Thirty Nine – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

Something I Had Never Thought Of

Episode 3 of Thirty Nine begins with Chan-Young, Mi-Jo and Joo-Hee all together, eating ice-cream and watching TV. The topic soon turns to funerals but given what we know about Chan-Young, this whole chat feels bittersweet.

We then cut back to a teary Mi-Jo still reeling over Chan-Young’s diagnosis. Seon-u drives her over to Chan-Young’s place but as she waits outside, she overhears her friend being grilled over her previous ties with Jin-Seok. Seon-Ju calls her pathetic and that’s enough for Mi-Jo to jump in and stick up for her friend.

After slapping her in the face, Seon-Ju promises she’ll pay for it and immediately calls the police, claiming assault.

Mi-Jo doesn’t deny what she’s done at the station as she continues to stew over the slap. Jin-Seok eventually shuffles in and promises he’ll sort this out but when Mi-Jo spots him, she leaves. She’s still blaming him for the diagnosis.

At home, Jin-Seok confronts Seon-U and demands she drop the charges. At the same time, Chan-Young heads out with Seon-u and quizzes him over Mi-Jo’s actions and why she’s so torn up. For now though, he’s in the dark over her behaviour.

Even at the dermatology clinic, Mi-Jo’s sister can sense something up with her sibling. Mi-Jo shrugs it off and begins searching online instead. Seon-U shows up with some spicy food for her though, determined to cheer her up.

It doesn’t seem to work and instead, Mi-Jo meets with Joo-Hee after work. She vents about her frustrations about Chan-Young – and the assault charge leveled against her.

The thing that seems to be bothering Mi-Jo the most is Chan-Young’s nonchalance, shrugging off what’s happened with a casual “life is short.” Mi-Jo keeps Chan-Young’s diagnosis to herself though, at least for now. She almost tells Joo-Hee but manages to hold off.

When Mi-Jo leaves, Joo-Hee winds up getting drunk at the new restaurant. She begins slurring her words, ranting about her life while Hyun-Joon stands bemused by her behaviour.

Joo-Hee struggles to pay too, slapping down her food waste disposal card. When Hyun-Joon heads out after her, she eventually gets in the elevator without paying, calling out Hyun-Joon as a thief. He’s completely incredulous to the whole affair and watches her leave.

Meanwhile, Seon-U meets up with Mi-Jo again and after running together, finally admits to him that Chan-Young has stage four pancreatic cancer. She also reveals thee truth about Chan-Young and Jin-Seok’s estranged relationship.

Mi-Jo eventually gets through to Chan-Young and asks to meet for dinner, following her weekend away out-of-town with her parents.

While Mi-Jo braces herself for a difficult evening, Joo-hee tentatively shows up at the restaurant the following day. Hyun-Joon gives her a grilling and admits she reminds him of his elder sister… who’s 42. Joo-Hee comments how she’s under 40 and takes offence to his comment, storming off in a huff.

The night arrives and Mi-Jo heads over to see her friend. Eventually she opens up about the CT scan and tries to encourage Chan-Young that things will be okay. Mi-Jo’s words betray her though and eventually they both sit in silence.

The Episode Review

I love the cast in this K-drama. There are so many big names in this and the trio of ladies at the center of this drama have such great chemistry together. It’s just a shame that the script they’re given to work with is so poor.

We essentially get zero plot development for any of our characters this chapter, beyond seeing Joo-Hee getting drunk and Mi-Jo taking 70 minutes to tell Chan-Young about her diagnosis.

Everything around that is just padding and it doesn’t help that savior Seon-U just doesn’t have much chemistry with Mi-Jo. At least not yet anyway.

The soundtrack and the ideas in this series are enough to stick with but there are definite cracks beginning to form in the foundations here. Let’s hope tomorrow’s follow-up improves.

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You can read our full season review of Thirty Nine here!


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1 thought on “Thirty Nine – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review”

  1. Too harsh review. I find this drama so much better than forecasting love and weather yet it is rated 5. SYJ acting is award winning so does Jeon Mi-Do. The story line is not the usual lightweight, corny and dragging. This to me, is a must see Drama.

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