Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 3 Recap

by: Raine

Why wasn’t this show this strong from the beginning? Laugh-out-loud humor, solid character development and killer music directing.

“It’s Okay”Luna (from the Cheongdam-dong Alice OST)

episode 3 recap

Because Yoon-joo the Tick is oh-so-inspiring, Se-kyung has found hope that she, too, can become successful like her. That is, if the Tick helps Se-kyung because she is the ONLY person she has met who has overcome her birth circumstances and moved up in the world. If she can do it, so can Se-kyung.

Don’t get near her, Se-kyung! She’ll suck your blood!

Psycho-jo replays the conversation he had with the Tick again; he’s not as happy with it as he initially was.

This is because you’re not really psycho, are you Psycho-jo? The behavior masks depression and pain. Compensating doesn’t fix. You need to deal with your issues. Revenge just piles more issues on the fire. But I guess you and the Tick will learn that the hard way.

Dong-wook shows up and Psycho-jo gives a blow by blow of his first meeting with the Tick and her people. It’s hysterical. His heart pounded as the elevator rose and then he saw her horrified, pale face through the doors. There’s nothing like revenge!

However, Dong-wook is no fool and sees that Psycho-jo’s revenge is just a front. He hasn’t cried and Dong-wook urges his friend to do so. In this situation, meeting a woman who hurt him so badly, he should feel sad and empty, especially after enacting his revenge – because it’s pointless and nothing good comes after it.

Psycho-jo thinks he should be exhilarated by the revenge, but Dong-wook knows better. He urges him to cry and deal with the anger inside. Dong-wook sees that Psycho-jo is scared the tears won’t come. (I’m guessing he hasn’t been able to cry at all since the incident.) Psycho-jo is in denial, however, and doesn’t take the advice kindly. He unceremoniously kicks out Dong-wook.

Se-kyung leaves the Tick’s place and is spotted by the Tick’s brother Seo Ho-min (GOO WON). He seems to be close to his sister. He also seems to be a mooch as he’s come to ask her for money. He asks if she met “Han Se” (the school  nickname that Se-kyung hates) and thinks the Tick should just help her out. But the Tick doesn’t want Se-kyung in the neighborhood.

And then Ho-min suggests: aren’t Cha Seung-jo and Han Se-kyung on the same team? They both appeared at the same time and are bugging the Tick.

Ah-jung calls Se-kyung to give her the news that In-chan is being sued by Artemis for illegal distribution. She also mentions the hospital.

Uh-oh.

The next part kinda really pissed me off. Okay, not just kinda, SUPER.

Dong-wook turns out to be a psychiatric psychologist who is treating his FRIEND.

Okay, before I get into the scene, let me rant. It is so supremely unethical and psychologically dangerous to treat a friend. You can’t be an unbiased observer. It’s just impossible. Humans are easily swayed, fallible and driven by emotion. There is a reason shrinks aren’t to have personal relations with patients. And on top of that, Dong-wook is the one who prescribes Psycho-jo’s meds.

@#$$%^@#$%!@#$!@#$@#$%^&$%^*$%^@#$%!@#$!@#$@#$^@#$^

Now on with the recap.

Dong-wook asks for Psycho-jo’s records, the one’s from Paris as Psycho-jo explains his theory on his psychological state: Anger is caused by an obstruction of one’s desires. Or, one can have been subjected to coercion. His desire was not obstructed and neither was his coerced. He hasn’t felt any anger as Dong-wook had suggested he did. Well, there was one coercion: Dong-wook forcing him to cry.

The unethical shrink urges him again to cry and Psycho-jo grabs his meds and storms out.

He heads to the car and puts on Handel’s “Lascia ch’io pianga” from his Almira opera. (Thanks Cherkell for identifying it.) Then he bows his head and begins a high, keening wail that is so hysterically and obviously fake. Moments later he stops and checks his eyes to see if tears came out.

BWAHAHAHA. Park Shi-hoo ssi, saranghaeyo.

It’s not surprising that he can’t cry after being emotionally brutalized by his father and his ex-”wife.”

