The Matchmakers – K-drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

A Bad Feeling is Never Wrong

Episode 2 of The Matchmaker begins with Jung-woo being appointed as an inspector. He spends his time surpassing his teachers while learning medicine to find a cure for his chest pain.

Back to the prison, the guard tries to force him to drink poison. The King pretends to be benevolent and gives him a chance. The Crown Prince cannot marry due to the resentment from the growing number of old maidens and bachelors. They can reduce it by helping some exemplary old maidens.

The Chief Royal Secretary suggests that Jung-woo should help the 3 spinster daughters of the King’s old dead friend, Maeng Sang-cheon. Jung-woo is given a deadline of 2 months. If he succeeds, his marriage annulment will be considered, if not, he will be poisoned. Alone, the King reveals he has no plans on annulling the marriage as the least he can do for his dead daughter is not turn her into a virgin spirit.

Meanwhile, Song’s daughter plans to die with her lover to be together. Soon-deok pops up and stops them while deducing that the man is the second son of Royal Chief Secretary. She decides to help them and her friend, Yeoju-daek wonders why as she won’t earn any money. Soon-deok says that there is only one husband, so she will take whatever to make the marriage happy.

In contrast, Matchmaker Jung-woo having memorised all the rites, doesn’t need to meet the women. He will just get matchmakers to help him. He heads to the inn where the matchmakers fawn over him and he is flustered. They play hard to get and almost accept till they learn that the customers are the 3 Maeng maidens.

Daughter 1 is pretty but is possessed by Lee Cho-ok according to a man who spotted her playing alone in the stream. Jung-woo thinks she is promiscuous. Daughter 2 is good at sewing but is vulgar and vicious. The Lee son accuses her of 1 shoe and pushes her accidentally. She fights back and he soon realises that his dog had the shoe. Daughter 3 dresses up as a man. Jung-woo thinks she has questionable sexual preferences.

The matchmakers say that only Yeojudaek can help as she will do anything to succeed when she takes a request. Meanwhile, a man observes them and wonders why Jung-woo ordered the bookseller to get him golden silkworm (geumjam) poison.

As for Soon-deok, she comes up with a plan. The Royal Chief Secretary’s son pretends to become a monk. The family is upset and she offers to help by finding him the perfect woman to fulfil his filial duty and brings in the Song daughter. 

Yeoju-daek isn’t happy with Soon-deok’s meddling and wonders what would happen to Song’s match, the Lee boy. Soon-deok is confident that a perfect girl is waiting for him who will also gel well with his mother. It cuts to her sister-in-law, Ye-jin and Madam Lee obsessing over Hwa Rok’s erotica. But it cuts to Lee chasing Maeng Daughter 2. He feels bad for pushing her and calls her a palanquin.

But she doesn’t forgive him as he says anyone would have doubted her. He holds her hand and she twists it. Jung-woo shows up and calls them out for the PDA. She calls him a geezer and Lee is amused as he helps her escape in the palanquin. He apologises again and they lock eyes. Jung-woo notices them making heart eyes and his chest hurts. Lee apologizes to Jung-woo for making a scene and runs away. 

Meanwhile, Soon-deok falls asleep at Yeoju-daek’s home and dreams of 5 years ago. She is reading a sad romantic story to her husband of a bride waiting for her groom for 20 years.

Outside, Oh Bong guesses that Jung-woo is excited to meet Yeojudaek as he makes him go back to town to get his donkey. He enters the house and sees a sleeping Soon-deok. She is half-awake as she touches him and thinks he is her husband. She makes him lie on her lap but screams as she realises who he is.

A confused Jung-woo runs after her and tells her his mission. She always wanted to match the 3 daughters but finds him dangerous. He makes matters worse by saying it is a royal order to abolish old maidens. She scolds him that old maidens are also women but he keeps correcting her grammar. She sneaks away while he is distracted and he fumes as no one is following the rules.

The next day, Soon-deok tries to convince Lee’s mother to match with Ye-jin. Madam Lee points out that Minister Jo is in the opposing party but Soon-deok lies that he initiated the match. Soon-deok then requests Yeoju-daek to pretend she is Yeojudaek the matchmaker and help with Ye-jin’s mother. 

Meanwhile, Jung-woo scolds the mayor for neglecting old maidens but the mayor looks down on him. While stomping off, Jung-woo spots copies of Hwa Rok’s book ‘The Madam’s Private Life’. His hands shake as he reads and he imagines himself with Soon-deok. He panics on seeing her bare ankle but the book suddenly ends there. He rants that it is malicious to leave him with a cliffhanger.

He is caught by Inspector Jung Soon-goo who says the books are evidence to capture the culprit behind Cho-ok’s suicide. Jung-woo thinks he is foolish to investigate a suicide and must have been appointed via nepotism – selling his sister to Minister Jo. Regardless, Jung-woo offers to go through the records and realises Cho-ok had stab wounds and Soon-goo is investigating it as a murder case.

Jung-woo’s meeting with Maeng Daughter 1 is a disaster as he first mistakes her for the mother and brings out an outdated list of old bachelors. She is extremely haughty and he brings up the law that a woman needs to marry by 24 or the parents are punished. Daughter 3 who happens to be Hwa Rok breaks them up.

Jung-woo’s anger turns into fear when he spots the royal guard. The King meets him in disguise and it is chaos as Jung-woo tries to bow and accidentally takes his cup. The King is angry as Jung-woo was supposed to be discreet but told the mayor who is Jo’s right-hand man. Jung-woo is not worried and it cuts to the mayor telling Jo. They don’t realise his ulterior motives but are still suspicious. The King reminds Jung-woo of the 2-month deadline and Chief Secretary tells him to recruit Yeojudaek.

The next day, Hwa Rok begs Soon-deok to match the Maeng maidens. She is worried that Jung-woo will get her sister married to whoever he likes. She accidentally exposes that she is the 3rd daughter and finally confesses that she signed an agreement with her sisters that none of them would ever marry but she doesn’t want to die a virgin. Soon-deok is amused and decides to help. 

As Jung-woo waits for Soon-deok, he is worried she will refuse to help. Bong scolds him for being rude to her. He says he should apologise even if he is not wrong. Jung-woo takes on his Resentful Man persona and is furious at doing something that goes against his beliefs. At the end of The Matchmakers episode 2, she enters and it looks like he is going to scold her but suddenly apologises. At the same time, she offers her services.

The Episode Review

The Matchmakers episode 2 is building up all the secondary characters and even the king is funny and likeable. Since we can see his thought process he doesn’t seem scary but like the goofy dad in rom-coms.

Now that Jung-woo is also entering the matchmaking business, the vast contrast between his and Soon-deok’s methods is hilarious. While she is all about emotions and love, he takes a mechanical approach as if following some rules can make him control an institution which involves feelings. Still for once, Soon-deok is wrong about the Lee boy and Jung-woo unknowingly notices a match.

The mystery angle has finally picked up as well. It seems that Jo murdered the princess with the poison from what we see in the next episode teaser. Soon-goo is definitely Soon-deok’s brother and the Cho-ok case may have him suspecting Jo to tie up all the suspense elements. But for now, we can enjoy the witty banter as our main leads grudgingly start working together.

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Read our season 1 review of The Matchmakers here!

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