Cheongdamdong Alice Episode 15 Recap

The penultimate episode of Cheongdamdong Alice laid bare all its limitations (and then some) while confirming for me that I’ve wasted my time with this drama that doesn’t actually have a meaningful story to tell. It’s not entertaining anymore, and I’m not getting any insightful takeaways at the end of the day? Then what is the point? I’m finishing for the sake of completion and recapping til the end because I don’t want to feel like a runningback who is inches from the goal line and doesn’t break the plane. Episode 15 was yet another giant drag, only this time revealing something that further raises my ire with this story. Seung Jo doesn’t have PTSD? He’s merely an attention-starved immature wanker who acts loco to get his friends and family to notice him? He’s not at the edge of a mental breakdown upon learning Se Kyung deceived him, and instead his running away is merely that of a kid avoiding the big talk. The last few episodes wasn’t just draggy and pointless, it was actually based on incorrect assumptions of Seung Jo’s emotional and mental competency. Jesus Christ, what is this horrible characterization going on here?

Everyone’s attempts to keep the hard truth from Seung Jo turned out to be a grand waste of time. He found out and promptly went about trying to figure out all that went on while dealing with his still lingering feelings for Se Kyung. At this point I not only don’t feel the love between the OTP, I don’t like either of them as well. Seung Jo is annoyingly self-centered and has the EQ of a 9 year old while Se Kyung alternates between laying down the cards and being all reactive to everything around her. I do like all the talking that finally went on in this episode, too bad it came 5 episodes too late. The only person I care to see a happy ending for is Yoon Joo, but sadly its not with her asshole husband and his even more horrible family. I want Yoon Joo to win the damn lottery and buy half of Cheondamdong and end the drama with her using her smarts and will power to run a big company. I guess if there is one thing that is innovative about CA is how its one of the rare K-dramas to have a second female lead that is more compelling than any of the other main characters.

Episode 15 recap:

Se Kyung drags Seung Jo out of the airport line and pulls him aside to talk. He says things are over but she says not like this. She’ll show him her true self and then he can end it. Seung Jo says he already saw her true self, so Se Kyung asks what did he see? A Candy version of her? The her who used him? She is both. But now she can’t tell where her real heart lies and where she was using him.

Seung Jo says that is exactly why he’s going crazy. He wonders if what he saw is a dream, but he knows its reality. In fact, he compares this to what happened 6 years ago but Se Kyung cuts him off and says she’s not Seo Yoon Joo and won’t leave him this time. He can’t run away either.

Se Kyung pulls Seung Jo away from the crowd and Tommy stands in the back and watches her boss Seung Jo around with a slight smile.

Seung Jo pulls free of Se Kyung’s grasp and tells her its over again. Se Kyung changes the subject and says people are worried that Seung Jo will die because of this. Seung Jo is all like “die, who thinks I’m going to die, why would I die?” That’s what I’ve been saying for episodes now! Se Kyung says Dong Wook and Seung Jo’s dad both think so. But Se Kyung agrees with Seung Jo, she doesn’t think he’ll die because of this either.

Se Kyung asks why others think that though? In fact, she thinks his supposed mental illness has all been an act. He just wants people to care about him so he pretended to be sick. He’s like a kid who wants attention and a kid who runs away from dealing with hard issues. Seung Jo is offended that she thinks he’s a kid and claims he just doesn’t want to see her face or be in the same country as her. Oookay, spoken like a true adult, Seung Jo. Se Kyung says running away is what a kid does, and if he’s not a kid, then he can prove it by keeping his promise. Didn’t he promise that he would die if he lost her? Seung Jo says he won’t die whether or not he loses her.

Secretary Moon and Dong Wook arrive at the airport and are relieved Seung Jo is fine and hasn’t left the country. Seung Jo wonders why everyone is overreacting. Se Kyung tells him that if he didn’t try to run away people wouldn’t overreact. Secretary Moon and Dong Wook take Seung Jo back home.

Se Kyung watches him leave and then Tommy approaches her.

In the car headed home, Seung Jo wonders when everyone found out (about Se Kyung deceiving him)? Dong Wook says he heard from Seung Jo’s dad today and Secretary Moon says he just heard from Dong Wook. Seung Jo wonders what Dong Wook said to Se Kyung to make her so worried about him?. Dong Wook offers to deal with Se Kyung from now on but Seung Jo says he’ll handle it.

Tommy drives Se Kyung home, with her determined to go everyday to see Seung Jo and allow him to ask her all the questions he must have. Tommy says Seung Jo may not ask her anything, maybe the answer will hurt even more. Tommy wryly says he wishes she would stop right now, sharing how he once ended a relationship with a girl when they loved each other very much. It was because they saw too much of each other. Se Kyung shares that she had the same experience (with In Chan). Nevertheless, its hard for a person to change and now she can’t let it end this way.