A couple storms in front of his car and fights. It’s In-chan and Se-kyung, but Psycho-jo doesn’t see her face until after he hears In-chan order her to leave. Se-kyung starts to walk away and Psycho-jo approaches her. She wonders if he, “Secretary Kim,” is here about the lawsuit.

I seriously wonder when that identity trickery is going to be unveiled.

Anyway, she asks him to be kind because In-chan just lost his family. Psycho-jo sees In-chan in the funeral hall and calls Secretary Moon to have a floral arrangement. Hilariously, Secretary Moon asks if it’s to be a congratulatory wreath. Uh, you don’t exactly send one to a funeral hall.

When Psycho-jo turns he sees Se-kyung hovering outside of the funeral hall and hides to watch her. I think he’s affected by the raw sadness emanating from her. That, and the writer’s needed an excuse to have a private detective photograph them together.

The photographs get sent to the Tick by her brother. She orders him to find out what Se-kyung and Psycho-jo’s relationship is.

Ah-jung scolds Han Se-kyung for worrying about In-chan being sued by Artemis on order of the president. Se-kyung assures her friend she’s going to end it for good with In-chan.

Yeah, seriously. A cameo is supposed to be a cameo, not three episodes long. That, and he’s sooooo damned weepy. I can’t handle all of the crying. More on that in my comments.

Secretary Moon shows up with the legal team and Se-kyung asks him to deliver a letter to the chairman. In-chan just lost his mother and Moon agrees that legal action shouldn’t be taken in such a sad situation. He will deliver the letter.

I really think he’s adorable.

Then the most awesomely synthesized music accompanies Psycho-jo failing to do a tree pose in yoga. It sounds like Final Fantasy V music, right?!

Anyway, he’s trying not to fall on his sexay behind. His instructor says he has a lot of negative energy caused by his thoughts.

Then daddio shows up and Psycho-jo falls out of his pose. Daddio got into Psycho-jo’s private class by claiming relation. In the locker room, we get a peek at my favorite abs and then a tense father/son scene. Dad is nice and relaxed until Psycho-jo accuses him of stalking. Then dad makes fun of Psycho-jo’s inability to do yoga.

Dad  notices that he’s being followed.

Finally, we meet Tommy Hong (KIM JI-SUK) for all of four seconds.

Dad has a meeting with him at  his swanky place of work. It’s also accompanied by really awesome multi-meter jazz.

I just have to say, the secretary’s outfit is horrible and her stockings are even scarier.

Anyway, they meet and plan to work together. Daddio has a commission for him, but it’s not a marriage brokering.

So, is it a hit? Is he gonna take out his kid? Is Tommy Hong an assassin?! That would be so cool!

And then the part that made me cackle for ten minutes.

Psycho-jo sneaks up on the very unslick private detective accompanied by none other than the Jaws theme. KEKEKEKEKEKEKEKE!

Show, your best quality aside from Psycho-jo’s antics and Moon Geun-young’s spot on acting is your music selection. It’s a total scream. Kill Bill last episode and now this? What else are you gonna spring on us?

Psycho-jo snatches the camera and asks who sent him.

The Tick eats with her husband, In-hwa and mother-in-law. Mommy is trying to get In-hwa to consider the president of Artemis as a marriage prospect. But In-hwa considers him a business prospect. Mom also wants the Tick to get knocked up.

The Tick gets a message from Psycho-jo that says they’re neighbors. He invites her over and turns his lights on. He’s right across from her.

She comes over as he’s perusing the pictures of him and Se-kyung. The Tick storms in and goes to the window.

Ah, that’s why you threw open the curtains when he had that flashback.

They start fighting and he has the upperhand. He’d been afraid to sleep and dream of her leaving him – the start of a mental breakdown. The desire for revenge kept him going past the tough emotions.

He rises and asks if she regrets throwing him away. She was surprised, but she doesn’t regret it. She says he hasn’t changed at all; probably still uses satori when he’s worked up and he denies it. Does he think the reason she abandoned him was because he became penniless? No, his mind that made her into the bad guy and made him really cool, cutting ties with his chaebol daddy is the same that had childish and useless courage to give up everything for love. In fact, giving up everything was not good for her at all. What she really wanted was her position and situation.

