Little Women – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

Episode 1 of Little Women begins with Oh In-joo narrating her childhood to In-kyung, her younger sister. She explains that they were very poor and now are far better as they can afford a cake for their youngest sister’s birthday. In-hye, the youngest of the three, arrives when the two older sisters surprise her with a cake.

Their mother brings her boss over with some summer radish to make kimchi for In-hye’s birthday. When he leaves, In-joo reprimands her mother for taking gifts like meat and vegetables from her boss for free and the mother explains how things that they like are expensive. The four women sit to eat where In-joo and In-kyung give In-hye 2.5 million won ((£1,500/$1,800) for a high school trip to Europe.

Their mother snatches the money away from In-hye claiming that the sisters did not give her any when she wanted to visit their father in the Philippines. In-joo lists the debts their father had left for them to pay, but their mother is still not happy about the older sisters gifting In-hye 2.5 million won for a school trip.

In-kyung argues that In-hye got into the best school in the country by her merit with a scholarship and deserves it but their mother is snobby about it. In-joo and In-kyung lash out at their mother as the oldest sister takes the money back from her.

That night, In-hye is upset with her mother’s words at the dinner table and tells In-kyung how she got into school by working very hard and not because of charity. She cries herself to sleep and the older sister notices this. The next morning, In-joo and In-kyung wake up with a note from their mother, Hee-yeon, who has fled with the money, leaving a narcissistic note behind.

She claims that she’s going to live her life from now on and leaves with In-hye’s gift. In-joo is pissed and sadly tells In-hye about their mother’s betrayal. In-joo starts crying out of anger but In-kyung pledges to send In-hye off on the trip. In-hye asks her sisters to not worry about it as she never thought she’d be able to go anyway.

The next day, In-joo talks to her team leader asking for an advance salary but she gives her an earful over it. In-joo is an outcast at work because she is poor. She hangs out with a colleague, Hwa-young, who is also an outcast who offers to pay her the sum she needs.

At her office, In-kyung gets reprimanded for crying while reporting the news on live television. Her colleague tells her that In-kyung is over-empathetic which is a problem in their line of work. She tells In-kyung that she should find something that drives her and work on those kinds of news reports.

In-kyung contemplates applying for a personal loan to fund In-hye’s Europe trip when her great aunt, Hye-suk calls her. Hye-suk tells her that upon their mother’s instruction, she will be taking care of the girls. However, In-kyung is pissed when Hye-suk offers to lend her money.

That night In-joo and In-kyung discuss their parents’ incompetence and how In-kyung had to live with their wealthy great aunt as a child. In-joo claims that her only resort now will be marrying a rich man but In-kyung mocks that she already tried that and failed.

The next day, In-joo and Hwa-young go out to an expensive restaurant. Since In-joo is underdressed, Hwa-young offers her own heels and jacket to In-joo. Hwa-young, who states she is poor like In-joo knows the staff there. While having dinner, she transfers the money that In-joo needs.

She also asks In-joo to sign some bank documents. In-joo does so without reading them since they are in English. In the women’s room, a guest tells In-joo that the heels she was wearing were extremely rare to find in Korea and that In-joo is one of three people who owned them.

At work, In-kyung pushes herself to visit her great-aunt Hye-suk and takes a sip of the drink from her mouthwash bother before entering Hye-suk’s house. The great-aunt bad mouths In-kyung’s mother for abandoning them which triggers her.

Hye-suk tells In-kyung that she will lend her the 1.25 million won in exchange but In-kyung will have to read the newspaper to Hye-suk every day for a month. On her way out, In-kyung runs into Jong-ho, Hye-suk’s neighbour’s son. They catch up and he reveals he had returned to Korea a few days ago.

He offers to treat her to a meal and reveals that Hye-suk had specifically asked him to deliver her package at this time. That night, In-joo surprises In-hye with the 2.5 million won but the younger of the two does not accept the money.

In-hye leaves in rage but In-joo, who followed the younger sister notices In-hye getting into a car. In-joo follows her sister and waits for In-hye to leave the large bungalow that she went into. In-kyung is at work where the team is discussing the candidate, Park Jae-sang, who is running for Mayor of Seoul.

While the rest of the team approves of the politician, In-kyung is keen on investigating a heinous crime around the candidate which involves the sudden deaths of many individuals. In-kyung explains the Bobae Savings Bank case that Jae-sang defended as an attorney a few years ago.

Outside the large house, In-joo notices the woman from inside the house giving In-hye an envelope with money. Just as In-hye is about to leave with it, In-joo intervenes to enquire. She learns that In-hye made a painting of the rich woman’s daughter and the money was compensation for that. In-joo refuses to take the money and leaves with In-hye.