The camera pans across Yoon Joo’s grand closet which is now completely empty. She sits in the empty closet with a few suitcases and stoically looks around. I seriously love her more and more. Can I get a drama where she’s the lead?

Seung Jo goes home and finds his dad waiting for him. He accuses his dad of knowing the truth but keeping it from him to make him a fool. His dad tells Seung Jo that this is no big deal, once it passes its no big deal. Seung Jo tells him to leave now, and Dong Woo, too. He claims to be fine. Dong Wook and Seung Jo’s dad leave and dad wonders how Seung Jo was dragged back? Dong Wook says Seung Jo came back all on his own. He fought with Se Kyung at the airport and then left the airport himself.

Seung Jo sits at home and remembers Se Kyung saying that he can’t die until after she leaves. He gets angry again, but at least he’s not depressed anymore.

Ah Jung tells Se Kyung’s family what she did to Seung Jo and how they are now broken up. Mom is stunned and wonders how she could do that and strikes her over and over. Dad looks very sad.

Later Se Kyung joins her dad outside and he is staring at the night lights. She apologizes but he says its all his faults. How could she have hope for a better tomorrow when she sees him so hopeless. She knows that her dad tried his best and still he lives like this, it’s not his fault. Dad says Seung Jo is not at fault either, he’s a good person and she cannot treat him this way.

Seung Jo looks at the emoticon rabbits and thinks back to Se Kyung asking his name and making the rabbits for the President of Artemis. He wonders what is going on? He remembers Se Kyung saying that she cannot tell the difference between her real heart and using him.

Seung Jo calls Secretary Moon and finds out the exact day he went drinking with Ah Jung and she told him that Se Kyung liked Secretary Kim. Secretary Moon admits he kept something from Seung Jo – when he heard that Se Kyung liked Secretary Kim, he told Ah Jung that Secretary Kim was the President of Artemis. Seung Jo confirms this all went down the day before the Christmas party. He says “Han Se Kyung, you’re so dead.”

Se Kyung tells Ah Jung that she plans to track down Seung Jo everyday and explain until he’s satisfied. Even if he doesn’t want to see her, she’ll go everyday. Seung Jo comes over and asks to see Se Kyung. Seung Jo confronts Se Kyung with the proof that on the day before the Christmas Party, Secretary Moon told Ah Jung his real identity. He tells Ah Jung that she is the witness but Ah Jung runs inside and locks the door.

Seung Jo lays it all out – Se Kyung knew who he was right before the Christmas Party, she hid from him, wrote the letter that she liked Secretary Kim, and made Seung Jo run around looking for her. All of that was fake. Se Kyung says no, even earlier than that Seung Jo was already her White Rabbit. He’s confused and she brings up Alice in Wonderland. She needed a White Rabbit to enter Cheongdamdong. Seung Jo is upset that she can talk so calmly about using someone.

Se Kyung says she used Secretary Kim but doesn’t answer when he asks if she also lied about liking Secretary Kim. Se Kyung says she did like Secretary Kim before knowing he was the President of Artemis. Seung Jo asks why she fired poor Secretary Kim then, is she that ambitious? Se Kyung says she liked Secretary Kim first, so she continued to like him after finding out he was the President. Se Kyung says she loved him regardless of who he was, and Seung Jo knows this deep down. Seung Jo says no, he doesn’t know that deep down. Right now he doesn’t know Se Kyung at all.

Se Kyung goes in and Ah Jung asks if things are better? Seung Jo is here because he wants to know more from her, right? That means there is still hope, right? Seung Jo goes to his car and thinks back to all his earlier meetings with Se Kyung and wonders when it all started between them when he supposedly became her White Rabbit. He wonders what the hell he was as a White Rabbit?

The next morning, Se Kyung plans to go to Seung Jo’s place first before going to work. Ah Jung asks about work and Se Kyung knows there is bound to be problems but she plans to face it. There is knocking on the door and Seung Jo is there to ask more about the White Rabbit. He calls Se Kyung very calculating and asks when it started? Se Kyung repeats his words when he asked her to become the stylist for the President. Se Kyung admits she grabbed onto that opportunity like Seung Jo told her to.

Seung Jo opens the box he brought with all the emoticon rabbit and she grabs one and asks if he’s been thinking about when everything happened, right? She takes the box down to the recycle bin toss since if these have no significance for him then it has none for her. He mentions how she asked his name and said thanks that day. She must have been genuine then, right? Se Kyung says this is exactly his problem – he hears and sees only what he wants. That is why he cannot see people clearly and love them for who they are. She sees his immaturity and still loves him. He needs to see the real her as well and stop living in a fantasy.

Seung Jo takes the box of rabbits back to his car and thinks about Se Kyung saying he lives in a fantasy world. He tracks down Se Kyung and asks her to explain about the letter she wrote to the President of Artemis about In Chan. Se Kyung gets into his car and takes him to the park where she and In Chan broke up. She explains that she wrote the letter because she was trying to throw that relationship away.