Psycho-jo tells her that what she really wanted was his father’s money; she gave him up for only $30,000. She gave up her stock, too.

Only people who have nothing repeat mistakes over and over. But not her. People in this neighborhood (Cheongdam-dong) never rebuy sold stocks – they wash their hands of them. She is obviously alluding to him.

She reminds him again that their relationship was a business and his face barely masks the pain he’s feeling. She says this revenge won’t work because of it. He’s an immature child. Then she walks out, leaving him emotionally reeling.

What a bitch.

She heads outside, breathing heavily and majorly affected. If you feel so shitty, then you shouldn’t have done it. Ho-min calls and apologizes, freaking out at how much Psycho-jo has changed. He discovered that Se-kyung and Psycho-jo have no relationship. She has a boyfriend who the Tick wants to find out more about. She also wants to find out about Psycho-jo and Se-kyung.

In-hwa shows up because she forgot her phone and stares at the fake Tick suspiciously.

Good girl.

Psycho-jo remembers the Tick’s cruel words and makes another ridiculous attempt to cry but fails. He thinks that a child can cry.

Meanwhile, Se-kyung tries to type a letter but can’t seem to get the words out. She calls Ah-jung for info on the chairman, but her friend tells her to mind her own business. Then, Se-kyung pulls out a pen and paper and the words begin to flow.

There ain’t nothing like handwriting a letter.

The next day, Secretary Moon tries to deliver the letter, but Psycho-jo is cranky and wants the company redecorated. He tries again and presents the letter from Se-kyung, which finally catches his attention.

Se-kyung gets scolded for missing work because of the funeral and Ass. Manager Kim gives her attitude for being the madam’s “friend.” Guh, people are so shallow and fickle.

Psycho-jo reads the letter and that’s interspersed with Se-kyung reading it as well. He finds it interesting they’ve broken up. As they read, we see Se-kyung working at menial tasks and being completely blocked from the creative process even though she’s so painfully interested. As he continues to read, he is drawn into her heartfelt words. There is a moment of humor as he ducks under his lamp to get to his desk.

Why didn’t they use this tactic in the earlier episodes? Using humor to diffuse the angst? So amazingly effective without taking away from the gravity of the situation.

Se-kyung also cries while writing the letter, letting go of her love as she writes. It’s a huge step for her character. I think this whole scene is great in show pivot points for our main leads.

Hello,

I am Han Se-kyung. I am So In-chan’s ex-girlfriend. I’m not sure if the very receiving of a letter like this is unpleasant to you, chairman. I am sorry. And I’m sorry to be bringing up these untidy words. In reality, I don’t know you well, chairman. What I should say in pleading a favorable arrangement from you, I don’t really know. Merely, that someone who’s gotten so high in life, life yourself, would not have been living life easily either. Yes, life isn’t easy for me as well. And love is not easy either. In the end, the reason So In-chan and I broke up was over money. If you ask me why I’m writing this letter now, after everything, whether you say it’s an excuse or a justification, chairman, I can’t do anything else but this. I couldn’t make So In-chan’s mother better. I don’t have the ability to repay So In-chan’s debt on his behalf either. Nor am I able to compensate the loss that the company incurred, which was caused by So In-chan. I can’t even give out these mere “cheer up” words. That will not change anything. Now I know that. Before, I thought the opposite of “I love you” was “I don’t love you.” But now, the opposite of “I love you” is “I can’t do anything for you.” That’s what I now think. Yes, we broke up because there is nothing I could do for So In-chan’s sake. I, who thought watching him by his side, was love Just  how foolish and immature I was, now I understand. Therefore, I’ve closed on the love that lasted 6 years. I, who was unable to do anything, can only give you this, which is my all. I’m aware this is ridiculously lacking for any compensation of company loss. However, may you forgivingly see this not as money, but as my 20’s intact. Forgivingly see this as my last struggle for In-chan, for whom I could not do anything. If you give a generous favorable arrangement, I will not forget your kindness.”

