k-dramas reviews

Surplus Princess: Episode 3 Review

As we dive into week three of Surplus Princess, we’re dealt with a surprising plot twist. I can safely say that it wasn’t ever anything I imagined, but it still tugged at my heartstrings a little. (Keep reading through the review to find out – I don’t want to spoil it just yet.) Also, please keep in mind that I went a screen cap crazy for this episode, so this review most likely won’t be very dial-up friendly. Sorry, everyone. Another note: my PC is acting up, so I apologize on how long it took to get this review up.


We pick up in a new week right where we left off. Both Ha Ni and Hyun Myung are on the balcony, looking forward in great thought. They don’t see each other at first – that’s how wrapped up they are in their own problems. Then, Hyun Myung receives a phone call and he returns back into his room. Ha Ni just happens to look over as Hyun Myung is passing through the door, but she only sees a small piece of him, not enough to know that he’s the Han River Loser (explanation to follow) from the previous night.

Before the opening credits sequence begins, Ha Ni asks, “What is love?”

Unfortunately, I think she’s going to find that the answer is something that can’t be described. Explaining feels isn’t easy to do, and Ha Ni isn’t going to get her answer until she actually falls in love herself.


After the opening credits, we see Ha Ni wake up in bed, mentally freaking out. It’s obvious she’s having issues adjusting to the human world when she’s so used to being under the sea. Everything looks so different and foreign. Then, everything starts to sink in as she looks around the room and remembers that she’s a human named Kim Ha Ni that is seeking employment and she’s living at the shared house.


Waking up with a parched, dry throat, she rushes downstairs and takes Ji Yong’s water battle. She polishes off the entire drink in one breath. Ji Yong, Big, and the house owner look at Ha Ni curiously. Well, they did say the big rule is “sharing” in the share house after all, right? Not realizing that it’s poor manners to leave the drink empty, Ha Ni gives them a very upbeat good morning with the wave of both of her hands. With a bounce in her step, she leaves the kitchen.


Once in the safety of her room, Ha Ni calls Witch Ahn. We see that Witch Ahn is washing a car. This is one of many jobs he has — FYI.

Not knowing what to do about true love, Ha Ni asks Witch Ahn for advice, but he tells her that it’s something she needs to solve on her own. Does anyone else get father/daughter vibes from these two? Witch Ahn treats her a bit like a daughter while Ha Ni treats him like a father figure. She’s even calling him for love advice and complaining that she couldn’t sleep because she was uncomfortable.

Witch Ahn does cave a little and tells her that when she finds her partner, she’ll know when it’s love. That it’s a feeling. And that if she spins twenty times while looking into the sky, that love is something like that. Still, the information is pretty vague, and you know that Ha Ni will get it lost in translation sooner rather than later. And boy, does it happen sooner.


Ha Ni spins around twenty times. Dizzy, she falls to the ground. She wonders if love is feeling dizzy, nauseous, and having a racing heart.


Again, out of her element, Ha Ni calls Witch Ahn, who is carrying a plastic 5 gallon container of water on his shoulder. Is this yet another job? Ha Ni and Witch Ahn sort of get into an argument because Ha Ni is nagging him and taking her frustration out on him. He tells her that she should look for another man because he’s busy.

Good advice, Witch Ahn! We all know how literally she will take your advice to heart.

After hanging up, she’s determined to find a different man that will love her.


But it seems that she just can’t get Shi Kyung out of her mind. Ha Ni has a pretty hot daydream about him. It even involves Shi Kyung putting Ha Ni’s hand on his butt. What is it with Ha Ni and apple-shaped butts? She’s, rather quickly I may add, startled out of her dream.

Luckily, she doesn’t have time to dwell on Shi Kyung for long as she hears creaking from the attic.


Ha Ni decides to investigate and see what the sound is. Of course her mind goes straight into the gutter and she thinks it’s two people knocking boots if you know what I mean. After the daydream she had about Shi Kyung, I can’t blame her thoughts for straying to the gutter.

But no, it’s just one of the female members of the shared house, Ahn Hye Young, smashing some kind of food in her bowl. Apparently, she has a live food show that involves some kind of parody.