To In Chan, she cannot stay by his side and be better for him. She is a designer no one will hire. She she decided to throw herself away and choose a life where someone can save her. So she went to Cheongdamdong. Seung Jo asks if he saved her? Se Kyung says he has everything she needs in life. Seung Jo says she broke up with a poor man and found herself a rich man. Se Kyung says yes and he asks if she doesn’t want to lose him now? Se Kyung says she wanted Seung Jo to save her, yet he turned it around and said she saved him and need to protect him. He said she was his home. For her, someone who felt completely useless in this world. Seung Jo rescued her and gave her purpose and importance again. That is what Seung Jo means to her. Se Kyung finishes talking and leaves Seung Jo standing there absorbing what she said.

Se Kyung goes to meet with Seung Jo’s dad who asks if she ended it completely with him? Se Kyung says she can’t do that. Everyone thinks Seung Jo will do something bad if he found out but that didn’t happen. She doesn’t want his dad to keep saying he is weak and needs to be protected. Seung Jo is showing that he’s capable and is actually working towards the goal Seung Jo’s dad wants – to inherit the family business.

Seung Jo’s dad says his son has always refused but Se Kyung points out that he could have kept painting but he chose to run Artemis. He wanted to combined art and business. She asks Seung Jo’s dad to validate what Seung Jo loves for once, and also let her and Seung Jo deal with their relationship on their own. If he wants to end it, she will accept it and not run away. She loves Seung Jo very much.

Se Kyung arrives at GN Fashion to find her things packed into a box already on orders of In Hwa. She calmly accepts its and prepares to leave when In Hwa arrives. In Hwa claims this is best since neither side will feel at ease working together. Se Kyung is fine with it. In Hwa says its such bad fate, they lost a billion dollar business deal while she lost her entire charade. Se Kyung smiles and says she used to think she was very different than In Hwa, but now she sees they are the same. She tells In Hwa to let go of that business deal now, but she hasn’t let go of Seung Jo and won’t let him give up either.

Min Hyuk calls Yoon Joo into his office and gives her an final chance – he wants that business deal with Royal and Artemis no matter what. If she can make it happen through Seung Jo, who has the final say in this matter, then he will take her back. Since she said their marriage was a business arrangement, he wants her to have a choice in whether it ends or she can help him grow the business. If his business succeeds, her business would succeed as well. Yoon Joo cries and asks if he’s doing this to punish her? Min Hyuk says this isn’t punishment, it’s business. Plus her life can’t be worth a billion dollar business deal. He tells her to think about it.

Yoon Joo heads down in the elevator and runs into Se Kyung leaving with her box. Yoon Joo asks if she’s been kicked out and Se Kyung says yes. Se Kyung apologizes to her and Yoon Joo says no need. The good news is that she has a choice now about her future. Yoon Joo asks if Seung Jo ran away and Se Kyung says he tried but she stopped him.

Seung Jo sits in her car and reads Se Kyung’s letter to him about In Chan. He drives off looking for her. Se Kyung comes out of GN Fashion and gets a call from Tommy. He’s had to close a few stores due to GN Fashion screwing with him, but the good news is that no one is asking him to match make anymore and he’s been wanting to stop for awhile now.

Seung Jo arrives outside GN Fashion and sees Se Kyung waiting by the side of the road. Tommy pulls up and puts her box in his car before helping her into the passenger seat. Seung Jo watches all of this and is very displeased. He follows Tommy back to his store and watches them go inside. He flashes back to Tommy arriving at the dress fitting.

Se Kyung asks Tommy if he has any regrets and he smiles and says he definitely regrets it. In fact, Yoon Joo asked him earlier why he accepted this losing proposition, especially since neither him nor Yoon Joo are that gullible. Se Kyung sighs that she thought she was so convincing. But she points out that Tommy doesn’t look regretful in the least right now. Tommy claims this is his regretful expression before asking how things are going with Seung Jo? Se Kyung says she’s trying and Seung Jo came to find her before she went to him.

Seung Jo watches Tommy sending Se Kyung off, and gets even more annoyed with the way Tommy smiles at her departing back. He storms into Tommy’s office and asks him who Han Se Kyung is? Tommy says she is Seung Jo’s fiancee, right? Seung Jo asks why Se Kyung was just here, and why was Tommy giving her a ride and all chummy with her. Tommy says he is just helping Se Kyung enter Cheongdamdong, would Seung Jo believe that? Seung Jo asks why he could do that, and what Cheongdamdong means to them?