She’s also put her bank book into the envelope. It’s full of $10 to $50 deposits, not very much at all. All the small deposits have small messages next to them, depicting the account over time and her relationship with In-chan and her hopes and dreams: Love is great. You have no problem. Cheer up, In-chan. Cheer up, from Se-kyung. There are notes about school, scholarships, graduating, finding a job. Her desire to go to Paris.The money she saved to go, she is now giving to In-chan. The notes and that realization make Psycho-jo genuinely smile.

It’s so important for him to see that even after this relationship ended, there was love and it was in the little things.

And then it happens, a tear falls. It’s such a sweet moment.

Until, Psycho-jo realized he teared and amusingly waddles to the mirror, trying to keep the tears in place. He keeps crying and it’s as funny as it is genuine. He stuffs his fist into his mouth. Haha.

He tells his memory of the Tick that there is still love and hiccups. Then, he storms out of his office and orders them to cancel the lawsuit against In-chan. Secretary Moon informs him that the case will still go to a monetary penalty because it’s a criminal case. Still, he orders it dealt.

An army of Psycho-jo’s people, led by Secretary Moon, march their way to the funeral hall. I find Moon’s pause to remove his shoes incredibly humorous, like a hiccup in the coolness procession.

In-chan and Se-kyung are shocked to see them. Moon announces that the charges against In-chan are dropped and to be settled by a monetary settlement, which the president will pay. Then he announces the chairman and in walks “Jean Thierry Cha” to Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, waving his arms and closing his eyes like he’s basking in the sun.

This arm wave reminds me of Jang Geun-suk in You’re Beautiful, when he’s in the field before getting attacked by the pig. Hee.

Se-kyung realizes that Secretary Kim is the chairman. There’s a comical bell-ring as Psycho-jo urges Secretary Moon to hand back Se-kyung’s bank book. Then he announces that poverty can’t eat love as Edith Piaf’s “Rien, je ne regrette rien” (Nothing, I regret nothing) plays. Use their passion to safeguard their love, he announces cheesily. Se-kyung dramatically says she doesn’t know how to show her gratitude and he sticks to that idea of thanks.

Record scratch. It’s a fantasy and he imagines them describing them who is the most grateful as Lynden David Hall version of “All You Need Is Love” plays. Heehee. Awesome track choice, music director-nim. He monologues that Se-kyung only needs love, not money. He’s so delusional that it’s cute. He’s missed the point, but he’s also come closer to it than he was before. A nice little bit of character development.

Psycho-jo thrills himself with his speech. Secretary Moon comes in and says that Se-kyung came to give her gratitude and Moon let her know of Psycho-jo’s decision to rescined the law suit. A glass shatter sound effect let’s us know that Psycho-jo’s dream has been demolished and he throws a fit, busting out his satori accent.

If you didn’t know, Park Shi-hoo is actually from Chungcheong and I think it’s cute he gets to use his dialect.

The satori scares Moon who can’t be scared for long, because Psycho-jo notices the boxes he’s holding – gifts of gratitude. One is a fancy box that is for Moon, one is a simple white box that is for Psycho-jo. Inside seem to be cheap bracelets while Moon’s are fancy looking cuff links. Psycho-jo is really pissed and jealous.

It’s so funny how he tantrums.

He storms out angrily and stops her. Isn’t she thankful towards the chairman? Why is she giving the expensive gift to Moon?

She explains that firstly, she is thankful for Moon in helping her with the letter delivery. If it was Psycho-jo, he would’ve said something like “do you think love feeds you?”

Secondly, the gift for the president was handmade, the first thing she made in college. His eyes shoot open in surprise; so he should deliver as it was wrapped to the chairman. He stops her from storming away and hands her back her bank book on the chairmna’s orders. He mentally begs her to thank him so he can say that she shouldn’t be grateful one, but he should. However, she refuses it. He’s uber confused. She needs the money and the account means a lot, but it would mean going against her resolution so she can’t accept it.

She won’t tell him the resolution and he gets a bit hysterical, declaring that the chairman wants them to save their love and be grateful.

Ahahaha. He’s so pathetically adorable.

