Secret Love Affair – Episode 3 Recap


Episode 3

Wow.. we’ve got a lot going on in just one episode, and our characters go through a wide range of emotions and experiences within an hour.  Though the episode still feels moody in it’s style and pacing, in reality it’s plot really moved forward quite quickly. During this episode I may have ended up changing opinions about some people, and I’m glad, I hate hating on sad people.

The scene rolls in and the first thing we see is Kang Joon Hyung outside in his car wiping his hands nervously, guess the ideas of rats has his germ phobia act up. We meet up with our main characters just after the princess carry and it turns out that Sun Jae just took Hye Won to the washroom so that she cold clean off the sticky parts with soybean oil. He’s so awkward around her that he can barely even face her, he’s all nervous twitches and incoherent stutterings. He even pushes away DaMi and the other friend that is always around as they try to come into his room without even an explanation and they leave bewildered by all the mystery.

When Hye Won finishes up he gathers her coat and despite her disappointed face in having come to hear him play and having to leave without doing so, he insists that since her husband is outside waiting for her it’s better that he go play the piano for her some other time. Before she leaves she asks him why he calls her teacher when his teacher will be her husband. He tells her that he believes that fate has made it so that his real teacher is her. She laughs it off saying that now that he’s said that he must feel how corny/cheesy his words are and regret them, Sun Jae looks at her steadily and says that he doesn’t regret a word because he really believes what he’s said. Hye Won gives him a long searching look but leaves without another word. Sun Jae’s mom comes out as soon as the car leaves and is really upset that he didn’t introduce her to his teachers and let them go without a word.

Later Hye Won connects to the online site where she helped out Sun Jae without knowing it by recommending an orthopedics clinic for his tenosynovitis issue. Tonight Sun Jae is also logged on and at once starts gushing to his music school graduate “hyung” about this woman who is impressive, charismatic and elegant who has recently together with her husband recommended him to the Music School. Hye Won starts to realize that she’s been talking to Sun Jae all this while.

Sun Jae is however in the dark about the fact that he is in fact spilling his guts to the very woman he’s admiring. Hye Won let’s him go on a bit as he says that what he finds interesting is her “scent of a woman.” She starts to sniff herself wondering what he’s talking about. She cuts the boy off saying that she has some things to do. Later that night she paints her toe nails, remembering another comment of his where he said she has pretty feet. However as she lays in bed she changes her mind about her nails and removes the paint.

The next day sees everyone at the Arts Foundation and the Music School preparing for the entrance exams. Some like or more like just Jo In Seong tries to avoid letting people in with money but no talent and everybody else is more pragmatic and accepts that people have been and will be buying their way through school. In fact Hye Won, Dean Min and Chairman Lily are planning to use Sun Jae’s talent as a shield for their other not so talented examinees.

Sun Jae goes with his friend, who I still haven’t got a clue what his name is, for the introductory seminar at the music school. Sun Jae stays behind in the evening to practice for the next day’s exam and Hye Won stays behind to give him some helpful tips for performing under pressure.

Meanwhile back at Sun Jae’s home Dami has pretended her mother has just died and uses it as an excuse to get time off of work. Sun Jae’s mom asks her how many times she’ll kill her mom off to skive off of work and Da Mi just shrugs and comments that it really doesn’t mother since her mother really is dead.

Hye Won is actually quite strict with him and he’s very distracted with her presence, he’s continuously making mistakes, changing tempos, slouching over the piano, etc. At one point she’s scolding him with a wooden bar in her hands and as she asks him to loosen his belt buckle he asks if she’s going to hit him in his abs. She just looks at him and tells him he’s filled with indecent, selfish, distracted thoughts and that’s why he’s not playing as well as he should. Hye won tells him that she won’t be hitting him, she’ll just teach him like she was taught -she gets the wooden stick and puts it between his shoulder bladess and tells him that his posture should be as straight as possible. Joon Hyung comes in just then and starts beign all energetic and all noisy going “Forte! goood! DAN DAN DAN ! GOOD!” While Hye Won just giggles in the corner about her silly husband.

At home Sun Jae is all bummed at how horribly he played and he keeps replaying Hye Won’s comment about his indecent, selfish, distracted thoughts that he’s extroardinarily curt with his mom… which is never a good idea, bad behaviour against parents is just material for regrets later on. He scolds his mom for having thrown out his hand warming cloth without replacing it. Later she goes up to his room and asks him if she’s really so terrible, can’t he see how much she prayed that he wouldn’t be like other people’s children who got into bad stuff like stealing money and staying all day at the arcade, which is why she never sold the piano even when they might have needed the money it would bring. He just tells his mom to leave him alone and keeps rolling around in mopey silence on his bed.

