofiest moves, jumping around like a fool and making them both laugh. Then he goes for a double pirouette and falls, taking her down with him. She lands on top of him and she teases him for falling yet again. She makes him admit that he wasn’t an idol and pushes herself off of him. She helps him up.

It’s kinda refreshing that it wasn’t this long moment of awkwardness. He is definitely aware of their proximity, but she takes it in stride, enjoying the moment. It’s kinda nice. It’s also telling that she didn’t jerk away from him either. They’re great together.

Mi-ryeong visits Yeon-ah, who is NOT happy to see her “eomma”. The older woman invites her to lunch, making Yeon-ah smile, until Soon-shin’s name is mentioned. I bet her birthday is the next day and Mi-ryeong doesn’t remember. Anyway, Yeon-ah listens with a sour face and Mi-ryeong bitches about Soon-shin working with Joon-ho.

Finally, Yeon-ah gets up and says she can’t help. Mi-ryeong stops her from leaving and asks why Yeon-ah has been so mean to her lately. Yeon-ah finally breaks down. Does Mi-ryeong really think of her as a daughter? She really thought of Mi-ryeong as a mother. Mi-ryeong is the only one who understood her, how hard she worked to overcome her difficult past. Yeon-ah cried because she was so happy that Mi-ryeong understood her. She leaves Mi-ryeong feeling like shit. Ha! And is that an inkling of pity I feel for Yeon-ah? Hrm…

Hwang comes in and reminds Mi-ryeong that tomorrow is Yeon-ah’s birthday. They went to Australia together last year for her birthday. Point, Raine. I called it.

Mi-ryeong goes to pick up Soon-shin and the younger woman reluctantly gets in the car. Mi-ryeong nags her to get a license so that she can buy her a car. Being famous makes public transport difficult. And Song Mi-ryeong’s daughter can’t just be walking around, it’s about her pride.

Oh yes, because Mi-ryeong’s pride is the only thing that matters.

The car passes by Jung-ae walking home and Soon-shin has Hwang stop so she can greet her. It’s been a while since they’ve seen each other and they are all smiles and affection. Mi-ryeong watches in broody, jealous silence.

Soon-shin and her mother walk arm in arm, catching up and enjoying each other’s company. She tells Jung-ae about her up-coming audition and how Joon-ho said she was a good singer. Jung-ae says that all of her daughters inherited that trait from their father. Soon-shin’s face darkens, but she says nothing about the truth; I think she’s afraid to completely lose her family.

Jung-ae starts singing “The Forgotten Season”, Chang-hoon’s favorite song and then they sing together. The background accompaniment is in a slightly different key than their singing, though, and it drives me bonkers. However, the moment is amazingly sweet.

In utter contrast, when Soon-shin goes “home” to Mi-ryeong’s, she is stone-faced. She goes into the kitchen for some of the tea Jung-ae gave her and it’s not there. Mi-ryeong says she has no idea where it is and Hwang admits he threw it away; Mi-ryeong asked him to. Soon-shin gets really angry. Mi-ryeong says she threw it away because the jar looked dirtly. Why is she making a fuss? She can just buy a new one. And then Mi-ryeong turns nasty: Fine, she says, we’ll see who wins.

How is this a battle? How about you up and apologize for being a total bitch and suggest getting to know each other first? And how about sending her back home and making lunch dates? !@#$@#$%^%@#$@!#$

Soo-jung can’t find her husband, but does spot his phone. She searches through the call list and sees he’s been in a lot of contact with mi-ryeong. When she confronts him about it at the breakfast table, he makes the excuse that Mi-ryeong is the model for his new cosmetics line. He turns the questions around and wonders why she searched through his phone. The brewing argument is stopped by the entrance of their children.

I really like that the show explores marriage for status and the results of it, but it should really develop it further if they’re going to have it in there at all. It’s just causing problems to cause problems. But Soo-jung and Dong-hyuk never loved each other; yet Soo-jung still feels jealousy. That’s so interesting and I want to see more of that. Dong-hyuk is feeling attraction outside of his marriage. INTERESTING. I don’t like cheating, but it’s true to life and INTERESTING. Now make use of the good subject material.