But she’s apologetic instead and he angrily busts out in satori again, begging him to just be grateful. She gets pissed. Are you the chairman? she demands. And he better relay that she’s apologetic to the president.

She stomps away, then turns to tell him that when he speak with a satori accent he sounds like a total hick. She sticks her tongue out and then really leaves him to regret letting his accent pop out.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I can’t stop laughing.

On the way home, Se-kyung says her final farewell to In-chan.

Ho-min tells the Tick about In-chan’s dire circumstances and assumes that’s the reason Se-kyung is bothering her: for money. Also, Ho-min tells the Tick that Se-kyung’s house is about to be turned over for auction. All she needs is money. But the Tick ain’t so sure and tells her brother to keep digging.

When Se-kyung gets home, her family is pouring over papers. They have a notice from the bank asking for $50,000 in a few days; then they’ll give the family a year to repay the rest. The new bread shop has but their bakery in the red, so they want Se-kyung to sign for the loan to pay back the bank loan.

That’s sounds SO smart.

Not.

Se-kyung takes time to think about it in her room and then announces that she won’t do it. Instead, they should sell the house, pay back the loan and lease a full-lease house. If that doesn’t work, they can do a monthly-lease. Mom and Se-jin are against it – especially mom who bought the house. Se-kyung points out that she did it with a loan. They can’t wait for prices to go up and she doesn’t want to borrow again, even if she used the loan money for school, she won’t go into debt in her name.

I actually really agree with this. Going into debt is really, really tough as was illustrated by In-chan.

Psycho-jo is checking out his bracelet. It’s shabby, but he loves that it’s hand-made. He peruses the bank book again. Then he tells Secretary Moon to call In-chan to his office tomorrow.

How much do I love that Psycho-jo adores the bracelet because she made it. That is very telling about his character.

The Tick pulls out a fat envelope from a safe and hugs it to her chest.

The next day, In-chan shows up and Psycho-jo quickly pretends he’s cool by standing at the window. In-chan apologizes and Psycho-jo wonders what will happen to him now that he’s resigned and rumors have spread about him. Then he hands In-chan a card – Psycho-jo has put in a good work for In-chan at this company.

In-chan doesn’t know what to say, but he doesn’t have to say anything. Psycho-jo has his speech prepared and climbs on his soapbox.

Pyscho-jo: In life, there are matters that can be weathered and matters that can’t.

Psycho-jo’s thoughts: *smiles* Whoa! That line’s killer. I seriously said that?

Psycho-jo: *serious* Poverty is a matter than can be weathered. I’ve weathered through it as well.

Psycho-jo’s thoughts: *covers eyes and smiles* Wow, what’s this now?

I’m cracking up here. He’s so full of himself.

Then he gives In-chan Se-kyung’s bank book to return to her. In-chan can’t imagine how much effort she put in on his behalf. Thanks to her the lawsuit was thankful. He mentally sing-song urges In-chan to be thankful, wiggling his eyebrows to punctuate his desires. He leads In-chan by saying that it’s not something to be apologetic for, right?

AHAHAHAHAHAH!

In-chan thanks him and Psycho-jo beams. He delivers his practiced speech: Winston Churchill said the immature love needs and therefore loves. The mature love loves and therefore needs.

By the way, to get to In-chan, Psycho-jo ducked under the lamp again.

Love it!

He approaches In-chan who slowly backs away. In-chan winces when Psycho-jo dramatically takes his hand and tells him to guard his love. Then he actually KISSES IN-CHAN’S HAND, so thankful is he to them for proving that love exists and he wasn’t wrong (to love, I think, and what he did for love. Uh-oh, now I want to see A Chorus Line)

I’m seriously, dying. In-chan’s look is priceless. Show, give my stomach muscles a break here!

(I love how she copies his finger waggle.)

At home, Dong-wook visits as Psycho-jo sets up wine and cheese. He tells Dong-wook that doctors like to do volunteer work for depression and he understands why now.

Oh, you’re a do-gooder now? You’ve helped a poor, depressed man and his woman?

