My Perfect Stranger – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Secret You Keep

Episode 3 of My Perfect Stranger begins with Yoon-young determined to stay in 1987. Well, they seem to be in luck as the car isn’t working anyway so even if they did want to go back, they’re not going anywhere. Yoon-young though is driven to figure out what ties Mi-sook and her mum have in this timeline, and it’s opened her mind to just how tough life has been for Soon-ae. “I can change everything,.” Yoon-young says to herself in the mirror.

Hae-joon similarly has something to do here and that derives from taking down and stopping the serial killer. There are six potential suspects he initially wants to keep an eye on, and he’s going to see which moves first. They all seem to be connected to the school, which explains why Hae-joon is a teacher here.

Yoon-young tells him that she also wants to get into school, to be closer to her mum, and it seems both of these guys are going to be entwined with what’s to come, enrolling as a student. Hae-joon is so shocked at this, he burns himself on the kettle.

While this is going on, Detective Baek Dong-sik hones in on figuring out who Hae-joon and Yoon-young really are. He shows up at Hae-joon’s place and immediately lets himself in. In doing so, he notices Yoon-young there and wants to see her ID. She claims to have lost it, but it only makes him more suspicious… until Hae-joon steps in and claims that she’s a student at the high school.

Yoon-young forces Hae-joon’s hand but she can hardly contain her delight at this turn of events. However, she’s struggling to remember her student ID and similarly won’t disclose to Hae-joon exactly what she’s doing here.

Funnily enough, Hee-Seob (Yoon-young’s father in this time period) is actually the son of Detective Baek, and at school he gets talking to Yoon-young. He discusses how they’re alike as they both don’t have dads that are there for them. This obviously hits home for Yoon-young, and as she grabs his ear, she doesn’t make a particularly good impression on the teachers.

Yoon-young is eventually enrolled into class and funnily enough, she ends up sitting next to Soon-ae, of all people. Similarly, Hae-seob is also a transfer student and he ends up in Hae-joon’s class. The parallels between the two are rather amusing (not so much for Yoon-young though!) and Hae-seob even points out that their fathers must have a valid reason for not showing up when they should have done.

Anyway, during the next class, Hae-joon is teaching Soon-ae, Yoon-young and the others. She learns that his nickname is Prince Five, as he’s the perfect guy for 5 seconds until he starts the class. And every time he begins by berating the kids for not going straight home and misbehaving after school. So why Prince? Well, that’s to do with his amazing good looks!

During break, it becomes clear that Mi-sook has been using Soon-ae to write all her work, even pointing out that editing is “something anyone can do”. Outside the room, Yoon-young is there and she berates Mi-sook for her shameful attitude. She decides they should go to the teacher’s office and reveal all. However, Soon-ae is having none of it and claims that she’s doing this because she wants to, especially when Mi-sook clutches her head in “pain”.

There’s something else going on here, and Yoon-young is determined to figure out exactly what that is. She knows that this is just the beginning, especially if Mi-sook has been stealing her mum’s work all this time.

After school, Mi-sook looks at Yoon-young and smiles faintly, “Be careful,” She says, before leaving. Yoon-young follows and tells her threats aren’t going to work, but the girl is not to be trifled with. She’s clearly a schemer and intends to try and figure out Yoon-young and exactly how to get under her skin.

Unfortunately, Yoon-young walks right into a trap when she willingly accepts a lift home from Mi-sook’s older brother. He reveals what his sister is like and then slams her head into the dashboard of the car. Knocked out, Yoon-young wakes up in his house. Apparently this isn’t the first time that he’s been like this with women, and it’s clear he’s thinking about forcing himself on her, which makes Yoon-young all the more uncomfortable.

When someone knocks on the door, Yoon-young takes her chance, smacking him in the head with a glass and buying crucial time for Hae-joon to show up and save her before things turn nasty. Hae-joon grabs the guy and that’s when he sees it. The burn mark on his wrist. The same burn mark for Min-soo in the future. That’s right, Min-soo (whom we know is related to Mi-sook) is not the wrongly imprisoned guy we thought and he’s eventually taken away by the police.

Hae-joon lets us know through narration that there are three days until the first murder and so far, Hae-joon has narrowed this down to three different suspects. The first is Baek Hee-seop. The second is Beom Ryong, whom we saw earlier holding one of those Bong Bong Cafe matchboxes. And the third is Go Min-soo. Hae-joon reveals all of this to Yoon-young, and shows her the matchbox too. “Who are you? And why are you here?” He says, wanting the absolute truth from her.

The Episode Review

We knew the show would start to slow down after the pulsating opener and that much is especially true with this chapter, which swings between comedic quips and darker drama. The latter is where this drama is going to shine you feel, and especially as we have no idea who the killer is and whether it’s even one of these suspects at all.

The idea that Mi-sook stole the identity from one of these girls seems, so far, not to track. Mi-sook has always been conniving and it could well be that she’s the real murderer but she’s framed her brother and other individuals to make sure she can escape without detection.

This one is shaping up to be an intriguing watch but the contrived nature of slowly revealing information thanks to characters not asking direct questions is an age-old screenplay problem and it’s a bit disappointing to see that crop up here. So far though, it’s not distracting enough to turn away from the main plot. That ending though certainly opens the door for an intriguing follow-up tomorrow!

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You can read our full season review for My Perfect Stranger here!


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