The next morning as he’s wasking up and preparing to eat breakfast he notices that his mom isn’t there. He calls her immediately and she, in true mom fashion, had gone out super early to find him some handwarmers  as she’s talking to him on the cell phone she’s running back home telling him “eat! I’ll be there soon!” Sun Jae doesn’t know it, but we see how mom runs out in the street avoiding cars here and there intent on arriving home quickly, but then we cut to Sun Jae yelling at his cell phone. and OMG the silence… there’s no other sound but Sun Jae’s “hello?….OMMA!” The silence is deafening.

We don’t know right away what’s happened as we cut to the school and they’re calling out for Sun Jae in roll call. But he doesn’t make an appearance. Hye Won searches all around for him but when she does find him, she can’t face him. She just watches him kneeling in front of his mother’s picture, the dutiful son receiving people’s greetings for his mom. Dami and his friend outside crying their hearts out. Dami feels that it was her fault that Sun Jae’s mom died since she’d told people at work her mom died, it’s a punishment for acting out.

Sun Jae and his friends watch as his mom’s coffin goes in to the cremator and my heart just squeezed as he cries so pitifully.

Next thing we know Sun Jae is selling the piano even though his friends tell him he shouldn’t. And even the guys who bought the piano ask him if he’s sure and that they’ll resell him the piano at the same price he sold it for.

Kang Joon Hyung is complaining that Sun Jae must think that military service is easy and for Hye Won to forget about him since his talent will die in the military. He huffs away that troubled kids always end up wrong anyways. But Hye Won doesn’t appear convinced and stares pensively at her coffee cup.

 Time goes forward as it usually does and we see Sun Jae going around doing his military service which seems to be in the public service sector than the army sector. He’s going around putting signs up, and bringing mail in for the office etc. And in one such ocasion he has mail for himself. It’s from Hye Won. It’s a book about a Sviatoslav Richtor a soviet pianist who is considered one of the great virtuosos of the past century. He goes through the book reading only what Hye Won has underlined for him. It’s a message exhorting him to continue studying piano because he is her best student. He closes the book and just cries and cries.

Hye Won gets called over by Young Woo to a posh private room bar where she is currently making out with a young man. Hye Won asks her why she insists on calling her over when she knows Hye Won doesn’t like this kind of place? Young Woo tells her that it’s because she wants to have Hye Won come back to her side by making her into a ‘bad girl’  like her. She even has her loverboy bring in friends to perform for them and in this group we find Sun Jae’s male friend who was always at his house. Hye Won chases the boys out by smashing a beer bottle on the table and telling them to scram since she’s ‘this kind of noona.’

Hye Won tells Young Woo to stop buying love like this, that things will be worse for her later if she continues since her step mother will keep it quiet only to use it to hurt her later. That Young Woo’s husband is back in the country and it’ll be worse for Young Woo if he finds out what she’s doing, that she’ll lose more than her passport. Young Woo says she knows and that’s why she wants Hye Won to stay on her side. Young Woo then actually says something that makes me rethink my previous annoyance and hate towards her. She says that she only has one life and in that life she wants to at least love once properly. She says that it hurts that to have the love of the guy she got attached to she has to pay for it and that she’s so lonely. When Hye Won tells her that it’s an illness that she needs to quit having affairs and get therapy, Young Woo sighs and asks her not to say such things since Hye Won is the only person she can count on.

Hye Won sees that Young Woo is taken back home and even has the foresight to call Young Woo’s husband to inform him that YW was drinking with her. She turns to the boytoy and tells him that he better stop seeing Young Woo. As she’s driven by her designated driver/substitute driver Hye Won seems pensive but we don’t really get insight as to why. At home as she’s closing the garage door, a voice calls out to her “It’s me.” She opens up the garage door and in wonder she remarks “it is you.”

She asks him if he recieved her message. He says he’s come to ask her not to send anymore books or letters that sway him, he won’t be playing the piano anymore, he’s given it all up. She shakes her head and says that he must be hurting so much and that he mustn’t lie to his teacher, she can’t bear to see his talent so wasted. She comes closer to him and cups his face in her hand. He is visibly shaken by the touch and he asks that she not touch him like that, and next thing she knows he’s taken her in his arms and hugged her like she’s a lifeline. Then as he releases her from the hug he holds her face and proceeds to kiss her thoroughly, Hye Won drops her purse. As soon as they pull away she closes the garage door, and invites him inside.