He’s so pleased with himself – his heart is throbbing after seeing that those two will work out. Dong-wook is incredulous that Psycho-jo did volunteer work. It’s not volunteering, Psycho-jo qualifies, but healing. Healing through being earnest.

Se-kyung comes to the door and backs him into the entrance. She knows his identity and calls him a bad man for lying. He apologizes for lying to her and she pushes his hand aside, telling him that’s not all he lied about. He acted like he didn’t know love, never been in love, yet he protected her love, the chairman who knows about love. She kisses his cheek, wiggles her fingers and with an “ahnyong” leaves.

Turn out this is another fantasy and it segues into my FAVORITE PART: Psycho-jo dancing out his victory like the totally amazing nutter he is. Please enjoy:

Dong-wook presses his hand to his chest in shock as he watches Psycho-jo dance while Duck Sauce’s Barbra Streisand plays.

I cannot tell you HOW many times I’ve watched this scene.

Psycho-jo thinks something good will happen to him and gives one more crazy head wiggle before we cut to him pacing his office, waiting for Se-kyung and In-chan to show up.

He calls the company he recommended to In-chan, but In-chan hasn’t contacted them yet. He turns to call Secretary Moon who is already on his way in – he is impressed at Moon’s psychic skills.

Psycho-jo: marry me.

Moon explains something about In-chan.

Psycho-jo waits for Se-kyung outside and she’s confused. He asks if she met In-chan and she sighs that they broke up. He’s shocked that In-chan hasn’t contacted her at all and she starts to get annoyed. He realizes she didn’t get the bank book and that In-chan took it and left for Brazil. She didn’t know about it and her expression darkens. Psycho-jo tries to explain that In-chan’s situation was urgent and that he’s probably just borrowing it for a while.

Aw, Psycho-jo your so sweet. This is why you were so hurt. You still want to so purely believe in love. I like.

She knows that In-chan isn’t a bad person, but someone who lacks. Besides, she won’t take back the bank account anyway.

She leaves and trudges along, trying to digest the breakup and In-chan running away. Psycho-jo follows her and for a second I thought we were gonna go all Secret Garden with the walking.

Of course, some humor is infused with comedy when Se-kyung turns to head to the curb and Psycho-jo panics and tries to hide, finally trying to hail a cab. Then he panics that she’s going to walk right into traffic, but she doesn’t.

He continues to follow her as the least stealthy stalker EVER. She heads to the Han River, river of tears and he frets that she’ll jump in, eyeing the life saving gear. Hee.

Then it turns more serious. Se-kyung gets a text from In-chan:

When you receive this message, I will be in Brazil. I was going to return the money, but cleared the remaining debt instead. Now I will start all over again. I want to start over from the beginning in a world without debt or my mother or you. I’m grateful and sorry. Live well. You live well. Bye.

Se-kyung smiles sadly and then breaks down in heart-wrenching sobs. It’s the end of the relationship and hits her hard. Psycho-jo watches her, again affected by her raw emotion, but he can’t quite make himself go to her even if he wants to comfort her.

I like that despite her goal to become like the Tick in status, she still retains this part of her.

He continues to follow her home and watches her go in as it starts to snow. Inside, she finds an unpleasant surprise: the Tick laughing with her family. Angrily, Se-kyung calls the Tick outside.

Se-kyung says the Tick better be there to give her answer; she is. There are two answers. The first is an envelope with money. It’s not millions like the Tick thinks that Se-kyung wants, but it’llhelp save her house. Afterwards, she should guard her sense of value and love. Money is actually nothing.

Psycho-jo walks alone and contemplates the hand-made bracelet, looking like he might cry again.

Se-kyung wonders what else the Tick can do for her and explains that the bank wants ⅓ of the loan paid back and the price of the house dropped drastically. In-chan studied and lived harder than anyone, but was still left with debts and money needs. Se-kyung thought that she could get somewhere with trying, but she couldn’t and lives in shame. She was told she needed eyes for fashion and that isn’t something that can be obtained with effort, only by birth.