Seung Jo asks if Tommy is the Alarm Clock Rabbit? Tommy asks if he means White Rabbit? Tommy admits he wasn’t in the beginning, he was trying to arrange the marriage between Seung Jo and In Hwa and Se Kyung was an obstacle. He was the one who recorded the video. Tommy says he knows Se Kyung’s real heart and he knows what its like for a person to be pushed to the edge of the cliff. Seung Jo says he’s been pushed to the edge before many times as well so don’t think he doesn’t know anything. Seung Jo storms off and Tommy calls Se Kyung to reveal that he told Seung Jo the entire truth. Se Kyung says Tommy did well and expects Seung Jo to come find her soon.

Seung Jo arrives as expected and Se Kyung goes out to talk with him. Seung Jo asks when she found out that Seo Yoon Joo was his ex? And when was the video recorded? Se Kyung says she found out about Yoon Joo on the day she got the USB drive from him so she couldn’t confess to him. Then the day she received the blackmail video from Tommy was the day he proposed to her. And she accepted. He asks why she accepted his proposal despite the threat of that blackmail? Is Cheongdamdong that important to her?

Se Kyung does want to live because of love but that’s not enough. Seung Jo says that is just an excuse. Se Kyung wants to believe in this world, but the world never gives her hope that poverty can be overcome with hard work. Seung Jo asks if she wants to use poverty as an excuse to use someone’s love. Seung Jo claims he was poor as well but climbed to where he is now, so she can’t use that as an excuse. Se Kyung says Seung Jo had luck – the painting he sold. That’s not luck that everyone can have. Seung Jo claims someone saw his painting as worth that much so don’t insult him.

Seung Jo says he lived well during his poverty and this is how the world has rewarded him. Se Kyung smiles and says that kind of world doesn’t exist for people like them. The kind of world that rewards those who are poor but work hard. Se Kyung says he is a lucky man and can believe in hope, she doesn’t have that. He yells at her to stop thinking like a loser! Se Kyung asks if he also thinks that those who are poor live that way because they are foolish and don’t know how to work hard to overcome it? Does he think she is poor because she didn’t live her life correctly to climb out of poverty? Seung Jo says yes. Se Kyung has no response to that and goes inside.

Se Kyung sits in her room and cries while Seung Jo stands outside. He wants to knock on the door but doesn’t.

Yoon Joo meets with her brother and invites him for a drink. They discuss how their family was plunged into poverty when the stock market crashed and their father went bankrupt. They had to move into a basement and it was horrible. Even living there, their mother still insisted on buying her pretty and expensive clothes. Her mother said Yoon Joo was born pretty and would be rich one day. Her brother says their mom said he would be poor all his life and had to follow his sister to eke out a living. He asks what she plans to do now?

Seung Jo meets with Dong Wook and admits that he is grateful to Se Kyung for coming to the airport. He did want to grab onto her again then. Dong Wook asks if he is considering reconciling? Seung Jo says not so fast and brings up the painting. Dong Wook thinks it was bought by someone who appreciated its worth, which is what Seung Jo also thinks. But he reveals that Se Kyung doesn’t think that way. So he needs to find out who bought the painting. He once suspected someone but he thinks it can’t be true.

Seung Jo’s dad walks into the gallery and looks at Seung Jo’s painting. Of course he’s the guy who bought it, and back then he ordered it donated somewhere. Seung Jo says normally he listens to Se Kyung because she is so wise, but this time he really can’t agree with her or understand her. Even moreso than her lying to him, he cannot believe that she would think his painting selling was due to luck. He doesn’t know now what is more painful – losing love because one doesn’t have a genuine heart, or giving up love because one doesn’t have money.

Seung Jo goes to see Se Kyung while she heads over to his apartment. Both of them stand outside each other’s apartments but not knocking.

Seung Jo wakes up the next morning having slept in his car. He watches Se Kyung leave the house and follows her. She takes the cramped subway and he gets in and experiences how the rest of the world lives. Se Kyung heads to various places to apply for work and hand in her resume. Seung Jo watches people working hard in various stores in Cheongdamdong. He walks down the streets of Cheongdamdong and wonders what this place is? Why would Han Se Kyung do everything in her power to enter here? To him, this is merely a place he grew up.

Secretary Moon has coffee with Dong Wook and hears that Se Kyung and Seung Jo have been fighting. Dong Wook admits he’s disappointed in Se Kyung since she was at fault for lying to Seung Jo, though this time they fought about the painting.

Seung Jo comes home and finds Yoon Joo waiting for him. They sit down and he asks if she is getting a divorce? Yoon Joo admits that her husband has given her one last chance. Seung Jo says his appearance in her life again, and getting involved with Se Kyung, ruined her marriage. He is willing to do anything to help her. Yoon Joo says its nothing and moves to leave, not asking Seung Jo for help. Seung Jo brings up the painting and asks if she bought it. Secretary Moon says to Dong Wook that he might know who bought it.