Soooo…. wow.

Ok. well now we’ve gone and gotten me hooked. How did it know that all it would take would be to throw me a crying Yoo Ah In? Seriously that oppa, he slays me every time he cries.

I’m glad that this episode was mainly centered around our two main characters, but I’m not so glad at the circumstances that lead to YAI crying like that. Seriously drama lords! Did everyone up and decide that killing off the nice parents is the best way to hook an audience? and at the same time? In these past two weeks there have been three parent deaths in the dramas I’m watching 1) ER couple 2) Sly and Single and 3) this one. It has made me call my parents like a paranoid creature to tell them I love them and miss them and care about them even when we’re so far apart!

I still have a problem with adultery. I still want to know why she even married Joon Hyung when it’s obvious that she doesn’t love him like she should a husband. It’s more like she’s always just pacifying and coddling a silly child. I wonder if there was ever a time that she truly loved him or did she marry him because it was expected of them?

As I said all it took was four minutes to make me change my opinion about  Seo Young Woo. If they had started out with showing us that there is friendship there behind all the insecurities and fear of being backstabbed, that she did value Hye Won instead of just shoving her “boss” position and using it to browbeat Hye Won into submitting to her I would have been on her side from day one. I can imagine that she was forced to marry a guy for money and position probably as a strategic move by her father, so I forgive her, but don’t condone her irresponsible behaviour. I hope that Hye Won and her can team up to protect each other once the Sh** hits the fan and people find out about Hye Won’s as of now not too far in the future affair with Sun Jae. Hopefully Young Woo won’t turn on her, but she’s unpredictable since she seriously doesn’t seem to recieve or know much about loyalty since her own father is pretty back-stabby all in the name of toughening her up.

Now as to the sound and look of the drama, I was thinking the atmosphere of the drama might put off some people because it’s a lot moodier than the other dramas out right now, but I think it’s perfect. The use of silences is very effective and gives me more than all the noisy “ALMOST PARAAADISEs” of the drama world could ever hope to make me feel. I was completely floored by his mom’s death and the silent beat right before his voice’s pitch rises with  chilling call for his mom, made my heart skip a beat because of the tension. wow.


11 thoughts on “Secret Love Affair – Episode 3 Recap

  1. Thanks for another round of recaps 🙂 Although I have been enjoying the pace of the show but I was kind of surprised that kissed so soon! Perhaps it’s by choice that you’ve left out a little more than their online conversation? Cos I thought it was quite amusing that he mentioned playing duet with his teacher is like a sexual climax despite being a virgin 😛

    I think somewhere I read in soompi forum than HW & her husband went through arranged marriage or something which is quite similar with SW as the latter is always comparing both their plights. I think it may be quite evident that the husband & wife have no love but just ‘collaboration/partnership’ with regards to work matters?

    Oh well… in Ep 4, we have Prof Kang bringing SJ back home to STAY WITH THEM! lol Ep5 will be sizzling, intense!

  2. Yee Nee says:

    Thank you so much for doing a recap on this drama. Usually I read recap before watching the episode. Seriously hope YAI will be generating positive review for this drama. He is such a talented actor & hope he will soon got his big break. As for the female lead, KHA? great actress too. And the pace of this drama is just right, i actually forgot I am watching drama instead of an artsy movie – that is the feel this drama give me.

  3. sable says:

    Come on! because they are using cheap tricks in order to get audiences! it was neccesary this silly death because in korean dramas they use or abuse about old cliches sincerely credentials wife was better tan this in many aspects…
    Yoo ah in is fantastic and kim hee too but there are voids in the middle which deserved better developments

    • skelly says:

      Actually, mom’s death made sense to me. It was not out of the blue, we already knew she had health problems. She’d even fallen down previously. But I think her death was also necessary structurally to remove another underpinning to SJ’s life. With her gone, there is no one to police his relationships, to hold him back from a possible affair or keep his cray cray girlfriend in line. What might have possibly been the only voice of reason in the entire drama is gone as of episode 3 – I think that tells us exactly where we are headed.

  4. Appreciate the recap. The drama clicks when our leads are on screen otherwise it is a bit flat. This was the best episode so far. They’ve got chemistry, now let’s see if the show is able to showcase this with a worthy story.

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