Ha Ni gets herself into trouble when she steps into view of Hye Young’s cam and ruins the live broadcast. She grabs Ha Ni by the hair, and the two are broken up by the owner of the shared house because Big and Ji Yong’s attempts are in vain. (Note: Hye Young has a thing for the owner of the house.)


Credit: if this is your gif, let me know. I lost the link and can’t find this again on tumblr. 

Note: Ha Ni loves chicken feet. She’s enjoying them immensely. Big and Ji Yong find out that this is her first time eating the stuff. Spicy chicken feet is number 10 on her list of 10 human foods she really wanted to try. So, now she has 2 items checked off her “human food” list.

Hye Young  compares the shared house owner as hotter than chicken feet. She really has a thing for him; she gets all starry-eyed around him. When the owner leaves, out of curiosity, Ha Ni asks Hye Young how she knew it was true love. In true Hye Young fashion, she ignores Ha Ni’s question and threatens bodily harm.

Ji Yong asks Ha Ni what it is with her and this “true love” stuff she’s been sprouting since day one. In true oblivious fashion, she grasps Ji Yong’s hands and gets very close to his face. Ji Yong is very affected and his heart starts to pound. He definitely finds Ha Ni attractive because the moment is broken by his bad breath. Yikes. Sorry Ji Yong.


While the members of the shared house continue to enjoy their lunch, Hyun Myung finally shows his face, asking how his jacket from his interview ended up out front in the trash. It doesn’t take long for Ha Ni and Hyun Myung to recognize each other. As soon as she recognizes him, she dubs him as the Han River Loser. Angry and frustrated, Hyun Myung gives her an equally fitting name from his perspective: Han River Psycho. (So, just as a disclaimer, later down the line, it is likely I’ll refer to each character with their new nickname.) I have to say that the nicknames are a nice little touch. I know a lot of folks who prefer SK to HM, but I see a lot of chemistry between HM and HN, which I really hope is something this drama continues to explore. Although, I do have moments that I like SK and HN, so I’m not completely oblivious to Shi Kyung’s charm.


Hyun Myung is desperate to make things right with Jin Ah. He convinces Ha Ni to straighten things up with Jin Ah and explain the truth. Ha Ni is actually pretty awesome in this moment. She agrees. He drags her to JH Foods to explain everything to Jin Ah, and he pleads that Ha Ni help him explain the mix up to the person he loves. Speaking of love, one of the things I really love about Hyun Myung is that he doesn’t easily give up.

Once Jin Ah appears outside JH Food, Ha Ni is furious and tries to punch her, but Jin Ah does a Matrix-like maneuver and bends backwards, missing the punch completely. As things continue to elevate and Jin Ah drags Ha Ni away, the show cleverly starts playing Eye of the Tiger in the background. A+ song choice.


Ha Ni tries to attack Jin Ah, but Hyun Myung holds her back. Meanwhile, Jin Ah looks straight up pissed and bored by what’s going down. Again, I must stress how much I don’t like Jin Ah’s character at all.

Once Ha Ni calms down a bit, she tells the truth about taking advantage of Hyun Myung, but Jin Ah doesn’t really care about any of it. She was happy that she had an excuse to break up with him. She implies that she’s been waiting for a good reason to break up with him because she felt bad about ending it and didn’t want to look like the bad person. Oh, Jin Ah, that doesn’t make it a little better. You look like the bad person for ending it for such superficial reasons.

Jin Ah goes on to state that she wants a relationship when she can confidently introduce her boyfriend and be congratulated by others. She basically implies that she was embarrassed by Hyun Myung. Yep, Jin Ah just reached an all new low, and it’s only episode 3!

Hyun Myun, rather sadly, realizes that his first love is ending because she also has interest in another guy, who just so happens to be Shi Kyung.


As Jin Ah walks away, Ha Ni realizes that Hyun Myung picked the wrong first love, too. You can see a flicker of sadness in her eyes as she is genuinely starting to feel bad for him. Worst of all, she does believe that it’s all her fault. But you can also see the anger in her eye for the way Jin Ah treated Hyun Myung. She’s definitely a Sly Girl, Ha Ni. Don’t ever fall for her crap!


Meanwhile, wanting to nurse his wounds, Hyun Myung buys five cans of beers. Unfortunately, he barely even drinks one because Ha Ni gets her hands on the alcohol and finishes three in no time at all. Hyun Myung warns her to drink slower, but when has Ha Ni ever heeded anyone’s warning when she’s pursuing something she wants?

