New Director Cheon Seo Jin attends a press conference for her big comeback performance at tonight’s inauguration. A reporter asks about her daughter’s kidnapper being an old rival and ghost singer. But both Dan Tae and Seo Jin push the obsessedYoon Hee/unqualified-for-SNU Rona narrative.
Later, the two of them hurl accusations at each other ranging from Seo Jin being Yoon Hee’s murderer to Dan Tae being the shadowy figure behind Ms. Jin. Dan Tae says Seo Jin has no choice but for them to work together to keep Cheong A afloat.
Seo Jin hurries to the hospital where Eun Byeol is finally awake. Seo Jin shares the good news that Eun Byeol has been accepted into Seoul National University, but Eun Byeol stares straight ahead, emotionless.
Eun Byeol says she cannot stop seeing Yoon Hee’s eyes from right before she died. And when you see the eyes of someone before they die, you lose your soul. Eun Byeol believes she will go crazy, die or become a monster.
“Why did you do it?” Eun Byeol asks her mother. She recounts those harrowing moments when she saw Yoon Hee desperately trying to save her only to have Seo Jin use the car to push Yoon Hee into the lake.
“How could you kill someone who was trying to save me?!”
Eun Byeol screams with tears in her eyes. She feels guilty about betraying Rona again when it was Rona who helped her escape Ms. Jin.
“I killed the woman who saved me!”
“I did it for you,” Seo Jin says.
“You killed Grandpa and Ms. Oh for me?!”
Seo Jin says life isn’t easy and you gotta roll with the punches. She suffered humiliation and was treated like garbage in prison. But she was able to survive. Now Eun Byeol must toughen up and do the same.
Eun Byeol says she is scared that Yoon Hee will haunt her the rest of her life. Seo Jin slaps her and tells her to wake up. She hands Eun Byeol her phone to call the police and turn her in. But Eun Byeol begs Seo Jin to get that memory erasing drug from before so she can attend SNU and snag a boyfriend in peace.
Seo Jin tells Eun Byeol to get over it herself and to just ignore the one flaw that is her mother being a murder out of love.
Eun Byeol shoves her mother to the floor, calls her a monster and says she is disgusted to be her daughter. She refuses to become like monster like daughter and starts hurling medical equipment at Seo Jin.
Seo Jin runs out to call for the doctors as Eun Byeol begins rampaging. She orders Secretary Jo to get the magic drug, but then changes her mind and believes Eun Byeol can overcome this on her own.
Su Ryeon is in Yoon Hee’s room, packing her belongings. She opens a box containing two dolls and Rona says Yoon Hee made them herself to give to Su Ryeon on her birthday. Yoon Hee just wanted to make her happy.
Rona shows Su Ryeon the evidence board/crazy wall Yoon Hee left behind and says that her mother worked so hard for her and everyone else, day in and day out without ever taking care of herself. Her poor mother.
Seok Hoon comes in and says he will take Rona to the hospital to get an IV.
Su Ryeon finds the records Yoon Hee obtained from the OB/GYN and she meets with the hospital CEO herself to find out what had been discussed. She then goes to the private investigator who hands over all the information he collected for Yoon Hee.
Ma Ri catches Jenny with bags of food, but is touched when Jenny explains it’s all for Rona, hoping she can help get her back on her feet. Ma Ri tells Jenny to just invite Rona over instead and she can sleepover too.
Just as Jenny heads for the door, Dong Pil comes in and screams at Jenny to stay away from that family. He forcefully grabs her arms and says if she does not, she will throw her life away.
But Jenny swats her father’s hands away and says if it wasn’t for Rona talking her off the ledge, literally, she would be dead right now. (“If it weren’t for her, you wouldn’t have a daughter right now!”) And it was Yoon Hee who was by her side when she was being bullied.
And now he is demanding she stay away? Jenny says she is more disappointed in him now than when she found out he was a murderer. She grabs the bags of food and storms out.
Ma Ri demands Dong Pil tell her what is going on and he explains the entire situation with Dan Tae. He will do anything to protect his family. Ma Ri is ready to go kill Dan Tae herself, but Dong Pil grabs her and orders her to think only of Jenny. They must lie low.
Ma Ri slaps Dong Pil and says he should be ashamed of himself. Dong Pil replies that he will side with the devil himself if that means his family is safe. But Ma Ri says they will never side with the devil ever again.
Meanwhile, Jun Ki wonders how much Logan really loved Su Ryeon to have given her ten billion dollars. He meets with Kyu Jin who explains that Yoon Hee was a virus that infected Hera Palace with trouble ever since she set foot in it. Everyone hated her except for Su Ryeon. Kyu Jin realizes Jun Ki is interested in her.
Anyway, Kyu Jin asks for some dirt on Dan Tae who unbeknownst to them, is listening in to their convo.