Seung Jo brings up his father giving Yoon Joo money, so did she use that money to buy his painting? Yoon Joo says she is not the kind of person to use all her money just to help him. Seung Jo wonders who it was then? Yoon Joo is surprised and asks if he really doesn’t know or is just pretending? Secretary Moon says it’s Seung Jo’s dad, isn’t it so obvious? Yoon Joo says its Cha Il Nam, Seung Jo’s dad.

Se Kyung meets with Tommy to talk about the painting and says Seung Jo will never suspect who really bought it. Se Kyung says she can see the ending now – the ending of Alice in Wonderland is to wake up from a dream.

Thoughts of Mine:

So………let me lay bare the mess that has been steadily muddying the waters of the narrative. The last 5 episodes have been about keeping the truth from Seung Jo because, in the words of the steely Colonel Jessup, “You can’t handle the truth!” Turns out Seung Jo (1) isn’tΒ crazy and suffering from PTSD and (2) can handle the truth just fine. Great, I sure love a drama spinning in circles on an issue that is a NON-ISSUE. *headdesk* And then at the end of the episode, the drama actually tackles an interesting actual issue – Seung Jo thinks like the entitled rich boy that he is and believes hard work yields opportunities and success. Yay. So that means Se Kyung and her family are poor because they simply haven’t worked hard enough to be rewarded with the fruits of their labor. Finally! An impasse that is worth exploring, too bad it’s coming at the 11th hour and we’re so worn down by the waste of time I simply want the OTP to kiss and make up without even bothering to discuss any open items.

I still can’t get over how the drama just swept the entire PTSD misconception under the rug and expect viewers to be fine with them stringing that over our heads for ages only to say “ooops, everyone got it wrong.” That is the worst kind of deus ex machina, especially since the time wasted on it could have been spent exploring Seung Jo and Se Kyung’s philosophical differences and real class barriers, which remain a very real barrier between their happily ever after. They can get married because they fell in love, but making that marriage last a lifetime means getting over each and every one of their very marked life experiences. I am happy that Seung Jo isn’t acting anymore like a love sick fool who refuses to acknowledge reality, and that Se Kyung isn’t putting on a charade in front of him. Similarly everyone else seems to be dealing just fine with the fall out from the entire deception, so once again, why all the fuss over nothing, drama? Let’s hope tomorrow the drama can get its act together in the very end and actually deliver an ending that isn’t as stupid as the last few episodes.


Cheongdamdong Alice Episode 15 Recap — 43 Comments

  1. oooo me first its sad such a let down after all that time invested alost makes want to give up on kdrams but its almost the end so i am just goiung to watch

    thanks for still recapping koala

  2. Ms Koala,

    Although the story and writing may be a bit lacking, this drama is amazing. Great acting from MGY and PSH! I feel that this episode is very much needed so that SJ can wake up and face reality and get to really know SK and who she really is. Isn’t that one of your complains in early posts? From this episode, viewers can tell that SK really understand and believe in SJ. I love how SJ was following SK on the subway, he now see from her point of view, how HER reality life is like. At least now he can understand her thoughts regarding what she did. I am sure they will have a happy ending, looking forward to tonight’s episode! Fighting MGY!!!

  3. Lol not going to comment on the plot or disjointed story that is
    However will agree through that I am actually worried for Yoon Joo. Somehow whether intentionally or not, she has been written as a pretty strong willed woman. And I like her character and admire her. Didn’t agree with all her decisions but she has balls. I hope the writer remembers her story and gives it a good ending. I have not liked the way her husband has treated her the whole series. So hope she will get her life together after this. Like maybe help run some Royal Group stores or something. After all, we all know SJ and SK will end up together.

    • Yes, I want YJ to succeed too. Maybe turn out to be better at handling business than her husband.

      Then YJ gets to manage a branch or a store and becomes frenemies with In Hwa, competing over who gets the most sales every month or something.

  4. Though this episode was a bit slow…lots of talking, I still enjoyed it very much. We finally got SJ out of his fantasy land and we see him fighting to understand SK. It’s funny how every time he brings a piece of evidence to her SK is able to counteract it and give him something to think about.

    Really curious to how the story would wrap up…can’t wait.

  5. Koala, the actress playing Yoon Joo, did lead a drama called glowing she. Interesting tidbit did anyone catch that in all this SJ is Alice and SK is the white rabbit.

    • I thought that exact same thing. Especially in the ending sequence. I was trying to figure out if it just ended up that way or if that was the plan all along.

    • i started feeling that a couple episodes ago but definitely in this episode. I mean the drama had its flaws and was dragging the past couple episodes but when we consider Seung Jo as Alice, the narrative makes more sense.

  6. I actually thought the episode wasn’t so bad, however, it wouldn’t have been so bad if it actually was aired at least 2-3 episodes ago (bare minimum). I would have preferred ep 10 too. It’s just WAY too late and I’m knew that he didn’t have mental issues, which is why I kept harping on him in comments after comments, episode after episode about how he needs to freaking grow up, be a man and learn how to love properly. After 14 episodes last week, I actually started to think he might be sick and kinda forgive him b/c the story was just so ridiculous. So happy that SK called him out on that cause I have been waiting for that forever.