On their drive back, In-joo tells In-hye that she does not want her to live the same life as them where she was sympathised with and treated like a beggar. At work, In-kyung investigates the Bobae Savings Bank case and finds out many loopholes in connection to candidate Park Jae-sang.

Meanwhile, Hwa-young sends In-joo a document via email with secrets of the colleagues that had outcasted them. In-joo rests and waters the plants at Hwa-young’s office where she is met with Choi Do-il who worked with Hwa-young on a project in Europe.

He asks for In-joo’s number and she acts coy but gives it to him. That afternoon she notices him meet up with Candidate Park Jae-sang outside their office. At the OBN office, In-kyung breaks down the cases where Park Jae-sang was an attorney in the past that led to multiple suicides in connection to the Bobae Savings Case.

She explains that the 140 billion won ($100 million/£90 million) compensation to the victims randomly went missing after their deaths. Her boss is proud of In-kyung and asks her to do her best with this case.

In-joo is at work where her mean colleagues are talking about Choi Do-il when he suddenly walks in looking for In-joo. Her colleagues are shocked to learn that he knows her.

In-kyung attends a press conference with Candidate Park Jae-sang and asks him questions about the suicides in front of other reporters. She is able to shock him into silence but in the women’s room, she seems worried. She uses a mouthwash bottle to drink out of and swallows the contents instead of spitting it out.

As she is leaving, Park Jae-sang runs into her and asks about her interest in the Bobae Savings Bank case. In-joo and Do-il have lunch together and he asks her to call Hwa-young meaning to learn her whereabouts.

At In-kyung’s office, her colleague exposes her to being dependent on alcohol and reveals a video where Park Jae-sang publicly insulted her for that. As it turns out, the mouthwash bottle was filled with tequila, bottles of which In-kyung keeps at her desk.

In-joo arrives at Hwa-young’s place to feed the fish but discovers Hwa-young’s dead body hanging in the closet. She is shocked and drinks at Hwa-young’s funeral all by herself. The mean colleagues from work arrive at Hwa-young’s funeral and pretend to cry over her death whereas the news reporters claim that Hwa-young had gotten plastic surgery on her face before she passed.

After a few days, In-joo is at work and is tired of her colleagues badmouthing Hwa-young after her death. She publicly exposes them using the secrets Hwa-young shared with her and causes chaos in the workplace. Choi Do-il and Hwa-young’s boss, Shin Hyun-min, arrives to have a chat with In-joo.

Hyun-min reveals that Hwa-young stole 70 billion won ($51 million/£44 million) from the office and upon being investigated by him, she suddenly committed suicide. Hyun-min and Do-il ask In-joo to help them find the money Hwa-young stole.

Since the money was from an illegal slush fund, In-joo refuses and leaves. In-joo quits her job and gets a call from Hwa-young’s yoga class. They reveal that before her passing, Hwa-young had transferred her membership to In-joo.

Meanwhile, In-kyung is suspended from her job for six months as she is found guilty of using alcohol at work. At the yoga clinic, In-joo checks out Hwa-young’s locker and finds a large bag. She finds Hwa-young’s belongings and starts crying. However, a note from Hwa-young reveals that the deceased colleague had left behind the 70 billion won she stole and In-joo bursts into tears.

The Episode Review

These days, anything Kim Go-eun touches turns to gold and watching her move from the chaotic Yumi in Yumi’s Cells to the epitome of rags to riches as In-joo now in Litte Women will be interesting. She is still chaotic but the plot of the drama seems like it’s going to be way more gripping than what the trailer makes it out to be.

I thought Choi Do-il (played by Wi Ha-joon) and In-joo will have a very organic romance but that really does not seem like it from episode 1. He is involved with candidate Park Jae-sang who In-kyung is hell-bent on investigating. It seems intense!

I am curious to see how In-joo breaks the news about the 70 billion won to her sisters and my money is on the fact that Hwa-young is still alive. Nobody in their right mind gets plastic surgery a day before committing suicide but I guess, we’ll never really know.

I have a feeling that the 70 billion won In-joo has gotten her hands is half of the same money that In-kyung is investigating Park Jae-sang over. Guess, we’ll have to wait to find out more!

Next Episode

You can check out our full season review for Little Women here!

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1 thought on “Little Women – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review”

  1. The money was not In Hye’s to divide up. Why is In Hye being potrayed as magnanimous for doling out money that is not hers. She doesnt have any right. Choi Do Il was just temporarily storing the money in her friend’s account for safety. In the end In Hye even gets to pocket a part of that money coolly even though she doesn’t have ANY rights to the money.

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