Over at the penthouse, Ma Ri visits Su Ryeon and she spills the beans on everything. From Dong Pil taking the fall for the murder of Kim Mi Sook to Dong Pil dumping Yoon Hee’s body in the water after being blackmailed by Dan Tae.
Ma Ri gets on her knees, not to beg for mercy for her husband. But to ask if she can help uncover the truth behind Yoon Hee’s death in the hopes of finally bringing Dan Tae down. Ma Ri says she is not afraid of humiliation or death. She no longer wants to live a submissive life.
Su Ryeon finds it hard to trust Ma Ri. But Ma Ri decides she will use her one and only card up her sleeve for Yoon Hee.
Ma Ri opens up the sauna and invites the three madams. Ma Ri asks Chairman Song if she can cash in the favor she promised her and explains how she wants to uncover the truth behind the murder of someone she considers her sister.
Chairman Song asks if Ma Ri is sure she wants to redeem her favor for someone else and Ma Ri says she needs to do this so she can live. Chairman Song is impressed and says she knew a good one when she saw her.
Ma Ri goes on to explain that they need to find evidence of what happened the night of the murder which took place in Gimpo. Luckily, Chairman Song has Gimpo under her control because of her logistics center. She makes one call and gets her entire team on the hunt.
Chairman Song offers a $100,000 reward for anyone who can find definitive evidence in 24 hours, $300,000 if under 12 hours. If one hour, $500,000.
Ma Ri gets on her knees and asks if she is sure about all that money. Chairman Song says she will spend whatever she can afford for her people. And Ma Ri is her peoples.
On the other side of town, Seok Kyung goes to torment Su Ryeon and threatens to take all of what she believes is rightfully hers. Su Ryeon tells Seok Kyung to wake up and then leaves her with the title of the penthouse which has Dan Tae and Seok Hoon as the owners, not her.
Seok Kyung storms into her father’s office and confronts him. But he calls her a stupid, money-hungry brat. She knocks his chair and demands answers. But he criticizes her for being dumb enough to have admitted to taking Su Ryeon’s seal. He calls in Secretary Jo to drag her to the villa. But Seok Kyung is not done.
Seok Kyung calls her father a coward for using her all this time. He stops himself from slapping her and says she better not ruin this for them. Secretary Jo proceeds to drag her out.
Dan Tae believes it’s time to get rid of her as she’s outlasted her usefulness.
Ms. Jin shows up in Seo Jin’s office and they argue over Eun Byeol. But Ms. Jin has the upper hand in the situation as she can reveal everything. Seo Jin is powerless against it and follows her out. Su Ryeon watches as Seo Jin screams at Ms. Jin who laugh as she walks away.
Just then, Ma Ri calls with big news. They meet as Ma Ri has dashcam video proving Dan Tae was driving Yoon Hee’s car in the Gimpo area. Ma Ri asks if they should immediately go to the police. But Su Ryeon says legal punishment means nothing anymore when the evil walk free and good ones are gone.
Su Ryeon shows Yoon Hee’s evidence board to Ma Ri and they conclude that Seo Jin’s on their list as well.
Su Ryeon decides to target Jun Ki first. She heads to the lower floor condo on the guise that Seo Jin would be waiting for her. But in reality, she digs through Jun Ki’s belongings.
Seo Jin arrives home and they confront each other over what might have happened to Yoon Hee that night. Seo Jin maintains she is the victim here. Su Ryeon vows to risk her life to uncover the truth.
Later, Seo Jin watches CCTV footage of Jun Ki’s room and sees Su Ryeon rummaging through.
Elsewhere, Dan Tae meets with Dong Pil and offers an easier way to get rid of Jun Ki using his gambling addiction.
Jun Ki has already burned through all his money and calls someone to give him money. But the person on the other end refuses. “You brought me to Korea, so you need to take care of me!”
Rona visits Eun Byeol at the hospital and asks her to go to the police station to vouch for Yoon Hee. But Eun Byeol and her crazed eyes insist that Yoon Hee is a murderer who orchestrated the entire ordeal. Rona cannot believe she’s acting this way. Eun Byeol taunts Rona. But Rona gets on her knees and begs Eun Byeol to tell the truth.
Eun Byeol continues to act like an ass and Rona has had enough. Ms. Jin walks in as the two ladies fight and shoves Rona to the floor.
Rona is thinking clearly now. She regrets ever helping someone like Eun Byeol and vows that she will do whatever it takes to restore her mother’s reputation and to get Eun Byeol out of SNU.
“Whatever I do now is all your fault.”
After Rona leaves, Ms. Jin confirms that Eun Byeol remembers nothing from that night thanks to her administering the magic eraser drug earlier.