    I agree… it is way too late to delve into the real issues. Just give me the make up and the cutsy stuff afterwards. I gave up on the story, just give me fanservice at this point. Why in the world did this show spin its wheels over and over on what was the biggest waste of time? Anyhow, I could spin circles about the issues I had. Despite all of this, I still love and will miss our OTP greatly. I don’t have any new kdramas on my radar. At the very least, I hope tomorrow will be satisfying.

    Thanks Capt K for all the recaps. πŸ™‚

    • One more comment… I just can’t believe that someone with business smarts as himself, that SJ could not even have guessed that it was his father that bought his painting. Sheesh! Who in the heck else shells out that much money, esp since he knows that his father is capable of shelling out that much money. That really just proves SK’s point. In any case, I think hard work is super important, but luck does play a role as well. I can’t believe (ok maybe I can but don’t want to) that SJ would say that about SK’s situation even after knowing what kind of a worker she is. Jerk – I wanted to sock him. HAHA. πŸ™‚

      • I think the point is that he couldn’t get passes his preconceived idea of his father to realize that he bought the picture to help him. Their relationship is so screwed up that he only thinks of his dad as someone who tries to block and control him that it never would have crossed his mind that he is the one who bought it. Plus, there is also the fact that Il Nam never displayed any interest in Seung Jo’s art before.

  7. So most of this show was just a waste of time. I knew SJ would be magically better, but I didn’t think they would just say lol I’m not really sick. Maybe he needs a new doctor that can’t be so easily fooled. Interesting questions and viewpoints this episode, but this should have happened a long time ago.

    • So glad I dropped this show after episode 4. Or maybe it was 6, I really don’t remember. I just couldn’t see how they could redeem the storyline after that, but I’ve been reading through your recaps out of sheer curiosity.

      MGY and PSH are still good actors – it’s more of the content itself that is getting me frustrated.

  8. i’m so, so happy that I dropped this show after 9 episodes πŸ˜€
    By the way, I wasn’t impressed by Yoon joo in “You’ve fallen for me”, but here she is really good(from what I watched)….

  9. I also like Yoon Joo. Although she chose money over love and left the guy (like typical second leads), one interesting difference was the writers never made her choose SJ again, she never went back to “oh, i love him more than money” mentality or even “with him, I can have both” mentality.

    I do not like all her decisions but I love how she sticks by them quite honorably (from what I understand from your recaps).

  10. ms koala, stop criticize this drama. you’re totally wrong. i like traditional and honest girl.i can see a girl like se kyung as my wife.thanks for your recap anyway.

    • Ms. Koala can criticize all she wants. This is her blog, and there are plenty of other forums to fit your taste if all you want is someone to agree with you. I happen to agree with her comments about the storytelling, which has clear narrative weaknesses and illogical character behavior.

      To question your statement concerning “traditional and honest girl(s)”–who are you referring to? The girl whose basic premise was to deceive and wile her way into high society and marry rich? Is a gold-digger your idea of traditional and honest?

      Se Kyung is NOT a particularly good person, and she has plenty of glaring faults. But I guess even though types of people need to get married, so feel free to take those types off the market.

  11. This drama focus more on “worldview” discussion.. and not giving an enough amount on “action” it feels like i have been watching debaters with nice looks and good outfits.

      • Same as you! But you know, PSH fans are so sensitive πŸ™‚ Lots of comments for MGY (bad comments). Do you know, what am i thinking right now? If PSH and MGY become couple in real life, what will they do? Hee hee… anyways, moonhoo couple fighting πŸ™‚

  12. Capt K, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. I for one have a different perspective. If one watches CDDA purely on the surface just for entertainment factor, then it really sucks big time. The drama has such a shallow plot. How can it even compare with the likes of melodramas or even other rom-Com that are full of action be they great expressions of happiness or dramatic sadness?

    However, if one dives deeper and take a literary approach to the way the writers and directors have portrayed social and basic human behavior through the lens of a children’s fairy tale, then one can see the brilliance of this drama.

    It really depends on what you want to see. Isn’t this what Alice in Wonderland is all about?

    • I totally agree with what you’re saying. Some people aren’t getting the true meaning of this drama. They watch it for entertainment and they only want to see what they want to see. I know that this drama was brilliant not because I’m a die hard fan of MGY but I understood the story behind this drama. That there is such thing as love. And one will do anything to stay alive and live a good life with such love. There’s much more meaning to this drama then some viewers will ever care to find out.

    • I’ve noticed some k-drama watchers blindly support dramas they enjoy. It’s kind of ridiculous. God forbid someone say something negative about it, it’s almost like someone has kicked their dog. It’s just a show, don’t take criticisms so freaking personally. It’s part of life.