Anywho, Yi-jung informs them that it is Yeon-ah’s birthday and she’s going to the party. Both Dong-hyuk and Joon-ho wonder why she’s going; then they both leave. Like father, like son. Except the son is way, way, way cooler. Well, I wish he was nicer to his sister.

Father and son stand outside eating break and chat. Joon-ho asks his dad to be nicer to his mom. Dong-hyuk quickly changes the subject. He’s heard Joon-ho is working with Mi-ryeong’s daughter. then he mentions that Mi-ryeong will be a model for his cosmetics line – he’ll send Joon-ho a contract soon.

Wow, you really are obsessed with Mi-ryeong. Joon-ho notices, too, and wonders at the sudden change. I want more father/son time. But Dong-hyuk really isn’t the type, is he?

Soon-shin is practicing her song for the audition, but is really distracted by Jung-ae’s comment: you get your singing talent from your father. Joon-ho comes in and she shakes herself from her thoughts, telling him that she wants to change her song. He’s skeptical because the audition is the next day. But she is confident in her ability to perform it, her father’s favorite song.

She tries to play it and while her voice sounds lovely, she stumbles over the transitions between chords, especially because they’re such basic chords (C, G(sus) and F for all ya’ll gee-tar players.)

I love watching IU fake incompetence because we all know she rocks gee-tar.

Joon-ho is worried, but decides to give her a hand. He asks for the guitar to show her how it’s done. Before he can, he gets a call from Yeon-ah who is having her part at Young-hoon’s restaurant;her only guests are Yi-jung and Soo-jung. That’s a little sad. Guh, I don’t want to pity Yeon-ah. She invites Joon-ho to join them. He gives her a half-hearted apology and says he’s busy, then hangs up. Soon-shin doesn’t want to keep him, but he says she’s the most important. *SQUEEEEE* He amends it to “the audition is important” and starts simplifying chords for her. D’aw.

Then he plays while she sings. I think this is my dream come true. HOORAY! Now I want a duet. DUET! DO IT! DU-ET!

Yeon-ah is disappointed by Joon-ho’s rejection. Soo-jung notices that Mi-ryeong is missing from the party as well and can’t belief that both she and Joon-ho would miss an important lunch.

I get that Joon-ho wouldn’t go; Yeon-ah was horrible to him. She can’t honestly expect him to welcome her with open arms. But Mi-ryeong is clearly in the wrong.

Joon-ho comes in singing with Soon-shin, giving her advice on her song and then Yeon-ah calls, “Oppa!”. The two groups look at each other as Joon-ho and Soon-shin approach – talk about AWKWARD. Joon-ho introduces Soon-shin to his mother who doesn’t look about to meet her. She is Mi-ryeong’s daughter after all. He tries to get away, but Yeon-ah invites them to each together.


Next thing we know, they’re all eating together and it’s not a pleasant meal. Yeon-ah notices Soon-shin’s script and says she rejected that drama. When Joon-ho tells her what role Soon-shin is going for, Yeon-ah comments that it’s a minor role – Joon-ho thinks it depends on how Soon-shin does.

I agree. Jo Jung-seok is the scene stealing KING with his minor roles. No such thing as a minor role for him!

Yi-jung and Soo-jung each take turns belittling Soon-shin about getting roles through Mi-ryeong’s influence and moving in with Mi-ryeong. Young-hoon saves the moment and Soon-shin smiles thankfully at him. He asks her to greet her old co-workers to give her an out. She does so happily and they are stoked to see her; the whole table watches. Soo-jung badmouths her and Yi-jung thinks he’s only working with Soon-shin because Mi-ryeong asked.

Soon-shin comes back and says she’ll eat with her former co-workers; Joon-ho quickly follows and drags her off because they “have something to discuss.”

Later, Young-hoon serves Yeon-ah a drink. The liquid courage prompts her to ask if Joon-ho likes Soon-shin. She admits she likes him again and Young-hoon says she should’ve been nicer to him and she needs to stop now. It’ll only hurt her.