Jun Ki meets with the person from the other end of the phone and it is Seo Jin who hands him a bag of cash. Turns out it was her that actually brought him to Korea and he had fooled Logan the entire time.
Jun Ki reminds her that she shouldn’t turn her back on him after all he’s done.
Su Ryeon calls Jun Ki and tells him he needs to go to the police station to talk about a bag in Logan’s car from the day of the explosion that didn’t belong to him. Jun Ki says he’ll let Su Ryeon know how it went after.
But Jun Ki is upset at Seo Jin, thinking it was her plan all along to frame him for murdering Logan.
Jun Ki says she better be on the up and up or he will tell Su Ryeon that she knew Logan was going to die that day. She calls him an idiot and says if he messes up, they both die.
Seo Jin drives Jun Ki to the police station, Su Ryeon is watching him, but just misses being able to see Seo Jin in the driver’s seat.
Back home, Su Ryeon thinks of Yoon Hee. She remembers a moment when Yoon Hee said she almost fell for Su Ryeon when she was acting as Ae Gyo. Yoon Hee advises Su Ryeon live more like Ae Gyo from now on.
And that’s what Su Ryeon will do. She gets a butterfly tattoo and drives to the cliffs to leave flowers for Yoon Hee and declare that she knows who she must kill. She asks Yoon Hee to support her.
Su Ryeon screams out for her beloved Yoon Hee.
SIX MONTHS LATER!
Ma Ri calls Jenny and Rona for breakfast. Jenny has class all day while Rona says she’s going in for another audition. Ma Ri asks why she keeps going to auditions when Seo Jin has made it so they will never even see her because she is a murderer’s daughter. Rona says she shouldn’t give up.
Jenny asks her mother if she has a boyfriend since she’s been coming home late. But Ma Ri says she’s gotten a job.
The three ladies leave the condo. Dong Pil comes out of their old home, but Ma Ri refuses to talk to him until he signs the divorce papers.
Sang Ah tries to get under Ma Ri’s skin, wondering how she could have fallen out of love with Dong Pil. Especially as he is now CEO of Cheong A Construction. Kyu Jin, meanwhile, is CEO of Cheong A Investments.
Kyu Jin and Yoon Cheol head to Dan Tae’s office after meeting with a materials supplier who bribes them. Yoon Cheol warns that Dohae Construction has been sniffing around the area in Cheonsoo District they are hoping to develop. Kyu Jin says a big-time lobbyist is working for them, but he hasn’t been able to find out who it is. Dan Tae says they are a new, small company who is no match for them.
Seo Jin and apparent SNU Queen Eun Byeol are giving an interview to a kiss-ass reporter on the day that Cheong A Arts Center begins accepting applications for the resident performer gig. Seo Jin says she will ensure this will be the fairest audition ever.
Rona hands in her application, but the mother and daughter mock her and try to discourage her from auditioning. Rona does not back down and says she will never give up. She vows to beat Eun Byeol, get her kicked out of SNU and prove to the world that her skills are not fake.
Rona walks away and as Eun Byeol hands in her application, Seo Jin asks the lady at the counter to hand it to her to rip up.
While the Hera boys are meeting the Minister of Education to bribe him into supporting their Cheonsoo development, Yoon Cheol gets a call from the shadowy figure who orders him to come to the secret location right now.
As he is talking with the mysterious person, Su Ryeon comes walking by looking like Na Ae Gyo. She is on her way to an important meeting.
Yoon Cheol hurries over and begins treating the bandaged-up patient. The mysterious figure, watching from above, calls to ask for an update on the patient’s condition. Yoon Cheol says the patient’s skin is unable to regenerate and that he has less than ten percent chance of survival. The mysterious figure tells Yoon Cheol to hurry up.
An annoyed Yoon Cheol gets up and says he’s been doing all he can. He wants to save this guy more than anyone else. He wonders what is the mysterious person’s relationship with the near-death patient. When will the figure ever reveal themselves.
Safely out of view from Yoon Cheol, the mysterious figure takes her hat off and yes, it is Cheon Seo Jin.
Seo Jin tells Yoon Cheol that she will reveal herself once Logan wakes up.
Seo Jin flashes back to how it all went down. Secretary Do met with Jun Ki as soon as he and Logan arrived in Korea. As they expected this would be the day Dan Tae would kill Logan by explosion, Secretary Do hands Jun Ki a briefcase of bones to be placed in Logan’s car so it can be identified as his and Logan believed dead.
It was after the explosion that Secretary Do ushered a badly burned Logan into an ambulance. Seo Jin had ordered they keep Logan alive.
Back in the present, Seo Jin reminds Yoon Cheol to keep Logan alive even though she does not expect him to return to being a fully functioning human being. This is why she bailed Yoon Cheol out of jail in the first place.