No matter how she tries, will she be a designer? Can the Tick solve these problems? Se-kyung snatches the money and says that it can’t protect love. Did living rich make the Tick delusional? There is no such thing as love. In-chan left a six-year relationship for money and that made her feel relieved and emancipated because she didn’t have to deal with his miserable existence. She gave him the bank book to kick him out of her life.

Protect love and sense of value and the way she lived? What does the Tick know? Se-kyung throws the money on the ground.

It’s so sad how she’s so obviously lying to herself. I’m sure relief is there, but this is defensiveness over pain.

As she starts crying, Dong-wook witnesses Psycho-jo crying. He thought girls like Se-kyung were extinct. Dong-wook asks if he’s crying because of “that girl.” He is.

Se-kyung is mad at the world for being poor and being unable to climb out of poverty. Great people change the world, but she isn’t one of those people, so she’ll just change herself instead, live like the Tick – marry rich and have everything she wants and not tremble over money, take care of her family. She WILL live that way.

The Tick hands Se-kyung the fat package – it’s how she got into Cheongdam-dong. It’s a journal with a key and a lock shaped like a clock.

Nice Alice in Wonderland imagery.

 Comments:

Where the hell was this episode December 1st? This is what I’m talking about. Effective use of tragedy and comedy for character building and plot movement without inundating the audience with tears and annoying second lead plotting.

They seriously could’ve condensed episodes 1 and 2 into one episode and still have made the angst and tragedy just as potent and the role of the angst in Se-kyung’s life as obvious.

Because of the meandering character building in the first two episodes, the small things that could’ve been funny were not quite as funny. Like sound effects, music choice, even poor Park Shi-hoo.

Speaking of, we finally see what makes Psycho-jo tick (heehee). The emotional trauma of the betrayal of both his father and the Tick threw him into a depression and a state of shock. He overcame it by avoiding it and using revenge as an ineffective tool to make himself feel better. The trauma also rendered him emotionally numb and unable to cry. That’s why he’s so invested in Se-kyung’s failed romance. The hope he feels is real, but his interpretation of it is, well, a little out there.

But I think this reaction is part of Psycho-jo’s overall make-up. I LIKE.

Love how he reverts back to satori when he’s angry. It’s kinda like when my mother’s New York Brooklyn Jewish accent comes back when she’s pissed. Hee.

As for In-chan, I thought the conclusion to his storyline was a little weak, but I see why they did it. Get him out of her life, hurt her and drive her further towards the dark side. Money can make people desperate, and that’s definitely what he was.

I noticed that Psycho-jo has a rabbit statue with a heart on its chestby his window. Nice. So I’m guessing, show, that you still want him to be the White Rabbit and guide our resident Alice towards the strange wonderland that is Cheongdam-dong and to her dreams, which he is now much more invested in.

I suppose that leaves Tommy Hong as the prince? Since we’ve also mixed the Cinderella fairy tale into this slow-to-start story.

Personally, I see Psycho-jo as the Mad Hatter, as I mentioned before. Or how cool would it be if he was the Cheshire Cat. I wouldn’t mind if we were left with Park Shi-hoo’s grin…and his abs…

Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (final)

Character introductions.

Cheongdam-dong Alice Episode 3 Screencaps.


5 thoughts on “Cheongdam-dong Alice: Episode 3 Recap

  1. soo bin says:

    same here,chin gu.i see him as the Mad Hatter with the Cheshire Cat grin.i’ve now sunk in deeper into CDDA.hoping that the ratings go up.it has held up so far after 4 eps stoyline-wise and acting-wise. si hoossi,saranghaeyo!!!!!

  2. newkdramaaddict says:

    Even with the flaws in the first 2 episodes, I still love this drama and this episode make it daebak! I cannot keep count how many times I’ve watched certain scenes! Especially the happy dance! Too funny! PSH is simply hysterical in this!

  3. mystisith says:

    Cool! Another awesome anigif for my collection.
    PS: I wondered where I had seen the psychiatrist before: It was in “Glowing She” where he played with Tick girl already. Small world.
    That episode was superior to the first ones in any aspect. Hope it will stay that way. Sidenote: I want a copy of the dreamy instrumental score asap.

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