My Perfect Stranger – K-drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

All This Is By Chance?

Episode 4 of My Perfect Stranger begins with Hae-joon showing the matchbox to Yoon-young. She tells Hae-joon where she picked it up but doesn’t divulge any further details. As she can’t be open over what she’s doing, Hae-joon similarly refuses to tell her what’s actually happening in this time period, ending in a stalemate between the pair.

Hae-joon heads out into town and contemplates the events that have happened so far. He specifically centers on the Min-soo incident, and with his arrest occurring, it seems the past is changing but he’s similarly dead-set on finding what Yoon-young might be hiding.

Hae-joon gives his statement at the police station to Detective Baek and warns Min-soo that he should stay locked up for a while, pointing out the future murders as a reason. While he stays behind bars, Hae-joon heads back home where he finds Yoon-young “asleep” on the sofa. She’s not really, but is just pretending and soon follows him outside so the pair can eat.

They head to the Ha Ha Cafe, but neither are in the joking mood. They sit and eat pastries together, and Yoon-young is shocked at how good they taste. After, they rush back home in the rain and Yoon-young does manage to sleep pretty well all things considered, and even has a message from Hae-joon, giving her instructions for getting ready for school, including heading over to Soon-ae’s place.

To say the house is pure chaos would be an understatement. Soon-ae’s mum is overworked and completely disregarded by the rest of the family, while Yoon-young is flabbergasted to be in front of her younger family members. She tries to keep it together, especially when her grandmother gives her lunch.

As they walk to school, Yoon-young has a newfound respect for her mum, especially as she realizes that Soon-ae was living her own dream through her daughter, enjoying their moments together.

Hae-joon speaks to Yoo Beom-ryong, the guy who happened to have the matchbox last episode and another on the list of suspects for Hae-joon. He learns that these matchboxes are apparently used by many of the kids in school to add a love letter inside and hand them to people you like. That makes the task of figuring out the killer all the more difficult.

Hae-joon follows Beom-ryong though and finds the kid is keeping more than a few secrets, including an empty envelope that’s inside one of the toilet stalls. Similarly, Hae-seob is also a bit suspect, given he too has one of the matchboxes but as he’s only recently transferred, he gives a decent enough reason for having it in his possession.

For now, Hae-joon gives him the benefit of the doubt but he’s also another that’s on the radar for now, especially when he heads away from the group in the woods and happens to have a key round his neck.

Hae-seob ends up running into Soon-ae and as fireworks start between them, Yoon-young gets involved and tries to stop the pair. She’s too exhausted though to do anything and as she collapses on the floor, she finds herself looking up at Hae-joon, who’s less than happy to find her trailing behind.

When the two classes are back together again, it’s Hae-seob who catches the attention of everyone. He stands up with Beom-ryong’s guitar and prepares to play… but he’s never done it before. However, he’s an absolute natural and with the pick in his hand, starts playing a lively jam. He even sings too, catching the attention of everyone – even Soon-ae.

One person who’s not enthused by all this is Mi-sook. She’s already got a lot on her plate, given the situation with her family and her mum acting frostily. Hae-joon is similarly conflicted, and as the kids all dance and sing obliviously, he goes over what he’s found out so far and how difficult this is going to be to solve.

Lo and behold, the first victim, a young woman, happens to show up in the woods. This is Lee Joo-young, and as we’re two days away from the first murder, Hae-joon does what he can to try and keep an eye on her.

She’s actually a new transfer student teacher, and a senior at Seoul National University’s Korean language and literature department. The kids all ask for her to sing to them all and she eventually caves to the peer pressure. Her song is a bit too mellow and sad for them, but Hae-seob and Beom-ryong are enamored by her. Hae-joon tries to pitch to be in charge of the new student teacher, desperate to stop the worst from occuring.

During lunch, more of these Bong Bong Cafe matchboxes are given out and Yoon-young realizes that it’s a common thread. She knows that this is connected to Hae-joon somehow, but while she shoots him a suspicious glance, Hae-joon turns his attention to Joo-young. She claims that her relative lives in town but we quickly learn that this is an outright lie. She doesn’t have any friends or family in town, but Hae-joon plays along and all the same and even hands over his number, asking her to contact him if anything untoward comes up or if she needs him.

Outside, Mi-sook speaks to Yoon-young and questions what happened to her brother. Yoon-young squares up to her but Mi-sook points out that she’s already discovered her weakness. It’s clearly Soon-ae. She carries this with her when she heads home, but Hae-joon hurries out when the principal calls and claims he can’t get through to Joo-young.

Now, Yoon-young seems to recognize her from somewhere but can’t quite out her finger on what…until she has a lightbulb moment. Searching through the novel Mi-sook wrote, it becomes clear that she was referencing Joo-young by her description. But why? For what reason?

Min-soo is released from prison that night, and while searching for him, Hae-joon and Yoon-young end up colliding in the street. Having read Mi-sook’s novel, Yoon-young knows that something bad is going to happen. Mi-sook referred to Joo-young as her “first beautiful death”, so the pair talk and finally decide that now is as good a time as any to be honest with one another.

During the epilogue, Min-soo, in the present, meets up with his sister in their old house. There’s a witness to the crime but Mi-sook reminds her brother that they’re walking into her trap.

The Episode Review

My Perfect Stranger sees the plot thicken as it becomes clear that this case is not going to be as simple as we first thought. The matchboxes being used everywhere is a nice way of complicating matters, while the prime suspects being Hae-seob and Beom-ryong just seems way too easy. It also seems a little too easy to be Min-soo or Mi-sook but we shall see.

The story is dragging a little bit though, especially the first half of this episode which takes its sweet time to actually get to the good stuff. The second half though, especially with the introduction of our first victim, does well to up the stakes and get this show ticking once more.

Finally, with over 4 episodes down, it seems Hae-joon and Yoon-young are going to have a proper conversation about what they know and in doing so, it should see the plot pick up a bit.

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

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