In a hilarious moment, drunk Ha Ni ends up coming onto Hyun Myung. After multiple times of trying to kiss him, he grows frustrated by her behavior and takes off.


Ha Ni goes to chase after him, but her balance is shot from the alcohol. She ends up falling to the ground.


Of course, the creeper in the background who overheard the conversation uses the opportunity to his advantage. He basically sweet talks Ha Ni into sleeping with him — or what she thinks is “true love.” But before the creeper can kiss her, Hyun Myung returns and rescues Ha Ni.

While this typical k-drama plot device may irritate some, I don’t mind it in Ha Ni’s case. We have to remember that she’s a mermaid out of her element in the human world. To some degree, yes, she can handle herself. The problem is that there’s so much she doesn’t know. If someone hadn’t come along, Ha Ni would have done something she’d come to regret as it wasn’t an act of true love. She needs someone to help guide her. It doesn’t have to be Hyun Myung. It can be anyone she’s okay being around. Even Witch Ahn knows that she can’t be wandering alone in her current frame of mind.

Yes, I would have preferred a different chain of events, but I thoroughly enjoyed that Ha Ni and Hyun Myung were able to commiserate together. They might just have some common ground after all.


Hyun Myung carries a drunk Ha Ni on his back all the way to the shared house. Once they reach there, Ha Ni wakes up and Hyun Myung puts her down. But she still wants to be carried on his back. Of course Hyun Myung is having none of that. He tries to push her away, but she ends up losing her balance and falling.


Witch Ahn is furious of Hyun Myung’s treatment of Ha Ni, so he decks him one — right in the eye.

Afterwards, Hyun Myung walks inside and pretty much dejectedly walks away from his friends so that he can be alone. It’s been an all-around crap day for him, so I can sympathize with his moodiness.

Ha Ni walks in shortly afterwards and explains what happened with Jin Ah and what she did to Hyun Myung. Both Big and Ji Yong are shocked and horrified. Their reaction brings me back to the bet that happened in the first episode. Did they see something about Jin Ah when she lived at the shared house that Big and Ji Yong knew they wouldn’t last?

In her room, Ha Ni is reprimanded by Witch Ahn. He explains that being drunk is not the same as being in love despite the feelings being similar. Again, here is yet another moment that makes me think that Witch Ahn is an excellent father by the way he treats Ha Ni.


We get a steamy workout session with Hyun Myung. Sweating, shirtless, ripped… If only Ha Ni saw him, maybe she wouldn’t be so fixated on Shi Kyung. And I totally don’t mean that in a superficial way. While exercising, Hyung Myung remembers something Ha Ni said about Shi Kyung. He puts two and two together that Shi Kyung is who Jin Ah is interested in. The facts are obvious.

He even gets on his computer and started going through search results about Shi Kyung. He also sees pictures of the two together on Jin Ah’s SNS (social networking site) page.

Just what he’s going to do with this new tidbit of information, I don’t know.


At work, Jin Ah is carrying a huge stack of boxes while waiting at the elevator. As a friendly gesture, Shi Kyung takes the stack of boxes from Jin Ah.

Shi Kyung has a vision of the one he kissed, and he remembers she had a necklace. He asks Jin Ah about a necklace, but she isn’t/wasn’t wearing one. She’s confused by the question, but Shi Kyung doesn’t elaborate.

Jin Ah looks really defeated in this moment, but I can’t help but think that she reaped what she sowed. She threw away a good relationship for someone with more money and a higher social status. Walking home late at night, she feels like someone is watching her.

Shi Kyung drives by but doesn’t see Jin Ah. She’s noticeably hurt.


The next morning, at the shared house, Ji Yong nervously works up the courage to knock on Ha Ni’s door and give her a kettle full of water. He definitely has a crush on her, bad. But I don’t really see this going anywhere. Sorry, Ji Yong!

Ji Yong has a pretty active imagination in which he cooks a gourmet meal for Ha Ni. In actuality, Ji Yong makes up a bowl of Big’s ramen instead. But, hey, it’s the thought that counts, Ji Yong! Fighting!


While at the table together, Big gets a call from Suzy. It’s a girl he’s also pretty into. Freaking out, he runs up to the attic to get Hye Young’s input on what he should wear to meet her.