  13. Err..but I don’t like Yoon Jo. she begged most of the time ( begged to Cha Il Nam, begged to In Hwa)?? and again..her scenes..I FF most of it.. I couldn’t connect to her emotionally. I only watched her when her scene was with SK. She was like this very selfish person. ( She left Seung Jo and hoping for everyone (SJ) to cover for her??) but written so well to be accepted by audience. How is that for a character…No no.. She is not smart in a good way..really.

    • THAT is precisely why I like YJ. At the beginning she seemed like the “mean girl”. I thought she’d stay a villain.

      But then they slowly developed her into a real person–and a smart, savvy, determined one with cast-iron balls. She and SK became so close to being good friends in the middle.

      She’d have been a little bit too perfect that way in an anti-hero sort of way. She’d have been sort of like an arch-villain whose genius is pitted against the other villains for the sake of the hero.

      So then we are shown her weakness. We are shown her even worse off than the way SK was when she begged Tommy Hong. I love the dynamic parallels, spoken and unspoken, between those three characters.

      In the scene when YJ kneeled, I really expected SK to pull her up. People never do anything for just one reason. At minimum, there is a reason we are willing to admit out loud and a reason we don’t even want to admit to ourselves. Since YJ and Tommy Hong are both “black” neither of them is willing to admit that they see their lost hope in SK. When they begged, they never regained confidence in their self worth.

      But SK did, and that’s why they follow her; they want to do the same thing. That’s why YJ becomes so pathetic for a while–she keeps kneeling down. And everytime she does it makes her feel worse.

      I like her for all of it.

  14. Yes, yes, how brilliance they are! That’s why i am stick with this drama and proud to be CDDA Fan. As a international fan, language is important. This drama get high rating more and more in their own country but some international fans said they drop it. Coz they don’t understand korean. So, they don’t know about the purpose of CDDA. They just wanna see opt πŸ™‚ same as me πŸ™‚ I had nap while i was watching episode 15 coz they’re talking and talking. But, reading recap again and again can see their purpose πŸ™‚

  15. I thought this episode was not bad (not great mind you, but not bad). Five minutes in, I expected to be bored out of my skull but I kind of enjoyed it. Maybe it was just the novelty of having the two characters who need to be talking to each other actually talking to each other about the topic that they need to talk about… we’ve had so little of that the past few weeks. This episode is definitely not enough to save the show, but, if it had aired three weeks ago, I would have been very pleased with it.

  16. Thanks Koala for the recap. I rarely watch Korean dramas (because I know that once I start, I would not want to stop), but since you started recapping Big, I thought maybe that’s what I needed for Korean dramas – to not be crazy over watching, but enjoy it little by little reading. I found that reading your recaps is refreshing and insightful and I’ve predicted some things through it as well. It helps me pace myself in this busy world. Although this hasn’t been a great drama, per se, but I still enjoy reading your recaps every weekend. Thank you for seeing it to the end, else, I’ll be forced to find an English sub one online and watch it. I don’t like to stop something halfway. I tried watching DGGG, but I only had time to watch the first episode like 2 months ago and haven’t picked it up since then. If only you recapped that one.. ^_^

    One thing that I still haven’t figured out about this episode was how Seung Jo was not at all mad or even questioned Yoon Joo. I think if I was a natural person and wanting to find out about things, maybe it’s better to talk to the other person in the video as well. But oh well. Like you said, there is a lot of flaws in the scriptwriting so I’ll stop questioning and just enjoy the recapping. One more episode to go! I hope it will be a good one.

  17. Watching a drama 3 o’clock in the morning and not falling asleep determines whether a drama is good or not. To me, it’s good. Draggy in the past few episodes but it’s still quite decent.

    Good acting.The ideas, themes the drama are exploring, give me a good insight of the real world we’re living in. You just can’t expect every episode to be fabulous, full of LOVESSSS or kisses right?(although I’m longing for one also). The drama has the sense of reality in it with touches of korean drama elements.

  18. My favorite character is also Yoon Joo. She seems to be the most well developed character with lots of depth. She also seems the most real. It could be the actress bringing that out though. I love how she is always very cool and elegant in whatever she does. I can think of two scenarios that are going to happen for her: 1. She doesn’t ask for Seon Jo’s help and divorces her husband. 2. She asks/Seonjo offers for help and she will still ask for a divorce, because I can see that she has enough pride to leave behind a husband and his family that would just look down on her every chance they get if she stayed. And the only reason she would even help with the outlet problem would be to show how disgusting it was for her husband to have asked her to do it in the first place.

  19. this ep was a bit draggy for me the first time watching it….i was surprised the talk towards the end when SK and SJ discuss hardworking and poverty was not done at the airport scene…second time watching it…find a deeper meaning and so enjoyed it. its like LTM ep 16, so much disappointment when watching it live and start to appreciate more after re-watching it.

    the final few minutes of CA ep 15 was daebak, finally a wake up call for SJ and hope the best for YJ in next ep and that SJ SK to make up soon.