So what did Penthouse dish out for us this week? Prepare for me to argue against nonsensical plot twists after always saying this is a soap opera that isn’t always supposed to make sense and we should accept that. lol
Obviously, the big development is the revelation of Seo Jin having recruited Jun Ki to help save Logan from Dan Tae’s impending-murder of him.
Umm… okay sure.
Seo Jin bringing Jun Ki to Korea? What? Yes, he was sketchy the day Logan blew up. But still, things don’t add up here. It’s more complicated than it needs to be. His parents were murdered, identity stolen. Now he’s a raging gambling addict who’s been stealing from his parents since he was a teen. WTF?
This then makes the reveal that Seo Jin is the shadowy figure all the more sketchy. It feels like they’re trying too hard with trying to redeem her. It’s too forced at this point. And honestly, Seol Ah being the shadowy figure would’ve been more believable.
Of course, this increases the possibility of Yoon Hee being alive. (Which she is of course.) But the how is the question. Now we know Seo Jin could’ve had a body double ready and this was all their plan (together!) all along. Fake Yoon Hee’s death in order to catch Dan Tae.
And with Seol Ah, there’s gotta be something about her being caught in the angel’s arms. She’s gotta pop up sometime before the end of the series in order to pin her “death” on Dan Tae and clear Yoon Hee’s name.
Anyway, the time jump feels completely unnecessary though. And it honestly adds to this season feeling like it wasn’t even necessary. The stretching and recycled plots are starting to wear thin.
Over the top plot twists are fine. Gotcha! fake outs can be quite exciting. But it comes across a bit contrived when such things actually negate any growth these characters might actually have.
Take Jenny and Ma Ri for example. I applauded when Jenny laid into her father like that. Thank you Queen Jenny for coming through! What an awesome moment.
Then if that wasn’t enough, Queen Ma Ri came through as well. I was hoping Dong Pil would get slapped by either Jenny or Ma Ri. And I was cheering when Ma Ri stood up to him. Now THAT’S character growth! Divorce papers? Yes!
But! And it’s a big but. I hope Ma Ri is sincere in wanting to work with Su Ryeon. You never know with Penthouse. But if they do a last minute Gotcha with Ma Ri, it would be such a waste. There is no need for more betrayals from any non-three lead actress characters at this point.
The only way I’d accept some sort of betrayal is if the endgame is going to be everyone burning in hell, literally, with them all getting stuck in a towering inferno that will be Hera Palace. That would be the only fitting end for these people after three seasons of selfish greed and manipulation.
Otherwise, why bother? If you aren’t going to do that, then fully redeem these characters. This is already season three. It’s time to get who needs to be got. The incessant Whodunit and Will they/won’t they? become less impactful when it feels forced every week.
Now take Eun Byeol. Her snapping at her mother was excellent. She was feeling the guilt (character growth!) and then reverted right back to her selfish self (character regression, woohoo!). And then Ms. Jin drugging her up again? Why? Why ruin satisfying character growth, at this point in the drama, just for another You didn’t see that coming (but you did), did you?
I cringed when Rona got on her knees. You’re better than that Rona! Don’t degrade yourself for that thing. I agree with her. Why help someone like Eun Byeol. Should’ve just left her with Ms. Jin. She deserves it after what she did to Seol Ah, Rona and then Jenny. It’s actually better if they just kept Eun Byeol her mother’s daughter. Of, if they want to stick to her being mentally unstable, do so. But the forced, drugged up insanity is the epitome of dragging the plot out to fill the time.
I think they completely botched that moment with Seok Kyung and Dan Tae. It was a pretty underwhelming moment considering it was supposed to be a piece in the puzzle of driving Seok Kyung to her lowest point before she eventually is saved by her real mother. They spent more time on the land development/corruption nonsense that at this point is so boring. Focus on the characters and their relationships!
One positive development this season is the show totally establishing that Su Ryeon and Yoon Hee are endgame. They specifically included those flashback scenes and then Su Ryeon screaming on the cliffs to imply they were in love with each other. lol That came completely out of nowhere, but is actually the most believable development to come out of this episode.
Anyway, the momentary shocks and awe (most of the time, kind of funny) and the frequent scenery chewing seem to be the only things the show has left in the tank. And they’re toying with an extension right now. I think it’s safe to say there is no chance for season 4 the way the writing has been so thin and all over the place this season. (Before this season’s episodes, it was entirely possible.)
After preaching for weeks about just accepting the outrageous nonsense that is Penthouse and hopping along for the ride, I’m willingly hypocritical now in saying that Penthouse needs to get its sh-t together. This isn’t how a deliciously soapy show works. Daily evening dramas don’t get this haphazard and convoluted. The cliffhangers aren’t even hitting hard anymore. It really feels like they threw every idea on a wall and everything stuck. So they stuffed it all in. Needless to say, Penthouse is not heading in the right direction as it nears its end.