Pretty Woman starts to play in the background, and I can’t help but feel that this show is hitting all the right notes — in terms of comedy, music, and pop culture references.

Big tries on a ton of different outfits until Hye Young tells him to wear the suit. I must add: Big cleans up really well.



Big meets up with Suzy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go that well when her boyfriend (or whoever he was?) shows up and whisks Suzy away.

He dressed up to impress, and he didn’t even get acknowledged. Sorry, Big! Seems like all the members of the shared house are unlucky in love.


At JH Food, Shi Kyung, Jin Ah, and the rest of the staff are busy prepping a meal and placement for the CEO. Anxiety is really high. Everyone is on pins and needles, but it turns out that Shi Kyung really is one heck of a chef because the CEO actually really enjoyed it.


The moment is ruined when Shi Kyung gets yelled at in the hallway for being rude and disrespectful to another chef, a man who happens to be his sunbae (a man his senior). He grabs Shi Kyung and starts shaking him pretty roughly.

Just what is Shi Kyung hiding? We’ve had 3 episodes with him, and he doesn’t seem to be all that bad of a guy, so why did he ignore his sunbae and create a scene? Thankfully, this is a question that is answered by the end of the episode, so keep reading to find out what’s wrong with Shi Kyung.


And the truth is revealed. We see Shi Kyung meeting with some woman. She tells him, “It’s getting worse, isn’t it?” And we discover that Shi Kyung actually has Prosopagnosia— or face blindness to be more exact. What that means is his condition is debilitating. Faces are becoming blurred, and it sounds like soon he won’t be able to see faces at all, but the rest of his vision will remain in tact.

Still, it’s a crap shoot. This episode helped me to sympathize with Shi Kyung a lot.


Hyun Myung goes to see Jin Ah.

Jin Ah is on the elevator with Shi Kyung — all smiles. Hyun Myung forces himself on the elevator. I guess he’ still in the bitter stage and isn’t ready to let her go. Once alone, Jin Ah is angry and tells Hyun Myung off.


Witch Ahn is working yet another job, this time on a food truck.

It’s a good thing that Ha Ni is there because Witch Ahn faints and has to be taken to the hospital. Thankfully, he’s okay. The problem is that he’s been working too hard. While in at the hospital, his daughter calls and Witch Ahn rushes to look normal — as if he’s relaxing at the spa.

They have the cutest father/daughter relationship. Here, while she’s abroad, Witch Ahn is paying for as much of her schooling and needs as possible. She even thanks him for buying her an ipad.

While walking home alone, Jin Ah is attacked. Lucky for her, Hyun Myung was creeping nearby and took care of the situation before it could have escalated into something far worse.


Ha Ni shows up at JH food and confesses her feelings to Shi Kyung. It’s actually a great little scene that I enjoyed. The only problem is that I hope Ha Ni is seeking Shi Kyung out for all the right reasons. Of course we know it’s not completely true, but I honestly would hate to see either character hurting right now.

The only problem is that Shi Kyung can hardly see her face.

So, where will things go from here?


At the shared house, Ha Ni is having a bubble bath. She looks over the moon excited for confessing her feelings to Shi Kyung. Then, she sees that her legs have turned back into a tale and she starts to freak out. I wonder if water is a trigger? This concept reminds me of another series — an Australian one called H20.

Worse yet, someone is in the bathroom with her, and the episode ends right there. So, who is it? And will they help Ha Ni? Or will this person exploit her weakness and use it as leverage? Only time will tell, so tune in for another recap that should be up sometime this week. As always, thank you so much for reading.


What is the backstory to Shi Kyung’s face blindness? Hereditary? Happened one day out of the blue? Or did something (like an accident to the eyes) cause it?

How long will Ha Ni insist on chasing after Shi Kyung?

Does Hyung Myung still want to be with Jin Ah despite everything she said?

Will he team up with Ha Ni to have her pursue Shi Kyung? (So that he can have a chance with Jin Ah? At this point, knowing k-dramas, I don’t want to rule out any possibilities, so I just had to throw the theory out there just in case.)


One comment

  1. just got into this drama BUT LOL, the guy who criticises BIG’s clothes must have not looked at himself on the mirror for a pretty long time

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