  20. Well, well now I’m just hoping for YJ to divorce her husband, not I hate the man, but I’m not fond of him and I really hate his family, rotten to the bone. Please YJ leave them!

    It would be great if YJ & SK work together in fashion and make it big. That would be so damn thrilling (love to see YJ sister in law and mother in law figurative slap in the face). Please PDnim don’t male YJ pregnant with her husband to solve the problem, PLEASE!!!!!

    SJ need a wake up call, well the fact that his father bought his paintings could help. He went out of poverty thanks to his dad, meaning he was never poor, because he has his father weath supporting him from birth till now. So SJ knows nothing about real poverty and hardships, please big baby SJ wake up from your dream.

    A real pity they waste the two or four last episodes, this drama would have been so great…

  21. Totally agree with you koala.this drama had been a waste of my time had it not been the psh antics in this early episode. Apparently, when the weight of the drama shifts somewhere, it fell and did not get carried on well. The script was ambitious but falls flat on the love front or narrative front., it lost it for me 5 episodes ago.

  22. From the very start, does it ever said by Seung Jo himself that he has PSTD? I mean, yes he’s consulting his doc friend but hey, I don’t think it was really mentioned or revealed by seung jo himself. And I think that others are just assuming he suffered from that just because of what he did to Yoon Jo as revenge. (Or should I watch it again to unwind. )

  23. Ugh, the drama drives me crazy. I’m in total agreement with Ms. Koala that the really interesting issues this drama was ostensibly about were not explored until this episode. Mainly, this could have been a really wonderful observation or commentary on the 1% vs. the 99%. Here’s how I originally envisioned this story developing:

    SK is a poor, hardworking girl who realizes that her efforts would never be validated and thus throws away her ethics to enter CDD and marry rich. Along the way in her pursuit of a white rabbit, she falls in love with her target and him with her. However, because of her tainted initial motivations, she has to continue deceiving SJ to have both love and money. Of course this charade isn’t going to last, and everyone finds out (i.e., SJ). At this point, we should be at episode 10 or so. After this point, this is where it should have gotten really good.

    The themes I was hoping for (and seemed to be part of the premise) were (1) How do the wealthy of CDD see themselves (people of privilege, like SJ) vs. people not of CDD (like SK)? (2) Is marriage and a strong relationship built only on pure love, or is it fair and understandable that things like money and security are part of the package? (3) Can SJ understand SK’s motivations to overcome the deception and see her true feelings?

    We just got a taste of these issues in episode 15, and a lot of time was wasted on the build up to revealing THE BIG SECRET. Too much airtime was wasted with intercepting cell phones, furtive meetings, and running around to shield SJ and his state of mind. Why was the focus on SJ’s mental health, which was a topic that was heavily covered (e.g., SJ taking meds, the doctor making comments on how SJ blocks out bad news and acts as if they never happen, SJ’s inability to cry or naturally process his feelings, SJ’s dad telling SK to protect him, etc.), if the show just waived away those issues with one comment from SK (i.e., you’re just an attention-seeking man-child)? If SJ really is just be immature, is that really a characteristic of the protagonist that a show should focus on for such a freakin’ long time? SJ doesn’t come off as very heroic or likable in that case.

    What I would have really liked to have seen were some adult conversations exploring how someone as privileged as SJ can understand someone with SK’s background. SJ is out-of-touch with the opportunities and hardship of someone poor (just starting to be explored in ep15), and he doesn’t see all of the subtle and inherent advantages of someone from CDD (e.g., great education, money to study abroad, the knowledge in the back of your mind that daddy’s company is there, the fact that daddy IS actually there helping in the background, etc.). That would have been a really strong second story-arc (the first being getting over Yoon Joo) for SJ’s personal development to seem him overcome his prejudices.

    The bones for all of these things are in the drama. For example, I loved SK’s question on why does society view differently a poor person marrying for reasons other than love (like economic security) than a rich person who does the same (like marrying for business)? And in this episode, SJ is starting to have his eyes opened on the power of being born as a CDD insider (Dad and the painting).

    In the end, I know that this is suppose to be a love story. However, the conflicts can still be real and the issues deep. I feel like there was a real missed opportunity, and the story that the show decided to tell instead was not nearly as rich and moving as I had hoped.

  24. You wrote: “Seung Jo doesn’t have PTSD? He’s merely an attention-starved immature wanker who acts loco to get his friends and family to notice him?”

    Ah me! I’m so glad I didn’t commit to actually watching this. I’m amazed how disappointed one can be by a rom-com but once again…disappointment. Thanks for enduring actually watching this for me. Heaven knows why i’m so interested in the recaps. So disappointed in this drama.

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