I have a feeling Yeon-ah has a story behind ignoring Joon-ho back when she debuted, but I don’t much care about it.

Yeon-ah meets with the director of the drama she rejected (the one that Soon-shin is auditioning for). The director complains about people asking for their actresses to get the role – he hired based on talent, not connections.

Ruh-roh. What is Yeon-ah thinking?

She wants to sit in on the auditions. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. You vengeful, bitch.

At the audition, Joon-ho encourages her and tells her not to be nervous, but he’s actually more nervous than she is. She totally notices.

And then Yeon-ah shows up. She comments that Joon-ho follows Soon-shin everywhere. Soon-shin needs bitter experience. Also, she decided to take the drama so they might be together.

I have a whole slew of curses aimed at her in my head. I just…if I let them loose now, I may not stop…

Soon-shin steps into the audition and the director immediately notices that Yeon-ah knows her. She tells him that she is Mi-ryeong’s daughter and like her sister. She asks for Soon-shin to be cast.

NO!!!!!!!! RAWR!

Anyway, Soon-shin has to read lines with Yeon-ah and the director tells her not to think she’ll get the role via her connections. *I glare laser beams at Yeon-ah*

Soon-shin is so nervous that she bumbles through the line reading. The lines are about two sisters arguing over a situation with their mother. Yeon-ah smiles at Soon-shin’s failure.

Next is the song and the director wonders how she knows the song as Soon-shin pulls out her guitar. (Anyone else notice the capo that wasn’t there during practice? Changed keys, too?) She says that the person she loves the most really liked the song. Then she starts, and she does beautifully. It’s a heartfelt, wonderfully understated performance. It’s in her lower registers with light vibrato and a lot of time between lines so that the lyrics can really shine through. Awesome.

The director looks impressed; Yeon-ah, annoyed.


Love that they’re including IU’s talent. And that last song was beautiful. It’s why I really love IU as a singer. She’ll all heart and all talent and all skill. This show needs more heart and less contrived conflict and dialogue and emotions.

I seriously can’t focus on anything but the awkward dialogue for most of the show. It’s over explained and so clumsy. So many emotions and interactions seem contrived. I want natural, like between Soon-shin and Joon-ho. We get so many potent looks between them, relaxed silences, awkward silences. It’s so nice. I loved Soon-shin and her mother greeting each other and fussing over mundane things. The dialogue wasn’t what was important in their meeting; it was the smiles and the body language and the closeness.

I’ve been watching Monstar, and that show is so powerhouse. There are so many dialogueless moments. And I spoke to a few people on Twitter today and it made me realize that this show really has an issue with focuses on the plot and letting other things go. OST – singing is great; musical support, not so much. Camera work: repetitive and boring. It only occasionally gives us some beautiful shots. There are no interesting scene cuts and not much camera story-telling. I know it’s a weekend drama, but give me at least a little bit.

I’m just sick of great potential and then having nothing realized. Mi-ryeong is a great vehicle for estranged parent/child stories. Pettiness is fine. But her selfishness is so strong, that it just makes the whole story cyclical. Annoying.

I’m actually liking Gil-ja and Yoo-shin’s battle. Gil-ja DOES have a point and Yoo-shin does as well. They have to compromise. Getting to that point will provide the interest.

Still a little bored with Hye-shin. It might be something to do with the acting. She has three faces: blank, smiling, frowning. Very little nuance.

The other complaints I’ve made before so I won’t make them again. I’ll just ask for Joon-ho/Soon-shin duets. Yes sirree.

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, 32, 33, 34

Character introductions.

4 responses to “Lee Soon-shin is the Best: Episode 34 Recap”

  1. haha I got sidetracked watching IU’s youtube vids as well! To be honest, I only know what happens in the entire episode from your recaps; for the past 8 eps I’ve pretty much only watched JH/SS parts and skipped the rest –too much bleh for me. Thanks for the recap! 🙂 Oh, and besides Monstar, I’m also watching Heartless City right now, have you checked it out? It’s SO GOOD!

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